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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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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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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