Announcing the AARP RealPad, for the golden oldies

We know, the tablet market has been getting soft as of late, as – so analysts say – people may be realizing that they don’t need to change their tablets as often as they feel they need to buy new smartphones. Whether that’s true or not, the range of tablets on tap continues to diversify. You may not have given much thought to older folks and their gadget needs, but you have to admit that, most especially technology-wise, their needs aren’t always catered to. Enter, then, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) RealPad, intended just for seniors!

AARP RealPad Android tablet PC 300x300 Announcing the AARP RealPad, for the golden oldies

Ease of use for older folks

As you might well be suspecting, the RealPad is no hot rod. It’s a middle range tablet that doesn’t feature anything close to top-level specs – but if you’re a senior or are thinking of getting a senior a tablet, this may be the one for you. AARP is touting the RealPad’s ease of use and it’s supposedly got features that will endear it to its target market.

Essentially, the RealPad is a run of the mill Android slate. It’s up to date as regards software, running KitKat 4.4. Core to its mission is its custom app launcher that also showcases icons that are larger than usual, making them easier to see and read. Users also get special AARP features – an AARP app, with “games and benefits”, AARP Publications and AARP Tools – and a bunch of other apps too.

The RealPad runs on a 1.2 GHz Intel dual-core processor and has 1 GB of system memory. It’s got a 7.85-inch touchscreen with a 1024 x 768 pixel resolution. There’s 16 GB of onboard memory on tap and it’s expandable via a microSD card slot. Users get a 5 MP main camera (“webcam”, according to the Walmart product page) and 2 MP front snapper.

All this is of course not really anything noteworthy, but AARP’s baked in a ton of help features that might just be what the RealPad’s owners (who’re apparently envisioned to be tech-shy folks) might really crave. Owners get 24/7 live help over the phone; standard step by step videos loaded in the tablet itself; and a unique “RealQuick Fix tool” which can supposedly diagnose problems with just a click (we’d love to give that one a spin).

The cost of convenience

The clincher is that the AARP RealPad will cost $189 when it drops – that might be a bit of a high price to pay considering that you can get Android tablets (some from big-name companies) for less nowadays, and most of its apps can be downloaded and installed for free. (Except for the 24-7 live help, of course.) Still if you’re looking for a one-box solution that should be good to go from purchase, this one might fit the bill.

source [Walmart product page]

via [Liliputing]

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Intel debuts Reference Design for Android program aimed at tablets

Intel really wants its chips to take pride of place in Android tablets. It should come as no surprise, then, that the company’s working to make it easier for tablet makers to drop Intel chips into their tablets. Thus this new program. Find out more about the Intel Reference Design for Android program right here, right now!

Reference Design for Android: Meeting the need for speed (and ease)

Intel is aiming to make it easier and faster for companies to drive the engineering process. More specifically, the firm will offer device makers a single “binary image” of Android that they guarantee will work with a certain hardware set – a list of pre-qualified components – or complete specifications. Armed with these two things, they can then craft their system of choice.

How will this help? Well, place yourselves in the shoes of these prospective tablet makers. It can be a wild, wooly process crafting an Android tablet. Hunting down and testing components that will support Android, or, conversely, reworking Android to work with the hardware you’ve got on hand and/or which you want to work with, can be an expensive and costly process that can turn off all but the most dedicated and/or deep-pocketed. So, just try to imagine how these folks would react were a company – such as Intel is doing at present – offer them a particular sort of Android, one which is guaranteed to work perfectly with parts on a supplied list?

Not only this, but Intel also claims that it will be able to provide end users – the people who buy the completed tablets – with Android updates within no more than two weeks of new releases emanating from Google itself. Android updates, as many an Android user knows all too well, can take months to arrive, when they do arrive at all, that is. So as you can see, even consumers stand to win – at least, that’s what Intel is claiming.

But that’s not all; our source says that Intel will also help its partners with Google certification of their finished products, to help them enjoy reduced costs and speed up development time.

Does the future look bright for Android tablets?

We think it might, if the Reference Design for Android program works out as Intel promises it will, that is. (It could help ensure that the resultant tablets adhere to Google levels of quality – and don’t need to end up as no-name Android tablets that don’t run Google services!)

source [Intel Blogs]

via [Liliputing]

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FCC certifies strange new 7-inch Google tablet with an Nvidia Tegra CPU

This is rather intriguing: we love a good mystery just about as much as the next guy does, and this one seems to take the cake. We’ve received word that a rather strange 7-inch tablet has received FCC certification in the States – and has done so under Google’s aegis. We really think you should head on down to find out more about this mysterious Google tablet!

Curiouser and curiouser

The FCC listing is for a 7-inch device that’s powered by an NVIDIA Tegra chip. It also boasts global roaming with LTE – according to our source, it supports bands 2, 4, 5, 7 and 17.

Plus – and here’s quite probably the strangest part – it apparently has a battery that’s made by LG and which is quite a bit less powerful than can be expected for a tablet in this day and age. How weak is this battery? According to the listing, it’s all of 2,480 mAh. Sort of wimpy, especially considering that the current generation Nexus 7 has a battery that’s only a hair under 4,000 mAh.

As our source reveals, it falls under FCC ID A4R-NX74751, so those of you who might be inclined to take a look for yourselves (and we feel certain there are many of you), this is your cue to take a peek at this Google tablet!

The next Nexus 7?

While reading the report we couldn’t help but think whether this could be the next-generation Nexus 7. There’s more than one indication that this could be the new Nexus 7: the applicant listed is Google and this is going to be a 7-inch tablet – what else could it be?

 

Additionally, this device needs to be seen against the backdrop of the other Nexus tablet-focused leaks we told you about previously – the Nexus 9, the “Nexus Foo”, and the “Volantis”, “Nexus 8.9” or “Flounder”. The last one in particular sounds quite mouthwatering – in a nutshell, if it’s for real, it’s going to be a powerhouse with a bright, beautiful screen – just the device for the Android fan who doesn’t want a Samsung Galaxy Tab. (No surprise if you believe the related rumor that this will be the launch device for Android L when it drops – purportedly – in Q4 2014.)

So where does that leave us? We’re not sure exactly. Let’s wait and see what else surfaces about this mysterious Google tablet – we’ll get back to you, yes?

via [Droid-Life]

source [FCC]

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Nvidia outs HTC Nexus 9

OK, so we’ve been filling you in on all of the online buzz regarding the purported Nexus 9, a supposed next-generation ‘reference tablet’ from Google by way of its partner HTC. Up to this point, though, despite the fact that many of the rumors were rather convincing, we hadn’t had any formal confirmation from anyone regarding the unit. Well, today’s the day! Head down to learn more about Nvidia little ‘slip of the tongue’.

Way to go, Nvidia

You folks may have heard that Nvidia is squabbling with Qualcomm and Samsung over its GPU technology patents. In a nutshell, NVIDIA’s alleging that an array of Samsung devices – the Note 4 and 3, S5 and S4, Note Pro, Tab S and Note Edge among them – all of which use certain of Samsung’s Exynos processors or some of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors, violate seven different patents of Nvidia’s.

In the course of the case, a document was generated by Nvidia and/or its legal team that confirms the existence of the Nexus 9. The leak is all of one sentence, but it really does seem to confirm the device’s existence. But not only that, it also confirms rumors that the Nexus 9 will come with the Tegra K1 mobile processor. Here’s the sentence of interest:

Nvidias legal document reveals Google and HTCs Nexus 9 Nvidia outs HTC Nexus 9
image via droid-life.com

“The HTC Nexus 9, expected in the third quarter of 2014, is also expected to use the Tegra K1.”

Even more interestingly, we also hear that the initial reference to the Nexus 9 has been edited out from the paperwork itself. But the damage has been done, and the cat’s out of the bag: a range of technology media outlets has saved the original file and posted screenshots for visitors to see and enjoy.

What else can we expect?

The Nexus 9 is expected to showcase the best Google and HTC can muster – the competition, after all, is formidable. As such, the Nexus 9’s screen will have to be a killer, and we hear that it’s going to come with a 2560 x 1600 display. In a nod to the whole metal-is-better thing, we also hear that it’ll be made of aluminum. Last (but most assuredly not the least) the Nexus 9 will most probably ship with “Android L”, the upcoming version of Google’s ultra-popular mobile OS.

Plenty of stuff to look forward to – and it’s great that we now know that the HTC Nexus 9 really is on the way! (And if you’re wondering when it might drop, remember last year, when KitKat and the Nexus 5 were revealed on Halloween? If Google runs true to form, we may only have a couple more weeks to wait before this year’s big reveal.)

source [Bright Side of News]

via [Droid Life]

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Apple unveils iPhone 6 Plus phablet alongside iPhone 6, Apple Watch

A couple hours ago, Apple concluded the most eventful product launch it’s held in years. The firm from Cupertino whipped the covers off its eagerly anticipated iPhone 6, the 4.7-inch replacement for its popular iPhone 5S smartphone; the iPhone 6 Plus, a new 5.5-inch phablet with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and other phablets dead-center in its crosshairs; and the Apple Watch, the first new device category developed under Apple head honcho Tim Cook. Even if you’re not into Apple, you’ll want to scroll down and read more!

(Note that this is just an overview, so nothing is covered in any depth – look for us to write more in-depth articles in the coming days.)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus 300x183 Apple unveils iPhone 6 Plus phablet alongside iPhone 6, Apple Watch
image via arstechnica.net

A Plus-sized contender for the smartphone crown

Of course, this being a tablet and phablet site, this article is focused on the iPhone 6 Plus, so let’s get to it! The Plus is most definitely all about the screen, first and foremost; this one boasts a Retina HD display with a whopping 185 percent more pixels than the newly long-in-the-tooth iPhone 5S possesses. More specifically, it’s got a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels – which means that it has no less than 2 million pixels. No worries about impact on battery life, though – Apple says the 6 Plus gets 24 hrs talk time, 16 days standby time and up to 12 hours of net usage on LTE or WiFi.

Now let’s go to the rest of the Plus’ hardware. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor that debuted to such fanfare in the 5S also takes pride of place in the 6 Plus. (Apple’s trademark mute switch and volume buttons are also retained, of course, and the power switch has been relocated to the right side in a bid to make the phone easier to use with one hand.) Not only that, but the 6 Plus is also palpably thinner than the 5S – 7.1mm versus its predecessor’s not-super-thick 7.6 mm.

There’s a new front-facing iSight camera that has a new sensor, resulting in faster autofocus. The iPhone 6 Plus’ front camera features optical image stabilization – only digital stabilization is available on the 6. Lastly, the latest Apple processor, the A8, resides within the new iPhones – it’s 25 percent faster than the A7 the 5S uses. (The 6 and 6 Plus also benefit from the new M8 motion coprocessor, whose new barometer can measure relative elevation – it can now tell if, say, you’re climbing the stairs, a boon for those exercising.)

iOS 8 is the big story software-wise – the next generation of Apple’s mobile software – and in 6 Plus implementation it incorporates special features atop all other features to help boost usability, including ‘reachability’ to aid one-handed use (two taps on the home button slides the interface down, making it easier to reach) and a new landscape mode. It also comes with Apple Pay, which runs on the phones’ included NFC (at last!) to substitute for credit cards.

Price and availability

Beginning September 19, the iPhone 6 Plus will be available for sale. It can be had in Gold, Silver and Space Gray. It starts at $299 for the 16 GB version, goes up to $399 for the 64 GB version and maxes out at $499 for a new 128 GB version. (The 6 costs $100 less at each of the same storage sizes.) The iPhone 5s goes down to $99 and the iPhone 5c is now free with contract.

source [AppleInsider]

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Meet the new Asus VivoTab 8 (M81C)

Microsoft and Intel have been pushing hard for small Windows devices, and here comes another one from Asus called the VivoTab 8. Sound a little familiar? Well, that’s because Asus released a small Windows tablet (their first) early this year and that was called the VivoTab Note 8. How is this new model different?

Asus VivoTab 8 M81C Windows 8.1 tablet PC 300x259 Meet the new Asus VivoTab 8 (M81C)

New Asus VivoTab 8 – Budget-friendly Windows 8 slate

Before we get into that, let’s check out what we can get out of the new slate. The new VivoTab 8 (model number M81C) packs an 8-inch 1280 x 800 WXGA IPS display, a 1.86 GHz Intel Atom Z3745 Bay Trail quad-core processor, and 1 GB of RAM (its product page indicates that models with 2 GB RAM will also be available). The M81C will also have 32 GB of built-in storage – you can add 64 GB to that using the unit’s microSD card slot. Other features are pretty standard: WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, two 2 MP cameras for the front and rear, a micro USB port, and a whole slew of sensors. According to Asus, the new VivoTab 8’s 15.2Wh battery can provide power for about 8 hours of use.

The new slate will be pretty light and portable at 330 g and 124.9 x 211.7 x 8.8 mm.

So what’s the difference between the new and old? The most noticeable difference is the lack of a Wacom digitizer, which means that the M81C will probably be slightly cheaper that the Note 8. The VivoTab 8 seems like a slightly nerfed Note 8, to be honest. The Note features a 5 MP rear camera (and a 1.86 MP front camera), a slightly bigger 15.5W battery, and comes with 2 GB of RAM. It’s even available in 32 GB and 64 GB models.

So how much is it?

Asus has yet to reveal that bit of information, but we do know that it’ll come in four colors (black, white, purple, gold) when it does hit the streets. When is another question that Asus hasn’t answered as of yet but we suppose it will be available within the next few months.

So while we wait for an official announcement with regards to pricing and availability, what do you think? Would you get a VivoTab 8? Or would you rather get the VivoTab Note 8 (which by the way you can now get for around US $250)?

via [Liliputing]

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iBall debuts Slide WQ32 business slate in India

When it rains Windows tablets, it pours Windows tablets. Even outside of IFA 2014, it appears many companies elsewhere are really quite fixated on them. We’re not surprised – even in a world where Apple and Google are ultra-prominent, Windows is still the name many people think of when it comes to business solutions. In this vein, we’ve just received word that Indian tech firm iBall has just launched its new Slide WQ32 business tablet in the local market – scroll down to learn more about this new device!

iBall Slide WQ32 Windows 8.1 tablet PC 300x224 iBall debuts Slide WQ32 business slate in India

iBall’s first 3G business tablet

The 8-inch, 1280 x 800-pixel Slide WQ32 is iBall’s first foray into the world of 3G-enabled slates. It’s a decidedly midrange device, featuring the familiar quad-core 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Z3735D processor, and running on 2 GB RAM. The Slide WQ32 comes with 16 GB of built in storage that’s expandable through a microSD card slot. It’s also got two cameras, a 5 MP autofocus rear camera with flash and a 2 MP front snapper. Nothing super special in these terms, and just about right for the segment in which it competes.

But iBall’s also worked to try and make the Slide WQ32 more interesting to business types, so don’t write it off just yet. The slate will come generously bundled with a Microsoft Office 365 Personal subscription and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage with OneDrive Sync – both free for a year – as well as Windows Defender Antivirus and Firewall. Also, according to iBall, the Slide WQ32 is able to connect to a range of plug and play peripherals like keyboards and ‘mice’ – and even scanners, projectors and speakers thanks to an HDMI out port and USB OTG compatibility, thus boosting its usability for business applications.

How much?

iBall will be asking Rs. 16,999 for the Slide WQ32 when it hits shelves in India, which, according to the firm, should take place within a few weeks.

(By the way, the company also mentioned that it would be launching its very first two-in-one, a 10.1-inch device, at the end of September in India, for those users for whom a dedicated tablet might not be what they need for work.)

source [NDTV Gadgets]

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Welcome the Alpentab, a wooden Windows tablet from Austria

The glut of products from IFA 2014 notwithstanding – you’ll forgive us if everything is beginning to run together and is starting to blur – a few of them really are standouts for one reason or another. Such as this one, the Alpentab – a Windows tablet from the Austrian firm Alpenelectronics. Head on down to find out more!

Wood, glorious wood

Save for stalwarts like Apple and Microsoft itself (with the Surface), the bulk of the tablet market appears to be heading downscale – time was when the first-generation Nexus 7 made headlines for its then-low price, and now you can pick up an Android tablet for much less than the price of an old Nexus 7. Windows tablets are heading in the same direction, as Microsoft and its friends begin to pivot to face Google and its partners in the bargain-basement realm.

This is decidedly not Alpenelectronics’ tactic. The Austrian firm appears to have decided to make handiwork and materials its unique selling proposition – thus the Alpentab, which is handmade, apparently to very high quality levels, using premium wood: walnut and oak. (Shades of Motorola as well, which is of course making customized wooden backs for its range-topping Moto X smartphones.)

Of course a device like this isn’t about the specs, and what news is available is a little light on discussions of the Alpentab’s specs. The model shown at launch is a 10-incher and it runs on an Atom Z3000 processor. A version that will be launched “in the future” will run on a Core i5 processor to benefit those of you for whom the Z3000 is inadequate. (And that’s all we have for you guys, specs-wise, as of this writing.)

Oh, and Alpentab also says that a special edition will be launched soon – expect a wooden keyboard and mouse as well (!).

If a woodchuck could chuck wood…

… and were in the market for a tablet, would he spring for an Alpentab? We’re not sure. It’s certainly appealing, but it’s also really quite expensive. Alpenelectronics says that the basic version costs 800 euros and a more gussied-up version – perhaps the top of the line one? – will go for something like 4,000 euros when it launches. Tell us what you think!

source [UMPC Portal]

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HP launches new Envy x2 two-in-one lineup

Not all the tablets that saw the light of day at IFA 2014 are bargain units. HP, for one, has trotted out its high-end Envy x2 lineup of two-in-one tablet cum laptop devices. Read on to find out more about them!

HP Envy x2 tablet PC hybrid 300x204 HP launches new Envy x2 two in one lineup

HP’s twin titans

As our source says, these two – dubbed the Envy x2 13 and Envy x2 15 – will be among the first computers that feature the Intel Core M Broadwell low-power processors. As such, they’ll be drawing a bit more attention than such devices normally would.

Well, we feel that another reason for such would be the sheer size of these units. As their names suggest, the x2 15 will have a 15.6 inch display, while the x2 13 will boast a 13.3 inch display. Both will come standard with a fabric covered and backlit Bluetooth keyboard, which incorporates a docking station and will let both tablets be used as notebooks.

The x2 15 will have up to 500 GB of hybrid hard drive internal storage, while the x2 15 will come with up to 256 GB of solid state internal storage. Both tablets will also feature Beats Audio, and, in press photos, look like they come with large front-facing speakers (which appear rather similar to those in HTC’s high end smartphones, but anyway). Other features of interest include a loop in the keyboard section that is probably intended for a digital pen or stylus. Perhaps some models and/or configurations will come with one standard or optional.

We agree with our source that while it’s definitely good to see that manufacturers are coming out with new units that harness the potential of the Core M Broadwell processors, we hope that smaller and more portable units will be sold soon. We’re unsure as to whether large devices such as these (with detachable screens) have too much of a market.

Price and availability

If you’re interested in these new devices, you shouldn’t have to wait too long for them. The Envy x2 13 will be sold beginning October 29 starting at US $1,050, whereas the Envy x2 15 will cost US $950 and up when it’s made available for purchase beginning November 5.

source [Liliputing]

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Acer introduces Iconia Tab 8 W, Tab 10 and One 8 tablets

Acer’s work is proceeding apace. The company is fattening up its range of product offerings by launching three new Iconia tablets at IFA 2014 – the Tab 8 W (a Windows slate), the Tab 10 and One 8 (both Android devices). Head on down to read more about these latest slates from Acer!

Acer Iconia Tab 8 W Windows 8.1 tablet PC 300x224 Acer introduces Iconia Tab 8 W, Tab 10 and One 8 tablets
Acer Iconia Tab 8 W Windows 8.1 tablet PC

The Iconia Tab 8 W – productivity on the cheap

We begin by taking a look at the 8-inch and Windows 8.1 with Bing-running Iconia Tab 8 W, which, as our source mentions, is significantly cheaper than last year’s Iconia W3 – all of $149.99. To get it to that price point, of course, the company’s had to make do with some of today’s standard-slash-simple components; for instance, it runs on an Intel Atom Z3735G Bay Trail quad core processor.

Thankfully, though, Acer and Microsoft seem to have put in a genuine effort to make the 8 W stand out. It’s bundled with productivity apps – Outlook, OneNote, Powerpoint, Word and Excel – and can be had with an optional Crunch Keyboard, which connects to the 8 W wirelessly. The W3 is slated to arrive this November.

Acer Iconia Tab 10 Android Tablet PC 300x170 Acer introduces Iconia Tab 8 W, Tab 10 and One 8 tablets
Acer Iconia Tab 10 Android Tablet PC

The Iconia Tab 10 – media savvy for less

Up next is the Iconia Tab 10, which appears to be trying to compete in the media consumption niche. This one has a 10.1 inch full HD IPS LCD Gorilla Glass display with anti fingerprint coating; is powered by a MediaTek quad core processor; and also runs an up to date OS – Android 4.4.4 KitKat, which will satisfy those for whom being up to scratch is crucial. But the story is really all about its Dolby Digital Plus surround sound speakers, for those who feel like sharing their media with the world, and its 5.1 channel sound via stereo headphones, for those who want to enjoy their media privately. The Iconia Tab is expected in the USA this month and will be sold in either black or white and for a starting price of just $199.

Acer Iconia One 8 Android tablet PC 300x136 Acer introduces Iconia Tab 8 W, Tab 10 and One 8 tablets
Acer Iconia One 8 Android tablet PC

The Iconia One 8 – all things bright and colorful

Last but not least we’ve got the Iconia One 8. This is an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 tablet that also runs Android 4.4 KitKat and shares the 8 W’s Bay Trail processor and Tab 10’s anti fingerprint screen coating. This slate, however, is all about its colors – it will be made available in as many as 10 color choices, from purple to yellow, when it arrives in Europe in October. (There’s no indication of it being sold in the USA). The One 8 will sell for about 149 euros.

source [ZDNet]

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