May 2010

Fedora 13 released
A few years ago, Red Hat seemed poised to make a sizable dent into the desktop and mobile OS market with its then ubiquitous Red Hat Linux distribution (which we extensively tested on Tablet PC convertibles). In a knee-jerk reaction, Red Hat then decided to drop the free red Hat Linux and go after the much more profitable enterprise market instead. As a result, other free Linux distros took over and Linux missed a huge chance. Not all is lost, though. The Red Hat distro essentially continued as the Fedora Project, and Fedora 13 has just become available. [See The Fedora Project] -- Posted Monday, May 31, 2010 by chb

4G -- ready for prime time?
Sprint is now advertising 4G wireless, with significantly faster download and upload speed. but given that AT&T and Verizon still argue who has better 3G coverage and speed, can we assume that 4G is ready for prime time? We're taking a look at 4G technologies and how it may all play out. [See 4G -- ready for prime time?] -- Posted Friday, May 28, 2010 by chb

IDC forecasts 7.6 million tablets shipped worldwide in 2010
According to IDC, the market for media tablets, fostered by Apple's iPad, will be driven by the device's attributes as a content consumption platform and the compelling applications and services that will be created to take advantage of them. IDC forecasts that worldwide tablet shipments will grow from 7.6 million units in 2010 to more than 46 million units in 2014. In comparison, IDC expects almost 400 million portable PCs will be shipped in 2014. [See IDC release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010 by chb

RAM Mount for the Apple iPad
The Apple iPad transcends conventional computing boundaries and classifications. While it is not a rugged or vertical market device, many will use an iPad in addition to their current mobile computing gear, and in quite a few cases, iPads will replace older technology. That's probably why RAM-Mounts has introduced RAM Mounts for the Apple iPad, a series of mounting products designed to mount and take the iPad anywhere. We took a look at RAM's new iPad cradle and mounting solutions for you. [See RAM Mount for iPad] -- Posted Monday, May 24, 2010 by chb

Panasonic upgrades Toughbook 19 to Core i5 and Gobi 2000
Though Panasonic's Toughbook 19 didn't become the Toughbook 20 (as the recently upgraded Toughbook 30 became the 31), the enhancements to Pana's venerable notebook convertible might well have justified a new number designation as well. A switch from an Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 to a Core i5-540UM brings major performance improvements at no penalty to battery life, there's now optional Gobi 1000 and WiMAX, a camera, the backlight is LED now, and you can get dual touch input. Ruggedness is substantially improved as well, with IP65 sealing (IP54 before) and an incredible 6-foot drop-spec (up from 3-foot). And the starting price is down, too, to US$3,399. -- Posted Monday, May 24, 2010 by chb

Full review: DLI 8400 rugged ultra-mobile tablet
The DLI 8400 is a rugged ultra-mobile tablet with an integrated keyboard suitable for a wide variety of field service, mobile payment, first responder, fleet management and similar applications. Measuring about 10 x 8 x 2 inches and weighing a bit over three pounds, the Atom Z530-powered DLI 8400 with its 7-inch WSVGA touchscreen and integrated magcard reader is significantly smaller and lighter than full-size rugged tablets but it is still large enough to serve as a full-function computer. In a detailed analysis, RuggedPCReview.com found the DLI 8400 a very competent and highly configurable ultra-mobile tablet that can run Windows 7 or several other operating systems. [See detailed review of the DLI 8400] -- Posted Thursday, May 20, 2010 by chb

Motion brings Intel Core i5/i7power to enhanced Motion F5v tablet
Motion Computing released a major update to its rugged Motion F5 tablet. The new Motion F5v gets a substantial performance boost by switching to Intel Core i5/i7 processors. In RuggedPCReview's benchmark testing, the new Motion F5v has roughly 2.2x performance compared to the 2009 Core 2 Duo machine while improving on battery life. The new F5v also benefits from additional enhancements such as onboard USB, dual cameras, larger hard disk, Gobi 2000, and standard Corning "Gorilla glass" for a nearly unbreakable display. [Read detailed review and benchmarks of the new Motion F5v tablet] -- Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2010 by chb

Panasonic unveils impressive Toughbook 31
Panasonic announced the Toughbook 31, a fully rugged notebook computer for tough jobs in the field, in vehicles, and in any situation where a standard notebook would quickly fail. The Panasonic Toughbook 31 replaces the Toughbook 30 with a variety of technology updates and enhancements that brings the platform technologically up-to-date without obsoleting existing customers' investment in Toughbook 30 docks and peripherals. Standard voltage Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processors provide high performance while still yielding exceptional battery life, LED backlighting makes for an even brighter 1,100 nits display, touch is now standard, optional Gobi 2000 supports 4G wireless, and the new model is more rugged than ever. [See detailed description and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook 31] -- Posted Wednesday, May 12, 2010 by chb

Microsoft frees Office Mobile 2010 for WinMo
Microsoft today went live with the 2010 edition of their cash cow Office and has added Office Mobile apps for Windows Mobile users at no cost. From the press release:

"Effective today, Office Mobile 2010 will be available for free via Windows® Phone Marketplace for all Windows Mobile 6.5 phones with a previous version of Office Mobile. People using Office Mobile 2010 can perform lightweight editing of Office documents and take notes on the go. With Office Mobile, people can work with Office documents stored on their phone, attached to an e-mail, and can browse, edit, and update documents stored on a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 site."
LINK: Microsoft Office Mobile 2010

-- Posted Wednesday, May 12, 2010 by dtm

iPad available in nine more countries on May 28
Apple announced that iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK on Friday, May 28. Customers can pre-order all iPad models from Apple's online store in all nine countries beginning on Monday, May 10. In the US, Apple has already sold over one million iPads and customers have downloaded over 12 million apps from the App Store, as well as over 1.5 million ebooks from the new iBookstore. -- Posted Monday, May 10, 2010 by chb

IDC: Smartphone sales, marketshare way up in Q1 2010
According to IDC, the worldwide converged mobile device (smartphone) market grew 56.7% year-over-year in first quarter of 2010, shipping a total of 54.7 million units. That's 18.8% of all mobile phones shipped. As far as Q1 shipping market share goes, Nokia is first with 39.3%, then RIM with 19.4%, apple closing in fast with 16.1%, then HTC with 4.8%, Moto with 4.2%, and the rest (presumably all the Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean and other Asian companies?) with 16.3%. These days, few phones are totally "dumb," so the exact definition of "smartphone" probably has a big impact on the numbers. -- Posted Monday, May 10, 2010 by chb

Windows XP on an iPad? I declare!
What you're seeing in the picture to the right is lots of folks' worst nightmare: Windows XP on an iPad. The real thing and fully functional. How is this possible? With a VNC client (I use VNC Viewer). The iPad is not really running Windows XP, of course; it's just running a piece of software that lets you view, control and use Macs, Linux boxes and, yes, PCs. [more ... -- Posted Saturday, May 8, 2010 by chb

"Moorestown" — Intel's new Z6xx Atom platform and how it fits in
On May 4th, Intel introduced the next generation of its initial family of Z5xx Atom processor. Codenamed "Moorestown," the Z6xx family, together with a new I/O controller and signal processing chip are meant to make Intel competitive in the booming smartphone and internet access device market. On paper at least, the new processor family looks very good and may yet help Intel establish itself in the device market (which, interestingly, they abandoned when they sold the XSCALE application processor business to Marvell a couple of years ago). But before we go into details of Moorestown, let's backtrack and see how Intel's whole Atom venture began and developed. [more ...] -- Posted Thursday, May 6, 2010 by chb

Bill Gates still believes in pen computing but iPad, not so much
In a wide-ranging interview just broadcast on FBN, Bill Gates commented on the state of Microsoft's tablet projects after the demise of the Courier project:

“Microsoft has a lot of different tablet projects that we're pursuing. We think that work with the pen that Microsoft pioneered will become a mainstream for students. It can give you a device that you can not only read, but also create documents at the same time.”

Though he praised Apple's success overall in the interview, he delivered a not-so-subtle jab at the iPad's lack of a stylus back in February, basically calling it a "nice reader" but that's about it:

"You know, I'm a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard -- in other words a netbook -- will be the mainstream on that."
LINK TO: Interview at GuruFocus.com

-- Posted Tuesday, May 4, 2010 by dtm

Publishing and the iPad
As a former print publisher, I spent some time comparing different approaches to magazine publishing on the iPad. Given the amount of hype about the iPad being the savior of publishing, I am surprised there is not an iMagazine app or some such. I mean, Apple could take the lead here yet again, creating the iTunes of the magazine world. [more ...] -- Posted Tuesday, May 4, 2010 by chb

Jon Stewart's monolog on Apple
The April 28, 2010 Daily Show had anchor Jon Stewart dedicate an entire eight minute monolog on Apple's rather strong reaction to the next gen iPhone episode. Very funny. See it here. -- Posted Monday, May 3, 2010 by chb

Opinions on HP's acquisition of Palm
Now that Palm's been sold to HP, everyone has an opinion on the company, how things developed, and how it'll all play out. PCWorld presented A Brief History of Palm, InformationWeek an Analysis Of HP-Palm Acquisition, and many others weighed in as well, generally with much better pieces than the often clueless hype on tablets and their history. -- Posted Monday, May 3, 2010 by chb