Entertainment on the Move

When the iPad was originally launched, tablet devices were launched into the limelight. It goes without saying that Apple were not the first, but they made this category of device sexy and created an experience that many did not know they wanted, until they had handled one of these new wonders. Since the first generation iPad was so successful, many other manufacturers frantically played catchup.

To a certain degree they have, with many manufacturers backing the Google Android platform. Whilst the hardware may not be as sexy, the ecosystem is definitely developing. The selection of apps on the Google Play Store is now more than acceptable, making the myriad of devices from the likes of Samsung, Asus and Acer (to name just a few) very viable options. My personal opinion is that they are not quite as tied in service-wise, whereas the Apple iPad is very good at synchronising with the likes of an Apple desktop or laptop.

This new category, for a long time, has been thought of as an ideal way of consuming media, but not necessarily creating. Things are pretty good, with regard to photo manipulation, simple spreadsheets, text documents and the like, but anything more than that is often a compromise. I do take notes on my iPad, but anything more than that and I grab my laptop, or sit down at a desktop computer.

Whilst these two platforms battle it out, Microsoft is sitting in the wings. It dipped its toe into the water with the Surface RT and Surface Pro, which were a hard sell due to lack of apps. However, with their most recent offerings, the Surface 2 and Pro 2, things have improved. Apps that were missing first time around are now appearing with around half of the mainstream titles not available at original launch, now in the Windows App Store.

Whichever platform you choose, all of these devices have something in common. They are all great entertainment devices. Awesome for playing back videos, music, playing games etc. The internet browsers add yet another dimension and allow you to play online games. You might even be able to increase your riches too, by trying your luck at Blackjack, Slots or Roulette on Casino.com who, like many websites, have enriched their experience for mobile devices. So whether it's online shopping, emails, surfing the internet or staying in touch with friends & family, this new breed of tablet device is here to stay and I am certainly thankful that Apple made this category popular again.

Microsoft sells out of 128GB Surface Pro models online and in some stores

If you were wondering how well the public would take to a Microsoft-made tablet costing $899 or more... quite well, at least from initial impressions. The 128GBSurface Pro has sold out at Microsoft's US online store, and checks suggest a lack of stock at both the company's retail stores as well as Best Buy and Staples. Canada is facing similar shortages at Best Buy and Future Shop. Not surprisingly,storage worries (since partly alleviated) have left the 64GB tablet as the only one in consistent supply, and we suspect that the 128GB model in Microsoft's Canadian store won't last for much longer. We'd be cautious before declaring the Surface Pro a runaway hit, however -- there's no word on how many units each store had, and Microsoft has refrained from reporting Surface sale numbers to date. Still, the early uptake is good news for Microsoft's first foray into designing an x86 PC, and it shows that many early adopters aren't hung up on the price.

[Source: Engadget]

Microsoft Surface and Windows RT gets simple jailbreak

If you thought jailbreaking was just for the iPhone 5 and iPad, think again: Windows and the Microsoft Surface have been busted out of jail.

The crafty folk at XDA Developers have come up with the jailbreak, handily packaged into a batch file that you run each time you turn the tablet on, so you can install apps that haven't been aproved by Microsoft.

The jailbreak exploit works on Windows RT, the tablet version of Windows 8 found in the Surface and set for a range of tablets from (a small number of) other manufacturers. RT is designed for the low-powered ARM chips found in tablets. It's a stripped-down version of the software that only runs apps from the Windows Store, unlike the full version of the software that allows you to install any app you fancy.

Applying the jailbreak allows the tablet to run apps that didn't come from the Windows Store, although applications designed for a computer's x86 processor won't work on the tablet unless recompiled for the ARM architecture. 

The full version of Windows 8 is set to appear on a tablet in the shape of the Microsoft Surface Pro, which is expected in the US this month but is yet to have a British release date confirmed. Meanwhile the different versions of Windows 8 have caused enough confusion to see theSamsung Ativ Tab cancelled.

[Source: CNET]

Microsoft reveals how much of Surface RT's disc space is actually yours

If you've wondered how much space Windows RT, Office and Microsoft's bundled apps occupy on your shiny new Surface RT, worry no longer. Microsoft has revealed that once you've accounted for binary conversion, recovery provision and the software itself, the 32GB device will have 16GB of free space, while 64GB units will get 46GB of room to store your media. Naturally, you can use microSD cards (or USB Drives) to add to that space, and if you'd like to know how to get the device to treat it as if it's all coming from a single library, check out our tutorial.

[Source: Engadget]

Surface pre-order deliveries delayed in the UK and Canada, Microsoft offers coupon for the inconvenience

We began hearing grumblings of delayed Surface deliveries in the very early hours of this morning, and it seems it's not an unlucky few that are suffering, but an unlucky many. There were reports of delays to shipments in the UK and Canada less than a week ago, but Microsoft was quick to dismiss the claims as an error and put minds at rest. Now, it seems, the white flag has been waved and blame acknowledged. Eager to appease disgruntled customers, the company is offering a £50 or $50 Canadian coupon (depending on your accent) to spend in the Windows Store as recompense. While it provides little relief to those who had a shut-in weekend planned, at least you can trick out your new toy when it finally arrives, at Microsoft's expense. And, if you've received neither a Surface nor a coupon, we suggest you reach out for the freebie -- if your fingers aren't hitting tiles, they might as well be hitting keys instead.

[Source: Engadget]

Display expert: Microsoft Surface display not superior to iPad Retina display

After the director of research for Microsoft's Applied Sciences group, Steven Bathiche, boasted via Reddit that the company's new Surface RT tablet could offer more screen detail than the latest iPad, an expert decided to weigh in. The verdict? Microsoft's ClearType sub-pixel rending technology does indeed give the Surface RT's 768p display some added clarity, but to say that it beats the newest iPad's 2,048 x 1,536 screen is a stretch, to say the least.

Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies performed the comparison using an Asus tablet equipped with a 1,366 x 768 display similar to the Surface RT. Both devices boast Microsoft's ClearType sub-pixel rendering feature. It's important to note that while the two displays are similar, the Asus tablet's pixel density is 130 ppi, compared to 148 ppi on the Surface RT. The iPad's Retina display comes in at 264 ppi.

[Source: TUAW - Click here to read the full story]