• Top 6 Best Tech Gifts for Your Friends or Family on 2012 Christmas Holiday

    Posted on December 14th, 2012 David Brooks | No comments

    As everyone knows, Christmas is a time for giving, a time for reflection, and a time for buying loads and loads of gadgets – either as gifts, or for yourself. So, what is the best move to pick up the best gadgets 2012 and top Holiday gifts? Very crowded – the shops- are they? Here are some great gadgets that look great on you and greatest when you gift them.

    Whether you’re looking to treat yourself this Christmas or want some inspiration when buying for others, we’ve rounded up enough tech kit to fill a dozen stockings. There are plenty of options including smartphones and tablets. We’ve done most of the hard work for you: all you need do is choose the wrapping paper. Check the below options to know what these gifts are:

    iPad mini iPad mini: Apple’s new iPad delivers all the same features as its bigger sister, just in a smaller, more portable package. Great for frequent travelers, the iPad mini measures 7.87in (full-sized iPads measure 9.5in) and is just 0.3 kg. Its smaller frame lets the iPad mini easily slide into purses or briefcases, and users can hold the tablet with just one hand. The only drawback is that the display is a bit of downgrade compared to bigger iPads, but other specs, such as battery life and cameras, are identical. The cheapest iPad mini is $509.

    Kindle Fire HD

    Kindle Fire HD: Amazon’s 7in Kindle Fire HD touts specs that give Apple’s iPad mini a run for its money and costing nearly $US130 less. The Kindle Fire HD comes equipped with a 1280×800 HD display, dual-driver stereo speakers and dual-antenna wi-fi that, according to Amazon, lets it download content 40 percent faster than the third-generation iPad. The 7in Kindle Fire HD comes in a 16GB model for $US199 and a 32GB model for $US249 – it’s not available in Australia, but can be bought on Amazon’s US online store.

    iPhone 5

    iPhone 5: For those who didn’t join the rush to buy the iPhone 5 the minute it came out, Apple’s latest smartphone would make a great gift. Faster, thinner and lighter than previous iPhone models, the iPhone 5 created a frenzy when it was launched in September, and Apple sold more than 5 million within the first three days of availability. So what’s all the fuss about? Apart from its more powerful processor and thinner form factor, Apple’s latest smartphone also runs iOS 6, Apple’s latest mobile software, and includes the same top-notch retina display that debuted with the third-generation iPad. Now that the rush is over, you can get an iPhone 5 at Apple and resellers for $799, and telcos on a variety of plans.

    Galaxy Note II

    Samsung Galaxy Note II: Can’t decide whether to surprise your loved ones this year with a tablet or a smartphone? Give them both with the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Its half-smartphone, half-tablet design makes the Samsung Galaxy Note II stand out from the slew of other mobile devices on the market today. The gadget comes with Google’s latest mobile OS – Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – along with 4G support and a 5.5in HD display. Samsung also offers its S Pen stylus along with the Note. It is selling now for $899, and on plans from Optus, Vodafone and Virgin.

    Nexus 10

    Google Nexus 10: Apple’s iPad may rule the tablet market, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any worthy competitors out there. Google’s Nexus 10, a 10in, Android-based tablet, is one of them – and it sells for almost $100 less than the fourth-generation iPad, letting you save a few bucks at Christmas. And don’t worry – its modest price tag doesn’t mean sub-par specs. The display on the Nexus 10 actually has more pixels than the fourth-generation iPad’s retina display, plus it runs a powerful ARM Cortex 15 dual-core processor. Google offers a 16GB model of the Nexus 10 for $469 and a 32GB version for $569. Apple’s comparable iPad starts from $539.

    Microsoft Surface

    Microsoft Surface: Microsoft Surface is the perfect gift this year for those curious to test run the software giant’s first go at a tablet. Running Windows RT, the ARM-specific flavour of Windows 8, Surface is a 10in tablet that comes with an integrated kickstand, allowing users to prop it up to watch movies or browse the web hands-free. It starts at $559 and can be bundled with Microsoft’s Touch Cover keyboard for an additional $130 to offer a more laptop-like experience. Another version of Surface, running Windows 8 Pro, is slated to launch in January.

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  • Microsoft Windows 8 Surface tablet vs. Apple iPad – 6 points to challenge the dominance of iPad

    Posted on June 25th, 2012 David Brooks | No comments

    On the Los Angeles event a week ago, Microsoft released the Windows 8 Surface tablet PC, which is their first tablet and operates on the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft spent a lot of time introducing the wonderful features of Surface tablet PC, which actually includes two versions. Even though there’ve been many Windows tablets in the market to compete with Apple’s iPads, Surface is the first tablet from Microsoft to full exploit the capabilities of its own new Windows 8 operating system. This also means Microsoft is officially taking part in the tablet market to compete with Apple iPads to take a share of spoils. But, can Microsoft’s strategy with the Surface, and all Windows 8 tablets, for that matter, succeed in not just being a No. 2 to the iPad, but in being a true iPad rival? If Microsoft is going to take on Apple in the tablet wars, the following key questions should be ironed out and improved to win the competition.

    Microsoft Surface VS new ipadKeyboard/touch-pad productivity: On the Surface event, Steve Ballmer spent a large amount of time on the Touch Cover and Type Cover. These are innovative Smart Cover-like accessories that have a soft or physical keyboard and, in the case of the Type Cover, a touch pad bonded to one side. On the contrast, the iPad can support a wide variety of Bluetooth keyboards and cases like the similar Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, but no touch pad or mouse. That hampers the iPad’s utility as a true laptop replacement, but would Microsoft’s product make for a vastly improved experience? There’s a big difference between a good keyboard and touch pad and a bad one. As the Surface tablets are still on the way, we have to wait and see this.

    The screen: The RT version Windows 8 Surface tablet PC support 720P while the Windows 8 Surface Pro version tablets could play 1080p, with various video formats supported. This makes it quite easily for users to watch HD videos on Surface, like to watch AVCHD videos on Surface. But compared to the third-gen iPad, which has a far crisper Retina Display, Surface is still inferior to the new iPad, although the iPad 2 has a 720p-level screen as well. Not even to say the excellent video experience provided by Apple for users to watch HD videos on new iPad, which has been iPad’s strong point since it’s introduced. So, the screen of Surface is another option for Microsoft to improve.

    Apps: Quite obviously, Apple iPads get more scores on apps. Apple’s App Store gives access to the latest iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad app, a catalog that leads the tablet pack. There’re also a number of iPad-optimized Web sites and Web apps for iPads. While the Windows RT version Surface only run Metro apps and the Windows 8 tablets run older Windows applications as well. Microsoft has to build a convincing catalog of apps for RT and ensure the smooth going of updated older apps on newer touch-driven software.

    Microsoft Surface TabletOS: Apple’s iPads run iOS while MacBooks run OS X, and the two approach each other without meeting or sharing apps. The disadvantage is that an iPad can’t be a true Mac replacement. Windows 8 tablets are full-fledged computers capable of running both tablet apps and full computer applications. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft is ahead of the game or muddying the waters. Meanwhile, the Surface RT only runs apps, like the iPad.

    Consumer/Pro split: Apple’s been successful at making one line of iPads, which differ from 4G and storage. Microsoft’s twin set of tablets — one with beefier specs and full Windows compatibility, the other more like an iPad — could fracture the decision-making process. Apple has MacBook Pros at higher prices and with more capabilities, but all MacBooks run the same type of OS; they don’t split it like the Surface does. Could this be better than Apple iPad?

    Price:The stable price has also been a great reason of iPads’ popularity. To compete with Apple iPad, the Windows Surface tablet needs to be affordable, and cheaper than an iPad, or better for the same price, if that can be accomplished.

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