Unboxing the Nokia N810

November 29, 2007

My Nokia N810 has arrived and I’m in love! It’s super sexy (full metal) and surprisingly small, thin and light…

Enjoy all the pictures, including a size comparison with the Nokia N800, Apple iPhone and Asus 701 (Eee).

Then check out Dan’s unlikely N810 vs. Eee battle of the $400-something Linux-based devices :)


Modding the Asus 701 (Eee) – Bluetooth

November 28, 2007

Last week I researched how to subvert the Asus 701 (Eee)!

Last year I documented adding internal USB Bluetooth to another sub-notebook…

Now I’ve combined the two – I’ve added internal USB Bluetooth to my Eee without interfering with the built-in wireless, using the empty mini PCIe card slot, or disabling any of the available USB ports :)

Read the rest of this entry »


Nokia N810 on its way

November 25, 2007

I’ll be getting my Nokia N810 Internet tablet this week, and I’m definitely looking forward to it… Ironically, I’ve been playing with a Nokia N800 that was sent to me by Nseries WOM World a few days ago!

Before I started this blog I owned a Nokia 770 for several months and I really liked it. When I sold it I promised myself to get my hands on the first Nokia Internet tablet with a keyboard – so there you have it :)

I also recently acquired a Nokia 7710, which is the ancestor to the Internet tablets. It’s a Symbian-based (S90) smartphone with a large touch screen that uses Hildon, the same user interface as the Linux-based (Maemo) Internet tablets.


Tasty bits – 33 34 (Thanksgiving edition)

November 25, 2007

Here’s a “special” Thankgiving double edition of tasty bits for this past month…

1) Let’s start with mod-friendly Asus 701 (Eee) coverage:
- Ars Technica review with some hacking tips
- Notebook Review tweak guide
- Forbes background story
- Uneasy Silence article on running OS X

I tried following this article and running OS X on my Eee but the installation keeps hanging along the way – to be further investigated.

2) The Nokia N82 was announced and released (!) recently (instead of announcing now and releasing 6 months later, for a change):
- Additional info
- Unboxing video
- Multi-part review

The N82 appears similar in features to the N95 albeit in a candybar form factor with a smaller (2.4″) screen and a better (Xenon) flash. Sadly, there’s no HSDPA support for North America.

3) The Nokia N95 is still getting plenty of attention:
- US version review
- Screen auto-rotation application
- Original vs. 8 GB pros and cons
- 8GB vs. Apple iPhone comparison

4) Apple released an iPhone update (1.1.2) and the community soon responded with another jailbreak. Here’s more iPhone coverage:
- Send files directly from iPhone to another (1.1.1)
- Instant Jailbreak for iPhone and iPod touch (1.1.1)
- Stream Music from your iPhone to iTunes with Firefly (1.1.1)
- AFP for iPhone and iPod touch
- iRadio Brings Streaming Radio to iPhone
- iTunes 7.5 and iPhone 1.1.2 return custom ringtones
- T-Mobile to offer Germans unlocked iPhones

5) Finally, here’s more interesting assorted info:
- LG’s KU990 “Viewty” now available in Europe
- Neonode N2 makes its FCC debut
- Samsung F700 comes knockin’?
- Meizu’s M8 MiniOne gets touched
- All the Android coverage you want is at Engadget right now
- OQO product announcement Dec. 3rd in London
- Apple Tablet “confirmed” by Asus?
- New 13-inch MacBook rumored to be announced at MacWorld
- Nokia shows off Haptikos tactile touch screen technology
- Evolving S60: Touch UI, Sensor Framework and Accelerator Toolkit
- From S60 to iPhone


1 year

November 21, 2007

1 year.

That’s how long I’ve been posting on tnkgrl Mobile!

Looking back at my first post a year ago today (November 21, 2006), I still think Apple should have sold the iPhone unlocked – oh well…

Since then I’ve tested a dozen devices, reviewing some, hacking others. Highlights of the year include the Nokia N95, the OQO Model 02, and the Apple iPhone.

It’s been fun, but there’s a lot more to come – so stay tuned :)


6 minutes

November 20, 2007

6 minutes.

That’s how long it took Dan (of UltraMobileGeek and TabletBlog fame) to go from holding a box to finding pumpkin pie in his video

Eee-asy!


Modding the Asus 701 (Eee)

November 20, 2007

After spending several evenings exploring the motherboard of my Asus 701 (Eee) for USB signals and 5V (off in standby) here’s what I’ve discovered.

There’s a 5V trace (off in standby) that’s available without draining current from the existing USB connectors – take a look at the picture above, snapped with my Sony Ericsson K850i (then scaled to 640×480 and annotated).

Read the rest of this entry »


Asus 701 (Eee) update

November 9, 2007

Yes, I’m definitely excited about my Asus 701 (Eee)!

I was unable to use my Eee as much as I wanted this week, but I managed to write a couple of posts on it. I really like the keyboard, but there’s room for improvement with the trackpad, the display, and the webcam.

It turns out that my trackpad problems are related to updating the BIOS and that the solution (for now) is to avoid the lowest and highest sensitivity settings.

The display is fine for a $399 device but I’m looking forward to more brighness/contrast, more surface area (10″), and more resolution (1024×600) in future versions.

As you can see in my video and Kevin Tofel’s video, the webcam’s frame rate is quite poor, unfortunately.

Here’s an update of what I’ve done so far…

Software:
- Enabled full desktop mode
- Looked into enabling Bluetooth and dialup support in Xandros Linux
- Looked into installing Windows XP

Hardware:
- Upgraded the memory from 512 MB to 1 GB
- Added an 8 GB SDHC card
- Looked into installing an internal USB Bluetooth module via the MDC slot
- Looked into installing an internal HSDPA modem, SIM holder and antenna via the spare mini PCIe slot
- Looked into installing an internal ExpressCard SSD via the spare mini PCIe slot


Sony Ericsson K850i camera

November 7, 2007

Now that I’ve taken hundreds of pictures with my Sony Ericsson K850i here’s how it compares to the other 5 megapixel devices I’m familiar with, the Nokia N95 and the i-mobile 902.

First, all of these phones have great cameras – there’s no doubt about it! As I’ve mentioned before, camera phones are finally decent enough to replace dedicated point-and-shoot digital cameras in most situations…

The K850i generally produces excellent pictures, with a quick startup time. Low-light performance outdoors is excellent (long exposure with the flash disabled), the auto-focus is quick and assisted by an LED flash. The xenon flash and macro both work as advertised.

However, I’m a bit disappointed with the K850i when it comes to low-light performance indoors (artificial light with the flash disabled). There’s a lot of noise in the resulting pictures. Perhaps it’s a firmware issue?

I recently acquired a rare Nokia 7710 and snapped some pictures under the light fixture in my kitchen at night with the flash disabled but the results were pretty poor. Then, while unboxing the Asus 701 (Eee), I snapped some pictures under 3 flood lights in my basement, but the results were still pretty poor.

I’ve noticed that, while the N95 often suffers from a red tint problem, the K850i often suffers from over-exposure. Of course this is easily remedied by adjusting the exposure manually. Colors are noticeably richer with the N95 than with the K850i, perhaps because of the Carl Zeiss optics.

The i-mobile 902′s CCD sensor is less noisy than the CMOS sensor used on the other devices, especially in low-light. The macro on the i-mobile 902 is able to focus on objects closer than the other devices.

Unfortunately, video recording with the K850i is limited to QVGA (320×240 pixels at 30 fps), vs. VGA (640×480 pixels at 30 fps) with the other devices.

Bottom line:
- The i-mobile 902 is the best camera overall, but a pretty limited phone. It’s only missing the LED flash to assist the auto-focus, but this is easily remedied by carrying an LED light on a key chain.
- The Nokia N95 is the best camera for my purposes, and the most advanced phone. It’s only missing a better sensor and the xenon flash (which I don’t really use).
- The Sony Ericsson K850i is the best camera for most people, and a fully featured phone (tri-band HSDPA). It’s only missing a better sensor and VGA video recording.

Update: I’ve revised my analysis a little after reviewing the Nokia N82.


The day Apple and Nokia became less relevant

November 5, 2007

OHAWell maybe not – after all, I have a lot invested (financially, if not emotionally) in Apple and Nokia!

Google finally announced its phone mobile technology plan, and not surprisingly, both Apple and Nokia are absent from the OHA, along with Sony Ericsson, Microsoft, RIM, Palm, AT&T and Verizon…

Wait, do Microsoft and Palm even still matter?

This will be a world of OS X, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry vs. Android – the old vs. the new, the past vs. the future, the closed vs. the open, the proprietary vs. the free, the desktop vs. the cloud.

It’s a great development for T-Mobile and Sprint, and a wake-up call for the other carriers and the music/film industry. And was HTC giving Microsoft the proverbial finger?

As much as 2007 was definitely a milestone year in mobile technology, 2008 will be very interesting.

Prepare to be assimilated :)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 14,609 other followers