Should You Upgrade To an iPhone 5c or 5s?

Every time Apple announces an upcoming iPhone, the first post on Spot Cool Stuff’s tech blog is written especially with current iPhone owners. And it centers around a single question:

Should you upgrade to the new iPhone?

Today, we are answering that question twice. That’s because, for the first time, Apple announced two new iPhone models: The iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s.

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The iPad Mini Versus the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD and Nook HD

When the iPad first launched, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs remarked in an interview that the company would never built a 7-inch version of its tablet. Customers, he said, wouldn’t want them.

Since then two things have happen. First, sadly, Steve Jobs has passed away. And, second, a slew of 7-inch tablets have rocketed in popularity, cutting significantly into Apple’s market share. Three tablets in particular saw their sales climb: the Google Nexus 7, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Barnes & Noble Nook HD.

The combination of both of those events lead Apple to launch their own 7-inch tablet: The Apple iPad mini. So how does it compare to those competitors mention above? Our review:

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Should You Upgrade to the New iPhone 5?

When Apple has a major product new launch, a lot of websites will give you the specs and highlights of latest iWhatever. At Spot Cool Stuff, we do that too. But then we focus on the practical questions at hand: Whether or not the new product is worth spending your money on.

That was our approached when the iPhone 4S launched. So it was with the release of the 3rd generation iPad. And now we turn our attention to Apple’s latest announcement: Should you upgrade to the new iPhone 5?

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Best Tablet Computers for Students

Tablet computers are joining backpacks, bicycles and beer pong tables as essential items for university and college students. Some students in high school (and earlier) are taking tablets to class too.

On a tablet a student can read (and purchase) textbooks, manage a to-do list, keep a calendar of assignments, take notes in class, conduct research, check email, collaborate with other students, use educational apps and, of course, procrastinate with Angry Birds. On many tablets you can write or edit papers too.

As such, a good tablet computer for a student is one with a long battery life, with enough processing power to run high-end apps and with a screen that’s especially easy to read. Students tend to type more on their tablet than typical users, so a large, responsive on-screen keyboard can be essential.

There’s another consideration when choosing your tablet: The operating system prevalent the institution where the tablet will be used. Some schools are very Apple and Mac oriented. Others are more Chrome- and Google-centric.

With that in mind, here are Spot Cool Stuff’s tablet recommendations for students. As always, you can click on the category that most interests you or continue reading on after the jump.

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The Padintosh iPad Cover
spot cool stuff TECH

The year was 1984. Ghostbusters was asking movie goers who they were gonna call. Mustached East German athletes were dominating women’s speed skating at the Sarajevo Olympics. Michael Jackson won Album of the Year—and then burned his scalp filming a Pepsi commercial. And Apple launched the Macintosh, the first commercially successful personal computer with a graphical user interface.

No person can go back to 1984. But now, thanks to purveyor of cool things ThinkGeek, your iPad can—sort of. Their new Padintosh iPad Cover will make your Apple tablet resemble a (thinner) version of that classic 1984 Apple computer.

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How To Best Configure a MacBook Pro with Retina Display
spot cool stuff TECH

Previously, Spot Cool Stuff wrote about how to best configure an Apple Macbook Pro laptop. But, with the new product launch from Apple, that advice pertains to what is now the “old” Macbook (still available on eBay but otherwise not sold in stores).

The latest MacBook Pro now features a retina display; comprised of an incredible 5.1 million (!) pixels, it’s the world’s highest resolution screen of any consumer laptop. The new MacBook Pro is also lighter, thinner and significantly faster and more power than its predecessor.

So what are the best configuration options to choose when purchasing a new MacBook Pro with retina display?

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Should You Upgrade to a New iPad?
spot cool stuff TECH

The third generation iPad is out. Whether you call it the iPad 3, the iPad HD, the iPad 2012 or simply “the new iPad,” the latest tablet computer from Apple has features and improvements sure to thrill iPad fans. It also fails to deliver any major new functionality or fix the shortcomings noted by detractors of the “old iPad” (eg. the iPad 2).

So is it worth the money to upgrade to a new iPad if you already own an old one? Spot Cool Stuff’s take:

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Steve Jobs, Apple and the
Best Christmas Ever
spot cool stuff TECH

Spot Cool Stuff never met Steve Jobs. But like so many others, we felt touched by him. His was the human hand who reached out to us from every Macintosh computer, from every iPod, every MacBook and iPhone.

Rarely have the efforts of a single person stretched around the world in the way Steve Jobs’ did.

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