Mobile Technology Shines At CES

The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES for short, is a technology conference going on right now in Las Vegas, Nevada.  CES is an annual event where technology companies launch their products to generate buzz among consumers and the press as well as to feed the geek frenzy right after the holiday season.

It’s no surprise this year that mobile technology is taking center stage with phones, tablets, and other devices leading the pack in overall discussion.  Here is a quick roundup of some of the more interesting mobile tech stories:

No Verizon iPhone, Yet…

It may be on everybody’s technology wishlist this year but so far Verizon is mum on when they will be releasing Apple’s iPhone on their wireless network.  According to CNN.com the moment at which an announcement would likely have been made, Verizon’s keynote address, was void of any mention of the iPhone or Apple for that matter.  Even if the elusive question remained unanswered, Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon’s CEO, still gave an interesting talk on the future of mobile technology.

NEC's LT-W Cloud Communicator Tablet
NEC's LT-W Cloud Communicator Tablet

A Tablet Built for Your Commute

Maybe you’re past the Verizon/Apple/iPhone hoopla already.  If so, an interesting product launch out of the CES is a tablet that reads like a book and fits in your bag or large pocket quite easily.  NEC’s LT-W Cloud Communicator is an innovative Android device with a 7-inch screen which treats itself like the true digital equivalent to paper books.  As CNET notes this device will most likely revolutionize a person’s commute in the coming month.  Personally, I’m really happy that this device is out as will make the reading process less clunky when you’re on the train squeezed in between two people.

The Phone, Laptop, and PC in One Device

Motorola’s Atrix phone showcases the growing ability of smartphones to act as a laptop and vice-versa.  The Atrix might well be the first device that combines the capabilities of a smartphone and the laptop in one product.  The phone can run multiple operating systems and also be connected to a monitor to essentially become a standalone desktop computer.

Excited about the new offerings from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show?  Check CNET’s CES Guide and be sure to come back to this blog next week as we will provide more indepth looks at other exciting new technology products.

‘Last Minute’ Holiday 2010 Tech Gift Ideas

Are you among the crowded field of shoppers who leave their holiday shopping to the last minute?  If you are, here are a few ideas for last minute gifts and stocking stuffers for the techie on your shopping list.  Additionally, be sure to check out the Holiday Gift Guide our tech gurus here at LaptopMD put together last month for more ideas and tips for tech related gear this holiday season.

Do these help you fill that last minute gift need?  Let us know in the comments how we can help and let us know any questions that you might have.

Samsung Galaxy S Series Smartphone
Samsung Fascinate (Galaxy S Series) by Verizon

Smartphones

Last month we gave you some good gift ideas for smartphones but we neglected to mention other popular phones.  Sprint’s EVO 4G is the first 4G android phone and is loaded with the best features including HDMI, as well as the latest Android OperatingSystem, version 2.2.  The EVO 4G is priced at $200 with a new contract form Sprint.

The Samsung Galaxy S series smartphone is considered by many to be one of the best Android phones on the market.  With its crystal clear display, this phone definitely ‘wows’ when you pick it up in your hand.  The Galaxy S series is available on all of the wireless networks, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile in different varieties.  Pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S starts at around $200 with a new contract.

Portable/Wireless Charging Devices

Duracell myGrid Portable Electronics Charger
Duracell myGrid iPhone Charger

The latest craze in technology this holiday season appears to be devices that charge your portable electronics either wirelessly or on the go.  Duracell’s USB ‘Pocket Charger’ can charge your iPhone, iPod, smartphone or other device for around $25.  The Duracell myGrid allows you to wirelessly charge your device when you place it on the mat.  Just put your device in a sleeve and then on the mat and it will charge wirelessly without the clutter of cords. Duracell’s myGrid retails for between $60 and $70 depending on the model.  Similarly, the PowerMat, retails between $50 and $80 and allows a user to put your electronic device in a case and charge wirelessly as you need.

Mobile HotSpots

Portable Wi-Fi hotspots are all the rage with ClearWire and other internet/cable providers joining the crowded market of cell phone companies who already offer these devices.  ClearWire’s iSpot offers 4G coverage in selected metro areas across the country for only $25 per month.  Verizon’s MiFi device is currently free when you commit to a 1 or 2 year contract with plan prices beginning at $35.  Inquire with your preferred wireless carrier or internet provider for their mobile hotspot offerings.

Logitech Harmony 1100 Universal Remote

Logitech Harmony Remotes

If you’re attempting to buy for the man in your life, a Logitech Harmony Remote may be the way to go.  Logitech Harmony remotes are cool ‘toys’ that add a level of novelty and excitement to the universal remote with their interactive displays as well as other features.  These interactive remotes start at $100, available at most electronics retailers, and make great stocking stuffers.

Logitech Webcam C250

Webcams

Webcams also make great stocking stuffers with most retailing for under $60, depending on the quality of camera you are looking for.  If you’re looking for a no-frills webcam you can expect to spend around $30 to $40.  We recommend Logitech webcams, which are among the best and most reasonably priced in the industry.  You can find webcams online or at any retailer who sells electronic devices.

Holiday Gift Ideas from LaptopMD

LaptopMD Holiday Gift GuideEvery year our technician gurus here at LaptopMD like to share the knowledge and insights that they’ve gained throughout the year with our customers to help you make smarter holiday tech purchases.  Buying gifts related to technology can be intimidating especially if you’re buying for someone already savvy in technology or if you are unaware of the various options and brands available.  Use our holiday shopping ideas that we’ve put together to help you with your gift buying this season and relieve some of the holiday stress!

We provide gift ideas for every type of computer user in your house: students, professionals, and normal everyday users. Our list covers Mac and PC laptops, as well as netbooks. We look at the latest in cellphone/smartphone technology and help you determine whether or not you should buy an Android phone or an iPhone as a gift. Additionally, our guide looks at software titles suited for every type of computer user.  Let us know what you think in the comments and if you have any questions regarding your holiday tech purchases.

Laptops

The laptop market is full of options when considering which one to buy.  You may ask yourself questions like these when you go to make a purchase:

  • What’s the difference between a netbook and a laptop?
  • What features should I focus on?
  • Mac or PC, which one provides the better deal?

Use our holiday shopping guide as a tool to sort through the various options you are bound to come across.

Choose the Right One

There are many options out there and the number of choices can be daunting for anyone, including those who work with computers for a living!  To help simplify the laptop buying process, we have come to trust the guides put together PC World Magazine.  PC World’s guides provide the comprehensive help that you’re looking for.  There are several comparison guides online and we’ve included links to our favorite guides throughout this post.

When using these guides and buying a laptop, be sure to take into account the following considerations:

  • Speed
  • Battery life
  • Functionality and Features
  • Durability
  • The End User

Some laptops are good for students but not functional for professionals.  Knowing who you are buying for and what they want will help you frame your decision and make everybody happy.

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Have you ever wanted to accept Visa/Mastercard? There’s an App for that.

Square Credit Card Processing DeviceHave you ever split a meal with a friend? Or maybe taken a taxi somewhere with a buddy? Unless you’re agoraphobic or just REALLY unlikeable, I’m going to assume you have.  You’ve also probably experienced that awkward moment when neither of you really have enough cash to divide the check evenly so one person pays more and you’re left with that uncomfortable ‘IOU’ feeling.

Well, not anymore! Who wants to owe money to a friend when you can just Square Up? That’s right folks, there’s a app for that. Square Up allows anyone with an iOS or Andriod OS device (iPhone, iPad, Droids, HTCs, Samsung Galaxy, LG Ally, etc.) to accept credit card payments from anywhere.  Not enough cash? Accept Visa!

Square Up is still a relatively new company started by one of the co-founders of the popular social media engine Twitter.  With a (free) device that plugs into your smartphone’s headphone jack, you can swipe a friend’s credit card and charge up to $1000 a month and receive it right away! Sure the credit card companies will still take a cut (2.75% + $0.15 per transaction) but it’s a lot simpler than a typical agreement a company would have to enter into.

SquareUp Credit Card Smartphone Device and AppHowever, the company is facing a few obstacles – the biggest of which is convincing people that this is OKAY. With the digital age still in its youth, there’s a lot of worry about identity theft and credit card fraud out there.  Let’s say you buy a pair of Yankee’s tickets from someone on Craigslist. Are you going to feel comfortable when he asks you to swipe your credit card to pay? Exactly.

Still, Square Up seems to be approaching consumers in the right light. They understand that promoting the trustworthiness of their product should be their first and primary concern.  Nevertheless, they have a long way to go if they really want this app to take off.  Read more about what Square Up is doing from the NY Times. Or go to SquareUp.com and sign up to get started!