As I mentioned back at the end of June, camera manufacturers are beginning to announce models for the second half of 2010. Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, and Samsung have made their announcements, three of them doing so early Wednesday morning.
Sony and Panasonic are launching mostly high-end models as well as a couple updates to older, popular models. Samsung refreshed its flagship DualView cameras and introduced a 7x zoom ultracompact for $180. And Fujifilm announced replacements to three models that were barely six months old as well as a significant update to its groundbreaking F200EXR.
Here are links to all the … Read more
There's no reason to drag this out, so I'm going to keep it short. Wednesday, Samsung announced updates to its flagship DualView ultracompact cameras, the TL225 and TL200. You may know them better as the ones with the secondary LCD in front next to the lens. The 14-megapixel ST600 and ST100 are the new versions.
The ST600 gets a 27mm-equivalent wide-angle lens with a 5x zoom, while the ST100 has a 35mm-equivalent internal lens with a 5x zoom. Both have 3.5-inch LCDs on back and 1.8-inch LCDs in front; the front screens are 0.3-inch larger … Read more
We've looked at Hulu Plus on the iPhone and iPad, which looks a lot like Hulu on the Web, but Hulu Plus on Samsung home theater devices (thankfully) features a completely different user interface. We fired up the Samsung BD-C6900, downloaded Hulu Plus from Samsung Apps, and were up and running in minutes. We're going to focus on the user experience in a home theater environment; for more information about exactly what Hulu Plus offers and how it compares with other media options, check out Scott Stein's analysis.
User interface Hulu Plus on the BD-C6900 looks much different than Hulu on the Web; it's a 10-foot user interface that shows less information at once, but it's easy to navigate with a remote control.
The initial screen has a carousel of featured content and there are several categories to browse from on the bottom, such as "Browse TV," "Recently Added," "Most Popular," and "Queue." If you select "Browse TV," there are several additional filters ("TV Shows with Full Episodes," "All TV Shows," "Networks"), plus the ability to sort alphabetically.
The shows are aligned horizontally--like Netflix's standard-streaming interface--with a photo, the overall user rating of the show, and a short description. Clicking on a show brings up a similar interface, with all of the episodes listed. If you're watching a program and go back to browsing, the video you're watching continues playing in a small window in the upper-right-hand corner, which feels pretty slick.… Read more
Since I posted an article about the features I wanted to see in the next-generation iPhone, I've received several e-mails from readers calling me out for not including a larger screen as one of the 20 feature upgrades. Most readers were polite but mildly indignant. Here's what two Texans wrote me--Larry from Austin and Mike from Houston:
Larry: You didn't mention at all a larger display or screen! You may not want a bigger display, but I do and I am sure there are lots of others too. Why can't Apple come out at least w/a slightly larger screen, i.e. 3.7" or 4"? The HTC Google/Nexus Phone has a 3.7" screen but yet the phone is still basically the same size as the iPhone. The new Samsung Galaxy S phones that are hitting all four U.S. major networks this month and the next month have 4" screens but yet the phones themselves are pretty much the same size [as the iPhone 4]...
Mike: What, a bigger screen didn't make the top 20??!?!?!? That's the main reason I didn't buy the iPhone 4. Yes, my eyes are getting bad so I need the bigger screen...and every new phone coming out now has at least 4" screens...Droid X, Samsung Galaxy S, EVO. I tried out the EVO for 2 weeks and loved it...unfortunately I have 5 people on my AT&T account. Tough to switch.
Of course, they want everything bigger in Texas (or at least they say everything is bigger there), but I gotta say, I haven't experienced a desire to inflate my iPhone's screen size. That said, these e-mails got me thinking more about smartphone screens and I reread CNET editor Eric Franklin's article that tests and compares the screen performance of the iPhone 4, the HTC Evo, and the Motorola Droid. In his shootout, he gave the nod to the iPhone 4; the Evo came in a close second, and the Droid followed up in third. However, Franklin focused more on image quality and less with the actual size of the screen.
Personally, I really like the Evo, built-in kickstand and all, but I find that as a phone it's a tad bulky. I also think the same of the Droid and new Droid X. CNET's smartphone guru Bonnie Cha has a couple new Samsung Galaxy S models sitting on her desk--AT&T calls its Galaxy S phone the Captivate, and T-Mobile has the Vibrant--that I've played around with it a bit and like the design and agree with Larry's assessment that the phone is "basically the same size as the iPhone." In fact, it's a little scary how close the Vibrant resembles a slightly trimmer version of the iPhone 3GS.
As for specs, the Galaxy S "family" has a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen that's 800x480 pixels. The iPhone's 3.5-inch Retina Display offers a 960x640-pixel resolution. We measured the two screens and calculated that the Galaxy S's display offers 17 percent more overall screen area. Compare the 4.2-inch Evo's or 4.3-inch Droid X's screen with the iPhone's and you're looking at upwards of 20 percent.
So why are other smartphone manufacturers going bigger--and is it better?… Read more
In our back-to-school 2010 roundup of retail-specific laptops, we've divided our 25-plus systems into four different price categories, from sub-$600 budget models to high-end ones that cost more than $1,000.
In the "Netbook" category, we looked at three off-the-shelf models that cost between $349 and $399. In terms of hardware and components, they stuck with the standard Intel Atom N450 CPU (except for the HP Mini 210, which has a variation called the N455, allowing for newer DDR3 RAM), along with 1GB of RAM and 250GB hard drives.
Though we applaud the Dell Mini 10 … Read more
It's another Monday on BOL, which means breaking news interjections, stumbling analysis, and hilarious Brian Tong jokes that go RIGHT over Molly's head. Turns out you can not actually search for girlfriends on Facebook using the search term, "hot girls." Unless, of course, they self-identify. Plus, a pain ray update!Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
It may be true that no cell phone is perfect, but the handset world isn't taking too kindly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' public assertion that other smartphones suffer from the same antenna and signal problems that have been widely reported regarding the iPhone 4. And, in what's turned into an ugly back-and-forth PR mud fight, Apple is firing back by making its internal signal test results public to insist that it's not just pulling rivals' flaws out of thin air.