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

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

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

Apple iPhone 6 Plus
image via arstechnica.net

A Plus-sized contender for the smartphone crown

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

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

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

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

Price and availability

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

source [AppleInsider]

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Meet the new Asus VivoTab 8 (M81C)

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

Asus VivoTab 8 (M81C) Windows 8.1 tablet PC

New Asus VivoTab 8 – Budget-friendly Windows 8 slate

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

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

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

So how much is it?

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

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

via [Liliputing]

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iBall debuts Slide WQ32 business slate in India

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

iBall Slide WQ32 Windows 8.1 tablet PC

iBall’s first 3G business tablet

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

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

How much?

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

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

source [NDTV Gadgets]

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Welcome the Alpentab, a wooden Windows tablet from Austria

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

Wood, glorious wood

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

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

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

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

If a woodchuck could chuck wood…

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

source [UMPC Portal]

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HP launches new Envy x2 two-in-one lineup

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

HP Envy x2 tablet PC hybrid

HP’s twin titans

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

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

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

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

Price and availability

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

source [Liliputing]

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

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

Acer Iconia Tab 8 W Windows 8.1 tablet PC
Acer Iconia Tab 8 W Windows 8.1 tablet PC

The Iconia Tab 8 W – productivity on the cheap

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

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

Acer Iconia Tab 10 Android Tablet PC
Acer Iconia Tab 10 Android Tablet PC

The Iconia Tab 10 – media savvy for less

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

Acer Iconia One 8 Android tablet PC
Acer Iconia One 8 Android tablet PC

The Iconia One 8 – all things bright and colorful

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

source [ZDNet]

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Toshiba Encore Mini budget Windows tablet drops at IFA 2014

The cost of Windows 8 tablets has been dropping, in some cases considerably, over the last few months. Mostly this has been due to less-known brands trying to make a splash in the market by being able to move cheap units. But more and more of the more established and more reputable brands have been encroaching on the territory of the less famous brands. Toshiba’s one of the latest with its Encore Mini tablet, which retails for a whisker over $100. Read up on the Encore here!

Toshiba Encore Mini Windows 8.1 tablet PC

Cheap and chipper

The 7-inch Encore Mini is the first tablet from a top manufacturer to enter into the bargain-basement category. As such, although you do get full Windows 8.1, everything else is really rather basic. The display is just 1024 x 600 pixels; the processor an Atom one (the quad core Z3735G from Intel with 1 GB of RAM); the storage limited to 16 GB (expandable up to 128 GB via a microSD card slot); and the cameras just 2 MP (main) and 0.3 MP (front-facing). All told, not too much to write home about.

That said, Toshiba is sweetening the pot; it’s offering a full year of Office 365 for free, as well as a whopping 1TB of OneDrive storage, also gratis for one year.

Additionally, for those of you worried about whether a seven-inch Windows tablet can be in any way usable, both Toshiba and Microsoft appear to have sweated the details: the scaling has been optimized such that even in desktop mode, objects and icons on screen can be made large enough to be easily hit by one’s fingers. We can’t wait to give that a try – anything that makes smaller devices like these usable for big work applications like Excel, and which works seamlessly too, is no less than a winner in our book.

Like it? It’s available

If the Toshiba Encore Mini has piqued your interest, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s already available – you can pick one up for just US $120. Or you can just sit and wait – we’re definite Toshiba’s only the first major-league player to sell really cheap tablets of this sort, and that the competition will really heat up sooner rather than later.

source [Engadget]

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phablet takes the stage at IFA 2014

The biggest news from Samsung at IFA 2014 is its launch of its “second flagship” – the Galaxy Note 4, which joins the Galaxy Edge atop the sprawling Samsung smartphone/phablet range. Read on to find out more!

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910 Android phablet

Samsung’s big brawler

Let’s start with the first thing people will look at, the screen. The Note 4’s got a terrific one: a 5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display. It’s got 2560 x 1440 resolution and can supposedly offer excellent viewing angles and really sharp response times.

Pick it up and you’ll notice that this time around, Samsung’s seen fit to incorporate plenty of metal in this version of the Note. It’s got a metal frame, like the one that debuted on the company’s Galaxy Alpha unit. But Samsung’s stopping short of aping Apple by installing a soft and textured back for the rear; by doing so, it’s working to make the Note 4 more grippable and a little less cold to the touch than, say, an iPhone 5S.

Two versions of the Note 4, differentiated by processor, will be sold (availability will of course differ per global market). The first version will be powered by an Exynos 5 system on a chip that will be combined with the big.LITTLE power optimization and Heterogenous Multi Processing power technologies. If that’s not good enough for you, you might be interested in the second one, which rocks a Snapdragon 805 clocked at 2.7 GHz with Krait 450 cores, an Adreno 420 GPU – and 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage.

Cameras, you say? The Note 4 boasts a 16 MP main snapper with Smart optical image stabilization and Ultra HD video capability, as well as a 3.7 MP resolution front-facing unit (which has an F/1.9 aperture to make your selfies that much sharper).

Other key specs include fifth generation Wi-Fi, NFC and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology that allows users to get up to 50% charge from zero in just half an hour. (The battery, by the way, is 3229 mAh.) The sensor-laden Note 4 (a smorgasbord of sensors here: accelerometer, gyroscope, fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and more) also, per usual, comes with an S Pen stylus and improved features like the Air Command “no touch” feature.

When and how much?

If you’re drooling over a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, you’ll have to wait until October, when the phablet will be unleashed for approximately 800 euros. But this phablet’s first test might just come next week when Apple unleashes its bigger iPhone – that is, if the rumors are true. Until then, keep checking back with us for more phablet news!

source [Tablet-News]

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Samsung Galaxy Tab Active revealed at IFA 2014

Samsung’s really taking its Active “sub-brand” to the next level. At IFA 2014, the company’s revealed a new version of its popular Galaxy Tab, the eight-inch Galaxy Tab Active – a rugged slate that’s apparently intended for business use. Won’t you head on down to learn more about it?

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Android semi-rugged tablet PC

For the busy person on the go

In case you’re raising an eyebrow, rein in your skepticism. Samsung says that the Tab Active comes with IP67 certification, meaning that it’s totally protected against dust intrusion and also that it’s protected against the effects of being immersed in more than 15cm and less than 1m of water. Not super heavy-duty – that would be IP68 certification – but not at all bad either, and we feel certain that it’s more than enough for the nicks and dings of our workaday world.

Feature wise, too, Samsung’s tried to make the Tab Active a great go-to device for the business market. For example, it comes with NFC connectivity, making it easy to send and receive files while on the go. Additionally, it comes standard with the C-Pen, one of Samsung’s special styluses, which can be a boon for those who need to wear gloves and who otherwise wouldn’t be able to operate the device. (Nothing seems to have been said about ensuring that the stylus doesn’t get lost, but we digress.)

The KitKat-running Tab Active is a midranger, not a range topper; it’s got a 1280 x 800 display, 1.5 GB of RAM, a 3.1 megapixel rear camera and 16 GB of storage, expandable via microSD card slot. (Said slot will for sure be concealed under some sort of protective flap to ensure the Tab Active’s integrity.) The battery’s a 4450 mAh affair, good enough for about 8 to 10 hours of use. Both Wi-Fi and LTE versions will be available when the device is made available for sale.

Lastly, a Protective Cover of sorts will also be included in the box when the device is sold.

Hold your horses…

You read that right – the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active isn’t being sold yet. It’s supposed to make it to stores “later this year”, although we don’t know when exactly. Nor do we know how much it might cost. We’ll have to get back to you on those details.

source [Tablet-News]

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Rumor: Touch ID-sporting iPad Air 2 to drop on September 9

Let’s take a tiny bit of a break from the firehose of tech news that is IFA 2014 to riff on what might transpire at the next big tech event, Apple’s September 9 launch of… whatever it might be launching (the famously reticent tech firm, as expected, hasn’t said a blessed word about what might happen then). This reticence has of course gotten the rumor mills churning. One of the rumors currently flying around has it that next generation of the iPad (iPad 6 or iPad Air 2, whatever you may choose to call it) Apple’s range topping big tablet, will drop then, and will come with the firm’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor too. But that’s not all – scroll down for more!

Not just about the iPhone?

Previous rumors have said that this upcoming Apple event was going to be all about the iPhone 6 and “6L”, or whatever the supposed upcoming phones will eventually be named, as well as the purported “iWatch” wearable. But now we have no less than Ming-Chi Kuo, the famed tech analyst from the KGI Securities firm, many of whose previous rumors haven’t been very far off the mark.

Kuo says in his investor note that the “iPad Air 2 will see significant spec upgrades” and that the new version will be revealed to the public on September 9. What spec upgrades might we see next week? Kuo repeats past rumors of Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and says that new features may be debuting in the new tablet, namely the next version of Apple’s top of the line processor (the current one, the 64-bit A7, debuted in the iPhone 5S); an anti-reflective screen coating; and a new gold color option a la iPhone 5S.

Our source hastens to add that Kuo doesn’t indicate that there are any major design changes this time around; after all, the iPad Air itself represents the biggest change to the design of Apple’s popular tablet.

Let’s wait and see

Nothing’s been said about the price, but perhaps it’d be best to assume that it wouldn’t be changing too much.

Apple of course is neither confirming nor denying any of these iPad Air 2 rumors, but take heart: in a few days, we might just be able to find out for sure.

source [Ubergizmo]

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