Tag Archives: Plenty

Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet review: No iPad killer but plenty to love for its ludicrous price

If spending £500 on an iPad Air seems a bit rich then one popular option is Amazon’s Fire tablet range. These budget devices have been a huge success for the online retailer and the firm is now back with another update to its mini PCs. The Fire HD 10 Plus has just gone on sale and offers a bump in performance and a refreshed design that now features a soft-touch slate-coloured finish. With prices starting from just £179.99 it seems like a pretty decent bargain but is this tablet really worth your hard-earned cash or should save up a little more and just buy an iPad? Express.co.uk has been putting it to the test and here’s our full review.

FIRE HD 10 REVIEW

Right out of the box this new device still looks very much like an Amazon tablet. Although there’s that tactile soft-touch finish on the rear case everything else appears the same as before. That means you still get some pretty chunky bezels around the screen which are now starting to look very long in the tooth.

Of course, this is a very cheap gadget so we expect some compromises but if you want the best-looking tablet in town the Fire HD 10 Plus probably won’t be for you.

Switch things on for the first time and the next thing you’ll be faced with is endless prompts to sign up to Amazon’s plethora of subscription plans. Many of these, such as Prime Video, Amazon Music Unlimited and Kindle Unlimited offer hugely tempting free trials, which are fine, just be aware that once these end you’ll start getting billed on a monthly basis.

Once you’ve navigated past these constant pop-ups things are actually pretty impressive.

The 10.1-inch full HD screen is good and perfectly adequate for surfing the web and watching the odd movie and boxset on Prime Video. The Octa-core processor isn’t the fastest but basic tasks can be performed with a hint of a stutter and this model gets a tiny bit of extra RAM to help it cope with more intensive activities.

The overall performance is pretty good with our only main gripes about the usability coming from the pretty poor speakers which sound horribly tinny and lacking any ounce of bass.

There’s also a slight issue with apps. That’s because, despite the Fire HD 10 Plus running on Android it can’t access the Play Store and all of its millions of applications. This means you are stuck with Amazon’s own app marketplace which is fine but simply can’t compete with what Google or Apple has to offer.

You can’t even install Chrome or Gmail on the Fire which is pretty irritating. If that doesn’t bother you and you simply want a tablet for a bit of web surfing and shopping on Amazon it’s pretty hard to fault the HD 10 Plus.

Although those niggles are a bit annoying one thing that has improved on the Fire range are the accessories with this new tablet is you can now add a keyboard case to turn it into a mini laptop.

Amazon is even offering a Productivity Bundle which includes a keyboard plus full access to Office 365 and all of its apps, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote, for a whole year. That means you will be able to enjoy a Windows 10-style experience without the hassle of endless security updates, bug threats, and complicated menus.

The standard Fire HD 10 Plus costs £189 with the Productivity Bundle costing £275 which isn’t bad value for money.

Of course, being an Amazon tablet there’s hands-free access to Alexa with the chatty assistant being summoned without needing to touch the screen. You can even turn the screen into an Echo-style smart speaker which is a really nice and very useful touch.

If you’re heading out on the road, you’ll get around 10-12 hours of battery and when things do run low it can be recharged wirelessly – not even the iPad Pro gets that feature!

FIRE HD 10 VERDICT

PROS – Nice 10.1-inch screen • Good battery life • Wireless charging • Great value for money
CONS – Design looks dated • Lack of apps • Terrible speakers

If you’re already a big fan of Amazon and its subscription services there’s plenty to like about the Fire HD 10 Plus.

It has a decent screen, long battery life and just about enough power for the average user. The inclusion of the extra RAM and wireless charging are nice additions and the option to add a keyboard and Microsoft’s applications is a welcomed addition.

It’s not the fastest or prettiest tablet out there and the lack of apps may be an issue for some. Those niggles mean this is definitely no iPad killer.

That said, for the price, this tablet offers excellent value for money and, if an iPad simply seems too expensive, this is a solid option for anyone on a budget. 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Apple reboots the iMac with a stunning new look, more power and plenty of surprises

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

It’s the update that many Mac fans have been waiting for with Apple finally rebooting its desktop PC. Yes, the iMac has received a total overhaul with a new look, Apple M1 processor and even Touch ID in the wireless keyboard. Like the original computer that was launched back in 1998, this 2021 machine comes in seven fruity colours including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver.
The new look also extends to the screen with the updated 4.5K Retina 24-inch display reducing the bezels and now pushing closer to the edge of the case meaning you get more space for your content. This new display also features Apple’s clever True Tone technology, which automatically adjusts the colour temperature as the environment changes for a more natural viewing experience and there’s an anti-reflective coating to make viewing in all lighting conditions better. For an evening’s movie binge there are 1.3 million pixels and over a billion colours, plus your eyes will be treated 500 nits of brightness meaning you should be able to view content even in a sunlit room.

Apple is making a big noise about the new slim look of its iMac but don’t think for one minute that this thin design means less power. That’s because tucked inside the aluminium casing is the latest M1 processor which Apple says will bring improved performance. In fact, the firm is boasting that users will see up to 85 percent faster CPU performance and up to 2x faster GPU performance for certain apps like Affinity Photo and Photoshop.

To boost the experience of using the iMac further are six Dolby Atmos-powered speakers, studio mics and a much better 1080p Face ID camera which should help boost those all-important Zoom calls. That boosted web cam is something many have been wanting for a while so it’s great to see Apple finally bringing this upgrade to its latest Mac.

On the rear case are two Thunderbolt ports for superfast data transfers, giving customers high-performance options to connect to more devices, including support for up to a 6K display.

Finally there’s an update to the keyboard with some options now coming with Touch ID technology for an easy way to unlock the iMac and make purchases online using Apple Pay. Both the keyboard and mouse are also colour matched to the Mac itself.

“M1 is a gigantic leap forward for the Mac, and today we’re excited to introduce the all-new iMac, the first Mac designed around the breakthrough M1 chip,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“With its striking design in seven stunning colors, its immersive 4.5K Retina display, the best camera, mics, and speakers ever in a Mac, and Touch ID, combined with the amazing performance of M1 and the power of macOS Big Sur, the new iMac takes everything people love about iMac to an entirely new level.”

Apple says the new 24-inch iMac is available to order beginning Friday, April 30, on apple.com and in the Apple Store app. It will begin arriving to customers and be available in select Apple Store locations and through Apple Authorised Resellers beginning in the second half of May.

iMac with 7-core GPU starts at £1,249 and is available in green, pink, blue, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse.

iMac with 8-core GPU starts at £1,499 and is available in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, two additional USB 3 ports, Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, Magic Mouse, and Ethernet.

Plenty of needle: Russian Premier League leaders Zenit invite fans to get jabbed with Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V at home matches

Russian Premier League team Zenit St.Petersburg may have become the first football club to offer fans vaccinations at home matches, announcing that adults can receive the Sputnik V Covid-19 jab at games for the rest of the season.

The top-flight table-toppers have invited supporters attending the Gazprom Arena on Saturday, when they will face midtable Akhmat Grozny, to visit a “vaccination station” on the third floor of a stand at the 68,000-capacity stadium.

Under the scheme, any supporter over the age of 18 who provides their passport and health card will be assessed by a medic with a view to being vaccinated immediately.

Zenit are thought to be the first club to turn their stadium into a jabbing point on matchdays, although numerous stadiums around the world have served as testing and vaccination centers since the pandemic began.

English Premier League club Chelsea, whose community work is partly overseen by Russian owner Roman Abramovich, became one of the most high-profile teams to turn over parts of their stadium to public health efforts last year.

Among those activities, the Blues’ Stamford Bridge home in west London was used to provide accommodation and meals for UK National Health Service staff, taking advantage of the hotel adjoining the site.

Liverpool’s Anfield home and London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have also been among the venues in England to become testing centers, while the NFL commissioner offered team arenas for vaccine distribution in the US.
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The Bank of America Stadium, which usually welcomes up to 75,000 fans for Carolina Panthers games, is one of the sites already in use as American health officials scramble to vaccinate millions of people.

The Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccine has become increasingly in demand worldwide after research found that it was 91.6 percent effective against the novel coronavirus, making it one of the world’s leading treatments for the potentially deadly virus.

Reports this week have suggested that some Russians are reluctant to accept the vaccine, but its distribution at Zenit’s home, which has averaged an attendance of more than 17,000 for games this season, is certain to drive up the current reported total of four million people who have been vaccinated in Russia.
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The free vaccination offer could be seen as positive news by fans who are anxious to see full houses at matches again or even return to the stands at all in countries such as England, where lockdown measures mean that most grounds have been shut to fans for more than a year.

“Would this also be something for [us] so that we can quickly get back to the stands?” asked a supporter of Dutch top-flight side Heerenveen, responding to Zenit’s announcement on social media.

Zenit are aiming to end a run of two matches without a win and recover from Monday’s defeat at Rubin Kazan on Saturday. They have won their last four home matches to put themselves two points clear of second-placed CSKA Moscow after 21 games of the Russian Premier League season.
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