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Anker 40W 5-Port USB Charger

Anker 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Family-Sized Desktop ChargerAs we all get more and more devices charging them becomes a problem of where do we put another wall plug, to answer this there are multi-port USB chargers, but just a normal charger wasn’t enough when I went looking. That’s when I found this new smart charger from Anker that has up to 40W of power to push your gadget. The good thing though is that it has a chip on each port that detects the proper amount of wattage to send and not to send so that your devices charges at the maximum speed but won’t burn it out.

After unboxing this little guy, with the smooth rubber to keep it from sliding off the table and minimal packaging I gave it a test. With my Samsung Galaxy Nexus I was able to charge 20% of my battery in about 20 minutes, which sounds about right for it to send it the proper amount of wattage to charge correctly. Later I plugged in my phone, a Nexus 7, and a pair of Bluetooth headphones and all charged just fine. With the 5 ports it should give you the flexibility to keep everything charged in one place and as fast as it was intended.

Check out the unboxing video and photos. You can get this charger on Amazon for around $26 as I did; Anker seems to sell primarily on though Amazon.

Product page: Anker 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Family-Sized Desktop Charger

iPad Mini – Mini Review

Yes the title is kind of strange. But I got to play with an iPad Mini on today’s Field Trip.

I have played with iPads before and didn’t see a reason to go away from the Android systems I like, but lots of people like iOS. As for the iPad Mini its operation seemed smooth and things loaded fast and the screen was nice and crisp. As for the size, I have bigger hands than most but the feel of it was too big to the point that my hand was stretched way out to hold on to the device, making it hard to hold and at that point you may as well get the extra 2 inches. But if you wanted the smaller form this would be good if you are already in the iOS world and have only an iPhone or an old iPad but you wouldn’t want to get this if you have a newer iPad.

One other thing is the flaw of only having that Home button, I opened up the iBooks app to see how a book looked, and while it was nice there is no obvious way to get to all of your books or the table of contents. I tried holding Home but Siri wanted to help me find something, swiped from the edges but only a small bit of something came from the top but wouldn’t pull down, double tapped and even did a long tap and only got page turns. While this is only one app it does point to the fact that if there is no menus on-screen and no buttons what are you supposed to do if you have no other instructions. At least on Android you know that the menu button will get you some kind of menu, but also on Windows 8 I see this as a problem until you know that if you slide from one side a menu opens.

My experience with this app should not say if you are going to get an iPad Mini for the smaller size it should be a good experience, but it isn’t something you would go buy the iPad 4th generation and then need one of these. You would kind of just pick one based on the size you want since all of the same apps work on both devices.

Field Trip – iPad Mini, Mac Book Pro Retina, Kindle Fire HD, Nokia Lumia 822

Just took a Field Trip to the Verizon and Best Buy stores after lunch today, I’m going to call these posts Field Trips because I have to go out and play with new tech. Some of the main things I played with at the store were the iPad Mini, MacBook Pro with Retina display, Kindle Fire HD, and Nokia Lumia 822. I also played with some of the ASUS gaming laptops and a dead Samsung Chromebook.

While these aren’t the best settings for playing with them because I could not spend a lot of time playing and they were tethered to the display I did my best just playing with them. I also would like to get some of these in as review units or if some donations come in for a specific product I would review it also.

iPad Mini looks nice and would be a great smaller screen iPad if you don’t already have the newer full size iPad, I wouldn’t think you would need both. Check out the full mini review.

Mac Book Pro with Retina Display is a very powerful laptop computer, and with the higher resolution screen it looked nice but is it going to be worth the extra $500 or so for that nicer screen. I liked how it worked and had the older model side by side and couldn’t see much difference other than the Retina had more contrast, I’m sure more using it from the older model you may see a difference. Read the full mini review for more.

Kindle Fire HD is a good device for consuming Amazon content but it doesn’t seem as powerful as a Nexus 7 that I am use to. More in the mini review.

Nokia Lumia 822 is one of the flagship Windows Phone 8 devices while it has smooth operation and looked good, Windows Phone 8 seemed empty and just lacking in non-core apps even from a display model. See what I saw in the mini review.

Those are the big ones I played with but I did look over some other devices such as the ASUS gaming laptop that had good specs and all the keyboard was kind of clunky and seemed overpriced for what I could get a Mac Book for almost the same specs. I also don’t like Windows 8 all that much on a non-tablet or touch screen.

The Samsung Chromebook was set up kind of off to the side in an under equipped display that only had one left in a box that looked like it was taped closed after being opened at Best Buy I wanted to see it work but the system said click to start but I only got a spinning indicator and even after trying to power cycle it nothing came up so I left not knowing how things will work on that system. Too bad because I wanted to know how the system performed but bad displays will not sell these even with a low price tag.
New Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Apple iPad 4th Generation

Apple announced a quick update to the iPad at their “event” that also announced an iPad mini. This makes this the 4th generation iPad, there wasn’t much new the biggest update was a faster A6X processor and changing to the Lighting connector. With this update they also discontinued the 3rd generation iPad, this looks like they did this so they can get users off of the old connector and on to the new Lighting connecter. There was also an update for iBooks that includes iCloud sync, new reading mode and the ability to share a selection of text. The price of the iPad has not changed and ships along with the iPad mini November 2
2012.

Screen 9.9 inch Retina display
Processor Dual-core A6X with quad-core graphics
Wireless Dual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GSM or CDMA, LTE
Carriers in USA AT&T, Sprint, Verizon
Colors Black and White
Cameras 5MP back 1080p video, 1.2MP front 720p video
Connectors Lighting, 3.5mm headphone, nano-SIM
Battery 10 hours web, 9 hours web on cell data
Pre-Order / Ships October 26 2012 / November 2 2012 for Wi-Fi
Price Wi-Fi 16GB $499, 32GB $599, 64GB $699
Price Wi-Fi + Cell 16GB $629, 32GB $729, 64GB $829

Apple iPad mini

Apple had a big “Event” today they announced a updates to the MacBook Pro, iMac, iPad, and a new iPad mini that is smaller iPad with similar specs as the iPad. The new mini has a 7.9 inch diagonal screen with the same 1024 x 768 resolution as the iPad. It runs a slower A5 processor but has the same 10 hour expected battery life, along with a 5MP rear camera and 1.2MP front camera, and the new Lightning connector. It will come in a Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cell version that runs all the normal iPad apps with no special changes to the app. There is both a Black and White version, in 16/32/64GB and you can get a special smart cover that comes in multiple colors.

Check out the gallery and tech spec table below.

Screen 7.9 inch 1024 x 768 resolution
Processor Dual-core A5
Storage 16, 32, 64 GB
Wireless Dual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GSM or CDMA, LTE,
Carriers in USA AT&T, Sprint, Verizon
Colors Black and White,
Camera 5MP back 1080p video, 1.2MP front 720p video
Connectors Lighting, 3.5mm headphone, nano-SIM
Battery 10 hours web, 9 hours web on cell data
Pre-Order / Ships October 26 2012 / November 2 2012 for Wi-Fi
Price Wi-Fi 16GB $329, 32GB $429, 64GB $529
Price Wi-Fi + Cell 16GB $459, 32GB $559, 64GB $659

Apple “Event” October 23 2012 – Live Blog

We are going to be live blogging the Apple announcement starting 10:00 AM PDT with the video Apple will be putting out. You can follow the video on the Apple Events site, and full information will be avalible here on Tek4.me as details come out. The expected announcements are a New New iPad (4 generation), iPad mini, or maybe an update to the MacBook laptop line, will see what comes out! We don’t like to speculate too much or have unannounced rumors, but do expect everything to be amazing, one more thing, and the best!


12.17

Thats all for this Live Blog full information to come stay tune to Tek4.ME for those updates! Thanks for reading along.

12.13

Recap, update to MacBook Pro 13 inch, update to iMac, update to iPad to 4th Generation, new iPad mini.

12.11

iPad mini in hand

ipad mini screen shot of stream in hand

12.09

Pre-Order Friday October 26 2012 Ships November 2 2012

12.08

Wi-Fi iPad min starts at 9 for 16GB

12.05

Updated Smart cover for the iPad mini

12.03

iPad mini specs: A5 processer, LTE version, Lighting connecter, front and back connecter, 10 hours battery, 7.9″ display, same apps as normal iPad.

12.01

Trying to show apps that are optimized for iPad to none updated Android apps not made for tablets, that makers of those apps are responsible for not Apple or Google, kind of a low.

11.57

Comparing Nexus 7 with out saying the name to the iPad mini

11.55

Updated design that fits in your hand, thin as a pencil 0.68 lb., 7.9 inches, same resolution as iPad

11.52

iPad mini is real.

11.51

iPad 4th generation with updates Wi-Fi 16GB 9

11.50

iPad 4th generation with updated A6X processer, front camera, 10 hours battery, more LTE support, updated Wi-Fi, Lighting connecter

11.47

2,500 classrooms using iBooks textbooks, update to iBooks Author download today

11.42

100 Million iPads sold 275,000 iPad apps 91% of tablet web traffic

11.40

21.5 inch iMac starts at 99, 27 inch iMac starts at 99

11.39

Fusion Drive combines both a Flash memory drive and standard hard drive and is managed by the os to keep most used applications on the SSD.

11.38

Updated iMac has better anti-glair screen.

11.31

MacBook pro 13 on sale today for 89

11.21

MacBook Pro 13.3 inch with Retina Display 2560 x 1600 178 degree IPS display

11.18

Updated MacBook Pro .75 inch thick 3.5 lb

11.17

Macs #1 notebook and desktops in US

11.14

Update to iBooks include iCloud sync, new reading mode, and share integration. Free download today from App store

11.08

The live video  only works on Snowleopard MACs kind of a fail on the part of Apple

11.05

They have started by talking some numbers of how good iPhone 5 is selling, and shown some video of people buying the iPhone.

10.52

Starting soon!

Apple - Apple Events - Apple Special Event October 2012 starting soon

09.23

Full updates start at 11 AM MDT when the event starts.

Microsoft Surface Pre-Order Available

With the upcoming release of the Windows 8 and Windows RT Microsoft has been developing what they think is the ideal tablet experience for Windows RT. They call their tablet Surface and will be coming out in both a Windows RT version and Windows 8 Pro version. The announcement of the Surface with Windows RT came out today and will start at $499, shipping on October 26 2012. There are three different packages to order, the lowest priced one is just a 32GB Surface with no cover and the highest is 64GB with a Cover. You can also order extra covers in different colors or buy a cover with a built-in keyboard that comes in 5 different colors.

While I don’t see mass adoption of Windows 8 or Windows RT it looks to be an acquit tablet interface but lacks in apps and functionality that most users will expect from a tablet such as an iPad or Android device. As for running Windows 8 on a laptop or desktop is a complete failure on the part of Microsoft, and they have only shown how the start menu takes over the system and that is all they expect you to do with your computer is have the start menu up all the time. This tablet seems like a response to the iPad but done with out thinking through the entire experience along with the experience of how Windows 8 will work as a desktop interface.

While the Surface looks to be a decent tablet it will also come with Microsoft Office 2013 RT installed, while it will be a pre-release of Office Home and Student it should get updated to the full release when it comes out. They also include Internet Explorer 10, Xbox Music store and other Xbox branded games. Check out the specs and gallery below for more about the details of the device.

Software Windows RT and Office Home and Student 2013 RT
Storage 32 and 64 GB
CPU / Memory NVIDIA T30 / 2 GB RAM
Display 10.6 inch 5-point multi-touch
Cameras Both front and back 720p HD
Wireless 2×2 MIMO WIFI, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports USB 2.0, mircoSDXC, HD Video Out
Sound 3.5mm headphone, 2 microphones, stereo speakers
Sensors Ambient Light, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass
Price $499-699 + $119-129 for covers + HD Adaptor

Amazon.com Now Ships More with Prime Free Two Day Shipping

Today Amazon.com announced they are shipping more products using their Prime free two day shipping then they do with the free super saver shipping. They also put out some numbers on how much you get by being part of Prime. These include the following.

  • 15 million items ship free with Prime
  • 22,000 free Prime unlimited streaming movies and TV shows
  • Watch Prime videos on Kindle Fire, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and iPad
  • 180,000 Prime Kindle Owners’ Lending Library books

Some other things they shared yet without any real numbers…

With the Prime membership you get the Free Two Day shipping on most things you are looking for, the movies and TV shows to watch, and the books. It is worth the $79 price per year just for the free shipping if you order items off of Amazon.com often. It has saved me lots of money in shipping and just having easy access to almost everything I could need, I have even seen the free two day shipping on fridges and beds.

Google Nexus 7 Hands On

Got my Nexus 7 a few hours ago and after spending some time with it I am very impressed with the performance and how nice of a device it is. First thinking after getting it out of the box, and no I didn’t have the hard time that every unboxing video seemed to show about how the box was a hard thing to open, I turned it on and it was saying I had only 6% battery. That is kind of a bummer because you will spend a long time waiting for it to charge up, after about 2 hours charging on my old Nexus One charger I am only at 32%, and it will charge my Galaxy Nexus in about 1 ½ hours. It may be faster now that I’m using the supplied charger.

As for the software you will have to update a lot of the stock apps right away, and there is an Android 4.1.1 update that you will need to do, but will have to wait until you get your device to above 25% battery. If you are an Android user already you will probably have a set of apps to install this takes time because you end up scrolling through a list of every app you have installed on any device using the Play Store to get the ones you want. I got a lot of news and reading apps loaded along with some video apps such as Netflix and Hulu along with my music apps like DI.FM and SKY.FM.

Because I got it from the Play Store I got a $25 credit that showed up in my email after I logged into the Nexus 7. It also came with Transformers: Dark of the Moon as a free movie to show how it works, and it streamed easy and fast over my Cable Internet connection. It also came with some magazines that you can look at. The Popular Science that they give you was nice, you can go to a page and then zoom in on a piece of text and it makes it look good, or you can just read the text in a different layout without the images though.

I did open the Kindle book app and look it over, it was nice on the bigger screen I have used it on a phone but didn’t seem to want to read much because it was a lot of page scrolling and not much reading, and on my big ASUS EP121 Windows Tablet it was nice but too big and heavy, but I did like it on the Nexus 7. As for Google Books I loaded the manual but it was spending a lot of time loading the next page trying to scroll though the book, that problem went away after letting it finish downloading the book.

Using apps like Flipboard and Currents was nice to read news and articles. Also using Chrome as a web browser was nice because it displayed content like a desktop but easily zoomed in when the text was too small to read easy. Google+ is also optimized for a tablet experience but Facebook was just an expanded mobile version.
The sound from the speaker was ok for watching YouTube and having some music playing but wasn’t that good that you wouldn’t want to have some headphones for longer listening sessions. The microphone was able to pick up my speech to text input easy enough using the Google Now cards and search. As for the camera you don’t get a full Camera app, but you can install other camera apps or use one called “Camera Launcher for Nexus 7” that will add an icon to use the Jelly Bean camera. Also some camera apps such as Camera ZOOM FX won’t install. The quality of the camera was ok and only good enough for video chat and things like that any ways.

As an update to the battery charging make sure you use the supplied charger it took me 45 minutes to work through this article and I went from 32% to 51% in the time I started to getting to this point, so the charge time isn’t that bad with the right charger.

Overall I like the Nexus 7 and expect to have lots of fun with it, I think I’ll get a case for it, Amazon.com had a few that have the magnets to make it wakeup and sleep depending on if the cover is open or closed like the iPad “not so” magic cover that only cost $20. So if you were thinking of getting a Nexus 7 go ahead and get it, the price is right at $199 and the hardware is good!

Google Nexus 7

Nexus 7 TabletBack at Google IO12 the Nexus 7 was introduced as the reference tablet for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The price was set at $199 for 8GB and $249 for 16GB model. It has a 7 inch screen, Android 4.1 and a quad-core processer all top of the line but in an inexpensive package. This was made to show other device makers what type of device Google wants to see made.

After seeing the power of the device and that I have wanted an Android based tablet I ordered one as a gift to myself for getting though school. It arrives tomorrow but I thought to give an overview of the specs and my thoughts on the device. I will add an update when I get mine up and running.

So what are the details?

7″ IPS back lit HD screen, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 8 or 16 GB of internal storage, 1 GB RAM, Quad-core Tegra 3 processor, ~8 hours battery life, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, and Micro USB.

Ok that was a lot of stuff, but what really matters is that it has a fast processer on a good looking screen with lots of internal goodies. At this point there is no 3G/4G networking option, and the only camera is a 1.2 MP on the front, but from reports there is space in the device for a rear camera and 3G antennas already built in.

So if you’re looking to get a tablet for a nice price with good specifications and the latest software this is a good device to look into. Even iPad fans that love there Apple devices think that this is a good tablet to have.

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