MacBook Air Versus iPad 2

From a purely aesthetic perspective, Apple products are second to none. They are undeniably beautiful and sturdy, showing levels of craftsmanship other companies can only hope to match. After pioneering new markets like the portable mp3 player and tablet computer, Apple dominated with products like the iPod and iPad.

However, many of these products serve the same functions. An iPhone, iPad, and iPod can all play music. Most of the devices can browse the Internet, play games, and check e-mail. With prices ranging from $100 to $3,000, what incentive is there to go with the more expensive offerings?

Comparing the MacBook Air with the iPad 2 demonstrates significant differences in Apple’s line of personal computing devices. The MacBook Air was designed for looks over computing horsepower. It was even marketed as the “thinnest laptop ever,” but its hardware suffered as a result. Apple needed to install smaller and slower parts to reduce its size, power, and heat footprint, so a MacBook Air isn’t going to perform anywhere close to a MacBook Pro.

An iPad 2, on the other hand, fills a completely different market niche. Tablets fill the gap between smartphones and laptops, and Apple’s famous App Store is already bursting with thousands of different iPad applications, turning the tablet into a highly versatile portable computer. Use it as an e-reader, game console, web browser, or music player.

The two can do most of the same activities, but the difference lies in how they perform. Because Apple is renowned for squeezing more performance out of the same hardware than other computer manufacturers, both the MacBook Air and iPad 2 will perform tasks adequately.

The MacBook Air is a status symbol, demonstrating that you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars to have the most beautiful laptop. The iPad 2 is more of a mainstream device, starting at $499 for the basic 16 GB model. If you don’t need the best, an iPad 2 will save you a lot of money, but for bragging rights, go with the MacBook Air. Enthusiasts will probably want to pick up both.

How Bone Conduction Has Revolutionized Technology

Ludwig van Beethoven is a man who for most needs no introduction, but few know the part he played in the discovery of what is known today as ‘bone conduction’. As you likely already know, although Beethoven was almost completely deaf he has come to be known as one of the greatest composers that ever lived, quite a feat for a man with virtually no hearing ability.

How did he do it?

Beethoven used bone conduction in the following way: He attached one end of a rod to his piano and clasped his teeth around the other end of the rod; this allowed him to ‘hear’ the music as he played it. That’s it! He used a remarkably simple yet highly effective method which allowed him to compose some of the most famous and recognizable tunes known to man.

How is bone conduction used in the technology of today?

Aside from the often used application of hearing aids which are perhaps falling behind on it’s application, today we can take advantage of this remarkable technology in a variation of different ways. Bone conduction has been played with by many over the years with results that are not so inspiring, but several different companies have now ‘cracked it’ judging by not only the promotion coming from the companies involved but also from reviews of the customer using their product.

The first example is a company known as ‘Audio Bone’ ( which claim to have perfected this technology, their main selling points are that you can listen to music while you also listen to the regular goings on in the world around you. This is a great option for workmen who need to keep their wits about them, not to mention the hounded teenager who gets told they’re going to get run over when they are crossing the road by the protective parent. Scratch that off your list of things to complain about Mom, along with it damaging eardrums, it completely bypasses your eardrums!

Swimmers are the second great example of where this technology is breaking new ground. The Finis swimp3 is a device which clips onto the goggles and sits on the wearers cheekbones. The device then sends music to the ears sound receptors via bone conduction so that no headphones in their traditional form are needed. The Finis Swimp3 allows the user to swim underwater for hours while listening to music due to its bone conduction technology.

While bone conduction applications are so far very impressive it remains to be seen what other applications will come out of it, telephone applications have been tried and Motorola seems to have a promising product in the Motorola XH1 Bone-conducting Bluetooth Headset for the iPhone, let’s see what else emerges in the future of this promising technological application.

MacBook Pro v. MacBook Air – or are There Better Options

You can’t deny that Apple produces beautiful products MacBook Pro and the even slimmer, lighter (and more expensive) MacBook Air will always have their fans. Although these ranges are several years old they still being updated and selling well. They have fallen out of the limelight a bit though with, the introduction of the iPhone 4 and the iPad ranges.

The whole market for very thin and portable laptops was the talk of the Tech news a couple of years ago. But today? Not so much from what I can see. Instead we’ve seeing a proliferation of devices not from Apple with their iPhone morphing into the iPad tablet, but also competing tablets such as Toshiba’s Galaxy.

Or maybe size really does matter to you – in which case there are plethora of 8″ screen netbooks costing a fraction of the Apple products – but with more power and including a full sized keyboard which even the fat-fingered can type on with ease (does anyone seriously type on a flat screen?).

Or maybe you just wanted to read – well Amazon’s Kindle will help you with that – but will also do basic web browsing.

One thing we can agree on – is that outside of the corporate world – the desktop is dead. Instead of having a desktop and a laptop, these days you are more likely to own a big laptop and a netbook or an Macbook and an iPad, or even an iPad and a Kindle.

If you are utterly confused – you are not alone. The geeks will buy the cool new gadgets because – well they are cool and new. However what is the average Joe consumer supposed to do?

Its not that hard. Consider three things: compatibility, functionality and price.

If you are a diehard Mac fan you are probably not going to move away from he Apple platform – if for no other reason that Apple’s proprietary software and formats will cause you issues on Windows and Android based devices. On the other hand you will find that mixing hardware that runs on Microsoft (netbooks and laptops) and Android (some phones and tablets) should work pretty seamlesly.

Functionality. If you spend all your day web surfing and writing reports then the world is your oyster. If however you use more specialist software double check that it works on your chosen hardware – software is the key – without it, however pretty the hardware, its nothing more than a paperweight.

Price. Smaller is generally more expensive in this part of the market – well traditionally for laptops – the Macbook Air was the most expensive laptop that Apple offered and competed with similarly priced offerings from Sony and Toshiba. iPads are cheaper – but if you are using them mainly to listen to music and read books – then the Kindle is a very cheap (probably hitting the $100 price point soon) alternative, as are a plethora of cheap netbooks. If price is your main driver Apple is never the option for you. That pretty bling does cost!

MacBook Air v. MacBook Pro, MacBook Air v. iPad 2, laptop v. netbook – whatever you decide to buy there is an awful lot of choice out there at the moment

Amazon’s Kindle – Turnaround Time for Booksellers?

Less than four years ago the Kindle was released. Three years later more ebooks than “dead tree” books are sold. That’s a pace of change which makes PC development look dead in the water! Since 1st April Amazon has sold 105 Kindle ebooks for every 100 “dead tree” books sold. And that doesn’t include free ebooks!

The Kindle, originally released at $400 – can now be bought in the US for around $114 – if you go with the “special offers”, that is the advertiser supported edition. There is speculation in the market that Amazon may drop the Kindle’s price below $100 for Christmas 2011. At these price points Amazon is making little to no profit on the hardware. That’s because as a bookseller originally – understands that the issue is not with the technology – its about what it can do for the user – or in the case of the Kindle – the ability to buy cheap books easily. In fact you don’t need a Kindle to read a Kindle ebook – you can download the free reader for your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or Android smart phone.
Amazon Kindle
The money is in the ebooks – not the device – and this is the game changer. Kindle is fundamentally changing the publishing industry. As Barnes and Noble goes into bankruptcy and independent booksellers struggle worldwide – Amazon is making big profits.

That’s because just as Apple’s iTunes did for music – Amazon is using the Kindle to take away the middle man between the author and the reader: the publisher. That’s because Kindle is not just a reading device – its a publishing platform – Kindle is YouTube for authors.

Now anyone can get their book published on the Kindle platform. You need a book – you need to do some formatting, the book will be reviewed by Amazon – and within days your magnus opus will be online and for sale (or you can give it away for free). Compare that with the traditional method of getting your novel published: write novel, try to get an agent, finally engage an agent – and then face possibly years of rejections from large publishing companies. You can see the appeal of self-publishing.

Self-publishing used to have a stigma but the Kindle is changing that. Amazon’s transparent rating system means that reader’s reviews mean a lot. Amazon’s clever cross-selling (readers who bought this book also bought…) means that if a reader likes your book – they will buy your next one and your next. The dross sinks without a trace – just in the same way that some carefully vetted and edited “real” books make it to the $1 remainder bin.

Now just being published doesn’t mean that you are going to make your fortune – but Amanda Hocking sells around 100,000 Kindle ebooks a month – and she doesn’t have a publisher. She sells her books cheap – from $0.99c to $3.99c – partly because she gets to keep 70% of the sales figures (not the miserly 10% most “real” authors get from dead tree books). Even if only half of those books are sold at the higher price – she is making at least $150,000 / month – a figure most authors can be dream about.

Kindle is a game-changer – but as other publishers and book retailer are starting to notice it – has won the race. The Kindle is great for people with arthritis (its lighter than a book), you don’t need a PC to run a Kindle (with the 3G version), traveling with a Kindle is a breeze, even the blind can use the built-in text to speech function to listen to books. Kindles have changed the way we read – for ever.

HTC Thunderbolt Outsells iPhone 4 At Verizon Stores

HTC has something to smile about these days as its latest Android smartphone the HTC Thunderbolt is outselling the iPhone 4 at the Verizon stores. Data gathered by research firm BTIG on 150 stores showed that the Thunderbolt and iPhone 4 sold equal numbers in 61% of the stores, 28% reported more Thunderbolt sales while 11% reported more iPhone 4 sales. htc thunderbolt

From these records it seems that the iPhone 4 has finally met its match in the Thunderbolt. Verizon does not usually reveal its sales figure and was not available to comment on the latest released data of BTIG. The research firm however disclosed that the data they gathered are from calls they made to the 150 stores and based on the experiences of the sales staff.

The HTC Thunderbolt is a 4G touch screen phone that operates in the CDMA network making it compatible with Verizon. One of the main selling points of this model is its fast Internet connection providing subscribers speeds of up to 10 times faster than the regular CDMA/EV-DO 3G connection.

The HTC Thunderbolt carries with it impressive specifications. The smartphone comes with a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and a huge 4.3 inch capacitive touchscreen. It comes with 8 GB of internal storage space with the capability to expand it to 32 GB through the microSD slot. It has two powerful cameras, a back facing 8 MP Autofocus camera with LED flash and a 1.3 MP front facing camera to make video calls.

Its multimedia capabilities are excellent starting with its 720p video recording and DLNA connectivity. The DLNA connectivity allows this device to easily share photos, videos and other multi-media stuff with similar devices. You can even turn your smartphone into a wireless hotspot and share your Internet connection to nearby devices.

The many superior features of the HTC Thunderbolt are seen as the main reasons for brisk sales these days. People tend to buy devices that come with the latest and powerful features and when you compare this to the iPhone 4 which was released the previous year than most people will choose the Thunderbolt. However, the big ecosystem created by the Apple app-store is still a big appeal for potential buyers.
The current carrier that has exclusivity to the HTC Thunderbolt is Verizon. If you are planning to get this model then you would have to be a Verizon subscriber. This wonderful device may just prove to be iPhone’s real competitor.