I am not a front-row blogger invited to wine and dine at all the latest product releases. I don't write reviews for the hardware side of El Reg. When it comes to technology of any kind, I am in the same boat as you, dear readers. I have to buy the shiny with my own bent coppers. When I am in the market for a brand new something- …
Where do you go?
I'm kinda stuck with the issue of where to actually look at a good selection of Android phones that are not tied to a carrier.
Over Christmas, I would have liked to look at some devices that were supposedly "hot Christmas products" but could I actually find any to fondle? Nope. And yes I live in Canada, Vancouver to be specific.
I guess this is an issue generally though. There are a lot of Telus/Virgin/Fido/Rogers places that are eager to get you on contracts and have a small selection of locked phones, but if you want something a little different, who stocks them?
Not the best spec in the world but only 500g and USD 140
Grit your teeth and bear the wait
If you can manage that it will probably serve you well.
We are going through a tablet explosion. Prices will fall or same-price capabilities will rise. Competition will also hopefully bring prices down. Yesterday's "old-hat" Android 2.x will be devalued with the arrival of 3.x, and 3.x in turn when 4.x arrives. eBay should soon be stocked with a flood of "less capable" tablets which are today's "top notch". And by then the 3l33t h4x0rs should know which old devices are a bargain in being rooted and upgraded.
The longer you can hold out, the better value for money deal you'll get. In the meantime use a netbook :-)
Canada's crippling broadband rates.
Where the hell is the site owner getting a gig for $2?
My Canadian cell provider charges $30 for a 1 GB plan, and $.05 / MB if you go over. That's $50 not $2. Roam and it will cost you $.03 / kB!
This is why I don't have a smart phone. It is getting better, a year ago your $30 got you only 500 MB, and $.02 / kB if you went over!
You are correct
$2 was for /wired/ interwebs. Mobilebis yet worse...
I recently had the pleasure of moving from Europe to Canada, and besides the essentially closed markets for mobile phones, home internet, TV etc, the lack of a majority of products that can be found in the US or the UK is driving me up the wall. It's not just tech - although trying to find a specific model of laptop was actually impossible, and I had to settle for an inferior 'Canada spec' version - it's clothing, furnishings, food products, drink, services. Amazon.ca is a joke; hardware vendors are engaged in blatant price-gouging, and the governments (federal and provincial) tack on an extra percentage to anything shipped over the border. It's pretty shambolic, all told, and the best you get when asking why the market is so awful is "it is what it is, eh".
Sheesh, stop complaining, Canada still has easy access to all the US gadgets. Over here in forgotten New Zealand, if you want a 45W AMD CPU, you can choose a 235e or nothing. No other dual-core, no triple-core, not quad core. How's that for choice? And they'll cost an arm and a leg too. Sigh...
@gratou : No sympathy
... for you considering how good a country NZ is otherwise. About the only place you can go skiing in the morning and scuba diving in the afternoon!
I'd move there in a heartbeat if:
a) I had any useful skills so I could get a job there (should have become a doctor...)
b) it wasn't so far away from our family in the UK
No, we don't have access to all the US components. That was the point of the article. Not in phones, tablets, computers...even microwaves. Not even close.
Up to you
I moved from Europe 10 years ago with my IT skills.
Yes NZ has got some good sides (hence why I moved, even though english is not my native language, and despite the crippling distance to family & friends).
Note that it is a lot easier to ski and scuba dive on the same day in Vancouver (which I love, but it's probably a good thing we didn't go there seeing BC's economy atm) than in NZ. It would be just as feasible in Nice or Ljubljana.
These good NZ sides are no reason not to be aware of the shortcomings, like very limited tech choice, ridiculously slow and capped and expensive so-called broadband, or totally crappy housing building quality.
Trevor, if one manages to find a US retailer willing to ship to NZ (good luck), one wiIl probably get charged USD30 or USD50 to ship something like a teeny weeny CPU. That's the kind of rorts we have to live with here. Again, no hard feelings, we made the choice, but grass is always greener etc.
You are right of course; ideally, the whole world would have the incredible choice and low prices the USians enjoy. But hey, better living here than living in the states imho. You lose some, you win some as they say. We made a choice, and alleviate the down sides as we can.
It baffles me how stupid companies are...
Sure there are 10 times less of us than there is in the States but on average we make more money, pay way more for everything and we aren't in a reccesion. No don't try and sell products here.
At least we got the per-byte billing ruling overturned by Parliment today (not that Sasktel was changing, gotta love the crowns!). I have to admit our democracy moves fast when we file big petitions. While were at it lets get cell phone companies under control (the NDP has a bill they've been trying to put though for the last too years.) and stop this paying more for everything nonsense. Our dollar's worth more than the American dollar now not the .65 it was 10 years ago. Adjust market, adjust!
In closing Alberta sucks but I wish I still had my old job there ;)
But at least we're not Ontario.
is a technological and social dinosaur still living off a reputation gained by
men is sold out in the '50s.
iPad and the Underground don't mix!
Love watching the Applephiles on the tube pull out their huge iFondle slabs, then flinch anytime anyone comes within 2 feet of them!
Even better watching the one person with an iPad stand in the train's doorway reading or playing on the iPad. The train pulls into a station and the look on the iPad owner's face can only be described as sheer terror, as everyone pushes past trying to get on or off the train in that very careful and considerate way only underground train users manage!
Sorry, tablets are just a little too bulky for some of the confined public spaces, like public transport. Book readers you can just about get away with, along with phones and iPod touches, but tablets I can imagine are the subject of many an insurance claim!
New machine recalled before arriving
Ordered a desktop with the new Intel 2600K processor but the Sandy Bridge controller on the motherboard got recalled before the computer arrived. So even when things are available in Canada you don't actually them. Glad I ordered through a brick and mortar because the hassle of returns would have bugged me to no end.
Fuss about Android updates is ridiculous; 7" is the right size (for a tablet!)
Galaxy Tab is fine as-is. I honestly don't care if Android 4.0 Chocolate Gateau or 5.8 Messiah are ever released for it; it was brilliant on the day I bought it and won't suddenly stop being brilliant when Google release a small collection of interface upgrades - which is all most versions are. Hell, I still have my Android 1.5 G1 phone and it's a perfectly decent device. The improvements are minor.
The 7" size beats the hell out of 10"ers for portability and, funnily enough, ability to type on it (as it's narrow enough to thumb-type in portrait mode). Not to mention replacing a phone AND a netbook, and fitting in a jacket pocket.
Sortta like Obamma care
Now you see it....then you're f--ked.
Amazon Canada :-(
Amazon.COM still ships to Canada, except it won't ship most of its electronics to Canadian addresses. And it won't sell MP3s to Canucks.
Amazon.CA has crap choice in electronics. And no MP3s to sell. Plus, it insists on sometimes shipping via UPS, which I loathe.
Yup, totally agree with this article.
What to do.
Trevor, if the Nook Color is a no-brainer, you should look up a lawyer in Great Falls, Montana, talk to him/her, and send them $300 to cover the purchase of Nook at B&N, and shipping to Edmonton by Fedex, plus a little left over for lunch. I doubt it would take too many calls to find someone who would do that for you. (Get them to put a letter in the box, and describe it as 'legal documents'!!! for customs).
Even Canadian companies release first in the US -- look at RIM. Playbook will certainly ship in the US first despite being assembled in Waterloo.
Here's an option, this is my business so I can vouch for quality. We've removed the risk and filtered out the garbage.
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