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Month: March 2012

Lenovo Philippines To Launch IdeaPad U300e, Priced at Php 50K!

Lenovo is set to release the first batch of its IdeaPad U300e ultrabook here in the Philippines by end of this month.

The IdeaPad U300e, first seen on the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES), is the affordable sibling of last year’s IdeaPad U300s. The IdeaPad U300e is speculated in several regions to be very much cheaper than its predecessor, but that’s not going to be the case even here in the Philippines as the presser we got says Lenovo put it a price tag of Php 49,995 – just Php 6K less than U300s’ official SRP. Nevertheless, it appears the U300e’s still competitive in today’s ultrabooks as it packs hardware specs that include Intel’s 2nd generation Core-i5 chip with HD 3000 graphics, a 4GB RAM, a hybrid 500GB HDD and 32GB SSD storages, and of course the slim form-factor.

Nokia’s First Windows Phones to Launch in Philippines Next Month!

If there’s a strong indication that Nokia will launch its first Windows Phones in the Philippines next month, it’s probably the country’s two biggest telcos – Globe Telecom and Smart Communications.

Globe Telecom is now accepting pre-orders, exclusively, for the higher-end Nokia Lumia 800, in which the handset will be available for Php 1,499 a month (bundled with Unli Surf Combo Plan 999) via credit card (0% interest for 24-month payment installment). For a complete postpaid pricing, you may check this link.

Smart Communications on the other hand is offering the lower end Nokia Lumia 710, exclusively. Pre-order is on-going and you can get it through Smart’s Special Edition Data Plan 1000. Don’t get yourself too excited with this particular plan though as it’s a bit tricky (and perhaps misleading?) ‘coz you probably won’t just pay Php 1000 upfront, but rather Php 1,450 per month! Confused? Check this link and look at the screen shot below.

Tying the Knots!

It has been more than a week now since my last update on this blog, but as some of you probably have already learned – there was something big happened outside CTB. Before I talk more about it (not really that much), allow me to apologize first to those who regularly visited this blog and so those who checked their RSS feeds for latest updates in the past couple of days. Obviously, there’s nothing new here in CTB as I decided to give myself at least 4 days before and after my wedding, enough for a rest and to get everything done even after several weeks of preparations.

And yes, I’m a married man now and I thought it would be great if I’ll share great tips to achieving a successful wedding; but that’s going to be a bit odd given the fact that I’m trying to keep CTB a blog dedicated to anything tech-related only. I couldn’t break that rule once again, though this might also be of the interest of several readers, particularly those who are also planning of getting married in the future. Anyhow, I can always respond to your queries so just leave a comment below if you have something to ask about the wedding. Please note though that it’s best to ask me if you plan of having a wedding in the Philippines, specifically here in Cebu.

Lenovo’s Graduation Gift Guide for 2012

Lenovo is just one among the popular brands in the PC industry, but in any case you’re looking for the best gift ideas (bearing the Lenovo brand) for someone who will be graduating this 2012 – the company has sent us some of its best PC products in the line.

These products are available in Lenovo’s concept stores and retailers nationwide, but before you rush to your nearest store – it’s best if you’d check out few facts first, of course, for a more convenient shopping.

Noontec MovieHome V8 NAS Media Player Review

One of the media players Noontec sent to CTB for review is the MovieHome V8, which is sort of an upgrade to MovieDock A6 II that I’ve also reviewed last month. Would the V8 model bring those features we longed to see on its predecessor? Well, let’s find out through my full review of this media player after the break.

Noontec V8 NAS
Noontec V8 NAS


For starters, the Noontec MovieHome V8 NAS Media Player is yet another entertainment appliance specifically designed to carry most, if not all, of your multimedia files into a single location. Unlike the MovieDock A6 II, the V8 has a dedicated storage slot for either 2.5 or 3.5 inches Hard Disk drives (SATA interface only), which is the perfect storage to handle hundreds or thousands of your music tracks, movies, podcasts, or even your photos. The V8 supports most of the standard interfaces available today so you can hook it up to external devices that complement what could be your home entertainment center.

Sony Xperia Sola Announced with “Floating Touch”

Sony announced a new smartphone carrying a unique feature that we’ve never seen in any mobile phones today just yet.

The handset is called Sony Xperia Sola and introduces an innovative “Floating Touch” feature that “lets consumers navigate the web by hovering their finger above the screen so it acts like a moving curser, without actually having to touch the screen.” Floating touch works in a way that once the desired link is found while hovering the screen, it can be highlighted and a simple tap will load the page.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for Samsung GALAXY S II Now Rolling Out in Poland, Hungary, Sweden, and Korea

Our friends somewhere in Europe will finally get to taste the latest flavor of Android OS on their GALAXY S II (model GT-I9100) devices as Samsung has already started rolling out the Ice Cream Sandwich update in Poland, Hungary, and Sweden.

Samsung also made the ICS update available today in its home country, South Korea; and the company promised to gradually roll out the same update to other markets, which I believe that includes the Philippines.

In a note, Samsung added that it will also release ICS for GALAXY Note, GALAXY S II LTE, GALAXY Tab 8.9 and GALAXY Tab 10.1 very, very soon.

LinkedIn Hits 1 Million Users from the Philippines

Facebook and Twitter are undoubtedly the most populous social networking sites in the world and though it seems impossible for LinkedIn to beat the numbers, at least it still topped the rank on its category.

LinkedIn is categorized as a business-related social networking website and with over 150 million members across the globe — it has been considered as the biggest social network for professionals and is ahead of its competitors like Viadeo, XING, and

And just recently, LinkedIn announced that it has already reached its 1 million users milestone from the Philippines.

Sony Xperia S Hits Philippines Gray Market at Php 28,500

Sony Ericsson was a known brand for over a decade already and also a big player in the mobile industry, but the two companies’ partnership came to an end when Sony bought Ericsson’s stakes on its joint venture last month.

And to begin Sony’s solo venture, the company released its first ever Sony-branded smartphone in the competition, the Sony Xperia S. In the Xperia lineup, this is actually the successor to the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S.

Sony Xperia S was first seen at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012) and was also showcased at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) just last month. It’s now available in selected countries; but unfortunately we still have to see the official launch here in the Philippines. But for those who can’t wait to get their hands on this device, the folks over at Widget City have it for Php 28,500!

Update: WC dropped its price of the Sony Xperia S to Php 25,900 hours after this post was published!

Contest: Win an iPod Shuffle from Thirsty!

I got a chance to meet with THIRSTY’s marketing manager a couple of days ago and learned they are currently running a simple contest promoting THIRSTY’s new fruit salad with Nestle yogurt.

I thought of sharing this to everyone, particularly those CTB readers with Twitter accounts as you could win 1 of the 3 iPod Shuffles to be given away. If you’re interested of joining, here’s what you need to do:

Apple’s New iPad Philippine Price and Release Date, We Speculate

Five days from now, The New iPad will start selling in the US as well in other countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands.

Here in the Philippines, the official release hasn’t been announced just yet; but we can speculate when it will reach our shores and how much would it cost by looking back to Apple’s launching strategy of its earlier generation slates.

First, let’s talk about the price. When Apple launched the iPad 2 last year, it got a price tag for each model just the same with every variant of the first-generation iPad – that is Php 23,990, Php 28,990, and Php 33,990 for 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB Wi-Fi only models, respectively. iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and 3G features also followed the same price schedule as the first-gen iPad – that is Php 30,990, Php 35,990, and Php 40,990 for 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models, respectively.

Smart Communications May Offer The New iPad; But Don’t Expect Much of the LTE Connectivity Just Yet

Following Apple’s announcement of The New iPad few days ago, Smart Communications had issued a press release saying it “welcomes the announcement of the New iPad which features high-speed connectivity on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology”.

And speaking of the Philippine launch of the tablet, SMART, through its Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B. Vea, “believes that the New iPad could be made available locally sooner than expected”, apparently because SMART has a working LTE network in the country. Well, yes; SMART has a working LTE network in some parts of the Philippines, but I’m personally not convinced The New iPad will be launched sooner because the country already has a working LTE network. Is LTE support really a main selling point of The New iPad?

The New iPad

Though SMART didn’t clearly state its network will support such LTE-capable tablet, I personally found the presser horribly deceptive ‘coz it could mislead an ordinary Joe to believe once he gets The New iPad, the LTE connectivity will work with SMART out of the box. With SMART lacking important information on its website about its LTE network, at this point, I’m inclined to believe LTE connectivity of The New iPad won’t work here in the Philippines. Read on for more why I said that…

iPad 2 Philippines Price Drops, Now Starts at Php 18,990

Following the announcement of The New iPad, the Philippines Apple Store has also been updated to reflect the new prices of the iPad 2.

Wi-Fi models of the second-generation iPad are now priced Php 5000 less, while the ones with 3G functionality are priced Php 6000 less from their respective original prices as you can see in the matrix below:

Forget About iPad 3, iPad HD, iPad 2S and iPad 2 HD; Simply Call it “The New iPad”!

I probably have missed writing about the rumors surrounding the third generation Apple iPad, with speculations the Cupertino tech giant will significantly revamp the internal specs of the tablet.

Finally, from Apple’s event in San Francisco earlier today, all of these “specs-culation” including that new A5X chipset with quad-core graphics processor, 4G LTE support, the stunning Retina Display, and the new camera capable of recording full 1080p HD videos are all official – except for one thing: the name!

iOS 5.1 Brings Japanese Language Support for Siri, Download it Now!

Apple released today another firmware update (iOS 5.1) for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad which brings several new improvements – the most notable of which is the Japanese language support for Siri.

Sounds good news for Japanese users out there as they can now talk to Siri through their native language. Other than that, iOS 5.1 now allow users to delete photos from the Photo Stream and the Camera shortcut is now always visible on the Lock Screen for supported iPhone handsets. And as far as imaging feature is concerned, this new firmware introduces a redesigned Camera app for iPad tablets.

Android Browser Beats Opera for the First Time as the Top Mobile Web Browser

Opera, the most widely used web browser in feature phones has been beaten for the first time from its throne as the top mobile browser.

The Android web browser that is seen to have a rapid growth since its inception a couple of years ago has broken another record — this time leading Opera in the list of StatCounter’s Global Stats. From the most recent monthly report (February, 2012), Android browser accounts 22.67% of the market share, beating out Opera at 21.7%. Apple mobile Safari browser captured the third place; however, StatCounter accounts the iPhone and iPod Touch browsers separately. If combined, these devices could push Safari to the top spot accounting 25.36% of the market share.

Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview Now!

As promised, Microsoft finally made Windows 8 Consumer Preview available for public download. Installation files come in ISO image format, so you guys would need to convert the file into another installation media like DVD or bootable USB drive.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available both in 32 and 64-bit versions, which the latter’s size goes more than 3GB.