Quick review: Lenovo ThinkPad Helix

2013-05-17

WP_000492If you think the MacBook Air is the pinnacle of ultrabook design and that the iPad is likewise for tablets, then my friend, you surely have been sucked into the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field.

At the end of April I wrote a brief review of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, which is a good Windows 8 based tablet, and something any buyer should look at before buying any other tablet they intend for serious work purposes. Now I get to take a look at the ThinkPad Helix.

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Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2: First Impressions (updated 3-May)

2013-04-25

WP_000472Although it had been rumoured for some time beforehand, the first real details about the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 came last August when detailed specs were leaked. Having the device in hand, I can say that for what it is, it doesn’t disappoint (on the whole). That said, there are some minor disappointments with the unit that I’ve been supplied. Firstly let me say that the unit has been supplied to me as a loan from a supplier for evaluation within a corporate environment, not a review unit directly from Lenovo. Although I requested all the extras, the unit I’ve been loaned is the base model: no stylus/digitiser, no docking station, no Bluetooth keyboard.

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Why you should respond to Windows 8

2013-02-02

Win8Blue_WebOver on his Clear & Simple blog, my buddy Steve Fogg has a great post, “7 Great Church Websites That Have Responsive Design.” It’s a great post with some good examples of some church websites, both local and overseas, that use responsive design to great effect.

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How I Instagram on Windows Phone

2013-01-02

As an ex-iPhone user one of the things I miss on my Lumia 800 is Instagram. But this doesn’t mean I’m completely blocked from using the service.

There are a number of Instagram viewing apps available in the Windows Phone Store. My top three would probably be:

  1. Metro.am
  2. Metrogram
  3. InstaCam

The main problem with all of these is that the Instagram API doesn’t allow for uploading, only viewing. Bummer. Uploading is only available via the official Instagram app, and there isn’t one for Windows Phone (yet). There have long been rumours of it happening (especially since the Android app was released), but now that Windows Phone 8 is out, they’ll probably skip Windows Phone 7 leaving all of us gen 1 and gen 2 device owners in the dark.

So, what to do?

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Australian Surface Pricing

2012-10-17

In the early hours of this morning (Australian time), Microsoft announced it much anticipated Surface pricing and opened pre-orders. There has been a lot of excitement around Surface since Microsoft announced it back in June, so when there was news that pricing would be released, many of us techos waited with baited breath.

One thing that we’ve (begrudgingly) gotten used to here in Australia, is what we’ve come to know as the “Australia Tax”. That being, despite a very strong Australian Dollar, tech companies love to charge us more for our gadgets (surely it costs about the same, or even less, to ship containers from China to Australian as it does to the US). As of writing, 1AUD can buy 1.0266USD, so surely that should mean that we should pay less (in dollar for dollar terms) for a Surface in Australia than in the US? Well, no apparently.

Here’s a quick price breakdown for the base unit
(Surface for Windows RT, 32GB, no Touch Cover)

Store Local Price Converted Price
US 499USD 486.07AUD
Australia 559AUD 573.87USD

So, by my reckoning we’re paying $72.93 more just because we live in Australia.

Anyway, it’s not all bad news. Back in June, Microsoft said that the surface would be competitively priced against other tablets on the market (no second guess for what “other tablets” they were talking about). In fact it stacks up quite nicely. Take a look… http://sdrv.ms/SZc6qm


Switcher

2012-03-11

Photo by Fiona SchweersI have switched. For just over two years I have faithfully carried an iPhone 3GS in my pocket and it has been my (mostly) faithful companion. But the time had come to make the switch. Did I switch up to a swanky new iPhone 4S? Nope. Did I join the mass exodus over to Android and get a Galaxy Nexus? No (as nice a phone as it is). Did I get lobotomised and now think that I should get a Blackberry? No way. The only blackberry in my life is the jam I have on my toast of a morning. No, I chose the road less travelled and went with Windows Phone.

So, what exactly did I choose? I now have a very nice Nokia Lumia 800. I wont bore you with specs as they are very readily available elsewhere on the Internet. I am not even going to get bogged down in a technical comparison. What I do plan on doing is share some of my thoughts, over the coming weeks, of living with Windows Phone. Because my experience is isolated to the Lumia (apart from a brief Samsung encounter) I will not be able to separate my experience of the software from the hardware or vice-versa. That said, the first post will be about the hardware (which is fair enough, the first experience of any device is the hardware as you unbox it). Expect part one to land in about a week (or so).

NB: If you are interested in a raw technical comparison, check out vsChart.com


Gen 2: WP7 and carrier selection

2012-02-26

Waaaay back in October 2010 I wrote about some of the confusion around carrier selection for Windows Phone and the fact that the websites from Microsoft, the carriers and the OEMs all seem to contradict themselves (to some extent) [link]. Well 14 months later we finally have some gen-2 handsets starting to hit the market, the Samsung Omnia W and the Nokia Lumia 710 and 800. Add to this that the various carriers have been doing network upgrades and, for the most part, the process this time ‘round is a lot easier, although not without it’s hazards, especially if you’re planning on buying an unlocked handset outright. To that end, Sheeds over at Windows Phone Down Under has written an excellent post.

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