Posts tagged Bluetooth
A light-emitting diode (LED) light bulb can be controlled using your phone’s Bluetooth. It hasn’t hit the market yet, and is limited to devices that have Bluetooth 4.0, but it looks like one of the most convenient lighting control systems yet. All you have to do is pair the bulbs with your phone and you can control brightness, the time the bulb is on or off and even the colour of the light it emits — all from within an app. The catch is that only a very small pool of devices can control the bulb: the iPad 3, iPhone 4S, Mac Mini, MacBook Air, Samsung Galaxy S III and Droid Razr. The good news is that it will be compatible with screw-in and downlight sockets that are used in Australia (although not bayonet), so you should be able to at least use them in lamps. The website offers little information on timing or price. However, on its Facebook, the company has stated that the first 5W RGB LED bulb will be for sale for US$25 within two months.
We’re itching to give it a try. Check it out in action in the video below.
The good: The Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet (8GB) is an affordably priced full-featured tablet with a vibrant 7-inch touch screen, built-in Wi-Fi, 8GB of built-in storage, and a microSD expansion slot. In addition to a full slate of books and magazines, it offers more than a thousand apps through its integrated (and growing) Nook Store and is optimized for Netflix and Hulu Plus video playback. The built-in Web browser works well and offers Flash support.
The bad: There’s no access to the full Android Market; no Bluetooth, GPS, or camera; no video rental (or purchase) option; and the 8GB of internal memory may be limiting to some people, but unlike with the Kindle Fire, you do have a memory expansion option.
The bottom line: The $199 Nook Tablet (8GB) matches up well to the Kindle Fire on specs and price–and has the added advantage of offering an expansion slot for additional memory.
When it comes to tablets, $50 can make a big difference, especially when you’re trying to break the $200 price barrier. Which is why Barnes & Noble has come out with a $199 model of its Nook Tablet that matches the specs of the $199 Kindle Fire while retaining one key differentiating hardware feature between the two products: an expansion slot for adding more memory. To get to $199–down from $249 for the 16GB Nook Tablet–Barnes & Noble trimmed the onboard RAM from 1GB to 512MB (the Kindle Fire has the same amount of RAM) and internal memory from 16GB to 8GB (the Kindle Fire also has 8GB of built-in memory). Everything else, including design and rated battery life, remains unchanged. I’m not going to go into all the features of the Nook Tablet–you can read the full review of the 16GB version to get the details–but what I will say is that I didn’t notice all that much of a performance difference between the two Nook models. Where the extra RAM comes into play is when you have multiple apps open, and I noticed a slight speed edge in the 16GB Nook Tabletwhen I opened e-books and apps. As you can see from the video below, it’s not a major difference–I’m talking a second or even a fraction of second.
If you have a lot of apps open at the same time, the extra RAM does come in handy, but in my tests, I just didn’t see a significant difference in how the two operated. Netflix streaming movies and television shows looked and played equally well on both devices (Netflix video looks really good on Nook Tablets) and Web pages loaded equally fast. To reiterate, the performance boost you get from stepping up to the 16GB model is very slight (both models have the same processor).
Nook storage changes
In announcing the $199 8GB Nook, Barnes & Noble also introduced some changes to how much personal content you can store in the internal memory on the device. One of our biggest disappointments with the original 16GB Nook Tablet was that–while it was ostensibly twice as capacious as the 8GB Kindle Fire–only 1GB of its space was accessible for side-loaded user content. So, unless you invested in a microSD expansion card, you couldn’t drag and drop a lot of music and movies for those times where streaming Netflix or Pandora won’t cut it (such as when you’re on a long flight). With the 8GB Nook Tablet, 4GB is now user-accessible. That adds a significant amount of space for those aforementioned personal files (videos, music, PDFs, EPUB, whatever). Yes, it’s still limited, but unlike the space-challenged Kindle Fire, you can always add that microSD card (for up to 32GB more). The only catch is that “Barnes & Noble content” (apps, books, magazines, games, and the like) is limited to 1.5GB. With apps and magazines getting beefier, that could mean more uninstalling and reinstalling (or redownloading) as space gets tight.