September 6 2009 Categorized Under: Cell Phones, Laptops, netbooks Tags; 11 inch netbook, 21:9, 4-inch wide screen, atom, bl40, carbon fiber, chocolate, intel, lg, lg phone, pineview, sony, touch phone, touchscreen, ULV, vaio, x series No Commented
With the 3rd quarter of the year drawing to a close, the main gadget makers have been upping the ante it seems. They are releasing, previewing and announcing products right and left. Of the many previews and announcements that have been thus happening of late, these two gadgets really grab the attention for similar yet very different reasons. One’s extra wide and other’s extra thin.
That ‘one’ is a pimped out laptop featuring a chassis whose exterior is made out of carbon fiber. You know that really tough material that gets used in cars and vehicles a lot? Well, it is super light and super strong, to they decided to build a laptop out of it. It is almost half-an-inch thick measuring 0.55inch at the thickest. You can try and imagine how thin the screen is or you can take a peek on the other side for pictures and a video.
And that ‘other’ is a touchscreen mobile phone with one single distinguishing feature – its stretched beyond any mobile phone you have ever seen before. Guaranteed. This phone achieves a 21:9 aspect ratio through what can only be called a very interesting new form factor! Anyway, don’t just sit there. Join me on the other side and marvel at what surely is the first stretch limo of the mobile world.
Sony has been trying to capture the high-end market for quite some time now. In a press conference at IFA ‘09, the company revealed a portable computing device called the Vaio X Series. It is a 0.55-inch thick, 11-inch portable with a carbon fiber exterior and what looks like an integrated battery. Carbon fiber is extremely strong and durable even when it is thin and it has helped Sony shave the extra inches off your typical notebook to create this slim and trim beauty. It also cuts the weight down to 1.5 pounds, with battery at that.
Feature wise however, it will probably be more like a netbook than a notebook because of the rumors that it will carry an Atom CPU (hopefully the new Pineview CPU if it is indeed Atom). There is also the new Intel ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) CPU to consider and it might actually be it because it is aimed at thin portables like this one.
In any case, it’s not like anyone knows anything about it because Sony has not said a word about what’s on the inside of this zero-size notebook/netbook. There has been a demonstration, there are videos, there are of course pictures and that’s about it. Sony did talk about super-long battery life. So whatever it is, it has to be something pretty low-powered. One thing’s for sure though, Sony will be wooing a lot of people who wanted to own the MacBook Air but couldn’t afford it. Think about it. This is pretty thin, has Sony’s aesthetics and is probably going to be priced much lower than the Air simply because it is not Apple and also because it sounds like it will be low on both kinds of power.
If the Vaio X Series is launched sometime later this year, it will probably come preloaded with Windows 7. That might be a good thing because Windows 7 has escaped being another although a lot of people are still not convinced and for good reasons too. With Microsoft eyeing the low-powered netbook segment, Windows 7 just might satisfy people to the point where they finally stop wanting to downgrade to XP on their Netbook.
LG in the mean time has been hard at work taking mobile phones by the ear and yanking them till they become more stretched versions of themselves. As you can see from the images, this phones is way too long to be nornal. Even a long flip-phone will fall short in measure. To give you an idea of how long they are – the press released says that the screen actually has a 21:9 aspect ratio. Go back and remind yourself – your precious widescreen anything is only 16:9 and will be eaten for breakfast by this new stretch limo of a mobile phone from LG.It looks good in the pretty pictures, no doubt about that. But it does not look half as good when you see one in real life. That’s because you have surely underestimated how long it actually is. Watch the video below to clear things up. Now this is freaky! Almost surreal even.
Just like Sony, LG is not saying anything about this extra-wide-phone except what they say in a longish press release, which is not much. This phone is part of the Black Label series and the press release names it as the new Chocolate or the LG-BL40. LG calls the new form factor a “bold new shape” and adds that “the new Chocolate is essentially reinventing the way consumers view and use mobile phones”. That’s quite ambitious to say the least. The BL40 has a 4-inch wide screen, which is supposed to open up a whole new dimension of “on-the-go” computing to us consumers.
The screen resolution is supposed to be HD and from the looks of the video it does seem like the display is pretty sharp. The UI is definitely nothing to die for and has nothing on the iPhone or the Palm Pre. It uses LG’s much-hyped S-Class UI, which is just okay. I am not a big fan of gimmicky 3D interfaces. The just take up precious performance that could’ve been used somewhere else.
Other than going on and on about the super-sexy/awesome-ness of the BL40 and its 4-inch wide HD LCD touchscreen, the press release does not say anything more about the features. I guess they have to hype it up because they know it runs a very real risk of tanking at the market. However, the sheer novelty and the gimmicky design and interface may generate some sales.
I really cannot see why people would want to go for a phone like that. Sure I will have more width to view web pages but is that really all that important to me? I’d rather have more functionality and the support of almost 70,000 apps or the Web OS or the Android, thank you very much.
The Vaio Series X is another story though. I can almost imagine touching its reed thin screen and placing the carbon fiber body on my lap and… I mean I think it is really nice and all.