All posts by Juan Carlos Bagnell

Juan has been obsessed with consumer electronics since before computers had GUI’s. Out of college he worked on a JIT computing contract which supported DOE facilities in New Mexico. He’s been featured on numerous podcasts and radio shows lending his tech insights. You can also find him in LA directing voice over actors and producing spoken word recording.

‘The IT Crowd’ will return with a one-off show wrap up episode this month!

the it crowd series ending special

A little geek entertainment news. The IT Crowd is one of my all time favorite TV shows. I recorded the theme song off of Netflix to use as my ringtone. I’m in that deep.

Well all good things must officially come to an end, and The IT Crowd will air a special 40 minute wrap up episode later this month on Channel 4. Show runner Graham Linehan dropped the bomb on Twitter yesterday:

It was announced back in May that they would be producing the special, and now we’re finally going to be able to see it.

Damn. First Nokia, and now IT Crowd. I shall name this week “End of an Era” week.

BBC Channel 4 should have more news soon.

IFA 2013: Panasonic Toughpad 4K – a 20 inch tablet running Windows 8.1

panasonic toughpad 4k ifa somegadgetguyIt’s audacious. PC sales are slowing up, so tech companies need to come up with new product lines to excite the public. Microsoft is blurring the lines between tablets and PC’s with Windows 8, and manufacturers are starting to develop hardware based on that shift.

Panasonic is making the Toughpad 4K a real product. A year ago they showed off a proof of concept 4K display running Windows. Soon you’ll be able to buy one!

This 20″ display has a resolution of 3840×2560, and is being marketed towards graphics and design professionals. In addition to touch controls, there’s the option to use an inductive stylus to get work done. Powered by a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, NVIDIA graphics, and up to 256GB of solid state storage, Panasonic is smudging the lines on “portable” computing. There needs to be a new classification for these types of slate. Something like “Semi-Mobile”.

Impressively, this thing is actually battery powered, and those high performance guts can run for around two hours without being connected to an outlet. At only five pounds, you could conceivably leave the house with the Toughpad. Something you’d never really consider doing with an iMac for example. It opens up some interesting possibilities for temporary workstations and situations where you’d need visuals like presentations. Instead of lugging a laptop and a projector, just pack up your Toughpad.

We’ll see more of this type of product soon in the coming months, as even Sony is releasing a “semi-mobile” computer.

No info on a USA release, but Toughpad 4K should arrive in Europe the middle of November. Expect it to drop for around  €4,500 (about $6000).

(picture via @Windows)

NVIDIA posts an EXPLOSIVE tear down video of the Shield portable gaming console.

nvidia tear down shield explosion video somegadgetguyOk.

I’m geek enough to really enjoy a good tear down video. The first computer I ever took apart was an 8088 running DOS. It’s in my blood. I like knowing what’s inside my magic boxes. NVIDIA has taken a somewhat novel approach to opening up their Shield portable gaming console (one of my favorites from this year’s E3 btw).

When they said they were going to show us an “exploded” view of Shield, who knew they would take that literally…

Rumor: No surprise Microsoft MIGHT be working on a Surface 2. Gasp!

microsoft surface pro somegadgetguy

No really folks. Apparently we’re going to treat this rumor like it’s really hot news. Great.

Apparently Microsoft hasn’t been sitting around twiddling its collective thumbs since the release of the Surface Pro. Color me shocked, they MIGHT just be working on a follow up to their groundbreaking slate PC. Real facts here are slim, but there’s a lot we can glean without much effort.

See there’s this new lower-power processor out from Intel called Haswell. It wasn’t out when the original Surface Pro was released, but it’s popping up in all kinds of new laptops, and is proving very popular thanks to its improved power management. It sips way less juice, and is now the brains behind the new Asus Transformer Book T300 and Sony’s beautiful new Tap 11. Those two represent the closest direct competition to the idea which bore the Surface Pro. Taking laptop-grade hardware, and cramming it into a device little bigger than an iPad.

So here’s the hot scoop, Microsoft will use THAT processor in their follow up to the Surface Pro! Bam! I KNOW!

It’ll probably even have more RAM too! BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WITH TECH! IT GETS MORE RAM!

I mean seriously. These aren’t even “leaks”, they’re just obvious paths of improvement. How frustrating would it be if I acted all coy about the Samsung Galaxy S5 having a more powerful processor and a better camera. SHOCKING! But you heard it here first. EXCLUSIVE! HOT!

What no one really knows for certain is what a release schedule might look like. The original Surface RT was released in October of last year, with the Surface Pro held up until February of this year. Microsoft would do well to get ahead of this hardware cycle, as they have to play a little catch up with all the Haswell products hitting the market now.

We also know that Windows 8.1 will be released to consumers on October 17th, so the timing on a refreshed Surface could tie together really well.

If a refreshed Surface Pro even happens.

Because apparently people are surprised when major companies secretly work on improving products. And this is why I hate writing up rumor posts…

Skype for Windows Phone Finally receives Video Messaging.

windows phone skype update video messaging somegadgetguy appIt’s been a long time coming. While Windows Phone is now the third place phone platform, these kinds of announcements still get us excited.

Now if you’re using a WP8 handset and Skype, updating the app will finally give you the ability to send video messages to your Skype contacts. Your own private video communications, free and unlimited messaging. So go get updating! And now instead of leaving me a voice mail you can shoot me a video. That’s way more interesting. Just remember to look into the camera and stop trying to make eye contact with yourself.

While I have you here on this post, I do have a gripe. If Microsoft owns Skype, why are Windows Phone users the last, DISTANT last place, to be getting this kind of functionality? If Redmond is going to drive the WP8 platform to any kind of success, and after buying Nokia I’m guessing they hope for some kind of success, this kind of neglect needs to stop.

Seriously. I hate myself for what I’m about to type here, but Microsoft, yeah, we need a little more brand synergy. Thanks.

Love,

GadgetGuy

P.S.

Skype on the Microsoft App store

Real Person Video Review: Tom Costello chats about his Nokia Lumia 521

nokia lumia 521 review hands on somegadgetguy smartphoneMy friend Tom Costello is a working actor in LA, and he was kind enough to sit down with me to chat about his experiences using his Nokia Lumia 520.

I hope to continue this as a semi-regular series on how real people (not tech bloggers) incorporate tech into their daily lives. You can catch our first Real Person Review of Marie talking about her Galaxy S4.

We had a few teething pains with Google Hangouts getting the interview started, but it settled down once we got to talking.

I really want to thank Tom for sharing his experiences, and to keep track of his projects, please check out his IMDB profile: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1843641/

HDMI 2.0 approved and anounced! Get ready for 4K video at 60fps!

hdmi 2.0 cable somegadgetguyThis is the best kind of update!

A shadowy forum of TV specialty Ninjas have finally pulled back the curtain hiding the newest HDMI specification from the public. At least that’s how these kinds of events go down in my head.

HDMI 2.0 will offer a big bump to bandwidth allowing for 4K video at 60fps. Nicely timed as we’re starting to see consumer solutions for 4K films and TV. Along with the ability to pump an 18Gbps data stream, HDMI 2.0 will also support up to 32 audio channels. Why that many audio channels? I don’t know, but it’s there, so that’s good.

Best of all you shouldn’t need to buy new cables! The Shadow Forum has determined that the current HDMI cable design is equal to the task.

Full PR after the jump.

Continue reading HDMI 2.0 approved and anounced! Get ready for 4K video at 60fps!

AT&T confirms plans to sell Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear

16 air commandAs AT&T was the first carrier to support phablets, launching the original Galaxy Note, it should come as no surprise that they’re already on board announcing their plans to carry the Note 3. There’s no pricing or availability info just yet, but if you’re interested in going large with Big Blue and a Sammy Phablet, you can sign up for an email notification when more info drops.

Also interesting, is their announcement to carry the Galaxy Gear, expanding their line up of smartphone accessories in AT&T retail channels.

We’ll know more as we get closer to Samsung’s target release date of September 25.