Archive for the ‘Product Spotlights’ Category

The Rise of Mobile Gaming and the PlayStation Vita

Do you own a smartphone or tablet? Chances are you’ve downloaded at least one game, right?

While the PlayStation 3 isn’t going anywhere, more and more folks are taking their gaming to-go. As tablets and smartphones evolve and are able to do more, their gaming capabilities continue to improve.

Did You Know…

    The Mobile Entertainment Industry was worth $33 billion in 2010.

    Profits are expected to rise significantly in 2012

    Analysts predict the industry at large will reach an all-time high of $54 billion by 2015.

Compared to the $3.1 billion that was spent on digital music in 2010 and the estimated $8 billion spent on mobile gaming in 2011, mobile gaming is rapidly becoming the “next big thing.” Continue Reading »

How Apple Pioneered the Ultrabook Movement

What Is an Ultrabook?

Simply put, an Ultrabook is a lightweight, fully functional notebook computer. Yep, that’s right, it’s a regular ‘ole notebook that went on the South Beach Diet and suddenly became “Ultra.” The Ultrabook moniker was invented by Intel and is their answer to Apple’s sexy – albeit razor thin – MacBook Air.

Given the term is relatively new, there isn’t a concrete definition for an Ultrabook. Traditionally, Ultrabooks do not have an optical drive and use a Solid State Drive (SSD) in lieu of a spinning, power hungry hard drive. Aesthetically, Ultrabooks are less than 0.8-inches thick and weigh substantially less than a “laptop.”

Ultrabooks leverage a high-performance, low-voltage processor, such as those in the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge families. Since there is no hard drive to spin up, the computer starts nearly instantly. Ultrabooks usually have a 13-inch or 14-inch screen, although newer models with larger displays are becoming increasingly popular.

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We Found Love on Nextag! – Valentine’s Day Testimonials from Happy Couples

Shopping at Nextag is a great way to fall in love! Get inspired by these testimonials from amazing couples who found each other here.

Testimonials

Hamilton Beach Personal Blender with Travel Lid and Me

I was never someone who believed in love at first sight. Then I saw her, the Hamilton Beach Personal Blender with Travel Lid. When we met on Nextag, I just couldn’t stop staring at her features. I ordered her right away. I’m telling you, it must have been her one touch blending, because once I got my hands on her my heart was reduced to a smoothie. I just loved the way she’d detach her convenient single-serving travel jar and say to me, “Don’t bother with a cup baby, take your drink to go, I’m all for you.”

It isn’t always perfect. Sometimes when we’re in public we get stares as icy as one of her delicious drinks. But do I think a man and a blender can have a lasting, solid relationship? Will we blend? I’m here to say the answer is yes.

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Apple to Reinvent Textbooks with iBooks 2 for iPad

Apple held a press conference on Thursday at the Guggenheim in New York to discuss Education. Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Learning, kicked off the event by noting education has always been embedded deep within Apple’s DNA. Schiller believes through Apple’s innovative products, the company can “help students learn and achieve great things.” He continues by noting Apple is “on the cusp of something really great.”

The Problem

According to Schiller, the state of our current educational system is grim. He noted high school students have a 70 percent chance of graduating in four years, with that number declining to 60 percent in urban areas. The United States as a country continues to decline in reading, math, and science amongst the global economic environment. The U.S. ranks 17th in reading, 31st in math, and 23rd in science. These numbers have remained flat, while other countries are quickly progressing.

Apple Can Help

Apple believes they can help change the way students engage with their teachers and classroom. The company has been identifying teachers’ top challenges and creating products that can help them. Apple also believes engagement is key to student retention,. Their products can help students who want to learn, but are otherwise bored with traditional textbooks. Continue Reading »

When Being Smart Isn’t Enough: Smartphones Become Superphones at CES 2012

Since when is being smart not enough? Dozens of manufacturers took their Smartphones up a notch this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, unveiling the latest superphones. As consumers continue to lead a mobile-forward life, manufacturers are including more robust features that keep up with our busy lives.

2012 Smartphone Trends

Bigger Screens: Smartphones are equipped with increasingly large displays up to 5-inches

Higher Pixel Density: Manufacturers are cramming more pixels on the screen than ever before, with some displays offering 1280 x 720 rather than the lackluster 800 x 480.

Better Cameras: Smartphones are becoming better than traditional point-and-shoot cameras, offering up to 16-megapxiels with an LED flash.

Waterproof Coating: Phones are adopting a nanoparticle water resistance coating, which protects the phone’s internal electronics from minor water damage.

Android 4.0: Cutting-edge Smartphones are adopting Google’s latest version of Android ICS.

Top Smartphones at CES 2012

Here are the top Smartphones showcased at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, brought to you by comparison shopping website, Nextag.com:

Motorola Droid 4

Do you have a love-hate relationship with your phone’s on screen keyboard? Do you wish you could have all the power of a Droid, but with a QWERTY keyboard? Then the Motorola Droid 4 is right up your alley, offering an edge-lit QWERTY keyboard that slides out. Its keyboard helps to eliminate embarrassing texting mistakes that happen with soft keyboards, since the laser-cut keyboard allows for more precise typing.

The Droid 4 contains all of the features Android fans want, including a reinforced gorilla glass display that resists scruff marks and scrapes. Plus, the Droid 4 contains water-repellent nanoparticles that shield the inside components from water damage. Perhaps most importantly, the Droid 4 is fast – and I mean really fast! It runs a 1.2 dual-core SnapDragon processor and features Verizon’s 4G LTE connectivity. The Droid can definitely keep up with your busy lifestyle. Continue Reading »

Tabletapalooza at CES 2012

It’s deja-vu all over again this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Like last year, Android tablets are stealing the spotlight. But it’s not what you think. Some of these tablets actually look promising! Granted, there’s a lot of riffraff to sort through, but amidst the rather boring chasses are a few shining stars.

2012 Is Shaping Up to Be the Year of the Tablet… Again!

After looking at dozens of tablets and prototypes, here are the latest trends:

-Manufacturers are opting for quad-core processors using the Tegra3 System on a Chip.

-Android 4.0 is the norm on most new 10-inch tablets.

-Tablets are becoming even more multimedia friendly, such as adding IR blasters for TV.

-High-end tablets opt for Retina-like HD displays more than the usual 1200 x 800.

-Integrated 3G connectivity is quickly being replaced with advanced 4G LTE technology.

The Best Tablets of CES 2012

Check out these tablets at CES 2012, brought to you by comparison shopping website Nextag.com:

Asus MeMo 370T

With Asus, dreams can come true! If you’ve been putting off buying a Kindle Fire, you should definitely consider the Asus MeMo 370T. For the same price as the Nook Tablet, you get a roaring Tegra3 quad core chipset. Analysts say performance-wise, the MeMo will match its bigger brother, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the MeMo is more on par with the Kindle Fire in terms of thickness, but it does offer a nice curved back. In terms of specs, the MeMo 370T has a rear 8-megapixel camera, 1280 x 800 IPS display, 16 GB of storage, and 1 GB of RAM. No word yet on battery life or pricing, but the tablet is expected to launch during the second quarter of this year. Continue Reading »

“Tap, Snap, & Save” with the Nextag Mobile Shopping App

Let’s face it  - we live on our phones these days. Do you ever have that feeling that you just can’t put it down? There are days when that blinking light and customized ring tone makes us all feel powerless.

I’ll admit it – my phone is my Kryptonite.

But apparently I’m not alone. And that makes me feel better. In 2011, the Pew Research Center conducted a study called “Americans and Their Cell Phones.” Here’s what the study found about cell phone usage:

• 83% of American adults own some kind of cell phone.

• 42% of cell owners use their phone for entertainment when they’re bored.

• 35% of American adults own a Smartphone of some kind; these users take advantage of a wide range of their phones’ capabilities.

When you take a look around you, you can easily see that mobile phones are becoming somewhat of an extra limb for many people. Guilty as charged!

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Looking Back on 2011: The Best Gadgets of the Year

Looking back, the technology industry saw some interesting trends this year. Most notably, in the tablet market.

1)      HP’s TouchPad debacle and poorly executed Fire Sale in August and December (which was on eBay, not HP).

2)      Amazon’s Kindle Fire device continues to pick up steam; analysts predict over five million units will be sold in 2011.

3)      Android tablets continue to shoot out of the factories at the speed of light, yet ascertain very little market share. Devices such as the Toshiba Thrive and Acer Iconia A500 continue to see their prices drop as retailers fail to sell inventory.

While tablets are the trend, 2011 was a fruitful year for Smartphones, televisions, digital cameras, and laptops. As our homes become even more connected, personal portable devices play an increasingly important role in our lives.

We’ve looked at all of the amazing tech gizmos and devices in 2011 and created a list of the crème of the crop. If you have extra holiday money to spend, you can proudly plump down your cash on one of these devices. And when you shop with comparison shopping website, Nextag, you can rest assured you are getting a good deal. Continue Reading »

How Apple Reinvented the Tablet and the Changing Demographic of the iPad

When Apple released their original iPad in April 2010, they forever changed the tablet landscape. And debatably, Apple reinvented the tablet as we know it today. Before the iPad, there were these prehistoric, clunky bricks Microsoft called “Tablet PCs” that ran a regular version of Windows. It had an awkward Pen you used to navigate the device.

Until Apple, the Tablet PC was largely a niche device used by healthcare professionals and field workers, and was supplied by companies. No consumer would spend $1,500+ for a tablet you couldn’t control with your built-in styli, aka your fingers. I speak from experience, as I, a self-proclaimed geek, attempted to use a Motion Computing tablet PC before the iPad. That sucker quickly made its way to Craigslist the day after I got the iPad.

Bye Bye Tablet PC – Hello iPad!

Why did I return a more functional “tablet” with a slew of extra features, more memory, and slightly bigger screen? There are multiple reasons,

Usability – Windows wasn’t optimized for a tablet, so you’re essentially using a desktop OS that isn’t built for tablet devices.

Stylus – While great for taking notes, the stylus wasn’t intuitive. The handwriting recognition didn’t work that well with my chicken scratch, and you couldn’t type on the screen with your fingers.

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The Race for the Budget 7-Inch Tablet Begins…

Earlier last week, Barnes and Noble revealed the successor to their 7-inch nookColor eReader tablet device. The announcement came less than a week before the highly anticipated Amazon Fire eReader tablet ships. Spec for spec, the Nook Tablet is superior to the Kindle Fire in terms of hardware, but is that enough to keep customers out of the fire?

Before We Begin: Don’t Compare These Tablets to the iPad

Comparing these color eReader tablets to the iPad is like comparing apples to oranges – no pun intended. The user intentions of these devices differ, as they are 100% media consumption devices, whereas the iPad and other 10-inch run-of-the-mill Android tablets are built with productivity and gaming in mind. For example, users likely won’t write lengthy emails on the Kindle Fire tablet like they would on an iPad, nor would they play the latest HD game on the Nook Tablet. The eReader tablet devices target a completely different demographic.

Interestingly, a recent study by ChangeWave and RBC Capital Markets show that 26 percent of respondents said the Kindle Fire caused them to delay the purchase of Apple’s iPad. The low entry-level price of the Kindle Fire cause shoppers to rethink spending a minimum of $500 on a 10-inch tablet, when they can get a similar experience for nearly a third of the cost. This fits with the notion that the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet cater to budget-minded shoppers, who would be less likely to purchase a premium device, such as the iPad, to begin with. Continue Reading »