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Interviewed In The Press Gazette

April 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

This month you’ll find me waffling about all things tech in the current issue of the Press Gazette. The team have kindly supplied a scan of the interview, but be sure to check out what is, after all, the UK’s biggest publication for journalists nationwide.

Click on the image below to see the full size version.

 

press gazette interview2 Interviewed In The Press Gazette

Samsung 900X3A 9 Series Laptop Review [Wired]

April 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

In recent weeks I’ve been playing with arguably the most desirable laptop in the world, Samsung’s MacBook Air beater: the 9 Series. Here is what I made of it for Wired UK

 

Samsung 900X3A 9 Series Laptop Review

26 April 11

900X3A Samsung 900X3A 9 Series Laptop Review [Wired]

Travel a lot? Work a lot? Earn a lot? Likelihood is the first two are more common than the last, but if you are lucky enough to achieve the third then Samsung has a laptop for you.

The “900X3A” is an ultra light 13.3-inch laptop the company hopes will steer potential Apple converts away from the MacBook Air. It is part of the “9 Series”, Samsung’s flagship brand for its leading products and will soon be joined by an 11-inch model that threatens to be even more lust worthy.

So what does the 900X3A bring to the table? The first thing you will notice is its size, or rather the lack of it. At 16.3mm, tapering to 15.9in, the 900X3A is arguably thinner than the equivalent size Air which measures 17mm at its thickest point, though it does then taper to a cake-cuttingly sharp 3mm. Likewise the 900X3A has the slightest of advantages when it comes to weight, tipping the scales at 1.31Kg verses the Air’s 1.32Kg.

Such slender advantages may be the basis for evangelical marketing campaigns (World’s Lightest/Thinnest, etc), but in reality both it and the Air are equally portable which has us looking for other differences. Besides looks closer and you’ll discover size is their only similarity. READ ON

Girls Watch Porn Too [Funny]

April 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Do we forget this sometimes?!

 

There Is No Rush for a New Xbox Or PS4

April 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

No next generation Microsoft and Sony consoles until 2014? Sounds like cause for celebration. Here are my thoughts as to why…

 

 

There Is No Rush for a New Xbox Or PS4

An interesting news story emerged this week that received little attention: next generation PlayStation and Xbox consoles may not arrive until 2014. There was no backlash, no angry complaints, no rushed company statements. Yes tech doesn’t always have to evolve at the speed of light to stay relevant…

The news story came from gaming website Kotaku. “Both MS and Sony are telegraphing to each other that they’re delaying, to milk the current [generation] and fill in previous craters better,” said Kotaku’s source. This was backed up by ‘other sources with access to first-party companies’ who also disclosed 2014 to be the target date, though some believe it could be late 2013 “if their company feels pushed”.

1162d4 0e87 consoles  There Is No Rush for a New Xbox Or PS4

Taken at face value this news could annoy. Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 in 2005, a year when ‘Million Dollar Baby’ won best picture at the Oscars (It should have been ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’), the PSP had just hit the market, Windows Mobile 5 was the cutting edge smartphone platform of choice and the Guitar Hero franchise was unleashed upon the world. Sony launched the PS3 in 2006 when ‘Crash’ took the Oscar nod, Facebook launched outside the college community and everyone thought this was an iPhone.

Since then both consoles have sold over 50m units and the technology sector has changed radically. So why do Microsoft and Sony think they can get away with still selling the same old hardware? In short: because they can. 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 Sincerest Form of Flattery

April 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Are lawsuits, convergence and touchscreens ruining gadget innovation? Here are my thoughts for TrustedReviews

 

 

 

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

 

The eccentric poet Charles Caleb Colton once said “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Nearly 200 years after Colton’s death it is still hard to disagree, but in an era of multi-billion dollar technology corporations it is easy to get angry.

 

On Monday evening Apple’s anger hit new heights. The company announced one of the biggest lawsuits of all time, going after Samsung, the biggest electronics company on the planet. Apple declared it was suing Samsung for deliberately copying the “the look and feel” of its iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets.

 

“Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” said Apple in its strongly worded lawsuit. Apple seeks actual and punitive damages and a conclusion that the infringements were wilful.

8c1e7e 92c7 libel  The Sincerest Form of Flattery

In fairness Apple has pulled such tricks before, though on a smaller scale. It already has outstanding lawsuits against Motorola and HTC and has long traded court hearings with Nokia. Where this lawsuit differs, however, and what makes it interesting is Apple and Samsung are big business partners. How big? Last year Apple spent $5.7bn on Samsung components. This includes chips, flash storage and RAM for the aforementioned iPhone and iPad as well as its line of Macs.

 

“Apple is one of our key buyers of semiconductors and display panels,” said a Samsung representative in response to the lawsuit. “However, we have no choice but respond strongly this time.” In a separate statement the company declared: “Samsung will respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property” and vowed counteraction.

 

All of which asks two fundamentally important questions right now of the technology industry: 1. What are tech companies’ priorities in the 21st century? and 2. Is the evolution of technology inevitably headed towards common ideas and form factors or is it running out of ideas?   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. 

Which Technology Is Headed For the Chop?

April 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

When products get cancelled they start the mind thinking on what other technology might not be long for this world. That’s the topic for my latest feature at the newly redesigned TrustedReviews

 

Which Technology Is Headed For the Chop?

Without warning Cisco closed its Flip pocket camcorder business this week. The news was a surprise, but on reflection we should have seen it coming. Even mid-range mobile phones these days offer high quality video recording and simple upload and editing functionality. Which got us thinking: what other products could soon face the technological scrapheap?

 

Satellite and Cable TV Sky and Virgin may dominate premium television in the UK, but they will increasingly feel the pressure from Internet-based streaming media. Services like BBC iPlayer, 4oD and ITV Player have become hugely popular with mainstream customers in the last few years and the convenience of on-demand programming from vast online libraries makes even relatively advanced platforms like Virgin’s new TiVo digibox look antiquated by comparison.

 

cff3f8 2290 Sky Digibox Which Technology Is Headed For the Chop?

 

Naturally onscreen UIs and controllers will need to evolve, but the dawn of phone apps provides a great opportunity for simple, intuitive and powerful virtual remotes. Free services like Freeview could be harder to unseat, but the newly unveiled unified streaming TV service, which will unite the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Five will have a mighty presence. Especially with Sky’s interest already suggesting a sense of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. Major challenges remain such as advertising and consistently fast and ubiquitous broadband speeds, but the benefits of connecting a TV directly to the Internet should see it win through in the long term.

Digital Cameras – Why?

READ ON

 

How HTC Got It Right

April 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

I’ve been very critical of smartphone makers in recent times. Last year Nokia got it in the neck and last week I laid into RIM. Now it is time for credit where credit is due. Just how did HTC increase its share price 30x in two years…?

This is the topic for my TrustedReviews feature. As always, find a link to the full feature at the bottom of this sample.

 

How HTC Got It Right

On Wednesday HTC hit a remarkable milestone. Its market capitalisation surpassed Nokia. It had already surpassed RIM. Even more impressive was the vast majority of the rises occurred in just the last two years. So what is HTC getting so very right?

First things first. Let’s put these figures into context. Market capitalisation is not a literal valuation. For example in 2010 Nokia turned over €43.5bn and employs over 130,000 people. HTC turned over $9.57bn (€6.7bn) in 2010 and employs just over 5,500 people. Instead market capitalisation is share based. It looks at the share price multiplied by the shares outstanding. Run these numbers and HTC is currently worth $33.88bn, Nokia $32.84bn and RIM $28.5bn. What’s more HTC’s market cap is in excess of 30x its value five years ago. This poses two questions: 1. Why? and 2. Don’t you wish you bought shares?

15459 graph How HTC Got It Right

The why can be answered economically. For all Nokia’s size its €43.5bn turnover made just €1.85bn in net income. By contrast HTC’s €6.7bn turnover produced €1.35bn in net income. Who would you say has the more efficient, more profitable and consequently more appealing business model to investors? On Friday HTC reported its Q1 2011 financial results. Net profit for the first three months of the year hit $511m, this traditionally slow time is almost triple HTC’s figures for the same period in 2010.

 

Don’t you wish you bought shares? In fairness you’re not daft if you were caught out. Despite its meteoric recent rise, HTC isn’t a new company, it was actually founded way back in 1997.

READ ON

Is RIM the Next Nokia?

April 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

A once dominant phone maker struggles to evolve software, loses market share, adopts cross vendor platform. Nokia? No, it’s RIM. Enjoy this sample from my latest TrustedReviews editorial. Find a link to the full article at the end.

 

Is RIM the Next Nokia?

Just three years ago this title would have been a huge compliment…

In January 2008 Nokia had the mobile phone sector by the scruff of its neck. Four of every 10 phones sold throughout the world was a Nokia. The financial results were no less impressive. Sales had leapt 34 per cent and profitability was up 64 per cent. The iPhone was a blip on the radar selling 2.3m units in the previous three months. During the same period Nokia had sold 133.5m handsets.

It was much the same for RIM. In June 2008 RIM reported its first three months of the year had seen revenue leap 107 per cent compared to Q1 2007. It sold 5.4m BlackBerrys in that quarter. Apple had sold 6m iPhones during its entire first year. As for Android, it hadn’t even launched.

 

15428 nokiarimlogo Is RIM the Next Nokia?

Less than three years later both companies are in tatters. Nokia’s market share has dropped to 28 per cent, it has written off MeeGo as a failed experiment, seen Android become the world’s largest smartphone operating system and effectively canned Symbian to gamble on Windows Phone – a still largely unproven platform.

Meanwhile RIM has seen itself pushed out the top five handset makers by ZTE, watched iPhone sales skyrocket to over 16m per qaurterand also found itself beaten down by Android. Its lack of focus has seen it experiment with a watch, miss out on buying Palm and have its joint CEOs hauled through the courts.

On the surface RIM looks like it is in a mess, but why has it happened and are things really as bad as they seem?

READ ON

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air

April 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

Is this the best iPod dock in the world? Maybe, maybe not… Check out my sample from my TrustedReviews review below and find out the full story from the link at the bottom.

 

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air

For three years the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin reigned supreme as the connoisseurs’ iPod dock of choice. In January the Arcam rCubetook its title. Just three months later B&W wants it back…

The ‘Zeppelin Air’ is the company’s weapon of choice. At first glance the it looks like little has changed for the original Zeppelin. The Air still has the same iconic stretched oval design that ‘inspired’ the TEAC Aurb and Meridian F80, but inside it is revolution not evolution. The Air has updated drive units, up-rated amplification, improved Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and by far the biggest crowd pleaser: added AirPlay technology.

15325 front Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air

For who haven’t come across AirPlay before, it is Apple’s proprietary wireless streaming technology and it allows iPhones, iPods, Apple TV and iTunes itself to push media around the house wire-free. For Apple’s audio products the big news is AirPlay is capable of delivering lossless sound quality and no adapters are required. AirPlay can also work in conjunction with multi-room environments allowing media to be delivered to multiple products around the house.

 

Out of the box the Air makes a dramatic first impression. The sweeping curves keep the same look at its predecessor and at 640 x 208 x 173mm it is exactly the same size. At 6.2Kg, however, is it a whole 1.3Kg lighter. Like the Zeppelin, the Air is very well made. The metallic back has gone to be replaced by love-it-or-hate-it piano black plastic, but it still feels like a premium product and arguably the more subtle colouring makes it classier.

READ ON

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