Drew Rattray : Design vs. Functionality
Drew Rattray
| News and views on design vs. functionality balance across the communications and technology space.

Sony

Sony BDP-S350 = good, but PS3 = better

August 25, 2008

Blu-ray won the HD format war, and while the picture quality has met and exceeded our wildest multimedia dreams, the units that play them leave something to be desired. Compared to standard DVD players, the Blu-ray stand alone players are for the most part bulky, oversized, and overpriced.

Sony has made a valiant effort of breaking the mold with the Sony BDP-S350.  It measures in at a comparably slim 8.75 inches deep (about half of most stand alone Blu-ray players), and a $400 list price.  But as a result, there are a few missing features, such as Profile 2.0 and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding.

The biggest problem is that the PS3 (also by Sony) can be had for the same price, and it offers superior Blu-ray playback and features.  Not to mention that you also get a high-definition gaming console, and all of the perks and fun that comes with that.

If you're going to spend a couple hundred dollars on a high-definition experience, you might as well get more "bang for your buck".

You can read a full review at CNET













Bloggers dream of a perfect iPhone

December 29, 2008

Earlier this week Gizmodo posted a concept design of what they vision should be the next generation of the popular iPhone.  The design was originally developed by blogger Matt Brady and named the iPhone Elite.  Gizmodo took his concept and tweaked it with some added features of their own and named it the iPhone Pro.

Their basic complaints about the current iPhone follows that of many in the blogosphere.  No physical keyboard, lack of storage, and a sub-par camera.  The iPhone Pro concept features 60 GB of storage, a slide-out keyboard, true 16:9 aspect ratio, and a better all around camera.

While Matt's original concept is incredible, I think Gizmodo made one very impressive addition.  A D-Pad and two buttons.  iPhone games are becoming increasingly popular and by adding easier and more recognizable controls, I think it could really begin to compete with handhelds like the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP.

The only problem that I can see with all of this is the risk of adding too much size.  With an added keyboard and a better camera with zoom capabilities, you could potentially get close to doubling the 4.7 ounces that the iPhone 3G currently weighs.  There's also the potential that the depth would increase to well over a half inch (currently at 0.48 inches).  Features are great, but no one wants to talk to a brick.