Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Playbook

With the release of the iPad other companies are scrambling to release their own tablet PCs. On the horizon is Dell's Slate and also revealed is Research in Motion's (RIM's) Playbook. RIM is most well known for its Blackberry phones and with the popularity of the Blackberry staying consistent throughout the years hope is high that the Playbook can live up to expectations.

While the Blackberry line of phones is known for their business-savvy software, RIM wants consumers of all backgrounds to be comfortable with the Playbook. RIM has tried for a long time to break away from their business-only niche, and the Playbook might be just the device to do it. If RIM wants their new tablet to be fun, they have made a step in the right direction with the Playbook's dual cameras. The forward camera is 3 mega pixels and the rear camera is 5 mega pixels. The presence of the forward facing camera indicates that there will be video calling on the tablet, and everything is shown in brilliant 1080p HD video. The screen will be a 7" LCD.

With all of these positives the Playbook sounds like it could be a real contender for the iPad, but like every device, it has its potential downfalls. One thing that sticks out very clearly is the lack of built in 3G. RIM has already stated that 3G will not be built into the Playbook in the first generation, and that is almost unheard of for the tablets being released. The screen, while beautiful, is also smaller than the iPad's. Lastly, the Playbook is not due for release till early 2011, and at that time it will have to compete with the next generation of iPads.

There is definitely hope for the Playbook in the tablet market. The first generation may not do so well, but hopefully once RIM gets its feet wet in the tablet industry, it will be able to produce a quality product for Blackberry lovers and the general public alike.

Below are the specs and features for the Blackberry Playbook:

7" LCD display, 1024 x 600 screen resolution
5.1" x 7.6" x 0.4" (130mm x 194mm x 10mm)
0.9 lbs (400g)
Built-in microUSB connector
Multi-touch capacitive screen
Wi-Fi® 802.11 a/b/g/n

3 MP high definition forward-facing camera
5 MP high definition rear-facing camera
Codec support for superior media playback, creation and video calling
1080p HD video; H.264, MPEG4, WMV HDMI video output
Micro USB and Micro HDMI

1 GHz dual-core processor
Symmetrical dual-core processing

Rapid development environment
Reliable BlackBerry Tablet OS, powered by QNX technology
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pay-As-You-Go 4G From Clearwire

Last Monday internet provider Clearwire announced that it would begin offering a pay-as-you-go 4G service for its customers. With the demand for faster and faster internet rising, and the amount of contractual services lowering, this is exactly what the new tech-savvy generation needs.

The new 4G service will be called Rover and will be available in all of Clearwire's networks. Clearwire, being partially owned by Sprint-Nextel, is used to power the 4G WiMax network, and it is this network Rover will run off of.

Lately Clearwire has been in slump profit wise, losing millions of dollars this year alone. This new pay-as-you-go network will hopefully rekindle some profits for the flagging company, as well as making internet accessible for those who don't want to get tangled up in a contract.

Price wise Rover seems to be decent. It will connect to Clearwire's network using either a "Stick" or a "Puck". The Stick will connect directly to the computer and provide access and as its name suggests, is a USB modem. The Stick will retail for $100. The Puck provides access for up to eight mobile devices and costs $150 dollars, which is an incredible deal for fifty dollars more, and also allows multiple laptops or other mobile devices to be online simultaneously. Users can choose to pay by the day, by the week, or by the month. Prices will be $5 for a day, $20 dollars for a week, or $50 dollars for a month.

With a reasonable price for their new 4G network Clearwire can hope to recoup its recent losses. More good news for the company is that it is currently the only service provider offering 4G. Other internet heavyweights will soon enter into the game, but Clearwire may be able to retain popularity with its contract-free Rover.

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