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Holiday Gadgets 2012 - Handheld Devices

     Portable Players, Smartphones, Tablets

    by Douglas Dixon


Portable handheld devices, for every need


Holiday Gadgets 2012 - Handheld Devices

Dedicated Devices - Music, Books

Smartphones and Tablets

Cellular Data Service - 4G LTE - Shared Data Plans

Hardware Features and Pricing - Smartphones and Tablets (PDF)

Guide to Finding and Accessing (Free) Content on the iPad (PDF)

See also:

The Consumer Electronics Association expects this to be another good season for consumer electronics devices, matching last year with growth of around 3.4 percent -- consumers are budgeting 30% of holiday spending for CE, or about $252.

But the big breakout for this year looks to be tablet devices, which are at the top of consumer wish lists and will be pushed hard by retailers. The CEA reports that tablets are currently in around 30% of American households, and expects that number to approach 50% by the end of this season. That's compared to the approximatly 70% of U.S. households that have a computer. NPD DisplaySearch projects that tablet sales will outship notebooks in the U.S. by the end of the year.


Dedicated Players - Music, Books

  • Still a place for dedicated music / video players - Tiny, light - Clip on and go
  • And compelling advantages for dedicated E-book readers - Easier to hold and read

Dedicated Media Players - Music, Books

Today's smartphones and tablets are multi-function marvels, and extendable by downloading apps. But sometimes it still does make sense to use dedicated devices for specific purposes, especially with music players and e-book readers, since they are easier to use and can be smaller and lighter to carry.

While the music player market is declining, it's still a nice business, and Apple still owns the market with over 350 million iPods sold.


Apple - iPod Media Players - shuffle, nano


  • Not iOS devices (no Apps) - step up to iPod touch / iPhone.
  • 9/12 (iPhone 5) - iPod - over 350 million sold, World’s most popular and beloved music player
  • 10/11 (Keynote) - 78% market share for portable music players (NPD Aug. 2011)
    • 45M iPods sold from 6/10 to 7/11, almost half buyers first iPod
  • See iPod / iPhone / iPad Gallery
  • www.apple.com/ipod

  [ Apple iPod - Amazon Kindle - iPhone - iPad - Kindle Fire - Google Nexus - Samsung Galaxy - Microsoft Surface ]

Apple iPod shuffle (gen 4)

Apple iPod nano (gen 7)

Control pad - no display
0.44 oz -- 2 GB $49

2.5" widescreen, Bluetooth
1.1 oz, 5 mm thin -- 16 GB $149

[iPhone 5 - 3.95 oz , 7.6 mm]

  • Hundreds of songs
  • Control pad, built-in clip
  • Up to 15 hrs audio playback
  • 1.24 x 1.14 x 0.34 in., 0.44 oz
  • 2 GB $49 (from 9/10)
  • www.apple.com/ipodshuffle

 

iPod shuffle (gen 4)
on Amazon.com

  • 2.5-in. widescreen Multi-Touch display
    • 240 x 432, 202 ppi
  • Music, Podcasts, iTunes U, FM Radio
  • Photos, Video, Clock, Fitness / pedometer
  • Bluetooth, No speaker, no mic, no camera
  • Up to 30 hrs music play , 3.5 hrs video
  • 3.01 × 1.56 × 0.21 in., 1.1 oz
  • 16 GB $149 (9/12)
  • www.apple.com/ipodnano

iPod nano (gen 7)
on Amazon.com

Top


Amazon - Kindle E-Book Readers


  • Electronic ink screen reflects light like ordinary paper (All 16-level grayscale)
  • Download books, anytime, anywhere - Built-in Wi-Fi, Free 3G wireless
  • Buy once, read everywhere - Kindle; PC, Mac, Web browser; Apps - iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone
  • Transfer by USB or email - books / documents
  • Pricing with / without ads (Special Offers)
  • See Handheld Media Gallery
  • amazon.com/kindle

  [ Apple iPod - Amazon Kindle - iPhone - iPad - Kindle Fire - Google Nexus - Samsung Galaxy - Microsoft Surface ]

If you are an avid reader, E-book readers like the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook have compelling advantages over more general-purpose devices. They are much lighter, so you can comfortably hold them in one hand (6 to 8 oz., compared to 11 to 14 for mini tablets and 1 1/3 pounds for full-size). They also run for weeks on a charge, and are easier to read, even in direct sunlight, with "E-Ink" displays with clean dark text on white backgrounds, and convenience options to adjust the text size.

Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle

Kindle Keyboard 3G

Kindle DX

6" Self-illum., Touch screen
0.48 lbs, 9.1 mm
from $119

6" Wi-Fi only
0.37 lbs, 8.6 mm
from $69
6" Keyboard, 3G
0.54 lbs, 8.6 mm
from $139
9.7" tablet size, 3G
1.18 lbs, 9.6 mm
from $287
               

6" Paperwhite display
212 ppi, +62% pixels
Touch screen, back light

6.7 x 4.6 x 0.36", 7.5 / 7.8 oz
2 GB storage
Battery 8 weeks

Wi-Fi - $119 / $139
3G - $179 / $199 (w/ads)

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

6" E Ink Perl display
167 dpi, 600 x 800
5-way controller

6.5 x 4.5 x 0.34", 5.98 oz
2 GB, 1,400 books
Battery 4 weeks

10/12 - $69 / $89

Amazon Kindle

6" E Ink Perl display
167 dpi, 600 x 800
Keyboard, Stereo speakers

7.5 x 4.8 x 0.34", 8.7 oz
4 GB, 3,000 books
Battery 8 weeks

10/12 - $139 / $159

Amazon Kindle Keyboard

9.7" E Ink Perl display
150 dpi, 1200 x 824
Keyboard

10.4 x 7.2 x 0.38", 18.9 oz
4 GB, 3,500 books
Battery 2 - 3 weeks

10/12 ~ $287

Amazon Kindle DX

Top


Smartphones and Tablets - Small, Medium, Large

  • Multi-function devices, customizable with apps - Small, Medium, Large

Phones and Tablets

The next step up in portable electronics is to the full package -- powerful hardware in an amazingly compact package, built on a common platform that scales from smartphones to tablets and even to some laptops.

The range of choices in portable electronics is expanding, with smartphones you can grasp in your hand (with 3 /12 to 5 inch displays), full-size tablets for your lap (with 9 3/4 to 11 inch displays), and now mini-size tablets that split the difference (with 7 to 9 inch displays).


Apple - iOS Handhelds - iPod touch / iPhone 5


  • Full iOS devices, with and without the phone.
  • 10/12 (iPad mini) - iPhone 5 - more than 5 M units first weekend, sold out
  • 9/12 (iPhone 5) - 8 MP iSight camera is most popular camera in the world
  • See iPod / iPhone / iPad Gallery
  • www.apple.com/iphone

  [ Apple iPod - Amazon Kindle - iPhone - iPad - Kindle Fire - Google Nexus - Samsung Galaxy - Microsoft Surface ]

Apple iPod touch (gen 5)

Apple iPhone 5

4" widescreen/tall, 8 MP camera
3.1 oz, 6 mm thin

from 16 GB $299

4" widescreen/tall, 8 MP camera, LTE
3.95 oz , 7.6 mm thin
from 16 GB $199 (with contract)

          
  • 4-in. widescreen Multi-Touch Retina display
    • 1136 x 640 (was 960 x 640), 326 ppi
  • 5 MP iSight camera - 1080p HD video
  • FaceTime front HD camera - 1.2 MP photo, 720p
  • Dual-core A5 chip, Siri voice

  • Up to 40 hrs music playback, 8 hrs video
  • 4.86 × 2.31 × 0.24 in., 3.10 oz

  • 16 GB $299, 32 GB $399 (9/12)
  • www.apple.com/ipodtouch

iPod touch (gen 5)
on Amazon.com

  • 4-in. widescreen Retina display
    • 1136 x 640, 326 ppi
  • 8 MP iSight camera - 1080p HD video
  • FaceTime front HD cam - 1.2 MP photo, 720p
  • Fast 4G LTE cellular, A6 chip
  • Talk up to 8 hrs 3G
  • Up to 8 hrs Internet 3G/LTE, 10 hrs Wi-Fi
  • Up to 40 hrs audio playback , 10 hrs video
  • 4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 in., 3.95 oz
  • 16 GB $199, 32 GB $299, 64 GB $399 (9/12)
  • iPhone 4S - 3.5" - 16 GB $99
  • iPhone 4 - 8 GB free w/ 2-year contract
  • www.apple.com/iphone

Top


Apple - iPad Tablets


  • Stepping up from handheld.
  • 10/12 (iPad mini) - iPad - 100 million sold in 2 1/2 years, 91% of market
  • Steve Jobs 2010 - 7-inch tablets were going to be "dead on arrival"
    • "tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad"
  • www.apple.com/ipad
  • See iPod / iPhone / iPad Gallery

  [ Apple iPod - Amazon Kindle - iPhone - iPad - Kindle Fire - Google Nexus - Samsung Galaxy - Microsoft Surface ]

Apple iPad mini

Apple iPad gen 4

Apple iPad 2

7.87", 5 MP iSight cam, 4G LTE
0.68 lbs., 7.2 mm thin
from 16 GB Wi-Fi $329
(10/12)

9.7", FaceTime HD cam, dual Wi-Fi
1.44 lbs., 9.4 mm thin
from 16 GB Wi-Fi $499
(10/12)

9.7", 720p/VGA cams
1.33 lbs., 8.8 mm thin
from 16 GB Wi-Fi $399
(3/11)

               

7.87 in. display
    1024x768, 163 ppi
5 MP iSight camera - 1080p HD
FaceTime HD cam - 1.2 MP, 720p

Dual-core A5 chip
4G LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi

7.87 x 5.3 x 0.28 in., 0.68 / 0.69 lbs

Pricing 16 GB  32 GB  64 GB
    WiFi     $329    $429    $529
    + Cell  $459    $559    $659

iPad mini on Amazon

9.7 in. Retina display
     2048 x 1536, 264 ppi
5 MP iSight camera
- 1080p HD
FaceTime HD cam - 1.2 MP, 720p

Dual-core A6X chip
, quad graphics
4G LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi

9.50 x 7.31 x 0.37 in., 1.44 / 1.46 lbs

Pricing - 16 GB  32 GB  64 GB
    WiFi     $499    $599    $699
    + Cell  $629    $729    $829

 

9.7 in. display
    1024x768, 132 ppi
720p HD back camera
- 960x720 video
FaceTime front VGA cam

Dual-core A5 chip
3G cellular, Wi-Fi
a/b/g/n
9.50 x 7.31 x 0.34 in., 1.33-1.35 lbs

Pricing same - 16 GB
    WiFi     $399
    + Cell   $529

iPad 2 on Amazon


Apple Lightning Connector - Smaller  (9/12)



  • 9/12 - iPhone 5, iPod touch gen 5, iPod nano gen 7 + iPad mini / gen 4
  • Smaller, smarter, more durable, reversible
    • 80% smaller than 30-pin connector
  • All-digital - adaptive interface uses only signals accessory requires
  • USB 2.0
  • Analog audio output, USB audio, syncing and charging. Not video output
  • Lightning to USB Cable - $19 [cable, with products]
  • Lightning to 30-pin Adapter - $29 (rectangle)
  • Lightning to 30-pin Adapter (0.2 m) - $39 (dongle)

Top


Amazon Kindle Fire - Tablets


  • "Tablet as a vending machine"
  • Jeff Bezos - Amazon sells hardware at cost, break-even (Fire $129 - $30 off on Cyber Monday)
  • Kindle Fire HD tablet outsold all other products
  • See Handheld Media Gallery
  • amazon.com/kindlefire

  [ Apple iPod - Amazon Kindle - iPhone - iPad - Kindle Fire - Google Nexus - Samsung Galaxy - Microsoft Surface ]

Kindle Fire 8.9" HD

Kindle Fire 7" HD

Kindle Fire (7" SD)

8.9" HD, 4G LTE
0.88 lbs, 11.4 mm
from 16 GB $299

7" HD, Wi-Fi only
0.87 lbs, 10.16 mm
from 16 GB $199

7" SD, Wi-Fi only
0.69 lbs, 7.2 mm
from 8 GB $159
           

8.9" HD, 1920x1200, 254 ppi
HD front cam
Dolby, dual-driver speakers

Dual-core, 1.5GHz processor
Dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi + LTE
Up to 10 hours usage
9.4 x 6.4 x 0.35 in, 20 oz

Wi-Fi - 16 GB $299 / $314,
    32 GB $369 / $384 w/o ads
4G LTE - 32 GB $499 / $514,     64 GB $599 / $614 w/o ads

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9"

7" HD, 1280x800, 216 ppi
HD front cam
Dolby, dual-driver speakers

Dual-core, 1.2 GHz
Dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi
Up to 11 hours usage
7.6 x 5.4 x 0.4 in, 13.9 oz

16 GB $199 / $214,
    32 GB $249 / $264

    (with and w/o ads)

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7"

7" SD, 1024 x 600, 169 ppi
Stereo speakers

Dual-core, 1.2GHz
Single-band Wi-Fi
Up to 9 hours usage
7.44 x 4.72 x 0.45 in, 14.1 oz

8 GB $159 / $174
    (with and w/o ads)

Amazon Kindle Fire

Top


Google Nexus - Android


  • Android shipped 3 of 4 smartphones worldwide in Q3 12 ( IDC)
  • Eric Schmidt - Google expects 1 B devices running Android within a year (Q4 12)
  • 6 B mobile phone subscribers worldwide - 1 B each in China and India - of 8 B people (ITU, Q4 12)

  [ Apple iPod - Amazon Kindle - iPhone - iPad - Kindle Fire - Google Nexus - Samsung Galaxy - Microsoft Surface ]

Google Nexus 4

Google Nexus 7

Google Nexus 10

4" Smartphone - 3G
0.31 lbs, 8.89 mm

from  8 GB $299

7" Tablet w/ 3G
0.75 lbs, 10.41 mm
from 16 GB Wi-Fi $199
10" Tablet - Wi-Fi only
1.33 lbs, 8.89 mm
from 16 GB Wi-Fi $399
           

4.7", 1280 x 768, 320 ppi
8 MP cam, front 1.3 MP

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
5.27 x 2.7 x 0.35 in, 4.9 oz

  8 GB $299
16 GB $349 unlocked
16 GB $199 T-Mobile
(10/12)

7", 1280 x 800, 216 ppi
1.2 MP front cam

NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core
7.81 x 4.72 x 0.41 in , 0.75 lbs

16 GB Wi-Fi $199
32 GB Wi-Fi $249
32 GB $299 unlocked
(AT&T, T-Mobile)
(10/12)

10", 2560 x 1600, 300 ppi
5 MP cam, front 1.9 MP

Dual-core A15 CPU, GPU
10.39 x 7.81 x 0.35 in, 1.33 lbs

16 GB Wi-Fi $399
32 GB Wi-Fi $499 (11/12)

Sharable - Switch users

Top


Samsung Galaxy - Android


The Galaxy Note 10.1 inch tablet has impressive specs, a built-in stylus, and the ability to have two active screens open at once (starting at $499 with 16 GB, Wi-Fi only).

  [ Apple iPod - Amazon Kindle - iPhone - iPad - Kindle Fire - Google Nexus - Samsung Galaxy - Microsoft Surface ]

Samsung Galaxy S III

Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Galaxy Tab 2 10.0

4.8" Smartphone - LTE
0.29 lbs, 8.6 mm
from
16 GB $199

7" Tablet - LTE
0.76 lbs, 10.4 mm
from 8 GB $349
10" Tablet - LTE
1.28 lbs, 9.7 mm
from 8 GB Wi-Fi $179
           

4.8", 1280 x 720
8 MP, front 1.9 MP
4G LTE


NFC - S Beam - xfer photos, videos, docs back to back
Pop Up Play - pic-in-pic video
Android 4.0

1.5 GHz dual core
Up to 64 GB microSD
Talk time - 3G 17 hrs; 4G 15 hrs
5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 in, 4.7 oz
VZW - 16 GB $199, 32 GB $249

Samsung Galaxy S III on Amazon

7.0", 1024 x 600
3.2 MP cam, front VGA
4G LTE

Universal remote -
  built-in IR blaster
Android 4.0,
  Ice Cream Sandwich

1.2 GHz dual-core
Up to 32 GB microSD

7.63 x 4.82 x 0.41 in, 12.2 oz
VZW - 8 GB $349

 

10.1", 1280 x 800
3.0 MP cam, front VGA
4G LTE


Multitask - Pop Up Video - resizable video window
Android 4.0,
   Ice Cream Sandwich

1.0 GHz, dual processor
Up to 32 GB microSD

10.1 x 6.9 x 0.38 in, 1.28 lbs
Wi-Fi 8 GB $249/$179
   16 GB $399/$249
VZW - 8 GB $499

Top


Microsoft Surface - Tablets


  • "Best of Microsoft: Power of Windows, Productivity of Office, Joy of Xbox"
    • Cloud-connected with SkyDrive, access content from anywhere, any time
  • Live tiles and notifications in real time, connected standby
    • Personalize: Pin favorites to Start screen and arrange, picture password
    • Sync with apps like Mail, Calendar, Photos, Messaging, SkyDrive
  • Windows RT - New version of Microsoft Windows for ARM-based tablets and PCs
    • Works exclusively with apps from Windows Store
    • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote)
  • Windows 8 Pro - Runs current Windows 7 desktop applications (& previous Windows)
    • Also can use programs and apps available in the Windows Store
    • Full Office - Outlook, Word, SharePoint Designer, PowerPoint, etc.
  • Wi-Fi only, no cellular; no GPS
  • See Handheld Media Gallery
  • www.microsoft.com/Surface
  • http://surface.microsoftstore.com

  [ Apple iPod - Amazon Kindle - iPhone - iPad - Kindle Fire - Google Nexus - Samsung Galaxy - Microsoft Surface ]

    Surface with Windows RT

     Surface with Windows 8 Pro

Runs only apps in Windows Store
    Office Home and Student 2013 RT
1.5 lbs, 9.30 mm
from 32 GB $499

Runs Windows applications + Windows Store
    Full Office
<2 lbs, 13.5 mm
from 64 GB $899

      

    
  • 10.6" ClearType HD Display
    • 1366 x 768, 5-point multi-touch
  • 720p HD LifeCams, front & rear
  • Stereo speakers
  • Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3
  • Full-size USB 2.0, HD video out
  • Connected standby - Keeps apps up-to-date
  • microSDXC slot - up to 64 GB
  • 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 in
  • 10.6" ClearType Full HD Display
    • 1920 x 1080, 10-point multi-touch
  • 720p HD LifeCams, front & rear
  • Stereo speakers
  • 3rd Gen Intel Core i5 w/ Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Full-size USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort
  • Connectivity off when hibernating/sleeping
  • microSDXC slot - up to 64 GB
  • 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 in
  • 32 GB $499 - Tablet only
  • 32 GB $599 - Touch Cover
  • 64 GB $699 - Touch Cover
  • [early 2013]
  •   64 GB $899 - Tablet only
  • 128 GB $999 - Tablet only

Top


Cellular Data Service - 4G LTE

  • Broadband via cellular

Long Term Evolution (4G LTE)

Apple has now joined many Android devices in supporting 4G LTE cellular data service on their smartphones, and both Apple and Amazon now offer LTE with their new tablets, as well as dual-band/MIMO 802.11n Wi-Fi for faster wireless.

  • Up to 10 X faster than the 3G network
  • LTE typical data rates (real-world, loaded network) -
    • Downlink 5 to 12 Mbps, Upload 2 to 5 Mbps
    • Peak speeds - Download 100 Mbps, Upload 50 Mbps
  • (vs Verizon EV-DO rev A - average speeds -
    • Download 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps, Upload 500 to 800 Kbps
    • Peak speeds - Download 3.1 Mbps, Upload 1.8 Mbps
  • Verizon - LTE in 440 U.S. markets, 250 M people, 4 / 5 population
    • Launched LTE 12/10 - Complete rollout by mid-2013
  • Verizon LTE - www.verizonwireless.com/4Glte
  • Verizon LTE Info - www.verizonwireless.com/lte
  • 3GPP - LTE Standard - http://www.3gpp.org/LTE

Verizon Data Calculator - Estimate monthly usage -- www.verizonwireless.com/splash_includes/datacalculator.html


Cellular Data Service - Unlimited Calls, Shared Data

  • AT&T - iPhone 5 - GSM voice, GSM or LTE data; iPhone 4S / 4 - GSM voice and data
    • All roam internationally on 200 GSM carriers around world
  • Sprint or Verizon Wireless - iPhone 5 - CDMA voice, CDMA or LTE data services
    • iPhone 4S / 4 - CDMA voice and data
    • iPhone 5 or 4S has ability to roam internationally on GSM using provided SIM
  • AT&T - Mobile Share - $85 - unlimited calls & msgs, 1 GB data + $15/addl. GB
    • to $230 - unlimited calls & msgs, 20 GB data + $15/addl. GB
  • Sprint - Individual - $79.99 - 450 min. (0.45/min extra), unlimited msgs, unlimited data
    • to $109.99 - unlimited calls & msgs, unlimited data
  • Verizon - Share Everything - Data allotment, Unlimited voice minutes & messaging
    • Up to 10 Devices, Mobile hotspot up to 10 Wi-Fi Devices
    • $80 - unlimited calls & msgs, 300 MB data + $15/addl. 300 MB
    • $90 - unlimited calls & msgs, 1 GB data + $15/addl. GB
    • $100 - 2 GB ... + $10 each addl 2 GB ... $190 / 20 GB
    • Additional line access - basic phone $30, smartphone $40, notebook $20, iPad $10

On to Cloud Services - Store, Share, Sync in the Cloud
On to Portable Accessories - Audio, Imaging, Storage, Power, Cases, Digital Health

Top