Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AT&T Brings New BlackBerrys to Their Smartphone Line Up

blackberry pearlOn Wednesday AT&T announced that they have added the 3G versions of the BlackBerry Curve and Pearl to their lineup of smartphones. As of October 17th, the BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100 will be available online and in AT&T stores for $149.99 with a two year contract.

The Pearl is two inches wide and weighs 3.3 ounces. This smartphone supports Wi-Fi and GPS and features an optical trackpad and a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash. It also has a redesigned SureType QWERTY keyboard, 360 x 400 pixel high resolution display, dedicated music keys, and support of a microSD card that supports up to 32GB of content.

blackberry curveIt has not been announced yet when exactly the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 will be available from AT&T. It should be available before the holiday season for $99.99 with a two year contract. It includes a full QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad, built-in GPS, 2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and a microSD card that supports 32GB of memory.

AT&T U-verse customers will have the ability to download the U-verse app onto their BlackBerry Curve. This app lets customers manage their DVRs at home and even download certain shows via the Wi-Fi connection and watch them on their smartphone.
AT&T has said that the BlackBerry Curve 3G will support the new BlackBerry 6 OS, but that unfortunately it will not be available for the Curve for several months.

It’s exciting to see AT&T add these amazing BlackBerrys to their smartphone lineup. They have so many great features to offer. They are the perfect smartphone for someone that doesn’t want to deal with a touch screen.

If you are in the market for an InFocus Projector Rental, then visit or give them a call at 800-736-8772.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Consumer Reports Continues to Wait to Recommend iPhone 4

iPhone 4 death gripConsumer Reports simply will not recommend Apple’s iPhone 4 to its readers. Why, you may ask? Well, they say that until Apple decides to offer customers a free, easily accessible case to solve the “death grip” issues that the iPhone 4 has been facing, they cannot endorse the smartphone.

The so-called “death grip” was noticed by iPhone 4 customers from the start. It occurs when a user grips the phone with a full or whole hand grip. Holding the device this way causes significant issues with the connection speed when uploading or downloading data and with the reception of the phone in general.

Due to all of the problems concerning the “death grip,” Apple decided in July to offer customers a free case or bumper to fix the issue. If you had already purchased a case, they even offered to refund you the money that you had spent on it. Unfortunately, Apple decided to only keep this offer up until September 30th.

Now, Apple is saying that they are going to discontinue this offer all together, instead of waiting until the 30th. They say that the antenna issue “is even smaller than we originally thought.” They feel that this justifies ending the free case or bumper offer.

Consumer Report feels that this is unacceptable. They have said, “Our tests found the Bumper successfully mitigates the iPhone 4's reception issue, which was a weak point in the phone’s otherwise-stellar performance in our tests. We agree with Apple that not all iPhone 4 owners will experience reception difficulties with the device, but putting the onus on any owners of a product to obtain a remedy to a design flaw is not acceptable to us. We therefore continue not to recommend the iPhone 4 and to call on Apple to provide a permanent fix for the phone's reception issues."

I believe that Consumer Reports is definitely right. I feel that it is ridiculous that Apple is discontinuing their offer to provide a case or bumper for the iPhone 4. They made the mistake, so they should be the ones taking full responsibility for it. It doesn’t matter if not everyone experiences these reception issues. Apple’s goal should be to satisfy all of their customers, especially when it comes to something as important as reception and uploading and downloading data.

I feel that Apple is making a huge mistake by discontinuing their free case program, but will it affect sales of the iPhone 4? I’m guessing that most likely it won’t. Although I wouldn’t want to deal with the issues, the iPhone has a prestigious enough reputation to keep the sales coming in. If you’re considering a new smartphone, the “death grip” is something that you should definitely consider before settling on the iPhone 4.

Not interested in the iPhone? Check out some other great smartphones like the Motorola's Droid X or the HTC EVO 4G.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Accessing Everything, From Everywhere

I am a gadget-holic. I own an Amazon Kindle, an Apple iPad, a Motorola Droid cellphone, a Dell Studio laptop, and a desktop computer. I use every one of them on a regular basis, though some more than others obviously. What do I love most about all of them though? They are all connected. Virtually everything I do on one of my devices, is instantly replicated across all the rest and is stored online in some fashion so that I can access it from other computers and/or internet connected devices should the need arise.

I’ve setup my office email to use IMAP, so that my inbox is stored on my mail server and not locally on my computer. What does this really mean? It means that my inbox is accessible from my desktop computer, my laptop, my cellphone (Motorola Droid), my iPad, and from any web browser. This access makes me productive at work because throughout the evening as I receive emails, I read and delete them; whether sitting at my daughter’s gymnastic class from my phone, or sitting on my couch at night with my iPad playing a game, I periodically take 1 minute to check my mail and remove anything I don’t need or flag anything that I need to respond to/follow up on the next day. Doing this gives me a clean inbox each morning when I arrive to the office. No more spending the first hour of my day on email.

For years I carried around pocket USB flash drives with all of my essential files, including copies of anything I was currently working on or files that I may need at any given moment. Now, instead of a flash drive, I use DropBox. I have the DropBox application on my laptop and desktop, so whenever I save a file to “My Documents,” it instantly syncs between both computers. I also have the DropBox app for my iPad and Droid, so when I’m on the road I can access files from anywhere.

Not only does DropBox allow me access to all of my important documents, it also gives me a backup of my documents should one of my devices fail. This type of peace-of-mind is priceless.

Google Calendar is wonderful. Accessible from an application on my Droid and iPad, as well as any web browser, I always know what’s going on and when. I have 5 different calendars, one for work, one for family events, a personal calendar, a calendar for my wife’s schedule, and one for all my bills. Whether on vacation or just out of the office for a day, I always know what needs taken care of and nothing ever slips through the cracks (unless I forget to put it on my calendar... which happens more than I’d like to admit).

Using an application called EverNote, I create shopping lists and jot notes to myself whenever I need to from whatever device I’m currently using. I also keep some notes that are import to me like my home IP address, WEP key, etc. Once I create these notes they are accessible from my Droid, iPad, computer, and the web. I love looking through the Sunday ads and typing my shopping list on my iPad or computer and then going to the store with just my cellphone and having access to the list, it’s such a time saver.

I keep my address book in Google Mail’s contact area. It instantly syncs with my iPad and Droid. I can export it to my computer to do mass mailings (for business or personal use), and I categorize everyone into any different groups so that I can quickly filter out who should receive my mail, whether it’s physical mail or email.

While not business oriented, all of my devices provide me entertainment in some way, and again, this entertainment of often synchronized between all of my devices so that I spend less time making things work, and more time just enjoying them. For example:

Kindle: I love reading, but don’t carry a book with me all the time. Reading on my actual Kindle device is by far my favorite reading because the screen is so clear and it’s like reading a regular book; however, I always have my cellphone, or iPad, or a computer near me. With all of the Kindle applications available, I never have to be away from my book. If I get some free time at work I can just open the Kindle application and read my book from desk on my monitors. If I make an impromptu hair cut appointment I can read from my cellphone while I wait for my turn in the chair. If I’m in the car with my iPad (which I carry with me all the time in case I need to connect to my office and fix anything that’s broken), I can read when I get bored. All of my books are accessible from all my devices and Kindle WhisperSync keeps my book page synchronized at all times, so I’m never worried about where I am in the book.

Netflix: With Netflix streaming video, I (or my wife and daughter) can watch movies and television shows from any of our computers, our televisions (which are all hooked up to the internet), or from my iPad. What’s great is when we stop what we’re watching and switch devices, we can resume the show from right where we left off. No fast forwarding and trying to remember where it stopped, just click “Resume” and we’re good to go.

SlingBox: Having a SlingBox hooked up to our living room TV gives us access to live television, as well as our DVR from virtually anywhere with internet access. With an iPhone (which is installable on the iPad) and Droid app, I never have to be without television. Now, honestly, I don’t use my SlingBox very often but it is very nice to have instant access to my child’s favorite TV shows (which we DVR) no matter where we’re at. If she’s restless in the stroller or in the car, I can hand her my iPad or cellphone and give her some entertainment.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nokia N900 Smartphone on Sale

nokia n900 smartphoneDell Smart Business has the Nokia N900 Smartphone on sale until 6 a.m. September 3rd. The N900, which is normally listed for $599, can be purchased for $349.99 with free shipping with the coupon code: 5RMTRF1H8QS3DF.

This is a 3G Linux smartphone with built-in XTerm. It features a 600 MHz processor with up to 1GB of application memory. It is almost as powerful as the iPhone 3GS. There are thousands of fun and useful apps including: Tetris, Chess, AP News, Twitter, DocumentsToGo Microsoft Office reader, and more.

For some people the phone may seem a bit chunky, but it is still sleek and fits nicely in your hand. It features a 3.5-inch touch screen with 800 x 480 resolution. There are no hard keys on the front of the phone, but slide back the touch screen and reveal a full backlit keyboard. There is also a 5-megapixel camera and a widescreen video camera that can take DVD quality videos. There are 32GB of storage that can hold over 40 hours of video and up to 7,000 songs.

The Nokia N900 comes with T-Mobile service. It is perfect for anyone that likes using Linux. This sale won’t last for long. If you’re looking for a quick, stylish smartphone, this could be the phone for you.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.
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