Saturday, January 12, 2008

Insignia? What the heck brand is that?

So today I went out and bought an MP3 player with some of the Christmas gift certificates I recently received. Everyone and their Grandmother has an iPod these days and while I really like them, I was looking for a bit more.

Imagine my surprise when I come across the Insignia Sport 4GB MP3 player. Insignia? What the heck is that? Best Buy's brand? Ugghh... This can't be good.

Wrong. This is a really impressive little player. I am REALLY surprised.

I needed an MP3 player that could handle secure WMA audio so I could use my Yahoo! Music Unlimited To Go subscription. This is the same as what is offered by Napster and Rhapsody. But I also wanted bluetooth functionality so I could use it with my bluetooth stereo headset. I recently purchased a Plantronics 855 Stereo Bluetooth headset and I am really liking it. Plus, it wouldn't hurt to have some expandability. I don't need 20GB of music at all times (or more) but it's still nice to be able to expand if you want to.

So...

MP3 features

All-around great. Same features as most players. Very good audio quality. Equalizer has five presets plus a custom setting. A really nice benefit is that the player has a microSD slot, so your little 4GB MP3 player can be expanded to 6, or 8 or 10GB. Awesome!

Bluetooth

Very, very impressive. It paired up with my Plantronics 855 Stereo headset without an issue. I did experience some dropouts of the audio from time to time. Nothing too bad, but it does happen. One VERY cool feature is that I was also able to pair the headset to a cell phone (Palm Treo 700P). When a call came in, the music was put on hold and I took the call. When the call was concluded, the music resumed. Keep in mind though that the music does not pause, the audio stream is simply put on hold. The manual for the 855 says otherwise, but my experience was that there was no pausing. Just keep in mind your BT headset needs to support multiple devices as well. I don't know how many BT pairings the 855 can hold but I've been able to switch between three devices so far without problems.

Radio

The unit has an FM radio and retrieves RDS information from the radio stations you are listening to (if the radio station is actually transmitting RDS info) which is a nice feature. The radio quality was VERY good in New York City. Plus, the RDS info can be saved if you hear a song on the radio that you want to download at a later time. The radio also has 20 presets available for setting.

Video

The video capability was surprisingly good and there is a program included to help you convert video files to the appropriate MPEG4 format. You can also use it to show still pictures

Extra

If you're willing to carry the USB cable around, you can use the player to store files on, just like a standard USB flash drive.

Issues

The one issue I had has to do with the radio. The FM radio requires a wired headset because it used the headset wires as the antenna. Technically you can still use the Bluetooth headset at the same time. It worked fine for me. But it seems foolish to listen to the radio on your wireless bluetooth stereo headset while your wired headphones are plugged in. To be honest, the audio quality is so good, I may simply use wired earbuds normally.

One last thing, the manual they include on the CD is incorrect and refers to an older model. You can download the correct manual (user guide) from http://www.insignia-products.com

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The results are in.....

Well, I finally got the time to run the benchmarks on the new extended battery for the Q1 Ultra. I used Battery Eater Pro 2.70

The results were interesting. The standard battery that comes with the Q1 Ultra is a 4000 mAh Li-Ion. It came in at 164 minutes (2 hrs. 43 min.). The extended battery is a 7800mAh Li-Ion battery. It came in at 332 minutes (5 hrs. 31 min.). Not bad for the extended battery. 102.4% increase in battery life at only 95% increase in battery capacity.

The tests were done on the exact same system one after the other, so even if my tweaks or overall setup differ, the relative improvement remains the same. The unit was left at 3/8 brightness and the LCD auto-dim option was turned off and the unit's power mode was set to "Always On" with no sleep or hibernate warning alarms enabled. It has 2GB RAM installed.

This first graph is the from the standard battery (4000 mAh)



The second graph is from the extended battery (7800 mAh)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Q1 Ultra Battery has arrived!!!

WOW! I ordered my Q1 Ultra Extended Battery late Monday night and here it is in my office on Wednesday morning. I didn't expect it until next week! I ordered it shipped via UPS ground from Georgia too! Kudos to Antonline.com. It's absolutely certain that I'll be buying from them in the future!

Trouble is.... I'm at work and I have to wait until tonight to get to charge this thing and try it out! Nuts! :-(

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Samsung Q1 Ultra extended battery on the way...

Well, I went out and purchased a new extended battery for my Q1 Ultra. Hopefully it will arrive early next week. One of the things on my to-do list is to run some battery tests on the device now that the Q1U is pretty much configured the way I normally use it. Should make for an interesting comparison.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Phew... this video stuff is not easy...

So tonight I did my first video. Phew.... This is not as easy as I thought. You really have to work at this. Lighting is an issue, constantly saying "uh" and "um" and sounding like a fool. Wow. This is going to be different.

Anyway, I did it. I created my first video. It's five minutes long and I demonstrate what vectoring is like on a Q1 Ultra. I also do a quick video demonstration of the Zero Weight Keyboard. It's my first jab at video. Hopefully I can only get better at it, right? right?!?!

I have to admit though, it is kind of fun...

Tell me what you think.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A toe in the water...

Like so many people on the Internet, I'm in love with gadgets. I love things that make me mobile. One of my greatest joys is working with technology that allows us all to share this wonderful knowledge that we each accumulate. Sometimes it's in the written word, sometimes it's spoken. These days it's more likely than ever before to be put on video and shared by the world.

MobileMaven does not describe me. I read and enjoy the work of a lot of people smarter than me. Instead, I hope that it comes to describe this site as a source of information for those aspects of mobility that impact my life. Maybe it impacts your life too. If this little blog serves as one more useful destination in that truely world wide web of information, then so much the better. If not, well, at least it will be a mildly interesting distraction for me!