Will The New Tablet From Toshiba Powered By Google Android Be Better Than The Apple iPad?

The war of the tablets is just about to take off as Toshiba has set up its very own Google Powered Android Tablet site. On the site the people at Toshiba fire a shot across the Apple iPad’s bow, and tout how poorly the iPad hardware is compared with what they are prepared to offer. In fact Toshiba also takes the gloves off and says that if you wish to enjoy all of the Web, you need Flash, something Apple has chosen to not to include with its popular iPad models.

But it is the hardware that Toshiba is touting as making its tablet an iPad slayer. The hardware will include rear-facing and front-facing cameras, a replaceable battery, USB, and an HDMI port. You will also get a 10.1″ screen, 1280 x 800-resolution, but with one thing missing. The Toshiba tablet doesn’t have a name.

If you try to access the Web site using an Apple device using ISO you will get this window:

There is just one small, tiny, minuscule issues as well. The new Toshiba Tablet will not be available until this coming spring. By the time it does arrive, I believe the marketplace will be saturated with similar devices. Also, Apple will have its new iPad 2 available, which will set a new standard in tablet computing.

You can take a look at the Toshiba Web site located here.


Comments welcome.

Source – All Things Digital

Google Chrome Cr-48 Notebook – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

It has been just about a month since I received my Cr-48 computer and I have nothing new to report. The system for the most part works fine. Yes, there are some glitches and gotchas that Google is going to need to fix, but like any new box, that is to be expected. My experience thus far has been enjoyable for the most part. Here are some of the good, bad and ugly parts of the system.

The Good: If you have used the Chrome browser, than you have used the Chrome OS. The majority of what I do is on the Internet so this notebook is good for me. As long as you have a wireless connection, you are all set to go. In addition Google provides a free 100MB account for two years from Verizon. So no matter where I go, I have a connection.

Battery life is 8 hours as claimed.

The keyboard lacks a Caps Lock key, but this is a minor issue. Overall the keyboard functions well and the keys are just a big as the keys on my 17″ laptop.

The Bad: The only minor issue I have is that my blog runs slow when using the Chrome Notebook. At first I thought it may be my wireless system, but after a few experiments, I determined for some unknown reason, LG is just slow when using the Chrome notebook. I have connected to other wireless systems with the Chrome notebook and have experienced the same problem. All other web sites work just fine and Chrome is fast.

Though the keyboard works well, in dim light it is hard to see the letters on the keys. That’s right boys and girls. I am not a touch typist. :-)

The Ugly: The track pad stinks. I was trying to copy a link yesterday and there was no way I could get the system to recognize a right-click. I recommend connecting a USB mouse to the system to make your experience more enjoyable.

Conclusion: I think there is a market for this type of computer. My concern is price. If Google can get the pricing around $300, I believe it will be a winner. Over $300 I would have to give it a lot of serious thought. You can find inexpensive laptops on sale now for about $350.

Anyone else out there using the Cr-48? Thoughts? Opinions?

Comments welcome.

The New Dell Inspiron Duo – Is It A Good Idea Or A Great Idea?

Dell is getting ready to introduce a new Inspiron model that is dual purpose. One side is a tablet and when you flip the screen you have a notebook computer. Specifications for the new computer include an Intel 1.5 GHz dual-core Atom processor, 2GB RAM, 250 hard drive, Broadcom HD graphics accelerator and Windows 7 Home Premium will be standard.

Here is what the unit looks like:

Once the screen is flipped you have either a tablet or notebook:

The Dell computer will come in black, blue and red. The chassis is made of a rubber material for protection and secure handling. Battery life is limited to only 3 hours. The unit does come with 2 USB ports and Java support.

Pricing starts at $549.

But here is a question for you. Is this a good idea or a great idea? Would you buy one?

Comments welcome.

Source – Dell

Source – Yahoo News

Walgreens Is Selling A Maylong 7″ Android Powered Tablet For $99.99

Walgreens is entering into the tablet market place with entry-level 7″ Android powered tablet PC. The surprising part is that it is priced at only $99.99 plus $4.99 shipping. Unfortunately the tablet is not sold in stores, which causes a problem for me. I like to play with my toys before I buy them. So what do you get for your $100 bucks?

On their website Walgreens lists the following components:


  • Google Android™ Operating System
  • LCD color touch-screen 7-inches
  • Full Internet browsing capability
  • Experience YouTube at your fingertips
  • Easy access to emails
  • Download and play games
  • Included digital music, video player and digital picture viewer
  • Digital picture frame
  • e-Book reader
  • Download and install custom Google Android™ Applications


  • CPU: ARM9(VM8505+)
  • Memory – RAM: 256MB DDR
  • Memory – Flash: Built-in Flash
  • Display – Touch Panel: 7-inch TFT LCD
  • Display: Resolution 800 X 480 Pixels
  • WIFI: 802.11b/g
  • Input/Output – Touch Panel: Resistive type touch panel
  • Input/Output – Speaker: Built-in loud speakers
  • Input/Output – SD/MMC: T-Flash card slot
  • Input/Output – Network/USB: Dongle for RJ-45 network and USB connection
  • Buttons/Switches: Power On/Off, Volume adjustment
  • Battery: Built-in Li-Polymer battery
  • Charger – Input: AC 100-240V, 0.5A
  • Charger – Output: 9V, 1500MA


  • Tablet device with 7-inch color touch screen
  • Stylus
  • AC Adapter
  • Network/USB dongle

The tablet is made by a company called Maylong. So who is Maylong? I did a Google and found a web site for the company. The tablet comes with a one year warranty. There are also phone numbers for an RMA return as well as locations where the tablet can be purchased. I contacted their sales department via email and asked to receive a test model of the device. I will let you know the results of my request.

If anyone has purchased the Maylong tablet, share your thoughts and experience with us.

Source – Walgreens

Source – Maylong

MagicJack – Works For Me; But Is It Right For You?

I am trying MagicJack  and so far it works for me.

Several months ago, I dumped my home phone and went with two cell phones from Straight Talk for my wife and I. The Straight Talks have worked great and not having a home phone was working OK for us. But we have one problem that has surfaced when school started. Our grandson, aged 11, comes to our house after school. When we are not home, he has no phone to use in case of an emergency. So I was looking for an option that would be inexpensive but provide phone service.

I have used VOIP from Vonage before, and it worked flawlessly, after I upgraded my wireless router to one that supported VOIP. I have also read many of the reviews and personal opinions about MagicJack that seem to be divided between success and failure. My buddy Charlie in California has been using MagicJack and recommended I try it, since he has used MagicJack without issue. I had also read stories of people ordering MagicJack from the company and being charged for service before the 30 day trial was finished. So I opted to buy MagicJack from Walgreen, [$39.95 plus tax], since I know I could return it without a problem, during the first 30 days.

I picked up MagicJack Saturday morning and installed it when I got home. I have a 10G wireless service and hooked up MagicJack to a 4-year-old Gateway laptop running Microsoft Windows XP with SP3 installed. The system is a single processor running at 1.6MHz with 1MB of RAM. When you hook up MagicJack to a USB port, it automatically installs the necessary software and handles the registration process. The software installed without any issues. What was annoying is that you have to go through hoops in order to get the unit registered and activated. The hoops are that the company wants to see you a host of additional features which I did not want. Why would I want to sign up for 5 years of service, at a discount, if I didn’t know if MagicJack would even work?

After installation was complete I was assigned a phone number and tested MagicJack. It worked perfectly. I was actually pleasantly surprised that the call quality was excellent, in fact I believe it is better than Vonage. IMO. I have played with MagicJack trying phone calls at different times of the day and thus far it has worked just fine.

I will be doing a follow-up report in about a month and let you know how well, or not so well, MagicJack works.

Is MagicJack for every one? If you have a fast broadband connection and a computer you can leave on all of the time, you may wish to give MagicJack a try. But I would suggest that you read the reviews of MagicJack on the Amazon site. MagicJack may not work for everyone, but so far it is working for me.

Comments welcome.

Q: What Kind Of PC Should You Buy? A: How Much Money Do You Have?

What kind of a computer should you buy? This question has been asked and answered so many times, it came as a surprise to me when I saw the question being asked of the tech. writer for the Chicago Tribune. What I found interesting is that the answer has not really changed in the past 12 years. It was 1998 when I first started teaching beginning computer classes at out local college. The same question always came up in every class I taught.

My answer the question was very similar to what the tech. writer answered:

‘OK, how much are you willing to spend?’

This answer is not as trivial as one would think. Though the technical literate would consider CPU power, large amount of RAM and how big of a hard disk one has, money will dictate the type of computer you buy no matter what your needs are. Once one settles on a specific amount that they can not go over, the simpler the challenge is to buy a system that fits the price they wish to spend.

I also agreed with another part of the article:

For someone in your shoes, the most important thing to spend money on is RAM. I like the way Gordon Ung, senior editor at Maximum PC (maximumpc.com puts it: “PCs pull on three levers to get more cash out of you: CPU, hard drive and RAM. RAM is certainly important, but once you get to a decent amount, 4GB or 6GB, I’d rather put the cash toward a faster CPU, bigger hard drive or more powerful graphics card than going to 12GB of RAM.”

Seems like sound advice to me. With Windows 7 that 4MB of RAM will come in handy. Next I would opt for the fastest CPU I could afford. A fast Dual Core will suffice but I have noticed some of the newer PC’s coming with 3 core AMD chips for the same price. I don’t  worry about hard disk space. With external USB drives so cheap, a large hard disk on board is not that big of  a deal. IMO.

If you can I would wait to buy until either Black Friday or the X-Mas holidays. Prices should be fantastic this holiday season. :-)

Comments welcome.

Source – Chicago Tribune

What would you advise someone who was looking to buy a new PC?

First Pictures – Apple iPhone 4 Bursts Into Flames

I just read on the BGR Web site that the first reported case of an Apple iPhone 4 catching fire has been reported. The user had the iPhone connected to their computer using the supplied cable via a USB port. The pictures show that the cable and port connection to the iPhone had been damaged and it appears the phone may not be repairable. The article also stated that:

An Apple Store did confirm to our AT&T connection that this did appear to be a defective USB port and not some sort of user error. Our source went onto say that the phone bezel was extremely hot (obviously), and it slightly burned the customers hand. The USB port in the phone was slightly melted and the cord was badly melted (as is apparent in the pictures). Hopefully this is the only time we see our beloved iPhones meet a fiery death. We’ve got one more picture for you after the break.

I am always skeptical when an alleged ‘first report’ is made, since it could just be someone wanting attention. I believe that it is too early to confirm the validity of the report, until other reports are made. You could get the same result by holding a lighter to the cable and phone.

Comments welcome.

Source – BGR web site

Sniff… The Floppy Disk Is Dead

Sony has announced that the company will cease production of the floppy disk starting in March 2011. The demand for floppy disks has decreased to the point that it is not economically feasible to continue to produce the old floppy technology. In addition, the floppy disk, with its limited data storage ability, has been replaced by the CD, DVD, USB, and other storage devices during the past decade or so. A recent article also states:

Perhaps not as iconic as the telegram, the 3.5-inch floppy was a ubiquitous and necessary component for storing and transferring files between personal computers for nearly three decades. Sony pioneered the 3.5-inch floppy disk in 1981, eventually replacing the 5.25-inch floppy disk that had previously been the popular storage format.

Personally I was surprised that Sony was even still producing the floppy disk.  Are you going to miss the floppy disk? I won’t.

Comments welcome.


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