What’s My Favorite Gadget?

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Credit: Apple

Kindle Paperwhite

Credit: Amazon

If you asked four years ago, three years ago, even one year ago my answer to this question would have been one and the same – my Kindle eReader.  Really?  Yes, I’ll get to why soon but to answer that question today is a bit of a conundrum.  First you need to know that I’m a voracious reader and naturally by reading this you must know that writing is a passion of mine so it might make some sense that the Kindle was my choice for so long but that’s not the main reason.  I’m a big fan of things that focus on doing only one thing and not things that try to be all things to all people.  I’ve owned a Kindle ever since I pre-ordered the 2nd generation Kindle back in 2009.  I”m referring specifically to the Kindle with an E Ink screen, not the Kindle Fire tablets that get so much attention.  Next to paper E Ink is still the best way to go for pure reading.  I pretty much ditched print from the get go allowing exceptions for only a couple of my favorite authors.  I won’t even attempt to knock print form because I actually morn its decline with many of you but I stop short of feeling guilty.  Let me tell you why.  Amazon’s Whispersync cloud technology means that I can go anywhere with my entire library of books and just like how iTunes and the iPod freed most of us from those giant cd albums once you go paperless so to speak you’ll never go back.  Amazon’s controversial low pricing practices don’t hurt either. Read More

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When Choosing The Right Smartphone or Tablet Specs Don’t Matter.

My title is a tad misleading.  Specs do matter but I’m gonna offer up only the one or two that matter most.  Let’s assume for now you’ve selected your operating system and form factor of either smartphone or tablet.  In the smartphone category you’re generally looking at screen sizes between 3.5″ to 5″.  Tablets generally range between 7″ to 10″.  There’s also a goofy category informally known as Phablets that fall in between these two categories.  After screen sizes you’re bombarded with a bevy of software features, hardware options, and naturally long lists of tech specs and benchmark ratings to comb through before making a purchase.  If you’re purchasing a middle to top tier device (by price) let me save you some trouble and tell you that you can assume generally good processing speed and graphics performance from most devices.  I’m trying to stay away from confusing you with geeky technical specs but must now dive into one spec a bit to illustrate this point.  The iPhone 5 uses a dual core processor that clocks in somewhere around 1.3 GHz.  By comparison the new Samsung Galaxy S4 (man that’s a mouthful of a name) carries a 1.9 GHz quad core processor.  Translation- the S4 blows the processing power of the iPhone out of the water by a mile.  With this said let this geek who’s made the iPhone 5 his primary smart device vouch that not once, not even for performance sapping games, have I ever felt even a slightest lag in performance.  I doubt seriously I would notice a difference with Samsung’s processor in my iPhone.  It’s always snappy and reliable except of course when AT&T is throttling me.  Criminals. Read More

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