Sunday, November 6, 2011

android - be discerning at the lower end (part 2)

Android tablets span a whole range of functionality and build quality.

In my February article (part 1), I covered some of the features which you should look for in the sub £200 bracket.

This article is an update. I hope to do two or three more updates until ...

£100 buys you a 768MB 10 inch tablet running Android 4.0 on a 1Ghz dual core.

[ It might take a while :) ]

...or the ten inch...

Here I quote from my February article as to what to look for:

  • 3D graphics support (OpenGL ES)
  • 256MB ram
  • SD card slot (or microSD at a push)
  • Android 2.1 or later (2.3 or later for WebM)

Bingo! Here you have two sub £200 tablets that meet most of points 2, 3, 4.
I am guessing 3D graphics support is asking too much just now, however you are £50 less than £200 limit on price.

But surely these are no good, would you buy one personally?

It depends. Budget is the thing here. If you only want to spend £200, then this is what supply and demand currently says you can have.

One thing that did previously hamper low end tablets was frugal built in memory. Here we see that is no longer an issue. Hurrah!

But Joe down the pub says that these are resistive touch screens and no good.

If you are not sure, then read up on the difference here.

The Samsung Galaxy and others have popularised heat sensitive touch, however there are some merits to pressure sensitive screens also.

If you are led mostly by fashion and popularity, then you are probably in the wrong price category here.

If Joe offers you a second hand tablet, then do consider battery life before you invest. After a years constant use, a Samsung Galaxy Tab might have a battery that does not hold charge so well. Can you buy a replacement battery and fit it?

The £200 category redefined - early 2012 and beyond:

If it had not been for the flooding in South East Asia, I would have speculated that 768MB might become the new bar for sub £200 tablets.

However 512MB is probably a more sensible limit given the temporary memory shortages.

Sub £200 Android tablets running version 3.0 of Android should start appearing in early 2012.

I stand by my previous requirement 3D graphics support (OpenGL ES). I think it is achievable at that price point at a stretch.

WebM support out of the box is something you should also check for.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

linux is lateral - uk corridor

Linux use in UK companies, clustered on M62 and M4?

Apart from stating the obvious (Central London) where big financial is regularly advertising for Linux, the two corridors stand out.
Between Warrington and Leeds the M62. With a particular focus on Manchester.

The M4 corridor, not that it is news to see this area mentioned for startups.

Cardiff and Bristol - a nice tech cluster going on there either side of the River Severn.

Developments in 2012 and 2013:

The Silicon roundabout and other initiatives should help Linux move further east of Central London. At the moment skills are concentrated in Central London and other parts of London, but not much in East London.

( Middlesex and/or the stretch Left of Central London between M1 and M4, has always traditionally been a tech hotspot also )

The Silicon roundabout will stretch the reach of Linux a little further along that southern corridor, but what about the Midlands and North?

Tech startup success in Warrington, Manchester, and Leeds should spur on the extremes (Liverpool and Hull) to eventually play catch up.

Birmingham is underrepresented, and I will keep watching the news for any development there.

Linux and Tech Startups:

Take the map above and overlay it onto a map of startup clusters. What do you see?

Note: That map at the top is a point in time analysis, and will change month to month, however I suspect the picture will look broadly the same until those initiatives mentioned above take off.