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Apple’s Hosting an Event Next Week- Are New iPads and Macs On The Way?

apple october 2013 event

While Apple released updates to the iPhone last month in the iPhone 5S and 5C they’ve been pretty quiet this year when it came to updating their other products like the iPad and the MacBook Pro. Well, just like it has been over the past few years Apple has scheduled one more big media event for next week, sending out invites this week saying that they have “a lot more to cover.”

ipad 5 ipad mini 2 leak 1

So what can we expect? From the iPad side of things rumors are that Apple will introduce the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 with both coming in either space grey or white (like the iPhone 5S). Specs wise both are expected to get faster processors (A7 in the iPad 5, A6X in the Mini 2), better front and back cameras, and the iPad Mini is rumored to finally be getting a Retina Display to help it better keep up with the latest 7-8 inch Android tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. There are also rumors that Apple will bring the iPhone 5S’ new Touch ID fingerprint scanner over to the new iPads.

ipad 5 white black design leak

Are these the cases for the iPad 5?

The new iPads are expected to have slightly updated designs with iPad 5 getting a bit thinner along the sides of the screen as seen above in the leaked pictures from Sonny Dickson. Pricing and storage options for the new iPads are expected to be the same as they are today, with a release rumored to be in early November, just like last year.

On the Mac side things are equally interesting. Apple announced their big software update for OS X back in June called Mavericks and its expected to be released before the end of the month. While Mavericks has some of nice new features the biggest is that its much more efficient with your computer, so things will run faster and better. It is so much more efficient that it may even give your current MacBook a boost in battery life.

And while Mavericks is expected to work on most recent Macs running Mountain Lion (10.8), Apple is also expected to finally update the MacBook Pro with Retina Display to Intel’s new Haswell processors and introduce a MacBook Air with a Retina Display. Both would be very welcome updates giving the Air a much better screen and the Pro much longer battery life. We also wouldn’t be surprised if Apple used this event to kill off the old MacBook Pro with a DVD drive (it’s the last Mac that’s sold with a DVD drive and the Pro with Retina is clearly the future). Basically, if you’re looking for new MacBook or a new iPad you should wait a little bit longer.

Of course since we’re talking about Apple it is possible they will have some surprises (an “iWatch” or Apple’s competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Gear is a big rumor floating around). The event is next Tuesday and we’ll of course cover everything you’re gonna need to know back here.

More info: Engadget, The Verge

Deal of the Day: Microsoft Letting Students Try Office 365 For Free For 3 Months

ms office 365 student deal

Curious to try out Microsoft’s new Office 365? Just got a new PC or Mac and want a demo version of Office to use so you don’t need to buy it right away? Well you’re in luck as Microsoft just announced a new deal for students that you are going to want to check out.

Usually Microsoft lets people download demo versions of Office for just one month, but starting today Microsoft will allow college students and teachers to get 3 free months of Office 365 and an extra 20 GB of Microsoft’s Skydrive cloud storage (giving you 27 GB of free storage in the cloud. Skydrive is Microsoft’s version of iCloud/Google Drive/Dropbox and allows you to easily access any files you store on there from anywhere you have internet access). All you have to do to get this deal is go to the Office for Students site and sign up using your .edu email address. That’s it and it will get you the free 3 months of Microsoft’s latest and greatest version of Office, including full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint (if you’re on Windows or Mac) and OneNote (Windows-only). And if you share the offer on Facebook you will get yourself an additional 3 months of free Office.

Office 365 University usually costs $79.99 a year for students (for up to 4 years, after that it is the usual $99.99 a year non-students pay), but with this you can make that deal for cheaper Office last an extra semester longer.

More info: Microsoft

Apple Sends Out Event Invites– Are New Macs and The iPad Mini Coming Next Week?

ipad mini invite

Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of talk that Apple had one more big event up its sleeves for 2012. Well, yesterday Apple confirmed all those rumors, sending out invites to an event next week, Tuesday, October 23rd.

ipad mini mockup 2

One of the many “mock ups” of what the iPad Mini will look like (pic via Apple Insider)

So what can we expect? Well, according to the latest rumors Apple will be taking the wraps off a new, smaller and hopefully cheaper “iPad Mini.” As we wrote before, the iPad Mini is said to have a 7.85 inch screen (down from 9.7 inches on the regular iPad), a thin design with an aluminum back similar to the iPhone 5, the new Lightning port in place of the older iPod dock connector, as well as other standard iPad features like cameras on the front and back for FaceTime, iOS 6, and the availability to buy it in either WiFi only or WiFi+4G LTE versions. Specs wise its said to be similar to the iPad 2, with an A5 dual-core processor with 512 MB of RAM.

Now while this isn’t as powerful as the new iPad, it should still be fine for most things like browsing the web, using apps, reading books etc. And these “older” specs have their benefits as the rumors also say we can expect a cheaper price for the Mini iPad– the base 8 GB WiFi-only version possibly now starting at $249 or $299 and going up to $650 for the 64 GB WiFi+4G version (with options for 16 and 32 GB versions as well). If you want a cheap iPad for internet, apps and books– and don’t plan on storing lots of movies, pictures or music– this may be perfect for you.

There are also strong rumors that Apple is planning to finally introduce that long-awaited 13 inch version of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, as well as reveal some new designs to the iMac and Mac Mini lines.

As always we’ll have it all covered for you back here. So make sure to check back on Tuesday for everything you’re gonna need to know about whatever Apple announces.

Back To School 2012: Why You Should Hold Off On Buying That New Computer

teens back to school computer

With school right around the corner and back to school shopping in full swing, it’s very tempting to go out and buy that new computer, phone or tablet. Stores such as Staples, Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy are all strongly advertising their back to school and Labor Day deals (in addition to the usual deals from Microsoft and Apple).

But while the deals may be great, we think you really might want to hold off on dropping a lot of money on those new gadgets. You see, the technology industry is right now in state of major updates. Pretty much every group of device– from Windows and Mac computers, to iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone, to the iPad and Kindle tablets– are due for major upgrades over the coming months. And when we say major upgrades we mean major upgrades. Read the rest of this entry

Looking For Textbooks For The Upcoming School Year? Then You Should Definitely Check Out Amazon

kindle textbook rentals

Viewing Kindle Textbooks from your computer

Before you run out to buy those textbooks for the upcoming school year you should really first go to Amazon. Amazon’s Kindle bookstore is now renting out textbooks at up to 80% off the price of the paper version of the same textbook. Yeah, this could be some major savings.

So here’s how the new textbook renting service works. You download the Amazon Kindle app for your PC, Mac, phone or tablet (that’s right– you don’t even need a Kindle), find the textbook you need in the Textbooks Store on Amazon’s site (they have “tens of thousands” available),  pick how long you need it for (anywhere from 30 days to a 360 days) and check out. That’s it. And if you find out that you need more time you can always extend the rental (from one more day to however many days you need to even buying the textbook outright if that makes more sense for you).

Once you check out you can read your textbook on any of the above devices so long as it has that Kindle app installed. You can even make notes which are saved online (at kindle.amazon.com) and viewable even after you “returned” the textbook (and if you re-rent the textbook later your notes will return to the places you made them).

So yeah, the textbook you need, for when you need it, at a much cheaper price AND it can fit anywhere from your computer to your pocket? Sounds like a great deal to us.

For more info on this awesome new deal from Amazon see their site here. If you want to see if they have the textbooks you need you can search their entire store here. And stay tuned– we’ve got a lot more to come to help make sure you’re ready for the upcoming school year.

Apple Updates The MacBook Air– What You Need To Know

apple macbook air 2011

If you’re looking for a new computer this back-to-school shopping season and really wanted to go with a Mac we really hope you waited. As expected, Apple didn’t just launch Lion today, but they also announced some pretty major updates to its MacBook Air that should make it a much better choice as your next computer.

We got all the details for you below, so read on.

Read the rest of this entry

Apple Announces Back To School Deal: Buy A New Mac And Get A Free $100 iTunes Gift Card

apple back to school 2011

Apple today finally took the wraps off its annual, highly anticipated back to school deal with a major new twist: the traditional free iPod Touch has been replaced with the new deal being the usual discounts on all Macs and a free $100 iTunes gift card that can be used in any of Apple’s iTunes stores (iTunes, App Store for iPhone/iPad, Mac App Store and iBookstore).

While we don’t know why Apple decided not to do free iPod Touches again this year (or even better, some discount on an iPad with the purchase of a new Mac) the deal, which runs from today, June 16th,  through September 20th, is still pretty good in our opinion. Think about it, most of us have iPods– or are using our phones as our iPods– now anyway so unless you really needed a new one, getting $100 to spend in iTunes and getting apps for your new Mac can be very valuable (as Apple puts it: “so you can get Pages, Numbers and Keynote for your studies. And still have plenty left for your study breaks.”). Oh, and the brand new, upcoming OS X Lion will be free to anyone who buys a new Mac now and before whenever the official launch date is, so you don’t have to worry about buying that for $30 next month either.

Now a lot of you want to know what’s different between this new 2011 Apple back-to-school deal and Microsoft’s offer of a free Xbox 360 with any new PC $699 or higher. There actually is a lot. Beyond the fact that Microsoft’s deal is cheaper (you can buy a PC for $699 and get the free 360 whereas the cheapest MacBook– the one from last year and not the new MacBook Pros— is $899 even after the $100 discount), Microsoft’s deal is also open for any current high school or college student unlike Apple’s which looks to be only college (the official language is “college students or students accepted to college” so incoming college freshmen you’re still good. Parents of college students and teachers of any grade are also eligible so if you’ve got a sibling in college or a nice teacher you can still get in on this deal). Microsoft is also giving away more in terms of the free add-on (an Xbox 360 4 GB is $200 whereas even if you include Lion in the Apple deal you’re still at $130).

I guess what it really comes down to which would you rather game on: Xbox 360 or Mac/iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch? Let us know your pick of which deal you think is better in the comments.

Info from Apple

E3 2011 and Apple’s WWDC Kick Off Later Today– We’ll Have All The Info You Need To Know Right Here

e3 wwdc june 2011

For those that don’t know, E3 is the big video game event that takes place for a couple of days (this year it’s June 6-9) once a year in LA where all the newest and hottest things in the world of video games are announced. Last year for example, we saw our first peek at Microsoft’s Kinect for the Xbox 360 (and the redesigned, slimmer 360), the PlayStation Move for the PS3, and the Nintendo 3DS. Not to mention info on new video games like the latest in Madden, Gears of War, Halo and Call Of Duty.

This year of course looks to bring things up a notch with Microsoft and Sony taking the stage later today for their E3 keynotes (with Microsoft expected to show off a bunch of new games for Kinect and Sony expected to give a whole lot more info on the NGP/PSP 2. And when we say a “whole lot of info” with Sony we mean it– their event is slated to go for 5 hours!). Nintendo takes the stage on Tuesday and they look to have planned some big announcements of their own.

We’ll have all the info on the big 3’s keynotes covered for you back here. If your interested in following along live, here are the links and times for their respective live streams: Microsoft (today 12:30 PM ET/ 9:30 AM PT); Sony (tonight 8 PM ET/5 PM PT); Nintendo (Tuesday 12 PM ET/ 9 AM PT).

Oh, and in case that wasn’t enough for a crazy tomorrow, we also have Apple’s WWDC keynote (beginning at 1 PM ET) with what promises to bring a whole lot of new info on Apple’s upcoming iOS 5 and OS X Lion operating systems, and more info on Apple’s big new product: iCloud (said to be for storing things like your music, documents etc. on the internet– aka “the cloud” because the data is not just on your one device but available for you to access from anywhere you have internet access. What exactly Apple is going to do with iCloud is sure to be very interesting). And who knows, maybe Apple will surprise everyone with a “one more thing” and announce the next iPhone like they have done at WWDC the past 3 years.

Again, we’re gonna have all of this covered for you tomorrow. You’re definitely gonna wanna check back.

Looking For A New PC For College? How About A Free New Xbox 360 To Go With It? (UPDATE: It Will Also Work For High School Students)

windows xbox college deal

Thought Apple’s usual back to school deal of a free iPod Touch with a new Mac was a good deal if you were looking for a new computer for college? Well this year we think you’re gonna wanna hear what Microsoft’s offering first. Beginning this Sunday, May 22nd, and running through September 3rd Microsoft will be giving away free 4 GB Xbox 360s with all new PC purchases of $699 or higher. All you gotta do to get this offer is show your Student ID if your buying in a store or a enter your .edu email address if you’re buying online (this is the email address your college gives you once you enroll). What? As we all know school, particularly college, is very stressful and there are many educational benefits to video games.

Sadly this deal looks to be for college students only so anyone looking for a new PC for high school won’t be able to take advantage of this offer (unless of course you have a college bound friend or sibling with the proper ID that’s willing to help you out). We’ve reached out to Microsoft to see if there are any deals for high school students and will update if we hear anything back.

So, what’s it gonna be for your new college computer– Mac and iTouch or PC and Xbox 360?

UPDATE: As Katie pointed out in the comments, this deal will work for high school students as well. If you are buying in a store (like at a Best Buy) all you have to do show your student ID and you should be ok (though to be on the safe side give your local store a call before you go in to make sure they are doing this deal and will accept a high school ID). If you’re buying online (like at Dell.com, HP.com etc.), and you don’t have a .edu email address, you should try chatting with an online sales rep or calling the company’s sales line (the phone numbers are usually listed at the top of the sites) to get the proper account numbers and links for where to buy your new PC and get your free Xbox.

[Thanks Katie!]

Via the Windows Blog

Apple Announces New MacBook Pros– Everything You Need To Know

macbook pro 2011 header

macbook pro 2011 update

As expected, Apple took the wraps off some incredible new MacBook Pros today– and by incredible we do mean incredible. We’re talking much faster, and much, much more powerful that if your looking for a new computer you’re gonna wanna know about. So what you waiting for? We got everything you’re gonna want and need to know about them after the break!

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