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Black Friday? Thanksgiving Day Online Sales Up 20%

Credit CardOnline shopping on Thanksgiving increased by almost 20 percent over last year with mobile driving about a quarter of those sales, according to an IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report.

Mobile was up across all categories. It accounted for about 43% of all Thanksgiving online traffic, a 32 percent increase over last year; and mobile drove 26 percent of sales, up by nearly 50 percent. Read more

Irish School’s Switch to HP Elite Tablets was an ‘Unmitigated Disaster’

Hp Elite PadAn Irish’s school attempt to modernize its textbooks is being called an “unmitigated disaster” by principal, Martin Gleeson. The  institution decided to switch to HP’s Elite Tablets was the result of a year and a half of research and planning – which proved unmatched for  HP Tablets. They reportedly are failing to turn on, spontaneously going to sleep, looping during automatic repairs and updates, and even failing to connect with the school’s Wi-Fi.

The parents of students from Mountrath Community College in Laois were responsible for purchasing the tablets for €550, but since they are not working as planned, the school is replacing them with ordinary textbooks, without charge.

In a letter sent to parents, Gleeson said, ” The HP Elite Pad has proved to be an unmitigated disaster. We have met with HP representatives on a number of occasions to address the issues.” Read more

Big Update for Amazon’s Kindle Fire Tablet

Kindle Fire HDXAmazon released a software update for its Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets Monday that delivers greater integration with its eBook app Goodreads and a “Second Screen” function to share movies and TV shows between the tablet and the TV.

Fire tablet users will no longer need to leave the book they’re reading to launch the Goodreads app, which the e-commerce site bought earlier this year.

The Second Screen feature will allow users to “fling TV shows and movies from your tablet to your big-screen TV,” according to Amazon. Read more

Awesome Illustrated Wallpapers for Your All of Your Digital Devices

wallpaperDoodlers Anynamous is a blog where you can discover amazing artists and illustrators; it’s a treasure trove of great talent and some of the featured work is available as free wallpaper downloads for your phones and tablets.  My favorite is a piece from Miami -based illustrator, Edau, whose creatures are quirky and cute. Web designer and illustrator, Muxxi, also made a wallpaper contribution : a magical scene with a giant, heart-patterned, diamond gazing alien child. It’s definitely a conversation starter.

To get your free wallpaper, visit the Drawn Wallpapers for the Digital Age archive and select your favorite. They come in sizes for iPhones, iPads, Androids and Tablets.

Dell Introduces New Venue Tablet Line

dellDell has introduced a new series of tablets called Venue. The line consists of four new tablets, all of which use Intel processing power.

The $299 Dell Venue 8 Pro and the $499 Dell Venue 11 Pro are Windows 8.1-based tablets that have stylus and keyboard options and are being marketed as alternatives to laptops. Both of these devices promise longer battery life than the competition and the Venue 11 Pro even includes the ability to swap out batteries. The $199 Dell Venue 7 and the $179 Dell Venue 8 are both Android-based tablets, both of which are going after the Android tablet marketplace.

All of the devices ship October 18th. They all have the Dell PocketCloud app preinstalled on them, so that users can store their games, apps, music and so forth in the cloud.

Microsoft Surface 2 & Surface 2 Pro Available For Preorder

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 4.32.03 PMMicrosoft has introduced the second generation of its Surface tablet line. The series includes two new devices — the Surface 2 and the Surface 2 Pro.

Both devices have faster processors than previous models and offer extended battery power. Both run Windows 8.1 operating system. The $449 Surface 2 is a 10.6″ tablet powered by a NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor. The $899 Surface 2 Pro is powered by the an Intel processor. It comes with a dual-angle Kickstand and is being positioned as an alternative to a PC. Both devices are available for preorder and ship October 22nd.

In July, Microsoft cut the price of the previous model by 30%, after reports that sales were less than desired. Last week,  Microsoft began offering iPad owners a trade in offer in which they could trade in their old iPad in exchange for a $200 gift card good towards a Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft is Offering $200 Credit for iPad Trade-Ins, Good For Surface Tablet

Microsoft wants iPad owners to switch to their Surface tablet and is offering a pretty good incentive. The company will give a minimum $200 gift card to shoppers that bring in their gently used iPad 2, 3 & 4s.

The gift certificate is good at the Microsoft store and the goal is to get these former iPad owners to purchase a Microsoft Surface tablet. The Surface is only $349, so the trade in would give you a new tablet for as little as $149. (The Surface Pro is $799.)

The promotion is running through October 27th and it is only good in Microsoft retail stores in the US. One trade-in per customer. Follow this link for more details.

IDC Lowers Global Tablet Sales Expectations for 2013, Slightly

The International Data Corporation has lowered its tablet forecast for 2013, as smartphones with better screens begin to gain ground.  The analyst company now expects worldwide tablet shipments to reach 227.4 million units in 2013, which is down from its previous forecast of 229.3 million.

But even with lowered expectations, the IDC’s  Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker is still expecting shipments to rise 57.7% above 2012. The IDC still expects the market to grow in the coming years. The company predicts that worldwide tablet shipments will hit 407 million units by 2017.

“A lower than anticipated second quarter, hampered by a lack of major product announcements, means the second half of the year now becomes even more critical for a tablet market that has traditionally seen its highest shipment volume occur during the holiday season,” stated Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at the IDC.


Comparison Shop for Tablets on TabletRocket

Are you in the market to purchase a tablet and want to see how the different devices compare to each other? A new site called TabletRocket wants to make things easy on you.

The review site compares all of the tablets on the market based different attributes. Say for example, that you care most about processing power. Then you’ll see that the iPad 4 beats the Nexus 7 II and that the Galaxy Note is way down the list. If best value is most important to you, then the Nexus 7 II gives you the best performance per dollar, more than the Eee Pad Transformer and the Slate 7.

Got it down to two choices? The site will show you head-to-head comparisons and summarize the pros and cons of each devices, so that you can find the device that is right for you. The site also lets you sort tablets within your budget.

Paper-thin Phone Lets you Bend it to Make a Call

The latest smartphone innovation is a flexible e-ink displace that is writable and bendable. In fact, physically bending the paper-thin phone allows you to control the device. The phone is capable of remembering and performing functions with the slightest warping of the flexible computer. Just a little flex and you can make a phone call.

Read more