REVIEW: Livescribe Echo smartpen

A significant step up from a trusty old Bic, the Livescribe Echo smartpen takes note taking to a whole new level by allowing you to sync audio to your scribbles and send them all over the web in just a few simple steps. But can it achieve results any more accurate than a fast hand and attentive ear couldn't manage just as well with a humble biro? Read on to find out.

Samsung launching i7500 and S8000 Android handsets


Phones don’t just jump straight from ‘unheard-of’ to ‘rumoured’ to ‘confirmed’, there’s a whole host of grey area in between. Samsung has two phones on the way that’ll be running Google’s Android OS, and they’re both about half-way between ‘rumoured’ and ‘confirmed’, i.e. pretty much certain.

The i7500 will be out first, in June, and will be just 11.9mm thick. It’ll feature no hardware keypad at all, so it’ll be rocking the latest version of Android – “Cupcake” – which packs an on-screen keyboard.

Other than that, it’ll have a 3.2″ capacitive touchscreen, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 5-megapixel camera, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card slot and 8GB of internal memory. Specs-wise, it’s basically an N95 8GB with a touchscreen and Android welded on.

Interestingly, the price seems to be set (in Germany) at just €300 (£270 or so), which is rather cheap for a handset with those specs. That’s what dumping proprietary operating systems will do for you.


Then there’s the S8000 which, as the name suggests, is an upgraded version of the i7500. It’s got a 3.1″ AMOLED touchscreen running at 480 x 800 resolution, meaning that the colours will look incredible while still consuming very little power.

Specs-wise it’s nearly identical. GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 5-megapixel camera, and 3.5mm headphone jack, but only 2GB of internal memory and no mention of an SD card slot. It will again be running Android, which takes us to two of a promised ‘more than three’ Android handsets from Samsung this year.

(via Unwiredview, i7500 and i8000)

Sansa rolls out 8GB version of its tiny 'Clip' MP3 player


I’m rather a fan of Sansa’s tiny ‘Clip’ range of MP3 players. Although their album-on-a-microSD-card concept is idiotic, their MP3 players are very good, and the miniscule Sansa Clip, with a (relatively) massive clip on the back, is one of the best. Good news then – Sansa has just launched an even bigger version, taking the size up to 8GB.

The player supports your regular MP3, WMA and WAV files, and it’ll work happily with music from most DRMed subscription services. It comes with a built-in microphone, and FM radio, and features a dinky-but-very-bright OLED screen. It only weighs 0.9 ounces. If you’re dying to get your hands on one then you can – for just £45. It’s a decent player, with a decent capacity, for a decent price. You can’t go wrong with that.


Related posts: SlotMusic – albums on SD cards from SanDisk | Sandisk takes on the shuffle with Sansa Clip MP3 player

O2 may or may not be selling 16GB iPhone, depending on when you visit their website


Yesterday, O2’s web site claimed that it had no iPhones left in stock — not even the heftily-priced 16GB model.

Today, it seems, the 16GB is still available, even though “officially” it isn’t.

According to PC Advisor, O2 has “confirmed reports that the iPhone is not currently available anywhere in the UK” — that’ll be everywhere except the Apple Store, presumably, who are still merrily selling 8GB and 16GB iPhones with next-day delivery…

Green-House PicoDrive ST 256-bit AES USB key

Don’t mind that headline. I’m just trying to win the in-house competition for cramming the most incomprehensible tech phrases into one line. Let’s start with the easy bits first – USB key. That means USB drive. Or USB stick. Or, if you’re really confused about tech naming conventions, a memory stick. Just be warned that calling it a “memory stick” makes you sound as stupid as granddad does when he calls your Xbox 360 a “PlayStation.”

So to recap. The PicoDrive ST is a lump of RAM, that comes in up to 8GB size. It’s small so you can put it in your pocket.


Nokia N81 8GB music phone ships… for £300


Nokia has announced that its Nokia N81 8GB mobile is now shipping, alongside the slightly runtier N81 (and really, if you’re going to buy a top-spec music phone, you want the 8GB version…).

The N81 8GB has an unsubsidised price of 430 Euros (about £300). Normally, I’d ignore that, given that operators generally slash a huge chunk of that price for contract users. However, the N81 has been controversially missed out of some operators’ Christmas handset lineups, meaning that for some networks, you’ll have to pay the unsubsidised price to get one.

ZuneFest: Microsoft 's 4GB/8GB Zune takes on the iPod Nano

microsoft-zune-4GB.jpgPhew, at last some hard fact rather than mere rumour. Microsoft has unveiled various new Zune models and related services / accessories, so I’m going to deal with them one by one. Starting with the new 4GB and 8GB Flash-based Zunes.

They’re available in pink, green, black and red flavours, and will sell for $199.99 in the US. Think of them as a direct rival for the iPod Nano, complete with a whizzy Zune Pad touch-sensitive navigation button.