Tag Archive | electronics

When is it Time to Upgrade Your Mobile Tech?

iPad 2 vs iPad Air

I have an iPad 2. I don’t use it very much, but it’s there for me whenever a new game comes out … or whenever my Macbook is just out of reach.

The iPad 2 came out on March 11, 2011. In the grand scheme of things (and I’m not talking about the “cosmic calendar” from “Cosmos”), three years is nothing. But when it comes to consumer tech, my iPad is ANCIENT. If you count the two iPad mini models, five new iPads have launched since my iPad 2 first hit store shelves. Five! In three years!

Every time I look at my iPad, I think about how I want a new one. The new models are lighter, thinner and faster, and all have better screens. I haven’t upgraded from iOS 6 to 7 because I’ve heard it doesn’t play well on the iPad 2. But I’m not going to upgrade my iPad, because I don’t use it enough and it still works fine.

But that got me wondering: When is the right time to upgrade your mobile tech?

I like to buy a really good (but not usually top-tier) piece of tech, then run it into the ground before I upgrade. If you’re the type of person who needs to have the latest-and-greatest everything, this advice doesn’t really apply to you. But if you’re like the rest of us, and you just want to know when to pony up for a new gadget, read on.

Tablets

Tablets

Let’s start with tablets, since that’s what got me into this whole mess.

iPad: For new iPads, Apple usually tosses in a slightly more powerful processor and makes the device a little thinner. Sure, there are bigger changes from time to time – like adding a Retina display – but those are more uncommon than you might think. Plus, iPads are incredibly expensive (relative to most other tablets), so upgrading is more of a financial commitment here than in other instances.

  • Liberal Verdict: Every other generation. Got an iPad 2? Get a 4th-gen, then, too.
  • Conservative Verdict: Every three or four generations, or when a bunch of apps no longer support your device.

Android Tablets: To be honest, I’m not too familiar with the Android tablet landscape. I know it’s dominated by the Nexus 7, but that’s a relative newcomer to the field, and it’s hard to gauge just how much innovation Google’s going to throw at that line each upgrade. Android tablets are relatively inexpensive (especially when compared to an iPad), so upgrading is less of an investment, but there aren’t too many massive upgrades from one generation to the next, so upgrading isn’t a necessity.

  • Liberal Verdict: Every generation.
  • Conservative Verdict: When your device isn’t eligible for the newest major Android OS.

Kindle Fire Tablets: Like the Nexus line, the Kindle Fires are also relative newcomers to the tech scene. But Amazon has impressed me with how much it has added to each release. When you compare it to the latest Kindle Fire, the first-gen Fire I bought in the fall of 2011 is like a weird second-cousin that you avoid at family gatherings. Amazon’s added a ton of new software features – like FreeTime and Mayday – and has also launched tablets with bigger screens, which is an (obvious) big difference. At some point, though, Amazon will slow down its massive updates; until then, new Fire tablets seem like a reasonable investment.

  • Liberal Verdict: Every generation.
  • Conservative Verdict: When your toddler drops it one-too-many times and it doesn’t work anymore.

Phones

Phones

I think it’s a big lie that you need to upgrade your phone every two years. Just because your carrier gives you a big time discount to get a new device doesn’t mean you need to take them up on their offer. They’re only giving you that discount to lock you into another two-year deal; if you don’t upgrade (or buy your phone outright), you can opt out at any point with no penalty.

Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all recently introduced plans that let you upgrade your phone whenever the wind changes. But that program isn’t for us – that’s for the tech elite.

iPhones are like iPads – rarely does one generation to the next do much to wow me. The iPhone 6 will have a bigger screen, which is (arguably) the best improvement since Siri was added back with the 4S. But is it enough for me to upgrade just a year after I got my iPhone 5? Probably not.

Android devices can become obsolete much more quickly, especially if the manufacturer doesn’t get the latest version of Android to your device. Buying a Nexus will negate this problem, as will buying the top-tier devices, like the Galaxy S4 or HTC One M8. But if you’re buying mid-range, you might run into issues – and you’ll want to upgrade more quickly.

  • Liberal Verdict: As soon as you’re eligible for an upgrade.
  • Conservative Verdict: When your device won’t get the latest OS update, or when you drop it so many times that you can no longer read the screen.

Report: Samsung’s Next Wearable is the Galaxy Band, A Fitness Tracker

Samsung

While smartwatches have already managed to have a profound impact on some users, they have largely been something of a disappointment thus far. And to be frank, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear might be the worst among them, at least where big-brand offerings are concerned. In our review we said that the device itself was probably among the best designs Samsung has ever released, but the product was obviously rushed and the user experience suffered tremendously as a result. A recent report suggested that Samsung knew it had some serious missteps with the first Gear and is rushing out a sequel in the first quarter next year as a result, but a new report suggests that Samsung’s upcoming new wearable computer might be a smartwatch at all. A new report from Korean-language Digital News Daily late last week states that Samsung’s next swing at the emerging wearables market will be a fitness tracking band called the Galaxy Band.

Read the full story at Boy Genius Report.

Some of Google’s Robots are Already at the Top of Their Fields

Google Robots

Crowds gathered at a NASCAR racetrack in Miami this weekend to witness a more sedate sport than usual, as some of the world’s most advanced legged robots inched their way through a range of emergency tasks, including clambering over rubble, clearing debris, and operating a fire hose. And two of the robot-makers acquired recently by Google, Boston Dynamics and Schaft, dominated the contest, giving some sense of why the company was so keen to snap them up. In all, sixteen teams took part in the challenge (see photo gallery: “Robots to the Rescue, Slowly”). The robots were operated remotely but still required sophisticated automation to cope with the complexities and uncertainties faced when dealing with the real world. Teams scored points by completely tasks inspired by a real emergency faced at Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011: as hydrogen leaked from the stricken plant, human rescue workers risked their lives trying to reach and operate a valve that might’ve stemmed the leak.

Read the full story at Technology Review.

Samsung Galaxy Gear Return Rate at Best Buy is More Than 30%

Samsung Galaxy Gear

When a Samsung exec reportedly admitted that the Galaxy Gear smartwatch “lacks something special,” he wasn’t kidding. Leaked sales documents obtained by Geek.com show that the return rate for the Galaxy Gear “is trending above 30%” in Best Buy stores, an alarmingly high rate for a device that Samsung had hoped would give it an early edge in the smartwatch wars with Apple, Google and other major tech companies. The leaked memo also shows that Samsung is asking retail employees to get a better handle on why the Gear has such a high return rate. Although the Gear is a first-of-its-kind smartwatch that’s been given a terrific ad campaign, it has been widely panned by many reviewers as not delivering much of value to its users.

Read the full story at Boy Genius Report.

Report: Galaxy Note III, Galaxy Gear to Ship Shortly After Unveiling

Samsung

On September 4, Samsung is widely expected to debut the Galaxy Note 3 and possibly a smartwatch called the Galaxy Gear. Introducing a product isn’t the same as offering it for sale, however, so how long will consumers have to wait for the new products? Not long suggests one site. SamMobile, which generally has good Samsung sources, reported on Monday that the two devices will launch very soon after their introductions. According to the site, shipping of the Galaxy Note 3 is planned for week 36 of the year – the same week of Samsung’s press event for the device – while the Galaxy Gear watch is slated to arrive on sale just four weeks later. Samsung is likely to announce official availability dates by region when introducing both products. The site also suggests that the Galaxy Note 3 will start in a 32 GB version to provide more free space to device owners.

Read the full story at Giga OM.

Barnes and Noble’s New CEO Says the Nook Will Live On

Nook HD

Two months ago, Barnes & Noble announced that it will stop manufacturing Nook tablets itself and instead seek partnerships with third-party manufacturers to build a co-branded line of tablets. The company is rethinking its stance, however, perhaps as a result of a change at the top. Last month, CEO William Lynch resigned and Michael Huseby was appointed president of the company and CEO of Nook Media. Huseby provided an optimistic outlook on the future of Nook tablets in a Q1 2014 earnings press release today. “The company intends to continue to design and develop cutting-edge Nook black and white and color devices,” Huseby said. “We will continue to offer our award-winning line of Nook products, including Nook Simple Touch, Nook Simple Touch with Glow Light, Nook HD, and Nook HD+ at the best values in the marketplace.”

Read the full story at Ars Technica.

LB1 High Performance New Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker for HP Geek Squad Certified ENVY 15.6″ Laptop 6GB Memory Natural Silver GCRF-C2L91UA#AB with Built-in Microphone – Micro SD card slot – Voice Prompt (Silver)

  • Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker with Built-in Microphone|Micro SD card slot.
  • Voice Prompt when Connected|Disconnected.
  • Simply the smallest-best bass sounding wireless speaker with metal case design-top grade and in style.
  • Ability to produce extreme high (tweeter) and low (woofer) frequencies from a single bass.
  • Output capacity of 95 decibels – music fills even the largest rooms.

When you need High Quality Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker for your Laptop Computer|iPhone|iPad|Smartphone or Tablet, you need the power of LB1 High Performance Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker. It is the most cost effective Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker available on the market today.

Compatible devices:
All Laptop Computer PC: Apple | Acer |Asus | HP-Compaq |Dell | Sony | Samsung | IBM | Lenovo | Toshiba | Gateway.
Apple Devices: iPhone 5S|5C|5|4S|4|3GS|3, iPad 3|iPad 2|iPad Mini|iPad Air|iPad,iPods .
Samsung: Samsung Galaxy S4|S3|S2|S|Galaxy Nexus|Galaxy Note|Note 2|Note 3|Mega 6.3″|Mega 5.8″|Samsung Galaxy Tab.
HTC: HTC One X|One S|One V|Sensation XE XL|EVO 4G|Radar 4G.
Nokia:Lumia 920 900 710 800 | N8 | N9.
Motorola: Droid Razr, Bionic | Atrix 2 | Triumph.
Sony: Sony Xperia Series, Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia SL, Xperia U, Xperia P, Xperia S, Xperia TL.
Blackberry:Z10, Torch 9860, Torch 9810
LG: Nexus 4, Optimus 4X, 2X, V, S, T, 3D, 7.
Touch Screen devices: PDAs, Kindle Fire HD.

Buy with confidence!
12 Months Warranty
8 hours|day x 5 days|week – Call Support
Peace of mind exclusive 100k product protection

Copyright © 2011 Laptop Battery 1 All Rights Reserved.

Price: $79.99

LB1 High Performance New Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker for HP Pavilion 17.3″ Geek Squad Certified Laptop 4GB Memory 640GB Hard Drive Sparkling Black GCRF-D1C20 with Built-in Microphone and Micro SD card slot (Black)

  • Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker with Built-in Microphone and Micro SD card slot.
  • Simply the smallest-best bass sounding wireless speaker with metal case design-top grade and in style.
  • Ability to produce extreme high (tweeter) and low (woofer) frequencies from a single bass.
  • Output capacity of 85 decibels – music fills even the largest rooms.
  • Build-in Lion-battery and can be rechargeable by USB power.

When you need High Quality Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker for your Laptop Computer|iPhone|iPad|Smartphone or Tablet, you need the power of LB1 High Performance Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker. It is the most cost effective Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker available on the market today.

Compatible devices:
All Laptop Computer PC: Apple | Acer |Asus | HP-Compaq |Dell | Sony | Samsung | IBM | Lenovo | Toshiba | Gateway.
Apple Devices: iPhone 5S|5C|5|4S|4|3GS|3, iPad 3|iPad 2|iPad Mini|iPad Air|iPad,iPods .
Samsung: Samsung Galaxy S4|S3|S2|S|Galaxy Nexus|Galaxy Note|Note 2|Note 3|Mega 6.3″|Mega 5.8″|Samsung Galaxy Tab.
HTC: HTC One X|One S|One V|Sensation XE XL|EVO 4G|Radar 4G.
Nokia:Lumia 920 900 710 800 | N8 | N9.
Motorola: Droid Razr, Bionic | Atrix 2 | Triumph.
Sony: Sony Xperia Series, Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia SL, Xperia U, Xperia P, Xperia S, Xperia TL.
Blackberry:Z10, Torch 9860, Torch 9810
LG: Nexus 4, Optimus 4X, 2X, V, S, T, 3D, 7.
Touch Screen devices: PDAs, Kindle Fire HD.

Buy with confidence!
12 Months Warranty
8 hours|day x 5 days|week – Call Support
Peace of mind exclusive 100k product protection

Copyright © 2011 Laptop Battery 1 All Rights Reserved.

Price: $439.99

Loop micro USB for iPad, iPod and iPhone (Mozhy-11101)

  • “Made for iPod and iPhone” certified
  • Provides data transfer and battery charging
  • Clips together with magnets to wear as a wristband or attach to your bag
  • Attach to any metal surface such as a desk or cubicle wall to hang notes and photos with ease
  • Easy to carry. Very stylish

The Mohzy loop micro usb & iPhone/iPod cable combines fashion and utility into 1 simple product for most Apple iPhones/iPods, Android smartphones, and Blackberry devices. The product was certified by “Made for iPod/iPhone”. Easy to carry around and very stylish and fashionable.The loop cable provides battery charging and data transfer for all Micro USB devices such as smartphones, mp3 players, bluetooth, and GPS devices. Multiple patterns and colors will satisfy all personalities and taste. Keep one for yourself and gift another to a friend. With the official licensed Apple Adapter you will also be able to charge your Apple products such as iPhone, iPods, and iPad with the same cable. The flat profile of the cable allows for easy storage in your purse or bag without worrying about it getting tangled in with all your other stuff. Hidden magnets inside the cable let you clip the cable onto any metallic surface like a cubicle wall, computer tower, or fridge. The magnets also transform your cable into a loop that can be worn as a bracelet or hooked onto a bag for easy transportation. Make a fashion statement!!

Price: $16.99

LB1 High Performance New Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker for Samsung 15.6″ Geek Squad Certified Laptop 4GB Memory 750GB Hard Drive GCRF-NP550P5C-A02UB with Built-in Microphone and Micro SD card slot (Silver)

  • Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker with Built-in Microphone and Micro SD card slot.
  • Simply the smallest-best bass sounding wireless speaker with metal case design-top grade and in style.
  • Ability to produce extreme high (tweeter) and low (woofer) frequencies from a single bass.
  • Output capacity of 85 decibels – music fills even the largest rooms.
  • Build-in Lion-battery and can be rechargeable by USB power.

When you need High Quality Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker for your Laptop Computer|iPhone|iPad|Smartphone or Tablet, you need the power of LB1 High Performance Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker. It is the most cost effective Wireless Bluetooth Mini Speaker available on the market today.

Compatible devices:
All Laptop Computer PC: Apple | Acer |Asus | HP-Compaq |Dell | Sony | Samsung | IBM | Lenovo | Toshiba | Gateway.
Apple Devices: iPhone 5S|5C|5|4S|4|3GS|3, iPad 3|iPad 2|iPad Mini|iPad Air|iPad,iPods .
Samsung: Samsung Galaxy S4|S3|S2|S|Galaxy Nexus|Galaxy Note|Note 2|Note 3|Mega 6.3″|Mega 5.8″|Samsung Galaxy Tab.
HTC: HTC One X|One S|One V|Sensation XE XL|EVO 4G|Radar 4G.
Nokia:Lumia 920 900 710 800 | N8 | N9.
Motorola: Droid Razr, Bionic | Atrix 2 | Triumph.
Sony: Sony Xperia Series, Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia SL, Xperia U, Xperia P, Xperia S, Xperia TL.
Blackberry:Z10, Torch 9860, Torch 9810
LG: Nexus 4, Optimus 4X, 2X, V, S, T, 3D, 7.
Touch Screen devices: PDAs, Kindle Fire HD.

Buy with confidence!
12 Months Warranty
8 hours|day x 5 days|week – Call Support
Peace of mind exclusive 100k product protection

Copyright © 2011 Laptop Battery 1 All Rights Reserved.

Price: $434.99

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