Asus PadFone X review

July 12, 2014

For $199 on contract with AT&T, the Asus PadFone X is a phone, a tablet, and even a netbook (with the optional $99 Bluetooth keyboard dock). It boasts flagship specs — with a beautiful 5-inch 1080p IPS display, solid 13 megapixel camera, and responsive Snapdragon 800 — and comes with a 9-inch tablet dock that extends battery life. The design is forgettable, and there are some usability quirks, but the price is right. Here’s my video review.


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!

Read the rest of this entry »


Tasty bits – CES 2009

January 18, 2009

Palm Pre

While I was frolicking all over Macworld in San Francisco, some interesting stuff was revealed at CES in Las Vegas.

Here’s my list of tasty bits from CES, devices that I’m interested in playing with:

- Palm Pre:
There are no ifs or buts about it – the Palm Pre is an amazing device! It features a 3.1″ HVGA capacitive touch screen (with mutitouch), a 3 megapixel camera (with LED flash), 8 GB of built-in flash storage (with USB mass storage), a QWERTY keyboard, 3G, WiFi, GPS, and full Bluetooth (with A2DP & DUN).

But the hardware is only half the battle – as I recently mentioned in my podcast with Matt Bennett, the software Palm created, WebOS, is just as promising, with an intuitive UI and clever integration with popular online services… Robert Scoble is right: watch out Nokia, this may just be Palm’s comeback, and may just be Sprint’s salvation.

Of course I’m looking forward to the unlocked GSM version with 3G :)

- OQO model 2+:
What’s not to be excited about? Take the already awesome OQO Model 02, replace the crappy VIA C7-M with a perky Intel Atom CPU, replace the EVDO modem with a global EVDO/HSDPA modem (optional), replace the active digitizer with a passive touch screen, replace the TFT display with an OLED display (optional), double the RAM, and lower the price… Want!

- Sony VAIO P The anti-netbook:
Sure it’s not for everyone, but it’s shiny and tiny and yummy! Just don’t call it a netbook… Have I mentioned it’s super sexy?

- Novatel MiFi:
A credit card-sized mobile wireless router with integrated 3G… Oh yes, I’m in love!

- MSI XSlim 320:
The MacBook Air of the netbook world – I’m intrigued.

- Asus Eee Keyboard:
Now I can relive my Sinclair QL days – perfect :)


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 :)


Inside the Asus 901 (Eee)

August 18, 2008

Since I have an Asus 901 (Eee) on loan for a couple more days, I’ve cracked it open. Here are is some pictures pr0n :)

There are several boards inside, a 1 GB DDR2 SoDimm, a 4 GB mini PCIe SSD, an 8 GB mini PCIe SSD (16 GB on the linux version), a mini PCIe WiFi card, and a Bluetooh module.

Like the Acer Aspire One, there’s also a 40-pin ZIF connector (unused here) compatible with most 1.8″ PATA hard drives, and there’s a missing mini PCIe connector and SIM holder on the motherboard for 3G.

I went ahead and temporarily connected 1.8″ PATA hard drive to the ZIF connector. The thin (5 mm) hard drive fits in a dedicated opening in the bottom casing of the Eee, but requires the removal of the 8 GB mini PCIe SSD. This worked fine, but the 4 GB mini PCIe SSD became the IDE slave device.

Next I connected the 8 GB SSD from my Acer Aspire One to the ZIF connector, and kept the 8 GB mini PCIe SSD in place. Once again, the 4 GB mini PCIe SSD became the IDE slave device, but the existing 8 GB mini PCEi SSD was disabled…

I hope this info is useful to some people out there!


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.


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