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lenovo-tablet-a8-50-blue-back-detail-8It’s almost inevitable nowadays to know that whenever you see new tech, you’re also going to see your wallet get really empty really fast. The price tags on all of the newest tech devices are just getting consistently higher it seems. I’m not one to think that EVERY device is that way, but I will say that there are certain products that seem to stay high in price. Tablets are one such device. Now as with everything though, you get what you pay for. If you want to get the best tablet on the market with all of the added bells and whistles, then that’s fine. You just need to be ready to pay for it. Lucky for us with pockets not as deep, there are much cheaper “budget” tablets.

Lenovo is a company that isn’t exactly known to offer the most incredible tablets, but they offer excellent entry level products that can help someone get accustomed to the tablet generation. Sometimes you don’t need a lot. Lenovo knows and understands that. That is why they’ve gone ahead and introduced another new budget tablet, their A8 tablet.

The Lenovo A8 is working with some decent hardware in terms of what is comparable to other 8 inch budget tablets out there. Mind you it might not be anything spectacular, it will still get the job done. The A8 houses a 1.3GHz MediaTek 8121 quad-core processor and comes with 16GB of stock storage space. You will only be working with 1 GB of RAM however unfortunately. Because of this, don’t expect to play any ridiculous video games. The levels and everything else may load properly, but expect to see long load times if you do decide to load them onto the tablet. The tablet also comes stock with a Mali 400 MP GPU. Definitely not bad. Again, it will get the job done. What really does help this tablet (as it would any tablet) is the MicroSD slot. This way, you’ll be able to expand the storage space on the tablet, should you need it.

The display of the tablet is on pretty common standards with other 8 inch tablet competitors as well. The A8 comes with a 1,280×800 pixel resolution display. With 189 pixels per inch, its definitely no iPad Mini With Retina Display, but it won’t distract you from browsing the web and operating your tablet as you would any other high end tablet. If you decide to watch HD video, it will still look very sharp as well, despite the smaller pixel resolution size.

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Where this tablet sticks out a bit from the others is the addition of Dolby Digital app. This tablet unfortunately only comes with one speaker, meaning you’ll be dealing with mono sound instead of stereo. This app is still able to turn that one speaking into something that is able to make your sound shine a bit more. At a moderate volume, your sound will still shine through very nicely without it being distorted or distracting. Don’t be mistaken however. You will still need to work with the Dobly Digital app in order to make the sound fit perfectly for what you need.

This is, by no means, the best tablet on the market, but if you need something to perform basic functions, then this tablet may be what you need. For only $179, the Lenovo A8 is not a bad tablet to get for yourself or someone else who is just now getting into the tablet lifestyle.

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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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acerIt”s true that you can, in fact, have too much of a good thing. Take your tech for example. The market for specific models of tech can easily become over flooded with different brands and makes. It’s all a matter of who can stand out the most these days. Obviously there are a few powerhouse brands that you don’t ever need to worry about. Samsung, Google, Apple, and even Amazon are having no trouble staying afloat with their products. Other companies like Acer, may be having a bit more of an issue with their products’ sales.

Acer has been falling through the cracks lately it would seem, in the tablet market. They have always been the brand that people tend to look at as the “budget” brand. That is not to say that their products aren’t quality. They tend to offer mid-level tech at the budget cost. It’s really not a bad way to market if you think about it.

That being said, the tablet market specifically seems to be overflowing with new makes and models from different brands. It’s as if a new one comes out almost daily. With this specific market becoming as crowded as it has been getting, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for certain brands to stay afloat. Naturally, the top dogs like Apple and Samsung will have no trouble keeping up as their brand has honestly become something of a fashion statement. No matter the price range, their tablets and other products will continue to sell. Then you have companies like Acer.

Acer recently debuted two new tablets to their product line; The Acer Iconia One 7 and the Iconia Tab 7. Both of these tablets were designed to be put within the lower end spectrum of tablets. That being said though, one is obviously a bit more flashy than the other. The Iconia One 7 has been designed in 6 different colors and has done it’s best to give off a very “kid-friendly” vibe. The One 7, upon closer inspection and feel, tends to be a bit like Amazon’s Kindle Fire.  An Intel Atom Z2560 1.6GHz duel-core processor will be supplying your power, accompanied by only 1GB of RAM. It comes with either 8 or 16 gigs of hard drive storage directly on the tablet itself, but also comes with a Micro SD slot for additional storage.

The Acer Tab 7 is a lot like the One 7, but with a slight boost in the device’s specs. Instead of a duel-core processor, the Tab 7 will be working with a quad-core 1.3 GHz Media Tek MT8382 processing unit. It will also sport a 5 megapixel rear facing camera, as opposed to the Iconia One 7’s 2 megapixel rear facing camera. This new tablet will also come with 3G support allowing for wireless data packages and even phone calls.

These types of products from Acer are all well and good, but they may be forgetting one thing. People don’t want mediocre products. People want the best of the best when it comes to tech, and they want it now. Attention spans and patience are growing shorter and thinner to the average consumer. This isn’t to say that Acer’s products aren’t quality. However, in comparison to tablets from the bigger name brands, they may come across that way. Unless Acer starts putting in everything they have and implementing a stellar marketing plan, they may not be in the tablet market for much longer.

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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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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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Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, announced that Office for iPad is will be available for tablet users. Microsoft plans to introduce Office apps for tablet computers running Google’s Android system as well. Critics state that Microsoft has waited far too long to introduce Office to iPad tablets, which nearly 200 million have already been sold.

The iPad apps for Microsoft Powerpoint, Excel and Word are all free in the app store. From these apps, you’ll be able to read and present your information. The launch of these new apps lets you create and edit your documents, calculate spreadsheets and also design professional presentations.

Mobile office apps have already been launched for the iPhone and Android smartphones, so of course Microsoft and Apple would target tablets next.

Nadella stated that Office on iPad is “a beautiful set of applications; the company is taking great care to make sure that Office on every device shines through.”

A personal subscription to Microsoft Office for your computer and tablet is due this spring for $69.99 a year. Microsoft has said that the Office iPad apps would be free to users who want to use them in “read-only” mode, but to be able to create work on the app users will have to pay an annual subscription fee to get Office 365.

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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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