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Huawei announced two new products for its MediaPad line of devices along with their first wearable device at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2014. With the addition of the MediaPad X1, the worlds slimmest 7 inch LTE all in one phablet, the TalkBand B1, and the MediaPad M1, Huawei is making wireless technology more accessible to a wider range of consumers.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei made it known that he was extremely excited to unveil all of the products at once and deliver what he called “the essential pillars of happiness” without boundaries. Huawei has always delivered quality products that can stand up to any other with no shame, but at a much smaller price point.

HUAWEI MediaPad X1

The Huawei MediaPad X1 gives us all of the same functions of a smartphone and a tablet in one with a full aluminum alloy body. It provides plenty of comfort and useability being only 239g and 7.18mm thick. It features a 7 inch 1200 x 1920 FHD LTPS touch display, which makes the screen to body ratio 80%.

Other features include a 1.6 GHz processor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and a super long lasting 5000 mAh battery which can provide up to 21 days of standby time or 5 full days of use. It has a 13MP Sony Exmor R BSI rear camera with panoramic abilities, and a 5MP front camera with self focus, a preview screen, automatic facial enhancement and voice activate capture.

HUAWEI TalkBand B1

The Talband B1 lets you use wireless calling with a Bluetooth 4.1 earpiece with up to seven hours of talk time. It also features a 1.4 inch flexible OLED display. It is compatible with Android 2.3 and up, and also iOS 5.0 and up devices. The TalkBand B1 wirelessly tracks activity time and progress like the amount of steps you take, miles that you covered and how many calories you have burned. It also records how long you sleep and the quality of your sleep. It has a smart alarm and a nap function as well.

The device weighs only 26g and is only 14.6mm thick. The TalkBand B1 also features a bendable, curved design with a removable earpiece. The batter will last for 6 days and only takes two hours to completely charge via USB.

HUAWEI MediaPad M1

Huawei’s MediaPad M1 has an 8 inch 800 x 1280 HD IPS multi-touch capacitive display with Huawei SWS technology, two front facing speakers and two microphones. With the 1.6 GHz quad core processor and the 4800 mAh battery, you can get up to 8 hours of video playback on only 1 charge. Coming in at only 7.9mm thick and weighing only 329g, it easily can fit into a pocket or a bag. It has a 1MP front facing camera, and a 5MP rear facing camera for all of you photo sharing needs.

The MediaPad X1 and M1 are both pretty fast. You can download files in mere seconds, and whole movies in just one minute with speeds of up to 150 Mbps. They have built in Wi-Fi routers and 2.4/5G dual mode Wi-Fi support with voice call and SMS for instant connection on the spot. There is also an AirSharing function that enables screen sharing and transfers via cloud.

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thin-tabletIt’s always suspenseful watching a fight among two giants play out. It’s almost like watching your favorite sports teams duke it out. You may be wondering how? Think of it like this. Every large electronics company is competing for one thing; your dollar bill. They want to out do their competition and be the best. It’s all a competition and it always will be. Some people are “fan boys” and “fan girls” as well. Basically, they favor one brand over the other. If we are looking at the two top tech giants out there, the two names that should immediately pop up are Apple and Android. Each of these brands has a huge following and it should come as no surprise that they are still competing. Apple has usually dominated the ranks, but recently Android has been making a comeback.

iOS has always been on top since the release of the first iPad years ago. They have owned the market and with little to no effort. It was always the top operating system when it came to tablets. Not just with tablets though. Mainly any mobile device was using an Apple iOS software system. Android decided to come back and fight however, and has since made its name in the mobile market digging into the sales of the iPhone. Android hasn’t stopped at the phone market though, they decided to go for the tablet market as well, and no their persistence has paid off.

A report from Gartner has shown some pretty incredible numbers for Android. In terms of tablet sales for this previous year, Android took the crown over any other operating system. Not only did they increase their numbers, but they did it by a huge jump. In 2012, Android saw only 53.3 million units sold. In only a years time, 2013 would show Android an increase in numbers by more than half! The numbers for last year show Android at 121 million units sold. Mind you these are global sales, but that is still quite the increase. With numbers like this in just a yearly increase, and Android continuing to push the market in their favor, they are well on their way to knocking Apple out of their way.

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Having said that, Apple is still at the top in terms of it being a single manufacturer. Even so, seeing Android jump may be a bit nerve-wracking to the company. Apple did see quite the jump in tablet web usage in Canada and the US however. Any victory is a victory, whether it be large or small.

Now comes the question of if Apple should really be that worried. What many people need to consider is that, this is just tablet operating systems and nothing more. Not to mention the fact that Android OS’s are spread over a multitude of different platforms, where as iOS stays strictly on Apple products. Since Android and sell their OS to other products, it’s much easier for them to gain headway in the market. While, yes you can see the OS’s switch with a bit of reprogramming, it is not very common. It’s all just a matter of deciding which OS is better for you. If you are on the fence about who you should be throwing your money at, try renting a tablet with iOS and a table with Android to see which suits you better!

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leapmotionRecently we have seen a big rise in motion control and 3D gesturing and sensors. Take the Xbox Kinect and the Playstation Move for example. Both are using 3D motion control technology to accurately capture and process your movements to make games more interactive. A fun an and entertaining concept no doubt. But, what about this? What if you were able to use the same type of technology on your smartphone or your tablet? Would it be worth all the commotion it would cause? Would it be practical? Or, would it be just another cheap gimmick to try and reel customers? After, touch screens were designed for, well… touch.

The company, Leap Motion, has already seen its motion control product utilized on desktop computers an laptops alike. For those unfamiliar with the device, the Leap Motion Controller, is a sensor that plugs directly into your computer and allows you to take control of your PC’s or laptop’s functions with just simple hand gestures. Well, now they have plans to expand their market.

Leap Motion is doing it’s best to see mobile devices, such as your tablet, using its 3D motion control interface. The CEO of the company expects to see this be implemented in new mobile devices by the end of 2014.

Since the Leap Motion Controller is a separate device, it would need to be somehow integrated into the hardware of a phone or tablet itself. Recently, the challenges that were faced with integrated the technology into smaller hardware has been overcome and has since seen its way onto an actual product. The HP Envy 17 laptop has actually put the motion control sensor created by Leap into the laptop and has put it out for consumer use. Now the object is to see the same type of technology put into mobile devices for commercial and consumer use.

When asked about the possible new functions for the technology, Leap had mentioned that they were working with manufacturers to make the transition as seamless as possible. They are doing their best to make specific gestures fitted for mobile devices. With the ability to use your tablet as a TV remote with gesture-based control functions, Leap has definitely opened up a whole new market with their product. The chance to actually have different devices’ functionalities coincide with one another based on the embedded technology is quite remarkable, but then comes the question on whether or not it could be viewed as practical.

When looking at it from a marketing standpoint, having this technology embedded into tablets and other mobile devices already is reason to believe that it is important enough to see proper use and practicality when utilized. It still brings back the thought of, touchscreens being for touch. The “pinch” and “spread” motions are already there for us on the touchscreens. This technology will just allow us the capability to do it in free space above the sensor. The company to trying to see this technology on the mass market anywhere from July to December of 2014, so be on the look out from summer to winter of next year.

Surface ProMicrosoft has announced the release date for their Surface with the Windows 8 Pro operating system as February 9th, 2013.

The Surface with Windows 8 Pro has gone through a major overhaul when compared to the Surface with Windows RT.

The Windows 8 Pro operating system will allow users to continue using Windows 7 applications and will integrate with your existing infrastructure. The security system underwent significant upgrades. AppLocker and Group Policy will now allow application and security policy control. BitLocker gives the user the enhanced data protection. Furthermore, Windows 8 Pro is compatible with third party security systems.

The Surface Pro with Windows 8 offers more memory than the Surface with Windows RT. The Surface Pro comes in both 128 GB and 64GB models with 7GB of free cloud storage. Each model is packed with 4GB of RAM. The Surface Windows RT comes with only 32GB or 64GB models.

The screen is another Upgrade with the standard now being a 10.6″ with 16:9 and 1920×1080.

The new system is now 13.5 mm in thickness and weighs 2 lbs. In comparison the Windows RT is 9.3 mm in thickness while weighing in at 1.5 lbs.

USB port is now a 3.0 versus the 2.0 and the HD video out port has been replaced with a Mini Display Port. The Mini Display Port is an open source port and allows for higher resolutions using smaller connections.

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When I first heard about this laser projected keyboard I was fired up and ready to plunk down $199 for this cool gadget.  After reading several reviews and watching several videos I had more questions than answers. Even though this technology has been around for over 7 years it still seems like it is undiscovered.  Why has it not caught fire and been that popular among consumers?

The Magic Cube made by Celluon is featured as a full QWERTY keyboard and multi touch mouse that is projected onto just about any surface.  It can be used with a variety of products ranging from smart phones, tablets and PCs through blue tooth technology or USB connection. It is small and portable and sounds like the perfect solution to the small keyboard dilemma for people with fat fingers, like me.

Cnet.com had a modest review citing mostly the features it is designed to do with a 3.5 out of 5 star review. However, laptopmag.com, wired.com and maclife.com were more vigorous in their reviews. All agreed it is fascinating technology but with some practicality issues. The cost ranges from $120-$260, which seems relatively high in range for the technology we’re talking about here. The idea of the convenience and ease of use seems not so highly supported. The technology itself seems to be at issue.  TopLevelReviews posted a pretty succinct review that was helpful for me, being the visual learner that I am!

In the YAY column we have: the cube is compact, portable, easy to set up and install (most of the time). In the BOO HISS column we have: battery lasts 2 hours but takes 4 hours to charge, multi mouse only seems to work well with windows devices. Detection rate is supposed to be 350 characters/minute, however, that has been debatable among users. Also keep in mind it is a QWERTY keyboard and not a standard keyboard. The punctuation and other features like caps lock is not going to be the same and is tricky to get used to.

Overall, I would have to say that if it were less expensive I would probably take the chance and try it for myself because I think it is a really cool concept.