Gadget News October 2010

Amazon Kindle 3G Review
Hardware Secrets :: Thursday, October 28, 2010
Some time ago, the e-book readers came to the market, but none had achieved so much success as the Kindle, the first device of that kind developed by Amazon, a company whose primary focus is on books.

The first Kindle was launched in November 2007, had 256 MB of storage capacity (about 200 books) and with retail price of USD 399, but it had some design flaws. The second model, launched in February 2009, had increased its internal memory to 2 GB (about 1,500 books) and with retail price of USD 359, this time with improvements. Just four months later, Amazon surprised everyone by bringing to the market the Kindle DX, larger, heavier and with 4 GB of storage capacity (about 3,500 books – the double of the previous version), with retail price of USD 489.

The latest of the Kindle models came to market in late August in two versions: Wi-Fi (graphite color) and 3G + Wi-Fi (available in white and graphite), sold for USD 139 and USD 189 respectively. We took a good look at the model 3G + Wi-Fi to find out if it is any good.

Hands-on first impressions of the Nook Color
Digital Trends :: Wednesday, October 27, 2010
“Barnes & Noble dances around the term “tablet” when describing its new Nook Color. Its bright LCDscreen introduces a level of text readability and contrast unmatched on any gray monochrome E-Ink e-reader. Running Android and being imbued with multi-gesture touch, not to mention digital music and video playback, makes the Nook Color more entertaining than any previous e-reader. But a tablet? No. The Nook Color is nearly literally a read-only device – you can get stuff out of it, but you can’t put anything into it, such as e-mail, text messages or word processing. So, for you, the consumer, the question is, is $250, about half the price of an iPad, worth it for a device that does a lot less than half as much? For ereader fans who yearn to color their reading, it’s a dilemma. We had a chance to play with the Nook Color in person at the introductory event to shed some light on the situation.”

Nissan Leaf Review
Digital Trends :: Wednesday, October 27, 2010
“Ask anyone about electric cars and you might get a wry smirk or an outright guffaw. “Yeah right,” they’ll say. “Electric cars are all Smurfs and rainbows until someone builds them for the everyday driver.” Well, someone has. The Nissan Leaf will hit the pavement this December, followed soon by a massive roll-out of electric charging stations – according to Nissan. (Some of these stations in California are already being retrofitted and a few have popped up elsewhere.) Nissan says 20,000 people have already pre-ordered this first-to-market, all-electric hatchback. But is it really worth all the fuss?”

Five reasons Windows Phone 7 will fail 
Digital Trends :: Monday, October 25, 2010
Microsoft is about to re-enter the smartphone war with its latest arsenal: Windows Phone 7. Those who’ve seen it in action will concede it’s more than a slight upgrade over Windows Mobile 6.5 – rather, it’s a complete redesign that bears little resemblance to its predecessors.

And let’s face it: the Redmond, Wash. software giant needs to do something drastic to get back in this fight. Microsoft’s smartphone market share rests at just 5 percent (with its Windows Mobile 6.5 or earlier operating system), down from 9 percent this time last year, according to Gartner. Bycomparison, RIM’s BlackBerry dominates at 18 percent market share, Google’s Android at 17 percent and Apple’s iPhone with 14 percent.

But in a category experiencing enormous growth – nearly 270 million smartphones are expected to be sold this year alone, up a whopping 56 percent from 2009 – there is certainly room for Microsoft to win back the hearts, and wallets, of consumers and businesses alike.

Second generation iPad to be introduced with a second dock port
eTeknix :: Friday, October 22, 2010
After many rumours of a second iPad being in the pipelines, it has been revealed that a trademark submission has been made to the European Trademarks and Designs Office by Cupertino for a second 30-pin docking port to be placed on the side of the iPad. This new feature will allow users to dock the iPad into a more natural horizontal position rather than the portrait only dock on the current release.

This seems to be another piece of ingenuity from the mastermind behind most of Apples success stories Jonathan Ives, who along with Apple CEO Steve Jobs are said the have signed the submission to the European offices.

TomTom XXL 550TM Review
Tech Review Source :: Friday, October 22, 2010
The TomTom XXL 550TM is a GPS navigation device with a 5-inch LCD screen with voice prompts, and lifetime map and live-traffic updates. TomTom includes their new menu interface with this model and it makes it even more easier to use.

The TomTom XXL 550TM measures 5.2 x 0.9 x 3.4-inches (hwd) and weighs just shy of 9-ounces, which makes it very lightweight and compact. It can be mounted either on a dashboard or on a windshield by means of the included EasyPort mount. The mount itself is very compact and sturdy and holds the unit in place well while driving. The power cable connects right into the unit itself and not the base, so each time you want to remove the device from your car, you’ll have to unplug it each time.

The 5-inch LCD display on the front of the TomTom XXL 550TM looks pretty good, but the colors do seem slightly washed out. The touch input worked so-so, requiring a firm press and even then it missed a few presses. This did make entering addresses (as well as simple searches) rather frustrating because it took extra time and had to correct mistypings rather frequently. The unit does include a predictive type feature, which worked well and came up with accurate predictions.