It's time for Consumer Report's yearly carrier comparison and, as per usual, AT&T was rated the worst in terms of customer service. However, they did win in the area of best 4G LTE service so if you tend not to care about happy service reps, this might be acceptable.
Verizon took the top spot for assistance and voice and data service. Sprint and T-Mobile is somewhere in the middle but we find that this kind of survey really doesn't account for brand loyalty. You can read the entire report online or in the January 2013 issue which is out now.
Apple released their new 21.5" iMac last week that comes with a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M at a starting price of $1,299. Go for one with a 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics and it will set you back $1,499. Both ship in December, just in time to fulfill your own holiday wish list.
Last year LeapFrog's LeapPad managed to capture the Toy of the Year Award so you know that the LeapPad 2 will be one of the hotter devices this holiday season. The improvements include a higher resolution, front and back cameras, video recorder, a faster processor, longer battery life and back compatible with games from the first generation. The tablet is recommended for ages 4 - 9 and can be used with stylus or small fingers. Available in both green and pink, the package includes 5 built-in apps, an app of your own choosing and a Cartoon Director app for making movies. Special bundles and accessories are also available.
Almost every company is coming out with docks for iPhone and Distilunion is no exception. Recently reaching its goal on Kickstarter, the Snooze holds an iPhone 4, 4S or 5 in landscape mode while it is still housed in its case and has a non-stick bottom and scratch-free surface. The device comes with a free Snooze Alarm App and it only takes a smack on its top to get in those extra minutes of sleep. Choose between a basic Snooze for $39.99 or one with a charger for $49.99.
The long awaited Nintendo Wii U has arrived with its 6.2" touchscreen GamePad controller. The console has 8GB storage and already there are more than thirty games available. The Basic white Set comes with AC adapters and HDMI cable while the black Deluxe U Set also includes the Nintendo Land game, 32 GB storage, 2 stands and a charging cradle.
The same clever company that put out Jackpot Slots and Pinball Magic has a new game. New Potato's Classic Match Foosball can be used with your iPad and comes with 8 usable 2-axis control bars and scoring markers. The app-enabled toy does almost everything its full sized brother does, including being able to play tournament games. With both game and crowd sounds, it includes customization, multiple layouts and 3D instant replay. Sign me up, Scotty, as the mini-table carries a $99.99 price.
iHome is trying to cater to Apple's AirPlay crowd with its WiFi iW1 Speaker. Easily set up, it promises its SRS WOW HD audio will have an impressive 3D sound. In addition, it has a USB port for charging, 4 speaker drivers, a touch-sensitive control panel and is upgradeable. A free app includes set-up instructions and the speaker comes with an IR remote and charging base.
Apple now has a Lightning to USB Cable for those who were thinking generic. While discouraging third party manufacturers of same, it can be used for syncing or charging and is compatible with the latest iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The company has also released a Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter.
MasterCard is working with a bank in Singapore for the planet's first interactive payment card. Beginning in January, the new card has an LCD display with buttons that the user taps on with a secret password. The combination combines payment with security. While the Display Card is only for banking interactions, they see future usage for checking balance, recent transactions and reward points.
Jawbone's latest contribution to the planet is Up, its health conscious bracelet. It measures lifestyle habits and displays data concerning eating, mood and activities. Available in 8 different colors and 3 sizes, it has an idle alert if you haven't been moving, can wake you from a power nap, is simple to operate and has a rechargeable battery with USB charger. Up connects to an iOS device, displays data with its free app and can be yours for $129.99.