iPad mini 2 vs iPad Air

This article discusses the conundrum my wife and I both face in replacing our aged, and now seemingly heavy, iPad 3’s. As the article correctly observes, both the iPad Air and the iPad mini 2 are light, thin, fast, and have beautiful displays. The one meaningful difference is the display size (duh), 7.9” vs. 9.7”. The article’s advice:

For those who are not certain, I’d ask you to look at the ways in which you use your iPad. If you primarily use it for consumption, such as reading websites, books, and other basic computing tasks, you should look closely at the iPad mini. It’s great for those tasks. If on the other hand you’re working on documents, using the on-screen keyboard a lot, and doing tasks that are more content creation focused, you may want to look at the iPad Air. I’ve been watching my wife, a technology-muggle, using her iPad the last few months and she does a tremendous amount of work with the on-screen keyboard. I don’t think the iPad mini would ever work for her.

I would add: How good is your reading vision? If not so good, the large screen will make a difference.

This article also discusses choosing between the two devices. The author’s choice is the iPad mini 2. But another writer from the same site leans toward the iPad Air.  Interesting debate.

I believe my wife and I will end up going to the local Beast Buy and get in line to play with the two devices. Sometimes you need actually hands-on time to make a good choice.

Nokia Lumia 2520 vs Apple iPad Air

Interesting comparison. Shows the Lumia 2520 gives more for your money, plus microSD, USB. Still, the iPad Air is lighter (478 g vs. 615 g) and thinner (7.5 mm vs 8.9 mm), + of course a far more complete App Store. Yet, this comparison shows a possible justification for RT 8.1 devices such as the Lumia 2520 and the Surface 2. And here’s another comparison of these three devices.

Verizon Nokia Lumia 929


I’ve had my eye on this Windows Phone for some time. The 929 appears to be the smaller sibling of the 1520 going to AT&T. By smaller, 5” vs. 6” screen. As much as I like large screens, perhaps 5” is large enough, and certainly more pocketable than 6”. Unclear yet if, apart from screen size, the specs otherwise will be the same.

Per Windows Phone Central, the 929 is coming to Big Red with a launch date in early November with an off-contract price of $500. I’ll be watching for and reporting on more information.

Do I upgrade my Surface RT?


Microsoft has announced the Surface RT’s successor, the Surface 2. Nokia soon will be offering another RT device, the Nokia Lumia 2520, aka Sirius.

I own a Surface RT and use it a lot because of its long battery life, especially compared to its Surface Pro brother. So will I be upgrading my Surface RT?

Continue reading ‘Do I upgrade my Surface RT?’

BlackBerry Z30


BlackBerry just announced the Z30. The Z30 is a significant spec bump over my not so old Z10. The most obvious difference is the larger screen, 5” vs. 4.2”. Despite the larger screen, the thickness is almost the same. There also are spec bumps for the processor and battery, among other features.

Will I replace my Z10 with the Z30? Yes … if I stay with BlackBerry. My heart wants to. But my head warns me that BlackBerry may be extinct soon, and I might be better off with a Windows Phone, especially if (as rumored) the Nokia Lumia 1520 is coming to Verizon.

Of course, I could get the Galaxy Note 3 + the Z30 + the Lumia 1520. However, that gets pricey. Also, I’ve already had one student comment that I have more cell phones than his cousin the drug dealer Confused smile

My take on the iPhone 5s

compare_iphone5sMy opinion of the iPhone 5s is it’s a nice upgrade, though most of the upgrade is under the hood:

Processor bump to A7
New M7 motion co-processor chip
Improved camera
New embedded fingerprint scanner

I’m not planning on buying, mainly because I prefer phones with a larger screens. But for those with older iPhones, it’s an upgrade worth considering.

Fall 2013 Windows Tablet Preview

tablets-heroThis post’s title (and the pic) come from a WinSuperSite article of the same name. The article is quite thorough, so I have only brief comments.

The Haswell processor deservedly has received a lot of press. Haswell succeeds the third generation core i5 and i7 processors, which had good performance but relatively poor battery life. Haswell has the same or better performance, but much better battery life.

The Bay Trail processor has received less press. It succeeds the Clovertrail Atom processor, which had good battery life, but relatively poor performance. Bay Trail has the same or better battery life, but much better performance.

Many of the upcoming tablets featured in the WinSuperSite article are Bay Trail, particularly tablets with the thus far rare (for Windows 8.x) 8” form factor. Indeed, the article focuses on the smaller size part of the tablet spectrum (none larger than 10.8”).

Haswell vs. Bay Trail. Interesting choice, and a nice one. I expect that the smaller form factor (8-10”) will be mostly Bay Trail, larger form factor (10” up) Haswell, with 10” being a no man’s land where both processors will compete.

September 28 for next version of Surface


The Verge is invited to a Microsoft event which presumably will unveil refreshes of the Surface Pro and Surface RT. I’m still waiting for my invitation Sad smile

Galaxy Note 3


Did I order the Galaxy Note 3? Do bears sleep in the woods? The GN3 is a significant upgrade over my GN2, which I’ve had for 9 months, a lifetime for a smartphone. I will have about 1 more month with my GN2, since Verizon isn’t shipping the GN3 until October 10.

Did I also buy the Galaxy Gear smartwatch? No. Not yet anyway. Seems pricey (say $300), kind of ugly, and not sure it adds much functionality, particularly since I already have a Pebble smartwatch. I may yet spring for the Gear, but for now, pass.

Surface Power Cover

While I like the portability and power of my Surface Pro, its relatively short battery life (about 3 hours) can be its Achilles Heel. Too often I’m in a meeting room without any nearby plugs. 

Good news for me. Microsoft will be shipping a “Power Cover.” This essentially is like the Type Cover keyboard I use, but contains an internal power supply which will charge the Surface while its in use.

No word yet on exactly how much the Power Cover will extend the Surface’s battery life.  Presumably the addition will be significant, otherwise what’s the point?

Of course, the internal power supply will add to weight and thickness. Comparing to the current Type Cover (apparently there will be a new version of it as well), weight will double, from .55 pounds (250 grams) to 1.1 pounds (520 grams). Thickness likewise will increase, from .21 inches (5.33 mm) to .38 inches (9.75 mm). Also no word yet on price.

While the Power Cover won’t be a free lunch, either in cost, weight or thickness, presumably it will be much cheaper than springing for a Surface 2 to obtain the additional battery life of its Haswell processor.  Speaking of the Surface 2, the Power Cover is supposed to become available shortly after the Surface 2, presumably at about year’s end.

Update: Docking station

Source: WinSuperSite