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galaxy tab sAs the tablet wars continue to rage on, we, as the consumers, have front row seats to everything. We and our wallets are the main goals for all of the tablet companies out there. Each one of them is trying to make the absolute best tablet they can in order to gain our loyalty. It’s almost sweet if you think about it. It’s not news to anyone, however, where most of the mass market consumer loyalty lies. Apple has the biggest share of that pie without a doubt. While I’m constantly stating that it is due to Apple’s popularity and the fact that they can be viewed as a fashion statement, I also know that their products are actually very good (I have a MacBook Pro and iPhone). Their biggest competitor, Samsung, may have just thrown the biggest blow towards them that any company has ever thrown yet; a tablet that can actually stand up to the iPad Air and iPad Mini With Retina Display.

In case you’ve yet to see, Samsung recently stepped up their game with the reveal of their new flagship tablet; The Galaxy Tab S.  This new tablet is Samsung’s answer to the iPad Air and iPad Mini. I guess you could say it’s their answer to Apple’s iPad, period. They’ve put just about everything they have into this new tablet. One thing that Samsung had to say about their new product was that they didn’t want to make another tablet that offered things that the iPad didn’t offer. They knew that people were buying the iPad still for a reason. Instead of utilizing ideals that Apple can’t offer, they’ve decided to offer some of the same things that the iPad Air and iPad Mini With Retina offer. To be quite honest with you, some of the specs are actually better than Apple’s. Some of Samsung’s software features even outshine Apple’s.

The Tab S is actually thinner than both the iPad Mini With Retina Display and the iPad Air. The Tab S comes in an 8.4 inch version, and a 10.5 inch version. Both of these versions of the Tab S offer the same inner workings and are actually slightly bigger than the iPad Air and iPad Mini. Both the rear-facing and front-facing cameras offer more megapixels on the Tab S than they do with either the iPad Air or iPad Mini as well. While the camera might not be a big deal, consider this; the displays on the Tab S are better the Air and the Mini as well, so you might be able to tell! The Tab S offers a 2,560 x 1,600 pixel display where as the Air and Mini With Retina only offer a 2,048 x 1,536 display. The other one-up that Samsung has over Apple with their new tablet is the fact that they support microSD storage, where as the Mini With Retina and Air don’t. Samsung has made sure to not hold anything back with this new release.

This is where the consumer ultimately gains the advantage no matter what. While there may be a few Apple heads out there (present, and accounted for), Samsung is offering a very nice alternative, priced to match Apple. So while these two giants are at war with each other, we still reap the spoils.

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excite-7c-marquee-heroOur whole lives, we have been taught that you get what you pay for. Generally when we see a high tech gadget that is priced well below its competitors, we automatically assume that it is no good, and we should just save up for the upgrade instead of giving in to the good price and ending up disappointed. This new budget priced tablet from Toshiba, though, may just change the way we think about budget priced devices.

The 7 inch Toshiba Excite Go runs Android 4.4 KitKat and is priced at a mere $99.

One of the reasons that we may associate low price with low quality is that generally, top notch companies like Toshiba wouldn’t be putting out cheaper products. Most budget priced electronics are made by knock off brands that no one has ever heard of, or well known companies that are well known for being terrible. They generally leave much to be desired and feature bottom of the barrel components and specs. Would a bigger name like Toshiba let themselves put out such a cheesy product, even if it was cheap in price?

So far, it is looking like the answer to that last question is “no, they wouldn’t”. The Toshiba Excite Go is actually looking like it is going to be a pretty solid tablet. It has a 7 inch display, a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, and it is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor. The internal storage is pretty impressive for a budget priced tablet as well. It has 16GB of internal storage, and it also has a MicroSD card slot so that you can upgrade your memory by up to 128GB extra. Looking at all the specs, it doesn’t seem like this would be a very low priced tablet at all. It seems like it could actually be a pretty competitive device. It also offers up to 8 hours of battery life with normal use and up to 6 hours of watching videos.

It looks like Toshiba may be able to change the way we think about budget priced electronics with the launch of this new tablet. For just $99 maybe they will actually be able to deliver the performance and features that we all want for a price that we can all afford. I guess we will all be able to find out in June with the Toshiba Excite Go officially launches.

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samsungtabIn all my years, I can’t deny that I’ve been mislead by different products and their hype. It’s like hearing how funny or scary that new movie at the theaters is. You get excited, and when you see it, it’s not nearly what you thought it would be because of all of the hype surrounding it. The same thing happens with new tech that comes out. You read the previews. You see how the company releasing the device paints the prettiest picture of their new product. They put it in the best light. You get so excited for it. You may justify some type of need that would deem it necessary to get the new device, and then it happens. You get your new device and you’re less than impressed. Unfortunately this is the way of the new Tab Pro 8.4 from Samsung.It’s not like the companies that create these different technologies intend on their products failing or not living up to the standards of their customers. The sad truth is though, is that as soon as you buy a new device, it’s obsolete. That’s just how quickly technology develops these days. There is always something better coming out or already out that you may be unaware of.The new Tab Pro 8.4 is as big as the number in its name; 8.4 inches. It’s part of the mid-size tablet family, and is lacking some of the design specs that came with the other tablets in the Samsung family, like the 8 inch Galaxy Note 3. One such example is the lack of the S pen stylus that comes with the Galaxy Note 3. Normally that might be a small inconvenience, but the fact that both of these tablets are priced at the same price makes it slightly more annoying out of sheer principle. That annoyance noted though, the screen resolution is better on the Tab Pro 8.4. The Tab Pro comes with a 1,600 x 2,560 pixel screen, with 359 pixels per inch. Thats much better than the 800 x 1,280 pixel resolution screen and 189 pixels per inch on the Note 3.

A tablet is much more than just screen size and resolution however. The software and apps of a tablet mean a lot as well. The software of the new Tab Pro 8.4 isn’t necessarily BAD, but some of the features that it COULD have come with didn’t show up, and I’m not exactly sure why. The Tab Pro allows for multi-window and multi-tasking features. This means that you can have certain apps going side by side the same time and go in between them. Only issue being that the side by side apps can’t work in conjunction with each other. If you have your email open and some type of “Word” document open next to it, and try to drag it over to attach it into the email, it won’t attach that way. That can be annoying along with the fact that it doesn’t come with any type of “Office” programs. The ones that come recommended feel like simplified versions once you download them.

Some other downfalls of the device include the camera and the advertised battery life. The camera itself is better than the Note 3 on the back. 8MP on the Tab Pro pitted against the 5MP of the Note 3. Even with the higher megapixels, the camera on the Tab Pro still takes about 4 seconds or so for the flash and image to fully process into an image, which seems a bit longer than it should be for a tablet. The battery SAYS 12 hours of video playback, but don’t expect to get that. While this 4800 mAh battery is better than the 3200 mAh batter of the Note 3, it’s still subject to the availability of Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G LTE. This means that it might have to try harder for certain program functions. That being said, you should still be able to get roughly 6 to 8 hours of constant use out of it before needing a recharge, and that’s not that bad I suppose.

All in all, the new Tab Pro isn’t BAD by any means, but its just not as “Pro” as the name makes it out to be. Then again, some people’s standards may be higher than others. If interested in this particular model, I highly suggest renting it before you buy so you can be sure that this tablet is the one you want.

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tabSamsung has been battling Apple in the tablet wars for some time now. Though Apple still has the largest share of the tablet market, Samsung is releasing a line of tablets with features that might make you want to put down that Apple iPad for a Samsung Tablet. And that’s what many are doing, as Apple is losing more and more of the market share to Samsung. The Galaxy Tab Pro series didn’t stuggle by any means, and now there are plans to release a new line of tablets.

So what might Samsung be able to add now, seeing as how their tablet line is pretty extensive. As it stands right now, they have plans to release the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S. Now, I’m not too sure what the S is for, but there do seem to be some pretty promising features for the new model.

Since these are just rumors right now, please take that into consideration. Speculation considered, the tablet looks to be pretty well rounded, and definitely geared towards the higher end of the spectrum. The first rumored feature that caught my attention was the possibility of a fingerprint scanner on the home button. This in particular makes me nervous just because we know all about the many different ways that you could open the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S. Everything from a cat paw, to your elbow could open up the phone. Hopefully this same thing doesn’t happen to the new Tab S, but that is just one feature so I don’t mean to pigeonhole here. The new tablet it also said to feature an AMOLED screen with a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel display. It’s also rumored to be coming in two different sizes. One in 10.5 inches and then a slightly smaller version (possibly a mini version?) coming in at 8.4 inches.

If we take a look inside the new tablets, we’re going to find a Samsung Exynos 5 Octo processor and 3GB of RAM. Again, these are just reports of what will be inside. Samsung hasn’t confirmed these assumptions…yet. Both the 10.5 inch model and the 8.4 inch model will be offered in Wi-Fi and 4G LTE models. The new tablets will also be coming with a pretty decent camera for tablets. Rumor says it will house an 8 megapixel rear facing camera and a 2.1 megapixel rear facing camera.

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There are no confirmed dates for release or prices given yet, but something tells me that we won’t have to wait long to see what is going to come from Samsung’s new tablets. They are definitely continuing to give options, which is not a bad market strategy. On the other hand, Apple doesn’t offer too many options for tablets, but the iPad is still on top as of now. Then again, you never know. This tablet could be the Galaxy Tab to finally push the Apple iPad off of it’s pedestal.

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Android 5 is just around the corner, and it’s going to bring many exciting changes. There is no official name yet, and some rumors have even said that it may just be called Android 4.5. This is anyone’s guess here, but there are a few things that we can probably count on. Many facts and rumors have surfaced throughout the internet, and here are some of the things you can look forward to.

Android 5 release date

Back in late 2013, everyone had assumed that Android 5 would be released in October. Instead though, the only thing that was released was Android 4.4 KitKat. Now, it’s looking like the newest version of Android is going to be dropping in mid 2014. It will probably be at Google IO, which is a huge two day developer conference in San Francisco that happens every year. People expected to see it at last years Google IO as well, so that raises the likelihood even more.

Google doesn’t generally announce big new items or operating systems during the conference, but it would fall around the 6-7 month mark from when the last update was released, so it actually makes the most sense.
For a long time, there were reports saying that Google Babble would come out along with Android 5. It is basically an app that will combine a lot of different chat services like Talk, Hangout, Voice, Messenger, Chat for Google Drive and Google+. It is highly anticipated and should make life a little bit easier.

As it turns out, “Google Babble” wasn’t even the correct name for the app, and it already came out on Android 2.3 and up. So much for that rumor, right?

It is also said that the next version of Android will have a lot of fitness based stuff on it, kind of like Apple products. It seems that more and more devices are incorporating this type of stuff, so Android pretty much has to, just to stay in the game. Future Android tablets and smartphones will have sensors built in to aid in gathering fitness data.

Another crazy rumor that is going around is that Android devices are going to start using the Google Chrome OS on their high end devices, and the new Android on their lower end models. Who knows if that is true, but it wouldn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. It would require a lot of extra work, with app integration and everything.

Whatever ends up being true or false, Android 5 is for sure going to be a huge, exciting step up for all of us. I can’t wait to check it out hands on.

If you are the average American, you have at least one Apple product, and if it’s not Apple then it’s Samsung. There is no fighting that these are the biggest tech brands in the mobile market today. They’ve obviously earned both of their places in the competitive market. The only drawback is that since they are so big, many of the other brands who offer products that offer the same features and functions as the devices of the two top dogs get pushed under the rug. It’s always hard to see a brand that you do love and support not get nearly enough recognition. Some of us actually do enjoy products that don’t come from Apple. Take Sony for example. When that name comes to mind, it’s usually accompanied by TV or Playstation. Sony does offer tablets much like that of its larger competitors. Some of their tablets even have features that don’t come with products like the iPad.

The new Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet might not be the trendiest tablet, but that’s all because of popularity contests. No matter how you slice it, Apple and it’s products have become more of a fashion statement than anything. If you don’t have an Apple product, you “may as well be stuck in the stone age” as some of the younger generation might say. With that being said, Sony’s Xperia has a few things that could give Apple and it’s iPad a run for their money.

First off, lets look at what’s inside the Z2 tablet. Right off the bat, you’re going to find that the device is running off of the latest Android OS, a.k.a. 4.4.2 KitKat. This is already a step up from the Z1. Next comes the processing power. The 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor is gonna make sure that you can do pretty much anything on this tablet. Anything that you may have in mind that you want to work on on this tablet? This processor is gonna make sure you can do it. 3GB of RAM are a nice addition to go along with the 10.1 inch Full HD display screen. Yes, the iPad Air still has a bit of an edge in terms of pixels with its 2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution, but that should be hardly noticeable. The Z2 sits at 224 pixels per inch and the iPad Air goes at 264 pixels per inch. Not really enough to make a huge difference.

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Did I happen to mention that this particular tablet is on 6.4 mm thick? You might as well be holding a brochure in your hands when you hold this thing. However, due to it’s thin design and extreme lightweight, it does seem a bit fragile as it does tend to flex a bit. Never a good thing when it comes to things that aren’t necessarily supposed to bend. Even so, the thin design does make it look incredibly sleek. The kicker with this bad boy? Waterproof. That’s right. If you are like me and prone to accidents involving spilling food or liquid near you precious, precious tech, this helps you cast any worries of that aside. Feel free to take this tablet into the kitchen, place it next to the sink, and keep watching Netflix while you scrub the dishes. No need to worry about it getting messed up. In case you were wondering, the iPad Air ISN’T water proof.

There isn’t any price set for the new Xperia Z2 tablet, but we should expect to see one soon. If you want to test the waters with a powerful tablet to make comparisons and see if it’s worth your money, go ahead and rent one. Trying before you buy is never a bad financial call.

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A1-830-sku-mainChange can be scary. Change can be hard. Did I mention change could be scary? Just because we get new technology doesn’t mean that everyone is immediately going to jump on it. Yes, my grandmother has an iPhone, but I can guarantee you that she doesn’t own a tablet. There’s definitely a reason for that as well. We as a society get so accustomed to a certain aspect of our daily lives that we tend to shy away from something that is “new” or something that could change the way we operate in our daily routine. Tablets are a prime example of this. Yes, they have become a new staple in the mobile tech world, but there are some that are still very against the whole idea. Maybe they just need something to ease them into the transition. That’s where Acer’s Iconia A1-830 comes in

This particular Acer tablet may be just the very thing for those of us, both young and old, who may want to get into tablets but just don’t see a reason to or may not be very good at working them.

If you crack this tablet open, you find some pretty basic hardware, at least by today’s standards involving other tablets. This specific Acer Iconia model works with a 1.6GHZ Intel Atom duel-core Z2560 processor and a duel-core PowerVR SGX graphics processor unit.  It only holds about 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory storage but does have a microSD card port which can expand up to 32GB. The Acer tablet also comes with GPS, a gyroscope, and with Bluetooth 3.0. Overall it’s not horrible hardware, but again, by today’s standards and with tablets like the iPad Air and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 available, it’s nothing fantastic either.

The design of it looks oddly reminiscent of the iPad Air. It’s relatively thin much like the Apple competitor and even carries the same white and silver colors. Overall, the design of the tablet looks quite fashionable. Small, thin, and sleek. The front of the tablet is white plastic, while the back holds the silver strong aluminum cover plate. The corners come rounded for a smooth feeling all around.  Boasting a 7.9-inch screen display and a 4:3 aspect ratio, the actual display screen isn’t bad and does come with some nice HD visuals. However, when in comparison to some of today’s slightly more high-end models, the pixels are a lot more noticeable.

One of the best parts about this tablet is the actual price of the device. This tablet comes in at under $200 retail price. $179 to be exact. And you are actually getting what you pay for. You are getting a nice looking, but basic tablet. Don’t expect any added glitz, glam, bells, or whistles with this mobile device. That might be just the thing for the less tech savvy people out there who are looking to get into tablets, however. It’s better to not overwhelm with all of the extra stuff if you are trying to get someone to transition into using tablets or trying to get into them yourself. This product might just be the perfect stepping stone, but you don’t have to commit right away. Renting is easier and cheaper than tying yourself down to the product. Try before you buy just to be sure!

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Huawei announced two new products for its MediaPad line of devices along with their first wearable device at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2014. With the addition of the MediaPad X1, the worlds slimmest 7 inch LTE all in one phablet, the TalkBand B1, and the MediaPad M1, Huawei is making wireless technology more accessible to a wider range of consumers.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei made it known that he was extremely excited to unveil all of the products at once and deliver what he called “the essential pillars of happiness” without boundaries. Huawei has always delivered quality products that can stand up to any other with no shame, but at a much smaller price point.

HUAWEI MediaPad X1

The Huawei MediaPad X1 gives us all of the same functions of a smartphone and a tablet in one with a full aluminum alloy body. It provides plenty of comfort and useability being only 239g and 7.18mm thick. It features a 7 inch 1200 x 1920 FHD LTPS touch display, which makes the screen to body ratio 80%.

Other features include a 1.6 GHz processor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and a super long lasting 5000 mAh battery which can provide up to 21 days of standby time or 5 full days of use. It has a 13MP Sony Exmor R BSI rear camera with panoramic abilities, and a 5MP front camera with self focus, a preview screen, automatic facial enhancement and voice activate capture.

HUAWEI TalkBand B1

The Talband B1 lets you use wireless calling with a Bluetooth 4.1 earpiece with up to seven hours of talk time. It also features a 1.4 inch flexible OLED display. It is compatible with Android 2.3 and up, and also iOS 5.0 and up devices. The TalkBand B1 wirelessly tracks activity time and progress like the amount of steps you take, miles that you covered and how many calories you have burned. It also records how long you sleep and the quality of your sleep. It has a smart alarm and a nap function as well.

The device weighs only 26g and is only 14.6mm thick. The TalkBand B1 also features a bendable, curved design with a removable earpiece. The batter will last for 6 days and only takes two hours to completely charge via USB.

HUAWEI MediaPad M1

Huawei’s MediaPad M1 has an 8 inch 800 x 1280 HD IPS multi-touch capacitive display with Huawei SWS technology, two front facing speakers and two microphones. With the 1.6 GHz quad core processor and the 4800 mAh battery, you can get up to 8 hours of video playback on only 1 charge. Coming in at only 7.9mm thick and weighing only 329g, it easily can fit into a pocket or a bag. It has a 1MP front facing camera, and a 5MP rear facing camera for all of you photo sharing needs.

The MediaPad X1 and M1 are both pretty fast. You can download files in mere seconds, and whole movies in just one minute with speeds of up to 150 Mbps. They have built in Wi-Fi routers and 2.4/5G dual mode Wi-Fi support with voice call and SMS for instant connection on the spot. There is also an AirSharing function that enables screen sharing and transfers via cloud.

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thin-tabletIt’s always suspenseful watching a fight among two giants play out. It’s almost like watching your favorite sports teams duke it out. You may be wondering how? Think of it like this. Every large electronics company is competing for one thing; your dollar bill. They want to out do their competition and be the best. It’s all a competition and it always will be. Some people are “fan boys” and “fan girls” as well. Basically, they favor one brand over the other. If we are looking at the two top tech giants out there, the two names that should immediately pop up are Apple and Android. Each of these brands has a huge following and it should come as no surprise that they are still competing. Apple has usually dominated the ranks, but recently Android has been making a comeback.

iOS has always been on top since the release of the first iPad years ago. They have owned the market and with little to no effort. It was always the top operating system when it came to tablets. Not just with tablets though. Mainly any mobile device was using an Apple iOS software system. Android decided to come back and fight however, and has since made its name in the mobile market digging into the sales of the iPhone. Android hasn’t stopped at the phone market though, they decided to go for the tablet market as well, and no their persistence has paid off.

A report from Gartner has shown some pretty incredible numbers for Android. In terms of tablet sales for this previous year, Android took the crown over any other operating system. Not only did they increase their numbers, but they did it by a huge jump. In 2012, Android saw only 53.3 million units sold. In only a years time, 2013 would show Android an increase in numbers by more than half! The numbers for last year show Android at 121 million units sold. Mind you these are global sales, but that is still quite the increase. With numbers like this in just a yearly increase, and Android continuing to push the market in their favor, they are well on their way to knocking Apple out of their way.

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Having said that, Apple is still at the top in terms of it being a single manufacturer. Even so, seeing Android jump may be a bit nerve-wracking to the company. Apple did see quite the jump in tablet web usage in Canada and the US however. Any victory is a victory, whether it be large or small.

Now comes the question of if Apple should really be that worried. What many people need to consider is that, this is just tablet operating systems and nothing more. Not to mention the fact that Android OS’s are spread over a multitude of different platforms, where as iOS stays strictly on Apple products. Since Android and sell their OS to other products, it’s much easier for them to gain headway in the market. While, yes you can see the OS’s switch with a bit of reprogramming, it is not very common. It’s all just a matter of deciding which OS is better for you. If you are on the fence about who you should be throwing your money at, try renting a tablet with iOS and a table with Android to see which suits you better!

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It seems like the new trend in tablets lately is for companies to keep pushing the limits on screen size. If size really does in fact matter to you, then prepare to be excited. Samsung’s huge Android tablets, the Galaxy Note Pro and Tab pro will both be available tomorrow.

A few days ago, information about the release of the Galaxy Note Pro leaked on Office Depot’s website. It listed the release date of Feb. 13th and the price. The huge 12.2 inch tablet will be $849.99 for the 64GB version and $749.00 for the 32GB version. The price is staggering, and makes them some of the most expensive tablets on the entire market right now.

Basically the only notable difference between the Note Pro and the Tab Pro is that the Tab Pro doesn’t come with an S Pen stylus. It still has the same screen size, and there is the option to get a smaller screen size as well. The 12.2 inch version are $649.99 with 32GB, the 10.1 inch version is $499.99 with 16GB, and the 8.4 inch one is $399.99 with 16GB as well. Both are available for pre order at the moment, and all come with the option of either black or white.

The pro tablets are actually pretty impressive, so the size of the screen isn’t the only nice thing about them. They have a 2,560 x 1,600 display, which is a lot more pixels than you would have thought. They have 3GB of ram, support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi and run on Android 4.4 KitKat. One of the coolest features that you may have already heard of is the Remote PC app that lets you access your home computer from anywhere.

Both tablets can run multiple apps at the same time in different windows. They are equipped with infrared ports and the software needed to use the tablets as a remote control for you TV. There will also be 4G LTE versions of the tablet some time in the future, but there is no word on that yet.

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