THE RIGHT LIGHT FOR NIGHT

The latest version of Windows 10 has a “Night Light” feature. It allows you to adjust the screen color from the regular bright white on a sliding scale from a light tan to orange. It’s free and you can get it if you search for “Windows 10 Creators Update.” Heaven only knows we need it. At least Bob needs it. He uses a tiny program called “Pango Bright,” from Pangolin Laser Systems that allows the user to scale down the screen brightness from 100 percent to 20 percent. Dealing with the fully bright screen is especially annoying at night or in darkened rooms. We owe this to Steve Jobs, who was the first to give us the bright white screen […]

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BLUETOOTH MYSTERIES

We heard from a reader who wasn’t sure what Bluetooth was and why she needed it on her new iPad Mini. The answer is (the envelope, please): It’s a short-range radio transmitter and receiver, and she doesn’t need it.

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STILL HOT FOR THE LATEST KINDLE FIRE

When we briefly mentioned the new $50 Amazon “Kindle Fire” tablet, ours hadn’t arrived yet.  Now that we have it, we’re more impressed than we expected. Here are a few things we haven’t seen in other reviews: First off, the full content of the Washington Post  is free for the first six months, $4 a month after that. That’s because Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, recently bought the Post, so he can offer any deal he wants.  A catchy headline from the newspaper on the main screen of the tablet lures you in. This is totally addictive: Joy hasn’t gone a day yet without reading the Post’s featured story.

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AMAZON FIRE

Joy lost her iPad Mini at the gym and has been using an old Amazon Fire tablet. The new $50 Fire is better than the old one in many ways. One of the best changes they made was moving the power button.

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OUR READERS LIKE REALPAD

We’ve always been skeptical of those “RealPad” ads in the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) magazine. But readers tell us this senior version of a tablet computer is really neat. RealPad simplifies the user experience. If you can put up with a shorter battery life and a less zippy performance, it could be for you.

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SUPER CHEAP TABLETS

Talk about cheap: There’s a $50 tablet called the Chromo 7Ci. It started out at $38, but high demand drove up the price.

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NUMBERS REPORT: ANDROID TABLETS VERSUS THE IPAD

More Android-based tablets than Apple iPads shipped in the second quarter. But iPad revenue still beats Android revenue, since they’re more expensive. The majority of tablets sold this year have been in the smaller, seven-inch screen size. The new iPad Air ships in November.  

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THE READER’S DILEMMA

A reader presented us the following dilemma: He is retiring soon and will need a phone and a computer, or maybe just a tablet. What should he get? We suggested he get all three, which if bought at current discounted prices, cost no more than just getting an iPad. Buying older versions of each of these, the total cost could come in as low as $400 and $530 at the maximum. Getting a new iPad by itself would cost $500. Here’s how it works: The iPhone Most people say that the iPhone is easier to use than an Android phone. We have to agree. We got an Android phone because we wanted to be able to test Android apps for […]

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NUMBERS REPORT: THE RISE OF TABLETS

As of October, nearly a third of Americans owned tablets, either Apple or Android, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. That’s double the number who owned tablets a year ago and doesn’t count the new iPad Mini.

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SMUDGES

The one thing that’s annoying about tablet computers is smudges on the screen. Until recently, we never thought of using a stylus instead of our finger. We figured the stylus was just for artists. A soft-tipped stylus keeps your screen clean.

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