If you want an super-cheap, very capable tablet computer for surfing the web, writing emails, reading e-books, and watching videos, consider the Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet.
How cheap is super-cheap? The Fire HD 8's regular price on www.amazon.ca is $99.99. When this was written, Amazon had cut the price to $79.99 – with no time limit on this offer and free shipping included.
How capable is very capable? Well, the Fire HD 8 comes with a 8" wide-format touchscreen, a 1.3 GHz quad processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, onscreen keyboard, up to 12 hours of battery life, and Dolby Atmos audio through its small stereo speakers. It also has front and back-facing cameras and a microphone for Skype video calls, and to shoot photos and videos.
The super-thin Fire HD 8 Tablet (192mm x 115mm x 9.6mm) has 16 GB on board storage (you can get 32 GB by paying $129.99 or less). There’s a microSD card slot built into both models that allows you to add up to 256 GB more storage, and is WiFi-enabled.
There are limits: Although you can surf the web for content, you’ll find yourself buying Kindle e-books from Amazon, and downloadable music, movie, and TV series through a required Amazon Prime or Netflix account. But for $99.99 or less, the Amazon Fire HD 8 essentially puts a fully-functioned tablet computer in your hands.
This is a bargain that the respected tech review site CNET.com called “the best ultra cheap tablet.”
The holidays are a time for travel, and long waits in terminals, and smartphones going dead while you wait.
This is very where the Carry-On and ‘Bigger Carry-On’ suitcases made by Away Luggage make such good sense.
The reason: Each Carry-On/Bigger Carry-On comes with a removable, 37-watt rechargeable lithium battery. (It also has an unbreakable shell, retractable handle, and four wheels for easy rolling on terminal floors.)
The USB ports on the Carry-On’s battery (which can be accessed from the top of the suitcase) can charge any smartphone, tablet, e-book, and anything else that uses a USB-compatible cord. The battery comes with its own micro-USB cord and wall adapter for charging. A full charge takes up to eight hours. According to Away, one battery has enough juice to charge an iPhone five times, “and an iPad more than once.”
The Away carry-on battery can be left in your suitcase, or removed for use in the aircraft cabin; all with the blessings of the FAA and other aviation regulators. (Away says that both sizes are small enough to be taken on-board airplanes.) If you check your bag, you will have to take the battery with you.
Regular Gadget Zone readers know that I test-drive cars from time to time. Well, this time around I got to drive the 2019 Mazda 6 Signature sedan, and I was roundly impressed!
The Signature is the top-end version of the 5-seater Mazda 6 (there are three levels available), and its claim to fame is a turbocharged 2.5-litre SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder engine; delivering 227 horsepower with 310 pound-feet of torque.
Yes, yes: My eyes glaze over too whenever I get hit with specs like this, because they are so hard for the non-motorhead (like me) to put into perspective. So let me express this in plain language: The 2019 Mazda6 Signature has so much pickup and oomph, that it reminds me of the high-end Ford Mustang I test-drove some years ago. Like a jet fighter, this car really moves!
At the same time, the Mazda 6 Signature possesses a certain sophistication and finesse not found in the Mustang. To put this in Marvel Universe terms, if the Mustang is the Hulk, the Signature is Iron Man/Tony Stark.
The Mazda 6 Signature comes with all kinds of cutting-edge technology. It includes:
Add the fact this graceful, sweeping lines of the 2019 Mazda 6 – with curves reminiscent of the 1960s’ Jaguar E-Type sports car – and this is a vehicle that I didn’t want to return to Mazda when the trial was up. But they have my address, so I had to!
The 2019 Mazda 6 Signature starts at $39,150.