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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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surfaceThere are few different phrases, idioms, and proverbs that many of us go by.  One saying may be more true than any other one: timing is everything. One simple timing error can cause a disaster. Having bad timing can ruin anything from a first date to quarterly sales for a company. Speaking of quarterly sales involving companies, bad timing may be  affecting a large company right now. I’m talking about Microsoft’s Surface tablet sales. According to a sales report recently released by the company, the sales for this particular tablet have plummeted quite a bit. Now Microsoft is looking to see what changes need to be made in order to help bring sales for the Surface back up.

While the earnings report was looking pretty rough at a 44% drop in sales, the previous quarter prior to this was the holiday season quarter. Having said that, that can only attribute to so much loss in revenue. I mean we are talking going from $893 million down to $500 million in sales. It almost leaves something to be desired by the market itself in a way. Apple saw some decline as well. 33% loss in revenue is still bad, but Microsoft’s 44% loss is just hard to overlook.

You have to figure that since almost a billion dollars of Microsoft’s revenue came from their Surface Tablet back in 2013, you’d think such a decline like that wouldn’t be possible unless something detrimental happened with the product. Even though, hardware wise, there may be nothing wrong with the product itself, there are still some factors that Microsoft may just now be taking into consideration.

The Surface 2 is now one of the last few devices from Microsoft running Windows RT. For those of you who don’t know, Windows RT is a version of Windows OS that is made to optimize performance on tablets at the cost of running older apps on the software. This is where this becomes a problem. There are so many other tablets out on the market currently that are running with Windows 8.1 instead of Windows RT. To the average consumer, having the latest operating software on your tech is a big deal. If they are getting that from another company, then Microsoft is going to lose money.  Aside from the Surface 2 lacking in the OS department, there is yet another big thing missing from the Surface line up. The name is small, but the demand is pretty big. A “Surface Mini.”

Yes, you may as well be selling the masses a smaller version of the exact thing that they already have, but if people keep buying it it’s just going to become that much more appealing. With Apple still leading the pack, and products like the iPad Mini and Nexus 7 out on the market currently, Microsoft is being left in the dust with nothing to show for it. However, rumors are beginning to circulate that Microsoft may just get with the times and release something soon. Possibly by mid-May, we could see a new Surface Mini.

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That may not help though. Another thing to consider is that Apple and it’s software now have access to Microsoft’s Office programs. This was a big deciding factor for most when trying to see what product would be deemed as more “productive” for the customer, and could have hurt Surface sales.

The odds are definitely not in Microsoft’s favor at the moment, as far as the Surface tablet goes. If they don’t do something dramatic with the new Surface Mini, they should only expect their revenue for the Surface line to continue declining.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 2 Rumors

April 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Jake Nolan in Rental | Tablet - (0 Comments)

kindleAmazon has always been huge in the retail world, but lately it seems like they are dead set on becoming one of the biggest players in the tech world. They have really changed up the entire game with the release of the first Kindle e-reader, the Kindle Fire, and a whole list of other products.

The last Kindle tablets, the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, were released in 2013 so we are definitely expecting to see a new version of the tablet in 2014. So far, Amazon has managed to stay very quiet about it’s next Kindle release, so the most we have to go off of is the list of rumors and speculations across the internet. Are they accurate? Who knows, but the fact of the matter is, they are usually pretty accurate…

Kindle Fire HDX 2 release date

There has been no official information about a release date, but much like other major players, Amazon generally keeps a pretty strict schedule when it comes to releasing new products. The Kindle Fire HDX was released in November, and the Kindle Fire HD came out almost exactly a year before that. This means, that we can surely expect to see a new tablet from Amazon some time around October or November of this year. It is a long way away, but we should start hearing some more official news in the not-so-distant future.

Pricing

The price point should be pretty easy to figure out. The main selling point for the Kindle that has always given Amazon a lot of leverage in the market is the fact that they are able to offer a tablet with great specs for a price that isn’t going to break the bank. The 7 inch version of the Kindle Fire HDX was $229, and the 8.9 inch model was $379. Amazon isn’t going to give up their biggest selling point, so you can count on a similar price on the new tablet, assuming they release it in the same sizes and they want to stay competitive.

Display

It is almost certain that the new Kindle will be released in the same sizes, as those sizes are extremely popular. But it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they released a different size to go along with them. They have the small tablet market covered, and the larger tablet market covered. It would probably be logical to release something somewhere in the middle.

As for display resolution, there will probably be zero difference. Amazon already has a full HD display on their current tablets, so it is hard to upgrade from there unless they were going for a 4K display. 4K wouldn’t make much sense though, considering how much more the tablets would have to cost in order to make that happen.

Processor

A report from 2013 claims that Amazon had ordered a large shipment of MediaTek MT8135 quad-core processors for delivery this year. The Kindle Fire HDX uses a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor. So, if these reports are true, the new Kindle could be lacking slightly in power from it’s previous version, but the MediaTek processors do cost less. The lower cost could mean that Amazon might pass on the savings to it’s customers, and that is good for everyone.

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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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nookContrary to what you may think, not all technology is created equally. There are certain devices and gadgets that are just better than others. Whether you have been using a walkman still when the iPod and iPhone have been out for the past 10 years, or if you are a tech junkie who uses specs to justify what you will be buying next. No matter what the case may be, there will always be some brands and models that are just better than others. For example, not every tablet is what it seems. Look at the first Kindle compared to the new Kindle Fire HDX. Two completely different systems it seems. One developer is usually under the radar, but they are still giving it another go. Barnes & Noble has plans to release a new rendition of the Nook tablet this Spring.

Even though Barnes & Noble is planning to release a new Nook tablet, lets look at how their most recent sales have been to try and predict how the new tablet will do. The last tablet that the company released was the Nook Glowlight back in October of last year. This particular tablet was released with literally, next to no marketing or announcements at all. It is still also classified that it’s an e-reader, so that may have hindered sales. Although the other two tablets that the company has released, The Nook HD and Nook HD+, were completely Android powered and fared very well in the tablet market. The only thing with those two tablets, is that they are both roughly two years old now. Obviously with newer, more advanced technology, it’s easy for these types of devices to get left in the dust, especially since they are more classified as e-readers anyway.

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The CEO of the company, Mike Huseby, has noted that the revenue for this type of hardware is just not that good. He also noted that they are able to find the profit margins in the “content revenue”. This alone can allow us to see where their profits will lie, even with a new device becoming available. The CEO is also still reviewing the digital and retail aspects of the Nook division, and has contemplated separating them into two different businesses.

If you are the proud owner of a Nook already, you know what they are used for; eBooks. The only problem with this, is that both Apple and Android have established their own versions of eBooks on their respective App stores and “eBook stores”. They have essentially eliminated any need for any type of e-reader type of device, unless you are just an avid bookworm that enjoys the Nook. It is by no means able to compete power wise against the other two giants of the tablet world. But perhaps you have been wanting to try something new, like see what the real tablet world is all about. There has to be a reason why they have brought in so much revenue for these businesses, right? Try renting a tablet such as an iPad, or iPad Mini to see what the rage is all about, especially if the new Nook is still slated to be another rendition of whats already been done.

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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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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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