Tag Archives: video

Zune HD: The Revolution Begins

p_zuneHD

In the last couple of days, more specifically yesterday, there have been a lot of buzz with the new Zune HD.  Now don’t take this portable media player lightly.  For those Apple loyalist this article is not for you.  I don’t need to hear how Apple is this and that and Microsoft is this and that.

Now why do I call it a revolution?  If you look at the videos (look below), you will be in awe.  Interface is very smooth.  Thanks to the power of the Tegra chip,  it is able to produce those fancy graphics.  I’ve never seen anything like that that was that smooth for a mobile device.  Now take this for what you will.  Remember this Zune is running off from what I hear a version of Windows CE.   You’ve seen WinMo 6.5.  They are experimenting with the UI.  It’s starting to look like the Zune HD.  If they keep building it with the better hardware what will we get?  The answer is the future Windows phone (Windows Mobile 7).   This is only the beginning of what’s to come.

Now some may say that the Zune UI is bad or all flash no usability.  What do I see, something totally different.  Creating a UI based on words alone.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that, but I’m sure there will still be some icons.  Those who critisize the word UI, I ask you this, what so hard about reading words.  Are people that illiterate that people have graduated school and don’t know how to read.  Also some say that its all a bunch of words and you don’t know which to press.  It’s quite simple, the selectable text are those that are pure white or whatever color (at it’s full brightness).  Those that are not are faded into the back.  Also to go the previous screen, you just press the word that is cropped on the top,  how simple is that. It’s a pretty big back button too.  I think it a pretty slick UI.  When Microsft starts implementing this in their Windows Mobile OS (specifically WinMo 7), competitors better be worried especially when it’s paired with Tegra or a higher end hardware.

Don’t forget it not just about Zune and Microsoft.  When the Tegra hardware or other high-end hardware is widely available we’ll see some great stuff at a great battery life too.  From Sony (Crossbars smoothness) to HTC’s revamped Touchflo to Andriod.

To Microsoft and the Zune designers/programmers props for thinking out of the box and creating something many people want.  Microsoft looks like will have a good late 2009 – 2010 with release of Windows7, Zune HD, and Windows Mobile 7.   The Zune HD comes out in mid September in 16 and 32 gig variants.  Features include  720p video playback, browser, Microsoft Marketplace, artist bio,  AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, and HD radio.  Did I miss other things?  Let me know.    Now if you have a spare Zune HD, I’ll gladly review it.

Here’s another video to drool over.  Videos courtesy of  Crunchgear and PC MAG.

Visit the Zune Site HERE.

Intuos4 Brings New Rotary

A couple of months ago Wacom introduced the Intous4.  It’s a step up from the Intuos3.  One very big improvement is the USB cord.   The cord is now detachable and can be placed on either side of the tablet.  The other great improvements are the new buttons with little LED reminders of the what the buttons do.  They can be all remapped to different software.  Another good thing is that it has the rotary wheel which is great for Photoshop CS4’s canvas rotation as well as Painter.  CS3 folks will have it too, but it’s only every 90 degree rotation.  Doing video editing is great too as it  provides accurate video scrolling.

As far as sizes go, they changed the naming scheme this time around.  They have moved to a more simple approach.  They go by names:

Small  (6×4″ active)  $229

Medium  (9×5.5″)  $349

Large  (13×8″)  $469

X-Large   (18×12″)  $798

As far as construction goes, the build quality is good.  Just like the Intuos3, the weight is pretty much identically.   Depending on the size of your tablet.  The high-gloss finish on the  buttons/wheel area is elegant, but is a finger print magnet.  The pen is better than the previous with 2048 pressure sensitive meaning you don’t have to press as hard to get a reading on the tablet.  Also the design of the pen is shorter and lighter as well.  Please take note that the rubber area does like to get lint/dust alot.  Another nice thing that Wacom did was with the pen holder.  They have now made it as a storage to hold your extra nibs.  This I’m sure ensures people to either not loose their nibs or to not forget where they put it.  If your especially an artist or just have some carpel in your hands this is a great tool.

Wacom

Oh yeah, don’t forget yourself a smudgeguard glove.  If you have sweaty hands and your hand sticks to the surface of the tablet, this will be a good investment.