Skip to main content

Today's Tech: Is the iPad mini better than the Nexus 7? Facebook shares soar and Microsoft gets a telling off

Apple has built a reputation over the years for being a trend setter; single-handedly creating markets and inspiring parallel product lines from other manufacturers. But in terms of the smaller tablet sector with devices sporting displays around the 7in mark, Apple last night showed its willingness to follow the fashion if it can't set it.

The Cupertino firm unveiled its much-hyped iPad mini at a typically grandiose event in San Jose, leaving the tech press to pore over its features and capabilities throughout today. But what does that spec sheet really mean in context? Helping to make sense of it are our spec comparisons with rival tablets from rival firms. Will the iPad mini perform better than the critically acclaimed Google Nexus 7 (opens in new tab) that was released this summer? Does it have enough in the locker to render the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 a mere market makeweight? (opens in new tab) Check the contests and let us know what you think.

Yesterday's Apple event wasn't all about the little iPad however, as a fading beauty last seen in 2010, the iMac, reappeared and showed off a bold new look (opens in new tab). Apple's most recent all-in-one desktop line wowed the crowd with its super-slimline physique, with both the 21.5in and 27in models measuring just 5mm thick, an engineering feat attributed to fully integrated display lamination.

Despite their ridiculously svelte appearance, the new iMacs are also Apple's most powerful to date, packing Intel Ivy Bridge architecture, multiple USB 3.0 ports and Thunderbolt outputs, as well as the latest Nvidia GeForce GPUs. Sure, it'll cost you up to £1,699 before optimal configurations are taken into account, but once you've taken a closer look at the 2012 Apple iMac line, we think you'll agree: beg, steal, or borrow, just make sure one of these machines is in your life.

In other news, Facebook shares have soared today for the first time in months after the social network announced better than expected growth in its mobile advertising. Investors were rushing to buy shares, pushing the price up by 22 per cent (opens in new tab) after the company revealed it made $150 million from mobile ads in the last three months. 28-year-old Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg said that mobile was the "most misunderstood aspect" of the company and he wanted to "dispel the myth that Facebook can't make money on mobile".

(opens in new tab)Microsoft's ongoing European antitrust saga has just taken a turn for the worse, with EU regulators formalising their complaint (opens in new tab)against the Redmond, Washington-based company over charges it failed to give customers a choice of Internet browsers.

Back in 2009, Microsoft was ordered by the European Commission to offer a 'browser choice screen' to customers using the Windows operating system. But after a technical glitch - according to Microsoft, anyway - prevented millions of people from seeing the screen, the EU has decided to move forward with its complaint. The tech giant has been given four weeks to respond to the charges, after which it could face up to 10 per cent of its annual revenue in fines, if found to have breached European antitrust law.

Finally, Microsoft has been busy paving the way to Fridays launch of Windows 8. (opens in new tab)The software powerhouse has been busy shipping units of its self-manufactured hardware, the Surface tablet. Pre-orders for the 32GB version tablet have sold out in five counties, showing an already rabid appetite for the new ARM powered device. The US firm has also given its Internet portal site MSN a make over (opens in new tab) as the site has now been optimised for Windows 8 use.