iPad Air review

Back when the first iPad was unveiled at a special press event in January of 2010  Apple marketed the device as ” A magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price.”

In the 3 and a  half years that have passed since the products inception the iPad has turned out to be just as magical as Apple intended it to be. People certainly agree with a staggering amount of iPads being sold by the company. so does the latest full sized iPad still stand at the top of the tablet pack?

Design

When the iPad mini came out it was fantastic all the iPad’s features in a small pint sized package.

Well the same  design philosophy carries over from the mini to the big iPad. Shaving off 28% of the foot print and     24% volume sounds okay in marketing material but  when you hold this device for the first  time your reminded very strongly of the first iPad mini. That they’ve shaved off this much volume off the product without sacrificing battery life is extraordinary it really does feel like an air in your hands. This should make it a bit less cumbersome to hold when using the iPad during long bouts for reading etc.

Processor power

The processor is very similar to that found in the iPhone 5s released early this year. Very fast it’s nothing  short of amazing when it comes to computing tasks.

Geek bench results

iPhone 4s. 1234. iPhone 5 1278. iPad 3 early 2012 800. iPad 4 late 2012 1220. iPad Air 700. Shorter numbers are better. As you can see from geek bench

this iPad screams although apps designed to take advantage of the hardware are not plentiful yet.

Software

The iPad runs iOS 7 which lets you control the device with your fingers and has some new features including the new control centre, smarter multi-tasking, the notification shade and a host of other improvements.

While iOS   feels and looks great on the iPhone it doesn’t look so good on the iPad. Maybe because of the icons being on a larger display things look a little jagged.  But the smoothness of the retina display is still retained.

No touch ID

A feature I’ve come to love on my iPhone 5s maybe next year?

Internet, battery life, and conclusions

The same impressive 10 Hour battery life is still on board if you do less intensive things like browse the web and check email you should be able to get a lot of juce out of this iPad.

Internet is improved with nimo tech built-in this should give you theoretical speeds of 300MBPS I certainly noticed getting a good signal towards the back of my house which has a notoriously bad signal most of the time.

I wasn’t able to check the iPad with 3G/4G but will update my review if and when Apple sends me one with cellular connectivity.

The iPad Air is the best full sized tablet on the market today. A bit pricey but if you have the cash don’t even think about going with Another brand. Apple has really hit this one out of the park and it shows.

If you want something with a smaller foot print but still a great tablet consider the iPad mini with retina display.

Rating

5 stars excellent.

Pros

less volume,  brilliant display, good software, great support.

Cons

a bit pricey.

Where to buy

Direct from Apple

iPhone 5c review

Just after Apple launched the iPhone 5 last year there were calls for the company to start thinking about offering a low cost version of the iPhone. It was said that Apple needed a cheaper iPhone if it was to continue to gain market share at a time when smartphone ownership was starting to reach saturation. Apple responded by saying that a cheaper iPhone would “never be the future of Apple products.”

And yet the idea that Apple would launch a cheaper iPhone took hold, so when Apple unveiled the iPhone 5c alongside the iPhone 5s many assumed that the C stood for cheap. Perhaps because expectations were set so high (or should I say low) the inevitable disappointment when it emerged that the upfront price of the iPhone 5c was just $130 less than the equivalent iPhone 5s. Starting at $739 AUD the iPhone 5c is not a cheap iPhone.

Is this a big mistake on Apple’s part? I don’t think so. Indeed, I think that producing a cheap iPhone would have cheapened the brand. Now anyone purchasing an iPhone 5c doesn’t need to feel like they are settling for something inferior. Both of Apple’s new iPhones are premium products and anyone should be proud to own one. Indeed, the negative press about the higher-than-expected price for the iPhone 5c means that the value of your new phone will be recognised.

Design:

The other reason why it was assumed that this is a cheap iPhone is the plastic coating. Since the iPhone 4 all Apple iPhones have been crafted from aluminium and glass. Even the stil-on-sale iPhone 4S has an aluminium case. Does the plastic case make the new iPhone 5c look like it belongs in a bargain basement?

On the contrary, I think Apple has proven that plastic doesn’t have to look cheap. The iPhone 5c bears all the trademarks of Apple’s meticulous attention to detail. It is crafted from a single piece of plastic. You won’t find a single seam or joint in the unibody-style design. One benefit for the plastic construction is that the edges are smooth and curved, unlike those of the iPhone 5s and 4S, which by comparison feel a little less comfortable in the hand.

On the inside of the plastic case is a steal-enforced frame. Thanks to this metal skeleton the plastic coated iPhone 5c feels solid. Along with adding rigidity the steal frame and metal plate at the back can double up as an antenna, so it’s unlikely that there will be a repeat of antenna gate, the reception issue that plagued the iPhone 4.

Pick your colour:

It’s pretty clear that when Apple settled on the name iPhone 5c the c stood for colour. This is the first time that Apple has produced an iPhone that isn’t black or white. The 5c comes in your choice of 5 different vibrant colours including: pink, yellow, blue and green, as well as white. The pink one will be a hit with younger females.

There is no black version of the iPhone 5c however, they did release a model for the iPhone 5s called “space grey.” Which replaces the black model.

The Next Generation assessing the processor of the iPhone 5c how does it go against the iPhone 5?

As much as I like the plastic casing of the iPhone 5c there is one fact that I can’t ignore. The plastic case is the only difference between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5c. The two phones are identical, sharing the same iSight camera, A6 processor, and the Lightning connector. This has lead many to assume that the iPhone 5c is a repackaged iPhone 5.

Actually it’s not completely true that the two phones are identical. There are a few differences. The iPhone 5c shares it’s internal WiFi and cellular hardware with the iPhone 5s rather than iPhone 5 probably because by sharing common components Apple can save money. This coupled with the steal back providing extra antenna capacity seems, in my tests, to result in a better 3G signal. I haven’t been able to test the 4G signal on the device as my sisters unit which I was reviewing only came with a 3G sim.

FaceTime camera:

The iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s also share the new FaceTime camera that is capable of clearer FaceTime video calls according to Apple. I tested this and indeed, the iPhone 5c meant that I could be seen in more detail than when I tried with an iPhone 5.

4G support:

The other major difference is that the fact that the iPhone 5c will support all the Australian 4G carriers, where the iPhone 5 cannot support the 4G network of Vodafone all though it’s slowly rolling out it’s 4G coverage. When it’s complete the iPhone 5c will be supported on all major 4G networks.

Despite these internal differences and the new cases – it’s difficult to argue that it is a completely different phone. The big question is whether it really matters.

I don’t think that it does matter if the 5c doesn’t sell as much. It’s Apple’s colourful new offering design to be on shelves for customers to look at. It will appeal to those wanting a new and fun device or mothers buying their kids a phone. For everyone else there is the iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 5c camera:

Whether it’s an iPhone 5 or not, the iPhone 5c is still a feature packed phone. As I mentioned above the FaceTime camera on the front of the device is improved. The camera on the back of the iPhone 5c features the same 8 megapixel sensor, 3264×2448, backside illuminated, hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, and f/2,4 aperture as the iPhone 5 did. It is by no means a bad camera. If your current camera is an iPhone 4S or older you will notice a marked difference.

The iPhone 5 camera offers faster photo capture, better low-light performance and improved noise reduction compared to those previous models HDR captures are faster when compared to older iPhones.

The camera itself is identical to that in the iPhone 5. the video quality is also identical.

If photography is your thing you may prefer the camera in the iPhone 5s which is greatly improved with a new five-element Apple designed lens that features a larger f-2.2 aperture. The sensor in the iPhone 5s camera is also larger as are the pixels on this sensor.

The iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5 comparison:

Another reason to opt for the iPhone 5s would be if you know that your usage is likely to benefit from the modern platform offered by the iPhone 5s. With an A7 chip and 64-bit processing the iPhone 5s will, no doubt be loved by gamers and will also give you a few more years of use before it becomes obsolete.

On-the-other-hand the A6 chip is still pretty fast and runs iOS 7 very well. So you might not need the added speed of the iPhone 5s.

The display and battery life:

When the iPhone 5 launched the most obvious difference to the iPhone 4S was the size of the display, and like the iPhone 5 the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s feature a 4in Retina display as opposed to the 3.5in display of the older models. Being 176 pixels taller means the display offers a 16:9 aspect ratio — which is the same as an HDTV.

Some people complain that Apple hasn’t bought out an iPhone with a bigger screen. Apple’s own response to that complaint is two fold, when it launched the 4in display last year Apple said that it was designed so that you can hold the iPhone in your hand and reach all parts of the screen comfortably. You couldn’t do this with a bigger display unless you have giant hands. The other reason Apple says is that it doesn’t believe that the quality of the bigger screen is good enough. So if you really want a bigger iPhone then you will have to wait a while longer.

Apple’s says that the battery in the iPhone 5c is larger than the iPhone 5. Apple claims that it offers 10 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi and LTE networks, up to 8 ours on 3G networks, and up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback. This is almost identical to apples claims regarding the iPhone 5 last year, with the exception that Apple now claims 10 hours over LTE where last year that claim was 8 hours. In my everyday use the iPhone 5c gave good battery life on par with my iPhone 4S. It typically would need a charge by the end of the day. This means you should have no problems with getting through A work or school day.

In my battery torture test where I play a looping video with brightness turned up and Wi-Fi connected the iPhone 5c lasted an impressive 10 hours, 19 minutes (compared to the iPhone 5s at 11 hours).

Verdict:

If you’re trying to decide between the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c it is a question of whether you need all the extras offered by the iPhone 5s. Perhaps you are enticed by the new camera in the 5s, for example. If you need the latest Technology it is only $130 AUD more so it’s kind of a no brainer.

But not everyone needs the bells and whistles for some it’s not the processor and the high tech features that matter but the way a device looks and feels and whether it helps them express their individuality. If you fit in that camp then the iPhone 5c is well worth a look.

Similarly if you have an iPhone that predated the iPhone 5 it really is about time you upgraded You really don’t know what you’ve been missing.

For those of you with an iPhone 5, upgrading to an iPhone 5c is probably not worth it. Unless you’ve broken your iPhone 5 recently and need a new device otherwise stick with your current phone. It’s a perfectly good iPhone and runs iOS 7 very well. If you must upgrade get the 5s instead or better yet wait until next year to see what Apple has to offer with the iPhone 6.

Manufacturer:

Apple.

Pros:

colourful designs that may appeal to some, more LTE bands supported.

Cons:

Expensive, same design as the iPhone 5, you can get the iPhone 5s for only an extra $130 AUD.

Rating:

4 stars. Excellent.

Reviewed on Friday 25 October.

A Review of the new 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Welcome to another review.

This time we look at Apple’s MacBook Pro 13″ with Retina Display cousin of the smaller version of Apple’s MacBook  Pro 15″ that was introduced in June of this year.

I will try to keep this review short as my time with the computer was limited.

Design:

In  terms   of design the MacBook Pro has been refreshed, shaving a pound off the weight of the computer. You have all the usual ports, this means two USB 3.0, one thunderbolt, and SD card slot. On the side is Apple’s thinner mag safe connector. Overall there is not much to say here except that the aluminium construction that was pioneered in 2008 feels as luxurious as ever. There was no flex on the keyboard or palm rests like you get with some windows laptops.

Performance:

In terms  of performance you have your choice of either a 2.5GHz processor and 8Gb of ram.  These specifications are also coupled  with either 128GB or 256GB of solid state storage. In my tests the 13″ MacBook Pro base model $1899* (http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/) performed favourably against, funnily enough, the regular 13″ MacBook Pro $1279. You will notice a huge jump in performance, unlike the 15″ MacBook Pro starting at $2199* (http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/). If you can afford it, I would say spring  up the extra dosh for the 15″ MacBook Pro with retina display.

Screen

The screen is lovely to behold at a resolution of 2048×1536, the same as that on the latest generation iPad. This thing pops with over 3 million pixels per inch. That translates to deep colours and more vibrant pictures. People I showed this computer too told me that text was razor sharp and they had no problem with clarity even at wide viewing angles. Suffice it to  say this green is amongst the best of apple’s current line of retina based products. If you are coming from an iPhone 4 or another of their retina based iOS devices you will feel right at home.

Wrap Up

This computer is a fantastic purchase for those wanting the portability of a 13″ Mac but are not willing to spend the exorbitant price commanded by the 15″ MacBook Pro with retina display. My recommendation would be though, if you can afford it to go with the 15″ MacBook Pro with retina display. Not only will you get a quad-core processor. But you will get two graphics cards in the machine. Something that is sure to tempt those who work with professional video applications.

Rating: Four Stars.

Pro’s:

Excellent screen, lightweight compared to regular 13″ MacBook Pro, speedy SSD.

Con’s:

No quad-core processor, the base option MacBook pro is not customisable, no 16GB of RAM.

Price as reviewed:

$1699 2.5GHz, 8GB of RAM, 128GB Flash storage. $1899 2.7GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB flash storage.

Manufacturer:

Apple (http://www.apple.com).

iPad mini review

“Apple will never make a 7-inch tablet.”

Those were the words of former CEO Steve jobs back in 2010.

Well Steve is long dead and we have a new CEO at the helm of Apple captain cook and he has a different outlook.

We all know it was on the horizon well it’s now landed.

Is apple’s iPad mini as magical as it’s older iPad  important of all should you drop money on Cupertino’s latest gadget?

I’ll try to hash out all that and more in my review let’s get started.

Hardware

The first thing that strikes you about the mini is how well made this device feels in the hand.

Crafted out of the same materials as the latest iPhone 5 it’s downright luxurious.

Up top sits the power button, volume buttons on the side, and the home button below the 7.9-inch display.

Flanking the bottom of the tablet you have Apple’s new lightning connector as well as a pair of stereo speakers that pump out decent sound.

In terms of camera the mini comes with a 5MP shooter which takes about the same images as the iPhone 4.

This camera is also capable of recording 1080P video at 30 frames per second.

A FaceTime camera lurks near the top bezel of the tablet it can also shoot 720P video as well.

It comes with faster WIFI and Bluetooth 4.0 models that use 3g-4g are also available.

Capacity comes in your choice of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB also we have Siri so you can ask the sassy virtual assistant pointless questions.

Overall this tablet is designed very well Apple products are known for there industrial beauty and this latest addition to the product stable certainly fits that description perfectly.

The display is the same as that on the iPad 2 the mini has a resolution of 1024-by-768 at 163 PPI.

This means that text and other content looks very fuzzy and pixelated granted it shouldn’t be a problem if this is your first iOS device but if you own a retina based product you’ll definitely notice a step back in quality.

The issue will be probably rectified within time but that’s little consolation for first gen buyers of this tablet.

Software.

The mini runs iOS which is now in it’s 6th iteration the OS is as good as ever out of the box you get Apps for email, browsing the web, reading books, messaging, and if that isn’t enough for you visit the App store to extend the software of the device.

There’s not a lot to say about iOS really to quote Apple ” It just works.”

If you don’t mind the closed garden you’ll like using iOS otherwise look elsewhere.

Performance.

The tablets power comes from a dual-core A5 chip clocked in at 1GHZ.

Ram is 512MB this puts it roughly on par with the iPhone 4S when it comes to performance.

Loading up geekbench I got 1014 in load times vs the iPhone’s 1015.

This means that in everyday tasks the mini should perform as well as the iPad 2 or iPhone 4S.

Some games like infinity blade II and other graphic intensive Apps did make the device slow and sluggish even requiring a restart at one stage but in general the device was responsive.

Battery life.

Apple’s website  clames that you can get up to 10 hours on the WIFI mini 9 hours for the 4G version and after using the mini for 2 days I’d have to agree.

Using the tablet for email, some light reading, listening to music, and downloading content in the background I got 10 hours and 55 minutes of usage.

That’s pretty good and should mean that you should get through a standard day.

Of course your milage will very depending on what you do with the tablet certain activities like using 4G or playing games will decrease battery life significantly.

Conclusion.

The iPad mini is a lovely product both to hold and use but something holds me back from recommending it maybe it’s the crummy display or maybe it’s the 2 year old processor it feels like Apple is testing the waters with this one.

So my advice would be to stay your hand at least this generation you’ll be able to get the iPad mini 2 with that gorgeous retina display and A6 chip next year.

If you absolutely need a 7-inch tablet then go with the Nexus 7 from Google not only will you get a more powerfull tablet you’ll get a better display as well not to mention spending less swag.

Pros:

Loveley industrial design, easy to hold with one hand, superb software.

Cons:

expensive for what it is, crummy display, accessories require even more expensive adapters.

Price as reviewed:

AU369 16GB, AU479 64GB AU589 64GB

manufacture:

Apple Inc  

A review of the iPod touch fifth gen

Hello and welcome to my review of the iPod touch  Sit back and relax as I go through the new features in Apple’s latest offering in the PMP market.

Design.
If your familia with the iPhone 5 you know what to expect from this device in terms of asthetics.
The same aluminium and glass build carrys over from the iPhone 5.
In either your choice of Black & Slate or White & Sillver colours it’s definitely a head turner.
The same 4 inch retina display @326 PPI graces the front of the device.
Everyone I have shown the touch to is blown away by the clarity and how smooth everything looks. Suffice it to say it’s gorgeous.
One thing you might notice about the touch this time around is how incredibly thin Apple has managed to make the device.
At only 123.4 mm and weighing in at 88Grams this thing all most floats!

Although you do have to wonder how much lighter they can make it for the 6th gen.
All the usuall ports and switches are present with power button up top, the same home button sitting below the display and the volume buttons on the side. Apple has decided to retire the venerable 30-pin dock connector opting for a smaller but still no less proprietary slot it calls lightning all digital 8 pin the new connector is more durable as well as being reversible according to Apple.
That’s little comfort to the legions of people who’s speakers and sound docks have suddenly become obsolete due to this change.
Do you want to use your new BeatBox speakers to rock your girlfriends birthday bash? you’ll have to purchase the 30-pin to lightning adapter from Apple.
When your already paying a starting price of $AU329 to have to purchase the adapter sceems like a slap in the face from Apple a weird move for a company that prides it’s self on customer service.

The FaceTime camera has been upgraded to 720P.
On the back you have a 5MP camera the same one used in the iPhone 4 also we have 1080P video recording with video stabilisation.
Software.
As far as software goes nothing new the touch runs iOS 6 and if you have been using an iOS device for a while you’ll fiel right at home.

You can annoy  your friends on Facebook and Twitter   right from the notification centre.
Send iMessages to your fellow iOS users and in general keep yourself amused when out and about.
There’s still no way to have live widgets how long will that weather icon read 22 degrees and sunny?
in conclusion iOS is a very solid mobile OS slick and fast the iOS 6 update isn’t a huge upgrade as iOS 5 was last year but it still brings more than enough tricks to the party.
One can’t help but to speculate if we will see widgets in iOS 7 next year? that’s one area that Google’s Android wins the war against Apple’s mobile oS.

Performance.
The power comes from a dual-core A5 chip clocked in at 1GHZ ram is a poultry 512MB this chip is 2 years old and it shows having debuted on the iPhone 4S last year.
Some of the more graphic intensive Apps and games did make the device slow down noticeably.
This is one area where the iPhone’s superior processor comes in to play.
But for day to day use this iOS device is plenty snappy enough.
Closing thoughts.
Apple has come out with another fantastic product the touch is the perfict gaming device, music player, and all round best pocket computer.
The only thing that gives me pause is the price starting at AU329 for the 32gb version this is far from an impromptu purchase.
The relatively slow processor is also concerning as iOS devices with slower chips get put to bed quicker by Apple than those with newer chips.
Having said that I’m sure menny people will slip one under the tree this festive season.

4 stars.

Pros:

lovely display slick design.

Cons:

slow processor expensive need to purchase extra adapters from Apple if you want to keep using your 30-pin sound devices.

Price as reviewed:

AU329 32GB AU499 64Gb. .

manufacturer:

Apple Inc