You have to give it to BlackBerry. Despite the company's continuing and well publicised struggles, from failing sales through to fleeing CEOs, it has continued to bring new products to the market with a bullishness that one has to admire. Whatever the papers say, this is a firm that still has faith in its hardware.
The newest addition to its line-up based on the BlackBerry 10 operating system is the Z30. It is the latest in a raft of 'phablet' handsets to attempt to capture the imagination of users wanting a device small enough for their pocket but a screen big enough to get some serious work done.
Very few have found success with the format, with Samsung's Galaxy Note series arguably the leader, but there is clearly space for the larger screen if the manufacturer gets all the insides make the device as appealing.
On first glance, the Z30 is superior to Samsung as it has continued in the vein of its other 2013 launches with a sleek design, rather than the cheaper plastic casing of its rival. A barely noticeable bezel makes for a smooth front, showcasing the 5inch screen and the 720 x 1280 pixels perfectly.
The back of the casing has a somewhat unnecessary pattern design, cheapening the appearance a little, but is again smooth to the touch and doesn't suffer the stickiness of some of its cheaper competitors when using the handset for too long. The silver covering on the sides again dampens the quality appeal a little, but the front facing view wins you back over and gets others looking over your shoulder at what handset you are using.
As with any device worth its salt, there are two cameras on the Z30, the front facing 2MP shooter which works perfectly for video calls and conferencing, and an 8MP main camera. Although not the best quality camera available, it definitely does the job, with an easy to use application for editing and viewing your pictures
As with previous BlackBerry devices from its latest range, it is the operating system that is what needs to be shouted about. I have made no secret on CW of my love for BlackBerry 10, from its slick appearance, its intuitive gestures, its communications hub for all of your correspondence and its enviable multi-tasking.
Alas though, even with its first birthday looming, applications are still an issue. All the essentials are there, with all the social network apps, Skype and of course the solid integration with office applications. But with more and more solutions entering the market all sticking to the iOS and Android platforms, it is a struggle to watch others around you using the next big thing whilst you are showing off that you finally have WhatsApp.
The Z30 is definitely at the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to cost - around £30pm for contract and closer to £500 SIM free - and unfortunately, we just can't quite justify the price.
The fact is, in the right hardware, BlackBerry 10 is an operating system to be applauded, even with the lack of apps. However, it seems the firm has gone past its peak after the Z10 and is now trying to address areas of the market it should perhaps ignore and instead focus on marketing its high end Z10 touchscreen and familiar QWERTY keyboard devices with the Q10 and Q5.
If a phablet is what you are looking for, do not discount the BlackBerry Z30, but the form factor has yet to win me over from the smaller, smarter devices on offer.
After a very surreal chat with a professor at City University London, I was filled in on the concept of multi-sensory human communication. It's a bit of a mouthful, but Adrian David Cheok, professor of pervasive computing at City University, explained that in the future, the internet will allow communication that goes beyond just vision and hearing. He thinks that in the future we'll go from sharing data to sharing "experience".
After our chat, I felt full of hope about what the future would hold. A lot of companies now expect employees to travel abroad, and everyone knows the strain that can have on families and individuals when they can't properly communicate with those at home. But what if we could taste, smell, hug and kiss via the internet? Professor Cheok explained that 60% of human communication is non-verbal, so although long-distance communication has come a long way, it still doesn't suffice. Here are some of his ideas and projects for interactive technology in the future:
Sometimes you might have to go for a conference and your partner is at home, in another country, or in another time zone. You have a wandering thought about them and you wished they knew they were on your mind. The RingU was invented for this purpose, a device that allows users to send 'bi-directional' visual and physical messages to another paired ring. You can send vibrations and colours to represent your mood and thoughts. It's not quite the same as being there in person or a phone call, but sometimes you want to send a quick gesture just to let someone know you're thinking of them. It could even be used in business environments, for example there has been interest in the ring from financial firms who think it would be useful to help traders to receive real-time updates on the stock exchange. The ring could vibrate to inform them of a movement in the stocks they follow.
A lot of current scientific research surrounding taste involves using a mixture of chemicals to produce different taste sensations. Professor Cheok has created a device that uses electrical signals sent to the tongue to manipulate the brain into thinking it can taste certain things. The hope for this is that in the future, taste could be digitised so that people could share what they are eating via the internet. It could also be attached to eating utensils to change the way things taste as you eat them. Imagine eating a virtual lollipop; all the taste and no calories. This research is also linked with directly manipulating sensors in the brain to produce the sensation of taste or smell, similar to a technique already being used to treat depression.
Surprisingly this is something that is currently being produced, and is called ChatPerf. There's a small device that plugs into your smartphone which can then emit a smell through a mixture of chemicals. If you wanted to share a food smell with someone, you could text it to them. You could sync it with your alarm clock to spray a coffee smell to get you going in the morning. There has even been the idea that you could use it to help you power through a diet, as smell and taste are so closely associated; you can spray the smell of beef to make your salad taste better. It could also be used for healthcare, using familiar smells to trigger memories for elderly patients, reminding them to do things such as take medication. Or it could be used in marketing to promote products such as fabric softener or deodorant.
Cheok is currently working on a 'bi-directional kiss messenger' to simulate kissing via the internet. If you're away from home for a long time, maybe you're a jet setter, you can use these devices to call home and maybe even get a little kiss from your partner. You each plug the device into your smartphone, and the silicone pads simulate the movement of your partner's mouth and lips.
Travelling for work can be really difficult, especially if you have kids (or cats) at home who don't fully understand why you have to be away so often. A prototype device allowed a person to touch sensors on a doll which then transferred the pressure to a jacket on their pet. To widen this interaction to human communication, a 'hugging pyjama' was invented to allow the same interaction to take place between a parent and their child over long distance. This device allows you to hug someone at home from wherever you are in the world. Using pressure sensors, the jacket can apply pressure to the body in reaction to where you touch, giving the illusion that you are hugging them.
For more of Professor Cheok's work, visit his website.
I was invited to take a flight to the Isle of Man with BA Cityflyer to see a demonstration of the Panasonic Toughpad, which is used for flights from London City Airport to keep tabs on flight data.
As our plane landed, a transfer of several paper documents occurred - one of the things this new innovation is working to reduce.
The Toughpad is essentially a more practical upgrade from the previous Panasonic Toughbook, and is used in combination with Electronic Technical Log (ETL) software from NVable to record and sign off flight and maintenance information.
The airline wanted something durable and practical. There can be no room for error of any kind during flights, especially hardware failure. The Toughpad meets these criteria, as not a single Toughbook or Toughpad device has been returned for repair in the years that BA has been using them. It also has better battery life and is 50% lighter than the Toughbook.
Dave Cooper, line maintenance manager for BA CityFlyer, explained that there are mandatory documents that must be signed for every flight so that all of the people involved in the flight process know how many times an aircraft has flown and when checks need to occur.
The Toughpad and NVable ETL software allow this information to be entered via the tablet and immediately transmitted to the BA Cityflyer maintenance system so that engineers and flight crew can access the information. The quick availability of data has contributed to reduced turnaround times for flights, and also cuts down on mistakes made when information is transcribed from paper into digital systems.
When showing me the system, he pointed out the maintenance list for the plane we were on. Some of the items on the list had a bright yellow exclamation mark next to them - not the most comforting sight to see when in the air. He assured me that it just meant the plane would need examinations carried out later that day, information that had already been transmitted to the maintenance system.
Once we were safely back at City Airport, I asked the pilot Klaus Egge how the Toughpad had improved the data recording process. He admitted that the Toughpad method reduced human error, and that using the Toughpad in the cockpit is much more convenient than paper or the previous Toughbook.
He said that automatic functions, such as warning when inspections are due, are a great benefit of the new system. "In the past we'll have to check that manually by paper," he said. "It will be more accurate which is probably more important, the most beneficial part is that it will take away mistakes."
In this guest post, Victoria Ivey offers a few tips to ex-Windows stalwarts making the move to Mac.
You have just bought your first Apple Mac - or you're at least planning to do so, otherwise there is no explanation why you've decided to read this article. Moreover, the use of "migrating" in the headline betrays a good old Windows user in you, who suddenly - or eventually - has converted to Mac OS.
No matter how broad-minded and liberal you are, such a change is sure to be frustrating, at least at the beginning. The more time you spent in front of PC, the more difficult it will be to get used to seeing a black-framed polished Apple screen, and working with it.
The situation gets tougher if you were a bit of a pro Windows user, like those who disdain a mouse and prefer keyboard navigation. Giving up your deep-rooted habits, which have almost become natural reflexes - like Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Z combinations - is sure to bring a little bit of stress.
The good news is that when you become a Mac newbie you are in safe hands. Like so much Apple kit, Mac has that incomprehensible power of turning its users into passionate evangelists. Owning a Mac immediately makes you a part of global Mac community. Mac brethren from all over the world are always eager to help you, and that's why you can solve most of your problems by typing a word or two about what troubles you in Google.
You are sure to find a blog post or an article written by some Mac apostle willing to anticipate any discomfort you might face. However, one of the things which unites most Mac followers is intolerance to other operating systems and devices. So when you admit you were actively using something else but Mac OS, you'll probably be left with your transition problems alone. But no worries - rescue is available.
So you have this new Mac after years of using PC, you open it and of course your hand starts searching for the Start menu button, "My computer" folder or anything so typical for Windows and so never-existing on Mac OS. The first thing you need to do is relax and approach the Mac not as a "different Windows" but as something absolutely new, with another psychology and philosophy. Be ready for that, and do not try to understand Mac. Just love it, like its users do.
A typical Mac freshmen's list of complaints starts from basic system navigation issues. Where are logical disks? Where is the right mouse button? Why can't you create a file in a folder? First, just accept it, that you won't ever find any of these on Mac. Second, if you were an active keyboard-combinations user, be aware that Mac will ignore them all, so the only thing you can do pull yourself up and learn the list of new combinations exclusively for Mac (graciously available here).
Still, you won't be able to do everything you want with the help of a keyboard. Keys are considered nerdy and too complicated for Mac's "make it simple" philosophy. Mac is more visual and mouse-oriented, I'd even say sensation-oriented. Only with Mac you can interact in its exclusive "gesture" way. So the second list you should learn is the gestures list - every gesture is demonstrated in a short video here.
However it is possible to find some software solutions, which, due to their purpose, logic or nature, help make the transition to a different operating system world not that painful. The basic principle of their functioning is they satisfy your needs in a similar way as Windows did, by organising information on the screen in accordance with your post-Windows anticipations. Some of these programs are listed here.
B1 Free Archiver
This application will solve a lot of your file navigation issues in addition to its basic function - compressing and decompressing things. The way the app integrates into the Mac system makes it a perfect file manager which allows you to browse your files in the same way you used to do on Windows. With B1 Free Archiver you will be able to see the file path to your file, which is similar to Explorer's logic, and if you want to create a new archive in a folder, you can do so without leaving that folder. In addition B1 Archiver is free which is a rare pleasure for Mac users. And yes, the app performs its primary function perfectly - at least much better than the in-built automatic Mac unzipper - it compresses stuff, unpacks archives of more than 20 different formats and allows users to make password-protected archives.
Another thing that disappoints former Windows-users is the lack of a decent inbuilt text editor in Mac. The default utility is called TextEdit and it hasn't advanced much further than Notepad on Windows. What you can do here is download Microsoft Word for Mac or try to get in with Mac's native iPages.
Microsoft Word is a better option for those who switch from PC to Mac, but it costs much more than Mac's iPages - for comparison: Office Word - $109.99; iPages - $19.99 (although Apple has just made its iWorks suite free with every new Mac purchase).
Word has almost the same interface on Mac as on Windows, and all frequently used features are available too. It has also acquired Mac's typical stylistic features, like offering numerous templates, however the basic "Blank" document looks the same as the one on Windows. Word is definitely a better solution for those who need to exchange documents with others, as Word is still considered the global standard and wouldn't open the "pages" documents if they weren't primarily saved in a Word document format.
With iPages you can open and edit most documents created by Word, but the program stumbles over some of the document types and is not always able to open documents with complicated structure created in Word. However, if your work doesn't include some unified format of shared documents, you should think of using online solutions like Google Docs. It will cost you nothing, but all functions are available and the interface is similar to Word, just much simpler.
Surprisingly enough, you can find plenty of complaints about Paint missing on Mac. If for some reason you miss Paint too, download a nice alternative for Mac called Paintbrush. As soon as you open it you can choose the size of your future artwork. After that you have a canvas of a chosen size and a toolbar similar to the one in Paint. Even the instruments look the same. The similarity of interface will contribute to your soft transition to Mac as well as to your personal economic health as the app is free.
Bloggers and journalists of the world get petrified when they don't find the "Print Screen" button on Apple keyboards. First, here is another key combo for that - press the Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 3, (Shift+Command+4 to select a specific area). This is how you take screenshots on Mac.
What is really nicer here than in Windows is that you don't have to open Paint afterwards and insert the picture there and save it. Mac OS saves your screenshot on the desktop with the "Screenshot (date)" or "Picture 1" file name depending on the version. You can do basic editing with Mac's inbuilt Grab - crop, add some arrows, text, etc.
In case you share things a lot (like a true Apple user) you can use Skitch. It's a free application from Evernote, which delivers some basic editing features and is perfect for spreading what's going on on your screen all over the net. To use it you need to sign up for Evernote primarily. Than you launch Skitch, take a screenshot hitting a "Screen Snap" button and then save your screenshot in any of the most popular formats - like PNG, JPG, BMP, TIFF. After that you can send it to your Evernote account, and share it on Facebook, Twitter or email.
Windows for Mac
Let's say you have tried everything, but you still feel homesick and long desperately for your beloved Windows. You will hardly return Mac's hardware if you have been captivated once and forever. Well, there is solution even for such difficult cases - you can resort to finally installing Windows on your Mac and try working on such a hybrid. Moreover, many Mac users who migrated from Windows, still use their PCs to play computer games as there are much more games available for Windows, and additional gaming hardware is more widely available and much cheaper for PCs. In this case you can also try to run your favorite shoot-em-ups on Windows installed on Mac. You need Boot Camp - a free multi-boot utility which lets you install Windows on your Mac and use it line with Mac OS. But beware that if you are looking for gaming perfection, buying an xBox will be still a better option.
Sooner or later you are sure to get used to your Mac, it's inevitable. Your fingers will take to Apple's branded "gestures" faster than you can imagine, and you will forget double-clicking and searching the right button. Your palms will no longer be able to rest on anything else but matt lukewarm aluminium, and your ears will habituate to the gentle sound of pecking delicately on the keyboard. Simplicity engulfs quickly and irreversibly. At least, you are lucky not to move from Mac OS to Windows (or to Linux) as that is two (five!) times harder.
Even the most orthodox users will eventually enjoy the pleasure of smooth transition from Windows to Mac if they approach their new operating system with open minds and a few Windows-style solutions.
Today Logitech has introduced the Logitech Mobile Speakerphone P710e, a portable speakerphone that allows hands-free access to calls.
The device is suitable for individual use, or for a small group of people, inside or outside of the office, and is compatible with PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.
The device is portable to allow employees who work in a non-traditional office environment to turn any space into an "instant conference room".
The device claims to have 15 hours of battery life, and is the first mobile speakerphone to offer Near Field Communication (NFC), which allows easy connection to NFC-enabled devices to pair via touch. It is also Bluetooth enabled, and can connect to up to two Bluetooth mobile devices at the same time. With USB connectivity for Macs and PCs, you shouldn't have a problem with connectivity.
Also, to ensure an integrated experience with most unified communications platforms, the speakerphone can be used with Microsoft Lync, Cisco or Skype, or it can just be used for a simple face-time call.
Eric Kintz, senior Vice President of Logitech for Business, said: "Now professionals on the go or in small-group meetings can take advantage of a portable speakerphone with high-quality voice and ample battery life, making it simple to host conference or video calls from anywhere, at any time, on just about any device."
We will be getting our hands on one of these gadgets by the end of the week, so watch this space for a product review.
Huddle and Tibbr have announced a strategic partnership to connect customers with each company's innovative cloud and social solutions.
This partnership will allow Huddle users to use Tibbr's social platform to connect, share and manage their content in the cloud, from within the Huddle environment. Tibbr customers will be able to attach Huddle files to their updates for information and feedback, while remaining in the Huddle cloud.
Companies now realise they need apps - files for content and an interface which is connected to major file systems. "Users are demanding a seamless experience," said Alastair Mitchell, CEO, Huddle, and they are looking towards cloud solutions such as Huddle, Box and Google Drive.
Customers are also looking for social platforms to compliment their cloud offerings.
Mitchell said existing users of Huddle were asking the company to recommend a social platform, and Huddle was unofficially recommending Tibbr.
Now, new and existing customers of Huddle and Tibbr will be recommended the other platform and be given a free trial.
Mitchell said that before the partnership had even launched, Huddle managed to secure a major deal with a US federal agency, which has now moved entirely into the cloud.
"These are multimillion pound deals," he said.
He said that companies are saying 'we're moving people into the cloud' but not completely committing, "Now they're moving ten thousand people into the cloud."
Tibbr had previously had a partnership with Box, and has now chosen to partner with Huddle for content collaboration. "This repositions our position in the market," said Mitchell. "And it shows are we are delivering solutions to larger and larger organisations."
Tibbr was launched by TIBCO the enterprise software company in 2011 as a social media system for the workplace which potentially allows a company to reduce and remove email.
Guest blog post by Simon Bisson
We went along to Microsoft's event in New York yesterday to see it unveil its next generation Surface tablets, with new versions of its ARM and Intel-based hardware.
As sequels go, this is Star Trek: The Next Generation to the original Surface's Trek. Under similar exteriors the hardware has had a complete redesign - tweaking the power and performance budget to deliver the performance users want, with the battery life they expect.
Surface Pro gets a significant performance boost with a switch to Intel's Haswell processors. That's not the only change though, as Microsoft has been through every system looking at power and performance.
The result is not just a significant performance increase, but also significantly more battery life. Microsoft will be rolling out more storage options, adding a 512GB version to the 64, 128 and 256GB Surface Pros currently shipping
New accessories make it easier to justify Surface Pro as a business ultrabook on a par with Apple's MacBook Air. The Power Cover (due in 2014) adds a 30Wh battery that charges a Surface while it sleeps, in a cover only a millimeter or so thicker than the current Type Cover, while a desktop docking station supports dual DisplayPort monitors while adding extra USB and Ethernet ports. A new adjustable kickstand on both devices improves the range of viewing angles, while making surface more comfortable on your lap.
The ARM-based Surface tablet gets much more of a refresh, coming out the other end thinner, lighter and faster (as well as white). NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor is a significant upgrade over Tegra 3, with 7 graphics cores. Microsoft will be shipping the renamed Surface 2 with a full version of Office, including Outlook, while also upgrading the display from 720p to the same 1080p HD display used in the Surface Pro.
Hands-on time at the launch was limited, but compared to the current Surface family the new devices seemed much faster, and much more responsive. That's a good sign, as Microsoft is planning to use Surface to showcase much of its new devices and services business model - bundling both ARM and Intel versions with a year of premium Skype service (including WiFi hotspot access) and with two years of 200GB SkyDrive storage.
While changes to tablet hardware are important, the real change for Surface comes with a new generation of its Touch Cover keyboards. While Microsoft has done the seemingly impossible and added backlighting to the Touch Cover, it's also taken the original 80 sensor pressure sensitive keyboard and replaced its keys with a grid of more than a thousand touch sensors.
That change means a more flexible keyboard design, with support for new touch gestures - as well as the possibility of new, task-specific keyboards in the future. Surface's designers are calling these new keyboard alternatives "blades", with a pilot pressure-sensitive music controller blade launching as part of the Surface Remix Project.
Microsoft's Surface project remains very much alive, despite a challenging first year. New hardware and new accessories look set to breathe fresh life into the devices side of Redmond's devices and services strategy.
Its lighter, more powerful tablets are impressive at first sight, and while an in depth look at the new hardware will have to wait until launch on the 22October (with pre-orders opening on 24 September), we're cautiously optimistic: Surface has a future.
From an enterprise perspective Apple appears to be tightening up security and at the same time loosening it in iOS 7.
From an enterprise perspective iOS 7 includes a per application VPN and managed applications that have authorisation to open email attachments. In a recent blog post Srinivas Krishnamurti, a VMware senior director on the Horizon Mobile programme says the email lock-down feature in iOS 7 will enable IT to prevent data leakage from and negates the need for a separate email application for corporate use.
the built-in fingerprint scanner has the potential to boost enterprise security - through two-factor authentication using a biometric fingerprint. But the scanner will only authorise iTunes transactions. Potentially, it could be opened up to third party developers such as to secure internet banking, but, as one of my colleagues mentioned, Apple appears to be playing its cards close to its chest. What it probably wants to avoid is another fiasco like what happened when it ditched Google Maps last year.
Now the bad news...Well, AirDrop is one of of the shiny new features in iOS 7, to enable people to share content with friends easily over a peer-to-peer wireless connection. There is clearly a big risk of data leakage here, and there is a very real risk that your wireless network could be spoofed
Last night, with the pomp and ceremony we've come to know from big technology launches, Apple announced the latest additions to the iPhone family.
But sadly, yet again, the company has failed to wow me in terms of innovation.
The iPhone 5S
Now available in 'space gray' (black, with a bit of grey), 'silver' (white with a silver back panel), and now 'gold' (I think you mean champagne - and no, just no!), this is the first time the iPhones have defiantly stepped away from tradition.
The aluminium backplate was a small step away from the typical black and white, which was first seen on the iPhone 5, but these say to me that Apple wants to appeal to its user's character.
But at the same time I feel it has also cheapened the brand by introducing a champagne colour to its flagship model the 5S, and an array of pastel shades for its 5C.
The colour is not the main focus of the iPhone 5S, this device has come with fingerprint technology which will allow users to unlock their phones with a touch of their finger.
But while the technology debuted on the iPhone 5S could revolutionise smartphone security, Apple has no plans to allow the Touch ID sensor to be used for more than unlocking phones or verifying iTunes purchases, say US reports.
The technology is built into the home button and is made from laser-cut sapphire crystal which directs the image of your fingerprint to a capacitive touch sensor, which reads beneath the outer layers of your skin to get a detailed print.
While this seems like a futuristic piece of innovation from the technology giant, in fact the Motorola Atrix launched a phone with a fingerprint sensor two years ago - c'mon Apple, pull your socks up. I want to see real innovation, not copycat skills that will be sent stratospheric due to your brand name.
While staying the same weight and size as its predecessor, the iPhone 5S sees a new A7 chip with 64-bit architecture, as well as an M7 motion coprocessor, which Apple claims makes it twice as fast than the previous generation models, while preserving more battery.
More expensive than the iPhone 5, the handsets will cost £549 for 16GB, £629 for 32GB and £709 for 64GB.
The iPhone 5C
Well, the 'C' in iPhone 5C certainly does not stand for cheap.
It was a first for Apple to launch two iPhones at the same time, Tim Cook announced the 5S and 5C would allow the company to serve even more customers.
"Apple's never had an offering for the mid-range smartphone market, leaving Samsung - with a phone for every budget - to clean up. The 5C could well be the trump card needed to trounce Android's hand," said Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com.
But at £469 for 16GB and £549 for the 32GB model, I don't consider that mid-range.
The iPhone 5C is "for the colourful" with five pastel shades of green, blue, yellow, pink (or red depending on your eyesight) and white. Coloured handsets and cases has been popularised by the mid-market smartphone, with Apple staying clear away from novelty. But the phone might catch the eye of the Chinese market.
Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum said: "The cheaper iPhone is critical for expanding the addressable market, because many people in China and elsewhere simply can't afford to buy a current generation iPhone, especially when it's not subsidized. However, the key risk for Apple in launching a cheaper iPhone is that it may cannibalize sales of the high-end phone."
Both devices will be running out-of-the-box the new operating system iOS7, and will be available from the 20 September.
Keep reading the Inspect-a-Gadget blog for a hands-on review coming soon.
According to the official press statement from JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics, the Galaxy Gear is all about integrating smart device technology deeper into people's everyday lives, and bridging the gap between the mobile device and fashion worlds.
But at 36.8 x 56.6 x 11.1 mm, it's pretty bulk as a fashion accessory. And at $299 it's not exactly cheap. For the same money you could probably buy a decent automatic watch rather than an 800 MHz processor with a wrist strap. Ah, but an automatic watch only does hours, minutes seconds and date...the Samsung runs Android apps.
I think the one area Samsung is likely to win some business is with sporty types. I own a Garmin 310 XT watch, which tells the time, but also monitors my heart rate, pulse, pace and, if I was on a bike, cadence (and if you're into triathlons, it is also waterproof). And at under $300, it's a great investment for fitness training, as compared to having a smartphone on an arm band or precariously mounted on a mountain bike's handle bars.
The quality of the apps will determine how good a sports watch the Galaxy Gear really is. But the two apps available at launch, RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal, are developed by third party apps companies.Unlike Nike and Garmin, which both have dedicated software for their sports watches, Samsung has given not indication it will be developing its own fitness apps.
Fitness functionality aside, I'm really not convinced of the Samsung Galaxy Gear's credentials as a watch. Remember the Casio calculator watch from the mid 1980s? Personally, I don't think I'd need to access an app on my wrist. Let's see what Apple brings out.
Fujitsu has launched three business-ready laptops in their mid-high range E Line.
The 13, 14 and 16-inch notebooks are from first impressions feel streamlined, and include a Fujitsu red accent to its brushed steel-effect shell which adds a nice touch to a corporate device.
The products come out of the box with a Windows 7 license as well as a Windows 8 license ready to be installed when your company is.
This is because Fujitsu are seeing a major move from XP toe Windows 7 in the business world, as businesses prepare to see the end of XP support in Spring 2014. But in the tablet space, Fujitsu are seeing the larger leap from XP to Windows 8.
The clever bit about these notebooks is their modular bays, which allows corporations to buy added extras that can be attached to the device. Items like a second battery which extends life from 13 hours to 19, or a bay projector, second hard drive or a DVD drive. Businesses wouldn't need to buy one of these per device, but a sample number of the accessories could be bought and they could be loan out to employees as and when, saving costs.
Weighing under 2kg (the 13 and 14-inch 1.7kg) the E Line is built for the typical mobile workforce.
The devices begin at £860 + VAT for the entry level 13-inch. But the notebooks are built to order and can make their way up to £1,294 + VAT for the core i7 16-inch edition.
One docking station fits all of the E Line range, and during August the company is offering one free of charge with all notebooks through its resellers (£80 RRP).