Inspecting gadgets

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from the latest Blackberry curve to the newest in network storage.

Tags: Data Robotics Incorporated (www.drobo.com)Hewlett-Packard CompanyLogitech InternationalUnited Arab Emirates
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Inspecting gadgets Blackberry Curve 8520.
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By  Imthishan Giado Published  February 7, 2010 Arabian Computer News Logo
Staying on the Curve

It’s a new Blackberry. It’s got slightly better features than the old Curve 8320 which it replaces, including the now-essential Wi-Fi – but surprisingly, not 3G. It’s got a shiny (literally) new touchpad to replace the finicky trackball which users have complained about in the past as being great to use but not entirely reliable. If you’ve hit some sort of cash-flow crisis and can no longer afford the new (and far superior) Bold2, buy this instead.

Wait, is that review too short? Well, it rather reflects the phone which in many ways is just the same old Blackberry dressed up in a set of not-entirely-new clothes. The OS is still fine for what it needs to do best, but beyond that it is all looking a little bit 2000-and-late, to quote the Black Eyed Peas.

Of course, with more than 17 million customers worldwide and thousands of custom apps in use by enterprises, RIM obviously has cracked the winning formula for companies. Not easy to ignore, however, is the fact that the current interface dates back to 2008 when it debuted on the first generation Bold device. We’re now two years on and competitors like Google are aiming to muscle into RIM’s territory with own-brand devices like the Nexus One (which we’ll be taking a look at next month), while Apple pushes ever-harder with the iPhone.

Some may scoff at that suggestion, but one can never underestimate the twin threat of both Mountain View and Cupertino and as devices grow ever-more homogenous, the interface will be the key differentiating factor for consumers and enterprises alike. Warmed-over handsets like the 8520 just won’t cut it in the fierce battle for smartphone supremacy.

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