home Sony VAIO Tap 11 review: meet Sony's answer to the Surface Pro It wasn't until I was in a meeting with Sony, getting hands-on with its holiday lineup, that I realized something: the company didn't have a proper Windows 8 tablet. Yep, that's right: for all the experimentation PC makers have been doing around Win 8, one of the biggest names in consumer electronics had never attempted a simple Windows tablet. Even crazier: Sony instead placed its bets on the slider PC, of all things -- a design that presents more than a few ergonomic challenges. Finally, though, Sony is giving the ol' slate form factor a shot: the company recently announced the Tap 11, a tablet seemingly designed to blow the Surface Pro out of the water. Sony VAIO Tap 11 review See all photos 28 Photos Look and feel As we examine the Tap 11, we're faced with a tough question: would we have preferred this be thin and light, and made of so-so materials? Sony cut corners to keep the weight down (and, perhaps, to meet a certain price point). Keyboard Display and sound Software and warranty Sony
Coupons.com Hands-on with BITalino, a microcontroller board for quirky and serious projects alike (video) It's safe to say that BITalino isn't your average DIY electronics board. For starters, the sensors that spring from the main unit (which comprises the microcontroller, Bluetooth module and power unit) are more at home in a hospital than they are scattered over a tinkerer's workstation. Jutting off the main board are a light meter, accelerometer, heart-rate sensor (ECG), muscle activity sensor (EMG) and a sensor to measure sympathetic nervous system activity (EDG). There's also a standard LED, and while all the above forms a single structure, each module can be snapped off to mix and match for specific projects. BITalino is a semi-finalist in our Insert Coin competition being held at Expand NY this weekend, but before that kicks off, we caught up with its creator Hugo Silva to talk about the board's inception, applications and what lies in its future. BITalino hands-on See all photos 15 Photos Jon Fingas contributed to this report. For more coverage, check out our Expand event hub! Comments
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health Surface 2 review: Cautious upgrades don't help a tablet in desperate need of relevance Microsoft could have impressed the world with the update to its entry-level Surface tablet, but instead it released the Surface 2. The new tablet’s price tag might be $50 less than the original, introductory cost of the Surface RT, but no price reduction can mitigate the Surface 2’s fundamental problems—most of which stem from Microsoft’s operating system and apps ecosystem. Indeed, what we have in the Surface 2 is a classy-looking, VaporMg-clad container of missed opportunity. The new tablet benefits from some spec bumps, but it simply doesn’t do enough to breathe relevance into Microsoft’s unpopular ARM-based tablet platform. Precisely when Microsoft needed to make a bold move—like removing the desktop from its Windows RT 8.1 tablet once and for all—it released a cautious, tepid, half-step advancement. image: mike homnick Let’s not quibble over 1/100th of an inch On its website, Microsoft makes a big deal about how the Surface 2 is “thinner, faster, and lighter than before.” Something.