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Get ready to hold on Stephanie Plum is back and she is funnier and still as crazy as she always has been. This time instead of tracking down a FTA she is looking for her Uncle Fred.
When she first gets asked to look for Uncle Fred she thinks this will be a simple case that she will figure out and find Uncle Fred and get back to looking FTA's. But she is wrong. During her look for Fred she runs across Ramieriz again she is worried that he will try and hurt her again. She also goes on one of her FTA runs and comes across a angry little man Briggs who is out to make Stephanies life a living nightmare.
Stephanie is also trying to pick up some side work and agrees to work with Ranger and do some work for him, but while doing this she starts to feel an attaction to Ranger and is confused because she still has feelings for Morelli.
Overall this was another great Stephanie Plum book and I can't wait to read the next few books about Stephanie and her gang of friends.
I pre-ordered my Prime 11/24 from TigerDirect and received it on 1/4.
Very nice packaging, just big enough to fit the tablet's surface area, with a very solid construction to it. I had no fear of shipping damage after I held the box in my hands. Inside was 10.1 inches of widescreen gadget glory, and a few accessories, (Charger, USB cable, microfiber cloth, manual)
Tablet was heavier than I imagined, but had a GREAT feel to it. Mind-blowingly thin. The back of the device has a nice matte feel due to the anodized brushed aluminum surface. It is a pleasure to hold in both hands, and absolutely is nice to look at. It is a little bit heavy when holding with just one hand, but that is to be expected with 10.1 inch tablets. The edges are a little sharp, not annoyingly so, but definitely noticable. The finish on the back is a very dark grayish-purple. Yes, purple, but not immasculine. Its a great color for the device, absolutely no complaints on style.
This thing is gorgeous. The pixel density is just right for this size device, and reading web pages is an easy process. The contrast is fantastic for an LCD, and the colors absolutely pop. I'm no display expert, but I know for certain this is the best display I have ever seen on a tablet, smartphone, netbook, and 99% of laptops. It can get obscenely bright in "Super IPS" mode, which is great for using outdoors, which was once no-mans-land for LCD displays.
It is running Android 3.2.1 Honeycomb. Just that sentence alone will give you some insight on the UI's look and feel and responsiveness. I like the look and layout of Honeycomb, but the optimization and snappyness is subpar. Of course I will attribute this purely to the sluggish mess that is Android Honeycomb, and not to the blazing fast quad-core monster inside of the deivce. The included Asus UI is great, I have no complaints about any of the menu layouts or widgets etc, in fact, it is very nice to look at. Props to Asus for making a smart, sensible UI layer that anyone can use. The included cloud storage, "Webshare" or something of the sort is nice to have, but I will probably stick to dropbox for my cloud storage. Asus includes remote desktop software that works flawlessly, and a DLNA streaming app that I find intuitive and well executed.
Honestly, any software problems or sluggishness will be addressed with ICS on January 12th, so I am not worried about it for now.
This machine is fast. It absolutely slaughters every other device in EVERY benchmark. Well done, NVIDIA, this Tegra 3 chip is a phenom. The performance is most apparent in gaming, when all four cores are working to their full potential. Games have that extra layer of realism that really makes the difference between mobile gaming, and real, console quality stuff.
One spec I did not realize was included in this machine is the ability to play games in real, stereoscopic 3d when connected to a 3DTV. I played Riptide GP in 3d, and Shadowgun in 3d as well on my 50 inch samsung plasma, and I was floored! Definitely a huge statement to the performance of this machine. Well done, everyone.
Really no more needs to be said about this device's performance other than "its fast. really fast."
Cameras on tablets look ridiculous. This is true with any tablet. One cannot pull out a 10.1 tab and casually snap a few shots. The whole thing is a rather hilarious affair. Otherwise, the Cameras on the TF201 are absolutely top notch. Video is clear and smooth in 1080p, and still shots look better than my point'n'shoot. The webcam works great for skype. Good work team.
Flawless with MX Video Player. 1080p30 on a 50 inch plasma is fantastic. No complaints, and no more needs to be said. It just works.
And now for the bad.
The GPS issue is a well documented problem. There are ons of explanations for why the GPS is not as accurate as one would hope. Basically, Asus missed a key design point here. The aluminum construction blocks radio waves in a big way. It is a simple fix that could have been prevented by Asus when designing the thing.
Wifi performance is also affected, though less noticably. The range is not as good as my thinkpad's. Not a dealbreaker, but it is a rather glaring oversight.
EDIT: (Lighthearted sarcasm alert)
Who uses a tablet without 3G for GPS anyways? I mean cmon guys. Its a wifi tablet. Using this as a nav system in my car would give me a good chuckle, and really nothing else.
Ignore the one-star whiners that don't even own the thing. It is hands-down, the best device on the market.
Good value for the price; 365 creative math problems from arithmetic, algebra 1 and 2, geometry, trig., and precalculus. Plus some brainbuster problems and a crossword puzzle. Each month has a write-up on some topic such as "the parabola's staying power." Attractive graphics throughout. I enjoyed solving several of the problems last night.
I tried Align and liked everything except the price. I switched to Pearl because it had been recommended by a friend and was substantially cheaper. After giving Pearl a try for a month, I switched back to this product, despite the price. The difference is amazing and now, I believe, well worth the cost.
Update 01/10/13; Re the Start button.
Well, here is the solution for those whom the loss of the Start button is a deal breaker. I installed a Windows APP called "Start 8". Free for 30 days then 4.99. Very clever. It puts a stylized Start Button right where you have always expected it. You can configure it to almost exactly mimic the Win7 Start button or use the author's very clever hybrid. Hard to explain the hybrid but kind of a cross between the old start and the win8 full start page. I like it a lot. So if your hand, after years of habit, moves that mouse to the lower left to find the start button, and it drives you nuts that it is not there, try "Start 8". I have no affiliation with Start 8 at all, just thought I would pass along a neat solution to what seems to be the main complaint about WIN8.
From the beginning of Windows it seems I have managed to load my machines up with so much stuff -- installing and uninstalling programs, stuff running in the background that after awhile no amount of systems cleaning can make it run like new. My latest machine, Lenovo Thinkpad X1 finally got bogged down so that the startup and shutdowns seemed interminable. Most things loaded slowly and often mid-program the drive would churn and churn.
Even migrating to an SSD (Samsung 830 Series) did not help much.
I started with Win8 Beta on a spare machine and just poked at it now and then. I learned bit by bit. The only way to get my Lenovo running again would be a clean install of Win7. You all know what a pain it is to rebuild the whole system from scratch with all the programs you want installed with current drivers, etc. So rather than do that with Win7 I decided I might as well do it with Win8 so I downloaded the upgrade to Win8 Pro.
There will be no looking back for me. Yep. Some things do not work the same. A small example: I frequently check the wireless icon in the taskbar for the speed between my machine and the router. In Win7 I clicked and saw it. Now I have to right click, open Network and sharing and click on the connection. Sounds awful in print but it is all so fast I am already used to it. And single clicking on the icon lets you check your connection and how much data is being transferred. Good info that was not available before.
There are other things like that. Just yesterday I discovered Windows Key + X. That more quickly than in Win7 brings up a host of links to nerdy things like device manager, control panel, task manager, etc. And I am a mouse guy, not a keyboard combination guy.
I have the machine loaded now with all the stuff I like and have gotten into my old habits of installing, uninstalling etc. Win8, especially combined with the SSD is nearly instantaneous. It loads and shuts down in no time.
For those who bemoan the loss of the start button, this way of thinking about it might help: You can work all you like all day long without the "Metro" Tile "Start" screen on the Win8 "Desktop" nearly identical to Win7. But now you go to click the Start button and it is NOT THERE! Grr. But by pressing the Windows Key you get a massively better start "button" It has all the programs you choose to "pin to the start screen" in the form of the tiles. Start typing and results immediately show up with the number of hits in the Apps, Settings, files, store and more. I have two methods I use to return to the desktop. One is a Tile "Desktop" positioned for easy mouse click. Other times I move the mouse to the far upper left corner and an image of the desktop appears to click on to take me back to it. I have not found much use yet for the "Charms".
People really hate change and if I had reason to try to change a workplace full of people to Win8 I would not look forward to it. But if you are an individual like me who just wants Windows to work FAST like we always wanted it to then get Win8 and install it on an SSD. Each time you try to do something that is different, take a deep breath and figure out how it is done in Win8. Once you have it you won't go back either.