Friday, April 29, 2011

Tech gadgetry in consideration..

If not revealed by now, I am admittedly a big geek who is always fascinated by the latest gadgets. Even of Apple goods --though I would never buy them. So this blog entry will be a verbalization of my current consideration for future gadget purchases. Haven't bought anything alike for a while, so this may get long and mushy...

1. Cell Phone.
First up is the cell phone. Currently I have a Nokia E71x, arguably the best smartphone with a physical keyboard on the market. It's thin, fast, reliable, and with a long-lasting battery (I charge once every 4 days!). The bonus is the built-in wifi, which allows me to connect to internet anywhere wifi is available. But alas there are also downsides: the non-working GPS, the slow browser, and the general lack of applications for the Symbian platform. What I am looking for is something as reliable and quick, but with a touchscreen and running an operating system not yet confined to the dungeons of DOA (dead-on-arrival).

Naturally I am been keeping with the new developments. The top choices right now are: Nokia N8, Nokia E8, Motorola Atrix, and the to-be-released Samsung Galaxy II. The first two are being considered due to the company that makes them: Nokia. Nokia has proven they make terrific products with long-lasting batteries. I like the Atrix due to its dual-core processor, innovative ability to transform into a computer, and the 4-inch screen. However, this was before I found out about the Samsung Galaxy II -- which is clearly superior to the Atrix. The main question surrounding the latter is the release date.

Based on my needs, the main criteria is going to be price. I will be pushing for a phone without a data plan commitment (a rarity these days). Technically my current E71x is required to have one, but I won the argument with AT&T over it. The two Nokias will also likely be unlocked and contract-free, which means the price will be north of $300. The N8 currently retails for $350 but I hesitate due to the death of the Symbian platform -- but its hardware is immensely impressive (e.g. 12 megapixel camera). My willingness to pay for the Atrix is probably at most $100 with a contract extension, since this is the price I paid for my current Nokia. Samsung Galaxy II would be higher at $200 but both would need a continuation of my lack of data plan commitment. Even so, this propensity to say might be affected by...

2. Tablet
No, not an iPad 2. I need something with a proper operating system. Over the past two weeks, I was very interested in getting the Asus "Transformer" (released this past Tuesday). But it sold out quickly and now I am reconsidering. The main draw was the price of $400, along with the office application and Android 3.0 OS. The biggest reason I would consider a tablet is the size and weight -- especially now that I bike about 6 miles a day to work, I need something like to carry around with me. My work laptop is great but a bit too heavy. The other reason is something to show off to my mom so that I can get her one to view photographs on.

The other choice besides the Transformer is the to-be-released Samsung Tabs, both the 8.9 inch and the 10.1 inch editions. I haven't read too much but know that the 8.9 will be cheaper and come better equipped. Again, these are Android 3.0 devices (super!). The only question marks about these are the price and release dates. But these are the problem with new technologies: they typically become obsolete within a year of release. I'd say my propensity to pay for a tablet is anything south of $450 -- as south as possible especially considering...

3. Laptop
I sold my 4-month old Dell laptop soon after I was issued a Lenovo for my work. The Lenovo is not only better equipped, but pretty much came free since I carry it around all the time and it's exclusively mine to use. It's very well equipped for now (Intel i5 processor and a SSD hard drive) so I don't expect to need a change for a year or so. But as any good geek, I look ahead.

Windows 8 (did you really think I would get a Mac?) is scheduled to be released in 2012, if not by the end of this calendar year. I do not know any details about it, other than it should run on ARM chips (aka what smartphones today use). I genuinely like Windows, not because I dislike Macs, but because I am familiar with it. I was an early adopter of the much-criticized Windows Vista, and never had any issues with it. If anything, I liked the new interface that came with Vista. All in all, I would probably purchase a new laptop only after Windows 8 is released. Price range? I have no idea, but probably less than $1000.

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