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Vantage Technology Magazine
The great Best Buy guide

This is just one page, of our huge Best Buy guide... We select very carefully the finest products of great value, in almost every category. And we include any really good alternatives, explain normally why our recommendation is the best choice and give some vital advice.
A word to the Companies - It is a great honour, to become a Best Buy in this guide... That mean normally, that your product is superior and give a higher value, than hundreds of your competitors and that's great promotion...
You are also very welcome to send finer pictures, of the models we write about... Plus information (or a review sample) on products we should grade as Best Buy and we respect NDA dates!

On this page... Why a notebook / laptop Best value
notebooks
Printers Scanners Great Programs!
Parasites Pocket Computers
On the other pages...
First page of the Best Buy guide.. Audio Video
Digital cameras Mobile Phones Cars Boats
Wrist watches Excellent Film's
The advanced HIFI school, that explain everything
And in the "Great Technology" section...
The finest motor boats, for great weekends at sea
The main menu... And the front page



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Computer and programs

You may click here to see exactly how we work... And please click here and email me... If you have NEWS about finer worldwide alternatives, any important information (type extra good or bad qualities) on the products I recommend and naturally, any finer pictures...

Notebook Computers

A modern budget notebook have a lot of great advantages, over a desktop computer and cost anyhow less... As long as you don't need to play the most advanced games, but then should you maybe buy a console anyhow... And it may be problem to edit movies in real time, if you use a badly written slow program... But with Sony Vegas Video, should you not need more than a Intel i5 Sandy Bridge processor, 4GB ram and a fine HD video graphic card, to edit full HD progressive movies... And you get an even stronger Lenovo with Intel i7 generation four, 6GB ram and 1000GB HDD from only 5000sek... But observe - even the fastest AMD processor is NOT faster than an Intel i3 of the 4th generation!
Why is a modern notebook, the superior choice??
The GIANT screen is even bigger, than you first think... Because a 15.6" note screen (who normally is placed 50cm away) is actually just as big as a 23.4" flat screen, at the ordinary 75cm distance!! The slim keyboard, with a "touch point pad" give you a lot of extra room for documents and stuff, on both sides... Even if you prefer to use a separate mouse... And you don't have to reach as far away from the keyboard, for a mouse... But some notebooks have wide numeric keys (instead of slimmer versions) that place the normal keyboard a bit too far to the left and force you to work too much "at the left side" compared to the screen! They have normally no noisy fan! A note does filter the net current through a battery and that protect the delicate stuff (and secure your data, if you get a power failure) in the same way, as an expensive UPS for a desk top... You can naturally move the note anywhere and even lock it in a safe, instead of getting your desktop stolen... Which otherwise is a very common problem... Your may also work in a library, the beach, on extra long holidays, in an inspiring park and when you are sipping Margarita's on your porch, on warm summer days..A note have a very safe hard disc drive, that is made to endure some movements... A desktops hard drive can be damage, if you just happened to "bang" the table and HD failures are actually the most common problem, on desktops! Even some other stuff, are more reliable in a note and everything is normally, more carefully selected to work perfect together... You find notes, in discreet dark colours and elegant design, that look good everywhere, even in you living room... You don't have to change the focus of your eyes, when you look from the keyboard to the screen and you don't have to look that far up, either... Remember, that you use to look down in both magazines and books, so that is not strange... Most prefer the distinct short key travel on a notebook, when they get used to it... Finally have most new budget notebooks, a bigger HDD and faster processor than you ever need (with the extreme exception I mention in the beginning) and a low price "fine brand" note is actually clearly cheaper, than a budget desktop with a relatively smaller 21" flat screen... And that don't include any UPS to secure the power supply!!
The only disadvantage may be "weak keyboards" which actually is protected by the screen, when you close it... But I have never had any problems (except some crazy programs and two dead power units) with any of my six notebooks, that I used very intensive!!
And why not a tablet, then? A tablet can be the optimal ULTRA BASIC computer - if you only want to surf the internet, reed books and magazines, get your email, chatt, view photos and videos... But you need a good internet connection, then and WiFi may be too limiting... And android tablets are very fun, if they at least can connect to the huge app store Google Play (many cheap Android tablets don't) but there are no apps that can replace really advanced PC programs for photo or video editing (only rather basic versions) and Windows 8 tablets are both very expensive and eat battery... Then have tablets rather tiny screens, even if you normally hold it on 40cm distance and a 10.1 inch is then almost like a 13 inch notebook screen... Finally can the battery be a major future problem, because they are always special and if you buy a cheap "not big name" tablet, may you never find a replacement battery, when the first one die!

The ultimate machine...
The finest value notebook, at spring 2006 - Toshiba Satellite A100

The best value notebooks... Asus, Lenovo, Acer, Toshiba, Samsung and Fujitsu - produce some excellent notebooks, at incredible low prices...
And following studies I found about laptops / notebooks true reliability / build quality (not how the users love or grade their machines) might also be helpful... According to a big survey PC MAG made 2011 was Samsung the most reliable with 5% needing repairs within one year, then came Asus and Acer with 9% Toshiba and MSI with 10% Sony and Fujitsu 12% Lenovo 13% Apple and HP 15% Gateway 16% Dell 19% and Alienware 21% fail rate!
According to another big survey PCWorld made 2010 was Asus the most reliable brand with only 17.1 percent that report some problem (now within 3 years) followed by Toshiba and Acer... Then came Samsung, Sony and Lenovo in the middle... And HP was the clearly worst "big brand" alternative, closely followed by Dell, as they both sadly been for many years now...
And according to SquareTrade warranty statistic 2009 was Asus and Toshiba the best that year too (especially after 3 years use) and HP was clearly worst once again... But HP has at least improved from horrible 36% getting a significant problem within 3 years 2007 to only 24% 2011 (even if that lower number, still is mush worse than average) according to another PCWorld study.

Some tips, about how to select a note... Choose a note with a nice keyboard and touch pad, from a really big brand - so you at least can buy new batteries, when the first ones dies... And you only need a good 15,6 inch tft screen, Intel 3 or 4th generation "Sandy Bridge" i3 processor, 250GB drive, 2GB ram, DVD burner, three USB ports and ethernet for broadband... Yes, that is normally enough (with the extreme exception I mention in the beginning) and I was completely happy with just that, even if I bought a dream note lately... And you will normally get that as minimum today... And if you want to edit full HD progressive video, get Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum (that costs almost nothing at Amazon) and a note with a third to 4th generation Intel i5 or i7 processor (wich include a fine HD video graphic processor) and 4gb ram... Then should you get a fine cheap separate HDD if you don't have over 500GB because full HD video take a lot of space and you may also connect a finer extra sound card, to get ready for advanced full HD movie editing and it may also be nice if the note have a 17" high res screen, if you don't think that get too clumsy.
Warning!! A note with a "point stick" like a few Lenovo, very old IBM and old Toshiba's can make anyone crazy....You move first the arrow, too long or too short (or very slow) and have then to adjust... And balls get easy dirty (except the Logitech's mouse's) but "touch pads" on brand name notes, work excellent (the sensitively may easy be adjusted) and you can normally click, with just a "tap" on the pad... Just check, that the arrow move smoothly and never make small jumps...

Printers

If you print a lot of text, may you still need a Laser Printer with 600 dpi and some edge improvement technology (or just 1200 dpi) that actually give you about 300dpi true quality (on ordinary office paper) and costs from 950sek... Because even the best budget inkjet printers (that also may be very fast) costs about 25% more to use, give only about 100 dpi on ordinary paper, 200 dpi on extra fine paper, 300 dpi on expensive glossy paper and leave sometimes "thin white lines" in the text...But check also that the Laser Printer don't need a noisy fan, is of a secure brand (type Canon, HP, Samsung, Brother, Lexmark, Panasonic) for the future toners and really print laser sharp... Then might some brands and the cheapest / smallest models, have extremely expensive toners... The smallest have not enough internal room for the paper storage, either and when they have that room, are they at least 38cm deep.
You might also prefer a multifunction laser printer, that in addition is a fine copier and scanner for just 10 to 30% more?!
Then has Canon the excellent good looking black "all in one" machine Canon Pixma MG5150 - That is a very fine inkjet printer, 1200x2400 dpi scanner and colour copier... It give prints of very high quality, as true 300dpi on glossy photo papers, 100dpi on low cost office papers or 200 dpi on extra fine office paper (that costs 5 times more) without any "inkdot-noise" even if you zoom in 300% and the print quality is actually better than for most ink jets at any price, but graphics lose sometimes very thin lines and it has no fax function... It print also 25% faster than other budget "all in one" machines, at incredible 750sek!!
Otherwise and especially if you want to print out many colour photographs in ultra high quality is the elegant black Canon PIXMA iP3600 the best safe choice... Because it give very sharp "9600x2400 dpi" prints of excellent quality, as true 300dpi on glossy photo papers or 200dpi (on extra fine office paper) without any "inkdot-noise" even if you zoom in 300% and it have even rather low ink costs (almost as a laser printer) and are "swish swish" quiet, at 700sek!

Scanner

A 15.6 inch 1024x768 computer notebook screen (that is 303mm wide) give you only 86dpi (a bigger monitor give you an even less sharp image) so you only need max 100dpi, if you want to scan for the web... But if you have a program (like Corel PhotoPaint 8 or higher) that can fix the moire effect (an ugly pattern) you get if you scan printed pictures, then is it best to scan in 300 dpi (optical resolution, not interpolated) so you get every separate dot in the printed picture and make it easy for the program... You will also need at least 300 dpi to scan in original photos, for a fine printed magazine...
But not all scanners are accurate, so you should either choose a fine 300dpi scanner (that is accurate in test) or minimum a 600dpi scanner... Finally is it a big difference in speed and the programs, but the best budget choice 2012 was Canon LiDE 110 which is slim (4cm) compact, fast, have USB and give very fine scans, at 550 sek... But you can almost get a multifunction printer (with a fine scanner) at that price!

We don't grade this excellent products, separately...
Because we only write about the absolute best alternatives,
so they are all in the true value class!

Great Programs!

First... Everyone who study (and often also parents) can in most countries buy the finest programs from Microsoft and CorelDraw 70-80% cheaper!!

Office The great LibreOffice suite is an improved version of OpenOffice that actually was more powerful than Microsoft Office and they are both completely free open source programs... This is a bit complicated to explain, but Sun Microsystems bought first StarOffice and did soon offer OpenOffice as a free alternative to Microsoft Office... And they did continue to offer StarOffice (almost the same office suite, with more support) at a very low cost, until 2008 when the last StarOffice 9 came... Then did Oracle buy Sun Microsystems... When Oracle bought Sun, did most programmers leave the OpenOffice project and released LibreOffice 3.3 January 2011 and that is the only version that been updated (several times) since then and LibreOffice 3.5 is currently the last and finest version... Oracle gave then OpenOffice to Apache Software Foundation in June 2011, mainly because Oracle don't like free software... Apache are since then working on a new version, that hopefully will be released late 2012 and that version will also include the best from IBM's version of StarOffice, so it might become better than LibreOffice, but probably not!
Following information was written 2010 to explain why OpenOffice is a finer free alternative to Microsoft Office... Many professional companies (as Sony) did change to the "sister" program StarOffice 8 that costs slightly more than the free OpenOffice and was released until 2008 one generation ahead of the free version... This masterpiece is designed to be a clearly finer alternative, that also handle MS Office documents... StarOffice / OpenOffice is especially the most stable big office suite, much more reliable than MS word and extremely compatible (work fine) with different versions of MS Office... Very complicated documents, may sometimes need a few detail adjustments... But OpenOffice open even documents from old versions of MS Office and many corrupt MS words files, that MS Office refuse to open... They has excellent help files that can guide you through every step... Functions as numbering lists, that often get corrupt in MS word, work perfect in Star / OpenOffice... Microsoft Office users who switch to Star / OpenOffice will need little or no retraining, because the menus and overall behaviour of the two suites are nearly identical... And Star / OpenOffice tends to be more intuitive than Microsoft Office... The main Star / OpenOffice system (and window) is the same for the different program modules, which give better integration and speed... The dictionary and the thesaurus are both greatly superior to the writing tools in MS Word XP and you can export advanced word files directly to PDF or HTML, several reviewers say they definitely prefer Star / OpenOffice over MS word for large writing projects, you will also find "Impress" to be a better choice than "PowerPoint" for presentations... Graphics and presentations can be exported as Flash SWF files... Even the "Calc" module is better than "Excel" with several nice advancements, you can give columns and rows substitute names (that is more easy to remember than "G") and very easy edit the complete design with a "Theme" function, plus quick and easy rearrange your worksheet with the "DataPilot" function... A mail merge document can be produced a lot more intuitive and in a fraction of the time, compared to a MS word mail merge document... Then is the the drawing features far more advanced, compared to a MS word....
PC magazine wrote... "We also like the Master Document feature for organizing multiple files in a single "container" document; it follows the flexible model used by Corel WordPerfect, not the awkward model used in Microsoft Word. Unlike Word, StarOffice's Writer word processor places page layout options on the Format menu where you expect them, not on the File menu. It also lets you insert headers and footers from the Insert menu; Word hides them under View." The only disadvantage is a find dialog box that doesn't move out of the way, so you can see the word it find!
NewsForge wrote: "When a document exceeds 30 megabytes in Microsoft Office, a crash and, often, file corruption, is imminent. By contrast, in my experience, StarOffice remains stable to the limits of a computer's virtual memory and RAM and then rarely corrupts files... In my experience, basic users of Microsoft Office - and that means most of them - can become productive in StarOffice in a morning, including a coffee break and an early lunch... MS Word users can only dream of true text frames, or of automatic lists and master documents that don't corrupt. By contrast, StarOffice users have had them for years."

Photo editing Corel PhotoPaint that is a part of the Corel Draw suite, is possible the finest picture optimizing program (to adjust digital photos) because it include fine moire removal (a must if you scan printed pictures) even compared to the famous (plus huge and extremely expensive) Adobe Photoshop... Then have PhotoPaint almost exactly the same functions, at a clearly lower price and you get also an excellent drawing program, in the Corel Draw suite!
And the two best advanced budget alternatives 2012 seem to be Serif PhotoPlus X4 That has many happy owners and many prefer this one over Corel PaintShop Pro X3 because it's faster, have the really advanced functions you need, plus finer text handling and is anyhow a bit more easy to work with... Beginners have also fine help functions and built in tutorials... Yes, there is now a Serif PhotoPlus X5 version at 65 usd (that some say is even faster) but this one costs only 13 usd (feb 2012) and offer mainly the same, except it is hard to install for some and this "old" version get naturally no phone support... And since then did I read a very positive article 2017 about Affinity Photo which also is made by Serif, is reported to be more advanced than Corel Paintshop Pro and cost about the same...
And the second advanced budget alternative is Corel PaintShop Pro (originally made by Jasc) which also have moire removal... The old PSP 9 did actually offer more advanced "undo" functions than Adobe Photoshop CS and PSP X add a smart Learning Centre... It can even use "plug in" made for PhotoShop and The last X4 version costs about 40 usd... But about 10% have problems with X4 and it has no CMYK support, for professional printing, as Corel PhotoPaint above... Then is GIMP a popular free alternative, that is almost as advanced as Adobe Photoshop... But it's dramatically more complicated to use (especially compared with Corel PhotoPaint and the alternatives below) and often very slow (even 2017) so you will probably prefer the second best free photo editor - Paint.Net - that is very easy to use and instead offer slightly less advanced functions, but it has every really valuable function (including "layers" for example) and even PhotoShop owners use this fine program for many quick fixes... PhotoScape is also very easy to use and almost as advanced as the two above, you get in addition a smart "page layout" part which can help you create extra fine photo collages, many users LOVE this program, it work in Window (as the software above) and supports over 26 languages... BUT one user did report September 2009 that it has no layers or cloning stamp (that every pro user need) and you can only work with one photo, each time...
And the superior Photo Viewing program XnView is also completely free... You find the free software above and especially many user reviews at CNET downloads, on our link page...

Notepad / text EditPad Lite is a truly excellent and completely FREE replacement to windows notepad (antecknaren in Swedish) which allow you superior control over complex text files and actually is the greatest improvement you can get for windows... And they have also the more advanced EditPad Pro that costs very little...

CAD Then is TurboCad a superior (fast, advanced, smart and cheap) program for architecture and technical drawings...

Click here for our links page, to most of the software above and below!

MS Internet Explorer Remember to save your favourite section of Vantage Tech Magazine (or the news page) in favourites... Yes, Vantage Tech Magazine is optimized for everyone with VGA screen (as pocket computers) or higher resolution and if you have over 1024x768 or higher, can you have EditPad or another program at the side... We don't want to make the main text parts wider, because that is much harder to read and that's why paper magazines use text column's - but that don't work good in a website, when you scroll down and not only view one page, before next... That is also the reason why most news sites, have a rather slim main text column.
Some smart TIPS for Inernet Explorer... If you want to open a link or picture, in a new window (exactly as all my pictures and links to other sites) just hold down "shift" and click the link OR right click the link and choose the right alternative... Then can you seek for a word, on any webpage with "Ctrl"+"f" but move first to the top... The "space bar" work also as PgDn... You can always open a new window with "Ctrl"+"n" and you can finally close the active window, with "Alt"+"F4" or "Ctrl"+"w" and that's specially good, when you get strange pop-ups!

Then will you NEED a good firewall Or "brandvägg" in Swedish... Because over 100.000 hackers have today furious programs, that automatically try to break in to any computers and then use Your computer to store highly illegal material (as child porn) steal your account numbers (when you log in) or send spam, for example... And the best firewall for Microsoft XP / Vista / Windows 7 is Comodo Firewall which is completely free, for private use and this firewall protect you even if you already got a "parasite" program in your computer, that try to connect with the hacker... So you should absolutely click here for the link to Comodo Free Firewall NOW and become secured...

Windows 95 to XP and possible Vista and Windows 7 Have a magic function... The system is normally adjusting itself automatically, the third time a bad program make problem (!) and that is very smart...
Then can you make it a lot more easy to use... You should in first hand "drag up" the activity bar, to top of the screen (where all the other menus and tools are) and and if you only have an 800x600 screen, set it to hide automatically... And if the activity bar don't open (typical once a month) use Ctrl + Esc... Then should you move your most used favourite programs, to the main start menu (from the hidden under menus and you can simply drag them there, in win98 ) and even make shortcuts, to your most important document folders and place them directly in the main start menu... Yes, forget to make a fancy "desktop" that you only see when you start the computer and design a convenient personal "start menu" instead!!
Windows 98 did need little more memory than Win 95 but work lovely (when you change back, to no "web look" views) and let you open stuff with a single click... Win ME didn't support DOS programs, need twice as much memory and so on... But XP need little less and have some BIG safety advantages... And Windows Vista work excellent on a modern computer, or if you turn off most of the fancy graphic.

Pocket Computers

The best alternative, today...
How to select a Pocket Computer or Smart Phone
The Perfect Smart Phone The incredible Psion Revo
A virtual keyboard, for PDA

An advanced SmartPhone, that also work as a fine Pocket Computer IS the absolute best way - to plan your life and always do the most important first, handle complex projects, manage your contacts and personal info, compare and investigate things to buy, collect facts anywhere and never forget anything, anymore...
And we did especially recommend a fine Pocket Computer with a nice keyboard, until the first great smartphone Palm Treo 600 came... But today is an advanced SmartPhone a clearly better alternative, because of 2 vital advantages... You can mainly handle all contact information in one place... Type phone numbers, email addresses, post address, things to do together and other personal info... And always bring that with you... Then is it naturally more convenient / easy to only bring one devise, instead of a separate phone and Pocket Computer...
So the future of pocket computers, is naturally complete SmartPhones, meaning mobile phones with advanced PDA functionality and if possible a fine physical keyboard... But absolutely NOT a simplified "smartphone" that NOT have a good Operating System, with a huge library of excellent extra programs and in some way, a nice keyboard!!
And you can click here to find the best value SmartPhones...

How to select a Smart Phone or Pocket Computer

This article was written BEFORE advanced SmartPhones was the best alternative... But you should anyhow read following, if you want to select a Pocket Computer or SmartPhone by yourself... Or click here to simply find the best value SmartPhones, in the Mobile Phones section!

You should FIRST select the best Operating System... Because a fine OS with smart basic programs and tons of excellent extra program (to buy or get free) is simply the "brain" in your machine... And we present the finest OS alternatives, in the Mobile Phones section...
Following is the most vital aspect, that any mobile OS must handle...
And it's absolutely NOT enough to see, if a machine seem to offer all the functionality you may need... Type that it has a calender, address book, email, web browser and more... Because some of the vital system qualities may be missing and make some basic function useless... But remember that a machine may still be a great alternative IF you really can get the missing qualities, with some extra programs and that's rather easy with Android...
The day or agenda view in the calendar, must show minimum 8 lines with 29 letters (and spaces) or 10 lines with 22 letters (plus symbols) without any scrolling - if you have some things to manage, plan or control... And my Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro show 15 lines with 34 crystal clear easy to read letters, with help of the extra calendar app CalenGoo and that's more than enough ;-) And you must be able to "quick link" a note (file) of minimum 4kb (and Android handle up to 8kb) to each todo post / contact / calendar entry... Type for extra info, as when you collect info about a product you plan to buy... It must also be possible to have minimum 10 different ToDo lists (by names or categories) with minimum 60 posts and "quick links" to a note for each post... For your projects and everything you plan to do or buy, when you have time or possibility... Yes, you should only use the calendar for things you must or want to do a specific date and write everything else in the ToDo list - sorted by priority or manually and in right category! A quick jump function in the calendar to the present / actual day (normally in the menu) from any day... Then is also a possibility to jump back to where you was, nice... Plus easy navigation to any day... Then must minimum 20kb text files be possible, with rather easy access... I can now show 9 files (of max 1000kb) in 9 separate main catalogues, without any scrolling in my SE Xperia Pro with help of a SD card and the excellent free app Jota Text Editor... Quick and easy navigation between the day view, different todo lists and text files, is also vital... That fix the amazing SwipePad - that can jump directly from one app to another, in my Xperia Pro... And finally auto resume, so you can close and then continue directly where you was...
Valuable extra (but not vital) system qualities It should normally be possible, to enter data directly and not have to open dialogue boxes... Any extra steps, are just stupid... Palm's "old" OS use normally half as many steps to do the same actions, compared with Windows Mobile and Symbian... And Android get almost perfect, with help of some excellent extra apps... And dialogue boxes, should naturally use the screen space (when it's much data) so you can see what you write...
And my Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro has every quality above and more (with help of a SD card and some smart extra apps) except the extra possibility to jump back to where you was, if you jump to the actual day...
Then is it very handy, if you can do calculations directly in a text, but that was only possible in Psion's Pocket Computers... But AirCalc for Android offer a completely free floating mini calculator... But some other elementary things, may naturally work very bad (gladly not in Palm) and be very irritating... Like the way the Windows Mobile OS handle the working memory, when you "close" programs and they anyhow take space!! And a stable "sync" program, that is very quick and easy to use!
And if you want to use the machine as your mobile phone, must it also...
Be very easy to answer calls... At least have good sound quality, both ways... Have nice and strong ring signals... Have a good speaker phone function, so you can take notes and look up stuff, at the same time... Plus easy access to the last 10 calls, even if 30 or more is a lot better... And IF you really want to use it to receive your email, should it also be able to read HTML emails, plus open jpg and gif attachments!
Then are there naturally some vital physical aspects, with the machine The size is naturally very important - if you FIRST have a keyboard (that can be "virtual" on a very big screen, so it's very easy to use with fingers) and a screen, that show enough text... Yes, a bigger screen use to be better, but some "graphic interface" don't use the screen (type show too little of your text, in some vital view) and if you can read small text, may actually a smaller screen with high resolution be better... It must also have enough memory for your future use (min 400MB free for only text or 6GB free if you use the smartphone as your main portable music player, after you installed any extra program you want) or a slot for SD card expansion... And enough battery life for one long day (min 24 hour intense PDA use, maybe with help of an extra battery) is also vital and more is naturally a very valuable quality... Even if it will come new battery types, with 2 to 10 times charging life, before 2013 or even later this year... My Xperia Pro manage 2 days with active phone...
Valuable extra (but not vital) machine qualities A good physical keyboard, is the biggest extra advantage... But it might be tiny and still work excellent... If the PDA has a web browser, is naturally a wide screen view (best 854 pixels) a BIG advantage, so you often don't have to scroll sideways... And a replaceable battery is a great plus, so you can change to an extra battery and don't have to leave your PDA to change the battery, every second year... Then is a fine design a great plus, at least for me... And it's naturally very convenient, if something protect the screen!
Yes, it is very hard to give more exact advise about the physical aspects, because most of this qualities, depend completely on how You want to use the machine... And I who live in Sweden, need also easy access to åäö and ÅÄÖ with max one key combination!

Yes, I did use a Psion 3c (that still is superior in many ways, but have no phone and a rather dark non colour screen) and have also a dead Psion Revo with the battery problem... Then did I invest in a Palm Treo 680 that was optimised with extra programs, before I got my Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro - that actually offer everything I want in a SmartPhone...

The Perfect Smart Phone

I am very surprised that no manufacturer, get the perfect SmartPhone together...
The perfect SmartPhone, is actually like a puzzle, where all pieces must fit exactly... My concept is shortly as a mix of the best from Palm Treo 680 in a folded / clamshell body like the new LG Lotus - but 110mm long - to give maximum space for a clearly bigger screen and a twice as smart keyboard... Plus the automatic protection of both screen and keyboard...
Then has it also two more BIG secret advantages... And finally should it work with a very advanced and easy to use OS like Palm's that in addition offer many fine external programs... But it can also be released in budget versions - with Windows Mobile, Symbian or Linux... And I hope it is easy to "see" my complete vision, with help of following detail description... But it would be a great help if someone with great graphic skills create a nice picture ;-)

From the top, when the phone is open...
The phones rather big speaker, is mainly hidden behind the screen and shows only as a generous slit, at the edge of the slightly higher top 9mm of the open lid... Yes, this part does protrude about 2mm, to avoid "ear grease" on the screen...
Then comes a truly magnificent screen that is minimum 480 pixel wide and 640 high and better than Treo 680 daylight quality... Or if possible 600x800 and of OLED type... The screen should continue all the way down to the hinge and have almost no edges at the sides... So the screen will use 87% of the lid and be about 4 inch big, because it will also be 10mm wider than the screen on Treo 680 (that is 2.44 inch) and almost twice as high... And a clearly bigger screen than the competition, is the most valuable advantage a tiny SmartPhone can have... Then can you simply hold the Smartphone "sideways" when you browse the internet, so you get use of the high resolution and your right thumb will then rest on the navipad, that I describe below... So easy and perfect balanced, that you only need one hand!
Then come the strong metal hinge and the bottom part... That will be about 110mm high and 58mm wide, just like Treo 680 with an internal antenna and the complete phone may still be about 22mm thin (or easy 4mm thinner, with the latest mother board and screen tech) if you use the standard battery...
On top of the bottom part, that you are holding, have you first a 4mm empty space, with the hinges at the corners and then either* a 16mm wide round 4 directional navipad (two speed, for faster navigation and in chrome) with a separate button in the middle and three 8mm high and 2mm wide function keys (also in chrome, with rounded tops) at each side... Totally six very elegant functions keys and the symbols are outside the keys, on the body... That is partly transparent, so the back light under the symbols work... *Or use this space as the same "gesture area" Palm Pre has under the screen, for the same navigation - which naturally will free up space in the lid for a much bigger screen, compared to Palm Pre.
Then a new raw of keys that begin with six direct keys for programs, just above the top "qwerty" line and end with four empty keys, the user can specify for international letters or anything else... The symbols is above the keys, on the body and you can also slide in a clear plastic stripe from right, with the symbols for the international keys... Yes, a clamshell will actually give 90% more space for more keys and a bigger screen, so why not use the extra space smart and avoid clumsy annoying key combinations!
Then the Treo 680 size "qwerty" keyboard, except numeric keys, with 4 lines (rows) of keys... All keys should naturally have a distinct "click" feeling, but be slightly lighter in touch (than Treo 680) because they are anyhow secured when the phone is closed... This keys are made of clear transparent plastic, 4mm wide and 3.5mm high (not 4.5 x 5.5mm as Treo) with rounded edges and corners... So you just have room to view a rather big "W" on the curved top and a smaller alternative symbol right above, on the body... The keyboard will then be 33mm high (including the extra program keys and the space for symbols, above that line) and clearly more easy to use, compared with the famous Treo 680 keyboard... And it will especially be perfect, for one hand use... The extra distance between the slightly smaller keys, in combination with the very short distance you have to move your thumb and the extra light touch, will simply make it the absolute best keyboard for thumb writing... And naturally excellent, for an even faster two hands use!
And finally have we four lines with four slim numeric keys (8mm wide and 2mm high, in chrome) with rounded top's and the numbers on the body... That also is transparent, so the back light work... And the last key in each line, is the four mathematic symbols for calculations... This separate numeric keyboard, will be 20mm high and comfortable located right under the middle, of the part you hold... So you will anyhow get 37 mm empty space, at the bottom... And the last 9mm are 2mm lower, to fit the slightly thicker "speaker" part...
That will be totally 70 keys, compared with the 42 keys Treo 680 have and that is only 19 keys less than the 89 keys my notebook offer... And the practical advantage, of not have to do combination presses all the time and have a separate numeric keyboard, will be huge and truly loved by the users - giving this SmartPhone another major advantage... Even if the clumsier Nokia E90 has 66 keys, but they use some of them in a dumb way...
Then is the removable battery (58x58x6mm) placed under the entire "qwerty" and numeric keyboard, for perfect balance... The battery slide in from the side, has no extra cover and you can naturally buy a twice as strong battery, that fit nice in your palm... The memory will naturally not loose your files, even if the battery run down completely... And then is there one BIG secret advantage here...
The microSD card slot is located at top, under the navipad... The electronics should partly be located under the function keys, close to the connections (at the bottom) and mainly under the screen, together with a three line mini screen (40mm wide and 15mm high) for the closed lid... That show the connection quality and battery level at top, the number of any caller / name of operator at middle, plus time and date at bottom...
And then is there another BIG secret advantage here...
The SmartPhone should also have excellent weather protection when it's closed, with help of a thin rounded silicon edge around the lid (not around the keyboards) that also make the closure soft... You can also replace the keyboard and navipad, if it get water damaged, but it should actually be "splash" proof... And the phone should also be available in a extra chock proof "wild life" version...
You should finally be able to "slide on" an optional 7MP camera part with lens and sensor, just above the fold... That would be just 12x12x58mm (plus the connection rail) with a fine 6x optical zoom lens, with a rotating "mirror" end... That work mainly like the Sony T series and use 46mm of the 58mm wide body... That will only make the PDA phone 12mm longer, protect any SD card and the very secure slide connection, will make it very easy to leave the camera in a reception, when it not are allowed... And the camera should naturally have Optical Image Stabilisation... It may also be made in two versions, so you can buy a 3MP budget version with 4x zoom and Optical Image Stabilisation!
Otherwise is it naturally possible to have a built in camera, located under the top left functions keys...
And it is also possible to make an ultra compact version, that can be 100x50 mm "big" and still offer clearly more than the competition, with a huge 3.5 inch screen and just a 27mm empty space, under a slightly tighter keyboard (same height and still with 70 keys) that anyhow will work clearly finer, than the keyboards on any other SmartPhone!
I have also invented an ultra smart way to integrate a full size touch pad, into this concept... For very easy navigation and naturally without using the touch screen, but the details about that will also remain a secret - if no mobile phone company contact me with some money!
Copyright from 2002 and then slightly updated five times, by BB (the creator of Vantage Technology Magazine) and this article may only be copied with a clear mention of the source, including a link to www.vantechmag.com and without any changes... And any company may use any of this new ideas, if they only pay me a fair consultation fee.

Virtual keyboards My original article, was written about April 2001and since then have several companies released programs, that give most of the following advantages...
Today's PDA phones (when I wrote this) have many advantages, except a fine input method... So I did invent a new simple method, that eliminate the need for a separate keyboard and make very slim, small and advanced PDA phones possible...
Yes, I made a magnificent innovation or maybe a great evolution, who may change the way we use computers... My friend have a pocket computer, with major battery problems and he lost his receipt, so he wanted an alternative and everyone else is playing with this rather handy palm's... But it is much faster, to write on a keyboard and that factor is very important, if you really want to use the machine... Then I thought that...
Some palm computer, should have the possibility to change the entire screen, to simply show a big keyboard - except one free line for the new text, at the top!?!

So I started to look for a PDA with that smart functionality...
And with so big "keys" that you easy can write with your thumbs, plus a nice variable "click" as feedback...

Then did I imagine, many more advantages...
Without a keyboard, can you use that volume to combine a fine PDA and mobile phone, type an Ericsson 380 with a slightly wider screen, but without the number keys... And that will still be smaller than today's PDA phones!!
And very soon, will it be possible to produce a 120x45x15 millimetre "big" super PDA mobile phone (with help of my method) including the built in antenna and a 110x40 mm screen, that is good for real internet... And the reflective layer on the big screen, can maybe even work as solar cells and charge the batteries?!?
And because the keyboard is software, may you define just four (to nine) pixels in the middle of each "key" to register your "keystroke" and that make it in addition possible, to have even more "keys" on a similar space, than on a physical keyboard, without getting any conflicts between the keys...
You can even define keys for any language, as Arabic or Chinese, in the same physical machine!! And load new "keyboards" trough the web browser, in a fine PDA phone...
You can even offer different layouts, with numbers on top or at the side, plus different special letters, so the customer can choose the way he or she prefer...
And on standing screens, can the keyboard be written like "123456" on the first line and "78990+" on the second, follow by "tab qwerty" an so on... So the full screen is used, with two shorter free lines for text, at the top!
Plus an extra "change view" key, at the end of the new text line...
The main benefit, is obvious... You can write directly, using your thumbs and you don't have to fiddle with a little plastic pen, on a miniature keyboard OR translate you slow handwriting, to text!!
And that's perfect for the future PDA phones, that simply will be too big with a separate physical keyboard, because even a tiny fiddly one take a lot more space than none... But when I looked around, I found out that there are no machine, that use this great possibility... Only a few who use the screen, as a number pad!!
And my innovation should be great, for the smallest of them all, the 380 SmartPhone from Ericsson... So I contacted them (2001-03-28) and they was very enthusiastic, but they never called back... So I tell now the world and make this innovation common property, so nobody can patent my unique method and everyone can use it, for the benefit of mankind!!

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