Sony Went Wrong With the PSP Go

Sony's PSP GoIt’s two days before Sony’s official press conference at E3 and it seems like we’ve already got their best news (and really, it’s not all that good). Their new handheld, the PSP Go, is bouncing around the intarwebz through leaked pics and video. I’ve weeded through the spec list and have to say, I’m completely unimpressed.

    - smaller than the psp 3000 (43% lighter)
    - 16GB of built-in flash storage with memory stick micro slot
    - no UMD drive
    - 3.8in widescreen
    - single analog stick
    - wi-fi support
    - bluetooth support
    - PS3 integration
    - multimedia support

So there you have it – an incredibly lackluster list of features for Sony’s big E3 announcement. Did it surprise you as much as it did me? There have been plenty of devices that missed my expectations, but not always in a bad way. Sometimes they even made sense. The PSP Go, however, falls short on almost every count, size being the one exception so I suppose we can start there.

The size, when the device is closed, looks to be about perfect. Small enough for a pocket. Thin and extremely light. That’s just what I want. Open it up, though, and suddenly my hands are in the very wrong place for working a d-pad (I have fairly big hands) and you can forget about that analog stick. I have the same problem with Jessica Alba – there’s only one and she’s way out of reach.

Storage doesn’t seem bad, but if they want to get serious about downloadable content, 16GB is probably a bit small. Until Memory Stick Micro is equivalent to microSD in price, I’m going to be pretty grouchy if forced to buy one.

No UMD is so dumb I hardly need to say it. People will be pissed they can’t play their old PSP games. Really, really pissed.

The one change I can get a little excited about is the bluetooth tethering mentioned in the Qore video. By tethering the Go to a 3G phone you could theoretically access online games and your PS3 content from afar, even when you aren’t getting wi-fi. Neat, huh?

Sure, but it’s not enough. I think everyone can see us hurtling toward the megadevice – the ultimate smartphone/camera/gamer/gps/everything device we’d never leave home without. So why is Sony so convinced it needs a dedicated handheld gamer with some multimedia features as an afterthought? Why not open their handheld to developers? Why not see the success of the Apple App Store and Android and make PSP development as much a culture as PSP gaming? I can think of 40 million people who would be much happier if they did.

Garmin’s 310XT is a Perfect Training Tool

Garmin 310XTIf you’re big into running, swimming, diving, cycling, or moving fast in any capacity that could up your heart rate, the Garmin 310XT is the perfect watch for you. According to the guys at Wired, who were first to get their hands on this spiffy little gadget, the 310XT can do just about anything you would ever want to do.

Consider the following: automatic triathlon mode, heart rate monitoring, cadence monitoring, calorie, speed, distance, elevation measuring, benchmarking for heart rates and speeds, integration with the hottest cycling meters, and that’s just for starters. Yeah, it’s that awesome. It can do all of that, and most of it with just a button press or two.

The watch comes in at $350, which is on the pricey side for what is clearly a sports watch, but for all it can do, it could easily be worth it.

Source: Wired

Color Kindle is Years Away

Color Kindle concept.As soon as the Kindle hit the market, people started talking about a full color version, but according to Jeff Bezos, they’ll have to wait. Years. He can’t say how many.

I’m not entirely surprised. The e-ink screen technology doesn’t directly adapt to a color format, which means developing a new display medium for the device. We all know how long that can take. Most concepts for such a display are just that: concepts. Perhaps the best one from Philips is still FAR from production, particularly in something like a Kindle.

Bezos has also reconfirmed that Amazon will not release any specific sort of sales numbers for the Kindle. It’s obviously not because they don’t care. I guess they just don’t want us to know.

AT&T Plans HSPA and 4G Rollout

4G speeds.This late-May/early-June continues to be the focal point of activity for wireless carriers and phone manufacturers alike. On the heels of big news for Sprint, big news for Verizon (with some bad news for Sprint), and potential big news from Apple and AT&T, the iPhone’s carrier announced to plans to begin network upgrades in anticipation of future high-speed technologies.

AT&T has officially announced both 3G upgrades and 4G rollouts over the course of the next two years. The company’s 3G improvements include adopting the HSPA 7.2 standard, which would effectively double current 3G speeds. As for 4G, AT&T plans to begin testing of their LTE network in 2010 with a consumer-level rollout in 2011.

The announcement comes as no surprise, particularly with Verizon introducing similar upgrade plans. AT&T no doubt wants to hold onto iPhone exclusivity as long as possible. Showing some initiative for higher speed access might keep the dogs at bay for now, but certainly not for long.

Verizon to Sell Palm Pre, Storm 2 In the Next 6 Months

Palm Powered VerizonThe latest from Lowell McAdam, top exec for the Verizon/Vodafone venture, has Verizon selling the Palm Pre and the Blackberry Storm in the next “6 months or so.” The Storm 2 is no big surprise. Plenty of people have had their hands on that things for weeks. But the Pre, too? We knew Sprint’s exclusivity contract was short, but 6 months hadn’t even crossed my mind. Earlier this week AT&T announced similar plans to snatch up the Pre, but made no projection as to when.

This really shakes things up, both for Palm and Sprint. For Palm, it could mean new life. I know plenty of people who don’t have an iPhone because of AT&T. Verizon could be enough to make them consider the sleek Palm smartphone as an alternative. For Sprint, though, this is like a cancer diagnosis. The company bled more than a million customers in the last quarter of 2008. If Palm’s launch stock is as scrawny as rumors say, they could be out of phones and out of exclusivity with Palm before they have a chance to dig their toes in. Could Sprint bounce back from having their most-hyped phone on Verizon? I wouldn’t hold my breath for that one.

Source: Reuters

Palm Pre Plays Nice With iTunes

Pre vs. the iPhoneAccording to Fortune Magazine the Palm Pre works seamlessly with iTunes. So seamlessly, in fact, they claim iTunes treats the phone just like an iPod or even an iPhone, the only exception being older files downloaded when DRM was still involved. I think I can actually hear the vein in Jobs’ temple throbbing.

Of course, we’ve already heard Apple COO Tim Cook say that anyone attempting to jack the intellectual property of the iPhone will be hunted down and hung from the high walls at Cupertino for the birds. I’m pretty sure that’s how the quote went. I’m not sure, though, that this little detail will make much of a difference to the serious Pre enthusiasts. Sure, it’s nice, and could save a few headaches, but transferring music from a computer to a device is rarely difficult, especially when there’s no DRM involved, and the Pre has its own ways of importing contacts and the like. If iTunes functionality is a consumer’s primary concern, I’m gonna guess that person is going to stick with an iPhone.

Macbook Catches An Update On the Sly

Apple Java!Looks like Apple is settling into its new school year stride by offering the ol’ notebook + free iPod combo. The education discount drops as much as $200 off your comp (if it’s a Macbook Pro). Just don’t forget to get online for your iPod rebate, or it’ll cost you the full 8GB Touch price of $229.

Alongside the education discount, Apple went stealthy with a few upgrades to the basic Macbook. The changes are small, but I’ll take what I can get, especially when it comes without a price increase. Changes are as follows:

2.0GHz processor -> 2.13GHz
667MHz RAM -> 800MHz RAM
120GB HDD -> 160GB HDD
4.5 battery life -> 5 hour battery life

Kindle 3 Commercial

If you haven’t watched this Kindle 3 clip from College Humor yet, sit back, relax, and get ready to laugh your ass off.

Too good… seriously, too good.

Vitamin MP3 Player Just Begs to be Swallowed

The Vitamin.This is easily the most shocking mp3 player I’ve seen in a long time, mostly because of the ridiculous feature list for such a small device.

Dubbed “The Vitamin,” this little pill is just 2.7 inches long and about an inch in diameter, making it the easiest device for a dog or small child to swallow. There is no listed storage size yet, but The Vitamin is set to enter production (and couch cushions, drains, washing machines, your grandma’s mouth) in late 2009 with the following specs:

    MP3 and WMA support
    30-channel FM tuner and recording support
    7 preset equalizer settings
    USB 2.0 connectivity

Not the longest spec list in the world, but look how tiny that thing is! FM tuner support? An equalizer? All of that and they managed to keep the controls on the device. How do you like them apples, Apple?

Source: Yanko Design

Dell Studio XPS 13 – Now with Ubuntu!

XPS 13Dell has started to offer their XPS 13 with the more and more popular Ubuntu. Ubuntu, for those who don’t know, is a linux-based operating system that has a reputation for being fast, stable, and virus free. Ubuntu also runs many of the same software applications that Windows does like Firefox and Open Office.

Anyway, here are the details from Electonista:

PC, notebook, monitor and related hardware manufacturer Dell has recently began offering its Studio XPS 13 notebook PC preloaded with the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. The 13.3-inch notebook otherwise has the same key specs as its Windows Vista-powered counterpart, including the same 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, though some of the available options between them differ. For example, users can upgrade to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo on the Ubuntu XPS 13, while those who opt for the Vista system have a choice of a different 2.53GHz and a 2.66GHz CPU.

And it’s quite affordable at $1099.