Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Around the Web - MacBook Air killer, Froyo for the Motorola Milstone with a big but and tablet tests

Samsung Series 9. It is not too easy to build a Apple killer. The Zune is going the way of the Dodo, the iPad 2 still rules, and the MacBook Air is still the value for money ultra-thin ultraportable laptop. has the heads up on the new MacBook Air killer in waiting, the Samsung Series 9. With a second generation Intel Core i5 Processor 2537M (1.40 GHz, 3MB; turbo up to 2.3 GHz), 4GB DDR3 with a 13.3-inch screen in a 2.89 pound package which is actually 1mm thinner than the MacBook Air, it certainly looks the part. 

With a 128GB Solid State Drive it competes with the lower end 13.3-inch MacBook Air which also has a 128MB SSD.  Problem is the price. reports that the Samsung Series 9 Notebook will cost Php79,900. That is 12K higher than the Php67,990 retail price of the 128GB 13.3-inch MacBook Air.

While you may argue that the Sandy Bridge chipset and the Core i5 processor, and 4GB of RAM will perform better than the 1.86GHz and 2GB of RAM of the MacBook Air, in terms of graphics it is a different story.  The Nvidia GForce 320M graphics of the will runs faster than the Intel HD GT2 Integrated Graphics of the Samsung Series 9. So in terms of performance, some would call it a draw. 
The 12K lower price of the 128GB MacBook Air 13-inch makes it a win... for Apple. 

The Milestone gets Froyo. GSM Arena reports that Motorola has brought Froyo to the original Motorola Milestone. Our first reaction is, what took too long? The Milestone runs vanilla Android, so too much tweaking should not be necessary. But GSM Arena reports that:

What isn't exactly great is the message posted on the Motorola website, regarding the update. It states that "Exhaustive testing process has concluded that users may experience some adverse effects associated with the upgrade which could include slower operation of some phone functions and applications." 
Now we are not quite sure what to make of this. Is Motorola saying that according to their own tests the Froyo-running Milestone performs worse than the Eclair-packing version? If that is the case there's obviously something very wrong with the update itself as Froyo brings a notable increase in speed and responsiveness on all other devices that received it.
What gives?
Tablet wars. The Apple iPad 2 rules the tablet space for now, and the foreseeable future, but there is one area where Android rule. The Android's webkit browser is faster and more feature packed (supports flash) than Safari mobile. CNET tests which one is faster. The browser on the Android powered Motorola Xoom is still faster, but Apple has seriously closed the gap with it iPad 2. 

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