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iPad Air vs. Surface 2 vs. Galaxy Note 10.1

During a San Francisco press conference today, Apple took the wraps off its newest iPad Air tablet. Sporting a more powerful 64-bit A7 processor, narrower bezels, and a thinner 0.29-inch profile, the iOS 7 device features incremental upgrades from its previous iteration, and retains the familiar aesthetics consumers have come to expect.

And while it's obvious that this iPad is an improvement on the last, Apple isn't the only company out there making top-notch tablets.

From different mobile OSes to various display sizes, users can now choose from a bevvy of tablet alternatives. To see how the … Read more

Microsoft's Surface 2 midnight launch has everything but buyers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though Apple is sure to dominate the news cycle with the rollout of new iPads on Tuesday, Microsoft didn't want the coinciding launch of its Surface 2 tablet to go uncelebrated. So it went ahead and decided to throw a simultaneous nationwide in-store launch event -- as is now the fashion with high profile hardware launches these days.

Though unlike its Cupertino competitor, Microsoft's event didn't drive droves of people to pull out their wallets when the clock ticked twelve. In fact, nearly no one I talked with was interested in buying the Surface … Read more

Spray-on Starpath makes roads glow at night

A glow-in-the-dark pathway? Yes please. A glow-in-the-dark pathway that harvests UV light during the day to power its nighttime illumination? Yes please very.

UK company Pro-Teq Surfacing just introduced Starpath, a spray-on technology that can be applied over concrete, tarmac, wood, or any other existing solid surface to give it an artificial sparkly blue glow.

The idea is that the aggregate non-reflective, anti-slip light source can enhance visibility at night, making for a potential money-saving alternative to street lamps and stepping in to aid local governments that may be trying to cut costs by cutting nighttime lighting altogether. … Read more

The case for a Microsoft Surface-like keyboard for the iPad

The tablet is moving from second screen -- for keeping up to date on the move and consuming entertainment content -- to first screen for business and pleasure.

If Gartner's estimates are correct, tablets will surpass PCs (desktops and notebooks combined) in 2015. The research firm estimates tablets will grow 53.4 percent year over year in 2013 to 184 million. PC shipments will decline 11.2 percent from last year, for a total of 303 million. Throw in ultramobile PCs, such as Microsoft's Surface running Windows 8, and the overall PC market will still decline 8.4 … Read more

Microsoft pulls problematic Windows RT update

Windows 8.1 stumbles out of the gate:

In this episode of Update:

- Microsoft does a double take with the Windows 8.1 update for RT.

- The iPhone 5S and 5C hit Boost Mobile next month.

- Xbox Live's "Games With Gold" is here to stay.

- LG's newest devices look to be running the Google Chrome operating system.

- Google Hangout users can make free voice calls using their data plans.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the … Read more

Apple may conjure up iPad keyboard to mimic Surface Touch Cover

Apple may take a page from Microsoft in cooking up a whole new keyboard for the iPad.

A case for the full size iPad that mimics Microsoft's Touch Cover has been prototyped, former Apple employee Jamie Ryan said in a blog post Saturday. Ryan said he wasn't clear whether the development is far enough along for Apple to unveil the new case at Tuesday's launch event. But he claimed that different style cases have been in the test phase for a while and that Apple is also working on various accessories.

The purported goal is to enable … Read more

Microsoft's Surface 2 is a high-quality tablet suffering from a lack of app support

The Microsoft Surface 2 is a definite upgrade over 2012's Surface RT. It's faster, with a sharper screen, and houses better cameras. If you're choosing between the older (still available) and newer model, the newer is the decidedly better option, even with its $100 premium. A far more appropriate question, however, is whether a Surface tablet in general is right for you.

There are two main issues with the Surface 2 that keep it from achieving true excellence. First -- with the notable exception of Microsoft Office 2013, which is bundled for free -- Windows RT is … Read more

Surface Pro 2 in 256GB, 512GB models won't ship till Dec. 15

Surface Pro 2 buyers who preorder the 256GB or 512GB editions may not receive the tablet for another two months.

Set to launch on October 22, the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets have been up for preorders since September 24. The shipping times for certain models found at Microsoft's online store have fluctuated since then. The latest estimates indicate that the 64GB Surface Pro 2 will ship by October 21, while the 128GB version will ship by October 25.

But the 256GB and 512GB flavors both display a ship date of December 15, pointing to a … Read more

Best Buy will give you up to $350 for your Surface tablet

Microsoft Surface owners can score as much as $350 for trading in their tablet to Best Buy.

From now until October 21, Best Buy will offer Surface owners a minimum trade-in deal of a $200 gift cart and a maximum store credit of $350. The amount Best Buy doles out for your Surface depends on its condition. But the tablet must power on and be free from water damage and screen cracks.

The offer is good at the 1,400 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores in the US that offer trade-in programs.

Customers looking to unload their current … Read more

Microsoft stores to open at midnight for Surface 2 launch

Microsoft once again plans to open its retail stores just before midnight to sell the first batch of Surface 2 tablets to early buyers.

Ten of its 70 retail locations (including pop-ups) will host midnight launch parties on October 21, Microsoft said Wednesday. The company also has hired musician Pitbull to perform at its Orlando, Fla., location, where one line-goer who participates in various "head-to-head" games will be "whisked away" to go see the show.

The Surface 2, which debuted last month, comes with Intel's latest chips and boasts better battery life than last year's model. It's also got a new two-position kickstand in the back so that the tablet can be used more easily on laps when connected to Microsoft's keyboard accessory. … Read more