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TOOLS OF THE TRADE: NOVEMBER 2015

By Michael Castelluccio
October 30, 2015
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11_2015_tools

1. AMAZON FIRE TABLET

 

The ubiquity of the pocket tablet is about to get a boost from one of the major providers, Amazon. The Holy Grail for tablet manufacturers once was a slate for less than $100. With the new $49.99 Fire, Amazon has beaten that goal by 50%. Actually, it’s more since you can buy the new Fire in a six-pack (buy five and get the sixth free). The 7″ Fire plays media—movies, TV shows, songs, and games—and offers up to seven hours of e-reading or Web surfing. There are more than 300,000 apps and games available, and parent-controlled profiles let you monitor content. The tablet has a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, a 7″ 1,024 × 600 IPS (In Plane Switching) display, and rear- and front-facing cameras. There’s only 8GB of on-board memory, but you can add up to 128GB with a microSD card. And there’s free cloud storage for all of your Amazon content—you can also store the photos you take with your Fire tablet in the cloud. The company boasts resilience in tumble tests that show the Fire is twice as durable as the iPad Air 2. The $49.99 Fire measures 7.50″ 5 4.50″ × 0.04″ and weighs 11 oz. www.amazon.com

 

2. GOOGLE PIXEL C

 

Google’s Pixel C appears in a space now occupied by Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Apple’s iPad Pro. In other words, it’s a tablet with an attachable keyboard cover that aims to replace your laptop. The Pixel C’s keyboard has an aluminum back and becomes a protective cover once you attach it. There are two models: 32GB and 64GB versions. The CPU is a 3GB Nvidia Tegra X1 that runs the latest version of the Android OS called Marshmallow. The display is a 10.2″ high-definition LCD touchscreen with a pixel density of 308 pixels per inch and a 2,560 × 1,800 resolution. The primary camera is eight megapixels, and the secondary camera is two megapixels. The battery lasts up to 10 hours, and a USB Type-C port supports fast charging. pixel.google.com

 

3. ACER REVO ONE

 

The Acer Revo One is classified as an SFF (small-form-factor) mini desktop computer and measures only 6″ × 4.25″ × 4.25″. It’s a desktop meant to be used at home. Capable of the usual content creation or management, it also has considerable storage space that can create a personal cloud storage capability accessible through the BYOC (Bring Your Own Cloud) apps that are included. The Revo has a 1TB hard drive and two 2.5″ drive bays to add to its native memory. It has an SD card reader, a Mini DisplayPort, an Ethernet, a headset jack, an HDMI port, a Kensington lock port, two USB 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. You can send content to anything from a 4K monitor to a 1,080 HDTV. The processor is an Intel Core i5-5200U with 8GB of RAM and integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500. http://us.acer.com

 

4. SAMSUNG GEAR S2

 

The new Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch comes in two versions. The S2 Classic has a black body and leather band, and the regular S2 has a modern white and silver case and band. Both are 0.45″ thick, but the regular S2 is 1.67″ × 1.96″ whereas the Classic is 1.57″ × 1.72″. Both are water resistant up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. You can flip through different dial modes or apps by turning the Bezel as you would with a diving watch. The charger is a stand that magnetically attaches to the watch, and a charge could last two to three days. The AMOLED display is the same as used on Samsung smartphones, and the watches have a dual-core 1.0 GHz processor with 4GB of storage. www.samsung.com

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 21 years. His SF TECHNOTES blog is in its 19th year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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