Tablet PC, iPad, Surface, Notebook News, Reviews,Comparisons, Software and Accessories
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August 3, 2015
Lenovo TAB 2 A8-50 Review
Quick Take This 8-inch Android tablet costs the same as many 7-inch models so it’s an good value, especially as it has speedy performance and an attractive display.
The most popular tablets have 7-inch screens because these are the cheapest. Lenovo is hoping to turn that on its head with an 8-inch model that sells for a price typical of 7-inch ones: just $129.
Considering its affordable cost, the Lenovo Tab 2 A8-50 is a surprisingly robust device, with a 1280 x 800 screen, front-facing speakers, a quad-core processor, and Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Lenovo describes this model as a “Mobile Multimedia Companion”, which is why it put some emphasis on the speakers. Unlike most tablets, these are located on the front, rather than on an edge, so the sound is clear and not muffled. The speakers are on the opposite sides of the tablet so they have just enough separation that stereo effects work.
That last part is important, because the Tab 2 A8-50 has Dolby ATMOS 3D Cinema Sound Technology, which is capable of tricking the ear into thinking that sounds are emanating from different directions. This requires the video being watched to include the 3D Cinema Sound, and it works even better with a pair of headphones.
13 helpful Windows 10 tips, tricks and tweaks to try out
Like any new OS, the only way you can find out what it's truly capable of is by spending some decent time with it. We've now had the pleasure of being able to get to know Windows 10, and there's a few things we think will help you make the most of the biggest new changes.
How to customise the Start Menu
The return of the Start Menu is a pretty big deal in Windows 10 and that's because you're likely to spend quite a bit of time with it. Whether it's using it in the more traditional Windows way or using Cortana to search for content on your PC or the web, it's a welcome addition.
Pulling in the tiled user interface from Windows' tablet mode means you get to access Live Tiles all without exiting the desktop mode. If you're not a fan of how these tiles look or how they are arranged, this is something you can fix.
Simply hover the mouse cursor over a tile and right click on your mouse or the right side of your touchpad. Now you'll see options to resize tiles to make them smaller or even wider. You can also pin programs to the task bar at the bottom of the screen or remove (Unpin) from the Start menu altogether – holding down on the tile does the same thing on a touchscreen.
If you're not a fan of the Live Tiles, which are basically constantly updating widgets like the ones you get on your phone, select 'Turn the live tile off' and it's all done. You can always add them back later simply by dragging the app back to its vacated space.
Samsung launches slimmest, lightest tablets
Dubai: Samsung has launched two new tablets with an aim to eat into Apple’s market share and ahead of the rival’s launch of new models in October.
The Galaxy Tab S2 comes in two sizes, a larger 9.7-inch (24.63cm) slate having the same screen size as the iPad Air 2 while the smaller 8-inch (20.32cm) Tab S2 is slightly bigger than the 7.9-inch (20.06cm) iPad Mini 3.
Hayassam Yassine, head of IT and mobile team at Samsung Gulf, said that both the tablets are the world’s thinnest and the lightest.
The iPad Air weighs 437 grams and is 6.1mm thick while Sony’s Z4 10.1-inch (25.65cm) tablet is also 6.1mm thick and weighs 393 grams but the 9.7-inch (24.64cm) S2 tablet weighs 389 grams and is 5.6mm thick.
Yassine said the lightweight adds value as people use the tablet for reading with one hand.
The tablets are powered by 1.9GHz octa-core home-grown processor with 3GB of RAM and 32/64GB of internal memory. The microSD card supports up to 128GB. It houses an 8MP autofocus rear camera and 2.1MP front camera. The 9.7-inch is priced at Dh1,999 (WiFi) and Dh2,199 (4G LTE) while the 8-inch is priced at Dh1,599 (WiFi) and Dh1,800 (4G LTE). It will be available from August 15.
Apple has always led the field when it comes to consumer tablet technology, but with enterprise-grade tablets and hybrids from rival vendors finally beginning to gain traction (not least Microsoft, with the Surface Pro, and its OEM partners), rumours persist that Apple is planning its own iPad-driven assault on the sector.
The iPad Pro, it is said, will sport a 12.9-inch screen, compared to the iPad Air's 9.7-inch viewing area, or the iPad Mini's 7.9-inches, with Bloomberg covering an apparent delay of screen production at Apple's supplier's in March 2015.
The latest rumour even concerns a new Apple patent for a stylus, which will apparently contain a camera. This would enable the new stylus to identify surfaces it passes over, and make it able to replicate the feel of those materials via the same kind of haptic feedback found in the Apple Watch.
Bloomberg reported that production of the iPad Pro was supposed to have begun much earlier this year, a reveal at this year's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) seemingly the original aim.
What are the specs?
One would obviously expect a beefier microprocessor in an iPad Pro - somewhere between the iPad Air 2's Apple A8X, 64-bit 1.5GHz tri-core and the MacBook Pro's 2.2GHz, quad-core Intel Core i7 Haswell.
Rumoured specific specs are an A8X processor and 2GB of RAM.
Apple convention dictates if it's a tablet it probably won't run an Intel processor, but the jury's still out as to whether Apple may even follow Microsoft's lead particularly closely and feature some kind of peripheral plug-in ability.
July 31, 2015
Nvidia is conducting a voluntary recall of its Shield 8-inch tablets sold between July 2014 and 2015.
According to the manufacturer, the battery can overheat and pose a fire hazard.
Owners of the recalled device should stop using their tablet—except to back up data. Details on how to get a replacement device can be found online.
he withdrawal program applies only to tablets with a certain battery type. So before you start panicking that playing Doom 3 on your slate will set your house ablaze, follow Nvidia's instructions to check that your device is in danger.
First, ensure it is running the latest software: Go to Apps > About tablet > System Updates and verify that your program is dated July 1, 2015, or newer.
Then re-visit the About tablet section and tap Status; under the "Battery" category you'll see B01 or Y01. If it reads B01, the unit is not affected. However, those with a Y01 battery must return their tablet for a replacement.
July 30, 2015
The wait for Windows 10 is over. You can upgrade your tablet from Windows 8.1 to the newest version of Microsoft’s iconic operating system right now. But should you?
Microsoft is making this a free upgrade for everyone who has a computer running Windows 8 or Windows 7, as long as the new version is installed some time in the next year. So millions of users Microsoft, Dell, and Lenovo tablets are asking themselves, is now the right time to make the move?
The right answer for you depends on what you use your tablet for. Are you a casual user, who primary uses this device for accessing the Internet? Or are you a hardcore user to whom your tablet is productivity tool you use daily?
Casual Tablet Users
For many, their Windows tablet is a convenient way to check their email, access the Web, catch up on Facebook, and maybe pay a game or two. They don’t use Office on this computer, and probably don’t have an external keyboard for it. If this sounds like you, you probably should hold off upgrading your device for a few months… just not forever because Windows 10 has some great new features.
Windows 10 isn’t just a combination of versions 7 and 8; it brings some new features to the table as well. Among the most notable is Virtual Desktops. With this feature, you can have one desktop with your personal email and Facebook open and arranged just as you like them, and also have a second desktop with Word, Excel, and Outlook open and nicely arranged. Switching between the two requires just a single key combination. There can be as many virtual desktops and open applications as your hardware is capable of handling.
Apple develops tablet stylus to simulate textures of on-screen objects
Apple is working on a stylus which can simulate the feeling of writing and drawing on a range of different surfaces and textures. The stylus could be used for the widely rumoured iPad Pro tablet, due later this year to compete with the Microsoft Surface.
Despite Steve Jobs once saying no one wants to use styluses, Apple has shown increasing interest in developing such a tool for use with a new generation of iPad. The latest patent application, filed in January and published on 20 July, details how a stylus would use complex haptic feedback to make the user feel like they are drawing on a range of different surfaces.
This has the potential to make sketching on the glass screen of a future iPad feel more like drawing on a sheet of paper. Apple refers to the technology as a "touch implement with haptic feedback for simulating surface texture," and explains how feedback felt through the stylus will change as the user drags it over different parts of the screen.
July 29, 2015
I've had a couple weeks of hands-on time with the final release of Windows 10. I say "final," but Microsoft is taking a new strategy of "Windows as a service" and constant updates with Windows 10. This just means that there really is no such thing as final code. Improvements and patches can roll out at any time. In fact, there's no more Patch Tuesday with Windows 10, and for most people automatic updates will be switched on by default, which has caused some consternation, but seems like a good thing as far as security goes.
The bottom line is this: If you're running Windows 7 or 8.x on a desktop, laptop, or convertible laptop, you'll want Windows 10. Tablet users may want to hold off a while, as Windows 8.1 still will suit them better in some ways. You see, while Windows 8 was the OS where Microsoft made tablet use a priority, Windows 10 favors laptop and desktop users.
Windows 10 is finally here, and it's apparent that Microsoft has been hard at work taking the best features from Windows 7 and 8, while weeding out some of the not-so popular ones.
Unfortunately, as it is with every new operating system upgrade, there's a bit of learning curve involved when it comes to mastering Windows 10. In order to help you get up to speed, we've detailed some tips and tricks worth knowing.
We plan to update this piece over time as more bits are discovered, so keep tuning in.
Start button and Metro integration
One of the first things you'll notice about Windows 10 is that the "Metro" interface is gone. Although, not completely.
The action center (accessible under the icon in the bottom right of the task bar) serves as a hub for quite a few settings and features. Most notably - the list of actions that require your attention. You'll see updates for various apps here.
OneNote is quickly accessable here, and it reminds you that all notes are saved automatically. Settings and VPN settings can be accessed from here, as well as the Quiet Hours tile (presumably to use while you're reading or watching a video, as it will prevent any notification popups while active).
Including a digital assistant directly into Windows is new territory for Microsoft, but Cortana may become central to your daily use. Cortana is present right in the task bar, and can be used to search by saying "Hey, Cortana" when you enable the setting (also, it only works if you have a microphone).
Windows 10 Home vs Pro comparison
Windows 10 Home vs Windows 10 Pro: Which version am I entitled to?
Windows 10 is shaping up to be a very impressive and useful operating system that brings back the familiar feel of Windows 7, while adding several new, modern features. The Home edition will suffice for the vast majority of users who just want to browse the web, do a little work, and manage their media files. There’s certainly a few benefits for the Pro version, with its focus on security and compatibility, but of course the value of these features will come down to whether you actually intend to use them or not.
For all packages Windows Media Centre will be removed, as Microsoft seems to see it as superfluous to the future of Windows, and you’ll also need to download third-party software if you want to watch DVDs on your machine. For a list of other features that will be retired in Windows 10 read our Worst Windows 10 Sacrifices guide.
Windows 10 Home vs Windows 10 Pro: What do they have in common?
For the majority of users the differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro will be negligible, as both provide pretty much everything they need for everyday computing. The main differences affect business users.
All versions of Windows 10 come with Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, that can make calendar entries, take dictation, open applications and local files, search the web, and give directions, all from voice commands on your PC. This feature could become quite key in the future, as Microsoft has recently announced the upcoming release of Cortana apps for Android and iOS phones, alongside the full integration it enjoys on Windows Phone. You can read here how to use Cortana in Windows 10.
Windows 10 Home Vs Windows 10 Pro: What are the differences?
While Windows 10 Home is focused firmly on the consumer, Windows 10 Pro is more for power-users, and those running small to medium businesses. This can be seen in the advanced security features found in the Pro package.
July 28, 2015
Lenovo ready to launch Windows 10 devices with enhanced software
Lenovo announced it will begin shipping a wide selection of products preloaded with Windows 10 starting immediately. Lenovo has worked with Microsoft Corp. to make the process of upgrading simple, for people with qualified Lenovo PC running Windows 7 SP1 or 8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10. Starting on July 29, the updates will roll out. If you reserved your copy of Windows 10, you will be notified and Windows 10 will be downloaded on your system. Lenovo has an extensive list of products eligible for this upgrade including popular models like the YOGA 3 Pro and YOGA 500.
Exclusive Lenovo Apps Enhance Windows 10 Experience
To give users consistent experiences across devices and operating systems, the preloads include a suite of Lenovo applications. The new Lenovo Companion 3.0 optimization tool keeps devices running at peak performance and can be used at any time to run a full-scale checkup and report back with specific actions to free up space and speed up the device. Companion also provides exclusive Lenovo content to help people get the most out of their PC. Lenovo experts author how-to articles, tips and tricks, and other news to keep users up to date on their PC.
As a “smart” device control hub, the new Lenovo Settings lets users easily adapt and modify the way their device behaves. Settings also showcases a robust “Power” section, which offers customization unique to Lenovo, such as a “Battery Stretch Mode” and “Charge Mode”, which lets users super-charge their battery replenishment.
With SHAREit, customers can quickly transfer files between devices. For tablet users WRITEit takes the pen to a new level of functionality allowing users to write in any input field with their pen and the handwriting is converted to text.
As announced at Tech World in May, Lenovo and Microsoft have worked to integrate Cortana and REACHit, Lenovo’s groundbreaking app that allows users who opt-in to search for and manage their content across multiple devices and cloud storage platforms. With REACHit, Cortana becomes even smarter and more personal, enabling users to find their content such as emails, photos and videos. Cortana and REACHit gives users a seamless, intuitive way to search through natural language and contextual understanding
Sony's Xperia Z4 Tablet is the latest 10in Android tablet on the market and a rival to the iPad Air 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. Here's our Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet.
We expected the Xperia Z4 Tablet to come in at £399 matching the iPad Air 2 but it costs £100 more than that. Before you panic and run to the Apple store, this is because it comes with the Bluetooth keyboard dock so there is a reason for it.
Sony's main Android rival for the high-end 10in tablet is Samsung's Galaxy Tab S which was £399 but can now be purchased for under £300. It's a long way from being old and decrepit too, so represents quite a saving in comparison to Sony's new tablet.
The more expensive model with additional 4G LTE connectivity will set you back £579 placing it only £60 short of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 which it is competing against considering the laptop style keyboard dock.
It's a real shame Sony has decided to only sell the tablet this way as many consumers will no doubt want just the tablet and it's not like you can sell the keyboard because other users will have one as standard. Retailers are saying the keyboard is free but it's clearly factored into the price and we hope Sony changes its mind in the future.
July 27, 2015
Microsoft’s Windows 10 is nearly upon us, and from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like a seriously huge improvement over the disaster that was Windows 8.
But regardless of how much better Windows 10 is than its predecessor — which, again, was awful — the big question on many minds will be: How does Windows 10 compare to Apple’s OS X?
Microsoft Surface 3 Review: Best of Both Worlds
The Surface 3 ($798) is run on Intel’s new Atom x7-Z8700 processor released in March, a quad-core SoC (system on chip) that has a maximum burst speed of 2.4GHz, the most powerful among the Cherry Trail family. An aspect ratio of 3:2 accompanies the 1,920 x 1,280 resolution and 10.8 inch ClearType Full HD Plus Display, only slightly smaller than the Pro 3.
You’ll be surprised by the image quality. It plays 1080p videos with stunning detail and its audio quality isn’t too shabby either considering its compact nature.
It also includes a full-sized USB 3.0 Port, Mini DisplayPort, and even a microSD cardreader. The Surface 3 also comes with a kickstand at the back that allows to you alternate between 3 different angles depending on your preferred viewing position.
It’s better off as a laptop for another primary reason: It feels uncomfortable as a tablet. It’s heavy-ish. The Surface 3 weighs 622g, almost 200g more than other tablet competitors such as the iPad Air 2 and HTC Nexus 9. It also feels awkward to carry around due to its ergonomic trapezium profile, which means it doesn’t fit into your hand with as much ease as the standard tablets with rounded curves.
Enter the Type Cover ($199), and suddenly it becomes clear. It is immensely light as a laptop. The cover’s magnetic stability feature allows it to be easy to slap onto the Surface, doubling as a keyboard and well, its cover. Available in black, red and blue, it looks surprisingly sexy.
Reportedly, the Apple iPad Mini 4 will be more of a shrunken iPad Air 2, with some upgrades such as the new generation A-9 processor
According to a report, in its latest iteration of the Mini iPad series, the rumored iPad Mini 4 will be similar to the Air 2 in many ways. As per the report, Apple could be working on three different iPad lines altogether; Mini, Air, and the rumored Pro.
Apple Insider reports, an industry source filled in the Japanese-language Apple News site Macotakara with the details of the upcoming iPad Mini 4. Apparently, the source reported that Apple will bring an array of new features to the iPad Mini 4. In contrast, the iPad Mini 3 was equipped with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor but this time with the iPad mini 4, Apple is expected to bring a lot more to the table.
Apple Insider has dubbed the device a “shrunken version of the iPad Air 2", which means most of the hardware specs seen on the iPad Air2, only in a smaller package. The upcoming package will equipped with an 8 megapixel iSight camera and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity. Moreover, an A8 processor is also reportedly part of the package; the iPad Air 2 also had the same processor under its hood.
According to Master Herald, the iPad Mini 4 will sport the storage capacity of a larger device, that is, an internal memory of 2 GB. However, the site also reports that the tablet will have much more to offer, such as the latest A-9 processor as opposed to the reported A-8.
July 24, 2015
Cortana on Windows 10
What does Cortana coming to Windows 10 actually mean for you? Here's where the personal assistant is going to lend a helping hand.
While Cortana uses a Bing-powered search database to provide answers to your questions, she does a lot more, arguably more than rival voice assistants Siri and Google Now.
Cortana gets to know you and helps you get things done, learning your preferences and making recommendations. As with the mobile version, Cortana’s Notebook is home to everything she knows about you, just as a real-life assistant’s notebook would be. Opening this up will show exactly what Cortana knows, from frequent locations, to what time you get up in the morning.
Of course, if you’re not into voice controls, or you’re in a place where talking to your computer simply isn’t practical, then you can type your commands instead.
Earlier today in this blog post, we announced that Surface 3 (4G LTE) is on sale in the United States beginning today, July 24th. It seems we were little too excited and jumped the gun on U.S. availability through Microsoft stores, authorized resellers, and partner retailers. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our customers. To clarify, Surface 3 (4G LTE) is on sale through AT&T beginning today, and business customers can purchase Surface 3 (4G LTE) at T-Mobile @Work beginning July 31. However, unlocked Surface 3 (4G LTE) will be available in the U.S. through Microsoft stores, authorized resellers and partner retailers in late August.
A few weeks ago we announced the availability of the mobile broadband-capable Surface 3 (4G LTE) for business customers in France, Germany, Spain, and the UK, with the promise that details for consumer availability and launch dates in additional markets, including the United States, would be forthcoming. Today I’m happy to announce that Surface 3 (4G LTE) is on sale in the United States beginning today, July 24th.
We offer two unlocked versions – 64GB and 128GB versions – through Microsoft stores, authorized resellers and partner retailers. U.S. Microsoft stores also have AT&T and T-Mobile SIM cards on hand to help you connect quickly to your network and get down to work.
July 23, 2015
An Austrian company has developed an intriguing tablet for the blind and visually impaired, using "Smart Liquid" to convert text into braille letters on its display.
The rise of mobile technology has invaded virtually every aspect of our lives, and smartphones and tablets are now nearly ubiquitous. We now have a vast array of information available at our fingertips, but a standard touch screen is useless for the blind and visually impaired.
BLITAB now aims to change that, as it is a haptic tablet that proposes a method of converting text into braille on a tablet's touch screen.
"BLITAB is the world's first tactile tablet for blind and visually impaired people," touts the company. "BLITAB is a next curve Braille device for reading and writing that displays one whole page Braille text, without any mechanical elements."
As the company further explains, the BLITAB is similar to an e-book, but it has a smart liquid display that renders "small physical bubbles" on its surface, instead of using visuals on a traditional LCD screen. Thanks to smart liquid technology, these bubbles turn into text.
"They rise and fall on demand, in a result one whole page can be read and can be written via Braille Perkins Keyboard."
Why High-Tech Parenting Won't Destroy Your Kids
Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced its new lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery fuel gauge IC, the RAJ240500, designed to extend battery life for connected mobile devices such as tablets, notebook PCs and smartphones. Leveraging its extensive design expertise in fuel gauge and charging ICs for mobile devices, Renesas has developed a single-chip device that delivers high-precision battery charge measurement and control that reduces the burden on the battery and contributes to longer device battery life. In addition, in order to facilitate the development using this product, Renesas is offering sample codes and evaluation tools as solutions, including the reference card circuit diagram.
Battery life has become an important decision factor for consumers purchasing mobile devices such as tablets and notebook PCs, creating strong demand for efficient battery charging and control technologies. In the past, battery control circuits had to treat the battery as being at ‘zero charge’ even when there was still some capacity remaining, and as ‘fully charged’ even when charging was not yet complete, in order to assure the safety of the battery. The resulting design challenge was a shorter battery life relative to charge capacity.
July 22, 2015
Following Stephen Elop's departure from Microsoft, Surface VP Panos Panay is stepping into a much bigger, far-reaching role at the company. Panay will now lead engineering on all "premium" Microsoft hardware, according to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. Aside from Surface, that also includes Xbox, Lumia (what's left of it, anyway), the Microsoft Band wearable, and HoloLens. Panay will steer clear of duties that aren't directly tied to engineering or design, so he won't have any hand in finance or supply chain decisions around those devices, the report notes.
Panay's specific new title isn't yet known, and the Windows and Devices groups are now both led by Terry Myerson. But when it comes to shaping Microsoft's future, flagship devices meant to showcase Windows 10, it sounds like Panay is now the guy.
Productivity may be the biggest battleground for the tablet market in 2015. Apple announced during its WWDC 2015 keynote that iOS 9 will bring more productivity features to the iPad, including better support for Bluetooth keyboards, keyboard shortcuts, a new QuickType keyboard for easy text selection and multitasking windows.
Microsoft announced that as a part of Windows 10, tablets, like the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3, will gain more multitasking options through Snap. A new feature called Continuum allows tablet owners to connect a keyboard, for example, and have the user interface change to a desktop experience. Remove the keyboard, and the UI adapts with bigger icons for finger-friendly touch input.
Apps, which traditionally played a large part in device adoption, may become less significant. Standardized technology like HTML 5, better browsers, more robust internet connectivity and larger screens mean that tablet owners need to rely less on apps.
July 21, 2015
Are YOU Ready for Windows 10?
With the launch of Windows 10 only 8 days away, here's links to our previous blog posts to help you prepare for the new operating system. With millions of users already on Win 10, Microsoft is dedicated to providing the greatest OS on the face of the Earth, and we think you'll agree once you get your hands on it.
10 Features of Windows 10 That You'll Love - Start Menu, Cortana, Edge and more. An overview on what's new and what's updated compared to previous versions of Windows.
Also, check out Microsoft's very first Windows 10 commercial that launched yesterday.
Dell is no stranger to rugged PC products, though its new Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is the OEM's first truly tough slate for adventure seekers and emergency responders alike, along with anyone else who often frequents locales that would send wimpier tablets into hiding.
The Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is designed for the "harshest conditions" and can withstand water spills, sand and dust, drops from over four feet high, and extreme temperatures, Dell says. However, it's rough and tough construction doesn't come at the expense of performance.
Fifth Generation Intel Core M processor options power the rugged tablet's 11.6-inch "Direct-View" HD display, which Dell says is outdoor readable. It also boasts glove-enabled multi-touch capabilities and Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
Efficiency Meets Flexibility with the Microsoft Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3
Office Depot, a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions and parent company of Office Depot and OfficeMax, today announced that the new Microsoft Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 tablets are now available for purchase online at officedepot.com.
Surface 3, available at $499, features the same beautiful design and premium materials as the Surface Pro 3 in a more compact and efficient device. The thin and lightweight design offers a 10.8-inch screen, and with a simple snap or click, transform the device from a perfectly balanced tablet to a full-functioning laptop and back again.
“At Office Depot, we recognize the need for, and value of, Surface 3’s ability to serve all purposes and enable consumers to perform at their peak,” explained Ron Lalla, executive vice president of merchandising for Office Depot, Inc. “The Surface 3 is designed to maximize productivity all in a lightweight, portable package.”
July 20, 2015
Samsung announced on Monday morning that its latest tablet, the Galaxy Tab S2, will be out next month.
Samsung has pinned August as the release date for its latest tablet, the Galaxy Tab S2 in 8 inch and 9.7 inch models.
The specifications state the devices will be 5.6mm thick, with the Wi-Fi only 8 inch and 9.7 inch tablets weighing in at 265 grams and 389 grams respectively.
The Galaxy Tab S2 will operate on Android Lollipop version 5.0 with both models giving consumers the option of LTE, either 32GB or 64GB in storage capacity with storage expansion available via a MicroSD slot.
Samsung claims they have recreated "the same viewing experience of browsing through traditional print media" thanks to employing a super AMOLED display. In addition, the Galaxy Tab S2 will support the ability for users to view and run two apps simultaneously.
Rather than apply a permanent price cut to its Surface Pro 3 range, Microsoft has instead fallen into a strange habit of offering discounts of up to $150 off its tablets every few weeks. And now, it's that time once again, as the company has served up another round of chunky price cuts on several models in its range.
The Microsoft Store is now offering $150 off four Surface Pro 3 models - all of those that include 8GB of RAM:
These models will remain available with $150 off until August 1. The prices of the other two models in the Surface Pro 3 range (Intel Core i3 / 64GB / 4GB RAM - $799; and Intel Core i5 / 128GB / 4GB RAM - $999) are unchanged.
HP Pro Slate 8 Review: Is It Good for Business?
Tablets have the potential to make notepads obsolete, especially with stylus technology getting better all the time. But let's face it: Some people still prefer the feeling of pen on paper. If that's you, HP's Pro Slate 8 might be of interest. The 8-inch Android tablet uses ultrasonic sound waves to capture handwriting on ordinary paper, instantly creating a digital copy. That means you can take notes the old-fashioned way, and still wind up with a digital backup in the end
Packed in alongside the Pro Slate 8 is a special stylus that HP calls the Duet Pen. As its name implies, there are two different ways to use it.
The first way is to use it as a conventional stylus, writing directly on the tablet's display. Unlike a typical capacitive stylus – the kind you'd buy for your iPad, for example – this stylus offers full-pressure sensitivity. In other words, it can detect how hard you're pressing down, letting you feather your lines and vary your line weight, just like you would with a regular old ink pen.
Writing on the Pro Slate 8 feels pretty good, even if it's not quite as smooth as writing on the Surface Pro 3. The above example shows that HP's pen produces lines with a slight wobble, while writing on the Surface 3 is silky smooth. Wacom pens like the one that come with the Encore 2 Write also feel a bit better than the Duet Pen.
The second way to use the Duet Pen is where the magic really happens, though. The plastic stylus nib at the end of the pen can actually be removed and flipped around to reveal a regular ballpoint-ink pen tip. When you write on a paper pad placed next to the tablet, your marks will be mirrored onto the tablet's display in real time.
July 17, 2015
If it all goes according to plan, you could soon be able to switch mobile carriers by going to the settings page on your smartphone.
On Thursday The Financial Times (paywall) reported that Apple and Samsung are in “advanced talks” with telecom operators from all over the world to launch new electronic SIM cards. These e-SIM cards would be standardized among both smartphone makers and come embedded in their devices, creating a “common architecture.” Unlike physical SIM cards, e-SIM cards offer more flexibility to users. Instead of being locked into a cellular plan, you will be able to sign up to a new plan or switch plans instantly.
Mobile carriers that are reportedly a part of this new e-SIM initiative include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone.
“With the majority of operators on board, the plan is to finalise the technical architecture that will be used in the development of an end-to-end remote SIM solution for consumer devices, with delivery anticipated by 2016,”
July 16, 2015
Microsoft has officially opened an online store that combines its Windows Store and Windows Phone Store into one big virtual shopping mall.
The new so-called universal app store is part of the company's attempt to unify the Windows 10 experience across all devices -- PCs, tablets and mobile phones. In the past, Windows PC and tablet owners looking for apps would have to browse the Windows Store, while Windows Phone users would have to check out the Windows Phone store. But now the new one-stop shop is geared for everyone.
From the universal app store homepage, you can scroll down to view the top Windows apps and Windows Phone apps. You can click on the Store menu at the top, drill down to Apps and then view all apps or view those for the Xbox. You can also look for a particular app by typing its name in the search field at the top of the page.
Clicking the name of a specific app brings up its description page where you'll see details about it along with ratings and reviews. For now, the new universal app store seems like a work in progress. You can browse or search for apps through the store but you can't actually install apps from the website, either directly or remotely to your device, the way you can with the Google Play store. To install apps for now, you still need to open the Windows Store on a Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 device or the Windows Phone Store on a Windows Phone handset.
On Wednesday, Microsoft took its universal Office mobile apps for Windows 10 out of preview, meaning that they are now generally available to anyone using the new OS. As such, these apps will now require an Office 365 subscription on PCs and larger tablets for full functionality, as previous announced.
Microsoft noted that it has added “Mobile” to the app names on PCs and big tablets to help distinguish them from the desktop-based Office application suite, but that actually happened quite some time ago. On phones and small tablets—i.e. on Windows 10 Mobile—these apps will simply retain their normal names (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), with no Mobile added.
That’s … weird. But it’s not super confusing. This is:
With Windows 10, the dividing line between Windows 10 Mobile and the more full-featured Windows 10 versions (Windows 10 Home, Pro and Enterprise, plus a few others I keep trying to pretend don’t exist) is a screen size of 8-inches. That is, a new PC/device with a screen size of 7.99-inches or smaller must be sold with Windows 10 Mobile, whereas anything 8-inches and up gets some other Windows 10 version.
But with Office, the dividing line between getting the full functionality of the Office mobile (or “Office Mobile”) apps for free is … 10.1-inches. That is, if you are running a phone or a tablet/PC with a screen size at or under 10.1-inches, not only can you download and install the Office Mobile apps, but you will be able to use their full functionality for free. But if you have a tablet/PC with a 10.2-inch or bigger screen, you will need an Office 365 subscription to get the full functionality for free. If you do not have such a subscription, you can’t use any editing features.
Apple is considering killing off the iPad Mini, new report claims
Apple's next iPad Mini could be its last, if a new report turns out to be true.
Chinese language publication Economic Daily News — which has a mixed track record when it comes to accuracy — is claiming that Apple is considering axing the iPad Mini to focus on other products.
The report quotes Liaoxian Li, an investment advisor at Fubon Hardware, who says the next iPad Mini could killed off so that Apple could focus on its larger iPads, according to MacRumors.
The report also says Apple may push the launch of its next-generation iPad Air to next year in order to emphasize its larger iPad, which is expected to debut later this year. Apple has not yet confirmed plans to create a larger iPad, but reports from The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have indicated the company plans to release one this year.
July 15, 2015
Yesterday, a Microsoft executive indicated that it would not be possible to buy new PCs with Windows 10 pre-installed on July 29, when the OS launches, but said that they would arrive "very soon after" that date. However, the company has since backtracked on that, clarifying that some OEMs will have devices with Windows 10 pre-installed available to buy on launch day.
The Apple rumor mill has churned out some "giant" news.
A DigiTimes report raised speculations that Apple will be launching a 12.9-inch iPad, with sales reportedly beginning after mid-November. The most recent models, the iPad air 2 and iPad mini 3, were released in October 2014 and are 9.4 and 7.87 inches high, respectively.
CNET senior associate editor Iyaz Akhtar told CBS News the device, which he calls the iPad Pro, has been a rumored product for a long time and he expressed skepticism at the report.
Yet the rumor raises the question: Why a giant iPad?
The new device could have something to do with the June introduction of the latest Apple operating system, iOS 9, which includes multitasking support.
"There's only one device right now that can take full advantage of iOS 9, and that's the iPad air 2," Akhtar said. "It seems a little strange that Apple only has one tablet that can fully take advantage of this, so a larger one could probably be more for productivity."
July 14, 2015
Microsoft is working to signal that it is not done with hardware.
There are three recent data points worth our time: Microsoft saying this morning that Lumia handsets running Windows 10 are coming, that the firm is expanding sales channels for its Surface line of tablet-hybrids, and that the company is ramping production of its Surface Hub wall computers.
Let’s tackle each in reverse order of screen size. So, phones first.
At its partner conference, which is currently underway, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson said the following: “Last week we announced a focusing on our Lumia lineup, but let me be clear: soon you will see premium new Lumias designed for Windows 10.”
Moving to Surface, Mary Jo Foley has the good stuff:
In short, ahead of what people are generally presuming will be the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft is ramping its partner network up to get the device sold. Hardly a retrench, let alone a surrender.
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