• Could the New Microsoft Surface Tablet be the Happy Marriage between an Ultrabook and iPad?

    Posted on June 21, 2012 by Curtis Taylor

    RepairLabs.com: Opinion, Microsoft Surface.

    Microsoft Surface Venn Diagram


    Venn Diagram showing differences and similarities of Microsoft Surface, iPad and Ultrabooks

    Click for larger image, zoom to enlarge


    Is the Microsoft Surface really going to be that different from the iPad?  Oh yeah.

    When the news came out on Tuesday about Microsoft’s foray into the wild world of tablet computers, I literally thought, “Meh.” Really, how could it be anything other than derivative of the iPad? How could Microsoft even begin to be relevant in a post-PC world?

    Dutifully I decided, “Well, I’ll compare. I’ll make a Venn diagram! I love Venn diagrams.”  Who doesn’t love Venn diagrams? But in sketching it out, I quickly saw that the traditional 2 intersecting circles showing the where they’re the same and where they’re different just wasn’t gonna cut it. The Surface is…more.

    The Surface also acts like an Ultrabook laptop. It has a keyboard built in to its case. It stands on its own as well, with a kickstand built into the magnesium exoskeleton casing. It boasts 2 ports, one USB (a feature I’ve longed for in my iPad) and a Micro SD card, for movie and music portability. Speaking of movies, the screen is reportedly designed in movie screen dimensions to eliminate black bars (whole screen utilized!) and rests at a 22 degree viewing angle, reportedly the perfect angle to view the device.

    You will be able to purchase it with up to 128 GB hard drive. The larger version will also have a pen. It will be the only tablet to feature the Microsoft operating system, so Office will be integrated. Given the keyboard and the OS, you can actually work on this tablet. Travelers may find the Microsoft surface a welcome departure from carrying a laptop and a tablet with them.  In the future, the device will also incorporate Xbox SmartGlass, a technology that will allow you to seamlessly switch between devices for any activity, including just watching television, so it also has some startling departures from both the iPad and Ultrabook genres.

    Besides being an utter bombshell, it’s Microsoft’s first ever self-designed computer. Microsoft took a cue from Apple in terms of product development secrecy. No one was expecting Microsoft, a company that traditionally let others such as HP and Dell develop hardware, to come out with a screaming new little piece of technology.  In fact, the Surface designers were a top secret group of hand-picked elites who previously worked on the Xbox development.

    Yes, the tablet will forever, as a concept, belong only to Apple. Apple changed the world with its revolutionary design. But the surface just provides more.  With its additional features the Surface manages to render the iPad obsolete, an entertainment ‘toy’ instead of a tool with many uses. Yes, the Surface will have hurdles to overcome, as Joshua Topolsky of TheVerge.com points out here. Will anybody adopt it? Can it create a platform to compete with Apples massive App store? Will it be priced competitively? Is it doomed to failure like the Zune MP 3 player?

    So, no, it’s not going to be the happy marriage of the iPad and Ultrabook. It’s so much more.  It's going to be the mutant rock star baby that the two produce.












    -Opinions, Microsoft Surface.

    This post was posted in iPad, iPad Rumors, Tech, Tablets, Opinion and was tagged with iPad, Microsoft, Microsoft Surface, Ultrabooks, Venn Diagram, Comparison, Intersection, tablet, tablet computer, news

  • Father’s Day Gifts for the Techie Dad

    Posted on June 13, 2012 by Curtis Taylor

    What Dad Really Wants This Year on Father's Day


    We’ve compiled a list of the Coolest Gifts for Dads this year. We asked all the dads at RepairLabs what’s on their wish list for this Father’s Day, and here are some of the ideas that they gave us.


    DIY Gadget Card - Free

    Father's Day Gifts for Techie Dads, homemade card iDad

    Dads love things you made for them. Even if youre 30.

    A fantastic tutorial and a really creative idea for a card for dad that you can make yourself, with the kids. Look inside each of the “apps” to find a cute personalized message.  From Charlottes Fancy.com 


    A Gadget Grip Mat - $11


    Father's Day Gift's for Techie Dads Device Grippy Pad for Cars

    The things hell stick to this are limited only by his imagination.

    Grippy Pad holds all sorts of things in place with an advanced silicone material. (I.e., stolen from aliens.)


    BioLite CampStove- $129


    Tech Dad Father's Day Present BioStove Campfire charges iphone

    Roast marshmallows and charge iPhone.

    This little beauty also charges devices. If Dad’s a camper, this will be on his list. (It’s good to keep a phone around even when you’re unplugging-- in case of emergencies.)



    Mouse Armrest -$30

    Ergonomic Mouse Pad Father's Day Gift

    Repetitive stress injuries are a real concern!

    This is an ergonomic attachment for Dad’s office chair or desk. It will help reduce the possibiltes of bad posture and repetitive stress injuries from using a mouse.



    Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit - $52

    Father's Day Present Survival Kit

    Dad can keep this in his care. Or his Bug-out Bag.

    Camping survival kit. Because Tech Dads can MacGyver  anything.



    iKoa Phone Case- $179

    Great Gift for Dad: Koa wood iPhone case that holds cards as well.

    Beautiful and Functional

    This beautiful case also holds Dad’s credit card and ID.



     igrill thermometer and app $79

    Father's Day Present iGrill thermometer and iPad iPhone app

    High-Tech Grillin!

    Just insert the probe thermometer of this device into the meat and use your iPhone or iPad to monitor the temp while you’re off relaxing with a beer.



    LawnBott Robotic Lawn Mower $1199

    Father's Day Gift Robotic Automatic Lawn Mower

    Were just waiting for an iPhone app to control it.

    It’s not cheap, but if Dad hates mowing, this gift may be worth it.



    Laptop Desk - $25

    Laptop desk for a great Father's Day present

    Good for Dad, and the machine.

    A Lap desk designed to keep you cool with special insulation that blocks 95% of laptop heat.



    Custom Housing Color for his iPhone 4S $249

    iPhone Housing Color Change, great gift for Father's Day

    soooo shiny....

    Custom iPhone housing color change. Choose Dad’s favorite team’s colors.




    We <3 Daddy DIV Photo –Free

    Father's Day Photo idea We heart daddy shadow pict

    You are now dead of the cute.

    We think it would be relatively simple to take some posterboard and an iPhone and shoot this picture on a sunny afternoon. If my calculations are correct, the kids need to hold the signs upside down.  You stand facing them. Print it on photo stock pop it in a frame for his desk at work ~and  best part, it’s Dad’s favorite gift of all.  Laurie, the fantastic blogger  at Tip Junkie , provided this great picture, but was unable to find the source of this beautiful  image.

    Hope these ideas get you going to show Dad how great he really is.



    Sources and Links














    *Note: prices are valid at the time of publication (6-13-12). Please check links to be sure.

    This post was posted in Uncategorized, iPad, iPhone, How To, Geek, Tech, Gifts and was tagged with iPad, Tech, Dad, Father's Day, Techie, Gifts, Ideas, How To, Cards, Mowing, Camping, iPhone, Photos, Ergonomics, Grip Pad, Car, Color, Housing, Accessories

  • iPad Mini Dimensions: Confirmed!

    Posted on May 9, 2012 by Curtis Taylor

    What the rumored iPad Mini may look like

    Artists scale rendition of possible iPad Mini.

    Here at RepairLabs.com, the same people who brought you the first exclusive photos of the iPad 3 digitizer, we have confirmed the dimensions of the upcoming iPad Mini.  Our well-placed source reports that the new iPad Mini will actually measure in at 7.85 inches, which would make the screen quite a bit roomier than expected. Our source confirms that orders have been placed for production in these dimensions. After much discussion in our office, we concluded that when rumor-mongers (like ourselves) mention the 7-inch number that’s being so widely disseminated, they mean the diagonal screen measurement.  And really, the main part of the device that we care about is its working surface.

    But just for fun, to add a bit of speculation, here is a little food for thought.  Let’s assume that the ratios remain the same from the current iPad3.  Extrapolating from there, we can deduce this would make the much-anticipated little device measure up at 7.7 inches tall and 5.92 inches wide. The new iPad Mini by these standards would be about 81% of the size of the current. The current iPad 3 now measures 9.50 inchese tall by 7.31 inches wide,  so the alleged iPad Mini will be only just longer than the width of the current. On a ruler it would likely measure just over 7” 11/16 tall.  We actually broke out the ole’ trusty Pythagorean Theorem to bring you those figures, folks.


    iPad Drawing Experiment

    Bloggers pitiful YellowLegalPad attempt to visualize the size and feel of the rumored iPad Mini.

    To visualize the difference between the current iPad and the purported new dimensions of the Mini, we performed a super low-tech experiment, and hand-drew the measurements on a yellow legal pad. (Compared to the succinct beauty of our Graphic Designer’s vision, my rendition is downright hilarious). In fact, the legal pad itself seems reasonably analogous to the current iPad (minus the legal pad’s header and margins). The reported 7.85 inches, on the other hand, feels like a good, medium-sized appointment book in the hand (but certainly without the girth/depth of a day planner).  We’re guessing the difference in ‘feel’ would be equivalent to the difference between carrying around a paperback and a hardback, and the device would be that much easier to drop into a handbag, backpack or briefcase.

    Ease of portability, weight, and the ability to hold the device in one hand, have long figured into tablet design decisions, and ultimately, profitability. Market-watchers may also conclude that this new offering means to compete directly with the Kindle Fire or the Barnes and Noble Nook. The Kindle Fire measures 7.5 inches tall, and 4.7 inches wide, while the Nook outsizes it at 8.1 inches tall, and 5 inches wide.  The purported iPad Mini would fall squarely between the two in size. And the difference between 9.7 inches and 7.85 inches? It may seem negligible, or it may make all the difference. After all, the iPhone is just so very nicely pocket-sized, and it has managed to carve out a modicum of success.



    This post was posted in iPad, iPad Rumors and was tagged with Dimensions, Size, iPad, iPad Mini. iPad rumors, confirmed, 7.85, mock ups, artisti's rendition

  • New iPad 3 Teardown - Overheating?

    Posted on March 20, 2012 by Curtis Taylor

    The new iPad has only been out for a few days, and already RepairLabs and others have heard the rumors that it has been overheating.  Not content with the various thermal imaging reports that shows the heat difference, our techs decided to take the new iPad 3 apart and see if we could pinpoint what part of the iPad is heating up.

    We started off our very scientific experiment by turning on both an iPad 2 and the new iPad and setting them to play movies on Netflix.  We took an initial temperature reading of the back of the iPads while they played their respective shows - the iPad 2 ran at 24° C (75° F) and the new iPad 3 ran at 27° C (80° F).  That's roughly a 5° difference within minutes of booting up the two devices and starting their programs.

    At the end of 35-40 minutes of continuous play, the new temperature readings were as follows: iPad 2 holding strong at 25-26° C; iPad 3 shot up to 32-33° C.  That's around 90° F for the iPad 3 after just a few minutes of video use.

    iPad 3 on left (black), iPad 2 on right (white)

    Since the technicians wanted to get to the root of the problem, we cracked open both iPads and took readings of various components.  After several readings, we determined it was the new A5X quad-core processor that was putting out so much heat.  You can see the measuring in the video below.  Our basic findings showed us that the presumably ceramic A5 chip in the iPad 2 runs around 27° C, whereas the new iPad 3 A5X processor was running at 36° C.  In Fahrenheit, the iPad 3 A5X runs 17° hotter than the processor in the iPad 2.  As explained in the video, the chips are made of different materials; we believe the A5 is ceramic, where the A5X is obviously metallic.

    We were not able to replicate the same temperatures that Consumer Reports were getting (up to 116° F), but just holding the new iPad 3 could be noticeably warmer after only a few minutes use, especially if you are holding it right where that A5X sits.


    For those curious, we tested the battery and retina and found while they were warmer than their equivalents on the iPad 2, it was only that A5X chip that was putting out that much of a heat difference.  Keep in mind that the internal temperature was 17° warmer, whereas the back of your housing is only 10° warmer at most.  That means the aluminum housing and a special rubber thermal gasket cut down the heat that makes it to your hand by 7° F.

    This post was posted in iPad, iPad Tips and was tagged with iPad 3, new iPad, iPad 3 overheat, new iPad overheat

  • New iPad Run Down

    Posted on March 7, 2012 by Curtis Taylor

    RepairLabs was able to bring you some incredible exclusives on the iPad, and today's news conference confirmed them all.  From the changes to the iPad back housing, camera, and battery, to the availability of the white and black glass options as well as the existence of the iPad home button.  All of them are present on the new iPad, along with many, many more.  Below is a list of the latest features you will have on the new iPad, available for pre-order now and released on March 16.

    1. Retina display - With 3.1 million pixels and a 2048x1536 resolution.  That's greater than HD quality on your portable device.
    2. The iPad will come in black and white options, and will have the home button as before. - One of our exclusives
    3. 4G LTE will be supported on both Verizon and AT&T, but 3G capabilities are available as back up for when you aren't in a 4G area.
    4. No Siri, but there is a voice dictation feature.
    5. The price structures of each GB level and 4G capabilities are the same as they were for the iPad 2.
    6. Quad-core, A5X processor to create those beautiful images quickly.
    7. 1080p video recording, with a 5MP back camera integrated with an illuminated sensor, 5-element lens, and IR filter.  Basically the capabilities you already have on your 4S.
    8. iCloud will now include movies, which is a great integration for the new Apple TV box as well as the iPad.

    The iPad 2 will stay on the market, with a $100 price drop for each of the models.

    While Apple didn't give the new iPad a name, we can easily assume most of us will end up calling it the iPad 3.  What did you think of the news today?  Have you already pre-ordered your new iPad?

    This post was posted in iPad, iPad Tips and was tagged with iPad 3, new iPad, iPad 3 release date

  • iPad 3 Rumor Round-up

    Posted on March 5, 2012 by Curtis Taylor

    iPad 3 Back Case


    It's only a couple of days until the presumed iPad 3 announcement, and RepairLabs has been monitoring all of the chatter closely.  We've detailed some of the biggest rumors for you below, and you can follow our Twitteraccount and blog Wednesday for updates during the Apple press conference at 1ET/10PT.

    1. In the scoop that broke open the iPad 3 rumor floodgates, we got exclusive images of the iPad 3 back case.  These pictures told us that the iPad 3 will have a very similar but thicker back housing, with an upgraded camera, more battery, and a different logic board shape.  We confirmed these when we received the iPad 3 back housing in our repair center.
    2. The iPad 3 will have an upgraded retina display, most likely with a 2048x1536 resolution.  That's double the resolution of the iPad 1 or 2.
    3. The iPad 3 is rumored to support 4G LTE service and speeds.
    4. Largely unsupported, some rumors are claiming the new iPad will have a quad-core processor.
    5. Siri is meant to be available.
    6. In another RepairLabs scoop, the iPad 3 will come in white and black options and will include the home button, contrary to some recent speculation based on Apple's event invitation.
    7. The iPad 2 will be kept on the sales ranks, but at a lower, more affordable price bracket.
    8. Apple is rumored to be developing a new case that will protect both the front and aluminum back of the iPad, specifically for the iPad 3.

    Of course the skeptics will say all of the information we and other tech sties have received is obviously some grand ploy from Apple to keep the real information out of our hands.  We for one know that are sources are credible and are bringing us real information and parts.  While many of the rumors, including the 4G LTE and the quad-core processor, are a little more far-fetched, most of them would be part of a natural progression from the iPad 2.

    The last bit of information that we are all waiting for Apple to confirm is the name of the iPad.  After last fall's iPhone 4S versus iPhone 5 upset, many are wondering if Apple will call this the iPad 3, the iPad 2S (less likely), or the much-reported iPad HD.  For most of us, the name is not as important as the guts inside, and that was proved with record-breaking sales of the iPhone 4S in October.  If this new iPad is branded iPad HD or 2S, there will be a bit of backlash, a bit of wonderment, and then everyone will line up to buy it anyway.

    Tell us, what rumors are you hoping comes true with the announcement this Wednesday, and what are you going to upgrade?

    This post was posted in iPad, iPad Rumors, iPad Tips, iPad Accessories and was tagged with iPad 3, iPad 3 rumors, iPad 3 announcement, iPad 3 back case, iPad 3 back housing, iPad 3 glass

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