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Apple iPad Bundled Up and Ready to Ship: the Guide
We are just days away from one of Apple’s biggest launches to date. Many would argue that the iPad has even managed to surpass the original iPhone, and perhaps some analyzed numbers would help that theory along. Whatever the case, the fabled tablet from the Cupertino-based company is almost here. People all over the United States have begun to receive their notifications in one fashion or another. Whether you have the tracking number on refresh in your browser, or you’ve been told that you need to visit your local Apple Store to retrieve your reserved gadget, each story has the same ending: This Saturday marks the day you can stop wondering what Apple’s tablet would be like, and finally get to play with it. But, what makes it tick? Why should you be interested in the tablet at all? Isn’t it just a big iPod Touch? We won’t dwell on the nay-sayers for this all-encompassing guide. Instead, we’ll take a look at what we know, and skip the heresy. After all, with less than a handful of days remaining before the big day, there’s no room for speculation.Hardware
We’ll start from the outside, and work our way in. Considering that gorgeous screen, we don’t think there’s any better way to do it, truth be told.
The size and weight of the iPad is one of the reasons Steve Jobs considers the tablet revolutionary and magical. Certainly, tablets of the past (even the recent past) have been bulky, and relatively thick (there are a few exceptions, of course), but that is certainly not the case with the iPad.
Height: 9.56 inches
Width: 7.47 inches
Depth: 0.5 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds for the WiFi only model; 1.6 pounds for the WiFi+3G model
As for that display, it looks something like this:
9.7-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display; multitouch enabled; and IPS technology
1024×768 resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
Oleophobic coating, to stave fingerprints and other muck
It can also support multiple languages, as well as several characters, simultaneously
Many people have asked what that IPS technology really means. Put plainly, it allows for the display to deliver a crisper image, while making it possible to view the images displayed therein at extreme angles. If you tilt the iPad to the left, right, up, or down, you’ll still see a crisp image, as opposed to it fading away, or becoming dark. It’s a great way to make sure that your movie watching isn’t impeded by anything as simple as moving the iPad in a certain direction.
There aren’t many external buttons on the iPad (much akin to the iPhone and iPod Touch), but they’re there:
At the top-right, you’ll see the on/off, sleep/wake button
Just below that, still along the right side, you’ll see the screen rotation lock switch
And then still lower, you have the volume up/down toggle
At the very bottom of the iPad, just below the screen and at the center of the bezel, you’ll find the pivotal Home button
As we dive into the iPad, we get into the main reasons why this tablet has become such a hot topic as of late. Considering the memory allowed, plus the processor that Apple created for the iPad, we’ve got a tablet that’s destined to stay on your counter, your bookshelf, and your bookbag for many years. Or, you know, just until the next version comes out, and you realize you need the newest shiny thing on the block with that Apple logo.
Memory wise, there are three options for your iPad, and that includes both the WiFi only version, as well as the WiFi+3G models:
16GB WiFi — $499; WiFi+3G — $629
32GB WiFi — $599; WiFi+3G — $729
64GB WiFi — $699; WiFi+3G — $829
How is 3G going to be handled? That’s part of the revolutionary part, we imagine. Apple decided to stick with familiar ground, and are offering two methods of accessing AT&T 3G connectivity:
$14.99 — 250MB/month
$29.99 — unlimited data/month
Free use of AT&T WiFi hotspots
Activate/deactivate on the iPad
What does it all mean? Basically, you can change your data plan whenever you want, right from your iPad. If you know you’re going to be travelling for awhile, then go ahead and pop on the unlimited data usage, but when you don’t need it anymore, go ahead and take it off. There aren’t any contracts to sign, and from what we have heard, you are able to do this as much as you want. You will just be billed for usage.
However, you won’t be able to just throw in your own SIM card (if you’re on AT&T) and go. The iPad is the first device to use what’s called a Micro SIM card, and, as you can tell from the name, it’s a smaller version of the current SIM cards being employed.
Steve Jobs remarked at the iPad keynote that the tablet would be able to handle up to 10 hours of WiFi Internet browsing, as well as doing other things. That still holds true, but something we will have to test personally when we get the opportunity:
Built-in 25-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
Up to 10 hours of surfing the Web on WiFi, watching videos, or listening to music
Charging is handled by plugging your iPad into an AC adapter, or USB into your computer
Steve Jobs also mentioned that the battery will give you over a month of stand-by time. That’s noteworthy, because we’re wondering how long the iPad will go on one charge, with minimal usage.
Now, for the sweet spot within the iPad. The processor that Apple decided to throw into the tablet is pretty impressive, and it’s one of the main reasons so many people are interested in handling the gadget.
1GHz Apple A4 custom designed system-on-a-chip is specifically manufactured to offer up high performance, but with low-power outage. Meaning, you won’t lose a finger because it gets burned off, and the system should remain blazingly fast as those 10 hours of usage tick off the clock.
As is customary for a touchscreen device that rotates, Apple included all the necessary sensors for you:
Accelerometer, so that the iPad changes from portrait to landscape on command, just by rotating the tablet
Ambient light sensor, so you don’t go blind in the middle of the night
Input and output is handled in a standard fashion, with nothing all that surprising for an Apple product:
3.5mm stereo headphone jack
30-pin dock connector port
Micro SIM card slot, which is available only on the WiFi+3G model, for obvious reasons
The wireless and cellular connections are pretty extensive, and we’re pleased to see that Apple has managed to cover every base that we can think of, to make sure that wherever you go, you’ll be able to use your iPad to the fullest extent. As long as you buy the model that’s right for you, of course.
In the WiFi model only, you’ll find:
WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR technology
In the WiFi+3G model, you’ll find:
WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR technology
UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
The 3G model supports data transmissions only — that means you won’t be making any calls from your iPad. At least not from AT&T’s 3G network.
If you’re planning on using your WiFi for location-based services, you’ll either be troubled or happy by the fact that the WiFi only model won’t help you out in the woods:
WiFi model does not include any kind of GPS, or assisted GPS
Both models do include a digital compass, though (so maybe it can help you in the woods, after all)
Assisted GPS is available only in the WiFi+3G model
Cellular connections can also help you locate yourself, but that is only available in the WiFi+3G model as well, for obvious reasons
Now, that takes care of the hardware, both on the outside and on the inside. As you can see, Apple has held nothing back when it comes to the manufacturing of their latest gadget, and we imagine that should make anyone who has purchased the tablet pretty happy. Of course, there are always unseen factors, but Apple seems to have some of those covered as well. If, for example, your battery crashes on you, and you can’t seem to figure out why, you can simply send it back into Apple. Instead of giving you your old one, they’re just going to send you a whole new one. Sure, you’ll have to resync it with iTunes, and load up everything all over again, but hey, it’s better than getting a refurbished model, right? Besides, you’ll be able to open it all up again, like it’s brand new. Because, it’s brand new.
We’ll dive away from the bulleted lists for now, and focus on the content that Apple is manufacturing with the release of the iPad. Mainly, we’ll talk about the iPad itself, and how it feels in the hand. Truth be told, when we first saw the tablet, we were wondering how it would feel. Our worries were quickly dashed when we finally got our hands on it. Both in landscape and portrait mode, the iPad feels great. The 1.5 (and 1.6, we imagine) pounds packed into the tablet feels exactly like it should: you know it’s there, but it’s not heavy enough to be a burden. In essence, we won’t say it’s perfect, but for what the tablet is, we can imagine it being pretty close.
The bezel is big. Every bit of big as you’ve seen in the images here, and elsewhere. But, it’s not a bad thing. While some have argued that it could have been smaller, we would argue this point. The simple fact that Apple made it like this to make sure you could handle the tablet without accidentally activating anything on the screen, makes the design make sense. Yes, you will be handling the iPad a lot. And, yes, you will be moving it from portrait to landscape mode a lot. So, that bezel makes it possible for you to do so comfortably, and without fear that you’ll start making your way into an application without your knowledge. And yes, it is shiny, which doesn’t hurt all that much, either.
The back of the iPad is slightly curved. That means if you put it down on your table, and intend to use it for more than anything than making random taps on the screen, you’re going to have some trouble. Unless you grab that bezel and hold it still, of course. We’re not exactly sure that was the greatest design, but we will say that the curved back does make it feel very nice to hold in the hands. So, perhaps that was the main point. After all, we know that Apple would rather you hold the tablet, then put it down on a table. Though, if you put the tablet down on a smooth surface, you can spin it like a top. Maybe a developer out there will make some kind of game where that could be implemented usefully.
What’s the software like? How does it differentiate between the iPhone and iPod Touch? Well, as you’ve surely heard, the iPad is running a slightly modified version of the iPhone/iPod Touch Operating System. It’s being billed as iPhone OS 3.2, and the majority of the differences seem to be within applications, and not so much with the major differences in the forefront. Though, it is probably a fix for iPhone OS 3.2 that we can now select an image for our background, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that kind of update on future OS upgrades for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Just as we’ve seen from Apple’s “how to” videos, we can see that almost every single iPhone/iPod Touch application has been completely revamped, and recoded for the iPad. Mail, mobile Safari, Calendar, iTunes, the App Store, Photos, Videos, and YouTube. There are other applications that have been included, but that will need to be downloaded from the App Store after you turn your iPad on. We’re completely positive that the iBookstore (which will supply you with all your iBooks) will be free to download, but the others: Pages, Keynotes, and Numbers will all cost you $10 a piece.
The truth is, the difference is going to be the applications. Just as we’ve seen and explained, the usage of pop-up windows, contextual menus, and split-screen functionality all work together to bring a fluid, and expansive resource to the iPad, even if the particular features are part of separate applications.
The software keyboard is a topic in of itself. The keyboard will appear in either portrait or landscape mode, and both sizes offer up their own benefits. The portrait mode is small and compact, but considering the size of the tablet itself, you probably will still not be able to hold it in both hands and type with your thumbs. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it will probably be pretty uncomfortable for most of the users out there. As for the landscape keyboard, Apple has stressed plenty of times (especially in their “how-to” videos) that the full keyboard is almost the size of a netbooks. Now, that could mean a couple of different things. First, that it’s not anywhere near full size, and that you’ll probably not enjoy typing on it at all. Or, and what we imagine it to mean, is that the keyboard is pretty close to a full-sized one, with some changes made to fit the screen, but that overall you’ll enjoy the experience. And, most importantly, want to actually use it.
We are hoping that it’s the latter case, because the truth of the matter is, the software keyboard for the iPhone is still held up as the best available on the market, so we don’t want to think that the same keyboard, made only larger, is bad. But, when you are accustomed to a notebook, or netbook’s keyboard, we can understand why going to a software format, plus smaller or changed in some fashion to what you’re accustomed to, may make it hard to use. You will just have to learn how to use it, much like every other keyboard available on the market.
Publishing Partners and the iBookstore
The iBookstore is one of the topics that’s been the most discussed since the announcement of the iPad. For good reason. Many people believed that the Apple tablet would change everything about the digital disbursement of books, and in some ways, they were right. It took a lot of work to finally achieve the spot they’re at now, but it seems to the world that Apple’s iBooks are going to be priced from: free to $14.99. That $14.99 is the ceiling, and it’s been suggested that books won’t be going over that, no matter their spot on the New York Time’s Bestselling list, or their hard cover pricing. It should be noted that none of this has been made official by Apple quite yet, but with a few leaks of the iBookstore shop, we’re pretty sure that the pricing discussed is what we will see in the final product.
Here is a list of the announced publishing partners (so far):
Simon & Schuster
Hachette Book Group
This list is going to grow over time, we’re sure. Publishers will see that the eReader function on the iPad is just as good as the competitions, and much like developers have flocked to the App Store, publishers will work with Apple to bring their books to the iBookstore. There’s no telling how long that will take, but we’re sure it will happen.
As for magazines, newspapers, and the like, there’s a small army being built to support the iPad:
The Wall Street Journal — $17.99/month for subscription
The New York Times
The New Yorker
Apple made it official, that if you wanted to get your iPad application out the door on April 3rd, you needed to have them submitted by March 27th. That day has come and gone, and so far, it looks like Apple has approved somewhere in the ballpark of 130+ applications to greet iPad customers on Saturday. We aren’t going to list all of them here, but at EverythingiPad, there will be some comprehensive coverage of the applications available for the Apple tablet.
What we will talk about, though, is the differences that you can expect from the applications you know and love on the iPhone or iPod Touch, and that are being brought over to the iPad. As you know, applications that are created for the smaller iPhone OS-running devices can still be run on the iPad; by either keeping them at their “normal” size, or by doubling their pixels, and nearing the full size of the tablet. Knowing that wouldn’t be good enough for the majority of customers out there, Apple allowed the iPhone OS Software Developer Kit (SDK) to provide options for developing iPad-specific applications.
The iPad offers developers more options: a faster processor, bigger screen, and more memory to develop applications. With that, developers can create larger games, and applications with more options. That’s both good and bad for consumers. It’s good because that means we’ll have new games, even if they are reboots of old classics, and it means that we’ll have more playable options. But, it’s also bad because the games and applications are going to get a price increase. Titles that were originally $2.99 have been upped to $4.99, and there are bigger exceptions that are found in the iPad App Store as well. Affording the iPad may be one thing, but affording the applications available for it may be another thing entirely.
You didn’t think there wouldn’t be accessories, right? After all, this is an Apple product. You’ve got quite a few options here, so we’ll break it down for you:
The iPad Keyboard Dock is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a dock that you can put your iPad, but there’s an Apple keyboard attached to it as well. Which means, if you’ve got a lot of typing to do, you can go ahead and plug your iPad into the dock, and start typing. It’s only for portrait mode though, so don’t think you can switch it up any time soon. You can pre-order the iPad Keyboard Dock right now, and it will only cost you $69.00. However, it won’t ship until late April, so a few weeks after you get your fun new toy.
The iPad Case has a fine microfiber interior, making sure that you won’t scratch the screen when you close it up. It also has reinforced panels, which should add a little bit of protection to the iPad. And while it works great as a normal case, it also folds backwards to act as a stand, as well, so you can place the iPad on the table (in landscape mode) and use it to your heart’s content. (Guess that takes care of that rounded back.) The case can be pre-ordered now, for $39.00, and ships in mid-April.
There’s the standard iPad Dock, which allows you to charge your iPad easily. It places your iPad in portrait mode, and you can use it as a standard photo frame, if you wan to display your photos for everyone while it’s charging. The Dock will ship by April 3rd, and it will cost you $29.00, so go ahead and pre-order it now.
The iPad 10W USB Powe Adapter allows you to charge your tablet from an AC power adapter. Nothing other than that. You can pre-order it now, but it won’t ship until May. It will also cost you $29.00
iPad Camera Connection Kit is a simple piece that connects into the 30-pin connector at the bottom of the iPad, and allows you to have access to a USB port. It also comes with a second peripheral, which allows you to import pictures directly from an SD card. Unfortunately, Apple still doesn’t have this listed as able to pre-order, nor do we know how much it will cost.
You can pre-order the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter, which allows you to plug in your iPad to a TV, monitor, projector, or LCD display that utilizes VGA connectors. You can pre-order the dock connector for $29.00 right now, and it will ship by April 3rd.
And Just Days Before…
There’s only three days separating you from your very own iPad, and we hope that this guide has been beneficial to you in one way or another. As you play around with yours, if you want to join in the conversation about your brand new Apple tablet, we would like to point you in the direction of Everything iPad, your one-stop shop for all iPad related news, conversations, and everything else in between. And of course, as news breaks, we’ll be sure to bring it front and center here at SlashGear.
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Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters Ship Guide
You can master the Baleful Edict
The ship in the latest Warhammer 40K title is integral to your success in combat. Between each mission, you have to come back to the ship to heal your units, research new buffs and abilities, and even build new facilities. This Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters ship guide will teach you how to get the most out of the Baleful Edict and which upgrades or unlocks you should be aiming for first.
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters Ship Guide
It’s absolutely paramount that you learn the ins and outs of your ship as soon as you can. You’ll need to constantly tweak and upgrade everything as you move between missions. Each upgrade or piece of research takes time, measured in days, which passes as you move around the universe map. You need to make sure that you’re carefully planning how long journies will take, to ensure that you’re not wasting valuable research or upgrade time.
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters Ship Upgrades
The first thing to take into consideration is the various ship upgrades you can choose from. When you first start out you’ll have to repair several things that your demonic enemy broke in the last campaign. We highly recommend that you repair the Augmentation Chamber first, as this increases your supply of Servitors, which are effectively the resource that you need to perform further upgrades, making this an obvious choice.
Void Shields – This should be pretty obvious, but this upgrade increases your ability to take a hit, or rather, your ship’s ability to take a hit. In terms of upgrades to your defenses, this is one you should aim for earlier than most of the others. Having said that, you won’t be in ship combat for a little while at the start of the game, so you can use that time to get other upgrades out of the way.
Gun Batteries – Very similar to the shield upgrade, you won’t have to get this straight away, but don’t neglect it for too long. This increases the damage that you can do to attacking ships.
Exterminus – This is an upgrade that you can only buy twice, and that gives you a single-use ‘clear all’ sort of deal. When a planet is too corrupted by the plague, you can use one of these to completely wipe it clean, both of civilians and the plague itself. This one is locked away behind your second reactor upgrade, but it’s also really not necessary until the mid-to-late game anyway, unless you’re really bad at stopping the corruption early on.
Repair: Hull – The final upgrade here is a repeatable effort that comes up whenever you hull is damaged during ship-to-ship combat. You should immediately select this upgrade whenever the ship is damaged to avoid getting destroyed by another surprise round of combat.
Barracks – This upgrade increases the rank of your marines, as well as the amount of space you have to store fresh recruits. This is relatively essential to your ground combat, but it’s also not something that you need to worry about at the start fo the game. You should have two slots already, and it takes at least 4 requisitions to even fill those up. Just make sure you come back to this as ground combat becomes more difficult.
Meditation Chamber – Another upgrade more aimed at your units than your ship, this one increases the amount of experience that your units gain in combat. You should start this upgrade relatively early to maximize your bonus XP.
Statis Chamber – This upgrade is all to do with the health of your units. The first upgrade allows you to store fallen marines, both in memory of them, but also so you can put them to good use later on in the game. While certainly not urgent, you should consider getting this upgrade relatively quickly, as the later stages increase how quickly your soldiers recover, and that will become vital in the mid-to-late game.
Augurium – Your final upgrade option is the Augurium and it’s probably one of the toughest upgrades to decide upon. This supplies you with more Prognosticars, special marines whose job it is to scan space and learn what they can from the psychic fields. In game terms, this means they are attuned to specific systems and will reduce corruption, increase mission deadlines, and give you more information about who you’ll fight in each mission. They only give you these bonuses for the system they’ve attuned themselves to, as well as adjacent ones. It’s a good idea to bust one of these upgrades out whenever you feel corruption is getting out of control.
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters Research
Once you’ve met the inquisitor and have captured a specimen for her, you’ll gain access to the research bay. This place will unlock various different buffs and upgrades to your other systems which can turn the tide against your demonic enemies. There are essentially three different areas for you to buy upgrades in:
This is the first upgrade type that you’ll unlock by default, as it’s part of the story. These upgrades mostly deal with general buffs to the ship and crew, such as giving you more requisition credits and
This upgrade tree gives you better bonuses to your Prognosticars, typically increasing the amount of corruption they reduce or giving out extra warp points during a surge. A lot of these upgrades are passive buffs that are worth getting.
The final bracket of research is related to the game’s Stratagem system. This is a mechanic that allows you to equip different special abilities that you can employ during a mission, such as fully healing a single unit, or immobilizing every enemy for a turn. These are insanely powerful abilities and should be one of the first things you research.
More Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters Articles
I had the opportunity to spend some hands-on time with the long-awaited Apple iPad tablet after today’s much-hyped press event. Unfortunately, I was a bit underwhelmed: I can see a lot of really useful applications for the iPad, but the reality is that it looks and behaves like an iPhone (or iPod Touch) on steroids. And that’s not exactly a good thing.
While the iPad is super slim at only a half-inch thick, I had some difficulty handling it. At 1.5 pounds, it is too heavy to hold in one hand, which is troublesome if you plan on using it as an e-reader. Other e-readers, like Amazon’s Kindle 2 or the COOL-ER e-reader, are much lighter in hand and therefore make for a much more comfortable user experience. Using two hands is much more comfortable, but if you’re reading a long novel, that could get quite tiresome.
iPad OS: A giant iPhone interface
One of the biggest rumors leading up to the event was that iPhone OS 4.0 would be released in conjunction with the iPad. Instead, the iPad is running iPhone OS 3.2 (which has not been released for actual iPhones yet).
The lack of a fresh, new interface for the iPad is disappointing. There might be some incremental differences between versions 3.1 and 3.2, but to me on the surface, the iPad’s interface looked exactly like a blown-up version of my iPhone 3GS’. And in my opinion, the OS doesn’t translate very well from the much smaller iPhone 3G to the iPad. It’s not so much about the touch aspect of the interface; in fact, navigating by touch is a huge benefit on this roomy screen, superior to, say, the joystick-based navigation of the comparably sized, non-touch Amazon Kindle DX screen. But images, icons, and text aren’t as crisp as expected on the higher-resolution iPad. I found it much like watching standard definition video on an HDTV; Apple doesn’t seem to have optimized the operating system’s visuals for the iPad’s display.
Like the rest of the OS, the touch keyboard is a larger version of the iPhone’s. But unlike on the iPhone, the keyboard has no letter magnification when you press a key, and I found I missed this visual cue immensely. And unsurprisingly, it lacks haptic feedback (part of Android phones). You get no physical or visual feedback when you press a key and that’s frustrating if you’re trying to pound out a long e-mail. The experience, oddly, is akin to typing on the native Android OS’ touch keyboard.
Apple will be offering a keyboard dock accessory, which gives you an actual physical keyboard to work with ($69). You can also place it in the iPad Case ($39), which allows you to angle it slightly. This feels much more comfortable than just laying the tablet flat and typing. Both of these items are sold separately, though.
iPhone apps don’t fly on iPad
One of the big concerns among developers and users before the iPad’s announcement was whether iPhone apps would work on the device. Thankfully, they do, but the experience isn’t exactly ideal. You can either view an iPhone app as a small window or doubled to fill the display. I demoed the Assassin’s Creed and Oregon Trail apps, and was put off by the obvious pixelation. Text in Facebook looked fuzzy, too.
Luckily, the iPad isn’t shipping for another 60 days, so hopefully more content will be developed by then. And who knows? Some of the issues I’ve noticed on this demo unit may be fixed by then.
Right now, I’m not sold on either the hardware or the software. But excellent, optimized content might change my opinion.
It was rumoured for months, and then Apple announced it: a new 9.7in iPad to replace the iPad Air 2. We can understand why it’s not called the Air 3 as it’s not an upgrade in every area.
In fact, in some respects it’s a step down from the Air 2 but the price helps to make up for this.iPad (2023): Price and availability
At £339 from Apple, this is the cheapest launch price for a 9.7in iPad yet. There are rumours of an even cheaper iPad in 2023, though.
This is the base model of course, so if you want 128GB rather than 32GB of storage, you’ll have to pay £429.
Those in the US will pay $329 for 32GB or $429 for 128GB.
For the few that want 4G as well as Wi-Fi, the 32GB model is £469 ($459), and the top-of-the-range one with 128GB is £559 ($559).
You’ve a choice of Silver, Gold or Space Grey. There’s no Rose Gold version.
There are, of course, other tablets available. Head to our list of the best tablets to see the alternatives.iPad (2023): Design
To look at, you’d think Apple had stuck with the iPad Air 2 chassis, but in fact it appears to have based the new tablet around the iPad Air 1.
It’s 7.5mm thick and weighs 469g, which is the same as the Air 1, and besides the absence of a lock / mute switch, all ports and connections are the same too.
One slight difference is the speaker grilles, which are formed from one row of holes rather than two.
From top to bottom here is the new 2023 iPad, iPad Pro 9.7, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 1:
None of this is a criticism, but it is disappointing to see a return to the Air 1’s non-laminated screen. There’s an air gap between the cover glass and the LCD panel which makes the tablet sound a bit hollow when you tap the screen.
You get used to it, but if you’ve already owned a tablet with a laminated screen, you’ll notice the difference.
Those on an iPad 2 will instantly notice the higher resolution, as it was the last iPad to have just 1024×768 pixels. Every model since has benefitted from a panel with 2048×1536 pixels, four times as many.
Powered by an A9 processor, the 2023 iPad is around eight times faster than an iPad 2 for CPU-based apps and a massive 23 times faster for games and other apps which use the GPU.
The main camera is also a lot better, with 8Mp at the rear (the iPad 2 had a 0.92Mp camera and the iPad Air 1 a 5Mp snapper). You’ll find extra shooting modes, too, including Live Photos, slo-mo and time-lapse video (which also has software video stabilisation).
At the front is a 1.2Mp ‘FaceTime HD’ camera which isn’t amazing, but is fine for video chats.
Battery life is the same as every other iPad at 10 hours. The battery has a slightly larger capacity than its predecessors, but run time for web browsing, watching videos and playing games will be roughly the same. Which is to say it’s very good indeed.
You won’t find any of the extra features from the iPad Pro range, so you can’t use an Apple Pencil with this iPad and it doesn’t have the TrueTone screen of the 9.7in iPad Pro, or its quad-speaker arrangement.
Performance, though, is great for the money. Here’s a selection of tests which show that the 2023 iPad is considerably quicker than even the Air 1 (if not always the Air 2).iPad (2023): Software
With more processing power come more software features. This means you’ll get to join in the fun with all the new iMessage features you don’t get on the iPad 2, 3 and 4. There’s also Night Shift and the News app.
Plus, like the iPad Air 2, you get ‘proper’ multitasking. In apps which support it, you can run two apps on screen at the same time. So, for example, you can launch Notes then swipe in from the right and pick Safari.
This combination is just one of many and can be very useful if you’re planning a holiday or doing any kind of research as you don’t have to keep flipping between the two apps.
With a newer processor (and a 64-bit one), you’re also assured of at least a couple of iOS upgrades. It arrives with iOS 10, and will get iOS 11 when that’s released later this year. There’s no guarantee when it comes to software updates, though, and you may find that new features in iOS 11 and – further down the road – in iOS 12 aren’t available on this ‘budget’ iPad.Specs Apple iPad: Specs
A9 64bit processor with M9 co-processor
9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 (264ppi) touchscreen display
32GB or 128GB of storage
8Mp rear-facing camera and 1.2Mp front-facing camera
1080p HD video recording
240mm x 169.5mm x 7.5mm
Apple Watch is an excellent health and fitness device. Alongside, it’s a great companion to your iPhone, and one of the reasons for that is Siri. Siri keeps improving with every watchOS update, giving tough competition to Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana.
If you’re still not using Siri on your Apple Watch, you’re missing out on a lot of possibilities on the Apple Watch. That said, here’s how you can use Siri on Apple Watch.
How to set up Siri on Apple Watch
You can invoke Siri on Apple Watch by saying the “Hey Siri” phrase. If you cannot bring it up using the “Hey Siri” phrase, head over here to know how you can set up and activate Hey Siri on Apple Watch.
How to use the Siri watch face on Apple Watch
The best way to get started with Siri on your Apple Watch is to use the Siri watch face. It fetches all the events and everything you need and displays that information when required throughout the day. You can scroll the Digital Crown to view upcoming events.
If you don’t know how to set up the Siri watch face on your Apple Watch, check out the reference and customize the watch face to your preference.
Choose when Siri speaks on Apple Watch
Siri can speak the responses on your Apple Watch by default. However, you can change when Siri speaks out the responses. To change Siri’s voice feedback settings on Apple Watch:
Press the Digital Crown and open Settings on your Apple Watch.
Scroll down and select Siri from the list.
Tap the Siri Responses option.
You can select from the following three options:
Always On: Siri speaks even when the Apple Watch is in silent mode.
Control With Silent Mode: Siri only speaks when your Apple Watch isn’t in silent mode, and Siri stops dictating the responses when you put your Apple Watch in silent mode.
Select the one according to your preferences, and you’re good to go.
Let Siri announce calls and notifications
If you’re in a situation where you can’t check your Apple Watch, Siri can announce notifications and calls on supported AirPods or Beats headphones.
Siri won’t interrupt you when you’re listening to the notification content and only starts listening for the Hey Siri phrase once it finishes reading. Follow the instructions to announce calls and notifications via Siri:
Open Settings on your Apple Watch.
Tap on the Siri option.
Scroll down and enable the Announce calls option.
Siri will now announce calls and notifications to the connected Bluetooth headphones. Alternatively, you can also enable it by opening Settings on your iPhone → Siri & Search, enabling Announce Calls, and then Announce Notifications.Reply to messages with Siri
Siri on Apple Watch can be handy when you can’t reach your iPhone. If you receive a text message on your Apple Watch and want to reply, you don’t have to get to your iPhone or type the text on Apple Watch.
Raise your wrist with your Apple Watch and say, “Hey Siri, reply” to wake up Siri whenever you receive a message.
Speak out your message to the Apple Watch.
Say OK to confirm it, or you can say or tap on Don’t Send to abort it.
For more such interesting tips and tricks on making the most of your Apple Watch, check out these 45 Helpful Apple Watch tips and tricks
Useful Siri phrases to try on your Apple Watch
Siri can execute all the basic commands that you can throw at it. Here are a few uncommon phrases to make the most of Siri on your Apple Watch. You’ll have to say “Hey Siri” to wake up Siri and then follow up with a command phrase.
Start a Workout: You can ask Siri to start a specific workout by saying, “start a [workout name].” For instance, you can say, “start a 20-minute outdoor run,” to start the outdoor run workout for 20 minutes.
Let Siri calculate for you: Whether it’s a simple calculation or conversion of one unit to another, you can ask Siri to do them for you. Just say, “what’s [your calculation question].” For instance, you can ask, “what’s 29 feet in inches,” and it’ll answer.
Check scores: You can ask Siri for any game’s current or past scores. Ask Siri, “what’s the [game/team name] score,” Siri will provide you the results.
Use Siri for translation: Ask Siri to translate sentences, say the phrase, “translate [sentence] to [language]” or “how do you say [sentence] in [language].” For instance, you can ask, “translate I don’t know Japanese to Japanese”
Use Siri to search Google: Ask Siri some questions, and it’ll Google it for you for the answer. For example, you can ask, “why is the sky blue,” “when was Albert Einstein born,” or “who invented the light bulb.”
Ask Siri what song it is: If there’s a song playing near you, and you don’t know which one it is, Siri can help you with it. Just ask, “what song is this,” Siri will recognize the song and tell you which song is playing.
Check emails on your wrist: Siri can help you check the latest emails on your Apple Watch. You can say, “Show me my emails,” or “Check my emails,” and it’ll get a list of the recent emails from your inbox. However, if you want to check emails from a specific person, you can say, “show me emails from [person name].”
Check your update: If you’re starting your day and want to check the plans you made throughout the day, Siri can do it for you. Invoke Siri and say, “What’s my update,” Siri will show you the weather, reminders, and any other travel plans you made.
Ask Siri what it can do: If you want to know what more Siri can do on your Apple Watch, the best way to find out is by asking Siri itself. Just say, “what kind of things can I ask you,” Siri will tell you a few things or provide you a link where you can find more Siri commands.
How to delete Siri history on Apple Watch
Now that you’re enjoying using Siri on your Apple Watch, some of you might have privacy concerns regarding data sharing. You don’t have to worry about privacy when it comes to Apple. However, you still get the option to delete Siri history on your Apple Watch; here’s how:
Open Settings on your Apple Watch.
Select Siri from the list.
Tap on Siri History and then the Delete Siri History option.
How to disable Siri on Apple Watch
If you don’t like Siri or feel it’s not helpful, you can disable Siri from your Apple Watch. Follow the instructions to learn how you can disable Siri on Apple Watch.
Open Settings on your Apple Watch.
Select Siri settings from the list.
Toggle off the Listen for “Hey Siri,” Raise to speak, and Press Digital Crown options.
Doing this will disable Siri from your Apple Watch, and you can toggle on the three options if you want to enable it in the future.
Sajid is an Electronics and Communications Engineering graduate who loves writing about tech. He’s primarily interested in writing about Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. You’ll find him watching Anime or Marvel when he’s not writing.
Computers tend to be one of those big-ticket items that make it on to many holiday shopping lists. With the current state of the economy, choosing the best machine for your money is probably a bigger concern for would-be computer shoppers this year than in the past.
If you’re thinking about buying a Mac for your family (or even yourself), understanding Apple’s product line can be important to making that right choice, whether you’re a longtime Mac fan or someone just considering switching from a PC.
MacBooks – From Air to Pro
Notebook computers on the whole tend to be more popular than their desktop counterparts and Apple’s lineup is no exception. With models that pack as much power as a desktop but with portability, the attraction is obvious. Apple’s current MacBook line includes four models, three of which were unveiled last month. Each model is aimed at specific tasks and types of users.
A step up in price is the new aluminum MacBook starting at $1299. These machines offer some new features, including the unibody construction and a very high-end display.
The display is probably the one thing that differentiates these machines at first sight from both the lower-end white MacBook and from many bargain PC notebooks. Based on an LED backlight, the display of the MacBook is incredibly bright and crisp and really should be seen in person to be appreciated (at the same time the LED backlighting reduces power consumption and increases battery life). If you’re looking for a machine to watch any visual content (even if only movies while on a plane), but still want a smaller form factor and lower cost, the MacBook is a great choice.
Beyond its screen, the MacBook packs a fair amount of power for most users with a 2.0GHz or 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated chipset. Like the lower-end MacBook, this is more than ample for home, office, and Internet tasks. Hard core gamers or graphics and video professionals might want to consider a higher-end MacBook Pro with its greater power and graphics chipset options as well as its larger (but equally bright and crisp) display. However, many users will be quite happy with the new MacBook.
But there is major caveat to the new MacBook, particularly for long-time Mac users: the lack of a Firewire port. Firewire, originally introduced by Apple in the late nineties, provides an interface for connecting high-speed peripherals like hard drives. It also provides an interface to many digital video cameras (sometimes under the name IEEE 1394 or Sony iLink).
If you currently rely on Firewire hard drives or plan to use a video camera with your Mac, this could be a major issue. If you have a video camera (or are planning to buy one) and are considering the new MacBook, you’ll want to ensure the camera supports USB 2.0 connectivity and that it offers support for using it with a Mac (you may also want to check camera reviews on retailer or manufacturer websites to be sure a model you’re considering actually works well with a Mac).
Depending on the cost and availability of an appropriate camera, you may find a different Mac model is a better option – Firewire camera support has been around both the digital video camera industry and the Mac for much longer and may be more reliable.
Up from the new MacBook is the new 15-inch MacBook Pro. Apple has always positioned the MacBook Pro (like the PowerBook line that it replaced) as a solution for professionals that have more computationally intensive needs.
As such, it offers somewhat faster processors (either 2.4 GHz or 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo) and graphics chipsets (the new MacBook Pro actually offers two graphics chipsets in each machine, the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT with 512MB of video memory for greater performance and the same integrated GeForce 9400M as the new MacBook for better power conservation and battery life with no dedicated video memory).
In addition to power, the MacBook Pro also offers greater screen real estate and it comes with a full set of common ports. The only exception is again with Firewire. While the MacBook Pro does still ship with Firewire, it does so using a Firewire 800 port. This port, which is the latest version of the Firewire standard, offers twice the data transfer speeds of the original Firewire port (Firewire 400). But because the port is itself different, you’ll need to use a Firewire 800 to Firewire 400 adapter to connect older devices.
Next up is the 17-inch MacBook Pro. Unlike the new MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro, the 17-inch model did not get updated with the rest of the lineup in October. However, that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in power. With a 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo processor and NVIDIA GeForce 8600 M GT graphics chipset with 512MB of dedicated video memory, this machine can still give the new MacBook Pro a run for its money.
The big difference between the two is the 17-inch display and the new features of the more recent 15-inch models. Although form fact may limit the portability of the machine, it is one of the most amazing notebook displays (again, it is LED-based for bight and clear visuals) on the market. The sheer size of the screen makes this machine a complete desktop replacement. It also offers the complete range of ports. Of course, all of this does come with a price range of $2799.
The final MacBook contender is the ultra-portable MacBook Air starting at $1799. Originally introduced last winter and updated in October, the MacBook Air offers the most limited performance with either 1.6GHz or 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo and integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics chipset.
It also is the most limited in terms of ports (offering only a USB, audio, and video) and other frills. To keep the size down, Apple designed the MacBook Air without a built-in CD/DVD drive or the ability to be expanded in any way. (But an external DVD drive is available and the MacBook Air can access disks inserted in another computer on a home or office network.)
The results of those trade-offs is a very lightweight machine that is easily carried anyplace. Although the Air isn’t going to replace an existing machine, it is a great second machine to complement an existing Mac or PC desktop.
Desktops – From Mini to Pro
While Apple’s notebook lineup tends to be more popular, the company also offers a range of desktop models. As with the MacBook line, Apple has differentiated its desktop offerings into three core groups: the Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro.
The Mac Mini is the lowest cost Mac model on the market, starting at $599. The Mini is a desktop machine that is designed to provide decent but not stellar performance in a minimal form factor. Roughly the same size and shape of five CD jewel cases stacked on top of each other, the mini is as much a miracle of engineering as most notebooks. The mini ships without a display, keyboard, or mouse and without a built-in camera, but it does include a range of common ports and, like all Apple’s products, includes support for wireless Bluetooth devices and for all major wireless networking standards.
With Core 2 Duo processors at 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz and an integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics chipset, the mini won’t be winning many speed contests, but it will meet the needs of most users in terms of office and Internet tasks, as well as home media functions like working with home movies and photos using Apple’s iLife suite.
While the mini can seem a little bare bones, the iMac line ships with everything you need in a one box. Apple’s well-known all-in-one machine offers a very crisp display that rivals the screen quality of most HDTVs of similar sizes. The iMac ships with a full range of ports and is available in 20-inch and 24-inch models with processors ranging from 2.4GHz at the low end to 3.06GHz at the high end. There are varying graphics chipset options from both ATI and NVIDIA, though all offer dedicated video memory. The result is somewhat better performance and a complete out of the box solution than the Mac Mini.
The current iMacs offer everything that most home users (and many office users) will need both in terms of performance and features. Like the MacBooks, the iMac includes a built-in iSight camera and (like all Macs save the Mac Pro), it includes support for the Apple Remote and Front Row media center, which can make it a perfect home entertainment machine.
The one potential downside to the iMac is that it is an all-in-one. Should one component be damaged or should you eventually decide to upgrade, you will be forced to repair or replace the iMac as a single unit. This contrasts to the Mac mini and Mac Pro (and most PCs) where you can replace just the computer and retain an existing display. In fact, the freedom to use an existing display and thus reduce the cost of buying a new Mac can be a solid argument in favor of the Mini over the iMac.
The final Mac on the list is Apple’s high-end Mac Pro desktop. The Mac Pro is designed to offer performance and expandability. It is the most upgradable of Mac options on the market (offering four internal hard drive bays, two optical drive bays, and three PCI Express expansion card slots – one PCI Express 2.0×16 slot and two PCI Express x4 slots). Unlike the rest of Apple’s lineup, which offer no more than two RAM slots, the Mac Pro offers up to eight.
The Mac Pro is the only Mac model (aside from the Xserve rack-mounted server) to offer more than two processor cores. It is available with one or two quad-core Intel Xeon 5400 processors, offering up to eight cores, meaning that it can pack far more punch than any other Mac available. While this level of performance may be overkill for most consumers, gamers and media professionals will more than appreciate the computational and rendering power offered by the Mac Pro.
Of course, all that performance comes a price, with the Mac Pro ranging in cost from $2299 to $4399 depending on the processor options chosen alone. The base configuration, which can be customized at Apple’s online store, is an dual quad-core model at 28GHz for $2799. Like the iMac line, a number of graphics chipsets from both ATI and NVIDIA are available (the Mac Pro can also support multiple graphics cards).
As you might expect from such a highly expandable machine, the Mac Pro offers a full range of ports, including digital optical TOSLINK in and out. However, given it’s aim of being high-powered pro workstation, it comes without support for some of the features common in other Mac models, such as the iSight camera or support for the Apple Remote. (But the Front Row environment is still available when using keyboard short cuts or the Remote application for the iPhone/iPod Touch).
Beyond the considerations of the various Mac lines, you should be aware that the most recent models introduced in October (the new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac models) rely on a new display connector known as Mini DisplayPort. This emerging standardfor connecting computers to displays is currently only used on Apple’s Cinema Display line. You will need to use an adapter for any other displays. Adapters are available to convert from to both DVI and VGA for use with older or non-Apple displays.
Another, more recent revelation, is that Apple has implemented content protection on the computers to prevent copyrighted content purchased from the iTunes Store to be played on devices that might digitally record it. (This is based on the same technology that is implemented by Blu-ray players and most HD set top boxes such as those from cable companies).
You may want to keep this in mind when planning purchases of any devices (such as third-party displays, projectors, and HDTVs) – either looking for compatible displays or opting for an earlier Mac model with a standard DVI port output.
Used or Refurbished Macs
If your budget is limited, you might also consider purchasing a used or refurbished Mac. Like a good car, most Macs tend to offer pretty good performance even if they’re a couple of years out of date.
You can sometimes find good deals on sites like eBay or Craigslist or other classified outlets. If you are in the market for a used Mac, however, you should investigate the age and models within your price range. In some cases, the difference in price between a used Mac and a newer model aren’t worth opting for the lower cost in the long term (also like a good car, Macs tend to hold their resale value).
With support for pre-Intel Macs uncertainin Apple’s upcoming Snow Leopard release of Mac OS X, your best bet for a used Mac is most likely one of the Intel models introduced in the past two years (all of which also offer the ability to run Windows if needed).
That said, an earlier iMac or Mac mini can make a very good option for someone who just needs basic Internet access. EveryMac and Low End Macare two sites that can be helpful for researching past Mac models.
Apple itself also offers offers refurbished Macs for sale. Refurbished Macs can come from a variety of sources (such as used demo machines, business leased machines that are returned at the end of the lease, and customer returns). Apple does certify that these Macs have been restored to factory conditions and functionality and does offer a one year warranty. While many users report no problems with refurbished Macs, you may want to opt for extended warranty coverage if you purchase one, just to be on the safe side.
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