Google has revealed the latest Nexus phablet on the 31st Of October. It is a milestone in the Android market as it will be sporting the latest Android 4.4 version which is codenamed as Kitkat in collaboration with Nestle who manufacture the chocolate product of the same name. The phone has a host of new features both for the Android platform as well as the mobile market in general.
Build And Design.
The Nexus 5 is manufactured by LG and Google as a collaboration since quite some time now. Nexus 5 is designed specifically to be a good product for consumers in a market which is now preferable to Phablets. Phones with a considerably bigger screen than before are preferred these days by consumers compared to the previously tiny screened devices. The Nexus 5 is a well built phone and the overall dynamics of the phone make it easy to hold in the hand and use. The Nexus 5 has a 5 inch touch screen and minimalistic button design. Thus hardware buttons are only present for the volume and the screen unlock or switching on and off of the device.
The Kitkat Experience.
Google has come a very long way in terms with its Android operating system and has improved the experience considerably over the years. Android has become consistently smoother and easier to use and has provided a much faster experience over its versions. The Kitkat 4.4 is the smoothest experience of Android till date. The menu is highly responsive and a joy for traditional android users as well as someone who is new to the platform. Google has also refreshed the user interface adding a number of useful features to the mix making it one of the best android versions available.
Performance And Specifications.
The Google Nexus 5 is a high end smartphone and features a true HD IPS display with a maximum screen resolution power of 1080×1920 pixels. The screen features a maximum pixel density of 445 ppi. The screen is also covered with the state of the art Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which is one of the best scratch resistant touch screen glasses available in the market today.
The Nexus 5 features a Quad Core processor based on the Krait 400 architecture. The processor is a 2.3Ghz quad core processor. The chipset used in the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8974 800. It has a RAM of 2 GB memory capacity. It has an inbuilt memory capacity of 16/32 Gb. However the main problem in the device that the user might object to is that the phone does not have a micro sd card slot. Hence the memory is not expandable and only the available memory will be the maximum capacity of the phone in the future.
It features an 8 MP camera and the camer has all the well known features such as autofocus, image stabilization, etc. The dimensions of the phone are 138×8.6×5.4 mm and hence is an average sized phone the weight of the phone is 130gm making it a comparatively heavy phone but not too heavy for the normal user.
The LG manufactured Nexus 5 on release encountered certain bugs and problems in the device itself. There have been numerous issues about the functioning and the overall quality of the camera which was provided with the device. Google however has responded saying the problem is of the software part and has assured a bug fix very soon.
The Kitkat release however is an exciting part for the industry and the LG Google Nexus 5 is sure to be a hit in the market. We are all eager to see the rollout of the Kitkat for the various available smartphones today which will now start with the release of the latest version.
Blackberry has recently offered a refreshingly new option as a smartphone platform for developers as well as new users who opt for a Blackberry device. The Blackberry 10 operating system designed exclusively for Blackberry devices is a new and exciting system which is designed with the sole purpose of driving Blackberry back into the top players of the mobile market where it previously belonged.
Blackberry 10 or simply BB10 was developed by Blackberry Limited which was previously named as Research In Motion(RIM). The Official announcement of the operating system came on November12th 2012 when the company informed the world that it will be launching its latest operating system the BB10 on the 30th of January. Two new devices were also announced along with the OS. They were the touchscreen based phone the Z10 and the usual QWERTY based classic Blackberry model the Q10. Both these devices were to be released on the same day and would also get the future updates of the OS whenever announced. The company has added a host of exciting features which are discussed in detail as follows:
-Multitasking: The BB10 operating system will be supporting multitasking of its applications by the user. The user just needs to swipe in the upward direction on the screen which in turn brings up the task manager and the application switching interface. Here the user can either switch to another running application or simply close the ones that he intends not to use or does not want them to be running in the background.
-Gestures: Gestures are integrated into the OS to provide a smooth and satisfying user experience. Four main types of gestures are present in order to help the navigation for the user. A quick swipe starting from the bottom bezel will take the user back to home. The top down quick swipe will bring down the shade menu which has all the shortcut operational shortcuts which are a standard these days on all the platforms. The gesture in the shape of an inverted J will allow the users to check the notifications if any whereas the left to right and vice versa will be helpful in navigating the menus and screens of the system.
-Blackberry Hub: It is a new feature which will act as an all in one notifications manager. It can handle all the e-mail communications of the user alongwith Twitter, Facebook, Blackberry Messenger, LinkedIn and various other social platforms will be supported as the updates to the same will be rolled out by the company.
-Blackberry Balance: This is a new feature introduced in BB10 which intends to allow the user to differentiate between his office and personal data. User’s can create a work and home profile and access data through these profiles. The user has an option to encrypt the data using 256 bit AES encryption which assures the security of the data while allowing easy access to the same for the user.
-BBM video/screen share: This new feature allows the user to share his own screen with others through the help of a Wi-fi network. Thus the user’s screen can be seen free of cost by other BB users.
-Android Support: Blackberry has introduced a very ground breaking feature into the OS by introducing a runtime android support layer into the OS. Thus applications developed for and supporting the Android 4.2.2 flavor will be easily deployed onto the BB10 thus increasing the range of the system considerably. This will also help the developers to easily port the Android applications to this platform.
-Virtual Keyboard: (Z10 only) A new virtual keyboard has been added to the touchscreen device which has been designed to pay a tribute to the original QWERY based design of the original physical keyboard present on the Blackberry devices. The keyboard remembers the previous user actions and has a prediction algorithm which predicts the user interactions to help him type at a faster rate.
Response to the BB10
The launch of the BB10 was met with an overwhelming response and reviews to the operating system have been positive. The Blackberry Z10 mobile phone was also met with a good response although the sales were not that exciting for the company. The operating system was widely applauded for bringing back the corporate feel and usefulness of the Blackberry devices to the platform for which it was well known all over the world. The system was said to be easy to understand and use for a new user and was rich and simple in its features.
Blackberry held special competitions called “Portathons” which offered exciting prices to developers which could port their applications to the platform in the record fastest time. This competition was met with an excellent response and resulted into many applications being ported in and ready to use on the BB10 platform. This excellent strategy helped to create and make available a large number of applications to the user at the time of the launch of the system itself thus increasing its market value and overall appeal to the consumer.
Updates to the System.
The first official update to the BB10 system was offered on the 14th of May 2013. This update was as a response to the various improvements that were suggested by the users for the platform and added many new improvements to the platform. The update was available to both the Blackberry Z10 and Q10 models of the company after launch.
On the 13th of September 2013 Blackberry Limited announced that the BB version 10.2 operating system will be launched along with a new device the Blackberry Z30 smartphone. This phone will have advanced hardware specifications compared to its predecessors and will be providing a great boost in the overall performance of the device by the updated version of the operating system.
Blackberry has been facing turbulent times for the past few months. It has seen it all, the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, the decision of selling the company which was overturned recently. Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins was sacked from the company this month for his failure of steering the company out of the tight and difficult situation it has found itself to be in today.
Still the BB 10 operating system is now the trump card In the belt of the company. The system takes on the behemoth task of championing the brand name of the company and making it a well known and profitable brand in the near future. We hope that Blackberry once again gains its place as one of the premium brands in the mobile phone market and gives us exciting new affordable options of mobile phones to choose from in this present market which is dominated by the Android and iOS operating system based phones.
The Blackberry camp has recently been a sad one. The company has offered severe setbacks and have slumped back from one of the top manufacturers of mobile phones to one that is on the sidelines. The Blackberry devices which previously known for being exclusively owned by professionals soon lost their charm. The BlackBerry messenger, one of the most premium and exclusive features offered on the phone was no longer the crowd puller for the company.
However learning from their mistakes and with a new strategy and intense vigor, Blackberry has offered its latest phone the Blackberry Z10 and has high hopes on the phone to give it a re-birth in the market and allow it to strengthen its position.
Build And Design.
Blackberry devices are known to be a bit bulky but decently built long lasting devices. Here however Blackberry have opted for a different perspective going for the plastic covering for the device. This helps the device being a lightweight phone, however it feels less stronger compared to the previous models of the company. The Z 10 weighs 138 gms which is considerable and average comparing it with the phones of the same range. The dimensions of the phone ar 130x66x9 mm and hence is a big phone. The screen is 4.3 inches in size and hence has a respectable display size.
Features And Specifications.
The Blackberry Z 10 comes with a Quad core Krait Arm9 processor which clocks in at 1.5 GHZ speed. It also comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S 4 Chipset and also has a dedicated GPU, the PowerVR SGX544 Adreno 225. The presence of a graphical processing unit i.e dedicated graphics memory boosts the capabilites of the phone to handle various media content with ease.
The sceen provided with the phone is a capacitive touchscreen type which provides a maximum screen resolution power of 768×1280 pixels. It has an inbuilt storage memory of 16 GB and is powered with 2 GB of RAM. An external micro sd card can also be used with a maximum capacity of upto 64 GB.
The Blackberry Z10 is certainly the most impressive offering from Blackberry in a long time as it is powered with the refreshingly new Blackberry 10 operating system developed by the company. The operating system has added a lot of exciting features into the arsenal of the device. The most important being that the phone is able to handle Android applications compatible to the ICS flavor of android and above very smoothly. But on the downside various applications provided by Blackberry are not upto the mark, for example the Blackberry maps application falls short compared to its competitors. Thus even though much is provided to the user , we still feel a bit unsatisfied by the offering of the device.
Blackberry have been one of the prominent mobile manufacturers and have recently taken some bold steps like changing their CEO and offering the trademark Blackberry Messenger app on all the mobile platforms. The Blackberry Z10 is a fine offering but with plenty to improve and the Blackberry Z30 which will be released soon will definitely be the stepping stone to success for the company in years to come.
Solid state drives or SSDs are the latest type of memory used by the various computing machines for the significant improvements and advantages that they provide when compared to the conventional hard disk drive memory.
For many new users the question may arise as to why they have to pay about 10 times more money when compared to the traditional HDD for this type of memory. These questions are relevant to today’s times as money matters the most and the common man would not be much worried about the problems that an SSD is designed to solve. However solid state drives are here to stay and are already replacing hard drives in most of the high end ultrabooks offered in the market these days.
The main and most important feature of an SSD is it does not contain any moving parts in it. Thus no physical moving parts are present in the design structure of an SSD, making it unsusceptible to any physical damage to these moving parts whatsoever. Also, the read write times needed due to these movements are also removed making an SSD faster than an HDD.
The solid state drives are made by using NAND circuitry based design. Thus it is a flash based memory and hence, is in need of a constant power supply in order to retain the data that it holds. The NAND circuit needs to refresh itself every specified amount of time and hence this power supply is needed. This refresh rate is typically in micro seconds. The SSD is widely used in ultra books due to these advantages, also ultrabooks being a premium commodity the users do not mind paying extra for the same. Typically an SSD of 256GB is seen bundled with a device these days.
The various advantages of an SSD over the hard disk are:
1)The time taken to access random data on the memory is very less compared to an HDD, typically under 0.1 micro seconds.
2)The start up time needed by the solid state drive to boot the system is also decreased considerably due to the fact that access times are very less in the same.
3)Data transfer speeds are much higher compared to the hard disk drive. The only issue that an SSD occurs is when it needs to handle or replicate data, for which it needs to access individual smaller blocks. But normally the data transfer speed ranges between 100-600 mb\second. SSDs made specifically to offer tremendous speeds are also known to provide data transfer speeds ranging in gigabytes per second.
4)Unlike the HDD data fragmentation is not seen in an SSD. Thus memory defragmentation is absolutely not needed for an SSD. In fact solid state drives should never be defragmented as this results in the lessening of the overall life of the NAND cells in the memory which have a specified number of read\write cycle life.
5)SSD are very silent in operation which is due to the fact that it has no moving parts in it.
6)The temperature of the SSD does not increase significantly when it is in use when compared to the HDD. A typical HDD can heat up and possibly be damaged if the temperature increases above 55 degrees. There is no special need of fans to cool the SSD although heat sinks are provided in commercial appliances.
7)A typical solid state drive consumes almost half of the power consumption which is done by a hard disk drive of similar capacity. However the SSD needs a constant power supply in order to retain the data stored in its memory which is not required by the HDD.
Due to the use of NAND based flash memory the SSD costs 7 to 8 times more than an hard disk of the same memory capacity. Thus SSD are not used typically in personal computers these days as it will increase the cost of the system to a great extent.
Solid state drives have been available in the market since the 1990s. However they were not reachable to the common man until recent times. The first major release of a machine which offered an SSD was by Apple. On January 31st 2008 it offered the MacBook Air, an ultra book or a thin laptop which offered the optional model having a 64 GB SSD. However it added to the cost a whooping 999$ which made it much costlier than the HDD memory. A few months later Lenovo also offered its Thinkpad X 301 with a 128 GB flash memory option which also added an additional cost of 250$ to the total cost of the machine to the consumer.
The most practical use of the SSD is to implement hybrid drives which will implement the advantages of both the solid state drives as well as the hard disk drives. Currently hybrid drives are in the beta phase and hence we will definitely see the future having a memory drive which will have the advantages of both. The future will definitely have an important place for the solid state drives and will further make the computation faster in the computers.
Michael Dell’s behemoth Dell Computers Inc. is now easily one of the biggest and most well known computer manufcaturing brands in the world. Now a privately owned company, Dell is pushing itself deeper into the competitive market of computer manufacturing and is trying hard to regain its top spot in the computer sellers in the US as well as other markets in the world. The Dell XPS 15 is the latest offering by the company and is a slightly improved model compared to the Dell XPS 14.
Build And Design.
The Dell XPS 15 features a standard aluminum build with a chassis that is a combination of a magnesium alloy. It has a silicone feathery feel bottom which feels soft when touched. It is obviously a bit on the heavier side compared to its predecessor the 14” model. The metallic chassis and the overall strong built gives the machine a strong and sturdy feel. The XPS 15 should be able to sustain the normal day to day shocks and a few heavy falls as well due to this build quality.
The keyboard is uniquely designed to have every key as a separate entity instead of the keypad which has all the keys connected and together. Thus if any key is damaged only the key can be replaced and this reduces the cost of maintenance a lot.
Features And Specifications.
The XPS 15 comes with a powerful Intel i7-3612QM quad core processor which clocks at 2.1 GHZ. It has an inbuilt RAM of 8 GB DDR3 at 1333 Mhz. The machine thus has ample of system memory and a very powerful processor to complement it. To add to this it is also fitted with a NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 M dedicated graphics memory. There is also an alternate model without the dedicated graphics card which comes with the default on board Intel HD 4000 graphics memory. The NVIDIA graphics card is a powerful GPU and improves the media handling capabilities of the machine many fold. The maximum screen size is 15.6 inches and supports a maximum on-screen resolution of 1920X1080 pixels. This resolution is powerful enough for a bright and crisp image quality. The machine also comes with a unique memory option. The company provides the user with an option to get a 500 GB hard drive memory or a solid state drive of 32 GB. The solid state memory (SSD) is a new technology which provides a much stable and very fast storage memory. However it is quite expensive and hence the difference between the storage capacities of both the machines. Dell has also added in a Corning Gorilla Glass to the display of the machine making it scratch resistant and very durable.
The XPS 15 is a mid-range laptop. Hence it is obvious that the machine is not made to compete with the hing end ultra performance machines that are available in the market today. However it is a well performing machine in its price range. The NVIDIA 640M graphics card is not the best offering by NVIDIA but is a decent GPU which runs many games quite comfortably and can handle media heavy applications quite well.
Plus the availability of an upgraded hard drive storage space to the machine gives it an added edge as the user can store much more data may it be media or gaming data, onto the machine easily and hence use it much comfortably at a place of his choice.
Dell XPS 15 is the improved version of its predecessor and is targeted to that audience which wished to have a bigger display screen and added features to make the machine more powerful . Dell has delivered in all these aspects and the laptop is a good midrange product for the consumer. Added by the Dell warranty which is well known for its reliability this is a good product to buy. The Dell XPS 15 is priced at 1.699$ and is available in all the leading stores.