Sunday, 15 December 2013

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10

Lenovo is back in the Android tablet market with two new tablets: the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 and the Yoga Tablet 8. Like the original Yoga and the new Yoga 2 Pro, the tablet works in several positions -- in this case, thanks to a built-in kickstand. It's rated for a staggering 18 hours of battery life, as well.

The first thing you'll notice about the Yoga Tablet 10 is that it's a 16:10 ratio display tablet, and that it's not completely flat, either. The round, bulky edge gives the tablet a stand to prop itself up, which is nice to have if you're watching videos or reading content while at a desk or table.


The built-in kickstand and 9,000mAh battery (that's 6,000mAh on the 8-inch version) create a bulge on the back that prevents the device from lying flat. On a flat surface, it sits at a slight angle, with the bottom of the device raised higher than the far end. The Yoga Tablet 8 and 10 are both relatively light, at 0.88 pound and 1.33 pounds, respectively; they're definitely comfortable enough to hold for extended periods of time, and the cylindrical bottom makes for a comfortable grip.

At the bottom end, where the tablet is curved for the kickstand, there is the power button and headset jack opposite each other.The opposite side of the power button is the 3.5mm headset jack, and above that is the volume button and a small microphone.

The speakers will offer Dolby Digital Plus enhancement,flip the tablet over to reveal its backside, and you'll see a nicely textured back with a smooth panel at the bottom where the kickstand flips out.Open up that kickstand and you'll reveal the microSD card slot. The Yoga Tablet 10 will support up to 64GB microSD cards.


The Yoga Tablet 10 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, so you aren't going to find the latest and greatest here. And just to throw this out, so far there hasn’t been any talk about having these updated with a newer version of Android. That aside, running Jelly Bean means features such as Google Now, which of course, also means the full suite of Google apps and services are included. That means Gmail, Hangouts and Google+ as well as the Play Store and many others.


We will admit we were more than a bit skeptical with the design here. And while we haven’t really gotten past the ‘strange’ look of the Yoga Tablet (as compared to a regular tablet). The bump provides a place for you to hold and wrap your fingers around, but it also balances the tablet. These feel very light when being held, which is partially because a good amount of the weight is actually in your hand — not spread across an 8 or 10-inch slab of glass and metal.For pretty much the same amount of money, you can buy a new Nexus 7, which is a superior tablet in every conceivable way. Or you can get a Kindle Fire HDX. We're hoping for big things from Lenovo in the tablet space, but unfortunately the Yoga Tablet 10 falls short in nearly every category. If you've had your eye on this tablet and were considering it, go with the aforementioned tablets instead.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Facebook develops 'sympathise' button!

Facebook has reportedly been working on a ‘sympathise’ button to save users the embarrassment of hitting ‘Like’ even for sad statuses, solely because they lack any option.

An engineer for the social networking giant, Dan Muriello, said that the button had been created as part of an internal project but there were no plans to launch the button at the moment, the BBC reports.

It would not work for every post, he said. But if a user selected an emoticon such as sad or depressed in their status update the 'like' button would automatically change to 'sympathise'.

"A lot of people were very excited," Muriello said. "But we made a decision that it was not exactly the right time to launch that product. Yet."

Monday, 9 December 2013

The 2015 Ford Mustang GT

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting car debuts of this year, Ford has finally taken the covers off its redesigned, sixth-generation Mustang. The redesigned Mustang has also been revealed in convertible form.

Underhood, the Mustang's 3.7-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 engines remain mostly carried over - albeit with the addition of more power (official figures to come). The big news is the return of the turbocharged Mustang - in this case, the engine is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost unit shared with the Lincoln MKC. An estimated 305 horsepower and 300 lb-ft. of torque (the latter of which comes at just 2,500 rpm) should give the smallest engine its own performance feel. Like in Ford's F-Series pickups, the turbo engine is actually an extra cost upgrade even though it's the smallest displacement on offer. 

As far as the other engines, Ford says to expect at least 300 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque from the 3.7-liter V6 and 420 horsepower and 390 lb-ft. of torque from the 5.0-liter unit

Fuel economy numbers should be announced closer to the Mustang's on-sale date, but improvements across the range are expected. Ford is promising "segment-leading" mpg for the 2.3-liter. 

All models will include standard launch control, a feature that was previously exclusive to the GT500. 

Six-speed Getrag manual and six-speed automatic (with new paddle shifter) transmissions will be available. The automatic is a conventional unit, not the long-rumored dual-clutch.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

iPad Air, Retina iPad mini launched in India

Apple launched its iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display tablets in the Indian market today, bringing its latest products to the country soon after their global launch. The company held a launch event in New Delhi for the two tablets.

The iPad Air is the new full-sized tablet in Apple's portfolio and will be on sale alongside the two-year-old iPad 2. New features of the latest Apple tablet include the 64-bit A7 chipset, thinner profile and refreshed design.

The second-generation iPad mini comes with major upgrades over its predecessors, mainly the Retina display and the latest 64-bit A7 processor.

The prices for the 9.7 inch iPad Air starts at Rs. 35,900 for the base model 16GB variant without cellular connectivity and goes right up to Rs. 65,900 for the 128GB variant with built in LTE. The iPad Mini with Retina Display on the other hand starts off at Rs. 28,900 for the 16GB version with WiFi and goes up to Rs. 58,900 for the 128Gb WiFi + 4G LTE model.

iPad Air Pricing

  • 16GB, WiFi only – Rs. 35,900 | WiFi + 4G – Rs. 44,900
  • 32GB, WiFi only – Rs. 42,900 | WiFi + 4G – Rs. 51,900
  • 64GB, WiFi only – Rs. 49,900 | WiFi + 4G – Rs. 58,900
  • 128GB, WiFi only- Rs.56,900 | WiFi + 4G – Rs. 65,900

iPad Mini with Retina Display

  • 16GB, WiFi only – Rs. 28,900 | WiFi + 4G – Rs. 37,900
  • 32GB, WiFi only – Rs. 35,900 | WiFi + 4G – Rs. 44,900
  • 64GB, WiFi only – Rs. 42,900 | WiFi + 4G – Rs. 51,900
  • 128GB, WiFi only-Rs. 49,900 | WiFi + 4G – Rs. 58,900

iPad Air will compete against the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition) and Sony Xperia Tablet Z in the Indian market. Rivals of the Retina iPad mini in India include the second-generation Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Note 510.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Apple charges Indians the most for iPhone 5S: Study

It is not a secret that Apple gadgets cost a fortune in India, where even the base variant of the iPhone 5S costs over half-a-lakh rupees. Now, a study has shown that Indians end up paying the most for the Apple smartphone - across the world!

According to data compiled by technology website Mobiles Unlocked, the iPhone 5S costs the Indians the most globally when compared with their purchasing power. In fact, buyers here have to shell out 22.3% of the national gross domestic product per capita (GDP PPP). The GDP PPP is a means of measuring how much each person earns in a country.

This means that Indian buyers shell out over 22.3% of their disposable incomes if they purchase the iPhone 5S.

China, another emerging country and Apple's fastest-growing market, stands fifth in the list and there it acosts buyers less than 10% of their purchasing power.

The study details the countries where the iPhone 5S is most and least expensive across 47 countries. It only included the basic 16GB model of the iPhone 5S and took the pricing via official channels, not grey market.

While iPhone 5S is the most expensive for Indians, it costs the least to citizens of Qatar, who only pay 0.76% of their disposable incomes for the device. The US, home market of Apple, stands fourth-last in the list; buyers only have to pay 1.36% of their incomes for the model, as per the data.

Despite the high price, Apple has enjoyed its best-ever sales for the iPhone 5S in India. The model has been out of stock ever since it was launched in the country and retailers are still struggling to meet the demand.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Jolla smartphone with Sailfish OS!

The "Jolla smartphone", if you've never heard of it, a company formed by a group of former Nokia employees that refused to let go of MeeGo after the Finnish mobile manufacturer abandoned it, has announced the launch of the first smartphone based on the new Sailfish operating system, called Jolla. It will be launched on November 27 by Jolla in partnership with Finnish telecom operator DNA.

Jolla's website notes that the Jolla smartphone is priced at Euros 399. The company plans to handover 450 pre-booked Jolla phones on November 27 and the rest would be available at DNA Kauppa outlets in early December, the statement said.

Inside is a 1.4GHz dual-core processor made by Qualcomm and 1GB of RAM. There's 16GB of storage and a microSD card slot underneath the rear cover for adding more. A 2100mAh battery is removable, includes a 4.5-inch (540x960 pixels) display, the Jolla smartphone will sport an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera alongside an LED flash, while there is a 2-megapixel front-facing camera as well. It also features changeable smart covers.

The Sailfish OS

Sailfish is closest in likeness to BlackBerry 10 OS. It's got no navigation buttons to speak of and is therefore gesture based.

Everything is about swiping, so apart from swiping up and down between the three aforementioned sections, there are three main things you can do. Swiping from the left or right edge of the screen will take you from an open app back to the homescreen, swiping from the top of the screen closes the app and swiping from the bottom displays your notifications.

The homescreen displays apps in a very similar way to BlackBerry 10, as you open more apps they get smaller to fit on the screen. However, if you have more than nine open, you can only see your most recent. The app tray at the bottom of the homescreen can be customised to your favourite apps.

From this initial hands-on we came away with the impression that Sailfish OS has a great deal of potential. It has a huge leg up from the core work already done by Intel and Nokia and its UI is genuinely innovative while taking a mixture of the best aspects from other platforms. On the hardware side whether the ‘Other half’ functionality of covers can be a genuine differentiator is less clear cut, but we can see it being popular in younger age groups. 

That said where the real battle lies for Sailfish is not in convincing people it is a viable platform, but that it is preferable to the existing heavyweights. Our feeling is Jolla will have to reduce its handset price to achieve that, provide tight Android app integration from the outset and pick its markets carefully.

Aside from this the other battle is with three more newcomers: the Samsung/Intel funded Tizen, Firefox OS and Ubuntu. The first two will also have phones out in 2013 with the latter expecting to debut in early 2014. 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The New Chrome OS

The Google Chrome OS operating systemis now a rival to Windows 7, Ubuntu, Apple Mac OS Xand the rest. Chromebooks have been around for a couple years now, but they’ve never been appealing. The first version of Google's Chrome OS wasn't much more than a Google Chrome browser window with a few apps. It felt more like a statement - "Who needs local storage?" - than an operating system you could rely on.


The app environment has a distinct advantage in terms of keeping things neat and safe, but it comes at the cost of true openness and until programmers find ways to pare down their products so they run in a browser (which is by no means out of the bounds of possibility) Chrome OS is simply not going to cut it for many as their main computer.

There are also dedicated forward, back and reload buttons, which make lots of sense for a notebook built for the web. Hit Ctrl and the Search button and you'll go to an smartphone-like grid of shortcuts to your apps. And if you have a better memory than I do, you can learn the dozens of keyboard shortcuts - hit Ctrl+Alt+? for a full list.

Multiple windows support

You can now use multiple windows in Chrome, though they're all just separate browser windows. Still, that can be helpful - you can jump from one window to another with Alt-Tab or with a special function button. Each window has something that looks like a Windows maximize button, but it operates four ways through gestures. If you click on it and drag down, the window minimizes. Drag up and it goes full screen. Drag to the left or right and the window docks on either side, taking up half the screen. It's a fun innovation.

Offline Mode

The key issue with a cloud computer is that it becomes significantly less useful when it is offline. The computing world was rooted in offline for a long time and we are simply not used to feeling quite so bereft of functionality when we are not connected.

That, of course, is changing as well; modern games often require connections, our documents are often stored on servers rather than locally as offices become more collaborative and our data is often shared rather than hoarded on hard drives.


For all the problems of being a cloud computer, there are some huge advantages. First of all Google insists that viruses will not be a problem. With the updates managed server side and the storage more or less in the cloud the company is confident that it can prevent malware ever being a significant problem. It also does away with a need for a lengthy scan which is welcome news indeed.

More significantly, Chrome OS is built to be up and running quickly both on initial setup and every time you press the power button or open your Chromebook.

All in all, the Chrome OS and Chromebooks seem to have made vast strides forward. It'll never be a good solution for people who are often away from a web connection (though it does have a built-in Verizon wireless broadband connection - you get 100MB per month free and can pay for more) or depend on sophisticated desktop software. Or for those who don't want to have their whole life wrapped up in the Google solar system of Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, etc.

But if much of what you do happens in the cloud anyway, a Chromebook has a lot of advantages - it's cheaper, fast, simple to operate and gets great battery life. Google's other OS has grown up a lot in the past year and a half. Chromebooks are already a good option for many people. If Google can add the ability to do significant work offline, all laptop buyers should give them serious consideration.