Technologies on Smartphones That You Should Look For

NFC

Near Field Communication has always been regarded as a cutting edge technology. You can’t throw a stone now without hitting an Android device with NFC technology. It is a secure way that devices can connect by simply bringing them together. Right now, NFC has yet to find applications in the current smartphone market. The technology is not new, although it has yet to have any big applications. However, NFC has its importance. It simply has to be present in your smartphone if you are buying it for the long run.

2. Appropriately Large Screen

You don’t need an ultra-large screen such as the one with Galaxy Mega. You don’t even need a 5.5 inch screen as in Optimus G Pro. All you need is a 5 inch screen that fits well in your pocket, such as the one Galaxy S4 has. Anything between 4.5 and 5.2 inches is perfect for a smartphone. Anything above that goes into the phablet family and should be considered a different kind of device.

If you are buying a phablet, be prepared to use it with a little bit of difficulty than a regular smartphone. Due to this reason, Asus’s PadFone and FonePad are not quite there with the customers. For a perfect combination of devices, you could have a regular smartphone, 5 inches; a tablet, 8-10 inches; and optionally a small tablet, 7 inches. A phablet is neither there nor here, and it is difficult to get by.

As we talk about large screens, so should we about smaller screens. iPhone’s 4 inch screen and BlackBerry Z10’s 4.2 inch screen are not quite there in terms of user experience. I am not saying they are bad. They are not as perfect as HTC One’s or Galaxy S4’s. For such smaller screens, a smaller price is appropriate, but that is apparently not going to happen.

3. Battery That Lasts

Right now, LG G2 comes with a 3000 mAh battery that can last days even with that huge screen.

LG G2

Apple iPhone 5S’s battery is only around 1500 mAh, and it is nothing compared to those on the Android devices we have. The battery is not going to give more than a day of usage, and it is just inconvenient to have such a puny battery, even with a device as light and thin as iPhone.

Apple could make iPhone a little heavier by including a larger battery and still it would be one of the thinnest and lightest smartphones out there. They obviously chose not to do that. In your upcoming phone, look for a large battery that can give you more than enough backup.

4. Fingerprint Scanner

As Apple has pioneered this, fingerprint sensors should be available on all other devices in the very near future. That is the trend. It is one thing that anyone could admire about iPhone 5S. The fingerprint scanner allows perfect security, and it is also appropriately placed for the most ergonomic use.

5. Optical Image Stabilization

This is something great on your smartphone cameras. As of now, only a few devices come with it, including HTC One, Lumia 920. Other phones, such as the iPhone provide a technology to stabilize the images, but that is not built into the camera hardware itself, and hence it is not that perfect. If you are looking for a perfect anti-shake smartphone camera, OIS is worth waiting for.

Also, if you are not quite looking for front-facing camera quality, start looking. Here is the table containing the best front-facing camera smartphones.

front-facing cameras on smartphones

 

6. Large Pixel Cameras

Once we spoke about the camera technologies, where we mentioned the race for megapixel count has ended for good. Right now, Apple has also acknowledged the fact that the larger pixels, not the larger number of pixels create better images. HTC One was the first ever phone to revolutionize the large pixel size through its HTC One. One has a pixel size of nearly 2 microns each, called UltraPixels. With only 4 UltraPixels, HTC One camera gives us better images than the 8 MP cameras most other phones have.

With iPhone 5S, Apple has also gone with slightly larger pixels of 1.5 microns. That size is still not quite effective though. We want really large pixels. One of the upcoming phones that will have this is HTC One Max which will sport 5 UltraPixel camera.

Conclusion

If you are looking for amazing smartphones, there are a number of things that you need to have on them. A few technologies were discussed in our previous article here. Some of them are discussed here as well. Unless you are getting a perfect smartphone, there is no point in spending too much money.

[Image: Time]

Why Apple iPhone Business May Die Soon?

You may have read the previous post in which I mentioned what Apple as a company must do. They should have done a number of things with the iPhone to refresh the product line. However, they have released an iterative, slightly modified iPhone 5 with iPhone 5S.

It has virtually no improvement to speak about. You will have no idea how Apple is stealing your money with a substandard device, simply by looking at the new iPhone website or the presentation below.

Already you may be seeing a lot of criticism directed at Apple for being stupid about this product. Steve Jobs wouldn’t have liked this.

We have the technical specifications of iPhone 5S here, compared to iPhone 5.

Feature iPhone 5S iPhone 5C iPhone 5
Display LED IPS capacitive touch; 4 inches LED IPS capacitive touch; 4 inches LED IPS capacitive touch; 4 inches
Resolution 640×1136 (16:9); 326 ppi 640×1136 (16:9); 326 ppi 640×1136 (16:9); 326 ppi
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass Corning Gorilla Glass Corning Gorilla Glass
Storage 16/32/64 GB 16/32 GB 16/32/64 GB
Memory TBA although expected is 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB
Card slot NO NO NO
Camera 8 MP; 1.5 µm pixel size; dual LED flash for true tone 8 MP; 1.4 µm pixel size 8 MP; 1.4 µm pixel size
Video shooting 1080p HD @ 30 fps 1080p HD @ 30 fps 1080p HD @ 30 fps
Operating System iOS 7 iOS 7 iOS 6 upgradable to iOS 7
Battery 1570 mAh Li-Po 1510 mAh Li-Po 1440 mAh Li-Po
SoC Apple A7 dual core 64 bit
Apple M7 motion co-processor
Apple A6 dual core 32 bit Apple A6 dual core 32 bit
Processing power 1.7 GHz 1.3 GHz 1.3 GHz
Dimensions Height 123.8 mm Height 124.4 mm Height 123.8 mm
Width 58.6 mm Width 59.2 mm Width 58.6 mm
Depth 7.6 mm Depth 9 mm Depth 7.6 mm
Weight 112 g Weight 132 g Weight 112 g
Other features
  • Fingerprint scanner, known as touch ID
  • Siri
  • AirDrop
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • LTE
  • Nano-SIM
  • iCloud
  • GPS & GLONASS
  • Black/Slate, White/Silver, Gold color options
  • Siri
  • AirDrop
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • LTE
  • Nano-SIM
  • iCloud
  • GPS & GLONASS
  • Black/Slate, White/Silver, Gold color options
  • Siri
  • AirDrop
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • LTE
  • Nano-SIM
  • iCloud
  • GPS & GLONASS
  • Black/Slate, White/Silver, Gold color options

The prices of iPhone 5S and 5C are as follows.

5S: 16 GB version available for $199; 32 GB for $299; 64 GB for $399
5C: 16 GB for $99 and 32 GB for $199

Unlocked contract-free devices are priced thus:

5S: 16 GB at $649; 32 GB at $749; 64 GB at $849
5C: 16 GB at $549 and 32 GB at $649

I have never seen a bigger rip-off.

What’s In the iPhone?

The question that one should ask is this. Is iPhone the best smartphone out there that you can buy? The answer is No, it is not.

iPhone 5S in different colors

Apple iPhone used to be the best smartphone until iPhone 5 was released last year. After that, immediately enough, a number of Android devices and BlackBerry Z10 came up, and the most important and popular among them include Galaxy S4, HTC One, etc. These devices have great features and power and have managed easily to overshadow the iPhone. Since iPhone 4S, Apple has not done anything significant with the device, and it just is not the best device you can buy in the market today. It is still a great device if the price is appropriate. The current iPhone doesn’t have features to command a price over 400 dollars.

With contract, you can buy really great devices below 299 dollars, AT&T sells HTC One at only 199 dollars with 2 year contract. That phone can kick iPhone at the bottom any day. Also, there are a huge number of devices that you can check out in this page.

So, why is the iPhone costing as much? Simply because Apple has its ego and it cannot ever command a low price for its creations. In 2007, when Steve Jobs released the iPhone, it was the best smartphone you could buy in the world. It used to be that awesome on all subsequent versions and iterative updates, tagged ‘S’ for ‘Speed’—iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone4S, iPhone5, and now iPhone 5S. The tradition stopped at around the time when iPhone 5 was released with a small screen, processor, battery, etc., to compete with smartphones eons ahead of its time.

In 2012 and this year, we have seen such a great development with Android that iPhone can no longer stay strong without some significant innovation. New operating systems have emerged; Windows and BlackBerry still hold a very low percentage of the smartphone market. At this point, coming up with a substandard device is going to kill Apple’s credibility.

64 Bit, A Marketing Hype?

If you ask the straightforward question, whether 64 bit computing incorporated in iPhone 5S is a marketing hype or has some level of significance, the easy answer is it is just a marketing hype. It has absolutely no significance whatsoever, in the current market, that is.

Let me clarify.

Apple iPhone 5S is the first ever smartphone to introduce 64 bit computing. What about Android? Android OS, the current Jelly Bean and upcoming Kit Kat are still in 32 bit edition. You will not be seeing an Android 64 bit any time soon. Samsung has already announced an upcoming 64 bit smartphone right after Apple iPhone 5S launch.

What is 64 bit computing? In desktop computing, we started off with 8 bit systems, and then moved on to 16 bit, and then 32 bit, and now 64 bit with almost all desktop operating systems. In 2005, Microsoft upgraded the OS to 64 bit, and Apple changed the Mac OS X to 64 bit in 2009. This is an upgrade to the basic computing architecture in which the computing power can be enhanced significantly by incorporating more resources, such as RAM.

However, the catch is the applications running on the operating system should also be capable enough to take advantage of the architecture. In the current app market, and also in the foreseeable future, there is no way you will be inundated with 64-bit apps. You are going to take advantage of and use only 32 bit apps until developers have managed to create 64-bit versions.

Apple A7

In such a world, Apple’s A7 processor is not going to bring you any computing advantage. You will of course see a speed boost in loading your 32 bit regular apps because this A7 processor is 1.7 GHz dual core as compared to 1.3 GHz A6 on iPhone 5. However, the Android competitions, HTC One with Snapdragon 600, LG G2 with Snapdragon 800, Galaxy S4 with Exynos, will continue to overwhelm you in performance. There is no way Apple iPhone 5S is going to match the performance benchmarks of those devices.

Also, Android is soon going to upgrade to 64-bit computing in the very near future. In such a time, what Phil Schiller said about the architecture is mindless marketing gimmick at best.

Other Stuff

Apple has the other stuff on the iPhone, including the iPhone’s touch ID sensor. It is a clever implementation of fingerprint security. It is one feature that is worth bragging about. It makes the device be tied to your bioinformatics, making it ultra-secure. And they have implemented it perfectly too, by putting it right behind the home button at the bottom of the phone. This is something that we will get to see on upcoming Android devices.

Camera on iPhone 5S is another thing that they bragged about in the keynote, given below.

The camera in fact is not that advanced as compared to the shooters on any other device, such as HTC One or Galaxy S4. The camera uses the larger pixel concept revolutionized by HTC One. iPhone 5S camera uses 1.5 µm pixels, while iPhone 5 has pixels as large as 1.4 microns. HTC One is still the king in pixel size with nearly 2 micron pixels.

With other major features, including Optical Image Stabilization, HTC One’s camera is far superior than iPhone 5S’s. Also, it has to be mentioned that the best camera in the market today has 41 megapixels. It belongs to Nokia 1020. Other devices, Lumia 925, 920, etc., also have better cameras than the existing iPhone 5. iPhone 5S does not improve a lot on the camera side, although Apple makes you believe it does.

One thing that I have to mention is the dual LEDs on iPhone 5S camera that help in maintaining proper lighting on poorly lit scenes. It is a perfect improvement over iPhone 5 camera. It does indeed help in making the images better when the LED flash option is turned on.

iPhone 5S camera flash

Another improvement is the new processor supplement known as motion co-processor, M7. It is also a clever way iPhone 5S can measure and adapt to motion. This co-processor is a weak supplement to the A7 chip that measures just the motion data, from such sensors as the gyroscope, accelerometer, and compass. Since these sensors are controlled by M7, A7 is not engaged to rotate the display and measure the distance traveled when running. This helps you run fitness apps better on iPhone 5S.

Conclusion

Other than a few minor improvements, Apple has done nothing with iPhone to be able to command a large price tag. In essence, it is a substandard phone by today’s standards, and it deserves no attention from the consumers. This is a faltering step by the company, and if it doesn’t remedy immediately by bringing out an innovative device sooner, Apple’s iPhone business may soon be in jeopardy.

MIM & MIIM Diodes: How Do They Work?

What drains power in today’s electronics, what causes high temperatures and costs in today’s electronic equipment, could be behind extreme electronics of tomorrow. Our world is gearing towards a better tomorrow, where the supercomputers will be millions of times faster than today’s. Processing will be remarkably faster, and high level applications will run in nanoseconds.

What will help us achieve this for our future? The technology known as MIM diodes and its successor, MIIM diodes (Metal-Insulator-Insulator-Metal diodes). Let’s check them out in detail.

What Is MIM & MIIM?

diodesA diode is one of the most basic electronic components of any circuit. It is used to conduct electrons in one direction, like a valve. Advanced diodes are capable of modifying the current as well, such as sine wave to square wave, AC to DC, etc.

Diode is such an important component in today’s electronics that without them nothing would be possible—no cellphones, tablets, PCs, display technologies, speakers, storage systems, servers, clients, automobiles, or anything.

These electronic components—diodes, transistors, ICs, etc.—are developed with some kind of semiconductor, and the most widely used of them is Silicon. Other semiconductors are also there, such as Germanium, Gallium Arsenide, and certain organic semiconductors. However, Silicon is the one major semiconducting material we use in all kinds of electronic equipment.

Today’s technologies, however, are pushing the limits of what Silicon-based diodes and ICs can achieve in terms of speed and performance. In a world like that, a better technology that transforms electronics as we know it today is the prime solution. A research to find such a solution resulted in further developing an already existing technology, MIM diodes.

MIM stands for Metal-Insulator-Metal diodes. These are sort of like capacitors in which thin metal plates are separated by an insulator. Here’s the basic structure of a MIM diode. See how the insulator separates metal strips.

MIM diode structure

Oregon State University (OSU) has been working on MIM diodes for such a long time. In 2011, there was a paper published by researchers in this particular area.


Douglas KeszlerIn 2010, OSU finally managed to create the first ever MIM diode. Douglas Keszler, chemist and one of the leading materials science researchers from OSU, said then:

Researchers have been trying to do this for decades, until now without success. Diodes made previously with other approaches always had poor yield and performance. It’s a basic way to eliminate the current speed limitations of electrons that have to move through materials.


Here’s the first ever MIM Diode:

first MIM diode

Now, OSU has gone further and created the next level of MIM, MIIM diodes. Here, instead of a layer of insulator, there are two.

Here’s an image. The material has four layers—ZCAN (Amorphous Zirconium), Hafnium Oxide (HfO2), Aluminum Oxide (Al2O3), and Aluminum (Al).

MIIM diode

As I mentioned earlier, the technology is not new. The MIIM diodes are a type of ‘tunnel diodes’ that were in existence since the 60’s, known for the technology behind it, ‘quantum tunneling’. It has never been researched further and developed for mass production.

SanDisk 3D LLC, a subsidiary of the flash storage memory maker, SanDisk, has a patent on MIIM diodes with a trench structure. The patent dates back to 2008, although no work has been done by the company based on the technology.

What Is Quantum Tunneling?

Quantum Tunneling is the technology behind MIM diodes. As we mentioned, the tunnel diodes are called so due to this reason.

Normally, we know an electron beam is unable to go through an insulator. However, when the insulating material is extremely thin at less than 3 nm, a special phenomenon known as quantum tunneling can happen. This phenomenon can only be explained with quantum mechanics, not classical mechanics. This is the reason why it is known as ‘quantum tunneling’. This concept has a more extensive reach than MIM diodes. For instance, the energy production in the Sun actually has a lot to do with quantum tunneling.

Imagine a ball rolling up a hill. It will not be able to cross the hill if the energy it already has is not enough. However, if you are thinking of a ball in the quantum scale (which is infinitesimal), the ball can no longer be regarded as an object, but as a wave. In such a state, it can be expected that the ball crosses to the other side of the said hill if the other side has a slope where the ball can stay without expending much energy.

The same concept applies to electrons in MIM diodes. When the electron reaches the barrier, the insulator in between the metal strips, it absorbs energy from the surroundings in order to pass through the insulator. In doing that, a part of the electron beam passes through the barrier, but another part reflects back. However, due to the energy absorption, the reflected electron beam has far more energy than it originally has.

quantum tunneling with electrons

The electron beam that traverses the barrier does not follow the normal laws of conduction as it is going through an insulator, which does not help in conducting electrons. Due to this reason, the energy the beam absorbs makes it travel at ultra-high speeds. The speed is much higher than that on a normal conductor or a semiconductor like Silicon.

Also, when we visualize electron beam as a wave, quantum tunneling can be seen in action below. Quantum tunneling happens in the form of a ripple effect you see at the barrier. Also, after that, the passing beam and the reflected beam have lower altitude (height) and higher wavelength.

Quantum tunneling visualization

This tunneling phenomenon is what causes the extreme speed on MIM and MIIM diodes.

Ironically enough, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, quantum tunneling is a major reason behind power drain and extreme temperature in current electronic systems, but that is unwanted quantum tunneling.

John Conley Jr.

Extra insulator layer helps enhance an MIM diode. Dr. John Conley, Jr.,  of OSU that was part of the research into MIIM says:

This approach enables us to enhance device operation. It ... moves us closer to the real applications that should be possible with this technology.

 


This extra insulator layer causes something known as ‘step tunneling’ that allows highly precise control of the asymmetric diodes.

Advantages

Quantum tunneling and MIIM diodes have only advantages.

  • They are as easy to manufacture as Silicon based electronic components.
  • They are inexpensive.
  • They can form extremely fast electronic components as compared to any available technology today—imagine terahertz of processing power in place of gigahertz we have now.
  • They will find application in all kinds of electronic technologies—smartphones, tablets, LCD displays, TVs, consumer electronics, automobiles, etc.

Conclusion

I am not an electronics expert, but when it comes to technologies that will enhance what we have today in smartphones and tablets, I do take high level of interest. We do not have infrastructure today to make MIIM diodes on large scale. However, when it happens in the near future, we will all have extremely powerful smartphones and tablets. We will have in our hands devices better than the biggest and the most massive of today’s supercomputers.

[Image source: BSN, Wikipedia]

How to Secure Your Webcam From Hackers?

Search one of these strings in Google. Chances are that you will find the live feed of an unsecured webcam.

inurl:/view.shtml
inurl:ViewerFrame?Mode=
inurl:ViewerFrame?Mode=Refresh
inurl:axis-cgi/jpg
inurl:axis-cgi/mjpg (motion-JPEG)
intitle:”Live View / - AXIS” | inurl:view/view.shtml^

A webcam, your webcam, may be secured unlike any of the public ones you may find. However, there are hackers out there who can easily get access to your webcam and feed it to the world. It is not at all difficult for them. With a bit of code, hackers can access any piece of hardware on your computer, and a webcam is no different.

How serious are the consequences of exposing your webcam? Well, if you have children at home and you want to protect their privacy, you cannot be serious enough about this. Your webcam should be yours and you should have complete control over it. There was a recent investigation by BBC, about a Finnish hacker who hacks and sells people’s webcams for money. Here is the webcast.

The impact of this is heavy on all of us. These webcam feeds could easily be sold to online porn sites or to people who are into sick stuff. It is the privacy of people like you and we that is at stake. Hence, I have compiled this article to let you know how to secure your webcam from external threats.

Here’s another video from BBC, showing exactly how easy it is to hack into webcams of old, infrequently updated computers:

Get Adobe Flash player

Pretty disturbing, ain’t it?

How to Secure Your Webcam?

Hackers will always try to find out your webcam and get control over it. You may not quite realize whether your webcam is in use or not. Most of the webcams come with the indicator LED that turns red or green or something when it is engaged. This should be known to you as the user. Here are the most important steps to do if you suspect your webcam could be under attack.

1. Update Your Software

Some computer technologies, such as Java, Flash, etc., can be used to directly control your webcam, and on most of these technologies, you need to provide permission to access your webcam. However, there are ways in which a hacker can work his way around this permission-giving. They can dupe unsuspecting users into giving permission through click-jacking or similar methods.

Updating your software is one of the most important things to do to stay secure. You may remember the recent security attack on Java, and the subsequent alarm. Old computers are extremely vulnerable and could in essence become part of botnets.

2. Use Security Software

We have recently covered some of the best and worst security apps for Android. You should check them out. For a regular PC, use something like Kaspersky, Norton, Trend Micro Titanium, or Bitdefender. I would personally recommend Norton and Kaspersky for antivirus and firewall. You also need an antimalware solution, and Malwarebytes is the best one for that. They have a free edition that you can run alongside your antivirus and firewall. As an additional thing, keep your security software updated all the time, just as you do with regular software.

3. Be Suspicious About Web Apps

You may come across a huge number of web apps on a day of browsing. You may cruise through the bad neighborhoods of the Net; you may come across websites and forums that follow unethical practices. You may be asked to run specific programs or apps that promise various things, such as a free virus scan, registry cleaning, computer protection, etc. These are possible click-jacking methods to make you install a malicious piece of software on your computer.

Make it a point to scan every file you download from the Web, and make sure you don’t open suspicious attachments even if they come from your friend. In short, do not execute a program or a script without verifying its source and scanning it with your antivirus program. Also, be suspicious about the people who promise technical help through the Internet. You may be asked to accept a remote connection or a screen sharing option. Do not give permission to these setups unless you are sure.

4. Wireless Security

If you are using wireless router at home for a Wi-Fi setup, please enable proper security on the router. If you are using Wi-Fi from a public hotspot, you should be wary of your situation. Use a solution like Wifisugar to protect your computer from public hotspot hackers.

In Conclusion

These are some of the most basic things to do to secure your webcam. However, two of the most important that you definitely have to do and are in your control are: first, not placing the webcam in a private place like your bedroom; and second, covering your webcam with something like a strip of electrical tape or disconnecting it from the computer altogether when you are not using it.

Another important thing that I would like most of the readers to consider is getting some information about how hackers work and what technologies and software you use are vulnerable to attacks. This information will keep your computer secure from every threat.

Acer Aspire R7: Is It a Great Tablet PC to Buy In the Current Market?

In the last few hours, I was engrossed in all kinds of thoughts and skepticisms about the latest tablet PC from Acer, Aspire R7. The tablet computer runs Windows 8 and comes with what most people call a ‘weird design’. However, is that really the case? How good or bad this new product really is? Let’s find out through this article.

The First Impressions on the Design

 

I looked through almost all of the first look reviews I could lay my hands on. Most of them talk about one most important aspect of this tablet PC—its design. Acer Aspire R7 as you can see here in this image is a weirdly designed tablet PC. It is neither a tablet, nor a laptop, nor a PC. Still, it works as all of them. R7 comes with an aluminum unibody design that has a hinge known as ‘Ezel hinge’.

With the help of the hinge, this computer can take four different shapes, you know kind of like Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga. Aspire R7 has one of the best design innovations that we got to see in Windows 8 computers. The four different modes of R7 are shown here—laptop mode, Ezel mode, pad mode, and display mode.

Laptop mode of R7

 

R7 in Ezel mode

 

R7 in pad mode

 

Display mode of R7

 

With the laptop mode, it is no different from another laptop, such as your Apple MacBook Pro. It is slightly lighter than MacBook Pro though. It can be carried around just like any other tablet PC, and not a regular tablet. R7 is definitely heavier than any tablet out there, and with more powerful parts you can’t expect it to be light as well.

The Ezel hinge takes the computer to a mode in which the display comes closer to the keypad, making it look sort of like your Surface tablet. At this time, it is easy to use both the keypad and the touch screen. Many reviewers are worried that it doesn’t provide enough space to rest the hands while typing. Let me ask you, would you rather have it with unnecessary hand-rest region to make it bulkier and unappealing? If not, just understand this is indeed the correct design.

In the display mode, you can turn the screen around and show what you are working on to the person facing you. This is perfect for working professionals as well as people having coffee together.

Ezel hinge

 

Another important aspect of the design is the placement of the track pad. It is assumed widely that the track pad should be placed below the keypad, and that is the custom followed on most of the laptops and notebooks out there. Acer on the other hand has decided to go differently here, and with good reason. The track pad is right above the keypad and you have access to it only in the laptop mode. If you are in the Ezel mode or tablet mode, forget about the track pad.

placement of track pad on R7

 

Although people say this is a weird placement for the track pad, there is no reason why this is not logical. On a tablet computer, how often do you use the track pad anyway?

In essence, I believe there is no ground to the general criticism and skepticism toward this particular design. Some people mix it with genuine concern, while most of our reviewers have learnt to mix skepticism in anything they review.

Here is a video that gives a neat first look at R7, thanks to Forbes.com:

The Technical Specifications

 

Let’s analyze the technical aspects of Aspire R7.

Feature Value
Display 15.6 inches; Full HD 1926×1080 px; 178 degree viewing angle
Processor Intel Core i5 1.8 GHz Turbo Boost up to 2.8 GHz
RAM 6 GB
Storage 500 GB SATA + 24 GB SSD
Graphics Integrated Intel HD 4000
Sound Digital Dolby with 8-watt speakers
Ports & Other Features 3 USB 3.0; HDMI; Micro SD slot; BlueTooth; Convertor port for Ethernet, VGA, or USB; Wireless receiver; Kensington lock port
Dimensions Height 37.6 cm (14.83 inch)
Width 25.45 cm (10.02 in)
Depth 2-2.84 cm   (0.81-1.12 in)
Weight 2.4 kg (5.29 lb)

 

We have not yet got the full technical specs of the computer. It is clear that with Core i5 processor and 6 GB RAM, the computer is well in place to take advantage of the high end software programs out there. It is pretty much a severe competitor to other mid-range laptops like MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

R7 in Tablet Mode

 

When you place Aspire R7 in tablet mode, you are essentially making it into sort of a folded magazine style, which was first introduced by Sony through its older tablets. That design did not quite catch on.

On the other hand, Aspire R7 with the Ezel hinge cannot fully sit on top of the keypad to make it into a perfect tablet. The important thing is it is not required to do that to look and feel aesthetic to most people. The computer still works perfectly and is quite apt in that position to work on as a tablet.

Moving R7 into tablet mode

 

In the tablet mode, you get to work with one of the largest touch screens out there. As expected, Windows 8, a powerful desktop operating system, has made its mark in the PC world, and it has caused design innovation from a number of OEMs out there. Acer is one among them. Dell, Lenovo, HP, Samsung, Toshiba, etc., have come up with their own Windows 8 devices with different design patterns. Microsoft itself has manufactured its own product, Surface Pro, which is an amazing tablet PC.

Acer R7 Price and Availability

 

As per the latest news, the price is expected to be 999 USD, and R7 will ship to the US market by . Pre-order from Acer or Best Buy.

This tablet PC is priced lower than your MacBook Air, and it has better configuration than MacBook Air, which starts at 999 dollars. Also, R7 has the touch screen, not available with Apple laptops. In general, it is a better product than other major tablets and mid-range laptops in the market.

Conclusion

 

I have always believed in designs that are inspired from our own body language. How we interact with the objects of our world should be used to design virtual user interfaces that will in turn be successful. This is the reason why touch screen gestures and voice commands have become popular. Voice is one of the most sought after input methods despite prevailing inaccuracies in recording and deciphering a command.

In the case of R7, the hinge design is quite different from the other products in the market (some of which were mentioned in the article we published earlier linked above), and this is one of the most innovative designs that I have got to see in the recent times. Hence, our recommendation for this product is a strong pro. We know we love it, and so we suppose you will too.

Aspire pre-order is available already at Acer store or Best Buy.

[Image: DigitalTrends; Engadget; Gizmodo; CNET]