The cheaper Chromebooks that Google introduced last month don't deserve credit for being a cheap way to read e-mail and surf the web: any smartphone meets that specification.
But the $249 Samsung model I've been testing for the past two weeks can do those things and also plausibly replace a low-end laptop.
Like an iPad or an Android tablet such as Google's Nexus 7, this Chromebook demands no special setup, provides an excellent window on the Web and updates itself almost automatically. But Samsung's WiFi laptop adds a physical keyboard and a bigger, 11.6-in. screen and then welcomes other digital devices without needing adapters: Like any other laptop, you can plug in a USB flash drive, SD Card, digital camera or HDTV.
Read the rest
After losing a patent lawsuit with Samsung in the UK, Apple was required to post information about the ruling on its website and in media advertising. After seeing Apple interweave the details into an amusing editorial
and later tuck it out of sight with a clever web design trick
, the court appears not to be amused
. As quoted by Chris Foreman at Ars Technica:
"The false innuendo is that the UK court came to a different conclusion about copying, which is not true for the UK court did not form any view about copying," Sir Robin Jacob noted in the final order, which was published online on Sunday. "There is a further false innuendo that the UK court's decision is at odds with decisions in other countries whereas that is simply not true. Apple's additions to the ordered notice clearly muddied the water and the message obviously intended to be conveyed by it." — Rob
The current iPhone design, it turns out, was in the works since 2006—and was so influenced by Sony that they even put its logo on the mockups. Court filings in the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung reveal an early concept by Apple designer Shin Nishibori which closely resembles the current-gen iPhones, complete with the silver band. [The Verge]
Read the rest
Samsung's Infuse caught my eye today thanks to its large 4.5" display, slim bezel, and the fact that it's even thinner than the iPhone 4. It has a 1.2 GHz processor, a camera able to record 720p video, and Android 2.2. There's not a lot else to know about it yet—screen resolution is an important missing fact— but it is one of those models that AT&T is sleazily marketing as "4G" despite it not even having a 4G radio. Ars Technica explains
Like we noted Wednesday in our coverage of AT&T's announcement of the HP Veer 4G, the Infuse doesn't actually use 4G technologies like LTE or WiMax. Instead, it uses improvements to existing 3G technology referred to as HSPA+. This technology can achieve similar data transmission speeds as those other standards in some areas where AT&T has installed upgraded backhaul capability.
The Infuse is out May 15, and will be $200 with a 2-year contract.
According to Mohamed Hassan (a security expert and IT professor) Samsung has admitted to shipping laptops with covert, undisclosed keyloggers installed, there to "monitor the performance of the machine and to find out how it is being used." Their PR department refuses to discuss the issue: "In other words, Samsung wanted to gather usage data without obtaining consent from laptop owners.
Update:: Samsung denies it.
Update 2: Brian Krebs believes them
Samsung's Galaxy Tab, out this month, is the strongest rival to Apple's iPad. Running Android 2.2 on similar, smaller hardware with a 7" display, it finally makes honest men out of those who habitually talk of the 'mobile tablet' market as if there were more than one horse in the race. Reviews: Engadget
, and PCPro
. Consensus: good, but not as good as the iPad.