New HP Spectre x360 Ultra Sleek Notebook Now Available at HP Starting at $899

This weekend at MWC, HP announced the all new Spectre x360 ultra sleek notebooks powered by Windows 8.1.  Now you can order yours on the HP Online Store starting at just $899.  This new lineup has been seeing some raving comments from those in attendance in Barcelona for the sleek design and look of the Spectre x360.  When it was announced this weekend there was some question as to when it would be available.  Those questions are answered it seems as both the i5 and i7 versions of it are now available for order.

Spectre X360 Ultra Sleek Notebooks – Starting at $899 – HP Online Store

HP Stream 7 Signature Edition Windows Tablet – Now Only $79 At The Microsoft Store

At the Microsoft Store today they are once again running a promotion they ran last month on the HP Stream 7 Signature Edition Windows Tablet.  The promotion makes it one of those hard to pass up deals on what has been on a highly rated and well liked economy tablet.

Right now you pick up a HP Stream 7 for $79 which is a $20 savings off the regular price.  Keep in mind that this is the Signature Edition so there is no crapware installed on this model.  In addition to the $20 savings, you get a year of Office 365 Professional to run on this tablet for free which is a $69.99 value.  And if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, Microsoft is also throwing in a $25 Windows Store Gift card so you can buy apps and games online with your new HP Stream 7.

So let’s do the math shall we?

  • HP Stream 7 Signature Edition:  $79
  • One Year of Office 365 Personal Edition:  ($69.99)
  • Free Gift Card from Windows Store:  ($25.00)

That means your cost is $79 when normally you would pay a total of $173.99 for all of this.  In fact what you are getting for free is of greater value than the price of the HP Stream 7 itself:  $79 versus freebies of $94.99

HP Stream 7 Windows Tablet – SALE $79 – Microsoft Store

Microsoft Outlines Windows 10 Universal App Platform

For the first time Microsoft has clearly laid out the Windows 10 Universal App development methodology.  In an event held at Mobile World Congress today and then followed up by a blog post on the Windows blog, the company outlines how developers will have access to a streamlined development process aimed at bringing Windows to virtually any device with minimal modifications to code.  Further, there is one single Windows Store for everything and development of applications will be driven off an adaptive user interface.  The information in the blog post is dense and if you are not a developer you may not understand all of the concepts.  Still, give it a read.  You will get a peak into the thought processes Redmond has around Windows 10, development for that platform and the future of everything running Windows.

AT&T Confirms They Will Carry The Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL

With the announcements of the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL this morning at Mobile World Congress, one of the first questions that came up was when or if we would see these in the US market.  The answer came almost as quickly as the announcements themselves.  AT&T has issued a Press Release stating that they will carry the Lumia 640 and will be the first US carrier to have the Lumia 640XL in their lineup.  While pricing and release dates were not a part of the announcement, you can expect them to be here pretty soon given that Microsoft announced they are available this month.

Microsoft Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL Launch Videos

As part of the launch announcements for the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL, Microsoft has released two new launch videos covering both devices.  Both of the videos can be found after the break and both are quite dramatic, outlining the look and feel of the devices as well as the wide range of apps that come built into the device.

Hi-Res Images of The Lumia 640XL

With the announced of the Lumia 640XL this morning at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft has now released hi-res images of the new 5.7″ Phablet device that replaces the aging Lumia 1320.  Like I did with the Lumia 640 images, I’ve put them in this post after the break so those who want to skip the article won’t be bogged down.  The images range from 1.5-3MB in size so it may take a while to load the gallery depending on your network connection.

If you haven’t had a chance to review the specs of the Lumia 640XL you can find them here.  I’m pretty impressed with it given that the Lumia 1320 has been my primary phone for many months now.  This upgrade is quite impressive and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one to review.

Microsoft Announces the Lumia 640XL

In addition to the Lumia 640 announced today at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft also announced their new Phablet device, the Lumia 640XL.  The 5.7″ device is a replacement for the now quite dated Lumia 1320 (my personal phone of choice) and it is a significant bump up in specifications over the 1320.  Like the Lumia 640, there will be multiple variants of the Lumia 640XL:  Single and Dual SIM 3G models as well as Single and Dual SIM LTE Models.  It is expected to retail for around $245 for the Dual SIM LTE model which is a very attractive price point for what this device has to offer.

The Lumia 640XL will be powered by the Snapdragon 400 Quad-Core processor running at 1.2GHz and will sport 1GB of RAM.  It will have 8GB of internal storage with expansion up to an additional 128GB with a MicroSD card.  It has a 5.7″ IPS display running at 1280×720 with Glance screen and sunlight readability enhancements for when you are outside.  The rear camera is probably the single biggest improvement over the Lumia 1320.  The 1320 has a 5MP camera while the 640XL will have a 13MP camera.  That rear camera can also shoot 1080p video and has a flash.  The front facing camera is a 5MP wide angle fixed focus.  It will also have SensorCore which is something the Lumia 1320 does not have either.

Another interesting change is that the Lumia 640XL will have a user replaceable 3000 mAh battery, something you cannot do on the Lumia 1320.

Hi-Res Images of The Lumia 640

As I posted just a bit ago, Microsoft launched the Lumia 640 this morning at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  If you haven’t had a chance to review the specs, you can do so here and I think you’ll like what you see.  The Lumia 640 is certainly not a flagship device but it is a nice step up in the mid-market and one that should do well.

Microsoft has now released hi-res images of the Lumia 640 and I’ve got all of them here for your viewing pleasure.  All of them can be found after the break to save those who don’t want to see them from a big download on the front page of the site.  Keep in mind that these are all between 1.5-3 MB is size so rendering may be slow depending on your connectivity.

Microsoft Announces the Lumia 640

At Mobile World Congress today, Microsoft announced the new Lumia 640, a mid-range Windows Phone that is a step up from the popular Lumia 635.  The Lumia 640 comes in three variants, the 3G Dual SIM, LTE Dual SIM and an LTE Single SIM and it is expected to sell for less than $200 when it reaches the US.  Yes, the Lumia 640 is coming to the United States!  It is expected to be with AT&T, T-Mobile and MetroPCS but what is unclear is which variant will be with which carrier.  While I’ve voice my opinion on the need for a flagship Windows Phone from Microsoft, it is good to see this Lumia 640 as it is, specification wise, not bad at all for a sub-$200 device.

The Lumia 640 will run on the Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor at 1.2GHz and will sport a 8GB of storage on board.  That can be augmented with up to 128GB on a MicroSD card.  The rear camera is a 8MP autofocus capable of shooting 1080p video while the front facing camera is a HD 1MP wide angle. The display is a 5″ HD 1280×720 IPS that does support Glance which if you don’t have, once you do, will love.  It is expected to launch this month in various markets globally.

Microsoft’s Desperate Need for a Flagship Windows Phone

As we come into Mobile World Congress 2015 in earnest this week, I’m reminded of a stark reality as a Windows Phone enthusiast.  That reality is that beyond two devices that are both over a year old, Windows Phone has no flagship device.  That, in itself, should not be news.  If you are reading my site then you are likely a Windows Phone user or at the very least have a morbid curiosity on how the other 3.5% live (that’s the rough market share of Windows Phone) and know that there hasn’t been a flagship worthy Windows Phone in a long while.  The last three devices of what many would consider “Flagship” were the Lumia 930 (Icon), the Lumia 1520 and you may be able to stretch and say the HTC M8 Windows Phone.  The last of those was launched mid-year last year but the Lumia 1520 came out at the end of 2013 and the 930 early last year.  In terms of half-life for mobile devices, that is an eternity.  One could argue that the Lumia 830, the “affordable flagship” is a reasonable stop-gap but let’s be honest with ourselves here, it’s not a flagship device not matter what the marketing materials says.

Microsoft has been very busy on the low end of the market and you often hear the term “the next billion” when referring to the segment of the market that is moving from mobile phones to smartphones.  There is, in many parts of the world, an untapped customer base, thus the next billion.  But equally the argument could be made that Microsoft needs – indeed must – cater to the upper end of the market at the same time.  They don’t have to look any further than their own competitors in the market to see this need yet seemingly are willing to ignore it.  It is disappointing, frustrating and not helping win mind share around Windows Phone as a platform.