The best cheap iPad deals for Christmas 2017

If you’re looking for cheap iPad deals – you’ve most certainly come to the right place and you’ve come at the best time of year too as the Cyber Monday sales mean big reductions from most major retailers

If you’re looking for cheap iPad deals – you’ve most certainly come to the right place and you’ve come at the best time of year too as the Cyber Monday sales mean big reductions from most major retailers

In terms of tablets, the iPad has been king for years and is definitely still the best tablet. And because there are so many models these days, it’s easier than ever to find a top iPad deal, with all manner of price points on offer.

Whether you’re after a deal on a brand new iPad, the iPad Air 2 or even the iPad mini from many years ago, we’ve found the best deals so you don’t have to.

Even with discounts offers, iPads can be a bit expensive – but thankfully we’re already seeing some lower costs prices here – and also check out the Android models in our cheap tablet deals page.

Here’s a snapshot of the latest prices on a selection of popular iPad models. After that, keep scrolling for an extensive list of prices for every iPad model on the market today.

Here are the best cheap iPad deals on all available models…

New iPad 9.7 deals

The brand new iPad 9.7-inch model is the successor to the iPad Air 2. It’s a fraction thicker but contains an improved A9 chip with an M9 coprocessor for enhanced performance.

Surprisingly, this new model is actually cheaper than the iPad Air 2, making it the choice for anyone wanting a larger pad without the high costs of the Pro model.

In the US, prices for the 32GB model launched at $329, compared to £339 in the UK and $469 in Australia. The 128GB model’s price at launch was US$429 / £429 / AU$599. Opt for the cellular/SIM card 32GB model prices are around US$469 / £469 / AU$669, with the 128GB model priced at US$559 / £559 / AU$799.

Ready to order a new iPad now? Then you better take a look at the new iPad deals below – if you see the basic model for under $300 / £300 / AU$400, snap it up.

iPad Pro (2017) deals

Hey, wasn’t there supposed to be an iPad Pro 2 this year? Well, yes, but Apple instead decided to name it the iPad Pro 10.5. Thanks, Apple…

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is actually a brand new size in the iPad Pro range, as the previous smallest model was 9.7-inches (as well as the 12.9-inch option). The new iPad Pro models use an A10X processor, and the older ones have the A9X chip if you need to tell the difference. Some retailers also have ‘2017’ in the listing title too, but many, including Apple, don’t.

Why buy the new iPad Pro models? Well, the A10X is a faster processor to give it the edge over the older iPad Pro although the performance boost isn’t huge to be honest. The rear camera gets a modest megapixel boost. The front camera gets a bigger upgrade though, for a much clearer FaceTime experience.

The new iPad Pro screens now benefit from smaller bezels and an improved display, for the best iPad display yet.

Both of the new models are available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB hard drive sizes. You’ll also need to decide if you want a standard iPad Pro with only Wi-Fi or mobile tethering options available for online activities, or to opt for the considerably more expensive cellular models and a data-only SIM only deal too.

If the improvements don’t float your boat, you should take a look further down this page as we’ve listed the best deals available for the older iPad Pro models.

iPad Pro 9.7-inch deals

The older 9.7 model is much cheaper than the new 10.5-incher

The iPad Pro 9.7 used to be the gold standard in iPad design, but it’s been dethroned by its slightly larger, yet younger sibling. This model originally arrived in March 2016 instead of an iPad Air 3 and still offers more than enough power and quality for someone thinking of stepping up to the Pro level of iPad, with the Pencil and Smart Keyboard on offer.

That’s great news for anyone who wanted pro features at a cheaper price, as it’s the least costly of all the iPad Pro models around right now.

iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2015) deals

The iPad Pro isn’t a laptop replacement in the way power users will hope but it is, by some distance, one of the most brilliant tablets ever released.

Using its enormous 12.9-inch screen is an impressive experience and the power inside – despite the age – has rarely been bettered in the tablet world. So to anyone that wants an iPad with more power, a better audio and reading experience and more abilities than ever before, there’s no question here.

Go for the iPad Pro and once you’ve got over the cost, you’ll find it offers a lot of benefits. And with the new 2017 version on shelves now, we’re seeing the price drop on this still-excellent iPad with many of the features you’ll actually want.

iPad Air 2 deals

The iPad Air 2 is older, but still a good buy, with us saying that Apple ‘improved on perfection’.

There’s a newer iPad 9.7 that acts as a spiritual successor to the iPad Air 2, but you can often find the former model for less, especially if you’re happy with refurbished models (and they’re very much worth checking out).

The combination of power, better screen, improved design and upgraded OS make this a very, very compelling device – and that’s before getting into the fact the app ecosystem is so much stronger than on Android.

It’s even better now iOS 10 is capable of scaling apps so seamlessly – the days of low-res iPhone apps are gone. Here are the best cheap iPad Air 2 deals currently available…

iPad Air deals

It’s still impressive to hold the iPad Air – even though it’s now the thicker option compare to the iPad above. From the clever construction to the fast processor to the improved user interface, this iPad may be a bit older but it’s still a strong choice for the right price. Choose a cheap iPad Air deal from these options we’ve found:

iPad mini 4 deals

Is the iPad mini 4 the best 7-inch tablet ever made? Quite possibly. One of the major changes with the iPad mini 4 over the previous year’s so-so mini 3 is its design.

It may look the same, but it’s been slimmed down from 7.5mm to a wafer thin 6.1mm. It’s also more powerful, has a stunning screen and the battery is still a 10-hour beast.

The A8 processor was a good step up from the A7 inside the mini 3 so if you’re going to play 3D games or throw around some of the more hefty iPad apps from the App Store, this is certainly your best option – all while being neat and compact.

iPad mini 3 deals

The iPad mini 3 wasn’t the most exciting upgrade when it launched, basically adding in a new color and Touch ID to the iPad mini 2. It’s now off-sale with the major retailers, but you can still pick it up for a half-decent price refurbished (even from Apple) or from resellers.

For most tablet tasks it’ll perform admirably and is updated to iOS 11 – so you’re still getting all the performance you’d want, with a more compact option over the Air range with the 7.9-inch screen this packs.

Here’s every cheap iPad mini 3 deal you could ever want, and then some…

iPad mini 2 deals

The first iPad mini with Retina display is a deal-tastic marvel

This was the first iPad with a Retina display, and it still stacks up thanks to some lower prices. The deals can fluctuate – if you see the iPad mini 3 above for cheaper, then go for that as it’s an enhanced model – but if you’re smart you can pick up the iPad mini 2 for a good price, and it’s perfect for the loved one who doesn’t need the best screen and highest-performing processor.

Only word of warning: it might not get upgraded to iOS 12, so won’t have all the newest features. But then again, if you’re not bothered about the screen, you’re probably not going to care about that either.

Here are the best cheap iPad mini 2 deals currently available…

iPad mini deals

The cheapest iPad out there but it’s still a winner

So the original iPad mini may not have a Retina display but for the right price, it’s still worth looking at. That said, there aren’t a lot of places putting it for under $200 / £200 / AU$300, which is the level we’d suggest if you wanted this ageing iPad. Here are the best cheap iPad mini deals we can find at the moment, but we’d suggest going for at least a mini 2 right now.

Rise of the toy battle bots – CNET

Earlier this year two massive mega bots battled it out in one of the most anticipated, expensive robotics events in recent history. Years of development and engineering were on display as giant robots piloted by humans duked it out on the internet.

Earlier this year two massive mega bots battled it out in one of the most anticipated, expensive robotics events in recent history. Years of development and engineering were on display as giant robots piloted by humans duked it out on the internet. It was most likely an experience battle bot civilians like you and me will never experience.

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Now, however, fighting a robot war inside a mech warrior is possible thanks to Chinese-based company GJS Robot. GSJ Robot has been producing affordable functional battlebots since 2016. Its first fighting robot was Ganker, a fast and nimble bot that does battle with a large sword. Ganker is currently available for $399 at Gankerrobot.com and other robotics retailers. The robot is controlled via smartphone phone app and has sensors all over its body that can detect when it’s been struck by the enemy robot. The scoring system tracks every time the robots make contact and scores the fight accordingly. The app also has buttons for preset fighting stances and attack moves. The robot gets around fast on omni-directional wheels and is customizable with different weapons like an large axe and robot parts such as a mountable POV camera for FPV fighting. Ganker is popular in robot-fighting tournaments around the world because of its rugged frame and high speeds.

GEIO, GJS Robot’s first FPS Battle Bot was announced a few weeks ago and uses visual recognition, can see with its onboard camera and is more like a first-person shooter game with the ability to play in first-person view. GEIO connects to your phone via Wi-Fi and broadcasts its view to your phone’s screen via the GEIO smartphone app. Your phone screen displays a heads up display from the robots POV allowing you to chase and target other GEIO bots in the battle. You can fire up to 100 rounds of virtual bullets before having to reload. When you get hit by another GEIO robot your phone vibrates just like an FPS video game, adding to the excitement and tension. As you get hit by your opponent, your health bar decreases until eventually it’s game over for one of the battle bots. GEIO is currently available for $200.

GEIO can track and target enemies on its own thanks to AI technology similar to that being used in some self-driving cars today. GEIO also uses totems which are simply a cardboard box that have special designs printed on the sides. The bot can scan these totems to unlock different weapons in the game. These weapons can then be used to do things like freeze the enemy or decelerate the enemy’s speed. The totems can also be used for different game settings like scavenger hunt or a robot race.

The robot gets around 40 minutes on a full battery charge and it’s easy to pair with a phone. GJS Robot is working on peripherals like an exoskeleton suit and power gloves for Ganker so you can control the robot with your own body. It’s also developing VR goggles for the GEIO so you can play inside from the FPV much like the FPV drone-racing leagues we’ve seen the past few years. The idea of being inside one of these robots doing battle sounds like a ton of fun and I look forward to the gaming potential these robots bring to the gaming industry and robotics development.

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PicoBrew Pico Model C Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

I brewed two beers yesterday. It was a good day.

Like the original Pico I reviewed earlier this year (now called the Pico Model S), the PicoBrew Pico Model C turns prepackaged ingredients into beer with relatively little effort on your part.

I brewed two beers yesterday. It was a good day.

Like the original Pico I reviewed earlier this year (now called the Pico Model S), the PicoBrew Pico Model C turns prepackaged ingredients into beer with relatively little effort on your part.

You insert your ingredient pack — called a PicoPak — into a big plastic bin, put the bin into the Pico’s main compartment, add distilled water and hit start. It’s more involved than making a cup of coffee with a Keurig, but it’s also a genuine brewing process. The PicoPaks contain the ingredients you’d expect — malted barley, hops and yeast. Pico takes a couple of hours to cook your beer. Then you’ll need to wait a couple of weeks after your initial brew while your beer ferments and carbonates.

PicoPaks cost roughly $20 a piece and produce about five liters of beer. At this point, PicoBrew sells quite a variety of PicoPaks with all different types of beer, including beers from a different countries and microbrewed beers that aren’t widely distributed. Head to Picobrew’s store to browse the options of beers you can make with the Pico.

What’s new

One day, two beers, minimal effort. Hands on with the Pico Model C

We brew a couple of beers in PicoBrew’s streamlined beerbot.

by Andrew Gebhart
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For the most part, the Model C works just like the original Pico, so check out our review of that product and our detailed progress reports for a more in-depth look at how Pico makes beer. The Model C differs from its predecessor in price — it’s $550 vs $800 for the Model S. The exterior of the Model C is plastic now instead of stainless steel. The display is smaller and the brewing keg is redesigned to be more user-friendly for beginners.

Both models will ship overseas. The Model C price converts to roughly £400 and AU$725. The Model S price converts to £600 and AU$1,050.

All of the changes were meant to make the machine more affordable — $550 is a more reasonable splurge — and to streamline the process to lower the barrier to entry for beginners. In practice, the changes didn’t save me much time while brewing. Like the Pico S, you’ll want to keep the instruction manual handy for your first couple of brews as you’ll need to rinse the system, use the right amount of water, properly insert the PicoPak and correctly attach the brewing keg to the Pico.


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Brewing beers with the PicoBrew Model C is easier than ever

Pico’s display will walk you through each step. The hoses that attach to the keg are labeled and the machine handles most of the heavy lifting of the actual brewing. So once you get rolling, you’ll find using Pico is mostly intuitive. Don’t expect to push a button and be done a la Keurig, but the process is much simpler than brewing with more traditional analog methods. Once the machine kicks into action, you can walk away and monitor the progress of the brew on the company’s site since the Pico is Wi-Fi enabled.

I did find the Model C’s brewing keg easier to use than its predecessor. The Model S used a small cornelius keg — a type of keg frequently used in homebrewing. Keeping a corny keg clean requires that you disassemble its valves and keep careful track of the small springs and pieces that make up those valves while you wash away any sediment buildup. You’ll be used to that if you regularly brew at home, but it’s tedious for beginners.

The top of the Model C’s keg simply pops off, so I’d imagine cleaning the keg after the beer ferments will be much easier. The Pico C also makes cleanup after the brew pretty painless. The system rinses out its pipes, and you can compost the used PicoPak. I was brewing my second batch of beer within 10 minutes of finishing my first batch, but I had an extra brewing keg. The system only comes with one, which holds your beer while it ferments, so without paying for an extra keg, you’ll need to wait before you start your next beer.

I still have doubts

The Pico C instructs you to leave you unfermented beer (called wort) to cool overnight before adding your yeast to kick off fermentation. That step worried me when testing the original Pico, as your beer is particularly vulnerable to infection while it cools, so common practice when brewing is to cool your hot wort as quickly as possible and then add your yeast.

Neither of the beers I brewed with the original Pico turned out well. I don’t know if they got infected during that overnight step or at another point in the process. In addition to the overnight cooling, I’d also worry that the pop-off top might make it easier for the brewing keg to not be properly sealed.

Nevertheless, the wort smelled great when I added (or pitched) the yeast the next day. The Pico C hasn’t made many drastic changes, but hopefully the little tweaks and streamlined features will help cut down on the risk of infection at other points in the process.

PicoBrew also has a new $60 attachment called PicoFerm which attaches to your brewing keg and monitors your wort while the yeast works. I’m testing the PicoFerm on one of the beers I’m brewing and it’ll supposedly monitor the pressure of the keg and let me know when fermentation is complete.

Outlook

Yesterday was a good day because I was able to brew two beers with very little work on my part. I’m hoping it’ll be an even better day in a couple of weeks, when I get to try the beers and see how they turned out. I’m skeptical, as the beers I brewed in the Pico S’s predecessor weren’t great, but maybe all of the Pico C’s little changes will add up to better beer at a more affordable price.

Google’s new Datally app could help you save mobile data – CNET

Google on Thursday introduced its new Datally app, which lets you monitor and save mobile data. It’s available in the Google Play store for any Android phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer.

Google on Thursday introduced its new Datally app, which lets you monitor and save mobile data. It’s available in the Google Play store for any Android phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer.

You can see your usage on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis and get recommendations for how you can save more. To save data, you can turn on the Data Saver feature to block background data usage and track consumption in real time. The app also will alert you when public Wi-Fi is nearby.

During a trial in the Philippines, users saved up to 30 percent of their data, Google said.

Datally’s features are nothing new. You can find the capabilities in Android settings, but putting them into one app makes it easier for people to find and use them.

Saving data is important for people in countries like the US, particularly as apps pack in more features that suck up bandwidth. It’s also key in less developed nations as Google tries to expand with its “Next Billion Users” push.

The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.

iHate: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.

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Here’s why you need to have a VPN on your router

A VPN remains the primary point of defense for your privacy when you’re online. Without a VPN, all your data is literally an open book that anyone who intercepts your internet traffic can read.

A VPN remains the primary point of defense for your privacy when you’re online. Without a VPN, all your data is literally an open book that anyone who intercepts your internet traffic can read. This potentially includes the criminal at your local Wi-Fi-toting coffee shop, your ISP, and government agencies conducting mass surveillance campaigns online.

It’s no wonder that privacy-conscious surfers have increasingly turned to using VPN services for their protection.

The simplest way to get a VPN up and running is by installing the native client on your computer. All VPNs offer a software client of some description, at the very least for Windows, and often for Mac and Linux platforms, and indeed mobile devices (commonly Android and iOS) too. A few VPN providers even support more obscure platforms like BlackBerry, or devices like the Boxee box.

However, no VPN service, no matter how well intentioned, can seriously support all of the niche platforms out there to provide privacy for each and every device you might own.

And even if a VPN service wanted to try and cover every available device somehow, there are still plenty of gadgets in existence that simply can’t have a VPN client installed, like a smart thermostat or connected fridge, or a wireless camera.

As the number of connected devices has continued to grow swiftly, at a certain point it simply makes more sense to provide VPN privacy to the network as a whole, rather than each device individually. After all, each of these devices is a tiny computer in and of itself, and there are increasing reports of attempts to hack and exploit them.

Check out the best free VPN services of 2017

Network-wide protection

The deployment of a VPN network-wide can be likened to the firewall on a network. As you’re most likely aware, the firewall guards the entire network, policing incoming traffic and blocking anything malicious (and watching outbound traffic, too). While each Windows computer has a built-in software firewall, in most networks this is considered a secondary measure, and the primary firewall is a hardware firewall that is located on the router.

So, just like the router has a firewall to protect the entire network from malware or hacking, the router can be configured so that all traffic running to or from the network can be protected by the VPN.

With a VPN installed on the router, all of the devices connected to the router, whether via a wired or wireless connection, will benefit from the VPN with its encrypted tunnel to maintain the privacy and security of your data (and other benefits besides).

An additional advantage is that a VPN installed on a router is active at all times, and you don’t need to individually start each software client across your different devices every time you require VPN protection.

It’s also worth bearing in mind the good reasons why a VPN isn’t enough

Anti-poaching

Another advantage of having the VPN on the router is another layer of protection against Wi-Fi poaching, which is when an uninvited guest decides to connect to and use your wireless network.

Now there are certainly best practices to avoid this situation, including having a complex, lengthy and robust password that uses upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols for both the primary wireless signal, and the Guest network too, as well as disabling PIN, and finally, running a current model router with the most recent firmware update.

However, even if you implement all those measures, in the worst-case scenario of an individual still managing to get onto your network and use it for nefarious purposes – at least with the VPN operational on the attacker’s device, you’ve got a certain level of anonymity, so whatever the interloper may have done (possibly something illegal), it doesn’t lead directly back to your IP address.

Potential downsides

So we can clearly see there are definite positive points for having a VPN network-wide, but in the interests of balance, let’s look at any possible drawbacks before plunging in feet-first and installing a VPN on your router.

Bypassing geo-restrictions and blocking is something a VPN can allow you to do, and that’s certainly a useful feature at times, but on the other hand, you may find yourself blocked from certain online resources if they detect you’re using a VPN (and with the VPN on the router, you’ll be using the service across all your devices, of course).

It’s also worth bearing in mind that a VPN adds a certain amount of overhead due to the encryption/decryption process, and an additional server hop – perhaps to a faraway server in some cases – and this can slow your internet connection down, perhaps significantly at times. And again, with a VPN on the router, that slowdown will affect all your devices.

Installing a VPN on your router

For many folks, though, the pros will outweighs the cons, and that being the case, the next step is to install a VPN onto the router, with most of the better routers these days supporting this feature.

Some users turn to open source firmware for their router, such as DD-WRT, OpenWRT or Tomato, which offer advanced functionality and are well-suited to using a VPN. Among routers with stock factory firmware, in our experience, Asus routers, with their AsusWRT interface, are stable and lend themselves to implementing a VPN at the network level; indeed, we used AsusWRT for our guide on installing a VPN on your router.

Be sure to find out the encryption protocols that your VPN service supports, then choose one and obtain the relevant setup details from your provider. The encryption protocols used for VPN on a router include PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN, with the latter offering the best level of security, so it is frequently preferred by users. Head here for an in-depth look at VPN protocols.

Check out our best VPN services to get the best VPN deals and offers going

Can the Apple Watch work without an iPhone?

Update: With the cellular Apple Watch 3 available you can now do more than ever without tethering your Watch to your iPhone, but even without Apple’s latest wearable there are plenty of phone-free Apple Watch features.

Update: With the cellular Apple Watch 3 available you can now do more than ever without tethering your Watch to your iPhone, but even without Apple’s latest wearable there are plenty of phone-free Apple Watch features.

With the arguable exception of the cellular version of the Apple Watch 3, the Apple Watch isn’t designed to replace your iPhone just yet. In fact, it depends on it.

Many Apple Watch apps are really just displays for things running on your iPhone, and some key features aren’t available if you aren’t paired to an iOS device.

For example, the original Watch doesn’t have a GPS receiver, so if your phone isn’t around you can’t track the distance you’ve travelled beyond measuring steps.

GPS has been included in the Apple Watch 2 and Apple Watch 3, but even they don’t have their own cameras, so while you can use them as a viewfinder for your phone they don’t have the ability to snap anything by themselves.

That doesn’t mean the Apple Watch is a dumb terminal, though. It has its own processor, sensors and on-board storage, and we’re increasingly seeing stacks of innovative apps as developers are discovering the possibilities.

Here are the key things you can do with any Apple Watch model, even when there’s no iPhone for it to talk to – after the initial setup on the handset is complete that is.

Pay for stuff

Once you’ve set up Apple Pay via the Apple Watch app, you’ll be able to use the Watch to pay for things in shops.

The app creates a unique token that’s stored on the Watch to use as a card number – allowing you use Apple Pay even when you’re away from your phone. To pay, simply wave your watch at the Apple Pay-compatible terminal and let the built-in NFC (near-field communication) radio do its thing.

Get on planes or go to the movies

Apple Wallet is on the Apple Watch, so anything already stored in it – aeroplane boarding passes, electronic tickets and anything else scannable – should work just fine without your iPhone.

Sadly, not all firms have embraced this, so we’re still often wandering around with pockets and purses full of plastic, but we’re gradually seeing more things go digital.

Listen to music, audiobooks or podcasts

The Watch has its own storage space, some of which is available for music – so you can use the Watch’s built-in Bluetooth to pair with a pair of wireless headphones and get music on the move.

Naturally you won’t be able to stream music from the likes of Spotify or Apple Music without an internet connection, which means being in Wi-Fi range or using an Apple Watch 3 cellular model, but there’s more than enough internal storage for a run, a workout or a short commute.

Open doors

One of the smoothest features we saw at the Apple Watch launch event was SPG Keyless, a feature that enables Apple Watch users to unlock Starwood hotel rooms without anything as old-fashioned as a key.

According to Starwood, the keys work via Bluetooth Low Energy and are popped up by the iPhone app as push notifications the day before you check in.

The same idea could of course work with any other kind of Bluetooth-enabled smart lock, so it’s possible we’ll see Apple Watch-compatible locks for your home, garage or gym locker.

Track your fitness

The Apple Watch doesn’t need to be paired with your phone to monitor your heart rate or workout: it can store that data and sync it to the Health app when you get back from your run, cycle or trip to the gym. There are also various third-party fitness apps available, such as Strava.

Control your Apple TV

Apple’s Remote app has been ported to the Watch, and like its iOS sibling it enables you to control your Apple TV via the magic of wireless radio.

You can also use it to control iTunes on your computer.

Do watch things

Hardly a surprise, this, but time-related functions such as the alarm, stopwatch and timer don’t need a phone to function.

What iPhone-free features do you think we’ll see from app developers? Let us know in the comments.

10 tips for better laptop battery life with Windows 10 – CNET

Does your laptop have you singing the short-battery-life blues? If you’ve updated to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, then you’ve got a new tool to help extend your laptop’s running time.

Does your laptop have you singing the short-battery-life blues? If you’ve updated to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, then you’ve got a new tool to help extend your laptop’s running time. I’ll cover this new tool along with some tried-and-true battery-saving tips.

Turn down display brightness

Powering all of those pixels in the display is the single greatest drain on battery resources. The first item to check when you are experiencing troublingly short battery life is your display brightness. If you’ve got it turned up all the way or near the max, then lower the brightness; you might also find it a more comfortable computing experience to your eyes.

Your laptop likely has two Function keys mapped to display brightness. If not, you can find a brightness slider by going to Settings > System > Display. You’ll also find a slider for display brightness in the Windows Mobility Center, which is buried in the Control Panel; the easiest way to find it is just to search for it.

Paint it black

A bright desktop background requires your display’s pixels to light up more, when requires more juice. Choose a dark picture or color by going to Settings > Personalization > Background.

Turn off keyboard backlights

Like the display, keyboard backlighting also drains your laptop’s battery. Turn them off when they aren’t needed. Your laptop likely has a Function key that lets you toggle the keyboard backlights on and off. If not, you’ll find a control for it in the Windows Mobility Center.

Introducing the new battery slider

OK, now here’s the new battery tool. Fall Creators Update has made it easier to switch between power modes. Instead of digging into the battery page in settings to switch from high performance to battery saver mode or vice versa, you now can just click or tap the battery icon in the taskbar. You’ll be able to move a slider from Best battery life to best performance or a balanced mode in between.

Check power and sleep settings

Dig into Power & sleep settings by clicking its link in the battery menu from the taskbar (or by going to Settings > System > Power & sleep), and you can shorten the time before the display turns off or your laptop goes into sleep mode when it’s running on battery power. The shorter you set these times, the longer your battery will last.

Use Battery Saver

Windows 10’s built-in Battery Saver mode activates when your remaining battery dips below 20 percent. It disables email and calendar syncing, push notifications, and apps from running in the background. It should be enabled by default, but check to make sure it is by going to Settings > System > Battery. If you find that Battery Saver doesn’t disrupt your regular Windows habits, then you can raise the threshold for when it activates above 20 percent.

Check Battery usage by app

You can see which apps are using the most battery resources by Settings > System > Battery and click Battery usage by app. The list will show you the percentage of battery your apps have used in the past 6 or 24 hours or the past week. If you find an app that you think it using more than its fair share, click on it and toggle off the switch for Managed by Windows and then make sure the box remains unchecked for Allow app to run background tasks.

Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not needed

These wireless networking technologies consume battery power. You can disable both by using Airplane mode. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar and then click the Airplane mode button. You can also disable only Wi-Fi by clicking the Wi-Fi button on the taskbar Wi-Fi menu. To disable Bluetooth, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices and toggle off the switch for Bluetooth.

Sync email less

Constantly checking for new email messages can drain your battery. So, tell Windows to check less frequently to extend the life of your battery. Go to Settings > Accounts > Email & app accounts. Click on your account, click the Manage button and then for Download new content, switch it from as items arrive to every 30 minutes, hourly or manually and then click Done.

Try Edge

Microsoft claims its Edge browser lets your battery run 36 to 53 percent longer than Chrome, Firefox or Opera. CNET hasn’t put these claims to the test, but give Edge a whirl to see if you get better battery performance with it. Here are 10 tips to get started with Edge.

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Apple’s iPhones Prevail Over Android in Smartphone Performance Battle

Interestingly, both Android and iOS devices have seen their failure rates increase quarter-over-quarter. In Q2 2017, for example, the failure rate for iOS devices worldwide was 12 percent. This has since increased to 16 percent in Q3 2017.

Interestingly, both Android and iOS devices have seen their failure rates increase quarter-over-quarter. In Q2 2017, for example, the failure rate for iOS devices worldwide was 12 percent. This has since increased to 16 percent in Q3 2017. Android devices have experienced a similar struggle, with the failure rate worldwide jumping from 25 percent in Q2 2017 to 30 percent in Q3 2017.

Key highlights from the Q3 2017 trend report include:

The iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 Plus models are plagued by high failure rates. In Q3 2017, the iPhone 6 had the highest failure rate (26 percent), followed by the iPhone 6S (11 percent) and the iPhone 7 Plus (9 percent). Samsung, Xiaomi and LG smartphones struggle with performance issues and failures. In Q3 2017, Samsung was the Android manufacturer with the highest failure rate (53 percent). Meanwhile, Xiaomi and LG emerged in the list of Android manufacturers with high failure rates, at 4 percent and 2 percent respectively. WiFi, receiver and Bluetooth problems cause frequent lags on iOS devices. Based on our Q3 2017 diagnostics data, WiFi accounted for 3 percent of the performance issues worldwide on iOS devices, followed by the receiver (2 percent) and Bluetooth (2 percent). Battery charge and carrier signal issues frustrate Android smartphone users. In Q3 2017, battery charge ranked as the fourth most common performance issue (5 percent) on Android smartphones worldwide. Meanwhile, the carrier signal also ranked high on the list of performance issues worldwide, at 6 percent. iOS apps crash seven times more frequently than Android apps. In Q3 2017, iOS apps crashed at a rate of 57 percent. This is significantly higher than the rate at which Android apps crashed (8 percent). Rooting is commonplace among Android users, while iOS jailbreaking is on the decline. According to our Q3 2017 data, Android users are more inclined to root their devices than iOS users are to jailbreak their iPhones. In fact, the rate of jailbroken devices worldwide was only 0.038 percent, which is considerably lower than the rate of rooted Android devices (0.99 percent).

In September 2017, Apple unveiled its newest iPhone models – the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. These models have been lauded by mobile industry experts and have received significant interest and sales from users already. “Apple has always tried to offer the best quality and reliability with its iPhones,” said Russ Ernst, VP of Product Management, Blancco Technology Group. “There’s no doubt that Apple will continue to innovate with these newest models. But with drastic design changes and the introduction of new technology features, such as the facial recognition feature on the iPhone X, there may be some challenges and performance issues that will arise. If and when these occur, accurately diagnosing and resolving those issues will be key to improving the user experience and customer satisfaction.”

About Blancco Technology Group
Blancco Technology Group (AIM: BLTG) is the de facto standard in data erasure and mobile device diagnostics. The Blancco Data Eraser solutions provide thousands of organizations with an absolute line of defense against costly security breaches, as well as verification of regulatory compliance through a 100% tamper-proof audit trail. Our data erasure solutions have been tested, certified, approved and recommended by 18 governing bodies around the world. No other security firm can boast this level of compliance with the most rigorous requirements set by government agencies, legal authorities and independent testing laboratories.

The Blancco Mobile Diagnostics solutions enable mobile network operators, retailers and insurers to easily, quickly and accurately identify and resolve performance issues on their customers’ mobile devices. As a result, mobile service providers can spend less time dealing with technical issues and, in turn, reduce the quantity of NTF returns, save on operational costs and increase customer satisfaction.

For more information, visit our website at www.blancco.com.

Media Contacts:
SHIFT Communications for Blancco Technology Group (US)
David Heffernan, Account Director
T: (617) 779-1839
E: blancco@shiftcomm.com

SAY Communications for Blancco Technology Group (Europe)
Robert Hickling, Senior Account Manager
T: 44 (0) 20 8971 6427
E: blancco@saycomms.co.uk

Blancco Technology Group
Ragini Bhalla, Senior Director of Global Communications
E: ragini.bhalla@blancco.com

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SOURCE Blancco Technology Group

Related Links

http://www.blanccotechnologygroup.com

Future Toyota Adventure Concept (FT-AC) Takes Outdoor Fun to New Levels at 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

It’s no coincidence then that FT-AC makes its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, in a city where much of the population escapes to the hills, deserts, or beaches for their much-needed weekend recharges after a long week of work.

It’s no coincidence then that FT-AC makes its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, in a city where much of the population escapes to the hills, deserts, or beaches for their much-needed weekend recharges after a long week of work.

“FT-AC is perfect for those outdoor enthusiasts who want to dial up the adventure on their weekend getaways,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager, Toyota division. “No matter the roads, the activities, or the people, FT-AC sparks authentic fun and conversation.”

Representing the next level in Toyota’s adventure-loving lineup of concept vehicles, FT-AC provides the right instrument for a wide mix of excursions, be they on paved roads or not.

Fun on the Journey

FT-AC reminds adventurers of all skill levels how remarkable the trip – not just the destination – can be. Going for a paddle on the river. Climbing a favorite rock face. Hitting a trail on a mountain bike. FT-AC is experience-centric. It compels. Any wheel time in FT-AC brings genuine facetime with the friends aboard.

It puts versatility at the forefront of its ethos and, in doing so, invites passengers to personalize – and accentuate – each trip. Acknowledging that adventures vary in scope and scale, FT-AC’s innate versatility is a strength that caters to various lifestyles, preferences, and even generations.

One-of-a-Kind Adventure

At first glance, it is evident that FT-AC’s bold and daring design reflects the confident spirit of Toyota’s existing SUVs and trucks.

The pronounced, wide, black front grille is flanked with bright LED headlights. Fog lights brighten the road ahead during foul weather or poor conditions and can even be taken out from their pods and used as portable lights. The fog lights can be attached to a mountain bike for occasional night rides. Below, FT-AC has twin hooks for vehicle recovery. Skid plates help protect the short front and rear overhangs, so rocks, ruts, and just about anything else will have trouble slowing down the rig.

FT-AC was designed around a long wheelbase and wide track to help emphasize its powerful stance. Extra wide fender flares provide body shielding and look as if they float above the 20-inch wheels and beefier all-terrain tires, both of which help accentuate its commanding look. Its impressive footwear and generous ground clearance provide drivers with more options as to where FT-AC can go and play.

The safari-style cargo roof rack system can haul all types of adventure gear. LED marker lights at its front corners can provide ambient lighting around the vehicle, brighten the trail ahead or, if desired, act as a flash for the side mirrors’ embedded cameras.

The infrared cameras on the side mirrors can record trail runs and, like the fog lights, can be removed and mounted off-vehicle so that no fun goes undocumented. An integrated Wi-Fi hotspot automatically uploads footage to cloud-based storage where real-time editing and posting can be accessed via mobile device. The Wi-Fi connectivity even gives adventure-goers the ability to livestream the fun to fans and followers.

The roof rack’s rear-facing LED lights also aid nighttime visibility and can be controlled via mobile device as well. Also at the rear is an innovative integrated bike rack that retracts, making for a highly useful feature that can be securely hidden in only a few seconds. Lastly, drivers and passengers can utilize FT-AC’s geolocation capabilities for directions back to basecamp.

FT-AC’s contrasting colors combine Prospect Green with Fortress Gray accents to highlight its go-anywhere brashness.

Envisioned Capabilities

Although currently a design experiment, FT-AC has been imagined as a thoroughly capable gasoline-powered vehicle with an advanced torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. This enables power to be routed, as needed, for excellent controllability and maximum traction. Variable terrain-response settings and 4-wheel lock functionality build on its capability by managing traction control and throttle response to maximize grip at each wheel for a more dynamic driving experience.

And who says a hybrid vehicle can only play on pavement? FT-AC could offer a next-generation hybrid powertrain that blends fuel efficiency with rugged all-wheel-drive grunt, giving drivers better power, responsiveness, and impressive fuel economy – all without compromise.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE: TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 33 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 46,000 people (more than 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.

Toyota Product Communications

Nate Martinez
+1 (469) 292-5753
nate.martinez@toyota.com

Josh Burns
+1 (469) 292-6449
joshua.burns@toyota.com

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SOURCE Toyota Motor North America

Related Links

http://ToyotaNewsroom.com

The best printers of 2017: inkjet, colour, mono and laser printers

Looking for the best printer money can buy in 2017? You’ve come to the right place, as we’ve listed the top printers for home and office use. You can rest assured that only the very best laptops are in this list, and we regularly update it with the latest models.

Looking for the best printer money can buy in 2017? You’ve come to the right place, as we’ve listed the top printers for home and office use. You can rest assured that only the very best laptops are in this list, and we regularly update it with the latest models.

We’re here to make things easier when choosing the best printer for your needs, and we cut through all the jargon. Because there are so many decent multi-purpose printers at very competitive prices, you’re spoilt for choice when looking for a new printer, so use our best printer list to help you pick the right one.

We’ve also split this list into the best inkjet printers and the best laser printers, and we include standard printers as well as multi-function ones. No matter what type of printer you’re after, we have one for you, and our price comparison tool makes sure you get the best deals as well.

Check out what printers made it into our top 10 best business printers roundupBest inkjet printers

The Deskjet 3630 is a decent printer for the price, offering reasonable print speeds and the ability to connect to mobile devices without breaking the bank. Just be wary as its ink cartridges can be priced when picked up from shops. It doesn’t quite have the build quality of HP’s more expensive Envy models, but if you’re looking for an initially cheap model that catches the eye when sat on a shelf, the Deskjet 3630 is a great option.

Read the full review: HP Deskjet 3630

The WorkForce Pro WF-4630 is a solid printer for small businesses and workgroups given its fast print speeds, solid print qualities and remote printing and scanning capabilities. Using the larger XL print cartridges, the WF-4630 delivers economical print costs that rival laser printers.

Read the full review: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630

A very quick colour all-in-one bristling with print, copy, scan and mobile printing options the Officejet Pro 6830 is also very affordable, especially if you opt for the pay-per-page Instant Ink service.

Read the full review: HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One

Great for the traveling professional or someone who needs a small printer for occasional use, printing photos or using the scanner function. It’s a bit pricey to buy – and to run – but the flexibility and quality of the printouts is excellent.

Consumables are usually expensive when it comes to printers. So it is quite surprising that one vendor, Epson, single-handedly decided to challenge that status quo by allowing users to refill their printer using ink bottles. What’s even more surprising is that Epson includes two years of ink with the package; no more expensive cartridges and instead, you have enough material to deliver 11,000 pages worth of black and colour inks (that’s 700ml worth of liquid). Oh and there’s even a three-year warranty making this a great choice for bean counters fixing the TCO of their printers. The ET-4550 lacks the features found on cheaper competitors – it is relatively slower (although it has a higher printing resolution) and has a small paper input tray.

If you’re looking for a great all-round printer which doesn’t skimp on print quality for your photographs, then we don’t think you will be disappointed by what the PIXMA TS9150, Canon’s flagship printer, has to offer.

While it’s certainly more expensive than some of the cheap two in one printers you can pick up, it’s not a bad price for something which produces high quality prints, especially if you only need to print at A4 or below.

Best of all, the print quality here is stunning, and it also has an attractive design. While the looks of your printer may not seem that important, it does mean you don’t feel the need to try and hide it away out of sight if you’re using it at home.

This is a big and bulky printer, that would look more at home in an office than a house – but it’s a fantastic performer that can handle both A4 and the larger A3 sizes. It’s cheap to run, and most importantly, the print quality is very good, making this a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for a fast and flexible printer.

We’ve come to expect simple setup and operation from Envy printers, and this one is no exception. It’s quiet, packs in a lot of features and delivers excellent print quality, especially on photo paper. We particularly like the ability to use smartphones as well as computers, and to connect wirelessly without a router.

Read the full review: HP Envy 5540 All-in-One printer

Once you’ve got the PM-400 up and running, you’ll have a ton of fun running off image after image. Although the print quality won’t win any awards for print quality, you’ll be proud to hang any of its prints on your wall or sit them on your desk.

The PM-400 is a delight to look at – not that this should heavily factor into which printer you should buy. It’s got a pretty bone white frame that tucks away neatly, and the 4-pound printer can be easily transported wherever you go.

Read the full review: Epson PictureMate PM-400

You won’t get fancy features like wireless printing, duplexing or scanning, but if you don’t need all the frills of an all-in-one printer, the HP DeskJet 1010 offers solid print performance and quality at an unbeatable price in a compact package.

Read the full review: HP DeskJet 1010 review

Best laser printers

This temptingly priced printer offers 28ppm printing at up to 4,800 x 600 dpi (effective, rather than optical, resolution). With wired (Ethernet/USB) and wireless (Wi-Fi/NFC) connectivity, duplex printing, decent eco settings and support for a wide range of media, the Samsung is an excellent all-rounder, although the multi-purpose tray can only handle one sheet of media at a time. The main cassette has a more useful capacity of 250 sheets.

The M2070W delivers a lot of bang for your business buck – there’s NFC printing from compatible smartphones, online document sharing, and a clever Eco system that supplements the usual toner saving mode with a feature to remove images from documents by replacing bitmaps with sketches.

Factor in claimed speeds of 20ppm, a clever scan to mobile feature and an effective print resolution of up to 1200dpi and you’ve got a multifunction printer that’s well worth considering.

The DCP-9020CDW is a baby Brother – it’s an entry-level all-in-one aimed at small offices, and with claimed speeds of 18ppm and a resolution of up to 2,400 dpi (effective) it has a decent spec for the price. It can upload to cloud services such as Dropbox and OneNote, it’s wireless with WPS authentication and wireless direct printing, and its running costs are competitive. It also offers automatic duplex printing and its colour screen makes it easy to install and operate. This device is a solid all-rounder for PCs and mobile devices alike.

This is a colour laser printer, plain and simple. It has a relatively small footprint on the desk thanks to a surprisingly compact design. The printer is fitted with a 150-sheet main paper tray and a 100-sheet output tray, with an integrated drum/fuser unit and manual duplexing capabilities. Controls are adequate, with a two-line LCD display and a number of buttons for basic menu navigation. The C1760NW also offers an Ethernet connector, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a USB 2.0 port; although there is no USB host connectivity. The printer is aimed at office or small workgroups and has a high-rated speed of 15ppm for black and colour. This is a good workhorse for everyday printing, where colour isn’t a major part of the mix.

At the time of writing (January 2016), this Brother was Amazon’s best-selling laser, and with good reason – for very little cash you’re getting a superb wireless colour laser. However, at this price don’t expect rock-bottom running costs – it’s a printer for livening up documents with the occasional flash of colour, not constant photo printing.

It doesn’t have automatic duplexing or an Ethernet port, but the HL-3140CW delivers superb print quality, reasonable mono running costs and good wireless features for a very low price.