BlackBerry Is So Done
Friday, August 23, 2013 10:27

For any die-hard BlackBerry fans, this is the nail in the coffin.


While boasting that it has more than 100,000 apps on its mobile store, the leader of the smartphone manufacturers just a few years ago, has more than a third of its apps coming from a single developer.


BlackBerry has secured its place in management infamy.

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Microsoft Cutting Price Of Surface RT Tablets
Friday, July 12, 2013 11:16

Tags: microsoft | tablet | Tablets

Micorost is making way for a new Surface RT by cutting the price of the current model. Should you buy it? Probably not. For advisors, being able to run th full Office Suite is important so probably want the Surface Pro, which is the more expensive model.

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Microsoft recently said it was doubling the available solid state hard drive on the Surface Pro from 128Gb to 256GB, which is the entry level model that advisors should  consider and costs about $1200. It will run just about all of the apps most advisors need and it repalces an iPad as well as your current laptop or desktop.


Surface RT won't give advisors much more than a tablet.












New Surface Pro With 256GB Solid State Drive Arrives, But Wait For A Haswell Processor If You Can
Monday, July 01, 2013 17:19


Windows Surface Pro, the tablet and laptop all-in-one made by Microsoft, went on sale six months ago with a 128GB solid state drive. Today, a reseller posted a link to an upgraded version with 256GB of storage space.

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The 256GB Surface Pro posted to CDW is expected to become available for purchase in four to six days for $1199, which is what the 128 GB Surface Pro sold for. All the specifications remain the same as the 128GB Surface Pro, except for the additional storage space.
Windows 8 and the Office suite take up about 52GB. So having the extra storage will be good.  
Surface Pro is a half-pound heavier than an iPad, so it’s not as good as a tablet as the iPad. But it’s also a legitimate laptop with a 3rd generation Intel i5 1.8GHz dual-core processor. So it’s a lot more versatile than an iPad. With that i5 processor, advisors can run most desktop applications, including PortfolioCenter, for example, but you’d probably want more processor power for editing video and handling large graphics.
A couple of caveats for A4A members thinking about buying one of these machines.
  • The 10.6-inch display is really small. When you use the laptop on a desk in front of you, it’s big enough but you can’t perch the Surface Pro on your lap and work like you can with a 13-inch laptop.
  • A Haswell version of the Surface Pro and other tablet-laptops are likely to be available later this year. They will come with Intel 4th generation Intel processor, which will have twice or three times the four- to five-hour battery life that you get on the i5 version of the Surface Pro.  




Do You Need An Ultra-High Definition Monitor? What’s The Difference Between A Display With 1920x1080 Resolution And 2560x1440?
Monday, July 01, 2013 12:05


Everyone always talks about the benefit of using two monitors instead of just one. More desktop space makes you more productive. You can compare two documents, see a spreadsheet side-by-side with a Word document, and multi-task better. Financial advisors now commonly use two monitors. But you don’t hear much about moving to a higher resolution monitor, which further expands the desktop and, thus, should make you even more productive.
As shown in the infographic below,

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you pick up a lot of increased desktop space with an ultra-high definition (UHD) (2560x1440) monitor instead of one with 1920x1080 resolution. If you like to keep your CRM open while running your portfolio management software and also have three or four browsers running, then the higher resolution comes in handy.
It won’t double the amount of information at your fingertips like using two monitors instead of one, but it will allow you to consume and analyze more information in one glance and make it easier to work on multiple projects throughout the day.


Everything Financial Advisors Need To Know About Mini Display Ports
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 13:39

Tags: technology

I don’t have a lot to tell you about mini display ports but they’re also not something financial advisors need to know a lot about.


Increased use of convertibles and ultrabooks means you are likely to run into a mini display port sometime soon, and you’ll thank me for this little lesson when you do.

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Advisors need to know that mini display ports are the new ports on mobile computers to which you can connect an external monitor. They’re better than VGA, DVI  and as good as HDMI connectors for displaying video. They give you improved video and audio throughput speed over older types of connectors.
By definition, all the cool new ultrabooks and convertibles come with small display screens of seven- to 13-nches diagonally. If you’re using one of these devices as your only computer, you are likely to want to connect it to a big monitor at your desk.
Some of the more expensive ultrabooks and convertibles, like the Microsoft Surface Pro, Toshiba KIRAbook, and Lenovo ThinkPad Helix support ultra-high resolution monitors of 2560 by 1440 pixels. You'll want to use the mini display port adapter on your tablet or convertible or ultrabook to connect to your external monitor. Though the monitor might also let you use a VGA or DVI connectosr, you want to use a cable with a mini display port male on one side and and a male display port or HDMI plug on the other end.

Surface Pro Mkni Display Port on right with iPhone on left for perspective.

Surface Pro Mini Display Port on right with iPhone on left for perspective.

If you buy a convertible or ultrabook with a touch screen, be aware that you’re going to need one of those cables to connect to a monitor. Connecting to a 2560 by 1440 HD monitor with a DVI connector would actually be limiting your resolution to 1920 by 1080, defeating the purpose of having an HD monitor.


One other thought on this topic: When you set up your external display to connect with your tabelt, convertible or ultrabook, you can choose whether you want to make the big monitor your "main" display. You probably do not want to make the 27-inch monitor your main display.




Because the ultrabook or convertible is probably a touch device! You want that device to remain your main display so you can use the touch interface on your desk in front of you alongside your kepyboard. This way, you're getting the benefits of the big HD monitor as well the touch interface when you want it.


That setup will save you from spending the money on an ultra-high-resolution touch screen, which you probably do not yet own, although the prices on those are coming way down. In fact, if any A4A members are using a large touch screen display, I’d love to hear about your experience.


For financial advisors who make client presentations and review performance reports and financial plans with clients, a touch screen monitor on your desk would seem to be a perfect set up. When a client comes to the office and you want to show him something on your screen, a touch interface is optimal, especially if you are using PowerPoint.


Flicking instead of clicking the next slide is a whole different experience. It has the cool factor still because it is so new and most people have not experienced a touch screen on a desktop. But it is an entirely new way of you and a client watching TV together, where you are in control of the show.  


On thing to wathc out for: A display that is 27" may be too large? To use the touch screen on a desk, the screen should be positioned about 18 or 24 inches from your chest when seated. A 27" monitor that's just 18 inches from your eyes may be too close.




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