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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 (v22.214.171.124)
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.
November 12, 2014
Black Friday deals reveal deep iPad discounts
U.S. retailers will mark down Apple's iPad with steep discounts this Black Friday, according to store circulars and a retail analyst.
Best Buy, which published deals for Black Friday -- the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. -- on Tuesday, will discount all models of the just-released iPad Air 2 by $100 and cut prices of the smaller iPad Mini 3 by $75, dropping the entry-level configurations to $400 and $325, respectively.
The electronics chain will also sell last year's iPad Air, but will not reveal prices until Nov. 20, a week before sales start.
Meanwhile, Target's specials will include a $140 store gift card with the purchase of a 16GB iPad Air 2 (which lists for $499), a $100 card with a 16GB iPad Mini 3 or iPad Air ($399 each), and an $80 card with a 16GB non-Retina iPad Mini ($249).
With the included gift cards -- which can only be used for other purchases at Target -- the effective price of the iPad Air 2 will be $359, those of the iPad Mini 3 or iPad Air $299 each, and that of 2012's original iPad Mini just $169.
The Nexus 9 is Google’s new 8.9in tablet that is designed to show off the best the new Android 5 Lollipop in a full-size tablet with a new 64-bit processor.
Google again has partnered with a manufacturer, this time HTC, to create its Nexus range of devices to demonstrate how it thinks Android should operate.
The previous Nexus tablet was a 7in device made by Asus, which was very solid and was considerably cheaper than its competitors. Google also partnered with Samsung a couple of years ago to make the heavy and bulky Nexus 10 tablet, with a larger 10in screen.
Google essentially designed an iPad to try to better Apple’s tablet. The Nexus 9 is one of the first Android tablets to use the squarer 4:3 screen ratio, which is still used by Apple tablets and was the norm for televisions before being replaced by the 16:9 “widescreen” aspect.
November 11, 2014
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Review: A True Rival to the iPad Mini
Is this the pint-sized Android tablet you've been looking for?
Opting for film- and game-friendly widescreen rather than the iPad's squarer screen ratio, the Z3 Tablet Compact's display has a Full HD resolution of 1200 x 1920, a pixel density of 283 per inch, and measures exactly eight inches.
The screen has good viewing angles, a strong and even back light, and only a very small air gap between the glass front and the display itself. Colours are bold, but tend to shift slightly to the cooler end of the spectrum, giving whites a blue tinge. It doesn't take long to get used to, however, and only when the Sony is lined up next to the warmer display of an iPad does it look particularly bad.
As I said above, the widescreen shape makes it perfect for film, TV and gaming, but browsing the web in landscape is akin to reading websites through a letterbox. Conversely, the iPad's squarer screen leaves huge black lines above and below widescreen video, so you'll want to bear all that in mind when choosing your next tablet.
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact: Software and Performance
Currently running Android 4.4 KitKat, Sony has already confirmed that, starting in early 2015, the entire Z2 and Z3 lineup will be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop. For now though, the Z3 Tablet Compact is instantly recognisable as a Sony; from the Walkman and PlayStation apps, to film, TV and music content, this is a shopfront showing off much of what Sony has to offer.
A New Apple for Your Stocking? The iPad Air 2 May Just Fit
This year's apple-picking has turned into picking out Apples, as in the crisp iPhone 6 and the shiny iPad Air 2. And the new tablet just might make a delicious holiday gift for you or another frequent traveler.
as I see it, here are the basic improvements of the iPad Air 2. Whether or not it's worth an upgrade remains a personal call.
-- The iPad Air 2 is slim and light, 18 percent thinner than the previous Air, and even thinner than the iPhone 6. The aluminum case has soft edges and elegant lines and the product is easy to carry, weighing less than a pound. For travelers, this is major. When I'm toting a backpack while running to catch a train, I feel every ounce. Yes, the iPad mini is smaller, but seems bulkier.
-- Battery life on the iPad Air 2 is now up to 10 hours. So you can be waiting in the airport lounge, then fly to Rome and still not need to charge the battery. And if you use auto-brightness, which allows for better usage, you may not even have to lug a charger on a quick trip. I lug one anyway.
-- The variety and quality of apps, especially the ones geared to travel are pretty awesome. You know that already, and the clarity of the iPad Air 2 big screen helps.
-- The improved display is not only thinner, but also anti-reflective. That means you can now read maps or books in the sunshine, something pretty impossible before.
November 10, 2014
HP has today launched a new edition to their range of tablets with the unveiling of the new HP Envy x2 2-in-1 tablet that is equipped with a 13 inch display together with stereo front facing speakers equipped with Beats audio.
The new HP Envy x2 is priced starting at $800 and provides the best of both a Windows laptop and Windows tablet in one device all powered by an Intel Core M processor and shipping with a Windows 8.1 64-bit operating system installed.
The Intel Core M processors are the first chips to feature 5th generation Intel Core “Broadwell” technology and have been designed for inclusion in top end tablets and notebooks that require a long battery life and fanless cooling. HP explains :
“Get the power and portability you need with this ultra-versatile detachable PC. Enjoy the flexibility of an All-in-One, notebook, and tablet in one device. Capture all the details, even in low light. Get more of you and your surroundings into web chats thanks to a wide viewing angle lens.
Enjoy crisp, vibrant images from ultra-wide viewing angles on this 13.3-inch diagonal Full HD touchscreen display. Everyone can see your photos, videos, and more—even from side angles. With BeatsAudio and dual speakers, the HP ENVY x2 is designed for the best-sounding, richest audio on a PC.”
Back in September, Notion Ink launched its 10.1-inch Cain 2-in-1 tablet powered by Intel Atom Z3735D Processor and Windows 8.1 in India. It appears that the company is now set to launch the Notion Ink Cain 8 as online retailer Snapdeal has listed it on its site under 'Coming Soon' tag.
As the name suggests, it is an 8-inch tablet powered by Microsoft's Windows 8.1 OS. Under the hood, the device is delivered energy by Intel Atom processor. However, the company has not revealed the processor clock and whether or not it is a quad core or a dual core.
The online retailer has, however, listed other details on specifications. It has 3G connectivity via SIM card slot. In terms of storage, the tablet uses 16GB of internal memory, which can be further expanded via microSD.
Nvidia has been on quite the tablet roll lately. Google just recently announced that their flagship 9″ tablet, the Nexus 9, manufactured by HTC, includes Nvidia’s Tegra K1 SoC with Kepler graphics inside. While components and graphics AIBs are Nvidia’s primary business, they also develop and sell their own branded tablets and devices under the “SHIELD” moniker. Interestingly, as we roll into the holidays and know what products will be on-shelf by Thanksgiving, it looks like Nvidia’s SHIELD tablets, on a product to product basis, could be in the running with Apple and Samsung’s 8″ tablets. I think that’s quite a feat for any component maker to be mentioned with the largest tablet makers and I want to tell you more about it.
This brings me to the holiday selling season, where I think on an 8″ tablet-to-tablet basis it could very well be an Apple iPad Mini, Nvidia SHIELD, and Samsung Galaxy Tab show. To be clear, when I say “product to product”, this of course doesn’t include distribution or promotion, but rather means the price and experience. Let me explain my thinking here.
November 7, 2014
Oprah tasted, tested, sniffed, snuggled, brewed, steeped, read, shared and dared—Check out what she's calling her favorite, favorite gifts to give and receive this year.
Yoga Tablet 2 Pro: Screen Gem
"You can hold, hang, stand and tilt this tablet developed by Lenovo and Ashton Kutcher. But the real star power? It includes a projector, so you can convert your living room wall into an instant home theater." —Oprah
Microsoft Surface Pro Trending Well Against Apple's MacBook Air
As personal computer (PC) sales begin to stabilize, the battles for users’ laps are intensifying, with Apple and Microsoft competing for the ultra light weight title.
A quick exploration on Google Trends with the terms “MacBook Air” and “Surface Pro” reveal that since its release in October of 2012, interest for Microsoft’s Surface Pro has grown significantly, with it almost surpassing the MacBook Air in September 2014.
Seeking to replace both tablets and ultrabooks, devices which many believe have lost some market share too along with Windows PCs, Microsoft took the hybrid approach. Allowing for the Surface Pro’s keyboard to detach from the body, and a stylus input device are two of the main features which distinguishes it from the MacBook Air. It is essentially a big tablet with a removable keyboard.
Comparison between the two entry models for the MacBook Air and Surface Pro 3.
Comparison between the two higher end models.
The Surface prices does not include the Type Cover, which is $129.99, the Surface does come with the additional rear facing camera, and the kind of sensors you typically find in a tablet or phone: touch screen, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer.
Rumor has it that Apple will be releasing a large tablet code-named iPad Pro some time next year, and whether it will run Apple’s mobile operating system or Apple’s desktop operating system is debatable.
With the release of Windows 10 in the spring of 2015, Microsoft might be able to put the finishing touches on a fully unified software and hardware package, and displace the MacBook Air.
Some of the Best Buy stores Black Friday deals have been leaked out according our sources. The Black Friday 2014 deals include a Samsung 55 inch LED Smart HDTV , a Microsoft Surface pro 3 128 GM with keyboard and office 365 which is priced at $1100. On the Apple products, consumers will get a $50 gift card with iPad Air or iPad Air 2 purchase. A Playstation 4 combined with a Sony 55 inch LED / LCD 4K HDTV is priced at $2800. Customers can receive $100 gift card on a MacBook Air.
November 6, 2014
Did you know that Lenovo had planned to become the world's biggest PC and tablet maker by the end of 2016? It turns out that the company's achievement was even greater than its ambition, since the milestone has been reached six financial quarters early. In Lenovo's latest earnings release, the company trumps its new status as king of the PC (and tablet) world, having made a healthy $262 million net profit for the three months between July and September. Some of the highlights include a big upswing in tablet and smartphone sales, as well as a big boost from the enterprise businesses its keeps buying from IBM.
As you may or may not have known, MobileDemand has released three new tablets in the 2014 calendar year with one more on the way! All three (soon to be four) of the devices are thin, light and rugged and run secure, enterprise-ready versions of Microsoft Windows Professional.
Here is a brief overview of the three new rugged tablets:
Windows 8.1 OS (Pro Optional)
Windows 8.1 OS (Pro Optional)
Not only can the xTablet Flex tablets be purchased from the new online tablet store, but we have expert sales reps standing by with any questions you may have, so give MobileDemand a call at 319-363-4121
Should you buy Microsoft Office for iPad?
On the iPad, the Office experience is frustrating but satisfactory. Due to the lack of a built-in keyboard, the iPad is never going to be the perfect device for penning 1,000-plus word missives – like the one you're reading now – but for some on-the-go editing the experience was acceptable.
When compared to Pages, from Apple's own iWork suite, Word held its own. Both are pared down for the iPad and both have similar drawbacks, including speed (although this varies from device to device) and higher-end features, such as checking versions of a document for changes. All-in-all, though, Word for iPad is solid and is definitely comparable to Pages, especially when editing more complex Word documents.
PowerPoint and Excel are slightly different stories, however, as they require far more screen space than is provided by the iPad. While this isn't Microsoft's fault, the implementation of both is sub-par and steps could have been taken to remedy this. Both suffer from over-complication, especially Excel, which leads to a pretty poor experience, especially when you consider that you are paying for it. Microsoft should've drilled down on the basic features of each and worked on putting those in the iPad app, leaving the more complex features for the desktop versions. In this case, less definitely is more.
November 5, 2014
Nope, that's not a Surface Pro up there. But it's close. Dell just refreshed its 10.8-inch Venue 11 Pro tablet, and, much like Microsoft's slate, it's gone on a bit of a diet. Whereas the original Venue 11 Pro ran on a traditional, laptop-grade Core i5 processor, this one uses one of Intel's new Core M chips, which allows it to be much thinner and lighter -- and fanless, too. All told, it now comes in at 1.62 pounds and measures 0.42 inch thick -- not bad for what's essentially an 11-inch laptop replacement. (It's even slightly lighter than the Surface Pro 3, though to be fair, Microsoft's tablet also has a bigger screen.)
November 4, 2014
Surface Pro 3: The Ultimate Weapon for Mobile Warriors?
Normally I don't write an article about a new device, but a lot of people have asked me how the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is holding up as a professional tablet and a potential laptop replacer. Will it fit my needs?
I bought the Surface Pro 3 two weeks ago in the Microsoft Store. My model is an i5, 256 GB SSD and 8Gb or RAM. Quite impressive figures if you look at the fact these are actually crammed into a tablet. This is indeed the most solid model according to the Microsoft Store Sales rep who pointed out that this is: "the ideal mix between performance and cost" So, I set out to see if this would fit my needs and I wanted to share my experiences, in the event you have similar requirements as I do.
I know I can be a very critical consumer of electronics sometimes because these are in fact my tools to get the job done. A craftsman will also use high quality tools to get his job done so I see my laptop / tablet as my tools to do my magic. They may not fail nor bother me when I’m using them. I must say that the Lenovo tablet 2 bothered me more than it was beneficial. That’s why it got a one way trip to my closet. I was afraid at first that the Surface tablet would probably get the same treatment after a while, but I must say that it has me completely stunned. Just 2 weeks into using this tablet I've found that it is perfect for what I’m using it for and even more. The battery life is more than sufficient to work through the day (face it: how long will you really be separated from a power outlet to charge your device?). The weight is more than acceptable if you look at what the Surface is packing under the hood. Small annoyances aside, it did not let me down once during those 2 weeks and is still going strong as my main device.
So did Microsoft did a good job with this tablet? Absolutely. Despite a few annoyances, it’s a good looking, well thought through device that allows me to get the job done anytime, anywhere.
November 3, 2014
Surface Pro 3 makes everything all right
Microsoft this week is continuing its push to make Surface hardware available to an ever-broadening audience with two initiatives that let the devices be sold to government customers. With Surface finally profitable, it's possible that the software giant has finally found a strategy that makes sense for both it and its potential customers.
With regards to governmental sales of Surface, there are two bits of news.
First, Surface Pro 3 is now available via the United States General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule, which Microsoft describes as a federal procurement process which establishes long-term government-wide contracts with commercial companies. With Surface Pro 3 meeting all GSA criteria, US governmental employees can now purchase the tablet and its accessories through the GSA. You can find out more at Surface.com/Government.
Second, Microsoft has approved a new set of Surface resellers that target the public sector, including government entities and educational institutions. These new partners meet specific government procurement requirements, Microsoft notes, while also delivering a variety of value-added services to the Surface family, such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection. You can find out more at the Surface Blog.
Copyright © 2014 Blue Thunder
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