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Posts Tagged ‘Bezels’

Sprint Kyocera Echo review

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Sprint’s Kyocera Echo is a brand new concept in the mobile space. It’s innovative, and it’s bold. Using two displays that connect together to form one large touch surface, you’re able to interact with your handset in a way that’s never been possible before. You can use Twitter on the top screen while scrolling through your photos on the lower display until you pick just the right one you want to upload to TwitPic — or you can use the email app with both screens, one letting you view your inbox and the other showing you an individual message. Does having two displays make sense in the real world? More importantly, is the Kyocera Echo the right device to deliver this unique new experience? You’ll find out after the jump!

Hardware / Display

The Echo features a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, dual 3.5-inch touchscreen displays with extremely small bezels (which is important when they are placed side by side) and a 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture. It also runs Android 2.2, and sports the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile hotspot must-haves.

Kyocera is a company that has been spitting out solid products for a long while, and the company’s experience shows. As far as the hardware is concerned, this thing is a tank. Now, that’s a good and a bad thing as you’ll soon see. I love the construction of the Kyocera Echo because it feels indestructible. There’s a beautiful mix of high-quality materials like aluminum and soft-touch plastic, though the design identity of the Echo doesn’t really seem to mesh with my personal tastes. The phone’s styling is very bland to the point of being boring, and the metal-look plastic accents above and below the front display make matters a bit worse.

The device, which rocks two displays that are effectively sandwiched on top of each other when closed, is incredibly thick. It’s not overly wide or long, but it’s thick. It’s not unreasonably thick thanks to how narrow the Echo is proportioned, but it’s close. It was pretty tough to carry the Echo in the pockets of my jeans, for example. The first time I opened and closed the Echo I thought I was going to break it. Not because it was fragile, but because the hinge mechanism clicks into place very firmly. In addition to having both screens positioned right next to each other, you can also tilt the top display towards you to face you much like how a Nintendo DS is situated.

Speaking of the displays, the dual screens look great. They are crisp, bright, and clear. Colors look great, and touch sensitivity is spot on.

Software

The Kyocera Echo’s dual-screen set up works out of the box with every Android app and game, though it’s the company’s custom software on top of Froyo that really takes advantage of the configuration. There are seven default apps that are optimized to work in “Simul-task” mode, and this allows you to run one app on one display with a completely different one running on the other. There are also app-specific tweaks, like in the camera app or email app that really demonstrate the difference two displays can make.

To run two apps simultaneously, you just simply tap with two fingers on the displays, and up will pop a menu letting you choose which app you’d like to run. You can also flip the apps from one screen to another with one tap. Another advantage of having two displays? When you tap into a text field, the entire bottom screen turns into a QWERTY keyboard — it’s one of the largest, if not largest, touch QWERTY keyboards I’ve ever used, and it works reasonably well.

There are also apps from third parties that have been optimized for the Echo, and one of them in particular is The Sims 3 by EA. The game is literally something right out of a Nintendo DS, making use of the top display for visuals and the bottom display for control and actions. It really highlights the possibilities of what can be done with this kind of set up. Kyocera has an API for its dual-display Echo and it will allow third-party developers to get cranking on getting things optimized for two screens. For the time being, however, there aren’t very many third-party apps that make use of Kyocera’s API so the end result is frustration. The mind has no choice but to wander to all the cool apps that could make use of this technology, but unless dual-display Kyocera devices really make waves with consumers, I can’t see many developers getting behind the product.

Something to note, however, is the fact that in dual-screen mode, performance doesn’t really seem to take a hit. Whether it’s pulling up the web browser and loading a content-heavy page with Flash content, or flicking through photos in the gallery app, having two screens doesn’t slow the system down all that much.

Phone / Speaker

The phone portion of the Kyocera Echo is sort of a mixed bag. On one hand, the phone app hasn’t changed too much from the stock Android version, however on the hardware side, things aren’t that great. The ear speaker is extremely quiet even on the highest volume setting, and hearing the caller on the other end can be difficult in some scenarios. As far as the external speaker in concerned, it performs much better than the ear speaker — it’s reasonably loud and clear. Reception on the Kyocera Echo has been great and I get five bars in locations where I have traditionally only received around three bars with other Sprint devices.

Battery

You’d think a phone that features not one, but two displays used simultaneously would drain a battery faster than Hugh Hefner’s new wife, and you’d pretty much be right. Battery life is relative as each person expects something a bit different, but after spending days with the Echo, I can confidently say that battery life isn’t that good. It’s not terrible, but again, that’s relative. It lasts a little bit longer than the original HTC EVO did for me, and that’s a 4G handset. Kyocera and Sprint have not only included an extra battery in the box, but also an external battery charger that can be used to power your device without having to plug it in to the wall. Just charge the external charger with the extra battery and you can then plug your phone directly into that to charge it — it’s definitely a nice option for powering your device without interrupting that conference call, while on the go, or to avoid having to cut your Angry Birds session short.

Conclusion

I’ve really liked using the Kyocera Echo on and off for around a week. The concept really is innovative and it definitely pushes the boundaries of what’s possible on your mobile phone. Just as many people like to have two displays on their computer set ups, having two screens on a mobile device really can change your workflow and allow you to interact with apps and information in a brand new way. With that said, while the Kyocera Echo is the first device in what Kyocera says will be a lineup of devices featuring dual-display configurations, and I’m not sure this first try quite hits the mark. It’s thick and heavy, and without a more extensive suite of custom apps and developer support, I just can’t see enough of an advantage over going with a device like the Google Nexus S 4G or the upcoming HTC EVO 3D. The concept seems bigger than the execution, for now, but I really hope the Echo gains enough traction to warrant more refined models and significant support from the developer community. If Kyocera can pull that off, the results really could be awesome.

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LG Xnote P210 claims ‘world’s thinnest bezel’ title, our undying appreciation

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

If there’s one thing we appreciate more than pixel density, it’s slim bezels. LG, a traditional enemy of unsightly frames, is today staking its claim for having the world’s thinnest bezel on a laptop with the new Xnote P210. This 12.5-inch machine is said to fit within the footprint of an 11.6-incher, but before you start throwing insults like “netbook” around the place, do take note it has a dual-core Core i5-470UM processor inside — capable of running between 1.33GHz and 1.86GHz — 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB HDD. The LED-backlit display’s resolution isn’t specified beyond a note saying it’s “HD,” while Windows 7 Home Premium is the predictable OS of choice. Look for the P210 to hit Korea in February for around 1.3 million won (about $1,135), but don’t hold your breath on it coming Stateside for anything other than a flying trade show visit.

Continue reading LG Xnote P210 claims ‘world’s thinnest bezel’ title, our undying appreciation

LG Xnote P210 claims ‘world’s thinnest bezel’ title, our undying appreciation originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 28 Dec 2010 03:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Compulenta, Mini-notebook-laptop  |  sourceLGEPR (Flickr), Newswire  | Email this | Comments

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Nookcolor.com domain snapped up by Barnes & Noble, hints at Nook Color device

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

At some future point in time, when the technology finally allows it, all ebook reader displays will make the jump to color. Perhaps that’s what Barnes and Noble is thinking by registering the nookcolor.com domain. Then again, “Nook Color” is the name rumored for B&N’s new 7-inch color touchscreen device said to cost a mere $249. Or maybe it’s just a collection of colorful snap-on bezels for its existing Nook. Whatever it is, we’ll be treated with the truth on Tuesday when B&N hosts its very special event. Be there won’t you, we will.

[Thanks, Matthew C.]

Nookcolor.com domain snapped up by Barnes & Noble, hints at Nook Color device originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 22 Oct 2010 02:42:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Stab-proof Gorilla Glass coming to TVs near you in 2011

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

If you go to Corning Inc’s website, you’ll see the company advertises its seemingly indestructible Gorilla Glass as being available for LCD TV sets, but to this point, no major manufacturer has taken up this tempting offer. That’s all about to change, apparently, as Corning has recently announced plans to massively expand its production capacity (see press release after the break) and is now predicting it’ll secure its first deal this fall. The benefits of going Gorilla are increased durability, strength and scratch resistance, which some are arguing could be a big selling point to display makers keen on doing away with plastic bezels and exposing edge-to-edge glass surfaces. Of course, the disadvantage is that we’d have to pay up to $60 more for a panel with the extra-tough stuff inside, but then having the option is better than not, right?

Continue reading Stab-proof Gorilla Glass coming to TVs near you in 2011

Stab-proof Gorilla Glass coming to TVs near you in 2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 01 Aug 2010 18:59:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceYahoo! News  | Email this | Comments

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ATI Eyefinity hands-on: we played with the ultimate PC rig, and we’re giving it away on the Engadget Show!

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

ATI’s Eyefinity has a real corner on the market when it comes to speedy, gamer-friendly multi-display setups for “real people,” and while plenty of ink has already been spilled on the HD 5870 card and the six-display experiences it can power, we just had a gander at possibly the most elite setup yet. The real key here are the Samsung SyncMaster MD230 displays we saw it demo’d with, which sport razor slim screen bezels and an easy-to-build, flexible 3 x 2 grid. Less in-your-face but equally as sexy is that BMW-designed Thermaltake Level 10 chassis (OK, it’s still pretty in-your-face). It’s a custom-configured iBuyPower system, which in addition to the $2k-ish display setup (an official price hasn’t been announced by Samsung) should swipe a few months of your salary without any trouble.

Too rich for you? Well, maybe you’d like to win one for free! That’s right, we’re going to be demonstrating this system on the Engadget Show this Saturday, and one lucky attendee is going to win their very own Eyefinity setup! You have to be there to win, of course.

Not convinced? Follow after the break for some of our hands-on impressions and a quick video.

Continue reading ATI Eyefinity hands-on: we played with the ultimate PC rig, and we’re giving it away on the Engadget Show!

ATI Eyefinity hands-on: we played with the ultimate PC rig, and we’re giving it away on the Engadget Show! originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 22 Apr 2010 21:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorola Patents Combining Several Phones Into A Single Gigantic Screen [Motorola]

Friday, March 5th, 2010

It’s time for movie night and you have several cellphones but no decent-sized TV or monitor. No worries! With Motorola’s “Reconfigurable Multiple-Screen Display” technology you’ll be able to turn that pile of tiny phone screens into one big display.

Motorola’s patent filing describes this technology as something that allows the displays of several phones to be “configured to act like one to run applications” or stream videos while “maintaining the same aspect ratio.” Basically, you stick them next to each other and pretend that there are no bezels in the middle of someone’s face.

Anyway, any guesses on how many cellphones I need to construct my own movie theater? [USPOT via Go Rumors via Engadget]


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LG launches Skinny Frame plama HDTVs, hates on bezels

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
LG launches Skinny Frame plama HDTVs, hates on bezels

If you needed another reason to not stop believin’ in plasma, look to LG. The company is introducing a pair of the sets in its home market of Korea dubbed “Skinny Frame,” a reference to the 25mm thin border around the panels — which honestly isn’t mind-blowingly thin, but nobody likes beefy bezels, right? The sets are available in 50- and 60-inch sizes, both offering 600Hz refresh rates, automatic contrast adjustment based on lighting conditions, and the ability to play photos and videos from a connected USB drive. Not bad, but at 1,700,000 and 3,800,000 won ($1,150 and $3,325) they’re not cheap, either.

LG launches Skinny Frame plama HDTVs, hates on bezels originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 17 Feb 2010 07:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink I4U  |  sourceLG  | Email this | Comments

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8.9-inch ExoPC Slate has iPad looks, netbook internals, Windows 7 soul

Sunday, January 31st, 2010
8.9-inch ExoPC Slate has iPad looks, netbook internals, Windows 7 soul

Yes, we realize that it’s hard to provide too much visual differentiation between tablet PCs with large, ebony bezels, but we can’t help but think that this 8.9-inch multitouch tablet looks a lot like another, recently announced 9.7-inch multitouch tablet. Nevertheless this one’s quite different on the inside, delivering “the web without compromise,” meaning full browser support with flash courtesy of Windows 7 on an Atom N270 at 1.6GHz, with 2GB of DDR2 memory and a 32GB SSD with SD expansion. Yeah, those specs are familiar too, and while we’re not thinking this will deliver the sort of snappy performance seen on the iPad, it will certainly be a lot more functional. Battery life is only four hours, but at last it user-replaceable, and a price of $599 matches the 32GB iPad. Likewise it will be available in March — or you can get a non-multitouch prototype for $780 right this very moment. If, that is, you speak enough French to manage the order page.

[Thanks, Jean-Baptiste]

8.9-inch ExoPC Slate has iPad looks, netbook internals, Windows 7 soul originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 31 Jan 2010 10:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceExoPC  | Email this | Comments

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Dell SX2210T vs. HP L2105tm: optical multitouch head-to-head review

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Dell and HP, HP and Dell. The United States’ two biggest computer hardware manufacturers, and two of the world’s top three, have tended to match each other step for step, so it’s no surprise that Dell’s recently released SX2210T was quickly followed by a Compaq L2105tm from its closest rival. Measuring 21.5 inches each, with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 1,000:1 contrast ratio, and optical multitouch technology under their chunky bezels, these two models represent the biggest mainstream push for touchscreen computing yet. Functionally identical to standard monitors, they offer the added benefit of letting you input your heart’s urges and desires using swipes, gestures and flicks, and we’ve plucked one of each panel to see how this all plays out for ourselves. Join us after the break, won’t you?

Continue reading Dell SX2210T vs. HP L2105tm: optical multitouch head-to-head review

Dell SX2210T vs. HP L2105tm: optical multitouch head-to-head review originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 26 Nov 2009 13:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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