1. SURFACE GO
It used to be that Microsoft was the software company and Apple was the hardware company. Now, Apple has the biggest app store with more than 2 million applications, and Microsoft is directly competing with one of Apple’s most successful gadgets. The latest Microsoft tablet, the Surface Go, is aimed directly at the iPad Pro. With a base price of $399, the 10" Go is the smallest, lightest (1.15 lbs.), and least expensive Surface, sharing many of the benefits of Microsoft’s last non-Pro tablet, the 10.8" Surface 3. The new Go has a seventh-generation Intel 4415Y Pentium Gold Processor that’s available in two configurations: 64GB/4GB RAM or 128 GB/8GB RAM. It runs Microsoft Office 365 in Windows 10 in S mode, and the battery will give you up to nine hours of video playback. The 10" Gorilla Glass 3 PixelSense display has a 217 PPI resolution (1,800 × 1,200). The 5.0MP front-facing camera has 1,080p Skype HD video and Windows Hello face authentication. The rear-facing camera is 8.0MP, auto-focusing with 1,080p HD video. The case is magnesium, and the kickstand has a full friction hinge that’s adjustable to 165 degrees. www.microsoft.com
A smart way to stay connected in Europe is to rent a high-speed connection from Hippocketwifi. Their palm-size mobile devices are available starting at €4.90 a day, including free delivery. The device establishes a private, secure Wi-Fi network that will connect up to 10 devices, including phones, tablets, and computers, and the battery lasts for up to six hours of operating time. There’s an auto turn-off when the hotspot isn’t in use, which is handy because at 4.6 oz., it’s easy to forget it’s in your pocket. Setup is easy: Tap on a single button, open the settings on your device, and then key in the password from the back of the Hippocket. You can go online without restrictions, use your phone and apps like Google Maps to navigate, and stay in touch with home using Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime, and email. www.hippocketwifi.com
3. SANDISK EXTREME PORTABLE
The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD offers high-speed storage with up to 550MB per second reading speeds that make it ideal for high-resolution photographs, videos, and sound files. There’s a selection of capacities ranging from 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, all with high-speed transfer capabilities. They are light and compact, measuring 0.348" × 1.95" × 3.78", and weighing 1.4 oz. They’re tough with IP55 for water and dust resistance, and shock resistance for drops up to 6.5' on a concrete floor. The USB connection is 3.1 (Gen 2). They’re compatible with PC and Mac computers with no additional drivers needed. SanDisk SecureAccess 3.02 software lets you create password-protected folders on your drives where data is automatically encrypted with 128-bit AES encryption. The software is optional and unnecessary to run your flash drive. www.sandisk.com
With a new program from Corel, you can add motion to your digital photos. The PhotoMirage program lets you map subtle movement patterns that can look like rippling on the surface of water, slow movement in clouds, or breezes in flower beds or fields of grass. The program takes a still and transforms it into a high-resolution photo animation. In three steps you can select only a portion of a photo and draw movement patterns that repeat. For actual samples, check out the videos at www.photomirage.io.