Unboxing the Acer Aspire 1410

November 20, 2009

Although my notebook of choice (and primary computer) is my MacBook Air, I sometimes prefer something smaller and cheaper to hit the road with… Enter the netbook!

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2nd anniversary

November 22, 2008

tnkgrl Mobile is 2 years old today!

It’s been a great 2nd year. I’ve looked at a lot of devices, both short and long term, like the Nokia N95-3, Apple MacBook Air, Nokia N82, Apple iPhone 3G, Nokia E71 and HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1.

I’ve hacked the Asus 701 (Eee), the Vulcan Flipstart, the MacBook Air SuperDrive, and the Acer Aspire One. There’s even been some crazy adventures

But I’m planning to bring you a lot more goodness – in fact, Matthew Bennett and I are starting a weekly podcast. So come back soon and come back often :)


Unboxing the Acer Aspire One

August 10, 2008

I’ve been eying the Acer Aspire One for a while now, because it’s one of the few netbooks equipped with both a 9″ 1024×600 pixel screen and a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU that’s true to the original spirit of netbooks, i.e. affordable, small, light, SSD, Linux, and mod-friendly.

I learned from my experience with the Asus 701 (Eee) that the 7″ 800×480 pixel screen was too small and that the underclocked 900 MHz Celeron CPU was too lethargic. But I liked the sub-$400 price, sub-3 lbs weight and hack-appeal of the original Eee :)

I was disappointed with the HP 2133 (Mini-Note), because of the price, weight and the limited mod-appeal. Built-in Bluetooth was nice and the keyboard was fantastic, but the 9″ 1280×768 pixel screen was too good for my eyes (resolution-wise), the Via C7-M CPU was too inconsistent (performance-wise), and the 120 GB HD was overkill…

I’m really enjoying the Asus 901 (Eee), with its 9″ 1024×600 pixel screen, 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU, 12 GB SSD, built-in Bluetooth, multitouch trackpad, and hack-friendly design – but the price is too high!

So today I picked up my Acer Aspire One – I got the A110 model in fabulous Sapphire Blue (512 MB RAM, 8 GB SSD, 3-cell battery, Limpus Linux). Take a look at the unboxing pictures.

I’m very impressed so far. The SSD uses a 40-pin ZIF connector compatible with most 1.8″ PATA hard drives, and there’s a missing mini PCIe connector and SIM holder on the motherboard for 3G. But first, I’ll be upgrading the RAM and adding internal Bluetooth.

It’s just so, so, so hack-elicious :)

Update: I’ve cracked it open, upgraded the RAM to 1.5 GB, and located an additional USB port and power on the motherboard for Bluetooth.


The Asus 901 (Eee) is here

August 6, 2008

The same brave soul who lent me his Vulcan Flipstart a few weeks ago let me borrow his Asus 901 (Eee).

Check out the pictures!

Since I’m no stranger to modding the old Eee, I’m eager to find out how much the new Eee can be hacked…

Thanks to this article, I already know that there’s a 40-pin ZIF connector on the motherboard for a 1.8″ PATA hard drive. I also know that there’s a missing mini PCIe connector and SIM holder on the motherboard. But is that all?

Stay tuned for more Asus 901 (Eee) pr0n goodness.


Life with the HP Mini-Note

May 18, 2008

I’m sitting on the patio at Cafe Flore in the Castro on this balmy spring evening (70 degrees at 11 PM) in San Francisco, blogging on my HP 2133 (Mini-Note) instead of my MacBook Air – oh the things I do for my dear readers :)

Now that I’ve played with my Mini-Note for a couple weeks, I’m really not quite as excited about it as I’d like to be. Here’s a summary of my experience so far…

Pros:
- Small
- Über sexy anodized aluminum
- Nice build quality
- Great keyboard
- Good screen resolution (almost too good?)
- Integrated Bluetooth
- Lots of memory and storage

Cons:
- Too heavy for its size (> 3 lbs)
- Bulky 6-cell battery and AC adapter
- Screen too dim at times (and no LED backlight?)
- Small trackpad (and horrible buttons)
- Fan is almost always running
- Overly sensitive accelerometer
- Poor video performance

I’m still running Windows XP Pro, now with the official drivers – I’ve also upgraded to XP SP3.

The screen resolution is good but possibly too good for my eyes. As a result, I’ve set the screen to 144 dpi (150% original size), which is a definite improvement.

I’ve downloaded the official SuSE Linux disk image, and I may be taking it for a spin very soon.

Overall, the Mini-Note is a nice machine with good features for the money, but I’m not sure it’s the right machine for me.

I think the upcoming Asus 901 (Eee), with its Intel Atom CPU, integrated Bluetooth, multitouch trackpad, and more manageable 1024×600 pixel screen resolution, may be a better choice for me.

Besides, I already know from my Asus 701 (Eee) that I’m comfortable with the smaller keyboard.

I’ll keep you posted!


Tasty bits – CTIA and beyond

April 27, 2008

Wait! Did two months of tasty bits just go by, CTIA and all? Hmmm yes…

HP 2133 (Mini-Note):
- HP 2133 Mini-Note UMPC Reviewed (Verdict: Rich Man's Eee PC)
- Lightning Review: HP 2133 Mini-Note
- HP Mini-Note 2133 officially official, reviewed
- HP Mini-Note gets unboxed, causes extreme jealousy
- jkOnTheRun review- hands on with the HP Mini-Note UMPC

Asus 701/900 (Eee):
- Video Hands on With the 8.9-inch Asus Eee PC 900
- Asus Eee PC 900 Hits U.S. May 12 for $549
- 1.2 GHz Pentium M in your Eee PC? No problem
- Hands-on with the 9-inch Eee PC
- ASUS' 9-inch Eee PC, now with living pixels!
- Eee PC 900 gets dissected, looks about the same as the Eee PC 700

Nokia N810:
- Android on the N810: Working on it!
- Nokia Internet Tablets to get Ubuntu and Qt ports
- Nokia's N810 Internet Tablet WiMAX Edition gets official

Nokia N95:
- 8 GB North American Model N95 available: $779 online
- North American Nokia N95 8GB (Nokia N95-4) Unboxing

Nokia N82:
- All About Symbian Review: Long term battle: Nokia N95, N95 8GB and N82
- Nokia N82 gets blacked out for retail

Other Nokia:
- Eight useful codes for S60 devices
- 10 Awesome Applications for Symbian Phones
- Your S60 smartphone as a drum machine!
- WalkingHotSpot trial available for download
- Nokia E71 Pops up Down Under
- FCC Gives Nokia 6220 Classic the Nod
- T-Mobile’s new mystery 3G Nokia handset outted
- Nokia secretly shows E71 at Mobile Wor… er, in Sydney
- Google gets even chummier with S60, releases search app
- S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 gets broken down to the nitty gritty
- Nokia N96 gets in-depth review months ahead of release
- Things may be looking brighter for Nokia N96, Xenon flash in the works?
- Nokia readies iPhone-ish "Tube," disses Apple's sales
- Nokia E71 sneaks into the wild once again
- Exclusive: latest update on the hotly anticipated Nokia Tube
- The Nokia Guide: Getting the most out of your Nseries’ camera

Apple iPhone:
- iPhone Pwnage Tool Getting Public Release Tomorrow; Unsigned Firmware Support For All
- iPhone to Support GPS, Stereo Bluetooth, Nike+, Battle Hackers
- iPhone firmware 2.0? You’re damn right we got it!
- Nike+ going WiFi and 3G, headed to iPhone
- The second-gen iPhone: 3G, GPS, only slightly thicker – Engadget
- Touchpad turns your iPhone into a remote trackpad
- Palm emulated on the iPhone: finally we can leave that IIIc at home
- Easy 1.1.4 jailbreaking with iNdependence, Ziphone, and… iTunes?
- iPhone PwnageTool released!
- 3G iPhone rumors building up steam
- iPhone gets VoIP and chat options thanks to Fring
- iPhone firmware hints strengthen case for GPS support
- iPhone feature rumor round-up: Jabber and iTunes control
- Flickr Find: Lilliputian iPhone unboxing
- Twinkle: location-aware Twittter client for iPhone
- iPhone video recorder with audio support debuts

Sony Ericsson:
- Sony Ericsson's X1 reviewed
- XPERIA X1 white paper reveals yet more details
- Is this Sony Ericsson's P5 or "Paris"?
- Specs revealed of the real (or fake) Sony Ericsson "Paris"
- Another shot of Sony Ericsson's Paris?
- Yet another convincing Sony Ericsson Paris pic — open, this time

LG:
- LG KG750 Is Sleek of Line, High (Five) of Megapixels, Shoots DivX, Called Secret
- Live Pics: MediaFLO for AT&T on the LG Vu and Samsung Access
- LG Vu further slides into view
- Hands-on with the LG Vu
- Thin is in: LG shares a glimpse of its 5 megapixel hottie phone

Samsung:
- Samsung-built, Google-branded Android phones due later this year?
- Rumored Prada II specs surface in purported leaked press release

Motorola:
- T-Mobile considering Motorola Z10 for 3G launch?
- Motorola’s 2008 Roadmap Revealed
- Spy shots of the Motorola ZN5
- Motorola's ZN5 gets clearer, Kodak co-branding and all

Android:
- Android gets handled, now with Street View
- T-Mobile confirms it'll have an Android device sometime this year

Other:
- Meizu M8, Something You Burn in a Paper Bag on Someone's Porch
- T-Mobile's 3G Network Rolling Out May in NYC, Coincides With 3G HTC Touch Dual?
- Sharp-Willcom D4 UMPC With Intel Atom Centrino, Vista Hits the States on June 20th
- Crowded Ultraportable Party Gets Dissected
- Meizu prototype caught in the flesh at CeBIT, we handle it
- Meizu M8 interface gets tweaked once again. A few pixels to the left, please?
- Meizu's M8 gets more UI tweaks for its music player
- More MID videos: IdeaPad U8 and Aigo
- Mozilla Mobile shows 5.9x performance increase on ARM device
- Opera Mini 4.1 beta released- good gets better
- Sharp Willcom D4: Vista in your hand for $1,526
- Life with the MacBook Air


Tasty bits – CES to 3GSM

February 7, 2008

It’s been a busy month full of tasty bits, with CES and MacWorld wrapped up, and 3GSM coming up.

Asus 701 (Eee):
- WiMax-Enabled Asus Eee PC Confirmed
- Ten-Mod Eee PC Stomps Competition, Still Room For More
- Asus press event summary: WiMAX, Eee PCs, and R50A
- How to: boost the display resolution on an Asus Eee PC

Nokia N810:
- Hook a USB device to your Nokia N810 thanks to USB-On-The-Go
- Nokia E90 vs N810: Part 1 – head to head
- Nokia E90 vs N810: Part 2 – GPS, Apps, Web and Multimedia

Nokia N95:
- Nokia N95 makes a nice GPS receiver for Nokia N800
- Nokia N95 8GB Wireless Sharing in Action
- Nokia N95 8GB with US 3G passes FCC

Nokia N82:
- Nokia N82 – part 1 – The Physical, the Camera
- Nokia N82 – part 2 – GPS, Applications and Performance
- Nokia N82 Smartphone Reviewed In Depth (Verdict: High-end Hotness)

More Nokia:
- Flip Silent for S60: Silence Calls by Flipping your Phone
- Sh-sh-shake it Like a Polaroid Picture!
- Nokia E90 Communicator review: Gear Diary
- First glimpse inside Nokia S60 Touch. Going beyond Multi-Touch

Apple iPhone:
- iPhone 1.1.3 Jailbreak Has Issues With GPS, Official SDK?
- Makayama Adds Voice Recognition to the iPhone
- iPhoneCam streams video from your iPhone over WiFi
- iTransmogrify brings more flash content to the iPhone
- Etymotic hf2 headset for the iPhone
- Pocketguitar for the iPhone lets you strum on the multitouch
- 1.1.3 iPhone jailbreak goes LIVE

LG:
- LG Viewty hands-on
- LG’s HSDPA ultraportable runs Vista on Silverthorne
- LG shows a KS20 clone with WiMAX
- LG’s silver Prada gets a new on-screen QWERTY

Samsung:
- S60 powered Samsung G810 to be announced at MWC?
- Samsung i900 to take on LG KS20?

Other:
- WiBrain B1-H UMPC
- UMPC & MID trio: LimePC comes in three sizes
- BlackBerry 8xxx = BlackBerry 9000?
- Hands-on with Mio’s dual-front GPS phone concept
- Hands-on with the WiBrain B1 UMPC
- iriver 3-inch touchscreen “GSM phone” headed for the States
- Skyfire browser for Windows Mobile is game changing, does Flash
- Garmin gets official with its nuvifone
- Modu mystery unravelled, look ma, a modular handset
- A Tale of 40 Follow-ups (and a LimePC video)


Tasty bits – 35 (holidays edition)

January 7, 2008

Happy new year :)

Here’s last month’s tasty bits, a little behind once again! I’ve decided to stop numbering the column hereafter…

JKK added HSDPA to the Asus 701 (Eee) – I’m working on a similar mod using a Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U HSDPA modem…

Also I’ve started using Qik to stream live video with my Nokia N95!

I’m keeping an eye on all the CES madness this week and I’ll be at Macworld next week, so stay tuned :)

Asus 701 (Eee):
- WiMax-Enabled Asus Eee PC Confirmed
- How to add internal 3G HSDPA to Asus Eee PC
- How to add touch panel to Asus Eee Pc
- It’s official: upgrading the Asus Eee PC memory keeps warranty intact
- eeeXubuntu: Ubuntu distilled for your Eee
- Ubuntu on the Asus Eee PC: Part 1 (or How to run a functional Ubuntu install off a USB drive)

Nokia N810:
- Nokia N810: unboxing and first impressions
- Canola2 Now Out!

Nokia N95:
- Nokia N95-3 Finally Gets an Update to v 11.2.009
- The N95 classic hits v20 firmware
- The N95′s camera quality? It just got better…
- Hands-on with the Nokia N95 8GB for North America!

Nokia N82:
- Nokia N82: impressions after a week…
- Nokia N82 hands-on
- Nokia N82 preview: First look
- Nokia N95, N95 8 GB and N82: The evolution of the multimedia computer

More Nokia:
- Cellphones: Alleged Nokia N96 Spy Shots Look Yummypianoblacklicious
- New Slider: Nokia’s Patent Reveals Innovative Six- or Eight- Megapixel Slider Phone
- Video streaming from your phone QIK-ly, as in: instantly
- All About N-Gage – Totally CONFIRMED Star Wars N-Gage Video
- emTube – YouTube client for S60 phones
- Nokia Internet Radio
- Clarification: Upcoming Nokia IS a QWERTY Nseries

Apple iPhone:
- Breaking: iPhone Firmware 1.1.3 Video and Evidence Confirms Update Is Real, Breaks Unlock, Third-Party Apps
- How to Install Applications on iPhone 1.1.2 (Video Tutorial)
- Syphon lets you save iPhone text messages
- Control Pro Tools with your iPhone
- Apple doesn’t give us MMS on the iPhone, so the community does
- iPhone gets video recording capabilities
- Not all is lost: partfoundry developing GPS module for iPhone
- Fixing YouTube on your Jailbroken iPhone
- Mobile Safari plug-in downloads files to your iPhone/iPod touch
- Apple relents, sanctions custom ringtones!

OQO Model 02:
- OQO Announces model e2 with Built-In HSDPA Mobile Broadband Capability
- OQO does WiMax and 64GB SSDs

Neonode N2:
- Neonode N2 officially coming to the US
- Review of the unique Neonode N2 multimedia phone

BlackBerry 9000 (aka. BlackBerry 8xxx):
- BlackBerry 9000 specs revealed, our early Christmas present to you
- BlackBerry 8xxx hails from Rogers!
- BlackBerry 9000 series spy shot revealed?

Samsung:
- Hands-on with the Samsung G800
- Hands-on with the Samsung P520 Armani
- Samsung’s P720, F490 make their video debut

Other:
- Google Maps for Mobiles shows your location, even without GPS
- Verizon Wireless will open network for non-Verizon devices, services
- Photo of the Sony Ericsson P5i Leaked
- Wibrain’s B1 UMPC gets showcased on video – Engadget
- Hands-on with the LG KU990 Viewty
- A teaser shot of Motorola’s 5 megapixel multimedia maven?


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 :)

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