I’ve been playing with (evaluating for research purposes) the new breed of Asus Eee (900). I really like it, the thing it has over it’s previous version is the larger screen size. It doesn’t seem that much bigger, you notice that the bits where the speakers were has gone and the screen looks less like a letterbox but the real difference is when you view very text heavy sites especially those sites which have some fixed fonts/navigation panes and other such stuff which meant a lot of scrolling on the old Eee. It’s a highly enjoyable little machine.

We’ve also got two flips on order and I’m looking forward to those little gadgets. I really like the way you can do the ‘straight to YouTube’ stuff with them. Patrickshowed me a competitor to the flip and it was great fun and very useful to have at the conference he was hosting. He hasn’t blogged about it yet but I’m sure he will. These are relatively low quality (640×480) video devices with built in hard drive that up load direct via USB to PC or straight onto YouTube. They make video blogging very simple and also because they’re tiny they are very easy to keep on you to catch that special occasion. They are in the top ten fastest selling gadgets in the U.S. so keep an eye out for them. They’re only about £100.

Finally some not so good gadget news. Despite my best efforts I haven’t been able to get a Sony eBook Reader or Kindle. We spoke to Amazon about the Kindle and they said it’s US only and you need both a US postal address and credit card to order one. We suggested they market it internationally and they said they had no plans to do so at the moment. Sony was a similar story. I’ve also not been able to supply a work iPhone because Apple Europe are marketing the iPhone as a home user device and not a ‘business device’. The distinction here is that we can’t order these on behalf of people in the organisation because the contract etc. must sit with them, also the way the contract is set up is all a nonsense. I’ve told Apple’s European marketing manager about it and he did send a nice reply but said that Apple was currently not supplying it as a business device and he would try to get this changed but thought it would be unlikely to happen soon.

This wouldn’t annoy me so much but that the Sony and Kindle devices are both based on eInk which was pioneered in Cambridge Research labs just down the road from us (along with sites in the US and Japan which also worked on derivatives). We were in discussion with them about getting the raw eInk technology to use with an SDK but they stopped replying to us when it came close to launch so I guess we’re not allowed this until the US says we can have it. Boo!


About willwoods
I'm Head of Learning and Teaching Technologies in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University.

One Response to Gadgets

  1. Pingback: Flip-ping great! « Weblog of Will Woods

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