Today's Tech Blog!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Apple iMac (24-inch, 2.8GHz)


The 24-inch iMac's striking design and impressive performance compare favorably to its smaller 20-inch sibling. In addition to a larger screen size, the 24-inch model offers higher-end configuration options and, of course, a higher price tag. The 24-inch iMac comes in two standard configurations. The $1,799 system includes a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of memory, and a 320GB hard drive; the higher-end configuration costs $2,299 and comes with a dual-core 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.

We tested the fastest-available, 2.8GHz version with the optional 750GB hard disk, which added another $150 to the price tag, bringing the total cost of our configuration to $2,449. For more on the design, features, and service and support of the fourth-generation iMac, check out our in-depth review of the 20-inch, 2.4GHz iMac.

When we tested the 20-inch, 2.4GHz iMac last month, we came away impressed by its application performance, with it more than holding its own against competing Windows-based, mainstream desktops. The same can easily be said for the 24-inch, 2.8GHz iMac. With its faster processor, the 24-inch, 2.8GHz iMac is expectedly faster than the 20-inch, 2.4GHz iMac on all of our application benchmarks--as well as many similarly priced Windows machines. Of particular note is the 2.8GHz iMac's performance on our multimedia multitasking test--perhaps our most punishing benchmark. The test performs simultaneous video and audio encoding, which typically taxes the resources of most systems. The 24-inch, 2.8GHz iMac's best-of-class performance on this test is an excellent indicator of the iMac's potential for tackling processor-intensive applications and juggling the demands of multiple applications concurrently vying for system resources.

The only performance area in which the iMac disappoints is with its 3D gaming proficiency--or lack of it. We were surprised to see the 24-inch turn in even lower scores on our Quake 4 test than we saw with the 20-inch model. This disparity is still a bit of a mystery for us as both systems use the same graphics engine. Regardless, while the bigger model nets you a larger screen, a faster processor, more memory, and bigger hard drive, there are no options for speedier graphics.

The ultimate question is whether the 24-inch, 2.8GHz iMac is worth spending $800 more than the 20-inch, 2.4GHz version for a 16 percent improvement in performance and 30 percent more screen real estate. Serious multitaskers and some prosumers can definitely gain additional screen area to support more open applications on the desktop, and the modest performance bump can make a difference during longer video or audio renders. Perhaps the ideal user is someone who needs as much processing power as possible from a Mac, but can't justify the much costlier Mac Pro.

The HP LaserJet M2727nf


The HP LaserJet M2727 series of mono laser multifunctions is geared for small offices, with features such as an Ethernet connector, built-in duplexer, fax capability, and an automatic document feeder. You have your choice between two models: the M2727nf is the base model, and the M2727nfs adds on an extra paper tray and built-in stapler; we tested the M2727nf. Although the M2727nf is fast and produces great prints (its scans need improvement, however), it's expensive at $600. (The M2727nfs costs $700.) On our tests, less expensive mono laser multifunctions like the Lexmark X342n ($400) were nearly as fast. Comparably priced color laser multifunctions like the Lexmark X502n ($700) were faster than the M2727nf and had similar print quality. We found nothing inherently wrong with the HP LaserJet M2727nf, but you can get more for your money elsewhere--or the same features and performance for less.

The design of the LaserJet M2727 series multifunction is all business. The putty-and-gray body of the M2727nf stands 19.7 inches wide, 16 inches deep, and 18 inches tall, and weighs almost 38 pounds (the M2727nfs is taller and heavier due to an extra paper tray). The flatbed scanner lid is topped by a 50-page automatic document feeder.

The control panel is divided by task. In the center are a backlit, two-line text LCD; menu navigation buttons; and an alphanumeric keypad. The fax area includes one-touch dial buttons, redial, phone book, volume, and resolution buttons. The copy area includes buttons for reducing/enlarging, making copies lighter or darker, changing paper size, and changing the number of copies, as well as buttons for turning on two-sided copies, collating, and a tray-select button. The scan area contains just a Scan To button. All three task areas have their own dedicated start buttons as well.

The paper handling is simple on the M2727 series. The M2727nf model offers a single 250-page paper cassette and a 50-page multipurpose input tray that folds out from the printer's front panel. Outputted pages exit in the well between the printer body and the scanner head unit. The M2727nfs offers a second paper cassette for increased input capacity, as well as a built-in stapler.

The LaserJet M2727 multifunction comes with the standard 3,000-page toner cartridge, which you can replace with the same or with the high-capacity version, which is good for about 7,000 pages. The former costs $81 to replace, while the latter costs $148. Using the larger version for best value, this works out to a per-page print cost of approximately 2.1 cents, a reasonable cost. The monthly duty cycle is 15,000 prints, which makes this suitable for small to medium offices.

The price and feature set of the LaserJet M2727 series makes it better suited for small offices, but busy home offices can benefit as well. The M2727 multifunctions come network-ready with an Ethernet port, but you can also connect to a single PC via a USB port. It's compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. It comes with 64MB of non-upgradeable memory.

The copy features are standard for an office machine. You can make up to 99 copies at once, and reduce or enlarge through preset values (fit to size) or custom values between 25 percent and 400 percent. You can also instruct the copier to do 2-to-1 and 4-to-1 copies, as well as autoduplex copies, from either double-sided or single-sided originals.

Scan To options include scan to file and scan to e-mail (the options even discern between scanning images and documents). Once the scan is complete, the Save To box is launched on your PC, allowing you to choose where to save the file. Format options include JPEG, TIFF, bitmap, GIF, and PDF. The Scan To button comes preprogrammed to offer scan to file and scan to e-mail options, but you can reprogram the button to include scan to program options. If you want to scan using optical character recognition, you'll need to install the Readiris Pro program, which comes on a separate CD from the printer's drivers.

For faxing, you can save up to 120 entries in the MF2727's phone book, including both individuals and groups. The first 16 entries also correspond to the eight one-touch dial buttons on the control panel (the Shift key lets you associate two numbers to a single button). Pressing the Phone Book button calls up the listings on the control panel's text LCD, so you can browse through them to choose a person or group. If you subscribe to caller ID, you can turn on junk-fax blocking. The MF2727 also allows you to send a delayed fax, forward faxes, and receive faxes in secure mode. The latter option stores incoming faxes in memory and prints them out only when you enter a password.

We haven't reviewed any mono multifunctions in this price range, so we compared it to comparably priced color laser multifunctions and slightly less expensive mono machines. The comparisons don't do the HP LaserJet M2727nf many favors, as several of the less expensive monos and the similarly priced color multifunctions keep up or even outpace the HP model. The M2727nf scored 19.01 pages per minute (ppm) for black text, behind the 19.71ppm scored by the Lexmark X502n (color). When printing grayscale graphics, the HP scored 18.68ppm, just behind the mono Lexmark X342n and more than 1ppm slower than the Lexmark X502n. With both color and grayscale scans, the HP M2727 was slow--the slowest by far at grayscale with a score of 2.46ppm and second slowest at color scans with a score of 2.50ppm. It did keep up with the pack on copying via ADF, though, scoring 14.96ppm. The bottom line is this: you can save about $200 on a mono laser multifunction and get just slightly slower print speeds, or you can spend the same $600 to $700 on a color multifunction with the same speeds (or slightly slower) and get the added bonus of color printing.

A Laptop That Lets Students Take Notes Two Ways


Parents and students seeking a back-to-school computer may want to consider a tablet PC. These convertible devices, which allow switching from keyboard to pen input, are ideal for note-taking.

The Lifebook T2010 is Fujitsu’s latest entry among tablet PCs. As a laptop, it has all the standard features: a 12.1-inch display, 1 to 4 gigabytes of memory, a hard drive of up to 160 gigabytes, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

On the tablet PC side, the T2010 comes with the Vista version of Microsoft’s tablet PC operating system, which was developed for handwriting recognition and also some voice recognition. Both systems become more accurate the more you use them.

The machine comes with the note-taking program OneNote, but can handle the full version of Microsoft Office.

The T2010, which starts at about $1,600 and is available at and most major retailers, weighs less than four pounds.

To keep the weight down, there is no built-in CD/DVD drive, though a docking station, which adds the drive and several other ports, can be attached, adding a pound.

A Musical Smartphone, Aiming to Increase the Cool Quotient


A funny thing happened when Motorola first introduced its Q smartphone. It found that many buyers were casual users, not BlackBerry converts itching for an e-mail fix. The company decided to make the Q look a little cooler and added music and easy-to-use messaging features — thus the new Q Music 9M

The 5-ounce 9M, which costs $249 with a two-year contract and discounts, has a 2.5-inch screen and rubberized keys and back panel. It runs on Verizon’s high-speed data network and works with the V Cast music service, so you can wirelessly download songs for $1.99 over the air — although you can also put your own music into the phone’s 64 megabytes of memory or a supplemental mini SD card (not included).

The phone also has a unique user interface that focuses on many of the music- and media-playing functions and hides most of the complex features. A small program automatically connects to many standard e-mail services, including GMail and Hotmail. Meanwhile, the red-and- black color scheme will help in your efforts to look cool and casual.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Leaked Pictures of the 16GB iPhone?


These are the leaked pictures of an upcoming 16GB iPhone. An Apple store employee snapped these pictures. But the question is are they real?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard!!!

Well, technology innovations like these can anyday, anytime produce paroxysms of tech lust in anyone, never mind the gear heads among us. We here at MastySpot normally tend to take notice when amazing stuffs like these roll out, even though its off the topic! Really, innovations like these leaves me pondering on how one can come up with ideas that's completely out of the blue or if i may say out of this world!

Here's a glimpse of what the future has in store for us! The folks at Think Geek were lucky enough to test this future device in the form of Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard. Yeah! you got it right, it is a bluetooth laser keyboard. Let me get to the point before I get emotional. So how does this device work? The tiny device, which is just about the size of a cigar lighter, when switched on projects a 63 key / full sized QWERTY keyboard layout on any flat surface and you can then type away accompanied by simulated key click sounds. You can surely witness jaws dropping the moment you pull this baby out of your pocket and use it with your PDAs, handhelds or cell phone.

The Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard allows the convenience of regular keyboard typing in a tiny form factor and if that's not all, it is compatible with PalmOS 5, PocketPC 2003, Windows Smartphone, Symbian OS, and Windows 2000/XP. Measuring just about 3.5 inches high, it houses a long lasting battery that can deliver 120 minutes of continuous typing when fully recharged. Priced at $179.99, this surely is a must buy product.

Friday, March 9, 2007

CPR instructions on a glove

Science and technology are going really far with advancements now. Scientists are coming up with things we can't even think of. For example, recently, 2 students at McMaster University of Hamilton made an invention that is a glove with a digital screen on top of it. With this glove CPR would be made easier. People would then know how to give proper CPR.

Anna Nicole, an Americal model, who died last month, her body guard gave her CPR for quite some time but she couldn't be saved. This bodyguard was trained for medical purposes but he still failed to save her. CPR doesn't always work but there is a chance that it wasn't practiced properly over Anna Nicole. If the bodyguard had this "glove" may be he could have saved Anna.

But that was just an example I could think of. These cases occur every day that people have heart attacks and CPR is not properly done and patients die because of the heart attack. So, this invention will help in these situations.

Inventors of this invention say that the total cost to make this was $250 (all the parts that make up this "glove"). But they also say that it would be cheaper to produce them if parts of this "glove" are not bought separately. So, when they come out in the market, they wouldn't be too expensive.

This invention is quite useful since it guides the people how to perform CPR when its needed, and good thing about it is that it gives step-by-step information, as it required while performing CPR. This thing makes it easier for everybody to use it.

Below is the link where you can read an article on it in The Toronto Star:

Sunday, February 4, 2007

20 Things We Don't Know About the iPhone


Below is an article taken from PCWORLD - regarding the technology of iPhone that is to change the World Dramatically - here are some things we don't know. An informative article for people.

20 Things We Don't Know About the iPhone

Unanswered questions about the year's most hyped device leave doubts about its real-world applications.

Mike Elgan, Computerworld

Steve Jobs unveiled his breathtaking iPhone vision Tuesday, calling it a "magical" device that would "change the world" when it ships in June.

Jobs's use of the word "magical" hit the nail on the head. His keynotes are more than just speeches. They're magic shows.

A skilled magician makes you believe in magic. He makes you believe he has supernatural powers to, say, make people (or competitors) disappear. But there's no such thing as magic. The magician makes you believe by showing you one thing but keeping you in the dark about all the facts that might shatter the illusion.

Jobs Has Done It Right--So Far

Now, all this sounds negative so far, but I am in fact truly in awe of what I witnessed Tuesday. Steve Jobs is the Salesman of the century--nothing wrong with that. And Apple and Jobs have done everything right with the iPhone--so far. I certainly want one, and am rooting for Apple to dominate and transform the handset industry.

However, I fear that the iPhone Vision and the keynote were so flawlessly executed that Apple may have raised expectations that will be hard to fulfill. The things that might shatter this wonderful iPhone illusion are the things we do not know.

Following are 20 unanswered questions about the Apple iPhone. (Note: PC World Senior Editor Yardena Arar answers some of these questions in our Today@PCWorld blog.)

1. How much will it cost to own an iPhone? We already know that the cheapest iPhone will be far more expensive than the most costly Cingular Phone to date. But what will the monthly service cost? What will the data plans cost? Will the Yahoo e-mail push option be extra?

2. What will be the "unlocked" iPhone price? Prices quoted by Jobs--$599 for the 8GB model and $499 for the 4GB phone--are the discounted prices that require a two-year Cingular contract. Will it even be possible to buy an iPhone without a wireless contract and without a specific wireless carrier?

3. How much will it cost to replace a lost or damaged iPhone? Let's say you shell out $600 for an iPhone, and then two weeks later you drop and destroy it. How much will it cost to replace? $600? $1200? More? When you buy a phone with a contract, you nearly always get a huge discount because you're signing up for the service. $150 phones are free. $200 are $50. The BlackBerry Pearl, for example, is $200 with the contract--but if you replace it, the new one is $400, because you don't get a discount. How much will replacement insurance cost? Wireless carriers offer third-party insurance to cover this high replacement cost, usually a few dollars per month added to your cell-phone bill. Will the insurance for the iPhone cost $5 or $15 per month? We don't know. If it's $15 per month, for example, that adds $540 to the price of the phone over three years. Not trivial.

4. How fast is the iPhone? Touch-screen devices are often ruined by a delay when you press the on-screen, virtual buttons. Apple may solve this problem with its first-release product, but if it doesn't, a persistent lag will degrade the user experience. Jobs said that the "iPhone runs OS X" and "desktop-class" applications. But will the OS and applications provide desktop-class performance? If so, Apple will have solved another problem nobody has ever been able to solve.

5. What did Jobs mean when he said the "iPhone runs OS X"? Is it the "core" of OS X with a new mobile interface? Or is the "core" new, with OS X-like interface code on top? Jobs already hinted that special iPhone applications--not standard desktop applications--will run on the phone. What is the iPhone's operating system, really?

6. How well will the iPhone sync with Windows applications? Jobs said the iPhone will sync with your desktop-based data--contacts, calendars, photos, notes, bookmarks, and e-mail accounts--but gave no specifics beyond the fact that iTunes will serve as the synchronization application. Will it sync seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook? Lotus Notes? Other personal information manager (PIM) and e-mail applications? Which ones? How well will all this work?

7. Will businesses be able to use the iPhone? Jobs dissed Treo handhelds, BlackBerry units, and other devices for their lack of usability. But those companies spend enormous resources on building back-end infrastructure. Those systems enable businesses to roll out programs that meet company objectives around regulatory compliance, data security, cost reduction, and more. The success of those products is based in part on their enterprise and business solutions. How ready is iPhone for business?

8. Will the iPhone support Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents? Jobs said you can synchronize the iPhone with e-mail--and he even pointed to IMAP support, including Microsoft Exchange--but what about attachments? Without support for standard office documents, the iPhone is a nonstarter for most business users.

9. Will you be able to use your iPhone as a modem for your laptop? If not, this could be a showstopper for many traveling businesspeople.

10. Will the iPhone scratch or peel? Previous Apple products, including some iPods and notebooks, had serious problems with scratching and peeling. People use and abuse their cell phones even more than they do other devices. Will Apple make the iPhone rugged enough to avoid embarrassing blog write-ups about scratching, peeling, or other materials defects? Will the iPhone be too slippery to use without dropping?

11. Will the iPhone be called the iPhone? Jobs said yes, but that was news to Cisco, the company that owns the trademark. Cisco said Wednesday that it is suing Apple over the name. It's possible that the two companies will arrive at an agreement, but to date the name is still up in the air.

12. Will people hate the on-screen iPhone keyboard experience? I got rid of my Palm Treo mainly because the keys were hard to type with--too small for my fingers. The iPhone keys are about the same size as the Treo's, but software, with no tactile feedback. The keyboard looked great in the demo. But what will it be like to use it every day?

13. Can you use the iPhone to make VoIP calls? Using your iPhone over a Wi-Fi connection to make, say, Skype calls would be an obviously beneficial feature. Will Apple allow it? Will Cingular?

14. Will people accept iPhone's slow Internet connection? While other phones are embracing 3G, the iPhone's EDGE support gives users a disappointing 2.5G experience. Jobs showed the Web page of the New York Times--how long will that page take to load? For people already using 3G on their phones, going back to a slower device may be too much to ask.

15. Will third-party software vendors be able to create applications for the iPhone? If not, why not? If so, what are they?

16. Will iPhone's single-carrier model wreck the product for most users? Some U.S. cities don't have any Cingular coverage. In other cities, such as New York, Cingular coverage is inferior to that of competitors. By limiting the iPhone to Cingular only, will Apple turn away the majority of its potential iPhone customers?

17. Will there be any way to wirelessly share files with the iPhone? Like the Microsoft Zune, the iPhone supports Wi-Fi. But unlike the Zune, iPhone Wi-Fi is for connecting to the Internet through wireless hotspots or networks only. You won't be able to connect peer-to-peer. Will Apple be able to turn on this capability later? Will the company at least enable file sharing over the Internet?

18. Will the iPhone kill sales of iPods? Apple has a good thing going with its profitable iPod business. But will people stop buying iPods as they wait for an iPhone? Will investors conclude that Jobs's keynote was a big mistake if iPod profits go down the drain for two quarters?

19. Will Apple be able to fill iPhone orders accurately? No doubt the iPhone is very expensive to manufacture, and, unlike the iPod, is a very complex device, electronically. In the first year of the device's release, Apple could very easily overbuild, making far more than it can sell in a given period of time, or underbuild, failing to keep up with demand and creating long waits and frustrated customers.

20. Will the iPhone really "change the world"? The iPod "changed the world" because everyone bought one. But will the iPhone's price, Cingular-only support, lack of business usability, and other factors really make the iPhone just a niche luxury toy for the rich?

The iPhone vision Jobs unveiled was bold, risky, and amazing. Now we can only wait and see what Silicon Valley's master magician really has up his sleeve. If Jobs and Apple can produce the right answers to these 20 questions, they'll make a believer out of me.




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