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  • Nook Tablet vs Kindle Fire — the experts weigh in

    Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet is bold, competitive and, at US$250, reasonably priced. But is it worth snatching up in a post-Kindle Fire world? Reviews for the Nook Tablet have trickled in and the critics seemingly love this heavily modified Android tablet. MSNBC Wilson Rothman loves the speed of the Nook, calling it "superior to the Kindle Fire" thanks to an overnight power test which saw a 27% improvement in battery life over the Kindle Fire. Rothman enjoyed the "nice big home button" which the Kindle Fire lacks. Another hardware victory comes in the form of the MicroSD card slot, where...

  • Mobile phone gaming kills casual gaming handhelds

    Is casual gaming, the supposed vampire sucking on the life-blood of the “hard-core” market, heading into a downward spiral? According to a report by analysts Cowen and Company, it is. The report states that 26% of the market is rocking out with the Sony PSP, 3DS or non-3D Nintendo DS, in a slow but steady decline. "Over the last five years, the penetration of dedicated handheld platforms into survey respondents self-identifying as casual gamers has declined by 29 per cent, with the vast majority of that decline occurring in the last two years." Since Android and iPhones hit the market, demand...

  • Surface computing surfaces for real in the Samsung SUR40

    We’re all one step closer to a Star Trek future of sliding doors, teleporters, tricorders and big table-sized computers that you touch and gesture and wave at. We saw the first generation of “Surface” from Microsoft a few years back – now it is ready to go large with a hardware partner, Samsung. The SUR40 will go into full production in December and shipping first thing in 2012. It features the second generation of Microsoft’s “Surface” software platform, built on Windows 7, with the PixelSense technology that allows the surface itself to be a distance-sensing element. The OS shows itself...

  • Review: Vodafone Webbook — cheap, plastic, nasty

    The Vodafone Webbook is cheap, incredibly cheap (around R1 500 ). As such, criticising it feels a little odd. It’s a bit like taking apart a soup kitchen for not having an internationally renowned wine list or the local corner café for lacking the nuances of haute cuisine in its cooking. Here’s the thing though, the Webbook feels cheap, something designed to throw to an unwashed proletariat desperate for the democratisation of technology. I get that there’s a reason it costs so little, but surely Vodafone could have given us just a little bit more? Allow me to return to...

  • Next-gen Xbox to debut at CES

    "More Xbox!", shout the gamers. "Faster, sexier, better!" is their war cry. For those tired of the wildly successful Xbox 360, the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show may be the launchpad for the new Microsoft machine, the Xbox 720. The placeholder name of the next-gen machine is assuredly set to change and according to French site Xboxygen, the new technical specifications of the next-gen Xbox will be revealed at CES. The Xbox 720 project's genesis was 2005. The software and hardware groups for the project were labelled "Infinity" and "Loop" respectively, but the notion of Microsoft calling its new machine the Xbox...

  • The world’s cheapest tablet goes live

    The tablet market has exploded with new devices shipping from every vendor under the sun, but most of the media focus has been directed at who can provide a real competitor to the iPad. In India, the Aakash tablet is taking an different tack. It has already picked up over 300 000 prelaunch bookings for its commercial version that goes on sale next month -- it must be doing something right. So what is so exciting about the Aakash that has Indian twitter community tweeting like crazy? To begin with, the Aakash (also branded the Ubislate) is pitched as the...

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 smashes sales records

    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has pulled in US$775-million in sales worldwide during its short five-day release period. This puts it in line to eclipse Call of Duty: Special Ops, which managed to rake in US$1-billion in sales. Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision was über-chuffed at the success of his shooter empire saying, "Life-to-date retail sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded US$6 billion worldwide, which makes Call of Duty one of the most valuable entertainment properties in the world." Comparisons paint a fuller picture of gaming success for Modern Warfare 3.Call of Duty: Black Ops earned US$650-million...

  • Amazon maybe making smartphone, speculation rages

    Evidence is thin, but it’s enough to have the tech analysts in a tizzy. Decide for yourself: “Based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia led by Kevin Chang, Citi’s Taipei-based hardware research analyst, we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12. Based on our supply chain check, we believe FIH (ed: Foxconn, which also manufactures Apple’s gear) is now jointly developing the phone with Amazon.” “We believe the smartphone will adopt Texas Instrument’s OMAP 4 processor and is very likely to adopt QCOM’s dual mode 6-series standalone baseband given QCOM has been a long-time baseband supplier...

  • LeapPad: The completely rubbish tablet you have to get

    This is an odd review for me to write, because my opinion doesn't count. It’s not designed for me, it’s designed for kids. But kids suck at writing gadget reviews, so I dug deep into my inner toddler to seek out any childish delight in the LeapPad, a low-tech iPad for kids that's packed with educational apps. As a geek-tastic adult, my first instinct was to label the LeapPad a complete failure. It uses outdated technology. Its touchscreen is an old skool "resistive" panel instead of the smart, smooth capacitive touchscreens used by most of today's modern tablets and phones. Moreover the...

  • Join the dots: Nokia to have Windows 8 tablet by June 2012

    Off the cuff comments by Nokia’s new France head honcho Paul Ansellem have got the rumour mill into high gear. Speaking to Les Echos, he said, “Et en juin 2012, nous aurons une tablette fonctionnant sous Windows 8”. So that seems pretty open and shut. Since then the Nokia Thought Police have kicked in, and no more is coming out of Espoo. This does confirm very elliptical comments by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who was quoted in BusinessWeek a few days ago hinting at a tablet. When quizzed on tablet plans, he said, “There’s a new tablet opportunity coming....