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Weekend Roundup: BlackBerry Z10 and Microsoft Surface Pro reviewed

BlackBerry Z10 Review

After the long-awaited launch of BlackBerry 10 on 30 January, ITProPortal published its full review of the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone earlier this week. As the very first handset to be running the BlackBerry 10 OS, the Z10 has a lot riding on it, and in many ways it delivers. The Z10 shows off some of the best features of BlackBerry 10 to great effect, but it’s not perfect.

The biggest failings appear to be a lack of app support and poor battery life, but there’s no denying that both the Z10 and BlackBerry 10 itself show definite promise. If you’ve been waiting for a next generation BlackBerry to replace your ageing BlackBerry device, then the Z10 looks like a good bet. But if you’re just looking for the best flagship smartphone, it’s worth thinking carefully about your needs.

Microsoft Surface Pro Review

This week also saw Microsoft Surface Pro getting the review treatment. Although the ARM-based Windows RT version of Surface has been around for a good while, many have been waiting for the Intel-based Surface Pro device and for good reason.

Not only does Surface Pro run a full version of Windows 8, but it can also run any Windows programs that you’re already using on your desktop or laptop, making it a far better choice for business users looking for a tablet based workhorse.

Surface Pro also boasts a much higher screen resolution than its sibling, sporting 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Not only does that give you far more desktop real estate to play with, but it also means that you can watch Full HD video at its native resolution.

Essentially, Surface Pro is an Ultrabook inside a tablet device, which means that it’s more than capable of replacing your laptop if you so choose. On the downside, it doesn’t come cheap, so you won’t be saving too much money over a better specified Ultrabook.

Technology for the children

ITProPortal reported on a massively ambitious project being undertaken by the Lebanese government in partnership with Intel. The Open Your Tomorrow initiative is focusing on technology in education, with a goal of putting a tablet computer into the hands of every child in Lebanon.

Intel will be manufacturing all the tablets, as well as donating over a thousand units to the Lebanese Ministry of Education. Those tablets will be given to teachers, and Intel will also be helping to train those teachers to use the devices.

All the tablets will be connected via 3G or Wi-Fi, and each device will be pre-loaded with applications applicable to the age of the child. The applications on the tablets will also be updated and managed remotely to ensure that the devices remain relevant as the children grow and develop.

It’s fantastic to see a government investing so heavily in its children and seeing that technology can play a major role in the development of its new generation. ITProPortal will be keeping a close eye on the Open Your Tomorrow initiative over the coming months and will report on any new developments.

Riyad has been entrenched in technology publishing for more years than he cares to remember, having staffed and edited some of the largest and most successful IT magazines in the UK. In 2003 he joined forces with Hugh Chappell to create They built TR into the UK’s market leading technology publication before selling the title to IPC Media / Time Warner in 2007. As Editorial Director at Net Communities, Riyad will be helping to develop the publishing portfolio, making IT Pro Portal the best publication it can be.