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  • Review: Apple TV | Teic.ie
    to 720p must relate in a roundabout way to the lack of a hard drive in this model Apple have jumped the gun a little and decided that this device can only stream content so limiting the resolution to 720p dramatically reduces the maximum bandwidth required The streaming works in two ways you can rent a movie directly using your iTunes account or you can stream from your own iTunes library There are a few major flaws with this decision Here in Ireland we only recently got access to some of the films available on iTunes We still don t have access to TV programmes leaving a really large chunk of the Apple TV s potential usefulness unavailable It is easy enough to get around this by buying a US iTunes gift card and following the instructions all over the internet but we shouldn t have to get around these restrictions Someone in the distribution chain is dragging their heels in getting content released as widely as possible Secondly if you want to stream content you have already downloaded and stored on a NAS you need to leave a connected computer with iTunes installed running because the streaming runs over Apple s own Home Sharing system This almost defeats the purpose of the Apple TV box as most modern games consoles and even some TVs can handle direct computer to TV streaming without any add ons There is no denying that the Apple TV itself is beautifully designed as is the UI when you use it but taking all the limitations listed above into account it remains a nice to have toy rather than an essential piece of kit Expect that to change though as more features are rolled out both in software see the upcoming iOS 4 2 and

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2010/10/appletv/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Review: Canon Powershot SX210IS | Teic.ie
    tightest of pockets All its bells and whistles are kept nicely tucked away when the device is powered down with the flash only popping up when it is turned on The controls and menu system will be familiar to anyone who has already used a canon camera There is a click wheel that features all the various presets at the top while a second one towards the bottom is more contextual allowing users to scroll quickly through photos or navigate through menus depending on the situation There are a few notable errors in the design however The most notable is the lack of a regular view finder meaning you have to rely on the LCD screen to see what you are about to take Most of the time this is not an issue but obviously in darker settings it can prove unreliable The fact that the flash automatically pops up when the device is powered on is also a bit odd it would prove more useful if it only popped up when a photo was about to be taken in a dark area but this is hardly the worst thing in the world Overall the SX210IS is a quality and easy to use camera especially for anyone who has had another Canon camera The quality of the images are strong too even if you just rely on the Auto setting to get your results The additional option of HD video is also extremely handy to have available In short for its price the Powershot SX210IS is a camera worth getting either for users stepping up for a compact or looking for a powerful but portable alternative to their DSLR The price is quite reasonable too meaning it will not break the bank if you do decide to take the plunge

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2010/10/review-canon-powershot-sx210is/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Review: Blackberry Bold 9700 | Teic.ie
    do even without any kind of screen to maul in the process Instead of the previous navigation ball there is now a square pad in the centre of the phone which can best be compared to the trackpad found on a standard laptop It takes a bit of getting used to but is responsive and straight forward assuming you can be precise enough with your movements The keyboard is also just right even for those users with bulky thumbs The way each key is raised makes it easy enough to enter text on the blind and after a little bit of practice this will likely prove a more efficient way of typing than any other device type out there That said the lack of a touch screen or at the very least the space taken up by the keyboard means that the device is limited in what it can do The web browser is fine but the small screen means almost all web pages need to be zoomed in on in order to become legible The camera takes a decent picture but you would not really know that until you upload it to a PC and so on As good as the Blackberry Bold 9700 is there is no getting away from the fact that this is a company sticking to what it knows best and not really innovating all that much Yes it works well and is sure to delight many Blackberry veterans but will do very little to stem the slow drip of customers away from RIM and to companies like Apple and HTC Assuming you are a long time Blackberry user and simply want more of the same this device is just what you are looking for If you feel like you would miss out in a

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2010/10/review-blackberry-bold-9700/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Review: Apple iPad | Teic.ie
    iPad Put simply this device is a match made in heaven for casual computing The iPad excels where you want to quickly reference something online without having to power up a PC It comes into its own when you quickly want to listen to a song but do not want to rifle through your CDs to do so It stands head and shoulders above the competition if you want to play a quick game without having to set up your TV and console The battery life on the device is good in fact you can easily see it holding up for days on end when left idle but is ready for action the minute you hit the home button Of course it can be so much more than this its superb screen and App Store access gives it potential to be a workhorse as much as a design aid but primarily it succeeds as a device for dipping in to However it is clear that the iPad is like the iPhone a device that will improve in stages and improve it must There are a number of glaring omissions from the tablet which really hold it back from being perfect and you cannot help but feel that it was a tactical decision by Apple As mentioned already there is no camera so no video calls or conferencing can be made At present there is no multi tasking and even when there is it is not going to be as easy to flick between items as it is on a traditional desktop The lack of any real interface USB HDMI or otherwise makes the iPad a very 2D device in terms of its place in the digital home It can only talk to iTunes and only when physically tethered the ability

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2010/10/ipad/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Review: Samsung Galaxy S | Teic.ie
    as long as possible The use of a Bada style interface means the menu system is easy to navigate and its access to not one but two app stores though one Samsung s is very limited gives it plenty of potential to adapt to a user s needs over time The phone also fits well in the hand and pocket and looks good too no doubt due to the less is more approach that Samsung have taken in regards to design There are minor flaws with the phone however though they could be enough to put certain types of user off The SMS interface in particular is frustrating with the best example of that being the fact that opening a new message is not enough to have it marked as read you have to go back to the inbox folder for that to happen if you go straight from the message back to the home screen the phone will still mark the message as new Trying to text is a bit of a chore too particularly because the built in predictions are often bizarrely wide of the mark Samsung should look to take a leaf out of HTC and Apple s book here if they want to save their users much annoyance in this area As seems to be a trend with Samsung phones in general the maximum volume of the phone s ringer is also quite low making it easy to miss incoming messages and even calls if the device is not right beside you As already stated these are minor complaints but they are central enough to become a big problem for an otherwise quality phone All that considered the Galaxy S is still a huge leap from the company s previous Android attempts and is up there

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2010/09/review-samsung-galaxy-s/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Review: Samsung Wave | Teic.ie
    multiple screens which can be populated with different widgets There are three static buttons at the bottom the default being shortcuts to the keypad contacts book and messages folder but all of this can be moved around if users so wish The main menu also has multiple pages and can be edited to a user s heart s content There is also a neat notifications tab at the top of the screen which can be pulled down to quickly switch WiFi Bluetooth and Silent Mode on and off Users can also access new messages quickly from there much as they can in Android All of this is executed extremely well The phone has a very simple feel and takes a lot of its leads from Android OS without copying it too much The keyboard and predictive text on messaging is also extremely responsive and accurate something that will make this far more attractive than most touchscreen handsets There are flaws however The e mail interface is quite lacking and awkward to use it fails completely when compared with the iPhone s system and Androids There are also a few quirks that make it harder to jump from one SMS to the other The Samsung App store is also quite lacking at the moment but this is something that will right itself eventually assuming Samsung give proper support to Bada and developers see a market in writing code for it Overall however the Samsung Wave is a very enjoyable phone to use and it certainly holds its own against much of its competition It is not the best smartphone out there but it holds a lot of promise Most importantly Bada also has the potential to be a very strong operating system though it will take other manufacturers to get behind

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2010/07/review-samsung-wave/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Review: Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 | Teic.ie
    SMS is pulled together and displayed in one stream In reality this is a bad interface to try to use especially when you want to quickly scan through a long list of tweets or facebook updates In reality heavy users of both services would be better off downloading dedicated clients through the Android Market rather than relying on Timescape for such updates What is impressive is the phone s ability to collate all communications with a single contact across various platforms into one place including pictures you may have of them on your phone there s that facial recognition technology again Unfortunately this requires a bit of messing around from the user s end as the phone is not generally smart enough to connect Twitter accounts and phone contacts together by itself When it does work it works well however And Mediascape Sony Ericsson s other bit of custom software Mediascape is far better Here all the phone s video picture and audio content is made available in a handy grid interface probably one of the better seen on an Android phone It is easy to navigate and even has a connection to online content via Sony s own PlayNow service though this obviously assumes the user has a connection and account here Verdict All this considered the Xperia X10 is a good but not great phone It looks good and has a nice screen while its software and UI flaws are minor enough to be easily avoided It is not the best advertisement for Android however and very much has the feeling of a phone based experiment of sorts But as a first real attempt at Android Sony Ericsson have done OK hopefully future versions or even a software update will iron out the cracks Related Posts Facebook to

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2010/07/review-sony-ericsson-xperia-x10/ (2016-02-17)
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  • First Impressions: Samsung Wave | Teic.ie
    maybe even Apple offer The operating system A lot has been made of Bada Samsung s open source attempt at competing with Android Windows Mobile and Apple s iOS However for people who have used other touchscreen Samsung devices using the TouchWiz interface this will seem fairly familiar albeit slightly more polished That is not necessarily a bad thing and the polish applied has made it all the better for example the pull down bar is a very handy way to read notifications and chance WiFi Bluetooth and Audio settings The keyboard is also decent as is the ability for the OS to know what you meant to type even if you mis hit keys this is helped in no small part by the aforementioned responsive screen However there are still a lot of weaknesses in the design too for example the e mail interface is still weak and navigating from one place to another is not always as logical as it should be The apps It s still early days for Samsung Apps so unsurprisingly there is very little to chose from at the moment The fact that there are no paid for apps available in Ireland at least limits this further At first glance there are no real stand out apps available and no big name developers doing anything of interest at the moment The battery Battery life has been a major sticking point of touch based smartphones but Samsung seem to have struck something with this device Despite having a sharp looking screen the battery seems to hold up fairly well Exactly how long it lasts will take a bit more time to gauge but on a first charge the battery seemed to last with ease for well over 24 hours even as much as 48 even

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2010/06/first-impressions-samsung-wave/ (2016-02-17)
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