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Welcome, Gizmodo readers. More Shanghai PC Mall photos over here…

Gizmodo’s Elaine Chow has a post up entitled “How To Buy Gadgets in China and Not Get Screwed“, in which she uses (with permission) several of the photos I took at the Shanghai PC Mall when I was there in April.

If you arrived here from the Gizmodo post, and would like to see some more photos of the PC Mall, I have many. There are a few in this post, Photos: Shanghai’s PC Mall – 5 Stories of Computer and Electronic Goodness, and the whole batch of 34 are available in this set on Flickr.


Shanghai PC Mall at night
The Asus Eee PC is popular and widely available
PSPs and Wiis
iPod Nano knockoffs

Enjoy! :-)

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Exclusive: 23 minutes of hands-on with the Lenovo and Aigo Mobile Internet Devices

OK, so I’m a couple days late, and I know I’ve been teasing you with photos and videoappetizers“, but I hope the quality/content of these videos makes up for it. While I was in Shanghai, China last week for the Spring 2008 Intel Developer Forum, I stayed a few extra days to work with the Intel Software Network China team, with the hope that I might be able to score some hands-on time with some of the Mobile Internet Devices that were shown for the first time at IDF.

There are only about 20 MIDs in the world today, all prototypes, and they were pretty much all at IDF. As you can imagine, access to them is jealously guarded, and they were pretty busy being shown off, participating in photo shoots, etc. My access to them got postponed, rescheduled, and moved around a lot, until one afternoon, we got the call. “You can come play with the MIDs if you can be here by 5:30pm.” It was 5:00pm, and Welles and I jumped in a taxi right away, headed for the Intel Software group’s Mobility Enabling Lab. I didn’t have time to go back and get my “big boy” professional video gear, so these videos were shot on my pocket Aiptek Go-HD camera, secured by a GorillaPod. I think they turned out pretty well.

Big disclaimer: the Linux-based software for both the Lenovo and Aigo devices I used is NOT final – there are some features that aren’t implemented, and performance optimizations that haven’t occurred. This is NOT how they’re going to be when they’re released commercially. There are crashes, slowness, and missing features in these videos. Think of this as a preview of the foundations of the software – what it’s capable of in general. Then squint your eyes a little and imagine the final version, a little more polished, sitting happily in your pocket. :-)

First up, here’s a 13 minute video of the Lenovo Ideapad U8 Mobile Internet Device (MID). It’s one of the more unique hardware designs, with it’s flared end, special limited edition Beijing 2008 Olympic color scheme, and hardware number pad, for T9 text entry. In the video, I take a detailed look at the hardware (Intel Atom processor, two cameras – the rear one is 2.0 megapixels, SD slot, GPS, USB ports, etc.), and spend some time poking around with the software/user interface:


You can download the high quality (640×360) MP4 version here – the file is about 153 MB. You can also embed/share the video on your own blog or site by grabbing the Show Player code from the video’s page on blip.tv or by clicking “Embed” in the show player above.

Next up is 10 minutes of video with the MID from Aigo. I cover pretty much the same aspects of this device in the video as I did with the Lenovo Ideapad – hardware (sliding QWERTY keyboard, two cameras – the rear one is 3.0 megapixels, MicroSD slot, USB ports, “Smart Key”, etc.) and software and user interface. The Aigo device looks very similar to the Gigabyte MID, which has been floating around, making appearances. So much so that I suspect they’re manufactured by the same OEM, but I didn’t get any concrete information on this, so I’m just speculating. Here’s the video:


You can download the high quality (640×360) MP4 version of this video (117 MB) here, and get the embed code to share the video on your own site/blog on the video’s page on blip.tv, or by clicking “Embed” in the show player above.

Now that you’ve seen the videos, I hope some of your questions have been answered. And, no doubt, you have new questions. I’ll do my very best to get answers for you, so post your thoughts and questions in the comments below. Thanks for being patient while I got these videos ready. I have a TON more video content that I shot at IDF, and that will be coming out as it gets processed/edited. But this is the juicy stuff, so enjoy! :-)

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An Appetizer: Video of the Lenovo and Aigo MIDs at Intel Shanghai

I’m working on the video I shot while I was at the Mobility Software Lab at Intel Shanghai yesterday, getting some face time with the Lenovo and Aigo Mobile Internet Devices. I posted the photos late last night (thank you all for the comments!), and ever since then, you’ve all been chomping at the bit to see the videos. I have good news and bad news…

The good news is, I just posted an “appetizer” video, with a quick look at the MID hardware, comparisons to the Fujitsu and Samsung UMPCs (and my iPhone), and a glimpse of the lab. It’s about 2.5 minutes long, and you can watch it right here:


The bad news? The really detailed videos I shot of the UI and applications on both devices are too long to go up on YouTube (which has a 10 minute limit). I don’t want to cut anything out of the videos – I want you to see everything I saw. And I’d really like to have higher quality for the videos than what YouTube allows. But since my video service of choice, Blip.tv, is blocked in China, I can’t upload the videos until I get home. My flight leaves in about 18 hours. It won’t be long!In the mean time, please accept my apologies, and this “appetizer” video as a token of my love, along with the promise that the real “meat” – the UI video you’ve been waiting for – is coming soon. Over 20 minutes of it. And it will look better than YouTube. :-)

Thanks for being patient! :-)

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World Exclusive: I got to play with the Lenovo and Aigo Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) at Intel Shanghai

There are only about 20 Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) existent in the world. Most of them were in Shanghai last week for the Intel Developer Forum (IDF). 10 of them were in the Mobility Software Enabling Lab at Intel Shanghai, where I got special access today to shoot photos and videos, as well as some hands on time to play, with the Lenovo Ideapad U8 MID and the Aigo MID. They also had some other devices around for comparison – an old prototype UMPC with a pivot screen, a Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium UMPC, and a Fujitsu Lifebook UMPC. And I threw my iPhone in a few of the photos for size/comparison’s sake.

I’ll post a more detailed writeup of my impressions of the devices soon, as well as the video of the time I had with them (summary: the Lenovo Ideapad U8 looks and feels wonderful in my hands – I WANT one!). I spent several minutes on video with each device, examining the hardware and UI/software features. Right now, thought, it’s almost 1 AM, and I need to get up early to do a blogging training with the Intel Shanghai software guys. But I wanted to get these photos up and available as soon as possible.

Please post any comments or questions you have either in this post, or on the photo’s page on Flickr. I want to answer all of your questions, but I’m going to sleep for a few hours, and don’t want to miss any of them. Please be patient, and I promise I’ll answer all questions. :-)

The entire set of 33 photos is available in this photoset on Flickr. Feel free to browse through all of the photos (bonus photos: some shots of the Intel Shanghai sales offices, which occupy floors 22-24 of the ShanghaiMart tower). Click here to view as a slideshow, and you can see full size/resolution versions of every photo on Flickr by clicking “All Sizes” on the photo’s page.

And now, the photos! Here are some that I think turned out best – be sure to check out all 33 photos in the Flickr set!

Aigo and Lenovo Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs)
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Aigo and Lenovo Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs)
Fujitsu Lifebook, Samsung Q1 Ultra, Lenovo MID, Aigo MID, prototype UMPC
Stack: iPhone, Lenovo, Aigo, Fujitsu, Samsung
Stack: iPhone, Lenovo, Aigo, Fujitsu, Samsung
Keeper of the MIDs, Lenovo Ideapad U8
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Photos: Shanghai’s PC Mall – 5 Stories of Computer and Electronic Goodness

I’m starting to get through processing and uploading the hundreds of photos that I’ve taken since I’ve been in Shanghai. Here are some from the “PC Mall” that Richard and Welles took me to the first day I was here. It’s a huge 5 story mall, like you’re probably thinking of. Except that every store, every kiosk, every nook, and every cranny is crammed full of computers, computer parts, cameras, media players, games and consoles, phones, monitors, and every other kind of electronics you can think of. It is a gadget lover’s paradise.

The best way I can sum it up, to people in the US, is that it’s like Fry’s on crack. :-)

Anyway, here are some photos. As always, I love it when you leave comments. Let me know what you think, if you have any questions, etc. You can see all 34 photos in this set on Flickr, and view them as a slideshow.

Enjoy! :-)

Buy Now PC Mall, Shanghai
Shanghai PC Mall
Richard and a MacBook Air
iPod Shuffle knockoff
iPod Nano knockoffs
Shanghai PC Mall
Dopod Windows Mobile phones, and iPhones
Shanghai PC Mall
Shanghai PC Mall at night
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On Top of Shanghai – View from the Tallest Hotel in the World

I shot 350 plus photos this afternoon and evening, walking around Shanghai and the Huangpu riverfront. And I’ll put all of the good ones on Flickr, eventually, but I just HAD to share this one immediately:

Shanghai from the Cloud 9 Bar, 87th Floor of the Hyatt

Click it to view the photo on Flickr, then check out some of the larger sizes. I snapped this about an hour ago from the bar on the 87th floor of the Shanghai Hyatt, the “tallest hotel in the world”. It occupies the 50th through 87th floors of the building that houses the Shanghai stock exchange. And the view is astounding.

Thanks to Kelly, Tammy, and Jay, who I ran into on my way back to my room, for “shanghai’ing” me into going back out with them. The view alone would have been SO worth it, but the company and conversation were great, too. :-)

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Bonus Video: My First Hands-On with a MID (Mobile Internet Device)

A few days before IDF, I met Holly from Intel via an email thread on who was going to Shanghai to blog, etc. She let me know that there was going to be a MID (Mobile Internet Device) photoshoot at some point, and invited me to come, shoot video, and check it out. Well, it turned out that the photoshoot took place at 8 PM the first night after IDF started, and didn’t finish until 8 AM the next morning. These devices are pretty much the only ones in the world right now, and they were needed for the keynote addresses both days of IDF. So the middle of the night was the only time they were available for a photoshoot. I passed.

But! On Day 2 of IDF, Holly came by the Upload Lounge with one of the MIDs – a unit from Gigabyte. She was supposed to do some “man on the street” video, showing people in Shanghai the MID, and asking them to show what they had in their pockets. But her video crew wasn’t available for some reason. SInce I was there with all my gear, and had time before the next session, I happily accompanied her out onto the streets of Shanghai (with Helen, our translator) to do the man on the street video.

But before we hit the streets, I shot this short clip with my Apitek Go-HD, to commemorate my first ever hands-on experience with a real, live MID. Here’s the video – about a minute and a half, not long enough to go into any depth. But it should be enough to give you a glimpse of what they’re like to actually use.


Holly is hard core – she was up all night long for the photoshoot, and still came around to do this. I would have chickened out and hidden in my soft warm bed for a few hours. Hats off to you, Holly! Hope you got some rest! And thank you for letting me touch the MID! :-)

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More Video from Shanghai: Josh’s IDF Video Diary

Here’s another collection of video clips from the two days of IDF Shanghai. Highlights include a look around the IDF venue (Shanghai International Convention Center), the Huangpu riverfront at night (gorgeous!), a peek at Chinese TV in my hotel room, a look at what websites are blocked in China and which aren’t, some “man on the street” video with Intel’s new Mobile Internet Devices, a look at the terrifying chaos that is pedestrian and vehicle traffic in Shanghai, and a cameo appearance by Celene Dion. :-)


Like the walkabout video I posted before, these little clips were all shot in HD on my little Aiptek Go-HD video camera, then pieced together in Quicktime Pro and rendered down to 640×360 on my Elgato Turbo.264. And then converted to low quality Flash by YouTube. :-) The video is about 10 minutes long, and I’ll probably post a higher quality version than what I can get from YouTube when I get home.I’ll probably keep shooting and posting these while I’m in Shanghai. I’m here until next week – going to spend a few days working with some of the Intel Software Network team here at Intel Shanghai. And I kind of like the style/technique of these videos. I’ve had lots of people ask me how I’m doing this. It’s very simple: I turn the screen on the camera so I can see myself, then hold it out at arm’s length, pointed at me, and pivot around in place to show what’s around me, while keeping myself on screen. Kind of fun to shoot, and I like the results.You know the drill – leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Want to see more like this? Hate it? Have something about Shanghai that you want me to shoot? Drop me a line, and let me know. And thanks for watching! :-)

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A few iPhone photos from Shanghai

It’s been a whirlwind two days. IDF just got over, and for the last two days, I’ve been shooting video of keynotes, sessions, demos, and other interesting stuff. Since all my video gear is kinda heavy to lug around, I haven’t bothered taking my Nikon D40 DSLR with my, to take many photos. Now that I’m done with the heavy duty video stuff, I’ll have my camera with me much more while I’m here in Shanghai, and will take and post some more photos.

In the mean time, here are a few that I’ve managed to shoot with my iPhone. Some of these turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. As always, I love it when you comment on my stuff, so let me know what you think, and enjoy! :-)

Shanghai Promenade
Super Brand Mall, Shanghai
Super Brand Mall, interior
My first meal in Shanghai: McDonald's
Intel Developer Forum 2008 Shanghai

You can, as always, see all of the photos I share on Flickr.

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Video: Josh’s Shanghai Walkabout

I’ve been in Shanghai for about a day and a half now, for the Spring 2008 Intel Developer Forum conference. I’m here to shoot video of stuff that’s interesting and useful for software developers and generally cover the event for Intel Software Network.

Yesterday was “Day 0″ of the event – badge pickup, etc., but no real events scheduled. I took the opportunity to escape my hotel, and do a little walkabout exploration of my surroundings in Shanghai. I’ve been shooting tons of pictures and video, and I could write thousands and thousands of words about how cool Shanghai is. For now, enjoy this little video I put together of my “walkabout” in Shanghai.

Features include: about 100 people offering to sell me a “Rolex”, some of the great Shanghai architecture, exploration of the “Super Brand Mall”, including the Chinese versions of McDonalds and Toys R Us, a supermarket, and more.

Later that evening, my ISN China colleagues (and Shanghai natives) Richard and Welles basically showed me the town. They took me to PC Mall, which is a 5 story mall full of nothing but computers, electronics, cameras, and games. It’s like Fry’s on crack, and I’m DEFINITELY going back there before I come home. :-) There’s a bonus clip of PC Mall at the end of the video.

I also ran into my first “blocked in China” site while trying to upload this video – blip.tv. I love Blip, for lots of reason – video quality being one of the top. So I was bummed to not be able to use it for this video. Instead, it’s on YouTube (strange that Blip is blocked but YouTube isn’t – what’s up with that?), with the accompanying quality loss. But at least you can see it. And the quality isn’t super high anyway – it was all shot handheld in HD on my Aiptek Go-HD, then reencoded to 640×360 on my trusty Elgato Turbo.264. I’ll put up a high quality version when I get home.

Here’s the video – enjoy! :-)

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