Amazon Announces the Kindle Fire Android Tablet, Plus Two More Cheap Kindles

I was monitoring the Amazon Press Event last night and was amazed to learn about the new Amazon Kindle Fire. Yes, it’s an e-book reader, an upscaled version of the current Kindle E-Reader. And yes, it’s an Android tablet which means you can play Android games, use Android apps from the Amazon app store, listen to music, browse the web and more. The only thing you can’t do with the Kindle Fire is to take photos since it doesn’t have a camera. Those who are looking for an Android tablet in the 7-inch range will definitely want to have the Kindle Fire. Well, perhaps everyone will want to get the Kindle Fire. You know why? It will only cost you $199!

That’s right. If you’ve been planning to have a 7-inch Android tablet. This is the device for you. Amazon is accepting pre-orders now so you better hurry up and reserve your unit in time for the promised November 15 delivery date. Unfortunately, Amazon does not deliver the Kindle Fire directly to the Philippines yet. But there’s always Johnny Air Cargo to take care of the shipping for you.

Here are the specs of the Amazon Kindle Fire Android tablet:

  • 7-inch multi-touch display with IPS technology
  • 8GB internal storage
  • Free cloud storage
  • 8 hours battery life
  • Wi-Fi
  • Support the following formats: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
I really think that despite its limitations, the Amazon Kindle Fire is still going to be a huge success when it becomes available. The $199 price point is a game changer.
So, who’s getting one?
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Globe Answers Smart’s Netphone with the Dirt Cheap CloudFone Android Phone

globe cloudfone ice

Move over Smart Netphone, here comes Globe’s answer – the new CloudFone Ice. And though it may not come with Smartnet, the CloudFone Ice will be more appealing to the mass market, especially because of its dirt cheap price – P 4,990. I’m not familiar with Cherry Mobile Android phones, but correct me if I’m wrong, it seems that with that SRP, the CloudFone Ice just became the cheapest Android smartphone in the Philippines, right?

Anyway, CloudFone Ice boasts of the following features:

  • 3.2-inch full touch screen display (320×480)
  • Android 2.1
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • FM Radio
  • 3.15MP camera
  • 32GB storage via microSD card
To sweeten the deal, you can grab the CloudFone Ice with the prepaid kit and immediately register under Globe’s PowerSurf mobile data subscription. I’m currently enrolled on PowerSurf 99 and I can tell you that this subscription is truly worth it. It gives you 50MB data surfing allowance for 30 days. If you’re not too heavy on mobile web browsing, this plan is good enough to last you one month of checking emails, updating Facebook and posting Tweets.
The Globe CloudFone Ice is also available on Globe’s P499 mobile data plan.
To avail of this cheap Android smartphone, simply a Globe store and ask for the CloudFone Ice.


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Binverse Premium Usenet Provider, 2 Premium Accounts Up for Grabs

This is a long overdue post. I was contacted by a Binverse representative a couple of weeks ago to inform me about the Binverse Premium Usenet service. If you’re familiar with “Usenet,” well it seems that it has now become a premium content downloading site. You may think of Binverse as a more organized and formalized form of Torrent sites. Sorry, folks but I’m not really familiar with Torrent as I’ve used it only a couple of times.

So, anyway Binverse is offering premium content downloading service from the Binverse servers. The contents are already available and all you have to do is search for it on the Binverse desktop application (for Mac and Windows). The only downside to Binverse is that unlike Torrents, downloading content is not free. But don’t worry because their premium package are very affordable and if you download contents from the Internet, you might want to give the service a try.

Now, the Binverse representative are generous enough to have given us 2 premium accounts worth 50GB of download capacity. What’s good about this free 50GB account is that it will expire only after you have consumed the file capacity.

So, how do you get those free premium accounts? Simple – just leave a comment and the first two who do so gets the free account. That simple, no questions asked.


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Largest Recipe Search Engine, Recipe Finder Launched

Launched recently is a new recipe search engine – Recipe Finder. The site currently boasts of around 1.7 million recipes plus more than 700,000 images in its database. If those are not too many for you, well I don’t know what is. The recipe search engine covers tons of recipes worldwide. I mean, you can search for recipes for European cuisine, American cuisine, French and more. Heck, you can even find various recipes for Chicken Tinola or Chicken Adobo from Recipe Finder.

Design-wise, Recipe Finder is very pleasing to the eyes which is how all food-based sites should be. It’s one of those sites which will compel you to linger on longer because the site’s theme color won’t distract your browsing experience. In other words, the site’s design is as appetizing as the photos of the recipes that you’ll find there.

You’ll also love the way the site displays individual recipe entries – simple, helpful and informative as well. I appreciate the fact that the site specifically displays calorie counters for individual recipes. This goes well for those who are on strict diet plan but still want to enjoy a sumptous and appetizing meal.

I won’t make this post too long since I know you’re dying to get to the site. So, the next time you’re in need of a good recipe to prepare for you family, or if you want to impress your girlfriend, check out the Recipe Finder. Here’s the link to Recipe Finder.

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SGP Neo Hybrid II EX Series Reventon Yellow iPhone 4 Case

SGP Neo Hybrid II EX Series Reventon Yellow for iPhone 4 review

Since I really liked the SGP Neo Reventon Yellow Case that I got for my Samsung Galaxy S II, I thought I’ll get one for my iPhone 4 as well. And that’s what I just did. Thankfully, Applewerkz in Katipunan was opened this afternoon and they are still having a sale for most of their items. So, in short I got the Neo Hybrid II EX Series Reventon Yellow for iPhone 4 case.

The original price of the case was P1890 but I got it for only P1512. Nice discount (Thanks Applewerks!). The case has two parts actually, or better yet frames. One is made of soft rubber which serves as protection for the iPhone 4 and cushions its contact from the hard frame part of the case. Like most cases, the frame has all the necessary cutouts to reveal the different ports of the iPhone 4.

The package also comes with two screen protectors for the front and back of the iPhone 4. So, it’s really a good deal.

Overall, I’m satisfied with the SGP Neo Hybrid II EX Series Reventon Yellow iPhone 4 Case that I bought. Now, it looks good side by side my Samsung Galaxy S II.

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MMDA Traffic Navigator App for iOS is Now Available on the App Store!

In case you’re not following @MMDA on Twitter, you might have missed their announcement of the release of the MMDA Traffic Navigator for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Yes, finally! After a long haul, the app is now available as a free download. And what can I say? It is certainly one good iOS app. I’ve reviewed tons of iOS apps and I can say that Gyro Apps did a pretty good job of coming out with a very good app.

So, what does the MMDA app lets you do? Here are its features:

  • Navigate your way through Metro Manila traffic
  • View the traffic situation in System, Map or Line View
  • Includes EDSA, C5, SLEX, Roxas Blvd, Espana, & Quezon Ave.
  • Share or Report traffic info via Twitter
  • View problem areas so you can avoid them
  • MMDA FAQs built-in for your guidance
  • Includes MMDA Directory

Pretty much everything you need to guide you in traversing the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. Hopefully, some more not so major roads will be included, specifically Marcos Hi-way and Ortigas Ave. Extension.

So, what are you waiting for? Download the app now. And Congratulations to Atty. Yves Gonzales and Laura Noel for a job well done!

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Crumpler End of Season Sale, 50% Off On All Items!

Decided to check out the Crumpler Store in Bonifacio High Street last Sunday, not really because I needed a new bag but just to check out whether the store is really offering some good deals. True enough, Crumpler is selling all its items for half the price!. You could even get a decent laptop case for only Php 500.

So, did I end up buying a new Crumpler bag? Of course I did! Got a Skivvy laptop bag for my MBA 13, while the Wifey got an orange Heidatch bag for herself. Total cost of our loot? — Php 2,300. Not bad for two solid, durable and stylish bags, right? (*That’s a red and gray combination for the Skivvy, not Pink)

Actually I wanted to buy one more but its out of stock. Hopefull, Crumpler will re-stock their 4 Million Dollar DSLR Bag this week as I’m sure to get one to replace my ageing Lower Pro Fast Pack 250 bag.

Anyway, the Crumpler End of Season Sale will be running until the 17th of September. Crumpler Stores in Trinoma, Megamall, Robinson’s Ermite and Bonifacio High Streets are participating.

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SGP Neo Hybrid Case for Samsung Galaxy S II Review

SGP Neo Hybrid Case for Samsung Galaxy S II

We were having coffee at Kopi Roti in Katipunan this afternoon when I noticed that Apple Werkz located at the other side of the road was opened. It was a Sunday so, usually the shop is supposed to be closed. So while waiting for my coffee, I decided to check out the store on the other side braving the fast cars cruising along Katipunan Avenue. I took a quick look at the products on display inside the shop and saw the SGP Neo Hybrid Case for the Samsung Galaxy S II. I immediately grab one, texted Lemirand of Philmug who owns Apple Werkz and asked for a discount which he offers for Philmuggers.

In short, I got the SGP Neo Hybrid Case Reventon Yellow case for my Samsung Galaxy S II. It will alternate with another SGP Case, the Ultra Silke which I got a couple of weeks ago from the SGP Online store.

The SGP Neo Hybrid Case for the Samsung Galaxy S II has two parts, the hard plastic frame and the soft silicone inner casing which is slightly thinner than the Ultra Silke case. As with other SGS II cases, this one also has all the necesary cutouts to keep your SGS II’s ports accessible. From the looks of the case, the hard plastic frame can provided enough protection to your phone from bumps and accidental bumps should it fall down on any of its sides. The back part is also protected from scratches and bumps by the silicone casing.

Overall, I’m pretty much satisfied with the SGP Neo Hybrid Case for my Samsung Galaxy S II. The yellow hard plastic case does not only provide protection but gives the phone an “cool” look as well. And for the steal price of only P1550, what more can I ask for?

Again, thanks Lemirand of Apple Werkz for the discount!

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MacBook Air 13 (Mid-2011) Review (Philippines Edition)

Since the new MacBook Air 2011 was announced, I was having sleepless nights thinking whether I should finally depart my old MacBook Pro 13 (mid-2009) and grab the new MBA 13 as a replacement. It was a hard decision not because the MBP is more powerful than the MBA but because the MBP happens to be the first Mac that I’ve ever own. It paved the way for my switch from Windows to Mac.

Fortunately for me, the MBP is not my machine right now, having recently purchased the 21-inch iMac 2011. The MBP’s role has been reduced to being a secondary machine which I bring along whenever my family go on a road trip.

To end this long introduction, I finally took the plunge and purchased the new MBA 13, put my MBP for sale. Funny thing is that while getting the new MBA 13, somebody texted me and wanted to buy the MBP right away. So, right after getting the new MBA 13 from the store I immediately met up with the buyer of my old MBP. So, it was not too painful to see my MBP finally go because I know I will be busy tinkering with my new 13-inch MBA.

So, on with my review. This is the second time I’ve owned a MacBook Air. The first one being the 11.6-inch MBA introduced in 2010. That MBA did not prove quite useful as my MBP so I had to let it go after several months. The difference is size between the 10-inch and 13-inch MBA is significant. It’s a totally different experience. When using the 10-inch MBA, I could not feel the Mac experience. It’s like using a glorified netbook.

Things are different with the 13-inch MBA. This time, aside from the light weight and thin form factor, when it comes to power, the new 13-inch MBA is as comparable as my old MBP. It’s just like making the experience a little lighter and thinner.

But of course, I’m totally wrong. After all, the new 13-inch MBA is faster and quicker than my old MBP. If you’ve read the benchmarks done by the more experienced Mac users than me, you’re probably aware that the 2011 MBA surpasses those of the even newer MBP Pro models. And yes, those benchmarks are true.

What made the 13-inch MBA even sweeter is – Lion. The Mac OS X Lion is definitely one of Apple’s best OS so far especially if you’re running it on the new generation of Macs. The processors sweetened this fact. Take note, I had prior experience using the Lion on my old MBP prior to selling it. I also have Lion on my iMac. Both the experience in using Lion on my iMac and my new MBA are better than the experience I had with Lion running on my old MBP.

Apps loads quicker, screen navigation is swifter and yes, boot up is faster than the old MBP Pro although a bit slower than the 10-inch MBA.

As you may have noticed, this review is not giving any specifics, right? That’s because I don’t want to bore you with technicalities about the MBA 2011. You can get that from other reviews or if you want complete details about the new MBA 2011, you might as well check out Apple’s site.

What I’m trying to prove here is that the new MBA 2011 is simply another great product from Apple. Apple has completely transformed the MBA from a product of beauty to a really more useful, functional and dependable computing machine.

And you’ll even get a bonus feature which was revived by Apple – back-lit keyboard. What more can you ask for?

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, Samsung Galaxy Note and Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 3.6

Samsung hits the headline yesterday when it announced two new Galaxy devices at the IFA in Berlin. These products are the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Samsung Galaxy Note. Additionally, Samsung has quietly launched another one – the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 3.6. More about these Galaxy devices after the jump.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is an updated version of the Galaxy Tab 7 which  became so popular here in the Philippines and in some other countries.  Sammy has to revive this series and so the Galaxy Tab 7.7 was born with more advanced features and specs including a 7.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus Display and a 1.4GHz dual-core processor. This will also enable the tablet to run the Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS.

In addition to the Tab 7.7, Samsung also introduced the Galaxy Note, a 5.3-inch mobile device with a hybrid of tablet and smartphone features. The device’s screen display is a Super AMOLED, similar to the one used for the Samsung Galaxy S. The Samsung Galaxy Note will also come with the S Pen technology which is some sort of a stylus the interacts with the device’s screen. But, it’s also full touch screen functional.

Aside from those two mobile devices, Sammy also launched the Galaxy S WiFi 3.6. For awhile I thought the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 was Samsung’s take on the iPod Touch but it seems that this is the one. The Galaxy S WiFi 3.6 is portable media player running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has most of the features of the Galaxy S WiFi 5.0. The difference of course is just the size.

Unfortunately, there’s now words yet on when all these products will be available in the Philippines. Hopefully, soon. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 seems like a pretty interesting tablet to have. 🙂

More information about these devices here, here and here.


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