The Raspberry Pi arrived!

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I’m very excited to report that my Raspberry Pi arrived yesterday.

I’m blown away by the size of the device. It somehow feels smaller “in the flesh” than I had anticipated.

Anyway, my plan is to hook it up to the TV and use it as a means of accessing the interewebs, in particular catch up TV services such as the BBC iPlayer (which will be much better quality than through the Wii).

I’ve ordered an SD card and have the Debian distribution ready to install. I shall be digging out one of my old micro USB chargers and then firing it all up.

I can’t wait to start playing. Should be a couple of days for the SD card to arrive which will give me enough time to have everything else ready.

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Watch this space….. or this space over on Storify!

Wondering if you should buy a 3G or WiFi only iPad?

When it comes to the ipad, I am often asked whether the buyer should go for the WiFi only model or if they should consider the 3G model.

I’ve owned an iPad for several months now and use it a lot….a heck of a lot. In fact I find that 90% of what I used to do on my trusty old netbook is now carried out on the iPad. I blog from it, manage my inboxes, Twitter and other social networks on it, I research, browse and communicate from it. Most of what I do online I do on the iPad. It is that good.

I own a WiFi only model. For the most part that has been fine. I don’t travel a lot and when I do it’s typically a planned event and (where possible) I choose locations with plentiful WiFi access either on site or nearby (I need my digital fix).

So, would I recommend saving those extra pounds or dollars and sticking with the WiFi only model? No, I wouldn’t. My advice is always thus….. if you can afford the 3G model, buy the 3G model.

We are increasingly reliant on a data connection to manage our busy lives. It is fast becoming a second oxygen supply. With the 3G model you have a data connection available for a much larger percentage of time.

I thought I managed well with just a WiFi only iPad. However, as I have just upgraded the iPhone from my trusty old 3GS, I now have the ability to tether the iPad to the new iPhone. The result is obvious…. I am now using the iPad much more than I ever did before (and having to manage my data allowance very carefully).

If you are in the market for an iPad and wondering if you should stump up the extra cash and get a 3G version my advice is do it.

Of course…. it may be worth waiting a couple of months (if rumours are true…. they almost certainly are). iPad 3 is on the way and promises to be awesome.

I am @icraigt on Twitter.

 

The PlayBase Android Tablet

On 2 November 2011, Singapore-based consumer product developer and manufacturer, Karuma, officially announced the launch of their upcoming Android Tablet, the PlayBase.

Karuma market the PlayBase as a sleek, durable and tough tablet for adults, built with kids in mind. It weighs in at 325grams and is just 9.7mm thick. It features a 7” capacitive multi-touch display, formed metal rear cover and interfaces for micro USB and headphones, all housed in a sleek, kid-friendly and lightweight design.

Hardware is specified as a 1.2GHz processor running Android 2.3 at launch (with promised upgrades in the new year to both 3.0 and 4.0), Wi-Fi, 8GB of NAND Flash, up to 32GB Micro SD card, 1GB RAM (to support those future OS upgrades), front facing camera and accelerometer.

So, overall, a decent specification that should ensure the PlayBase can cope with the demands of today’s apps.

Though writing this without having had a hands-on with the device, it’s fair to say the PlayBase looks the part. The rear metal housing looks uncluttered and well formed and the overall build quality looks good. At just 9.7mm thick and 325 grams in weight, the PlayBase should feel comfortable in the hand.

I, for one, am looking forward to being able to get hands-on with the PlayBase. The specification suggests that the PlayBase should measure up and cope well with the demands of the mainstream user.

The best part, however, has to be the price. The PlayBase comes in at a very competitive £169.

Tablets are relatively new and, as such, still demand a premium price. Of course prices will (should) come down over time….. as the devices gain more traction and more people decide they need one, sales should increase which will ultimately drive down both production and retail prices.  The fact that the PlayBase can enter the market at just £169 really sets a precedent though.  At this price more consumers have to be tempted.  I know I am.

The PlayBase hits the market today (go check out the website…. there are zero days until launch) and already has a range of stylish and practical covers available to accompany it.

You can read more about the PlayBase here and more about the company behind it, Karuma, here.

According to the PlayBase Twitter feed the first 500 PlayBase customers get a free gift with their purchase.  Check out the tweet here.

I can’t wait to get a hands-on with the PlayBase!

I am @iCraigt on Twitter and you can find me on chime.in here.