Microsoft Surface 2 – Review

surface2 300x168 Microsoft Surface 2 – Review

Microsoft has recently unveiled its another standalone product Microsoft Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 a few weeks ago. Both products have arrived with most advanced specifications and features. This means that Microsoft have launched this after great research on market behavior and consumers demands. Microsoft Surface comes with second generation processor which is lighter, thinner, and faster and more energy efficient. In this article we have done for Microsoft Surface 2, another standalone product from Microsoft Surface 2.

Appearance



The Appearance of Microsoft surface like always have improved but Microsoft Surface 2 looks similar to Microsoft Surface RT. The design and processing have not changed. It also comes in a magnesium case, Microsoft referred to the material as “VaporMG “referring to the model from the previous generation. However, what’s new, This time there’s a new color, and this one is silver. Once again, the processing has improved a lot and its architecture is made excellently. It feels very solid and robust. Fingerprints or similar stick on the back are not so fast. Only the rocker for the volume shakes a little when moved by itself. Overall a very satisfactory appearance. One of the biggest problems of the Surface RT was the angle of the built-in kick stand. Someone put the Surface on your lap and thus perhaps wanted to work on the go, it could not because the angle was too steep. The Surface 2 now comes with a second angle. In addition to 22 ° the kickstand can now also be extended to 55 °. This is really well done. There is a considerable comfort.

Usage

The Surface 2 is a tablet that you will use most of the time horizontally. Not because applications are incompatible, it’s because the Microsoft surface 2 has widescreen display. It is made to use it horizontally. This is quite unique. According to recent reviews on different forums, Who ever tried to vertically, have quickly realized that it is quite uncomfortable. Keeping with a medium sized hand is difficult. The mass of 675g, you will quickly realize that when you hold the Surface 2 with one hand. The Surface 2 is 8.9 mm thin which is quite thinner than the surface RT. Other dimensions are identical. The Surface 2 has two cameras as like its predecessor, The one on the front page has a resolution of 3.5 megapixels. The angled camera on the back has a resolution of 5 megapixels. The quality of a tablet is good and attractive.

Battery, Memory and Price

The built-in battery is fully charged at 230V in 2 hours and 48 minutes. In an ordinary usage, it reaches 12 hours run time. We have Microsoft Excel, Twitter, Facebook, and Internet Explorer used to music and off and looked at a little video on YouTube. As for energy consumption, the Surface 2 is currently the best tablet. The integrated memory is either 32GB or 64GB in size. Depending on the version you pay € 429 or € 529. In the 32GB version, has 17.6 GB free space. This is clearly not enough, but fortunately you can use a microSDHC card and expand the memory to 64GB, which is quite comfortable.

Display

The display is 10.6-inches in size diagonally. It comes with liquid crystal display and has great colors, viewing angles are ideal. The resolution has improved as compared to the previous models. The Surface 2 triggers on with full high definition instead of high definition. The pixel density is 207.82 ppi although not at the same level of the iPad, Galaxy Tab or Nexus 10, but it is quite sufficient. The touch control is very precise and works flawlessly. The display is bright and allows you to work outdoors.

Detailed Specifications

Manufacturer            —————-            Microsoft Corporation

Dimensions     —————-             274.5 mm wide x 171.9 mm high x 8.9 mm thick at 675g

Platform         —————-             Microsoft Windows RT OS 8.1

Surface           —————-             Microsoft Modern desktop UI

Processor        —————-              NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad-Core processor

Short memory            —————-               2048MB RAM

Internal memory —————            32GB (17.6 GB free available)

External Memory ————–                       Up to 64GB via microSDHC

Interfaces             —————-         Bluetooth 4.0, Wifi 802.11, above 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

Display Technology————–        Liquid crystal (Microsoft Clear Type HD)

Display Size    —————–            10.6-inch (= 269.24 mm)

Display Resolution——————-     Full High Definition (= 1,920 × 1,080 pixels, 16:9)

Pixel density   ————————— 207.82 ppi at 2,073,600 pixels

Primary camera    ———————– 5-megapixel

Secondary camera     —————— 3.5-megapixel

Summary

The Microsoft Surface 2 is a fast and durable tablet. It has an excellent hardware, such as processor, display, sound and many connections. The performance is worth mentioning, because it is good and the battery time deserves much praise. The integrated kickstand with its two different angles is really helpful. This is a great feature. Finally Microsoft Surface 2 is something Microsoft should rely on future endeavors.

Bio

This Article is contributed by Marion Grinder. She is professional Windows App Developer in leading application Development Company in Dubai. She has contributed lot of blogs and article of new website designing trends in the market and also market behavior.

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What are the Great Pluses and Minuses of Windows 8.1?

It’s been quite some time that Microsoft has launched Windows 8 and now just last month (17thOctober 2013), the company was seen launching its advance version called Windows 8.1. The latest version carried some of the aspects of the previous Windows 8 version. Though it was seen with certain improvements yet was criticized for several flaws as well in windows 8.1 version. This has therefore compelled the users to first check both the pros and cons of this latest edition from windows. The below is the list of some of its great pluses and minuses, let’s check them out:

The Pluses

Handy Version

One of the important positive sides of Windows 8.1 version is that it occupies less space for storing it over your machine or mobile devices. As per experts and reviews it requires a very small storage hog as compared to the previous Windows 8 version. As per the company, the footprint of Windows 8.1 is very much smaller in size and would give you a good space of around 8 to 15 percent storage space over your machine or mobile devices.

Supercharge Search

One of the important features of Windows 8.1 is the simplicity and fast pace in which you can search anything using the same. Similar was the story with Windows 8 wherein you just have to start the screen and you could easily search for content, settings, apps or any other thing over the internet. But the fact is Windows 8.1 takes the same to a next level with the feature of Smart Search, which is backed by Bing. So the moment you search out anything, you can get instant results in the form of facts, pictures, maps, videos, and several other relevant links, which gives you an orderly buffet of info.

Smarter Multi-tasking

The idea of having several application windows open at the same time is a good idea, which seemed impractical for long and also in Windows 8. However, in the latest version of 8.1 it comes with a feature called Snap, which helps in resizing the smaller windows to any size you want with the help of simple finger swipe. With this feature, your multi tasking tasks become very much fast, which means that you can browse the sites while you have a conference call over Skype.

The Minuses

No Enhance Level Apps

Despite all hue and cries from the company, there were hardly any changes seen over the application side especially over the Windows Store in the current version of Windows 8.1.  In fact just two enhanced level applications were seen including Food & Drink and Health & Fitness. So nothing really new to enjoy with Windows 8.1 version!

No Great Changes in IE 11

The IE 11 found in the latest version has very little amount of changes, which is more or less similar to IE 10 with limited amount of changes in it.  A majority of features found in IE 11 are not at all found in Windows 8.1 version. As per experts IE 11 can be called as a big waste of time as nothing really tangible is being added in it.

Unable to Address the Problems seen in the Previous Version

Though you can notice certain cosmetic changes, additions or application upgrades in the latest version but it simply fails to address the basic problems evident in Windows 8. So, all the problems, which occurred earlier in the Windows 8 continue to thrive in 8.1 thus giving you a poor experience, which is just the opposite to the things claimed by the company.

Final Word

The newer version of windows seems to have hit the market with a big bang, however, before using the same, it is always recommended to check both plus and minus points. A few of these are discussed above.

Kelly Marsh is a freelance journalist who has been writing about mobile technology, customer relationship management and women’s health for more than a decade. These days she is busy to contributes on Social Cloud

 

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List of Common Glitches in Windows Phone 8

Introduction

Windows Phone 8 has made its best effort to make the Redmond’s mobile OS better than its earlier predecessor. But there is always room for more improvement. Here are some of the issues which have been reported by the users and we also try to find solutions to it. If the reader of the post has encountered a same problem but has dealt with it in a much proper way then feel free to post a comment of the solution below in the comment box.

Common Glitches with Solutions

Problem 1: Random Rebooting

There a number of Windows 8 users who are complaining about this problem. The smartphone will reboot automatically without any prior warning.

Solution

It’s always good to restart. Long Press the Power button and then a line will appear Slide Down to restart so simply slide down. The phone will restart. If the problem persists then replace the battery.

Problem 2: Auto Brightness

People using Nokia Lumia 920 has complained about fluctuation in the brightness of the phone. The handset seems to flicker to find the correct brightness setting.

Solution

Disable the auto brightness option and set the handset to medium brightness.

Problem 3: Fast Draining of Battery

Many of the users have complained drying of the battery very soon in Nokia Lumia 920.

Solution

Turn of NFC, Wi-Fi, and mobile data if not in use. Try to uninstall and then re install apps like Facebook, Skype. There are many apps that consume a lot of battery. Try to remove those apps. The brightness of the battery should be maintained to an optimal level. Working on these issues will help you solve the issue.

Problem 4: Sync Option not Working

There are reports that sync doesn’t work properly and people can’t receive or send emails or text. There are users who claim that this particular issue has also affected their contacts and other accounts in the mobile. The reason for it may be due to the app Skype.

Solution

Uninstall the Skype app and then sync all the accounts. If it’s not go well then turn off Wi-Fi and mobile data and restart the device.

Problem 5: Screen Freeze

If you Windows Phone 8 seem to be freezed sometimes and the touch screen does not work properly then you are not alone in this world. The issue may be due to various causes but the answer to the solution is same.

Solution

Press and hold the down button of Volume and Power button simultaneously for about 10 seconds. The phone will restart and after that it would work normal. If the problem of the phone still persists then update the phone entirely.

Conclusion

So these were the five major glitches the Microsoft needs to be sorted out. Are these the only problems? Not definitely. But these are the major ones. If you have encountered any Windows Phone 8 problem then feel free to post it in the comment box.

Well BlackBerry is going down and Android and iOS are far ahead in the market. The Microsoft has built a solid foundation through Windows 8. It would be interesting to see how they build on it.

About the Author

This Post is written by Kelly. She is a writer/blogger. She writes articles on Technology, social media, WordPress, Gamification, website development and online development etc. These days she contributes on luxury retreats.

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A Complete Process: How GD3 Works in Windows Phone 8

There are many devices, which are coming with Windows Phone 8 OS build 1037 or the GDR2, however, very few people know that the newly introduced GDR3 was expected to embark the market filling the gap between Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 based phones. Unlike the GDR2, GDR3 is not seen with so many new features; however, you can find a number of fine or smaller enhancements that are driven by a number of new hardware requirements. These can only work in the devices carrying 1080 P resolution and the Phablet devices (the ones having 5 or bigger size displays). Now, you can find a wide range of sources coming out covering all the changes being seen in GDR3. Though the list of these added changes or features seems to be interesting it is certainly not a big update that the users were seen expecting. Even the upcoming phone- Windows Phone 8.1 or Blue to be released in 2014 will have only some limited features of GDR3. If you want to see how GDR3 works in the Windows 8 based phones, just keep on reading to explore the same as discussed in the following paragraphs.

GDR2 300x204 A Complete Process: How GD3 Works in Windows Phone 8

GDR3 – Digging Deep

The working of GDR3 is very much similar to GDR2 and the difference between the two is of few changes or features, which we will discuss in the later paragraph. It stands for General Distribution Release, which is basically an internal terminology used by people in Microsoft to refer certain software releases. For instance the Portico or Build 10211 was called as GDR1, the next update came as GDR2 and now finally the upcoming update to be found in Blue will be termed as GDR3. Consequently, all these General Distribution Release updates can be termed as an array of certain features, which Microsoft keeps on releasing time and again. In order to understand its working, you need to explore the added features or changes being introduced by the company under GDR3, which are as indicated.

The GDR3 Features

Auto Rotate Screen

This is a long awaited function, which helps the users to disable the automatic screen rotation found in the Windows based phones. This can prove out to be beneficial for the users who browse their device while lying down on their beds and especially required in the bigger size devices like Phablets

The UI Changes

This feature include Live Tiles for the 1080 P based devices (the ones carrying 3x medium sized tiles) along with certain changes to the network status icons.

Driving Mode

This feature simply helps the users to reject certain calls or texts automatically or simply send out certain automatic replies via SMS when you are busy driving. This feature can work automatically while you connect to any Bluetooth based device.

Text Message Syncing

This feature simply helps the Windows Phone to automatically sync the text messages to the cloud and simply helps the users to access any message via the internet or over their computers. This also can include the text messages or SMS coming via the Skype and social media chat rooms.

Support for the New Hardware

As reported before, the GDR3 is supposed to render support for 1080 P based resolutions and even the quad core chipsets.

Final Word

The GDR3 is likely to hit mid September especially for the bigger size screen based Windows devices. Though nothing much is known about its complete functioning and features and hence the above details can be called as a tip of an ice berg. Let’s wait and watch to see them while it finally hits the market.

 

This Post is written by Kelly. She is a writer/blogger. She writes articles on Technology, social media, wordpress, Gamification, responsive design and online development etc. These days she contributes on Devrover.com

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Linode: After 319 Days of Uptime

If there is one VPS provider that I really like and use it’s Linode (ref link). In my opinion they are not over hyped or overrated, they do what they do best: offer quality VPS, have multiple locations, nifty features (such as load balancing) and most importantly the best (and quickest) support.

Recently Linode started a wave of upgrades:

  1. 20% increase in storage (December 2012)
  2. Network upgrade that included upgrading the transfer allowance (March 2013)
  3. Host node upgrades running newer Intel Xeon E5-2670 CPUs + 8 cores per VPS (March 2013)
  4. RAM doubled on all plans (April 2013)

After reading about the RAM upgrade and simply had to get my VPS running with all of the above (out of the above my VPS I was only taking advantage of the network upgrade). I made the difficult decision to sacrifice my 319 days of uptime :-(…

linodeuptime Linode: After 319 Days of Uptime

I started off with the disk upgrade which took my VPS offline for a few minutes while I resized the HDD and restarted the Linode. Then I decided to go through the migration to the new host nodes running the newer processors (aka 8 cores + double RAM).

15 minutes later, my VPS is safely back up, running on new hardware, with more RAM, disk space and bandwidth :-D!

I wonder what else Linode have under their sleeves…?

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Windows Phone 8: The Bad Side of Things

I have finally gotten the time to get started with the Windows Phone 8 and Lumia series which I hope you’ll enjoy.

I have decided to start off the series with the things that I do not like with Windows Phone 8, this also includes what I believe to be bugs. Do note that I have come from an Android phone before jumping ship and getting myself a Windows Phone phone :-P.

Audio Settings

I’m not sure why Microsoft made the sound settings the way it is. Right now, there is only 1 volume control for everything: ringing, notifications and any other audio you may think of. So if you are listening to your music but have the volume toned down, your ringtone will also be toned down.

I hope Microsoft adds some flexibility in audio controls in the upcoming updates.

wp ss 20130101 0001 180x300 Windows Phone 8: The Bad Side of Things

 

 

Wi-Fi

Whether or not you are on a data plan, sometimes Wi-Fi is the best (and cheapest) connection you have just about anywhere you go. Not to mention that Wi-Fi will also consume less power than having your 3G on in an area with less than optimal coverage.

wp ss 20130101 0002 180x300 Windows Phone 8: The Bad Side of Things

I sometimes tend to keep Wi-Fi on when I am in someplace with great Wi-Fi such as home. For some reason, Windows Phone 8 does not like to keep the Wi-Fi connection running and will switch to your data connection. Researching online, it seems like the disconnect from Wi-Fi occurs when the phone goes to the lock screen. Thankfully Microsoft has acknowledged this issue and a fix is coming soon according to that article (dated November, before the Portico update).

You also have the tethering issue, but that is not exactly an issue with Windows Phone 8 but most likely Windows 8. I managed to fix this.

 

Windows Phone 8 Store

Compared to Android and even iOS, the Windows Phone store is still limited, at least in my opinion.  Announcements say otherwise. I don’t need many apps, but I have noticed that popular apps found free on the other platforms are in their paid form in the Windows Phone store (sometimes quite pricey!). You may also not find useful apps such as a SIP client which has been around in the other platforms for some time.

There is also a lack in apps that allows you to manipulate with the hardware of your phone. For example, you have no apps that can disable the audio and vibrate feature of your phone during a certain time range, with the current SDK it is impossible (and this will most likely not change for “security” reasons).

Depending on the region you select in your phone’s settings, the market will reflect based on that. For example, I selected Bahrain, but the official Twitter app is not available. Switch to the US and I was able to download it. Also likely region related, you cannot install apps directly from the Windows Phone store, you need to visit your “region’s” store and see if it can be pushed to your phone. This does have a big disadvantage, the language of the website changes to the region’s language. For example, the Bahrain store will be in Arabic, making it useless for non-Arabic readers.

wp ss 20130101 0005 180x300 Windows Phone 8: The Bad Side of Things

To add even more frustration, push installation do not always work. Sometime after hitting the install link on your browser, it will say that the app has been installed but you can’t find it anywhere in your phone! And if the push install fails due to it being unable to reach your phone, the store will send a link to the app to the email you registered (which is good if you have that email account setup on your phone).

 

These are current gripes I have with Windows Phone 8, luckily I haven’t been hit with the more serious bugs some people are experiencing like random reboots. However, I’ve only had my phone (a Nokia Lumia 920) for a few weeks, time will tell what else I may find.

The next post will be more positive, the good side of Windows Phone 8.

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Windows Phone 8 + Nokia Lumia Series

In the coming few days I will be going over Microsoft’s latest mobile OS (Windows Phone 8) and Nokia’s WP8 flagship phone, the Lumia 920.

Just to give a bit of an introduction. I have recently (only a couple of weeks) moved away from the openness and flexible mobile platform, Android, to a (hopefully) more stable and predictable OS, Windows Phone 8. I decided to go all out and got myself the hyped Nokia Lumia 920.

Given that I have been using Android since Froyo (2.2), rooted my phone, installed non-stock ROMs (like AOKP), bricked it once and developed a few Android apps (published and unpublished), I am definitely going to be biased in my views of Windows Phone. Or at least for now.

Hope you enjoy the series of posts coming up :-)! And of course, Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year Bahrain!

I would like to take this moment and wish everyone in Bahrain a happy new year :-)!

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Fixing Windows Phone 8 to Windows 8 Tethering Issue

I have recently decided to jump over to the Windows Phone side, having been on Android and even developing a couple of apps on Android (I still like the platform though!).

I went for the very popular Nokia Lumia 920 (sure it is bulky compared to the HTC 8x, but it has a more solid build) and to be honest I’m not missing much compared to Android (email + WhatsApp + GPS navigation are the apps I use the most).

One of the great things about smartphones these days is the ability to tether (for those unfamiliar with the term: share your phone’s data with other devices over WiFi or sometimes even USB). I tried to tether my Windows Phone 8 to my Windows 8 Pro laptop and unfortunately I kept getting “Limited Access”. I tried just about everything from switching DNS to reinstalling drivers and I can’t remember what else.

I was frustrated, I thought my phone was broken somehow. A search online did not help much since people were either using phones with providers that “crippled” the tethering feature or had it removed completely. I bought my phone from the Nokia dealer in Bahrain (Intercol) and know for a fact that is supposed to be unlocked.

Then it hit me, in my frustration I never tried tethering to my Windows 7 desktop, my Android phone or even my PS Vita. Surprisingly they had no problem accessing the Internet, something was wrong with Windows 8. I attempted to tether to my Windows 8 work laptop and bam, limited access… Windows 8 was definitely the culprit.

After days of trying I finally found the solution, although I can’t explain the reason why it works, it just works! What you need to do in Windows 8 is enable FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards), just follow these steps:

1. Right click on your tethered WiFi connection (which is currently showing “Limited Access”) and open up “View connection properties”.

win81 Fixing Windows Phone 8 to Windows 8 Tethering Issue

2. Go to the “Security” tab and click on “Advanced Settings”.

3. Tick the “Enable FIPS” box (its the only box there). Hit the OKs.

win82 Fixing Windows Phone 8 to Windows 8 Tethering Issue

4. If the connection still shows “Limited Access” just disconnect and reconnect. It should have Internet access now.

Hope this clears your tethering frustrations :-P!

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Linode’s Clairvoyant Support Team

I swear Linode's (shameless referral linking :-p) support team have a crystal ball or something on their desks! So a couple of days ago my VPS at Linode was going up and down then down for a few minutes. I decided to send in a ticket wondering if there was some issue going on. Just have a look at the timestamps:

linodescary Linodes Clairvoyant Support Team

Yes, that is a reply to my question 7 SECONDS after I opened the ticket! You don't even find canned responses that quick! Oh and my Linode VPS was back up and running when I got the reply. So not only was it a response, it was also a resolution!

One of many reasons I recommend Linode if you are ever looking for a VERY reliable VPS (they use Xen).

This is not the first time I write about them: here is a review I wrote about them and another about their uptime. I wonder if they're better than Rackspace's Fanatical Support? Wouldn't be surprised, they definitely beat Liquid Web's Heroic Support!

 

 

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