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optik2Some things are just better than others. It is a simple fact of life. This can apply to technology especially. Think about all of the newest tech that has come out recently. Think of all of the new tech that will be dropping later this year. The multitude of other tech conventions that have yet to happen. It is a lot to take in, and because of that, it is easy for some products to get swept under the rug. Not necessarily be forgotten, just overlooked. With the top companies like Apple and Samsung ruling the mobile tech market with an iron fist, it is hard for other companies to showcase their products. The rising popularity of tablets also makes it hard for companies to bring out their models, what with the iPads and Surface Pros flooding the market.

Tablets like the ZTE Optik 2 Tablet can get easily over looked. One has to wonder though, is there a reason for this and other products to be looked past?

This particular tablet doesn’t really offer anything to breathtaking in terms of what it is, and what it can do. We are looking at a tablet that comes with a 7 inch screen and a 1,024×600 pixel resolution display. Tablets like the iPad Air, Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, and Nexus 7, easily double the overall pixel display output. The tablet comes with only 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage space, and a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processing unit. Also not very impressive. Usable, just not impressive. The tablet does come with a front facing and rear facing camera, as is standard with most tablets. The front facing camera pushes 2 megapixels while the rear facing camera pushes a solid 5. Nothing wrong with this either, but most phones have better camera capabilities. The addition of a microSD slot for storage expansion, and the 4,000mAh battery do add some appeal though.

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So there is really not much to this new tablet. Sprint has to do something to make this a more appealing purchase for consumers. What better way to do that than by making the tablet only $30! That is, $30 when coupled with a 2 year plan from Sprint. While that may be the “catch”, it is still not a bad one. This does give you the chance at options after all. For example, you can choose to add a mobile hotspot to your new tablet. Just be ready to add another $20 a month for 2GB of data, or an additional $50 for 6GB of data.

There are many other better tablets out there available for purchase. A new tablet drops every month or so it seems anyway. Having said that, this might not be the worst purchase. Should you be new to tablets, or are trying to introduce someone who isn’t exactly tech savvy to tablets, this could be a worthy investment. What better way to learn the basics of how one words than with a budget model. Maybe you don’t really use tablets, but want to see what all the fuss is about. If you are willing to sign up for the 2 year plan, a $30 tablet is not bad no matter how you slice. And if all else fails, there are always rentals! What better way to figure out if tablets are for you, than by trying before buying?

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Maybe you are the procrastinating type and have yet to get a gift? Instead of having to go out and buy something typical for that someone special, why not think outside of the heart-shaped box? Maybe your significant other is a huge techie like you, or maybe they could stand to have a tech upgrade. Samsung has exactly what you may need for that handsome/beautiful tech fanatic in your life. And, if you know Samsung like the rest of us do, you are aware of their love for all things big screened. Valentine’s Day is a big holiday. It would only make sense to celebrate with the new large screen Galaxy Pro Tablets.

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Just like clockwork, Samsung has finally dropped their release date for the Galaxy Tab Pro and the Galaxy Note Pro. Just in time for last minute Valentine’s Day shoppers with deep pockets, these two new over-sized tablets will be out on February 13.

For those looking at these new devices, but still unsure as to what is so “Pro” about them, look no further. First thing’s first. As with almost any Samsung device, the screen is incredibly huge. The large screen is not without purpose though. That big screen is going to come in handy for the 2,560 x 1,600 pixel count that both the Note and the Tab models carry. They both come standard with 3GB of RAM and Wi-Fi capabilities. These two new tablets will be running off of the Android 4.4, or “KitKat” OS. While they might seem pretty standard in terms of what they can do, they will both feature a nifty little app called Remote PC. This app gives the user direct access to their office or home Windows PCs right from the tablets app. Expect both of the tablets to also come in LTE and Wi-Fi versions as well.

They do share differences as well though, so don’t think that just because they have similarities means that they are without their own unique features. For example, the Galaxy Note Pro comes with a specialized app called S Note, and many other apps that support the S Pen stylus that only comes with the Note Pro. The Galaxy Tab Pro is looked at as the main consumer model, and as such, contains features that cater to a mass market. The Tab Pro comes with software, only available with this particular model, that grants the ability to use the tablet as a TV remote.

Samsung loves having big screens on every product they release it seems, but those big screens don’t come without a price, naturally. The Galaxy Note Pro’s 12.2″ screen and 64GB of storage will set you back a nice $849.99 this V-Day. Should you not need that much space you can pick up the 32GB version for $100 cheaper. The Galaxy Tab Pro seems to be a bit more forgiving. Since it is being offered in 3 different screen sizes, it comes with 3 different price ranges. The 12.2″ 32GB version will cost you $649.99, $499.99 for the 10.1″ 16GB version, and $399.99 for the 8.4″ 16GB version. Valentine’s Day can be a day for both your loved one and your love for tech, as long as your wallet allows it.

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The new 10 inch tablet with a detachable keyboard from Lenovo wasn’t supposed to hit the market until March, but you might be pleased to know that it has been released early, as seen on the company’s U.S. web store. This was first spotted by Engadget. Although this anticipated tablet has hit the scene a little bit early, you might want to wait a little bit before committing to buy.

Lenovo was showing off the new Miix 2 tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of this year. They very clearly stated that the maximum price that the Atom processor-powered version of the tablet would be selling for would be $499. The price didn’t seem too crazy, because you were getting a 10 inch display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, an Intel Atom Z3740 processor, the 32 bit version of Windows 8.1, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, 2GB of RAM, 128GB of eMMC storage, Wi-Fi compatibility, and Bluetooth 4.0. These are pretty awesome specs for a tablet with a detachable keyboard.

If you take a minute to look at Lenovo’s online store, there are currently two different variants of the Atom-powered Miix 2 tablet which are priced at $699 and $749. This doesn’t seem to make too much sense because of the previous announcement saying that the most expensive one would be priced at $499. That, however, is not the only thing that should concern you at this point.

Here is where things get crazy. The more expensive one should have some sweet perks right? Well, for the extra money, the only perk you get is half the amount of internal storage. Yes, you read that right. You only get 64GB of storage with the more expensive model.

According to some of the forums on their website, this is probably an error. Although, the error still has not been corrected at the time of writing this. Maybe the whole entire thing is a mistake on their part and the prices will be lowered? Either way, I suggest you hold back your excitement and wait for this to get cleared up.

The 10 inch version isn’t the only Miix 2 being released this year. In April, Lenovo will be putting out an 11 inch version of the tablet with a better processor. This version will have a starting price of $699. But you never know, after this, it might come out early as well!

The First Firefox Tablet

January 20th, 2014 | Posted by Jake Nolan in Android | iPad - (0 Comments)

Mozilla has been working on Firefox OS support for tablets for a long time now, and they have finally received their very first prototype from Foxconn and released pictures of the device and it’s full specs.

The details were shared with the world in a recent blog post from Asa Dotzler. The new tablet, named “Flatfish”, is actually an Infocus New Tab F1, which is a lower end 10 inch tablet that generally sells online for around $150. It appears that the only difference is the operating system

The idea of keeping that price point is pretty awesome. It seems like this device is going to be the Firefox version of the ZTE open. The tablet will be targeting customers who don’t want to spend a whole lot of money but still need nice features and still want to be able to surf the web and run important apps. There is talk of Foxconn being able to manufacture the tablets and be able to retail them for under $100. If that happens, then this tablet could be a huge hit.

As far as what’s under the hood, you have a quad-core Alwinner A31 processor that is clocked at 1.0GHz. This processor isn’t the best, and it uses older technology, but it offers very good performance and allows the overall price to be dropped. It has 2GB of memory which is pretty standard, and more than enough for most users.

It also comes with 16GB of internal storage, which is more than some other tablets offer. There is also a micro SD slot so you can add more storage space if needed. The new Firefox tablet is also equipped with a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front facing camera. This comes in handy when using Skype.

Of course you have Wi-Fi connectibility. The tablet has a 7000mAh battery that will give you a pretty decent amount of use between charges, about 6 hours of use and about a week on standby.

Other versions of tablets built by Foxconn with these components have had generally good reviews, but there were a few problems with OS lag and touch screen response. Those tablets were shipped with the Android operating system and there is a good chance that Mozilla has worked out most of the bugs with their new operating system.

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iPad and iPad mini

The iPad and iPad Mini have done very well for themselves. It seems that when people think of technology, and its future, we continue to think slimmer, smaller, and sleeker. We saw this trend first hand when the iPad Mini first released. It has now become one of the staples to the iPad series. While Apple is still leading the tablet market, there have been many strong competitors show up  over the years and make their mark on the tablet battlefield. Take for example, the multitude of Android tablets and Microsoft tablet/laptop combos like the Surface Pros. Even Kindle came out with a competitor to the iPad Air. Now though, there may in fact be a sleek competitor against the iPad Mini.

The Lenovo ThinkPad 8 may very well be the tablet that can hold its own against Apple’s iPad Mini. During it’s unveiling at the CES event in Las Vegas, many got to view and hold this tiny new powerhouse. It is currently running with Windows 8.1 OS on the Atom mobile CPU. This CPU is the newest that Intel has to offer. It weighs in at less than one pound and includes a SIM card slot. The slot is said to be used for LTE support in other markets, and is currently only available in a Wi-Fi Only mode here in the States. That being said, representatives from Lenovo did say that a mobile broadband option should be coming here to America as well. The ThinkPad 8 also includes a front and rear facing camera, like its competitor, the iPad Mini. The rear camera for the Thinkpad however is an 8MP where as the iPad Mini’s rear-facing camera resolution is set at only 5MP. The front facing camera on the new ThinkPad is comes with a 2MP resolution. The screen on the ThinkPad also surpasses the iPad Mini in size, but not in resolution. With the ThinkPad having a 1920 x 1200 resolution display, it doesn’t quite match up to the iPad Mini’s retina display at 2,048 x 1,536 resolution.

During the showcase, the new tablet was also showing off a new case to accompany the device. Much like the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9’s special Origami case, the new case for the ThinkPad adds some similar functionality to the device. Where as you would slide the case down for the Kindle Fire HDX camera to activate, the new ThinkPad case actually has a corner tab that flips down to reveal and enable the camera on the tablet. Its reminiscent of the SmartCases for the Apple iPads and how the put your device to sleep when covered but activate when uncovered.

The lowest end model for the new ThinkPad 8 sits at $399 with 8GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space. Obviously the more money you spend, the more storage will be getting as it will also be available in 64GB and 128GB models. It is definitely shaping up to hold its own in the tablet wars and seems to be adapting with the markets competitors in terms of casing, processors, and accessories. Now all that is left to see is how its sales numbers will stack up against the iPad Mini’s and how well the new Windows 8.1 OS will work on the tablet.

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Android gaming hasn’t been taken too seriously so far. It is mainly limited to a few neat games you use to kill time during car rides. Recently, new Android “Console” devices have been popping up, like the MadCats Mojo or the Ouya Gamestick. These are two of the most recognizable Android gaming devices, probably because they are some of the only ones that exist. But, as CES 2014, a new tablet/Android gaming console was revealed. The Snakebyte Vyper…. and it is definitely an interesting Android device!

This new device has much more to offer than other similar gaming devices. The Vyper is a 7 inch tablet with a dock that lets you connect it to your TV. This allows you to play games and stream them directly to your television. The tablet has a 1280 x 800 resolution, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of memory. It has two cameras, a rear 5MP and a 2MP front camera and is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core processor.

The Snakebyte Vyper comes with the tablet, dock , and an AirMouse controller. The AirMouse resembles a standard remote control that would come with your TV. Either way, it’s really neat and usable, but there is the option to upgrade and buy the $49 gaming controller upgrade that seems much more logical. The interface of the Snakebyte is very organized, coming with different categories for movies, games, music, and everything else. So if you were to download a movie, you would have a much easier time finding it.

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The dock that comes with the tablet is L shaped and has slots for the tablet to slide into. The gaming controller looks like a mixture of the new Xbox of Playstation controllers, with standard joystick and D-pad, then the 4 other buttons on the other side, and also the trigger buttons.

The Snakebyte Vyper is a great little device that covers everything from a standard tablet to Android gaming on the big screen. The standard package is $199.99, and with the upgrade controller that puts the whole package at $249.99. This is a great choice for a serious gamer looking to take the Android experience to the next level. Play on the go, or play at home, and get all of your business work done at the same time

For a while, rumors of a new 8 inch Windows tablet from Asus have been floating around. In mid December, some specs got leaked, and recently, a user manual for the Asus VivoTab Note 8 randomly popped up on Asus.com.

The new tablet hasn’t been announced by Asus yet, and no one knows when the manual was published on the website or if it was mistake or not. Either way, it leads us to believe that there may be a big announcement about the new tablet at the CES trade show in a few days.

The manual that popped up didn’t mention anything about the specs of the tablet, but the previously leaked information said that the device will be powered by a 1.33GHz Intel Atom “Bay Trail” Z3740, an 8 inch display with 1280 x 800 resolution, 2 GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage space, a microSD slot, a 1.2 megapixel front facing camera, and a 5 megapixel rear facing camera. It also comes equipped with Windows 8.1 and a free version of Microsoft Office 2013 Home and Student.

The specs are almost identical to the Dell Venue 8 Pro and the Lenovo Miix 2. Throwing another tablet in the mix with basically the same exact specs, it makes it seem like we will have the same problem we had with the early Windows Phones. There will be literally nothing to differentiate one from the other besides the name of the manufacturer printed on it somewhere. The newly discovered online manual confirms this, but does not mention Wacom. Other competing 8 inch tablets offer styus support, but Wacom is the best and would be the main advantage to the new Asus tablet.

There is currently no word on availability or pricing for the device yet, but Asus will more than likely make more announcements on that at CES. Asus was a little bit late to the tablet game, but they were one of the first computer companies rumored to be working on a Windows slate, and it seems like they may be a little bit ahead of the curve, despite their lateness.

thin-tabletIs it really that hard to fathom how quickly new technology changes purchasing patterns? At times it can be. We get so caught up in the newest trend that our still “new” tech becomes obsolete when the “newest thing” comes out. It is the nature of consumer growth, and it has shown with the growing number of tablet sales. Ever since the introduction of the iPad and its growing success, we have seen more and more tablets being developed. The demand for the product has become so high that it has now gotten other companies involved, like Microsoft and Samsung. Even the Kindle became more than just and eBook and decided to jump on the tablet band wagon. But just how successful are tablets now?

One could argue that we are right at the “prime time” for the tablet market. More and more models are being developed for the consumer market. But what about the desktop and the laptop? Are tablets going to spell the end of these products?

Research from IDChas indicated that buy the end of the fourth quarter this year, tablets will have outsold PCs. Even if only for the fourth quarter, that says a lot for the tablet market. We see how successful they have become. So much so that Apple even made its own product line for them with the iPad. If you were to walk into any Apple store, the first thing you will see are the iPads. Whether they be the iPad Minis or the iPad Airs, they are the first product line being displayed. The Macbooks come second in the display, with the iMac desktops being stored on the side of the stores. This general product placement is not without purpose.

Smart devices are becoming the norm. The end of this year was expected to see a 10.6% growth in the smart device market. By the end of 2017 however, the market growth will begin to slow to about 3.1% due to over saturation within the market. Many companies will be emerging with their own tablet products and here is where we will see the longevity of the devices put to the test.

Look at how much bigger certain phones are getting. Take the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Galaxy Note for example. These phones are a lot bigger than some would originally anticipate and it again is not without purpose. Even these devices are getting names now. The ever popular “phablet” or “phone-tablet” will start to see more of rise in consumer purchases. The demand for smaller and cheaper tablet devices that can receive texts and make calls will increase.

Take the tablet now though. We saw innovation with the laptop. We saw a computer that we can take on the go. With the introduction of the tablet, we saw even more portability. The tablet was capable of doing the same basic functions as the laptop or desktop could but was smaller, sleeker, and more mobile. This alone has consumers looking to it for their computing needs.

Expect to see the tablet outsell the PC by the 2015.

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With an FCC listing and a new report out of Korea, we now have more information about two of four unannounced tablets from Samsung. Expected to land in the first quarter of 2014, we have the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite and an unnamed 10.5 inch Super AMOLED tablet.

In regards to the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, there really isn’t too much left to wonder about. The price tag for this 7 inch tablet is rumored to be about $100. Current rumors about the hardware tell us that it will be very similar to the original Galaxy Tab 3 7.0. We will find out for sure if everyone is right in about three weeks when it is unveiled during the Las Vegas CES 2014 expo.

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The only real thing we don’t know about is the connectivity options. No insiders have came out and said if there will be a 3G model released alongside the Wi-Fi only model or not. The Variant of the tablet spotted at the federal agency has the SM-T110 model number and doesn’t have any 3G or 4G capabilities. It also doesn’t have a flash for it’s rear facing camera. Neither of these things are very surprising though, there aren’t too many extra flashy features that you should be expecting from a $100 tablet. The fact that it even has a camera at all is impressive to me at that price.

As for the far more secretive Galaxy Tab with a Super AMOLED display, most of it is still a secret. Rumor has it that it will be announced at CES next month with a 10.5 inch design, and will probably be followed up with an 8 inch variant later on in the year.

If you are trying to find specs or features on this bad boy, you’re probably not going to find that information anywhere yet. We don’t even know anything the design or how it will look at all. We will have to wait a little bit for that exciting information. I am expecting a lot out of this tablet though. After the huge failure of the Galaxy Tab 7.7, I’m positive that this tablet will blow us away and have a strong marketing campaign to go along with it.

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leapmotionRecently we have seen a big rise in motion control and 3D gesturing and sensors. Take the Xbox Kinect and the Playstation Move for example. Both are using 3D motion control technology to accurately capture and process your movements to make games more interactive. A fun an and entertaining concept no doubt. But, what about this? What if you were able to use the same type of technology on your smartphone or your tablet? Would it be worth all the commotion it would cause? Would it be practical? Or, would it be just another cheap gimmick to try and reel customers? After, touch screens were designed for, well… touch.

The company, Leap Motion, has already seen its motion control product utilized on desktop computers an laptops alike. For those unfamiliar with the device, the Leap Motion Controller, is a sensor that plugs directly into your computer and allows you to take control of your PC’s or laptop’s functions with just simple hand gestures. Well, now they have plans to expand their market.

Leap Motion is doing it’s best to see mobile devices, such as your tablet, using its 3D motion control interface. The CEO of the company expects to see this be implemented in new mobile devices by the end of 2014.

Since the Leap Motion Controller is a separate device, it would need to be somehow integrated into the hardware of a phone or tablet itself. Recently, the challenges that were faced with integrated the technology into smaller hardware has been overcome and has since seen its way onto an actual product. The HP Envy 17 laptop has actually put the motion control sensor created by Leap into the laptop and has put it out for consumer use. Now the object is to see the same type of technology put into mobile devices for commercial and consumer use.

When asked about the possible new functions for the technology, Leap had mentioned that they were working with manufacturers to make the transition as seamless as possible. They are doing their best to make specific gestures fitted for mobile devices. With the ability to use your tablet as a TV remote with gesture-based control functions, Leap has definitely opened up a whole new market with their product. The chance to actually have different devices’ functionalities coincide with one another based on the embedded technology is quite remarkable, but then comes the question on whether or not it could be viewed as practical.

When looking at it from a marketing standpoint, having this technology embedded into tablets and other mobile devices already is reason to believe that it is important enough to see proper use and practicality when utilized. It still brings back the thought of, touchscreens being for touch. The “pinch” and “spread” motions are already there for us on the touchscreens. This technology will just allow us the capability to do it in free space above the sensor. The company to trying to see this technology on the mass market anywhere from July to December of 2014, so be on the look out from summer to winter of next year.