Monthly Archives: January 2013

Windows 8 Gets Expensive Tomorrow, Make Sure To Upgrade For Cheap While You Still Can

windows 8 last day $40

Windows 8 has been around since last October, and at just $40 it is a solid upgrade. We still like Windows 8, but tomorrow it’s about to see a major price jump all the way up to $200. You see, back in October when Windows 8 launched, Microsoft offered the Windows 8 Pro upgrade at a special price of just $40 for a limited time. Tomorrow, February 1st, is the day when that “limited time” officially ends. Even if you’re still on the fence about upgrading your Windows XP, Vista or 7 computer to Windows 8 it may be worth looking into buying the upgrade tonight while its $160 cheaper.

Now for students this price jump won’t be as steep as Microsoft will be offering Windows 8 Pro to any US college student or faculty with a .edu email address (so college students only) for $70. That’s still $30 more than the “limited time” pricing but it’s still much better then what you would be spending if you aren’t in college.

In other student news, Microsoft has also announced that starting on February 18th they will be doing a campus tour, visiting over 150 colleges across the US to show off the latest Windows 8 PCs and tablets. To see when they will be visiting a campus near you check out Microsoft’s site here.

To get in on the Windows 8 $40 pricing, head over to the Microsoft Store here.

More info: Microsoft

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BlackBerry Announces The Z10 and Q10– What You Need To Know

blackberry 10 devices announce 2

Yesterday was BlackBerry’s big day, the day they finally unveiled BlackBerry 10 and the two new phones that it will run on, the all touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 and keyboard packing Q10. So what’s new here? Read on for everything you need to know about all the latest BlackBerrys.

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Microsoft Releases Office 2013 and Office 365—What It Means To You (UPDATE)

office 365 home premium

Whether you are in high school or college, PC or Mac, there is one program that pretty much everyone uses, and that is Microsoft Office. Yesterday Microsoft released the next version of Office, called Office 2013 and Office 365. Both versions of Office have the same Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and Excel at its core that we all know and love and you can still easily take notes and make documents, presentations and spreadsheets. In Office 2013, Microsoft has added some pretty useful features including the ability to edit PDFs in Word (so when someone sends you a form to fill out you don’t need to print it and fill it out by hand), and better templates and themes for PowerPoint including some new themes designed for widescreens (so your presentations look better even when shown on an HDTV). Microsoft also made some improvements to make Office look much nicer and be much easier to use on Windows 8 touchscreens and tablets.

office 2013 powerpoint screen shot 1

And while these are just some of the many nice improvements to the classic Office apps, the biggest news here is the pricing. In the past you had one option when it came to getting Office and that was to buy it. You would own that version of Office and be able to put it on up to 3 computers (assuming you bought Office Home and Student). While you can still buy Office, Microsoft today also announced the availability of Office 365, a version of Office 2013 that you pay for monthly or yearly instead of just buying it outright. With an Office 365 subscription Microsoft offers some interesting benefits including 60 free Skype minutes a month for calling cell phones or landlines from Skype (Microsoft bought Skype a couple of years ago), constant software updates so your version of Office is always up to date, the ability to install on up to 5 PCs or Macs (the Macs would the most recent version of Office for Mac, in this case Office for Mac 2011), and 20 GB extra of SkyDrive storage (Microsoft’s version of Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive etc.) so you can save all of your work online “in the cloud.” The coolest feature of all though is the ability to go online and stream your version of Office to any computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8. This means that you can go to a friend’s house or a computer in school and be able to use the latest version of Office on that computer without having to re-download the new Office. And on other computers like Macs or Windows XP computers you can do this through any browser just by going to office.com.

Pricing for the versions of Office you’ll most likely be interested is like this:

  • Office 2013 Home and Student– Includes Word, OneNote, PowerPoint and Excel. $139.99 to own for one PC forever.
  • Office 365 Home Premium– Includes Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook (the famous email app), Publisher (for creating things like brochures and flyers– a very under-rated Office app), Access (for creating databases). Renting for $99.99 a year or $9.99 a month. This also has all the Office 365 features mentioned above like the Skype minutes, installing on 5 PCs or Macs, streaming Office apps and extra Skydrive storage.
  • Office 365 University– All the benefits of Office 365 Home Premium but for students. The pricing of Office 365 University is $79.99 a year for 4 years, though you can only install on two computers instead of 5. As of right now this looks to be for college students only, but we’ve reached out to Microsoft to see if high school students can take also advantage of this deal.

Now what version is best for you? That’s a tough question. Microsoft is pushing the Office 365 version hard, and its got a lot of great features. If your family has multiple computers or you and a couple of friends all just got new computers and all need to buy Office– and someone in either group is still in college– it may make sense to get the Office 365 University pack. Yes you don’t actually “own” it and will need to pay $79.99 a year, but when divided between multiple people it looks like a great deal. If it’s just you, then getting the Office 2013 Home and Student edition could be your best bet as you will actually be owning all the main parts of Office– Word, OneNote, Excel and PowerPoint– forever. We’ve only spent a couple of minutes with Office 2013, and while its very good and we like it, we still need to look at Office 365 to see which will be the better deal.

For those curious about to try out the new Office for themselves, Microsoft is offering a free one month trial here, though be careful to make sure that it doesn’t accidentally delete you older, purchased version of Office by mistake (it shouldn’t but better make sure you don’t see a screen saying “we need to remove older versions” just to be safe).

For all the details on whats new in Office 2013 check out Microsoft’s Office site here.

UPDATE: A Microsoft spokesperson let us know that only “full- and part-time enrolled university and college students, faculty and staff” will be able to take advantage of the Office 365 University deal. Sorry high school readers.

 

Pic of PowerPoint from The Verge

Could This Be The Galaxy S IV?

galaxy s iv rumor 1

The Samsung Galaxy S III has been one of the hottest phones available over the last few months, and like with the iPhone there are a lot of rumors and excitement over when the next version, the Galaxy S IV (Galaxy S4) will be out and what it will have. Well, over the last week the rumors on the S IV have really picked up, and if these rumors are even close to what the S IV actually is then it looks like we’re in for another awesome Galaxy S phone this year.

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Temple Run 2 Now Available For iOS, Coming To Android Next Week

temple run 2

One of the most popular and addicting games for the iPhone and iPad has finally gotten a sequel. Yes, today is the day Temple Run 2 hits the App Store, and like the original, it is free to download.

While the idea and controls behind the game are the same, Temple Run 2 brings some much nicer graphics, a new course with new obstacles as well as new power ups and the ability to ride in a cart and zip-line. Oh, and you now will be chased by a “bigger monkey.”

As big fans of the original Temple Run we’ve already downloaded the game on our iPhone 5 and we gotta say, it’s a pretty great update. We really love the new graphics and the new course keeps things challenging. It’s the same great Temple Run we all know and love, just now even better. This should be a great time waster for the spring semester.

Oh, and don’t worry Android users, video game site Polygon talked with Imangi– the creators of the Temple Run games– and Temple Run 2 should be in the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore next week.

So what are you waiting for? Go download Temple Run 2 from the iTunes App Store and let us know what you think.

More info: Temple Run 2 (link opens iTunes)

Sony Exec Teases A Big PlayStation Announcement Coming In The Next Few Months– Could It Be The PlayStation 4?

playstation 4 rumor mock up

One of the many mock ups of what people think the PlayStation 4 may look like

It has long been rumored that 2013 would be the year that Sony and Microsoft announce the next generation of the PlayStation and Xbox. As we all know, last year Nintendo released their latest game console, the Wii U, and it has been over seven years since the Xbox 360 launched and six years since the PS3 came out so this time was inevitable. And today we got our first real hint that this new generation was on its way.

CNET reports on an interview a Sony Vice President of Home Entertainment, Hiroshi Sakamoto, gave to a Chilean website Emol, about a big PlayStation announcement planned for E3 (the annual June video game conference where the Xbox 360, the Wii U and the PS3 were first announced), or even May at a special event. Here’s the answer he gave when asked about the next PlayStation:

“That’s still a big secret, but our friends are preparing Sony PlayStation. I can only say that we are focused on the E3 gaming event, scheduled for June. [An] announcement may be [made] in that minute or even earlier in May.”

Now for those who have followed the rumors, the PS4 and Xbox 720 (or Xbox 3, Xbox Surface or whatever the next Xbox will be called) have been rumored for years. But hearing a Sony VP of Home Entertainment– someone who you think would know about things like a new PlayStation– talk about it like that makes us think that we finally could see the PS4 very soon.

Now in terms of what to expect in the PS4, not much is known about it today. Kotaku and other sites say the PS4 will be able to play games at 4K resolution (four times today’s 1080p HDTVs) which would mean that its much more powerful and has much better graphics than today’s PS3 (the next Xbox is also rumored to have similar graphics specs). In terms of price and release, other rumors say the PS4 and next Xbox will be available by the holidays of this year for around $400 each.

E3 runs from June 11th-13th and if the next Xbox and PlayStation are coming this year we’re sure we’ll hear a lot more before then. As always, stay tuned.

More info: CNET, Engadget

The Latest In BlackBerry 10 Rumors: Carriers, Release Dates, And More

blackberry balance z10

As we get closer to Research In Motion’s big BlackBerry 10 unveiling in 15 days, more details have begun to leak out as to what we can expect in the new BlackBerry 10 phones. Over the last few days in particular we learned a lot about BlackBerry 10, so here’s the latest.

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T-Mobile CEO: The iPhone Will Be Coming In 3-4 Months

tmobile iphone 5 unlocked

There was a lot going on at CES this week, though not too many big announcements as far as new cell phones go. Well, except if you’re on T-Mobile, in which case there were some pretty huge announcements.

Some of the big things T-Mobile shared this week included the unveiling of a new $70 a month 4G unlimited plan that doesn’t need you to sign up for a 2 year contract but requires you to pay more for your phone upfront (so instead of Galaxy S III for $279 with a 2 year contract and $90 a month unlimited internet/texting/calling plan, its $549 with a $70 a month unlimited plan that you could stop whenever you want. This type of plan actually saves you more money over the course of a 2 year contract, but we’ll get into this more another time), and plans to cover over 100 million people with their new 4G LTE network by the end of 2013. Of course for many of you T-Mobile fans, the biggest news of the week is this: T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere said in an interview with Reuters that T-Mobile will begin selling the iPhone sometime in the next 3-4 months.

For those who don’t know, in December T-Mobile and Apple announced that Apple products would be available on T-Mobile’s network in 2013. Of course, that announcement was pretty vague didn’t go into much more detail than that. We still don’t know exactly which Apple products would be available (we assume the current iPhone 4, 4S and 5 as well as iPad 4 and iPad Mini but again, those are just our guesses and it could also be something new), how much they would cost, if they would have support for T-Mobile’s new 4G LTE network, and when they would be available. This statement by the CEO of T-Mobile finally gives us at last little more much-needed clarity.

Mark your calendars T-Mobile readers, you’re official T-Mobile iPhone should be here by the summer.

Sources: Reuters, USA Today

CES 2013: Sony Announces Two New Superphones, Meet the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL

xperia z

Yesterday at CES Sony took the wraps off a whole bunch really cool devices, such as new cameras, new TVs and new phones. And while the new TVs look pretty amazing (they are among the many new TVs at CES that are 4K TVs, or TVs that have four times the amount of pixels as today’s full HD 1080p TVs. We’ll have more on this later), the biggest news for you from Sony’s big CES press event is the announcement of two new superphones, the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL. In short, these phones look great and should rival the Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III, One X+ and Droid DNA for the title of best Android phone.

Both pack all the top of the line features you would expect in a superphone, including a 1.5 GHZ quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM for speed, a 5-inch full HD 1080p screen (like the Droid DNA—this looks amazing and is right up with the DNA as the best screens we’ve seen on a phone yet), a 13-megapixel back camera with a 2 megapixel front camera for HD video chat, NFC support for doing things like sharing pictures and videos or playing music off a compatible stereo just by tapping your phone, Android Jelly Bean with pre-loaded apps like PlayStation Mobile for gaming, and of course, 4G LTE support for super fast internet.

xperia z water

Now here’s something really cool about the new Xperia Z in particular—it’s water AND dust resistant. This means you could take this into the shower (as Sony put it) or to the beach and not worry about this breaking from a little water or sand. For a phone as thin and powerful as this one is, this is pretty amazing.

No word yet on price, carriers or release dates just yet, but as soon as we get that info we’ll make sure that you get it too.

We’re Live From CES 2013!

CES 2013 logo

The biggest tech show of the year is about to go down and we’re here in Las Vegas, Nevada to bring you everything you’re gonna need to know about it. Many of the biggest companies in technology will be here– Samsung, LG, AT&T, Verizon, Lenovo, Sony, Intel, AMD, Beats Electronics, HTC, HP to name a few– and the list just goes on and on. CES is the place where we get our first look at what’s coming out this year, from phones, tablets, cameras, computers and more. CES is also the place where we get to get a sneak peek at some of the awesome things these companies are working on for the future, like the next generation of the TV called 4K TV (these TV’s offer four times the amount of pixels as a regular 1080p HDTV. In other words, everything you watch will look even more incredible).

As always we’ll be bringing you everything you’re gonna want and need to know from Las Vegas. It’s gonna be a heck of a week, so stay tuned!

And make sure to follow us on Twitter, @teenstalktech and @eliblumenthal, for all our latest tweets from the show!