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.
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.