I'm going to make this a weekend-ly thing, where I give a general update of the tech world at large and a look into what's happening in my repository of gadgetry. So, what's new?
- Zune HD is coming to my local Best Buy tomorrow, going to go check that out. The OLED screen is supposed to be sweet, and I'm hopeful that the UI and browser will be up to scratch as well. If I'm really impressed, they might even get me to switch from the iPod/iTunes ecosystem to the Zune side. Microsoft went with Nvidia's Tegra mobile computing platform instead of ARM's Cortex A8, and while this makes it far more impressive on the video side, it will be interesting to see how Tegra handles more mobile computing-esque tasks like web browsing.
- Speaking of the Cortex A8, how about the Nokia N900? It combines the flagship N series smartphone with the N series media tablets for what is sure to be an awesome device (and it's coming to T-Mobile later this year - I'm going be taking a looong look at this one when it's time to upgrade). It packs the aforementioned Cortex A8 processor (like the iPhone 3G-S and Palm Pre) along with 32GB of integrated flash memory and the Maemo 5 operating system, which is supposed to take over from S60 on the highest end Nokia devices. As S60 is now being moved down market to their midrange phones, the N900 represents a huge shift in the design philosophy of Nokia. As for the device itself, it looks like a shrunken N810 and promises to be even more of a multimedia powerhouse than previous N-series superphones.
- The Always Innovating TouchBook is now shipping out to owners! I was initially really excited for the device, until it got killed for me (no webcam/video chat was a major downer, and I was never really enthused about the smartphone-grade CPU). It sounds like I made the right decision in not preordering one, since the first generation devices seem to have their fair share of rough edges. According to impressions shared on NotebookReview.com's forums and the ever-present Twitter, the device is prone to tipping over since most of the weight is in the removable tablet portion of the device, and one owner says his keyboard is pretty awful. The application start up is understandably slow due to the SD based storage system, and the device in general is apparently not the fastest (also understandable, given the ARM OMAP3 chip). Based on a video of the unit starting up, boot time is around 50 seconds. There are some bugs in the beta software package, including lack of out of the box WPA network support. Always Innovating will not send out review units of the TouchBook until the final software package is complete, so I am still waiting to get my first-hand impressions of the TouchBook.
In my personal technology life, there are some interesting developments (and by interesting, I mean that J&R Electronics is about to incur my wrath.)
- I got an email from J&R saying the Acer 1410 I preordered is now backordered. This had better be an automatic email and not actually legit, because it's now in stock at Amazon.com. If it doesn't ship soon, I'm going to be quite unhappy. More updates will be given as news warrants.
- I need a new iPod/MP3 player. My old 4th generation iPod (from 2004!) is still soldiering on, but it's definitely starting to show its age. 4 hours of battery life says I need something new. Looking at the new Zune HD and potentially the new iPod touch. Except, a friend of mine is selling his iPhone 3G (the same one I bought the original iPhone from, actually)...and I kinda want it. Between a new iPod touch and an iPhone 3G, I think I'd rather go iPhone, even though the touch will have a faster processor and slightly newer features. The iPhone will have a PHONE, meaning I never have to attempt to send a text message with my N70 ever again! So unless the Zune HD truly blows me away tomorrow, I may end up with another iPhone.
- The MSI is still on its way to working. Its a motherboard problem, I'm pretty sure. Probably a bad capacitor or something along those lines.