Monday, April 5, 2010

SeV: Something I've wanted for a while

I have very specific visions of how I want to use my gadgets. They should be easy to take with me and easy to keep track of. That's not often easy with a bag.

I've thought about finding a jacket and sewing a pocket into it large enough to store a netbook. I've thought about cutting into old jackets so I could run headphones from a breast pocket up to the collar through the inside of the jacket, so I didn't have to mess with the cord getting in my way, or not being able to find the inside of my ear buds.

So I just saw this article on The Consumerist. About a vest with a pocket inside that the iPad could fit inside. That alone piqued my interest.

So I wandered over to SeV, aka SCOTTEVEST's website. They don't just have vests, they have full line of clothes--jackets, shirts, pants, etc. The vests and jackets I looked at have big, (iPad-sized) pockets and lost of smaller pockets for other things.

They call it travel clothing, I just think it's a convenient-yet-inconspicuous way to carry a netbook around with me. I haven't bought one yet, though I'm going to order a jacket either tonight or tomorrow. I'm really curious how the weight of a 2lb netbook will be distributed. Probably not too uncomfortable, if at all.

Not only do they have jackets with large pockets for large things, their jackets and vests also have Velcro loops to use running ear bud cables up to the collar. Even better, they say every pocket has a hole at the top of the lining, so you can actually run wires inside of the jacket--though I'd imagine anything thicker than a headphone wire might bulge out suspiciously.

As I said, I'm planing on buying one of these very soon, I'm really curious about the fit once weighted down.

Once I get it in the mail, I'll try and make a full review.

Till then,


FULL DISCLOSURE: Sometimes I gush over new or newly-discovered products and services. I know that can make it seem like I'm trying to promote them, but in reality I just have a large well of unbridled enthusiasm for cool new or newly-discovered products and services. I have never taken any money from anyone to talk about a certain product or service. It's possible some services I talk about may show up on Google Ads in the sidebar, but if/when that happens I have nothing to do with it, and I am completely unaware of it (when I'm logged in as admin I can't see the ads).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Another one about the T101MT...and the T91MT

Wow, ever since I heard about the T101MT, I sure have been blogging about it a lot. Well that'll change soon because...well...I got a T91MT. In a round-about fashion I won one. I should have it in my grubby little hands leaving disgusting fingerprints all over it's glossy finish as you're reading this, even though I don't have it yet. You see, I wrote this bit Friday night, to be posted over the weekend while I'm on a little trip in recognition of Easter (I take the Easter Bunny's crucifixion and subsequent rise very seriously).

I had my choice of a few netbooks, and I could have waited a bit for the for T101MT, but I didn't. Why not? Let's compare:

On aesthetics, the T101MT wins hands down. The back of the screen is glossy, but the bezel and the area around the keyboard are flat. A great improvement over the T91MT's full glossy finish. I'd rather had a flat finish, the flat, angular 701 is still the snazziest of the Eee PC line in my opinion, but my 901 is glossy, I've learned to live with it.

They both have the same screen resolution, though the T101MT's screen (and keyboard, I'm assuming) is 1" bigger diagonally.

Battery life? T101MT says 6.5 hours, T91 says 4. Both probably even out around 4 hours. The T101MT has a removable battery. Another win. However, I plan on buying an external battery that also has USB-out, so I can charge my laptop and phone on the go with minimal cords and wall plugs, so it's not a big deal.

The T91MT has Windows 7 Home Premium. The T101MT will have two models, one with Win7 Starter, and one with Home Premium (and more RAM and possibly a better processor). The cheapest model is estimated to be $500. Windows 7 Starter is crap, and doesn't have and multitouch functionality (just single-touch), so it'd cost about $80 on top of that $500 to upgrade to Home Premium. Who know what the higher-end model will cost. I don't know if the T91's price will drop, or if they'll stop making it so it's price will rise, but either way it's cheaper than the T101MT will be with the Win7 upgraded included.

CPU. The T101MT has a newer, faster processor. The T91MT has an older processor but I'm told it has a better graphics chip than then the T101MT does, even handling HD video better than the T101MT. A bit surprising, but I heard it from a trusted source so I'll take it as true.

Some people have reported the T91MT is sluggish. I'm planning on putting a fresh install of Windows 7 on the T91MTimmediately, I'm told that speeds it up quite a bit.

Webcam. Both models have a crappy .3 megapixel web camera. No, not '1.3,' just '.3'. Shameful. Just shameful.

Both have resistive multitouch screens--I've heard they're decent for inking. What's really great, some apps for the T101MT happen to work on the T91MT as well, adding global palm rejection, among other things. This in particular makes the T91MT a more viable candidate than it was.

So T101MT has better looks, a removable battery, and a faster CPU.

T91MT is cheaper, has a better graphics chip, is 9" (a form factor I'm used to, but I've resigned myself to jump on the 10" bandwagon eventually), and my heart.

Also, a long time ago I swore I'd buy one.

Really they're very similar, almost nearly the same device. One's an inch bigger. The difference in processor speeds probably won't make that much of a difference in the real world. I do love a flat finish...oh well.

Could I sand down a glossy finish and end up with a flat one? Could I? Hmm...better not.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

A quick addition: (T101MT)

I posted an article about the T101MT earlier today. I forgot a few things:

-Interestingly, the T91MT got crap publicity and the T101MT is getting quite a lot. Can you guess why? Most articles mentioning it are speculatively comparing it to the iPad. Tech bloggers love talking about the iPad.

-Lots of these people are confused as to whether or not the T101MT has a resistive (pressure-sensitive) or a capacitive (detects human touch) touch screen. One site even said it has a "capacitive resistive" touch screen. I'm pretty sure this confusion comes out of the T101MT being multi-touch. You can have resistive multi-touch, people!!! It's not even that uncommon. The more recent Toshiba Gigabytes, the Viliv S10 Blade, and the Asus T91MT all have resistive multi-touch screens.

Capacitive screens tend to be more responsive and take a much lighter touch than resistive screens. On the other hand, capacitive styluses aren't that great, and if you want to do any "inking" you'd want an active digitizer first (like a Wacom pad built into the screen), but after that the next (and far cheaper) choice would probably be a resistive touch screen.

Just wanted to tack on those additional observations,


The Telephone Game

I'm a fairly new user of Google Alerts, the service that sends you a notice when they come across a word of phrase you've specified.

Right now my alerts are all for gadgets. I have an alert for the Notion Ink Adam hoping to hear a solid US release date and price. I had an alert on the Viliv S10 Blade until it's pricing and features were finally released. I also have an alert on the Asus T101MT, the 10" version of the Asus T91MT netvertible.

I had an alert set up before the T101MT was released in some European country (can't remember, and it doesn't really matter which), and that press release certainly triggered a flood of alerts being sent to me. The release said that the T101MT would be released in the US in April. The first big tech blogs to remark on the upcoming April release have stated that the European version is selling for 499 euro, about $675 USD, but they're speculating that the price in the US, when it's released, will actually be about 500 USD.

Anyone who has set up a Google Alert to follow a new gadget or device has probably realized there are two (probably more) different kinds of posts. You know what, I'll say three kinds of posts:

First, there's the informative post thrown up when a new press release has come up or a site gets a tip from a company insider providing new information.

Second, there's the posts from people who are discussing a device's potential value and success, providing their insight.

Third, there's the giant sea of cookie-cutter blogs that just copy information from Wikipedia, press releases, and other blogs--probably utilizing bots in the process--to try and get a lot of traffic and ad revenue without actually doing a lot of work or in fact adding anything new at all.

I could veer off into a large speech about how this is one of the biggest problems search engines have to learn to solve--filtering out all the bot-generated sites that are masquerading as valuable content but in reality just make finding solid information harder to find. I won't veer off though, except for these two sentences to say that I could.

So if you set up an Alert for some tech item, you're going to get a handful of good blogs, and also a lot of the same info copied and pasted into generic blogs.

Even among the more legitimate sites, it's interesting how information changes as it changes hands.

As I said, the first few blogs that dared to speculate on the T101MT's US release said the price would probably be $500. Now pretty much every new article on the T101MT says it's going to be $500, without pointing out that that's just speculation.

Another annoyance for me, is that I don't consider "April" to be a release date. It's a release month, and anything that vague is usually more likely to change than a specific date would. So many blogs are popping up saying "T101MT US pricing and release date announced" or something like that, and then the actual post says April's the release date and $500 is the official price. $500 may very well be the price, but how would they know? It hasn't been announced yet, and they're not naming any sources.

The T101MT is supposed to have multiple versions released, with different amounts of RAM and a different version of Windows 7. Different prices. So when a site says, "coming out in April, $500," with no more information, I think I can reasonably assume they've just lifted a rumor off a previous blog without realizing that it's just a rumor.

I'll keep my alerts up and running. I'll keep wading through 30 daily posts repeating old (and speculative) information. Hopefully, Asus will make another announcement soon and put me out of my misery.