Portable tablets and eReaders for every need and Samsung’s fit band winner

Click to play video: 'Tech Talk: eReaders for every taste'
Tech Talk: eReaders for every taste
WATCH ABOVE: Steve Makris joins us to talk about affordable tablets and eReaders. He will help you decide which model is right for you – Jul 24, 2016

Hi folks! Check out Tech Talk on Sunday’s Global News Weekend Morning News Edmonton with Kent and Kevin for details on the LG G Pad III LTE tablet and the key contest word!

Recent affordable, portable, medium-screen size devices have arrived in Canada. They range from eReaders to family shared Android tablets, all with a common theme: they are easy to use with cutting-edge technology.

Lets’s start with a pair of tablets that arrived in Canada a few weeks ago from fierce Korean competitors Samsung and LG.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab E 8 features a Safe Kids Secure mode. supplied

The Samsung Galaxy Tab E 8″ LTE ($312 outright or plan with Rogers, Telus and Bell) and LG G Pad III LTE ($240 exclusive with Rogers/Fido) are eight-inch tablets with a split-windows screen feature for running two open applications at once.

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Both have anywhere LTE data connectivity with an optional SIM card slot. The data sim card, which can share a data plan from same family phones, has its own phone number, not for phoning, but includes text and media Messaging capabilities. Nice!

Data plans start at about $10 a month, reducing the purchase cost. You can also increase memory with both tablets via a micro SD slot and have multiple family member logins.

The LG G Pad III LTE includes a real-size USB slot and sleek light design. supplied

There are differences between these seemingly similar tablets. Here is my guide on the best one for you:

  • If Safe and Secure Kids Mode is important and you like smartphone-like camera controls and want fastest LTE data networking, get the Samsung Tab E.
  • For smaller size, less weight, better text clarity, sharper non-reflective wider screen viewing and wider view camera lenses, a standard USB port and price, look to the LG G Pad.


eReaders, are unquestionably the closest thing to real books.

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They are easy on the eyes and budget with sharp-looking font, lightweight and last for weeks, not days, on one battery charge. They don’t exhibit the dangerous “blue light” screen that most LCD-based phones and tablets do either.

The Kindle Voyage features brilliant auto adjusted white backlit screen for reading anywhere. supplied

Amazon Canada has two new six-inch Kindle eReaders: the All-New Kindle, $79.99, featuring Bluetooth wireless connection for headphones and the Kindle Voyage, $299.99, featuring an adaptive light sensor with back-light white screen for reading anywhere at a smartphone-like screen resolution of 300 dots per inch.

The Kindle Voyage features brilliant auto adjusted white backlit 6 inch screen for reading anywhere. supplied

How do you compare and choose between them?

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  • If you want minimum finger movement for turning pages, the Voyage PagePress “flips” pages with a slight touch of your thumbs on its flat edges. That makes for one-handed reading! Just hold the reader with one hand and gently squeeze with your thumb. If you read much in dark places, the self-adjusting, six-cell, back-lit, ultra-sharp screen will do the trick and the optional free-for-life 3G data connection model, $369.99, will keep you connected when there is no WiFi.
  • If you read all the time everywhere, the lighter All–New Kindle is easier to keep around. It holds just as many books with 4 GB storage but lasts one month on one charge compared to the Voyage’s six weeks and has a slightly faster charge-up time. At 167 DPI, the Kindle is still plenty sharp for easy reading. Its big feature is Bluetooth connectivity with wireless headphones and speakers with VoiceView screen reader allowing visually impaired readers to have navigation and text read out to them. Nice!

eReaders have taken a popularity hit losing out to more convenient do-it-all phones and tablets. But when you are ready to escape the distractions of the world (you can email with Kindles) see some of the powerful features Kindle includes in its eReaders:

  • Fonts like Bookerly, Ember and OpenDyslexi
  • Arrives pre-registered
  • Saves and synchronizes your last page read, bookmarks and annotations!
  • All of your devices and Kindle apps
  • Automatic backup of your Kindle books in the Cloud for free download
  • Goodreads with over 50 million members
  • 1.5 billion books added, and 50 million book reviews
  • X-Ray explores the “Bones of the Book” like passages across a book that mention relevant ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places, or topics of interest
  • Word Wise makes short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words
  • Kindle FreeTime gives parents a simple way of engaging kids to spend more time reading with hand-selected books achievement rewards and more
  • Time to Read tells you how much time it will take to finish a chapter or a book based on your personalized reading speed
  • Share your favourite passages or book recommendations and highlighted sections and meaningful quotes with friends via Facebook and Twitter
  • Smart Lookup integrates a full dictionary definition with other reference information via X-Ray and Wikipedia
  • Custom-Built Typesetting Engine for word and character spacing with hyphenation, justification, ligatures, and kerning laying out pages just as the author intended…impressive!


Samsung’s new Fit 2, as wide as a men’s watch band, blends the right functions of a smart watch and a fit band.

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Its long screen is sharp enough to read combined notifications, including alarms, with ready-to-go pre-typed responses to email and messages. It comes with a good selection of exercise apps with options for more.

I like its 24-hour auto and multi-sport tracking log feature which automatically measures and tracks your every movement. This includes sleeping, napping, walking, stepping, running and more. It has built-in GPS and a heart monitor, both of which come into play according to your activity.

Gear Fit 2 analyzes your sleep and other activities when trasferd to your phone. Makris/supplied

All your activities are monitored from the Fit 2 on your wrist without your smartphone, including GPS tracking. When nearby, the band data is uploaded to your phone and can be viewed with more detail. Although the Fit 2 runs on Samsung’s proprietary Tizen OS it works with other non-Samsung Android phones. Smart!

The battery lasts up to several days if you turn most radios off, but squeezes in two days when in fitness mode. That’s better than most fit band competitors and smart watches considering its low profile around your wrist and very usable screen.

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Oh yes, you can shower and swim with the Fit 2 and not worry about dust.


Need reliable and worry-free professional cellphone repair for things like cracked screens or unlocking paid-for phones? Check out CPR Cell Phone Repair. I had a particular adjustment issue recently on a tablet made in the St. Albert CPR outlet on the way out of town and continued the service in the CPR Calgary office. Cool!

Follow Steve’s personal techuntangled blog for more tech features.

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