With the hype surrounding the iPad Pro debut subsiding, now is a good time to take stock of what Apple really announced and also poke some holes in a few of the more hysterical predictions coming out of the financial industry.
First off, what the iPad isn’t: A laptop killer. Yes, Apple is providing a very Surface-esque keyboard accessory (though one that’s infinitely less adjustable). And yes, they’ve finally figured out how to do split-screen task switching (calling it “multitasking” is being too generous to iOS). But the net result is still just a bigger iPad which, in turn, is really just a blown up iPod Touch.
Even before Apple officially unveiled its new “professional” grade tablet, the seeds of its demise were being sown. The culprit? None other than arch-rival Microsoft which, by partnering with Hewlett Packard and Dell to distribute and support its Surface Pro line of products, essentially locking-down the enterprise tablet market once and for all.
Some were confused by the recent announcement that these two PC industry stalwarts would agree to resell Microsoft hardware, at least in the enterprise. After all, both HP and Dell produce products designed to compete with Microsoft’s Surface lineup. By adding the Surface Pro 3 (and eventually, Surface Pro 4) to their catalogs, they seemingly risk cannibalizing their own device sales.
Google has cut the minimum price for which apps can be sold by a fifth. The price cut currently only affects India, and sees the cost plummet from 50 Rs (around $0.75) to just 10 Rs (around $0.15). It is a decision that has clearly been taken to both entice new customers to Android, as well as discouraging existing users from switching allegiances to Apple -- particularly with the launch of the iPhone 6s.
The lower price point was made available to developers at the end of July, but now Google is starting to promote apps and let users know that there are now many apps available for the reduced price. As well as applying to apps and games in Google Play, the 10 Rs minimum now also applies to in-app purchases.
The amount of RAM that manufacturers pack into our mobile devices will only increase as time goes by. It seems like only yesterday that 2 GB was reserved for premium handsets, but now you can find much cheaper mid-rangers featuring that much memory.
However, the latest crop of Android flagship phablets now ship with 4 GB of RAM. Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus are prime examples, and so is the more expensive OnePlus 2 model. And you can expect next year's batch of standard-sized flagships to follow suit, if not exceed them. But, pretty soon, that too will no longer be enough. Thanks to Samsung, in the near future our high-end mobile devices will have 6 GB of RAM.
Paper books are archaic -- e-readers and tablets are the proper way to read nowadays. They are more convenient for traveling, helpful for nighttime reading, and most importantly, don't take up room. Both public and in-home libraries are a waste of space.
Today, Barnes and Noble announces its newest tablet-based reader, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK. Unlike Amazon's Kindle Fire Android tablets which are designed in-house and don't have access to Google Play, B&N partners with Samsung for the hardware while giving access to Google's app store. In other words, it is a proper Android tablet with a B&N experience baked in. I like it.
Today Toshiba unveiled three new devices designed to take advantage of Windows 10: the Satellite Radius 12, the Toshiba Satellite Radius 14, and the Toshiba Satellite Click 10. The largest of the devices -- the Satellite Radius 14 -- is a 14-inch laptop with a 360-degree rotating screen which offers a total of five operating modes.
The mid-sized Satellite Radius 12 features a smaller 12.5-inch screen, and the rotating screen allows for multi-position use. Rounding off the trio is the Satellite Click 10, arguably the most interesting of the bunch, which boasts 14 hours of battery life. The detachable keyboard makes this a Surface competitor and gives the choice of working in laptop or tablet mode.
Apple and Cisco have, through a joint statement, announced a partnership which will see Apple’s apps and devices become more productive in enterprise networks.
The goal of the partnership is to optimize Cisco’s networks for iOS devices and apps and integrate the iPhone with Cisco enterprise environments. That will create a "fast lane" for iOS business users, Apple has said in a press release.
"You can't get there from here". That's how many customers must feel as they ponder the broken Windows 10 upgrade path for first-generation Windows 8 hybrid PCs. With Intel refusing to update the Atom z2760 video driver, and with existing Windows 8.1 drivers providing spotty compatibility, these early adopters are at a crossroads.
Do they stick with Windows 8.1 and watch while the bulk Microsoft's development effort goes into Windows 10 (leaving them clinging to an all but abandoned OS platform)? Or do they bite the bullet and begin vetting potential replacements for their still functional HP Envy x2s, Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2s, Dell Latitude 10s, etc?
Google will officially introduce Android 6.0 Marshmallow in a few months, if history is of any indication. And, like with every release of a new version of the operating system, one of the common questions that users will ask is whether an upgrade will be offered for their devices.
It is not uncommon for Android manufacturers to reveal such information following the new operating system's introduction, but, this time around, Samsung has decided to announce which Galaxy devices are set to receive an upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow first. Is yours on the list?
The tablet market is expected to witness yet another decline in shipments, with IDC estimating an eight percent drop in 2015 compared to last year. However, by the end of 2019, the market is said to recover, thanks in most part to a boost from Windows tablets which will help increase shipments by nearly 13 percent over this year's estimate.
Windows tablets do not currently contribute by a significant amount to overall shipments, as they are estimated to have a market share of just 8.4 percent in 2015 from 17.7 million units. That being said, they are the only slates that will display dramatic growth, expected at 59.5 percent by the end of the year compared to 2014. By the end of 2019, their market share is expected to reach 17.5 percent, thanks to shipments of 41.7 million units.
However much on-screen keyboards improve, they're no replacement for a good, old-fashioned keyboard. Traveling with a tablet, it might not be convenient to lug about a full-sized wireless keyboard but LG thinks its Rolly Keyboard could be the answer.
As the name suggests, this is a portable keyboard that 'rolls' up for easier transportation -- well, it rolls up into a square stick rather than a round roll, but you get the idea. Also known as the KBB-700, the Rolly Keyboard features almost full-sized keys, and can be paired with two devices via Bluetooth.
LG is slowly refreshing its Android tablet line, announcing today the successor to last year's G Pad 10.1. The new G Pad II 10.1, as it is called, is generally better across the board, featuring a higher-quality screen, faster internals and a price tag that is just as attractive.
There are a couple of standout features on G Pad II 10.1. It comes with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box, which is the latest version of the operating system available at this time. LG has teamed up with Microsoft, pre-loading the latter's Office suite on the tablet. Also part of the partnership is 100 GB of OneDrive storage offered for free to users of G Pad II 10.1 for two years. And, for those who want to use a G Pad II 10.1 hooked up to a mobile network, there is a 4G LTE model.
Microsoft frequently releases new firmware updates for its Surface tablets, improving performance and stability, fixing bugs, and adding new features in the process. And, in August 2015, the devices to get the software giant's attention are Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2.
Given that Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 at the end of the last month, the firmware updates that it has now released, including last month's batch, feature enhancements for the new operating system, which is offered as a free upgrade to those who are using Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2.
Vaio, the computer business formerly owned by Sony, is taking its first steps outside of its native Japan.
Sony sold the PC business back in February, and although it does retain a minority five percent stake, as a result of the declining laptop market, it opted to focus on smartphone sales.
If you are in the market to get yourself a Windows 10-powered tablet but don't want to spend a lot on it, Tesco has something you might find interesting. The British merchandise retailer is selling a tablet called "Connect" that is priced at £99 ($150) and runs Microsoft's latest desktop operating system.
Surprisingly, despite rocking a cheap price tag, the Connect doesn't annoyingly disappoint on the hardware front. It sports an 8-inch LCD display of 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution. Inside the device sits an Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core processor (incidentally the same SoC that powers HP’s $199 Windows tablet) clocked at 1.33GHz coupled with 1GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage which could be expanded to another 32 gigs using a microSD card should you want more storage.