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Archives from month » April, 2012

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabooks Sales Surge Upwards

Dell XPS 14Z X14z-2310ELS 14-Inch Laptop (Elemental Silver)

Dell XPS 14Z X14z-2310ELS 14-Inch Laptop (Elemental Silver) on Amazon

Looks like the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook has been a huge hit with the PC crowd. This thin and light portable computer has apparently been selling quite well. Dell claimed that the Ultrabook was selling much more than the company’s own initial projections. Since the Ultrabook market is still relatively small, this does not translate to millions of sales but it still means that this Dell Ultrabook might have been more successful than the others.

The XPS 13 has lots of reasons to attract attention. It has a aluminum and carbon fiber body that aims to be thin, strong yet lightweight. It has a sleek design that would appeal to a wide range of buyers and this has apparently resulted in sales that have been about three times over what Dell had initially expected.

Vice president of Dell’s Consumer and SMB product group, Sam Burd, said the company was having trouble keeping up with the demand because it was almost three times the expected demand. He or the company would not reveal exact numbers at this point and the projection was never made public anyway. So we have no way of knowing how many of these ultrabooks have actually been sold. However, the Dell XPS 13 selling well is still a good sign for the Ultrabook market as a whole.

Ultrabooks have so far been facing problems because of the high base prices. Intel had originally conceived the Ultrabook to come at a price of about $600 but then the first few models that have hit the market have so far been priced much higher to the point of almost being double. The average price of an Ultrabook right now is $1000, which is a fair price to pay for the features you are getting (powerful processor, long battery life, thin and light) but then that does not do it for the masses.

Analysts are optimistic about Ultrabooks though. Stephen Baker of the NPD Group of researchers said that he expects the Ultrabooks to pick up in the long run. According to him, companies should concentrate more on the experience and the quality by cutting down on the number of models and concentrating on just a few. He cited the example of the iPad where the average spend per device is easily between $600 and $700 for a 10.1inch tablet. As per him, this happens because people are buying in to the overall experience and don’t mind paying for it.

In comparison, the XPS 13 offers most of those features too. It is well designed, has an appealing form for the style conscious and it is also thin and lightweight. The last two parts right now are the most sought after features on anything that is meant to be carried around. The Dell XPS 13 is mostly being sold in the business world, where they don’t mind paying the price for a sturdy and well-performing notebook that looks good too.


iPad Gets Official App For LinkedIn

Apple iPad MD328LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, White) NEWEST MODEL

Apple iPad MD328LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, White) NEWEST MODEL on Amazon

LinkedIn has officially released an iPad app, which puts them on the same level as services like Skype and Facebook who have already had their apps on the Apple tablet device.

The LinkedIn app has been available for the iPhone and other smartphone platforms for quite some time. However, an iPad version was quite conspicuously missing all this while. After two years of the original iPad release, the professional social networking platform is finally available in app-shape on it. And it looks like there’s good enough reason for this to happen.

Usage data from LinkedIn shows that the iPad is the fastest growing device on the platform. It registered an amazon 250% increase year on year from 2011 to 2012. Clifford Rosenberg, MD(Australia/New Zealand and SouthEast Asia), LinkedIn, said that the iPad app represents an extension to the mobile device based consumption of their service. Here’s what he had to say on the matter: -

<blockquote>

“Mobile remains the fastest growing consumer service on LinkedIn,”

“Our iPad app is the single most demanded product by our members.”

</blockquote>

When asked about why it took so long to build an iPad app for LinkedIn, Rosenberg said the company wanted the best possible experience for the user. They also wanted to make it perfect for the “unique” ways in which professionals use their iPads and the LinkedIn service. He emphasized the fact that they wanted to design the app around this use case scenario.

According to Rosenberg, instead of porting the existing iPhone app to the iPad, the company decided to build a new iPad app from the ground up. This helped them customize the experience in a completely new manner.

The new iPad app has new features like calendar syncing, shares from co-workers, tracking who has viewed your profile and who has changed jobs and also the congratulate feature. Other than these functional features, the iPad app also comes with Retina display compatible high-resolution graphic “to create a dynamic, efficient and beautiful interface for professionals.” Says Rosenberg.

The only question that remains now is when LinkedIn will make the same effort for the Android tablets. Rosenberg would not rule out the possibility of such an app right now. According to him, the company is always looking in to newer mobile platforms and systems to present their service on. But he also mentioned that they were actively seeking out platforms where there was the “greatest opportunity to help professionals be more productive and successful on their mobile devices,”. Which also means that Android tablets do not have the same critical mass that Android phones have achieved to become an important platform for companies like LinkedIn to consider building an app for. Additionally, the Android tablet market is still quite fragmented when it comes to hardware. Perhaps this will change post Android 4.0 but for now, Rosenberg said LinkedIn has nothing to announce about an Android tablet app.


Samsung Galaxy Note Coming To T-Mobile?

Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 16GB Unlocked Android Smartphone - Dark Blue

Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 16GB Unlocked Android Smartphone - Dark Blue on Amazon

According to a photo currently doing the rounds of the internet right now, the Samsung Galaxy Note might be headed To T-Mobile in the US. A Galaxy Note with the T-Mobile logo on it was photographed out in the wild somewhere and the photo has since been reposted on several tech blogs as proof. This 5.3inch mobile device is a bridge model between a smartphone and a tablet and it is received a very polarized response from the market so far.

If you look strictly at the device itself, it is quite a good Android smartphone and is of use as a tablet as well. It has superior built quality, a fantastic screen and it also comes with an S-Pen that has technology from Wacom.         It has great performance parts under the hood and the performance is speedy and smooth.

It is the size of the device that has a polarizing effect. For those who thrive on handwritten notes, this phone is great because it is basically a really compact tablet device. It is much more portable compared to a 10.1inch tablet, (almost) fits in to your pocket and has a lot of great tablet features. But if you look at it as just a phone, it is definitely not a comfortable size. It is not meant to be taken to the ear and spoken through, even though it can do that.

Critics and buyers can say whatever they may though, for AT&T — the exclusive carrier for this device — it is quite a hit. It has been selling really well and it has been adding to the over all appeal of the Galaxy line of devices. So for Samsung, this is yet another successful Galaxy Android model. Right now, AT&T rivals cannot officially sell the device because of the exclusivity deal but there have been rumors going around about the exclusivity ending soon. And now this photo just adds that much strength to those existing rumors.

The images in question were published by Tmonews.com on Wednesday and they clearly showed the T-Mobile logo on the Samsung Galaxy Note. To add to the whole thing, the site also then published photos of apps running on Galaxy Note that were typically found on T-Mobile devices. These included apps like T-Mobile Name ID, T-Mobile TV and T-Mobile Mall. The image source remained anonymous throughout. So there’s no telling where all of this is coming from — innards of T-Mobile or some third-party.

T-Mobile subscribers should be quite interested though. The Samsung Galaxy Note that has been received with a lot of curiosity from the common mass in addition to the polarized reviews. Its positioning between a tablet and a phone is quite unique in the mainstream market right now and so it does attract quite a lot of attention when it is whipped out in a café or a bar. It is also a good idea for corporates who are constantly scribbling things down and sending out drawings and mind maps.


Samsung Mobile Phones Are Now The World’s Largest Selling Handsets

Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 Unlocked Phone--International Version (Blue)

Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 Unlocked Phone--International Version (Blue) on Amazon

Samsung appears to have toppled Finnish mobile giant Nokia and may be even Apple’s iPhone and become the largest selling mobile handset manufacturer in the world. Nokia, who has been on the top spot in the mobile handset since 1998, has finally shifted to second position. This information was released as part of Samsung’s first quarter sales report for 2012, which has record-breaking figures. Even though the company did not reveal exact numbers, analysts have estimate that the company might have sold as many as 44.5 million smartphone handsets in the first three months of this year.

If that is true, then Samsung might have toppled Apple as well in terms sales because the iOS maker sold about 35.1 million iPhones during the same period of time. But then Apple makes only one model of the iPhone whereas Samsung has multiple models spanning both Android and Windows Phone. Overall though, Samsung has sold 93.5 million phones and thereby topping the 82.7 million phones that Nokia sold during the same period. After losing out on the smartphone market twice and betting everything it has on Windows Phone, this is the latest sign of Nokia’s decline as market leader.

Samsung’s estimated sales figures put it at 30.6 percent market share and Apple’s figures puts it at 24.1 percent of the market. This means that between themselves, Samsung and Apple have the majority market share in the smartphone business. This also means that two are the only major players in a market where other players are being constantly side lined and pushed out. Nokia’s decline is a major sign of this.

Samsung has been constantly in news for being one of the largest selling Android smartphone maker for most of last year. Its Galaxy series of handsets have being selling quite well in the recent past and have successfully generated a lot of buzz around the brand. Even though most of its offerings are on Android, Samsung also intends to work on Galaxy branded smartphones for the upcoming Windows 8 platform from Microsoft.

Nokia is already working closely with Microsoft to develop handsets on the Windows Phone platform. So it is possible that they will have a head start on the platform but Samsung massive presence may ultimately muscle them out of the race.

The latest Samsung Galaxy is in fact going to be launched next week at the Unpacked event in London. This is the long awaited Galaxy S3 and it is supposed to come with a bevvy of new features, including the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and a Quad-Core processor. It is also supposed to have a 5inch screen and a Super AMOLED display but then nothing has been confirmed so far. The German Amazon portal accidentally listed the S3 ahead of its launch and gave away a few details.


HTC Android Phone Under Development In Collaboration With Facebook: Rumors

HTC ONE S Z520E VILLE 16GB IN BLACK COLOUR UNLOCKED GSM WITH 3G 850

HTC ONE S Z520E VILLE 16GB IN BLACK COLOUR UNLOCKED GSM WITH 3G 850 on Amazon

HTC Android phones are getting better everyday and if the rumors are to be believed, the company is coming up with a new customized phone in collaboration with Facebook. The idea of Facebook making a phone first surfaced in 2010, when Techcrunch’s Michael Arrington talked about it. However, Mark Zuckerberg later denied the idea and said that they were working on putting a social layer on top of existing phones instead of trying to compete with existing manufacturers like Apple.

However, it is already two years later and Facebook might be thinking on other lines. The new rumors suggest that HTC is customizing a phone for Facebook that would integrate every function of the social platform in to the device. HTC has already done custom work for Google with the first ever Android Nexus phone. Having its roots as an OEM, HTC has the right kind of resources to make this happened for Facebook. However, the rumors may be blowing things out of proportions.

Facebook actually be looking to a customized phone but not because they want to make a phone or sell it. They might have bee approached by HTC themselves who want to make a special Facebook phone. Such feature specific phones are already a reality in several parts of the world, especially in some Asian countries. India for example has had a Facebook phone for quite some time now. It is called the Vodafone Blue 555 and it was released in September last year. Here’s a link to the TV commercial that ran during the launch — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR0x6RNN6Do

Facebook has already worked with HTC and INQ in the past for creating deep level Facebook integration for their phones. INQ has even brought out a twitter phone at one point. And now it is possible that Facebook is finally considering launching a completely branded device, built by someone else.

Devices like the Kindle Fire have already shown that you do not need to completely Google connected to be popular on Android. As the dominant platform on the market at the moment, there’s a lot of opportunity here. So the rumors suggest that Facebook is working on a completely new smartphone that has a fully customized Android OS. Complete with a custom skin layer on top of the actual OS. They might even subtract services like Google Play, Gmail and Google Maps. That might sound like Blasphemy to Android lovers but it is possible. That’s mainly because Facebook is a brand that is big enough to do that. Just like Amazon did.

HTC Android phones have recently been rising again in popularity. Their HTC One series phones have become quite popular and they have been on the news for a while now as multiple US wireless carriers start launching them on their rosters. HTC has great build quality and a fine understanding of UI design, shown by their Sense UI layer on top of all their Android phones. So if the two have really gotten together, the outcome is bound to be quite special indeed.


HTC ONE S: A Quick Overview

HTC ONE S Z520E VILLE 16GB IN BLACK COLOUR UNLOCKED GSM WITH 3G 850

HTC ONE S Z520E VILLE 16GB IN BLACK COLOUR UNLOCKED GSM WITH 3G 850 on Amazon

The HTC One S is part of the newly released HTC One Series that was officially unveiled at this year’s Mobile World Congress at Barcelona. The One S is a 4.3inch mobile handset running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and has a lightweight body. But the best part about this phone is its super long battery life that will see you through an entire day’s worth of use without running out.

HTC’s Sense UI overlay for Android has always been a welcome addition for most Android lovers. And this phone is no different. The One S comes with Sense 4.0 to match the Android 4.0. The extra long battery life is thanks to internal tweaks and the inclusion of a 1650mAh battery. The official rating is for a 12 hour battery life and that is actually close to what you will get when you use it in your daily life. And if you use some measures to cut down on battery life consumption such as turning off WiFi whenever you can and keeping the brightness at a medium level.

With a screen this large, the main battery drain is actually the display. So if you are working on something that need full brightness all the time, you might notice a sudden drop in the battery levels. Otherwise the automatic brightness feature should set you in good stead and conserve your battery life by changing the brightness to match ambient light.

The HTC One S battery is actually sealed in, so you cannot swap it out for some after market goodness. This is something that allows manufacturers to increase battery capacity and it looks like something that is here to stay.

Android 4.0 is not exactly Enterprise choice number one but it does come with a number of enterprise features that puts it at par with the iOS and the BlackBerry. You can view/edit documents on this phone other than surfing the web and accessing email.

Google bundles in the usual set of apps like Google Navigation and HTC chips in as well with things like ActiveSync Exchange, Notes, PDF Viewer, etc. One very useful feature is the deal between HTC and Dropbox that gives the user access to 25GB of online storage space for absolutely free for two years. This is great for storing files that you want to have access to all times.

The HTC One S has a metallic body chassis and uses unibody manufacturing process to make it. It has a two-tone finish that is extremely durable and does not peel off. This gives the One S a tough feel, something that you can grab without worrying about breaking it. HTC pays attention to detail too. The speaker grill was created using micro drilling instead of cutting out the chassis and putting in a plastic grill. Not only does this look good, it also makes for better call clarity.

All of this combined with the Beats Audio makes it one of the best Android phones in the market.


Intel Ultrabooks To Gain Big From Ivy Bridge

Samsung Series 5 NP530U4B-A01US 14-Inch Ultrabook (Silver)

Samsung Series 5 NP530U4B-A01US 14-Inch Ultrabook (Silver) on Amazon

Intel has finally launched the next generation of processors called Ivy Bridge and the company has been talking about how it will make Intel ultrabooks the next best thing to tablets when Windows 8 finally launches.

Intel’s new upgrade to the Core series chips has a new, thinner 22nm architecture. This is much thinner than the 32nm process that is used to make the current line of processors that belong to the Sandy Bridge family. The new 22nm manufacturing process enables Intel to build better processors in terms of power consumption as well as speed. It also has a new architecture that uses something called tri-gate transistors that replace the traditional flat design with a new fin design that has depth attached to it. It is also hence being called 3D architecture by some.

These new improvements will ensure that the power savings at the processor level reflects on battery life as well. Even though the new chips are much more powerful than the last generation, they will still be drawing much less power than the previous generation. The new fin structure has a lot to do with lowering the power usage by reducing the power leakage.

Ivy bridge processors also make better graphics standard across the board. Each chip comes equipped with better graphics in order to provide a better visual experience to the user. These chips will improve on the Intel HD 2000 and 3000 that came with Sandy Bridge and work on Intel HD 2500 and 4000 respectively. It comes with support for Microsoft’s Direct X 11, which is big news for gaming enthusiasts. And better onboard graphics also means that consumers will not have to spend more money on buying devices with additional graphics unless they really need to.

The first chips to be out in the Ivy Bridge series are quad-core processors that are mainly aimed at high power desktops and laptops. Intel ultrabooks with Windows 8 will thus perform much faster because of the combination. The new chips will give you all the new benefits without skipping out on all the features that Sandy Bridge brought on board. So that means you have things like Smart Response for easier and faster data caching to a Solid State Drive, Quick Sync Video for faster video transcoding, faster wireless display for transmitting your screen over the air using WiDi to a HDTV or HD projector and also Turbo Boost 2.0 for built in overclocking. In fact, Ivy bridge is better at built in overclocking than Sandy Bridge.

Ivy Bridge features version 1.3 of Intel’s Extreme Memory Profile with capability to make real-time changes in the core ratio and also improve on overrides for processing, graphics and memory functions. For better overclocking you will need better cooling and better power configurations and you will also need a Z75 Express and Z777 Express chipset. That brings us to the next point — Ivy Bridge can run on Sandy Bridge motherboards. Which means that the new Intel ultrabooks that will be created with Ivy Bridge onboard can actually use current motherboards and keep the costs down at the same time.


Samsung Galaxy S III Teaser Video Released

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) on Amazon Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy S III is almost beating down the driveway it seems — the company has released a new teaser video that shows nothing about the phone but talks about it great, galactic detail. It is made to be a promo video for the Unpacked 2012 event but it clearly talks about something else.

The video mentions “truly smart technology” that becomes a “natural part of life”. There’s not even a silhouette of the upcoming device anywhere to be found in the video but it takes you on a journey through Galaxies and through the universe as it attempts to “widen” your vision and perspective on existence. So it cleverly adds the branding for the Galaxy series without talking about it.

One of the most notable sequences of the video is the part where the whole thing stops and cuts to a clip of sheep. Now there’s no direct mention or referral to one particular company here and the video is basically calling out on everybody for conforming but it can also be interpreted as a subtle dig at top market player Apple. The anti-Apple brigade has long called the faithful followers of the iOS maker iSheep for their unquestioning allegiance to the brand that is seen as blind faith. Apple often comes under the glare for releasing products that are perceived as overpriced and expensive by many but that does not seem to slow the Cupertino company down either.

Coming back to the Samsung Galaxy S III, the video mentions nothing about the launch date or anything else. Instead it ends with the details and the branding of the Unpacked 2012 event that is to happen on May 3rd. But thanks to the German brand of Amazon, Amazon.de, we now know that the next handset in the Galaxy series will have a large 4.7inch Super AMOLED display along with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 16GB internal storage. The storage is expandable by 32 more gigabytes via the microSD slot that accepts microSD cards. There’s also going to be a 12 megapixel camera that comes with autofocus ability, LED flash and also face detection.

Samsung has been hard at work to make the Galaxy line one of the premiere smartphone lines in existence at the moment and it seems to be succeeding. The company has successfully distinguished the brand for being one of the most well-endowed series of Android handsets with great displays, powerful processors and the latest version of Android (4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in this case).

So for those who want to be the absolute best in the Android world, there’s hardly one more week to go till the May 3rd event begins in London. But if you are looking to get all of that for a bargain and get it right now, we would suggest that you go with another member of the Galaxy family — the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It is wonderful Android 4.0 phone that comes with the stock version of Android 4.0, which is beautiful. And since it is maintained by Google themselves, it is going to updated as soon as Google pushes the latest Android out.


Samsung Galaxy Nexus Now Available At Sprint Stores, Better Deal Than Verizon

Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB (Unlocked)

Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB (Unlocked) on Amazon

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the LG Viper Android handsets are now available from Sprint. Even though Sprint customers will not be able to take advantage of the ultra high speed capabilities of the phones, they will still be able to use the Near Fields Communication feature on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and also on the LG Viper. So the network has already started rolling out 4G LTE handsets even though their rolling out of the 4G LTE infrastructure itself has so far arrived at the midway point.

If you are on Sprint and you are looking for the absolute best that Android has to offer at this moment, you should look at the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This is a handset that is running on the latest Android from Google — the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. The handset itself has been accumulating a lot of good reviews and the OS has also been praised for its redesigned UI and under the hood optimizations for better performance and longer battery life.

For those who don’t really mind waiting a bit longer to get on to the LTE bandwagon, Sprint actually has a better deal than Verizon for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Sprint is charging $100 less and is selling the Galaxy Nexus for $200 with a two year contract. For that price, you get a 1.2GHz Dual Core SoC, a 5MP camera and a 4.23 inches display that can display 720p video. This large display with its high resolution also makes it great for browsing websites and using apps. It is also great for playing Android games. You’d in fact loving playing games on the beautiful Super AMOLED display. It comes with 16GB storage space and you can add up to 32GB more with the microSD expansion slot.

Samsung has been consistently proving its mettle when it comes to making a great handset. They don’t always use the most expensive materials and hence the handsets are usually well featured for the price. The Galaxy line has in fact grown in popularity over the years and it routinely appears on the top selling Android phones and also the top selling smartphones list each quarter. This is why Sprint wants to better its chances of competing with the rest of the carriers by offering the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

One of the main advantages of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is that it runs a stock version of the Android OS. This means it will always remain updated. Google will be pushing updates directly to the Galaxy Nexus instead of the latest update going through Samsung and getting delayed. So if you want to remain on the cutting edge of Android — the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has been called the “the best Android phone currently available.” By PCWORLD. Plus it comes with latest features like the Google Wallet that simplifies mobile transactions for you.


HTC ONE X Now Available For Pre-Order On AT&T, Pricing Detailed

HTC One X 4G Android Phone, Gray (AT&T)

HTC One X 4G Android Phone, Gray (AT&T) on Amazon Wireless

AT&T is about to become the first US wireless carrier to have the highly sought after HTC One X on their roster. This is the flagship model of the newly launched ONE series from HTC. It was released at the World Mobile Congress at Barcelona earlier this year and it wowed the attendees with its 4fps continuous shooting camera and a high megapixel count for the sensor. HTC said that they would be producing these slowly to prioritize quality over quantity. However, given the speed at which this handset was launched in the US on AT&T, they are probably going at a speedy rate anyway. They have already set things in motion for Japan and China to have one and three of those handsets respectively.

The US has already seen the release of the HTC One S on T-mobile. There’s also word about HTC Evo 4G LTE coming up. This is not a HTC One device but it is similarly equipped and is at par with the One series has to offer.

The HTC ONE series is the company’s latest attempt to bolster what is already a strong presence in the Android platform. HTC, like every other Android manufacturer has realized the need to distinguish their brand from everybody else. As of now, all smartphones, more or less, look the same. There’s a flat touchscreen and minimal buttons. Buttons on the face are capacitive touch buttons and not physical buttons. The only thing differentiating them are their OS’. But now that Android has such a large presence in the market, the manufacturers using Android are all clumped in to a single mass. This is great for the consumer because now he/she gets to choose from various different companies without changing too much about how they use their phones.

Companies on the other hand are trying to distinguish themselves inside Androidland. And they are using various different tactics to do this. Talking about the HTC One X and its sibling handsets, it is clear to see that HTC is concentrating on delivering the best smartphone camera experience possible. Nokia has also gone this way but they have increase the resolution count pushed it up to a massive 41 megapixels instead of having a high speed continuous shooting camera.

Whilst Nokia and HTC are at loggerheads over the camera, Sony has tried to come up with interesting designed for their latest Android phones with a translucent band embedded in the phone body and color changes that reflect various different states. One on of these Sony Android phones actually reproduces whatever the dominant color is on screen.

Samsung in the mean time has already shown that they have some of the best displays in the business. They are also fast to adopt faster SoC’s like the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC. So when it comes to really separating themselves from the rest, only phones with extreme specs like the HTC One X can pass muster. But then, every other phone is still you average Android phone, meaning they are powerful, fast and well designed.