Category Archives: Tablets

Is the PC almost dead?

Microsoft and Intel are doing their best to save the PC industry. The Computex trade show in Taiwan will feature new form factors utilizing the latest releases from Intel and a the version of Microsoft’s Windows, Windows 8.1. Wintel lives on. We have seen the onslaught of Windows 8 devices that has opened the door for evolution of the existing laptop and tablet devices. There are now many new hybrid laptops, touchscreen laptops and convertible tablet devices. The netbook was short lived and now tablets are positioned to pass PC sales a few short years.

Intel’s Haswell platform is planned to be available in June or July. The next generation CPUs are aimed primarily at laptop and hybrid tablet manufacturers, offering increased battery life and performance. Desktop users can also expect a considerable boost in power. PC makers hope for a boost once Windows 8.1 aka Windows Blue is paired with the Haswell based technology. Intel claims the new chips will offer “double the graphics performance” for laptops, and triple the performance for desktop PCs. Reportedly, the Haswell chips will reduce power consumption to 7 watts; a significant leap from the 10 watt Ivy Bridge Core processors.

According to IDC, “the U.S. market came in slightly weaker than an already negative forecast, contracting 12.4% compared to a forecast of –9.5%. This reflected weaker consumer demand, including a weak back-to-school season, and an industry-wide inventory clean up.“

A Windows 8.1 refresh could be holding the supply chain back while people wait for their START button to be put back. Windows 8.1 or Win Blue is a very aggressively roll out for Microsoft. The new Win Blue is expected to resolve some of the drawbacks with Win8, bringing back the “Start” button and provide better adoption by users used to previous versions of Windows.

The demise of the PC based technology is not as close as everyone would like to theorize. At least not until tablets and hybrids evolve enough for them to handle the needs of the business users. We still love our big screens, keyboard and mice.

Devices and Apps: Working Together to Make Our Lives Easier

The world is becoming more connected. When we say this, we don’t just mean as individuals. Our devices are becoming more connected to each other as well. This makes our everyday life easier by adding seamlessness to our day that wasn’t present before. Now you can work on a document at work, send it to your smartphone and use a voice transcription app to continue working in your vehicle. This is just one example; this video is Microsoft’s vision of what connectivity will make our future look like. What types of devices, apps, or combination of the two will help produce a future like this? Here are a couple I have found, let us know of any you can think of.

iControl

iControl

iControl is a home security and energy management product that Comcast recently unveiled. With this product, people can control the thermostat in their homes, turn lights on and off, and monitor their homes with live streaming video. Various components work together to give individuals full control over their homes when away.

Air Sharing

This app for the iPad permits you to use your iPad or iPhone as an external hard drive for your computer. Being able to effortlessly access and transfer your documents allows for more mobility in your workday.

AirPlay

Wirelessly stream music, videos, and photos to Apple TV using Apple’s AirPlay. This enables you to flow easily from your walk, where you were listening to a podcast or audio book, to your home without interrupting your entertainment.

Will the future be filled with gadgets, apps, and software that synchronize all facets of your life? In this age of connectivity, we are deeply connected to our devices. Hopefully they will one day be so interconnected that they will even be a few steps ahead of us. If this requires less effort on my part, I’m for it…how about you?

Some Interesting Winners at the T3 Gadget Awards

As new technology pops up around us daily, it’s human nature to want to know which is the most innovative and revolutionary in the gadget world.  Well, the T3 Gadget Awards quench that thirst.  The awards, voted on by more than 960,000 online users, were given out last week.  Because the tech community is primarily casting the votes, “obvious” winners to the masses weren’t the case.  Below we’ll show you a number of interesting and even ironic choices – and be sure to check out the full list of categories and winners.

Ironic Winners

The categories for the T3 Awards, from Best Retailer to Gadget Personality of the Year, the awards span an array of categories.  It is interesting to note the winner of the Gadget Personality of the Year Award was Mark Zuckerberg.  Of course he’s a monumental figure in the communication world, but hardly exhibits the charisma of George Clooney.  Another interesting category is Best Commuting Device, where anything that aids your travel from here to there is considered. One of the competitors was an electric bicycle; but the winner, in fact, was the Amazon Kindle. True, it makes the time pass quickly while commuting, but maybe something which actually travels might have been a clearer choice?

Influential Winners

Perhaps another surprise winner this year was found for the Digital Media Service of the Year award.  Yes, Mark Zuckerberg won Personality of the Year, but it was Twitter that walked off with the more important gong.  Twitter beat out the likes of Facebook and Google .  Certainly the heads of Apple, Google and Facebook are certainly not crying themselves to sleep over their crushing defeats. It is important to consider that these awards are voted upon by the tech community and therefore the very people who are most in tune with and most influential in this realm and should be taken seriously by the giants in the industry.

Surprising Winners

For many, the iPhone 4 would most likely be guessed as the runaway winner of the Phone of the Year award. Instead–and more importantly–because more serious tech fans cast the votes, Samsung’s Galaxy S II walked away with the award. In the Tech Brand of the Year category, Google was the big winner, beating out rivals Facebook and Apple.  Again, it’s “just the T3 Gadget Awards”, but as always, it’s better to be the winner than the runner-up.  And when millions of dollars rides on person to person advertising and brand recognition, every tiny bit helps.

Ultimately, The 2012 T3 Gadget Awards offer an interesting insight into how much and how fast technology is evolving.  If you were to go back to the first awards given in 2008, some of the heavy hitters of the time are no longer viable, while some upstarts were just getting their feet on the ground and are huge players today.  Although these awards are given annually, with the speed that many of these items are created, they may want to make it a semi-annual event.

 

The iPhone 4S: Revolutionary Or Evolutionary

The first time we heard the news that Apple was coming out with the next iPhone, we were as giddy as schoolchildren.  We all hoped that that it was going to be a game changing iPhone 5.  But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  Instead, and with much fanfare, we got the iPhone 4S and we could only help but ask – is it just an iPhone 4 with a few more bells and whistles? Would it truly be worth the long wait in line?. Was the 4s destined to be revolutionary or evolutionary?  Listed here is a brief look at the 3 most noticeable upgrades found in the iPhone 4S.

Software

Maybe the most noticeable of the iPhone 4S upgrades is found in its speed and power.  The 4S features a dual-core A5 chip found in the iPad 2, which makes opening apps, loading the browser, scrolling through home screens and countless other operations much faster and smoother.  Apple states that the iPhone 4S is twice as fast as the iPhone 4, and exhibits seven times its graphical prowess.

Siri

Probably the most compelling reason to upgrade to the 4S is the addition of Siri – a “personal assistant” who can parse the information you tell it through a mere conversation. For instance, should you tell Siri, “Please tell Jodi that I’m running late”, it would know who Jodi is and which meeting you’re talking about, and contact her to reschedule. It’s a pretty cool feature when it works.  However, when Siri doesn’t work, it makes you realize that it’s still a work in progress. Although Siri shows its personality in its humourous answers to questions it can’t yet answer, you just want it work.  For more on the topic, visit http://www.forbes.com/sites/benzingainsights/2011/10/17/is-siri-seriously-awesome-or-seriously-flawed/

iCloud

iCloud is Apple’s replacement of MobileMe.  It is available on all new iPhone, iPad and Mac purchases, and automatically and securely stores everything on your device’s hard drive.  Access to music, apps, photos is much simpler from any other device.  One downfall, though, is that some MobileMe users are finding that after MobileMe created its own user ID, it has been difficult for them to “sync up.” Equally frustrating is the fact that iCloud doesn’t recognize other mail accounts that don’t contain a me.com email address.  Again, like Siri, one would hope these issues were hashed out before the launch.

Ultimately, the iPhone 4S was predestined to be a huge seller worldwide – but are its upgrades worth the wait?  The solution mostly is determined by the type of user you are. If you want to have the most cutting-edge product available, with improved hardware, camera, voice controls and iCloud, it may be something to consider.   If the iPhone or other mobile phone you’re using gets you where you want to go, its good to know that the iPhone 4S is more of an evolution than revolution – but its pretty cool none-the-less.

 

Long Live the PC!

Tablets and smartphones have inundated the market, making portable computing not only highly accessible but also extremely practical. It’s easy to see that remote computing is the next big leap in technology, transforming the way we interact with data on a daily basis. But what does this mean for the PC? When the iPad was introduced to the public, many thought it signaled the beginning of the end for the standard PC. However, the personal computer is a foundational mainstay in the way computing is done. Even with these new technologies, we are still living in the PC Age. Here are three of the top reasons this remains true.

 

Desktops Are Still Needed

 

Critics have been claiming the death of the desktop computer for years, yet it remains to be a popular and much used technology. Why is this? The answer is simple: strength. There is no tablet or smartphone that can match the speed and utility of a well-built PC. There may come a day when we can harness the speed and strength of a desktop machine at a smaller scale, but that day isn’t here just yet.

 

Tablets Are Less Practical

 

There is no debating that tablets are extraordinary and useful tools. However, there are certain impracticalities that come with such a portable device that greatly affect operation. PCs are still the preferred machine for typing long documents, surfing the web and using more sophisticated programs. Unless tablets can find a practical way to replicate the functionality of a PC, personal computers will remain a fundamental technology.

 

Smartphones Are Less Functional

 

Any self-respecting tech-savvy nerd has a smartphone. These machines are great for checking email, updating social media or even making a call. Some critics claim that as smartphones become more sophisticated, they will begin to steal some of the standard laptop market. However, the average basic laptop user utilizes laptops to perform higher function actions. Good illustrations of these users are students. Can you imagine writing a term paper on a small smartphone screen? Neither can we.

 

While the portable industry has made remote computing better than ever, it’s still important to have faith in the importance of PCs. For more reasons why the PC age is still alive and well, take a look at this article.