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  • 02 Mobile Phone Offers on Samsung, Nokia and BlackBerry ... The Samsung Galaxy S IV is available now on O2 contract deals with a vast array of cost-free gifts, most mobile phones are now getting provided with cost-free gifts and cash back and the lower the price of the handset the bigger the offers can be. With discounted line payment, even though, the user offers complete price tag upfront, all bills and then gives formalities as effectively as precedent bills in order to get their money afterward on down the way. On the internet mobile shop is the spot exactly where customers can search for different mobile phone deals 1 and acquire the deals which they consider suite to their life-style and budget.

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    References ^ mobile phone deals (mobilephonedeals.uk.net) ^ latest blackberry phones of 2013 the user can get cost-free gifts (mobilephonedeals.uk.net)

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  • 10 essential accessories for a new Galaxy S5 We are big fans of the Samsung Galaxy S5 1 , and it has a big range of features out of the box, but it can t do everything by itself. If you ve already selected from the best Samsung Galaxy S5 cases 2 and devoured our Galaxy S5 Tips guide 3 , then it s time to look for a little something extra. We ve checked out the options to help you look after your new phone and get more from it.

    Here are our top picks for Samsung Galaxy S5 accessories. Samsung Gear 2 4 ($300) or Gear 2 Neo 5 ($200) The smartwatch market hasn t really taken off yet, but we saw progress when we got a hands-on look at the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. You re likely to find deals that bundle them with the compatible Galaxy S5 and they could be the ultimate accessories.

    The Gear 2 is the headliner and it can take calls, feed you notifications from your phone, capture photos and video, measure your heart rate, stream music 6 to a Bluetooth headset, act as a remote for the TV, and more. The Neo just lacks the camera. ( Read our Gear 2 Hands-on Review .) 7 Samsung Gear Fit 8 ($200) A slimmed down and stylish Gear Fit can hook up to your Galaxy S5 and provide you with notifications about incoming calls, messages, and emails. It also has the ability to reject calls and reply to messages.

    Its main purpose is to track your activity and it has a heart rate sensor built-in, but it doesn t have the camera or the other extras you ll find on the Gear 2 and the Neo. The Gear Fit is a really good-looking device with a curved Super AMOLED touchscreen. ( Read our Gear Fit Hands-on Review 9 .) V-Moda XS Headphones 10 ($200) Over-the-ear headphones are just more comfortable, and this set delivers excellent sound. They re not too bulky either, making them a perfect portable companion for your new Galaxy S5.

    The price tag might give you pause, though audiophiles won t balk at dropping $200 for great headphones. (If you need a little more convincing then it s time to read our full V-Moda XS review 11 .) PureTek Roll-On Screen Shield Kit 12 ($25) PureTek Roll-On Screen Shield Kit It can be good to add an extra layer of protection to your new phone s screen, but screen protectors can be tough to fit properly and there s nothing worse than ending up with a peeling, bubbling layer. PureTek s solution is a roll on kit that fits perfectly, can be combined with a case, and comes with a lifetime warranty. You can also opt for an antibacterial coating, fingerprint resistance, and anti-glare properties.

    Samsung 64GB Class 10 MicroSD Card 13 ($60) Samsung 64GB Class 10 microSD Card The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes in 16GB or 32GB varieties, but you won t really find anywhere near that much space free. Invest in a MicroSD card and you can store your photos, videos, and other files, along with a large music collection. This is a fast card and it s capable of withstanding seawater, magnetic fields, and sudden impacts.

    Osomount 360 Grip In Car Mount 14 ($25) Osomount 360 Grip In Car Mount Here s a car mount that combines simple design and an understated style with the functionality you need. Put the suction cup on your dashboard or windshield and push down the lever to secure it in place. The spring-loaded jaws automatically close to grip your phone, and the silicone lining ensures it won t slip out, even on a bumpy road.

    It rotates a full 360 degrees and there s a ball joint, so you can find the perfect angle and then tighten it to secure it in place. Samsung Wireless Charging Pad 15 ($40) Samsung Wireless Charging Pad Wireless charging with this square Samsung pad should be a breeze and it will work with the S5, S4, and any other Qi-certified device. Plug it in, drop your phone on it, and make sure the LED is green to indicate charging is go.

    It s not going to be as fast as a wall charger with Micro USB, and you re going to have to get a charging cover 16 for $30, but it saves you fiddling around with cables. Spare Battery Charging System 17 ($50) Samsung Spare Battery Charging System The Galaxy S5 has a power saving mode and an ultra power saving mode, but if you re not prepared to cut down your functionality, or you know you ll be out of range of a charger for a while, then you may still prefer an extra battery. This kit provides the extra battery and a charging case, with an extra wall charger to keep you fully powered.

    Chil Slap Stylus 18 ($10) If you want to use a stylus with your Galaxy S5 then you certainly can. Go into Settings > Display and check the box next to Increase touch sensitivity and you ll find it should work perfectly. To deal with the issue of having to carry a stylus around with you, opt for this bracelet style offering from Chil.

    It s a neat design that curls itself around your wrist or any available lanyard or strap, and snaps straight when you want to use it. Sony SRS-BTX500 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker 19 ($250) Sony SRS-BTX500 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker There are loads of Bluetooth speakers out there, but this Sony offering combines understated style with powerful sound, portability, and easy pairing via Bluetooth, or one-touch NFC. There s also a button on the back for hands-free calling that converts it into a top notch speakerphone, and you can charge your S5 via the USB port on the back.

    As a complete package at this price, it s tough to beat. That s all of the Samsung Galaxy S5 accessories we have right now, but we ll add more to this roundup when we find worthy options. Post your favorites in the comments.

    References ^ Samsung Galaxy S5 (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ Samsung Galaxy S5 cases (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ Galaxy S5 Tips guide (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ Samsung Gear 2 (www.samsung.com) ^ Gear 2 Neo (www.samsung.com) ^ music (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ Read our Gear 2 Hands-on Review (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ Samsung Gear Fit (www.samsung.com) ^ Read our Gear Fit Hands-on Review (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ V-Moda XS Headphones (www.amazon.com) ^ V-Moda XS review (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ PureTek Roll-On Screen Shield Kit (www.pure-gear.com) ^ Samsung 64GB Class 10 MicroSD Card (www.amazon.com) ^ Osomount 360 Grip In Car Mount (osomount.com) ^ Samsung Wireless Charging Pad (www.samsung.com) ^ charging cover (www.samsung.com) ^ Spare Battery Charging System (www.samsung.com) ^ Chil Slap Stylus (chil.com) ^ Sony SRS-BTX500 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker (www.amazon.com)

  • 11-inch MacBook Air 2013 review Apple's MacBook Air has come a long way since it was first released in early 2008. Originally intended as an ultra-portable supplement to your main Mac, it's long since grown powerful enough to use as your sole computer. This sixth-generation MacBook Air uses the same chassis and basic form factor as the mid-2012 MacBook Air 1 that it replaces, but new processors bring a wealth of performance upgrades, though one or two compromises are evident.

    The 2013 MacBook Air faces stiff competition from the new Chromebooks 2 . Eschewing Windows and Linux operating systems in favour of Chrome OS 3 , these run web-based applications and are usually significantly cheaper than most notebooks. For example, the Samsung Chromebook 4 cost just 230 / US$330 / AU$320 at launch.

    There are exceptions, of course. Google's own Chromebook Pixel 5 is a gorgeous high-end notebook costing 1,050 / US$1,300 (around AU$1,730), which is more than either of the two 11-inch MacBook Air models in the mid-2013 refresh, but it proves cloud computers can be as stylish and desirable as an Apple notebook. If you want an ultra-portable Windows 8 laptop 6 , the Samsung Series 9 NP900X3D 7 has an Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB of flash storage like this MacBook Air, but its screen is 13 inches, and we're testing the 11-inch MacBook Air.

    The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch 8 is one of the thinnest and lightest Windows 8 netbooks on the market, and a very credible alternative to the MacBook Air if you prefer Windows to OS X. Since the late 2010 MacBook Air refresh, Apple has released four individual MacBook Air models with each generation. The mid-2013 release is no exception.

    Once again we have two 11-inch models and two 13-inch MacBook Airs. All use 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processors from Intel's new Haswell 9 range. The two 11-inch MacBook Airs have double the solid state storage of the previous generation of MacBook Air, at 128GB for the cheaper model we reviewed and 256GB for the more expensive 11-inch MacBook Air, up from 64GB and 128GB respectively.

    The 13-inch MacBook Airs retain their predecessors' 128GB and 256GB of storage, but are a little cheaper. Even with the new Haswell processors, gamers, video editors and other high-needs users might prefer the power offered by a MacBook Pro 10 , but the highly portable MacBook Air is perfect for students, business travellers and just about anyone who appreciates its incredibly thin and light design. The 11-inch MacBook Air 2013 with 128GB storage that we reviewed is the cheapest model in the range, priced at 849 / US$999 / AU$1,099.

    Specification The 11-inch MacBook Air 2013's chassis is almost totally unchanged from last year's model. The only difference is a second microphone hole in the left-hand side, with the dual mic setup using adaptive beam forming to reduce background noise. But there seems little reason for Apple to change such a popular and practical design.

    At just 17mm (0.68 inches) at its thickest point and weighing just 1.08kg (2.38lbs), it's so light and portable it's easy to forget it's in your bag. It's sturdy too. If you lift it by the corner it doesn't creak and flex like lesser, cheaper notebooks, and little luxuries such as the multi-touch trackpad, backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor, magnetic power plug, stereo speakers and the 720p FaceTime HD camera are retained.

    The changes to the 2013 11-inch MacBook Air are all under the hood. The off-the-shelf processors are 1.3GHz dual core Haswell Intel Core i5s, though you can upgrade it to a 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 using the custom options on the online Apple Store. Haswell processors, the fourth generation of Intel's Core series, are designed from the ground up to use significantly less power than before, without compromising on performance.

    Indeed, their integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000 chipset gives up to 40% faster graphical power. The new MacBook Airs also feature the latest Wi-Fi protocol, 802.11ac 11 . When used with a wireless ac router such as Apple's new AirPort Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme, your wireless connection is up to three times faster than Wi-Fi n, and boasts a much better range.

    Also, beam forming technology focuses the Wi-Fi signal onto connected ac devices, for a much more stable connection. One thing the new MacBook Air didn't get is a Retina screen. High-resolution Retina displays, already an option in the MacBook Pro range, have such a high pixel density that the human eye is unable to distinguish between pixels at normal reading distance.

    Many expected it at least as an option in the 2013 MacBook Airs, but it's not to be. The display we get is 1366 x 768 resolution, beautifully consistent and blessed with excellent viewing angles, but it isn't Retina. At 128GB and 256GB respectively, the two 11-inch MacBook Airs have twice the storage they had before, and they use faster flash too; it's up to 45% quicker than the previous generation, and around nine times as fast as a regular notebook's hard drive.

    If you need more, you can upgrade the higher-end 11-inch MacBook Air's storage to 512GB using the online custom options. Like the previous generation, all the new MacBook Airs offer 4GB of RAM off the shelf, which is upgradeable to 8GB. The RAM is soldered to the logic board and is not user-upgradeable, so if you want more than 4GB, best use the online custom options.

    As before, the 11-inch MacBook Airs have two USB 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt port, though again there's no SDXC card reader, as enjoyed by the 13-inch models. Like all new Macs, the 2013 MacBook Airs come supplied with OS X 10.8: Mountain Lion 12 , and also Apple's popular iLife suite. Performance On paper, the dual-core Intel Core i5 processors have taken a backward step, running at 1.3GHz against the previous generation's 1.7GHz.

    But the new architecture with its improved graphics, and the faster flash storage, means the 128GB 2013 MacBook Air put in a mostly impressive performance in our benchmarking tests. In our Xbench test, which measures processor and hard drive speed, the new MacBook Air was 2.6% up on its predecessor. While this is of course welcome, it's clear the advantage gained by faster storage is partly offset by the slower CPU.

    There's nothing slower about the graphics performance, though. In our Cinebench 10 test, the new MacBook Air was just under 12% faster than the same machine from previous generation when using a single thread. But with both the processor's cores in play - running two threads on each due to its Hyper-Threading feature - it's only 6.3% up, as the 2012 model's faster clock speed narrows the gap.

    Benchmarks Xbench, CPU and storage: 347.7Cinebench 10 Single core: 4,246Cinebench 10 Multi-core: 8,616iTunes encoding (USB SuperDrive): 451 secondsMovie encoding (iMovie): 243.2 seconds Doom 3 : 69.6fps Call of Duty 4 : 69.3fpsBattery, iPlayer test: 7 hours, 15 minutesNovabench, Total: 593Novabench, Graphics: 44 The new Intel HD Graphics 5000 chipset proved its worth when running Call of Duty 4 , increasing the previous model's 59 frames per second to a snappier 69.3fps, a significant increase. But the older Doom 3 seemed less able to take advantage of the superior graphics, and actually slowed from 81.9fps to 69.6fps. Unfortunately, the new 11-inch MacBook Air is also significantly slower at video rendering, taking 243 seconds to re-encode our test video to iPod format.

    This is 26 seconds down on last year's model. The MacBook Air's deep sleep mode means you can leave it on with the lid closed for around a month on a single charge, during which time it wakes from sleep in around one second. It's like having an iPad's always-on convenience in a notebook.

    Not that it takes long to boot when switched off. In our tests, a clean install of Mountain Lion booted in just 18.5 seconds. And naturally, the battery life is incredible.

    Apple tells us the 11-inch MacBook Air 2013 can last for up to nine hours on a single charge, and play back iTunes videos for up to eight hours. In our test, we set the screen brightness to around 50% and streamed the news channel on BBC iPlayer for an amazing seven hours, 15 minutes. This is more than double what its 2012 counterpart could manage.

    You can comfortably use a 2013 MacBook Air all day without recharging, regardless of what you throw at it. Verdict The 2013 MacBook Air refresh is not a radical overhaul. The extra microphone aside, the chassis is identical to last year's MacBook Air, though there are significant improvements under the hood.

    Unfortunately, there are one or two drawbacks too. We liked The new low-power Haswell processors really boost the MacBook Air's battery life. You can run it for an entire day on a single charge.

    The Haswells bring better graphics too, with the Intel HD 5000 integrated chipset giving a speed boost of up to 40%. Solid state storage is doubled compared to the previous generation, and faster flash storage brings a welcome performance increase. The new MacBook Air is the first Apple computer to adopt the new Wi-Fi ac protocol, which is up to three times as fast as wireless n.

    We disliked The 1.3GHz Core i5 processors used in this generation's MacBook Airs have a slower clock speed than their predecessor's 1.7GHz Core i5s. Although the better graphics performance and faster flash storage make up for this in most real-world applications, we wish the new chips at least matched the old ones. And sadly, the Retina screen option many hoped for didn't appear.

    Final verdict The 2013 MacBook Air 11-inch takes Apple's ultra-portable notebook a significant step in the right direction, but it's by no means a great leap forward. It makes advances in some key areas, most notably graphics performance and faster flash, but these are partly held back by the slower CPUs. Many will bemoan the lack of a Retina display too, at least as an optional extra.

    But factor in the better battery life and improved Wi-Fi, and the 2013 MacBook Air is a clear win overall.

    References ^ mid-2012 MacBook Air (www.techradar.com) ^ Chromebooks (www.techradar.com) ^ Chrome OS (www.techradar.com) ^ Samsung Chromebook (www.techradar.com) ^ Chromebook Pixel (www.techradar.com) ^ Windows 8 laptop (www.techradar.com) ^ Samsung Series 9 NP900X3D (www.techradar.com) ^ Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch (www.techradar.com) ^ Haswell (www.techradar.com) ^ MacBook Pro (www.techradar.com) ^ 802.11ac (www.techradar.com) ^ OS X 10.8: Mountain Lion (www.techradar.com)

  • 12 fun tips and hidden tricks inside Samsung's ... When the world s leading smartphone manufacturer updates its top model, you expect something special, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 1 does not disappoint. It has all the features and functionality you could possibly want, and a little more. To help you get to grips with it without having to experiment or read a manual, we ve prepared some useful Samsung Galaxy S5 tips.

    Hit us up if you have suggestions for more tips. How to keep the screen on when you re looking at it If you get annoyed at the screen timing out and shutting off on you, head into Settings > Display and change the Screen timeout setting and/or tick the box next to Smart stay . It will check if you re looking at the screen before it turns it off and keep it on if it can determine that you are.

    Bear in mind this won t work in the dark because the S5 can t see you; it doesn t have a night-vision camera. How to use My Magazine GS5 has Flipboard integrated into it. Flipboard is so good that manufacturers are copying and building upon it to create built-in apps.

    Swipe left to right from the home 2 screen on your Galaxy S5 and you ll see My Magazine (it looks a bit like HTC s Blinkfeed). You have to tap the menu icon at the top right and head into Settings in order to personalize it for the topics you want, and to add in your social media feeds. You can set it to auto-update when you open it and swiping down from the top will refresh the content.

    How to use the fingerprint scanner Biometric security is all the rage and Samsung s fingerprint scanner is a versatile security solution that you can use to unlock the phone, make purchases, and lock personal files. To set it up go into Settings > Finger Scanner > Fingerprint Manager and follow the instructions. You can decide exactly what you want to use it for under Features in Finger Scanner .

    When you do use it, you ll see a trail at the bottom of the screen and you have to swipe your finger down all the way over the Home button to use it, but without pressing it. Sometimes it will take a couple of swipes to get it to register. You have to swipe a finger eight times to record the print.

    Try swiping it at slightly different angles when you set it up and there s a better chance it will work well for you in future. How to hide personal files The Finger Scanner is a handy way to unlock the Galaxy S5 and purchases via your Samsung account or PayPal, but you can also use it to lock sensitive files. In Settings you ll find a Private Mode option which allows you to hide personal content.

    You can choose photos, videos, music, voice recordings, and other files. Now those files can only be accessed by your finger, so there s no danger of prying eyes stumbling upon them. You can turn Private Mode on and off by dragging two fingers down from the notification bar to open the Quick settings menu.

    When it s off the files you chose will not appear anywhere. How to use the touchscreen with a stylus or gloves If you re somewhere cold and want to use your Samsung Galaxy S5 with gloves on, or maybe you like to use a stylus, then there s a great touchscreen sensitivity option just for you. Go to Settings > Display and check the box next to Increase touch sensitivity .

    How to save battery power the Ultimate way Galaxy S5 s Ultra Power Saving Mode You ll find Power saving mode in the Settings and it should help you extend your battery life. You can decide if you want to shut off background data and restrict performance. If you really need your S5 to last then try Ultra power saving mode instead, it gives you a simplified home screen with limited app and function access.

    You can select the apps you want access to and also switch to greyscale, so no power is wasted on the color display. How to use Kids Mode There are a few good apps in the Play Store for parents looking to limit device functionality and access to apps for kids, but Samsung has pre-installed a Kids Mode app on the Galaxy S5 and it s really good. Ideal for children under 10, the Kids Mode app offers a simplified camera app with fun editing options, like silly moustaches and googly eyes.

    There s also a decent art app where they can draw, color, and stamp to their heart s content. The voice recorder lets them talk or sing and has a choice of characters who ll speak voice recordings back to them. There s also a separate gallery for their artwork and photos, and a video app where you can specify which videos they can view.

    Enable a PIN in the options and your child won t be able to access the rest of your phone, so you can fire up Kids Mode and hand it to them without worrying. The parental controls also allow you to set daily time limits, specify other apps that it s okay for them to access, and review their activity. How to use the heart rate monitor The heart rate scanner is on the back of the Galaxy S5 just below the camera.

    It shines a red light into your finger and measures your pulse, but don t expect it to be perfectly accurate. You can access it via the pre-installed S Health app; simply choose the Heart rate option and follow the onscreen instructions. For best results, try not to move or talk while it records your heart rate.

    How to download stuff really fast You ll find the Download booster toggle in your Quick settings and you can tap it to turn it on, or you can slide it on in the full Settings menu. You ll need to have Wi-Fi and Mobile data turned on for it to work. It will basically use your Wi-Fi and LTE together to download files as fast as possible.

    Bear in mind that it will use part of your data allowance. (AT&T has disabled this feature.) How to use floating Toolbox menu If you head into Settings > Device then you ll find Toolbox listed under Sound and display . It allows you to create a wee floating circle that can be dragged anywhere on the screen. Tap on the circle and you get a quick shortcut to your five favorite apps.

    You can set them to be whatever you like. This is handy for launching apps one-handed, and it fades away if you don t use it for a while. How to share content with other devices This is one of the best features in the Galaxy S5.

    Drag down your notification bar at any time and you ll see a Quick Connect option just under the Quick settings icons. Tap on it and you get a list of nearby devices that you can connect with to share content, regardless of whether you connect via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or another method. How to use two apps at the same time This isn t a new feature for the S5, but it s really handy.

    Hold down on the Back button and you ll see a tab pop up on the left hand side of the screen. Tap it and a list of apps will pop out. Tap and drag any app you want to open onto the screen.

    If you ve turned Multi-window on in the Quick settings then you ll be able to drag two apps onto the screen and work with both of them at once. You can resize them and if you can switch to landscape mode they ll sit side by side. That s all the Samsung Galaxy S5 tips we have for now, but we will add new entries soon.

    One final tip before we go check out our favorite Samsung Galaxy S5 cases 3 and get it protected.

    References ^ Samsung Galaxy S5 (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ home (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ favorite Samsung Galaxy S5 cases (www.digitaltrends.com)

  • 13-inch MacBook Air review Recommended award Apple's often imitated but never bettered ultra-portable laptop puts in a strong, though not faultless, performance with this mid-2013 release, the sixth-generation of the MacBook Air. It offers significant improvements in its solid state storage speed, graphical power, battery life and wireless capabilities, but the processor's clock speeds actually take a backward step. But as we'll see, for most real-world applications, the MacBook Air 2013 matches or out-performs its predecessor.

    Like most recent MacBook Air refreshes, the mid-2013 update brings us four new models; two with 11-inch screens and two with 13-inch displays. All use Haswell 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processors, replete with Intel HD Graphics 5000, the latest version of Intel's integrated graphics chipset. They also all run the OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 1 operating system, although this will change to OS X Mavericks 2 when available.

    The cheaper model in each of the two screen sizes has 128GB of solid state storage, the more expensive version has 256GB, and all offer 4GB of RAM. The version on test here is the top-of-the-range 256GB 13-inch MacBook Air, which costs 1,129 / US$1,299 / AU$1,449. The lower specced 128GB 13-inch model is 949 / US$1,099 / AU$1,249.

    If your budget won't stretch that far - or if you just want a smaller model - the 11-inch MacBook Airs 3 are priced at 849 / US$999 / AU$1,099 for the 128GB version and 1,029 / US$1,199 / AU$1,349 for 256GB of storage. While the quality of the MacBook Air isn't in question, not everyone is prepared to pay so much for a light, carry-around notebook. For those on a budget, Chromebooks 4 offer good value for money, as long as they meet your needs.

    Eschewing OS X, Windows 5 and Linux for Chrome OS 6 , these run web-based applications and can be bought very cheaply. For example, the Samsung Chromebook 7 cost just 230 / US$330 / AU$320 at launch. More expensive Chrome-powered notebooks are available too, though.

    Google's own Chromebook Pixel 8 is a gorgeous high-end notebook costing 1,050 / US$1,300, which is more than either of the two 11-inch MacBook Airs in the mid-2013 refresh, but it proves cloud computers can be as stylish and desirable as an Apple notebook. If you want a Windows 8 9 ultra-portable notebook, the Samsung Series 9 NP900X3D 10 has an Intel Core i5 processor, a 13-inch screen and 128GB of flash storage like this MacBook Air. If you prefer Windows to OS X, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch 11 is one of the thinnest and lightest Windows 8 netbooks on the market, and a very credible alternative to the MacBook Air.

    People who want a Mac but need a lot of processing power, such as video editors, gamers and graphic artists, might be better off with a MacBook Pro 12 or an iMac 13 . But the MacBook Air is fine for everyday computing, and perfect for business travellers and regular commuters. Specifications As mentioned earlier, the 2013 13-inch MacBook Airs use Intel's new Haswell 14 processors, the latest in the company's Core range.

    Off the shelf, they're dual-core 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 chips. Their Hyper-Threading feature enables each of the two cores to run two threads simultaneously, for four virtual cores, and at times of intense needs, underused resources can be reallocated to Turbo Boost their speeds to up to 2.6GHz. Although the step up to Haswell series processors brings its own reward in terms of performance, the clock speed is actually a step backwards from the previous generation, which used a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 off the shelf.

    The Haswell processors' integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000 is definitely a step up from the 2012 MacBook Airs, offering up to 40% more graphical power. The new MacBook Airs also use faster flash storage. It's up to 45% quicker than the previous generation, and nine times faster than a standard hard drive.

    Wi-Fi is faster too, with the new MacBook Airs giving us 802.11ac 15 wireless internet. This is up to three times as fast as wireless n and offers a better range, assuming your router also offers the ac protocol. Beam forming technology focuses the signal onto connected ac devices for a much more stable connection, too.

    Of course, where the new Haswell processors really show their worth is in battery life. According to Apple, the new 13-inch MacBook Air lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge, or 10 hours of movie playback over iTunes. Like all recent MacBook Airs, when you close the lid it enters Standby Mode, an ultra-low energy state that can last for up to 30 days on a full battery.

    When you open the lid again, it's on straight away, though its fast solid state storage means it boots extremely fast even when switched off. The new 13-inch MacBook Air has a second microphone to reduce background noise when using features such as FaceTime or Dictation. The second microphone hole on the left-hand side of the casing is the only physical difference between this mid-2013 and the mid-2012 model; their chassis are otherwise identical.

    Interestingly, the oft-predicted Retina screen never emerged. Packing in such a high resolution it's impossible to distinguish between individual pixels at a normal viewing distance, Retina screens proved extremely popular on recent MacBook Pro and iPad 16 models. Yet we didn't get one on the 2013 MacBook Airs, even as a custom option for those ordering on the Apple online store.

    Perhaps it would've taken too great a toll on the battery life. Performance The new Haswell processors use very little power, giving the 2013 13-inch MacBook Air and absolutely stunning battery life. In our test, in which we streamed the live BBC News channel feed on iPlayer over a wireless network, the laptop lasted for nine hours.

    That's significantly better than the 11-inch MacBook Air's 7 hours 15 minutes, and a substantial improvement over the 2012 MacBook Air's 5.5 hours. Since switching to solid state storage off the shelf with the late 2010 update, the MacBook Air has been known for its good battery life. But with the Haswell processors in place, it's absolutely stunning.

    At last, you can use your notebook all day long on a single charge. Benchmarks Xbench: 357.50Cinebench 10 Single core: 4242Cinebench 10 Multi-core: 8636iTunes encoding (USB SuperDrive): 452 secondsMovie encoding (iMovie): 242.6 seconds Doom 3 : 68.9fps Call of Duty 4 : 67.8fpsBattery: 9 hoursNovabench, Total: 589Novabench, Graphics: 44 Although the processors have a slower clock speed than the previous generation, across-the-board performance improvements mostly make up the difference. The faster graphics enjoyed by the Haswell processors meant that in our Call of Duty 4 test, the 2013 13-inch MacBook Air ran the game at 67.8 frames per second, compared to 59.5fps for the 13-inch, 1.8GHz dual core Intel Core i5 model from 2012.

    The much older Doom 3 , however, seemed less able to take advantage of the Intel HD 5000 Graphics, running at 68.9fps on the 2013 Air, and 83.0fps on last year's model. The new MacBook Air's faster storage gave it a definite advantage in our Xbench test, which we set up to measure both the CPU and storage performance. Its score of 357.50 was 5.4% up on last year's model.

    But the swings-and-roundabouts improvement offered by the new MacBook Air is clearly demonstrated by our Cinebench test, where graphical and processing power is assessed first using a single core and then with every core available (on these dual-core, Hyper-Threading chips, that's four cores). Using only one core, the 2013 MacBook Air's score of 4242 is 3.9% up on last year's model, but with all cores in play, the 2012 MacBook Air's faster clock speed takes its toll - the 2013 model is actually 1.8% down. It's around 40 seconds slower when encoding our five-minute test movie to iPod format using iMovie, too.

    One thing that hasn't changed is the laptop's display. It's still a 1440 x 900 resolution, 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, with rich, deep colours and good viewing angles. The new MacBook Airs are just as portable as their predecessors too, with a tapered height of 0.3-1.7cm (0.11-0.68 inches), a width of 32.5cm 912.8 inches) and a depth of 22.7cm (8.94 inches).

    Most impressively of all, it weighs just 1.35kg (2.96lbs). If you're sick of lugging a hefty notebook around with you, the MacBook Air could be just what you need. Verdict The new 2013 13-inch MacBook Air makes some significant improvements on the 2012 model, but the processor's clock speeds are down.

    In performance terms, this means it outperforms its predecessor in some tests, but falls behind in others, generally by small margins. However, there's one test where the new MacBook Air clearly trounces the previous model... We liked ...And that's battery life.

    The Haswell processors are designed to go light on power, and it shows. On a full charge, the new 13-inch MacBook Air is good for 12 hours of general computing, and lasted for nine hours of live video streaming. Very impressive figures.

    The new storage, which is 45% faster than the previous generation, and graphics that are around 40% quicker than before, are also to be commended, as are the switch to Wi-Fi ac and the inclusion of a second mic for reducing ambient noise. Key features we loved about previous MacBook Airs haven't gone away either. It's still incredibly light and portable, is very strong despite being thin and has a beautiful backlit keyboard.

    The multi-touch trackpad is a great asset too. We disliked But why did Apple have to reduce the processor's clock speed? It's down to 1.3GHz, from 2012's 1.8GHz, both dual-core Intel Core i5 chips.

    Improvements elsewhere - most notably the graphics and storage - mean you don't notice it all that much, but we wish the new MacBook Air CPUs at least matched the old ones. The expected Retina screen failed to emerge too, even as a custom option on the Apple online store, but we've mixed feelings about this one anyway. Although gorgeous to look at, would it have compromised the battery life to too great a degree?

    Talking of the Apple online store, if you want to upgrade your MacBook Air it's best to do it here at the time of purchase, since you can't make component upgrades later. Final verdict Despite the swings-and-roundabouts benchmarking results, the new MacBook Air is a definite and significant step up from last year's release. The battery life is little short of incredible.

    Business travellers taking long flights and students who need it all day for lectures and then throughout the evening for writing an essay will love its all-day power. The new MacBook Airs take it into the Wi-Fi ac era too, giving speedier, more stable wireless connections - as long as your router is also wireless ac. The faster graphics and quicker storage do much to compensate for the slower processors, but we wish Apple had at least matched the 2012 MacBook Air's clock speeds.

    References ^ OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (www.techradar.com) ^ OS X Mavericks (www.techradar.com) ^ 11-inch MacBook Airs (www.techradar.com) ^ Chromebooks (www.techradar.com) ^ Windows (www.techradar.com) ^ Chrome OS (www.techradar.com) ^ Samsung Chromebook (www.techradar.com) ^ Chromebook Pixel (www.techradar.com) ^ Windows 8 (www.techradar.com) ^ Samsung Series 9 NP900X3D (www.techradar.com) ^ Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch (www.techradar.com) ^ MacBook Pro (www.techradar.com) ^ iMac (www.techradar.com) ^ Haswell (www.techradar.com) ^ 802.11ac (www.techradar.com) ^ iPad (www.techradar.com)

  • 14 Pneumatic Wheel/Replacement wheel Reviews | DIY Tools UK 14 Pneumatic Wheel/Replacement wheel 1 14 pneumatic wheel The bore is 26mm diamter 3 width Maximum inflation 35 P.s.i 3.50-8 tyre type Product Description These wheels are ideal for wheelbarrows, launching trolleys and carts.

    These wheels are not for highway use.

    More > > 2 14 Pneumatic Wheel/Replacement wheel 3 Tagged as: Bore 4 , Launching Trolleys 5 , Maximum Inflation 6 , Pneumatic 7 , Product Description 8 , Reviews 9 , Tyre 10 , Tyre Type 11 , wheel 12 , Wheel Replacement 13 , Wheel/Replacement 14 , Wheels 15 Amazon.co.uk Widgets 16 References ^ 14 Pneumatic Wheel/Replacement wheel (www.amazon.co.uk) ^ More > > (www.amazon.co.uk) ^ 14 (www.amazon.co.uk) ^ Bore (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Launching Trolleys (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Maximum Inflation (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Pneumatic (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Product Description (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Reviews (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Tyre (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Tyre Type (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ wheel (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Wheel Replacement (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Wheel/Replacement (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Wheels (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Amazon.co.uk Widgets (ws.amazon.co.uk)

  • 148apps 2013 Holiday Shopping Guide for Creative Types ... So long as the people on your list enjoy creating, and you re in need of some gift ideas, you should check out this list. Three days in and, if you ll forgive the reference, it doesn t show signs of stopping. Welcome once again to another one of our holiday shopping guides!

    Even the most battle-hardened gift giver can be plagued by indecision. Thankfully there are people like us putting together handy-dandy holiday shopping guides for you! Whether you re looking for new hardware and accessories, or just something a bit less impersonal than an iTunes gift card, we ve got you covered.

    Other 148Apps Holiday Gift Guides: for 1 ] Socializers ] Today s guide is for those creative types in your life. These are the people who like to draw, compose music, sculpt, or otherwise make things with their iOS devices. So long as they enjoy creating, and you re in need of some gift ideas, you should check out our list below.

    OlloClip Quick-Flip Case The Olloclip 4-in-1 Lenses 3 ($69 iPhone) are about the best recommendation we can make for the creative types in your life. This collection of interchangeable lenses 2 macro, a fisheye, and a wideview clips right on to the iPhone, and are a great way to enhance one s photography without the need for any retouching. The only real issue with the Olloclip lenses is that they can t clip on to an iPhone unless the case is removed.

    The Olloclip Quick-Flip Case 4 ($49 iPhone) is the perfect answer to this problem. The corner can unclip and swing away to make room for the lens attachments without the need to remove the case entirely and as an added bonus it comes with a tripod adapter. Our Olloclip 4-in-1 Lenses Review ] Our Olloclip Quick-Flip Case Review ] While the Olloclip lenses are great, there s no shame in getting a little digital help for those photos and videos.

    Pro Camera 7 7 ($1.99 iPhone) is a very handy app for taking great photos and videos. TimeShiftGen2 8 ($0.99 iPhone) with its real-time filter previews and easy-to-use interface would make for another handy inclusion. SanDisk Wireless Media Drives These wireless SanDisk Drives 9 ($50 to $100 iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) are also a worthwhile consideration for most artistic types.

    Whether they like to snap lots of photos, mess around with amateur (or even professional) video, or illustrate, they re a fantastic option for storing a massive body of work without eating up an iOS device s storage space. They can be particularly useful for when users are on-the-go or otherwise away from their computer for extended periods of time. Our Review ] Pretty much any apps that allow users to store their created content would be a great fit with these SanDisk drives.

    AppCooker 11 ($9.99 iPad) allows would-be developers to create rough app prototypes, so having an external backup for all of those files and assets is a good idea. Music creation apps along the lines of Session Band Piano Edition 12 ($5.99 Universal) aren t a bad idea either. I mean those remixed tracks need to be saved somewhere, right?

    Intuos Creative Stylus The Intuos Creative Stylus 13 ($99 iPad) and drawing go together like two things that go really, really well together. Wacom knows tablets, and by extension they know styli. The Intuos feels great, works great, comes with an assortment of attachment tips, and the compatible apps (listed on the official site 14 ) offer palm rejection and pressure sensitivity.

    Our Review ] iRig HD For the more musically inclined, consider the iRig HD 16 ($99 iPad/iPhone). The device can connect a guitar to any iOS device and plays the sound directly through the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. Producing songs or simply screwing around with a guitar and converting the resulting tunes into a digital format doesn t get much easier than this, and Amplitube for iPad 17 (iPad $9.99) is the most significant companion app to consider along with it since it s actually developed specifically to work with the iRig HD and allows users to do all their recording and editing directly on their device.

    Our Review ] Castiv Guitar Sidekick The Castiv Guitar Sidekick 19 ($29 iPhone/iPod Touch), on the other hand, is a surprisingly simple contraption that s equally as clever. This little clip attaches to the neck of a guitar and allows the user to clip their iPhone or iPod Touch to the other end an ideal spot for reading tablature, recording tunes, tuning, and more. Our Review ] Why not add The Backing Track App 21 ($0.99 Universal) to the Sidekick while you re at it?

    This useful little app adds a background track for the guitar player to mess around with. The tempo can be adjusted and the tracks will loop until the users decides to turn them off. It makes practicing improvised tunes a snap, and is a lot more portable than a computer or radio.

    Feel free to peruse our Editor s Choice 22 selections for more top-rated creativity app ideas. Posted in: Blog 23 Tagged with: amplitube , AppCooker , Castiv Guitar Sidekick , Christmas shopping , gift guide , guide , holiday , Holiday Gift , holiday shopping , Intuos Creative Stylus , iRig HD , Olloclip , Pro Camera 7 , Sandisk , Session Band , shopping , The Backing Track App , TiltShiftGen2 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 Review disclosure: note that the product reviewed on this page may have been provided to us by the developer for the purposes of this review. Note that if the developer provides the product or not, this does not impact the review or score.

    References ^ Heath Nuts (www.148apps.com) ^ Socializers (www.148apps.com) ^ Olloclip 4-in-1 Lenses (www.olloclip.com) ^ Olloclip Quick-Flip Case (www.olloclip.com) ^ Our Olloclip 4-in-1 Lenses Review (www.148apps.com) ^ Our Olloclip Quick-Flip Case Review (www.148apps.com) ^ Pro Camera 7 (www.148apps.com) ^ TimeShiftGen2 (www.148apps.com) ^ SanDisk Drives (www.sandisk.com) ^ Our Review (www.148apps.com) ^ AppCooker (www.148apps.com) ^ Session Band Piano Edition (www.148apps.com) ^ Intuos Creative Stylus (intuoscreativestylus.wacom.com) ^ the official site (intuoscreativestylus.wacom.com) ^ Our Review (www.148apps.com) ^ iRig HD (www.ikmultimedia.com) ^ Amplitube for iPad (www.148apps.com) ^ Our Review (www.148apps.com) ^ Castiv Guitar Sidekick (www.castiv.com) ^ Our Review (www.148apps.com) ^ The Backing Track App (www.148apps.com) ^ Editor s Choice (www.148apps.com) ^ View all posts in Blog (www.148apps.com) ^ amplitube (www.148apps.com) ^ AppCooker (www.148apps.com) ^ Castiv Guitar Sidekick (www.148apps.com) ^ Christmas shopping (www.148apps.com) ^ gift guide (www.148apps.com) ^ guide (www.148apps.com) ^ holiday (www.148apps.com) ^ Holiday Gift (www.148apps.com) ^ holiday shopping (www.148apps.com) ^ Intuos Creative Stylus (www.148apps.com) ^ iRig HD (www.148apps.com) ^ Olloclip (www.148apps.com) ^ Pro Camera 7 (www.148apps.com) ^ Sandisk (www.148apps.com) ^ Session Band (www.148apps.com) ^ shopping (www.148apps.com) ^ The Backing Track App (www.148apps.com) ^ TiltShiftGen2 (www.148apps.com)

  • 148Apps Holiday Shopping Guide for Health Nuts 148Apps ... If you d like to help the health-conscious iOS users in your life with some handy gizmos, or maybe nab a useful app or two they may not have heard of, check out our list for some ideas. The turkey leftovers have been finished off, distant relatives have made it back to their homes, and the holiday shopping season has officially begun! Knowing what to get for someone, regardless of how familiar you may be with their tastes, can often be a challenge.

    Thankfully there are people like us putting together handy-dandy holiday shopping guides for you! Whether you re looking for new hardware and accessories, or just something a bit less impersonal than an iTunes gift card, we ve got you covered. Today s guide is for the health nuts.

    Those people who get up inhumanly early to exercise, bike and/or jog with regularity, or otherwise make athletic activities a significant part of their day. If you d like to help the health-conscious iOS users in your life with some handy gizmos, or maybe nab a useful app or two they may not have heard of, check out our list below for some ideas. earHero Headphones The earHero Headphones 1 ($149 iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) are definitely something to think about for the people on your list who go jogging or biking in busy urban areas.

    These earbuds are all about safety. They actually allow outside sounds to reach the listener even while in-use, which may sound silly but can make a big difference to someone riding their bike through the streets of a major metropolitan area. Car horns, truck engines, etc, won t be drowned out which will theoretically make running and biking around town significantly safer.

    At least from an almost getting blindsided by an SUV while crossing the street point of view. Admittedly the sound quality isn t ideal for listening to music, but when safety is a concern I think it s a worthwhile sacrifice. Our Review ] While the sound quality may not be ideal for music, that s no reason to think that there aren t some worthwhile apps that would pair well with earHero headphones.

    Take Zombies, Run!

    3 ($3.99 iPhone) for example: it s not about music but about listening for the approaching zombie hordes and running like mad to keep from getting eaten. Then there s TempoRun 4 ($2.99 iPhone), which is admittedly music-focused but it s more about the tempo than the actual tunes. It allows users to set their own pace by way of adjusting the speed of their music, and even offers streaming radio if they get tired of their own playlist.

    Dodo Hardcover Case for iPhone 5 and 5s Why the Dodo Hardcover iPhone Case 5 ($34.95 to $54.90 iPhone 5/5s)? Because it s a good-looking and sturdy iPhone case, that s why. It may not be ideal for clipping to a waistband or strapping to a limb, but it offers great protection when tossed in a pocket.

    And sometimes people prefer to put their iPhone in a pocket (presumably a zippered or buttoned one) when they go running or biking. So the Dodo case will protect their phone, and look good when they take it out for a moment or two during a breather at that little cafe on the corner they like to stop at sometimes. Our Review ] With such a durable and good-looking case, there s no harm in taking a look at some rather movement-intensive apps.

    For example, if your recipient were to load up Performance Stretching 7 ($2.99 iPhone) or Pocket Yoga 8 ($2.99 Universal) before going for a run or otherwise working out, they wouldn t have to worry much about their iPhone falling out of a pocket and bouncing off the floor. The same goes for Pedometer Pro 9 ($1.99 iPhone), which will keep track of the user s running information whether they re out on the street or on a treadmill. If the phone happens to fall out of their pocket while in mid-run, the Dodo case will be there to protect it.

    Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL On the more literal side of things, we have the Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL 10 ($70 iPhone). It s a tiny stat-tracking gizmo that measures speed, distance, steps, stride rates, and more, and clips right on to a shoe s laces or can be placed into a special cavity found in specific brands. Just sync it up with an iPhone and start running!

    Our Review ] RFLKT+ Then there s the RFLKT+ 12 ($129 iPhone); an iPhone-powered bike computer. The RFLKT+ clips on to a bike s handlebars and displays app data (and controls music playback) straight from the iPhone transmitted wirelessly over bluetooth, of course. In other words, users can clip their iPhone somewhere or stuff it in a secure pocket or something, then control everything from this tiny display mounted in front of them.

    Yes please! FitBit Force The FitBit Force 13 ($129 iPhone) is another worthwhile stat-tracker to consider. This little watch-like thing can be worn all day and night keeping an eye on calories burned, steps taken, sleep, and more.

    Those stats can then be wirelessly synced to an iPhone, where users can monitor their progress in real time and even set personal goals to try and beat. It also supports a sizable number of third-party fitness apps 14 . Oh, and it tells time.

    Bike2Power BikeCharge Power Pack For the very active bike riders who tend to stay out for hours at a time, there s also the Bike2Power BikeCharge Power Pack 15 ($59 iPhone). This durable all-weather battery backup attaches to the user s bike and can be hooked up to a number of iOS devices (yes, even an iPad) when needed. If they re out for a while and need more juice for music on the ride back, they re covered.

    If the forgot to charge their iPhone and need to call for a pickup due to inclement weather or exhaustion, no problem. Of course if they stay out even longer after recharging their stuff, that s another matter entirely. With that in mind, how about an app like gMusic 2 16 ($1.99 Universal) for all their audio entertainment needs?

    It allows users to stream their entire Google music collection, and if they burn out their phone s battery in the process of listening to Queen on repeat they can easily charge it back up again with the Bike2Power. Anything they d be using while out on the road would be a good fit really; from Cyclemeter GPS 17 ($4.99 Universal) to MotionX 24/7 formerly MotionX Sleep 18 ($0.99 iPhone). Feel free to peruse our Editor s Choice 19 selections for more top-rated fitness app ideas.

    Posted in: Blog 20 Tagged with: Adidas , Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL , Bike2Power , Christmas shopping , cyclemeter , Cyclemeter GPS , Dodo , DodoCase , earHero , earHero Headphones , fitbit , FitBit Force , gift guide , gMusic 2 , gmusic2 , guide , holiday , holiday shopping , MiCoach , MotionX 24/7 , MotionX-Sleep , Pedometer Pro , Performance Stretching , Pocket Yoga , RFLKT , shopping , temporun , Zombies Run , Zombies Run!

    5k Training 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 Review disclosure: note that the product reviewed on this page may have been provided to us by the developer for the purposes of this review. Note that if the developer provides the product or not, this does not impact the review or score. References ^ earHero Headphones (www.earhero.com) ^ Our Review (www.148apps.com) ^ Zombies, Run! (www.148apps.com) ^ TempoRun (www.148apps.com) ^ Dodo Hardcover iPhone Case (www.dodocase.com) ^ Our Review (www.148apps.com) ^ Performance Stretching (www.148apps.com) ^ Pocket Yoga (www.148apps.com) ^ Pedometer Pro (www.148apps.com) ^ Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL (www.adidas.com) ^ Our Review (www.148apps.com) ^ RFLKT+ (www.wahoofitness.com) ^ FitBit Force (www.fitbit.com) ^ a sizable number of third-party fitness apps (www.fitbit.com) ^ Bike2Power BikeCharge Power Pack (www.bike2power.com) ^ gMusic 2 (www.148apps.com) ^ Cyclemeter GPS (www.148apps.com) ^ MotionX Sleep (www.148apps.com) ^ Editor s Choice (www.148apps.com) ^ View all posts in Blog (www.148apps.com) ^ Adidas (www.148apps.com) ^ Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL (www.148apps.com) ^ Bike2Power (www.148apps.com) ^ Christmas shopping (www.148apps.com) ^ cyclemeter (www.148apps.com) ^ Cyclemeter GPS (www.148apps.com) ^ Dodo (www.148apps.com) ^ DodoCase (www.148apps.com) ^ earHero (www.148apps.com) ^ earHero Headphones (www.148apps.com) ^ fitbit (www.148apps.com) ^ FitBit Force (www.148apps.com) ^ gift guide (www.148apps.com) ^ gMusic 2 (www.148apps.com) ^ gmusic2 (www.148apps.com) ^ guide (www.148apps.com) ^ holiday (www.148apps.com) ^ holiday shopping (www.148apps.com) ^ MiCoach (www.148apps.com) ^ MotionX 24/7 (www.148apps.com) ^ MotionX-Sleep (www.148apps.com) ^ Pedometer Pro (www.148apps.com) ^ Performance Stretching (www.148apps.com) ^ Pocket Yoga (www.148apps.com) ^ RFLKT (www.148apps.com) ^ shopping (www.148apps.com) ^ temporun (www.148apps.com) ^ Zombies Run (www.148apps.com) ^ Zombies Run!

    5k Training (www.148apps.com)

  • 15 cute DIY gift ideas for kids to make It's better to give than to receive, and even the most present-loving little kid will be proud to put these DIY treasures under the tree. Handprint Snowman Ornament From: Living Life Intentionally 1 What you'll need: Plain ornament, acrylic paint (white plus any other colours of your choosing) and a paint brush How to do it: Paint the palm of one of your child's hands white. Get them to hold the bottom of the ornament with their painted hand -- just make sure they don't squeeze too tight!

    After he or she releases their hand gently, you will see finger marks that look like snowmen! Use the paint brush to add details like eyes, a carrot nose, top hats and scarves. Give one to everyone in your snowman clan.

    Picturesque Corkboards From : Paint Me Plaid/Handmade Charlotte 2 What you'll need : Embroidery hoops, foam, cork backing, glue, a pencil, painters tape, paint and paint brushes How to do it: Using the inside of the hoop, trace the outline of a circle on the cork backing roll as well as the foam. Cut out the circles and glue together. Once dry, glue into the embroidery hoop.

    Then let your little one paint designs -- geometric like this one or not -- onto the cork board. Allow to dry. Use a drawing pin to hang a picture of the family -- and your child can gift away!

    Custom Calendar From : Martha Stewart 3 What you ll need: Pre-made calendar, kid s artwork, peel-and-stick laminate How to do it: Remove front and back cover of pre-existing calendar. Affix calendar to your child s masterpiece using peel-and-stick laminate. Just try not to cover too much of the art.

    Embroidered Felt Purse From: Scraps of Starlight 4 What you ll need: Felt, needle and thread How to do It: Cut a square of felt in half. Fold one of the halves, leaving a 2 inch tab that will serve as the top flap, then stitch both sides closed. Pencil in a simple design on purse, then embroider along pencil lines.

    Sew button onto flap. For strap, braid yarn (or knit a cord) and sew onto purse. Pressed Flower Bookmarks From : The Crafty Crow 5 What you ll need : Watercolour paper, flowers, rock or wooden hammer, wax paper, scissors, hole punch, ribbon How to do it: Place flower on top of watercolour paper and cover with wax paper.

    Using a rock or hammer, crush the flower until it leaves a pattern to your liking. Repeat with other flowers. Cut flowered paper into shape of a bookmark and punch a hole on one end.

    Loop ribbon through the hole and tie. Handy Coasters From: Disney Family Fun What you ll need: Card, pencil or chalk, 2 fabrics in coordinating patterns, 1 package double-sided stiff fusible interfacing , iron How to do it: Trace hand on card and cut out to use as your template. Using pencil or chalk, trace template on one of the patterned fabrics.

    Cut a rectangle of fabric that includes the tracing. Cut the second patterned fabric, as well as the interfacing, into the same rectangle size. Iron both fabrics and interfacing together (as per the interfacing package s instructions) and cut out the traced hands.

    Handprint Tree Apron From: Make and Takes 6 What you ll need: White apron, fabric paint, paintbrush, hands How to do it: Start with the biggest hands in the family (cue mum and dad). Paint hands green and place handprints (fingertips pointing toward bottom hem) across base of the apron. As the tree tapers, use smaller and fewer handprints.

    Cover thumbs with other paint colours to create thumbprint ornaments and decorations. Beaded necklace From : A Girl Who Makes 7 What you'll need: String or yarn, scissors, wooden beads, painter's tape, paint and a small paintbrush How to do it: Using painter's tape, tape around one half of the bead -- this will ensure you have nice, even paint lines. Do this for all of the beads.

    Then let your child paint the beads however they'd like. Once dry, help them string the beads onto the yarn and cut to the desired length. DIY Crayons From: Mollases Candy 8 What you'll need: Broken or unused crayons and fun-shaped silicone ice cube trays How to do it: Preheat your oven to 90 degrees C.

    Challenge your kids to make sure the paper is peeled off the crayons before the timer goes off! Then help them crumble the crayons into tiny pieces and fill up cute, fun-shaped silicone ice cube trays. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

    Let cool before popping out of trays. It's an adorable gift for sisters, brothers, cousins, friends... Button Art Tree From : Simply Designing with Ashley 9 What you ll need : Blank canvas panel, poster paint, paint brush, craft glue, buttons in all shapes, sizes and colours How to do it : Paint a shape on the canvas and allow to dry.

    A tree was chosen here, but you could draw any large picture (a flower, heart or star). Dab a bit of glue on a button and place it on the design. Continue to stick on the buttons until the masterpiece is finished!

    DIY Clay Ornaments From : Nurture Store 10 What you ll need: Craft glue, cornstarch, cookie cutters, coloured pencils and crayons, string How to do it: Mix one part glue to two parts cornstarch and that s it! Continue the fun by rolling the clay and stamping out shapes with cookie cutters. Use a pencil to poke a hole near the top and then let your creations dry overnight.

    Decorate the designs with coloured pencils and crayons. Knot a piece of string through the hole and hang to display. Lego Snow Globes From: All for the Boys 11 What you'll need: A glass jar, hot glue gun, Lego pieces (or any figurine), glitter and water How to do it: Hot glue the Legos or figurines to the lid of the jar and let dry.

    Then add in a plastic tree (from a toy set or the craft store) to make the snow globe more Christmas-themed. Then your kid can fill up the jar with water and add colorful glitter. Take the lid, turn over, and screw onto the the jar for your kid.

    Then, shake, shake, shake for a winter wonderland! So cute -- and easy. DIY Polka Dot Flower Vase From: SjoesJoe Likes Lovely Things 12 What you'll need: Empty glass bottles or mini-vases, dot labels (get them at an office supply shop), ribbon, scissors and double-sided tape How to do it: Have your kid decorate the vase with the dot labels.

    Next, measure the width of the base of the vase with ribbon and cut to fit, leaving a little extra to ensure it'll make it all the way around. Then let your child take the double sided tape and secure the ribbon -- or they can tie it instead. Then your kid can add more ribbon or polka dots to finish his masterpiece.

    This makes a perfect Christmas gift for teachers -- just add flowers! Pinwheel Necklace From: Mer Mag 13 What you'll need : Wooden washer (available at your local craft store), lanyard of any colour, wood paint and a paint brush How to do it: Have your girl paint a pretty design on the wooden washer -- which will now be a fashionable new pendant. Then let dry and loop the lanyard through the hole and tie at the ends.

    Easy! Wrap in a decorative box and give to big sis! Candle Holders From: Shivaya Naturals 14 What you ll need: Clear glass candle-holder, coloured rock sugar, glue How to do it: Coat candle-holder with glue, then sprinkle on coloured sugar.

    Dry.

    References ^ Living Life Intentionally (www.123homeschool4me.com) ^ Paint Me Plaid/Handmade Charlotte (paintmeplaid.com) ^ Martha Stewart (www.marthastewart.com) ^ Scraps of Starlight (scrapsofstarlight.blogspot.co.uk) ^ The Crafty Crow (www.thecraftycrow.net) ^ Make and Takes (www.makeandtakes.com) ^ A Girl Who Makes (www.agirlwhomakes.com) ^ Mollases Candy (molassescandy.blogspot.co.uk) ^ Simply Designing with Ashley (www.simplydesigning.net) ^ Nurture Store (nurturestore.co.uk) ^ All for the Boys (www.allfortheboys.com) ^ SjoesJoe Likes Lovely Things (www.studiosjoesjoe.com) ^ Mer Mag (www.handmadecharlotte.com) ^ Shivaya Naturals (www.shivayanaturals.com)

  • 15 Microsoft Gift Card Xbox 360 / Xbox 360 only 13.29Simply Like the CD Keys Facebook page to get a 5% discount code The CD key is the serial number or product code which is a combination of letters and numbers that activates a product, normally found on a sticker inside the game s case or printed on the game s quick reference card.

    The purchased CD Key is used to register and activate the relevant game.

    Depending on the product, we provide this in the form of a scan of the code or the actual code in text format.

  • 17-inch Laptop Review Roundup: Gigabyte P2742 ... Two large, affordable gaming notebooks go fang-to-fang Gaming notebooks can be quite pricey, but Gigabyte's P2742 1 and CyberPower's Fangbook X7-200 remind us that we don't need to break the bank to get PC gaming on the go. Not only are both of these 17.3-inch notebooks affordable at around $1,500, they also both feature the same Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor. Which one is worth your hard-earned money?

    Read on to find out. Gigabyte P2742 While it's hard to find a 17.3-inch gaming notebook that s truly portable, the P2742's 16.2x10.9x1.9-inch chassis is relatively svelte compared to others in its size class, including CyberPower's Fangbook. With a carry weight of eight pounds, 6.1 ounces (more than two pounds lighter than our "smaller" 15.6-inch MSI GT60 zero-point), the P2742 just barely passes as a notebook you could travel with.

    The P2742 is available with a spicy orange cover, but we received a boring matte-black one. Although its simple, unadorned appearance might not scream gaming notebook where are the tell-tale flashy LEDs? its top cover features angular beveled edges that add some flare.

    Under the hood, the Gigabyte features a 2.4GHz Core i7-3630QM Ivy Bridge processor with a Turbo ceiling of 3.4GHz, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a GeForce GTX 660M 2 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. It also packs a 128GB SSD and a hefty 1TB HDD. While the P2742 boasts a newer CPU than our zero-point's 2.3GHz Core i7-3610QM processor, it wasn't able to beat it in any of our CPU-intensive tests.

    At its best, the Gigabyte CPU was neck-and-neck with our zero-point in our x264 benchmark. GPU-side, Gigabyte's offering didn't perform any better, trailing the ZP by 13 percent in 3DMark 11 and 23 percent in our STALKER benchmark. In our experiential gameplay test, we were able to squeeze by with max settings on Dota 2 (a Source Engine game) with average frame rates in the mid-30s at 1080p.

    Running the more graphically intensive Far Cry 3, we had to use the default low settings to attain playable frame rates at 1080p, which is a far cry from how great the game can look. The P2742 reminds us that the GeForce GTX 660M is no match for the GeForce GTX 670M, even if it has upgraded from Fermi to the more efficient Kepler architecture. Above the fold is a matte 1920x1080 resolution display, which doesn't offer the widest viewing angles we've seen from a TN panel, but is perfectly serviceable.

    The P2742's trackpad has a coarse, almost sandpaper-like texture, which helps set it apart from the smooth surface of the palm rest. The trackpad supports Windows 8 gestures like swiping from the side and corners to bring up menus, but we found this irritating, as it often interfered with basic gestures. Luckily, disabling this feature fixed these issues, but there were still rare instances where the touchpad was unresponsive to our swipes.

    We had no complaints about the P2742's keyboard, which worked well whether gaming or typing. One big issue we encountered was an error code that prevented us from installing Steam, requiring us to reformat the notebook to get it working. Gigabyte says ours was an isolated incident and that they have tested other units without such issues.

    That problem aside, Gigabyte's P2742 can play the majority of games today, but it isn't as future-proof as we would like and is unable to play more graphically intensive games beyond medium-to-low settings. For $150 more, we recommend getting the much more powerful Fangbook. Still, considering its affordable price tag, spacious storage, and relative portability, there's still use for the P2742 yet.

    Affordable; relatively portable; spacious storage. $1,400, www.gigabyte.com 3 Benchmarks Zero Point Stitch.Efx 2.0 (sec) 1,092 1,100 (-0.7%) ProShow Producer 5 (sec) 1,786 1,853 (-3.6%) x264 HD 5.0 (fps) 12 12 STALKER: CoP (fps) 32.8 25.3 (-22.9%) 3DMark 11 Perf 2,979 2,569 (-13.8%) Battery Life (min) 187 190 Our zero-point notebook is an MSI GT60 with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM, 12GB DDR3/1600, two 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drives, a GeForce GTX 670M, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. STALKER: CoP tested at 1920x1080 with Ultra settings, Tessellation, and contact hardening. Specifications CPU 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM RAM 8GB DDR3/1600 Chipset Intel HM77 GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M 2GB GDDR5 Display 17.3-inch, 1920x1080 LED display (matte) Storage 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD Optical Drive Blu-ray combo drive Connectivity Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, eSATA, all-in-one card reader, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, audio in, audio out, headphone, mic, 2MP webcam, Bluetooth, 802.11n Lap / Carry 7 lbs, 0.6 oz / 8 lbs, 6.1 oz CyberPower Fangbook X7-200 While Gigabyte's P2742 is somewhat portable, the same can't be said of CyberPower s Fangbook.

    It uses MSI s popular bulky chassis design the same design used by our MSI GT60 4 zero-point, except in a larger 16.8x11.3x2.1-inch form factor with a 17.3-inch TN display, la the iBuyPower CZ-17 5 . When we asked CyberPower why this particular chassis was becoming so popular, the company pointed to its spacious design, which offers good airflow, and the fact that consumers like its aesthetic. The Fangbook features TRON-esque LEDs around the speakers, keyboard, and trackpad.

    Even though CyberPower uses a chassis we've seen time and time again, the Fangbook does make a few tweaks. First and foremost, the cover implements a futuristic armor design, which is reminiscent of the Crysis Nanosuit. In addition, the laptop features blue LEDs peppered about the case and a red-LED-backlit keyboard.

    This gives the notebook a very TRON-esque vibe that asserts its gaming status loud and clear. While the Fangbook doesn't have the most impressive specs ever, you're getting a lot for $1,550, including a 2.4GHz Core i7-3630QM CPU, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and a GeForce GTX 675MX 6 videocard. This is the first time we've reviewed a gaming laptop with a 675MX, which has 4GB of GDDR5 RAM and performance between a 680M and 670MX (MX cards are slightly faster than their M counterparts).

    While you don't get as much storage space as Gigabyte's P2742, you're still getting a 60GB Intel 520 Series SSD and a 750GB mechanical hard drive. Thanks to these specs, the Fangbook was able to outrun our zero-point in every test. The gains weren't crazy in our CPU-intensive benchmarks (Stitch.efx, ProShow, x264) all within 5 percent of each other which makes sense given that the Fangbook's CPU is only 100MHz faster than the zero-point's.

    The performance differences were more apparent when we ran our GPU-intensive tests. The Fangbook was able to best the GT60 by 13 percent in STALKER and double-digit percentages in 3DMark 11. Clearly, the Fangbook was able to put the 670MX's extra CUDA cores, faster clocks, and additional RAM to good use.

    In our experiential gameplay tests, the Fangbook was able to run Dota 2 maxed out at 1080p with silky-smooth frame rates in the mid-50s. In Far Cry 3, the Fangbook was able to run at the default medium settings with frame rates in the mid-40s. We also ran the game on high, where the laptop yielded an average 30fps, though the inconsistent dips make this ill-advised.

    The Fangbook's keyboard features anti-ghosting keys, which means the computer will recognize numerous button presses simultaneously. While the keyboard works well for gaming, it's not great for word processing; keypresses seemed to require more pressure than they should. We felt the same about the two buttons below the trackpad.

    One feature we did like is the sub-woofer at the bottom for a 2.1 audio setup, which adds a little extra oomph to the auditory experience something generally lacking in notebooks. If you can get past the fact that the Fangbook is a heavy desktop replacement, you ll find a powerful gaming rig for an absolute steal of a price. We liked our MSI GT60 zero-point when we first reviewed it in December 2012, but the Fangbook is considerably more powerful, comes with an SSD, and offers a much larger screen for only 50 bucks more.

    We say it s well worth the price of admission. Powerful gaming rig; great price; good battery life. Really bulky and heavy; keyboard and trackpad require too much force. $1,550, www.cyberpowerpc.com 7 Benchmarks Zero Point Stitch.Efx 2.0 (sec) 1,092 1,057 ProShow Producer 5 (sec) 1,786 1,705 x264 HD 5.0 (fps) 12 12.4 STALKER: CoP (fps) 32.8 37.1 3DMark 11 Perf 2,979 3,719 Battery Life (min) 187 192 Our zero-point notebook is an MSI GT60 with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM, 12GB DDR3/1600, two 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drives, a GeForce GTX 670M, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

    STALKER: CoP tested at 1920x1080 with Ultra settings, Tessellation, and contact hardening.

    Specifications CPU 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM RAM 16GB DDR3/1600 Chipset Intel HM77 GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 675MX 4GB GDDR5 Display 17.3-inch, 1920x1080 LED display (matte) Storage 64GB SSD, 750GB HDD Optical Drive 8x DVD burner Connectivity Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, eSATA, all-in-one card reader, 3x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, audio in, audio out, headphone, mic, 1.3MP webcam, Bluetooth, 802.11n Lap / Carry 8 lbs, 9.3 oz / 10 lbs, 12.4 oz References ^ p2742G (www.gigabyte.com) ^ 660m (www.geforce.com) ^ www.gigabyte.com (www.gigabyte.com ) ^ msi gt60 (www.maximumpc.com) ^ ibuypower cz-17 (www.maximumpc.com) ^ 675MX (www.geforce.com) ^ www.cyberpowerpc.com (www.cyberpowerpc.com )

  • 1best of: Sony Ericsson Mobile PhonesSony Ericsson mobile phones with innovative innovative technology offer a wide range of features of their phones. There are phones that suit all shapes of life that suits all pockets and show your personal style and class with a difference. The company has innovative designs of their phones, offering a wide range of innovative features, the phones are basically designed keeping in the mind of consumers.

    Everything is geared to make things easy and convenient for you in terms of design, usability and functionality.Compared to other mobile company Sony Ericsson phone manufacturers also ensures that they are well ahead of the competition by offering the best performance with all the high-end cameras, multimedia and surf the net profit. Sony as a brand has become synonymous with the best quality electronics and the best equipment available on the market. However, he made a mark for itself in the mobile sector as well.

    Sony has made a revolution in the region with Sony Bravia TV, in the field of digital photography with digital SLRs and Cyber-shot in the laptop industry with its Sony Viao. As we are the best suppliers of mobile multimedia Walkman. For music lovers Sony is the best destination.

    However, on the one hand, he W995, a really music oriented, the other side phone, C905 belonging to the group of high-end mobile camera that makes people passionate about photography sing the praises of this brand?Cell Phones Sony experience forwarded ensure delivery of web browsing with GPRS and EDGE technologies has provided comments on the invincible products. The Sony Ericsson mobile phone deals make the already good experience buying the Sony memorable as these agreements certainly gives an added advantage to the users in terms of gifts, discounts, cash back, free minutes or accompanying certain amount of facilities free SMS. These phones offers are compatible with all major network service providers like O2, Orange, Vodafone, Virgin, 3 and T-Mobile network.

    Buying a phone with mobile phone deals, but do not compromise in terms of features and functionality that the phone company offers. Not that the offers available from the company trying to push some models that do not do well on the market (albeit with "Sony" there is no such possibility!). In other words, there is no compromise with features no hidden or while taking advantage of offers clauses.

    It is only that the company is trying to improve sales and also trying to show some aspects of its valued customers by giving them money or other benefits.

  • 1x Orange PAYG Pay As You Go Sim Card - Limited Price
  • 2

  • 2 X CREE LED Bike Bicycle Cycle Head Front Lamp ... 2 X CREE LED Bike Bicycle Cycle Head Front Lamp Flashlight Torch up to 270 lm + 5 LED Rear Light Kit Set (2212) 1 100% Brand New CREE LED Light X 2 pcs High Brightness, Long Lifttime, Energy-Saving Output power: 5 Watt, brightness can come to 270 lumens lm New 5 LED Bicycle Bike Rear Tail Light Lamp (2212) 4 Modes: flash/chasing/chasing/steady Product Description eLifeStore Cree LED Bike Front Light: Features: 1. Increase the safety of cycling! High Brightness, Long Lifttime, Energy-Saving.

    2. Shock resistant design. Pocketable Size.

    3. Output power: 5 Watt, brightness can come to 270 lumens lm.

    4. Can be used as Torch or bike front lamp.

    5. Internal wiring applies the high efficient booster circuit, working voltage is wide and can utilize the batteries in the largest extent.

    6. Switch Mode: On / Off / Flash.

    More > > 2 2 X CREE LED Bike Bicycle Cycle Head Front Lamp Flashlight Torch up to 270 lm + 5 LED Rear Light Kit Set (2212) 3 Tagged as: 2212 4 , Batteries 5 , Bicycle 6 , Bicycle Bike 7 , Bicycle Light 8 , Bike 9 , Bike Bicycle 10 , Brand New 11 , Cree 12 , Cycle 13 , Extent 14 , Flash 15 , Flashlight 16 , Front 17 , Head 18 , Head Lamp 19 , Lamp 20 , Led Lamp 21 , Led Light 22 , Light 23 , Light Features 24 , Lm , Lumens 25 , Modes 26 , Product Description 27 , Rear 28 , Shock 29 , Switch Mode 30 , Tail Light 31 , Torch 32 Amazon.co.uk Widgets 33 References ^ 2 X CREE LED Bike Bicycle Cycle Head Front Lamp Flashlight Torch up to 270 lm + 5 LED Rear Light Kit Set (2212) (www.amazon.co.uk) ^ More > > (www.amazon.co.uk) ^ 2 X CREE LED Bike Bicycle Cycle Head Front Lamp Flashlight Torch up to 270 lm + 5 LED Rear Light Kit Set (2212) (www.amazon.co.uk) ^ 2212 (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Batteries (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Bicycle (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Bicycle Bike (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Bicycle Light (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Bike (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Bike Bicycle (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Brand New (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Cree (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Cycle (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Extent (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Flash (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Flashlight (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Front (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Head (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Head Lamp (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Lamp (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Led Lamp (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Led Light (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Light (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Light Features (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Lumens (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Modes (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Product Description (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Rear (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Shock (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Switch Mode (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Tail Light (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Torch (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Amazon.co.uk Widgets (ws.amazon.co.uk)

  • 2 x Micro sim adapters Iphone 4 Ipad by awolkin
  • 20 Microsoft Gift Card Xbox 360 / Xbox 360 only 18.04Simply Like the CD Keys Facebook page to get a 5% discount code The CD key is the serial number or product code which is a combination of letters and numbers that activates a product, normally found on a sticker inside the game s case or printed on the game s quick reference card.

    The purchased CD Key is used to register and activate the relevant game.

    Depending on the product, we provide this in the form of a scan of the code or the actual code in text format.

  • 20% Off At Toys r Us This weekend Merchandise Guide - The ... 20% Off At Toys r Us This weekend Toys r us are offering 20% off any order on-line or in-store this weekend giving you an ideal opportunity to get the new Doctor/Dalek sets which have now arrived. Order on-line or download the voucher Here 1 Other sets include the following 1st Doctor with Supreme Dalek from The Daleks Master Plan 2nd Doctor with Guard Dalek from Evil of The Daleks 3rd Doctor with Dalek from Planet of The Daleks 4th Doctor with Dalek from Destiny of The Daleks 5th Doctor with Dalek from Resurrection 6th Doctor with Dalek from Revelation 7th Doctor with Renegade Dalek from Remembrance of The Daleks 8th Doctor with Dalek Alpha from Children of the Revolution 9th Doctor with Imperial Guard Dalek from Parting of the Ways 10th Doctor with Crucible Dalek 11th Doctor with Blue Strategist Dalek from Asylum of the Daleks Based on What You Know So Far Which Sets Will You Buy?

    2 Terms and Conditions: 1. Only valid in UK stores and on www.babiesrus.co.uk and www.toysrus.co.uk 2.

    Offer excludes Video Games, Electronics (Excluded electronics are Personal Computers, Computer Tablets, Video Games Consoles, Video Game Software, Video Game Accessories, PC Software, Xbox 360 Kinect, PS3 Move, 3DS Accessories, Apple Products, Televisions, DVD players, Cameras, Camcorders, Photography Equipment, Digital Photo Frames, Flash Memory, MP3 Players, Audio Equipment, Mobile Phones, E-Books, Sat Navs, Home Electricals and Electronic Gifts), Nappies, Wipes, Baby Food, Baby Milk/Formula, Gift Cards/Vouchers, insurance, carrier bags, Silver Cross Wayfarer, Simplifix base, Simplicity Black and www.partiesrus.co.uk..

    3. Not to be used in conjunction with any multi-buy deals.

    4. Limit of one coupon per transaction.

    5. Limit one coupon per customer/family group.

    6. Store Manager treat as B688.

    7. Cannot be exchanged for cash.

    8. Click & Collect orders must be purchased in-store by Sunday 2nd June 2013 in order to qualify for the 20% discount.

    9.

    Valid from Friday 31st May until Sunday 2nd June 2013 only.

    Filed under: News / Events , Retail 3 4 References ^ Here (www.toysrus.co.uk) ^ Based on What You Know So Far Which Sets Will You Buy? (polldaddy.com) ^ View all posts in News / Events (merchandise.thedoctorwhosite.co.uk) ^ View all posts in Retail (merchandise.thedoctorwhosite.co.uk)

  • 20% Off Sears Coupons 2014 - Promo Code, Online Offer, Plus Free ... Newark, DE -- ( SBWIRE 1 ) -- 04/11/2014 -- Sears is a mid-range department store chain which is headquartered in Illinois. They are an American multinational company, and their official name is Sears, Roebuck & Company. Sears was originally founded way back in 1893 by Richard Warren Sears and Alvan Curtis as a mail order catalog.

    In 1895 Julius Rosenwalk took control of the company and in return managed to expand the company s sales and profits. - Sears.com: Save 20% OFF Entire Order + Free Shipping 2 - Sears.com: Get Up to 70% OFF Select Items + Free Shipping 3 - Sears.com: View All Sears.com Online Codes & Deals 4 In 1925 Sears began to open up local department stores, and their business peaked through the 1950s and 60s, and then unfortunately began a long and slow decline, where eventually in 2005 the company was bought out by Kmart and then renamed to Sears Holdings. In today s world Sears s main rivals are companies such as JC Penney, Belk, and Macy s. Sears have an incredible range of products on offers, and what s more is that bundles of money can be saved when making use of Sears coupons alongside any purchases from a Sears store.

    This can result in savings amassing hundreds of dollars, so it s certainly worth spending a few moments to do a coupon search and see what Sears coupon codes are currently on offer. Below are just a few of the various offers and deals which can currently be obtained when using the Sears coupons which are available right now. Make the most of Black Friday with SearsIt s almost that time of year again when everybody gets some time off work and gets to start their holiday shopping Black Friday!

    Black Friday has become the day which marks the start of the Christmas shopping saga, and every Black Friday millions of Americans hit the high streets and the online stores to take full advantage of the great sales available and the extra-long opening hours. People will also find that Sears coupons are also available for use on Black Friday, opening up the sales to a whole new level of lower prices! Don t part with more money than required this Black Friday, shop smarter, shop with coupons, and shop with Sears promotion codes!

    The Daily Deal Heist with SearsSears have an incredible Deal Heist section which is updated with new amazing deals on a daily basis. This section often allows savings in excess of 50%! Right now one of the incredible deals available in the Deal Heist is this Dell Latitude D620 Core 2 Duo Laptop Computer, reduced from $399 to an incredible $179.99 that s $220 in savings!

    This would make an amazing gift for somebody. Dell is one of the biggest names in computing, so there is no need to worry that the product is low quality. With 2000 MHz of processing power, 2GB of DDR ram, and Genuine Windows 7 Pro, this laptop has everything one could need from a computer.

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    An Extra 15% Off is accessible on Air Tools & Accessories, Garage Door Openers & Accessories, Mechanic's Tools, Tool Storage and Tools. The official website of Sears offers these discounts to all those people who make purchases from here. A spokesperson of Sears has proclaimed that the company offers discounts on the products of electronics, appliances, clothing, lawn and garden related products, patio covers, mattresses, shoes, jewelry, baby care products, automotives, craftsman products, jeans for all ages, TVs, smartphones, computers, laptops, sewing machines, and so on.

    The company has always been offering high quality branded products to its members at high discounts through its Sears 5 in-store coupons. So, the regular members get money off according to the points that they score on purchasing different products. - There is $100 equivalent amount that members get back in the form of points when they buy a Kenmore Elite 25 cu. ft.

    refrigerator at sale price from Sears. - There is $300 equivalent amount that members get back in the form of points when they purchase 2 or more Kenmore major cooking appliances over $399 from Sears. - There is $199.99 equivalent amount that members get back in the form of points when they buy a shop RCA 32" Class LED HDTV at sale price from Sears. - The company offers the TENOFF50 Sears promo coupon where people can get $10 off on their kids clothing related $50 purchases. There is no end to discounts which continue to be there for ever. If a client wants to buy anything of interest from highly reliable online store like Sears, he will be at an advantage of not only getting these products on sale price, he will also get huge discounts on his future purchases.

    Sears is a reliable and well-established American store that has numerous physical stores in different cities of the country. It offers free shipment facility if products within USA wanted. Anyway, if the order is needed to be shipped to other country, check the website for updated offers.

    The Sears printable coupons are available to everyone. About HelloCoinHelloCoin Incorporated operates through its website HelloCoin.com which helps users find digital discounts from thousands of top online retailers. Founded in 2011, the company is based in Newark, DE.

    To start saving money on all online purchases, visit HelloCoin.com References ^ SBWIRE (www.sbwire.com) ^ Save 20% OFF Entire Order + Free Shipping (www.hellocoin.com) ^ Get Up to 70% OFF Select Items + Free Shipping (www.hellocoin.com) ^ View All Sears.com Online Codes & Deals (www.hellocoin.com) ^ Sears (www.sears.com)

  • 20% Off Sears Coupons 2014 - Promo Code, Online Offers, Plus ... Newark, DE -- ( SBWIRE 1 ) -- 03/28/2014 -- Sears is a mid-range department store chain which is headquartered in Illinois. They are an American multinational company, and their official name is Sears, Roebuck & Company. Sears was originally founded way back in 1893 by Richard Warren Sears and Alvan Curtis as a mail order catalog.

    In 1895 Julius Rosenwalk took control of the company and in return managed to expand the company s sales and profits. - Sears.com: Save 20% OFF Entire Order + Free Shipping 2 - Sears.com: Get Up to 70% OFF Select Items + Free Shipping 3 - Sears.com: View All Sears.com Online Codes & Deals 4 In 1925 Sears began to open up local department stores, and their business peaked through the 1950s and 60s, and then unfortunately began a long and slow decline, where eventually in 2005 the company was bought out by Kmart and then renamed to Sears Holdings. In today s world Sears s main rivals are companies such as JC Penney, Belk, and Macy s. Sears have an incredible range of products on offers, and what s more is that bundles of money can be saved when making use of Sears coupons alongside any purchases from a Sears store.

    This can result in savings amassing hundreds of dollars, so it s certainly worth spending a few moments to do a coupon search and see what Sears coupon codes are currently on offer. Below are just a few of the various offers and deals which can currently be obtained when using the Sears coupons which are available right now. Make the most of Black Friday with SearsIt s almost that time of year again when everybody gets some time off work and gets to start their holiday shopping Black Friday!

    Black Friday has become the day which marks the start of the Christmas shopping saga, and every Black Friday millions of Americans hit the high streets and the online stores to take full advantage of the great sales available and the extra-long opening hours. People will also find that Sears coupons are also available for use on Black Friday, opening up the sales to a whole new level of lower prices! Don t part with more money than required this Black Friday, shop smarter, shop with coupons, and shop with Sears promotion codes!

    The Daily Deal Heist with SearsSears have an incredible Deal Heist section which is updated with new amazing deals on a daily basis. This section often allows savings in excess of 50%! Right now one of the incredible deals available in the Deal Heist is this Dell Latitude D620 Core 2 Duo Laptop Computer, reduced from $399 to an incredible $179.99 that s $220 in savings!

    This would make an amazing gift for somebody. Dell is one of the biggest names in computing, so there is no need to worry that the product is low quality. With 2000 MHz of processing power, 2GB of DDR ram, and Genuine Windows 7 Pro, this laptop has everything one could need from a computer.

    The company offers Extra 5% Off on grills, tractors, mowers, tractor attachments and clothing. They offer Extra 5% Off on swing sets, Christmas d cor, outdoor play, hot tubs, saunas and Halloween d cor. There is a an Extra 10% Off on various products including Appliances over $399, Automotive Accessories & Batteries, Fitness & Sporting Goods, Furniture over $499, Kenmore Vacuums, Mattresses over $599, Patio Furniture & D cor and Recliners over $499.

    An Extra 15% Off is accessible on Air Tools & Accessories, Garage Door Openers & Accessories, Mechanic's Tools, Tool Storage and Tools. The official website of Sears offers these discounts to all those people who make purchases from here. A spokesperson of Sears has proclaimed that the company offers discounts on the products of electronics, appliances, clothing, lawn and garden related products, patio covers, mattresses, shoes, jewelry, baby care products, automotives, craftsman products, jeans for all ages, TVs, smartphones, computers, laptops, sewing machines, and so on.

    The company has always been offering high quality branded products to its members at high discounts through its Sears 5 in-store coupons. So, the regular members get money off according to the points that they score on purchasing different products. - There is $100 equivalent amount that members get back in the form of points when they buy a Kenmore Elite 25 cu. ft.

    refrigerator at sale price from Sears. - There is $300 equivalent amount that members get back in the form of points when they purchase 2 or more Kenmore major cooking appliances over $399 from Sears. - There is $199.99 equivalent amount that members get back in the form of points when they buy a shop RCA 32" Class LED HDTV at sale price from Sears. - The company offers the TENOFF50 Sears promo coupon where people can get $10 off on their kids clothing related $50 purchases. There is no end to discounts which continue to be there for ever. If a client wants to buy anything of interest from highly reliable online store like Sears, he will be at an advantage of not only getting these products on sale price, he will also get huge discounts on his future purchases.

    Sears is a reliable and well-established American store that has numerous physical stores in different cities of the country. It offers free shipment facility if products within USA wanted. Anyway, if the order is needed to be shipped to other country, check the website for updated offers.

    The Sears printable coupons are available to everyone. About HelloCoinHelloCoin Incorporated operates through its website HelloCoin.com which helps users find digital discounts from thousands of top online retailers. Founded in 2011, the company is based in Newark, DE.

    To start saving money on all online purchases, visit HelloCoin.com References ^ SBWIRE (www.sbwire.com) ^ Save 20% OFF Entire Order + Free Shipping (www.hellocoin.com) ^ Get Up to 70% OFF Select Items + Free Shipping (www.hellocoin.com) ^ View All Sears.com Online Codes & Deals (www.hellocoin.com) ^ Sears (www.sears.com)

  • 2014 New Year Discount Offers on Laptops, PC, Ultrabook, Notebook The 2013 is ready to say bye and the new year 2014 is saying Hi . with exciting offers. As we know end of every year all kind of companies like electronics, gadget, auto offers a lot of discount on their products to enhance sale.

    So like every year, this year too a lot of discount offers are waiting for you. The Laptop making companies providing great Discount Offers on Laptops in 2014 . These company s includes HP and Acer.

    These discount are available for a limited period, so i will advise don t get late. Go to online store or local retailers and buy a laptop or Ultrabook on Discount which suited to your needs. In last article i provide you the various discount offers on smartphones.

    And now after searching a lot on web i listed the Laptop with new year discount offer. I hope this article will help you to find the best laptop available on discount in India . Discount Offers on Laptops Also read the Articles on : 2014 Discount offers on Smartphones 1 New year discount offers on Apple iPhones 2 How You Can Make Your Laptop Run Faster 3 This list consist the Laptop by HP and Acer which are leading Laptop maker companies.

    One of the Laptop of Acer Aspire series from this list i am already using and it provide me full satisfaction. So guys hurry up and check out these New year laptop offers and make your new year more happiest and enjoyable with these Discount Offers on Laptops . HP Laptops New year discount offer The following Laptops are available on discount on new year from HP : HP Envy (Windows 8 models) HP Slate x2 HP Split x2 HP 18 Windows 8 models HP Pavilion 11 TouchSmart All these laptops are available on discount, you can buy these product either online or offline.

    Discounts are available in the form of like the providing gift vouchers of Rs 4,000/- with purchasing of these laptops. The Norton Internet Security is also available free with 12 months of subscription. Check out the all details about these laptops from any oline shopping site like Flipkart, Ebay, Homeshop18 and many more.

    The offer is limited fot a period, so get these various gift vouchers as well as Antivirus Software for free on these laptop deals. Acer Laptops New year discount offer 1. Acer Aspire V5-121 Processor :AMD C-Series dual-core C-70 Colors : available in Black HDD : 500 GB Screen :11.6 inches 2.

    Acer Aspire V5 431 screen : 14.1 inches 3. Acer Aspire E1 Processor : Intel Celeron Dual Core 1005M Screen Size:15.6 inches with built-in remarkable feature HDD : 500 GB Grab these amazing Laptop deals and make your new year maore memorable. Wish you a very happy new year.

    Get latest launches in your email (It s Free) References ^ Permanent Link to 2014 Discount offers on Smartphones (www.wholaunchwhat.com) ^ Permanent Link to New year discount offers on Apple iPhones (www.wholaunchwhat.com) ^ Permanent Link to How You Can Make Your Laptop Run Faster (www.wholaunchwhat.com)

  • 21 Seriously Strange Tripadvisor Reviews Holiday rant forum Tripadvisor is an odd place at the best of times, but delve a little deeper and you d be amazed at the unhinged accusations and off-putting anecdotes you uncover. Here are 21 of the best, compiled by Tripadvisaargh 1 curator @Hilary_W 2 .

    1. Absolute dump is right.

    2. Everyone knows that strawers are like a dog whistle for toddlers.

    3. The owner probably charged him extra for the compliment.

    4. I m A Member Of The Public, Get Me Out Of Here!

    5. Do you want me to put my shorts back on or not?

    6. I m all for having a laugh but.

    7. Could you remind us what the staff did?

    8. Paranormal Activity II: Tripadvisor Edition.

    9. Maybe the shower was broken?

    10. And the award for weirdest thing anyone s ever found in a pillowcase goes to 11. Damn it Sandra!

    Why didn t you pack the midget repellent?

    12. Whoops! Sorry.

    Here you go.

    13. It was different back in the 70 s 14. They do say potatoes contain a lot of iron.

    15. Sid clearly needs a holiday. Or possibly a little lie down.

    16. Ghost Penises R Us.

    17. It s probably worth mentioning that this romantic meal took place in Macdonald s.

    18. You ll never guess why he s called Mick The Braces 19. He might lack personality, but he s got a great aim.

    20. STAY DEFO AWAY.

    21. And finally, the best psychic reading of all time.

    THIS! > > 22 Cringeworthy Comments From Facebook Mums 3 Video Of The Week > How To Carve The Creepiest Pumpkin EVER Like The Poke on Facebook and you will never be bored again.

    References ^ Tripadvisaargh (tripadvisaargh.tumblr.com) ^ @Hilary_W (twitter.com) ^ 22 Cringeworthy Comments From Facebook Mums (www.thepoke.co.uk)

  • 25 iTunes Gift Card only 19.94Simply Like the CD Keys Facebook page to get a 5% discount code Give an iTunes Gift Card to the music lovers in your life and let them rediscover old favourites or keep up with the hottest hits.

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  • 2lenovo offers lenovo s820 cellular mobile phones A lesser-known program with amazing requirements is the Vivo Xplay 3S. The Xplay 3S was due to appear first in China suppliers returning in Jan but has only just beginning releasing in restricted numbers. It features one of the first Quad HD shows in 2lenovo specialized in lenovo s820 1 smart phone and as such is likely to attract attention.

    Key requirements of the Universe S5 consist of a 2.5GHz quad-core processor chip, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage area (expandable to 128GB via microSD) and a 5.1-inch display with high high quality of 1920 x 1080 and 432 ppi. It also has a 16-megapixel returning electronic camera, 2-megapixel front-facing electronic camera and operates the Android os 4.4.2 KitKat os. Highlights of the Vivo Xplay 3S consist of a 2.3GHz quad-core processor chip, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of inner storage area (not expandable), and a 6-inch display with that Quad HD high high quality of 2560 x 1440 and 490 ppi.

    It has a 13-megapixel returning electronic camera, 5-megapixel front-facing electronic camera, and operates the previously Android os 4.3 Jam Vegetable OS. The YouTube movie below comes from Total Technological War, and after weighing up some of the other requirements it could be very useful to you if you are trying to choose between these two mobile phones. It shows the more powerful factors of each cellphone when contrary to the other, so you can concentrate on the aspects that are most essential to you It begins with the features of the Universe S5 over the Xplay 3S with 17 aspects proven such as it being lighter, having a hrm and 4K movie catch.

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    It s fairly unusual to see an even amount of more powerful factors for two devices in comparisons such as this, though of course some aspects will not be as essential to some as others. Are you looking at the New samsung Universe S5 or Vivo Xplay 3S? Let us know with your comments.

    LG L90 will release originally in the CIS region such as countries like Russian federation and Ukraine and will be followed by other countries in the arriving several weeks. Unfortunately, the organization has not yet exposed the price but one can anticipate it to be around $250.Bloodhound, a organization previously targeted on offering program programs for the meeting area, these days released Android os and iOS programs focusing on cellular cause catch. "Wello is a cellular health tracking system hidden as a smart phone protect that measures vitals and syncs the details to an associated with iPhone or Android os App. The outcomes of the important aspects are displayed on the phone's display.

    Additionally, it joins with other health insurance protection health and fitness devices such as pedometers and rest trackers to help identify how different behaviour can affect one's physical condition," said Ami Karnik, co-founder, Azoi Inc. The US Food and Drug Administration officials are in the procedure of optimizing acceptance of 2lenovo offers lenovo s820 2 cellular mobile phones which monitor ECG and other traditional tests to ensure that self-testing does not cause any harm to the individual. "We are in the procedure of seeking US-FDA approvals for promotion the product in the US. In Native indian, however, such an acceptance is not required," said Karnik.

    Our Ambassadors offer their time each and every day to make our places more amazing. They make sure you get the answers you are looking for, and cause you to experience welcome in our boards. This 1 month I d like to acknowledge some very exclusive Ambassadors for their outstanding efforts.In a newest Irish study, over 43 % of individuals said verifying public media is the last thing they do every evening before they go to rest, according to online promotion and public media strategist Aoife Rigney.

    References ^ 2lenovo specialized in lenovo s820 (www.2lenovo.com) ^ 2lenovo offers lenovo s820 (www.2lenovo.com)

  • 3

  • 3 Free Strategy Games for Android and Apple iPhone,iPadThe Age of Empires Game was the top Strategy Game that we used to play on our PC's but now mobile gaming has got a big leap with mobile platforms like Android and Apple evolving as the major players in the mobile gaming industry. So,Are you one of those players who are looking for some good strategy games to play on your Android Phone and Apple iPhone,then these game will really impress the gamer inside you.

    1) Strategy Game: Spartan Wars: Empire of Honor Spartan Wars is one of the best strategy game available for Android,In this game you control the fierce Spartans and lead them to victory. Download Game for Android: Google Play 1 Download Game for iPhone: Play Store 2 2) Strategy Game: Enemy Lines Enemy Lines is a military based real-time strategy game,The game features a intense gameplay with weekly tournaments and player vs player battles.

    Price: Free Download Game for Android: Google Play 3 3) Strategy Game: King s Empire The combat strategy game is available for both Android and iOS devices and it features some cool graphics and what makes the game more engaging is epic battles between you and your enemies.

    Download Game for Android: Google Play 4 Download Game for iPhone: Play Store 5 References ^ Google Play (tracking.applift.com) ^ Play Store (itunes.apple.com) ^ Google Play (tracking.applift.com) ^ Google Play (play.google.com) ^ Play Store (tracking.applift.com)

  • 3 Mobile Phone Deals Launches Exclusive Discounts On 3 ... San Francisco, CA, United States of America - July 5th, 2013 Saving money on mobile phones is a difficult balancing act, as pressure is at its highest to secure the best handset with the most advanced features. Whether the Galaxy S3, iPhone 5 or Google Nexus 7, consumers want to make the most of the handset and often don t want to pay anything for it above their monthly package cost.

    3 offer some of the most competitive data and usage packages of any network, and these have just been made more competitive by 3 Mobile Phone Deals 1 , a site that offers special discounts on phones with 3. The site offers every deal ordinarily offered by 3, with every handset in every colour available, on every tariff.

    They are all clearly outlined in terms of their key features and offers, how many minutes and texts, how much data usage and how many cross-network minutes are included. The difference comes when these packages are subject to additional mobile phone deals 2 from the site, including percentages off mobile handset payments on low-price deals and percentages off monthly line rentals on high end elite packages. The site offers discounts on SIM only deals as well as pay as anyone who go and mobile broadband.

    A spokesperson for 3 Mobile Phone Deals explained, What most people don t understand is that whatever network they re with, their 3G network is provided by 3 and licensed out by other networks. By going straight to 3, high usage individuals can get the very best deals on 3G, and can get even better deals thanks to the discounts we make available on our site. These may not seem like great gains when looked at side by side, but over the months of subscription the savings really mount up.

    About 3 Mobile Phone Deals: 3 Mobile Phone Deals allows consumers to compare all 3 phones on the 3 UK network. All deals individuals see on the site are directly from 3, with additional discounts that would not normally be found anywhere else. Hence users can rest assured that they can get the best prices from the site.

    3 is the 3G provider for 98% of the UK and offer unlimited internet use, and are ideal for customers who use a lot of internet on their phones.

    Visit http://www.3mobilephonedeals.com/ 3 for more information.

    Contact Info Name: Joe Bragg Organization: Brandoutreach Phone: (415) 632 1664 Source: http://marketersmedia.com/3-mobile-phone-deals-launches-exclusive-discounts-on-3-packages-in-the-uk/17482 4 References ^ 3 Mobile Phone Deals (www.3mobilephonedeals.com) ^ mobile phone deals (www.prweb.com) ^ http://www.3mobilephonedeals.com/ (www.3mobilephonedeals.com) ^ http://marketersmedia.com/3-mobile-phone-deals-launches-exclusive-discounts-on-3-packages-in-the-uk/17482 (marketersmedia.com)

  • 3 new Motorola Droids With all eyes -- or, at least, all tech geek eyes -- looking ahead to Moto X 1 , the first phone that has been manufactured under the auspices of Motorola Mobile/Google, Verizon has just introduced three new Motorola phones 2 under relatively modest circumstances. They seem like fine phones. The three new 4G LTE phones will be available starting August 20th and include: the 4.3-in.

    Droid Mini ($99), the 5-in. Droid Ultra ($199) and the 5-in. Droid Maxx ($299). (All prices are for two-year contracts.) The three phones have a lot in common, including the software and much of the hardware.

    They will offer a 1.7GHz dual-core processor along with what Motorola calls its X8 mobile computing system, which will be made up of two application processor cores, four graphics processor cores, one contextual computing processor core and one natural language processor core. All three will offer 720 x 1280 HD AMOLED displays using Gorilla glass. All three include a 10-megapixel outward-facing camera and a 3-megapixel forward-facing camera.

    All have 2GB of RAM; while the Mini and Ultra have 16GB of storage, the Maxx will have 32GB. Other differences? The Droid Mini's difference is obvious: a smaller screen and a lower price.

    The Droid Ultra (which will be available in both red and black casing) is what Verizon reps described as the thinnest 4G LTE phone available at .28-in. The Droid Maxx will include a 3500mAh battery that will, according to the company, offer 48 hours of use. Besides Android 4.2.2, there are a number of additions that Motorola is including.

    For example, Touchless Control is supposed to allow you to have access to Google Now commands without having to actually hold the phone to wake it up (so that you can, for example, use the phone in a car without handling it). The Verizon rep who was demonstrating it at the introductory event today couldn't make it work because of the ambient noise (I couldn't help wondering if the ambient noise in a small car on a highway would be all that much better. But be that as it may ) Other software add-ons include Quick Capture, which lets you immediately launch a camera and take a photo by touching the screen; Active Display, which lights up just a portion of the screen to reveal info without disturbing others; and Droid Zap, which will let you share photos and videos with anyone within 300 feet. (Currently, it's only available to Droid owners, but it should be eventually available to other Android phones via a Google Play app.) I was able to briefly handle the phones, and of the three, I preferred the Droid Maxx which, while it was heavier than the lightweight 4.9-oz.

    Ultra, felt more substantial; I also liked its Kevlar body, which wasn't as slick as the others and so felt less likely to eventually land on the pavement. The phones are now available for pre-order. Whether customers will want to pre-order before they find out what the upcoming Moto X is about is another question; no matter how nice these look, there is too much excitement surrounding the Moto X to encourage technophiles to jump into the Droid camp just yet.

    References ^ looking ahead to Moto X (blogs.computerworld.com) ^ introduced three new Motorola phones (www.computerworld.com)

  • 3 offers free Sky Mobile TV with Sony Ericsson W9953 has announced a special offer for those that get the Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman phone this summer.

    3 is offering 3 month's worth of exclusive access to Sky Mobile TV on the W995, which would normally cost 5 a month, although the operator recommends also buying a mobile data add-on to avoid charges. This will mean W995 owners will be able to watch eight live and made-for-mobile TV channels wherever and whenever they want. The channels include Sky News, Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra, and Sky Sports News.

    The W995, with an 8GB memory card, is available free on the 35 Texter tariff, and for 374.99 on pay as you go.

  • 3 UK Fashion Brand Holiday Hashtags to Track this Season Tis the season, for ugly sweater and office parties, high expectations to hit those holiday numbers, jingles and carols everywhere you go, and of course, obsessing over beautiful holiday campaigns. So, order up the first peppermint-mocha of the season, and take a deep breath. Then, check out these fashion brand holiday campaigns already making the rounds, perhaps they will inspire you with a powerful PR idea to close out the year.

    Unexpected Storylines: Marks & Spencer Heads to Winter Wonderland A highly enjoyable romp of a TV commercial, I'm loving the way Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (best known for her work Victoria's Secret and Burberry), flaunts the British multinational retailer' sleepwear in a holiday-rendition of Alice in Winter Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz. Although neither story is traditionally associated with the holiday season, the fantastical reference aligns well with enough with the whimsical, otherworldly nature of holiday. To accompany the campaign, a hashtag that is both appropriate to the letter, #MagicandSparkle.

    The creative decision to reference a well known tale through the lens of holiday is something to keep in mind when developing unexpected and eye-catching visual pitches for last-minute holiday gift guides, social media content and beyond. Customized Shopping: Dear Topshop Pinterest Takeover Fashion brands continue to love Pinterest contests and campaigns around seasonal and event-driven content. This season, Topshop has integrated the visual bookmarking and social platform across online and offline channels 1 .

    In stores shoppers can pin, share and shop for items on giant touchscreens. While Pinterest contests are fine 2 , what's most promising about the campaign are the homepage updates, aimed at helping shoppers create a customized, fun and efficient shopping experience that includes product suggestions based on Pinterest activity. The products pinned the most often are featured on the Topshop homepage each day, a great way to drive recurring traffic over the holiday season (the chances to win a variety of prizes don't hurt either).

    And even though Pinterest no longer allows for searchable hashtags, this campaign still has one. Try #DearTopshop 3 in Twitter to see some early buzz. It Girl for Instant Coverage: Forever 21 While actually based in LA (which still thinks it's mid-August), Forever 21's holiday video lookbook is your standard holiday-party dress, fast-fashion fare.

    But it's the choice of Brit-girl model Suki Waterhouse (also known for work with M&S and Burberry, not to mention snogging one Bradley Cooper) that demonstrates how far Forever 21 has come from its traditional mall-girl fanbase. This cool factor from across the pond appears to have been the perfect choice to kick off holiday shopping; the digital short has already been picked up by edgier indie mainstays like Refinery 29 and Nylon. Hashtag for all things holiday at F21? #ForeverHoliday 4 , of course.

    I'm looking forward to more holiday inspiration leading up to the new year. Share with us your favorite Q4 campaigns @prcouture 5 and @tribedynamics 6 (the hastag is entirely up to you!). About the author: Christina Goswiller LA native Christina Goswiller traded palm trees for the Stanford tree, where she studied political science and graduated with honors in 2012.

    Since her move to San Francisco, she has fallen in love with the entrepreneurial spirit of the startup world.

    Christina is particularly interested in the growing importance of technology within the fashion industry, which she follow through her work with Tribe Dynamics.

    Contact Christina Goswiller at cgoswill@gmail.com 7 References ^ across online and offline channels (www.thedrum.com) ^ While Pinterest contests are fine (us.topshop.com) ^ #DearTopshop (twitter.com) ^ #ForeverHoliday (twitter.com) ^ @prcouture (www.twitter.com) ^ @tribedynamics (twitter.com) ^ cgoswill@gmail.com (www.prcouture.com)

  • 3-D Scan And Print Right From Your Browser Wave a sensor over an object and reproduce it, in the simplest setup we've seen to date. Volumental Scanning Volumental 3-D scanning is a technology with all the right pieces floating around, yet to be assembled into the final piece that's easy for everyone to use. The idea: using a small gadget, you can scan in a 3-D object, then reproduce it with an increasingly affordable 3-D printer.

    It's like a photocopier for objects. Cool! But pretty wonky 1 to do, at the moment.

    That wonkiness is what Volumental is trying to solve. Volumental is a simple web app that aims to handle all of that previously manual stuff automatically. The process goes like this: you take a depth scanner, like a Microsoft Kinect, plugged into your laptop.

    Pointing the depth sensor at the object to be scanned, you walk all around it, shooting it from all angles. That data is turned into a .obj file. So far, Volumental has already created and released all of these tools; you can use them here 2 , right now.

    But the next step is pretty tricky. Depth sensors don't create perfect scans of objects; the data they create isn't printable immediately. They have to be cleaned up, their structure mapped as a mesh, their edges "watertight." Watertight means no gaps in the design: there can't be any holes anywhere, any gaps in the data, or else your object won't be printed properly.

    You can do that kind of thing with free software like MeshLab 3 , but it's pretty complex and difficult to use. Imagine if you had to adjust a hundred settings every time you made a photocopy. You'd never use it!

    Volumental, which just achieved its funding goal on Kickstarter, aims to use the funding to create a one-click, automatic clean-up service. "We won't be providing a full manual toolbox like Meshlab," says Volumental team member Ernest Ang. "Instead, the funding will help develop automatic mesh clean-ups during the reconstruction phase of the 3-D scans." And anything that makes 3-D scanning as easy as pressing the big green button on a photocopy machine sounds good to us.

    There are still ten days left on the Kickstarter; if the project keeps earning, Volumental will be able to add bonus features, like Instagram-like filters (sepia, black-and-white) and pre-made templates (like keychains and phone cases).

    4 References ^ pretty wonky (www.popsci.com) ^ here (volumental.com) ^ MeshLab (www.3d-coform.eu) ^ ten days left (www.kickstarter.com)

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    1 Taking care of your Makita Power Tools Properly is critical! If you have saws made by a really custom as Makita, you might want to take care of them properly in order to complete the jobs we were looking at meant to do in an joyful manner for years. To start with, although Makita prices on diy equipment are quite reasonable by industry standards, they can be still under no circumstances cheap.

    When your tools are necessary enough for your requirements to rate a huge investment, that makes sense that they can need to be important enough to be covered and effectively maintained. Tools such as the Makita brand are actually engineered and intended to operate at maximum efficiency to acquire your jobs done fast and get them done correctly. But, you should be ready to invest a little time as well as into maintaining these fine, top quality tools to help keep them at peak performance.

    The lifespan of the saw is determined by its quality, how many times it is actually used and how well it is covered. Listed below are some handy good ideas , attend to your Makita power tools properly: Invest time to read and thoroughly get aquainted with the Instruction Manual that came with your power tool. Some tools may need special maintenance and also you cant provide it fantastic find out about it.

    Maintain the diy equipment dry! In general, diy equipment just weren t designed to take damp, wet conditions as parts may rust both inside and outside. Keep diy equipment clean, both inwardly and outwardly.

    A build-up of dust and debris within the tools motor housing, for instance, the specific reason behind malfunction. If there s a build-up of dust, dirt or debris about the blade of the saw, use alcohol to scrub it before putting it away, and wipe it down in addition to be sure it really is dry. Should you have diy equipment which have been run by petrol, for instance chain saws or brush cutters, it is imperative to jog this software occasionally so that stagnant fuel doesnt block the engine.

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    Although you may dont want to switch the brushes yourself and choose to consider power tool to the professional to do this chore, if you notice signs the fact that brushes need replacing -make sure it gets done.

    References ^ Check Update Price! (tkbestreviews.com)

  • 32GB Nexus 7 2 LTE price on Google Play Store Phone Reviews Consumers interested in the new 32GB Nexus 7 2 (2nd Generation) 4G LTE tablet can now head on over to the Google Play Store and buy one, the price is only $349, which we think has been priced very well indeed. The Nexus 7 32GB LTE version comes unlocked with a T-Mobile SIM in the US; it is not yet available in the UK. You can buy right now via the Google Play Store 1 but if you prefer to purchase direct from a T-Mobile store you will have to wait until October to do so.

    Google made the Nexus 7 LTE 32GB tablet available silently, and in that we mean no announcement was made of it going live in the Google Play Store, but this is great news with a nice price tag to boot. Even though this Nexus 7 LTE tablet comes with a T-Mobile SIM you will be happy to know it will work with other SIMS as well, which means it will work on T-Mobile and AT&T 3G as well as 4G networks. If you order now it promises to be shipped to your address within 1-2 business days.

    The tablet will also work comfortably with Verizon Wireless and US Cellular, please do let us know if you will be buying the new unlocked Nexus 7 32GB with WiFi, mobile data with T-Mobile SIM?

    It comes with Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz) 802.11 a/b/g/n, HSPA ( 850, 900, AWS, 1900, 2100 MHz), LTE (700, 850, AWS, 1900 MHz), GSM/EDGE/GPRS (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), plus Bluetooth 4.0, NFC Android Beam and all the usual features you would expect form the new Nexus 7 2.

    References ^ Google Play Store (play.google.com)

  • 3D iPad Scanner by Occipital Digitizes the World for 3D Printing and ... Three days into its Kickstarter 1 , app developer Occipital had raised just under $600,000, or roughly six times its $100,000 goal which, incidentally, was met in the first three hours. What s got early adopters and developers so excited? A 3D scanner called Structure that attaches to and runs on an iPad.

    In the past, Occipital focused on developing apps. But from RedLaser 2 , a barcode scanner and comparison shopping tool, to 360 Panorama, an app that stitched together panoramas taken by smartphone cameras computer vision was the common theme. Structure is a relatively small aluminum device that clips on to an iPad.

    The device carries two infrared LEDs and a camera onboard, and further makes use 3 of the iPad s native camera, gyro, and accelerometer. It synthesizes all this data to model and measure its surroundings in 3D with a range of 40 cm to 3.5 meters. Structure can model one item like other scanners on the market or it can model an entire room of items.

    There s no size limit, as there is with desktop scanners, and Structure is as mobile as a tablet. What might you do with such powers? Well, obviously, you can scan objects and send them to a 3D printer.

    But you can also scan a room and all its furniture, automatically making note of its dimensions. From there you can play with the room s contents, virtually rearranging them, instead of breaking your back on bad configurations. Or you can figure out whether a new item, say, a couch, chair, or piece of art will fit where you think it will.

    Occipital says they created Structure as much to 3D print or model as they did to allow developers to write for augmented reality. Occipital developed a simple example a cat that plays fetch to demonstrate how programs can be taught to obey real world rules, disappearing under tables or jumping up on a couch. Occipital says they could have funded their initial run internally, but they re using Kickstarter to gauge interest and to get the system into developer hands (for $349).

    While the prototype is only iOS compatible, Occipital made it adaptable to other operating systems and even devices with different dimensions. Structure joins a growing family of 3D scanning devices available for the casual enthusiast or maker, sitting between MakerBot s $1,400 3D scanner 4 and Autodesk s free 123D Catch 5 . The former is a desktop device, while the latter uses naught but a smartphone camera.

    Structure will be a quarter the cost of the Makerbot scanner and more maneuverable. It s obviously more expensive than 123D Catch, but because of additional sensors, can make higher quality scans. And of course, it s far more convenient than taking upwards of 40 pictures per scan in 123D Catch.

    Beyond scanning single items, Structure sweeps entire rooms, something neither Makerbot nor 123D Catch can do. There are other handheld scanners 6 on the market though only recently are prices dropping below $1,000 and in September, another mobile 3D scanner, Fuel3D 7 , successfully funded its Kickstarter. But unlike other handheld scanners, Structure s iPad compatibility may extend applications beyond 3D printing.

    They ve even got photos of the device hooked onto an Oculus Rift to image the user s hands. Even so, the market is filling out nicely. It was only a year ago that Matterport CEO Matt Bell, also a maker of handheld 3D scanners, predicted 3D modeling devices in tablets.

    The next step?

    Further miniaturize and embed the tech in smartphones and tablets we ll get back to you on that one next year.

    Check these videos out to see Structure s augmented reality potential: Image Credit: Occipital 8 References ^ its Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com) ^ RedLaser (redlaser.com) ^ makes use (mashable.com) ^ 3D scanner (singularityhub.com) ^ 123D Catch (singularityhub.com) ^ other handheld scanners (singularityhub.com) ^ Fuel3D (www.kickstarter.com) ^ Occipital (structure.io)

  • 4

  • 4 Hot Deals to Save you Money on Back-to-School Tech It s that time of year again, where school buses replace swimming pools, trips to the library take the place of trips to the beach, and parents everywhere breathe a sigh of relief yes we re talking about back to school. And to celebrate, we ve partnered with StackSocial 1 to bring you a hand-curated collection of deals to save you money on tech stuff that will help you start the new academic year off the right way. Whether you re looking to study up, slack off, or something in between, these Back To School deals offer a little bit of everything they re great even if you re not headed back to school.

    And, as an added bonus (or extra credit, if you will) we re offering an exclusive coupon for 5% off any Back To School Deal just for TNW readers . The coupon code is tnwfive and must be entered to access these low prices. Here s our list of the top four Back To School deals being offered right now: 1) Soundfreaq Sound Step Wireless Bluetooth Speaker 2 35% off for $99.74 + Free Shipping (US Only) If you haven t jumped on the Bluetooth bandwagon yet, now s your chance.

    Soundfreaq has managed to deliver a truly impressive audio experience with the Sound Step Recharge Wireless Bluetooth Speaker 3 . The company s proprietary UQ3 spatial sound has made even the most discerning audiophiles 4 smile. The speaker is available in Black, White, and Red.

    A single charge will run over 6 hours of playback and the Soundfreaq can be controlled remotely from the iOS app.

    2) SOS 100 GB Online Backup 5 75% off for $28.49 SOS Online Backup is award-winning service 6 that allow you to back up to an unlimited number of devices PCs and Macs, Androids, iPhones, tablets and more. With this deal you can get 100 GB of Online Backup from SOS 7 for one year. The best part?

    Unlimited file versioning, so even if you delete a file, you can recover it at any time.

    3) Spigen New-Coated Backpack 8 43% off for $56.99 + Free Shipping to US (ships international) The backpack offers a great looking solution for the tech-laden consumer. It s optimized for Apple products and comes lined with a synthetic fur to keep your gear scratch free. The Spigen bag is perfect for securely carrying your Macbook, iPad, iPhone, charging cable, headphones, or keyboard all in style.

    There s even room to spare for things like books(if you re feeling old school). It s available in Black, Blue, and Grey.

    4) Flux 4 Web Editor 9 67% off for $47.49 If you re feeling betrayed by Adobe now that the subscription-based Creative Cloud has rolled out, the Flux 4 Web Editor 10 offers a very solid alternative to Dreamweaver. Designers and Developers looking to produce websites should definitely turn to Flux 4.

    Though not as simple as iWeb, it does have a ton of flexibility, and features WSIWYG design elements so you can drag and drop objects anywhere you want. Check out these Back to School Specials at StackSocial .

    11 12 Please Note: To get the extra low prices quoted above, you must use the 5% off coupon tnwfive during checkout. Enter it into the Promo Code space on the checkout page.

    Disclosure: StackSocial has partnered with The Next Web to bring you deals on cool products.

    This post is not editorial endorsement and The Next Web receives a percentage of sales.

    References ^ StackSocial (stacksocial.com) ^ Soundfreaq Sound Step Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (stacksocial.com) ^ Sound Step Recharge Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (stacksocial.com) ^ discerning audiophiles (mashable.com) ^ SOS 100 GB Online Backup (stacksocial.com) ^ award-winning service (www.pcmag.com) ^ 100 GB of Online Backup from SOS (stacksocial.com) ^ Spigen New-Coated Backpack (stacksocial.com) ^ Flux 4 Web Editor (stacksocial.com) ^ Flux 4 Web Editor (stacksocial.com) ^ Back to School Specials (stacksocial.com) ^ StackSocial (stacksocial.com)

  • 4 Xbox One launch games with mobile integration Phone Reviews We knew that Gamescom 2013 was going to be all about the Sony PS4 and the Xbox One, and if you are a gaming fan then you were treated to some intriguing news, which we will not go into because we are not a gaming website. You may wonder why we would be talking about such an event in the first place, and if we were to say SmartGlass then we are sure you will understand. Some of the new games coming to the next-gen Xbox console will offer smartphone and tablet support 1 , and we have come across 4 Xbox One launch games with mobile integration, which as you may well know will help to give the user a far greater experience.

    Tom Clancy s The Division 2 with SmartGlass support will allow you to join in on a game and assist squads to help change the outcome of a game. This title will not be released until late 2014. With the recent release of Plants vs.

    Zombies 2 on iOS 3 it s good to hear that there will be an Xbox One version called Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 4 and will take full advantage of smartphone integration. When playing in Boss Mode you will be able to use SmartGlass in order to help your teammate.

    Fable Legends 5 has a unique SamrtGlass feature where it will allow you to take control of the villain via your smartphone or tablet. Using a mobile device with Dead Rising 3 6 will allow you to call in air strikes, select drone support or even let of flares on a wide area to distract the zombies. These are just 4 Xbox One games that allows for mobile integration, but there are many more.

    References ^ smartphone and tablet support (www.phonesreview.co.uk) ^ Tom Clancy s The Division (uk.ign.com) ^ Plants vs.

    Zombies 2 on iOS (www.phonesreview.co.uk) ^ Plants vs.

    Zombies Garden Warfare (www.geekwire.com) ^ Fable Legends (www.forbes.com) ^ Dead Rising 3 (www.examiner.com)

  • 40,000 public school teachers use sugar-daddy website | The Daily ... Believe it when The Daily Caller tells you: If you find any fault with public school teachers, you will definitely hear about how very hard they work, and how they care so much about making the world a better place. The Daily Caller now has evidence that the many spirited defenders of the old profession of teaching are right in many exciting, stimulating ways. SeekingArrangement.com, which bills 1 itself as the #1 online dating website for sugar babies and generous men, is now boasting that some 40,000 public school teachers of a certain moral caliber have joined the website in an attempt to sell sexual services seek wealthy, older men for mutually beneficial relationships.

    In a press release, SeekingArrangement s CEO suggests that teachers on the website are responding conventionally to diminished budgets, overcrowded classrooms and, of course, the perpetual need for school supplies. You can t expect a teacher to accept less pay for more work than their peers, and then reach into their pockets to fund your child s classroom, declared Brandon Wade, the website s founder and CEO. But that s what s happening.

    If those are the expectations and pressures we are putting on our teachers in America, than they can t possibly be judged for whatever extracurricular activities they choose to pursue to stay afloat. According to SeekingArrangement, the top five school districts in the country for sugar-baby teachers are (in order): the School District of Philadelphia, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District, the Clark County School District (in the Las Vegas area) and the New York City public schools. Data is self-reported by the women who use the site when they initially sign up.

    Based on the occupation field teacher, we polled members to see which school districts they worked in, explained Jennifer Gwynn, SeekingArrangement s public relations manager, in an email to The Daily Caller. Further digging into the treasure trove that is SeekingArrangement s sugar-baby data set reveals that the average public school teacher who uses the site is between the ages of 28 and 33. She (or, certainly, he) seeks about $3,000 in pampering and financial assistance each month from the benefactor on the other side of the bargain.

    SeekingArrangement appears to be the Google of sugar-daddy dating websites, claiming over two million registered members. It s the same website where New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner s sexting buddy trolled for older men online. The woman, Sydney Leathers, was active on the site for eight months, from August 2012 to April 2013 and was very popular on the site and found success as a Sugar Baby. (RELATED: Sydney Leathers sought sugar daddies ) 2 The site is also popular with college students looking for extra cash. (RELATED: The best colleges for sugar babies and the sugar daddies who love them) 3 Follow Eric on Twitter and send education-related story tips to erico@dailycaller.com .

    4 5 References ^ bills (www.seekingarrangement.com) ^ (RELATED: Sydney Leathers sought sugar daddies ) (dailycaller.com) ^ (RELATED: The best colleges for sugar babies and the sugar daddies who love them) (dailycaller.com) ^ Follow Eric on Twitter (twitter.com) ^ erico@dailycaller.com (dailycaller.com)

  • 4G coverage: EE vs O2 vs Vodafone The UK's 4G coverage is finally growing and thanks to O2 announcing its 4G network 1 this week, things are finally looking up for the UK's superfast broadband. EE was the first off the bat, launching its 4G mobile service in late 2012, and although the auction for the remainder of 4G spectrum took place in early 2013, the work to put the infrastructure in place has only just been completed. O2 is the second company to announce its 4G mobile service and although details are still a little scant, there's enough to make a comparison.

    So what do O2 and EE offer? EE 4G coverage EE launched in late 2012 and therefore has the advantage with the coverage of 4G in the UK. So far, it's offered in around 95 towns and cities in the UK.

    It started out with just 11 hot spots - London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow and Southampton - but almost every week EE adds more towns and cities as the technology is implemented across the land. Not only does EE offer its standard 4G services in this wide spread, but it has also started rolling out double speed broadband too. This service, that offers average speeds of 24Mbps, rather than the 12Mbps the standard service offers is also rolling out across the UK, but as it stands, there's no news on when it will span the whole UK.

    EE 4G services start at 21 per month for a 500MB data, unlimited calls and texts on a 12-month SIM-only plan, up to 81 per month for a 24-month roaming 2 plan over 24 months. You can see the full breakdown of contracts here: Plan 24-month plan 12-month plan 24-month roaming 12-month SIM only 20 Days SIM only 500MB dataUnlimited calls/texts 26 per month 41 per month 36 per month 21 per month 23 per month 750MB dataUnlimited calls/texts N/A 46 per month 41 per month N/A N/A 1GB dataUnlimited calls/texts 31 per month 51 per month 46 per month 26 per month 28 per month 1.5GB dataUnlimited calls/texts 36 per month N/A N/A N/A N/A 2GB dataUnlimited calls/texts 41 per month N/A N/A N/A N/A 3GB dataUnlimited calls/texts N/A 56 per month 51 per month 31 per month 33 per month 5GB dataUnlimited calls/texts N/A 61 per month 56 per month 36 per month 38 per month 8GB dataUnlimited calls/texts N/A 66 per month 61 per month 41 per month 43 per month 10GB dataUnlimited calls/texts 46 per month N/A N/A N/A N/A 20GB dataUnlimited calls/texts 51 per month N/A 81 per month 61 per month 63 per month The range of devices available on EE range from the lower-end BlackBerry Q5, right up to the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z and HTC One, ensuring the network is pretty well covered. However, you will have to pay an upfront fee for most devices.

    Here's the latest list of upfront fees, based on EE's 24-month tariffs: Device 26 per month 31 per month 36 per month 46 per month 51 per month BlackBerry Q5 Free Free Free Free Free iPhone 5 16GB 249.99 199.99 49.99 9.99 9.99 Samsung Galaxy S4 16GB 249.99 199.99 69.99 19.99 19.99 Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini 99.99 49.99 29.99 29.99 Free Samsung Galaxy Note 2 169.99 99.99 79.99 29.99 29.99 Samsung Galaxy S3 149.99 49.99 29.99 29.99 29.99 BlackBerry Q10 249.99 199.99 99.99 49.99 29.99 BlackBerry Z10 99.99 49.99 29.99 Free Free Sony Xperia SP Free Free Free Free Free Sony Xperia Z 199.99 129.99 49.99 Free Free HTC One Free 199.99 99.99 29.99 29.99 Nokia Lumia 820 Free Free Free Free Free HTC One Mini 49.99 Free Free Free Free Huawei Ascend P1 LTE Free Free Free Free Free References ^ A network is a telephone company that provides services for mobile phone subscribers e.g.

    3, Vodafone etc. (www.knowyourmobile.com) ^ Roaming is when a mobile phone moves out of its network region and attaches to different networks in order to resume service. (www.knowyourmobile.com)

  • 4G coverage: which is the best UK provider? The UK's 4G coverage is finally growing and thanks to O2 announcing its 4G network 1 this week, things are finally looking up for the UK's superfast broadband. EE was the first off the bat, launching its 4G mobile service in late 2012, and although the auction for the remainder of 4G spectrum took place in early 2013, the work to put the infrastructure in place has only just been completed. O2 is the second company to announce its 4G mobile service and although details are still a little scant, there's enough to make a comparison.

    So what do O2 and EE offer? EE 4G coverage EE launched in late 2012 and therefore has the advantage with the coverage of 4G in the UK. So far, it's offered in around 95 towns and cities in the UK.

    It started out with just 11 hot spots - London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow and Southampton - but almost every week EE adds more towns and cities as the technology is implemented across the land. Not only does EE offer its standard 4G services in this wide spread, but it has also started rolling out double speed broadband too. This service, that offers average speeds of 24Mbps, rather than the 12Mbps the standard service offers is also rolling out across the UK, but as it stands, there's no news on when it will span the whole UK.

    EE 4G services start at 21 per month for a 500MB data, unlimited calls and texts on a 12-month SIM-only plan, up to 81 per month for a 24-month roaming 2 plan over 24 months. You can see the full breakdown of contracts here: Plan 24-month plan 12-month plan 24-month roaming 12-month SIM only 20 Days SIM only 500MB dataUnlimited calls/texts 26 per month 41 per month 36 per month 21 per month 23 per month 750MB dataUnlimited calls/texts N/A 46 per month 41 per month N/A N/A 1GB dataUnlimited calls/texts 31 per month 51 per month 46 per month 26 per month 28 per month 1.5GB dataUnlimited calls/texts 36 per month N/A N/A N/A N/A 2GB dataUnlimited calls/texts 41 per month N/A N/A N/A N/A 3GB dataUnlimited calls/texts N/A 56 per month 51 per month 31 per month 33 per month 5GB dataUnlimited calls/texts N/A 61 per month 56 per month 36 per month 38 per month 8GB dataUnlimited calls/texts N/A 66 per month 61 per month 41 per month 43 per month 10GB dataUnlimited calls/texts 46 per month N/A N/A N/A N/A 20GB dataUnlimited calls/texts 51 per month N/A 81 per month 61 per month 63 per month The range of devices available on EE range from the lower-end BlackBerry Q5, right up to the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z and HTC One, ensuring the network is pretty well covered. However, you will have to pay an upfront fee for most devices.

    Here's the latest list of upfront fees, based on EE's 24-month tariffs: Device 26 per month 31 per month 36 per month 46 per month 51 per month BlackBerry Q5 Free Free Free Free Free iPhone 5 16GB 249.99 199.99 49.99 9.99 9.99 Samsung Galaxy S4 16GB 249.99 199.99 69.99 19.99 19.99 Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini 99.99 49.99 29.99 29.99 Free Samsung Galaxy Note 2 169.99 99.99 79.99 29.99 29.99 Samsung Galaxy S3 149.99 49.99 29.99 29.99 29.99 BlackBerry Q10 249.99 199.99 99.99 49.99 29.99 BlackBerry Z10 99.99 49.99 29.99 Free Free Sony Xperia SP Free Free Free Free Free Sony Xperia Z 199.99 129.99 49.99 Free Free HTC One Free 199.99 99.99 29.99 29.99 Nokia Lumia 820 Free Free Free Free Free HTC One Mini 49.99 Free Free Free Free Huawei Ascend P1 LTE Free Free Free Free Free References ^ A network is a telephone company that provides services for mobile phone subscribers e.g.

    3, Vodafone etc. (www.knowyourmobile.com) ^ Roaming is when a mobile phone moves out of its network region and attaches to different networks in order to resume service. (www.knowyourmobile.com)

  • 4G Daily - 4G from EE vs BT Infinity (HomeHub 3) Share This... For the last few weeks, we ve been showing you just how good 4G EE is on the go. However can it replace home broadband (if you have enough data allowance of course) should you use BT Infinity WiFi or tether from your 4GEE smartphone?

    We ll be going into this in a lot more detail but to begin with, let s take a look at each speed test. First up is BT Infinity connected through the BT HomeHub 3: Our BT Infinity connection is meant to offer up to 80Mbps download speeds and up to 20Mbps upload. As we ve come to expect from all data connections, it s rare to hit the top end of these estimates but whilst 35.12Mbps is a far cry from the promised 80Mbps download, 20.62Mbps is the top end of our expected upload speeds.

    Now we come to 4G thanks to EE, which we ran on the same Samsung Galaxy S4 (this was captured 15 seconds after the BT test): So we re in a double-speed 4GEE area and EE claim this offers up to 100Mbps download speeds and 50Mbps upload speeds. In reality, we rarely come close to this but in comparison to BT Infinity, it does seem that 4G is a very competitive alternative There s only one issue BT offer unlimited data whilst EE offer a maximum of 20GB for heavy data users, we wouldn t recommend using 4GEE to tether but at least if your BT Infinity connection drops, you ll be able to fall back to your phone for emergency internet usage. About The Author: Nirave Gondhia 1 Founder of UK Mobile Review and MEA Mobile Review 2 - I'm in my twenties and based in London with a passion for mobile tech, travelling and the Middle East.

    Connect with me using the links below.

    References ^ Nirave Gondhia (ukmobilereview.com) ^ MEA Mobile Review (meamobilereview.com)

  • 4G Daily - O2 4G impresses on the Sony Xperia Z Share This... Today s 4G Daily brings the results of a speedtest on O2 s new O2 4G network running on the Sony Xperia Z 1 . Launched last week, O2 4G has some far reaching benefits for UK consumers although the rollout may take a while, O2 is only using the 800MHz spectrum bands which means you ll get great coverage indoors and out.

    Initially our download speeds were very poor but within an hour of switching over to 4G , we d noticed some great results. As is the case here where O2 4G 2 delivers a very impressive 47Mbps download speeds even though we re inside a building! Upload speeds were also fair, peaking at 15.44Mbps which is definitely no slouch.

    All in all, some impressive stuff from O2 4G here can they keep it up? Remember to keep an eye on 4G Daily 3 as we ll answer this and a lot more this week! About The Author: Nirave Gondhia 4 Founder of UK Mobile Review and MEA Mobile Review 5 - I'm in my twenties and based in London with a passion for mobile tech, travelling and the Middle East.

    Connect with me using the links below.

    References ^ Sony Xperia Z (www.phones4u.co.uk) ^ O2 4G (ukmobilereview.com) ^ 4G Daily (ukmr.co) ^ Nirave Gondhia (ukmobilereview.com) ^ MEA Mobile Review (meamobilereview.com)

  • 4G Daily - O2 4G is flying high again on Xperia Z Share This... Another day, another O2 4G Daily 1 speed test and this one brings great download speeds and fair upload speeds. Download speeds clocked in at 42Mbps whilst upload speeds chalked up 16Mbps on the speedometer in some relatively impressive speed tests run on the Sony Xperia Z 2 .

    Interestingly this speedtest was taken outside and along with our other O2 4G 3 Daily speedtest, it goes to show that 4G reception is good both indoors and out. This is thanks to the 800MHz spectrum at the spectrum auction, O2 only purchased 800MHz frequencies, which are used for long-range penetration of buildings. What do you think?

    Are these speeds good enough for you to consider upgrading to O2 4G? Have you already upgraded what speeds do you get? Share your views with us in the comments below!

    About The Author: Nirave Gondhia 4 Founder of UK Mobile Review and MEA Mobile Review 5 - I'm in my twenties and based in London with a passion for mobile tech, travelling and the Middle East.

    Connect with me using the links below.

    References ^ 4G Daily (ukmr.co) ^ Sony Xperia Z (www.phones4u.co.uk) ^ O2 4G (ukmobilereview.com) ^ Nirave Gondhia (ukmobilereview.com) ^ MEA Mobile Review (meamobilereview.com)

  • 4G Daily - the Birmingham speed test on EE 4G Share This... We re up in Birmingham today so we thought we d test how good EE s 4G is here. This is where we are: Now to the speed test: Birmingham is one of the double speed 4G enabled cities offering up to 100mbps download speeds and 50mbps upload speeds.

    In this test we achieved respectable download speeds but the upload speed was less than we have become accustomed to. We ll be running more tests so keep an eye out for those Do you live in Birmingham? Would you be happy with these speeds?

    Let us know what you think! About The Author: Nirave Gondhia 1 Founder of UK Mobile Review and MEA Mobile Review 2 - I'm in my twenties and based in London with a passion for mobile tech, travelling and the Middle East. Connect with me using the links below.

    References ^ Nirave Gondhia (ukmobilereview.com) ^ MEA Mobile Review (meamobilereview.com)

  • 4G on the Baby-Monitor Frequency - Technology Review Showing the promise of "cognitive radio," a rural telecommunications provider is finding a novel way to deliver broadband Internet to consumers. Spectrum smarts: XG Technology demonstrated its cognitive radio technology to FCC officials in Washington, D.C., in September. XG Technology Early next year in a swath of northern Florida, as many as 8,000 people will be able to get 4G wireless broadband with a twist: the service will beam over a frequency normally used by gadgets like garage-door openers and baby monitors.

    The project at Northeast Florida Telephone, using gear from a startup called XG Technology of Sarasota, Florida, appears to be the first commercial use of cognitive radio, which senses available frequencies and switches between them on the fly. Cognitive radios are now used mainly by the military. The technology is one of many creative approaches that will be needed to forestall a spectrum shortage triggered by the boom in super-fast smartphones.

    U.S. mobile data traffic quadrupled last year. Other companies are filling gaps with something called "super Wi-Fi," tapping unused parts of the TV spectrum (also often called white spaces) to deliver service.

    But those frequencies become available only with advance notice, not on an instant, real-time basis. The $2.4 million Florida project is different. When it is running, the service will send and receive signals over the 902 to 928 megahertz band the usual domain of cordless phones, baby monitors, garage-door openers, and similar short-range devices. (Normally, in the United States, cell-phone service is delivered in the 800 megahertz and 1,900 megahertz bands.) Then, using an approach called dynamic spectrum access, the technology divides that range into 18 channels, and uses real-time sensing to detect sudden interference triggered by someone else using the channel to, say, open the garage and switch channels within 20 milliseconds.

    The service should deliver data at six megabits per second, about four times faster than DSL service. The service provider will install about 130 bread-box sized transmitters on rooftops and light poles in the area, and then give each subscriber a device the size of a deck of cards. The subscriber could use that converter box at home or while mobile.

    In the future, such a converter could be miniaturized and included within smartphones. Despite the drawback of having to tote around the converter for now, people in Baker County, Florida, "will have, for the first time, access to pretty good broadband speeds at low prices, and they'll have it for fixed and mobile, and access to mobile voice at very competitive prices," says Ben Dickens, counsel to Northeast Florida Telephone. (Dickens says he doesn't yet know what the monthly pricing will be.) Craig Partridge, chief scientist for networking research at Raytheon BBN Technologies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says the Florida deal will mark the first commercial use of cognitive radios and will highlight the fact that the technology has "an important role to play in the commercial sector." The Florida carrier is one of about 1,300 U.S. carriers serving rural areas that may never get full coverage from giants like AT&T and Verizon.

    The FCC is subsidizing myriad efforts to fill these gaps. Last week, for example, it announced $300 million in grants to bring mobile broadband to rural areas that include 83,000 miles of roadway (see "635,392 U.S. Road Miles Lack 3G or 4G.") Other companies are making advanced cognitive radios and research platforms, including Cognitive Radio Technologies, a startup out of Virginia Tech, and Radio Technology Systems of Ocean Grove, New Jersey (see "Frequency Hopping Radio Wastes Less Spectrum").

    The latter company's research platform, called CogRadio, stretches the approach to new limits. It's able to sense available spectrum and switch between frequencies anywhere from 100 megahertz to 7.5 gigahertz. Such a radio, if it ever became cheap enough, could ultimately make optimal use of any spectrum all the way from AM and FM bands though television and Wi-Fi and cellular frequencies even delivering unbroken audio and video streams that might at any given moment be using any piece of that spectrum.

    Such technologies will increasingly be needed. A White House report, coauthored by industry leaders including Google chairman Eric Schmidt, earlier this year urged the industry to develop intelligent spectrum-sharing technologies. And last week in a speech, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski reiterated that "spectrum is finite, at least with current and foreseeable technologies.

    Just as we must pursue future-oriented energy technologies and policies, we have no choice on our airwaves: we must make better, more efficient use of spectrum." He added: "The sobering fact is that based on today's projections and today's technologies, demand threatens to outpace the supply of spectrum available for mobile broadband in the coming years."
  • 4G Smartphones - EE vs Vodafone vs O2 Share This... Today is the day the UK 4G scene just got a whole lot bigger with both Vodafone and O2 launching their new networks today. If you already have a 4G smartphone, then we d recommend switching over to our 4G SIM Only 1 guide to get the best 4G deal for your smartphones.

    However, you may not have a 4G smartphone or you want a change and if so, we ve got you covered with a look at the best deals for the latest and greatest 4G smartphones to launch in the UK. First let s look at 4G smartphones on a 24 month contract ( at the time of writing, we had no confirmation of O2 s 4G pricing and we ll update this article with O2 s 4G Refresh pricing once confirmed ). The one thing that is very clear is that Vodafone s 4G smartphone focus 2 means they re eager to capture as much business as possible.

    As such, flagship devices such as the Galaxy S4, HTC One and Galaxy S4 Mini are vastly cheaper than equivalent plans on EE. The best Android deal here has to be the Galaxy S4 Mini 3 or HTC One Mini 4 , which are available for just 34 per month from Vodafone (check out our S4 Mini vs HTC One Mini 4G Head To Head 5 to see which has the best 4G antenna!) The best Windows Phone deal is the Nokia Lumia 925 6 at just 34 per month, also on Vodafone. For those looking for a good but inexpensive 4G smartphone, look no further than the Nokia Lumia 820 7 at just 26 per month on EE but beware, this only comes with 500MB 4G data (which is NOT a lot).

    The plans above come with a 24 month minimum commitment but despite fears that 12 month plans were a thing of a past, both Vodafone and EE are offering 4G smartphones on 12 month contracts. Let s take a look at the cost of the same 4G smartphones except on 12 month contracts. For the comparison below, we ve chosen two 12 month 4G plans EE s plan costs 51 per month for 1GB data whilst Vodafone s plan costs 52 per month and comes with 2GB data.

    The prices listed below are the upfront cost of each handset on these plans. As you can see, Vodafone again offers the best value for money with most devices costing less upfront and coming with more data per month. It s worth noting that EE s pricing is likely to change, especially as none of its rivals offered 12 month 4G smartphone plans and this allowed EE to set their own pricing.

    In the face of larger competition and Vodafone offering 12 month 4G smartphone plans, we d definitely expect EE to revisit their handset pricing in the coming weeks. Overall, Vodafone seem to offer the most value for money on 4G smartphones but this is likely to change, especially once we consider O2 s 4G Refresh pricing. EE could also surprise us by launching a sale or reducing the cost of devices in order to be more competitive against the very competitive pricing being offered by its rivals.

    For more information on any of the deals or to see the other plans and devices available, check out the links below: EE 4G Smartphones Vodafone 4G Smartphones O2 4G Smartphones 8 9 10 About The Author: Nirave Gondhia 11 Founder of UK Mobile Review and MEA Mobile Review 12 - I'm in my twenties and based in London with a passion for mobile tech, travelling and the Middle East.

    Connect with me using the links below.

    References ^ 4G SIM Only (ukmobilereview.com) ^ Vodafone reveal new 4G smartphone focus (ukmobilereview.com) ^ Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (GT-i9195) Specs (ukmobilereview.com) ^ HTC One Mini Specs (ukmobilereview.com) ^ 4G Head To Head HTC One Mini vs Samsung Galaxy S4 (ukmobilereview.com) ^ Nokia Lumia 925 (ukmr.co) ^ Nokia Lumia 820 (ukmr.co) ^ EE 4G Smartphones (shop.ee.co.uk) ^ Vodafone 4G Smartphones (mrview.co) ^ O2 4G Smartphones (mrview.co) ^ Nirave Gondhia (ukmobilereview.com) ^ MEA Mobile Review (meamobilereview.com)

  • 5

  • 5 best business laptops for everyday use Business laptops are an unusual breed. Though they sometimes look like consumer systems, and have similar hardware, they are often sold at a higher price which is why consumers tend to stay away from the category despite its reputation for durability. Not all systems built for business are equally unobtainable, however.

    Some are actually affordable even compared to consumer systems. Buyers often turn to these systems for every-day use because of their superior keyboards, anti-glare screens, and durable construction, and they re a particularly good pick for students, frequent travelers, and anyone who works from home. Here are five business laptops we think would be a good fit for anyone inside or out of the conference room.

    Lenovo ThinkPad T530 The Lenovo ThinkPad T-Series has enjoyed a cult following since its introduction in 2000 by IBM. Now designed and manufactured by Lenovo, the current T530 1 is far thinner and lighter than the black bricks of old, and consumers still flock to it. Understanding its popularity isn t difficult.

    Prices start at just $750, yet the T530 offers a range of hardware and can be more thoroughly customized than similarly priced consumer laptops. Buyers can choose from one of three different display resolutions, four different processors, and even tack on a low-end discrete GPU. Solid-state hard drives, extended batteries and mobile 2 broadband are available, too.

    And then there s the keyboard. Though it s a 15-inch system, the T530 doesn t include a numpad, instead favoring a spacious key layout that s perfectly centered in the chassis. And don t forget the TrackPoint navigation stick, which allows control of the mouse without the user moving their hands from an optimal typing position.

    The T530 isn t the most attractive system, and far from the lightest, but it s ideal for anyone who spends hours typing day after day. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E535 While the ThinkPad T530 is a great laptop, the somewhat affordable $750 base price rockets to $1,000 or more with just a few options. Many consumers can t afford that, which is where the Edge comes in.

    The Lenovo Edge E535 3 , like the T530, offers an excellent typing experience. Though it does include a numpad, and has a somewhat more cramped layout as a result, the keyboard has great travel and good tactile feel (and those who think the numpad gets in the way can order the 14-inch version). The TrackPoint is included, too, making the Edge E535 the least expensive laptop available with that feature.

    Speaking of price, this laptop starts at about $500 (counting the discounts Lenovo almost always offers) with an AMD quad-core processor, anti-glare screen, and 4GB of RAM. The value proposition really explains the appeal: there are very few laptops with an equally good keyboard and an anti-glare display, and none that offer a 15-inch display. Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Netbooks popularized the idea of very small PCs, but they certainly weren t the first.

    Lenovo s small X230, which currently sells with a 12.5-inch display, hit the market in September of 2000. The goal of the X-series has always been the same: big computer performance in a very small package. Lenovo delivers on that promise with standard-voltage Core processors (rather than the low-voltage models found in Ultrabooks), at least 4GB of RAM, and optional solid-state drives.

    A properly equipped X230, like the model we reviewed last year 4 , offers performance on par with the fastest 15-inch laptops. Pricing starts at $750, too, so you don t have to sell a kidney to buy it. And, because this is a ThinkPad, the laptop has a great keyboard, anti-glare display, and optional extended battery.

    These traits make it perfect for anyone who wants to do serious work in unusual situations. If you ve ever seen someone work on a bus, at a gym, or at the beach, they were probably using an X230. Dell Latitude 3330 Looking for a small laptop with a great keyboard, but don t have much money to spend?

    Then you may be disappointed by the Lenovo laptops suggested thus far. Don t worry, we have a solution and it comes from Dell. The Latitude 3330 5 , which starts at $439, is the company s least expensive business laptop.

    We suggest springing for 4GB of RAM, rather than the base 2GB, but that only bumps the price up to $480. You might think such an inexpensive system would have some handicap, but the Latitude 3330 suffers from no obvious flaw. The chassis is light and thin, the stock Intel Celeron processor is adequately quick, and battery life is average for a 13-inch laptop.

    Spending a little more will buy you an Intel Core i3 processor and a larger hard drive, but we think buyers should consider the base model with 4GB of RAM. The sub-$500 price tag is hard to argue with, and spending more provides only a slight performance boost. Dell also announced a series of updates to its Latitude notebooks 6 this week, including the 7000 series Ultrabooks.

    We haven t had a chance to review any of the Latitudes, but they may be something to keep on your radar. HP EliteBook Folio 9470m HP s EliteBooks are robust systems for large businesses, but they often don t make the best choice for consumers because of their pricing. The EliteBook Folio 9470m 7 , however, stands out as an exception to the rule.

    It s perfect for consumers who want a light, yet powerful, laptop. In many ways, the Folio 9470m feels like a spiritual successor to the premium Envy laptops HP has unfortunately discontinued. This 14-inch system is built like a tank and offers authentic brushed aluminum wherever your hand lingers.

    But unlike most EliteBooks, this one is slim; it weighs about 3.6 pounds and is just three-quarters of an inch thick. Performance comes from Intel Core low-voltage processors, the slowest of which is the i5-3337U, a part that s available only as an upgrade on many competitors. Storage choices include solid-state hard drives, and while 4GB of RAM comes standard, on most models, 8GB can be purchased.

    Only the 1,366 x 768 anti-glare display is a letdown, and there s no upgrade to 1080p available. Pricing starts at $1,100, so the Folio is not exactly a bargain, but its price is in line with competing consumer laptops that offer similar hardware and less impressive build quality. Conclusion Buyers considering a business laptop should remember that they can usually receive more for their money with a consumer alternative.

    With a few exceptions, laptops not built for business will provide slightly better performance for the price. They also tend to have better display quality because the anti-glare coating used on most business systems has a tendency to reduce overall contrast. But if you valuable the keyboards, want a more durable laptop, or hate glare, a business laptop is the way to go.

    Their reliability and productivity can more than make up for the higher price.

    References ^ T530 (shop.lenovo.com) ^ mobile (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ Lenovo Edge E535 (shop.lenovo.com) ^ like the model we reviewed last year (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ Latitude 3330 (www.dell.com) ^ series of updates to its Latitude notebooks (www.digitaltrends.com) ^ EliteBook Folio 9470m (www.digitaltrends.com)

  • 5 Desktop PC Deals for Under $400 Need a homework machine for your kids? Or maybe you want a PC that will act as dedicated storage for all your digital devices? A low-cost desktop could be the way to go.

    That s right a desktop. Although most of us rely on laptops, not to mention tablets and smartphones, desktop PCs still have plenty of uses for the consumer. And because desktops PCs are relatively cheap, you can buy one to fill a need that would otherwise be too pricey.

    Adding a desktop PC to your home network makes it easy to store files, pictures or music that you can then share with any device that can access your network. That way you re always backed up, and you take the load off other devices, such as tablets, that don t have much built in storage, but still have the content readily available. Similarly, if you like your younger children to get started using computers, a low-cost desktop PC will run any of the programs they re likely to use, and you ll be risking less if the milk spills or the peanut butter somehow finds its way to drive door.

    And you might like a spare in case your PC is in the shop or a family member has borrowed. Another plus: Nearly all desktops come with a built-in optical drive, something many of today s compact laptops no longer offer, plus they generally have lots of ports to plug in many peripherals and other digital devices. (See the back of the Inspiron pictured below.) One caveat. None of these prices include a monitor, so if you don t already own one, you ll obviously be spending more than $400.

    Still there are some good deal. Dealnews 1 was the source for a number of these systems; I found others by checking around the Web. Dell s Inspiron 660 2 is a compact system for $299.

    You have choice of Windows 7 or Windows 8 --don t opt Windows 8 since you won t have a touchscreen. If you want this machine for backup, spend an extra $89 and double your storage space to one terabyte. Dell Vostro 270s Intel Pentium 2.9GHz Desktop PC 3 is $349 with free shipping.

    It features an Intel Pentium G2020 2.9GHz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, DVD burner, 802.11n wireless, media card reader, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Deal ends July 31. Newegg is selling the Lenovo H520s 4 , which offers a faster CPU and more storage than either of the Dell systems.

    It comes with 4GB of memory and a one terabyte hard drive. It s selling for $319 and ships with Windows 8. Newegg also offers the refurbished Gateway DX4870-UB308 Intel Core i3 Dual-Core 3.4GHz Desktop PC 5 , for $299 with free shipping.

    The system has a Sandy Bridge Core i3 processor (a newer chip than other bargain desktops) and also sports a 1 TB hard drive. Hewlett Packard offers what it calls Essential Home Desktops 6 . The line includes four systems starting well under $400; two are under $300.

    Again, they come without monitors and you ll pay sales tax and shipping, but still worth checking out if you are interested in a bargain desktop.

    References ^ Dealnews (dealnews.com) ^ Dell s Inspiron 660 (www.dell.com) ^ Dell Vostro 270s Intel Pentium 2.9GHz Desktop PC (dealnews.com) ^ Newegg is selling the Lenovo H520s (www.newegg.com) ^ Gateway DX4870-UB308 Intel Core i3 Dual-Core 3.4GHz Desktop PC (dealnews.com) ^ Essential Home Desktops (shopping.hp.com)

  • 5 essential iPhone 5S accessories Phone Reviews Today we re going to take a look at five of the best accessories to have been announced so far for the highly anticipated iPhone 5S. Let s get right into the picks!

    5. iKit NuCharge 1900 mAh Battery Pack & Case We begin today with an absolute lifesaver the iKit NuCharge.

    This is a combined iPhone 5S case 1 and battery pack, a sensible arrangement that uses the bulk of the battery as added protection for your iPhone. The case does add a fair bit to the size and weight of your iPhone 5S, but you won t mind as you ll have more than double the normal amount of battery life available. That means over 24 hours of 3G talk time or Wi-Fi internet browsing, and it should be enough to last about two full days between recharges with moderate use.

    The case even includes a kickstand so you can easily watch movies or play games on the go.

    4. iBolt iProDock 5 Active Vehicle Dock The iBolt is a cleverly made dock for the iPhone 5S that gives you pretty much everything you need for using your iPhone in a car. You have a car holder to keep your iPhone 5S in a convenient position for GPS navigation and other activities, as well as a powerful car charger to ensure that you ll always arrive at your destination with more juice than you started with.

    While you could also potentially add an FM transmitter or a hands-free kit, these two functions encapsulate the basics and you ll be glad to have them.

    3. Spigen SGP Glas.t Slim Glass Screen Protector This iPhone 5S screen protector 2 is rather different than almost all others on the market, thanks to its use of a different material. Instead of plastic, this screen protector is made of tempered, shatter-resistant glass that provides considerably more protection against scratches, abrasions and impacts than a standard screen protector.

    While the price is correspondingly higher, the easy application process and the aforementioned protection really make this a worthwhile upgrade for an expensive phone like the iPhone 5S.

    2. iFruit Conversion Kit This is perhaps the least essential accessory on the list, but it s so funny I thought I had to include it. Basically, it s a vinyl skin that ll make your iPhone resemble the iFruit parody 3 phone from Grand Theft Auto.

    The iFruit is protagonist Michael s phone of choice in GTA 5, and it really is amusing to see someone pull one out in the real world. Of course, since it s a vinyl skin it adds basically no bulk to the iPhone 5S, ensuring all accessories continue to work correctly.

    1. Tech21 D3O Impact Leather Flip Case This is easily the best iPhone 5S accessory I ve seen so far a next generation case from Tech21 that combines stellar impact protection with the screen protection and leather stylings of a traditional folio case.

    This case also includes a built-in stand, perfect for consuming media of all kinds as well as watching the notifications fly in. The Impact Leather Flip is a great first choice for an iPhone 5S case, and you won t regret picking one up. Conclusion I hope you ve found these selections useful.

    Thanks as always for checking out the list and be sure to let me know if you have any questions or comments in the relevant field below!

    Please visit Mobile Fun 4 and use their search bar to find the above iPhone 5S accessories, enjoy.

    References ^ iPhone 5S case (www.mobilefun.co.uk) ^ iPhone 5S screen protector (www.mobilefun.co.uk) ^ iFruit parody (www.phonesreview.co.uk) ^ Mobile Fun (www.mobilefun.co.uk )

  • 5 things iPhone photographers want from WWDC: Connect Apple often uses the WWDC logo to hint at announcements. Tech journalists are speculating that this logo indicates a new approach to Apple's iOS interface. This time next week, Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference will be under way.

    Most of the major Apple announcements are expected to arrive during the keynote on June 10th at 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, 1 but tech journalists have been surmising new technology for weeks. According to Apple experts 2 and industry insiders 3 , it is safe to expect a new version of Apple's mobile operating system iOS.

    Most people expect the new, Jony Ive-designed iOS 7 to appear "flatter," 4 but what will the overhaul mean for the user interface and photography tools? Here at Connect, we spend a lot of time covering iPhone cameras and the people who use them. As we look forward to next week's announcements, we are hoping for a few things to make iPhone photography better.

    While some of them seem likely, we may have to wait a while for others. In anticipation of WWDC, I have taken a bit of time to reflect on my personal phone of choice and its operating system to explain what I want from the upcoming Apple announcements.

    1. Better manual capture tools in the native photo application iOS 4 gave us HDR, iOS 5 came with instant camera access from the lock screen and iOS 6 introduced panorama mode.

    If a new version of Apple's iOS operating system is launched (which seems very likely), we can only hope that the camera application will see a new photography feature. We are not sure what it will be, but here's hoping that it includes some more elaborate manual capture settings. What will the camera application look like on iOS 7?

    As far as native photo applications go, the iPhone's user interface is the simplest of all smartphone offerings. Depending on your Android device, you can find everything from GIF creation to special scene modes inside the native photo application. Windows Phone 8 users can even add on "lenses" within the camera app.

    Meanwhile, iPhone photographers are left with a simple tap-to-focus interface that leaves many serious photographers rushing to the App Store for something better. What I want : A little "Pro Mode" toggle right under the HDR and Grid options. When turned on, my hypothetical new user interface would allow for separate exposure and focal points as well as white balance and ISO control.

    Will it happen? Maybe, but not likely. There is a reason why Apple doesn't have an excess of features in the camera native app.

    Not every iPhone user wants elaborate manual camera features, and those who do can easily download a third party application. Apple likes a clean user interface and that sometimes means leaving the bells and whistles to software developers.

    2. A iPhone 5S equivalent with improved camera hardware Is it time yet for a new iPhone?

    Probably not, but if Apple follows the formula its set forth with the iPhone 4 and 4S launches, the next iPhone will likely be seeing a major camera hardware upgrade. The iPhone 4S took a 3-megapixel leap from its predecessor, raising hopes for an improvement in the next iPhone installment. The iPhone 5 5 's launch last year saw a new sapphire lens and more processing power to handle low-light images.

    What I want : A larger sensor. The Lumia series has its megapixel-packing 808 PureView camera 6 , HTC's One 7 uses "ultrapixels" and the latest 13MP Samsung Galaxy S4 8 focused heavily on software in its camera marketing. Apple can reach the cutting edge by offering a smartphone camera that has a larger sensor instead of just packing the megapixels into the same tiny camera unit.

    Will it happen? Not right now. According to most Apple sources, w e will not be seeing a new iPhone next week 9 .

    3. Better photo organization When it comes to organizing your images on an iOS device, you are on your own. Besides creating new folders for apps to dump photos in, iOS doesn't have any tools to automatically sort your photos on a mobile device.

    On OSX, iPhoto will organize photos based on facial recognition or added keywords. For $4.99 in the App Store 10 , you can download iPhoto for iOS and use its flags to help organize your mobile images and there are plenty of third-party apps 11 to help automatically organize and share photos. But shouldn't these tools come standard?

    What I want : Ability to sort photos via automatic geolocation tags, time taken and user-added keywords. Will it happen? Anything is possible with a new iOS update, and the Photos application is in major need of attention, so we will likely see some sort of update.

    4. Improved app management If there was a TV show about virtual hoarders, there would have to be a whole season on iPhone photographers. The plethora of great apps available in the iOS App Store means that some iPhone photographers are packing dozens of niche photography apps.

    Instead of allowing app lovers to shove all their software into one giant folder, Apple limits folder sizes based on device. The iPhone 4S can only hold 12 apps per folder while the iPhone 5 can handle up to 16. What I want : Removal of folder limits!

    Please! (Also the creation of an App Hoarders Anonymous program so I can have a place to talk about my problem.) Will it happen? I sure hope so. And these guys want it, too 12 . (Maybe they can join AHA with me.) 5.

    Share and edit photos straight from the Camera Roll Every iPhone photographer who uses the native camera application has had this problem. You take a photo and want to share it quickly. You tap on the tiny preview in the bottom left of the screen and end up on the Camera Roll preview screen (left image above).

    From here, you can delete your photo, but that's it. If you want to share it or edit it, you must first exit the Camera Roll and open up the image in the Photos app (right image above). Likewise, when you are in the Photos app and you suddenly want to take a photo, you have to exit in order to go back to the camera.

    The interface of the Camera Roll and Photos app are almost identical, just the tools and options available are different. What I want : Full integration of the Camera Roll and Photos app tap that tiny preview on the camera interface, you are now in the Photos app, when you open the Photos app, you can easily tap into the camera interface. Will it happen?

    If Apple does any updates to Camera Roll, this super obvious navigation problem will hopefully be addressed. Let's hear from you : Do you use an iPhone to take photos? If so, what do you want from WWDC?

    References ^ June 10th at 10 a.m.

    Pacific Standard Time, (allthingsd.com) ^ Apple experts (appleinsider.com) ^ industry insiders (www.theverge.com) ^ iOS 7 to appear "flatter," (gizmodo.com) ^ iPhone 5 (connect.dpreview.com) ^ 808 PureView camera (connect.dpreview.com) ^ HTC's One (connect.dpreview.com) ^ Samsung Galaxy S4 (connect.dpreview.com) ^ e will not be seeing a new iPhone next week (9to5mac.com) ^ $4.99 in the App Store (itunes.apple.com) ^ plenty of third-party apps (connect.dpreview.com) ^ these guys want it, too (www.maclife.com)

  • 50 billionth iOS app downloaded, bloke wins 6,550 gift card Lucky chap -- Brandon Ashmore, from the sleepy lakeside town of Mentor, Ohio, has just won $10,000 ( 6,550) in Apple App Store credit after he downloaded the store's 50 billionth app. The 50 people who downloaded apps after Brandon's milestone also bagged $500 ( 330) gift vouchers. The 50 billionth app was the game Say the Same Thing 1 , which bizarrely was created by the YouTube-winning band OK Go and turned into an app by Space Inch.

    It promises "fun word-times with your buddies". Apple promoted the countdown to the big event with this huge ticker. That'll have to be changed for the next huge milestone, if rumours about Jony Ive banning skeuomorphism 2 come true. "The App Store completely transformed how people use their mobile devices and created a thriving app ecosystem that has paid out over $9bn to developers," boasted Apple's Eddy Cue. "We're absolutely floored to cross this milestone in less than five years." Comparable stats for the App Store's rival Google Play are difficult to come by, but the Android store passed the 25 billion download mark 3 in September last year, when iOS was on about 35 billion.

    It's thought the Android store is growing faster than the App Store, as 74 per cent of smart phones sold 4 in the first quarter of 2013 being powered by the little green robot. It passed iOS in terms of number of apps available 5 in October last year. What would you do with six and a half grand's worth of App Store credit? (Hint: you could rent Robin Hood Prince of Thieves 1,876 times.) Spend your imaginary winnings in the comments below, or over on our prize-winning Facebook page .

    6 References ^ Say the Same Thing (itunes.apple.com) ^ Jony Ive banning skeuomorphism (www.cnet.com) ^ passed the 25 billion download mark (www.cnet.com) ^ 74 per cent of smart phones sold (www.cnet.com) ^ passed iOS in terms of number of apps available (www.cnet.com) ^ Facebook page (www.facebook.com)

  • 6

  • 6 Anti-Theft Apps for the iPad and iPhone Even moreso than a notebook PC, your iOS device is an appealing target for thieves, Only common sense can help you prevent the device from getting lifted. Yet although just about all of them leave something to be desired, there are free (or almost free) apps out there can make it easier for you to locate an iPad or iPhone if it is either stolen or misplaced. In this article, we'll take a largely hands-on look at six of these apps and let you know how well they worked for us.

    Why is an iPad particularly enticing to a crook? For one thing, a laptop's greater bulk makes walking away with it more noticeable. Beyond that, notebook PCs have security slots for locking cables 1 (which, admittedly, not many people use).

    In contrast, an iPad is rarely tethered with power or security cables, and it can be slickly slipped under a shirt or inside a paper-type notebook. Also, it's all too easy to misplace your iPad -- to forget to take it with you from your plane seat or your hotel or your meeting room -- or to have your iPad slide into hiding under a jacket, a stack of newspapers, or the groceries. An iPhone, of course, is even smaller and lighter than an iPad.

    So it could be even more likely to stray. What Are Anti-Theft Apps Designed To Do? How can an anti-theft app like Apple's Find My Phone, Prey Anti-Theft or SecureIT Anti-Theft help you to find a missing tablet or phone?

    Essentially, these apps use GPS or WiFi data and/or IP address to track the location of the device. Some popular additional features including displaying the location on a map, sounding an alarm on the device, taking photos from the device, and remotely locking the system or wiping the data. Other capabilities can include a secure browser, motion sensors, parental controls, and more.

    Several of these kinds of apps are free, or close to it. In case it isn't obvious, most anti-theft tasks require the strayed iOS device to be (a) on and (b) able to access the Internet through WiFI or a cellular network. Doing more precise map-locating assumes GPS service as well, although locating based on network addresses for WiFi hotspots can be surprisingly adequate in some cases.

    Among the leading security software vendors, Kaspersky as well as McAfee and Symantec provide anti-theft features for Android phones and tablets. McAfee and Symantec supply anti-theft capabilities for iOS devices, too, but only with the purchase of more comprehensive security products or services. McAfee's crossplatform LiveSafe service includes built-in anti-theft protection for iOS and other devices.

    Symantec offers an app called Norton Mobile Security - Lost Phone Finder -- operable on both the iPad and iPhone -- in Apple's App Store. For the Norton app to work, though, you must be a paid subscriber to either Norton Mobile Security, Norton 360 Multi-Device, or Norton One. Meanwhile, Apple and a bunch of third-party vendors have posted free or low-cost standalone apps in the App Store and/or on other web sites which work on a standalone basis.

    Here are six of them. Wherever possible, I tested these apps using my WiFi-only iPad 2 and my iPhone 4. (iLost Finder, though, only works on a jailbroken device, so I wasn't able to test that one.) As we'll see, I wasn't exactly overwhelmingly impressed with any of them. If you lose your iPad or your iPhone, however, you need as much assistance as you can get.

    Find My iPhone Free Supporting the iPad, iPhone, iPod plus,and Mac, this free app from Apple is designed to help you locate -- and if need be, remotely lock or wipe -- your iOS device. You can from reach a missing iPad via either Find My iPad on another Apple device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), or through your iCloud account, which you can access either via a web browser or the iCloud Control Panel for Windows 7 or 8. Find My iPhone's Play Sound lets you make your device play a sound for two minutes at full volume (even if your device is set to silent), and send you an email message confirming this was done.

    Lock & Track allows you to see the locations of your devices on a map. If you use Lost Mode on an iOS 6 or higher device, you can lock it with a passcode (existing or new) and track its location. If you lock an ioS 5 device or higher device or a Mac, an Erase feature lets you erase data on the remote device. (If you've set the device to auto-save to iCloud, you won't lose your data.) Some devices let you remotely enter a text message, such as how to contact you.

    Meanwhile, iOS 7 includes Activation Lock, a new feature that will let you make it harder for anybody else to use your device, in any case. While the price is right, however, Find My iPhone didn't turn out to be as accurate as it should be in pinpointing locations on the map. For example, while it correctly showed the location of my iPad -- which doesn't have mobile broadband or GPS enabled -- it persisted in showing my iPhone as being about half a mile away...

    even when my iPhone was in my shirt pocket, a mere foot from my iPad. Tsk. Toggling SETTINGS> ICLOUD> FIND My IPHONE on the mis-located device (here, my iPhone) fixed this at least temporarily sometimes -- but not reliably. (On my most recent reset, it halved the error.) Being off by several blocks is unacceptable for a device that has GPS in it...

    and if the i-device isn't with you, you can't toggle that setting, anyway. Also, it would also be nice if the map showed device-specific icons (e.g., iPad, iPhone) rather than generic green locator pins -- and if clicking on a device icon on the map brought up the action choices, rather than forcing you to click several times to get there. Even with these glitches, though, installing and configuring the free Find My IPhone app should be one of the first things you do when you get a new i-device.

    Prey Anti-Theft Free (paid upgrades available) Prey is an open source anti-theft app for locating and recovering an iPad or iPhone. (Other versions are available for Android, Windows, and MacOS.) You can register up to three devices on an account. Unlike Apple's Find My iPhone, which only shows the current location, Prey saves reports of locations as your iPad moves. (Note: This also means that when you tell Prey a device has gone missing, it won't collect report information until the device moves far enough.) Once you've installed the Prey app on a device, you can monitor and control it through the Prey's web-based Control Panel. Prey lets you remotely find and track your iPad/iPhone on a map, using geolocation based on GPS and/or WiFi data.

    Prey also lets you take pictures using both of your iPad's cameras (with luck, getting a picture of the thief and/or useful location information), push an alert message to the display, and trigger a loud alarm. Prey can report on network information, too, which might also help to narrow down the device's location. If you do install Prey, make sure all the related iOS features are enabled (e.g., SETTINGS> PRIVACY> Location Services).

    The free version of Prey can monitor up to three devices. Pro non-free versions can monitor more devices and include a few more features. After several tries and browsing the Help knowledge base, I got Prey to work, but I'm not impressed.

    Telling the Prey control panel to "do a report" sent a brief, misleading "notification" at the top of the iPad screen. If the person now using your iPad doesn't tap on it, nothing else happens. Since the Alert message is identified as from Prey, a security-savvy crook will notice this and decline to tap on the message.

    If a user does tap on the Alert message, Prey causes the device to sound an alarm and capture a picture from each camera. However, unlike several other anti-theft apps, Prey uses the current volume setting -- on my iPad, near-mute -- rather than overriding to maximum volume. Also, overall, the user interface is cumbersome, slow, and non-intuitive.

    On the good side, Prey's map-location of my "missing" device, and the map view itself, is much more accurate and detailed than what Apple's own Find My iPhone provides. Prey can be a good complement to Find My iPhone. The price is right here.

    too, but the developers need to improve the app. SecureIT Anti-Theft Free The free version of this app provides anti-theft features consisting of Remote Geolocation and Remote Message/Alerting. The $19.99 upgrade to Premium adds web security, parental controls, and activity monitoring.

    However, getting started is remarkably multi-step and badly documented. The registration screen's implication is it that it wants your Gmail ID, although it took an AOL address from me instead. From there, it sent me to the Quick Start Guide web page...

    which didn't mention iOS at all, only Android. The "Help" portion of the free app is similarly unhelpful. There's no actual Help info relating to iOS, and not much overall.

    You use SecureIT through its web portal. I must say that the map location is surprisingly accurate, given that my iPad is WiFi-only, without cellular service or GPS. The map displayed by iPad as being within half a block of its actual location.

    On the other hand, the "Actions" -- sending an alert message to the iPad, and/or telling it to make a noise -- didn't work at all. Tsk. Similarly, the Tunes page for the app claims the free version includes Remote Lock and Wipe Your Device features.

    I didn't see them there. Fortunately, Apple's free Find My iPhone app offers these, anyway. You might want to try the free version of SecureIT Anti-Theft, to see if its map location is better than that any other of the anti-theft apps you're considering.

    Whether it's worth twenty bucks for web filtering, parental control and other features, I can't tell you. But the bad job on the free features doesn't make a good case for spending any money with these guys, versus going elsewhere. Hidden $15 and up per year, depending on number of devices Hidden is another app that can track the location of your iPad, iPhone, or Mac.

    It uses a mix of GPS and network-based geo-location, and it will not work on WiFi-only iPads. The app can take pictures using the front-facing camera, hopefully including ones of the thief or where the device is. Once you have created an account on the HiddenApp.com web site, you can download Hidden for iOS from the app store. (To find it, search the App Store for "hidden flipcode." Otherwise, you'll find too many hits just for "hidden.") If your Apple computer, iPhone or iPad later gets lost or stolen, you should login to your Hiddenapp.com online Tracking Control Panel and mark the device as "stolen." Hidden says that it will then "immediately report the location of the device." Hidden will also "trigger a local notification imitating an alarm clock; when the thief attempts to view or dismiss the fake alarm notification, the app will open and take a photo of the thief." In one nice feature, the control panel offers a "Test Mode" button which will collect data and then reset device status back to "Not Stolen." Yet my effort to use Hidden was singularly abysmal.

    I purchased one account. Since my iPad doesn't have the cellular service turned on, I tried to use it for my iPhone... only to be told that my one-device license was already in use.

    To add insult to injury, incomprehensibly, the App Store on my iPad couldn't find the Hidden app using the App Store on my iPad, although it could find it through both the App Store on my iPhone and iTunes on my Windows desktop. Go figure. If you are able to install Hidden, it may do the job.

    On the other hand, you can get Alarm and Take Photo features for free from other apps. Color me unimpressed, uninspired -- and unlikely to recommend Hidden. Motion Alarm HD $2.99 Motion Alarm HD is more proactive than the above-mentioned apps, using motion sensing to help protect your iPad -- not just from a would-be thief, but even from people who simply want to use it without your permission.

    When the app is running and showing on the display, any motion above the set threshhold triggers actions, which can include the alarm sound, screen blackening, and emailing your location. Touching the app Alarm Status back to Off kills the alarm. (While Motion Alarm HD needs to be the foreground app to be active, the settings include darkening, so that the device looks off or asleep.) Alarm sounds include a default siren, along with sundry optional sound effects like barking dogs. The alarm sounds at the current volume setting for the device, rather than at maximum.

    The tracking message includes latitude/longitude to three decimal places, plus a link to Google Maps, which showed my iPad to be only a few houses off from my actual location. Given that this app seems only to be active when it's in foreground, I'm not sure how useful it can be, unless you're ready to remember to set it each time you step away from your iPad. I tested the HD edition, which only runs on the iPad.

    However, a non-HD version is also available for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. iLost Finder Free. iLost Finder works only on a "jailbroken" iPad, iPhone, iPod running iOS 4.3.0 or later.

    It is a free, Cydia-based app that will take a front-side photo if anybody (including you) who types in the wrong unlocking passcode. It will then email the picture to you. Given how often I mis-type my own code, I'd be the main character in my rogue's gallery.

    However, to the extent that iLost Finder actually performs these actions automatically whenever the wrong passcode is entered, the app could turn out to be helpful. In another distinctive feature, iLost Finder prevents your device from powering off. Unavailable in Apple's App Store, this app is downloadable from the iLostFinder.com web site.

    If you haven't jailbroken your iPad or iPhone for other reasons, do you want to jailbreak it just in order to run iLost Finder? Only you can decide. (I haven't jailbroken my iPad or iPhone, and I still don't plan to do so.) Since I don't have a jailbroken iOS device to test iLost Finder on, I can't give you a hands-on opinion for this app. There are other "take and email picture" apps available, but this is the first I've seen that prevents a power-down.

    Other Tips for Safeguarding Your iDevice Given the importance of locating a lost or stolen mobile device like an iPad or iPhone, it's disconcerting that so many of the offerings are hard to use or don't deliver fully on their claims. That said, you can do a fair amount for free (or practically for free). Start with Apple's Find my iPhone and then consider adding one or two more apps to fill in the gaps.

    Beyond installing any apps, also take other reasonable precautions. Keep an eye on your device when you're out and about. Set a login password.

    Also, make a note of the serial number on the purchase receipt and ile a copy of the receipt. You might want to file a copy with your insurance company,too. Put your name on the device (if you didn't order it with your name etched in by Apple).

    Consider including your email address, phone number, perhaps even a mailing address, or an ID label from a loss protection/recovery service like StuffBak.com. Additionally, you might want to take a picture of your business card or address label and use it as the first picture on the Camera Roll (and leave that image there). Be sure to do regular backups, either to your desktop computer or to Apple iCloud or another cloud service, That way, even if you do lose -- and never recover -- your iPad or iPhone, you'll only be out a few files or pictures at most.

    Jacqueline Emigh, software editor for TechTarget's TechnologyGuide Media Group, contributed additional reporting to this article. Want to find out more about how cloud computing can help to ease your work life? Check out the "Working in the Cloud" series 2 to learn more.

    References ^ How To Secure Your Laptop PC (www.notebookreview.com) ^ "Working in the Cloud" series (www.technologyguide.com)

  • 6 things to expect in mobile from Microsoft's Nokia acquisition ... What will a future Microsoft/Nokia collaboration look like? So Microsoft has bought the best bits of Nokia, and given their already cozy relationship, the two companies will likely be working as one much more quickly than, say, Google and Motorola did. What can we expect from the next couple years of this intriguing mashup? #1.

    Pureview rolls out en masse One of the few things Nokia is truly known for in the modern smartphone market is actually innovating in the camera space. Most skeptics of the 41-megapixel Pureview sensor have been silenced by its versatility and image quality. Sure, there's work to be done in speeding it up and adding features, but the core technology is unique and powerful.

    Microsoft knows this adds a big card to their hand, and Pureview will almost certainly be a flagship feature of Windows Phones from now on. It won't be on every device, but you can be sure it's going to hit a lot more models than just the top-end superphones. #2. Windows slums it at the low end Shipping dumbphones with a dead-end OS doesn't fit Microsoft's plan to nibble away at the smartphone market.

    Nokia's approach has led to years of decline, but they still have reach, especially in emerging markets. Microsoft will want to use this reach to put some kind of Windows Phone device in the hands of someone trying to decide between a Samsung flip-phone and a Nokia Asha. This won't be easy but it may be a better fit for a cut-down version of an OS than in the disastrous Windows RT tablets.

    A Windows Phone "lite" running on cheap hardware could put millions into Microsoft's world of services. A side effect of this will be an attempt to freeze Android out of the budget segment. Every month, Android phones get closer and closer to supplanting dumbphones in massive markets like India and China.

    Offering a killer low-end phone will halt the enemy's progress and boost friendly ranks. #3. Photos get a social and cloud boost Microsoft may have recently updated its Skydrive service with better photo options, but they're still lagging far behind Apple and Google when it comes to a smooth, connected photo-taking and sharing experience. Microsoft should be bending over backwards to make sure apps like Instagram and Vine are available on Windows Phone, while pushing connections with Facebook to the maximum.

    Why, for example, isn't Binging all your and your friends' Facebook photos and tags already a homepage action? And why is WP always the last to be supported by the cool new thing? Nokia has a lot of thoughtful software engineers who have built accessible, innovative apps over the last few years, and they may combine with Microsoft's vast ecosystem of services to make something powerful.

    Or at least, it's possible. #4. Skype everywhere Microsoft has been waiting for a way to extend the mobile reach of Skype for a long time, and this is a great opportunity. Include it (with some sort of sweet data deal) on every Windows Phone as an answer to FaceTime and Google Hangouts and watch as users stick with the default.

    Want to bet every phone Microsoft sells starting a year from now has dual cameras? #5. Industry acquaintances get the cold shoulder After an initial (and largely ineffective) push, companies like Samsung and LG have offered only lukewarm support of Microsoft's newer platforms. Microsoft thanked them both with the self-produced Surface tablets, and by partnering for all intents and purposes exclusively with Nokia.

    Expect this frosty relationship to chill even further now that Microsoft has no particular need for their design and manufacturing prowess. #6. "Nokia" will stick around A few comments have been made about the branding of devices: Microsoft Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 1020 is about four words too long, and many have suggested that "Nokia" is on the chopping block. That's doubtful. Nokia is one of the most well-recognized mobile brands in the world, and has many positive associations.

    Windows Phone and Lumia are newer and more mixed. Moreover, callously retiring a cherished and valuable brand would be very bad PR. No, Microsoft's best move is to make sure that "Nokia" is solely associated with Windows, so much so that they don't have to say it in the name.

    If anything, "Nokia" will be the last brand standing when it comes to what's actually advertised. Intel, after all, didn't tell Dell to call their computers "Intel Pentium Inspirons"... yet "Intel Inside" is a brand that persists to this day, while "Inspiron" is virtually without cachet.

    Google relaunched Motorola rather than absorb it.

  • 7

  • 7 Tools to Make Samsung Galaxy S4 Battery Last All Day We already showed users how to get more battery life 1 out of their Samsung Galaxy S4, but sometimes tweaking the software and OS settings might not do the trick. We want to share some hardware accessories that can help push that battery life a little further and make the Samsung Galaxy S4 last all day. Many people get enough battery life out of their Samsung Galaxy S4 without tweaking things or buying accessories.

    However, on a long trip, they use the phone more and the display stays lit all day. No amount of tweaking extends the life enough. When someone uses their phone more than normal and a power outlet eludes them, these accessories might save the day.

    While we re focusing on the Galaxy S4, our advice applies to any phone with swappable batteries. We put these solutions in order of most convenient to least. Carry An Extra Battery A replaceable battery makes the Samsung Galaxy S4 a great option over an iPhone or HTC One, though both are two great handsets.

    GS4 users can get a spare battery or two to double or triple their phone s battery life. We like the Samsung Spare Battery Charging System 2 for about $50 retail or $42 at Amazon 3 , because it comes with the second battery and charges it for us while not in use. Charge overnight and grab it with the phone in the morning.

    When one battery dies, pop off the back of the Galaxy S4 using a thumbnail in the tiny slot in the upper left corner of the back of the phone just above power button. The bottom left edge of the battery has a spot where the same thumbnail can get ahold of the batteries edge. Lift it out and then insert the new battery with the four gold-colored contacts towards the top left.

    It only fits one way. An alternative comes from Mugen Power 4 . The KiDiGi dock for the Samsung Galaxy S4 will charge the phone naked, or in some low-profile cases.

    It includes a slot for an extra battery. The dock costs $25 5 . Add a Mugen Power 2750mAh battery 6 for $44.50.

    We tested the battery over the past few weeks and found that the extra juice the battery offers in the same size as the stock Galaxy S4 battery gave us an extra hour or two beyond what the Samsung 2600mAh stock battery provided. It also comes with NFC 7 , something most third-party batteries lack. With the two products, users get a dock, battery and spare battery charger for little more than the Samsung system.

    An Extended Battery Mugen Power also offers an awesome extended battery 8 solution for the GS4. An extended battery gives users far more power than the stock batteries. Mugen Power s battery includes NFC and 5500mAh of power for $89.50.

    They throw in a cheap leather case, which we didn t really like very much. There s also a replacement phone back that accommodates the thicker battery. However, we loved running on a single charge for more than 24 hours.

    The battery adds bulk and thickness, ruining one of the Samsung Galaxy S4 s most attractive aesthetic appeals: its sleek and thin design.

    Don t think of this as a permanent solution, but something to keep on hand for those special days when the phone gets a workout.

    References ^ get more battery life (www.gottabemobile.com) ^ Samsung Spare Battery Charging System (www.samsung.com) ^ $42 at Amazon (www.amazon.com) ^ Mugen Power (www.gottabemobile.com) ^ dock costs $25 (www.mugen-power-batteries.com) ^ Mugen Power 2750mAh battery (www.mugen-power-batteries.com) ^ Samsung TecTiles 2 NFC Tags Arrive with Galaxy S4 Support (www.gottabemobile.com) ^ awesome extended battery (www.mugen-power-batteries.com)

  • 8

  • 849-mpg Mater Dei high school ecocar wins DIY prize from AutoZone When you build a car that can go from San Francisco to Seattle on a single gallon of gas with a few drops to spare, you're going to get some attention, even if you're from a high school in Indiana. Mater Dei High School in the town of Evansville won AutoZone's "Show It Off" contest 1 for building a fuel burner that gets 849 miles per gallon, Hybrid Cars says. And, no, we didn't drop a decimal point.

    The single-person car has an aluminum frame and is powered by a 50-cc engine. Mater Dei won the AutoZone prize about five months after taking home the "urban concept gasoline" award in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013 2 . The high school managed to about triple its miles per gallon rating from a year earlier after entering a car that took about 10 months to build.

    While it is mighty impressive, that 849 mpg figure pales in comparison to Quebec's Universit Laval, which entered its car in the Eco-marathon's "gasoline prototype" division and got a stunning 3,587 miles per gallon. Built-From-Scratch Eco-Car Wins AutoZone's "Show It Off, America" ContestCar enthusiasts from across the nation recognized for best DIY projects MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept.

    19, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- AutoZone has announced the winners of its Show It Off, America social media contest, which recognized the best do-it-yourself (DIY) automotive projects in the country. A group of students from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind., led by parent volunteers, were deemed the grand prize winner for their "eco-car" creation.

    The group received a Duralast 392-piece tool cabinet, valued at $2,500, and will participate in activities this year that showcase the winning vehicle. To enter, participants were asked to upload an image of their most impressive DIY automotive project and submit a brief description of their efforts. Entries were judged on the basis of project difficulty, creativity, outcome and fan votes.

    The one-person eco-car was built entirely from scratch. It features an aluminum tube frame, carbon fiber body and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, and is powered by a 50cc fuel-injected gasoline engine. It took the team of students 10 months to complete their project, often getting parts and advice from their local AutoZone store. "We're honored to be recognized by AutoZone for the eco-car our students built," said Robert Neisen, one of the project advisors. "Up until now the team depended on community supporters to lend or donate many of the tools needed for projects.

    Now, thanks to AutoZone, our students can better tackle projects and pursue their automotive passions." The small vehicle, able to carry one adult-sized person and a suitcase, is quite a showstopper. In fact, the ultra-fuel-efficient car, able to get 849 miles per gallon and set a new record in this year's Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition, surpasses last year's efficiency record of 238 miles per gallon. "There are growing numbers of Americans taking auto repairs, maintenance and even rebuilds into their own hands," says Tom Newbern, senior vice president, store operations and store development customer satisfaction, at AutoZone. "Show It Off, America celebrates DIY car enthusiasts from across the country that came out from 'under the hood' to share their projects with others." AutoZone is also proud to recognize this year's contest runner-up, and winner of $1,000 cash prize, as well as the remaining finalists, each of whom received an AutoZone gift card that can be used for future DIY projects. Finalists include: -- 2nd place--Matthew Theriot; customized 1974 Volkswagen Beetle (Marrero, La.)-- Finalist--Mark Fulsom; restored 1969 Camaro (Houston, Texas)-- Finalist--Micheal Doscher; transformed 1990 300ZX (Boca Raton, Fla.)-- Finalist--Jim Kious; reconstructed 1921 Model T Ford Speedster (Columbia, Mo.)-- Finalist--Darren Simmons; upgraded 1969 GTO Pontiac (Tacoma, Wash.)-- Finalist--Joseph Maslonka; 1969 GMC SWBnLT1 350 rebuild (Junction City, Kan.)-- Finalist--Dion Chaney; reconditioned 1990 Silverado Photographs of the winning car, finalists and other submissions can be found on Facebook.

    For more information on DIY car care tips, maintenance how-to videos and exclusive deals, visit www.autozone.com, and join MyZone--a community for DIY auto enthusiasts. About AutoZone As of May 4, 2013, AutoZone sells auto and light truck parts, chemicals and accessories through 4,767 AutoZone stores in 49 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 341 stores in Mexico and one store in Brazil for a total store count of 5,109.

    AutoZone is the leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. Each store carries an extensive product line for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. Many stores also have a commercial sales program that provides commercial credit and prompt delivery of parts and other products to local, regional and national repair garages, dealers, service stations, and public sector accounts.

    AutoZone also sells the ALLDATA brand diagnostic and repair software through www.alldata.com. Additionally, we sell automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, non-automotive products and subscriptions to the ALLDATAdiy product through www.autozone.com, accessories through www.autoanything.com and our commercial customers can make purchases through www.autozonepro.com. AutoZone does not derive revenue from automotive repair or installation.

    About Shell Eco-marathonShell Eco-marathon is a global program that challenges high school and college student teams to design, build and test the most energy-efficient vehicles. With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, this innovation competition pushes future scientists and engineers to travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. Visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon/americas to learn more about this program.

    References ^ won AutoZone's "Show It Off" contest (www.hybridcars.com) ^ taking home the "urban concept gasoline" award in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013 (green.autoblog.com)

  • 9

  • 9 Nintendo Emulators for Desktop PCs', shareButtons: provider:'facebook-like' , provider:'twitter' , provider:'google-plusone' , provider:'pinterest' , provider:'Share', iconImgUp:'http://cdn.gigya.com/gs/i/shareBar/icons/share3.png' , // list of providers noButtonBorders:true, containerID: 'shareBar', showCounts: (siteSkin) ? '' : 'top', cid:'Picture Story', shortURLs: "never", operationMode: 'off', lang: 'en', enabledProviders: 'facebook,twitter,yahoo,messenger,linkedin', layout: 'horizontal', scope: 'both', privacy: 'friends', onLoad: function() BOM.Metrics.setEndTime('GigyaShowShareBarUI_shareBar'); /*, onSendDone: function() BOM.SocialShare.publishUserAction(""); */ }; BOM.SocialLogin.addEventHandlers({}, onConnectionAdded: function(eventObj) if(eventObj.source == "showShareBarUI") BOM.SocialLogin.onLoginHandler(); } }); params.simpleShareConfig = postShareAction:"connect", postShareConnectCaptionText:"Thanks for sharing!", postShareConnectBodyText:"To make sharing even simpler" ; BOM.Share.init( APIKey:'2_y1-2lRHseiqGpBJL56CEMkmqzmNGotkhBGOyKF78fdVY9actWH8ehL652nzDtcMd', params ); BOM.Share.setActions( , 'setLinkBack' , "http://www.tomsguide.com/us/pictures-story/456-nintendo-emulators-for-desktop-pc.html", 'setTitle' , "9 Nintendo Emulators for Desktop PCs", 'setDescription' , "", 'addMediaItem' , type: 'image', src: 'http://media.bestofmicro.com/B/T/369785/gallery/01-NES-Console-Set_w_500.jpg',href:'http://www.tomsguide.com/us/pictures-story/456-nintendo-emulators-for-desktop-pc.html' ]); BOM.Metrics.setStartTime('GigyaShowShareBarUI_shareBar'); BOM.Share.display(); }); List of Nintendo Emulators for PC Last week, we took a look at a few emulators written to allow users to play classic Sega console games on their desktops . This week, we're going to focus on programs written to emulate various Nintendo consoles on desktop PCs . Have a hankering to revisit your classic NES , SNES , Gameboy and Gamecube games?

    Read on!

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  • 9 Things Samsung Galaxy S5 Buyers Need to Know After weeks of silence, U.S. carriers exploded onto the scene this week with a flurry of Samsung Galaxy S5 1 details. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is now available to buy though it won t be available on shelves for a few more weeks.

    With that in mind, we take a look at nine of the most important things prospective Galaxy S5 buyers need to know in the buildup to its release. In February, Samsung finally took the curtain down from around its heralded Galaxy S5, a device that will replace the Galaxy S4 as the company s most visible smartphone and join the Galaxy Note 3 on shelves. At the show, Samsung was quick to detail the many features coming with the Galaxy S5.

    The Samsung Galaxy S5 will arrive with a gorgeous 5.1-inch display that offers full HD resolution. It brings a new Snapdragon 801 processor, upgraded 16MP camera, Android 4.4 KitKat, a water and dust resistant design, a microSD card slot, removable back, and a ton of new TouchWiz features that will enhance battery life and promote good health. What Samsung didn t announce was the Galaxy S5 s U.S.

    release date, U.S. pricing or any of small details that are typically confirmed by individual carriers. Immediately after the show, U.S.

    carriers confirmed the device for arrival but they too failed to deliver the important details. And up until this week, those details remained out of the picture. This week, U.S.

    carriers finally broke their silence and now, consumers finally know most of the important Galaxy S5 details ahead of its upcoming release. Armed with those details and others, we want to take a look at the most important thing a prospective Samsung Galaxy S5 buyer needs to know right now. Samsung Galaxy S5 Release: April 11th The Samsung Galaxy S5 release date in the U.S.

    looks good for April 11th, across most major carriers. Here is what we know so far about the Galaxy S5 release date in the United States: AT&T : AT&T hasn t confirmed an in-store date for the Galaxy S5 but it does say that pre-orders will start shipping on April 8th 2 . This alludes to a carrier-wide release on April 11th, a date that will serve as the global release date for 150 countries around the world.

    While it could definitely be a little different, we would not be surprised if it arrived April 11th. Circle that date on the calendar. Sprint : The Samsung Galaxy S5 release on Sprint will be April 11th 3 .

    It s the day that Sprint customers should circle on the calendar. T-Mobile : Same goes for T-Mobile. Like Sprint, the carrier plans to make the device available to everyone starting on April 11th.

    U.S. Cellular : U.S. Cellular confirmed to us that it will release the Galaxy S5 on April 11th, just like its rivals.

    Verizon : This is maybe the biggest mystery of all. Verizon, per usual, is slow to announcing a flagship release date. The carrier has confirmed the Galaxy S5 but it has said nothing about its release or pricing.

    While details are non-existent, we simply can t see Verizon mucking up another release with a date that s months behind the rest of the pack. We expect the carrier to produce details soon and we would not be surprised if it lands on April 11th like the rest. MetroPCS : MetroPCS, like Verizon, remains silent about a release date.

    The carrier says that the device will be arriving in April 4 though no specific date is known. We expect MetroPCS to keep its promise so consumers just need to remain patient. Boost Mobile : The Galaxy S5 will arrive in Q2 which means anywhere from April to June.

    Virgin Mobile : Same goes for Virgin Mobile. We ll see an arrival in Q2. Ting : According to Ting, a small MVNO, it could have the device available in mid-April 5 .

    No specific date is known just yet. You Don t Need to Pre-Order AT&T, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular started taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S5 this week.

    Those who have already decided on the Galaxy S5 can snag the device now. Those who are looking at T-Mobile as a possible carrier can pre-order the device starting on March 24th. And while the Galaxy S5 pre-order is tempting, it s not necessary.

    Very rarely do we see Android devices sell out. Both the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 were in high-demand and neither one of them completely sold out ahead of schedule. While pre-ordering an iPhone is essential to getting the iPhone on day one, that s not the case with most Android phones.

    We fully expect the Galaxy S5 to be readily available on April 11th. Most people will want to spend the next few weeks doing their research, comparing the Samsung Galaxy S5 to other devices on the market. AT&T Pre-Orders While consumers don t have to pre-order, we should point out that there are some incentives.

    AT&T, for instance, is going to ship the smartphone on April 8th 6 . That s three days ahead of the actual release date and with expedited shipping, means that users could get the device ahead of its global release. For those that haven t already decided on this smartphone, this is an important thing to know.

    Galaxy S5 Deals There are also several Galaxy S5 deals out there 7 though they are limited to pre-orderers at this point. Those who pre-order T-Mobile s Galaxy S5 wil not have to put down a down payment. It s not clear if the carrier will require a down payment once the pre-order session ends on March 31st but it s possible.

    U.S. Cellular throws in a $50 Google Play code with every pre-order, something that will help get users jump started with some apps, movies or books for their new smartphone. RadioShack, one of the retailers offering the Galaxy S5 at this time, will knock $50 off the final price of the Galaxy S5.

    The deal only extends to those that pre-order. Best Buy offers a $10 gift card when the device is pre-ordered through its stores or through its online portal. Of course, these probably won t be the only deals.

    Retailers like Walmart and Amazon typically offer instant price cuts on day one and we should see the Galaxy S5 start to get cheaper as the weeks go on. That, and these other deals, are certainly important to those that are either buying or thinking about buying the next Galaxy S.

    32GB Galaxy S5 Release Unclear in U.S. The 32GB Galaxy S5 is missing in action.

    AT&T, Sprint and U.S. Cellular aren t offering it in their pre-order and it s not clear if they will offer it down the road. U.S.

    Cellular told Gotta Be Mobile that it doesn t, at this time, have any plans to offer the 32GB model 8 . The other carriers have not responded to repeated questions about their plans. A recent leak pointed to a 32GB Galaxy S5 for T-Mobile but the carrier did not confirm that model when it announced the Galaxy S5 earlier this week.

    There is always a chance that we could see carriers push the 32GB model out at some point down the road. Last year, the AT&T and Verizon 32GB Galaxy S4 variants were released after the 16GB Galaxy S4. The door certainly isn t closed on the 32GB model but we may not see details arrive until later.

    In other words, don t rush into buying a 16GB version until the 32GB model is dead in the water. Blue & Gold Galaxy S5 Color Options Missing Those who aren t in love with the black and white options that carriers are offering at the moment shouldn t rush into either. Much like the 32GB Galaxy S5, the gold and blue versions of the Galaxy S5 remain missing in the U.S.

    We haven t seen them confirmed and that means that there is a good chance neither one will be available on release day. Buyers who want to hold out for these colors should proceed with caution though. There is no telling how long it might take for these colors to arrive and there is always the possibility that a carrier will score an exclusive on one or both of these.

    For instance, last year the red Galaxy S4 came to AT&T and AT&T alone. This year, the gold Galaxy S5 is heading to Vodafone UK and only Vodafone UK. $0 Down Doesn t Mean Free We feel it s important to say this. Carriers are offering the Galaxy S5 for $0 down.

    People love free stuff and carriers know that the $0 looks fantastic next to a pre-order. Consider this a friendly reminder, just because it says $0 down doesn t mean that the phone is free. Buyers are still going to have to sign up for a data plan and more importantly, buyers are going to have to pay off the full cost of the phone.

    In T-Mobile s case that means paying off $650 over the course of 24 months. It should go without saying but it s important to note that the Galaxy S5 isn t free. Why You Should Check Out Best Buy Those that want to go hands on with a Samsung Galaxy S5 before buying should know that the device is currently featured in over 100 Best Buy locations starting today.

    Not every Best Buy store will offer the Galaxy S5 sneak peak, so users will need to scroll to the bottom of Best Buy s landing page to check if their local store will showcase the Galaxy S5 9 ahead of the release. Why You Shouldn t Buy at Best Buy For whatever reason, Best Buy is charging $30 more for the Samsung Galaxy S5 10 on-contract. Instead of $199.99, the retailer is charging $230.

    There appear to be no added benefits other than the $10 gift card to Best Buy so we highly recommend avoiding Best Buy and looking around for Galaxy S5 deals.

    Again, Amazon at the very least should undercut not only Best Buy but carriers as well.

    References ^ Samsung Galaxy S5 (www.gottabemobile.com) ^ Samsung Galaxy S5 Pre-Orders Start at AT&T (www.gottabemobile.com) ^ Sprint Galaxy S5 Price, Pre-order, and Release Date Details Arrive (www.gottabemobile.com) ^ will be arriving in April (www.metropcs.com) ^ it could have the device available in mid-April (ting.com) ^ is going to ship the smartphone on April 8th (www.att.com) ^ Samsung Galaxy S5 Release Details Bring Deals (www.gottabemobile.com) ^ 32GB Samsung Galaxy S5 Release Remains Unclear (www.gottabemobile.com) ^ check if their local store will showcase the Galaxy S5 (www.bestbuy.com) ^ charging $30 more for the Samsung Galaxy S5 (www.bestbuy.com)

  • 90 Litre Dustbin Incinerator Reviews 90 Litre Dustbin Incinerator 1 Galvanized for long life. Ideal for your garden or allotment. Slow burning, Side holes for ventilation.

    Product Description Covers & Tidies More > > 2 90 Litre Dustbin Incinerator 3 Tagged as: Allotment 4 , Dustbin 5 , Holes 6 , Incinerator 7 , Litre 8 , Product Description 9 , Reviews 10 , Ventilation 11 Amazon.co.uk Widgets 12 References ^ 90 Litre Dustbin Incinerator (www.amazon.co.uk) ^ More > > (www.amazon.co.uk) ^ 90 Litre Dustbin Incinerator (www.amazon.co.uk) ^ Allotment (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Dustbin (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Holes (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Incinerator (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Litre (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Product Description (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Reviews (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Ventilation (www.diytools-uk.co.uk) ^ Amazon.co.uk Widgets (ws.amazon.co.uk)

  • 901 Sounds Auto Accessories offers a huge selection for Mobile ... Never get lost again with our wide selection of car navigation systems. Whether you're looking for an in-dash unit or a portable solution, you're sure to find one that will suite your needs and your budget. We offer a variety of car navigation systems at a great price.

    There are a wide variety of car DVD players available on the market today. They vary from In-dash DVD players with screens to in-dash players without screens to stand alone / hideaway DVD units. With these units, a car or RV can be transformed into a moving entertainment center.

    Don't have the space for an overhead monitor? No problem at all; our headrest monitors are the perfect solution. Install monitors into your pre-existing headrests, or replace your OEM headrests altogether.

    Rear-View Mirror Navigation Rear view Mirror with GPS Navigation (3.5-inch), Built-in GPS Antenna ,2GB Internal Memory, SD Card Slot for Easy Map Update, Easy Access Buttons and Millions of Points of Interests with Phone Numbers for Most Locations. Our aftermarket TV Tuner will enable any car audio/video device to pick up analog television channels. The only requirement is a set of standard RCA A/V inputs.

    We offer a huge selected options of multimedia accessories include video amplifiers, wireless headphones, RCA interconnects, add-on antennas, audio/video selectors and many more. - See more at: http://www.901sounds.net/index.php/car-video#sthash.2oMIhZA9.dpuf

  • A

  • A Chromebook offers Defensive Computing when traveling ... Richard Engel of NBC recently reported on how his fresh-out-of-the-box computers were immediately hacked once he landed in Russia. The story got more publicity than it deserved. To make an analogy, what NBC did was the equivalent of getting Engel drunk, blindfolding him, putting him behind the wheel of a car on a rainy night and then, when he had the inevitable accident, report that the highway wasn't safe.

    Needless to say there was some backlash ( here 1 and here 2 and here 3 ). Nonetheless, Engel's report got me thinking about what I would do in an environment where hacking and spying was thought to be rampant. Here, in the first of two blogs on the subject, I focus on what I think is the safest computing device for traveling - a Chromebook 4 .

    To brutally simplify things, Chromebooks, a brainchild of Google, are laptop computers that only run the Chrome web browser. Chromebooks are a new paradigm in computing. Although physically they look much like a MacBook Air, they share almost no design philosophy with desktop systems (Windows, OS X, Linux) or mobile systems (iOS, Android).

    CHROMEBOOK SECURITY Without question, a Chromebook is safer than Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS or Android. Security is baked into the design. To begin with, the operating system, Chrome OS, does not allow software to be installed.

    Sure, this is annoying if you want to run Skype (not possible), but the flip side is that a malicious email attachment can't install a virus. Malicious Flash ads on a web page may infect Windows or OS X systems, but Chromebooks are immune, even though Flash is supported. A web page with a malicious Java applet can't infect a Chromebook either.

    They don't do Java. There is an exception to the rule about installing software on a Chromebook: web apps from the Chrome web store 5 . Like any software, Chrome web apps can also be malicious.

    They may inject ads into web pages or spy on you. A Chrome app may start out safe, then get sold by the original developer and later turn malicious (this has happened). Or bad guys could trick the user into installing a malicious web app.

    The good news is that there is a simple defense against malicious web apps: guest mode 6 . Chromebook users normally logon with a Gmail email address and password. But you can also logon as a "guest" user without supplying any email address or password.

    Just click on "Browse as guest" and you're in. All guests start off with a clean slate, no installed web apps. Guests can't install web apps or even create bookmarks (the usual star in the address bar is missing).

    Not only are you safer going in to guest mode, you are also safer when you log out because Chrome OS erases all traces of your activity . Not just the usual browser history and cookies, it also removes any files that were downloaded onto the Chromebook (to keep downloaded files, copy them to a USB flash drive). Take that spy agencies.

    Guest mode is much more secure than the incognito mode offered on desktop versions of the Chrome browser. You lose access to your bookmarks and saved passwords, but the safety is well worth the trade-off. Even using a Chromebook normally, with a Google account, still provides safety because Chrome OS encrypts all your files.

    There is no way another person using the same Chromebook can see anything of yours (assuming you don't give out your Google password). If you are going to lose a computing device, you want it to be a Chromebook. Your files are protected even if someone removes the solid state hard drive.

    And, unlike other operating systems, the encryption is stress free. That is, a Chromebook user does not have to enable anything, run anything or even remember anything, to have their files encrypted. In addition, Chrome OS does assorted checks at system startup to insure that the operating system has not been tampered with.

    Quoting Google 7 : Every time the Chromebook starts up, it does a self check called Verified Boot. If it detects that the system has been tampered with, or corrupted in any way, typically it will repair itself without any effort, taking the Chromebook back to an operating system that's as good as new. With a Chromebook there is also no need to worry about software updates.

    The operating system automatically downloads updates quietly in the background. The update gets installed at the next system startup. As with encryption, the end user is not involved at all.

    Second Tuesday of the month? Fuggedaboutit. Chromebooks also benefit from being unpopular, a situation familiar to MacBook users that don't run antivirus software.

    Because so few people use them, there is little incentive for spies and bad guys to target Chromebooks. And, should Chromebooks ever become popular, it would take a while for spies and bad guys to get up to speed. In the mean time, Chromebook users are safe as heck.

    The only computing device in the same league as a guest-mode Chromebook for safety is a desktop computer running Linux off a bootable CD (referred to as a Live CD). Which is safer may be a debatable point, but a Chromebook is, by far, the more practical option. And, as noted above, it is safer than anything running Windows, OS X, Linux (normally installed), iOS or Android.

    GOOGLE SECURITY EXTRAS Gmail users get an extra bit of safety when they use Google's Chrome browser, be it on a desktop OS or a Chromebook. The system behind secure web pages (HTTPS) has many design flaws and Google offers their users extra safety by supporting something called certificate pinning that insures you are really dealing with Gmail as opposed to a fraudulent copy of the site. A Chrome user at gmail.com is safer than someone using another web browser.

    This extra protection applies to all Google properties, not just Gmail. Gmail also offers Perfect Forward Secrecy 8 , an advanced security feature that I wrote about back in June. This feature is not limited to the Chrome browser but it also does not work with all browsers.

    VPN Any time you connect to a public network, be it wired or wireless, your best defense is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). For employees of large companies, VPNs offer encryption between their computing device and the home office. For the rest of us, VPNs offer encryption between where we are and a VPN server maintained by a VPN provider.

    That is, VPNs create encrypted connections that protect us from spying by those running the network (or the country in the case of the Olympics) we are connected to. Someone in Sochi Russia, for example, may establish a VPN connection to a server in Florida. This would offer protection from spying by anyone or anything in Russia.

    When the data leaves Florida however, it is no longer encrypted. If someone at the Olympics connected to a VPN server in Moscow, then their data leaving Moscow would no longer be encrypted and assorted Russian entities could spy on it. No one in Sochi, however, could read it.

    There are three common types of VPN, two of which are thought to be secure while the third type is the equivalent of WEP, better than nothing, but just barely. The least secure flavor of VPN is called PPTP and it is supported by most operating systems, including Windows 7, Windows 8, Android, iOS and OS X. Chromebooks do not support PPTP.

    The more secure types of VPN are L2TP over IPSec and OpenVPN (also called SSL). Chromebooks support them both 9 .* I tested my Chromebook with an L2TP/IPSec VPN and was surprised to find that even though I created a network connection for the VPN as a guest user, the VPN definition remained after a re-boot. The only thing that was not saved was the password, it needed to be re-entered every time I connected to the VPN as a guest user.** For quite a while now Chrome OS has had an annoyance with VPN definitions: you can't edit them.

    If you want, for example, to connect to VPN server A instead of B, you can't change an existing VPN definition, you need to create a whole new one. So, if you use a VPN provider that offers servers in multiple cities, you will end up with connection definitions for each city. VPNs also offer a side benefit, new DNS servers.

    DNS is the system that translates the name of a computer (www.computerworld.com) into its underlying IP address (23.78.186.53). All data that travels on the Internet uses IP address, the names are just a convenience for us humans. A malicious DNS server can send you to a fake copy of a website and, without certificate pinning, you would have no clue as to the scam.

    Nerds like me configure their computing devices to use DNS servers from known trusted organizations such as OpenDNS. However, most people have their DNS servers provided by the network they connect to. Comcast users, for example, typically use DNS servers maintained by Comcast.

    Trusting DNS servers provided by a Russian coffee shop, as Richard Engel did, is not a good idea. When you connect to a VPN, your computing device switches over to using DNS servers from the VPN provider, which should be safer. OTHER ADVANTAGES Besides security, I can personally attest that Chromebooks are just fun to use.

    Out of the box, fast start-up and shutdown makes a good first impression. Critics point out, correctly, that Chromebooks can't do as much as a machine running Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS or Android. The flip side of this, however, is that the user interface is very simple.

    No matter how tech phobic someone may be, getting up to speed on a Chromebook takes very little time. The market failure of Windows 8 has led more and more hardware companies to introduce Chromebooks. Most have screens just under 12 inches, but a recent Toshiba model is 13.3 inches and HP released one recently with a 14 inch screen.

    Hate the trackpad? A Chromebook should work with any mouse, wired or wireless. An off-line computer is always safer than one connected to the Internet.

    Initially Chromebooks were useless without an Internet connection, but that has changed 10 as more web apps are becoming available for off-line use 11 . Perhaps most importantly, Chromebooks support off-line word processing and text editing. Not with Word of course, Chromebooks are like Kryptonite 12 to Microsoft.

    Gmail is also available off-line. An off-line Chromebook can open and view Office documents 13 in Word (.DOC and .DOCX), Excel (.XLS and .XLSX) and PowerPoint (.PPT and .PPTX) formats. It can also view files in PDF, ZIP, TXT, GIF and JPG formats.

    Got an MP3 file? You can listen to it with an off-line Chromebook. Finally, Chromebooks are cheap.

    Almost all of them sell for between $200 and $300. Yes, Chromebooks are less functional than other computing devices, but you may find that they are functional enough for short term use. If so, the huge increase in security they offer, combined with their cheap prices make them an excellent travel companion. *I have not tested a Chromebook with an OpenVPN/SSL type VPN.

    According to PrivateTunnel 14 , an OpenVPN provider, Chrome OS "has implemented a very limited subset of the OpenVPN client in its interface. The limitation that is in place now would not allow the operating system to connect to our services." This statement however, is not dated and does not say which version of Chrome OS it is referring to. **There are two ways to identify yourself to an L2TP/IPsec VPN. I only tested using a password (typically referred to as a "pre-shared key").

    I did not test with a digital certificate, so I'm not sure if that allows one-click VPN access when logged on as a guest.

    References ^ here (blog.erratasec.com) ^ here (techguylabs.com) ^ here (www.huffingtonpost.com) ^ Chromebook (www.google.com) ^ web apps from the Chrome web store (chrome.google.com) ^ guest mode (support.google.com) ^ Quoting Google ( https) ^ Perfect Forward Secrecy (blogs.computerworld.com) ^ support them both (support.google.com) ^ that has changed (blogs.computerworld.com) ^ becoming available for off-line use (chrome.google.com) ^ Chromebooks are like Kryptonite (blogs.computerworld.com) ^ open and view Office documents (www.computerworld.com) ^ According to PrivateTunnel (www.privatetunnel.com)

  • A few more new arrivals A few more new products came into stock today. Firstly we have this fantastic Japanese IC Extractor tool 1 . Whilst preparing the SID GUTS DIY 2 kits it became clear that an IC extractor tool becomes fairly indispensable for pulling chips with 28 pins (there are two on the SID).

    My Tool OCD led me to try loads of the cheaper tools out there and frankly they all suck! This precision Japanese tool is head and shoulders above the rest so seemed like a perfect addition to the store. This tool will be made available as a specific option on the SID GUTS DIY 3 kit at a reduced price, so if you re waiting for SID you might want to hold off buying it we re very close.

    Next up are these brass knob inserts 4 , these are the same internals you ll find in the Davies 1900h clone knobs I stock, these are the perfect base to DIY your own knobs from wood, clay, sugru.. or even 3d printed? They are also an adequate solution to fitting a knob in a very small space.

    Red and Blue Emerson Banana Jacks 5 are back in stock and I now have bulk discounts on Red, Blue and Black banana jacks.

    References ^ Professional IC Extraction Tool (www.thonk.co.uk) ^ ALM SID GUTS DIY (www.thonk.co.uk) ^ ALM SID GUTS DIY (www.thonk.co.uk) ^ DIY knob insert (www.thonk.co.uk) ^ Emerson Banana Jacks (www.thonk.co.uk)

  • A first look at Sony Mobile's Xperia Z2 tablet Sony Mobile has revealed its new smartphone and tablet offerings aimed at the high-end consumer and in a media briefing on Tuesday, we saw that while the new Xperia Z2 phone and tablet are pretty similar to last year s releases, they re touted as upgrades to what s already out there. In this post, we re discussing the Z2 tablet. Head on over here for our preview of the Z2 smartphone 1 .

    The Sony Xperia Z2 tablet, showing a photo with the augmented reality feature layered on top. Specs Screen size 10.1 inchesWeight 439 gramsDimensions 172 x 266 x 6.4 mmProcessor 2.3 gigahertz (GHz) quad-core Qualcomm Adreno 330RAM 3 gigabytes (GB)Internal memory up to 16 GB (although a spokesperson has said a 32 GB version will also be available)Expandable memory up to 128 GB with microSD cardCamera 8.1 megapixels, plus 2.2 megapixel front-facing cameraCamcorder HD video recording in 1080 pixelsOperating system Android 4.4 (KitKat) The Xperia Z2 tablet Slim and light, but powerful When you pick up the Z2 tablet, the first thing you notice is its weight or the lack of it. One of the slimmest, lightest tablets on the market right now, the 10.1 inch tablet is just 6.4 mm thick.

    Actually, when we held it during our media briefing, it felt very, very delicate. The lightness is a great feature for someone on the go, but users need to bear in mind that it feels easy enough to break or bend. Like the Z2 smartphone, the tablet is dust-resistant and water-resistant under 1.5 metres of fresh water for up to 30 minutes, as long as all ports have been shut tightly.

    However, unlike the Z2 smartphone, the tablet edition doesn t have all the bells and whistles of the phone s video camera. For example, it does not shoot in 4K, and many of the video effects for example, augmented reality, shifting background focus, and so on do not run on the tablet version of the Z2. However, that doesn t mean it s not a great device in its own right.

    Packed into the slim frame of the tablet is a quick and powerful processor, plus a compatibility with the PS3 s dual shock controller, meaning tablet gamers can use the controller to play their games. There s also the option to control a Sony TV remotely using the tablet, provided the user has one, of course. Essentially, what Sony has done here is leverage the tablet to become an all-in-one device for the living room and we ll probably see more integration efforts like this as time goes on.

    And again, like the Z2 smartphone, the tablet also has digital noise cancellation capabilities for users who want to buy cheaper five-pin headphones 2 , rather than an expensive noise-cancelling set. There s also a compatibility with a Bluetooth remote with a handset function 3 , allowing users to take video conferencing calls and answer them using the remote. Pricing and availability Like the Z2 smartphone, neither pricing nor a Canadian launch date have been named.

    However, a Sony spokesperson said the device will likely land in Canada in May.

    References ^ A look ahead at Sony Mobile's Xperia Z2 smartphone (www.itbusiness.ca) ^ Sony five-pin headphones (www.sonymobile.com) ^ Bluetooth remote (www.sonymobile.com)

  • A Focus on Patents and Research at Core of Motorola Mobility Sale ... Hardware App Store : One research project Google is retaining is Project Ara, which aims to create a developer ecosystem for smartphone hardware modules allowing varying battery, processing, communications, camera, and sensor combinations. Google s $2.9 billion sale of Motorola Mobility to Chinese PC maker Lenovo might seem like lousy business, given Google s $12.5 billion purchase in 2012 and losses in the interim. But it leaves Google with a mobile research unit and a war chest of patents arguably bought at a very good price.

    And it gives a boost to Android in developing countries. Google earlier sold off the Motorola Mobility Home unit for $2.35 billion (see Why Google Wants Motorola 1 ). With losses and other factors also considered, the cost to Google for the research lab and Motorola s 17,000 patents represented a much better value than the $4.5 billion that Apple, Microsoft, and other tech companies paid two and a half years ago for 6,000 patents from Nortel Networks, a now defunct Canadian telecommunications maker.

    If you were looking at it as patent acquisition, they got those patents for a lot less than the per-patent charge of the Nortel deal, says Joseph Hadzima 2 , a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and cofounder of IP Vision 3 , a patent strategy and analysis firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I think they achieved what people were thinking their strategic purpose was. The sale doesn t necessarily mean Google is out of the hardware business either (see Motorola Reveals First Google-Era Phone, the Moto X 4 ).

    It is retaining Motorola s secretive research division, Advanced Research and Projects ( ATAP 5 ), headed by Regina Dugan, a former director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. One effort at that unit, called Project Ara 6 , centers on creating modular phone hardware. The idea is that components like batteries, sensors, wireless transmitters, and cameras could be swapped at will by consumers which has the potential to do for smartphone hardware what Apple did for software when it created a market for software applications, or apps.

    ATAP is pursuing other far-out ideas, too, including doing away with passwords using, for example, electronic tattoos or even a pill that, once ingested, starts generating a tiny wireless signal with an ID code. Google s existing research efforts 7 also include energy-efficient LCD screens 8 and ways of detecting energy leaks 9 in smartphone apps. In the past, Google CEO Larry Page has used earnings calls to drop hints about possible advanced-mobile-focused research efforts, including ones for more-durable screens or longer-lived batteries (see A Longer Lasting Phone?

    Google s Larry Page Says It s Coming 10 and What New Ideas Does Google Have Brewing at Motorola?

    11 ). Page didn t join an earnings call last week, but he wrote in a blog post that Google would focus its hardware efforts on other areas ripe for innovation, namely wearable computing and the home market not a surprising statement given Google s fresh acquisition of smart-thermostat maker Nest (see Nest Acquisition Is Like Apple and Google Teamed Up 12 ). ATAP may be retooled to fit into that vision.

    Besides the research lab, Google is retaining a stockpile of patents to position itself nicely against Apple and Samsung. And Lenovo will be able to build and distribute Android-powered phones cheaply to more areas of the world, potentially giving Google an even larger search and advertising reach. They are in the core business of Android and ads, and achieved what people thought their strategic goals were.

    It sounds like a directional win-win for them, Hadzima says. Though Google would find it hard to get back into manufacturing, it could start selling licenses to various things it s ginning up in research. With hardware manufacturing capacity now gone, I am a little hard pressed to see how they are going to say, We are going to make any kind of awesome new devices, unless they become a company that licenses IP, says Carl Howe, vice president of Yankee Group, an analyst firm in Boston.

    References ^ Why Google Wants Motorola (www.technologyreview.com) ^ Joseph Hadzima (mitsloan.mit.edu) ^ IP Vision (web.ipvisioninc.com) ^ Motorola Reveals First Google-Era Phone, the Moto X (www.technologyreview.com) ^ ATAP (plus.google.com) ^ Project Ara (motorola-blog.blogspot.com) ^ research efforts (research.google.com) ^ energy-efficient LCD screens (static.googleusercontent.com) ^ detecting energy leaks (empathicsystems.org) ^ A Longer Lasting Phone?

    Google s Larry Page Says It s Coming (www.technologyreview.com) ^ What New Ideas Does Google Have Brewing at Motorola? (www.technologyreview.com) ^ Nest Acquisition Is Like Apple and Google Teamed Up (www.technologyreview.com)

  • A Glut of Gadgets Track Your Body's Vital Signs - Technology Review Many new fitness-tracking devices are on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Breath tech: With an iPad or iPhone, Masimo s iSpO2 pulse oximeter can track blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate. A parade of fitness gadgets at this week s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas may be just the antidote for the couch-potato behavior induced by all the 3-D televisions, gaming laptops, and other gizmos on display at the show.

    Some of these activity-monitoring devices offer new ways to monitor your activity and health, including an iPhone and iPad pulse oximeter that can precisely detect blood oxygen levels, and sensor technology that can be tucked inside a set of conventional earbuds to keep tabs on the whole body. Health experts hope that such technology could encourage healthier habits. And although it is not always easy to get people to pay attention to or act on the collected data, the medical device industry clearly senses an opportunity.

    One example is the iSpO2, a pulse oximeter from Masimo, an Irvine, California company. The iSpO2 clips onto a finger and measures the amount of oxygen carried in blood. The device shines both infrared and red light into the digit; blood absorbs different amounts of each frequency depending on how much oxygen is carried by red blood cells.

    Masimo already makes pulse oximeters for medical settings, but its new product is targeted at consumers. Pilots who fly unpressurized aircraft and hikers who climb to high altitudes could benefit from the iSpO2, says Brandon Strand, marketing project manager for iSpO2. Such adventurers need to be on guard for hypoxia, a condition in which the blood carries too little oxygen.

    One of the problems in hypoxia is that you don t know that you are being subjected to it. It has been compared to being drunk, says Strand. A product like this will allow you to know more.

    The consumer pulse oximeter could also help serious athletes, suggests Dana Banks, head of communications at Masimo. When you work out, your oxygen saturation can decrease by 20 to 50 percent, she says. Athletes who are really into pushing their performance can use their oxygen saturation to help them understand their workout when to push through, and when they ve reached their peak.

    Someone using Masimo s device downloads a free app from the Apple App Store, plugs the pulse oximeter into his or her device, and clips the gadget onto a finger. But the finger sensor is relatively large a two-inch-long plastic case and is tethered by a two-foot-long cord to a device, which could make it cumbersome during aerobics exercises that involve a lot of twisting or arm movement. Other devices at CES include MisFit Wearable s Shine and Fitbit s new Flex, both wireless, watch-like activity-tracking devices.

    Meanwhile, Dallas-based Hothead Technologies will debut its new product, Spree, a headband with sensors to measure heart rate, body temperature, and motion that can work with or without a smartphone, says company president Peter Linke. Hothead Technologies sells overheating warning systems for industry and sports (say, for construction workers or high school football teams). The Spree could likewise warn exercisers when they are getting too hot, says Linke.

    Raleigh-based Valencell makes small sensor technology called PerformTek that can fit into earbuds or other small electronics. A Valencell-enabled device can measure heart rate, respiration rate, speed, distance, and VO 2 max, which is a measure of oxygen consumption. On Tuesday, Valencell announced that the first product to use its sensor technology will be manufactured by South Korean consumer electronics company iriver.

    Another recent entry into the tracking world is Basis. The company s wristwatch measures heart rate, perspiration, temperature, and motion. Basis is designed to be worn 24/7, so that sleep as well as movement associated with daily life is tracked.

    Our perspective is, how do we help the vast millions find health in their everyday life, says CEO Jef Holove. His company s product was announced in late November, but at CES, Basis will present an app that tracks and analyzes user data with the goal of helping people develop health habits and find little movements of health in everyday life, says Holove. The wide availability of trackers that connect to smartphones is changing fitness by encouraging wear, share, compare tracking, says Carol Torgan, an exercise physiologist and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.

    These devices make it easy for people to upload their data and share it with friends, to compete, to brag, to set goals, and to be accountable. Valencell s CEO Steven LeBoeuf says the move to other parts of life will happen gradually, but seamlessly. The things we measure have been correlated with health.

    Eventually people are going to appreciate how you can use this to tailor health plans for people, essentially personalized directed health care.
  • A guide to find mens catalogue The use of shopping catalogue has become a demand of modern period. You can use the catalogue to buy various kinds of products and services like electronics, grocery, gold, shoes and various others. Some catalogues are designed only for men collection but some other catalogues are designed for women collection.

    If you want to buy the product or items for women, you need to find a good women catalogue like simply be. It is a very important shopping catalogue only for women. It offers all kinds of women products like grocery, gold, jewelry and plus size clothes.

    It also offers footwear, lingerie and other products. Similarly you can select mens catalogues 1 to buy the men shoes, sports, appliances, electronics and bike. The new collection of coats, shirts and dresses is also available for men.

    You can add new and stylish products to your wardrobe in this way. House of batch catalogue is designed only for men. It offers flexible payment options and plans.

    You can extend the payment period corresponding to your budget. The return policy and conditions of this catalogue are very clear. The mens catalogues offer everything that you need and love to buy.

    You will find a long list of menswear on this catalogue. The presence of particular items for kids and girls on this catalogue make it more popular. Prior to select a catalogue, you should confirm the return policy and payment options.

    If the return policy is not present, you should reject this catalogue. Make sure to select a shopping catalogue that offers you free return shipping. The online reviews can also help you to select a catalogue.

    You can find hundreds of catalogues in UK.

    The residents of UK can use the online shopping catalogues to buy wide range of products with ease.

    References ^ mens catalogues (www.cataloguespot.com)

  • A Guide To Saving Money On Mobile Phone Deals Mobile phones represent a big investment for most of us. With top end devices costing well over five hundred pounds, a new phone can be a significant expenditure. However, in today s financial climate, many of us are on a tight budget and looking to save money wherever possible, and there s no reason why you shouldn t get savings on your new phone.

    Today we re telling you how to get the cheapest phone deals, so if you need to save some cash then keep reading to find out how. Shop Online for the Cheapest Phone Deals The number one rule for getting the cheapest phone deals 1 is always to shop online. There are a couple of reasons why online shopping is going to get you the cheapest prices.

    Firstly, you can more easily comparison shop online, meaning that you can be sure that you re getting the best possible price on a device. Secondly, you ll find that most major retailers and nearly all mobile service operators offer discounts to online shoppers that physical shoppers just don t get. This is because the overheads for selling online are far cheaper than those for running a physical store, and those savings are passed on to you as an incentive to shop online.

    If you don t feel comfortable buying something that you haven t seen, it s a good idea to go to a store and get a feel for the phone you want to buy. You can always come home and buy it online later. SIM Only is Cheaper in the Long Run Many people turn to signing incentive contracts with a mobile service operator to get the phone that they want without having to pay the full price up front.

    If you really don t have the cash and you need a phone, these incentive contracts might be your only option. However, in the long run you don t save money on an incentive contract. A SIM only contract is one that offers you just a mobile calling plan, without a mobile phone.

    If you compare the monthly cost of a SIM only contract with the monthly cost of an incentive contract that has the same calling plan you ll find out how much money you re paying per month for that phone that you received. Multiply that price difference by the number of months in your contract and you ll see that the actual price you re paying for the phone is more than the retail price. This is the price you pay for the convenience of buying your phone in installments.

    In general you will get better long term savings by signing a SIM only contract and buying the phone yourself. Timing is Important When you choose to buy your phone can affect how much money you re paying. This can be as simple as waiting until a traditional sales period, such as after Christmas, to buy your phone.

    However, there are other factors. A newly released phone, for example, will generally drop in price within the first six months of being on the market. Waiting a couple of months to get that phone may result in you saving money.

    A new release is also a good time to buy the older version of that model, since retailers offer discounts to clear their shelves for the newer model, and manufacturers often drop the prices on the older model. This is especially true of devices like iPhones. Apple regularly drops the price on older iPhones whenever they announce the release of a new model.

    Refurbished Phones Should be an Option Another great way of saving money is to go for a refurbished phone rather than a brand new one. Some mobile operators sell refurbished phones, and many manufacturers sell them on their web sites. A refurbished phone has been bought and then returned, but generally only because the customer changed his mind, and they re rarely been used.

    The phone goes back to the factory where it is subject to a complete technical inspection and is cleaned and rebooted before being certified for resale. In actuality, you won t be able to tell the difference between a refurbished and brand new phone. Refurbished phones will even come with a warranty.

    They also come with steep discounts, and are worth looking out for. It might take some time, patience, and luck to get the model that you want, but it s still a good way to save cash if you can find a refurbished device. Know What You Need Whilst newly released, top end devices are generally fantastic, they re also extremely expensive.

    And the chances are that you re going to be paying for a lot of features that you don t need and won t use. Knowing what you really need will help you choose a phone that s right for you at a good price. For a decent phone there are minimum specs that you should look for in order to get good performance.

    A processor of around 1 GHz, RAM of about 1 GB, around 16 GB of internal memory, an 8 MP camera and a screen size of around four inches or so. Specs that are bigger than this will give you better performance, but for the majority of consumers that difference won t be noticeable to you. Unless you regularly use your phone for HD video, high end gaming or photo editing, then you re not going to benefit from bigger specs.

    Also, keep in mind that some features will be next to useless to you. A 4G capable phone will give you faster internet speeds. However, if your mobile operator doesn t have a 4G network then your phone is going to connect to 3G anyway, meaning that you paid for 4G and can t use it.

    A solid, mid-range phone that will fulfil the majority of people s needs should run around two to three hundred pounds.

    If you re paying more than that then make sure that you re paying for features and specs that you re going to be using and not wasting your money.

    References ^ cheapest phone deals (www.uswitch.com)

  • A Kindle World blog: Kindle News: Kindle Paperwhite 2 software ... NEW KINDLE PAPERWHITE 2 Software Update v5.4.3 with substantial feature improvements Kindle Paperwhite 2 Software Upgrade to v5.4.3 Devices involved: See Paperwhite 2 (US), UK Paperwhite 2: here ; Global Paperwhite 2: here 3 .

    1 2 Tne new, free software update available for Kindle Paperwhite 2 can be found here 4 U.S. and some international 5 ] When we had the new software update for the original Kindle Paperwhite the other day, I also linked to the software update pages for the Paperwhite 2). This separate blog entry highlights the specific features and provides links for both U.S.

    and UK readers as well as for some International Kindle eReader owners. The softwares page explain how to check the software version currently on your Paperwhite 2. I'm usually one of the last to receive software updates, so sometimes I do follow the step-by-step instructions to do a manual download and install to my Kindle if the change is important to me.

    This update automatically downloads and installs on the applicable Kindle Paperwhite 2 eventually; however, as mentioned, you can also manually download the software and transfer the update to your device via USB cable. Here are the feature enhancements they describe for update v5.4.3 Emphases below are mine * Access Notes from the Reading Menu While reading, you can view all of your notes by tapping the Menu icon and then selecting Notes . You can also continue to access the Notes tab from the Go To menu in the reading toolbar.

    To learn more, go to Add, View, Edit or Remove Notes (US) or, for UK: here . * Manage Cloud Collections Use Cloud Collections to organize titles in custom categories and store your collections in the Cloud . To learn more, go to Organize Your Content with Cloud Collections 8 (US) or, for UK: here 9 . * PDF Improvements Pan and zoom within PDF documents more quickly and easily, and adjust the margins for an optimized reading experience. * Cancel Full Book Purchase from within a Sample While reading a book sample, you can view the price of the full book and purchase with one tap. You can also cancel the purchase before the download is complete by tapping cancel purchase .

    6 7 In a forum discussion, customer and Kindle Forum Pro CBRetriever wrote the following about changes noticed for both Paperwhite 1 and 2 in the (1) Cloud Collections processing (which AVOIDS the Paperwhite 2's initial update problems from a default-automatic-importing of Collections from ALL other devices sharing the same account) and (2) Kindle Paperwhite Restart procedure. (Bracketed info and emphases are mine): ' It didn't import any collections from my other kindles (YAY!!!!) not even in the Cloud ... my notes so far: There's another new thing I've never seen before - when I hold the button in for 30 seconds, it doesn't restart, but I'm given 3 choices and I had to pick one (Shut Down, Cancel or Restart) I'm wondering if the new PW2 has the same choices it DOES ... I also had to reboot since it came up with a 2G and not a 3G connection.

    My collections have stars... It did not bring in the Collections from other Devices. I have now added 11 more dictionaries and user guides...

    I had to go download the user guide 11 via manage Your Kindle - it didn't automatically download. ' UK Paperwhite 2 user's guide here ] 10 New Power-off Options display Oddly, my Paperwhite pop-up dialog box showed options different from what's described above for both Paperwhite versions. The choices I saw during the attempts to either Power Off (holding the Power On/Off button for ~4 seconds) or force a clean "Restart" (holding the Power On/Off button for 20+ seconds) were: "Cancel | Restart ! Screen Off" ...

    When an eInk screen is displaying a page but there is no change to that screen, the display is having no effect on the battery. When you change what's being displayed (changing or adding anything on the page, as in tapping it on the side to get a new page or when an action brings a pop-up window or dialog box), the display is not using the battery. That's why just pressing the power button for only ~1 second puts the Kindle to 'sleep' during which it displays an image but the Paperwhite light turns off.

    Leaving it in this sleep state doesn't draw battery power as a result of the image display itself. If, however, WiFi is On during Sleep state, any activity with subscription downloads or a Special Offers download -will- use battery power. There is always very slow battery drain in between charges even when a device is turned off.

    So, the "Screen Off" is an odd new choice on mine. This just blanks the screen and puts it into sleep state. SOME have requested a blank screen so they know it's "Off" but, in this case, it's only that there's no image seen - not even Amazon's default images during normal sleep-screens. "Restart" acts more like a soft-reboot on a computer and clears up memory states that may be causing problems.

    There is NO option on my Paperwhite to completely Power Off or Shut down the Kindle. It could be that my dialog box for powering off is different because I chose not to get Special Offers sent to my Paperwhite (I accept Special Offers on my Kindle Fire tablets) and, therefore, blanking the screen with a "Screen Off" does not interfere with the marketing offers on the lockscreen. CBRetriever, quoted above, may choose to get the offers on the Paperwhite and, as a result, doesn't get the 'Screen Off' option.

    That's just conjecture on my part. But she does get the option to 'shut down' her Kindle. Odd.

    Also, in my case, holding in the power button for over 20 seconds did cause a Restart, as in the past. IF you experience unusual battery drain Note that keeping your Kindle always connected to a Wi-Fi network can drain the battery faster under certain circumstances. If you're experiencing that, then once you've got the update "over the air," put the Paperwhite back to "Airplane Mode ON" via the 'Settings' option on the Menu -- the option lets you toggle Wireless OFF, using the "Airplane On" choice.

    Amazon's Paperwhite development team won't return the Wireless Off/On choice to the front menu as they did last year for the Kindle Touch, removing the 'airplane mode' icon which confuses many. It's very inconvenient to have the WiFi On/Off setting on a secondary menu and many, as a result, don't even know that they can turn WiFi Off if needed. Amazon probably prefers that we keep Wireless 'On' due to delivery of Special Offers but the battery-drain problem can occur when circumstances involve (1) subscriptions that are downloaded regularly (my New York Times Latest News subscription 13 updates the Kindle edition about five times a day - $1.99/month)) or (2) due to a weaker connection that results from the distance from the WiFi router, in which case the device keeps trying to connect when a download is due (and that can be for the special offers that Amazon regularly needs to send for those who choose to opt for the less-expensive model with the special-offers feature) and is then constanty active.

    BUT WiFi needs to be 'On' after you've read a book and made annotations for a session AND when you then want to be able to continue reading later, on another device (like a smartphone), starting at where you'd stopped. If WiFi isn't turned on, the Amazon servers won't have any way of knowing the last-page-read location nor any notes or highlighting you've made, which you'd want to be able to access on the other device. So, a recommendation: 1.

    When you're finished reading, tap the top-toolbar and press the HOME icon. That will 'close' the book session and record the last page read and log the annotations.

    2. Tap the top of the Paperwhite to bring up the toolbar and menu icon.

    3. If you see an airplane icon at the top, your WiFi is Off (and you're in "airplane" take-off mode).

    4. Tap 'Settings' 5.

    Turn Airplane Mode OFF, and that'll turn WiFi ON.

    6. At that point, the Kindle will try to sync your changes to the Server and will download anything that is pending (a subscription to a newspaper, magazine, or blog, usually).

    7. After that's done, you can go ahead and leave WiFi ON if you have no problems with faster battery drain OR you can turn OFF the WiFi if you need to save battery power.

    Only if you'd rather not wait -- DOWNLOADING and transferring the Update via USB US: Go to the Kindle Paperwhite Software Update v5.4.3 download 14 section to get the instructions for the download and transfer to your Kindle via USB: UK: UK Paperwhite eReader owners can do the same for the UK-only page 15 Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books 16 Guide to finding Free Kindle books 17 and Sources. Top 100 free 18 bestsellers. Liked-books under $1 19 UK-Only : recently published free books 20 , bestsellers 21 , or 5 Max 22 ones Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free 23 bestsellers. *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE .

    Or click on the web browser's BACK button 24 Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it. -- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently. ( Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page 25 . ) If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook 26 and Twitter 27 Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

    References ^ Paperwhite 2 (amzn.to) ^ here (bit.ly) ^ here (amzn.to) ^ here (bit.ly) ^ UK-only software update page (bit.ly) ^ Add, View, Edit or Remove Notes (amzn.to) ^ here (amzn.to) ^ Organize Your Content with Cloud Collections (amzn.to) ^ here (amzn.to) ^ import (bit.ly) ^ download the user guide (amzn.to) ^ here (amzn.to) ^ New York Times Latest News subscription (amzn.to) ^ Kindle Paperwhite Software Update v5.4.3 download (amzn.to) ^ UK-only page (amzn.to) ^ recently published Kindle books (bit.ly) ^ finding Free Kindle books (bit.ly) ^ Top 100 free (bit.ly) ^ Liked-books under $1 (amzn.to) ^ recently published free books (amzn.to) ^ bestsellers (www.blogger.com) ^ 5 Max (amzn.to) ^ Top 100 free (bit.ly) ^ to Return to the HOME PAGE (bitly.com) ^ CURRENT KINDLES page (bit.ly) ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com) ^ Twitter (bit.ly)

  • A Look At EE Fibre Optic Broadband It was in late 2012 that EE became a name on everybody s lips. This was the time they launched their 4G offerings and, being the only provider of that technology, coupled with some extensive advertising, it wasn t long before they became popular. Anyway, we are not looking at their 4G service today; rather, we are going to delve into their fibre optic broadband package to see if they are any good.

    EE is short for Everything Everywhere. They were formed in 2010 as a result of a merger between European powerhouses Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, plus the UK s Orange and T-Mobile. EE ventured into the broadband business a bit late, but there is nothing showing they are newcomers; rather, they are already serious contenders.

    With their willingness to embrace new technology faster than the others, it is only a matter of time before they begin to hit some of their rivals badly. Advantages and Disadvantages of EE s Fibre Optic Broadband When it comes to fibre optic broadband provisions, EE s numbers are quite impressive. According to them, over 15 million homes can connect to their network, and the speed on offer is 38mbps in some areas and 76mbps in other areas.

    These numbers are enough to keep other, well-established companies on their toes. Major Pros Their service is reasonably priced They give a few extras with each of their packages, like the free router, etc. There are regular discounts for , T-Mobile, EE mobile and Orange customers Major Cons Long contracts for business users Traffic throttling and fair usage restrictions during peak times People could easily get confused regarding the upfront fees The Advantages of Using EE s Fibre Optic Broadband Examined Reasonable pricing Their smartphones may be some of the costliest around, but their broadband package is a different story.

    They offer competitive prices, which are around the general standard. They offer cheaper alternatives, of course; however, they have unlimited entry level packages that are decently priced. You can always look around to see how their offers hold up when compared against other providers, but you will most certainly be impressed with their prices.

    They offer very good extras For most broadband users, security is paramount. In light of this, EE has brought about a policy where individuals picking up their offers are given a year s subscription to the McAfee anti-virus package. The subscriber is also given parental controls.

    The free routers that comes with their package are valued at nearly 100 pounds, and the customer can also call certain landlines in the UK free of charge during off-peak periods. Some of the numbers are those that start with 01, 02, 03, 0800, 0870 and 0845. The off-peak period, according to EE, is 7pm-7am daily, and 24 hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

    Loyalty bonuses and discounts EE does what it can to retain their customers not just by tying them to very long contracts, but rather by equally rewarding them. So, anyone that is already a customer of Orange, EE mobile and T-Mobile will get some pleasant discounts if they decide to go with EE as their fibre optic broadband provider. With the speeds of 38mbps and 76mbps in some places a lot of people who are already EE customers will like to take advantage of this offer.

    The Disadvantages of Using EE Fibre Broadband Lengthy Contracts With EE fibre broadband, you will end up getting tied to an 18-months contract as an individual. Businesses are even tied down for longer with a 24-month contract being standard. EE does not publish what the penalties are for early exit, so you may be in for a rude awakening if you ever decide to leave.

    Until you are able to see the fees and penalties, it may be best you stick to the network till the end of the contract unless their services are so bad in your area that you just can t cope with it anymore. Traffic restrictions EE have boldly admitted that they throttle traffic from 4pm to 1am on weekdays and 1.30pm to 1am on Saturdays and Sundays. This covers the time when most people are likely to be on the network.

    The negative to this is that their peak hours are somewhat longer than other major providers have as theirs. With their traffic management policy, gaming and VoIP activities are prioritised during peak times, while P2P activities are slowed down. This means you can go ahead with your gaming but you cannot download high-definition movies during these times.

    Weird payment strategies EE says free installation but, in reality, you will be charged for the service and, after the installation, the amount will be credited back to the account. The story is the same with their discounts too, where you first of all pay fully for the product, then, later, the discount amount will be credited to the account. This method of payment is very strange, and some people still can t wrap their heads around it.

    It also means that individuals who are actually mulling over signing up with them because they do not have money for installation fees still have to come up with the fees either way! So, having looked at all of this, you can see that EE is serious about getting into the upper echelons of fibre optic broadband providers in the UK. They are mostly known for their mobile service, but their fibre optic broadband network is far reaching, and it is continually expanding.

    Their major selling point is their reasonable price added to all the nice extras. On the other hand, long contracts and their rather strict traffic throttling policy can be a deal-breaker for people who rather prefer a no-holds-barred fibre optic broadband offer. They are definitely good at providing decent coverage and superfast speeds, but this does not mean you should sign up with them without further comparisons with other providers around you.

    Having fibre optic broadband 1 installed can really help the speed of your browsing and downloading.

    References ^ fibre optic broadband (www.uswitch.com)

  • A Look at Women and Their Relationship With Mobile Phones ... Women really, really like their mobile devices. According to a new study from Time Inc. and Nuance Digital Marketing, 60 percent of women name their mobiles as the most important devices in their lives (significantly higher than men, at 43 percent).

    Not only is their smartphone the first thing she looks at in the morning (for 78 percent), it consumes their free time throughout the day, when they use it for engaging with social media, texting and shopping. While this time spent on their mobiles would suggest opportunities to advertise to women, fully 91 percent of women dislike ads they consider intrusive. Get the Advertising & Branding newsletter: Thanks for signing up!

    Check your inbox for a confirmation email. BUSINESS SUMMARY Time Inc. is one of the largest content companies in the world.

    With a portfolio magazines that includes some of the world's most popular, powerful and trusted brands, it is one of the largest magazine publishers in the U.S. Their popular brands and successful franchises extend to online, television, cable VOD, satellite radio, mobile devices, events and branded products. The company engages millions of U.S.

    consumers in print, online and via mobile devices each month.

    Their specialties include Magazines, Photography, Publishing, Editorial, Journalism.

    Time Life Bldg Rockefeller Ctr 1271 Ave of The Americas New York, NY 10020-1393 T (212) 522-1212 Fax (212) 522-0555 For more detailed information and research on agencies and advertisers visit Red Books 1 "); } var re = /((http|https|ftp)://w?=&./-;#~%-+(?!ws?&./;#~%"=-*> ))/g; var count = 1; $.each(data.results, function(i, item) if(count $1 '); tweet = tweet.replace(/(^ }); }); } }); References ^ Red Books (www.redbooks.com) ^ @$2 (www.twitter.com) ^ .@$2 (www.twitter.com) ^ #$2 (search.twitter.com) ^ Reply (twitter.com) ^ Retweet (twitter.com) ^ Favorite (twitter.com)

  • A Mobile Phone With Eye-catching Design and style And Great ... Sony Ericsson needs no introduction as the mobile phone makers have some really serious products within the market place which tends to make mobile telephone consumer to really like the brand and think in their items. Sony Ericsson s most prosperous mobile device walkman series have captured the heart of millions of users across the globe. The most recent offering Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 in the company is actually a hugely advance smartphone with terrific capabilities with exciting multimedia applications.

    For the Mobile Phones company the season of festivities is really a great time to attract clients by delivering thrilling offers. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 deals are one of those smartphones within the marketplace which might be mentioned to come ahead of its time. It s a touchscreen device which runs on the Google Android Operating System and comes inside the pocket in the typical mobile phone consumers; it s a good value for funds.

    The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Bargains are readily available using the leading mobile service networks of UK like Vodafone, Orange, O2, Virgin Mobile, 3 Mobile and T-Mobile on various bargains like contract bargains, Pay Month-to-month bargains, PAYG (Pay As You Go) deals, Simfree deals and several other thrilling offers with wonderful offers. The device has wonderful options with a high megapixel camera, an 8MP (megapixel) camera which can be an fascinating proposition for the camera phone lovers. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Bargains has a improved excellent than its predecessors C other smartphones , the phone has 2G and 3G network support with retina display that may be also present in Apple iPhone 4G.

    The device also consists of accelerometer, auto-rotate, proximity sensor, Timescape/Mediascape. The device features a wonderful storage with an inbuilt capacity of 1GB and 8GB which one particular can extend to 32 GB as per your requirements. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 bargains come with an incredible connectivity solutions with EDGE, GPRS and WiFi help.

    The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 offers supply the user using a large amount of other advantages primarily no cost gifts.

    If you want to buy check out UK On the web Telephone Shop to manage your hands on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 offers.

    Click here to know more about Cheap iPad Mini cases 1 Samsung Galaxy S4 i9500 cases 2 References ^ Cheap iPad Mini cases (www.wantbuyletbuy.com) ^ Samsung Galaxy S4 i9500 cases (www.wantbuyletbuy.com)

  • A New Year's Message from Sony Mobile | Blog Portal ... - News December 31, 2013 - 10:21 AM As we approach the end of 2013 we enter a rare period for companies like us, a few days where it s equally appropriate to look back as it is to keep our focus on the future, and from our perspective, 2013 has been an incredible year. We began with the announcement of Xperia Z 1 at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. It was a product that would set the tone for months to come and from a design perspective it was revolutionary.

    The water resistance design feature resonated with both the media and customers in a way that even we had not anticipated and before long all sorts of crazy videos were circulating the internet showing exactly what you could do with a water resistant smartphone. Equally importantly, Xperia Z represented our first words spoken in a new design language that would go on to underpin all our 2013 phones. Our OmniBalance design is, and will remain, a key element of what makes our products special.

    Towards the end of January we announced Xperia Tablet Z in Japan and by Mobile World Congress in Barcelona we were able to confirm a global roll out. There s no doubt, Xperia Tablet Z is the best tablet we ve ever built, but EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) went one further and gave it their tablet of the year award 2 . In May we built out our Xperia range with Xperia ZR 3 , a smartphone designed to bring signature Sony experiences to a wider audience at a more affordable price point.

    Building on the strength of reaction to Xperia Z s water resistance, Xperia ZR was our first IP58 smartphone and once again the message coming back from consumers was clear. They loved being able to text in the rain and listen to music by the pool, safe in the knowledge that they weren t risking damage to their smartphone. As summer broke we announced Xperia Z Ultra 4 at Shanghai s Mobile Asia Expo, our first foray into the super large smartphone segment, and another great success.

    It was the slimmest, lightest phone of its kind and, with amazing advances in technology like the ability for users to use any pencil as a stylus, it was an enormous achievement, a fact which clearly wasn t lost on Google, with whom we launched a Google Play Edition in December. We spent most of the summer bringing these products to market and gearing up for our last major smartphone announcement of the year. In September we launched Xperia Z1 5 .

    Where Xperia Z was a revolution in design, Z1 was a revolution in technology. Through our work with Sony s camera experts, we were able to create a camera phone that truly blurs the lines between mobile phones and compact cameras, whilst at the same time, new technologies in processors, screens, audio and media integration all came together to produce a smartphone that is simply brilliant. It is our strongest selling smartphone to date and will continue as our flagship into 2014.

    2013 was also the year that saw the mainstream acknowledgment that the smart wearables category was beginning to represent a serious opportunity. This may not have been news to us, (we ve been producing smart watches since 2007) but it was certainly welcome. Our second generation SmartWatch 2 6 has exceeded our expectations in terms of sales and has been praised by media for the way it solves actual consumer problems.

    This is all thanks to feedback from you, and we are grateful for it. We are leaders in this space and there will be a lot to talk about in 2014. Which brings me onto the whole point of this post, which is to say thank you.

    More than 8 million of you visited this blog during 2013 and countless others have been engaging with us through social media and in our customer forums. You make our products what they are, through your feedback, your engagement with us as a brand, and with our products. We re listening, we take you seriously, and we are grateful.

    2014 is going to be an incredible year, we ve got some truly exciting products coming up, new form factors to explore and more from our wearables team, so stay tuned and keep talking to us.

    Have a very happy new year.

    References ^ Xperia Z (blogs.sonymobile.com) ^ EISA Award for Xperia Tablet Z (blogs.sonymobile.com) ^ Xperia ZR (blogs.sonymobile.com) ^ Xperia Z Ultra (blogs.sonymobile.com) ^ Xperia Z1 (blogs.sonymobile.com) ^ SmartWatch 2 (blogs.sonymobile.com)

  • A Nokia Lumia 520 for 99?

    Good news for the Windows Phone ... I was in the Phones4U shop the other day browsing (I thought I should given they ve sent me this S4 to have a look at) and I was astonished to come across a Nokia Lumia 520 for 99.95 1 on Pay As You Go. I obviously knew this was coming. I ve sat in too many Nokia keynotes where executives have been explaining that as price points come down, we ll start to see Windows Phone (and Nokia) spread to the levels where Symbian devices used to play.

    It was quite a difficult ask, to believe this, particularly when many of their initial devices were launching at the 300+ Euro price point. The assembled masses of journalists knew this. If memory serves the 520 was launched back at Mobile World Congress with a target price of about 120.

    If it s already on sale at sub 100 (excluding the mandatory tenner that most retailers will insist on applying for the initial sim card/credit) then this can only be good news for Nokia. I hear the 520 is selling like hotcakes in India. I m not surprised.

    This is what Nokia has been talking about for years, ever since they announced their move to Windows. If they can get Windows devices cheap enough and at substantial volume, the executives firmly believed they d be able to hoover up millions of customers particularly in the large developing economies. I ll need to hunt around for some official perspective from Nokia but from what I m hearing from various colleagues, it s looking good.

    The more 520s you can shift, the more the economies of scale work, the more you can push the cost down, the more the ecosystem benefits. It looks like Nokia are delivering there. And on the higher end, I was admiring Rafe Blandford s 2 Lumia 925 the other day.

    I think I could be persuaded very easily. Here is his colleague Steve s take on the 520 3 by the way. About Ewan Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review.

    He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter 4 most days.

    You can read more about him 5 or reach him with these details 6 .

    References ^ Nokia Lumia 520 for 99.95 (www.phones4u.co.uk) ^ Rafe Blandford s (www.allaboutwindowsphone.com) ^ take on the 520 (allaboutwindowsphone.com) ^ active on Twitter (twitter.com) ^ read more about him (www.mobileindustryreview.com) ^ with these details (www.mobileindustryreview.com)

  • A Tribute to the Patron of the Hand Tool World The Proud & Unplugged, WIA 2013: Far Back, L-R/: Isaac Blackburn-Blackburn Tools; Raney Nelson-Daed Toolworks; Dave Jeske-Blue Spruce Toolworks; Konrad Sauer-Sauer & Steiner Toolworks. Next Row, L-R: Deneb Puchalski-Lie-Nielsen Toolworks; Thomas Lie-Nielsen-Lie-Nielsen Toolworks; Christopher Schwarz-Lost Art Press; Scott Meek-Scott Meek Woodworks; Ron Hock-Hock Tools; Robin Lee-Lee Valley/Veritas; Next Row, L/R: Rhett Fulkerson-Nice Ash Planes; Matt Evans-Evans Wooden Screw Co.; Geoffrey Noden-Adjust-A-Bench; after Geoffrey and in front of Scott and Ron: Fred West; then, (tall in green long sleeves) Tony Strupulis-Raven s Edge Toolworks; Front Row, L-R: Kylie-Gramercy Tools; Ben Selzer-Tools for Working Wood & Gramercy Tools; Katie Fulkerson-Nice Ash Planes; Mark Harrell and his beautiful daughter-Bad Axe Tool Works; Nick Dombrowski-Lake Erie Toolworks; Mark Hicks-Plate 11 Bench Co.; Seated: Joel Moskowitz Tools for Working Wood & Gramercy Tools.Photo courtesy of Linda Rosengarten, Hock Tools One of the unseen forces in the modern renaissance of hand tool manufacturing is Fred West, a woodworker from West Chester, Pa. Well, to be more precise, you might not know who Fred is, but anyone who makes or sells hand tools in North America knows him on sight.

    Fred is clearly fascinated by tools and their makers and spends a lot of time, energy and his own money to help promote makers and their wares. He ll buy several copies of a new tool and mail them anonymously to woodworkers he thinks need them or would like them. He commissions custom makers to build tools that will stretch their abilities or a design.

    He is, quite frankly, a modern Medici in this little world. For years I ve watched Fred work behind the scenes amongst all the toolmakers. He s always encouraging the makers and helping them and he never seems to ask anything in return.

    Lately, Fred has been struggling with his health. To let him know how important he has been to this little world, I asked a lot of tool makers to share their best Fred West story. I think you ll find their responses funny, inspiring and touching.

    Get well soon Fred. Christopher Schwarz Vic Tesolin, woodworker, Lee Valley Tools employee Fred West is a machine. If he likes a tool or idea he will climb up the mountain and sing its praises until he goes hoarse.

    At WIA 2013, I was telling Fred about plans for a woodworking conference that my woodworking association will be putting on in 2014. As per checklist, Fred loved the idea and asked if he could come up to Canada to attend. Within hours, I had vendors and attendees alike stopping by asking for more details saying, Fred told me I need to come to this event.

    Because of Fred s advertising, we have twice the talent who have committed to traveling to Canada to speak at our humble event. Now this is not to say that Fred is faultless. Fred is what you would call an enabler.

    He forces you to drink too much by shaming your manhood. In fact, I never even drank alcohol prior to meeting Fred West. He makes us all look bad by having a host of medical issues, yet still shows up to do what he does.

    I mean the guy has to go in for an emergency root canal and is back an hour later stumbling around the showroom floor (due to the drugs, we think) until he is forced to go lie down for an hour. He also touched me in a questionable manner once but this may not be the venue in which to discuss it. Despite his shortcomings, Fred West, in his own way, has done as much to promote hand tool woodworking as guys like Chris Schwarz (whoever the hell he is).

    He loves to promote the new guys on the scene while continuing to patronize the old guard. His love of tools and woodworking is infectious, and his personality is larger than life. Fred West is one of the best carbon-emitting meat bags that I know and I am proud to call him my friend.

    In closing, Fred has inspired me to write this Haiku: Fine hand tools surrounds Must try them all before the liver screams with bourbon Our thoughts of healing are with you Fred, be well. Mark D. Harrell, Bad Axe Tool Works Everyone has a friend in Fred West, arguably the Will Rogers of our industry.

    Fred has been one of Bad Axe s biggest boosters over the past five years we ve been making saws. He s always ready to share a laugh, talk tools and assess the market from the viewpoint of one who uses them daily in the pursuit of excellence. Generous to a fault and always inclusive with others, Fred is the kind of guy who will literally give someone the shirt off his back (rather, the tools off his rack) when it comes to mentoring newcomers to the craft.

    Fred s prolific interest and usage of virtually every tool in the industry, coupled with his insightful commentary on form and function brings toolmaking up to higher levels of exposure, quality and accessibility to the market. I am very proud to call Fred West one of Bad Axe s most important patrons and my personal friend. John Economaki, Bridge City Tool Works It is safe to say that in the world of contemporary tool makers, there is only one Fred West.

    Besides being every tool makers best customer, the money Fred has spent on tools is only exceeded by his phone bill which by my estimation is responsible for at least 10 customer service jobs in the tool making world. And the reason Fred spends so much time holed up in a back room on the phone? The monstrosity in his living room the Fred West infamous Entertainment Center, which may be the ugliest piece of furniture I, or anybody, has ever seen.

    And if by chance you have not seen it, consider yourself blessed it is worth hiding from. Bob Zajicek, Czeck Edge Hand Tool Fred was always a welcome encumbrance next to my bench at the many Lie-Nielsen and WIA Events he attended. He would dive in at the appropriate moment and offer a hearty recommendation to any prospective customer contemplating the purchase of a Czeck Edge tool.

    His advice always came from experience because he owned one of everything we manufacture. Or sometimes two! Of course that s not saying much really, when you can boast of a six-item product line.

    Robin Lee, Lee Valley Tools Fred is one of those people who is genuinely interested in what you think. He has a deep appreciation for craftsmanship and commitment to principles. At times it seems that he is singlehandedly trying to support the industry, but for Fred, it s not a matter of collecting tools he uses and enjoys them all.

    Fred is a Patron of the woodworking arts, and as generous an individual as I ve ever met. Megan Fitzpatrick, Popular Woodworking Magazine Fred, I m fairly certain I first met you in person in the fall of 2009 at Valley Forge but you ve become such an integral part of my woodworking experiences that it feels as if I ve known you since I first picked up a tool. And it is thanks to your overwhelming generosity that I now have the pleasure of using some very fine tools indeed which I know is also true for an astounding number of other woodworkers.

    It is always a pleasure to see you and I m sorry I m always too damn busy to spend more time talking. So while I may not have had the time to say it in person, know that your philanthropy, as well as your love for the craft and for fine tools, inspires me not only to (try to) do great work, but to be a better person. I hope to one day be able to give back as much as you do or at least a quarter as much, because that s as close as I could possibly come.

    I am honored to be your friend and I look forward to another big hug from you at the next conference (if not sooner). Scott Meek, Scott Meek Woodworks I would not be a planemaker if it weren t for Fred West. He saw a picture I posted online of the first plane I ever made, and sent me a message saying he wanted to buy one.

    I have no idea what he saw, because that first plane was not anything special, but it caused me to have the crazy idea that I might sell more planes. I didn t sell many the first couple years. Most of them, in fact, were sold to Fred.

    He didn t just buy planes; he offered encouragement, new ideas, feedback on the planes he bought, told others about them and more. Without him, I would have quit pursuing planemaking for more than just myself long ago. Fred truly is a patron of the arts in regards to hand tools, and I can t thank him enough.

    Jameel Abraham, Benchcrafted Fred West has a serious problem. Addiction. It s not a subject that is easily broached with Fred, since he, like many addicts, lives in a state of denial.

    Fred is addicted to fine hand tools. And how does he satisfy this urge? Easy.

    He buys one of everything. Well, that s not entirely true. On several occasions we ve seen him buy two, three, even six of the same tool.

    It s shameful. To make matters worse, he doesn t simply keep these tools to himself, satisfying his own selfish addiction, but he often pushes them off onto others (free of charge, no less!), hoping they will get hooked, and that he ll have another dark soul to wallow in his vice. To boot, he actually uses the tools to make things, further deepening his uncontrollable, insatiable appetite for the object of his wanton pleasure.

    The first time we met Fred, his addiction oozed from him like a virus. After only a few minutes we found ourselves infected, handing over a handmade plane-adjusting hammer to him as a sort of antibiotic. But the regimen didn t end before more of the illness reared its ugly head.

    We found ourselves the recipient of more generosity this time a pair of hand-forged holdfasts. Perhaps the heat of the forge somehow through the holdfasts themselves, would consume the addiction. Not so.

    The symptoms continued. At our next meeting Fred introduced us to a young woodworker, perhaps 15 years old. We had the uncontrollable urge to give the young man a tool, free of charge.

    Damn this disease! Only later did we see the dark side of Fred s addiction. In the alley out back, we saw Fred cutting a deal with the kid.

    No, they weren t practicing their ripping technique, but exchanging tools! Stop the insanity! In all seriousness, if there were ever a hand-tool philanthropist, someone who intensely wishes the success of the small maker, a man whose purpose it seems is the success of others, that man would be Fred West.

    He doesn t get a lot of credit for his enthusiasm and support (nor does he ever express the need for it) so on that note, thanks Fred! By the way, Fred, we ve got another vise coming out soon, just so you know Ron Brese, Brese Plane It s hard to put into words a proper description of a person who s been a great friend and has funded my product development for the last seven years. I hope this word equation does it in an adequate way.

    Joel Moskowitz, Tools for Working Wood Fred West has been a great supporter of Tools for Working Wood. He loves tools, of course, and he enjoys supporting new makers. But my best Fred West story has very little to do with tools or us.

    Fred commissioned Ford Hallam, (http://www.fordhallam.com/) to make him a tsuba, the guard on a Japanese sword. Tsubas are typically decorative and reflective of a craftsman s metal art. Ford Hallam s tsuba turned out to be a work of staggering beauty that won the top award for tsubas in Japan.

    It was a particular honor for Ford as the first non-Japanese metal artist to win the award. Now, many collectors who commissioned such an incredible piece of art would be careful to keep grubby hands off their work. Not Fred.

    At Woodworking in America this past fall, Fred knowing I was interested took me aside and showed me the tsuba. The amazing tactile feel of the tsuba was met by its visual beauty. Fred also let some of my colleagues in the booth handle this high art.

    As metalworkers, they really appreciated the opportunity. But the best was yet to come. If the point of museum patronage is to let everyone learn about culture and art, Fred s patronage of Ford Hallam s work meets the highest test.

    A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the Japanese armor section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with my son. Because of my exposure to Fred s tsuba, I was able to appreciate the tusbas in the museum s collection, and the rest of their Japanese armor, on a whole new level. This is what art patronage can foster and Fred gets all the credit for leading me forward.

    By the way, Fred s tsuba is nicer than the ones on display in the museum. Dave Jeske, Blue Spruce Toolworks Fred has to be the winner of the modern toolmaker s Cheerleading Lifetime Achievement Award. Before the start of every WIA, Fred will come over to my booth and find out what I have that is new or special.

    After a sometimes short, but usually quite lengthy, discussion of the features, benefits, etc., he will buy it on the spot. This immediately boosts my spirits and gives me confidence to start the show (I am not a very good salesperson). He not only does this with me but with all of the so-called boutique toolmakers.

    He is an equal-opportunity kind of guy. During the show, Fred then loops around to the different booths and with unbridled enthusiasm, pulls unsuspecting future customers into the booth to show them what they absolutely have to buy. He will repeat the specs and attributes with uncanny accuracy and salesmanship which makes me just step back and think, Man, I wish I was more like Fred!

    Fred, Thank you for your never-ending support and friendship. Blue Spruce Toolworks would not be where it is today without you. Get well soon and we ll see you at the next WIA!

    Lee Marshall, Knew Concepts As Hillary said It takes a village Or from My Fair Lady: With a little bit of luck Both of those are necessary to succeed. Nobody can do it by themselves. Too many think that they can do it on their own, but it doesn t work, or if they achieve some success, just think of how much further and higher they could have risen with help.

    Spartacus didn t do it by himself. I have never been a believer in the great man theory. The ability of someone to gather around them a group of believers in the message is what makes a movement.

    Fred you are my greatest booster and gatherer of supporters and helpers. Without you, I would have still been making jewelry saws and would have saturated the market, and looking for something else to do. You introduced me to the Festool Forum and gave me a space.

    You introduced me to Gary Blum and got him to loan me a bench for use at the WIA show (I ve since bought one), you cajoled Shawn Russell to come help out at my booth the first year, you took me around the show and introduced me to almost everyone (including the janitors).

    With friends like you, there are no enemies.

  • A very good inexpensive Lenovo G580 59359688 Notebook ... Lenovo G580 59359688 Notebook Computer Review A laptop computer is a good laptop I3 processor 2.5, you get the processing power, Intel graphics card worth 4,000 to let me in there to play the game and now it's not gaming laptop, but it will not play all kinds of games really well. Disadvantages: other reviews listed, I agree with the Wifi on the laptop is not very good. In the same room as me, routers work in trouble, Acer Aspire V5-572P-6818 1 but you may experience problems is all Bar.

    Notebook Computer Review Not a fan of Windows 8. There is a HDMI port. The Touchpad is too far to the left, while it was causing random mouse movements and touch occurs randomly when you type the command, if you press and hold the button to turn off Your Palm touches the edge.

    In the game, which can cause problems. Three laptops with this seems to be the weakest of reception WiFi, an odd reason. Router in the living room, another Room in the back, Asus VivoBook V400CA-DB31T 2 received a total of three bars in the living room.

    G580 59359688 Notebook The Internet speed is very slow at the other bedroom with an average of two or three. Received before the laptop without a problem. Lenovo 59371430 G505 3 A Router that is placed in front of the computer when connected to another, the speed is definitely a vision Leads to even better performance when moving around the House.

    Lenovo Notebook Computer I will further study the issue.

    Lenovo 59371478 IdeaPad S500 4 System Restore is a little annoying, if you need to use i References ^ Acer Aspire V5-572P-6818 Review (sites.google.com) ^ Asus VivoBook V400CA-DB31T Review (sites.google.com) ^ Lenovo 59371430 G505 Review (sites.google.com) ^ Lenovo 59371478 IdeaPad S500 Review (sites.google.com)

  • A-Z Fashion Glossary: The Fashion Buzzwords Of 2013 From Cuffs ... Before we get stuck in the 2014 trends, let's take a look back at the fashion buzzwords from the last 12 months, shall we?! Trend-wise 2013 was all about monochrome, tartan, pink coats and cuffs. We've worked out a new fashion alphabet, from S for sliders to K for kicks.

    Then why not take our great quiz 1 to find out how 2013 you really are.

    Take a look through the gallery above to see our A-Z fashion glossary...

    References ^ great quiz (www.graziadaily.co.uk)

  • Accenture offers software to 'green' a business Consulting firm Accenture released software on Wednesday built to help companies improve energy efficiency and reduce waste. The Accenture Green Technology Suite measures the "green" aspects of a corporation's information technology practices, data centers, and office operations. Accenture's Web quiz provides a snapshot of a company's 'green' performance, followed by a report via e-mail.

    Accenture The company provides a Flash-based snapshot of the tools 1 on its Web site. "By implementing the specific, tailored green recommendations, organizations can achieve measurable environmental improvements that contribute to bottom line savings," said Steve Nunn, who heads Accenture's green IT programs. Companies are increasingly fine-tuning software and Web-based tools 2 to count carbons 3 , to maximize energy efficiency 4 , and to create greener supply chains 5 , buildings 6 , and consumer products 7 . Accenture partnered with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group on recent research that determined that retrofitting existing data centers can achieve 8 energy efficiency close to that of new data centers.

    References ^ Flash-based snapshot of the tools (www.accenture.com) ^ Web-based tools (www.cnet.com) ^ count carbons (www.cnet.com) ^ maximize energy efficiency (news.cnet.com) ^ supply chains (www.cnet.com) ^ buildings (www.cnet.com) ^ products (www.cnet.com) ^ retrofitting existing data centers can achieve (www.cnet.com)

  • Acer Aspire E1-470P | Laptop Reviews How much laptop can you really get for less than $400? In the case of the Aspire E1-470P, you get solid Core i3 performance, a 14-inch touch screen and a roomy 500GB hard drive. That's a pretty fair price for those specs, but what do you give up?

    Design The Aspire E1-470P certainly looks the part of a budget laptop: The notebook sports an unremarkable glossy black plastic exterior that easily picks up fingerprint smudges, with a silver Acer logo on the right side of the lid serving as the sole flourish. The spacious deck shares the same glossy plastic finish as the lid. Though the touchpad is slightly off-center, the deck provides plenty of room for both wrists, and the gently rounded edges ensure a comfortable typing experience.

    Moreover, we appreciated that Acer chose to place the power button at the top left corner of the deck rather than on the side of the notebook, as the company has done in the past. A matte black bezel frames the notebook's 14-inch display, and a 720p webcam sits above the screen in the center. Another silver Acer logo is located directly opposite the camera, below the display.

    MORE: Best Mobile Products of the Year 1 At 13.5 x 9.7 x 1.0 inches and 4.2 pounds, the Aspire E1 is heftier than other 14-inch budget notebooks, such as the $399 Lenovo IdeaPad S405 2 (13.25 x 9.5 x 0.33-0.83 inches, 3.4 pounds) and the $329 HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook (13.66 x 9.37 x 0.83 inches, 3.8 pounds). Nevertheless, the Aspire is noticeably lighter than the 15-inch ASUS X550CA 3 -DB31 (14.9 x 9.8 x 0.97-1.2 inches, 4.8 pounds, $449), which boasts an aluminum lid. Display The Aspire E1-470P's 14-inch 1366 x 768 display isn't particularly crisp, but it boasts lush colors and viewing angles wide enough to accommodate a few friends.

    When we streamed a 1080p trailer for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," the hero's iconic red-white-and-blue shield contrasted nicely with his dark-hued uniform, and we could move about a foot to either side of the screen before the colors started to wash out. More impressively, the notebook's display is touch sensitive, a rarity for budget notebooks. (Neither the Lenovo Ideapad S405 nor the ASUS X550CA-DB31 offer touch screens.) The 10-point touch screen performed reliably, though the notebook's sluggish Core i3 processor hamstrung its speed. We had no trouble executing gestures like edge-swiping and one-finger scrolling, for instance, but the animation looked choppy.

    When we measured the display brightness using our light meter, the Aspire E1 averaged 189 lux. While this is dimmer than the mainstream average (210 lux), it outshines the HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook (143 lux), the ASUS X550CA-DB31 (144 lux) and the Lenovo IdeaPad S405 (173 lux). Audio The Aspire E1-470P's bottom-mounted speakers deliver surprisingly clear and accurate audio.

    When we listened to Iron Maiden's "Where Eagles Dare," Bruce Dickenson's soaring vocals rang out clearly, and we didn't notice any distortion when Adrian Smith hit the high notes during the guitar solo, though the bass line fell a bit flat. We couldn't find software to fine-tune the audio settings, but given the good overall quality of the speakers, this wasn't a serious issue. MORE: Top Holiday Gift Ideas 2013 4 Keyboard and Touchpad The Aspire E1-470P features an excellent island-style keyboard with full-size Backspace, Enter and Right-Shift keys.

    We didn't notice any flex as we wrote this review, and the well-spaced keys delivered plenty of tactile feedback. The keyboard lacks backlighting, although that's typical for budget laptops. On the Ten Thumbs Typing Test, we achieved a rate of 72 words per minute with a 1-percent error rate, which is slightly higher than our 68-wpm average.

    Unfortunately, the 4.1 x 2-inch Alps touchpad proved much less reliable. The pad's textured pattern felt course beneath our fingers, and we often had trouble smoothly executing gestures such as two-finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom. More annoyingly, the touchpad suffers from terrible palm rejection, which -- when combined with tap-to-click -- frequently caused us to begin typing in the middle of random paragraphs.

    However, you can adjust the sensitivity by digging through the Tapping tab in the Mouse Properties Control Panel. MORE: Apple MacBook Air (11-inch) vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 2: Face-Off 5 Heat The Aspire E1-470P stayed cool during our testing.

    After streaming a full-screen video on Hulu for 15 minutes, the touchpad measured 89 degrees Fahrenheit, while the space between the G and H Keys was 85 degrees and the bottom of the notebook hit 88 degrees. We consider anything above 95 degrees uncomfortable. Webcam Pictures and video captured with the notebook's 0.9-megapixel camera appear grainy and slightly off-color in artificial lighting, but will suffice for a Skype conversation.

    In daylight, colors look true-to-life, though we still could not make out fine details such as individual hairs in our beard. Ports The Aspire E1 features a healthy selection of ports, including an Ethernet port, a DisplayPort, a full-size HDMI-out port, a USB 3.0 port and a headphone/microphone combo jack on the left, and two USB 2.0 ports on the right. An SD Card reader is located on the front right corner of the notebook.

    Performance Equipped with an older (and less energy-efficient) 1.8-GHz "Ivy Bridge" Intel Core i3-3217U processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive, the Aspire E1-470P provides enough power to browse the Web, listen to music or stream movies -- but don't expect to use any CPU-intensive programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Subjectively, we didn't experience any stuttering while surfing the Web on Google Chrome or listening to music on Pandora. On our objective benchmarks, the Aspire E1 tended to outpace competing budget notebooks but still fell far behind the mainstream average, which includes more expensive notebooks with Core i5 and i7 processors.

    When we ran PCMark 7, which measures overall performance, the notebook notched a score of 2,038. This beats both the 1,439 turned in by the Lenovo IdeaPad S405 (2.1-GHz AMD dual-core A6-4455M processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive) and the 1,918 achieved by the ASUS X550CA-DB31 (1.8-GHz dual-core Intel Core i3-3217U processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive). MORE: Top Laptop Gifts 6 Due to its slower mechanical hard drive, the Aspire E1 loaded Windows 8 in a relatively sluggish 22 seconds, one second shy of the Lenovo IdeaPad S405 and seven seconds slower than the ASUS X550CA.

    The HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook, which uses Chrome OS, booted up in just nine seconds. The average mainstream notebook, by contrast, loaded the operating system in 30 seconds (though that average includes notebooks using the slower-booting Windows 7). On the LAPTOP File Transfer Test, the Aspire E1 copied 4.97GB of files in three minutes and 34 seconds, for a rate of just 23.8 MBps.

    While this beats the Lenovo IdeaPad S405 (25.6 MBps), it falls behind the ASUS X550CA (30.7 MBps). The Aspire E1 completed our OpenOffice Spreadsheet Test in eight minutes and 36 seconds, faster than both the Lenovo IdeaPad S405 (8:59) and the ASUS X550CA (8:58). Graphics and Gaming Armed with an older Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip, the Aspire E1-470P struggled on our graphics benchmarks.

    When we ran 3DMark 11, which measures overall graphics performance, the notebook achieved a score of 546. This falls behind the score of 559 notched by the ASUS X550CA, which also uses an Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip, as well as the score of 560 turned in by the AMD HD 7520G-powered Lenovo IdeaPad S405. Unsurprisingly, the Aspire E1 suffered from dismal frame rates on "World of Warcraft," averaging an unplayable 28 frames per second with the graphics on Autodetect.

    Bumping up the graphics to Ultra caused the frame rate to plummet to 10 fps. The Lenovo IdeaPad S405 and ASUS X550CA achieved similarly poor results with the graphics on Autodetect, averaging 28 and 23 fps, respectively. MORE: Gift Ideas for Gamers 7 Battery Life On the LAPTOP Battery Test (continuous surfing on the Web via Wi-Fi), the Aspire E1-470P lasted a mere 3 hours and 7 minutes, more than 2 hours less than HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook (5:29) and the mainstream average (5:30).

    The Lenovo IdeaPad S405 and the ASUS X550CA fared only slightly better, clocking in at 3:34 and 4:05, respectively. After we uninstalled McAfee Internet Security, however, the E1's battery life increased by half an hour, to 3:37. Software and Warranty The Aspire E1-470P comes preloaded with a number of third-party applications, including Soluto, a cloud-based PC-management service; Nero BackItUp 12 Essentials, an automatic backup suite; and trial versions of McAfee Internet Security and Norton Online Backup.

    Other third-party apps include ChaCha, eBay, Netflix and Spotify. Of course, no Windows 8 machine would be complete without Microsoft applications, such as Skype, SkyDrive and a one-month trial of Microsoft Office 365. Acer also includes a number of its own desktop-based applications, such as Acer Recovery Management, which lets you restore the notebook to its factory settings, create a customized restore point or reinstall drivers and applications.

    Acer Explorer is an application hub, and Acer Device Fast-lane lets you quickly lock the touchpad, toggle Airplane Mode and enable or disable the Wi-Fi. The Acer Aspire E1-470P comes with a one-year parts and labor warranty. See how Acer fared in our Best & Worst Brands Report 8 and Tech Support Showdown 9 .

    Verdict Although anyone looking to purchase a laptop for less than $400 should be prepared to make some compromises, the Acer Aspire E1-470P will leave most shoppers feeling like they got their money's worth. For just $399 (through Best Buy), the notebook offers an excellent keyboard, surprisingly rich audio and solid everyday performance. The notebook's touch screen is also a major plus.

    However, the Aspire E1's short battery life and finicky touchpad hold us back from awarding this notebook higher honors. If endurance and affordability are the most important considerations, the HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook costs just $329 and lasts almost 5.5 hours on a charge. But if you want a full Windows experience with touch, the Aspire E1 is definitely worth a look.

    If you're looking for an affordable Windows 8 touch-screen experience, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than the Acer Aspire E1-470P.

    References ^ Best Mobile Products of the Year (blog.laptopmag.com) ^ Lenovo IdeaPad S405 (www.laptopmag.com) ^ ASUS X550CA (www.laptopmag.com) ^ Top Holiday Gift Ideas 2013 (www.tomsguide.com) ^ Apple MacBook Air (11-inch) vs.

    Microsoft Surface Pro 2: Face-Off (blog.laptopmag.com) ^ Top Laptop Gifts (blog.laptopmag.com) ^ Gift Ideas for Gamers (blog.laptopmag.com) ^ Best & Worst Brands Report (blog.laptopmag.com) ^ Tech Support Showdown (blog.laptopmag.com)

  • Acer Aspire R7 Review The Acer Aspire R7 has one of the most intriguing designs we've ever seen from a laptop. Making a statement that the touch screen is more important than the trackpad, the $999 Aspire R7 has a hinged display that can be used in four modes, and a touchpad that sits above the keyboard. This 15-inch system is definitely a notebook first, but you can use as a tablet.

    So does the bold design pay off, or will all the changes make this notebook an awkward black sheep? Design Click to Enlarge When closed, the Acer Aspire R7 looks like a premium notebook, albeit with a divot on the top where the hinge connects to the lid. The unibody aluminum design is entirely gray except for the black underside.

    But this is no ordinary notebook. The display attaches to the deck by what Acer calls an Ezel Hinge, which allows the monitor to pivot from the hinge's attachment in the middle of the back, so the notebook can be used in a variety of positions. As if that weren't enough, Acer swapped the locations of the keyboard and clickpad, so that the latter is above the former on the deck.

    More on that. Click to Enlarge In traditional notebook mode, the R7 looks just like any other clamshell notebook. In Ezel Mode, the screen can be tilted slightly forward, making the display appear as if it is almost floating above the keyboard.

    The Ezel Hinge is quite strong and fully supports the weight of the display at any angle, so we were free to play around and figure out what worked best. Display Mode, which is where the screen is flipped completely around, is designed for media watching or giving presentations. Finally, there's Pad Mode, which is where the screen is flipped backward and laid flat against the deck.

    Unfortunately, the display doesn't lie exactly flat, but is still propped up slightly at one end, so it doesn't quite capture the true tablet experience. MORE: Top 8 Windows Tablet-Laptop Hybrids 1 Click to Enlarge We found ourselves most often using the notebook in the traditional notebook mode, though sometimes we tilted the display forward slightly to take advantage of the Ezel hinge. While Ezel Mode is a cool feature, it didn't really add enough value to persuade us to use this setup full time.

    We rarely used Pad Mode, as the screen doesn't lie flat, and the notebook is way too heavy to be held like a traditional tablet. The R7 measures 14.8 x 10 x 1.12 inches and weighs 5.4 pounds, which is a pretty average size and weight for a mainstream notebook. While not the lightest notebook, you can travel with this hybrid if you have a larger bag.

    Keyboard and Touchpad Click to Enlarge With the Aspire R7, Acer has flipped the traditional notebook deck on its head, as keyboard and trackpad have switched places. The keyboard kisses the bottom lip of the deck while the trackpad rests above the function keys. Acer is betting that with Windows 8, users won't need the trackpad very much.

    It's there if you need it, but it can be easily hidden by the hinged display and won't make you reach across wasted space to type on the keyboard. This is an interesting idea in concept, but real-world use was not quite as user-friendly as we'd hope. When typing, we found ourselves missing the palmrest that typically straddles a traditionally placed trackpad.

    When using the notebook on a desk, we found ourselves pushing the notebook farther away from us in order to type comfortably. Other than the unusual placement, the typing experience was decent, keys had plenty of travel and keyboard flex was pretty much nonexistent. MORE: 8 Worst Windows 8 Annoyances and How to Fix Them 2 Owing to its placement, the 4.1 x 3-inch clickpad was a bit awkward to reach.

    Swipes in from the side needed to be started from within the border of the trackpad, rather than from on the deck. We prefer the later, as it makes Windows 8 gestures easier to execute and results in fewer mistakes. Aside from the gestures, the trackpad was very accurate, and left and right clicks were easy to distinguish.

    Display and Touch Screen Click to Enlarge The 15.6-inch display on the Aspire R7 has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, providing crisp and clear high-definition video. We could easily see every drop of foam in the raging ocean as we watched the trailer for "Life of Pi," and colors were bright and vivid during scenes in India. Viewing angles were great as well; we needed to be nearly horizontal to the screen in order to experience color distortion.

    The display was nice and bright, measuring 300 lux against the mainstream category average of 223 lux. The touch screen worked flawlessly, making it easy to perform Windows 8 gestures such as swiping in from the edge of the screen. Swipes in from the side need to be started off screen, on the edge of glass framing the display, which meant that our taps and scrolls were never mistaken for a gesture.

    Like most other touch-screen Windows 8 devices, it can be a little hard to accurately tap smaller buttons or links, but a quick two-finger pinch magnifies the screen. Eschewing the touchpad completely for the touch screen, though, was more of a challenge. Selecting text using touch is also more difficult than with a clickpad.

    We could tap and hold to select text from a Web page, but trying to perform the same action in a Google document was impossible. Audio Click to Enlarge The Aspire R7 has a total of four Dolby Home Theater v4 speakers that pumped out crisp, clear audio at outstanding volume. At the loudest setting, music didn't just fill our testing room but could be easily heard on the other side of a closed door.

    We played Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" and heard every pop and crackle of the vinyl-simulated sound effects in the intro and the saxaphone riff was loud and clear. Switching to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" also produced great results, with Freddie Mercury coming through in all his glory, complemented by clear piano keys and cymbal crashes. The Aspire R7 also has a pretty cool audio trick, with the audio channels switching when the laptop is switched from the traditional mode to display mode.

    This was great, because it meant that the left audio channel was always on our left, and the right on our right, regardless of which direction the monitor was facing. Acer also promotes the Acer Purified.Voice audio technology package, which is comprised of both a hardware and software component. First, there are two microphones, located on the lip of the notebook underneath the space bar, for stereo audio pickup.

    Second, the audio technology can reduce background noise, such as typing, and detect when an audio source is moving away from the notebook in order to maintain a consistent audio level. MORE: Top 25 Windows 8 Apps 3 We made a Skype call and wandered around the notebook as we conversed and the person on the other end reported that we came through loud and clear. However, she reported that she could tell we had moved farther away from the machine.

    Heat After streaming Hulu on full screen for 15 minutes, the area between the G and H key on the Aspire R7 measured a cool 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The underside of the notebook also remained relatively cool, measuring 89 degrees. The touchpad, above the keyboard, got a little warmer, measuring 91 degrees after our video viewing.

    All three areas were below our 95-degree comfortability threshold. Ports and Webcam Click to Enlarge On the left edge of the Acer Aspire R7 is a combo headphone and microphone jack, two charging USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and a Mini DisplayPort. The right side has the power jack, a volume toggle, a USB 2.0 port and an SD card reader.

    Images captured with the 720p webcam looked dark and had a yellowish hue in the harsh fluorescent light of our office, but things lightened up once we moved into a room with plenty of natural light. Still, image quality was quite low, even on the highest resolution, and there was lots of visual noise and blurry lines. Performance Click to Enlarge The Acer Aspire R7 has a 1.8-GHz Intel Core i5-3337U with 6GB of RAM, as well as a 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive and 20GB SSD cache, which provided a smooth overall experience.

    There was no noticeable lag as we seamlessly flipped through open applications, browsed the Web and streamed video. The notebook performed well on the PCMark 7 benchmark test, scoring 3,692 against the mainstream category average of 2,741. The Geekbench score wasn't quite as high, with the Aspire R7 getting 4,976 against the category average of 6,546.

    The file transfer test, which copies 5GB of media files, took 2 minutes and 46 seconds for a transfer rate of 30.7 MBps. That showing is well below the category average transfer rate of 40 MBps. Boot time, however, was super-fast.

    The Acer Aspire R7 loaded Windows 8 in 14 seconds, easily beating the 40-second mainstream notebook average. Performance was on a par with the average on the OpenOffice Spreadsheet Test, which matches 20,000 names to their corresponding addresses. The R7 completed the task in 5 minutes and 57 seconds, as opposed to the average of 5:54.

    Graphics Click to Enlarge The Aspire R7 has integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 graphics, which was enough to play HD video on the 1080p display but didn't fare very well on our graphics benchmarks or gaming tests. The notebook scored just 642 on the 3DMark11 test, which measures a notebook's overall graphics performance, a far cry from the 1,118 average. When we played "World of Warcraft" on autodetect settings at a resolution of 1366 x 768, we mustered a frame rate of 32 frames per second, half of the 64 fps average.

    When we turned up all the effects to their max settings, the frame rate dropped to an unplayable 15 fps. Battery Life Click to Enlarge The Aspire R7 lasted 5 hours and 8 minutes on the Laptopmag.com battery test, which involves continuous Web browsing with the screen at 40 percent brightness. This is a half hour shorter than the mainstream notebook category average, which is 5 hours and 38 minutes.

    However, it's important to keep in mind that the touch display uses more energy than a typical screen. MORE: 10 Laptops with the Longest Battery Life 4 Software and Warranty Click to Enlarge Aside from the stock Windows 8 apps, Acer includes plenty of software with the Aspire R7, some of which is more useful than others. Acer Explorer provides tutorials and app overviews, Acer Crystal Eye is a webcam app, Acer Cloud syncs documents across devices and Acer Screen Grasp Touching Tools is used for screen captures and editing.

    Acer also includes Amazon Kindle, Zinio, newsXpresso, iCookbook SE, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Social Jogger, Next Issue, 7digital, Music Maker Jam and Cut the Rope. There's also ChaCha, a human-guided search-and-answers engine, and Didlr, for drawing and sharing digital sketches. Additionally, there's a trial of Microsoft Office and McAfee Internet Security.

    The notebook includes a one-year International Travelers Limited Warranty, which covers any product failures or errors that occur under normal working conditions. Accidental damage is not covered. Verdict Click to Enlarge The $999 Acer Aspire R7 is definitely a unique device.

    We like its Ezel Hinge, which supports a wide range of motion and usage modes, and the display and audio are excellent. But the R7's keyboard and trackpad switcheroo ends up being more awkward than trendsetting, and the whole device is too heavy to be used as a tablet. Acer deserves credit for being forward-thinking, but we don't believe that notebook shoppers are ready to relegate the touchpad to second-class status.

    References ^ Top 8 Windows Tablet-Laptop Hybrids (blog.laptopmag.com) ^ 8 Worst Windows 8 Annoyances and How to Fix Them (blog.laptopmag.com) ^ Top 25 Windows 8 Apps (blog.laptopmag.com) ^ 10 Laptops with the Longest Battery Life (blog.laptopmag.com)

  • Acer Aspire S7 (2014) - Ultrabook Reviews - Laptop Mag If you want a laptop that packs both beauty and brawn, Acer's new Aspire S7-392-6807 ($1,399) is a strong contender. A refresh of last year's model, the gorgeous Windows 8.1 Ultrabook offers zippy Haswell performance and a new high-definition WQHD display. However, with this sharper panel comes a trade-off some people may not want to make.

    Design Still as sexy as ever, the all-white Acer Aspire S7-392-6807, whose lid is covered in Corning's Gorilla Glass 2, screams premium. Sharp-straight edges line the aluminum unibody, and a silver, straw-width hinge houses two subtle indicator lights for power and battery. A metallic-gray Acer logo sits on the lid and lights up when the computer is on.

    Under the lid is a silver deck that houses a matte-silver Chiclet-style keyboard, and a rectangular touchpad with rounded corners sits below. The glossy, 13.3-inch display is protected by Gorilla Glass, lending it an air of class and security. On the white bottom of the notebook, a vent runs horizontally along the back, while two speakers sit on either side, closer to the front.

    MORE: Best Laptops 2014 1 Oddly, the S7's power button is on the left edge, next to the power jack, which Acer says prevents accidental pressing and makes it easier to find. We would have preferred it on the deck for easier access, but at least it won't turn on the computer until the lid is open, preventing accidental startups. At 12.72 x 8.78 x 0.51 inches and 3.0 pounds, the new Aspire S7 has the same barely-there profile as its predecessor.

    It's smaller and heavier than Asus' Zenbook UX301 2 (12.8 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches, 2.6 pounds), but somewhat bigger and lighter than the MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display 3 (12.35 x 8.62 x 0.71 inches, 3.46 pounds) and Samsung's ATIV Book 9 Plus 4 (12.6 x 8.8 x 0.54 inches, 3.2 pounds). Display Acer bumped up the S7's 13-inch IPS display to WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels), and the result is a stunning visual experience. On a 1080p trailer of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," individual strands of Scarlett Johansson's auburn hair and scratches on Captain America's shield looked crisp.

    Colors were also vivid; we enjoyed the bright greens of foliage in wide shots and light gray of Steve Rogers' eyes. Viewing angles were ample, but images washed out a tad when we tilted the screen till it lay completely flat. The S7 packs the same resolution as the Zenbook UX301 (2560 x 1440p), but it's not as sharp as the MacBook Pro (2560 x 1600p) and the ATIV Book 9 (3200 x 1800p).

    Probably due to the higher resolution, text in windows and websites such as Laptopmag.com and NYTimes.com had pixelated edges. Registering 276 lux on our brightness meter, the Aspire S7 is brighter than the ultraportable average (250 lux) and the ATIV Book 9 Plus (251 lux) but dimmer than the Zenbook UX301 (368 lux) and the MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display (340 lux). The 10-point touch screen on the S7 was responsive and sturdy, budging only slightly to our jabbing fingers, thanks to the right hinge.

    Windows 8 gestures -- such as pinch to zoom and swiping back and forth -- worked quickly, and we easily swiped in from edges to switch between open apps. Audio The Dolby Home Theater speakers on the underside of the Aspire S7 provided booming but tinny sound. We didn't enjoy the canned quality of Lady Gaga's voice and the instruments on "Do What U Want," but the music easily filled a small office.

    Plus software, which unfortunately is hidden in the desktop file explorer. Digital Plus lets you select from Movie, Music, Game, Voice and two custom audio modes to adjust how your music filters out. We found Movie and Game modes delivered somewhat better sound for songs such as "Do What U Want" and "Royals" by Lorde, but the audio had a metallic echo.

    Music mode delivered a more enjoyable experience, even on the more nuanced opening music for the "League of Legends" game launcher. On Laptop Mag's audio test (playing a tone and measuring from 23 inches), the S7 notched 82 decibels, slightly lower than the ultraportable average (84 db). However, it did outdo the Zenbook (80 dB).

    Keyboard and Touchpad Acer added 0.3mm (0.01 inches) of key-travel distance to the new S7, making the black-on-silver island keyboard more comfortable to type on. We still wish the keyboard offered more depth, but given its sleek aesthetic, this is a minor trade-off. On the Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor test, we scored an average of 85.2 words per minute with a 1.6 percent error rate, which is better than our desktop average of 77 wpm (no errors).

    The keyboard also features adjustable LED backlighting, which was bright and even. Our biggest bone to pick with the layout on the S7 is the odd key placement. Buttons to quickly toggle the volume, font size, display brightness and connectivity are on the second (QWERTY) row, and you activate them by pressing the Fn and relevant key.

    The top line lets you switch between numbers, symbols and functions. We also don't like that the tilde button sits next to the Caps Lock, and that the latter has been reduced to a pinkie-size segment. The 4.25 x 2.5-inch touchpad is spacious and proved responsive when we performed Windows 8 gestures such as two-finger scrolling and pinch to zoom.

    Only the bottom half of the touchpad can be depressed to trigger clicks; pressing the bottom-right corner activates a right click, while the left side results in a regular click. Heat Just as on its predecessor, the new Aspire S7 comes with a cooling system called TwinAir that uses two small, high-speed fans -- one pulls in cool air, while the other expels hot air. For the most part, this technology was effective.

    After 15 minutes of streaming a full-screen Hulu video, the laptop's touchpad measured a cool 81 degrees Fahrenheit, while the space between the G and H keys hit 85 degrees. That's about the same as the ultraportable category averages of 79 degrees (touchpad) and 84 degrees (G and H keys). We find temperatures below 95 degrees to be comfortable.

    However, the S7 reached 102 degrees on its underside, just below the vent. While that's not scorching, we didn't want to keep the system on our lap for extended periods of time. Webcam and Ports With its 720p webcam, the Aspire S7 took grainy but accurately colored pictures.

    The lime-green headphones and multicolored iPhone case in our selfie retained vibrant hues, but we saw significant noise on our face. The Aspire S7 packs plenty of connectivity options, including an HDMI-out port with HDCP support, an Acer Converter Port (which can be used with an adapter to support miniDisplay) and two USB 3.0 ports for faster media transfer. The USB port on the right side even supports power-off charging so you can juice up your other devices without having to turn on your laptop.

    Performance Packing a 1.6-GHz Intel Core i5-4200U Haswell CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD), the Aspire S7 is a speedy device for daily tasks. We smoothly typed a Google Doc while streaming an episode of "American Dad" on Netflix and installing the "League of Legends" client in the background. On synthetic benchmarks, the S7 delivered above-average results, but fell short of some of its competitors.

    The Ultrabook's PCMark 7 score of 4,755 is better than the ultraportable average (4,033), but not the 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-powered ASUS Zenbook (5,838) and the ATIV Book 9 Plus (5,017). The ATIV Book 9 Plus sports the same CPU as the S7, but with 4GB of RAM. The Aspire S7 did better on Geekbench 3, scoring 5,101 to beat the average ultraportable (4,473) and the ATIV Book 9 Plus (5,077).

    It still trailed the Zenbook (6,862) and the MacBook Pro (6,294). The 128GB SSD in the S7 booted in a mere 6 seconds. That's less than half the time it took the average ultraportable (15 seconds), and significantly faster than the MacBook Pro (12 seconds), the Zenbook (12 seconds) and the ATIV Book 9 Plus (11 seconds).

    MORE: Top 8 Windows 8.1 Tablet-Laptop Hybrids 5 On Laptop Mag's File Transfer Test, the new S7 copied 4.97GB of mixed-media files in 26 seconds (196 MBps), which is significantly better than the average ultraportable (118 MBps). Acer's Ultrabook also beat the Zenbook (127 MBps) and the ATIV Book (127.2 MBps), but fell short of the blazing MacBook Pro (299 MBps). Unfortunately, the S7 trailed its competitors on our OpenOffice Test, matching 20,000 names and addresses in 5 minutes and 15 seconds.

    While that's almost a minute and a half faster than the average ultraportable (6:47), it's slower than the Zenbook (4:05), the ATIV Book (5:13) and the MacBook Pro (5:02). Graphics and Gaming Backed by Intel's HD 4400 graphics chip with 128 MB of dedicated system memory, the new Aspire S7 delivered decent results on graphics benchmark tests. Scoring 33,185 on 3DMark Ice Storm, the laptop beat the average ultraportable (27,905) and the ATIV Book 9 Plus (29,377) but trailed the Intel HD Graphics 5100 (Iris) ASUS Zenbook UX301 (38,338).

    On the more taxing 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme, the new S7's 22,499 result trumps the ultraportable category average (20,483) and the ATIV Book (19,511). The Zenbook did better, with 31,151. For more serious gaming, however, the Aspire S7 failed to deliver.

    When we played "World of Warcraft" at 1366 x 768p resolution and effects set to autodetect, the S7 averaged 36 fps, just above the ultraportable category average of 31 fps. While playable, this showing is poorer than its predecessor's 39 fps and also trails the Zenbook (62 fps), the MacBook Pro (52 fps at 1280 x 800p) and the ATIV Book 9 Plus (54 fps). At its native 2560 x 1440p resolution on autodetect, the Aspire S7 pushed an unplayable 22 fps.

    Battery Life Acer says it has improved the battery life on this version of the S7, but our test results paint a different picture. The notebook's 4-cell 6,280-mAh lithium-polymer battery (the same as the one in its predecessor) lasted just 6 hours and 44 minutes on Laptop Mag's battery test, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi. While that's on a par with the ultraportable average (6:44), it's more than 2 hours less than the runtime of the previous S7 (8:53), and trails the Zenbook (7:54), the ATIV Book (8:06) and the MacBook Pro (9:31).

    Software Running Windows 8.1, the Aspire S7 is, thankfully, free of bloatware. Acer bundles just its Recovery Management, Live Updater tools and User Manual, with the typical apps you'd expect on a Windows notebook, such as Skype, Xbox Music, Bing and Internet Explorer. Since you can flip the display all the way back till it lays completely flat, Acer included a nifty rotation feature so you can switch the screen's orientation by pressing the Fn and O keys.

    This way, you can easily share your content with someone sitting across from you. Configurations and Warranty Our unit of the Aspire S7-392-6807 sports a WQHD screen and an Intel Core i5-4200U chip with a 128GB SSD, all for $1,399. You can also get a 256GB SSD with the same processor for $1,499 (S7-392-6425).

    For $1,599, you get a Core i7-4500U CPU with Turbo Boost to bring the clock speed up to 23-GHz when needed. This version also comes with a 256GB SSD. All the new S7s run Windows 8.1.

    The lower-res (full-HD) version (S7-392-6832) of the S7 with the same specs packs an Intel Core i5-4200U CPU with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for $100 less ($1,229 on Amazon). You can also get the Aspire S7-392-9890 with a 1.8-GHz Core i7-4500U chip, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for $1,429 on Amazon. These older versions run Windows 8 instead of 8.1.

    All models of the Aspire S7-392 come with a one-year warranty. Verdict At $1,399, Acer's Aspire S7 392-6807 packs a gorgeous, quad-HD screen and capable performance into a drool-worthy package. Unfortunately, there just isn't enough high-res content suitable for this display yet to make up for the trade-off in battery life.

    For $100 less, you can get the same sexy design with a nice full-HD screen in the older Aspire S7-392-6832, which boasts 2 more hours of juice. If you're in the market for a quad-HD experience, the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus can be found for $1,299 on Amazon and offers 8 hours of battery life. But if you want a better-looking machine with an equally attractive screen, the Aspire S7 is still one of the better Ultrabooks.

    References ^ Best Laptops 2014 (www.laptopmag.com) ^ Asus' Zenbook UX301 (www.laptopmag.com) ^ MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display (www.laptopmag.com) ^ Samsung's ATIV Book 9 Plus (www.laptopmag.com) ^ Top 8 Windows 8.1 Tablet-Laptop Hybrids (blog.laptopmag.com)

  • Acer Aspire V3 2013 | Laptop Reviews While 2-in-1 hybrid notebooks are getting a lot of attention, there are still a healthy amount of shoppers looking for a traditional big-screen notebook with plenty of power. That's where the Acer Aspire V3-772G-9402 comes in. While it lacks a touch screen, this 17-incher packs a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia graphics, making it a multimedia powerhouse.

    And, at $1,099, this machine is relatively affordable. Design The 17-inch Aspire V3's design is about as exciting as a C-SPAN marathon. The notebook's plastic lid features a faux brushed metal look, at the center of which is a chrome Acer emblem.

    That same metal-ish design carries over to the keyboard deck, and is actually quite comfortable to rest your palms on. Just above the V3's sunken keyboard deck is a speaker bar that runs the length of the laptop. At 16.3 x 10.8 x 1.36 inches and weighing 6.8 pounds, the Aspire V3 is relatively slender compared to some 17-inch gaming machines.

    ASUS' G750JX-DB71 1 , for example, measures 16.1 x 12.5 x 1.9 inches and weighs a hefty 8.8 pounds. However, MSI's slim GS70 2 measures 16.5 x 11.3 x 0.85 inches and weighs a scant 6 pounds. Display The Acer Aspire V3's 1920 x 1080 CineCrystal LED display offered clear, bright images.

    A trailer for "The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug," looked fantastic. Minute details, such individual hairs in Gandalf's flowing beard, looked clear, while the red and orange flames that roared from Smaug's throat appeared to leap off of the screen. Viewing angles easily exceeded 40 degrees.

    Unlike many Windows 8 notebooks, however, the V3 lacks a touch screen. With a 288 lux rating, the Aspire V3's display is fairly bright, outshining the ASUS N550JV 3 (275 lux), the HP Envy TouchSmart 15 4 (184 lux) and the desktop replacement average of 253 lux. Audio Located just above its keyboard deck, the Aspire V3's stereo speakers blasted out balanced, quality audio.

    Songs from artists like Sleigh Bells and Mumford & Sons were clear at any volume and bass hits were spot on and thunderous. The included Dolby Advanced Audio 4.0 software allows you to adjust equalizer settings, giving you complete control over how your songs sound. However, we didn't notice much of a difference with the feature turned on or off .

    On our LAPTOP Audio Test, the Aspire V3's speakers blasted out 99 decibels of sound. That blows away the TouchSmart 15's 85 dB, as well as the ASUS N550JV's 94 dB. The desktop replacement category average was far lower, at just 90 dB.

    Keyboard and Touchpad Like most 17-inch laptops, the Acer Aspire V3 features a full-size keyboard and number pad. The chiclet-style keys were extremely comfortable to the touch and made typing a joy. Not only was there no sign of flex, key travel was excellent.

    On the Ten Thumbs Typing Test we registered an average typing speed of 86 words per minute with a zero percent error rate. That's better than the 80 words per minute and 2 percent error rate we usually record while using our desktop keyboard. At 4.25 x 3.1 inches, the Aspire V3's Elan clickpad is plenty large.

    Overall, we found the pad to be accurate and responsive when navigating the dekstop. Multitouch options, such as two-finger scrolling, pinch-to-zoom and two-finger rotation, also worked well. Unfortunately, swiping in from the left (to switch apps) and right (to launch the Charms menu) proved inconsistent and often required more than one attempt.

    Ports and Webcam Need a lot of ports? The Acer Aspire V3 has you covered. The laptop's right side has two USB 2.0 ports, a DVD drive, headphone and microphone jacks, as well as its power port.

    Over on the left is a lock slot, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, VGA and Ethernet. The laptop's front edge houses an SD Card slot. If you're going to be making a lot of Skype calls, you should be warned that the Acer's 0.9-megapixel webcam is subpar at best.

    Images looked grainer than a 7-11 surveillance video, and colors were far too dark. The one bright spot is the ASUS Crystal Eye app, which lets you add a variety of filters and effects to your photos and videos. Heat Though it packs some powerful components, the Acer Aspire V3 kept its cool under pressure.

    After streaming a high-definition video on Hulu for 15 minutes, the laptop's clickpad and keyboard reached just 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The unit's underside was even cooler, hitting 78 degrees. The hottest part of the laptop was the lower left section of its base, which topped out at 85 degrees.

    We consider temperatures of 95 degrees and lower to be comfortable. After playing "Bioshock Infinite" for 15 minutes, though, the Acer warmed up a bit, with the keyboard hitting 100 degrees and the clickpad reaching 90. The underside of the laptop, however, stayed relatively cool at 80 degrees.

    Performance Acer packed the Aspire V3 with an Intel fourth-generation quad-core 2.2-GHz Core i7-4702MQ processor, 12GB of RAM and a 500GB, 4,200-rpm hard drive. With that kind of muscle, this 17-inch powerhouse can handle pretty much anything you throw at it. We had 10 Chrome tabs open and the benchmark for "Bioshock Infinite" running on max settings in the background and saw nary a sign of lag.

    However, the Aspire V3's benchmark performance didn't blow us away. Its score of 3,169 on PCMark 7 was about 1,500 points below the category average. To be fair, this average includes a number of gaming machines.

    Still, the ASUS N550JV, an entertainment laptop with a 2.4-GHz Core i7-4700HQ, 8GB of RAM and 1TB, 5,400-rpm hard drive, scored a higher 3,546. The HP Envy TouchSmart 15 and its 2.4-GHz Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive paired with a 24GB SSD, registered a score of 5,363. MORE: Best Gaming Laptop 2013 5 The Aspire V3's 5,400-rpm hard drive could be the culprit.

    It took this notebook 3 minutes and 48 seconds to transfer a 4.97GB of mixed media files, resulting in a sluggish 22.3 MBps. The HP Envy TouchSmart 15 and ASUS N550JV didn't fare much better, transferring the files at an equally slow 28 MBps. None of the laptops even came close to the desktop replacement category average of 122 MBps.

    Despite its lackluster transfer speeds, the Aspire V3 booted Windows 8 in a fairly quick 22 seconds. That's faster than the desktop replacement category average of 30 seconds, but slower than both the HP TouchSmart and ASUS 550JV, which booted in 19 seconds and 16 seconds, respectively. On our OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro Test, the Acer Aspire V3 took 4 minutes and 14 seconds to match 20,000 names to their corresponding addresses.

    That's faster than the category average of 5:40, but slower than the HP Envy TouchSmart 15's time of 4:00. The ASUS N550JV bested the bunch with its time of 3:58. Graphics Acer equipped the Aspire V3-772G with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760M graphics chip and 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM, which should prove plenty powerful for casual gamers.

    On the 3DMark 11 benchmark, which measures a laptop's DirectX 11 graphics performance, the Aspire scored 3,536. While that's about 1,000 points below the desktop replacement category average of 4,524, this category includes much more powerful gaming systems. The HP TouchSmart 15, with its Nvidia Geforce GT 740M graphics chip, notched 2,201, while the ASUS and its Nvidia GeForce GT 750M scored 2,684.

    While playing "World of Warcraft," the Aspire delivered average frame rates of 156 frames per second with the graphics set to autodetect and the resolution at 1920 x 1080. With the graphics all the way up, frame rates fell to a still very playable 70 fps. That's higher than the ASUS N550JV's 52 fps, as well as the HP Envy TouchSmart's 33 fps.

    The Acer has no problem playing more resource-intensive games such as "Bioshock Infinite" and "Metro Last Light," so long as you don't use the highest settings. "Bioshock Infinite" ran at 65 fps with the graphics set to low and the resolution at 1920 x 1080. Boost the graphics to max and the resolution to 1920 x 1080, however, and frame rates plummet to an unplayable 20 fps. Similarly, on "Metro Last Light," the Acer Aspire V3 reached 37 fps with the graphics on low and resolution set to 1920 x 1080.

    When we turned up the graphics to max and set the resolution to 1920 x 1080, frame rates hit just 9 fps . Battery Life Most users don't purchase 17-inch notebooks with the intention of using them unplugged for long periods of time. Still, we wish the Aspire V3 had somewhat better endurance.

    On the LAPTOP Battery Test, which involves continuous Web surfing with the display brightness set to 40 percent, the Aspire V3 lasted just 3 hours and 55 minutes. That's just short of the desktop replacement category average of 4:08. The HP TouchSmart Envy 15 and the ASUS N550JV lasted about an hour longer, at 4:54 and 4:52, respectively.

    MORE: 10 Laptops with the Longest Battery Life 6 Software and Warranty Acer bundles a host of Windows 8 apps with the Aspire V3, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Zinio, Kindle, Wild Tangent Games, Amazon, ebay and Stumble Upon. Proprietary apps include Acer Cloud, Acer Docs (pictured), Acer Media and Acer Photos. Acer Device Fast-Lane provides users with a series of device quick settings, including buttons for toggling Airplane Mode, Scroll Lock, Caps Lock and Touchpad Lock.

    The Acer Power Button app is just as it sounds, an app that provides users with a fast way to shut down their system, without having to go into the Windows 8 Charms menu. The app also features quick options for putting your laptop to sleep and restarting. Configurations Our $1,099 configuration of the Acer Aspire V3-772G-9402 offers a 2.2-GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-4702MQ processor, 12GB of DDR3 RAM, a 500GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive and Nvidia GeForce 760M graphics chip.

    If you want a more powerful system, the $1,299 Aspire V3-772G-9460 offers the same Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM and Nvidia graphics chip, but swaps in a 1TB hard disk paired with a 120GB solid-state drive. Need to save some bucks? Go for the V3-772G-6468.

    For $829, that system features a 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-4200M processor, 8GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive and Nvidia GeForce GT 750M graphics chip. Verdict Acer's goal with the Aspire V3-772G-9402 was to offer consumers an affordable but powerful 17-inch multimedia desktop replacement. Overall, the company succeeded.

    The V3 sports a gorgeous display, loud speakers, a top-notch keyboard and robust graphics. We just wish our configuration had a faster hard drive and a more exciting design. If you need a bit more speed and endurance, check out the HP Envy TouchSmart 15 7 .

    You'll lose out on the Aspire's 17-inch display, but get a longer lasting battery and faster hard drive for about the same price.

    If you prefer a bigger screen, though, the Aspire V3 is a solid pick.

    References ^ ASUS' G750JX-DB71 (www.laptopmag.com) ^ GS70 (www.laptopmag.com) ^ ASUS N550JV (www.laptopmag.com) ^ HP Envy TouchSmart 15 (www.laptopmag.com) ^ Best Gaming Laptop 2013 (www.laptopmag.com) ^ 10 Laptops with the Longest Battery Life (blog.laptopmag.com) ^ HP Envy TouchSmart 15 (www.laptopmag.com)

  • Acer Iconia W3 Tablet Review and Specifications Loading ... Those looking to make the transition to Windows 8, should take a look at the Acer Iconia W3. It is an 8.1-inch tablet with a full-blown version of the Windows 8 operating system.

    This article will go over technical specifications and features of the Acer Iconia W3. Technical Specifications This section will cover the Acer Iconia W3 s hardware and software specs. Type Tablet Form Factor Slate Screen Size 8.1-inches Resolution 1280 x 800 Processor 1.8 GHz Ram 2 GB Storage 32 GB or 64 GB Operating System Windows 8 Price Starts at $350 USD From the previous information, the price of this device mixed with the performance that comes with this level of hardware makes this product very appealing to consumers in the tablet market.

    The features of this tablet are numerous and impressive. As mentioned previously, this tablet combines a great price with good hardware specs, but buyers of this tablet will have only one thing on their mind when they turn the machine on this device has a proper version of Windows 8. Windows 8 Windows 8 is Microsoft s latest and greatest operating system.

    While desktop users complained about the lack of a Start button and a bit of a learning curve as you navigated the environment, mobile users won t have such complaints as Windows 8 was made for mobile. Regardless of some of the petty criticism, Windows 8 has proven to be a top product and buyers of the Acer Iconia W3 will be able to get the most value from it through the tablet medium. Also, you get MS Office for free.

    Good Screen Size The screen size of 8.1 inches is not bad at all for a tablet computer. The ranges of tablet screen sizes usually go from 6-inches on the lower end to about 10-inches on the higher end; to have something in the middle means that you re getting a machine that you can hold in your hands while also containing a great picture. With that said, the screen resolution on this tablet is 1280 x 800 which enables it to play high definition media.

    Fast Computing While the Acer Iconia W3 doesn t benefit from a dual-core processor, it makes up for it by clocking in at close to 2 Ghz. Many mobile devices on the market don t even come close to this level of processing power yet you get 1.8 Ghz for a $350 product. This amount of power allows you to run even the most intensive applications without worry.

    Also, to go along with a fast process is plenty of memory. In computing, processing speed and random access memory go hand-in-hand, and with 2 GB of RAM you ll be doing a little dance as this product boots up quickly and responds even quicker. Conclusion The thing that will draw most people to the Acer Iconia W3 is its very low starting price of $350 and a full-blown version of Windows 8, not Windows RT like some other mobile products.

    Once users start playing around with the product however, they ll also realize that they benefit from a great screen size for a tablet computer, good resolution for high definition media, a fast processor with loads of memory, and plenty of internal storage.

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