Category Archives: Tablets
With the upcoming release of the Windows 8 and Windows RT Microsoft has been developing what they think is the ideal tablet experience for Windows RT. They call their tablet Surface and will be coming out in both a Windows RT version and Windows 8 Pro version. The announcement of the Surface with Windows RT came out today and will start at $499, shipping on October 26 2012. There are three different packages to order, the lowest priced one is just a 32GB Surface with no cover and the highest is 64GB with a Cover. You can also order extra covers in different colors or buy a cover with a built-in keyboard that comes in 5 different colors.
While I don’t see mass adoption of Windows 8 or Windows RT it looks to be an acquit tablet interface but lacks in apps and functionality that most users will expect from a tablet such as an iPad or Android device. As for running Windows 8 on a laptop or desktop is a complete failure on the part of Microsoft, and they have only shown how the start menu takes over the system and that is all they expect you to do with your computer is have the start menu up all the time. This tablet seems like a response to the iPad but done with out thinking through the entire experience along with the experience of how Windows 8 will work as a desktop interface.
While the Surface looks to be a decent tablet it will also come with Microsoft Office 2013 RT installed, while it will be a pre-release of Office Home and Student it should get updated to the full release when it comes out. They also include Internet Explorer 10, Xbox Music store and other Xbox branded games. Check out the specs and gallery below for more about the details of the device.
|Software||Windows RT and Office Home and Student 2013 RT|
|Storage||32 and 64 GB|
|CPU / Memory||NVIDIA T30 / 2 GB RAM|
|Display||10.6 inch 5-point multi-touch|
|Cameras||Both front and back 720p HD|
|Wireless||2×2 MIMO WIFI, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Ports||USB 2.0, mircoSDXC, HD Video Out|
|Sound||3.5mm headphone, 2 microphones, stereo speakers|
|Sensors||Ambient Light, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass|
|Price||$499-699 + $119-129 for covers + HD Adaptor|
Lenovo announced the pre-order of four new Windows 8 mobile systems, the IdeaPad Yoga 13, Yoga 11, Lynx, and Twist. The Yoga is a convertible laptop tablet that hinges to fold the keyboard flat with the display going backward, this gives it the ability to be used as a tablet or stand up in interesting ways. This was first seen at CES 2012 and got lots of attention. It will come two sizes at 11.6 inch and 13.3 inches. The big difference between the two is the 13 has an Intel 3rd Generation i7 processor running Windows 8 Pro and it earns being a Ultrabook. Where the 11 runs on a NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with Windows RT with less battery life and won’t run any old Windows applications because it runs the ARM processor. Full tech specs of the four systems below.
As for the Lynx, it is a low powered Dual Core Intel Atom powered 11.6 inch tablet that runs Windows 8 but has a keyboard that can be attached to transform it into a laptop type computer. They claim that with the 16 hours of batter you can use it all day and also use it for applications like the included Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
The Twist is the only one specifically built for business users, it has an Intel Core i7 processor and is also a Ultrabook running Windows 8 Pro with the option to have 3G data and more storage options. They also make note that it will have a normal ThinkPad keyboard that so many people like to type on if they have a laptop. The display is also a high-definition IPS with multi-touch that twists around so you can use it like a tablet. This would be a good power user laptop if you are looking to get a Windows 8 Pro device.
|IdeaPad:||Yoga 13||Yoga 11||Lynx||Twist|
|Processor||Intel Core i7||NVIDIA Tegra 3||Intel Dual Core Atom||Intel Core i7|
|OS||Windows 8 Pro||Windows 8 RT||Windows 8||Windows 8 Pro|
|Battery||8 Hours||13 Hours||16 Hours w/ Dock||7 Hours|
|Storage||256GB SSD||64GB eMMC||64GB eMMC||500GB HDD / 128GB SSD|
|Price MSRP Starts At||$1,099||$799||$649||$849|
These specs are if you max out things such as getting the fastest processor or largest SSD, and they only gave prices for the lowest of the spec base systems so the prices will be way different. You can pre-order the Yoga 13 at Best Buy October 12 2012.
Lots of users over at XDA-Developers Forum have started to get an update for their Google Nexus 7 tablets, this updates brings Android 4.1.2 Jellybean to the device. This isn’t a big update from what people have seen, it seems to increase performance and stability of the tablet along with bug fixes. The only real visible change is the ability to rotate the home screen in landscape mode. Below is a post on the Android Building Group.
We’re releasing Android 4.1.2 to AOSP today, which is a minor update on top of 4.1.1.
As a note to maintainers of community builds running on Nexus 7: please update to 4.1.2 at the first opportunity. Future variants of the grouper hardware will have a minor change in one of the components (the power management chip) that will not be compatible with 4.1.1.
The build number is JZO54K, and the tag is android-4.1.2_r1.
Conley and JBQ
Jean-Baptiste M. “JBQ” Queru
Technical Lead, Android Open Source Project, Google.
I have been setting my Nexus 7 to look for an update but none yet for me, but thanks to user PTzero of XDA you can download the update from Google’s servers and flash the update yourself if you want. If you are like me you may just do this, and is reported to keep ROOT on your tablet if you have done that like I have. Otherwise wait a day or so and it should update your device.
Images from: EE Times
FreedomPop is a company using Sprint WiMax 4G service to give users 500MB of free data usage a month. They also plan on updating the service later on to use Sprints 4G LTE network for wider coverage. While you get 500MB of data free they also offer reasonable rates for extra data, such as the “Casual 2GB Data Plan” is $17.99 a month. To get the service you also have to put down a security deposit for the MiFi or USB Stick, and depending on the one you get the price.
After looking at their coverage map it shows that the WiMax is the real problem, it’s only in major cities. For me the closest cities are Salt Lake or Denver that have coverage. If this worked on Sprint’s entire network I would be down for spending the $20.98 for the 2GB and the “Speed Plus” that is said to give a 50% boost in speeds whatever that means. The change to LTE is expected to happen sometime in 2013.
They also have an iPhone and iPod sleeve being made that works like a MiFi but also adds 6 hours of battery life to the iPhone case. With one of these you could turn an iPod into a real mobile device without an expansive contract. Both sleeves are only pre-order right now and will cost $99.
Check out the charts below for more details.
|Freedom Sleeve for iPod Touch||$99|
|Freedom Sleeve for iPhone 4/4S||$99|
|Freedom Spot – Photon||$89|
|Freedom Stick – Bolt||$49|
The iPhone and iPod sleeves are said to come in a few weeks if you pre-order them.
|Name||Data per Month||Price per Month|
|Free 500MB||500MB + $0.02 per 1MB after||Free|
|Casual 2GB||2GB + $0.01 per 1MB after||$17.99|
|Premiere 4GB||4GB + $0.01 per 1MB after||$28.99|
All plans can add FreedomPop Speed Plus for $2.99 per month for “50% faster speeds”.
For now if you have service in your area this could be a nice way to add data to a Tablet, Laptop, or other device if you want some free data that you would use from time to time, but otherwise hold off for a while until they change over to LTE. But it is good to see companies taking some risks in the mobile data field trying to come up with new ways to get people data service, also Sprint should be thought of as they seem to be the one network that is open to other companies trying new things using their equipment.
The new updated version of the Amazon Kindle Fire was announced today; this includes an update to last year’s Kindle Fire, the Kindle Fire HD in a 7″ and 8.9″ that is in a WIFI and 4G LTE version. They also updated the software to add things like X-Ray IMDB people look up when watching movies, Wikipedia and YouTube videos when looking at words in text.
They spent some time in the announcement talking about how fast the OMAP4 processer with built in graphics engine. The display on the 8.9″ is an HD 254 ppi 1920×1200 pixel resolution, and on the 7″ has a resolution of 1280×800 pixels. Amazon also talked about how good the WIFI is that includes both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz radio systems with MIMO technology to use two antennas to boost reception depending on what antenna is getting the best signal. As for battery life they claim 11 hours on the 7″ Kindle Fire HD.
Few extra things they included was an HD front camera, HDMI out, Bluetooth, updated email and calendar applications, Wispersync for games to keep location in the game and scores. The Dolby dual stereo speakers are supposed give great audio sound to make watching videos better.
The 4G service is kind of cool but kind of limited; it costs $49.99 a year, and includes 250MB of data a month. It also includes 20GB of Cloud Drive storage and a $10 Amazon Appstore credit.
|Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE||Fire HD 8.9″||Fire HD||Fire|
|32GB $499||16GB $299||16GB $199||8GB $159|
|64GB $599||32GB $369||32GB $249|
|Ships November 20 2012||Ships November 20 2012||Ships September 14 2012||Ships September 14 2012|
If you use an Android Phone you most likely get your apps from Google Play Store, but updates can take lots of time and data if you have lots of apps. But earlier at Google I/O, Google talked about the new update system that would only download the parts of your apps that changed along with encrypting them so paid apps couldn’t be ripped off.
Reports now show that system has been started and will work even on older phones (2.3, 4.0 …) and can save you lots of data when updating apps. When you update an app it will download the part you need then start installing it if that’s all you need before the full download is done. This update should happen the next time you load the Google Play store on your device and happen without you having to do anything because the Play Store updates its self all the time.
If you are looking for an Android Tablet with a stylus you may want to check out the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 that includes what they call the S Pen that is like a WACOM pen and not the nub that most touch screen devices get. It uses an active digitizer so if you the creative type this can make drawing or writing on the screen easy and accurate. Many people who had the 5″ Samsun GALAXY Note phone liked how good the pen was and how big the screen was.
As for specs it has a 1.4 GHz quad-core processer, Android 4.0 ICS, HSPA+ Quad Band, 5 Megapixel and 1.9 Megapixel cameras, S Pen, and loaded with a bunch of S Pen friendly apps.
- 1.4 GHz quad-core processor
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- HSPA＋ 21-Mbps (HSDPA 21Mbps / HSUPA 5.76Mbps) Quad Band 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
- Main(Rear): 5 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera
- 16/32/64GB User memory ＋ 2GB (RAM) microSD (up to 64GB)
- Standard battery, Li-ion 7,000mAh
- Bluetooth v4, WiFi, mHL, IR LED, USB 2.0 Host, 3.5mm Ear Jack
Below is a video put out by Samsung showing off what you can do with the S Pen and some of the extra apps built into the tablet.
If you’re a PS3 user and you like YouTube good news, you can now download the YouTube app from the PS3 store today that lets you watch videos from your PS3. It was designed for big screens making it easy to use from your couch. The other great feature was the fact that you can use your mobile phone or most likely your tablet to search, control, and load up more videos easier while other videos are playing.
- Search: Finding the videos you want is easier than ever, with search suggestions and instant video results while you type.
- Your subscribed channels: Sign in to find the latest videos from your YouTube subscriptions, which now also includes official music videos.
- Your phone as a remote: With a quick pairing process, you can control YouTube on PS3 with a smartphone. Find a video on your phone and with a button it’ll play on the big screen. While the video is playing you can control it from the phone, or keep browsing YouTube for the next one.
You can get the new YouTube app sometime today in PS3 Store under My Channels.
Barns & Noble just posted new lower prices for their Nook Color and Nook Tablet. These 7-inch tablets are built using Android OS and have a good amount of power for reading books, watching streaming video and playing music. This lower price is most likely a response to slowing sales of the now lower powered tablet and the introduction of new tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. This also follows reports of Amazon Kindle Fire sales dropping off.
If you’re looking for a cheaper reading tablet the prices are now $159 for the Nook Color, $199 for the 16GB and $179 for the 8GB version of the Nook Color. But I would say you may just want to spend the extra or the same amount on a Nexus 7 and get more power and the full and new Android 4.1.