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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 29, 2011 / 25 Nissan, 5771

User Can Get Lost in Atrix's Matrix

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sometimes, you want to like a product a bit more than you do. The Motorola Atrix 4G smartphone is one of those products.

AT&T would like you to shell out $599 and commit to a two-year voice and data plan, before handing you the Atrix 4G phone and a "lapdock," which has a battery, an LCD display screen and a Chiclet-style keyboard to which the phone can be docked. Once connected, you have a hybrid smartphone-netbook duo: all the data that's not stored "in the cloud" can be found on your smartphone, and you should be able to edit/manipulate most of it on that device alone, albeit less comfortably perhaps than with the docking-station solution.

Those are the basics. The question, of course, is how does all this work in practice.

I've said some good things about the Atrix 4G before in this space, a couple of weeks back: it is an excellent phone, and my test unit came setup for "tethering" as a Wi-Fi hotspot. That's very cool, and very useful -- at least until you see the data plan bill. The Atrix's battery life seems good, but not necessarily in the same class or range as an Apple iPhone 4, which remains my "gold standard." But it's not as much of a battery hog as some Android-based smartphones.

The other good thing, surprisingly, is the Android operating system backed by Google. There are a great number of applications for Android phones, more coming daily, and enough overlap with the iPhone platform to satisfy many user's needs. There's no doubt, however, that the Apple platform is the world leader in apps, and that may mean something to many consumers.

So far, then, we have a rather decent phone, good battery life and a raft of applications. What's left, you ask?

Well, it's this whole docking thing. At $199.99 for the phone on its own, again with that two-year service deal, the Atrix 4G is a very interesting device. But it's competing with the aforementioned iPhone 4 and a bunch of other smartphones. You can take your pick in that category.

Docked, the Atrix 4G is supposed to be something else, as the television ad showing a traveler explaining the product to airport security (http://bit.ly/e9WMLu) would suggest.

Away from the klieg lights, however, the total package is a bit lacking. Docked, the phone's display shows up on the larger screen, and you can expand that display to see apps in a much larger size than on a phone's display. Or, you can jump into the embedded Firefox web browser and work away.

But if you want to do substantial word processing or spreadsheet work, you're asked to depend on Google Docs, the cloud-based service. It's good, but with the Atrix 4G docking solution, you can't zoom a page to full-screen-width size, making it a bit tough on the eyes. And, cloud computing may not always be the best solution, especially for sensitive documents. You can use an Android-based version of the popular QuickOffice mobile suite, but then a lot of formatting and other capabilities are limited.

With "only" 48 Gbytes of storage on the Atrix 4G, it might be too much to expect a full office productivity software suite to be baked into the phone's handset. But without a more viable solution, the Atrix 4G is more of a curiosity than a practical notebook replacement.

Want the best of both worlds? Buy a Wi-Fi based Apple iPad 2, get the Atrix 4G if you like such things, and tether the iPad when you need to hit the Internet and Wi-Fi is scarce.

AVOID AT ALL COSTS, however, the LMP Bluetooth Keypad, a wireless solution sold primarily to Apple Macintosh users for coupling to Apple's Wireless Keyboard. Join the two and you have the wireless keyboard many users believe Apple should have made. One problem: the LMP product didn't "pair" with my iMac, no matter how hard I tried. Yes, it could have been a bum unit, but this isn't a complicated device. It should work out of the box, it didn't, and life's too short to worry about such things, in my opinion.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2011, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

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