Samsung Galaxy Note 4 launch confirmed for September 3

It’s already practically a given that Samsung’s all set to launch the next version of its popular Galaxy Note phablet on September 3 – seemingly just a couple of days before the launch of Apple’s new iPhones. But the Korean firm still seems to want to get the message across – perhaps for the benefit of those who might not have gotten the memo: they’ve seen fit to underscore the upcoming event by crafting a video teaser that reveals the launch of the Galaxy Note 4 on said date. Scroll down to find out more about this ad!

It’s all about the S-Pen

The new ad focuses on the S-Pen, which it touts as the most significant device invented “since, well, the pen”. It’s a tool that Samsung says has been designed to be effective throughout a wide range of situations, whether for work or for play.

The video starts out by showing how tools are useful and how they help us get a wide range of things done. Viewers are treated to scenarios depicting just that, including images of children, seemingly at preschool, using scissors and other tools to create art projects, stimulating their creativity; a person in a stormy environment hauling out a compass to help him or her get his or her bearings; a man reading from a book and using a magnifying glass to help him do so; people using an abacus, protractor, rulers and other tools; and so on and so forth.

The ad then shifts to the S-Pen, which is seen being used by a large number of people in an equally expansive range of situations – from messaging to playing games to searching for things on the internet. Particular attention is paid to the Air Command feature, which allows a user to activate certain features via the S-Pen without physically touching the screen.

The ad then concludes with a scribbled invitation – “Ready to note?” – and a date: 9/3/14, which suggests that the launch of the next generation of the Galaxy Note is indeed nearly upon us.

Are you ready?

Well, as our source mentions, the latest bunch of rumors have it that the Galaxy Note 4 is going to come with a range of select features, such as a 5.7 inch Quad HD display and a 16 MP main camera powered by a Sony IMX240 sensor. There’s quite a bit already written and published on the Note 4, so no need to mention it here in too much detail – suffice to say that the tech world awaits the arrival of the Note 4 – and its rival from Apple – with bated breath.

source [Tablet News]

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Huawei MediaPad T1 8.0 Android tablet revealed

Yes, here we are with yet another pre-IFA 2014 debut! It’s now Huawei’s turn to introduce a new tablet. This time around it’s the Huawei MediaPad T1 8.0 Android slate that’s being launched for sale in the Chinese market – very reasonably priced, and more or less specced to match – but watch out, this one’s got a bit of a surprise up its sleeve. Read on to find out more.

Huawei MediaPad T1 8.0 Android tablet PC Huawei MediaPad T1 8.0 Android tablet revealed
image via shop.huawei.ru. Something looks wrong in this picture. Can you spot it?

Bare-bones, basic – wait, no, not entirely!

In almost every way, the MediaPad T1 8.0 – also known, apparently, as the Honor S8-701u – is a simple little slate with solid, if unexciting specs. Its 8-inch IPS LCD display boasts 1280 x 800 pixel resolution; it’s got a 5 MP CMOS camera as its main snapper and a 0.3 MP front-facing camera for the occasional selfie or video chat. Only 8 GB of storage is in the offing.

The operating system of this tablet is sadly out of date – the T1 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Huawei’s Emotion UI 1.6 user interface overlying it – sort of a downer considering that Google is purportedly just about to release “Android L”, the successor of Jelly Bean’s own successor. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a 4800 mAh battery round out the package.

But wait, as the saying goes – there’s more! Huawei turned to Qualcomm for help powering this device, and Qualcomm has responded in an interesting way. The T1 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 200 processor, clocked at 1.2 GHz for this specific application. This is unexpected, as, to paraphrase something our source says, buyers wouldn’t really expect to see a Snapdragon chip in a low-cost tablet, but here we are. (Might this be taken as a sign that Qualcomm is rushing downmarket? Only time will tell.)

Lastly, the T1 can be had in either silver or white.

OK then, so how much?

The Huawei MediaPad T1 8.0 isn’t going to cost a pretty penny, no sir. Our source indicates that buyers of this unit will only need to fork out the local equivalent of US $162 to pick one up when it does drop in China. When might that be, you say? We’re not sure exactly when yet, but we’re working on finding out.

source [Softpedia]

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Archos 80 Helium 4G Android slate hits the UK

Even though manufacturers keep on rolling out tablets despite the “tablet slowdown”, we suspect that said slowdown appears to be forcing a bit of a rethink as to how their slates can be differentiated and sold. Case in point: this new Archos 80 Helium 4G unit. In a nutshell, it isn’t just another eight-incher; its claim to fame is that it’s the least-expensive 4G LTE-compatible tablet available on the market today. Read on and find out more!

Archos 80 Helium 4G Android tablet PC 1024x522 Archos 80 Helium 4G Android slate hits the UK

The 4-1-1

4G LTE is rapidly becoming a standard feature of all of today’s top tablets, and is beginning to trickle down to midrange and low-end units. This is why the French tech firm’s offering really stands out, as it’s the very first LTE unit to be made available this cheaply.

(What’s with LTE, you might be asking? In case you aren’t in the know, it enables tablet users to enjoy media faster – they can watch videos in a snap and can enjoy video calls at HD resolution – plus they’re able to enjoy file downloads as fast as 150 Mbps. Not bad, really.)

How does it stack up in terms of its other specs? Well, they’re not really worth writing home about. This is a 1024 x 768 IPS tablet – a bit low in terms of resolution vis-à-vis standout units like the Retina Display iPad mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, but not too bad for the segment in which it competes. It’s powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8926 processor and an Adreno 305 GPU, plus it’s got 1 GB of RAM. The battery is all of 3500mAh.

Would-be buyers might be disappointed to hear that the 80 Helium 4G will only come with 8 GB of internal memory. However, it IS expandable via its microSD card slot (plus you can always stream music and movies via a good and generous 4G connection). Additionally, it only runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which is especially disappointing given that Android L, the replacement for the current version KitKat, is looming on the horizon. Lastly, it’s a bit of a heavyweight – it clocks in at 430g (to compare, the original iPad mini weights only 312g).

What’s the damage?

In case its formula of 4G LTE connectivity has you interested (and you live in the UK), you can pick up an Archos 80 Helium 4G tablet for 199 GBP or $330, slightly cheaper than competing (and also LTE-toting) slates such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Lenovo ThinkPad 8 – whether its run-of-the-mill other features will turn you off is, of course, entirely up to you.

source [TechRadar]

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Kobo’s waterproof Aura H20 eReader might launch on September 1

Big boys like Sony may be getting out of the ebook reader business, but Kobo appears to be digging in its heels and staying put. We’ve been hearing rumors that the company plans to launch a new eReader called the Aura H20 that’s built to stand up to the elements and boasts a better screen than its competitors – and the latest is that it might drop in the USA on September 1 and could cost US $179. Scroll down to find out more about this upcoming eReader.

Kobo Aura H20 eReader Kobo’s waterproof Aura H20 eReader might launch on September 1
image via allesebook.de

Waterproof, but that’s not all she wrote

To recap, the 7” x 5.1” x 0.4”, 8.2-ounce Aura H20 is an eReader that’s been amped up to endear it to people on the go. Earlier rumors touted IP67 certification – meaning that with its USB port cover fastened, the unit can survive being submerged in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes – and it’s also dust-proof as well.

But that’s far from all of it. We also heard that the Aura H20 boasts a 6.8-inch Ink Carta display – if you haven’t heard of those yet, these are brand spanking new 1430 x 1080 pixel displays that can also boast high screen refresh rates, higher than other E Ink displays used by other gadgets. (And yes, the screen is illuminated.)

As for battery life, if you can limit your usage of the unit to about 30 minutes a day, you should be able to eke out two months of life on just one charge. This is especially impressive considering the brighter and sharper screen, and will be a definite boon for those without the time and/or inclination to constantly charge their devices.

How does it stack up against the competition?

We have to admit that the Kobo Aura H20 is a tad pricey – it’s more expensive than two of its main competitors, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and the NOOK Glowlight. But that said, its more rugged case and sharper display might just convince those of you in the market for eReaders that it’s a better buy than those two competing tablets, or other units (or even devices), for that matter.

source [Alles eBook (German site)]

via [Liliputing]

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Unannounced Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact may drop at IFA 2014

The supposed slowdown in tablet sales notwithstanding, entrants into the small-tablet segment are only continuing to debut. Here we serve advance notice of what might be another one: a heretofore unannounced little Sony slate called the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Read on to find out more about this little guy!

A sneak peak of a new little Xperia tablet?

Our sources tell us that a few days ago, they heard that Sony might be preparing a small tablet for release (the ‘Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact’ moniker apparently showed up in the compatibility list of a Sony Bluetooth speaker), but the details about any such device were few and far between. Earlier today, however, an image of what appears to be this intriguing mystery tablet was posted on a Facebook page maintained by the Japanese tech firm – even more interestingly, one focused on its SmartBand smartwatch.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Android Tablet PC Unannounced Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact may drop at IFA 2014

The picture shows the purported tablet (in white) cradled in the hands of a guy who could be sitting on the edge of a swimming pool, apparently either playing a game or watching a movie on the device , and wearing an all-black watch (a smartwatch perhaps?) on his left wrist. The tablet isn’t a large one; it appears to be all of seven or eight inches.

Very interestingly – and as if the supposed user’s proximity to said pool wasn’t enough of an indication – the tablet has water drops on its surface, yet apparently isn’t fazed by the dampness. It doesn’t seem illogical to conclude that this tablet will be able to survive a dunking – it may be waterproof, just like many high-end devices that have been released over the past few months.

The purported spec list

Aside from what’s been revealed (or at least suspected to have been revealed), our sources also tell us that we might be able to expect the same basic specs as Sony’s Xperia Z3 smartphone – including a high-resolution display, a Snapdragon 801 processor, a powerful main camera and 3 GB of RAM. An LTE version is probably also in the cards, and there’s a chance that the tablet may even come with Android L, the next version of the popular mobile OS.

The bottom line, at least for now, is that this upcoming Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact appears to be yet another one following in the footsteps of the iPad mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S – small tablets that pack a punch. We have a few days to find out if that’s really the case – it’s supposedly doing to drop at the IFA 2014 in Berlin beginning this September 5. Stay stuck!

sources [Tablet News, Tabtech (German site)]

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A Closer Look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 3

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a laplet – a portmanteau of, you guessed it, laptop and tablet. (It sounds almost as odious as the phablet, but that’s another thing altogether.) Anyway, what can you expect from this latest model of the Surface product line? Read on to know more about it.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Laplet Windows 8.1 laptop and tablet PC A Closer Look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 3

The Laplet: Microsoft Surface Pro 3

So what is a laplet anyway? Well, it’s defined mainly by its x86-architecture CPU, full-featured Windows 8.1 operating system, and input/output ports typically found in laptops. They’re different from your typical convertible or hybrid tablets, since they are designed as laptop or desktop replacements. Yes, the Surface Pro 3 can actually replace your current laptop and you probably won’t find it lacking.

It’s certainly not a pansy in the specs department. The entry level model boasts of a 1.5 GHz Intel Core i3 (4020Y) processor with Intel HD 4200 graphics. The other two models feature 2.9 GHz i5 (4300U) with HD 4400 and 3.3 GHz i7 (4650U) with HD 5000 Haswell CPUs and GPUs, respectively. All three sport a 12-inch ClearType Full HD Plus display with a 2160 x 1440 pixel resolution. The rest of the specs are equally impressive: 4 or 8 GB of RAM, and internal storage options of up to 512 GB. Other features include WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity, a USB 3.0 port, a microSD card reader, a mini DisplayPort, and two 5 MP cameras. Like its predecessors, the Surface Pro 3 ships with the Surface Pen too.

Check out Microsoft’s ad, taking a shot at a MacBook Air.

So how much?

The most basic model (i3, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage) will set you back US $799, while a midrange model (i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB storage) will cost you US $1299. If you want the high end model with an i7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of storage, be prepared to shell out US $1949.

To get the full laplet experience, you may want to get the Type Cover keyboard or the recently released docking station. The Type Cover costs an additional US $130, while the docking station (featuring several additional ports and effectively turns the Surface Pro 3 into a desktop) costs $200.

What do you think? It’s a little too costly (okay, not just a little), but we hear you can totally get it for much cheaper… if you’re a student, that is.

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Fuhu goes ginormous with nabi Big Tab HD line

When tablet maker Fuhu calls anything big, they mean it. The newest member of their kiddie tablet family, the nabi Big Tab HD line, is twice the size of their usual “friendly for small hands” offerings. Just what do these tablet PCs have to offer?

Fuhu nabi Big Tab HD Android tablet for kids 1024x716 Fuhu goes ginormous with nabi Big Tab HD line

Fuhu nabi Big Tab HD – Bigger is better, for sharing

For Fuhu, making slates for little monsters is something of a specialty. They’ve come up with several tablet PCs to keep kids entertained – and those tablets can keep up with the daily abuse too. Most of those tablets are designed to be shared, by way of allowing multiple user profiles so each child can have his or her own apps, games, and limits via the parental controls. With the Big Tab though, instead of your typical one at a time sharing, kids can enjoy the slate together.

The line comes in two sizes, large and slightly larger. The 20-inch variant features an HD+ display with a 1600 x 900 pixel resolution, while the 24-incher packs a Full HD display with a higher 1920 x 1080 resolution. Both models will come with Nvidia Tegra 4 quad-core processors and 16 GB of internal storage space. According to the press release, the nabi Big Tab HD line features a 15-point capacitive touch screen. Its carrying frame can be adjusted to any angle and can be removed in case the kids want to play a board game.

Software-wise, the nabi Big Tab HD will come with Fuhu’s Blue Morpho operating system (a heavily customized Android OS) and will, as is usual with nabi slates, come preinstalled with kiddie-friendly apps, games, and other age-appropriate content. Old and new features like Two Play, Game Room, Show Time, Story Time, and Big Canvas are designed to make the use of the slate as social and as fun as possible.

It will also come with parental controls that allow parents to limit the time children can spend with the tablet; parents can also switch the tablet to Parent Mode, which allows the slate to be used as a regular Android tablet.

Fuhu CEO Jim Mitchell had this to say about this new line:

We are so pleased to introduce the nabi Big Tab line of products and are excited about the implications as a new category of family tablets. We were simply amazed at how Big Tab’s larger format transformed our interactions with our children, family gatherings and made the tablet experience easier for seniors.We are hopeful, that everyone will fall in love with Big Tab like we have.

Pricing and availability

The nabi Big Tab HD line will hit the shelves this fall (just in time for the holidays) and will set you back US $449 for the 20-inch model, and US $549 for the 24-inch model.

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Barnes & Noble and Samsung tease Galaxy Tab 4 Nook

So last June we found out about Barnes & Noble and Samsung’s co-branded slate, the upcoming Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. We’re just a couple of days away from its scheduled release, and they’ve released a teaser video that may seem a little familiar – especially if you like to follow tech news. Check it out:

Why does it look familiar?

As many tech sites have pointed out, it looks so familiar because it looks as if Barnes & Noble and Samsung took a page from Amazon’s marketing guidebook and used it for their own product teaser. If you fancy a bit of déjà vu, check out Amazon’s video (a teaser for their Fire phone) here. On a lighter note, it’s slightly comforting to know that the grumpy cat doesn’t hate the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.

You might find yourself asking though, “What can I expect from this tablet PC, anyway?” Here’s what we do know of the Galaxy Tab 4. The co-branded slate is basically the 7-inch iteration of Samsung’s newest Tab line. Its WXGA TFT display maxes out at a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, and it is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and 1.5 GB of RAM. It’s available in two storage variants, 8 and 16 GB, and if you find that a little lacking for your purposes, you can add 32 GB more via the microSD card slot (the LTE version supports 64 GB). Other features include WiFi, WiFi Direct, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity, a USB 2.0 port, two cameras (1.3 MP front, and 3 MP rear), and a 4000 mAh lithium ion battery. It’s pretty sleek and light, tipping the scales at 276 g (9.74 oz) and measuring 107.9 x 186.9 x 9 mm (4.25 x 7.36 x 0.35 in). We’re sure you will appreciate it if you like marathon reading ebooks or watching movies on your slate.

Software-wise, it will pack a heavily customized (as is usual with Nooks) Android 4.4 KitKat operating system.

Pricing and Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will hit the shelves on August 20. Pricing is still unconfirmed, but considering that the Tab 4 retails for US $199 (WiFi-only, 8 GB) at Samsung’s website, we expect the Tab 4 Nook to sell within the same price vicinity.

via [9to5Google]

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HP’s new Slate 6 VoiceTab Plus debuts on GFXBench

A few months back, Hewlett-Packard introduced two VoiceTab phablets, and from the looks of it, the company is ready to refresh the smaller 6-inch model. Meet the HP Slate 6 VoiceTab Plus. If the GFXBench specs are to be believed, the Plus is basically a slightly improved version of the phablet’s first iteration. So what can we expect from this little baby?

HP Slate 6 VoiceTab Plus Android Phablet HP’s new Slate 6 VoiceTab Plus debuts on GFXBench

The 411 on the Slate 6 VoiceTab Plus

For one thing, it’s ever so slightly smaller at 5.9 inches. The 1280 x 720 pixel resolution display supports at least 5 finger gesture support and is backed up with a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 ARM Cortex-A7 quad core processor, an Adreno 305 graphics processor, and 1 GB of RAM. There’s 16 GB of on board storage, and if the Slate 6 VoiceTab Plus follows its predecessor’s footsteps, it will most likely come with a microSD card slot for extra space too. According to the details listed in the benchmark, this baby will also feature two cameras – a 7 MP main shooter and a 1.8 MP front camera.

Other features include Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, a SIM card slot, and all your standard sensors (accelerometer, compass, GPS, gyroscope, light, and proximity). If the deets listed are to be believed, this phablet will pack Google’s latest operating system, Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

We’ll have to wait for the rest of the details

That’s because the HP Slate 6 VoiceTab Plus is still technically unofficial. We’ll keep an eye out for any official announcements once HP decides to throw us a bone.

In the meantime, what do you think? It’s certainly better than the first Slate 6. HP traded in the Marvell processor and upgraded it to a Qualcomm CPU while the main camera received a boost from 5 MP to 7 MP. The rest is pretty much the same – though we’ll know that for sure once the official spec sheet becomes available.

The original Slate 6 hit the stores in India and sold for 22,990 rupees (somewhere in the vicinity of US $370). Will the Plus model arrive on these shores? And if so, how much? Would you buy this phablet? Tell us in the comments below.

Via [Tablet-News]

Source [GFXBench]

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Sony prepping an Xperia phablet?

Of late, the benchmarking site GFXBench has been a steady source of unofficial details of soon-to-be released slates. Sure, some of the stuff you’d find there would probably never see the light of day – being dev devices and all – but the others we’ve seen have actually been made and are now available in the market. Today’s subject of our tablet PC leakage comes from Sony, and our sources report that it will be an entry level Xperia phablet. Read on to know more about it.

Sony Xperia Phablet D2203 image from GFXBench Sony prepping an Xperia phablet?
image via GFXBench

A Sony Xperia phablet in the works?

According to the info sheet in GFXBench, this baby will sport a 6.1-inch display, which the Xperia Blog assumed to be a FWVGA panel, judging perhaps from its 480 x 854 pixel resolution. The info sheet further indicates that it will feature a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926 quad core processor coupled with an Andreno 305 GPU, 1 GB of RAM, and 4 GB of internal storage. Other features listed include a VGA front camera, a 5 MP main shooter (with flash and autofocus), Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, NFC, a SIM card slot, and various sensors (accelerometer, proximity, compass, and light).

Software-wise, the Xperia phablet will come with Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box.

Additional notes

The said phablet is currently listed as D22XX (Sony D2203, D2202, and D2212) but it will probably come in a saucier name once Sony officially announces it. So far, that’s all we know, or at least, that’s all that is listed on the info sheet. It is pretty thin, but we’ll throw you a bone once more info becomes available.

Judging from its specs though, this Sony Xperia phablet looks to be geared toward the budget-conscious. Let that sink in for a moment. The words “Sony” and “budget-friendly” don’t usually come in the same sentence, but when they do, it usually means that it’s smaller device. Was there a typo in the screen size?

Anyway, we’ll know for sure in the coming days or months so stay tuned. In the meantime, what do you think? Tell us in the comments below.

via [XperiaBlog]

source [GFXBench]

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