Over the years, laptop and tablet manufacturers have striven to make their devices thinner and lighter. That’s fine for people working in offices, at home or in coffee shops, but for construction or emergency service workers out in the field, they need something that’s going to withstand daily knocks and bashes.
Panasonic has been making its TOUGHBOOK line of rugged computers for 25 years now and today at a virtual 'Evolved2Adapt' event, the company took the wraps off the successor to its popular fully rugged tablet -- the TOUGHBOOK G2.
Last week, Apple took the wraps off its latest iPad Pro and it's a beast, thanks in part to being powered by the company’s own powerful 8-core M1 chip.
Not everyone has $800 (and upwards) to blow on a tablet though, and not everyone wants to buy into Apple’s ecosystem. That’s the market that Amazon targets and its new Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10 Plus tablets are more powerful than ever, and with price tags that won’t break the bank.
Earlier today, I told someone there was a new Barnes and Noble NOOK. Their response? They had no idea Barnes and Noble was still putting out NOOK devices! Yeah, I can understand that thinking, as who in the heck even buys a NOOK nowadays? I mean, look, hardcore readers usually opt for an e-ink Amazon Kindle. For those wanting a traditional tablet, an iPad still reigns supreme.
So, yeah, with all of that said, there is an all-new NOOK coming next month, but in reality, it is just a 10-inch (technically 10.1-inch) Android tablet made by Lenovo that has the Barnes and Noble bookstore pre-loaded. While that may not sound exciting, let us remember that Lenovo does make great hardware. In the case of this tablet, which weighs less than a pound, it is priced very affordably too. And yes, it has Google Play Store support.
CES starts today, and as you might expect from a virtual event taking place in the middle of a pandemic, much of the new hardware being launched there is aimed at commercial and education users working from home.
Case in point is Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 7+ for Business, which is an updated version of the company’s Surface Pro 7 2-in-1 tablet PC with improved internals, better battery life, and optional 4G LTE Advanced for remote working.
Google's Nexus 7 was undoubtedly the greatest Android tablet of all time. Its small size (7-inch screen) and lightweight body made it perfect to hold in the hand, making it ideal for consuming media and surfing the web. Not to mention it was very affordable. Sadly, the search-giant stopped selling the Nexus 7, and then ultimately left the Android tablet market altogether.
While no company can ever fill the hole in our hearts left by the Nexus 7, the TCL TAB Android tablet might actually come quite close. This no-nonsense device from TCL is exclusive to Verizon, meaning it does have 4G LTE connectivity -- very nice. It does not have 5G, however. It does have modern niceties such as USB-C charging, reverse charging, and a fingerprint reader. Its overall look is very reminiscent of the Nexus 7, and despite it having an 8-inch display, its dimensions are very similar too.
For a while, it felt like tablets were the future of computing. Hell, Microsoft almost destroyed Windows entirely by wrongly transforming it into a tablet-first operating system with Windows 8. As we learned over time, however, laptops and desktops were not going anywhere. Microsoft thankfully righted the ship (mostly) with Windows 10. While iPad remains a popular device, Android tablets have largely dried up. Long gone are the good ol' days when Nexus 7 reigned supreme. Now, quality Android tablets are few and far between.
Thankfully, Samsung has not yet abandoned the Android tablet market. Today, in addition to new Note20 smartphones, the company revealed two new tablets -- Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+. The former has an 11-inch (2560 x 1600 120Hz LCD) screen, while the latter has a 12.4-inch (2800 x 1752 SuperAMOLED 120Hz) display.
First, for the record, the process I detail here should work on any Android device. With that said, my elderly, but still used, Google Nexus 9 tablet went into an endless reboot cycle a month or so ago that I couldn’t stop. I set it aside for a couple of weeks and began using the Fire 10 tablet I have. I’m fine on Fire 10 and honestly may stick with it, but seeing the Nexus sitting there useless bothered me so I decided to give it one more shot.
Yes, I know this tablet launched in 2014 when Lollipop was the current iteration of Android, but I still like it. So, here’s how I solved it.
If you are an iPhone user, and you want a tablet, you should absolutely get an iPad. Why? Because not only do they share the same App Store (meaning you can often buy an app once and have it on both devices), but also, they can be linked so you get text messages and phone calls on the iPad. The problem? Most of the world uses Android smartphones -- not iPhone. Unfortunately, quality Android tablets are becoming increasingly more rare.
Thankfully, some companies are still making Android tablets consumers will actually want, and today, a new one is announced by Samsung. Called "Galaxy Tab S6 Lite," the tablet runs Android 10 and comes with an S Pen included. This device is designed with a focus on media consumption, so it has a big beautiful display and dual AKG-tuned speakers with Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound. It even comes with complimentary access to YouTube Premium for four months.
Until the first iPad launched in 2010 nobody knew they wanted a tablet. In the last few years though tablets have become one of the most popular pieces of kit.
Not only are tablets popular at home, allowing you to slouch on the sofa and update Facebook while you watch TV, they're increasingly being used in the business world too. Mobile device management company Scalefusion has produces an infographic looking at how and why business users have embraced the tablet.
Android tablets have fallen out of favor with consumers, and that's sad. Things have gotten so bad for this device type that Google -- the maker of Android -- has even pulled the plug on making them. Yikes! That is as ominous as it gets, folks. Why did this happen? Well, I blame the influx of cheap no-name tablets from China that crowded the market. Not to mention, smartphones started getting ridiculously large, making tablets a bit redundant. Ultimately, Android tablets became synonymous with crap. With the exception of Samsung and Huawei, quality tablets running Google's mobile OS have been few and far between.
Today, Samsung announces its latest Android tablet, and you know what? It is actually very exciting. Called "Galaxy Tab S6," it is just 5.7mm thin and has a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen. The device is outfitted with some really cool technology too. For instance, it has an in-display fingerprint reader and a dual-camera setup on the rear -- one of the lenses is "ultra wide." It features an octa-core processor with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM -- depending on configuration. Storage is either 128GB or 256GB, and yes, you can increase that using micro SD. The super-cool DeX feature, which can essentially transform the tablet into a desktop/laptop experience, is also included.
Google is getting out of the tablet-making business, but says that it will continue to produce smartphones and laptops.
The announcement means that Google is ceasing work on two unreleased Pixel tablets, with the company's head of hardware saying: "Google's hardware team will be solely focused on building laptops moving forward". While ditching tablets is not entirely surprising, Google is said to have been working on two new tablets until as recently as this week.
For the most part, Android tablets have proven to be a massive failure. What looked like a promising market has devolved into a collection of low-quality tablets from no-name manufacturers. Sure, companies like Huawei and Samsung are still producing solid Android tablets, but consumers largely don't care. If it isn't an iPad, the tablet won't get much attention.
There is one big exception to this, however -- Amazon Fire. Yes, the book-seller's affordable media consumption tablets -- which do run a variation of Android -- are extremely popular with consumers. Despite not having access to Google's Play Store, Fire tablets are very affordable while providing a quality media experience. Not to mention, you get access to the Alexa voice assistant. Today, Amazon refreshes the 7-inch Fire 7 tablet with improved specifications, such as providing double the storage capacity and a beefier processor. Believe it or not, despite better hardware, it still retains its sub-$50 starting price tag.
Apple's iPad Pro is the best tablet on the market, and believe it or not, it can be a fairly useful "laptop" when paired with the Smart Keyboard Folio. Microsoft is simply wrong in its claims about Apple's tablet. You can even expand iPad Pro functionality with USB-C dongles. Without mouse or trackpad support, however, iOS will never be a proper desktop operating system, but I am hopeful that will be added eventually.
If you are someone who owns both the Apple iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard Folio, Urban Armor Gear has a really cool new rugged case you should check out. Called "Scout Series," it protects the tablet without the need to remove the keyboard. In fact, this case requires the keyboard be attached. It even has a useful Apple Pencil holder that allows charging.
As the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold is proving to be something of a disaster, the company will be only too happy at anything which can serve as a distraction. Well, here's the Samsung Galaxy View2, an Android tablet that features an extraordinarily large 17.3-inch screen.
Following on from 2015's Galaxy View (which was even larger at 18.4 inches), this yet-to-be-released tablet is due to make its way to AT&T at some point in the future. And, thanks to the telecoms firm, we know pretty much everything we need to about specs in advance.
Samsung may be on the verge of officially unveiling its Galaxy S10 range of phones, but ahead of this the company announces its Galaxy Tab S5e tablet.
Being thin and light, there's a strong focus on portability here, and the display makes it perfect for movie watching. This is a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and the bezels have been stripped right back. The tablet is driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor, comes with up to 6GB of RAM, and pricing starts at $400 -- which compares well with Apple's iPad.