I’ve posted a number of articles about tablets in recent weeks. There’s a reason for that: tablets are one of the most popular and sought-after gifts. I have the opportunity for hands-on time with many of these devices throughout the year and if If I can help someone to make an informed choice between the dozens (of not hundreds) of tablets currently available, I’m happy to do so. I’ve already touched on topics like the best tablet for a specific task or top choices within a price range. This time around, it’s my picks for the best tablets of 2014.
Now that the tablet market is maturing, pretty much any of the mainstream devices will offer decent performance. So how do manufacturers distinguish their products from all the rest on the shelves? Going Ultra is one of the best ways to stand out. Ultra thin, ultra fast, ultra big —pushing the boundaries gets attention and these Ultratablets are worth considering if you’re looking for one that stands out in a crowd.
Buying a new tablet for yourself is one thing —you know what you like and what you want. But what about buying one for someone else? With the holiday shopping season fast approaching and a new tablet on many wish lists, a lot of people will be trying to figure out how to find the perfect tablet for someone else. I have a few pointers to help you out.
There are many different strategies that can be used when picking a tablet. For example, it’s always a good idea to know what you might use the tablet for before choosing one. Often, it just comes down to price and your budget. Today, manufacturers are offering tablets ranging in price from under $100 to over $1,000. The choice can be overwhelming, but I’ll try to make things easier with my pick from each of the most popular price categories.
A tablet is a great device for doing just about anything you can imagine —playing video games, surfing the net, seeing what your Facebook friends are up to or watching videos— but many of these activities require an Internet connection. No problem at home, but what happens when you go mobile? How can you keep playing Simpsons:Tapped Out, watching YouTube or checking your News Feed when your tablet is no longer connected to your home network? In this post, I’ll show you how to access Wi-Fi on your tablet, from virtually anywhere.
Tablets are great devices for doing many things. They truly are the embodiment of multi-purpose technology. You can use a tablet to watch videos, play games, read books, surf the web, take photos, listen to music, participate in a video conference or write a report. But there is a huge range of options to choose from and despite the fact that they’re all “multi-purpose” devices, some tablets are better suited from some purposes than others. In this post, I single out tablets that have a reputation for being ideal for different activities.
It was only a few years ago —2010 to be exact— when choosing which size of tablet display was an exercise in simplicity. You really only had one choice. Apple’s original iPad was released that year, it immediately dominated the category and its display was 9.7-inches. Today, the tablet landscape is much more diverse and display sizes are all over the map. Which size best suits your needs? In this post, I’ll break down five of the most popular display sizes and what they’re best suited for.
If you are someone who casually reads e-books, then you probably don’t need a device like the Kobo Aura H2O. A smartphone or tablet will likely do just fine. But if you’re someone like me —an avid reader who’s fully committed to digital— then the new Aura H2O is the biggest news since last year’s Kobo Aura HD. I’ve been using Kobo’s latest flagship e-reader and even gone so far as dunking it in a sink full of water. Read on to see just how good this premium e-reader is.
Every time Apple release a new version of iOS —the mobile operating system that powers the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (and behind the scenes the Apple TV)— it’s a big deal. On September 17, the company began rolling out iOS 8, what it’s calling “the biggest iOS release ever.” What can you expect from iOS 8? Should you upgrade immediately? Here are my thoughts after I installed iOS 8 on my iPad, as well as using it for a day on a newly arrived iPhone 6.
IFA 2014 was the location for yet more high tech announcements as Sony got in the game. Among the new products from Sony are the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (billed as the world’s slimmest and lightest compact tablet), new smartphones led by the new Xperia Z3 flagship, a new Android Wear-powered Smartwatch 3 and the SmartBand Talk fitness tracker.
If there’s one thing better than sitting on the beach, it’s sitting on the beach with a good book. An e-book, preferably. Unfortunately water, sand and e-readers don’t mix and protective cases can be a pain. Kobo has fixed that problem once and for all with the all new Kobo Aura H2O, a waterproof, sandproof and dustproof e-reader.
Technology is a big part of student life and a computer has become integral to the educational experience. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is a powerful device that can physically transform into a laptop form factor, becoming a true ultra-mobile alternative to a laptop or desktop PC —while offering all the advantages of a tablet.
Whether you have a iPad Air or iPad mini you’ll want to keep it safe. Lifeproof now offers two new covers to protect your Air device.
Both promise to make your iPad and mini iPad waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and shockproof. That's a lot of protection. We tested both lines to see what were their differences and whether they delivered on their protection.
Samsung continues to lead everyone but Apple in worldwide tablet sales and it’s not just the sheer number of different models it offers that’s the reason for that (although Samsung does offer a lot of different tablets). The company keeps upping its game and the Galaxy Tab S models are the latest example of this. Samsung sent me Galaxy Tab S 8.4 to try out and I found a lot to like about the company’s thinnest and lightest tablet. Especially that Super AMOLED display. Read on for my Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review.
You’ve got your new iPad Air or iPad Mini and you’re already inseparable. Unfortunately, the naked iPad doesn’t have much protection. Get it road ready with a new cover from Logitech. This company has developed a well-deserved reputation for their tough and stylish tablet covers offering great protection without adding bulk or weight. Here are some suggestions to help you find your perfect Logitech iPad or iPad mini cover.
Apple computers have played an important role in many people's education for many years. In recent years, that emphasis has grown to include digital offerings like iTunes U —complete university courses offered through an app— and iBook textbooks for the iPad. Despite the advances in providing educationally focused digital content, Apple’s computers remain at the heart of its offerings. With so many choices, how do you know which one is the right choice for you? Should you pick an iPad or a MacPro? I will walk you through the options to help you buy the right Apple computer for your needs this year.
Heading off to college or university is an exciting time. And if you’re planning to live in a dorm room, it means stocking up on all of the gear you’ll need for the shared living space. When it comes to a display device, one wouldn’t even think of a tablet as being a full-on TV replacement. But when you consider that your home base will be such small living quarters, this becomes a real consideration. And there are advantages for each technology when it comes to both productivity and entertainment.
I recently took the time to visit Microsoft’s first ever Surface Café on Toronto’s Queen Street West. You can read about the session I attended where DC comic book artist (and the guy who currently draws Batman) Francis Manapul showed how Microsoft’s new tablet has become an integral part of his digital workflow. But I wasn’t just at the Surface Café for demonstrations and to see how the Surface Pro 3 went over with an audience largely comprised of creative professionals. This was my chance to get my hands on a Surface Pro 3 to see if it lives up to Microsoft’s claims of being the tablet that can replace your laptop. Here’s what I thought of it.
Last weekend I spent a few hours at the first-ever Microsoft Surface Café. Held at a hip pop-up venue on Toronto’s trendy Queen Street West, the tagline for the event was: “Where creativity comes together.” The workshop I attended on Saturday was headlined by Francis Manapul —the guy who’s currently drawing Batman. He was onstage drawing Batman … and the Joker … using nothing but a Surface Pro 3. If you happen to be in the Montreal area next weekend, Microsoft is opening a Surface Café in that city starting on June 26 and is currently taking applications to attend the creative seminars. If the Toronto version was any indication, there will be some fascinating sessions (along with free coffee and Surface cookies).
Now that Microsoft is offering a version of its ubiquitous Office productivity suite for the iPad, Apple's tablets are even closer to being a device that can be used for getting serious work done. Mouse support and multi-window functionality in a future iOS version would be nice, but with a decent Bluetooth wireless keyboard, an iPad does a pretty good job these days. I took one of the best-known iPad keyboard solutions for a test run and was impressed by just how good the experience can be. The ZAGGkeys Folio not only offers a compelling Bluetooth keyboard, but it mounts it in a clamshell enclosure that transforms the iPad into an ultra-portable laptop. How well does the ZAGGkeys Folio work? I wrote this post (over 1,000 words) using a ZAGGkeys Folio and my iPad Mini with Retina Display and it was virtually as fast as my usual PC-based writing setup.
Mobile electronics like smartphones and tablets are great, but it doesn’t matter who makes them, they all share one weak spot: the display. That big, bright screen is prone to scratches and with touch operation, it’s a magnet for fingerprints. Annoying as they are, the smudges can at least be cleaned off, but once your display is scratched, it’s scratched. The only real option you have is to replace it —and that is an expensive proposition. The ZAGG Invisible Shield Glass is an ultrathin slab of tempered glass you apply on top of your display for complete protection against scratches and resistance to fingerprints. I tested out versions for the iPad Mini with Retina Display and iPad Air and ZAGG Invisible Shield Glass is now on my must-have list for future device purchases.
Microsoft held a press event in New York today and while all the buzz was around the possibility of a smaller Surface tablet, Microsoft went the opposite direction. The Surface Pro 3 was unveiled and instead of shrinking, Microsoft’s latest professional tablet got bigger. At 12-inches, it rivals the Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, but uses a fourth generation Intel Haswell processor to run Windows 8.1 Pro. Despite the massive display, it’s thin, lightweight and Microsoft is positioning it as not just a tablet, but a full-fledged laptop replacement.
Let your tween share all her fun moments with the SELPHY CP910 printer from Canon. This compact and portable printer is designed to print out all those selfies, instagram and smartphone photos using a wireless connection.
Get all those cherished photos out of the phone and into your photo albums or scrapbook . It’s the perfect gift for the tween girl in your life. Hand this over and you'll be the cool adult in her life.
Samsung has been on a tablet roll lately. The company leads the Android tablet pack and with 20 percent of all tablets sold worldwide in 2013 and the crown as the biggest tablet maker is within reach. Earlier this year, I reviewed three of Samsung’s PRO model tablets. Those were awesome products for those in the market for a high end device, but Samsung is also paying attention to those who don’t necessarily need an ultra high resolution 359 ppi display or the latest screaming fast mobile processor. This time we take a preview look at the Galaxy Tab 4 range, a new trio of Android tablets from Samsung aimed squarely at the casual use crowd.
One of the cool aspects of this job is being able to try out a hotly anticipated new device before it’s officially available. What’s even cooler is when a manufacturer sends you a whole box of new gadgets to review. That was the case when I cracked open the shipment from Samsung to find the new Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 and Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 tablets. You can buy all three now at Best Buy, but I had the opportunity to get to know them before they hit the shelves. While I was especially impressed by the Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 (with its massive 12.2-inch, four million pixel display), all three PRO models are likely to please Android tablet fans, and offer a solid choice for prosumers and those looking for a business-friendly option.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Samsung unveiled new Pro series tablets: the Galaxy NotePro and Galaxy TabPro. All four tablets share a number of common features like a high resolution (WQXGA) 2560 x 1600 pixel TFT LCD display, 8 megapixel rear camera, and Android 4.4 (KitKat). So which of these tablets is the right one for you, the Galaxy NotePro or the Galaxy TabPro? Here’s a breakdown of some of the key differences between the two and the target market for each.
When it comes to e-readers and tablets, Kobo has grown from an underdog competing against the Kindle to a leading manufacturer that also happens to operate a top notch e-bookstore. The current line-up of Kobo Arc tablets is particularly attractive, offering performance, brilliant high resolution displays, full access to Android apps and combined this with Kobo’s e-book expertise. Kobo has positioned the Arc line as the best tablet choice for readers. But which Kobo Arc is the right choice for you? In this post, I explore the differences between the Kobo Arc 7HD, Kobo Arc 10HD and the Kobo Arc 7.
on 01-10-201401:23 PM - last edited on 01-10-201404:35 PM by BBYMartin
This year’s CES is over today and it has been a great showcase for TV, Smartphone, tablet, computer, and a myriad of other technologies. With all this technology, the irony is that Apple did not launch anything, Google was not exhibiting, and Microsoft can’t be found on the show room floor either. Although these heavy hitters aren’t there, a lot of other major players did use the opportunity to introduce new product lines. CES is also a great opportunity to launch novelty products and prototypes of all sorts. I found some over-the-top innovations and have to wonder if they will ever trickle down to the everyday consumer.
Your smartphone and tablet aren’t just for playing games, surfing the web, watching movies or updating Facebook —although the mobile devices are pretty awesome at any of these tasks. You can also put your favourite gadget to work saving you money. Here’s an overview of five apps that will make you feel even better about your smartphone or tablet in 2014 because that slab of glass, plastic and metal is putting money back in your pocket.
Over the holidays, thoughts turn to family. Chances are, you have family scattered across the country and maybe even around the globe. Being able to spend time with the ones we love isn’t always possible —at least not physically. But thanks to the technology we’re carrying with us every day, it’s easier than ever to keep your family close. Whether that’s taking advantage of Skype to video conference using your smartphone, tablet or laptop, updating Facebook or sharing your photos online, keeping your distant friends and family close is more practical, spontaneous and engaging than a long distance phone call could ever be. So take advantage of your gear’s built-in capabilities to make 2014 the year you reconnect and stay connected.
Welcome to the Plug-in Blog!
Get the latest news, reviews and how-to’s from tech enthusiasts across Canada and learn how technology can enhance your lifestyle. Looking to eliminate techno stress? You've come to the right place!