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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 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

iPhone 5 LTE

The new iPhone 5 was announced by Apple with a 4″ Retina display with a resolution of 1136 x 640, 16:9 aspect ratio, and is 7.8 mm thick weighing only 112 grams. They also include an upgraded A6 processer that is 2 times faster than the A5 processer that is also smaller and uses less battery. The phone also has LTE built in that on the same radio will work with global carriers. iOS 6 is the installed operating system, and includes updates to how iOS works, apps that are developed for the old 3.5″ screen will scale automatically.

Global LTE works with most major carriers globally, including Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T in the United States. The WIFI works with A/B/G/N running at both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz with speeds up to 150Mbps. Battery with normal use of 4G and 3G talk or video playback is 8-10 hours.

They updated the connector to a new smaller 9-pin connector called “Lightning” that is 80% smaller, and there is an adapter to convert the old connector to the new one. They also are including updated headphones named “EarPods” that are made to send the sound into your ear better and fit into your ear better.

The camera was updated to 8MP 1080p with 40% faster capture, better low light, panorama mode, and easer sharing. The front camera is 720p HD, and works with FaceTime. There was also an improvement to the speakers to include noise-canceling ear peace, wideband audio, and 20% smaller. It also includes 3 microphones on the front, back and bottom.

iOS 6 includes updates to iCloud sync of Safari, new maps with navigation and satellite imagery, share photos by saying “Share” when photo is selected, and updated Siri to include movie searches, restaurant searches, and Tweeting with your voice.

You can pre-order September 14th and ships September 21st in the United States, and September 28th in other countries. This includes 100 countries and 240 carriers. Prices below

Colors Black or White 16GB $199
32GB $299 64 GB $399

Older modules will be available at reduced prices and do get updated to iOS 6.

iPhone 4 8GB FREE iPhone 4S 16GB $99

Verizon 4G LTE now covers 75% of US Population

With a new group of cities added to Verizon’s 4G LET data network in 337 cities, they claim to have 75% of the US population covered.

With more 4G LTE coverage than all other networks combined, you can experience the speed and power of Verizon in more places. Verizon 4G LTE is available in 337 cities, covering nearly 75% of the U.S. population.

New cities include:

  • El Dorado / Magnolia Arkansas
  • Russellville Arkansas
  • New London County Connecticut
  • Fort Pierce Florida
  • Melbourne / Titusville Florida
  • Columbus Georgia
  • Rome Georgia
  • Burley Idaho
  • Mattoon Illinois
  • Anderson Indiana
  • Muncie Indiana
  • Manhattan / Junction City Kansas
  • McPherson Kansas
  • Lafayette / New Iberia Louisiana
  • St. Joseph Missouri
  • Bozeman / Livingston Montana
  • Kalispell Montana
  • Missoula Montana
  • Goldsboro / Kinston North Carolina
  • Roanoke Rapids North Carolina
  • Rocky Mount / Wilson North Carolina
  • Zanesville Ohio
  • Meadville Pennsylvania
  • Punxsutawney / Dubois / Clearfield Pennsylvania
  • Orangeburg South Carolina
  • Sherman / Denison Texas
  • Cedar City Utah
  • Logan Utah
  • Rutland / Bennington Vermont
  • Lynchburg Virginia
  • Winchester Virginia
  • Bellingham Washington
  • Beckley West Virginia

If you are looking to see if you can get Verizon 4G LTE in your area check out there up-to-date map and city finder.

Too bad my city isn’t on the list I did talk with some of the techs that were installing the antennas that I can see from my house but they just haven’t finished it for my area. When I was in Denver I tried my Galaxy Nexus and it was fast but nothing will take the place of Cable or DSL Internet.

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