After pitting its Surface 2 against Apple's iPad Air (unsurprisingly, the former wins that round), Microsoft is now going after Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 in a new Surface RT ad that focuses on the connectivity options offered by the two devices.
It is a no-brainer as to which one wins the battle in this new ad -- yes, it is the Surface RT. The slate comes out on top as the superior device because it allows users to connect an external display, connect a drive to the full-size USB port and charge it, at the same time. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is portrayed as the sore loser due to its significantly limited hardware design.
Using a peripheral to interact with your computer is so passé. Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners have the Kinect to dance in front of, and PlayStation gamers have a camera that can be used in much the same way. PC users can turn to the likes of Leap Motion if they like the idea of eschewing traditional forms of control, and an increasing number of smartphones can recognize eye and hand movements. Now it looks as though Apple is joining the party by buying 3D motion detection specialists PrimeSense.
This may not be a firm that sounds all that familiar, but you're almost certainly aware of the Israeli company's work -- Kinect for the Xbox. Yep, you read that correctly. Apple is buying the firm behind one of the most interesting and innovative features of Microsoft's game console. While no details of the purchase have been revealed, and no mention made of any money that may have swapped hands, PrimeSense has confirmed that the purchase is going ahead.
There is no shortage of variety in today's Android tablet market. Devices come in a range of functionality and price, and from a host of makers. Two prominent tablets on the market are from a couple of the web's biggest sites, and both Amazon and Google are hoping their devices will land under your tree this holiday season.
The second generation of the Nexus 7, manufactured by Asus and sold by Google, has been on the market for some time, but now Amazon is pushing the third version of the Kindle Fire tablet. This latest iteration is, of course, purported to be the best, but is it? Can the HDX really be better than the 2012 HD?
November 22 is a big day for Microsoft, with the Xbox One officially hitting store shelves, and Nokia releasing its latest devices, including an extra-large smartphone and a new Windows RT 8.1 tablet. The latter, known as the Lumia 2520, is being offered by Verizon for $399 with a two-year contract or $499 on a month-to-month deal.
While the price seems reasonable, at least in the realm of Windows tablets, Verizon is sweetening the deal with an offer for your old tablet. It's a deal similar to what Microsoft has offered as bribery in the past -- "trade in your current iPad in good working condition and receive a Verizon Wireless gift card up to $300. See how much your iPad is worth".
On the weekends, I often go to Best Buy with no intention of buying anything. In other words, I am a technology window-shopper. It is actually quite interesting to observe the habits of consumers while playing with the latest gadgets. While I typically visit all sections of the store, I make it a point to stop and play with one of my favorite computers -- the Acer Aspire R7. Sadly, I am not yet in need of a new computer, so I always leave without buying it.
This laptop is special to me because in a sea of similar devices, this one stands out. You see, it features some unique features such as the patented Ezel-Hinge, which allows the display to be manipulated into a myriad of positions; including a tablet mode. However, it also features a trackpad positioned above the keyboard, rather than below. Is your mind blown? Boom.
I'm a Surface Pro user; that I won't deny. I also own an iPad -- it's an old iPad 2, but it still does the job. It may not have the fancy 'more pixels than you can see without the aid of a microscope' display of newer models, but it's perfectly functional. However I'd still pick the Surface over Apple's tablet for just about everything. I'll admit I was tempted by the idea of an iPad Air when it was launched, but after thinking it over a little, I decided to stick with the old model and continue to enjoy my Surface Pro.
But the time will come when I am in the market for a new tablet. Having had my attention flagged by the iPad Air, it would seem that it would be a toss-up between the Surface 2 (Pro or regular) and Apple's offering. However much I think about it, I still find myself falling on the side of the Surface. Why? Several reasons:
With both models of the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets now out in the wild, Amazon can concentrate on tweaking the system to add features and fix bugs. The device, while considered to be a competitor to the Nexus 7, is really more about media, specifically that from the retail giant's ecosystem.
The latest update, which rolls out today, takes the OS to version 3.1 and adds several new features to enhance the 'media device' perception even more.
Fancy getting your hands on a Nexus 7 without having to part with any cash? If you've been on the lookout for a 7-inch Android tablet, Google has a contest that may well be of interest. Providing you live in the US, you can take part in a photo competition to bag yourself either a free Nexus 7 or a $50 Google Play gift card. Sound tempting? All you need to do is take a photo of an arrangement of things that matter to you -- that's all there is to it!
The competition is not actually new as three draws have already taken place -- but there are only a couple of days left to try your luck with the final one. A reminder was issued on Google+ and while the introduction on the main competition page suggests that photos need to include an Android device, read on a little and you will discover that this is not actually a requirement for entry -- but make sure you don’t include a rival product in the shot though, as "non-Nexus or Android devices (phones/tablets) may not be shown in entry".
It would be a strange week if Google didn’t steal a few headlines, and this week saw the introduction of new quick actions to Gmail as well as the launch of a series of online tools to help with the aftermath of the Philippines typhoon. Changes were also made to attachments in Gmail so it is now possible to download files directly to Google Drive. After the launch of the Nexus 5 -- which Brian was not blown away by -- Google also started to roll out Android 4.4 to Nexus tablets -- Mihaita was on hand with a guide to manually upgrading for anyone who did not want to wait for the OTA update to arrive. The news wasn't so good for the Chromebook 11 which was taken off sale after problems with overheating chargers. Google won a court battle after a judge ruled that the scanning of books is not illegal.
This week it was revealed that while BitTorrent still accounts for a large proportion of web traffic, and usage has actually increased in Europe, in the States there has been a drop in traffic. Anyone who seeks entertainment through other channels will be pleased by the fact that Roku streaming boxes can now be used to access Disney and ESPN channels. The Netflix channel was also updated with a new look.
Nexus users love to fiddle with their smartphones and tablets by tearing off the stock software and experimenting with custom Android distributions, kernels, recoveries and whatever else is different from what is offered out-of-the-box. More often than not this all works fine, but it is not uncommon for something to break beyond easy repair. And, that is when Nexus modders turn to Google's factory images for help to return their devices to stock software.
After kicking off the roll-out of the KitKat upgrade, Google released the Android 4.4 factory images for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7. The Nexus 5 received this treatment right after launch while the Nexus 10 is still waiting for the search giant's stamp of approval.
Millennials are more heavily distracted when watching video and as a result adverts need to work harder to get through to them. This is among the findings of research by YuMe, a digital brand advertising specialist, and IPG Media Lab.
Focusing on millennials (those born between the early 1980s and the turn of the century) the first phase of the study looked at the tablet video viewing experience compared to TV, PC and mobile. The second phase analyzed media consumption and multi-tasking habits in an attempt to understand which device is most effective at achieving brand recall within the demographic.
As expected, Google has started to roll out Android 4.4 KitKat to its Nexus tablet lineup. At the moment, the software upgrade is only heading to the Wi-Fi versions of the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10, but is slated to reach the cellular models of the smaller tablet too in the upcoming period, as well as the Nexus 4.
The upgrade may be rolling out to compatible tablets as we speak but it will take some time to reach all Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices. Luckily, you do not have to wait for the notification to install Android 4.4, as you can get KitKat up and running right now without losing any of your apps and settings or resorting to the modding trickery of loading a custom ROM.
There is a market in education, and both Apple and Microsoft pursue it with iPads, Office and more. Now Google is looking to get in on the action with its Android mobile operating system. The search giant wants you to bring a tablet to school, and is rolling out a special version of its Play store designed to make this simpler.
"Today we're launching tablets with Google Play for Education for K-12 schools in the US. For the past five months, thousands of students and more than 50 schools have used Google Play for Education and shared their experiences as part of our beta program", says the company's Rock Borovoy.
Pittsburgh-based start-up Digital Dream Labs has launched a Kickstarter campaign to improve childhood interactions with technology and promote the development of logic and problem solving skills.
"10 years ago, parents were worried their teenagers were getting too consumed by video games", says co-founder Matt Stewart. "Now you have toddlers playing on touch screens before they know how to walk. Technology is doing amazing things to change the world, but that doesn't mean we should give up the fundamental experiences that dictate our children's growth and help them interact with the things around them".
Yes, you've read that correctly. Microsoft's Surface RT tablet will be available at US retailer Best Buy under the magical $200 mark. The $199.99 price tag will be attached next to the Windows RT slate between November 28 and November 30, just in time for Black Friday.
The model that the US retailer will offer during that period is the 32 GB Surface RT without the bundled keyboard. Normally, the tablet would cost $349.99 at Best Buy, which makes the $150 discount look rather impressive.