As often happens, the first product in a new product category is pretty good, but the second and third entries bring the wow. This is certainly the case with the category of keyless deadbolt locks and Yale’s Real Living Touchscreen deadbolt. Schlage has a good lock, Kwikset’s is better, and Yale’s is fantastic.
Where the Kwikset and Schlage locks use rubber keypads, Yale deploys an illuminated capacitive touchscreen (they also have a less-expensive push-button model that we didn’t evaluate). Each lock can operate on its own, but each is also available with either a Z-Wave or ZigBee plug-in radio, so that it can be integrated into a home-control system. We tested Yale’s Z-Wave model in stand-alone mode and tried to integrate it into the Vivint home-control system we’ve been evaluating, without real success (more on that in a moment).
Here's something you probably never came across before. Habey, a company that specializes in embedded computers and digital signange products, announced its new 12-inch 'Touchscreen Intel Dual Core Atom Ion Panel PC,' or PPC-6512 for short. It's basically a nettop with a 12-inch 16:9 touchscreen that can also be hooked up to an external display via VGA or HDMI with a maximum resolution of up to 2560x1600.
One thing all-in-one PCs have over most desktops is that they simply look better. We've seen a lot of ugly tower systems, but relatively few AIOs that we'd qualify as eyesores. From what we can tell by viewing MSI's press photos, the company's new Wind Top AE2070 AIO doesn't buck the trend and is another classy edition to a growing number of AIO PCs. Touching it is optional.
We're not entirely sure what to make of the Touchscreen Interface Water concept on Yanko Design, so we're asking you, our readers, what do you think about it? We dig the touchscreen controls, we're just not sure they're appropriate on a water faucet, especially one as funky looking as this. However, we do concede that there may be some functional applications for something like this.
If you're having trouble deciding between a notebook or a tablet, Gigabyte's T1125 might be just what you're looking for. Netbooknews.com had a chance to spend some hands-on time with this tri-purpose device, and it certainly looks promising.
You'll notice we called this a tri-purpose device and not a dual-purpose notebook. Why? Well, slap it into the optional dock and now you have a secondary display to go along with your desktop's main monitor.
It gets even better. At 11.6 inches, the T1125 just barely slips out of netbook range, which means you won't find a poky Atom processor inside. Instead, the T1125 sports an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor along with Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics (with support for Nvidia's Optimus technology), up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, 320/500GB hard drive, Wireless-N, built-in 3.5G antenna, 1.3MP webcam, a USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0, eSATA/USB combo, HDMI, and a few other odds and ends.
As expected, Barnes & Noble announced the Nook Color today at their event in New York. The device ditches the eInk monochrome screen used by the Amazon Kindle and regular Nook. In its place is a 7-inch IPS color touchscreen. The resolution is a very reasonable 1024x600, and it will come with a special anti-glare film. There is also Wi-Fi, a microSD card slot, and no 3G right now.
This device is utilizing more elements of the underlying Android system, but it is thoroughly skinned. It is clear this is a reader first and foremost. But users will have access to music, the browser, social networking, and a few select apps like Pandora. Since this is significantly different from the stock Android platform, developers looking to get their apps on the platform will have to use a Barnes & Noble supplied SDK.
The Nook Color will sell for $249 when it comes out on November 19. The bookseller is looking to get people reading magazines and newspaper on this device, in addition to regular books. Barnes & Noble may be calling this part tablet and part reader, but they may find that it isn't good enough at being either. Do you think this device is going to succeed?
Touchscreen devices are everywhere, from GPS units to smartphones and MP3 players. Want to know what they all have in common (other than touch displays)? Germs.
"If you're sharing the device, then you're sharing your influenza with someone else who touches it," said Timoty Julian, a Stanford University doctoral student who co-authored a study on the spread of viruses.
Julian, and those like him, spend their time worrying about all those touchscreen devices harboring germs and viruses. But do they have reason to worry?
"If you put a virus on a surface, like an iPhone, about 30 percent of it will get on your fingertips," Julian said. "A fair amount of it may go from your fingers to your eyes, mouth, or nose."
What do you think, Maximum PC readers -- is this a legitimate concern, or much ado about nothing?
At an event in London today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in no uncertain terms, the Windows Slates are coming this year. Ballmer said the devices would be available in time for the holidays. No specific devices were mentioned, and no one can say for sure if the HP Slate will ever actually materialize running Windows. A spokesperson later pointed to devices like the Hanvon Slate and Dell DUO (which is actually a convertible tablet).
It was just back in January that Ballmer stood on stage showing off Windows 7 tablets from Pegatron, HP, and Archos. Here we are all these months later and the iPad has had free run of the market. Even Android has been slow in bringing a competitor. Microsoft has a potentially exciting product in the upcoming Windows Phone 7, but they have made it clear that Windows 7 will be used for tablets.
Have you spent time with a touchscreen Windows 7 device lately? Was it good enough to ditch the keyboard?
What if you could go back in time and beat Apple to market with an iPhone device. Would you do it? Every smartphone maker on the planet would say 'yes,' including Nokia, which would probably like to take a mulligan on saying 'no' when it had the chance.
According to a fascinating report in The New York Times, research engineers at Nokia prepped a prototype of an Internet-ready, touchscreen handset with a big display a few years before Apple launched its iPhone. Who knows if it would have been a success, because management killed the project on fears that it would flop and cost the company too much money, claims former employee Ari Hakkarainen.
"It was very early days, and no one really knew anything about the touchscreen's potential," Hakkarainen said. "And it was an expensive device to produce, so there was more risk involved for Nokia. So management did the usual. They killed it."
During that same year (2004), Nokia also rejected an early design for an online app store, another decision that ultimately hurt Nokia in the long run. Fast forward to today and Nokia is playing catch up, not just with Apple, but with every major player in the smartphone market.
"I am sure there are things we could have done better and innovations we missed," said Arja Souminen, a spokeswoman for Nokia. "But that happens to all companies. We have been very successful with some other innovations."
The $900 Acer Aspire 5745PG-3882 is an attractive-looking, moderately priced notebook with some nifty multitouch features, a high-quality display, and audio attributes that make it a very capable multimedia system. But with middling 3D graphics performance, it’s not going to make anyone’s top-10 list of portable gaming rigs.
Sporting a 15.6-inch, multitouch-capable, capacitive screen, the 5745PG-3882 is not unlike the iBuypower Armada Touch MT20X we reviewed a few months ago. But while the MT20X includes a useful application that lets you map common mouse and keyboard gaming commands to the screen’s multitouch interface, the 5745PG-3882 lacks any sort of 3D-gaming-specific features for its touch display. It does, however, include some cool multitouch software for more everyday usages, such as apps for watching photos and videos, listening to music, and surfing the web. A couple of touch-enabled casual games are also included, but these titles aren’t exactly the sort of games that make a GPU sweat.