SAMSUNG PIXON (M8800)
The Sumsung Pixon is a high-end full touch screen phone with a special focus on photography. The handset comes equipped with an impressive 8 megapixel camera, full touch screen with handwriting recognition ability and other standard high-end features such as HSDPA connectivity, pop/imap email support and a memory card slot. In terms of aesthetics the phone probably isn’t the prettiest nor is it the slimmest. However, the phone makes up for it quite decently in capability and function. The Pixon sports a full touch QWERTY keyboard for text entry which makes typing a breeze, however it’s not very “fat finger friendly” as I found myself occasionally tapping the wrong keys due to the small keys.
The phone features a full html browser which is capable of displaying standard web pages; however it still isn’t quite as effective as the Opera Mini mobile phone browser. I did find the battery life slightly short but this is to be expected considering that it is powering a large touch screen device. Voice quality was excellent and touch screen response was comfortable. This device, though not too pretty on the outside, is powerful and a perfect companion to those who need to do business on the road (and take pretty pictures while they’re doing it).
The recommended retail price is R 5,000.
FIREFOX LOVES GMAIL – 5 GREAT FIREFOX EXTENSIONS FOR GMAIL
Gmail changed the webmail field forever and it continues to be the leading webmail service despite its competitors’ best efforts. However, with all of Gmail’s greatness, it sometimes wouldn’t hurt to pimp it up slightly with some extra useful features. This is where the Firefox web browser and its extendibility come to the rescue. If you use Firefox (which we recommend) and Gmail, then check out these add-ons:
Gspace: This allows you to turn you 7GB+ of Gmail storage space into an online storage facility or online drive. What’s great about this add-on is that it’s incredibly simple and easy to use!
Gmail Skins: The title gives it away. An add-on that lets you re-skin and restyle your Gmail inbox. Yeah, Gmail has its own native theming abilities but this add-on goes beyond that by integrating Picasa and iGoogle all into your Gmail page.
tLo Gmail Manager: This allows one to manage multiple Gmail accounts without needing to log into and out of each one of them to read messages.
GTD Inbox: GTD Inbox is a useful add-on that enhances your Gmail inbox. A lightweight solution for a feature-packed email interface that rivals that of Outlook. Features include a task manager, enhanced shortcuts, advanced label and project management capabilities and you can create actioned emails.
Gphoto Space: Another add-on that takes advantage of the large amount of Gmail storage available. It lets you create photo galleries and store all your photos online.
THE AMAZON KINDLE
The eco friendly book lover will be pleased to learn that the second version of Amazon’s ebook reader is set to hit South African shores, with Amazon finally shipping the groundbreaking product to countries outside the US. The Amazon Kindle is device made specifically for ebooks, therefore it features a special display that is easy on the eyes and is optimised for text display – even in bright sunlight. Plus, it’s lighter than the average paperback and can hold up to 1,500 books. The new Kindle comes equipped with various new features such as an integrated 3G internet access which is set to be free of charge in South Africa, according to Amazon Kindle Books Director Laura Porco. There is no word yet whether MTN or Vodacom will be carrying the device; however it has been made clear that there are no contract requirements. A user simply needs to purchase a SIM card and may begin downloading content right away.
The device ships with a US power adapter and a micro-USB cable for charging and is configured to connect to Amazon’s Kindle store where one can choose from over 200 000 titles to purchase and download. Downloading a standard ebook over a 3G connection should take roughly about five minutes. Ebook prices are advertised in US Dollars on the Kindle store (usually about $10 (R 80) each) and the Kindle itself sells for $259.00 (just over R 2,000), excluding the courier costs. It’s not cheap but if you read a lot of books this will eventually pay for itself – and you’ll be helping to save a lot of trees.
Get it at www.amazon.com.
UBUNTU 9.10 RELEASED
Ubuntu, the brainchild of our very own Mark Shuttleworth, is a polished and extremely ergonomic operating system based on the Linux kernel. The latest version of the operating system has just been released and, by the looks of its development and beta versions, is set to be a major leap from the already stable and secure version 9.04. While Linux is unfamiliar territory for many South Africans, it has begun to make major inroads into the PC market internationally as many are beginning to realise the benefits: a secure system that has no need for antivirus software and is stable, fast and – best of all – completely open source, which means that it is free software licensed under the GPL (general public license).
The new release of Ubuntu, code named Karmic Koala, will feature a new boot system which sees the system taking about 10 second to go from pressing the power button to full desktop. It will include a new version of Gnome, the software behind the desktop look and feel; which is more similar to that of Mac than of Windows. As with previous Ubuntu versions it will also feature Compiz, the engine behind the 3D desktop cube and many other 3D desktop enhancements and eye candy. The operating system will be available to download locally so one can make use of their 10GB local cap from the TENET servers, alternatively one could order a CD from Ubuntu, ship it and pay postage fees on the receiving end.
Check it out at www.ubuntu.com.
LG KS 360
A mid-range phone that features a full QWERTY slide out keyboard and touch screen dialling, the KS360 was initially meant to be LG’s first Android based phone but, for some reason, the company decided against it. The device comes with 15mb on-board memory and a memory card slot for memory expansion. The phone also features a 2 megapixel camera, bluetooth, java ready and email pop/imap capabilities. The KS 360 is a charming and decently capable device with its large 256 000 colour display. One drawback is that there is an issue with the pre-installed secu