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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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Perfectly in line with the launch of the new LTE enabled iPad, Virgin mobile has gone live with their LTE network. It piggy-backs off of Bell?s network, and is currently active in major urban areas including Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Yellowknife, and many cities in Southern Ontario including Toronto, London, Kitchener, and more. Of course, in order to support the new iPad, they are now offering LTE microSIM cards as well.

As for prices, they have decided to keep things simple and straight-forward, extending their existing Flexi-Data plan for tablets to include 4G LTE. This starts at $5/month for 10 MB, after which, it steps up to $15 for 250 MB. If you exceed 250 MB of usage, you enter the last tier of 5 GB for $35/month. Overages beyond 5 GB are charged at 1.5 cents/MB.


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Pre-orders for the new iPad have reached their limit in Canada and internationally, but those who are still determined to pick one up still have hope. Apple retail stores as well as Future Shop will be opening their doors at 8am this Friday, March 16th. No word on how much stock each will have, or if all Future Shop locations will have inventory come launch day, but it may be worth a try for those who just can?t wait for the next waves of shipments from Apple.

As a reminder, pricing starts at $519 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, while the 16GB LTE version begins at $649.


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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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The affordable Nokia C2-01 is now available from Bell, featuring a 2.2" (320x240) display, and standard phone keypad reminiscent of days passed. It comes with a 3.2MP camera and can record QVGA video. Connectivity options are limited to bluetooth for this simple handset, though it does come with an FM radio to listen to your favourite local channel on the go. The Nokia C2-01 is available now for free with a 3 year contract, or just $119.95 outright from Bell.


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A couple weeks back we let you know that the HP TouchPad would soon be landing in Canada (mid-July), with the webOS tablet priced at $519.99 for the 16GB model, and $619.99 for the 32GB version. Now, we're happy to let everybody know that the TouchPad is officially available for pre-order through major electronics retailers Best Buy and Future Shop. The estimated release date, as expected, is listed as July 15th.

The TouchPad is HP's first tablet that runs their recently acquired webOS (Palm), and has a 9.7" (768x1024) touchscreen display, and is powered by a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor. Unfortunately other features come in a bit on the low end, with a 1.3MP camera, and connectivity options including Wi-Fi (b/g/n), bluetooth, and some form of GPS support.

There are also a variety of accessories available along with it, including a wireless keyboard ($59.99), a charging dock ($79.99), and a few different cases/sleeves.


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It has been some time since RIM announced the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900, but Virgin Mobile recently came forward reminding Canadians that they will be launching it soon. Posted on their Twitter profile, Virgin Mobile Canada stated "well be getting the bb 9900 super soon!"

No word on exactly when "super soon" is, but hopefully we'll see it launch in first part half of the summer. The Bold 9900 is a big step up for RIM and BlackBerry products, offering the familiar Bold shape and design, but also including a touchscreen. The 9900 has a 2.8" (640x480) touchscreen display, along with the standard trackpad and full QWERTY keyboard. It also features a 5MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video recording, and is powered by a 1.2GHz processor and 768MB of RAM. Other features include 8GB of internal storage, HSPA connectivity reaching 14.4Mbps, Wi-Fi, bluetooth, GPS, and even possibly NFC support in the future.

Though the hardware is seeing a variety of big improvements over current BlackBerry devices, the OS will also be updated. BlackBerry OS 7.0 won't be available for existing models, and will begin its life with the 9900/9930. It features a variety of improvements and additional features, including an updated browser with full HTML5 support and faster rendering, in addition to "BlackBerry Balance", a feature that helps keep work/home content separate from each other.

No word yet on pricing, but we'll be sure to keep you updated with any further information that is made available.


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Those who have been waiting for even more options when it comes to purchasing a tablet are in luck, as HP's first webOS tablet is coming in mid-July. The Wi-Fi only version is apparently set to cost $519.99 for the 16GB version, while the 32GB model will be $619.99.

The TouchPad runs on HP webOS 3.0, and features a 9.7" (768x1024) touchscreen display, and is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. It seemingly only comes with a 1.3MP front-facing camera, and offers bluetooth and Wi-Fi (b, g, n) connectivity.

While it may be worth checking out if iOS, Android, or the PlayBook's QNX platform isn't for you, the TouchPad's pricing, and less-than-comparable specifications in some areas could result in a tough launch for HP. Only time will tell, however, so keep an eye out come mid-July!


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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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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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