Rumor: Apple iPhone phablet to be produced in September 2014 – after iPhone 6

It’s that time of year again for Apple rumors – well, actually, the Apple buzz never seems to go out of season, does it?

The current crop of juicy rumors has to do with the upcoming replacement for the range-topping iPhone 5S, as well as what some analysts are saying will be Apple’s addition to the iPhone lineup, a larger-screened iPhone phablet. Said phone will supposedly sport a bigger 4.7-in display and a fresh new design – an even thinner housing than that of the iPhone 5S and a processor that’s even faster than that powering the 5S – and the iPhone phablet will have a similar design but will come with a larger 5.5-in screen.

Apple iPad Mini Tablet PC Rumor: Apple iPhone phablet to be produced in September 2014 – after iPhone 6

So maybe this, but smaller?

Staggered release schedules?

The latest rumor, from Taiwanese Industrial and Commercial Times and relayed to us by Boy Genius Report and EMSOne, states that while the purported larger-screened iOS device is indeed in the works, its production is taking a back seat to that of the supposed iPhone 6. Apple is purportedly hard at work getting the iPhone 6 ready for release in the fall of 2014.

However, insist these and other sources, the Cupertino-based company won’t begin mass production of the iPhone phablet until sometime in September, and will thus only hit the market later in 2014 or maybe in early 2015.

A staggered launch schedule for these two purported devices – with the new iPhone slated to be released before the phablet – seems to make sense given that Apple certainly wouldn’t want any new phablet to steal its most popular product’s thunder.

Up on the bandwagon… ?

While Apple has been adamant about producing devices that are optimized for one-hand operation – the iPhone debuted with a 3.5-in display in 2007, and persisted with screens of that size for four years – the company has begun to appear to consider that it can ill afford to ignore the burgeoning market for larger screened devices, even though they are somewhat harder to operate than smaller ones. The iPhone 5, introduced in 2012, had a screen half an inch longer than any of its predecessors.

More recently, as revealed during the course of the ongoing Apple-Samsung trial, Apple may have admitted that “customers want what we don’t have” – phones with larger screens than what it currently offers, the only segment of the smartphone market that’s currently seeing any growth whatsoever – and thus may have no choice but to join practically every other manufacturer on the ‘phablet’ bandwagon.

[ via Boy Genius Report ]

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Micromax tugs the covers off its new Canvas Doodle 3 six-inch Jelly Bean phablet

The last time we covered Indian outfit Micromax – India’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer – we told you about the Canvas LapTab, its Celeron-powered dual-boot (Windows and Android) tablet intended for the Indian, Russian and perhaps North American markets. Since then, Micromax’s work has continued apace; the firm’s just launched the Jelly Bean-running Canvas Doodle 3, its new six-inch phablet, in New Delhi. Let’s take a quick gander at this upcoming device.

Micromax Canvas Doodle 3 Android Phablet Micromax tugs the covers off its new Canvas Doodle 3 six inch Jelly Bean phablet

image via tech.firstpost.com

A middle-of-the-road spec sheet

The Canvas Doodle 3 picks up from where Micromax left off with its phablet predecessors. The first Canvas Doodle sported a 5.3-in screen and the second a 5.7-in HD display; with the new broom’s 6-in FWVGA 480 x 854 pixel display, Micromax is toeing the upper limit of the phablet segment. But that’s all to the good, given the cresting popularity of big (and bigger) phones in this day and age.

The phablet will come with a slightly older Jelly Bean flavor, Android 4.2.2, to be exact. To help the Canvas Doodle 3 stand out from the crowd, Micromax is touting the phablet’s bundled M!Doodle app, which gives users the ability to input text via scribbling instead of via the keyboard, as well as scrawl text over pictures and so on. Other preloaded apps include Kingsoft Office, Opera, the Bigflix movie-on-demand app, the Getit local destination search app, and games like Rope Cut and Jelly Jumper.

Hardware-wise, the Canvas Doodle 3 won’t raise too many eyebrows with its 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 4 GB ROM and 512 MB RAM. Neither will its 5 MP autofocus rear camera and 0.3 MP front snapper draw crowds. The phablet features two SIM card slots; its 4 GB of internal memory can be expanded to 32 GB via microSD. It’ll feature WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Micromax says the phablet’s 2,500 mAh battery is good enough for nine hours of talk time.

Pricing and availability

Has the Canvas Doodle 3 piqued your interest? Micromax won’t be charging too much for it. It’ll go for about 8,500 INR, or a hair under US $140, when it hits stores in India beginning April 25. No word as of this writing regarding either pricing or availability dates elsewhere, but we’ll keep you posted.

[ Via IndiaToday ]

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Hisense Sero 8 – Android on a budget

Remember the Sero 7 tablets that were released last year? Well, Hisense is adding another tablet to the line, the Hisense Sero 8. As the name suggests, it will be sporting an 8-inch display, and like the previous slates in the line, will come with an affordable price tag. Check it out!

Hisense Sero 8 Android Tablet PC Hisense Sero 8 – Android on a budget

Hisense Sero 8 – Slightly bigger, budget slate

So what does this slightly bigger slate have to offer? Well, its 8-inch IPS display maxes out at 1280 x 800 pixel resolution and supports 5-point multi-touch. The rest of the specs are modest compared to other 8-inchers out there, but are pretty decent for a budget offering. The Hisense Sero 8 features a 1.6 GHz Rockchip RK3188T quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage. Other features include 2 cameras (a VGA front camera and a 2 MP rear shooter), WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a microSD card slot, and a 4000 mAh battery.

Though the hardware is a little mediocre, software-wise, this tablet PC will reportedly ship with Google’s latest operating system, Android 4.4 KitKat.

Pricing and Availability

The Hisense Sero 8 is now available for pre-order in the UK for £90 – which is around US $150. We’re not sure when this will land on US shores, but it should be pretty soon.

So. What do you think? The specs and features are pretty sparse. Considering the price point though, we’re not really that surprised. We do hope Hisense releases a Pro version of this though, like last year’s Sero 7 Pro. That is a real winner, isn’t it? Or at least it was when it first hit the shelves last year. It packed an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, and better cameras compared to the Sero 8, a 2 MP front-facing camera and a 5 MP rear camera. It debuted with a US $150 price tag, which was a real dealmaker considering the little powerhouse had Nexus 7 (2013)-ish tech specs.

At any rate, the Sero 8 seems like a good tablet for penny-pinchers out there. It won’t cost an arm and a leg, but you won’t be able to expect any heavy lifting out of this tablet PC.

via [ The Digital Reader ]

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Transformer Pad TF103C – Android Bay Trail Convertible

According to reports, Asus is bringing another Android tablet to market, the Transformer Pad TF103C. This baby will be sporting a Bay Trail processor and like most tablet PCs in the line, a detachable keyboard dock as well. So what can we expect from this new slate?

Asus Transformer Pad TF103C Android Tablet PC Transformer Pad TF103C – Android Bay Trail Convertible

Transformer Pad TF103C – Bay Trail-powered Android slate

A retail site had let slip a few details about the TF103C, according to mobile gadget site Liliputing. The new Transformer will have a 10.1-inch IPS display with a modest 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. The slate features a new Intel Atom Bay Trail-T Z3745 quad-core processor, a 64-bit, x86 chip that reportedly clocks in at around 1.33 GHz (with Turbo, you can get around 1.8 GHz) and has an embedded Intel HD Graphics GPU.

The rest of the tech specs are pretty standard: 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a USB 2.0 port, a 0.3 MP front-facing camera, a 2 MP rear shooter, and a microSDXC card slot that can support up to 64 GB of removable storage. The slate will also feature a 5070 mAh battery, and as mentioned above, a keyboard dock as well. The tablet will measure 257.46 x 178.4 x 9.9 mm and weigh 542 grams, while the dock will adds 19.8 mm around the midsection and 540 grams of weight. The keyboard dock, judging from the weight, will probably have a battery built in so we’re expecting at least whole day up time on this slate.

The Transformer Pad TF103C will come with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, though some reports indicate that it will have KitKat out of the box.

Pricing and Availability

We’re not sure if this baby will land in North American shores – the retail site is based in Europe. It looks pretty mid-range from where we’re sitting, and some reports indicate that this may go for EU 350 once it hits the shelves on that side of the pond. At any rate, the Transformer Pad TF103C looks like a good tablet on paper and looks like a decent device for people on the go. Check out the specs on the retail site linked below.

source [ digitec.ch, via Liliputing ]

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Meet HP’s Slate 8 Pro Business Tablet

Late last year, Hewlett Packard released the Slate 8 Pro, an 8-inch Android tablet with an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor. According to reports, a business model of the said tablet PC has just been released, aptly called the Slate 8 Pro Business tablet. Check it out below.

HP Slate 8 Pro Business tablet PC Meet HP’s Slate 8 Pro Business Tablet

Slate 8 Pro Business packs KitKat, Tegra 4

The Business model is pretty much like its consumer-centric brother in terms of tech specs. It packs an 8-inch WVA TFT LCD display with a 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It’s powered by a 1.8 GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 ARM Cortex-A15 processor, 1 GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and a 16 GB SSD. Other features include a 720p front-facing camera, an 8 MP rear-facing camera with auto-focus and LED flash, a micro USB 2.0 port, a micro HDMI port, and a microSD card slot. The Slate 8 Pro Business has WiFi (Miracast compatible) and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. According to the tech specs, it can provide eleven and a half hours of video playback on a single charge, courtesy of its 2-cell 21 WHr Li-ion polymer battery.

The slate will measure 8.66 x 5.57 x 0.39 in (220 x 141.5 x 9.9 mm) and weigh around a pound (453.59 g). This depends on the configuration though.

So what’s the difference between this and last year’s model? Well, a couple of things. This will ship out with Google’s latest OS, Android 4.4 KitKat and will pack NFC capabilities too.

Pricing and Availability

The other difference is that it is 20 dollars more expensive than the consumer version released last year. The Slate 8 Pro Business tablet is already available at HP’s online store and it retails for US $349.

It doesn’t look like much of an update, does it? The Slate 8 Pro is one of the faster Android devices out there, considering the Tegra 4 CPU, but we’re sure customers were hoping for more than a software update. The RAM, for one, could use an upgrade.

Here’s some food for thought. With a little more money, you can get Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 (US $399). It packs a sharper 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution display and a zippier 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor. The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (US $379) and the Apple iPad mini with Retina display (US $399) also have better specs and screen quality.

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Snakebyte Vyper gaming device-slash-media center

We’ve seen Android-driven gaming devices before (read: Wikipad, GamePad, various JXD devices), though there’s one that aims to do it all: the Snakebyte Vyper. It’s a three-in-one device. How so? Read on to know more about it below.

Snakebyte Vyper: The 3-in-one device

This baby is from Sunflex, and on paper, it’s pretty impressive. It has a 7-inch display with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. Under the hood, it packs a 1.6 GHz Rockchip RK3188 ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core processor coupled with a Mali-400 GPU, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. It has a microSD card slot that supports up to 64 GB, a 2 MP front-facing camera, and a 5 MP rear shooter. It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box.

What really makes this slate stand out is its accessories.

TV dock. As the name suggests, this allows you to hook up the slate to your TV for a bigger screen gaming experience. If you pop the tablet into the dock, you can choose to view your games on the big screen and your tablet, or just on the TV screen. Of course, you can also take advantage of the bigger screen real estate when you watch videos, play music, and browse the net.

AirMouse. This device looks more like a remote control than anything else, though it does have a keyboard too. The AirMouse works just like the Wiimote, meaning you can use it to control a cursor on the screen. It lets you control content playback – like a regular remote – as well as input text on the screen.

Bluetooth controller. Like any game controller, this accessory packs the necessary buttons, analog sticks, and D-pad. According to reports, the Snakebyte Vyper will let you connect up to 8 controllers to one tablet for multiplayer goodness.

Pricing and Availability

The Snakebyte Vyper is already available in stores. The Media bundle includes slate together with the TV dock and the AirMouse and costs US $200. The Gaming bundle includes all three plus a Bluetooth controller and costs US $250.

So what do you think? You can get an Nvidia Shield for roughly the same price as the Vyper, and in a straight out comparison though, the Shield wins since that packs a powerhouse Nvidia Tegra 4 and a 72-core GeForce GPU.

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Tegra Note 7 LTE version at $299

Nvidia is bringing an update to its other Android device, and according to their post, it “comes with great connections.” Enter the Tegra Note 7 LTE.

xolo play tegra note 7 tablet pc Tegra Note 7 LTE version at $299

Tegra Note 7 LTE: Specs and Features

Technically, Nvidia’s new baby has the same specs as the WiFi-only version. It has the same 7-inch HD IPS LCD screen with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. It also packs the same punch under the hood with a 1.8 GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 ARM Cortex-A15 quad-core processor with a 72-core GeForce graphics processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage. The Tegra Note 7 LTE also features a VGA front camera, a 5 MP rear shooter, micro USB and micro HDMI ports, a microSD card slot (that can support up to 32 GB), and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. It runs on an Android operating system and since this is Nvidia we’re talking about, their little slate now has Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

Of course, what really sets it apart is its i500 LTE modem. According to Nvidia’s post:

Now, we’re added lightning-fast mobile data to the mix. Tegra NOTE 7 is available with LTE and HSPA+ mobile connectivity, and it can operate on popular carriers across the world. With cellular connectivity, consumers can now get access to the web, check out maps and play videos anywhere they go by purchasing a minimum data plan from many carriers.

Other Notes

According to the announcement, Nvidia and their partners are bringing the Tegra Note 7 LTE to select regions and further widening distribution to include Western Europe, Brazil, and Ukraine in the next few months. We’re not sure if they’re planning to bring the Tegra Note 7 to other countries, but at the moment, only 9 countries have Nvidia partners that handle distribution:

Country Partner
North America EVGA
UK Dixons
Western Europe EVGA, Gigabyte
Ukraine Gazer
Japan Zotac
Korea Gigabyte, Zotac
India XOLO
Brazil Gradiente
China Gigabyte, Homecare

Anyway, let’s hope they bring it to other regions soon. The Tegra Note 7 LTE will hit the shelves this month and will have a US $299 price tag. If you’re not too keen on shelling out 300 dollars on this slate, then maybe you should check out the WiFi-only version which retails for US $199.

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Enter the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+

If you’re up to get something with higher specs than Lenovo’s Tab A-Series, then check out their other recent release, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+. As the name suggests, this is a member of Lenovo’s multi-mode product line. Let’s check it out, shall we?

Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ Android Tablet PC Enter the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+

Yoga Tablet 10 HD+: Specs and Features

This flexible Android tablet packs a 10.1-inch Full HD IPS display with a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution and wide-viewing angles (178 degrees, according to the specs sheet). It’s available in two models, 3G and WiFi-only, and each model will feature different CPUs. The 3G model will have a 1.6 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8228 quad-core processor, while the WiFi-only model will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 APQ8028 quad-core processor – don’t worry, it has the same clock speed. Both models will pack 2 GB of LP-DDR2 RAM and will be offered in two storage options: 8 GB and 16 GB variants.

Other features include a 1.6 MP front-facing camera, an 8 MP rear-facing camera, a micro USB port, and a microSD card slot that can support up to 64 GB of extra space. Both models will have WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, though the 3G model will sport a micro SIM card slot. Both models will have a fairly large 9000 mAh battery which can last up to 18 hours of use on a single charge – at least, according to Lenovo’s spec sheet.

The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ will ship with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but is upgradeable to 4.4 KitKat via an OTA update. Like most of Lenovo’s Yoga tablets of late, this baby will feature three usage modes: Hold, Tilt, and Stand. It stands on fat cylindrical end with the help of a little built-in kickstand. It will be available in two colors: silver and gold. It will also have some useful accessories, including a MiraCast dongle, a Bluetooth keyboard cover, and colored sleeves.

Pricing and Availability

According to reports, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ should hit the shelves this month and will start at US $349.  The KitKat update, on the other hand, is due in May.

Overall, it looks like a pretty decent tablet – especially since it sports definite upgrades from its predecessors, the Yoga Tablet 10 and the Yoga Tablet 8. It may prove to be a nice all-day tablet, at least on paper. We’ll have to see how it performs in real world conditions once it hits the shelves.

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Lenovo Tab A-Series – New budget-friendly tablet line-up

So Samsung’s not the only one with a new line of budget slates. The new Lenovo Tab A-Series is the Chinese tablet maker’s update to their entry level line-up. Let’s check it out, shall we?

Lenovo Tab A8 Android Tablet PC Lenovo Tab A Series – New budget friendly tablet line up

Lenovo Tab A-Series – 4 new tablet PCs

This may cause a little déjà vu, but Lenovo’s budget line also features slates in the 7-, 8-, and 10.1-inch size divisions. All models in the Lenovo Tab A-Series have unapologetically low end specs, but we have to admit that each one is geared toward certain niches.

A7-30. This little baby features a 7-inch display with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution and packs a 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT8382 quad-core CPU. Other features include 2 cameras (a front facing VGA one, and a 2 MP rear shooter, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a 3,500 mAh battery. It will come in variants with SIM card support.

A7-50. This is pretty much like the A7-30, except it has a “wide-view HD display”.

A8. This is the 8-inch model in the bunch. It features slightly better specs with an IPS display with a higher 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, a 2 MP front facing camera, a 5 MP rear facing camera, and a bigger 4,200 mAh battery.

A10. The biggest slate in the bunch, the Tab A10 has the same 1280 x 800 pixel resolution as the A8. It has the same 2 MP front facing camera and 5 MP rear facing camera, but it has a bigger 6,340 mAh battery. It has the standard WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, plus optional 3G.

According to the press release, the Tab A7-30 is made for music lovers, while the Tab A7-50 is made for those who like to read on their slates. The A8 is marketed toward “home entertainment on the move” – you know, all those tablet-y stuff: playing games, surfing the net, watching videos, and listening to music. Lastly, the A10 is made for movie lovers. Software-wise, we’re not sure what version of Android will feature in these slates.

Pricing and Availability

According to reports, the Lenovo Tab A-Series will hit the stores in the second quarter of this year. Like Samsung’s new line up, these babies are geared toward the budget-conscious and are thus priced accordingly. The A7-50, A8, and A10 will start at £99.99, £139.99, and £169.99, respectively. We’ll have to wait for an official announcement regarding the US pricing, so stay tuned for that.

via [ Liliputing and Android Central ]

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Samsung (finally!) outs the new Galaxy Tab 4 line up

After a few weeks of leaked images (here and here, courtesy of @evleaks) and leaked benchmark tests (courtesy of GFXBench), Samsung has finally gone ahead and officially introduced its updated entry-level tablet PC series, the Galaxy Tab 4. Let’s check it out, shall we?

Finally official: Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

The new Galaxy Tab 4 series, stylized Galaxy Tab4, comes in three sizes and therefore three variants: 7.0, 8.0, and 10.1 models.

The Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 features a 7-inch WXGA display with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor (leaked benchmark tests reveal this to be a Snapdragon 400), and 1.5 GB of RAM. It will come in two storage size variants, 8 and 16 GB, and two connectivity variants too, 3G/WiFi and LTE. The 3G/WiFi model will have a microSD card slot that can support up to 32 GB of extra space, while the LTE model will be able to support up to 64 GB. The rest of the specs are equally underwhelming: a 1.3 MP front facing camera, a 3 MP fixed focus rear camera, a USB 2.0 port, plus WiFi, WiFi Direct and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. It measures 107.9 x 186.9 x 9 mm, and weighs 276 g.

The 8.0 slate will have the same resolution and overall specs and features as the 7.0 model. All its variants, however, will have 16 GB of built-in storage and microSD card support of up to 64 GB. It will be powered by a 4450 mAh battery, will measure in at 124.0 x 210.0 x 7.95 mm, and will weigh 320 g.

Lastly, the 10.1 will also have the same screen resolution and specs. It will also have the same built-in storage and microSD card support as the 8.0 model. It will have a bigger 6800 mAh battery and will measure 243.4 x 176.4 x 7.95mm, and will weigh 487 g.

All three will ship out with the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system.

Pricing and Availability

Samsung’s press release further reveals that the Galaxy Tab 4 series will be available in black and white models, and hit the stores sometime in Q2 this year. Unfortunately, they didn’t release any info regarding the slates’ pricing so we will have to wait for that announcement in the coming months.

In the meantime, what do you think? How much would you be willing to spend on these babies?

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