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Top 5 New Gadgets to come out of 2017 so far

We have taken a look at some of the latest gadgets to come out of 2017. Because, who doesn’t love an awesome new gadget to play with?! Here are our top five picks.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Following on from the discontinued Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung have recently unveiled the all new Samsung Galaxy S8. They really have gone all out on their new smartphone. There is a larger screen with a 5.8inch display which is curved and the S8+ has a 6.2 inch screen making it the largest smartphone screen on the market. Also an 10nm processor with the possibility of expanding the memory to 256GB. There is no longer a physical home button but a virtual one instead. There is also a new AI assistant called Bixby which takes on the likes of Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now assistant. With a fingerprint scanner, iris scanner and all new dual-cameras, this really is a show stopper. Find out all about the Samsung Galaxy S8 here.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo have recently released a brand new console called the Nintendo Switch. This is a console that can be used as a portable device or can be docked for use with a television. The process of docking and undocking the device takes seconds.  You can quite literally play it anywhere. This hybrid machine is a tablet that has 2 detachable controllers. You can remove the small controllers from the tablet and attach them to an included grip or you can use them solo in your hands. You are also able to purchase an additional controller that will also work with the device. You can buy the Nintendo Switch from £279.

Flow

Flow by Plume is a quality air tracker. It can track, monitor and reduce your exposure to air pollution around you. This can work inside, outside and anywhere you go. It comes with a leather strap so that you can attach it to anything. Flow has 360° of air intake and an LED interface. You can receive tailored air quality alerts and therefore discover the ways to escape pollution. Within the app that comes with this device, you can see on a map where there are areas of clear air so you know where to visit. You can connect your phone via Bluetooth. This is a gadget for those who are looking for a healthier lifestyle. Pricing has not yet been released so keep an eye out on Plume’s website to get a hold of one.

Griffin Connected Toaster

This is a gadget that we use single day. A toaster. However this is not any ordinary toaster, it is a Smart Toaster. One of the features of this toaster is the app that comes with it. The app connects via Bluetooth. There is a slider within the app with an icon of a white piece of toast at one end and a black piece  at the other. You can slide up to your preferred setting. Within the app you can also select settings such as how my pieces, whether it is bread, a muffin or something more. Your settings can they all be remembered within the app. So, is it really necessary? Probably not. But it just goes to show how far our technology is developing. If you want to purchase it, the Griffin Connected Toaster will set you back around £100.

Kuri – The Real Live Robot

Kuri is a little home robot with a shed load of cheerful personality. Kuri has a capactive touch sensor in the head area, these enable Kuri to respond to human touch in a personal way. This is done by a tap to the head and Kuri will look up to the human and chirp affirming. Behind Kuri’s eyes there is a camera which can capture HD pictures and videos. This is good for when you are not in the house, you can see a live stream. Kuri is able to blink, smile, look up and down as well as looking side to side. Microphones installed enable Kuri to hear and react to your voice. He can also hear and detect strange noises and know which way to go to investigate. Different colours appear in the body of Kuri to portray different emotions. Mapping sensors enable Kuri to navigate your house. The sensor helps Kuri to remember where everything is located and stay away from obstacles. Kuri can also entertain by playing songs, podcasts and more. This exciting cute robot is available for pre-order now for £466. You can expect to receive Kuri around Christmas time this year.

This month's Cooltek

The futuristic BMW HoloActive, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Apple’s new update in this months Top gadgets!

Our pick of last months best gadgets includes the latest from futuristic cars, easy scheduling software and brand new phones. Our team has taken a look at what new developments have taken their fancy throughout this past month, read on to find out more!

Doodle

The first thing that has impressed our team this month is Doodle. Doodle is a tool that simplifies scheduling. You can find the date and time to meet people quickly and efficiently with Doodle. You begin by suggesting dates and times for your events participants to choose from. Doodle then creates a polling calendar that can be sent to participants for feedback. Doodle then looks at the best available times for the participants and gives you the best option for everyone.

Apple’s iOS Update

If you are an Apple user you could be in store for an update. Apple is rolling out iOS 10.3 for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. The new update brings a lot of additions such as Find My AirPods, a new filesystem, CarPlay and more. They are also introducing a way for developers to reply to app reviews. There will even be iCloud analytics introduced for the first time ever.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and Bixby

Samsung have just released their brand new Galaxy S8. This new phone is very promising and has caught the attention of many. It comes with an infinity screen, no buttons on the front, a fingerprint scanner on the back and an iris and face scanner. The S8 screen is a rather big 5.8inch and then the S8+ is a whopping 6.2inch. But they have said it does not feel too big at all. The 12MP camera is very fast and captures things as they happen. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is even waterproof and can be immersed into 1.5 metres of water for up to 30 minutes!

Our team love the addition of the new personal assistant, Bixby. This is a rival for Apples Siri and Google’s personal assistant. Bixby understands speech, text and taps. He even recognises objects through the use of the camera. For example, if your camera shows a watch, then Bixby will search watch and will provide you with other images of a watch and will even take you to Amazon to buy a watch. Overall, it is looking to be a promising phone. Check out more about the all new Samsung Galaxy S8 here.

BMW HoloActive Touch System

BMW have unveiled their latest creation the BMW HoloACtive Touch System at CES 2017. This is an interface between the driver and the vehicle that acts like a virtual touchscreen. So for the first time ever, functions in a BMW car can be controlled without any physical contact with materials. Their system for the driver interface, which behaves like a virtual touchscreen means that your hands float in the air when gesturing to control the vehicle functions. The interior design of the BMW HoloActive is very open and has a living room feel to it. there are speakers within the head rest and each passenger in the car can listen to their own choice of music and films and they will not hear each others. In the back of the car there is a tablet enabled 4k projection screen.

Samsung Galaxy s8

The all new Samsung Galaxy S8 has just been unveiled

So as you may or may not know, Samsung have just unveiled their all new Samsung Galaxy s8. We have heard many leaks recently but they now have the final product ready for you. This is a very strong phone from Samsung.

The first very exciting thing that we are shown about the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the infinity display. While its not all completely screen, it is as close as it can be. It is the ‘biggest and most immersive screen on a Galaxy smartphone of its size’ as said by Samsung themselves. With the S8+ having 6.2-inch curved screen, and the S8 have a 5.8-inch curved screen this is the biggest smartphone screen on the market. However it does not feel unusually large. There is also no longer a physical home button on the front but a virtual one instead. The fingerprint sensor has also been moved to the back and it is located next to the camera. You can also unlock the phone with iris and face scanning.

According to Samsung, the camera on the new S8 and S8+ ‘captures life as it happens’. What this actually means is that it has a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera which are very fast and can capture important moments with no delay. It has the fastest processor to date with a 10nm processor which is fast and increases battery efficiency. You can also expand the memory up to 256GB. With IP68-rated performance you can work through rain and dust. The Samsung Galaxy S8 can be immersed into 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. With high-quality 32-bit PCM and DSD64/128 playback you can hear music as it is meant to be heard.

The next development on the S8 in comparison to the S7 is the addition of the personal assistant Bixby. Like Apple’s Siri and Google’s Personal Assistant, Bixby understands talk, text and taps. This means that you’re never confined to one method of communication. However you do not even have to talk to Bixby. You are able to show Bixby something i.e. a watch through the camera and Bixby will recognise what it is and search for you. In the instance with the watch, Bixby will take you to Google and show other images of watches or take you to amazon so you’re able to purchase a watch.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ were released yesterday for pre-order. Pre-order before the 19th of April and receive it up to 8 days early. The Galaxy S8 is priced at £689 and the S8+ is £779.

Take a look at TechRadar’s review of the all new Samsung Galaxy S8.

The very best of the January Sales!

Now Christmas and New year has been and passed, the next exciting thing is January Sales! After looking at the best gadgets for Christmas presents last year, lets now look at the best presents for yourself, from yourself, for a discounted price!

Lightspeed iHelicopter with Camera

This ‘super fun’ helicopter is an award winner! Controllable by your Android or iPhone – all you have to do is download the app and begin! With a camera on board and a 2G micro SD, you are able to create up to one hour of video footage. This helicopter also comes with a crash resistant body design so you don’t need to worry about where you fly yours. This lightspeed iHelicopter has a massive deal! it is now selling at the price of £32.99, which mean you’re saving a total of £42.99! Buy it here!

helicopter

Lightspeed I-Helicopter by Roo Reynolds, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

In serious need of an update on your phone? Always wanted an iPhone? Why not get the latest iPhone out there! John Lewis are now doing a deal on the iPhone 6 plus for £589.00, this is a whole £200.00 off! The deal is only valid until the 21st of January –  so get yours soon! The new iPhone come with a multitude of new and updated features. With a 5.5″ Retina display, longer lasting battery life, improved camera, fingerprint security used now for purchasing apps and music. Find out more about the iPhone 6 plus here.

free-iphone

SAMSUNG SUHD UE55JS9000 Smart 3D Ultra HD 4k 55″ Curved LED TV    

With a curved screen, you are able to see the finest UHD picture quality. With the immersive view, you feel as if you are in the middle of the show. The curved screen gives you a balanced viewing from all areas of the screen and a real feeling of depth is apparent due to the Samsung Auto Depth Enhancer. This 4k Ultra-HD TV has 4 times the resolution of HD. As well as all of this, this TV is a Smart TV, meaning there is the capability to visit the app store and Catch-Up, not only this you also get 6 months of free Netflix. The price of this TV is £1899, which is a whopping £800 off its original price, you can purchase it from Currys.

samsung-hd-tv

                                                                                                                                                  Samsung SUHDTV by Vernon Chan, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

These deals will not be on for much longer! So make sure you get in quick to grab the very best of the January sales!

 

 

Wireless Charging Pad

How does wireless charging work?

So what is wireless charging?

Wireless charging is a way of charging your devices, this being a tablet, a laptop, a smartphone or even devices as large as an electric car, without the use of cables or adapters.

How does wireless charging actually work?

Wireless charging is extremely popular as you are able to just place your device on a wireless charger and it will begin charging, without the use of any USBs or plugs. However, the Wireless charger itself must still be plugged into the wall.

Wireless charging uses magnetism to transmit energy. It uses two coils of wire, one is in the charger, and the other is in the device. The electrical current coming from the power socket at the wall moves through the wire to the wireless charger, this then creates a magnetic field. This magnetic field then creates a current that passes through the coil that is in the charger, generating a ‘fluctuating electromagnetic field’. Then when the device is placed near or on the charger, the coil inside induces the current. This then charges the battery.

How can I get Wireless Charging?

Many smartphones come with wireless charging built into them. The most common brands are LG, Samsung, Google, Motorola, HTC and Sony. If your phone does not come with the ability to charge wirelessly, you may be able to add in the functionality by using a different phone case.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Wireless Charging?

As previously stated, there is now no need for many plugs and USBs which is the biggest advantage as this reduces clutter and makes charging very easy and practically hands free. Also by not having an area full of cables, you are reducing the risk of being shocked by a faulty cable. Another advantage is that by using wireless charging, there are no connectors required which may harbour bacteria, so therefore this is more applicable for medical instruments that need to be battery powered. Lastly, wireless charging really has no health risks, ‘the charger creates a field that is no more dangerous than radio waves, and isn’t strong enough to have any effect on the human body’.

However, there are also a few disadvantages of wireless charging. The main one being that wireless charging is not very energy-efficient. This is due to the fact that it produces a lot of heat. This therefore means that it takes longer to charge your phone.

What should I look for in a Wireless Charger?

There are some features that you should look out for when choosing your wireless charger. Some devices have specific chargers for them, so it is usually best to stick to these particular ones. However, there are many wireless chargers that are usable throughout numerous devices such as the GMYLE, Transparent Acryl Disk Qi Charging Pad which is compatible with most popular smartphone models such as Samsung Galaxy S6, Google Nexus 6P etc.

Something else to bear in mind is the amperage of the charger for the wireless charging pad. The more amperage that the charger has, the faster the device’s battery will charge.

So what is the future of Wireless Charging?

At the moment the most use that wireless charging is having, is by using it at your desk at work, or in your bedroom. However, looking into the future, you could possibly be seeing these wireless pads appearing everywhere. Already, Starbucks have begun introducing this into its coffee shops across the UK after great success in the US. IKEA are even putting wireless charging pads into their furniture.

There are still many developments within Wireless Charging. One of these being to look at the potential of having a charging pad that can charge at a distance. Whereas at the moment the device needs to be touching the pad, or in very close proximity. However, it is possible that one day you could just be in the same room, and potentially be able to charge your device.

Lastly, wireless charging really has no health risks. As the charger creates a field that is no more dangerous than radio waves, it isn’t strong enough to have any effect on the human body.

 

 

Tablet Computers

The Best Tablets for use in School

Tablets are becoming considerably more popular throughout schools. This is because students have been accustomed to the touch-screen smartphones for years. This is something that is familiar to them, they feel comfortable with and can use well. Tablets are a good way to capture the student’s attention, and keep them engaged whilst learning, due to interactive activities.

We have taken a look into some of the best tablets for use within a classroom.

Windows

There are quite a few Windows tablets to choose from. Windows tablets are not as widely known as the iPad or Android. Microsoft tablets are perfect for work use due to the ability of using Office. Apps for Windows tablets come from the Windows App Store, which supplies the most well-known apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Sky News etc. The last advantage of a Windows Tablet is the fact that you can now use Windows 10 in it, which is Microsoft’s new OS. Windows tablets come with pre-installed apps with Windows 10, these include; OneNote, Mail, Games and more.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft have completely revolutionised the tablet. They have made a tablet that can actually replace your laptop. This includes a 12.4 inch PixelSense screen, which gives a real-life picture quality. The weight is 757g which enables it to be extremely portable and you can therefore work on the go. You can work up to 9 hours uninterrupted due to the long lasting battery power.

The Surface comes loaded with the latest Pro Intel Core processors which make it more powerful than the previous Surface Tablet. You have options of either; m3, i5, or i7 processor depending on your budget. In addition, it is now a lot cooler and quieter when it runs.

This tablet runs Windows 10 and Office perfectly, meaning you can operate your desktop right from your tablet. Lastly, you’re spoilt with pre-installed apps on your tablet, legacy (i.e. traditional) Windows apps and those available from the Windows Store providing an almost limitless amount of apps to be able to use for all of your teaching needs.

This is priced at approximately £749.

Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 Series Tablet

The Dell Venue is an atom-powered windows tablet. It has been called ‘The Ultimate Business Partner’. It is a laptop is disguise. It has an 11 inch full HD Display, weighs up at 712.14 g and has 10 hours of battery life. You can wirelessly stream HD videos and photos from your tablet to a larger screen. The Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 series is now powered by Intel’s Core M processors. You have the ability to attach a keyboard to the Dell Venue 11 Pro, this therefore enables you to be able to turn your tablet into a laptop.

This tablet is priced at approximately £463.

Apple

iPad’s are probably the most popular form of tablet. When people talk about a ‘tablet’ they generally think of the iPad.

The iPad is loved by both the students and the teachers. It delivers so much opportunity for a memorable learning experience. With an app store that holds over 500,000 Educational Apps, there is something for every lesson taught, all delivering at different levels to cater to the student’s needs. Take a look at our previous blogs: a complete list of Educational iPad Apps, and our favourite educational iPad apps.

The most popular type of iPad for use within in a school is a close contest between the iPad mini and the iPad Air.

iPad Air 2

The iPad Air 2 was released in mid-October 2014. The original iPad Air was 7.5mm in thickness, and now the new edition is even slimmer at 6.3mm with a weight of 469 g and a screen of 9.7in. The iPad Air 2 now has an A8X processor which is still 64-bit and has a new M8 co-processor. The newest feature is the Touch ID button, just like an iPhone. With 10 hours of battery life, this iPad will not need to be charged regularly.

The price of the iPad air 2 is approximately £399.

iPad mini 2/ iPad mini 4

The iPad mini 2 is the most common iPad mini, although there has been a 3 and 4 since then. The iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 are almost identical. The only enhancement in the 3 is the use of Touch ID.

The iPad mini 2 has a 7.9in retina display screen with a weight of 331g. With 10 hours of battery life and an A7 chip with 64-bit architecture. The benefit of the iPad mini 2, is the price. Starting from £219, it is one of the cheapest, yet still delivers just as well as the mini 3.

The iPad mini 4 took quite a change. It is considerably lighter at a weight of 299g with the same sized screen. It has an upgraded A8 processor, colour-rich retina display, better cameras and it supports split-screen apps. The use of the Touch ID and the full laminated display has the upper hand upon the mini 2.

This iPad mini 4 is priced at approximately £319.

Android

There are more Android tablets around now, due to Google’s Android OS making it inviting for many manufacturers to make an Android tablet. Android tablets have really been enhanced and improved. Android is popular due to its price and you have over 1.3 million apps in the Google play App store. Google’s Android has ‘Google’ voice integrated in, so you can speak to your tablet, and receive help.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 has an 8 inch screen, is only 5.6mm thick and weighs 265g. Just like the iPad, it has a Touch ID. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 you have to capability to insert a microSD card slot on the frame and this can boost the 32GB to 64GB.

As a bonus with this tablet, you get “Microsoft Office and 100GB of OneDrive free for two years.”

The price for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is approximately £319.

Google Nexus 9

The Google Nexus 9 is an Android tablet designed by HTC. It has an 8.9in screen, weighs 425g and is protected with gorilla glass. There are front-facing “BoomSound” speakers which enables the music and audio to be richer. Due to the 64-bit processor, it is easy to watch videos, check email and tweak documents.

The Nexus 9 has Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is a version of Android OS developed by Google. The Benefit of Android Lollipop is that a refreshed notification system has been introduced, and battery consumption has been improved.

The price for this is approximately £189.99.

Wireless System

Something to think about before ordering 30 tablets to be used in a single classroom would be your current Wireless System. When was it installed? What is the speed like when browsing the internet or streaming a YouTube video? If you think the speed is slow when you’re the only one using the wireless, how do think your 30 pupils all trying to access online content at the same time are going to find it? Chances are, if your wireless system was installed more than 3 years ago, it’s going to struggle with the demands of a modern day classroom.

Luckily, this is where Coretek can come in to save the day. We can carry out a survey of your current wireless system, which will provide an in depth report evaluating your system as it stands and showcase our recommendations for a new Dell SonicWALL system.

The approximate price of a Dell SonicWALL 802.11AC Wireless System with 10 Access Points is £6000.

So these are a few of our chosen tablets that we feel are best for use within Education. They all supply a wide range of apps that will cater for any lesson, but each tablet is completely different to the next. There are the Windows tablets that are great for the use of attaching a keyboard to the screen, therefore transforming it into a laptop alternative. Apple tablets have the most extensive app store, having something for your every single need, and they are very lightweight. Then lastly, the Android tablets are very reasonably priced and there are a whole variety of Android tablets.

If you need any advice or help, please contact us at enquiries@coretek.co.uk.