Microsoft Surface 2: New and Improved and Maybe Selling

surface 2It looks like the new Microsoft Surface models (the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2) may be gaining more traction this time around: since its debut at a New York event last week the company has announced that its first run has nearly reached sold-out status in their online store. However dubious some may find their claims, the new features on the Surface 2 may justify the hype. (And to be fair, it is unclear whether stock in other stores, such as Best Buy or even Microsoft’s retails locations, is affected by the pre-order mania).

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New Google Nexus 7 Tablet Coming This Summer

google nexus 7
Google’s Original Nexus 7

According to Reuters, Google will launch a successor to their Nexus 7 tablet this July. It will be a further refinement to their low-priced 7″ tablet that launched last summer, and will more than likely continue to carry a starting price tag around $200, though there are rumors Google may try to drop the entry-level price to $149.

It makes sense for the search giant, still trying to gain traction in the crowded hardware market, to offer as low a price point as possible in order to pick up market share. Given Google’s ability to sell advertising on top of their products, the hardware price only needs to be one component of the revenue from the tablet. That’s the same monetization strategy around content that allows Amazon to sell their Fire tablets at a discount: they keep making money once they’ve got the device in your hands.

As far as improvements to the Nexus 7, Reuters is also reporting that the new device will come with an upgraded Qualcomm chip (a switch from the current Nvidia processor) that will supposedly prolong battery life. We should also be on the lookout for a thinner bezel and higher screen resolution.

We’ll bring you more information when we have it, but for now check out the original Reuters article on the new upcoming Nexus 7 sequel.

For more about how the Nexus 7 compare to its competitors the iPad Mini and Kindle Fire, check out our complete video review.

Giving Away a Sony Xperia S Tablet

Sony Xperia Tablet GiveawayThis time of the year can be tough. Stressful, even. Cooking, cleaning, families, gifts, work. The list goes on, and those turkeys don’t cook themselves. I get it. I may not be able to help to much, but I am giving away a Sony Xperia S tablet. It’s the least I can do, right? Entering is easy, just use the widget below. We’ll pick a winner on Tuesday, once this whole Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness is over!

In case you don’t already know, the Xperia S is a 9.4″ touch screen tablet from Sony running Android, with access to all the Android apps in the Google Play store and 16GB of storage to use for apps, music and video. It also gives you access to the Sony Entertainment Store, and separate user profiles so the kids can safely use it too. Normally it retails for $499, so I’d say this is a pretty awesome prize! You can read all about the Sony Xperia Tablet on the Sony website here.

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How the New Microsoft Office 365 Can Work for Small Business

Microsoft Office365 from AT&TThe idea behind the new Office 365 is that there are two key needs for small businesses these days: mobile accessibility and streamlined IT. After all, time spent dealing with tech headaches is time you’re not actually working on your business. Office365 seeks to streamline your tech by providing all your productivity apps through one cloud-based service, and can include the Microsoft Office Suite so many of us have come to rely on.

Exchange Online
Exchange email is probably not a new idea for you. The trouble is, running an exchange server for email is complicated and not cheap. Microsoft has figured out how to have exchange email live online, so you can sync and manage email, calendars and contacts across devices. There are even shared calendars, just like the real (now old-fashioned) deal.

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Save $100 On Any AT&T Tablet, Including New Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

samsung ativ smart pc tablet hybrid
The Samsung ATIV Smart PC is a hybrid tablet and laptop, and is also $100 off from AT&T

Thinking about buying a tablet? Make sure you check out AT&T first! They’re offering $100 off any tablet with a 2 year agreement. Yeah you read that right: any tablet. And that includes brand-new devices, like the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 which launched Friday.

The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 was initially announced a few months ago in NYC, but we had no idea about pricing or release date. Now we know that the contract price is $499.99, minus AT&T’s $100 deal, of course. The Tab 2 is a 10″ device running Android 4 that weighs all of 1.28 pounds, and features 16GB of integrated storage and a 32GB-capable MicroSD card slot. If you’d like to compare that to some of the other tablets out there on the market right now, check out our handy tablet comparison guide.

If you’re looking for your tablet to work seamlessly with your PC, you can also use the $100 off on any of AT&T’s Windows 8 tablets. Both the Asus VivoTab RT and the Samsung ATIV Smart PC are being offered exclusively from AT&T. The Asus VivoTab is a 10.1″ 4G LTE tablet with 32GB of storage. It will also come standard with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview Edition. But you’ll have to wait: the Asus VivoTab RT won’t be coming till November 16th.

If you’re looking for a Windows 8 tablet now, consider the ATIV. The Samsung ATIV is actually more like a hybrid tablet/computer. The screen is a larger 11.6,” and the device comes with 64GB of storage (unheard of for a tablet) and an Intel Atom Processor. But at 11″ the device is still highly portable, and features a clamshell cover that can be detached if you want to use the machine more like a tablet. It’s a good compromise between portability and productivity that would make a great option for a business traveler, and AT&T’s $100 off deal makes it a good time to buy.

Want to check out the full range of tablets AT&T has on sale? Go to and take a look: you can get $100 off any tablet AT&T has to offer!

UPDATED: Tablet Buying Guide: Comparing Major Brands, Specs & Prices

UPDATED 11/6: We’ve added Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablets. For more on the Nook, go here.

UPDATED 10/31: We’ve added Google’s new Nexus 10 tablet to the chart. For more on the Nexus 10, go here.

It may be impossible for us to pick a tablet for you. After all, personal preferences and needs account for a lot when it comes to gadgets. But we can at least help you know what’s out there! There’s a ton of different choices, so we’ve broken out the specs on some of leading tablets (including Kindle, iPad, Surface and Nexus)  to help you compare and contrast.  Plus we’ll be updating this chart as more devices are released.

A few things to consider as you look at the chart below:

– What size tablet would be the most useful for you? When and where will you use the device most often?
– Is cellular connectivity important to you? There’s a significant price hike on devices with 3G and 4G LTE capabilities (they all include WiFi).
– We’ve listed the base prices below. Upgrades for additional storage or in the case of Kindle, devices without ads, will cost more.
– Pixels per Inch is a good guide to display quality, but quality is also affected by things like contrast and illumination. If this is a big concern, we recommend trying a device in person.

Are we missing a tablet you’re considering purchasing? Have more questions? Let us know in the comments!

tablet comparison chart buying guide
Questions? Let us know in the comments!


New Nook HD Tablets from Barnes & Noble; Price Cuts On Older Tablets

Barnes and Noble 7" tablet Nook HD
the new Nook HD

In all the tablet talk in the last couple of weeks, we had kind of forgotten about the Nook from Barnes and Noble. Woops. They’re back with brand-new devices to go head to head with Apple and Amazon. Starting Thursday November 8th, customers will be able to choose from a 7″ Nook HD or the 9″ Nook HD+.

Like all the other tablet makers on the market, it seems Barnes and Noble wants us to focus on screen resolution. To be fair, the Nook HD does have the best screen resolution of any 7″ tablet out there. With a screen resolution of 243 pixels per inch, or 1440 x 900, the Nook HD is way ahead of the iPad Mini, which clocks in at 163 ppi. And while the 9″ HD+ doesn’t have its counterpart’s best screen in the business, it does have a very respectable 1920 x 1280 screen.

The other major selling feature of the Nook is supposed to be simplicity; Barnes and Noble is marketing the device as a tablet for “families,” meaning that they want to push universal ease of use, rather than promote hardcore tech specs. If you’re curious though, the Nook HD runs a modified version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0, which is not the latest Android operating system (that would be Jelly Bean). However, B&N is guessing it won’t matter to their audience, instead using the custom OS to provide up to 6 separate profiles for family members.

The 7″ Nook HD with 8GB of storage will run you $200, while the 16GB model costs $230. The Nook HD+ starts at $269.00 for the 16GB version, and 32GB will cost you $299.00. Plus both Nooks also offer expandable microSD storage if you’d like to really increase your tablet’s space. There’s no expandable storage on the Nexus 7, iPad Mini or Kindle Fire, so if you’re into storage, definitely check out the Nook. Ironically though, the Nook is also the only one of those tablets without a camera, meaning users can’t take photos or videos, generally the biggest hogs of built-in storage.

For budget-minded consumers, the original Nooks will see a steep discount this season, with the Nook Color now only $139 and the Nook tablet only $159 for 8 GB or $179 for 16GB. Both are still solid tablet options for the right user, and the price can’t be beat.

What do you think about the Nook?  Would you consider a purchase? Let us know in the comments!



iPad 4: Is the New iPad Really That New? Is It Worth It?

iPad 4 with retina display
iPad 4 with Retina Display. Worth your money?

Is it worth upgrading the new iPad 4? Well, that answer depends a lot on whether you have an iPad now, which one you have, and whether you have to have an Apple device — or a tablet at all.

Let’s back up for a second, and talk about why the iPad 4 release is sort of weird. First of all, it’s off-cycle. In the past Apple has updated its iPad (and iPhone) offerings once a year. But the previous iPad (let’s go ahead and call that iPad 3) was just released in March.

And that really highlights my irritation with Apple: rather than calling March’s release the iPad 3 (like the rest of us) they wanted us to call it “the new iPad.” Same deal with the most recent release. It’s almost as if they wanted customers who bought v3 not to notice that the product got upgraded within just a few months of purchase. Apple knew that they’d be releasing an updated iPad sooner than most consumers anticipated, but let folks buy those iPad 3s anyway. More proof: you can’t buy an iPad 3 on Your choices are either iPad 2 (now the budget model) or iPad 4. Apple’s calling it “iPad with Retina Display,” but when you look at the specs, it’s clear the only choice is this new, 4th generation model.

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Win a ZAGGfolio Keyboard Case for iPad from AT&T

Win a free Zaggfolio for iPadSometimes you just need to type fast. Not iPad fast, but keyboard fast. It’s not a problem, if you’ve got a ZAGGfolio keyboard case to help make it work. It’s a keyboard, but it’s also a carrying case that protects your iPad. And it also doubles (triples?) as a stand for the iPad. AND the keyboard will slide out of the case, if you’d like to sit back and get some space between you and the tablet. In short, the ZAGGfolio is an incredibly handy gadget to have if you own an iPad2 or iPad3. So you want to know how to get one, right?

Entering is easy – follow the directions in the widget below! It will tell you how to visit one of Mario’s blog posts, and leave a comment to enter to win. Simple!

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Google’s New Nexus 4 Phone, Nexus 10 Tablet Announced Today

Turns out, Google isn’t going to let a little thing like the worst meteorological event of the last 80 years keep them down. Nope, even though they were forced to cancel their big event in NYC today, we still get find out all about their new devices, the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10.

Google Nexus 10
The new Google Nexus 10, a 10″ tablet designed to compete with the full-size iPad

It’s a little confusing how many devices are named the Nexus, so let’s recap for a second. The Nexus is a product line of hardware designed by Google for Android. It comes it 3 sizes: smartphone, 7″ tablet & 10″ tablet. The Nexus 7 is the 7″ tablet that’s been out for a few months (you can watch our hands-on review of the device here). The Nexus 4 is Google’s newest smartphone, and the Nexus 10 is the 10″ tablet (see what they did there?). So in other words the numbers indicate how big the device is, more or less, and not a sequential progression of newer devices.

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