ComTech: IT Support Stirling

Is there still a market for 7 inch tablets?

Tablets are great.  You can consume content on them or do (light) work and the battery lasts most of the day but according to the latest figures the tablet market has slowly started to shrink for the first time and most of this is down to smartphones with big screens encroaching on 7 inch tablets.  That’s right smartphones are getting bigger.

Ever since smartphones first came out there has been a race to make them smaller. In recent years however that trend has started to fade with the introduction of the phablet.  The best known of these is the Samsung Galaxy Note which has a 5.3 inch screen. People are beginning to want a single device that does everything for them (make calls, internet, work etc) and the phablet seems to fit the bill for a lot of people.  But what about the 7 inch tablet? Does it still have a market?

Yes it does and I shall explain why.

1. Children love 7 inch tablets.  They are the right size to be held in one hand and still be able to use the other hand to operate it.  They are also inexpensive (for the most part) so if one gets damaged it doesn’t cost the earth to replace it.

2. Adults love them too.  Thats right adults sitting down on the sofa love to browse the internet using a 7 inch tablet.  They have a bigger screen than a phablet and are easier to hold than a 10 inch tablet.  Both the phablet and 10 inch tablet would get used more during the day when “out and about” however.

3. They are great for light work.  I use mine for everything from invoicing to remote desktop and yes it would be easier to use a 10 inch tablet but a 7 inch is the perfect size for going out and about (for me anyhow).

4. Fashion conscious people wouldn’t be seen dead with a phablet.  As a client recently put it “I will keep both my iphone and my ipad mini because if I got a phablet people would start to think I had a brick on the side of my head!!”

So what do you think is there still a place for the 7 inch tablet?

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter


Please don’t take my phone off me!!!

I had a weird experience yesterday while at a job in Irvine which was most unexpected.  On arrival to site I got asked to leave my phone at the reception due to the fire risk (anything with a battery except a laptop had to be left at reception).  I actually felt naked without it and it was this feeling that surprised me.

I had lost the ability to check my emails, actually ring people (I am awful at remembering numbers) and even monitor my client systems.  I have become so used to “being connected” that losing that ability (even for a short time) was a bit unnerving.

You see I have actually reached the point where I can run most aspects of my business from my phone (I don’t always choose to but I can).  Remotely accessing clients desktops, invoices, emails, monitoring client systems and a host of other activities can be accomplished on the move with no extra kit required. Not being able to use my phone felt like I could no longer effectively run my business.

Smartphones have reached a point where they are now as much as a necessity to some people as clothes.  You wouldn’t go out without your clothes on (or maybe you would?) and a lot of people wouldn’t even dream of leaving the house without their phones.  They are used for everything from taking pictures to social media and even …………… making calls!!

The screens are also getting bigger which is starting to have an impact on the sales of 7″ tablets as a lot of people would rather use their phones than purchase a tablet which is only slightly bigger.  I personally can’t see them replacing the likes of a laptop for mobile working but they are definitely getting closer.

So be honest what is your relationship like with your phone?

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter


Why doesn’t tech get fixed anymore?

I wrote a post last week asking if “old” tech was still any good? to which I received quite a few responses, especially from LinkedIN (thanks for the comments guys!!).  One of the comments suggested that we have entered a world where tech is now so hard to fix that once something breaks it basically gets replaced.  I couldn’t agree more!!

Take tablets as an example.  I own a basic 7 inch Android tablet which I bought off Amazon about 12 months ago.  I can’t get at the battery to replace it if something goes wrong and god forbid the screen goes as it would be uneconomical to fix as on most tablets the screen makes up approximately 70% of the tablet price.  Don’t even get me started on trying to fix hardware issues on an iPad!!

It is the same with smartphones. I own a HTC Desire 500 (great phone by the way) and one of the main reasons I decided on getting it was that I could physically get at the battery.  My phone gets hammered on a daily basis so I expect the battery will go before most peoples phones and it is very nice to know that I can change it rather than having to get a new phone.

It is not only “newish” gadgets that have this issue but also laptops. OK apart from Mac’s most laptops aren’t that bad but the issue is rather peoples perceptions of economics.  I have lost count of the number of times when a laptop had a hardware issue (failing hard drive for instance) when the owner has decided to get a new laptop rather than fix the one they have because the costs (to them) are similar.  To me getting a laptop fixed for £150 is cheaper than buying a new one for £400 but I seam to be in the minority.

What do you think are we stuck in the middle of a non fix culture?

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter




The rise of the mobile office

Yesterday was a scorcher with temperatures reaching 25 degrees in Stirling and hardly a cloud in the sky at times.  Not a day to be stuck in the office then (or a non air conditioned server room as happened the previous day).

I am never in the office at the best of times and there was no way I was getting stuck indoors yesterday so off I went to Kings Park with my MacBook and trusty wireless broadband to get some work done.  It is wonderful that in this day and age we don’t have to sit behind a desk to actually get work done.  The rise of cloud based solutions means you can now access your data from anywhere.  For example all my files are on Dropbox (and so are many of my clients) which means I can access them from anywhere and on any device which is very handy when I am out and about.

If you so choose you can now work from a tablet, a smartphone or even your trusty laptop underneath a blue sky and in the fresh air. With apps like HP ePrint you can now print to virtually anywhere too – this is very handy!!

Two things to keep in mind though when you work like this.  First is the internet.  If you have no mobile signal you have no internet (unless you go satellite based).  I moved 5 metres yesterday to get some shelter underneath a tree and my signal died!! I tend to use either my EE mobile broadband or my HTC Desire 500 which is on O2 but sometimes I get no signal from either which means a) no mobile working or b) find a coffee shop with wireless.

The second is the form factor you work on.  In the office you might have two monitors and a PC which gives you loads of space to organise your open applications. If you decide to work off a tablet (or smartphone) bear in mind you will have a smaller screen and only one app open at a time.  This is usually not an issue with things like email and web browsing but when you start getting truely productive (spreadsheets , word processing etc) this may or may not become an issue.  Try in the office before you head out into the “wilds” to see how it works for you.

Now while the sun is still out I am off to get some work done and maybe even get myself an icecream!!

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter




What next for the Linux desktop?

I was browsing Distrowatch this morning just having a look at what is new in the world of Linux. Something hit me when I was looking at the list of distributions and their page hit ranking (don’t actually take notice of the ranking personally). Most of the distributions are desktop based.  Yes you have RedHat, CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu (last two make good desktop distros too) and a couple of others which are server based but the majority are desktop distributions.

As the PC market is shrinking and more people turn to tablets and smartphones to access the internet and carry out their tasks is Linux in danger of becoming marginalised and only being used on a shrinking platform?

Now before anyone mentions it I know about Ubuntu and Mozilla pushing into smartphones and the strength of Linux based servers and I am not disputing this. I also know that Android is opensource (ish) but do we really need another Ubuntu based desktop distribution or should Linux now be aiming for the tablet world instead.

What do you think?

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to both business and personal clients in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

Windows 8 Smartphones: A must try?

Today we have our first ever guest post!!

Windows 8 Smartphones: A Must Try?

As most Microsoft-powered PCs and laptops carry Windows 8, mobile devices have also shifted to the latest Windows OS. Over iOS and Android, Windows 8 seems to capture more users. Based on a study, 63 percent of the respondents said they prefer Windows 8 than iOS and almost all conversation over Twitter showed mobile users are more favored to Microsoft’s flagship than Android.


Previously, we have discussed whether or not Windows 8 is really that bad. Personally, I find it more secure than other OS on the market, especially because you won’t need to install an antivirus if you have the latest Microsoft system. It comes with it pre-installed Windows Defender. But apart from the Windows 8 for the PC, I was surprised about the systems mobile version on the Nokia Lumia 822 with 4G LTE.

Here are the top Windows 8 Smartphones you should try:

  1. Nokia Lumia 920: Today, Nokia Lumia’s latest Smartphone is the best Windows 8 mobile device out there. It has unique designs and colors to cater for younger users (since children are now exposed to mobile devices. The 4.5-inch Nokia Lumia 920runs the Dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait processor and Adreno GPU with 1GB RAM. The display supports 768 x 1280 pixels (~332 ppi) and protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection. One of its best features is its very clear 8-megapixel camera.
  2. HTC 8X: Nokia’s competitor of the system is the HTC 8X. It has a 4.3-inch S-LCD2 display and same processor power and RAM. The GPU uses the Adreno 225, last year’s model. Although the camera is also 8-megapixel, we still find Nokia’s rear camera better as well as the battery.
  3. Nokia Lumia 820: Another Nokia Smartphone running the latest Windows OS is the Lumia 820. It’s the predecessor of Lumia 920 but it has the almost the same power except for their screen size and brightness. The Lumia 820 has a 4.3-inch screen and supports 480 x 800 pixels. The rear camera is also 8-megapixel but the front camera only runs VGA.
  4. Samsung ATIV S: This is the only device in the Samsung camp that has the Windows 8 system. Samsung ATIV S has a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen supporting 720 x 1280 pixels (~306 ppi). The only unique features of this Samsung phone to other Windows-powered device, it is body structure. 1.9-megapixel front camera and better battery life (Li-Ion 2300 mAh).
  5. Huawei Ascend W1: One of the budget phones in my list if the Huawue Ascend W1. If you’ll compare this mobile device to other Smartphones, it can be your last option considering it has a smaller screen at 4-inch, same size as the iPhone 4’s display and running 1.2GHx Dual-core processor while the rest carries the Quad-core. But you’ll be amazed about its generous internal memory (4GB) and the back camera is also not that bad at 5-megapixel. Considering the specification of this device, it has a great battery (1950 mAh).

There are other Smartphones on the market that carry this powerful system but the ones noted above seem to catch my attention due to their features and prices. They seem to showcase no lagging or issues with any known bug. It will take a wise man to spend time creating a virus for this mobile OS since its pretty new and Microsoft ensured that they have applied the same defensive system for Windows 8 as for mobile. So, you can be sure that you can enjoy your Smartphone for a long time.

Overall, although the Start button still lacks in the Windows 8 interface for mobile, the Home page looks great for Smartphone and tablet (especially on the Microsoft Surface and the upcoming Microsoft Blue). You may find it difficult to navigate on the Windows Phone considering the look is very different from that of the OS and Android devices, but it just takes a little time to get used to, as how we put it “Windows 8 is different but it will grow on you.”

About the Author


Reese Jones has an insatiable passion for the internet, branding, mobile working and gadgets and tech. Her love of playing PS3 takes up most of her spare time and she also maintains a passion for cinema.


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