Digital Thingamajigs
Get the scoop on the latest mobile and handheld devices, high-tech gadgets, phones, gaming devices and more as well as computer-related tips and tricks. Keep up with tech trends, gaming software and check out some of the newest innovations that are turning heads in the electronics industry.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

iPad alternatives?

I was planning on making this a blog about all of the current and/or potential iPad alternatives available. But, after searching the Web for a few hours on the topic, I should make this a post on how difficult it is to find an alternative right now.

While searching the Web for alternatives, it’s difficult to find information on when they will be available or find a retailer to buy them. The release dates on these tablets are constantly changing and the field is becoming so expanded, it's hard to narrow it down to a few viable options. If competitors want to get serious about competing with Apple, then they need to get serious about marketing — in every format possible: TV, newspapers, Internet, viral and so on.

Make no bones about it: The iPad is everywhere. Apple has put a lot of effort in pushing its revolutionary, “magical” tablet to the masses. And it has worked. It took only 28 days for Apple to sell 1 million units of the original iPad. In nine months of 2010, Apple sold 15 million units, according to Apple’s own sales figures. And analysts expect the iPad 2 to outsell that for 2011.

And while much of the buzz out there is still surrounding the iPad 2, that is starting to change. The number of competitors out there seems to grow every week; and there are some tablets cropping up that can give the iPad 2 a run for its money. And depending on who you ask, any one of these could be the “iPad killer,” but the verdict is still out. So, here are just a few — a very small taste — of those alternatives getting buzz around the blogosphere ...

Availability: February 24, 2011
OS: Honeycomb
Size: 10.1-inch display @ 1280 x 800
Features: 1GHz Tegra 2 processor; 1GB of RAM; 32GB of storage, 3G/4G expected/WiFi
Bottom line: $799 (off-contract)

OS: Android 2.2
Size: 7-inch touchscreen (10 inch expected this summer)
Availability: Now
Features: 3G/4G expected/WiFi, 1 GHz Hummingbird processor; 16GB storage; 1GHz Cortez A8 processor; Flash; dual cameras
Bottom line: $499 (off-contract)
OS: BlackBerry 6.0
Size: 7-inches @ 1024 X 600
Availability: Late March/early April
Features: Dual-core 1 GHz processor; 1GB RAM; dual cameras; 16 GB storage; WiFi/3G/4G expected; Flash
Bottom line: $499 (Wi-Fi only version)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Apple is handing out cash

Were you one of the few unlucky ones who bought your iPad within the last two weeks only to find out that it's already obsolete?

Well, don't despair. Apple's lookin' out for ya.

According to the Associated Press, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company will hand you a cool hundred bucks if you purchased your iPad within the past two weeks, making the cutoff date somewhere around Feb. 16 - although the exact date is not confirmed.

According to the Associated Press, Apple says retail customers must bring their original receipt and request a refund within 14 days of the March 2 announcement of the iPad 2 and price-drop of the original iPad. And if you're one of those unlucky ones who bought your iPad on Feb. 15? Play the lottery. Hey, your luck's gotta even out sometime, right?

Photo courtesy of Scottchan


Are you ready for a bargain? This one's hard to believe, but if you've been in the market for an iPad and don't mind grabbing the original iPad instead of its upgraded sister, iPad 2, then RIGHT NOW is the time to buy.

Apple is now offering brand new, shiny iPads for a measly $399 on its clearance website. And if you're a true bargain hunter and don't mind buying remanufactured products, Apple is now offering certified refurbished iPads for - are you ready? - only $349. That's $150 cheaper than what new iPads cost only a few days ago.

If you've never bought refurbished from Apple before, don't fret. I ONLY buy refurbished from Apple for two big reasons. The first is obvious: Price. The second reason is that I believe refurbished products are even better than the originals. Apple takes a returned product, cleans it, gives it a new outer shell and battery, resets it and replaces any defective parts with newer ones that have been tested and tweaked. In other words, they get the bugs out. In nearly 10 years of buying refurbished from Apple, I've had very few problems. And if you do have a problem, refurbished products come with the same one-year warranty as new products.

Now keep in mind two things: (1) These are NOT the newly announced iPad 2 tablets, but the original iPads, which do not have cameras and have the single-core processor. (2) iPads at these prices (even if they're not the iPad 2) will SELL FAST so hurry and grab one if you're interested. Another thing to remember is that the $399 version is for the 16GB, WiFi only iPad. Prices for the other versions are as follows ...

New iPads on clearance (WiFi only):

  • 16GB = $399
  • 32GB = $499
  • 64GB = $599
  • 16GB = $529
  • 32GB = $629
  • 64GB = $729
  • 16GB = $349
  • 32GB = $429
  • 64GB = $529
  • 16GB = $479
  • 32GB = $559
  • 64GB = $659
So, have fun and happy iPadding.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

iPad 2: The photos

Since posting my earlier blog, I've been able to glean a few pictures of Apple's iPad 2 from the Web (the picture attached to first blog was of the original iPad). Notice the small hole on the left side of the above picture? That's for the front-facing camera, which, similar to the iPhone 4, can be used for FaceTime, etc.

And here's the white iPad 2. Nothing much different. It's the same thing, just white. I'm still partial to the black version myself, but that's just me.

The biggest physical change to the iPad comes from behind, where the new version sports a flat back side with tapered edges. The speaker grill at the bottom is a little larger and, of course, there is a hole at the top for the rear-facing camera, which is capable of shooting video in high-definition (720p).

Remember to check back frequently for more updates about the iPad 2 and check out my upcoming blog post on the iPad's competition, and which tablets give you the most bang for your buck.

Ipad 2: It's here!

The big news at today’s Apple event wasn’t so much the iPad 2, but the fact that Apple CEO Steve Jobs made an appearance. Looking a bit frail from heath issues, but just as energetic as ever, Jobs delivered the expected update today on the follow-up to Apple’s highly successful tablet computer to much anticipation.

The big news? In my opinion, the biggest surprise is the fact that Apple will be shipping a white version of the iPad 2. Customers have been waiting patiently on a white version of the iPhone for several months now, but are still waiting. The white iPad 2 is expected to ship when the rest of the units ship, which will be 9 days from now — March 11.

So, what are the new features of the iPad 2? Here they are:

-Front and rear-facing cameras
-A5 processor. The chip that powers the unit is now a dual-core chip, meaning it has two processors on one chip, and according to Apple, up to 9 times faster
-A new operating system — iOS 4.3
-Thinner design — 8.8 mm (thinner than an iPhone 4) and more lightweight (1.3 pounds)
-Built-in gyroscope
-Availability of an HDMI adapter cable to output 1080p graphics

Well, that’s the gist of the announcement. This is pretty much on par with what people were expecting. The only disappointment is that there is no increase in screen resolution and there are no new ports, such as a possible USB port or even a much-rumored SD card port.

Check back later when I will discuss some of these new features more in-depth as well as go over details of the new iOS 4.3 operating system.