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LAPTOP Magazine : January 2012
8 Laptop | January 2012 editor’s letter mark spoonauer editor in chief email@example.com The TableT Wars begin (For real) this time last year, tablets powered by android were supposed to set the world on fire. But as 2012 begins, sales of those slates have been lukewarm at best. now a tablet called the fire is giving apple a run for its money. in addition to costing just $199, amazon’s first color kindle provides an itunes-like shopping experience for all sorts of content and apps. to be clear, the fire targets a different kind of shopper than the ipad 2 (see p. 64). While both devices are geared toward consuming content, apple’s slate sports a larger display, making it better for reading magazines and surfing the web. But the 7-inch fire is more portable and a lot more affordable. so affordable that amazon is willing to take a loss on each device it sells. this month’s cover story sizes up the fire’s impact on the still-young tablet market and includes both our full review of the tablet and the apps you need to download. now that Barnes & noble has released the $249 nook tablet, and other companies are dipping below $200, there’s no question that low-cost tablets will be one of the big trends of 2012. But what else is on the horizon? from fitness gadgets that motivate and natural voice recognition to quad-core mobile chips, we break down the biggest things in tech for the coming year (see p. 52). the biggest questions i have are whether consumers will warm up to Windows 8’s bold new interface and whether microsoft can leverage this os to run two completely different types of devices in tablets and pcs. there’s a reason why shoppers didn’t like those words together the first time around. another big thing for 2012 is ultrabooks, a cross between a traditional laptop and a tablet that intel is hoping to push into the mainstream. although apple forged this category with the air, everyone from acer and asus to hp to toshiba is now making notebooks that are ultra-thin and instantly responsive. turn to p. 76 to see which models are worth the splurge. if you’re one of those people who can’t seem to follow through on their new Year’s resolutions—okay, that’s pretty much everyone—you’ll want to check out our top picks for gear and apps to help you stick to it (see p. 24). i personally want to learn guitar by the time i write this letter for January 2013. But don’t hold me to it. Publisher edward d. brown editoriAl editor in chief Mark spoonauer online editorial director Avram Piltch managing editor Anna Attkisson reviews editor Michael A. Prospero associate editor sarah silbert senior Writer brian oliver bennett staff Writers davey Alba daniel howley sherri smith Web producer/Writers Meghan J. Mcdonough Kenneth butler editorial intern oliver renick Art & desiGN design director Jeff W. sass Web art director dom rinaldi director of production & creative services Mark Morton informational Graphics artist Karl tate photography editor Qiydaar Foster producation intern Greg barone AdVertisiNG Vice president/publisher, integrated media Matt Weiner regional sales managers Archer Montague erica singer AdMiNistrAtioN director of publishing operations lisa brisbane director of circulation Michael Gerardo accounting manager Jim Cruz office manager Jeannie Mitchell CorPorAte chief executive officer Jerry ropelato president stan bassett chief financial officer randall bambrough chief revenue officer Mark Westlake chief content officer robert roy britt chief information officer Gerald Nichols chief people officer delonie Call Vice president Business development Michael eltzroth Vice president creative development Jared Page executive producer dave brody Vice president sales Gary strauss 150 fifth avenue, 9th floor, new York, nY 10011 (212) 703-5800 fax (212) 703-5801 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.laptopmag.com Twitter: @laptopmag Facebook: facebook.com/laptopmag For licensing and reprints of lAPtoP content, contact Wright’s Media at (877) 652-5295. Volume XXXii, issue #1, (s.c. 399) 2012 copyright. Laptop (issn:1089-36x) is published monthly (12 issues per year),plus 1 special issue bytech- medianetwork, 150 fifth avenue, 9th floor, new York, nY 10011. edward d. Brown, publisher. subscriptions are available for $14.99 per year ($30 for foreign subscriptions) for 12 issues from Laptop, p.o. Box 344, oregon, iL 61061-0344: call (815)732-5289, within the u.s.; or call (877) 527-8655 from outside the u.s. periodicals postage paid at oregon, iL and additional mailing offices. postmaster: please send address changes to Laptop, p.o. 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