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There are all kinds of things happening today as a direct result of the new iPad launch, and discounts are a part of them. Rogers and Telus have both come out with similar offers for their flex rate plans.

Telus is offering to waive the activation fee, and charge you for the bottom tier at $5 no matter how much data you use for the first 2 months. According to their website, the offer expires on April 30th, so those who couldn?t get their hands on an iPad today can still take advantage.

Rogers? offer is similar, waiving the activation fee, and offering up unlimited data for the first 2 months, promising no overages past the highest tier - $37/month. They will also double the amount of data included in each tier of their flex plan for 4 months after your unlimited period has ended. There is no clear expiration date for this promotion, but it is marked as limited time.

These are some great offers for those considering mobile data for their new or old tablet, including the new iPad. Head to Rogers or Telus to sign up!


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Just as everybody expected, Apple announced their new iPad model today. It features a variety of minor upgrades over the iPad 2, but features a couple of major improvements such as the display and 4G LTE connectivity. The 9.7? screen, with an incredible resolution of 2048 x 1536, is being called the ?Retina? display despite it missing the mark that the iPhone 4 hits. This might not be the end of the world, however, since users typically hold the tablet further from their eyes than their smartphones. The other major plus is the 4G LTE option, with Rogers, Bell, and Telus already confirmed to be launching the tablet.

Other features include upgraded quad-core graphics processing and a 5MP rear facing camera with face detection, capable of 1080p video recording with image stabilization. As for battery life, Apple is claiming that it will get 10 hours of battery life, reduced to 9 hours for LTE connected iPads. Physical dimensions come in slightly bulkier than the iPad 2, at 9.4mm thin and 1.4lbs.

So when can you get your hands on one? It?s up for pre-order now on Apple?s website, and is confirmed to be coming to Rogers, Telus and Bell. On Apple?s website, they mention that pre-order shipments are expected for delivery between March 16th and 20th. Pricing for the Wi-Fi model comes in at $519 for 16GB model, $619 for the 32GB, and $719 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi + LTE option will cost you $649 for the 16GB version, $749 for the 32GB, and $849 for the 64GB. It will be available in both black and white. As a result of the near-future launch, Apple has reduced the price of the iPad 2 by $100 for each model ? good news for those looking for some savings!


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Samsung has been busy announcing new devices these past few weeks, and they finished the series of reveals with the Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE and Galaxy Note. No word yet regarding which devices will make it to Canadian soil, however we've had fairly decent luck getting their top end devices recently, so it's very possible.

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE features a stunning7.7" (1280x800) Super AMOLED Plus display, and is powered by a dual-core 1.4GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. It has a 3MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video capture, and a front-facing 2MP camera. There is a lengthy list of connectivity options, including LTE, HSPA+, Wi-FI (a/b/g/n, hotspot), bluetooth 3.0, and GPS, along with physical connectivity to televisions via its TV out feature. This Honeycomb device measures in at just 7.89mm thick, and comes with a 5100mAh battery.

The Galaxy Note is a smartphone/tablet crossover, offering up a 5.3" (1280x800) Super AMOLED HD display. It too, is LTE enabled, an is powered by a dual-core 1.4GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. It has an 8MP camera with LED flash and 1080p HD video capture, and a front-facing 2MP camera. The Note runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch, and also features the "S Pen", which is more or less a stylus used for note-taking, drawing, etc. It also comes with TV out, HSPA+, bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n, hotspot), and GPS.

No word yet on pricing for either of these devices, or if/when they'll make it to Canada. With more news recently about Rogers' LTE network deployment, hopefully we'll see one or both of these devices make it into their line-up.


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Just under a month ago, Rogers launched the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, the world's first PlayStation certified mobile device. The PLAY runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and has an impressive range of features. It has a 4" (480x854) touchscreen display, and is powered by a 1GHz processor, along with 512MB of RAM. It has a 5MP camera along with a VGA front facing camera for video calling. Sony Ericsson has included their custom UI/launcher TimeScape, which has changed dramatically since the X10 line-up. The most unique feature is its PlayStation style game pad, which can be used for a variety of PLAY optimized games including PS1 Classics. So, how does the PLAY hold up as a smartphone and for gaming?

Beginning with the hardware, the PLAY is very nicely designed. It is a little bit thick compared to most current devices, but that is expected with the full game pad hidden under the screen. It has 3.5mm headset and microUSB ports on the left edge, while the right edge holds the volume and shoulder keys. Even though the casing is made of plastic, it feels relatively sturdy and durable, and the sliding mechanism is surprisingly solid. When you slide out the game pad, the PLAY really starts to shine, bringing that familiar PlayStation feel to your phone. The device fits fairly well in your hands when slid open, but might take a little bit of getting used to. The touchpads meant for use where joysticks or analog sticks would normally come into play, are a nice addition to the controls, though very strange to use at first. Like most gamers know, any new controller design takes some time to get completely accustomed to, and the PLAY's game pad is no exception. Still, it really brought a new element to mobile gaming, one previously found only in devices like the PSP or Nintendo DS. After using the Xperia PLAY, games on touchscreen-only devices seem weak and difficult to play, so beware when trying out your friend's new PLAY.




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The games themselves are entertaining, and the PLAY comes with 6 full version titles built-in: NFL 11, Star Battalion HD, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Crash Bandicoot, Fifa 10, and Tetris. There are 5 more PS1 games available for purchase in Market for $5.75 USD each, and about 50 other PLAY optimized games and apps. Crash Bandicoot ran well and gives a great idea of what PS1 games will be like on the device. The sports games (Madden NFL 11 and FIFA 10) are great fun, and far more complex than you might think, and the other games were just as entertaining and immersive. Unfortunately Tetris didn't make use of the slide-out controls, but it is a simple enough game that the touchscreen is fine.




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As a smartphone alone, the PLAY runs just as well as most current Android handsets. OS 2.3 Gingerbread performs well, and TimeScape doesn't seem to have as strong of an impact on performance as with the X10. The application tray features custom sorting, and there are a variety of widgets pre-installed. There are media widgets that include music controls, shortcuts, and a scrolling image/video wheel. There are also a couple of clock widgets available, all of which can be used on any of the 5 home screens.

Other parts of the device that are worth mentioning include the display and camera. The display isn't very bright when turned all the way up, though it can get you by. To those who normally enjoy very bright and crisp displays like super AMOLED equipped devices may be let down however. The Camera is of decent quality, coming in at 5MP with an LED flash. It actually handles close-up shots very well, though mid and long range photos are of average quality. It can also record video at WVGA resolution, and surprisingly doesn't capture at 720p. Videos recorded with the PLAY are also average, looking great on your mobile screen but mediocre on larger displays.




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Lastly, battery life. The PLAY surprisingly held up very well, lasting longer than many devices in the current market. Even while gaming for a few hours, the battery indicator only dropped a sliver. Unfortunately it still doesn't compare to the life of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 or a few other devices, but considering its large screen and game pad, does very well.

Overall, the Xperia PLAY is a great device. It is a full-featured Android smartphone and really makes mobile gaming possible. Kudos to Sony Ericsson for producing a great, and very unique device! Hopefully they continue to create great handsets that stand-out and bring a new element to smartphones.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY is available from Rogers for $99.99 on a 3 year term or $549.99 contract free.


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While it's exciting to see new smartphones launch, it's always nice to see the Prepaid users get a bit of attention as well. Rogers isn't ignoring their prepaid line-up, and has recently added the Nokia E5 to their list available devices. Coming in at $159.99, the E5 features a 2.36" (320x240) display and full QWERTY keyboard, and runs on Symbian OS S60 v9.3. It has a 5MP camera with LED flash and VGA video capture, and supports bluetooth and GPS connectivity. If you're looking for an affordable device on a prepaid account, the Nokia E5 could make a great choice.


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Staples wasn't previously known for being a major retailer when it comes to mobile products, but they are certainly stepping up their game with the recent popularization of tablets. First they launched the BlackBerry PlayBook, right along with the carriers and other department stores to carry it. Now, they have updated their inventory to include two Android tablets, the Acer Iconia 10" tablet, and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. They are also offering a Windows 7 tablet, also an Acer Iconia 10" model

The Android-powered Acer Iconia runs Gingerbread 3.0, and is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor. It has a 10.1" (1280x800) touchscreen display, and features a 5MP rear-facing camera, and a 2MP front-facing secondary camera. It has a microHDMI port, and comes with 32GB of internal memory, along with a microSD card slot and connectivity options including Wi-Fi and bluetooth. The Android Acer Iconia 10" tablet is available for ordering now from Staples for $499.99. Unfortunately it's currently marked as an "Extended Delivery Product", meaning it will take 1-2 weeks for delivery. Additionally, it isn't available in-store as of yet, but should be coming to retail locations soon.

There is also a Windows 7 based Acer Iconia tablet available through the retailer, which features a 10.1" LED-backlit touchscreen display, and 2GB of RAM. It has a dual-core 1GHz AMD processor, and comes with 32GB of internal storage. The Windows 7 Iconia has two 1.3MP cameras (one in the front, one in the back), and features Wi-Fi and bluetooth connectivity. It comes with 2 USB 2.0 ports, and an HDMI port for wired connectivity as well. One of the best things about the Windows 7 Iconia tablet is that it comes with a full QWERTY keyboard dock, making typing significantly easier on the go. The dock also includes an additional USB port, and an Ethernet port for faster wired internet connectivity when at home. The Windows 7 Acer Iconia tablet is available from Staples now, though is also an "Extended Delivery Product". Orders will be shipped within 1-2 weeks and the device is not yet available at retail locations.

The last tablet on the list of recent additions to Staples line-up is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, which is available in 16GB or 32GB versions. It has a 10.1" (1280x800) touchscreen display, and is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. It runs on Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and has a 5MP camera, in addition to a 2MP front-facing secondary camera. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and bluetooth, and it has a microHDMI port, in addition to a microUSB, full USB 2.0, and microSD card slot. The Asus Eee Transformer is available under the same conditions as the previous two tablets, with expected delivery taking 1-2 weeks. It isn't available in retail locations either, but will hopefully be added to store shelves soon. One of the major features of the Asus Eee Transformer is the attachable dock, which not only gives users a full QWERTY keyboard, but significant extension in battery life. No word on when this additional accessory will be made available, but it shouldn't take too long!


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We just let you know that Samsung officially announced the Galaxy S II, their next generation Android handset, and it looks like they plan on staying high in the competition in the tablet market as well. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, their next Android tablet, has some truly impressive features and specifications. The Tab 10.1 features a 10.1" (800x1200) touchscreen display, runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb at launch, and is powered by a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. Coming in both 16GB and 32GB models, the Tab 10.1 comes with an 8MP camera with LED flash and 1080p HD video recording capabilities, in addition to a 2MP front-facing camera. Other important aspects of the upcoming tablet include Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n) connectivity, and a massive 6860 mAh battery. No word yet on when the Tab 10.1 will make it's way to Canadian soil, but it's set to land at Vodafone this spring, so hopefully we'll see a Canadian launch around the same time.


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The Samsung Infuse, a 4G device headed to AT&T in the United States, has been confirmed to be coming to Canada. The Infuse 4G features a 4.5" (450x800) "Super AMOLED Plus" touch screen display, and runs Android 2.2 at launch. Powered by a 1.2GHz processor, the Infuse also comes with an 8MP camera with LED flash and 1080p HD video recording capabilities, and has an addition front-facing 1.3MP camera for video calling. No word yet on when the device will arrive, or which carrier it will be available from, but we'll be sure to keep you posted!


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Some exciting news for Android lovers has come out recently, with Google announcing the Google Nexus S and officially advertising Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread. The new OS version will be coming to the Google Nexus One within the next few weeks apparently, while it will first be found on the new Nexus S that is set for launch in the U.S. On December 16th.

OS 2.3 Gingerbread is said to be the fastest Android OS version to date, and provides a newly updated keyboard, some user interface refinements, and more. The Nexus S, Google newest developer phone set to launch in the U.S. on December 16th, is a powerful device that can easily rival the top smartphone in the market today. Featuring a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 4" (800x480) touch screen display, 16GB of internal memory, and 512MB of RAM, the internal specifications are powerful. The Nexus S doesn't stop there though, also featuring NFC (Near-field communications), a 5MP camera capable of recording HD video, Wi-Fi (b, g, n), and of course GPS and bluetooth connectivity. The Nexus S will be available on Thursday, December 16th in the United States for $529USD at Best Buy, though no word yet on if or when it will available in Canada.


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As many other carriers do, Fido is now charging an administration fee on all hardware upgrades, an additional cost of $25 to customers wishing to get a new device. The fee will also apply to no term renewals, so all existing customers are basically affected. Not great news for Fido customers, but not exactly unexpected. Another stipulation pointed out, is that customers can use Fido dollars to upgrade, but the $25 fee will be tacked on to your bill no matter what. What do you think about Fido introducing an admin fee to upgrades?


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