byBradMoon12-07-201309:59 AM - edited 12-08-201307:25 PM
I’ve recently reviewed several Windows 8 tablets, both the RT variety (Microsoft’s own Surface 2) and a Windows 8.1 version in the form of Sony’s VAIO Tap 11. While Windows 8 and its touch-friendly tile interface shines on a tablet, one of my primary complaints about Windows tablets has been their size and weight. Because of their focus on productivity, Windows tablets embrace the larger form factor —makes sense. Still, I think the platform suffered for not having a smaller option to compete with 7-inch Android tablets in terms of cost and portability. Dell has stepped up to fill that need and with a full Windows 8 (as opposed to RT) tablet no less, The Dell Venue 8 Pro. If you’ve been holding off until you could get a tablet running Windows 8.1 you can hold in one hand, with an HD display, 32GB of built-in storage, all-day battery life —along with Microsoft Office pre-installed— look no further than Best Buy, where you can try out the compact yet powerful Dell Venue 8 Pro.
It’s hard to beat the convenience of a tablet as a mobile entertainment and casual computing device. Games, movies, photos, music and even work files (like documents) are all available at your fingertips. While tablets have become more powerful and more common that ever, one thing hasn’t changed much: onboard storage limitations. Windows 8 Pro tablets like Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 are available with built-in storage of 256GB, but most tablets picked up by consumers have 16GB —the same as 2010 era versions. Now, more than ever, storage is becoming a concern. The cloud is a great option, but for speed and peace of mind (not to mention avoiding fees), knowing your digital life is backed up locally is tough to beat. That’s why external hard drive storage solutions for tablet owners are more popular than ever. We’ve got a plenty of ideas for backing up your tablet contents.
byBradMoon11-21-201307:09 AM - edited 11-21-201307:09 AM
Not everyone loves Microsoft’s touch-centric, tablet-friendly Windows 8 operating system, but regardless of how you feel about the new Windows, you have to admit that it’s led to some very interesting new products from PC manufacturers. Convertible laptops, tablets running Windows and various hybrids abound these days. The new Sony VAIO Tap 11 Tablet PC is one of those interesting devices made possible by Windows 8. The machine is basically Sony’s take on Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 2. It’s a tablet powered by an Intel Core i5-4210Y CPU, with a big and bright 11.6-inch display that wouldn’t look out of place on an Ultrabook. It runs Windows 8, it’s compatible with standard Windows PC software like Microsoft Office and packs a fast 128 GB SSD for storage. It has a keyboard —one that’s wireless instead of attached and doubles as a protective cover. In short, in the VAIO Tap 11 Sony has released a Windows 8 device that packs the power of a PC in a tablet form factor, that’s less than 1 cm thick. Read on to find out if it fulfills the promise of covering off both your tablet and portable PC needs.
It’s been just over a year since Microsoft made the move of getting into the tablet business, releasing a mobile version of Windows that supports ARM-based processors (Windows RT) and its own line of tablet hardware: the Surface RT and Surface Pro. A few months ago, the company introduced new versions of both tablets. I’ve spent the past week using the new Surface 2 (Microsoft decided to drop the “RT” from the model designation this time around) and I can report that it’s an attractive device with good performance. But so are dozens of competing tablets. Is the Surface 2 worth considering over its rivals? Read the full Surface 2 review to find out.
byBradMoon11-13-201310:21 AM - edited 11-13-201310:22 AM
All signs are pointing to tablets being the hottest gift this holiday season. Chances are, there’s someone on your list who has a tablet on their wish list. But which one to choose? Android is the dominant tablet platform (it now represents 65 percent of all tablets sold and Google’s app store is officially the world’s biggest), while Microsoft’s Windows has made big gains —especially for those who want a tablet for productivity. Here are four picks to cover off some of the most common tablet user types: the gamer, the worker, the casual user and the bargain shopper.
When it comes to innovative and flexible computing solutions, few companies do it better than Lenovo. The latest in its line of convertible touchscreen laptops is the aptly named Flex 15 —a device that combines a traditional notebook with the flexibility of a multitouch display that can pivot up to 300 degrees. The adjustable form factor takes full advantage of Windows 8’s multitouch interface and makes the Flex 15 a capable machine that handles a wide range of tasks from typical computing uses to presentations or viewing movies. This flexibility, its powerful 4th generation (Haswell) Core i5 processor, long battery life and big 15.6-inch display make the Flex 15 a solid choice for small business use, a home PC or for students. With its affordable price and ability to combine the functions of several devices into one, it makes an ideal gift too.
on 10-17-201309:45 AM - last edited on 10-18-201301:52 PM by BBYLaura
To celebrate the launch of our Windows stores in Best Buy locations across Canada we’re throwing a VIP launch party and we want our GTA social media and community fans to join us! All you have to do is email us at RewardZone1@bestbuycanada.ca with subject line Windows VIP and you will receive an exclusive invite for you and a guest!
Your smartphone is an amazing device. If you bought it recently, you’re looking at a piece of technology with a display resolution that rivals your HDTV, computing power that would beat a high end laptop from only a few years ago, enough battery capacity to run most of the day without being near an electrical outlet and it’s small enough to fit in your pocket. But smartphones —and tablets, for that matter— get even better once you start adding apps. There are free apps and premium apps, but few cost more than a dollar or two so starting a collection isn’t expensive. The tough part is choosing which ones to go with, especially now that some app stores are closing in on the one million mark. “Must-have” is a personal thing, but here’s our crack at a collection of 10 apps that virtually any smartphone (or tablet) owner will benefit from installing.
When Microsoft launched Windows 8 last fall, it knew it was running the risk of alienating some users. Windows 8 —with its tablet-inspired interface– was designed to bridge the gap between PC and mobile operating systems and this meant upsetting the status quo. If you’ve installed Windows 8 and found some of the features aren’t quite to your liking, or if you’ve been scared off of making the switch after reading about the confusion some users have experienced, take heart. Microsoft has been listening. The preview version of Windows 8.1 is available now (a free upgrade for Windows 8 users is schedule for an October release). The latest Windows version improves on some features, adds some brand new functionality and yes, Windows 8.1 features the long-awaited return of the Start button.
A funny thing happened on our way to the paperless office. Not only did paper not go away, but it’s just as popular as it ever was.
What did shake things up was mobile, though. With smartphones, tablets and an increasingly connected world, being able to print from a mobile device no matter where you are is a big thing. You might receive a critical document on your smartphone while in a meeting, need to print out a contract from your laptop while in a coffee shop or want a hard copy of a product brochure you’re looking at on your tablet at home —being able to print wirelessly and easily makes things much more convenient. That’s why HP’s ePrint is such a big deal. It lets you wirelessly print on the go from your mobile device, sending your print job to HP network printers, ePrint-enabled printers and even thousands of HP public printer locations.
on 07-29-201306:19 PM - last edited on 11-01-201304:24 PM by BBYJorge
With the current emphasis on convertible laptops —devices that slide, twist, bend and otherwise transform between the usual laptop form factor and a touch-friendly tablet configuration— you’d think there wouldn’t be much room for yet another contender. However, the Acer Aspire R7 15.6-inch Touchscreen Laptop does its multiple configuration trick in a way that’s more useful than many other hybrids. Thanks to a large display, a very stable “Ezel” hinge and solid feeling aluminum construction, the Aspire R7 is a laptop that easily adjusts to virtually any work or viewing preference, while offering a pivoting touchscreen that makes it more comfortable to take advantage of Windows 8’s touch interface. An oddly placed trackpad is really the only thing that prevents this from being close to the perfect portable workstation.
on 07-09-201302:30 PM - last edited on 07-17-201308:55 AM by BBYLaura
If you weren’t convinced that online security is something you should never take for granted, then the news over the past month about government monitoring of web activity and e-mail probably made you take notice. However, it’s not the government security agencies that most of us should be worrying about, it’s our day-to-day web use. We’re on PCs, tablets and smartphones doing everything from sending e-mail to updating Facebook, paying bills and buying stuff. The problem is, we’re often doing so through insecure networks, taking advantage of free Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, mall, hotel room or quickly plugging in at work. Doing so leaves us vulnerable to everything from credit card theft, to having accounts hacked and online history tracked. The good news is effective security for all your web browsing needs, on all your devices, is available by running SurfEasy’s VPN (the same company that offers the SurfEasy Private Browser USB Key).
A few short months ago, Plug In previewed the Razer Edge Gaming Tablet, the first of its kind. Now it's time to take you through a hands-on demo of the product, including gameplay footage of a couple newer PC games and an old favorite. How did the Edge stand up to the test of some resource heavy games? Come in and find out.
on 05-03-201310:03 AM - last edited on 05-03-201310:07 AM by BBYJorge
May the Fourth be with you! May 4th is a big day for Star Wars fans everywhere. No, it’s not a new movie (you’ll have to wait a few more years for that to start up again), but May 4th has become an internationally celebrated day for flying your Star Wars geek flag. To help you out, here’s a collection of Star Wars-themed apps you can download and install on your tablet or smartphone.
byBradMoon04-23-201310:21 AM - edited 04-23-201310:21 AM
Microsoft’s Windows 8 is a thoroughly modern take on the PC operating system, employing a radically new user interface that makes the most of touchscreen gestures. It helps to bring the desktop (and portable) PC into a new era, while offering a high degree of UI continuity between tablets, smartphones and computers. Windows 8’s highly tablet-influenced approach of colourful, Live Tiles that greet users from the new Start screen won over a lot of doubters, but at the same time this radical new look confused some longtime users. Windows 95 this isn’t. It looks as though Microsoft is planning to extend an olive branch with reports that the “Start” button is set to make a comeback when Windows 8.1 is released.
Microsoft has announced a new upgrade for its Windows 7.8 phone to make it more compatible with the W8 apps. The company has also been working with developers to beef up its store with more apps and choice for users. It all translates to a more robust experience for W8 users with plenty of choice and flexibility.
On March 22nd, Razer is set to shock the world with the release of the Edge Pro, and Best Buy will be the only place you'll find it in Canada.
A Tablet with the power and functionality of a laptop, this WIndows 8 run machine is set to change the way you look at tablets (or reconsider that next laptop purchase perhaps?) Having been put through a gauntlet of tests, the Edge Pro has been seen comfortably running PC games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Crysis 3 and Civilization V. What does it have in store for you? Check out our preview of the Razer Edge Pro Gaming Tablet.
Whether you’ve chosen a Windows PC, a Mac, a desktop system or a notebook, you should be taking advantage of the cloud. Think of all the files you have sitting on your computer, tablet or smartphone right now: movies, music, photos, documents, spreadsheets —you name it. There are probably thousands of them. The cloud isn’t just the easiest and cheapest way to back up all these files, it’s also the way to share them or access them from other computers.
Anyone who has a tablet knows how addicting it can be, and I’m not talking about just playing Angry Birds. Want to rent an HD movie? Pick up your tablet, give it a few taps, and then grab the popcorn. Need to do some quick shopping while on the go? Just open up your favourite site and fill up your cart.
But tablets can do so much more than just watching movies and shopping. Because I’ve had a tablet in my collection of gadgets for 2 years, I know a thing or two about optimizing it so it does everything I thought it would (and a few things I had no idea it could!)
Last June, we were all asking “What is Microsoft Surface?” after the company best known for Windows, Office and the Xbox 360 staged a surprise entry into the tablet market with its Surface duo. The Surface RT has been out for a few months and the Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro —the tablet aimed at business and power users— is set to land on February 9. We’ve got the specs, prices and what to expect from a tablet that runs PC software.
The last time Microsoft released a new version of its ubiquitous Office suite was three years ago with Office 2010. With the recent release of Windows 8 —the new PC operating system that bridges the divide between traditional computers and the latest tablet user interfaces— Office was also due for a revision. Customer trial versions were released in July, 2012, leading up to the 2013 launch. I’ve had the opportunity to test the final version of Office 2013 (the exact same version that will be appearing on store shelves shortly) and there’s a lot to like about it. Close integration with SkyDrive (Microsoft’s cloud based file storage system), an optional touch-friendly interface, improved multimedia support and a simplified, “flatter” looking interface are among the upgrades to look forward to.
How do you choose between the Windows 8 tablet and the Windows RT (RT is short for Runtime) tablet? Check out what each has to offer and then make your decision.
According to Microsoft all Windows 8 and Windows RT machines are considered “tablet PCs,” which means they are tablets that can work like PCs. Both are sleek and lightweight. Windows 8 is a bit heavier and thicker (13.5 mm, 2.0 lbs.) than Windows RT (is lighter and thinner (9.30 mm, 1.5 lbs.) but both are extremely portable.
However, their main difference lies in their operating hardware.
In a year when the tablet is King, few gadgets have generated the kind of buzz that Microsoft’s Surface has. This is a tablet that runs Windows, offers touch-enhanced versions of popular applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint and connects to cloud based Xbox services for music and movies. Plus it has that incredible cover, the one with the keyboard built right in. There’s a lot to like about the Surface and now you can get it at Best Buy.
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