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February, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: our first impressions

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Windows 8 event at MWCSteven Sinofsky kicked off today’s unveiling of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, announcing that 100,000 code changes had been made since the Developer Preview was released on the world at the back end of last year.

“We knew when we did this – the Developer Preview – that the user interface was not done yet,” Sinofsky admitted. “Lots of the product wasn’t done.” The Consumer Preview, however, is an entirely different matter: “It’s much more polished, much more refined, we think of it as complete, all the way through from the low levels to the user experience,” said Sinofsky.

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Posted in: Windows 8

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Has Microsoft blown Windows 8 on ARM?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

windows8b

The shock announcement this afternoon, in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Business document, is as follows:

“ARM-based tablets running Windows 8 are ideal for workers who are constantly on the go and need a long-lasting battery. ARM-based tablets use less power than 32-bit and 64-bit devices and workers can rely on the extended uptime of these devices. Although the ARM- based version of Windows does not include the same manageability features that are in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, businesses can use these power-saving devices in unmanaged environments.”

Unmanaged environments? That means no Active Directory policy integration. No System Center integration. All the things that sysadmins have been waiting for, longing for, from Microsoft with the ARM version of Windows 8 are just not going to be there. Period. End of.

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With mobile data, it pays to be European

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

money mobile

The EU might not be everyone’s cup of lattechino, but when it comes to representing the masses it does at least stand up for the man in the street.

While some of its proposals – such as the widely ignored cookie laws  - are near worthless, others are more robust. It’s not all about regulating carrot length and ruling on the smelliness of cheese.

Take, for example, the pressure being put on mobile networks by EU officials that want to see an end to the cash grab that is mobile data roaming. Charges for a MB of data cost more than a beer in many parts of Europe, a situation which the EU believes is restricting usage and lining the pockets of mobile operators. (more…)

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10.1 review: first look

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

Samsung’s roster of tablets is reaching unprecedented levels of confusion as the firm attempts to cover all possible bases. It already had 7.7in, 8.9in and 10.1in tablets in its range before Mobile World Congress kicked off. It added the Galaxy Note 10.1 to that list this week, along with another pair – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. We’ve just been down to the Samsung stand to get hands on.

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“4G comes to 3″ – except it doesn’t

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

4G on 3

Here at PC Pro, we’re big fans of the mobile network 3 – largely because of its no-nonsense marketing. It sells “all-you-can-eat” data and you get just that, unlike many other “unlimited” packages.

Big fans, that was, until we read this morning’s blog post heralding the arrival of 4G on its network.

4G is the term commonly used to refer to next (i.e. fourth) generation mobile networks, predominantly Long Term Evolution (LTE). It is not a short-hand for 3G that goes a little bit faster. Until today.

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Posted in: Newsdesk

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HD haptics: the tech that turns your smartphone into… a maraca

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

HD haptics - smartphone as maraca

The themes of Mobile World Congress 2012 are pretty easy to pick out: better cameras in phones, HD resolution screens and quad-core processors all feature strongly. On the Immersion stand, tucked away in a comparatively quiet corner of Hall 7, however, they’re talking about haptic feedback.

This is no ordinary haptic feedback, though – it’s ‘HD’ haptic feedback.

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Asus Transformer Pad 300 Series review: first look

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Asus Transformer Pad 300 Series

The number of new tablets that have been launched at this year’s MWC is mind boggling, but the one that could just be the most significant is Asus’ humble Transformer Pad 300 Series.

Introduced alonside the Padfone and Transformer Pad Infinity 700 series, the 300 Series could be seen as the ugly duckling of the Transformer family. It doesn’t have a better than Full HD screen like the Infinity, it isn’t a three-in-one do-it-all device like the Padfone, and it doesn’t look as sleek and lovely as the Transformer Pad Prime.

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Samsung Galaxy Beam review: first look

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Beam-1Samsung declined to announce its flagship phone at MWC this year, but it hasn’t abandoned the show altogether, bringing a total of four new products to Barcelona. We’ve already brought you a first look at the Galaxy Note 10.1; now it’s the turn of the Galaxy Beam.

The Beam is notable not for its design, nor its screen or camera – at first glance it’s a fairly ordinary 4in smartphone. It’s unusual because it has an integrated pico projector.

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Why Nokia’s 41mp smartphone camera isn’t as mad as it sounds

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Nokia 808 PureView

The 808 PureView kicked up quite a storm when Nokia announced it early yesterday morning. It was a great way to kick off proceedings at MWC here in Barcelona. A smartphone with a 41-megapixel sensor? It was the announcement of the day and certainly got tongues wagging.

But how does it work, and why exactly has Nokia gone down this road? In the following paragraphs, we’ll explain in more depth and also deliver our first impressions on the phone itself.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review: first look

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

We were impressed with the 5.3in Samsung Galaxy Note when we reviewed it as part of our smartphone megatest in PC Pro recently, and it seems to have gone down a storm with Android enthusiasts since its launch just before Christmas. Now, Samsung is extending the Note brand into tablets with the Galaxy Note 10.1.

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