Macworld wrap-up

January 11, 2009

I only have one word to summarize Macworld this year: meh…

Sure, Apple added some nice features to iWork ’09 and iLife ’09 (especially in iMovie), and the MacBook Pro 17″ is a good update, but where is the new Mac mini? I was hoping for Apple to go out with a bit more of a bang!

The rest of the expo was just row after row of Mac/iPhone/iPod accessories, as usual, with the exception of Etymotic Research and the Axiotron ModBook Pro & ModBook.

Here are all my posts, pictures and videos:
Here (articles)
On Twitter (updates)
On Flickr (pictures)
On Qik (live videos)
On YouTube (videos)

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Etymotic Research hf2 review

May 2, 2008

I’ve already mentioned Etymotic Research, purveyors of fine canal earphones such as the wireless ety8, and the professional-grade ER.4 – one of my reference listening devices.

The hf2 are wired canal earphones similar to the ER.4, but designed primarily for use with the Apple iPhone. As such, they also function as a headset and feature a connector specially designed to fit the iPhone (reduced diameter body and 4-prong 3.5 mm jack).

While the ety8 are also designed for use with the iPhone, they don’t function as a headset like the hf2. Furthermore, both the ER.4 and the ety8 are more expensive than the hf2.

The hf2 are molded from a pleasant (both to the eyes and to the touch) soft black material. However, the headset, which is located on the right cord, detracts from the overall design by being rather bulky (see pictures).

I tried the hf2 with other devices and the earphones worked properly, but the headset only worked with the iPhone, and should work with some Blackberry devices (like the Curve). As for Nokia N-series devices (like the N95, N81 and N810), the hf2 can be used via the remote control (it should not be connected directly).

When used properly, the hf2 sound absolutely fantastic and attenuate outside noise extremely well. In addition, they operate exactly like the earphones/headset supplied with the iPhone.

I noticed an extremely mild difference in sound quality between the newer hf2 and my older (both design and age) ER.4. I prefer the high-end on the hf2, but I prefer the low-end on my ER.4. In fact, the transducers in the hf2 appear to have a similar frequency response the ones in the ety8.

The verdict? Great performance and great value – thumbs up for the hf2.


Etymotic Research ety8 review

March 16, 2008

I have to admit, I’m often biased… There are some manufacturers whose products I’m more likely to value by default – I’m an unabashed Apple, Nokia, and Honda fangirl, for example!,

Etymotic Research is another manufacturer whose products I’ve used (and liked) for years. Who is Etymotic and why should you care? Etymotic is relatively new to consumer and personal audio but very well established (and respected) in hearing research and professional audio circles.

Long before Ultimate Ears and Shure, when it came to canal earphones, Etymotic was the name of the game.

Their in-ear (canal) transducers are known for their ultra-accurate frequency response, and have been used in audiology for years – I discovered Etymotic while working in hearing research 15 years ago.

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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)


Macworld: Other pictures and videos

January 20, 2008

Here’s my complete set of pictures from Macworld.

And here are my other live videos from Macworld:
Outside Apple store in SF during keynote
Inside Apple store in SF during keynote
MacBook Air initial thoughts
MacBook Air additional thoughts
Etymotic Research booth

Enjoy :)


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