System Bits: Feb. 18


Is my iPad making me sick? If you’ve ever felt sick or queasy after using a mobile device for an extended period of time, researchers from the University of Minnesota, believe they know why. In a recent study, participants played video games on iPads - under controlled, experimental conditions - and experienced motion sickness almost a third of the time. The risk of motion sickness was fo... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing & Design


Intel is getting serious about the foundry business.  “Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is making some waves. This is not because Intel is becoming more market driven, but that Intel will open its foundry to ‘any’ company able to utilize the company's leading-edge technology. It’s very refreshing to see Intel make this move and could have important implications for the industry. Based on Intel... » read more

Apple’s Impact On Battery Power


More than one person I’ve spoken with lately has pointed out the fact that battery life is no longer the most important thing when a consumer is choosing a smartphone. Wait! I thought power was the #1, be all end all in the mobile area. It was, until the Apple iPhone showed up on the scene and stole the show, dazzling consumers with the touch screen, unique features, and very Apple-like ex... » read more

iPad Mini: The iPad On A diet


By Cary Chin The iPad mini was unveiled last month, but just hit the stores on Nov. 2. Early reviews have been quite positive—good performance, quality build, excellent battery life. There’s just one problem (besides the price)—the non-retina display. Even with a 1024 x 768 display (the same resolution as the original iPad and iPad 2), it seems we’ve gone “retina display” mad, and ... » read more

4G LTE Vs. 3G, Part II


By Cary Chin Last month we saw some interesting data in our investigation of energy efficiency of 4G LTE transmission versus 3G transmission on the new iPad. The data above suggests that in 4G LTE mode, the new iPad used roughly the same amount of energy (3.8Wh) for viewing our test movie (Star Trek, 2:06:46, 138MB) locally vs. streaming it from the Internet. In contrast, using the 3G r... » read more

Unexpected Results


By Cary Chin In my ongoing quest to understand power efficiency at the product level of our amazing gadgets, I’ve been trying to set up experiments to compare 4G LTE and 3G data transmission. It seems to make intuitive sense that transferring data faster (my Speed Test runs show Verizon 4G LTE speed up to 20Mbps, vs. a maximum of around 700Kbps in 3G in and around Palo Alto) should consume m... » read more

4G Power Hog?


By Cary Chin After some frustrating inconsistencies in measuring energy efficiency of the new iPad in 3G and 4G LTE modes last month, I decided to start over and take a complete set of data. Although it takes a long time, sometimes it just makes sense to start again. The data I took this month isn’t completely consistent with my past measurements, but it feels like whatever is causing the in... » read more

iPad 2, Too


By Cary Chin Our stable of test devices continues to expand. After only a couple of hours in line at the Stanford Shopping Center last Friday, I have my iPad 2, complete with a funky lime-green cover! It’s the low-end 16 GB model, with WiFi connectivity only. After our recent experiments on power efficiency versus communications, I figure I’d rather isolate the biggest energy leak in th... » read more

100 Hours With The iPad


By Cary Chin My iPad arrived as promised last Saturday morning at 11:00am. Woohoo! And it’s been ON for probably 80 of the 100 hours between then and now. While my parents (now in their mid-80s) think I’m nuts, my kids are having a great time! Here are my top five initial impressions. It’s a more personal experience. I haven’t thought much before about how restricting it is ... » read more