New stock + a quick update

It’s been awhile since we’ve got in any fresh tablet models, so it’s time to do exactly that.

We’ve got some exciting new additions – the Chuwi Surbook Mini, which is the perfect travelling computer – a surface style premium hybrid tablet laptop with a slim typecase.

We’ve preorder the Chuwi Hi9, which is a Deca Core Android beast with a 2K screen. AND 4g. I know that’ll be popular.

We’re also getting in the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. It’s a great deal cheaper than the lower end fitbits, and a quality little design for basic fitness features like sleep monitoring, heartrate monitoring and step counting. There’s a host of bands out there as well – and this year we expect the Band 3 to drop. I use one myself, a Band 2, so I look forward to bringing more people into the loop on this great brand.

Lastly, the FNF mini 4s sold fast, and it’s a great tablet with laminated screen and metal backing – premium quality for a tiny price, so we’ll be getting more of those.

In general we are looking to slowly expand into a few areas. Laptops and hybrids in particular, but also fitness bands, and mini-pcs and TV boxes if we can find the right brand and model match.

Assorted Tech News

Always Connected

While Windows on ARM has rolled out, the devices are not to market yet, and they are quite expensive. It could be a year or two before we see this get to the Chinese market, and the price get lower. I’ve been looking forward to what this will mean for future potential form factors (as the ARM board is smaller), but it looks like we’ll have to wait awhile for the innovation. Still given the much greater battery life (20 ish hours for a hybrid/laptop), my next tablet/hybrid Windows device will definitely be one of these. Keep an eye out, as the first two devices are released early 2018, branded as “Always connected” devices, because of their LTE always connected quality, similar to smartphones.

On the Android front, the new Alfawise Tab does only offer Android 6, but it is a premium build for an extremely low price proposition. I am definitely considering this for new stock. And on a related note, company MechDome, who already has a program for running Android apps on iOS, is working on a converter program to convert Android apps into UWP – which run on all Windows platforms, including Windows Phone.
“Android apps are coming to Windows. You will be able to convert Android apps to run natively on Windows. Android apps will automatically use Windows Notifications and open the Edge browser when running on Windows 10,” the company has been quoted saying.
While we are still waiting for the fabled Cshell, and windows core OS, that will adapt the UI to any form factor and truely bring the adaptable Windows we have all been promised, this ability the run Android apps will be a welcome bridge for Windows users to the mobile world.

Science fiction
On an unrelated note, Netflix’s new cyberpunk noir show, Altered Carbon is well worth checking out. The acting is merely competent, but the plotting, concerns, story, effects are all stellar. It reminds me of “Dollhouse” and “Bladerunner”.

Quick Update

First up apologizes for running low on stock at this time of year. This have been moving quickly, so I have just one model left. I’m considering the Lenovo P8 for new stock, and there’s a new Teclast Android model coming out at the end of this month that looks very promising too.

No word yet on the Windows on ARM device that Microsoft has promised for this December. I wait with baited breath for that!

Lastly, its been such a whirlwind year, and I hope you all enjoy your holiday and time spent with loved ones. Merry Christmas!

Android Wear: Still feels like a beta

Hello NZ and the rest of the world! This week I thought I’d take a break from talking about tablets, and talk about Android Wear.

Fitness trackers and Smartwatches are a product I may consider stocking one day, and I’ve had a great experience with my Xiaomi Mi Band 2, fitness band. In fact I’ve really taken a shine to their whole product range.

The range of Android Wear specific apps is quite small, and even those suffer from being fiddly and tiny. Any time one wants to access the keyboard is a right pain in the backside. And the voice control is not as reliable as one would hope in the circumstances.

For limited applications, with gestures and a little voice, its a capable enough platform, if one wants more information than one can typically get from a fitness band – such as the weather, although it doesn’t fully offer a smartphone alternative – not only will LTE/GSM/CDMA be difficult to access anywhere that you would want a more portable device, such as hunting, hiking or camping – but the size of the device means, even if it has those features it has a more limited aerial size, and thus weaker connectivity. And so, you have to bring the smartphone anyway. And if you were the sort of person to do heavy work or similar, outside – like a builder, you’d be putting your device under a fair amount of risk anyway, for the limited extra functionality.

The experience certainly has its uses. In a strong network area, it could be convenient for those that don’t want to take a phone, especially if it has a built in ear piece. For busy corporate types, it could indeed be, with the right watch, a great productivity device.

But that is sort of the main point of difference – it’s stand alone uses. As a notification tool, a fitness band will do fine. For tracking most fitness applications, a fitness band will do fine. For those other stand alone uses, you need to be somewhere with a stronger signal – making things like maps, more complex fitness tracking, and most of the sort of software people design for the watches – well less useful.

For a city dweller, who prefers to have their info at a glance, there lies some real potential. There are certainly apps in there that can really shine – tracking reps in the gym, setting appointments. And if you are in a strong signal zone, you can leave the phone at home, and make calls from your wrist – ideally with a headpiece.

Just keep in mind, typing texts via voice will do your head in, typing anything on the screen, even selecting options on the watch may prove almost as fiddly as threading a needle – so if you do get into android wear I suggest you plan to keep it simple – a few basic applications, programmed with gestures, apps with a simple interface, and a little bit of voice operation. If you try to use it like a smartphone, it’s even more annoying than trying to use a smartphone like a tablet.

I think expandable screens are certainly much needed, and while they already exist (folding and scrolling screens), they are expensive to produce, so it might be some time before they come to market. In the meantime, smartwatches whilst very cool, are definitely niche.


We have just two models left – we are having a clearance sale, selling at cost, prior to Christmas. It ends 14th of December, there’s 15% off those two models, both great deals for the price.  Get in now while you still have the chance. Some great cheap tablets, from a reliable friendly local online business and with local consumer protections. Great deals!

Clearance sale coming

Looking to do a little clearance sale soon. Will probably start in the next week. The two models we still have are both great tablets – a great quality laminated screen Android 8 inch tablet, and a pretty powerful Cherry Trail Windows dual boot 9.7 inch. Teclast is a brand I always find reliable, and I use myself.
After that I’ll be looking to get in the new Chuwi Surbook Mini, and perhaps the 4g version of the 8 inch Android tablet mentioned above (as it has great value for money proposition). Still looking at the options, as usually there’s a few new models over the Christmas period.

Top Ten Tiny space saving ideas for Kiwis

Website Related Stuff
I’m expecting some very exciting tablets to be coming from Microsoft over the Christmas period, as their very first Windows on ARM devices come out. Likewise China usually has a new generation start to come out over this period. So there will be a lot to cover. But in the meantime, I’ve got something a little different for you all.
In keeping with the flexible mobile theme of tablets, I’ve been researching the growing Tiny home phenomena, and dreaming of a little patch of dirt of my own. In my research I’ve found quite a few little gems that might inspire home owners, builders or just someone looking for some space saving gems in their apartment. Now probably anyone deeply into Tiny homes is a bit familiar with these already, but even then, perhaps there’s a few ideas you didn’t know about.

The List!
10. Convertible Bean bags
Ever wanted a bean bag that turns into a comfy mattress? Perfect for kids bedrooms in tight tiny home spaces, or guests.

9. Cheap  tiny fire places
This is a kiwi outfit. They make fireplaces, even wetback fireplaces for small spaces. They are constructed out of old gas cylinders, and offer fantastic value for money.

8. Folding coffee table
This one isn’t exactly revolutionary – it’s a folding coffee table. But it’s good looking and features a solid construction. Lot of good space saving stuff coming out of Asia.

7. Drop leaf desk
Ever wanted a desk space, but don’t have the space? This nice looking drop leaf fold up desk would be great for a laptop or hybrid tablet, for students or professionals. Equally could be used for dining.

6. Mini-kitchens
These kiwi sold mini kitchens generally come stacked full of appliances. You can get everything you need in a contained single unit. Ideal for tiny apartments, or studio flats.

5. Uno modular convertible sofas and armchairs
These aren’t classically convertible space saving furniture items, but they are very nice, flexible modular designs that both save space, and offer increased functionality.

4. Make your own murphy bed
If your a bit handy, or want a specific design – you can get the hinge kits a lot more cheaply on Aliexpress than you can buy them locally.

3. Photo realistic wall prints
These high resolution wall prints are an American made product, and I am not sure about their shipping policy – but if you want a brick or wood wall, and can’t fit the space, or the weight, this is a good option to transform a feature wall into another material. You’ll find a lot of the other stuff at world famous resource furniture sold at our own space saving furniture below.

2. Murphy beds @ Space Saving Furniture
Space saving furniture has a huge range of space saving products, particularly fully featured murphy wall beds. Want a desk that turns into a bed, or a bookshelf, or a sofa that turns into a bed? They have convertible tables and all sorts. Definitely a must see for most tiny home enthusiasts.

If your looking for self contained homes, I’ve compiled a few of them here together. IQ Container Homes offers complete, even off grid container homes – although they aren’t bargain basement, they are very complete packages.

Houseme has some extremely affordable one level studio on wheels configurations. They do look they are built using cheap SIPs and materials, but they come packaged with the mobile extras and you can add some decent insulation. Can go up to 7.2×2.8 or so with a trailer, which can be towed with a decent consumer tow vehicle. Hard to beat prices like this.

Podlife has some really nice looking cheap 15m2 one level designs. They can come self contained, and have nice extra’s like a big deck. I’ve honestly not seen anything this cheap in a design that can be consented (and is also transportable, although not wheeled).

For those looking for something on land, but a bit more elite, Cool House has some small fabulous eco designs.


Breif News Update

Intel’s incoming Gemini Lake

Intel has announced a new successor to the Apollo Lake chipset, popular in many of the higher end 2 in 1 tablets. This iteration of the processor, draws on process level improvements to lower power draw – which in turn is primarily being used to raise CPU clock speeds. It also features a large L2 cache, and supports twice the memory up to 16GB. And for some nice side bonuses, it supports HDMI 2.0 and DDR4 RAM, has a faster GPU, and features intergrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc.
While we can’t be sure of the clock speed improvements yet, this is pretty big news for the affordable but performance tablet market – Faster than Apollo lake, and capable of up to 16GB, I suspect we will hit some new performance highs in the following Chinese market.

Windows on ARM
Speaking of which, we are now only months away from Microsoft’s release of its first Windows on ARM device in December. We will most certainly be dealing with a number of firsts for windows tablets – built in 4G and calling, always on connectivity as well as thinner, longer life devices. This too will likely spur a large amount of innovation in new form factors, further blurring the lines between PC, laptop, tablet and phone.

20 Best Apps for Windows Desktop and Tablet

For ease of use, fast loading, notifications and other functionality, proper “UWP” apps can offer a preferable experience on Windows, especially on a tablet. But what are the best apps around on the platform? What follows is a short summary, and a link to the windows store where you can get them. If your after games for tablet as well, look no further and follow these links:
Touch friendly windows tablet games

Similarly if you want some great Android apps and games, go here: A few good Android Apps, Top Android Games

1. Facebook

Facebook is the current king of social messaging. Whilst recently its been plagued with censorship issues in an attempt to be more family friendly, it’s still the number 1 way to keep in touch online.

2. Skype


Synonymous with video chat, this is the biggest name in the field. With superb noise cancellation technology, for one on one chats or small group chats this is a must have.

3. Spotify
The most popular music streaming service. Spotify recently came to the windows store, and the app is a pleasure to use. Obviously much better with a subscription.

4. Twitter

For the latest current events, twitter is number 1 in being up to date. They recently extended the character limit to twice the size. This app is another must have.

5. myTube!

A great YouTube client. You can, sure run your youtube in a browser but this will deliver a but more responsive experience. Does cost 99 cents, but for the features it offers, it’s worth it.

6. Instagram

The windows Instagram client is very similar to the apple version. Instagram puts good work into their app, so if your a user, it’s a no brainer.

7. Netflix

Without a question, Netflix is huge these days. Smooth streaming and a decent catalogue of TV and movies, the Netflix app on Windows also allows local downloads, for later offline viewing.

8. Flipboard
Flipboard is a treat to use. It collates news articles and RSS feeds from multiple locations, so you can compile your own collections and have a magazine style reading experience custom tailored to you!

9. Fresh Paint

Fresh Paint is a painting and drawing program that works excellently with a stylus. It emulated various papers, paints and physical mediums.

10. FL Studio Mobile

Surprisingly powerful for what is essentially a composition software designed for phones, and a great deal cheaper than the desktop full studio version.

11. Aviary’s “Photo Editor”

Photo Editor
One of my personal favourite photo editors, because of the lush colour filters. Add a sparkle to your Instagram and other photos.

12. Messenger
Facebook Messenger
The companion messaging app for Facebook, a must have for Facebook users. On desktop and tablet, these apps are ported from the iOS versions, and are a pleasure to use.

13. Torrex Pro
Torrex Pro
One of the few UWP torrenting apps, you have to pay for the ad-less version, but it works well and worth a look.

14. TreeSize Free

A must have utility in my opinion. This app helps you find the files and folders on your drives that take up the most space, so you can manage your drive use with precision.

15. Kodi
Kodi is an absolutely brilliant app. It provides a media cataloguing system that automatically gathers art, descriptions, can be used as well for streaming radio and TV. If you have a locally stored media collection, or a dedicated media box, it’s definitely worth a look.

16. Timber
Timber is a third party tinder app. It works well, and also provides a desktop access to the dating app which is handy for messaging, and looking through photos.

17. Kobo Books
Kobo Books
A great reader and book store app, for it’s namesake.

18. Pandora
Pandora is a great little audio streaming app. It let’s you play an unlimited selection of songs, that are like another song you select. Find more of what you like, or use it like a radio station.

19. Audiocloud
A Soundcloud based app for finding free music via Soundcloud’s streaming system. There is some great indie stuff on Soundcloud, DJ sets, and a lot of music you won’t find elsewhere all for free.

20. Easy Movie Maker
Easy Movie Maker
If you want to put together amateur home videos, or for posting on social media, a movie editing app doesn’t get more easy to use and straightforward than this.


Exciting Times Ahead: Windows on ARM and Composable Shell

Hybrid Tablet WindowsThis year, December, we’ve been promised the first “Windows on ARM” devices. I wanted to talk about this week, just why this is a big deal for tablets and laptops.
So what is “ARM” anyway? Well it’s a kind of “system on a chip”, or SoC, which means that it has a central processor, radios for LTE and Wi-Fi, graphics processor and so on. Basically its the “whole computer” that sits inside your smartphone.
So coming later this year, is a full version of Windows, that can run on, essentially smartphone hardware. There’s a lot of little small advantages to that, but its how they add up that is important. First it means that cellular capabilities will be built in to all these devices – both voice and data. Obviously also the same GPS and sensors you find in most smartphones. But like a smartphone, this LTE cellular ability will be “always on”, meaning it still gets notifications and data, even when the device is asleep.
You are of course, in one way or another familiar with all of this! Also, ARM SoC circuits are smaller than Intel ones, and more power efficient – which means smaller, thinner devices, longer battery life and more room for the battery. A smartphone chip also has a quick wake function, ‘instant on’.
Until now, Windows hasn’t really had any of this.

Sometimes an extra module is put it for LTE data only. But this full Qualcomm Snapdragon package, is not the way Windows has rolled. Soon, like a smartphone your Laptop, or Windows tablet will be able to alert you of incoming notifications, or even phone calls, even when its asleep. And it’ll have that instant on that makes other tablets more casual to use. With all the desktop software, for full quality browsing, music, video, gaming, productivity that you expect from Windows.
Which, is pretty huge right – your PC is getting all the smartphone “stuff”. For tablet users this means a Windows on ARM windows tablet will be that highly mobile creature some users love – you’ll be able to Google maps, text and chat apps as well as everything else.
We can also expect to see some super slim devices. iPad thin stuff. Laptops that make the MacBook air seem thick (MacBook is based in intel, these will be able to be thinner and smaller). And with really long battery life, and just as importantly for my customers cheap!
ARM processors are typically cheaper than their Intel counterparts, which means, once the initial device prices come down, there will be a lot of thin, ultra-mobile, long-life laptops and tablets at killer prices. Doing what other tablets do, what smartphones do, and all the Windows stuff as well.
Which in itself would be an exciting thing. Except that’s not all we expect to see from Microsoft. There has been leaked a version of the long rumoured “Composable Shell” or Cshell for short.

So what’s Cshell?
Composable Shell on a Windows MobileIt’s an adaptive, changing User interface that scales to its output mode. Simply put, the OS will adapt to the screen size its on, even in all likelihood offer an “entertainment” mode, like a game console interface, and a “productivity” mode like a PC interface. So if you are running it on a tiny screen, it’ll look like a mobile phones interface. On a small tablet, it’ll run the ideal interface for that. On a huge screen, it’ll adapt there too.
Which means, your small, thin, light, long life Windows on ARM tablet or notebook, will also be getting a scaling interface as well – which means a great deal for Windows as an operating system because it’s struggled to work well in smaller sizes, and nothing that small has the kind of software power Windows has. Whether it’s streaming your desktop to your phone, displaying your phone on a big screen, or any size of tablet – or even a mini PC you want to set up as an entertainment device – Windows will become more flexible.
A big screened Windows tablet IS a great experience. You get the UWP apps, like most touch platforms, with a great touch user interface, but you also get that full desktop software, with its richer, higher quality and more powerful software, whether its games like Trine 2, or software like FL Studio, or just Chrome, Opera, Edge or Firefox browser. Its a best of both worlds scenario.

However its never quite worked on a small screen. It’s never been advantaged by LTE “always on”, and certainly never come with voice telephony and GPS as standard. And laptops basically never come with these sorts of features. With the many new devices from major manufacturers coming December, and the yet unannounced but confirmed composable shell, Windows will be taking on entirely new forms, and having entirely new functions. A true hybrid OS of a computing system.
Windws Fluent Design SystemAnd, with the slick looking fluent design system always start to roll out ‘wave one’ late this year, it’s also going to look beautiful, almost sci-fi good looking. Watch this space, here at Tap That too, because I know China is going to do amazing things with this technology, and there will be devices beyond conventional tablets and laptops, that nobody expects. It’s going to be a very exciting time for Windows devices over the next year.