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.

Samsung lashes out at Galaxy Tab S overheating “issues”

Samsung just can’t seem to catch a break these days. Hot on the heels of continued soft sales of its devices, including its top of the line units like the Galaxy S5 smartphone, and correspondingly diminishing profits are reports that its new Galaxy Tab S is overheating – and, worse, certain portions of some units are apparently beginning to warp as a result. The company is denying these reports despite what at least one owner’s “actual photographic evidence”. Read on to find out more!

samsung galaxy tab s 10.5 300x182 Samsung lashes out at Galaxy Tab S overheating “issues”

Warp and woof

Some of those whose Galaxy Tab S units are supposedly affected by this issue have been actively complaining on social media and in other venues.  As “proof”, at least one of those whose Tab S units are supposedly struggling with these issues has been posting pictures of his unit with a warped back, supposedly due to overheating.

However, the company is denying that these units are facing overheating issues. Instead, it’s blaming what it says is a “limited number” of “defective back covers” for the issue.

Samsung is categorically saying that this issue has absolutely nothing to do with either any overheating of the application processor or problems with the material used for the back cover of the Tab S, which happens to be plastic. (It may be worth noting at this point that Samsung’s continued use of plastic in its devices, even high-end ones, has been a sore point for many customers and critics who prefer the look and feel of metal – a key selling point of Apple’s iPads and iPhones and other units such as those crafted by HTC.)

Quite a contender

It would be quite a pity if this were to be true, because this latest tablet from Samsung is looking like it can give Apple’s class-leading iPad mini a run for its money. The Tab S features a 2560 x 1600 Super AMOLED display and sports an Exynos 5 octa-core processor and 3 GB of RAM.

We’ll keep abreast of this issue concerning the Galaxy Tab S – for Samsung’s sake, we hope it’s able to clear it up soon enough – and we’ll update you all when there’s a new development. Stay tuned!

source [Trusted Reviews]

 

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Sero 7+, another budget-friendly offering from Hisense

Hisense is really kicking it up into high gear, adding another Android tablet to its Sero line. It’s called the Hisense Sero 7+. According to reports, this may be the update to the Sero 7 LT, which if you remember is the Sero 7 Pro’s lower specced brother. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Hisense Sero 7+ Sero 7 Plus Android tablet PC Sero 7+, another budget friendly offering from Hisense

Hisense Sero 7+ – For the budget-conscious

From what we could see, this baby wasn’t made to blow your socks off. It packs a pretty modest 7-inch display with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, a 1.2 GHz Rockchip RK3168 Cortex-A9 dual core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage. If you need more storage space, you can add 32 GB more via the microSD card slot. Other features include a 2 MP main shooter, a 0.3 MP front facing camera, WiFi connectivity, and a 3000 mAh battery.

There were a few upgrades from last year’s 7 LT, which had an older 1.6 GHz dual core CPU, a smaller 4 GB built-in storage, and no rear facing camera. Some things stayed the same though – including the screen resolution. We’re not sure whether the newer Sero 7+ would have its predecessor’s mini HDMI port though. We’ll have to wait for further news to get the rest of the Sero 7+ tech specs, but from what do have, it seems to be pretty decent.

While this baby may not be a stunner specs-wise, it may turn a few heads in the pricing department.

Possible pricing

“Well, how much is it?” you ask. The Sero 8, another member of the line that was recently released, started selling for £90 in the UK. (Other online outlets’ prices range from US $120 to $140.) Considering that that tablet PC has, as the name suggests, a bigger 8-inch screen, as well as a 1.6 GHz quad core CPU and a bigger 16 GB storage, it should be safe to assume that the Sero 7+ will be a little cheaper.

Also, while we’re on the vein of assuming stuff: If the LT is getting an update, then the more popular Sero 7 Pro should be getting one soon too, right?

One can hope. And we’ll keep you posted so stay stuck.

via [Liliputing]

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LG G Pad 10.1 now available in the U.S.A. through Best Buy

US tablet enthusiasts, ahoy! The LG G Pad 10.1 is now available for purchase at Best Buy!

LG G Pad 10.1 Android tablet PC 171x300 LG G Pad 10.1 now available in the U.S.A. through Best Buy

LG is growing its tablet range in the States

The G Pad 10.1 isn’t LG’s only unit being sold in the U.S. The smaller G Pad 7.0 and 8.3 got there before it; the 8.3 is apparently better-specced than the 10.1, which will apparently be less fancy in order to be more price-competitive.

OK, so talking about specs… The 10.1, as its name suggests, will sport a 10.1-inch display with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1 GB RAM. It’s got a 5 MP main camera (albeit one without flash). It’s hardly something to blow the doors off your place, but nothing to sneer at either. The 10.1 will be running Android 4.4.2 KitKat, for those of you who’re wondering what Android version it’ll come with. Additionally, if you’re on the go most of the day and want a tablet that’s got a big battery, you might be interested to hear that this one has a powerful 8,000 mAh battery.

Oh, and there doesn’t seem to be an LTE-capable version out yet – this one is just the Wi-Fi-enabled version. We’ll just have to wait and see if and when an LTE-equipped version will be joining its Wi-Fi-sporting brethren in the future.

LG is trying hard to imbue all its tablets with its distinctive “LG-ness”, and, as such, this new tablet will also boast some of the features that the G3 smartphone touts, including the Knock Code unlock feature, the Smart Keyboard and the ability to take selfies through gesture controls.

Where and how much?

As of now, the LG G Pad 10.1 appears to be a Best Buy exclusive, and it can be bought for US $249.99. As of this writing, units can be purchased only in black – no other colors are currently available.

Will you be getting one? Does the LG brand have enough pull to prevent you from picking up a Samsung or Apple model instead? And will the G Pad 10.1’s size advantage be tempting enough to offset the feature advantage held by at least one of its smaller siblings? Let us know.

source [Best Buy]

via [Phone Arena]

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The Huawei MediaPad 7 Youth 2 drops in India

Another tablet has been unleashed in the Indian market – this time it’s the Huawei MediaPad 7 Youth 2. It might seem to have a bit of a strange name but the tablet seems pretty straightforward. Read on to find out more about it!

Huawei MediaPad 7 Youth 2 Android Tablet PC The Huawei MediaPad 7 Youth 2 drops in India

The next-gen Youth… is still a Youth

If you haven’t been keeping tabs on this particular Huawei model, you might very well be confused by its seemingly iffy nomenclature. The truth is, this is the next generation of Huawei’s MediaPad 7 Youth tablet – so it really can lay claim to being named “Youth 2”.

So what’s changed? Not too much, actually – our sources tell us that the operating system has been upgraded, from Android 4.1 to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; the MediaPad 7 Youth 2 now sports a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor instead of its predecessor’s 1.6 GHz dual-core processor; and the internal memory is now quite a bit lower (the Youth came with 8 GB standard, but the Youth 2 comes with just 4 GB). You win some, you lose some.

Most of the other features carry over from the Youth, such as the 3.15 MP rear camera and the screen resolution (1024 x 600). And yes, the Youth 2 can handle voice calls as well, for those of you who don’t mind being seen in public making calls on a gigantic “phone”.

What sets the MediaPad apart from the rising tide of inexpensive Android tablets that’s currently beginning to flood developing markets like India is the cachet afforded by the Huawei name and the fact that this tablet, like Apple’s popular units, has a metal unibody. A little touch of class at this price range can go a very long way, especially if most of the competition isn’t really distinguishable from one another. (Or so Huawei hopes.)

So, how much?

The Huawei MediaPad 7 Youth 2, while not as reasonably priced as the other unit we’re covering today (the Swipe Slice) is still priced to move at Rs. 10,990 ($180, thereabouts). If you’re interested, it can be purchased at online stores like Amazon, Flipkart and Infibeam. Do let us know if you’re taking the plunge and getting one for yourself.

source [ Amazon.in ]

via [ Tech2 ]

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Swipe Slice tablet launches in India

Those of you living in India and hankering for a new tablet might be interested to learn that Swipe Telecom has just launched a new tablet called Swipe Slice. While it’s no reason to phone home feature-wise, it’s priced well – really well, as a matter of fact. Read on to find out more about this baby!

Swipe Slice Android Tablet PC Swipe Slice tablet launches in India

Swipe Slice: A bit low-range, but rather interesting all the same

No, we’re not damning this new unit with faint praise. The Swipe Slice might not be something to turn the heads of Western buyers (or, it has to be said, more sophisticated buyers in developing markets), but for those on a budget it can be something really worthy of consideration.

First off, the Swipe Slice is a 7-incher with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. It runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean – a little bit behind the times – and is powered by a 1.3 GHz dual-core MediaTek MT8312 processor that’s coupled with a Mali 400 GPU to tackle graphics. It runs 512 MB of RAM and comes with 4 GB of internal storage; if that’s not enough for you, then you’d be glad to know it also sports a microSD card slot that can accept cards up to 32 GB.

Camera-wise, megapixel fanatics won’t find much to love about the Swipe Slice; its main snapper is just 2 MP and its front-facing cam only 0.3 MP. Shutterbugs may want to look elsewhere. Oh, and did we mention that it supports voice calls and it’s a dual-SIM affair to boot? For those of you maintaining two SIM cards, this might be something of a big plus if you want to reduce your gadget count.

The one thing that may turn mobile warriors off about the Swipe Slice is the fact that, if our sources are correct, it doesn’t come with 3G connectivity – a seemingly strange omission in this day and age. That said, however, it does come with almost all the other popular wireless technologies – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.

Although the Swipe Slice is reputedly going to be made available in black, red, blue, yellow and white, only the black and white variants appear to be on sale as of this writing.

OK, how much then?

If you want to buy one despite the strange lack of 3G, the Swipe Slice can be yours for the low, low price of RS. 4,999 (around $83) – really not expensive at all. So even though this new tablet is hardly something to make the likes of the iPad mini or Nexus 7 blink, it’s still worthy of mention (and coverage) due to its value for money – at least on paper. If we’re lucky enough to give one a spin, we’ll tell you what it’s like.

source [ Amazon.in]

via [ NDTV Gadgets]

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Rumor: Galaxy Note 4 to feature flexible screen and metal housing?

Samsung seems to have its back against the wall. Its range topping Galaxy S5 hasn’t garnered rave reviews due to, among other things, its “less than upscale” plastic back – this against the backdrop of a poor sales performance year-on-year in the first quarter of 2014. Stung by said comments and wanting to shore up its reputation and bottom line, it should come as no surprise that the company is trying to do better. Which brings us to this latest rumor: The Galaxy Note 4 phablet will supposedly come with a metal housing. But there’s more – the Note 4 is also rumored to sport “advanced new technologies” such as a flexible screen.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Tablet PC 300x204 Rumor: Galaxy Note 4 to feature flexible screen and metal housing?
Imagine this is metal.

A mix of innovation and following in others’ footsteps?

Samsung is supposedly attempting to ape its nemesis Apple and other companies such as HTC whose efforts to give their units a quality, “classy” feel have been successful. These companies’ range-topping units – Apple’s iPhone 5S and HTC’s One M8 – are mostly made of metal and have received plenty of praise for their design. Not only that, but Johnny-come-lately brands such as OnePlus, with its One phone, have also been going the mostly-metal route and have also received plenty of applause for doing so.

This rumor has it, therefore, that Samsung is looking to use “premium materials” like stainless steel, magnesium and aluminum in its upcoming Note 4. However, not all Note 4 units will purportedly enjoy such construction; only premium versions of these units are supposedly going to get this treatment. So it’s likely that the non-range-topping Note 4 units will still sport plastic bodies, or so goes the rumor.

Hold your horses, though, because from this point onwards, things get much more interesting. Samsung is purportedly looking to introduce some really cutting edge features, such as a flexible display and a standout camera. Regarding the first point, our source says that Samsung has invested in half again as much manufacturing equipment in order to churn out the flexible displays needed for the Note 4; concerning the second point, we hear that this phablet will feature a camera with anywhere from 12 to 16 megapixels, as well as an “Optical Image Stabilization” feature for better and clearer images.

Let’s see how it goes

There’s no word on price and availability yet, though, so stay stuck – we’ll bring you more updates as we get them.

Either way, though, if the rumors are true, it’s good to see that Samsung is fighting back and trying its best to come up with products that really do offer more than the competition does. On that note, however, Apple’s larger iPhones are about to be released, and as usual the industry is in a tizzy waiting for them to drop – let’s wait and see how the Galaxy Note 4 matches up to the supposed Apple phablet.

source [ Tabtech.de ] (machine translation)

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EVLeaks: HTC crafting T7 and T12 Android tablets

Another day, another Android tablet rumor. This one, though, comes from one of the “rumor-mongers” with a better track record than most: no less than EVLeaks (@evleaks). In a nutshell, the EVLeaks people are saying that HTC – you remember, they’re supposed to be hard at work on the rumored “Volantis”, the next-generation small Nexus tablet – is also working on a couple more tablets as well, the T7 and T12.

htc logo 1024x651 EVLeaks: HTC crafting T7 and T12 Android tablets

Where do they fit in?

To be perfectly honest, we’re not quite sure where the rumored T7 and T12 might fit in HTC’s lineup – and that’s partly because there are just about no details available concerning these two units just yet.

Well, we need to clarify our first statement. HTC hasn’t been one of the tablet-crazy Android manufacturers; far from it, as a matter of fact. It’s been a long time since the company’s released an Android tablet: they were actually one of the first to market with the HTC Flyer – does anyone remember that old tablet? You know, one of the first with an integrated stylus? Yeah, it’s been a while.

But given how popular tablets are at present, recent news about the tablet market softening notwithstanding – as well as the enduring success the company has had developing Nexus smartphones for Google – it should come as little surprise that HTC wants in on the market. Thus the “Volantis”, and thus these two tablets, or so the rumor goes. If the names are indicative of screen sizes, where they might be situated becomes clearer – the T7 could be a seven-incher, and the T12 a whopping twelve-incher, bracketing the “Volantis” which will supposedly be a hair under nine inches.

All other details, TBD

Essentially that’s all we have about the T7 and T12. But if the rumors about them are true, it could say a lot about HTC. The company’s been rumored to be in some trouble given the fact that only Samsung among all the Android manufacturers is making money doing what they do; however, if HTC is really working on the T7 and T12, it could signify that the company is digging in its heels and has grand plans for us tech geeks. More to come, stay stuck!

source [ EVLeaks]

via [ Liliputing]

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Revealed: Rumored press materials for the new Nvidia Shield Tablet

Tablet fanatics worth their salt nowadays have been keeping abreast of the rumor that Nvidia is crafting the Shield Tablet to replace its handheld Android device, the original Shield. Well, we’ve just received word of a few purported press materials for this new tablet. Join us as we take a gander at them.

NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet 5 Android Gaming Tablet PC 1024x576 Revealed: Rumored press materials for the new Nvidia Shield Tablet
image via videocardz.com

Shield Tablet: Two versions to drop soon?

OK, first things first: the new Nvidia Shield will supposedly drop on July 29 in the U.S. and Canada, August 14 in Europe and Fall 2014 for the rest of the world –  about a week from this writing for you in the U.S. of A. That doesn’t give you plenty of time to save up for it, but whatever, right?

Secondly, the new Shield will purportedly come in not one but two retail versions. The first is a Wi-Fi tablet that will come with 16 GB of internal storage (US $299); the second will have twice the storage and LTE connectivity, and will cost US $399. Not enough for you? The Tablet is also supposedly going to feature a microSD slot that can support cards up to 128 GB.

We’re also hearing about accessories: covers that’ll function as stands and quick and fast ways to turn on and shut off the Shield units, and which cost buyers a hair under $40; and an extra controller that will cost $59. We hear that this controller will use the Wi-Fi Direct technology to link to the Shield Tablet or Shield. This, according to Nvidia, will serve to make the controller far more responsive by cutting lag significantly – according to the company, by a whopping half vis-à-vis Bluetooth.

Both models will purportedly be powered by a 2.2 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra K1 chip and 192-core Kepler GPU, and sport an 8-inch IPS display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, front-facing speakers, front and rear cameras (5 MP each, we hear – a bit of a surprise given that rear or “main” cams are usually more powerful). The units will supposedly also come with two-stream Wireless-N and Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity, and Nvidia’s full range of gaming features.

What’s the damage?

Okay, our sources say that the Wi-Fi-only and 16 GB Nvidia Shield Tablet will go for $299, whereas the 32 GB model with LTE connectivity will cost $399.

Interested? You won’t have to hold your breath for too much longer, at least not if the rumored July 29 launch date is accurate. So, will you be taking the plunge?

source [ VideoCardz ]

via [ PCMag ]

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NPD DisplaySearch: Quarterly slate shipments decline for the first time

If quarterly tablet shipments are any indication, it seems that tablets may not be as white-hot as almost everyone thought they would be – at least, not as hot as they used to be. Research firm NPD DisplaySearch said that at 56 million units, shipments of tablets in the first quarter of 2014 were lower than in the same quarter in 2013 – the very first time that such a decline has taken place.

 NPD DisplaySearch: Quarterly slate shipments decline for the first time

Seven-inchers are slumping, according to NPD DisplaySearch

While this is partly due to delays in the launch of new products, it’s emerging that seven-inch tablets are doing poorly. According to Hisakazu Torii, vice president, smart application research at NPD DisplaySearch, “Tablet PC demand in 2014 is being impacted by falling demand for seven-inch-class sizes in emerging regions and in China, where many local white-box brands have experienced lower-than-expected shipment growth.”

Why could this be the case? Experts say that competition from phablets is dampening demand for smaller tablets. Moreover, this competition is expected to reduce demand for these tablets through 2018. The report said that unit share for tablets 7 inches to 7.9 inches got as high as 58% in 2013, but that is as high as it will probably get; NPD expects this figure to decline in 2014 and beyond.

And what, then, about the much-ballyhooed saying that tablets would kill the PC? As Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports for ZDNet, shipments of notebook PCs were actually up in 1Q 2014 – purportedly better than expected thanks to the commercial PC refresh cycle and migration of users to Windows XP. So maybe tablets aren’t going to be the PC killers that they were purported to be after all.

Improvements on the horizon

However, this doesn’t mean that tablets will be completely out of the picture; NPD also says that larger tablets, those 8 inches and above, will start booming, with shipments of 8 to 10.9-inch units overtaking those of smaller units by 2018, while shipments of 11-inch and larger tablets will exceed 10% of the market by that same year.

(We add that these are shipment projections and not sales projections – sales figures are another animal altogether. But please do stick with us to keep abreast of developments in this sphere.)

source [ NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report]

via [ ZDNet]

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