iPad mini

Apple’s final launch event of the year was jam packed with updates to the Macbook, Mac Mini and iMac line of computers. But above all, the unveiling of the iPad Mini and the new generation iPad created much of the commotion this week.

The introduction of a smaller version of the iPad didn’t go over so well with many tech commentators. At 7.9 inches, they thought the $329 price would push shoppers toward cheaper alternatives, such as Amazon’s $159 Kindle Fire and Google’s $199 Nexus 7. Read more

Windows 8Does Microsoft risk confusing consumers with an operating system that tries to serve every kind of computing device and may end up satisfying no one? With its dual-interface, dual-purpose, dual-processor, mixed-up thinking, Windows 8 is a pushmi-pull­yu, half-man, half-biscuit, weird and occasionally wonderful creation that is guaranteed to bewilder – at least initially.

And that’s just the Microsoft end of the operation. The hardware makers have responded with their own Whirligig 8 – sorry, Windows 8 – of swivelling, swinging, sliding and snapping hybrid devices that veer from tablets to notebooks. Everyone is trying to cover everything while they wait to see what we consumers will go for.

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Tim Bradshaw

Exactly an hour after Microsoft announced its pricing for its Surface tablet, Apple sent out the invitations to what is expected to be the launch of a smaller and cheaper iPad – perhaps called the iPad Mini or iBook – next week.

The timing is hardly likely to be coincidental but it’s hard to see who is hijacking whose announcement here. Read more