Author Archives: Aster

Tablet computers are on the rise, even though sales haven’t quite matched expectations. If you’re going to get a tablet, you might wonder why you should even bother.

In the tech world, every dollar counts. There’s always a new gadget trying to win our attention. This means that we have to be even more aware of how much we’re going to spend, and what we’re going to spend our money on in the first place. You might find that it’s really in your best interest to think about trying to get the best tablet possible.

Tablet computers

These days, it’s all about portability. You don’t want to get something that isn’t going to be able to go with you everywhere you need to be. Sure, this space is filled by smartphones, but have you ever tried to handle a major representation on a smartphone? It’s not pretty. It requires a lot of patience that you probably don’t have. It would be a better approach to think more about getting the best tablet that can give you all of the functionalities of a laptop without having to go get a bigger model.

When it comes to getting a tablet, there’s a few things that you will definitely want to keep in mind:

First and foremost, you definitely need to make sure you get the right size. A 10″ tablet can be a good thing, but it’s going to cost you more than the 7 inch specials going around. Anything less than 7 inches isn’t really going to be more than a smartphone on steroids.

You also want to make sure that you get Wi-Fi. While carriers are doing tablets big time, you don’t want to be locked into one carrier forever. You want to have the power to move things around if necessary. Of course, if your carrier does have a good price on a tablet, you should check that out.

If you’re willing to go with slightly older technology to see if a tablet could be the right step for you to take, you definitely want to check out some used tablets. Going with a used tablet gives you a chance to evaluate the technology on the cheap.

There’s a lot of tablets to list, so we wanted to give you some general pointers. Be sure that if you get a tablet that you also get a good case to protect it. You just never know where you’re headed in life, so why not make sure that you’re as protected as you possibly can be? Good luck out there!

Let’s be frank with ourselves, simply having a mobile phone just isn’t enough these days. What is instead necessary is to own a smartphone, as the need to surf the net, instant message friends and enjoy social media interaction are all paramount. The problem is that these smartphones often cost bundles, which either seriously limit our relationship with the modern way of life, or leave a huge dent in our pockets. Fortunately however, there are a few – just a few – decent smartphones that are attractively cheap.

Pantech Flex

With a motive of providing consumers with ‘simplicity’, the Pantech Flex is everything it says on the tin and more. One wouldn’t expect a phone costing less than 50 quid to include either 4G LTE or Android 4.0; and so one could imagine my delight upon realising this phone had both.

The perks with the Pantech Flex is that there is little wrong with the phone and so much that is right – at least for the price it’s going at.

Well there are of course some things that aren’t quite right with the Pantech Flex, but what would one expect from a phone that costs a fraction of the price other similarly capable smartphones are worth? The 8-megapixel camera isn’t the most efficient for example, but I’m pretty sure consumers will overlook any of the mistakes in favour of the cheap price.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

What more can be said about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus? Brilliant performance, the sheer power of Ice Cream Sandwich and the speed of Verizon’s LTE network are just a few appraisals that can be afforded to this beast of a machine.

The design is neat, smart and business-like and best of all, the phone’s cheap! Despite the phone’s lack of an expandable memory slot, as well as there being no support for Google Wallet on the phone, and of course the 5-megapixel camera not being too good; the Galaxy Nexus is the kingpin of cheap mobile phones.

Nokia Lumia 900

First and foremost, let’s have it right, Windows phones haven’t got the best of reputation amongst tech consumers at the moment. However, the Nokia Lumia 900 is an exception with the smartphone being pretty fly for a Windows mobile.

LTE speeds, a great 4.3 inched screen along with an 8-megapixel camera are just some of the perks this phone has to offer. Add that to a great 720p video phone camera, along with a quirky design that you may just end up loving, and you’ll understand why the Nokia Lumia 900 made it unto this list.

Available for under £100, this smartphone isn’t quite as cheap as the Galaxy Nexus however and therefore isn’t quite as fantastic. Nonetheless, the Lumia 900’s a good option for a cheap smartphone.

It is very difficult to mention any aspect of Information Technology without the names Apple or MAC being uttered. Apple is one of the top companies in the technology industry and they do not appear to be slowing down any time soon. Sadly, some in the industry have been giving Apple the backseat when it comes to their IT departments but this trend seems to be changing in Apple’s favor.

Apple MAC Qualification

One of the main reasons for ignoring Apple and all it offers would be the huge popularity of their main competitor, Microsoft. Microsoft has led the business world with their products and software for many years without Apple making many waves. It would be difficult in the past to walk into office not full of PCs running one of the many Windows platforms. Today, this trend is changing and it is changing rapidly due to some of the latest technology coming from Apple.

The iPad and iPhone have made huge waves in the IT industry and many companies are now purchasing MACs to go along with these stand alonemicro computers. It is much easier to integrate them with a MAC than a PC so companies are quickly switching over to Apple’s delight. Apple are a great company to follow and when you are Apple certified you will be making your chances of getting a job so much higher.

Given up on the Nook? Barnes & Noble think that you need to give it another look. No, no, not just because of the hardware involved. Barnes and Noble think that you should be looking at the Nook because of the kicked up Nook Video catalog. There’s UltraViolet being moved into the HD and HD+ offerings, and that means that there’s definitely something to look at.

B & N are mixing things up by getting more aggressive with the movie studios and other content providers of high-end video content. The HD and HD+ tablets have made a nice stir, but B&N don’t want to just stop there. There’s going to be a lot more SD and HD movies coming down the pipe. This really gives you a nice chance to get more content on your device, along with some new Nook Video apps to access all of that glorious content.

UltraViolet is on the scene as well. If you’re not in the loop when it comes to UltraViolet, don’t worry about it. We’ll fill you in. You see, a lot of people cite “ease of access” when it comes to why they pirate movies in the first place. UltraViolet aims to make that less of an excuse through giving you cloud based movie watching. Instead of having to lug around a bunch of movies everywhere you go, you simply tap into the UltraViolet experience.

Don’t forget that you have other options than just UV, but UV makes it easy because you can even look at your movie “cloud” while you’re on the road. So even if you’re not going to do Apple TV or anything like that, you’re still going to be covered regardless.

There’s something important to be said here — not every movie is automatically in UltraViolet. There’s preference for Blu-ray discs, but more and more movies are being added to the UV collection. You will be able to watch your movie in a digital format across a wide range of devices. You can even stream it if you have the Movies by Flixster app. There are also some smart TVs that hook into the UltraViolet system now.

Setting it up isn’t difficult at all. You just need to get a code that comes with whatever DVD you purchased.

UltraViolet is aimed towards Blu-Ray, but it’s still a nifty way to get your movies in the cloud. There will be other movies coming out that automatically give you an UV option.

Check it out along with the Nook Video catalog — you will not be disappointed.

If you missed the fuss about the Kindle Touch, believe us — you’re not alone. We wanted to quickly go over the features and specs of the Kindle Touch before you get too pulled away by the newest Kindle offerings.

Why? Well, a lot of people assume that the only market for technology today is with super fans that hang onto every new piece of technology. But that’s just not the case at all. Everyone embraces technology in their own different way, at their own pace. Some people have never had an iPhone — does that mean that suddenly the iPhone 4S isn’t important? Just because something is new doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily suitable for everyone’s consumption. You have to always think about what your needs are, and then weigh them against the actual items that are available for purchase.

The Kindle Touch was first released in May 2012, making it “old news” in the tech world but it definitely has some good points to it.

The great thing about the touch is in the name — this is truly a touchscreen device. When you look at it, you might miss the keyboard. Yet it’s worth it, we promise. You still get a 3G version, but you can indeed choose just Wi-Fi only. It’s completely up to you.

That touch interface is very responsive, giving you finger-friendly menus everywhere you go. If you’re in the middle of reading something, different parts of the screen are going to give you multiple options when you tap them. If you touch the screen on the right, you’ll move forward a page. The far left of the screen can be tapped to go backwards.

Yet it’s not just about tapping. There are also gestures to be had here. You can always go with using gestures to move to the next page. That’s done through “swiping” your finger right to left, and then reversing the motion to go back a page.

You can even swipe upwards to move quickly to the next chapter, and downwards to go back.

Naturally, these gestures indicate navigation in books that are properly formatted in Kindle. There might be small snags in your experience if you’re getting a book that isn’t as well formatted as it should be.

You still have a 6 inch, 600 x 800 E-Ink display, with a 16 level grayscale. Sorry, color fans — this is not a color device, but that’s okay. If you’re someone that just wants to be able to read basic books on the go, you will benefit from the Kindle Touch.

We found the screen very bright, though not as bright as an iPhone 5 — that’s in a class of its very own.

If you’re expecting this to be directly comparable to the Android or even an iPhone of any kind, you’re not going to be receiving good news. The device is a bit slow when compared to a smartphone, but fast when you look at it for what it is — an e-reader.

Give the Kindle Touch a spin — you won’t regret it at all!

If you thought that we were going to declare the e-reading trend dead and gone and move on to something else, we have news for you — no chance of that at all.

You see, the e-reading trend is here to stay, and there are a wide number of reasons for that. First and foremost, e-reading is a lot more comfortable than lugging around a stack of paper books. We apologize to traditional reading fans. We’re not saying that you can’t do that. If you want to curl up under a tree with a stack of books like people have been doing for centuries, that’s perfectly fine. However, if you’re thinking about making sure that you really can have as lightweight of a solution as possible, it’s really time to start thinking about the selection of e-readers and tablets.

We like several, including the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook.

What you really need to do is think about the entire world of e-readers at large and figure out what you exactly what. Some people prefer to get tablets rather than simple e-readers because they don’t want to be hassled with having to switch devices. On the other hand, some people really like that type of thing and they feel it’s best to have multiple devices.

The trouble with figuring out where you want to go and what you want to do is that there are just so many different options out there. If you really want to make sure that you’re zipping along in the right direction, you really need to hit up a few forums and even read the reviews on Amazon and other places.

We know what you’re thinking — why on earth should you even dream about listening to reviews? Don’t you already know exactly what you need to do? Well, you might know what you need to do, and then again — you might not. It’s just a matter of making sure that you have all of your thoughts centered before you make a purchase.

We’re not saying that it’s impossible to get what you want done — you just have to go out and find what you’re looking for. Test drive a few e-readers and tablets — if they’re not what you’re looking for, chances are good that the store will let you send it back in.

Another way to go is that you can always buy a used model for less, and if you really don’t like it — you can always sell it to someone else that’s a huge fan of the platform. It’s completely up to you.

Either way, it’s time to join the revolution while it’s still hot. You know what to do!

Sometimes technology moves a lot faster than we would like it to. If you blink, chances are good that you’re going to miss something, and it can be often a big shift that you weren’t looking for. As more and more people embrace tablets like the iPad — and now the iPad 3 — the question has to be asked: does that mean netbooks are dead? We’re not so sure about that.

Don’t get us wrong — tablets are pretty school, and the touchscreen technology is nice when you really need to be super portable. However, there’s just no getting around the things that you have to give up in order to make the super portable tag really stick, and that’s part of the problem. It can be getting hard to get people to buy into the tablet with all of the limitations. You’re going to have to give up some of those USB ports, along with screen size and hard drive space.

You’re not going to always have the same specs that you would be used to with a netbook, but if you can get over that there’s a wide world that awaits you with tablets.

Still, we think that netbooks are going to have their place in the industry for a very long time. Not everyone is good with touchscreen technology, and that means that a keyboard and a mouse are going to be your standby classics when it comes to the input side of the equation. In addition, you will also need to think about the type of experience that you want. If you’re going to be working in front of a screen for a while, you’re going to need that keyboard and mouse more than you think. Business travelers on the go are probably going to reach for the netbook over the tablet just because the idea of sending a lot of email on a touchscreen sounds like its own little circle of hell — but that’s just us. If your experience has been different, feel free to sign off about it in the comments.

Not sure what netbooks to even look at right now? We did some digging and found a bunch that you should enjoy:

First, you have to check out the Toshiba Mini MB305-N410BN, which sports a nice new Atom processor and a lot of design tweaks. It’s a sign that Toshiba was definitely listening to their fanbase when they came out with this remake. The price isn’t bad at $399, and gives you a little more functionality than the classic tablets do.

We also couldn’t pass up the Asus Eee PC 1015PN. You get a dual-core processor along with Nvidia Ion graphics. Itís top of the line, but if you’re really doing your comparison shopping you’re bound to find a few better copies with only a slightly higher price tag.

We also found the Samsung NF310, which is also a 10-inch netbook model. It’s got a lot of good reviews from the early adopters, which is always a good sign. Samsung isn’t always known for producing products like this, but they do definitely take a lot of different things into consideration.

Overall, does all of this mean that the netbook is dead? Hardly — manufacturers are still going to produce netbooks because they know that for everyone that wants a tablet, there really are people that don’t want tablets at all. You just need to know what to do and where to go from here as far as your purchasing needs go. Check it out today!

Before the recent launch of the MoneySupermarket car insurance app it was relatively difficult to compare the price of new policies on your iPad.

However, now the iPad version of the app is available to download you do not need to sit crouched over your keyboard in the study to check out various quotes from some of the top insurance firms.

You can instead pull out your Apple tablet and enjoy the opportunity to save money on car insurance from the comfort of your sofa.

The app was initially only compatible with the iPhone but it has since been optimised for the iPad, so you can enjoy all of the comparison-based functionality but on a device with a larger display.

Users of the app will need to create an account with MoneySupermarket, which takes just a few minutes and will allow you to log on to both via the app itself and through the desktop website.

All of your information will be saved remotely so you will not need to re-enter every detail if you want to renew your insurance further down the line.

The online integration also means you can save time by retrieving your quotes from any web-enabled device. You could start your search for insurance policies on your iPad and confirm your choice from your work PC.

The interface of the app is uncomplicated, although it contains a very comprehensive set of comparison tools which will go to work to bring you insurance policies from over 100 companies.

Policies will be organised according to their cost and you can also see whether they include common features such as courtesy-car provision and windscreen repair.

The price of insurance will be listed both annually and monthly and each offer will allow you to easily get in contact with the relevant company to find out more and potentially complete the transaction.

If you have a Wi-Fi only iPad then you can use the app whenever you are in range of a hotspot to which you have access.

Those with a 3G-enabled iPad will be able to compare the cost of car insurance wherever there is network coverage.

The app developers were aware of the potentially temperamental nature of connectivity and for that reason the software will remember where you were up to in the comparison process if you lose your network for some reason, so that you can resume without having to repeat any steps.

The app is free to download and is the first free car-insurance price-comparison app to emerge for the iPad, with average savings of up to £374.93 available to customers.

If this is the first time you’ve been hearing about Apple within your own personal space, it’s time to take away your nerd card. Big time. However, we’re just pulling your leg — we know that you know Apple, and Apple certainly wants to get to know you. They want to make sure that you know about the iPad, and not that pesky Kindle Fire or any of the other tablet type devices that are hitting the Internet. Apple is all about the cool factor, and the cult of all things Apple is still going strong.

Don’t get us wrong — we’re pretty Team Apple around here, but we still think that you might need to take all of the Apple love with a grain of salt. Like most technologies, there are some flaws and there are some strengths. It’s going to be up to the user to figure out what they want to get out of the platform, and how they think that the device in question is going to benefit them.

So is the iPad 2 worth getting? Well, the price point of $499 and up might get you down, but the Apple machine has really cranked out a great device. No, really — there’s a lot to love in the iPad 2.

You can buy it in two flavors — Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G. We like this because the 3G part only covers Verizon and ATT, and it’s probably likely that you want to make sure that you can go with the iPad even if you don’t have either one of these carriers.

Bluetooth technology is standard no matter which model you pick up, and there’s lasso plenty of storage to be found here — all the way up to 64GB. It’s highly unlikely that you will need that much space, but a lot of people like to be prepared just in case. It all depends on how often you update your technology as well. By the time you even begin to fill up 64GB, you will probably be ready for another tablet.

The screen has standard multi-touch technology, so if you’re used to your experience on the iPhone this will translate over well. it’s better to make sure that you’re going to be able to manipulate the screen as you see fit rather than struggle to get this done. It can feel weird to actually touch the screen so much if you’re used to a physical keyboard, but Apple has made sure that the virtual keyboard experience really isn’t so bad.

We think that the iPad 2 is worth getting if you really want something portable. Watching multimedia is a treat on a device like this, and there isn’t a lot of clutter. You load up what you want and go — which makes for a much faster experience than what you would normally find with say, your laptop.

Still, this tablet isn’t going to do everything, and if you needed to do some intense work for a long period of time, you would want to make sure that you can absolutely handle that type of thing as well — along with using the right tool in the first place. This is not really a laptop killer, more like a laptop replacement. Keep these points in mind, and there’s no doubt in our minds that you could really get a lot of good use out of the iPad 2!

Water — the highest enemy of tech gadgets everywhere. If you really want to make sure that you don’t have to deal with gadgets that fail on you — even with the white rice bag trick — you’re going to need to make sure that you start thinking about something waterproof.

And if you’re going to need to go with something waterproof, we really can’t think of anything that would honestly be better than going with the Pantech Element. It’s a waterproof tablet on AT&T, if the carrier matters to you. It’s an LTE device, so if you’ve been tired of not going with the fastest devices on the network, you might have quite a bit of positive feature waiting for you. After all, who doesn’t like speed?

Let’s go into why this tablet should be on your list. The waterproof feature is one of the top things that the Element brings to the party, but the truth is that there’s more to this tablet.

The display is decent at 1028×768 TFT XGA. There’s also a nice battery — 6,400 mAh should keep you going strong for a long time, especially on a tablet.

The outer design is all about plastic, unfortunately. However, the construction still looks sound and it keeps the tablet as light as possible.

There’s 16GB of internal storage on this bad boy, but if you want to expand to 32GB it will let you do that as well. There’s also HDMI out, along with micro-USB and an easily accessed SIM.

So, what about that waterproof thing? We’re getting to that. There are grooved plastic flaps that can keep water at bay for about 30 minutes at about one foot. So if you drop your phone into the pool you’re still boned, but if you spill something onto your tablet you could still be pretty protected. It just depends. Keep in mind that the volume rocker doesn’t have the waterproofing, so be careful and still keep that gadget protection insurance handy!

There’s a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. So clearly, this isn’t going to be the one that takes all of your high resolution photos. There’s a 5 megapixel beauty on the back of the tablet, so you will still be able to take those pictures.

Battery life is really, really good here — about 9 hours, depending on what you do. It can even go up to about 12 hours under the right conditions. LTE users will not see 12 hours — 9 hours seems to be the standard here.

This is going to be an Android tablet, clearly. Pantech has loaded 3.2 on the tablet, which is skinned. You still have plenty of great space to install the apps that you like.

Overall, should you think more about this 8-inch tablet? If you need to be on the go, it’s a nice mid-range tablet. It’s $299 w/ a 2 year from AT&T. If you think you might want more features, it’s better to go ahead and trade up. On the other hand, if you’re looking with something to hold you over until upgrade time, this might be the device you’ve been looking for. Check it out for yourself today! You’ll be glad you did!