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.
A number of complaints came to light recently from iPad Pro owners who were unhappy to discover that their expensive Apple tablets were bent. Apple responded to these complaints by saying that the iPad Pro's unibody design "meets or exceeds" all of its high standards.
Now the company has gone further, publishing a support page explaining the manufacturer and testing process of the iPad Pro, and explaining that the way the tablet is made is the reason some people see a bend. Apple insists, however, that an bend should be within a tiny 400 micron tolerance.
Chrome OS has slowly become one of the most promising operating systems. What began life as a "glorified web browser" has grown to also run Android apps and traditional Linux programs. At the same time, Windows 10 has declined in quality, causing many users to lose faith in Microsoft's operating system. For education in particular, school districts are increasingly turning to Google's Chromebooks rather than devices running Windows 10.
Today, ASUS unveils four new Chrome OS devices for the education market. Three of them (C403, C204, and Flip C214) are laptops, with one of them (the Flip) being a convertible -- meaning it can fold into a tablet. In addition, there is a traditional tablet (CT100). While Chrome OS tablets are fairly unproven, the ability to run Android apps makes them quite useful.
Earlier this week, we wrote about the growing number of people who have complained that their iPad Pro is bent. This is not something that has developed over time, but a problem that was present out of the box.
Apple responded to complaints by saying that the bend that has been noticed in some iPad Pro chassis was not a defect. Now the company has issued a further statement indicating that it believes the tablet's "unibody design meets or exceeds all of Apple's high quality standards of design and precision manufacturing". This is not something an owner of a bent iPad Pro would probably agree with.
iPhone and iPad have long been subjected to bend tests to see how they hold up to abuse. But what about if your iPad Pro arrived with a bend in the casing? You'd send it back and ask for a replacement or a refund, right? But Apple does not believe that an iPad Pro that arrives bent is defective.
The company has confirmed that a number of 2018 iPad Pro tablets have a "slight bend" in their aluminum casing, blaming the defect on the manufacturing process. Only it's not a defect, remember?
Risk management and cybersecurity specialist SureCloud has discovered that the popular VTech Storio Max children's tablet can easily be hacked, enabling criminals to take control of the devices and snoop on unsuspecting victims.
This can be done by simply adding an image or link to a website. When accessed by a child via the tablet's web browser, the exploit would attack the tablet and enable the attacker to take full control of the device.
For a while, it seemed like tablets were going to become the most popular consumer devices, but then, they weren't. People tired of trying to retrofit them with keyboards to make them faux-laptops -- they just used actual laptops instead. Not to mention, with smartphones getting increasingly larger screens, tablets began to feel a bit redundant. With that said, tablets have their place for media consumption -- I still prefer my iPad to my iPhone for watching videos.
If you know someone that wants a tablet this holiday season, but you don't want to spend too much money to get one, Barnes and Noble has a new model that may interest you. Its newest NOOK features a 7-inch screen and has access to the Google Play Store for just $49. This is significantly cheaper than the 10.1-inch variant it launched last month. Best of all, the gift recipient will very likely think you spent more money than you actually did!
Pixel Slate arrived at the Wilcox household on Nov. 28, 2018, from Google Store, with the order correctly fulfilled. Initial out-of-the-box reaction: "Oh". Underwhelmed. Nearly five days later: "Wow". The Chrome OS tablet is understated in all the ways that matter. My brain just needed a wee bit of time to appreciate the many nuances, rather than one obvious thing flipping the "ah-ha" switch.
The Slate will finally complete my move away from Apple products, started in late July. The Chrome OS slab is set to replace iPad 10.5 and possibly could displace my beloved Pixelbook, as well. We shall see about the latter. The delayed "Wow" response means something. That said, Google's tablet, like first-generation Chromebook Pixel, feels too much proof of concept: The hardware's potential awaits future software, and supporting services, refinements. As such, based solely on a few days use, I don't see the device as being right for everyone, or even most anyone. However, Google geeks will find something truly exotic to get excited about. Android and Chrome OS enthusiasts, rejoice! Linux lovers, too!
Last week, Apple's latest iPad Pro was put through its paces by JerryRigEverything. We're not talking benchmarks of speed here, we're talking durability tests -- the iPad Pro was scratched, burned and bent to see what sort of punishment it could take.
In short, Apple's tablet was found to be extremely bendy. Actually, scratch that… it basically folded like a wet tissue. Now JerryRigEverything has turned its attention to the Surface Pro 6, finding that it is far more durable and able to withstand a bend test much more impressively.