Posts Tagged ‘feels’
NVIDIA brought its new Shield handheld gaming system to Google I/O this year, and was showing off a near production device. The Shield made its debut at CES this year, surprising most since it’s a consumer handheld device from a company that generally makes internal components, but it has some neat tricks up its sleeve, including a Tegra 4 chipset, 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch 720p display and 16GB of internal storage.
The Shield units available at I/O this week were all running Android and showing off Android games with hardware controller support, and none were demoing the PC game streaming NVIDIA announced would be coming to Shield as a beta when it comes to retail in June.
My experience with the NVIDIA was limited to just a few games, including the Epic Citadel demo that always gets trotted out to demonstrate amazing graphics capabilities on mobile devices. There were also a couple playable cart racers in action, and all of the above performed well and really showed that the hardware is capable of rendering high-quality video smoothly and without any apparent effort. For a device that’s essentially a smartphone without the actual phone powers, but with more physical buttons for $ 349, that’s an important achievement to be able to claim.
Shield does its Android job well, and the hardware feels great to these gamer’s hands. Buttons are slightly clicky and the ergonomics are solid, and the thing doesn’t take up too much more space than an Xbox controller when the screen is folded down and it’s in travel mode. There’s mini-HDMI, which was outputting gameplay to a small HD television, and a micro-USB slot for charging. The onboard screen boasts “retinal” quality 294 PPI pixel density, which means video and games look silky smooth.
Maybe the best part is that Nvidia has gone for a pretty near stock Android Jelly Bean experience, which a rep from the company told me was a conscious choice they made after first trying a more involved widget overlay that ended up making for a much less pleasant experience. Navigating the stock Android with hardware controls (you can also always use the touchscreen) is also surprisingly intuitive.
All that said, this is a strange device with a market that’s probably going to be pretty niche. Really, it almost seems like a reference device designed to show off the power of Tegra, but Nvidia is actually shipping the thing, so those of us like me who actually have a hankering for this kind of hardware will really be able to buy it, even if it doesn’t become a runaway success.
After Sony launched a string of curious Android tablets that failed to catch on, the business had no choice but to go back to the drawing table and try something various. That something various wound up being the Xperia Tablet Z, quickly one of its most traditional designs yet– a choice that might end up paying off perfectly. Now that the decidedly non-kooky Xperia Tablet Z is preparing for a look stateside, we tracked one down right here at MWC to obtain a look at what Sony’s tantalizingly thin tab brings to the table.
First things initially– if you’re a follower of minimalist industrial design, then you’ll find a great deal to like right here. Sony’s bright 10.1-inch Reality Display (running at 1,920 × 1200 no less) is the clear focal point of the gadget’s face, and there’s nothing else conserve for a Sony logo design, an IR blaster in the edge, and a quickly missed out on 2-megapixel camera. The display is also helped by one of Sony’s Mobile Bravia engines, which means colors can easily handle a lurid cast unless you dial it down. Meanwhile, the back is a matte black slab without any information various other than a small Xperia logo and an 8.1-megapixel camera in the top- right corner. One can quickly call it dull, but “understated” seems like a better fit due to the fact that of how good it feels.
The Tablet Z weighs in at a scant 1.09 pounds, and its trim waistline is only 6.99 mm thick– for a bit of point of view, the iPad mini is just a hair thicker at 7.22 mm. In order to keep the weight as low as possible Sony considered a practically completely plastic body. That seems like the recipe for a chintzy-feeling tab, however that ’ s definitely not the case below. In spite of being extremely light, the Tablet Z has a remarkably strong, premium feel to it. There’s a bit of offer to be felt if you get the thing by the sides and offer it a twist so it may deal with some long-term concerns down the road, however it’s a far cry from some of the overly creaky, plasticky tablets that still pepper the market.
A quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset and 2GB of RAM are stashed inside the Tab Z’s waterproof body, and my time with the Tablet Z was mainly lag-free. When confronted with the prospect of putting out tens of gadgets for public consumption at Mobile World Congress, a lot of business normally try to do something to keep we nerds from mucking around with them too much. Not so here– I had the ability to download and install Quadrant from the Google Play Shop to obtain a somewhat much better concept of exactly what the Tablet Z can. Over the course of 3 trials the Tablet Z regularly set up scores in the low to mid-7,000 s and topped out at 7601– gadgets like the Nexus 10 and Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 usually hover around the mid-4,000 s.
Given, this is an artificial benchmark and does not offer a full photo of performance, but it’s clear that Xperia Tablet Z is no slouch.
I just really have one gripe with Xperia Tablet Z– the customized UI that Sony has loaded on top of Android. Longtime readers may know that I’m a devoted proponent of leaving Android untouched, and Sony’s application just does not do it for me. In fairness, it’s lighter and less cumbersome than some of the various other overlays presently congesting other Android devices so you may disagree, however the periodic bit of visual stutter while rifling with menus, and the truth that background images were misshaped when set, raised some flags. That said, Sony has actually included some neat features to help make up for it, such as a universal remote app that functions as a programming guide, and a spruced up brand-new gallery that displays geotagged photos on a globe.
At an early morning press address yesterday, Sony Mobile CEO Kuni Suzuki indicated a restored concentrate on bringing the company’s “innovative innovation and resources” to Sony Mobile, and confidently called 2013 a “development year.” Normally, it’s too early to tell if that in fact pans out, but certainly not impossible. The Xperia Tablet Z is a (hopefully not so) uncommon return to form for Sony, and right here’s hoping that the rest of 2013 is complete of products as well-executed as this one.
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With a star-crossed history that includes a lengthy problem, mystical noises and additional issues, Motorola’s Droid Bionic has had a bit of a checkered past. Motorola, however, is evidently mindful of Droid Bionic owners’ lamentations and is dealing with a plan to make things right. A minimum of that’s what Punit Soni, VP of Item at Motorola Mobility, is promising owners of the unit on his Google + web page. Confronted with complaints varying from the Bionic’s locked bootloader to its delayed ICS update, a contrite Soni accepted that Droid Bionic owners got a “raw promotion” and guaranteed their feedback “will certainly not fall on deaf ears.” He then said that the company has a plan for the device and that he is “currently solidifying things to ensure we can publish it, carry out and follow up.” Soni did not provide specifics on exactly what those plans are though you have to confess that the man’s candor about the Bionic’s concerns is refreshing. In the meantime, the phone’s ICS upgrade is now slated to roll out in Q4. Bionic owners who prefer to add their proverbial two cents to the conversation can hit up the source link below.
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When we last checked in, Amazon was thought to finally be pushing for complete songs rights in its Cloud Drive and Cloud Player services. It could be a smooth operator at the negotiating table: following strategies to CNET keep that the leading four significant labels (a currently-independent EMI as well as Sony, Universal and Warner) have all signed deals that will let Amazon supply the same scan-and-match popular music downloads and streaming as Apple’s iTunes Match. The pacts might let Amazon offer access to every track a listener has without having to directly upload each track that wasn’t bought directly from Amazon MP3. Aside from closing a conspicuous gap, the promotion might end a entire bunch of acrimony from labels who were distressed that Amazon preferred a free-but-limited service over needing to charge anything. The on-line store hasn’t said anything formal yet (if at all), however any trademarks on the dotted line will leave Google Music as the odd male out.
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There’s been plenty of news about HTC of late. If you’ve been following our MWC coverage, you know all about it and I won’t bore you. Instead, I’ll just let you in on a little tidbit that we learned here at HTC’s New York roundtable and give you a few of my impressions of HTC’s One V.
This is a CDMA/HSPA+ device, will be available both on-contract and as a prepaid phone from various carriers. We weren’t all that thrilled with HTC’s decision to offer its flagship One X smartphone on only one carrier (AT&T), but at least the Taiwanese phone maker is spreading out the love when it comes to their more mid-range handset. As of right now, we can confirm that the One V will be available on-contract from U.S. Cellular and T-Mobile, and as a pre-paid phone on Virgin and MetroPCS.
Obviously there’s still no word on pricing and these babies aren’t even available until spring, but if you’re already planning out your next phone this could be helpful information.
I just got up close and personal with the One V, and I have to say it feels pretty damn good. Where HTC is really winning is in that aluminum unibody design with soft-touch. I’ve been noticing that phones from all the big guys — Samsung, LG, and Motorola — are all feeling increasingly plastic-y, something I attribute to their desire for “thin and light.”
HTC’s new phones may not be the lightest, but at least they don’t feel like toys. I’m also pleased with the One V’s size, sporting that 3.7-inch display. The phone itself is almost exactly the same size as an iPhone, and while big beautiful displays are all the rage right now, the One V took me back to a place where phones were actually comfortable in the hand.
The phone sports a little chin, much like the HTC Status or G1, and the black bezel takes over the entire front portion of the phone. Though the screen itself doesn’t go edge-to-edge, it certainly gives off the impression that it does. You’ll notice that there are only three capacitive buttons down below.
HTC didn’t have the software running on the One V, so I’m focusing mainly on hardware here. However, I’m told that the software is the same across all of these One devices, except for carrier bloatware of course. That said, Sense 4.0 is really snappy. You’d expect Sense (one of the heavier vendor overlays) would slow down Android even more than it already lags, but I didn’t find this to be the case.
At least on the One X, Sense only brings a new layer of dimension to the phone rather than bogging it down. HTC’s weather and clock widget are still beautiful, as per usual, but where we’re really seeing some huge UI changes is in the camera app. Sense has brought way more controls into the camera app, along with a continuous shutter mode which takes five pictures a second.
That’s right. The One series shutter snaps pics in .2 seconds, which far surpasses anything we’ve called snappy before. I’d say it just barely beats out the iPhone 4S, but it’s hard to say without a stop watch. The One phones send a snapped picture straight to the little review square on the bottom left, whereas on the iPhone you watch a virtual shutter as the picture’s being loaded into your gallery. This makes it hard to tell which is really the fastest, but it doesn’t really matter since both are super snappy. The One V, on the other hand, has a camera downgrade to 5-megapixels from 8-megapixels.
Hopefully this guy doesn’t go for more than $ 200, though I’m thinking we’ll see it land south of $ 150. Truth be told, even for $ 200 this seems like a worthwhile offering.
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Hey, office workers — listen up. You know that cheap, god-forsaken fax machine that you’ve come to loathe something fierce? Well, if it’s an HP unit, go ahead and peep the model number on the front — don’t worry, we’ll wait. If it says either 1040 or 1050, in addition to being a pain in the ass to operate (like all fax machines are), there’s also a small chance the cursed thing could catch on fire. Of the 1.1 million units sold between 2004 and 2011, only seven documented cases have (literally) gone up in flames, but the risk has instigated a voluntary recall for both models. If you’re among the affected owners, go ahead and unplug the machine from its power source, then give HP a call at (888) 654-9296 to get a rebate. Also, be forewarned that while it’s illegal to sell a recalled product, we’ve found scads of these units currently for sale on eBay. Like the previously recalled HP products, that’s one smokin’ hot deal we’re inclined to skip.
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OnLive offered a challenge to their community: Get 62,791 likes on its Facebook page and all users would get one game for $ 1. Well, OnLive’s fans came through, and as of this post’s writing, the Facebook page in question has 67,938 Likes. OnLive made good on its promise. Starting yesterday, all users will their next game for $ 1. Best yet, there isn’t any silly small print. All games currently available are eligible including Dues Ex: Human Revolution, DiRT 3, Red Faction: Armageddon and the rest of OnLive’s library. Nice. Let me suggest DiRT 3; Dues Ex is boring.
With OnLive, games aren’t delivered through traditional media. Instead, gamers buy access to the game, which is then streamed to a relatively small set-top box. Depending on the user’s Internet connection, the games are often delivered with graphics and game play comparable to that of modern gaming systems. Sometimes there’s a bit of lag, though. However, with extremely competitive prices and robust social features OnLive is becoming increasing popular with casual and hardcore gamers alike. This $ 1 deal will do nothing but earn the company even more fans.
The offer is good for a limited time so, OnLive users, fire up your MicroConsole and snag a game for $ 1 before it expires. Again, the offer is only for games currently available so pre-ordering L.A. Noire and Batman: Arkham City do not qualify. Per OnLive’s Twitter account, new users simply need to sign into OnLive to access the deal while users who previously purchased a game should get a promo code emailed (full details here). What a good way to start the weekend.
There’s no denying the ASUS Sabertooth P67 motherboard looks fantastic, and The Tech Report didn’t spare praise for its military-grade components or five-year warranty in a recent review, but the publication also reports that the standout feature — that component-cooling “Tactical Jacket” — may hurt more than it helps. The plastic shroud has been re-dubbed “Thermal Armor” since our last run-in, but that doesn’t change the result: ASUS doesn’t ship the primo slab with a dedicated cooling fan, so component temperatures can actually go up ten degrees Celsius when wearing the shroud with a system under heavy load. Of course, cooling depends on a number of factors, but we were hoping the Sabertooth’s unique coat would be a positive one. Back to the drawing board.
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Rest easy, folks: we know it’s pointy at the bottom, but we’ve been assured this isn’t the BlackBerry 7100′s true successor. Instead, the so-called Empathy is the bizarre outcome of of a RIM-sponsored design project at the Art Center College of Design that touts its ability to detect the emotions of its user and his or her contacts. It’s not exactly clear how it’d do that, but one crucial element is the biometric feedback ring that communicates your frustration at the phone’s inability to properly sync IMAP accounts in real time. All of this anger and joy is displayed on a social map — colored rings indicate your contacts’ previous and current emotional states — which is presented on a full touchscreen that can become transparent when the phone’s not in use. Prefer the Bold to the Storm, do you? Turn the phone around, and boom, you’ve got one of the scariest looking portrait QWERTY keyboards the world has ever seen. We don’t really anticipate seeing this chiseled slab of bleeding-heart technology in RIM’s lineup any time soon… but we can definitely see the benefit to knowing when your BBM contacts are ready to put a fist through a wall. Follow the break for video.
Continue reading BlackBerry Empathy design concept feels bad that you’re stuck using a BlackBerry