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November 26, 2014
The 10 Best Black Friday Apple Deals Of 2014
This article was reported by DealNews, a site that scours the web for the best retail deals.
If there's only one rule you follow this Black Friday, it should be never to buy your Apple gear from the Apple Store. Not only is Apple's sale predictable (expect to pay full price and get free gift cards again this year), but it's also disappointing, particularly when other retailers are discounting Apple gear at record speeds. To prove our point, we've rounded up the best Black Friday Apple ads we've seen to date. In the unlikely scenario that the Apple Store surprises us with an amazing sale, we'll be first to mention it. In the meantime, these are the deals Apple fans should prioritize.
Best Black Friday Apple Deals
Apple iPad Air 16GB With $100 Gift Card for $399 at Target
Don't want to wait, or bother with the Black Friday rush? Best Buy is currently offering this model for $319 with free shipping. While the Target deal is effectively a better offer due to the large gift card, this Best Buy deal is available now, online, and you'll pay less sales tax overall. The sale also discounts other storage sizes.
Apple iPad mini 2 16GB With $100 Gift Card for $299 at Target
Apple iPad Air 2 16GB With $140 Gift Card for $499 at Target
Are you fed up with handing over your tablet every time your child wants to play their favorite game, or use it with their latest tech toy? Maybe it really is time they had a tablet of their own. But with so many to choose from, which is the best tablet for children? To help you out, here is Gizmag's guide to the best kids' tablets available in 2014.
In this guide we'll start off by looking at some of the things you may want to consider before picking up a kids' tablet, and hopefully identify which features are important to you. We'll then take a look at our picks of some of the best child-friendly tablets currently on the market. By child-friendly, we mean those most suitable for children aged three to 10 years old.
Just as you probably checked to make sure your favorite apps were available on whichever tablet you purchased for yourself, you might want to do the same for your child. All of these tablets come with a selection of pre-loaded apps, but if there's a particular title your kid loves playing on your smartphone or tablet, will they be able to have it on their own? In our house, any tablet without access to the various LEGO apps, or titles from Toca Boca wouldn't be worth considering.
While very child-focused tablets from the likes of LeapFrog and VTech often feature popular characters in their proprietary educational titles, you're less likely to find the latest must-have hit app on there too.
Trading in or selling your old mobile device? Wipe it the right way to reduce the risk of personal data falling into the wrong hands.
Remember that no method apart from physically destroying the device and its storage is 100 percent foolproof -- data may still be recoverable with the right tools.
These tips are for the three main mobile operating systems, but if you have an older phone or an alternate OS, check the manual for full details on how to wipe your device.
Before you start:
November 25, 2014
If a smartphone is too small for your lust for games, then you’ll need a bigger screen and obviously, a tablet. You’re probably in doubts and still looking around for a device that will blow your mind. So, break your piggy bank and spend your money on a high end tablet such as Apple’s iPad Air 2 or Samsung’s Samsung.
The Air 2 is a bit smaller than the Tab S, featuring a display of 9.7 inches made using LED-backlit IPS LCD technology, and has a resolution of 1536x2048pixels and a pixel density of 264ppi. On top of it was placed a layer of scratch-resistant glass for its own protection, because careless owners usually drop them to the ground or toss them on the desk. This kind of protection is missing from the Tab S, which has a Super AMOLED display of 10.5inches, with an improved resolution of 2560x1600pixels that comes along with a pixel density of 288ppi.
Internal memories and OS
The Air 2 tablet, like any other Apple device, comes with unexpandable internal memory, and it offers three variants of storage: 16, 64 or 128GB. It comes loaded with iOS 8.1, but Apple released a new update, iOS 8.1.1.
The Tab S has 16 or 32GB of storage and you can add a microSD card to obtain a capacity of 128GB. This tablet runs on Android v4.4.2 (KitKat), until it will be upgraded to Lollipop.
Both tablets feature 8MP back cameras with common features such as autofocus, HDR, panorama, geo tagging, but the Air 2 lacks LED flash and its front camera is 1.2MP, compared to the 2.1MP secondary shooter from the Tab S.
The price for the iPad Air starts from $499, rising according to internal memories and LTE/WiFi variants. The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 16GB variant has the same price as the cheapest iPad Air 2.
November 24, 2014
The Finnish technology giant company’s Android running Nokia N1 computing tablet that was launched just last week wows the whole tech industry. And some of the consumers as well as technology enthusiasts are even comparing the Nokia N1 to Apple iPad mini 3 and the recently launched Google’s flagship slate PC, the HTC’s Nexus 9. Which one will take our money? Find out below!
Surface Pro 3 Buying Guide: What You Need to Know
Today, Microsoft’s ads would have you believe that its Surface Pro 3 is the best MacBook Air rival you can buy.
I’d say it is, and that if you’re planning on buying the Surface Pro 3, now is a great time. The Surface Pro 3’s hardware just can’t be beat. Here’s what you need to know about buying the Surface Pro 3 this holiday season.
Why Buy a Surface Pro 3?
When it debuted the original Surface and Surface Pro tablets, Microsoft had a philosophy it was trying to deliver on. In deciding to go into the hardware space Microsoft had to find a niche that it could do better than any other hardware maker. It settled on high-end machines and set out to create devices that offered the best features of two form-factors: notebooks and tablets. Every Surface device since then has gotten closer to the dream. Surface tablets are meant to cross the divide and let you carry one device.
The Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft’s third-generation Surface and the closet the company has come to delivering on that original dream. Like a tablet, it’s ridiculously thin and has a 12-inch high-definition touchscreen. Surface Pro 3’s run almost completely silent too. In this respect, the Surface Pro 3 is a spacious tablet with a lot of screen real estate. It’s able to check email for users in the background thanks to Connected Standby, a software feature that’s only been available on pure Windows tablets until now. Long battery life is key for tablets and the Surface Pro 3 has that too. It lasts around 7 hours. Microsoft says, 9 hours if you’re just web browsing.
November 20, 2014
The 7 Best Apps for the Microsoft Surface Pro 3
What makes a good Surface app? The device's capabilities hold the clues to that. Apps that take advantage of its super-high resolution screen (it has 216 pixels per inch compared with the MacBook Air's 128ppi), of its touch and stylus input, its 5-megapixel camera, and its fourth-generation Intel Core processor.
Of course, the best apps for the Surface are, arguably, the components of Microsoft Office, which take advantage of many of these features. For example, the Office OneNote note-taking app automatically starts via a button on the stylus. Many fine apps come with the tablet's stock collection, including Flipboard, Finance, Health&Fitness, Sports, Skype, Maps, Weather, Xbox Music, and Video. But with more than 170,000 third-party apps at your disposal, why not bolster your Surface Pro 3 with the apps below?
Click through the short slideshow to see our top picks, and be sure to chime in with your own recommendations in the comments section below.
3 Tips for Buying Future-Proof Tablets (and 3 Worth Buying Now)
Good tablets aren’t cheap, and so people want to buy one that’ll last for a long while. We have some tips on how to pick out a future-proof device.
The goal is to find something that can run the latest software and offer decent performance for at least three years.
1. Go High End
There’s an inevitable progression in computers: This year’s high-end flagship will be matched by mid-range models in a year or so, then will be the equivalent of the following year’s entry-level devices, eventually followed by complete obsolescence. The best way to guarantee that a tablet bought today will still be useful in three years is to start high up in that process.
A today’s low-end model can be a real bargain, but that’s only in the short term, as that device will be obsolete far quicker than a high-end model. There’s more money up front in purchasing from the high end, but it will be worth it in the long run. This is an investment, not a quick purchase.
Best Future-Proof Tablets
There are our suggestions of some current tablets that should be useful for years to come.
Apple iPad Air 2 – The latest flagship iOS tablet debuted just last month, and it boasts faster performance than its already-speedy predecessor, while also being slimmer. This model will surely get OS upgrades for years to come, and it has the power to stay useful well into 2017 and beyond.
But be aware, there are rumors that Apple is prepping next year’s release of the iPad Pro – a 12-inch tablet aimed at the business market.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – This 12-inch Windows tablet hit store shelves this summer, but will stay on the cutting edge for at least six more months. Even after its replacement debuts, Microsoft built in enough horsepower it’ll be able to run the upcoming Windows 10. That said, the version with the Core i7 processor is a safer bet than the one with the Core i3 chip.
As with the iPad, there are rumors that Microsoft may introduce 13- and/or 14-inch versions of the Surface Pro 4 next year.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – Our reviewer of this device calls it “the best tablet on the market today,” thanks to its superb display and great performance. Although Samsung doesn’t deliver OS upgrades as quickly as some of it rivals, that won’t significantly detract from how useful this tablet should be for years.
Summary: Apple's iPad may have the biggest slice of the tablet share, but one writer found that the Surface Pro 3 can be the laptop replacement you really need in your work life.
Some people are stuck in their ways. They're often stuck in ways that aren't totally broken but are no longer the the best or most efficient.
Quelle surprise when one of ZDNet's longest-serving writers (albeit a former Microsoft reporter) changed his entire way of working, all thanks to Microsoft's newest tablet.
Apple's iPads are everywhere. But Microsoft's new Surface Pro 3 tablets are creeping in to the business and enterprise market. For those who've used a Surface, there's almost no wiggle room for criticism.
Ed Bott worked on a desktop PC with full-sized keyboard, mouse and trackpad, and two large displays. In a matter of microseconds, this fully fledged PC-like device became a tablet when he lifted it out of its docking station. It became an entirely new being in its own right.
It's a powerful laptop PC, a Chromebook imitator, and a tablet for taking notes. For all intents and purposes, this is a love story between one man and his tablet — a tablet that is a PC replacement at the same time.
November 19, 2014
The original Envy x2, which was released early last year, had a lot going for it in the portability and looks department -- it was super light and relatively slick. However, its actual real-world performance left a lot to be desired. Fast forward to now, and HP is refreshing its tablet/laptop device with a completely fresh design, one that's very reminiscent of Microsoft's Surface line. In addition to the newly added kickstand, HP's new Envy x2 comes in two different sizes: there are 13-inch and 15.6-inch models, starting at $750 ($100 less than the first-generation).
Microsoft is on tap to issue several firmware updates and fixes for the Surface Pro 3 tablet family a week after Patch Tuesday.
On November 17, Microsoft officials shared a list of updates it planned to issue for the Intel-based Surface Pro 3, but didn't specify exactly when they'd deliver them beyond saying they'd come "in the upcoming update." The team said that customers have asked to learn about the updates for the (Surface Pro 3) device in advance of them being available," and that the list was based on that feedback.
I'm hearing Microsoft will make the mentioned Surface Pro 3 fixes available later today, November 18.
Update: Actually, it sounds like the updates are more likely tomorrow, November 19. Microsoft officials are not commenting as to when they will be available.
The list of what's coming in the Pro 3 update, according to Microsoft:
Surface Pro UEFI update (v3.11.350.0)
Resolves scenarios where the device will boot to a black screen if McAfee Defense Encryption 7.1.1 is installed.
Surface Home Button driver update (v2.0.1174.0)
Along with the pen update below, this helps prevent scenarios where device may accidentally wake up from sleep while being stored or carried.
Surface Pen Settings driver update (v188.8.131.52)
Along with the home button driver update above, this helps to prevent scenarios where the device may accidentally wake up from sleep while being stored or carried.
Wireless Network Controller and Bluetooth driver update (v15.68.3066.135)
Enables better throughput after waking from sleep and connecting to an 802.11AC network.
November 18, 2014
If you shop at Target, you’ll pretty much pay face value for the iPad, even the older models. But Target sweetens the deal with some hefty gift cards. You’ll get a $100 card with the iPad mini 2 ($300), so it effectively costs you $200. The new iPad mini 3 ($400), after a $100 card, will cost you $300. The original iPad Air ($400) will also run you $300 when you factor in the $100 card. The brand-new iPad Air 2 costs $500, but you get a $140 gift card, making the net price $360. With the older iPad mini ($250), you get an $80 card, which nets out to $170. All are 16GB, Wi-Fi models. (Of course, these deals are worthwhile only if you plan to spend that much money at Target anyway.)
The deals aren’t much different at Walmart, which will have the older iPad mini for a bit less than usual ($200) along with a $30 gift card, making the effective price $170—the same as at Target. The original iPad Air will cost $397 and will include a $100 card, for a net of $297, just $3 less than at Target.
Best Buy has a bit more variety and lower prices, with no gift cards. You’ll save $100 on the iPad Air 2, which will cost $400, $40 more than at Target, but you're not locked in to spending the money you've saved at Best Buy. The iPad mini 3 will be $325, which is $75 below the list price, $25 more than at Target.
Nokia today opened its mysterious black box to reveal the N1 Android tablet—its first major product release since leaving the smartphone business.
Following a weekend of teasing tweets, Nokia's head of products, Sebastian Nyström, took the stage at this week's Slush 2014 conference in Helsinki to discuss the company's future.
That future includes the N1, which is expected to hit shelves in China during the first quarter of 2015 for an estimated $249. Nokia said it anticipates expanding sales to other markets, but provided no details.
"We are pleased to bring the Nokia brand back into consumers' hands with the N1 Android tablet, and to help make sophisticated technologies simple," Nyström said in a statement.
The 7.9-inch, 2,048-by-1,536 slate features a one-piece aluminum design and weighs in at 6.9mm. It will come in Lava Grey and Natural Aluminum colors and sport Android 5.0 Lollipop.
"The N1 has a delightfully intuitive interface and an industrial design to match it," Nyström said. "This is a great products for Nokia fans and everyone who has not found the right Android tablet yet."
November 17, 2014
For anyone who fancies the stylus feature in a tablet, the Surface Pro 3 would be the tablet of choice. It features the Surface stylus pen that can come in handy when navigating through apps. The stylus feature is not present in the iPad Air 2.
The Processor and Operating System
The Surface Pro 3 runs on a dual core, Intel core i3/5/7 processor with a speed of 1.6GHz. It is available in two variations for 4GB and 8GB RAM. On the other hand, the iPad Air 2 runs on the Apple A7 dual core processor at 1.4GHz and is only available in 1GB RAM option.
This simply means that the Surface Pro 3 has a much more powerful processor than the competition. The surface pro runs the Windows 8.1 software while the iPad Air 2 runs the iOS 7.
Both tablets are great, depending on what the user needs. It is hard to tell which one is better than the other one, since they edge each other out in different aspects.
While much of the attention for tablets has been on the consumer market, there is also another category worth keeping an eye on: ultra-rugged and fully-rugged tablets. These devices have been around for some time and are critical for categories like energy, manufacturing, mining, public safety and distribution.
One of the pioneers of this space is Xplore Technologies, which has been selling devices since 1998.
So what are some of the interesting trends? To see, I recently talked to the president of Xplore, Mark Holleran. Here’s what he had to say:
Tom Taulli: What are you seeing in the market today?
Mark Holleran: The biggest trend we’re seeing at Xplore Technologies is that tablets are becoming the new primary device in the workplace. Laptops have fallen out of favor. If you’re not focused on content creation, a tablet can be your primary device, especially with all the supplementary accessories that are available now. We’re seeing this same trend in the enterprise environment, with rugged tablets quickly replacing rugged laptops.
November 14, 2014
During Sunday’s win over the Giants, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw two uncharacteristic interceptions. Within minutes after each mistake, Wilson went straight to the bench and immediately had a Microsoft Surface tablet in his hands, figuring out what went wrong.
Thanks to Microsoft’s $400 million, five-year contract with the NFL, players and coaches this season have started ditching the traditional paper black-and-white images of plays used to review previous possessions, and instead are taking advantage of a customized Surface Pro 2 that Microsoft built specifically for NFL sidelines.
I spent a few minutes playing with the software, and it’s easy to see why these tablets are more efficient than the traditional paper printouts — 15 times faster, Tran noted. Images from each play — on offense, defense, and special teams — are labeled, with the ability to make annotations on each photo with the Surface Pen. Players and coaches can “favorite” specific screenshots that they want to bookmark.
Traditionally, images would be sent to a printer, and a team assistant would have to print the photos and compile them into a binder.
That’s all changed with the Surface. Tran noted that while some are adapting the digital tools slower than others — it seems some commentators haven’t caught on yet, either — 95 percent of coaches don’t even turn on their printers anymore because they’re relying on the tablets.
Android 5.0 Lollipop Update Confirmed for More Tablet Users
This week has been loaded with details surrounding the official release and rollout of the new Android 5.0 Lollipop update, and this morning we have more good news for Android tablet users. Today NVIDIA confirmed the company’s impressive new SHIELD Tablet will be among the first tablets to run Google’s latest Android 5.0 update.
Yesterday Google finally released Android 5.0 Lollipop updates for most Nexus users. Those include the Nexus 7 (2012 & 2013) as well as the Nexus 10, not to mention the Nexus 5 smartphone. At the same time a few Motorola smartphones started to receive the update, but there’s been no news on the tablet front.
The Nexus 9 was the first device to arrive with Android 5.0 Lollipop, and is the only tablet available with the newest update out of the box. However, along with Nexus tablets, today NVIDIA promised the Android 5.0 update will arrive for its users next week.
Think all the best tablet deals are for Android tablets? Think again.
E Fun announced today that its new Nextbook 8 Windows tablet will sell for just $99 in Walmart stores on Black Friday (November 28). This was among the deals listed in the store's Black Friday ad circular, which was released yesterday. However, the Nextbook actually goes on sale at 8 p.m. local time Thursday, and is available "while supplies last," so it may not make it as far as Friday.
The Nextbook 8 features an Intel Atom Z3735G processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and an 8-inch screen with a 1,280x800 resolution. Other specs include front- and rear-facing camera (both fairly low-resolution), Bluetooth 4.0, and a Micro-HDMI port.
In addition to running full Windows 8.1 (and not ill-fated Windows RT), the tablet comes with a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal, which includes 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage.
Best kids' tablets for Christmas 2014
Give your child the perfect Christmas with their own tablet
Buy your child a tablet for Christmas and you'll guarantee a perfect Xmas for all involved - you get back your tablet, and the kids will be quiet all day. Here we compile our list of the best kids' tablets to gift this Xmas.
This is one of the better kids’ Android tablets we’ve seen but with a street price of £150, it’s not cheap. Yes, you get Android Jelly Bean and access to Google Play, but the sluggish performance and poor cameras combine with the missing user profiles and imperfect screen-time management to outweigh those advantages. The new Kindle Fire HD costs £119 (or £139 if you want 16GB of storage) and has a much better kids’ mode with user profiles and great screen-time management. The price doesn’t include a child-friendly case, but these are sure to appear now that the FreeTime feature has been added.
November 13, 2014
Samsung Innovates Again, Copies Apple's Continuity
Flow lets users start watching a movie on their Android-based tablet, for example, then pick up where they left off on their computer or smart TV. You can start working on a document on your tablet and finish on your computer or smartphone. Everything moves seamlessly, just as Apple Samsung says it should.
Last week, Microsoft announced a preview of Office for Android, building anticipation for its public release in early 2015. The hook this time around is that most of Office is now free on mobile, including document creation and editing. The somewhat useless Office Mobile now appears to be headed out to pasture, too.
While I didn’t have access to an Apple iPad to draw direct comparisons, it appears that Office for Android Preview closely resembles Office for iPad, with at least two notable exceptions: First, users can print directly from each Office app via Google Cloud Print from the get-go; and second, users can choose whether to save directly to Microsoft’s OneDrive or to DropBox, a partnership that was announced just a week ago.
After an intensive day with all three of the Office Preview apps—Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—I can already say they're outstanding, even at this early stage. They’re simply must-haves.
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