iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 4 price, hardware and software
Apple didn’t just launch devices at yesterday’s event, as iOS 9 was one of the most important parts of the entire presentation. The iPad Pro will be launched with iOS 9 on board, and the two elements of the new release are aimed to work together seamlessly. iOS 9 is made for productivity, according to Apple, and that is reflected in the new features that the OS has. With the iPad Pro, iOS 9 comes with features like running two apps at the same time on the display, easy switching and pairing with devices, responsive on-screen keyboard and much more. iOS 9 could be compared to the step that Samsung took when redesigning TouchWiz when the Galaxy Note 4 was launched last year.
The Surface Pro 4 is going to be the flagship computer for Windows 10, which means the new device will come with a good deal of integration features, new software features for the stylus and probably new apps and services geared towards artists. Windows 10 puts a lot of emphasis on Cortana and we expect the virtual personal assistant to be an important part of the Windows 10 Mobile platform that will be loaded onto the Surface Pro 4 when it is launched. New cloud computing and Azure-related features are also said to be implemented in Windows 10 Mobile, not to mention new Office features, as Microsoft has made it clear over the past few months that cloud is the future.
When it comes to hardware, both the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4 will be the best ones in their niches. The iPad Pro uses the Samsung-made Apple A9x chipset coupled with the M9 motion coprocessor and Adobe says that chip is backed by 4 GB RAM, although that information has not yet been confirmed by Apple. Performance of the device cannot be quantified yet, as we’ve had only moments to test the device out, but based on the Apple A9 performance, the higher-end chip should be decent.
Under the hood, the iPad Pro will be available in three different variants. Check out the iPad Pro pricing information chart below for an easy look at how Apple is marketing the new tablet. Beware: it’s expensive.
iPad Pro Wi-Fi 32 GB price: $799
iPad Pro Wi-Fi 128 GB price: $949
iPad Pro cellular 128 GB price: $1079
The base model of the iPad Pro is a bit disappointing when it comes to specs, because a starting memory of 32 GB should not be priced so high. The base model of the Surface Pro 3 with double the ROM costs this much, which shows how much of a premium Apple is actually charging for the (in my opinion inferior) slate. The larger storage Wi-Fi model is also a bit too expensive for what it has to offer, as I think the almost $1000 price tag would have been more suitable for the LTE model, with the Wi-Fi model staying at $$850. But that’s just my two cents, I’m never happy with Apple pricing anyway.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is expected to be much more affordable this time around, although we doubt that Microsoft would sacrifice the revenue it could make with the hybrid device just to please the community, but who knows. Apparently, the Surface Pro 4 will be available in a plethora of configurations, but a few things will be the same with every model: like the design and camera.
When it comes to processing power, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 will either come with new Intel Skylake series H processors in i3, i5 and i7 variants or new fanless processor from Intel. The base model of the Surface Pro 4 will most likely sport an Intel Skylake H i3 processor, backed by 4 G BRAM and 64 GB storage. There will most likely be different models available, so here are our own versions of what to expect, alongside Surface Pro 4 prices.
Surface Pro 4 price for 4 GB RAM, i3 CPU and 64 GB storage: $750
Surface Pro 4 price for 4 GB RAM, i5 CPU and 128 GB storage: $950
Surface Pro 4 price for 8 GB RAM, i5 CPU and 256 GB storage: $1150
Surface Pro 4 price for 8 GB RAM, i7 CPU and 256 GB storage: $1350
Surface Pro 4 price for 8 GB RAM, i7 CPU and 512 GB storage: $1550
These prices are just rough estimates and if you’re familiar with Microsoft, you’ll notice they’re a bit lower than the Surface Pro 3 price. That’s because with the iPad Pro price being a bit high and Microsoft probably wanting to target customers who find the iPad Pro too expensive, the prices are sure to be more friendly to the consumer. If we’re right about the prices, Microsoft has a good shot at remaining the leader in the hybrid industry. If not and the Surface Pro 4 turns out to be even more expensive than the iPad Pro, the audiences interested in such devices might split up. Since we’re not analysts, we can’t accurately predict company or consumer choices.
Moving on from processing power to connectivity, let’s see what each of these hybrids has to offer. The iPad Pro comes in with a Lightning port, Touch ID, a Smart Connector, dual microphones, headphone jack, volume buttons and a power button. Wi‑Fi (802.11a/ b/ g/ n/ ac); dual channel (2.4GHz and 5GHz); HT80 with MIMO and Bluetooth 4.2 are also on board, with LTE Cat 6 added to the cellular model. The lack of an USB Type-C port came as a surprise to everyone, seeing as Apple seemed pretty set on making it the standard as soon as possible.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 should sport the same Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, stereo speakers, this time even better ones apparently, USB Type C, USB 3.0, microSD card reader, headphone jack, mini display port, cover port and charging port, of course. Connectivity-wise, the Surface Pro 4 might be launched with a cellular version, too, which would be pretty neat as many people have asked for LTE on a Surface. We’ll have to see about that, as most people find it unlikely.
iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 4 camera
When it comes to convertible devices, tablets and hybrids, few people give great importance to cameras. Most people concern themselves with the front camera, but pay little attention to the rear one, as video conferecing usually happens with the former. that being said, Apple amde it good with the iPad Pro, as both the front and back cameras are rather impressive. On the rear, the iPad Pro camera measures 8 MP and it’s an iSight sensor, so expect iPhone 6 Plus-grade photos, complete with video recording, autofocus, f2.4 aperture, and more. The front camera is a FaceTime 1.2 MP camera, which is pretty decent for video conferences and work-selfies.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 probably won’t pay that much attention to the camera setup, although some new augmented reality features have been rumored to involve a motion sensing front camera, in the spirit of the Microsoft HoloLens. Last year’s Surface Pro 3 came with 5 MP cameras on both the front and back, capable of 1080p video and were not too bright. This year, however, Microsoft might use motion sensing technology and 8 MP cameras on both sides for an entirely new experience. Even without motion sensing, the new cameras should provide decent results.
iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 4 battery and conclusions
The iPad Pro has to be a winner in the battery game, otherwise the entire launch would have been a bit amiss. Apparently, the iPad Pro comes with a 38.5-watt-hour battery that is said to last for about 10 hours on Wi-Fi. It is not clear if there will be a bigger battery in the LTE model of the iPad Pro, but our guess is not. Since the battery life of the slate has not been thoroughly tested yet, we can’t say for sure if the 10-hour battery life is real or not or how the iPad Pro will handle the extensive heavy use it is designed for. If the tablet surpasses the 10-hour goal or at least keeps its minimum at 8, people will be content. If not, the iPad Pro might flop.
The Surface Pro 3 had a good battery life, but it could have been much better. With about 7 hours of screen on time, the Surface Pro 3 was pretty decent, but people will definitely want more from the Surface Pro 4. We expect Microsoft to make the battery life of the new convertible at least 10 hours long if they want to compete agains the iPad Pro. Depending on whether LTE will be a part of the design, the battery life of the next Microsoft hybrid should be exemplary, otherwise people will start getting tired of always asking for more battery and less thinness and not getting any.
Conclusions can’t be draw yet, as the Surface Pro 4 isn’t official and the iPad Pro has not yet been thoroughly put to the test. Nonetheless, the iPad Pro seems like a pretty well-designed and well-engineered device for a first generation. Now all that remains is to test how far performance and battery life go, and if Apple truly made the iPad Pro a good tablet and an even better laptop, the bang for buck of the device will end up being fair. If the iPad Pro battery life is disappointing, or if performance and user experience aren’t as good as advertised, the Surface Pro 4 has more chances of becoming the staple of the Holidays. We’ll just have to see.
4 Most Interesting Crossovers in Gaming
Gaming crossovers are a great way to bring in new people and drive up interest in a title. With that being said, crossovers aren’t as rare as they once were. More and more gaming companies are now embracing crossovers, to the point that some may say that it has lost its appeal. And while this is true to some degree, there are still crossovers that are really effective when it comes to adding a whole new dimension to a game. To prove our point, we’ve put together a list of five of the most interesting crossovers.
Forza Horizon 4: Halo
Forza Horizon 4 is the eleventh installment in the Forza series. The Forza series is known for its ability to emulate realistic racing conditions and offer accurate representations of real-world cars. And while they’ve partnered with car manufacturers before, Forza Horizon 4 features one of the most interesting collaborations in the entire series.
For a series that prides itself on realistic racing, Forza also knows when to cut loose and have a little fun. Nothing exemplifies this more than the Halo crossover that features Master Chief and the iconic Warthog.
Fortnite: Travis Scott
Fortnite is no stranger to crossovers. But if we had to pick one as the most interesting it would have to be the Travis Scott concert. Not only did this crossover include custom skins and emotes but it also paved the way for one of the most unique digital experiences of 2020.
The Verge’s article on the Travis Scott crossover details that the crossover included an interactive digital concert that turned the Fortnite island into a music stage. What’s great about this crossover is that it hints towards a future wherein music and video games will be working hand in hand to deliver immersive musical experiences to millions of people from all over the world.
Merge Dragons: Rick and Morty
When you think of the popular TV show Rick and Morty, a fantasy puzzle game isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. This is what makes this Rick and Morty crossover so interesting. The sheer absurdity of this crossover shows what gaming collaborations can achieve when one thinks outside the box. The game features original dialogue spoken by the characters that matches their characteristics from the show. It is a fun addition to the puzzle game.
However, this crossover shouldn’t be too surprising as Rick and Morty have appeared in other games, demonstrating how they have become pop culture icons. The comic nature of the duo makes them perfect for every type of genre, including slot games. Foxy Bingo’s pop cultured-themed slots include an official Rick and Morty game that features the iconic imagery and characters from the show. The show has also produced its own game in the form of the Pokémon-clone Pocket Mortys. One thing that all of these games have in common is that they maintain the show’s penchant for fun and wacky adventures. This is seen in Merge Dragons with the exclusive cow-dragon hybrid featured in the crossover event.
Mortal Kombat 11: Rambo
While crossovers in fighting games aren’t exactly new, Mortal Kombat has always had a knack for creating interesting crossovers for their iconic fighting game. One way that they’ve done this is with the inclusion of popular film characters. The franchise has had everyone from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Jason of the Friday the 13th franchise appear in their games.
However, the latest iteration of the game may have topped all of the previous crossovers. This is because Mortal Kombat 11 features John Rambo of the legendary Rambo franchise as one of its available fighters. To add to this, CNet’s article on Mortal Kombat 11 details that Sylvester Stallone voiced the digital John Rambo. This is certainly a treat for fans of the popular action film franchise, as they can finally play as one of the most influential action heroes of all time.
Loot Crate vs. The Curiosity Box: A Beginner’s Guide to Subscription Mystery Boxes
With all the loot box shenanigans we’ve witnessed this year, you might have, while searching for more information, accidentally stumbled across something by the name of Loot Crate. Unlike the reviled loot boxes, Loot Crate isn’t a digital gambling scam. Instead, Loot Crate is a physical, subscription-based mystery box you receive in the mail that contains a bevy of geek-related material. Moreover, Loot Crate isn’t the only available service. Alongside the vanilla Loot Crate Classic, the Loot Crate company supplies geeks with anime-themed items with Loot Anime, gaming swag with Loot Gaming (Loot Crate also sells Halo, Minecraft, Fallout, Call of Duty, and Destiny 2 themed boxes), and film/TV merchandise with Harry Potter, Firefly, Marvel, and Star Trek themed boxes. Loot Crate also has a rival in the form of Geek Fuel, which is more expensive than Loot Crate Classic but contains more (and more expensive) merchandise. While I don’t have a Geek Fuel box to compare to a Loot Crate, I received a different subscription box for Christmas, The Curiosity Box. This mystery box is a joint venture between the company behind Geek Fuel and the YouTube Channel VSauce, which is admittedly cool. So, without further ado, let’s get into what sets apart a Loot Crate from a Curiosity Box and determine which is right for you.
WHAT’S THE SAME
On the surface, Loot Crate and The Curiosity Box seem similar. They arrive in big cardboard boxes and contain random items. Well, not precisely random; each box focuses on a different theme, and the items provided center around that theme. While a lot of geeks subscribe to these boxes for various bits of swag, perhaps the biggest draw is the exclusives. The companies behind these subscription services make deals with other firms to create unique pieces of merchandise that are literally impossible to find anywhere else, aftermarket/marked up eBay sales notwithstanding. Some of these exclusives are just color variants of readily available products, such as a glow in the dark Funko POP Groot figure and orange Quantum Mechanix Tribble.
Most exclusives, however, aren’t available elsewhere in any other form and include items like the The Walking Dead art print, the Yeti temporary tattoo, the tower of magnetic rings, and “collectible” pins.
Furthermore, while most exclusives are decorative, some are practical items, such as a pen shaped like the Sledge Saw from Dead Rising 3 and light-up beverage coasters with periodic symbols.
Finally, these subscription boxes have some of the most awesome, exclusive, geeky shirts this side of ThinkGeek or Hot Topic.
The exclusive items tend to be the best pieces of merchandise in each box and are usually worth the price of the subscription alone. Usually.
Let’s get this out of the way: the most obvious differences are the prices and subscription models. Loot Crate Classic is about $20 per box and comes once a month, while The Curiosity Box is well over $50 and arrives once every three months. More importantly, these boxes are designed for two completely different audiences. The Loot Crate (and likely by extension Geek Fuel) is aimed primarily at adults or older teenagers and provides geek-related decorations and practical items, such as the Dead Rising 3 pen, Star Wars and Deadpool fridge magnets, and a Mega Man car air freshener.
Also, Loot Crate tends to include non-exclusive products that are part of a series. Case in point, during my brief stint with Loot Crate, I received (among other things) a Kidrobot Glow in the Dark Ooze Action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle vinyl figure and a Funko ReAction Alien figure. I got Donatello and the titular Alien, respectively, but I easily could have found Leonardo or Ripley in my Loot Crate subscriptions instead. However, since The Curiosity Box is almost exclusively made up of exclusive items, there is no element of randomness and everyone receives the same merchandise.
While Loot Crate caters to the video game, movies, comics, television, and everything pop-culture side of geekdom, The Curiosity Box is more science oriented and is designed for the family. For example, parents who bought the Summer 2017 Curiosity Box got to enjoy a t-shirt, a set of periodic table beverage coasters, a magnetic ring tower, a t-shirt, and a Nikola Tesla (as a sloth) enamel pin, while children will have fun with a temporary tattoo, a unique embroidered sticker patch, a solar system wall decal and poster set, a mobile microscope, and a castle cross-sections book. Finally, the Summer 2017 Curiosity Box came with the Universe Sandbox 2 Steam game, which is fun for all ages.
Since each Loot Crate and Curiosity Box contains new themes and items, you might find the contents of one particular box more to your liking than another. For example, one Curiosity Box contained a “grow your own glow in the dark crystals” kit, while another included a plush of The Curiosity Box’s mascot, the orange octopus Inq. Meanwhile, past Loot Crates have contained a Batman mug, a Doom Marine Funko POP figure, and the One-Punch Man manga.
While I only have personal experience with Loot Crate and The Curiosity Box, they are not your only options for subscription boxes. Geek Fuel is another decent mystery box, and it has come with its fair share of good products, including a South Park: The Fractured But Whole shirt, a Loony Toons Kidrobot blind box vinyl figure, and an exclusive Legend of Zelda pixel sword power bank. While I cannot recommend the Loot Crate, Curiosity Box, or Geek Fuel (or other) subscription boxes enough, you should research each to know what you should expect from these services. Sure, you technically can’t know what to expect since each box is supposed to be a mystery, but look into each specific subscription and figure out which one is right for you. Which do you think tends to have the best exclusives? Which box caters to your interests? These questions are important and will severely impact your enjoyment. Of course, luck also plays a big role, but that’s also part of the fun.
Google Drive will Shut Down in 2018
It seems like yesterday when Google introduced Google Drive 5 years ago. Back then, people didn’t have a good grasp about what Cloud Storage did. Nowadays, there are many Cloud Storage services that it’s only a matter of preference to choose one for your file keeping needs. However, what struck me as an oddity was how Google Drive will pull their Google Drive service come 2018.
That’s right, Google Drive will completely shut down on March 12, 2018. With the software no longer being supported on December 11, 2017. People will have several warnings about this, for now, so they will have plenty of chance to switch to the new version of Drive, Backup and Sync.
This new program is basically a combination of the features between Google Drive and Photos. It’s readily available now for Windows and OSX systems and will be the new host for the Cloud storage. Alternatively, users can get a hold of Drive File Stream, which will become available on September 26, 2017.
The core differences between DFS and BaS come when you compare how they help customers. As shown in the image below:
A day without Google Drive.
It seems like users will have their first experience without Drive today though. Because as of this morning, the service was down for many users who constantly used the GSuit app. According to the independent site Downdetector, more than 7,000 users are experiencing issues with the service. This has been going on since 10:04 AM EDT, but the number of reports has been lowering afterward. You can check the stats here.
It’s a shame to see Google Drive go. To be frank, it was my preferred Cloud Storage option besides MEGA. However, it’s not a huge inconvenience considering they are not shutting down a Cloud Storage service altogether. So we at least have that.
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