Stories by David Haskin

Smartphone battery life: 20 ways to juice it up

It's difficult enough to keep plain-vanilla mobile phones charged for a busy day of just talking. But these days, we also use our smartphones for e-mail, surfing the Web, editing documents, accessing corporate networks, text messaging, enjoying music and video, playing games, managing our personal information and much more -- making it all the more catastrophic when our devices run out of juice.

Ultraportable laptops: Their rise and possible fall

For some users, the new generation of ultraportable notebooks comes close to embodying the Holy Grail for road warriors. Their laptop-like keyboards make them more usable for typing tasks than smart phones, but they are lighter and cheaper than traditional laptops. The original Asus Eee PC, for instance, cost about US$400 and weighed about two pounds when it was introduced last October.

A trickle into the enterprise

It might not be long before you see District of Columbia police officers reaching into their pockets and pulling out iPhones -- in the line of duty. The city is field-testing Apple's phone and is considering distributing the devices to as many as 1,000 employees, including police officers.

HP's 2133 Mini-Note takes on the Eee PC

Last year, Asustek's Eee PC became a surprise hit by providing far more power and usability than a smart phone for light-traveling road warriors with far less expense and bulk than a traditional laptop. HP's new 2133 Mini-Note PC goes even further, providing a bigger, brighter screen and a host of other advantages that could make the device a mainstream hit.

Becoming a green road warrior

Business travel can be exhausting. Just getting to your flight in these days of traffic congestion and long security lines can be a trial. And once you're at your destination, there are meetings to attend and phone calls to return, not to mention keeping up with what's happening back at the office.

Big device offers strong media player value

In a world in which gadgets are getting ever-smaller, SanDisk's new Sansa View is, strangely, significantly larger than both its competitors and its own predecessor, the company's Sansa e200 line of media players.

Zune is much improved, but still catching up

The first-generation Zune media player that Microsoft released last year was a me-too product with a few nice touches. So the question with the new, second-generation Zune is whether Microsoft is ready to surpass its competition, most notably Apple and its iPods.

Will Wi-Fi hot spots survive WiMax and 3G?

Mobile WiMax promises to be fast, cheap and, if Sprint Nextel keeps its word, available across the US by 2009. 3G service, while slower than mobile WiMax, is already widely available. Both technologies are designed to cover wide areas.

What went wrong with the mobile Web?

Futurists and industry analysts have long predicted the ascent of the mobile Web, in which people can traverse the Web using smart phones as easily and fruitfully as they can at their desktops. But almost three years after 3G networks became widely available, few are using it to access the Web with their phones.