Nvidia Shield Tablet hits the shelves

Last week, we heard a rumor that Nvidia was planning to launch the newest product in its arsenal of Android gaming devices, the Shield Tablet, soon. Well, today, actually. And true enough, it is now available for purchase.

What do you get with Nvidia’s Shield Tablet?

In a nutshell, you get a huge amount of awesomeness. Or on paper, at least. Its 8-inch full HD display can provide a pixel count that’s ideal for gaming with its 1920 x 1200 resolution. Responsible for this is its almost absurdly overpowered 2.2 GHz Nvidia Tegra K1 ARM Cortex-A15 quad core processor (192 core Kepler GPU) coupled with 2 GB of RAM. Other features include WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity, GPS and GLONASS, mini-HDMI output, a micro USB 2.0 port, a microSD card slot, two 5 MP HDR-capable cameras front and back, a 19.75 Whr battery, and an Android KitKat operating system. Did we mention that this comes with a stylus?

As expected, Nvidia’s Shield Tablet comes with a number of features designed specifically for gaming, including compatibility with the Shield wireless controller, GameStream (streaming games from your PC), ShadowPlay (screen recording), GRID Cloud Gaming Beta, Console Mode, and Gamepad Mapper. If you want to see some of this baby’s features, we suggest you press play on the video below.

Sign me up! But how much is it?

Nvidia’s product page indicates that only the 16 GB WiFi-only version will be available initially, and it will set you back US $299. The 32 GB version with WiFi and LTE is listed at US $399, and will likely be available later this year. You can also grab some optional accessories for this, including the Shield controller (which is listed at US $59.99 and looks a lot like an Xbox controller), a tablet cover, AC adapter, and stylus.

So, what do you think? We’d like to point out that this is the first ever slate to feature Nvidia’s brand spanking new Tegra K1 and initial reviews are good. Most of the complaints are directed toward battery life and its somewhat chunky build despite its relatively small size, but most of the reviews agree that at $300, the Shield Tablet is quite a steal.

via [Liliputing]

source [NVIDIA SHIELD]

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Archos readying another slew of slates: 70 Copper and 101 Copper

Of late, Archos has been notoriously bringing low cost – and sometimes woefully underwhelming – tablet PCs. They’ve brought us the likes of the Neon, Platinum, and Titanium lines, along with niche slates like the ChefPad and the GamePad. This time, the French consumer electronics company is reportedly getting ready to release another metal themed line of slates, the Archos 70 Copper and 101 Copper.

Let’s start with the smaller brother. Archos 70 Copper Android Tablet PC 300x226 Archos readying another slew of slates: 70 Copper and 101 Copper Archos 70 Copper

According to tech site ArcTablet, this baby is actually a rebranded slate from a Chinese white box tablet maker. Archos has been doing that for some time and some tablet makers, like HP, has started doing the same.

Anyway, as the name suggests, the 70 Copper sports a 7-inch TN display with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. The rest of the specs aren’t breathtaking either – 1.3 GHz MediaTek MTK8312 dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM (!!!), and 4 GB of internal storage. Thankfully, you can add to that using the unit’s microSD card slot.

Other features include dual-sim card support (which we’re sure at least some people would want on a tablet), a 2800 mAh battery, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a 2 MP main camera and a VGA front facing shooter, and a micro USB 2.0 port. It also packs GPS and 3G connectivity.

Archos 101 Copper

We’re sorry to report that while the bigger model is better, it’s only slightly so. The 101 Copper features a 10.1-inch TN screen with the same screen res as its smaller brother. The processor is different – a dual-core MediaTek MTK6572 – but clocks in at the same speed, 1.3 GHz. The rest of the specs are pretty identical to the 70 Copper, except for the 101’s bigger 1 GB RAM and 16 GB of internal storage.

Both will ship with Android 4.4 KitKat, so at least, yay for that.

Pricing and availability

And another yay for pricing, too. According to our source, the Archos 70 Copper will retail for €89.99, while the 101 may set you back €149.99. Not too bad, though you won’t have trouble finding a better deal elsewhere if you know where to look.

Anyway, if you’re interested in picking up one of these babies, they should arrive in stores soon. We’ll keep an eye out for a definite release date so be sure to stay tuned.

via [ArcTablet]

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New Ramos K100 features octa-core and 3G voice capabilities

The last time we heard from Chinese tablet manufacturer Ramos, we talked about their then newly released dual boot tablet. Well, this time around we’ll be taking a closer look at their 10.1-inch Ramos K100 tablet that is reportedly armed with an octa-core processor and 3G data and voice capabilities. Let’s check it out, shall we?

Ramos K100 Android Tablet PC 300x200 New Ramos K100 features octa core and 3G voice capabilities

Ramos K100 – Octa-core, Android, and more

Let’s talk about that octa-core goodness first. This tablet PC features a zippy 1.7 GHz MediaTek MT6592 ARM Cortex-A7 8-core processor coupled with a Mali-450 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. Connectivity-wise, the Ramos K100 has you covered for pretty much everything (except LTE) – WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G. It features support for China’s Unicorn HSPA+ too, though note that that probably won’t work very well with other networks in other countries.

The rest of the details haven’t been released, so we’ll have to wait for a more detailed spec sheet to know more. According to reports though, other features include a microUSB port, a 7,500 mAh battery, and a full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution display. At the moment, we only know that this will run with an Android operating system, only we don’t know specifically which version as of yet.

When? And how much?

Another thing we don’t have official word about is pricing and availability. Knowing Ramos though, this will probably be quite affordable. Some sources indicate that the Ramos K100 may debut for less than US $250. We’re not sure if this tablet PC will ever officially land on this side of the pond, but we’re confident that you’ll be able to get one from e-commerce sites like AliExpress if you ever find yourself wanting one that badly.

At any rate, the Ramos K100 looks like a decent choice. Video junkies will be able to appreciate its full HD screen, while mobile warriors (who don’t mind being seen using a giant phone for calls) would like the added connectivity that it offers. We’re not sure how this will perform in the real world – unless of course we get to paw one for ourselves – but eight Cortex-A7 cores each pumping out 1.7 GHz doesn’t sound at all like a bad deal.

via [Liliputing and TheGadgetsFreak]

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Amazon releases firmware v5.4.5 for the Kindle Paperwhite 2

Ahoy there, Kindle Paperwhite 2 users – Amazon announced an update for your Kindles a couple days back – v5.4.5, to be exact. You owe it to yourselves (or at least to your Kindles) to read on and find out more about this update! Scroll down to do just that.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E book reader 205x300 Amazon releases firmware v5.4.5 for the Kindle Paperwhite 2

The new features in a nutshell!

In addition to the usual and expected slew of “general improvements” to the operating system and device, v5.4.5 adds a bunch of nice new features for you folks, as follows.

  1. Sync to the most recent page read. Any books users are currently reading on their Kindle Paperwhite devices will now sync to the most recent page read across all Kindle devices. Not only that, but they will also sync to other reading apps also registered with Amazon accounts. This way, if you’re also reading something on a Kindle app running on an iOS or Android device, it’ll also get to sync in the same way. That said, however, users will still be able to manually sync their Paperwhite units to access the furthest page read.
  1. Those who have bought physical books from Amazon can browse a sample of these books on their Paperwhite units while waiting for their physical book order to ship. If you’ve purchased a book (an actual one, not an ebook) via Amazon and you’re champing at the bit to read it, thanks to this update, you can actually start reading said book right away! All you need to do is download a sample of the book and add it to your Kindle library. v5.4.5 will make this sample available for download in the Cloud tab of users’ Kindle Paperwhite units. What’s more, other previous samples you’ve gotten through buying physical books can also be accessed the same way.
  1. Last but not least, users can also preview a PDF in the Kindle Paperwhite’s pan-and-zoom mode. Users will see a little preview window located in the margin of the screen.

Sounds good? Why not download the new v5.4.5 update and touch up that Kindle Paperwhite so you can start enjoying these cool new features?

source [Amazon]

via [The Ebook Reader]

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Firstview S1162 – Android convertible notebook

Tech site ARMDevices.net visited the offices of Shenzhen-based consumer electronics company, Firstview who showed off one of their newest products, a tablet called Firstview S1162. What’s so interesting about it? The S1162 is an 11.6-inch convertible notebook that looks, as Liliputing pointed out, suspiciously like Lenovo’s Yoga 2. Check it out.

Firstview S1162 Android notebook convertible 300x207 Firstview S1162 – Android convertible notebook

Firstview S1162 – Rockchip-powered convertible Android notebook

We’ve seen a whole lot of lookalikes – and fine, straight up rip-offs – in the past couple of years covering the tablet PC space and though some are outright knockoffs, others are simply twins aesthetics-wise. In the case of the latter, don’t they say that imitation is the best form of flattery? It looks like this may be the case with the S1162, as its similarities with the Yoga seem to be only skin deep (or in this case, plastic panel deep). Interestingly though, if you take a closer look at it, the slate has a Windows logo just under the screen – despite being an Android device. That curious bit makes it all the more similar to the Yoga 2, which actually runs a Windows 8.1 operating system.

lenovo yoga 2 13 inch convertible windows tablet 300x168 Firstview S1162 – Android convertible notebook
This.

Moving on, the Firstview S1162 sports an 11.6-inch display which maxes out at a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. Under the hood, it features a 1.6 GHz Rockchip RK3188 ARM Cortex-A9 quad core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage space. The other features are pretty standard: WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, an SD card slot, 3 USB ports, a mini HDMI port, and a 2 MP webcam. According to ARMDevices.net, the slate’s 7000 mAh battery can provide up to 4 hours of continuous video playback.

Like the Lenovo Yoga tablet PCs, the Firstview S1162 features a notebook mode, a stand mode (where the display is folded halfway), and a tablet mode (where the screen is folded into the keyboard).

Software-wise, it will reportedly ship with Android 4.4 KitKat and will come with some productivity apps preinstalled.

If you want to check it out further, then we suggest you watch the video below.

Pricing and availability

According to Firstview, the unit will be available soon – actually, the company is currently on the lookout for interested distributors. The Firstview S1162 will retail for around $199, which is quite competitive especially compared with the Lenovo’s Yoga line.

via [Liliputing]

source [ARMDevices.net]

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Updated Acer Aspire Switch 10 Windows tablet surfaces in Europe

The Acer Aspire Switch 10 Windows 8.1 tablet has been around for a little while now. In case you’re scratching your head and can’t remember exactly what it is, this is Acer’s 10-inch IPS 1366 x 768-pixel Windows tablet that can function as a laptop thanks to its keyboard accessory, but can quickly be pivoted into three other distinct positions (“tent” mode, “reverse laptop” mode and pure tablet) as users require or desire. This model is known as the SW5-011. Now we’ve received word that an updated version of the Switch 10 has broken cover. Read on and find out more about it!

Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5 012 Windows convertible tablet PC Updated Acer Aspire Switch 10 Windows tablet surfaces in Europe

 “Minor” updates

So the new model has been given the name of SW5-012 – we suppose you can see this as the SW5-011 plus 1, if you feel like it. Apparently the biggest update to the Switch 10 is the display: the old one has been replaced with a new 10.1 inch display that boasts higher resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels. Something quite significant for all the pixel-addicts out there (and there are many of them these days). The new display has a different ratio as well: 16:10.

Another change has to do with the processor. Unfortunately, according to our source, the new processor – the quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F Bay Trail, which can, at full boost, run at 1.83 GHz per core – is slightly less powerful than the unit it replaces. The situation with some of the included software is apparently just as iffy; we hear that the new version will no longer come with the full version of Microsoft Office 2013 and will only have one year of access to Office 365.

Most of the other stuff hasn’t changed; the new Switch 10’s RAM holds steady at 2 GB and the internal memory remains 64 GB.

A tad pricier, too

We’ve also learned that this new iteration of the Acer Aspire Switch 10 will be a bit pricier than its predecessor, at around 480 Euros versus 399 Euros for the outgoing model. Some of you might be a bit disheartened at that. Essentially, to us at least, what will make or break this new model will be whether the quality of the new screen will outweigh the “disadvantages” conferred by the supposedly “inferior” components that have been substituted for the newer ones. Let’s see how this particular cookie crumbles.

source [TabTech.de] (German site)

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Samsung Galaxy Tab Q Android phablet launched in China

Whether you believe the reports that Samsung’s got its back against the wall or not, the company continues to roll up its sleeves and get to work. Just a few hours ago, Samsung launched a new 7-inch phablet in China: its new Galaxy Tab Q model (SM-T2558). Scroll down to find out more about this new phablet!

Samsung Galaxy Tab Q China Mobile Android phablet 300x259 Samsung Galaxy Tab Q Android phablet launched in China

Midrange, but not chopped liver

The Galaxy Tab Q doesn’t have any high-end pretentions. A few standout features aside, this is a midrange unit and, as such, will serve to swell the ranks of Samsung’s midrangers in the extremely important Chinese market. It won’t carry the flag like the high-end units, nor will it be intended to (hopefully) saturate the market like the lower-echelon ones, but it will serve a purpose of its own.

So what’s the Tab Q got? Well, for starters, its display is a 7-inch, 720p unit. It’s powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor – our sources haven’t yet told us what this might be, we’ll have to get back to you on that one. Its main camera is an 8 MP affair (note: it’s got a flash), and the battery is a 3,200 mAh unit – which should be just OK to help users get through the day. Users also get Bluetooth 4.0, if that matters to you at all.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, this unit comes with 4G/LTE connectivity. As a matter of fact, it’ll be launching on China Mobile and China Unicom – and it will also feature voice calling support.

In this vein, what makes things a bit more interesting is that the Tab Q is on the small side (191.8 x 99.7 x 8.9 mm) and the light side too (250g) – making it just a little bit easier to hold up to your ear to make voice calls. Take a gander at the picture – this one looks more than a bit like a smartphone and not so much like a tablet or even a phablet. As such, this could be a great compromise between the portability and ease of operation of a smartphone and the screen real estate of an out-and-out tablet.

(And by the way, we hear that the Tab Q will also feature the same fake leather finish on the rear that the Note 3 also sports – love it or hate it, the choice is yours.)

Price and availability

We aren’t sure just yet how much the Samsung Galaxy Tab Q costs yet, but we should have that information soon for you if you’d like to find out. Is this a phablet that you might be interested in?

source [Samsung China]

via [SamMobile]

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iFixit tears down Android Wear

The folks at iFixit, if you remember them, are quite known for tearing down devices to know just how repairable said devices are (see them in action here, here, and here). This time around, they got their hands on two Android Wear devices, the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch.

Android Wear – The iFixit teardown review

The first two devices to feature Google’s new OS on wearable devices have just shipped to, well, early adopters, but just what is Android Wear? It’s basically an Android operating system built to work on smaller devices like smartwatches.

Anyway, so how did the two devices shape up in the iFixit repairability scale? Pretty high. The Gear Live got an 8, while the LG G (try saying that 5 times, really fast) got a more than respectable 9 out of the possible 10. Interestingly, the watches sport nearly the same specs, save for a few differences.

The Gear Live sports a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a 320 x 320 pixel resolution, which translates to 278 ppi. It features Bluetooth 4.0 LE, a heart rate monitor, a digital compass, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. Its 300 mAh battery can reportedly last an entire day of use on a single full charge. The LG G watch, on the other hand, packs an ever-so-slightly bigger 1.65-inch IPS LCD display, a 400 mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.0, and the sensor trio (accelerometer, gyro, and compass).

Both Android Wear watches have a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 APQ8026 quad-core processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 4 GB of internal storage. Both have an IP67 rating, which means that they can survive immersed into a meter of water for 30 minutes. Still though, it’s not recommended.

How much are these again?

If you’re interested in getting one of these Android Wear devices, then be sure to set aside a fair bit of cash. The LG G Watch retails for US $229, while the Samsung Gear Live will set you back US $199.99.

Remember: Kids, do not try this at home. Not only are the iFixit people professionals (which means they can put things back together again), but they are also in possession a budget for tearing down perfectly working US $200+ watches. So if you ever feel the need to see what the makes the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch tick, then head on over to the link below.

source [iFixit (Samsung Gear Live) and (LG G Watch)]

via [Liliputing]

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The Surface Mini really is dead

For those of you holding on to a little hope that Microsoft was going to launch the Surface Mini – the smaller, lighter version of its new Surface tablets – despite iffy news reports to the contrary, we’re very sorry to announce this, but the Surface Mini really isn’t going to see the light of day. Not now, not ever.

The source? No less than Microsoft itself.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Windows Tablet PC 300x168 The Surface Mini really is dead
We’ll have to stick with this one.

A tiny bit of history

Microsoft CFO Amy Hood said as much concerning the Surface Mini – OK, nearly as much – during the last Microsoft quarterly earnings call. Addressing the issue of diminished revenue from the company’s Surface tablet line, she said that this had taken place because the company had decided to do away with a product that had been unreleased. While she failed to identify the Surface Mini by name, other media sources confirmed that the Surface Mini really had been scrapped.

None of this is of course a “smoking gun”, so to speak, but it’s also worth noting that the company accidentally confirmed the existence of the Surface Mini in a user manual that actually did mention the Mini by name. Oops?

Whys and wherefores

Our source indicates that no less than new Microsoft head honcho Satya Nadella had a hand in the demise of the Surface Mini. The source, as well as many others, chalk this decision up to Nadella’s laser focus on productivity, and say that smaller-screened tablets, which are harder to work on and are thus less about productivity and more about consumption, really didn’t have much of a place in “the new Microsoft”, at least as far as tablets are concerned.

Want more proof? The new generation of Surface tablets is geared more towards those who need to get work done, from its new display aspect ratio (a bit of a far cry from the last generation of Surface tablets) to the fact that it runs full Windows 8.1 Pro.

If you’re feeling bereft after this announcement, don’t fret – there still are other tablet manufacturers who’d be more than willing to sell you a small Windows tablet. Just be open-minded and make sure to take a good look around before you decide.

source [Mashable]

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The VIA Viega is a rugged Android slate for enterprise users

Taiwanese chipmaker VIA recently announced a rugged Android tablet, made for – you guessed it – enterprise applications. The new slate is called the VIA Viega, and though it’s not nearly as powerful as Panasonic’s ToughPad line, it is made to withstand conditions that would murder your typical tablet PC. Read on to know more about it.

VIA Viega Android tablet PC 300x223 The VIA Viega is a rugged Android slate for enterprise users

VIA Viega: Rugged and ready for the field

Like the ToughPad line, this baby is IP65 rated, which means that it’s water-resistant and dust-proof, as well as shock and vibration resistant. According to the press release, it can survive falls from 2 meters and its LED backlit LCD screen is protected with tempered glass. Apart from its IP65 rating though, the VIA Viega seems like your typical 10.1-inch Android tablet. It features a 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 dual core CPU (with NEON technology and Mali-400 DP graphics), 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of flash memory. There are plenty of I/O slots and ports here: micro SIM, microSD card, 2 microUSB (one of which has DC12V-in/COM function), and micro HDMI. Other features include NFC and GPS support, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi connectivity, and a polymer battery that can apparently last up to 9 hours.

In case you do have to work out in the field, where presumably, there are no hotspots, fret not as this tablet has 3G support. The cameras, on the other hand, (a 2 MP front shooter and 5 MP main with autofocus) are optional.

Interestingly, VIA indicates that the Viega will feature an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS with “enhanced security features”, and that customers can ask for further customizations (“framework, kernel and device management customization services”). Epan Wu, Head of VIA Embedded Platform Division, had this to say about the slate:

As more and more enterprises seek to increase productivity and improve customer service by equipping their staff with mobile devices, they are quickly learning that it is critically important to deploy customized solutions built to withstand the demands of their target environments rather than standard off-the-shelf products. With its rugged design, enhanced security features, and customization support, the VIA Viega addresses this need and provides the longevity support that enterprise level customers require.

Pricing and availability

Unfortunately, the press release wasn’t as forthcoming about pricing and availability as it was with the VIA Viega’s specs. Stay tuned for more updates about this one.

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