Google launches Nexus 7 tablet

by Editor on June 28, 2012 0 Comments

Google Nexus 7 tablet computerFollowing on the heels of Microsoft's announcement of its Surface tablet, Google today launched its first tablet computer. Called the Nexus 7, the tablet is a 7 inch media consumption device. Pricing for Australia is positioned much lower than the iPad, starting at $249 for the 8GB version and going to $299 for 16GB. But it's also better specced than the Kindle Fire at a similar price point, with a camera and other goodies.

The tablet is manufactured by Asus for Google, and runs on Google's latest operating system for tablets: Android 4.1 (called "Jelly Bean"). It has a quad core processor, HD display, a claimed 8 hour battery life, a 1.2 megapixel front facing camera and weights just 340 grams.

Australia will the one of the first markets to receive the new tablet. It is already available for pre-order on the Google Play store ...

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Microsoft announces its Surface tablet

by Editor on June 20, 2012 0 Comments
Microsoft surface tabletMicrosoft has surprised and delighted many with the announcement of its Surface tablet. Positioned as an enterprise tablet, it combines the portability and user friendly nature of tablet devices with features for power users that are normally found in ultrabooks, such as a keyboard.
The screen is a little wider than the iPad's at 10.6 inches (vs 9.7 for the iPad). The screen ratio is more rectangular than the iPad, which Microsoft says allows better viewing of widescreen movies.
The standout feature of the Surface is the clever magnetic cover which has a full kwerty keyboard and trackpad on the inside (pictured here). There is also an integrated kickstand at the back of the device to allow use like an ultrabook.
The Surface will come in two versions for different users. A 9.4mm thick version weighing 590 grams and priced to compete with the iPad will ...
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New iPad goes on sale in Australia

by Editor on March 15, 2012 0 Comments

new iPad 3The new iPad (not iPad 3, not iPad HD - now it's just "iPad") went on sale just after midnight this morning Sydney time, being one of the first places in the world for customers to get hold of the new tablet.

People queued for hours to buy one, but there was not the same mania as there was for the iPad 2 when it was released as the new iPad is a more incremental improvement. It boasts better screen resolution, better 5MP camera, and faster processor, but the 4G LTE connectivity is wasted in Australia as it uses a frequency that is not supported by Australian carriers.

Pricing at the Apple store for the iPad 3 is:

A$539 16GB
A$649 32GB
A$759 64GB

Wi-Fi + 4G 
A$679 16GB
A$789 32GB
A$899 64GB

Apple iPad 3 rumours

by Editor on February 10, 2012 0 Comments

Industry buzz is that the iPad 3 will be unveiled in the first week of March. What new features will it have - Siri? Higher resolution screen? NFC (near field communication) for epayments? Needless to say there are lots of rumours, but Apple is keeping the details under wraps for now.

No official word on when the next model iPad will go on sale in Australia.

BlackBerry PlayBook ups features, drops price

by Editor on November 22, 2011 0 Comments

The BlackBerry PlayBook was an impressive tablet when released earlier in 2011, but an instant criticism was that it lacked native email and calendar apps. You had to tether it to your BlackBerry smartphone for these basic functions. As a result, it sales results disappointed its maker, RIM.

RIM has now announced that native email, calendar and contacts apps will come in a software upgrade. However, users will have to wait until February 2012. The fight to keep up with Apple's iPad may well be too late by then, as rumours of the iPad 3 release increase. Perhaps RIM could try to differentiate its tablet by including its popular BBM messaging service? Apple has iMessage on the iPad and the absence of BBM is an obvious flaw in the PlayBook's offering.

BlackBerry has also just announced that they will heavily discount the PlayBook in the US, with the ...

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HP drops TouchPad tablet, price drops too

by Editor on August 22, 2011 0 Comments

HP stunned the market with its recent announcement that it would discontinue its TouchPad tablet and essentially stop developing the webOS operating system it acquired when it bought Palm in 2010. HP says it will continue to support webOS, but it is unlikely that any independent developers will continue to write applications for a platform with a limited number of devices to run it on.

webOS had its detractors, but it was seen by some reviewers as a decent tablet operating system that could give Android some competition.

HP's Australian distributor, Harvey Norman, today cut the price of the TouchPad from $499 to just $99 and quickly sold out of stock.

Choice reviews tablets: June 2011

by Editor on July 4, 2011 0 Comments

The Australian Consumer Association's testing and review publication, CHOICE, recently reviewed a number of tablet computers available in the Australian market. CHOICE is a consumer publication, and prides itself on its rigorous and independent approach to testing products. 

In this review, CHOICE ranked the Apple iPad 2 (wi-fi and 3G versions) at the top of its "what to buy" list. The iPad scored highly on ease of use, performance, build quality, and the famous app store. The only negatives noted were the lack of Flash support and very low camera resolution compared with other tablets on the market.

Runners up were the Acer Iconia Tab A500, a 10 inch tablet running Android Honeycomb, the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which are both also 10 inch screens with Android Honeycomb. All three runners up can access the Android app market, but it is not nearly as impressive ...

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BlackBerry PlayBook prices in Australia

by Editor on July 1, 2011 0 Comments


Blackberry Playbook tabletRIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet went on sale in Australia on 20 June 2011. It is available at Harvey Norman, and also from BlackBerry Australia's online store (although all models are currently out of stock). The carriers Telstra, Optus and Vodafone plan to sell the tablet at some point, although it is not currently available with 3G or 4G connectivity so their ability to upsell data plans is limited at present. Vodafone sells the PlayBook bundled with a BlackBerry smartphone.

Pricing in Australia matches the iPad 2's Wi-Fi only prices: $579 for 16GB, $689 for 32GB and $799 for the 64GB model. As with the iPad 2, this is higher than the US pricing for equivalent models of US$499 for 16GB, US$599 for 32GB and US$699 for the 64GB.

PlayBook goes on sale to mixed reviews

by Editor on April 15, 2011 0 Comments

BlackBerry's much anticipated PlayBook tablet goes on sale in the US on April 19. However, reviews have been mixed.

The hardware is well received, and reviewers have noted its fast processing speed and multitasking. The cameras (front and back) have also been commended, with a higher resolution for both still photos and video than the iPad 2.

The operating system and software, on the other hand, have not impressed. The browser is said to be slow (although it does support Flash) and BlackBerry is still rolling out software updates only a couple of days before the official launch. PlayBook owners will have to rely on native apps too, as the app store is tiny compared with iTunes.

US pricing for the 7 inch PlayBook matches the 10 inch iPad 2's Wi-Fi only prices: US$499 for 16GB, US$599 for 32GB and US$699 for the 64GB model.

iPad 2 Australian prices announced

by Editor on March 23, 2011 0 Comments

Apple's iPad 2 goes on sale in Australia from this Friday, 25 March.

Pricing for the Wi-Fi only and the Wi-Fi plus 3G models has been announced in advance of the release date. The prices step by $110 as between each level up of on-board memory.

iPad 2 white case

WI-Fi only:

  • 16GB - $579
  • 32GB - $689
  • 64GB - $799

Wi-Fi plus 3G:

  • 16GB - $729
  • 32GB - $839
  • 64GB - $949