Friday, November 9, 2012

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Feature shop V389693943

Best. Tech. Device. Ever. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite does what the 2011 Kindle I had, but with two significant upgrades; there is a touch interface (meh, not that interesting), and a built-in light! Yes, killer feature spotted!

Through some fancy technology, Amazon has managed to integrate a light into a device that does what it promises, consistently. So they were a bit behind the curve, but I think their implementation is very slick.

Feature lighttech V387885943

Technical V400693942

The device is still light (although feels heavier than the 2011 version), but the grain on the new leather cover is awesome, the magnetic click on/off is cool (although its annoying that you can't switch it off), but its the light that is the killer feature.


I bought the 3G version, which was probably a bit silly. Should have saved some money and bought the 3G version with ads / specials. You only see those on the "sleep" screen, which on this device you never see because it auto sleeps and wakes when you open and close the lid anyway. Not sure if it would be different if you had the ad-supported version.


But overall, a real winner. Does what it says it does, and does it well! 

Feature bed V400694065

Porting to Cell-C


I have been a Vodacom direct customer since 1995 (except for a brief stint of stupidity with Nashua Mobile, who make Vodacom SP look like angels). I have always had a Talk 500 contract or superior. Like a religious nut, I'd upgraded every two years, allowing a new handset to buy my loyalty and put up with ever increasing bad signal quality, network outages, rubbish data throughputs and perpetual price increases and value deflation for 12 years. This, combined with dropped calls at three distinct points on Cowie Road in Bryanston that hasn't been fixed in the 10 years I've complained about it has resulted in no loyalty from me.


I used to pay R899 for this privilege a month, without a handset, with no data and 100 SMS'. I have now ported to Cell-C, which was a painless / smooth experience. I am now paying effectively R500 for the same voice bundle, and receive 300 extra SMS' and 400MB of data included. In my books, thats about half the price. I plan to take the savings and use it to build a contract that suits me, whereby I'll get a new phone every year now. So, for the same money, I'm getting a phone every year as opposed to two, 400MB of data and 300 additional SMS'.


I've used the network now for 10 days continuously, as my primary voice and data provider. The service has been, from a voice perspective, superior to Vodacom. The data service has been great in almost all locations except underground parking locations. And because of VitalityMobile, my wife has cancelled her contract with Vodacom as well, and we'll be phoning each other for a fixed fee per month.


Goodbye Vodacom; hello Cell-C!

IMG 20110914 00004

Asus Nexus 7

File Front view of Nexus 7 cropped

I've always been a fan of Google's Nexus line; hardware purpose built to highlight features in the latest version of Android, usually in a skunkworks configuration with hardware and software teams working relatively close together (same building at any rate).


I've had the Nexus One, Xoom, the Galaxy Nexus (I skipped the Nexus S because I thought it wasn't frankly that interesting) and most recently the Nexus 7. I picked it up in Dubai for R3000, in Duty Free. First impression is that its a solid device, with a nice rubber feel at the back. Jellybean on this device is extremely responsive, and renders graphics at lightning speed.


The 7" form factor is interesting; I personally like it, but Android still suffers from a severe lack of tablet-optimised applications, which makes me think that while this device is blazing fast and a pleasure to use for what I need it to do (Chrome and Google Reader), the iPad Mini is going to dominate this sector. At the time I bought, there was no 3G version; that has been rectified and I think with a 3G radio, this is definitely a very interesting device, especially if its price holds at roughly half that of its competitors. For the money, its unbeatable.


PS It does have the capability to make media available via USB, which is a big winner for me.