Microsoft Surface

The Big Surprise from the Microsoft Surface Refresh? Surface Music Kit!

Saying Microsoft’s Surface failed to penetrate the market barely scratches the surface – the software giant took a $900 write-down on crappy sales. Now Microsoft has announced the second generation of Surface tablets, largely focused on improving the specs of the tablets with similar pricing as previous units. But the big surprise was the music-centric Surface Music Kit. Let’s take a look at the Surface Music Kit before quickly discussing the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. Microsoft Surface…


Ubuntu Edge Fails to Meet Funding Goal: I Told you So!

The Ubuntu Edge failed to meet the lofty 32 million dollar crowd funding goal that Canonical set.  I hate to say I told you so, but I did back when the campaign first started. Is this a success for Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth or a failure?  Read on for more. The campaign ended a few days ago, and there are many different opinions swirling around the net about this.  Some say that it set the crowd funding record.  I say…



Waterfield’s Ultimate SleeveCase Keeps Your Microsoft Surface Safe

If you have jumped into the Microsoft Surface’s world of computing you’ll want to check out Waterfield SFBag’s Ultimate SleeveCase. Waterfield’s Ultimate SleeveCase will keeps your Microsoft Surface Safe. I’m a long-time fan of Waterfield’s various sleeves and have used them on pretty much ever device I have owned in the past few years. (And if you read the site you know that is a fairly large number!) I haven’t taken the leap into MicroSoft’s latest pool but Chris G…


Microsoft Surface and Windows RT: Playing in the Windows 8 Sandbox

A Little History… A while back I took the plunge and made the shift from an iPhone to a Windows phone, first with a Nokia 900 and later with a 920.  It was an interesting exercise.  I learned a lot, discovered some new ways of working, and learned to make some compromises.  I even learned that some things I thought were “critical” to my daily functioning really weren’t so critical, after all.  True, I am heavily invested in the Apple…


2014 Kia Sorento Test Drive: Mid-Size SUV Loaded with Luxuries

Last week I joined a group of bloggers and traditional press in Scottsdale, Arizona for a chance to take a test drive and learn more about the 2014 Kia Sorento (SUV)  and Forte (4 door sedan) models. I should probably admit that other than knowing a few people who own or have owned Kia vehicles, I haven’t had much personal experience with the auto brand — unless you count taking a few hair-raising test rides in the Optima Hybrid Carly reviewed last summer!  But I digress….


Quick Impressions of the Surface Tablet

I am going to state right up front that my time with the Surface tablet was very limited. I was at my local mall and saw a Microsoft store, so I swung by to see the demo model. However, I didn’t intend to put it through its paces, nor did I have the time or opportunity in a crowded mall on a Saturday afternoon. But this did give me one unique opportunity; I treated the Surface not like a tech…


Nokia Lumia 920 & Windows Phone 8 – Thoughts from an iPhone & Lumia 900 User

A while back I did an experiment where I switched from an iPhone to a Lumia 900.  I liked a lot of things about the 900, but in the end some of the limitations and missing applications drove me back to the iPhone. Now Windows Phone has made the rather painful transition from 7.x to 8.x and Nokia has released new models including the Lumia 920.  Did things change for the better or were things lost in the transition?  I…


Microsoft Surface 2012 Sales Set to Disappoint, According to Reports

Last week Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that initial sales of the Surface tablet have been ‘modest’, though Microsoft quickly spun that to be about other stuff such as their approach and so on and focused more on the ‘Pro’ version. At the same time, just after the initial release of the Surface complaints started coming in about build quality and fraying of the cover material and other issues. Further clarifications have shown that what Ballmer said was simply poorly…


Windows Phone 8 Launch Event

I’m at the Windows Phone 8 launch event this morning in San Francisco, waiting in the lobby of the Bill Graham Civic Center with roughly 150 other members of the media. There are probably fewer in attendance than originally intended, due to Hurricane Sandy’s grip on the Eastern states, but the mood here is upbeat and we are looking forward to seeing how Microsoft will (hopefully) wow us this morning. I’ll have more soon, we still have 15 minutes before…


How Do You Like Microsoft’s First Commercial for ‘Surface’?

Last night while watching a rerun of The Mentalist, a commercial for the upcoming Microsoft Surface tablet came on. Clearly the focus is on the design, and in particular the magnetic click-on keyboard/cover, as well as the integrated ‘kickstand’. In fact, that is pretty much ALL you see in the video other than a few touch-gestures to make it clear this is a tablet device, and someone tapping to start a video and to end the commercial. Oh, and a…


iPhone 5 Event Rumors Makes Me Ask, Does Anyone Care About a New iPod Touch?

As Dan mentioned, Apple is rumored to be announcing several things this week, such as the iPhone 5, releasing iOS 6, and possibly the iPad Mini, new iPods, new iMacs, and who knows what else. We don’t ‘do rumors’ at Gear Diary, but of course we  have heard stuff – as has everyone – and we only have a few days to find out what is real. So the question I am left asking is: who really cares about a new…


GoFurther with Ford Trend Conference 2012, My Experience

Last week I had the opportunity to be among 250 guests brought to Dearborn, Michigan by Ford; we spent 2 1/2 days seeing what they’re up to, learning a bit about their philosophy and, of course, checking out some of their latest vehicles. Usually, when attending such a junket, you’d expect to find one or two really good nuggets, a few sessions that were quite good, and a few duds. You’d also expect to have a few logistical glitches along…


5 Reasons Why the $199 Google Tablet is a Terrible Idea … But I’m Getting One, Anyway

OK, so this was a post I started writing three months ago – when we first started hearing about a $199 Google Nexus Tablet. At the time I thought it was a bad idea – and we didn’t even know who was making it or what the specs might be like at the time! Now that we know that it is an ASUS device, with a footprint essentially similar to the Kindle Fire/Nook Tablet/Samsung Galaxy Tab/etc, with some decent sounding…


Microsoft Surface: The Trojan Tablet For Digital Textbooks?

Just about two months ago, Barnes and Noble and Microsoft announced that B&N would spin off their NOOK and college bookstore businesses into “Newco”, to be jointly owned by both companies. Obviously this has been good news for B&N’s finances, but aside from the press release both sides have been very quiet. There were rumors that B&N would be part of Microsoft’s Surface tablet event, but that was proved wrong. However, I think Surface tablets are a big part of…


Microsoft Windows 8 RT: Really, Microsoft? Have You Learned Nothing?

I’m an iPad user (I write many of my posts on an iPad these days), and I have a big interest in tablets and tablet technology.  Lately, I’ve been reading a bit about Windows 8 and the new “RT” version for is specifically for tablets.  By the way, for those that don’t know “RT” stands for runtime.  There’s a bit of a buzz around the fact that MS is going to enter an arena dominated by Apple (iOS) and Android-based…


Raptor M3 DKT Gaming Mouse Offers High Precision at a Great Price

When it comes to making a great gaming mouse, only one thing matters: precision. Precision and feel. OK, so I am not going to continue the ‘Spanish Inquisition’ line, but suffice to say that unlike just a few years ago there are many hurdles to making a successful gaming mouse. Let’s see how Raptor did! The Hype: The optical sensor of the M3 operates with precision accuracy at ultra-fast speeds up to 500Hz and 1600 dpi, and the dpi settings…


Did you get a New iPad for the Holidays? Read This…

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! ‘Tis the season of the “Top Apps of 2011” posts. The timing is great considering how many people just got a brand new iPad this morning for Christmas, or over the last few days during Hanukkah. But here’s the thing… The “Top Apps of 2011” list is a FLAWED MODEL. It doesn’t really help people who are new to the iPad figure out what apps they want and need to download. Why? Simple, because it…


The GammaTech Durabook S15C2 Rugged Laptop Review

Have you ever knocked a laptop off the arm of a couch on to a carpeted floor and lost everything since your last backup? Or spilled just a tiny bit of water on the keyboard and were met with ‘that smell’ that told you the motherboard was cooked? If these are real concerns for you, then you need to check out the GammaTech Durabook S15C2 Rugged Laptop. The Durabook is meant to handle just about everything you can throw at…


Notebook PC Review: Hewlett Packard Pavilion dm1z Laptop

Last year I looked at the HP Mini 5103, which was a traditional netbook in many ways, but also came packing the nVidia ION chipset … and a $750 price tag. In many ways that system represented the death of the traditional netbook, which was followed by what many call ‘notbooks’ – computers that offer sub-12″ screens and easy portability with great battery life, but also with reasonably low-end notebook performance and a palatable price tag. The HP Pavilion dm1z…