Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard

March 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

Can a keyboard be cool? When it is beautifully designed, brilliantly built and runs entirely on its own solar power – yes. Check out this sample from my TrustedReviews review. For the full review click the link at the end of the extract.

Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard

Keyboards. In all honesty they’re not very exciting. Except for this one. With ‘K750 Solar Keyboard’ Logitech has grabbed us by the scruff of the neck and shouted “Get a load of this!”

What is ‘this’ exactly? The descriptive name tells you the basics. It is a solar powered keyboard. What the fairly soulless branding doesn’t imply, however, is what a remarkably good job Logitech has made of it.

15304 front Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard

The positive impressions start the moment you begin unboxing. Logitech has used minimalist recyclable packaging and it could almost fit through your letterbox. Open it up and you’ll find the setup instructions, support numbers printed on the box itself – there is no manual or CD. Four pieces of reclaimed cardboard hold the keyboard in place and just the keyboard, its wireless receiver and a wipe cloth are enclosed. It’s elegant and an PVC-free example to others how a little bit of thought can go a long way.

Lift out the K750 and the first thing you’ll notice is how thin it is. At just 7.5mm thick it is certainly the slimmest keyboard we’ve have seen, but it feels no less durable for it. A near unibody design means the K750 suffers from none of the creaks, groans and rattles of a typical keyboard and you will want to fondle it in a way that is positively indecent.

Build quality aside, the second thing you’ll spot are the two long solar strips. Here is where the magic happens. Much like any other solar device, the K750 uses light (both sunlight and artificial light) to charge its internal (but removable) battery. Where it differs is what Logitech says this solar technology can achieve. In contrast to the typically weak stamina of most solar products, the K750 is exceptional. READ ON

15304 side Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard

ACS T2 Dual Driver Monitor

March 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

When we have a passion for something we simply want the best money can buy. On TrustedReviews this week I reviewed ACS’ T2 monitors, the best earphones I have ever used (and that’s a lot). Find a sample of my review below and find the full review here.

ACS T2 Dual Driver Monitor

  • Reviewed by Gordon Kelly
  • 19 March 2011

What is ‘value for money’? When a product is cheap, well featured and well made it is easy to assess. It is good value for everyone. Where the problems start is when the price goes up. The Sony Vaio Z Series is the best portable laptop on the market, but at £2,400 is it good value for money? Perhaps. The Dyson Air Multiplier is the best desktop fan, but it costs £199. Is this worse value for money because it is ‘just a fan’? Ultimately value for money comes down to individual requirements and personal finances. The rule is it’s subjective. And if this is something of a drop intro apologies, but value for money is the fundamental quandary when reviewing ACS‘s truly remarkable T2 monitors.

bd0930 5622 15279 3 ACS T2 Dual Driver Monitor

Let’s get it out of the way. If you want a pair of T2s you will have to find £499. For £510 you can buy a 16GB iPhone 4. For £569 you can take home a 40in Sony Bravia KDL-40EX503 television. Are we in ‘just a fan’ territory? Why on earth would you spend £500 on a pair of earphones? And here’s the hard bit: you should.

There are obvious caveats. Are you an audiophile? If you don’t obsessively rip your music at the best possible bitrates (or still insist on buying the CD) then the T2s aren’t for you. If you don’t own a phone, a TV or decent laptop then prioritise, what are you thinking? Do you have a large mortgage to pay? An ex-wife to appease? Best stop reading now, because the next 1,200 words won’t make you feel better about your life. On the other hand if you can consider spending £500 on a pair of earphones find a comfy chair and start stroking your credit card because you’re about to learn these are the ones to get.

8a656c 661f 15279 5 ACS T2 Dual Driver Monitor

READ ON

Stuff Magazine feature: Mind Control

March 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these days you’ll find me in a wide variety of high quality publications. So alongside my ongoing work for TrustedReviews, BBC Focus and Wired I’m happy to say you will also now see me in Stuff Magazine.

My first feature is in the current edition of Stuff (‘April’ – on sale now) where I tackle the fascinating subject of Mind Control. This sci-fi sounding sector is very much a reality and I look at how technology exists to control games, films and much more simply by reading your brain’s electric signals.

Stuff has kindly given me permission to display the following extracts from my sizeable feature so be sure to check it out. If you like what you see cash in on Stuff’s current offer of 30 per cent off its high street price - that’s £2.99 per issue including delivery. If my mum would pay that, why wouldn’t you?

mind control 1 Stuff Magazine feature: Mind Control

Mind control 2 Stuff Magazine feature: Mind Control

Wired: How Bluwan aims to bring 400Mbit wireless broadband to the UK

March 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

As you know by now these day I write for a number of high quality publications and none better than Wired. Here’s an extract from my latest feature for Wired UK. You can find the full feature here. I hope you enjoy my look at what has the potential to be a game chaning technology for the deployment of next generation broadband all over the world…

How Bluwan aims to bring 400Mbit wireless broadband to the UK

Montagne Wired: How Bluwan aims to bring 400Mbit wireless broadband to the UK

In the UK 10 million people have never used the internet. It will take four years before just two thirds of the population will have access to “superfast” 24MB broadband. The average broadband user only gets 45 percent of the speed their service provider advertises. The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), the government‘s main advisory body, says nationwide fibre optic broadband will cost up to £28.8 billion to implement. It’s a gloomy picture, but what if it all went away?

Imagine a different image: a country where every single person has access to 400Mbit broadband. Where mobile phone signals are locked on full coverage and connection speeds perform at their theoretical maximums, regardless of location. Imagine an end to digging up the streets, where a nationwide wireless infrastructure need not disrupt busy cities or picturesque countryside. What if the return on investment could be repaid in two years?

It sounds like distant fantasy, but remarkably it isn’t. Even more surprising is the technology to make this happen already has commercial installations and will be deployed in the UK this year.

The company behind it is Bluwan, an offshoot of French electronics giant Thales. If the latter’s name sounds familiar it is because Thales is a major player in the aerospace and defence sector. Thales developed a technology to send high speed broadband wirelessly with military grade security to troops during the second Gulf War. Realising its commercial potential Thales created Bluwan in 2006 and five years and $20m of R&D later it came up with “Fibre Through The Air” (FTTA).

“The promise with traditional wireless technologies that we’ve seen in the past is that of over promise and under deliver and that’s an uphill battle when you’re in the wireless space,” explains Bluwan’s chief marketing officer Shayan Sanyal. He gestures with his hands, “You have to fight with ‘I’ve heard it all before, what’s new?’”

The answer is a lot… READ ON

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

Interview with Gordon Kelly – Tech Freelance Journalist

March 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Believe it or not occasionally I sit on the other side of the interview table. Last week I spoke with Cision about the trends witnessed at Mobile World Congress, how journalists can be more productive, the rise of social media and the best way for PRs to contact journalists. Basically we put the world to rites. The interview is kindly reprinted below with permission from Cision and the original article can be found here.


Interview with Gordon Kelly – Tech Freelance Journalist

Author: Matt Boxall & Mital Patel
Categories: Q&ATechnology Week

smiley 275x300 Interview with Gordon Kelly – Tech Freelance JournalistGordon Kelly is a London based writer and journalist specialising in technology, music and film. He previously worked for TrustedReviews.com as News Editor. He has experience working in both B2B and B2C titles as well as production marketing copy. He has wide range of knowledge across the technology, music and film industries with a focus on producing reviews, news and features.

Gordon also works as a freelance journalist after beginning his career at VNU (now Incisive Media) where he started as a Reporter on industry title Computer Reseller News (CRN).

Cision: You attended the Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, what do you feel were the highlights of the event?

This year’s show was interesting because the biggest highlight – Nokia moving to Windows Phone – was announced beforehand. This meant much of the show was spent trying to work out its consequences. Like the Nokia deal, much of the hardware highlights such as dual core smartphones and NFC will likely not be fully exploited until MWC 2012.

Following their launch of the “tablet”, Apple are now having to compete with various other competitor versions. Do you feel they can sustain the market lead or will another brand take over?

I think Android’s business model means it will take over long term, but I don’t see anyone catching Apple for at least a year. Unlike Android handsets, Android tablets also have yet to match the iPad’s price point and the platform lacks widespread app support. It will be a struggle.

Which three apps do you feel are the most useful for journalists to use?

This varies greatly from platform to platform, but I use an iPhone 4 and find RRS app Reeder to be invaluable for quickly keeping myself up to date. I greatly miss reMail, an app bought by Google which downloads your entire inbox and makes it instantly searchable, but OneMail+ performs the same job and I’d recommend it to anyone. After that it is hard to look past the iOS native Voice Memo app for recording interviews, but SnapDat – a virtual business card app – is vital when you run out of cards and CamCard is useful for quickly scanning all the business cards you pick-up before they are misplaced!

What do you predict to be the ’must have’ gadget in 2011? What gadgets do you use in your work?

The general rule of thumb is whatever Apple announces will end up being the must have gadget(s) of 2011 – so, despite not being announced yet, expect the iPhone 5 and iPad 2 to be near the top of many Christmas lists. I do think there will be a backlash against tablets, much as there was towards netbooks – I don’t see enough people finding uses for them. Talk to people and they want one, they just don’t know why! For work I use an iPhone 4, a Sony Vaio F series laptop at home and a Lenovo ThinkPad X300 on the move. I’m eyeing up the new Samsung 9 Series ultraportable laptop. I think that’ll be a glorious machine, but probably too expensive for many.

Will you be attending any more events in 2011? If so, which ones and why?

I’ve already been to CES in January and after Mobile World Congress I may attend SXSW in March. CeBIT feels largely irrelevant these days and while I prefer IFA I think I’ll be giving it a miss this year. The problem with shows is companies no longer want to share the limelight. Just like MWC this year they want to announce their products ahead of time then use the shows as a chance for journalists to get a hands-on. This can be useful, but it takes away the excitement and journalists, particularly freelance journalists, need to very carefully pick and choose which events will have real value. I can often get more out of attending a few local London events than packing my bags for the international trade shows.

What is going to be bigger in 2011: Mobile Journalism or Social Journalism?

I think they have no choice but to coexist. Where they differ is the value of mobile journalism cannot be denied in an industry which is increasingly split between being first and delivering thoughtful analysis. For the former mobile journalism is vital. Social is harder to quantify. For freelancers it is now a necessity to have a strong social presence, both on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn (I still see Facebook as more personal), but for websites there is a great deal of investment in social strategies though I have yet to see much return. Mashable is probably the major exception, but no-one will be giving up trying to emulate it any time soon.

Who are the top technology writers/journalist that inspire you and why?

It’s hard to call names out of a hat, because my decision to go freelance last year was based on the conclusion that I didn’t want to be locked into a specific position at a specific title. For me variety (on high quality publications) is the spice of life. With that in mind I’m most impressed with those journalists who are respected regardless of what comes after the @ in their email addresses. I think Harry Wallop at the Telegraph and Charles Arthur at The Guardian do tremendous jobs and each goes about it in completely different ways. Rory Cellan-Jones at the BBC is fantastic at bridging different journalist mediums and it is impossible not to admire the job Mike Butcher does at TechCrunch. In the US I think we can all learn from the marketing prowess of Veronica Belmont – 1.6 million twitter followers can’t all be wrong.

What are your tips for PR agencies looking to contacting you?

Some oldies but goldies I’d say: know what you’re talking about and why you are talking to me. News isn’t bespoke, but it makes a huge difference to a journalist’s day to be contacted about things that are relevant. If you can justify why by referencing it to a journalist’s previous work it is impossible not to be impressed. Give me time to see the press release! If it was just sent, don’t call five minutes later and if you sent it two weeks ago and I didn’t reply then chances are it wasn’t of interest. It will be of even less interest now it is two weeks old. I’m always interested in suggestions for features and editorials, interviews with prominent industry figures and chances for an early look at new technology or devices. Be creative, I won’t bite – just try to do some research first.

Is Facebook Becoming The Internet?

March 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy tackling controversial topics head-on. The challenge is to present both sides of the story and encourage discussion rather than confrontation. With that in mind enjoy my latest incendiary subject matter for TrustedReviews

 

Is Facebook Becoming The Internet?

 

“Is Facebook the Internet?” It was a polite question from the daughter of a friend. It took a moment to hide my incredulity, but then the realisation dawned: maybe it wasn’t such a stupid question after all.

Taken on a literal level the notion is ludicrous. The Internet is a network of networks, a global system of interconnected computers and servers all tied together through a common communication language. Facebook is merely one of millions of sites which runs on the Internet. 500 million users may make it hugely popular, but the planet has 6.9 billion (6,900m) people. Simple maths suggests that works out to just under one in 14 people using Facebook around the Globe – hardly ubiquitous. The trouble is the overall picture isn’t simple.

 

15237 13649growth Is Facebook Becoming The Internet?

 

To use Facebook you need access to the Internet. 2010 estimates put global Internet access at 1.9 billion people. Facebook use becomes one user in 3.8. Of this Internet access, the highest penetration is in developed countries. These countries have aging populations. One in five people in America will be 65 or older by 2035. Your grandparents may have Internet access, but are they on Facebook? Given Facebook hasn’t updated its member numbers since July and given it grew from 100 million to 250 million between July 2008 and July 2009 and from 250m to 500m by July 2010 just what percentage of its global target audience does it now reach? READ ON

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

BBC Focus: Tried & Tested – Budget Smartphones

March 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

As many of you will know amongst other things I am a regular contributor to the BBC’s excellent Focus magazine. For those who haven’t read Focus before it is essentially an approachable alternative to New Scientist. It it sharp, witty and informative. It has to be, I write for it icon wink BBC Focus: Tried & Tested   Budget Smartphones

My latest feature for the Beeb looks to dispel the notion that smartphones are only for the well heeled. Beyond that the April 2011 edition explores such wide ranging topics as Are We Still Evolving? Does 3D without glasses really work? What rare earth metals are in danger of running out? and Will Flying Cars Become a Reality?

Find scans of my feature below (click them to enlarge) and if Focus tickles your fancy check out the latest issue here and consider subscribing. New subscribers get four issues free and free UK delivery. Can’t say fairer than that…

focus BBC Focus: Tried & Tested   Budget Smartphones

Why Apple Runs Shy of The Cloud

March 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Experts will point to iTunes as the glue which holds Apple’s iPod, iPhone and iPad reign of dominance together. This is nothing new. What is more interesting is why the rise of the Cloud could dismantle it all…

Why Apple Runs Shy of The Cloud

So Wednesday brought about the launch of the iPad 2. The media swooned, then there was a predictable backlash. By turns the new device has been seen as the tablet to sweep away all pretenders and a disappointing evolutionary upgrade. As ever the truth lies somewhere in the middle. What has received far less attention, however, is what Apple didn’t announce on Wednesday and that is what I find most interesting of all…

Where the hell is Apple’s Cloud strategy? A knowledgeable snooker fan knows you watch the path of the white ball around the table, not the pots. A similar relationship exists between hardware and software. Apple may be able to distract punters with shiny new hardware, but it is software that is the real key and here the company’s positioning seems some way off.

15179 15163appleipadallnewdesignvideocallshdvideoandmore1299093253245copy Why Apple Runs Shy of The Cloud

 

This may sound like heresy. After all isn’t Apple’s greatest strength its ability produce beautiful, intuitive software polished within an inch of its life? Most certainly, but it doesn’t mean the two notions are mutually exclusive. One is software, the other services. More to the point I’d argue the business model which currently serves Apple so well will increasingly become a noose around its neck if it keeps refusing to evolve.

READ ON

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

Why Apple Needs Jonathan Ive More Than Steve Jobs

March 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

The iPad 2 has just been announced, but something far more important happened to Apple earlier in the week: the news head designer Jonathan Ive might quit. Why is this such big news? Read on below to find out and if you enjoy this sample find the full editorial over at TrustedReviews.

 

Why Apple Needs Jonathan Ive More Than Steve Jobs

 

Tonight Apple will unveil the iPad 2 and the most important person at Apple will not take the stage. That man is not Steve Jobs. It is Jonathan Ive.

Like Jobs, recent tabloid speculation has suggested Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design may have to leave the company. Unlike Jobs this is not down to illness, but family. The Sunday Times reports London born Ive wants to return to the UK to have his children educated in England, a move Apple allegedly does not support.

15142 ive Why Apple Needs Jonathan Ive More Than Steve Jobs

“They have told him in no uncertain terms that if he headed back to England he would not be able to sustain his position with them,” claims The Sunday Times’ source. Apple has declined to comment, a decision it knows will only lend the story further credence – true or not. To lose Jobs would be gravely unfortunate, to allow Ive to walk out the door would be suicidal.

Why is Ive so important? Because he is the one man who suggests Apple can work without Steve Jobs.

READ ON

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

The Challenge of Turning Phones into Credit Cards

March 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

While everyone predicted tablets would be the main attraction of Mobile World Congress 2011 and they did play a major role. That said the real trends were for Multi-core Mobiles (and the problems associated with them) and NFC or Near Field Communication. NFC promises to turn our phones into contact payment systems. So could this be the end for cash and credit cards? I spoke to some of the most influential people into the industry and wrote this feature for TrustedReviews. If you enjoy this sample, be sure to read on for the full article and check out my views on the Winners & Losers of Mobile World Congress 2011.

The Challenge of Turning Phones into Credit Cards

They have replaced PDAs and continue to threaten sales of compact cameras, sat navs and even PCs, but could our wallets be the latest target for the next generation of ‘superphones’? We sat down with key influencers at Mobile World Congress to talk theory, reality and security.

The most obvious place to start is Visa. The payments company commands a 68 per share of global credit and debit card transactions and in 2009 alone processed 62bn transactions to a value of $4.4 trillion. Furthermore Visa is the driving force behind the monetisation of NFC (Near Field Communications), the short wave wireless technology being incorporated into cutting edge handsets like the Nexus SGalaxy S IIOptimus 2x and Atrix. NFC has been publicly backed by everyone from Samsung, HTC and Apple to ZTE, RIM, Motorola and (in particular) Nokia and the GSMA. So are touch payments really set to change the world?

15031 nfcdispense The Challenge of Turning Phones into Credit Cards

“The good news is we see at Mobile World Congress that the hardware is done,” said Visa’s innovation vice president Guido Mangiagalli. “We are breaking the chicken and the egg situation and by the end of the year there will be millions of [NFC enabled] phones in the market. This will drive acceptance from merchants to install the terminals.”

Visa has already participated in a major roll out in Turkey and the technology couldn’t be simpler. It can be built into a phone or added to handsets via sim cards, microSD cards and cases (like the iPhone case Visa launched last month – below). To operate users open an app on their handsets (bank, store loyalty card or Visa-specific) and touch their phones to a shops’ terminal. For payments under £20 the transaction is instantly completed and a receipt filed on the users’ phone. For payments over £20 the user must enter their pin code on their phone. It is quicker than using a credit card and more convenient than cash.

“In the UK McDonalds is onboard and Tesco announced support this week,” said Mangiagalli. “Momentum is really happening on both sides, each is driving the other. Visa has been working on this for more than five years and now we are ready: technology, applications and security.”

15031 14917iphoneicarte The Challenge of Turning Phones into Credit Cards

The last of these will likely be a big sticking point for many. Mobile phones are already attractive to thieves. Why add this functionality and give them even more motivation to lift one out of your pocket?

Mangiagalli says the answer is easy: phones are more secure than credit cards. “The touch transaction is secure,” he explains. “More secure than swiping a credit card or typing your PIN numbers into a third party device. Unlike a credit card, to pay your phone never leaves your side, your PIN is entered on your own device and there are no [account and security code] numbers to be copied” – something Visa has tried to combat before. Mangiagalli makes the point that, if stolen, a phone can also be shutdown remotely, that its loss is typically noticed more quickly and protection against fraud is covered by the same safeguards as credit card transactions.”

Furthermore this is where security companies come in… READ ON

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

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