Archive for Tablet PC News
Google has announced a bevy of new products today, including a new phone. The most compelling new device is a tablet, dubbed the Nexus 9. It is made by HTC and the hardware will seriously give the Apple iPad Air a run for its money.
The Google Nexus 9 features a 8.9-inch display with IPS LCD technology, an 8-megapixel camera at its back, a 1.6-megapixel camera up front, and an NVIDIA Tegra K1 2.3GHz (64-bit) processor under the hood. There is a staggering 2 GB of RAM, which destroys the iPad Air which only has 1 GB. Great sound is provided by the HTC BoomSound speakers, which is the same audio featured in the HTC One M8 and HTC One M7.
How exactly does Nexus 9 compete with the iPad Air? The PPI is higher than the iPad Air: 288ppi vs 264ppi. The Nexus 9 is also lighter than the iPad Air: 425g vs 469g and also more affordable.
Pre-orders will begin on October 17th and you can expect the tablet to start showing up in stores on November 3rd. Nexus 9 is available in either black or white and comes in three configurations: 16GB for $399, 32GB for $479, and an LTE-enabled 32GB model for $599.
Jeff Bezos is the proud owner of the Washington Post and he is hoping to build some synergy between the newspaper and the Kindle. Within a few weeks a special version of the Post will be loaded on the new Kindle Fire line of tablets. it will offer a curated selection of news and photographs from the daily newspaper in a magazine style format.
According to Business Week the project has been dubbed Project Rainbow and is being led by Kerry Lauerman, the former editor-in-chief of Salon.com. Lauerman joined the paper as a senior editor in July to work on “an initiative focused on the fast-growing mobile readership,” according to a Post press release announcing the hire. Lauerman reports to Cory Haik, the Post’s executive producer for digital news.
Once the new Post app drops on the new line of Kindle tablets, it will also be available to read on the new $79 Kindle and Kindle Voyage. The app will also be ported over to Android and iOS, but users will have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the content. Kindle owners of course, will get it all for free.
Will a free news app from the Washington Post be enough to convince people to buy the new Kindle Fire tablet? Likely not, the vast majority of newshounds do not pay for news anymore.
The Apple iPad Air 2 is planned to be unveiled sometime in October and users will have a new color option aside from the standard silver and space gray variations, gold. The new option would bring the iPad up to color parity with its iPhone models, which have been offered in three colors since the iPhone 5S came out last year.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani said “Apple has used color to goose sales of products many times in the past, starting with the introduction of candy-colored iMacs in 1999. The strategy has had varied levels of success. Sales of the iPhone 5c, a lower-end model introduced in 2013 that came in a range of bright colors, were disappointing.”
Sales of the iPad have declined for the past two quarters after soaring from $5 billion when the product was introduced in 2010 to $30 billion in 2012. Last year, iPad sales produced $32 billion.
Whenever any new iPad is released, it sells like gangbusters for the first six months, as Apple rolls it out to international markets. The new color option might not appeal to everyone, but if you already have a gold iPhone, it might make sense to purchase the same color for the iPad Air 2.
The Apple iPhone 6 and Apple Watch event occurred last week and already it seems that the Cupertino company is already planning the next unveiling. AppleInsider, Bloomberg and other mainstream news organizations are proclaiming that another Apple event is planned for October, where a iPad Air 2 and 3rd generation iPad Mini are planned to be announced.
Aside from new iPads, Apple is also expected to use the October event to finalize the details and availability date for OS X Yosemite, which was initially introduced at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. According to The Daily Dot, Yosemite will be released immediately following the October event, similar to the release of OS X Mavericks just after the conclusion of last year’s October event.
The new iPad is thought to include a faster A8 processor, anti-reflective display and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, although one report suggests most of the upgrades will be limited to the larger iPad Air model.
Pocketbook has formally announced a trio of next generation of tablets that are absolutely brimming with cutting edge specs. The company is betting that they will outshine the competition on the hardware front on the match towards the holiday shopping season.
PocketBook SURFpad 4 M (7.9 inch screen) and PocketBook SURFpad 4 L (9.7 inch screen) models have IPS displays with resolution of 2048×1536, and the 7-inch version PocketBook SURFpad 4 S has a resolution of 1920×1200, which is more than FHD (Full High Definition) format. The screen aspect ratio of PocketBook SURFpad 4 S is 16:10 and PocketBook SURFpad 4 M and PocketBook SURFpad 4 L – 4:3.
Underneath the hood is a 1.7 GHZ Octacore processor and all models have a quad-core GPU for is great for fans of the latest computer games. All three devices have 2 GB of RAM for better performance, and 16 GB of internal memory. If this is not enough, you can increase it further via the SDHC and SDXC external memory cards. The 9.7 inch 4L model has an amazing 8000 mAh battery, while the others have a more modest 4000 mAh.
All models are equipped with the two cameras – a rear facing 8 MP with autofocus to create high resolution images and the front facing 2 MP. They also have a set of stereo speakers, one on each side of the screen. They also have 3.5 mm headphone jacks for the moments you don’t want to keep sounds on the down low.
Finally, these tablets are running a vanilla version of Android 4.4 KitKat OS. No word on price as of yet, or official release date.
The Microsoft Surface PRO 3 and the Apple iPad Air are two of the most successful tablets in the world. Today we look at the overall e-reading experience plays out on both devices. You will get a sense on how the eBook, PDF and digital comic experience plays out.
The Surface Pro 3 has a 12 inch screen,which allows image based content, such as magazines and comic books really shine. The one advantage the iPad has is the seamless pinch and zooming to isolate particular regions. The Surface tends to be a little bit more sluggish when it comes to non-native apps, like Adobe PDF Reader.
The video below we look at how both of these handle the same book, same comic and PDF file. We tend to look at these devices from an e-reading prospective, because we know you inevitably read the news or read a comic digitally.
Consumers and business customers often find themselves relying on PDF files in order to view and edit documents. We live in a world of Kindle Books, Nook Books and proprietary formats, but PDF’s have been the longest lived format in the digital space. Sony made the Digital Paper (DPT-S1) with the sole intention of reading and editing PDF files, while Microsoft baked the functionality into Onenote and Microsoft Reader. Today, we look at the core PDF viewing and editing experience on these two devices.
These devices have a fair amount in common, such as screen size and cost. When it comes down to it, the Surface is reliant on 3rd party apps to get the job done, and this tablet was not designed just to view or edit documents. Instead, it is a multipurpose gadget, fully capable of being your replacement PC. You will find your battery life being drained the more programs you install and the number of background processes that are running.
The Sony Digital Paper is using e-Ink Mobius, which does not draw power if you have a static image on the screen, which you are not interacting with. This gives you a solid month or TWO of battery life, which will certainly not make you a wallhugger.
The video below documents the different ways these two devices get the job done in viewing and editing PDF files. We show you the pressure sensitive pen with the Surface and the Stylus with the Sony. Onenote, Adobe Acrobat X and Microsoft Reader are the three programs on the Surface we pit head to head against the DPT-S1
In the last four years we have seen the entire publishing industry embrace eBooks. In 2013, Nielsen’s Books & Consumers survey shows that among U.S. buyers of adult fiction and nonfiction, 25% of book buyers bought an eBook and 31% of new books purchased in adult fiction and nonfiction were eBooks. e-Readers have traditionally been the best way to read these titles, because of the long battery life they provide and the lack of eyestrain due to e-paper. Sadly, it seems that the general public does not seem as enamoured anymore with these core benefits and new research points to the mass adoption of multifunctional tablets and smartphones.
Forrester’s World eReader and eBook Forecast reported in June that just five years after Amazon released the original Kindle, more than 25 million people in the US owned e-readers in 2012. But that figure is set to decline to seven million users by the end of 2017.
The seismic shift from e-readers to smartphones and tablets are seen by some to be a natural evolution of the technology cycle. Like the PDA, the digital camera and the iPod, it was once the hottest gadget around, but have now been given way to large screen tablets and high powered smartphones.
Amazon currently leads the charge in the eBook space and sells the most e-readers globally. Modern research points to them controlling 75% of the US eBook market and 79% in the UK. It did the smart thing in the companies transition from selling print books, to selling eBooks. The Kindle managed to appeal to the voracious reader, who saw the transition of book to e-book as a progression.
The most recent data from IDC shows that for Q3 of 2013 Android made up 81% of devices shipped. You read that right—four out of every five smartphones shipped in Q3 were built on Android. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS scraped by with a sad and distant second place figure of only 12.9 percent. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo are starting to all see more users employ their apps to buy and read books, than the dedicated readers. All of these companies apps are normally much easier to navigate than their hardware.
Amazon saw the writing on the wall early on and have successfully marketed their line of Kindle Fire tablets to younger users. These are the type that casually read, but normally use the device for music, movies, social media and playing games. In 2014 the Seattle based company tapped into two new verticals, with the advent of the Fire TV and Fire Phone. The problem the company faces is how do you transition the older readers to embrace the new technology?
Barnes and Noble and Kobo are two major players in the digital book space and in recent years have been slowly producing more tablets than dedicated e-readers. B&N recently unveiled the brand new Samsung Galaxy 4 Nook, and they continue to market the Nook HD and HD+. The only e-reader in their modern portfolio is the Nook Glowlight, released last year. Kobo primarily markets their e-readers via international markets and has created a huge demand for their legacy e-readers, such as the Kobo WIFI, Kobo Glo and Kobo Touch. They still sell the Kobo Aura and Aura HD, but their latest offerings are 3 tablets, all released last year.
Forrester may be proclaiming that the age of e-readers is nearly over and more users have been embracing tablets, but other research is not completely counting them out. Pew Research reported that during the 2013 holiday season the rate of tablet ownership rose to 42% of American adults, up 8% from September. Ownership of e-book reading devices like Kindles or Nooks similarly increased to 32% as of January 2014. Some 50% of adults now own at least one of these devices.
At Good e-Reader we have been chronicling the e-reader industry since 2008 and often talk with e-Ink, Freescale, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and a host of European companies, both on and off the record. It is quite evident that the race to the bottom, in terms of price, is still generating strong sales with e-readers. The main problem, is that the core e-reading technology is fairly static and has not really offered a compelling enough reason for people to upgrade their units. Every year, processing power, resolution and app ecosystems get stronger in tablets and phones. It is quite normal to see someone with a three year old e-reader, but seeing someone with an old Nokia flip phone or Blackberry Bold will incur scorn.
The Microsoft Surface Pro Windows 8 is currently in the third generation and has some revisements with the way the digital pen works. Cased in aluminum, Surface Pen looks and feels more like a fountain pen than a traditional stylus for a natural writing experience. Today, we look at how the Pen is able to handle drawing via Onenote.
Microsoft Onenote for Windows 8 allows users to write documents from scratch and save them to their Skydrive accounts. Whenever you click the top of the Stylus, it automatically opens Onenote. In the video below, we give you a quick overview of the day to day tasks that can be accomplished in OneNote and give you an in-depth look at the stylus.
Amazon.com today announced Amazon Local Register, a secure card reader and mobile app that provides local businesses with the tools they need to quickly and easily accept credit and debit cards from a smartphone or tablet and keep track of their growing business. Amazon Local Register customers will have access to the Amazon.com award-winning, fully dedicated customer support team, as well as in-app tracking tools. Customers who sign up for Amazon Local Register before October 31 will also receive a low promotional rate of 1.75 percent per card swipe on all major credit and debit cards until January 1, 2016. Additional details are available at localregister.amazon.com.
“From clothing stores to contractors, food trucks to accountants, businesses and organizations using Amazon Local Register will enjoy industry-leading low rates, trusted and secure payment processing, and access to award-winning customer support,” said Matt Swann, Vice President of Amazon Local Commerce. “We understand that every penny and every minute counts, so we want to make accepting payments so easy and inexpensive that it no longer gets in the way of a business owner doing what they love – serving their customers and growing their business.”
Customers can get started with Amazon Local Register in three simple steps: create an account on localregister.amazon.com, purchase a $10 card reader, and download the free mobile app from Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store or Google Play. Starting today, the card reader is available with Free Two-Day Shipping on Amazon.com. Beginning August 19, customers can also purchase a card reader at Staples retail locations nationwide. The Amazon Local Register card reader and free mobile app are compatible with a variety of smartphones and tablets, including Apple devices running iOS7, Kindle Fire tablets, select Android smartphones, and coming soon to the new Fire phone. Each customer’s first $10 in transaction fees will be credited back to the customer’s account once Amazon Local Register is in use – allowing customers to fully recoup the cost of the card reader. Money from transactions can be deposited directly into a bank account within one business day, or spent on Amazon.com within minutes – see the website for more details. Amazon Local Register also provides:
Exceptional value: Amazon Local Register accepts all major credit and debit cards for a low, flat rate with no hidden fees. Plus, there are no long-term contracts. Customers who register before October 31 will receive a low promotional rate of 1.75 percent per card swipe until January 1, 2016. Customers who sign up after this promotional period will pay a flat rate of 2.5 percent on all swiped transactions.
Amazon customer support: Access the award-winning, fully dedicated customer support team, available by phone and email. Plus, Kindle Fire HDX owners can take advantage of the Mayday button to connect to an Amazon tech advisor 24 hours a day, 365 days per year – for free.
Secure and stabilized card reader: A stabilized card reader limits swivel, making it easier to swipe once and go. Plus, each transaction is backed by the same services that securely power Amazon.com purchases.
Business tracking tools: In-app reporting enables a business to quickly check bottom line performance, sales trends, peak sales times and more. All reporting is easily accessible from a smartphone or tablet and is password-protected.
Compatible accessories: Shop for compatible accessories including cash drawers, receipt printers, smartphone cases and stands. Find everything needed to build a point-of-sale system including massive selection, available at the best price, all on Amazon.com.
Early users of Amazon Local Register share their experiences:
“Amazon Local Register has simplified, organized and improved efficiency for my business. The feature I am most impressed with is the outstanding customer support I receive any time I have a question or for whatever help I need. The reports are easy to understand and help me figure out how my business is performing.” Erin H, hair & makeup artist
“I’m always looking for ways to reduce my business expenses. Amazon Local Register’s low price means that I can invest more in my business, while still ensuring that I’m accepting customer payments safely and securely.” – Kevin L, gallery and event venue owner
“My customers used to always ask if they could pay with a credit card and I always said no, as it always seemed too complicated to set up. It was easy to get started with Amazon Local Register, and taking payments is a breeze. My customers are VERY happy and prefer to pay with their card. Another benefit is that I don’t have to deal with going to the bank to deposit cash and checks.” Jannine H, massage therapist
Good e-Reader is proud to announce that we have implemented a new system to allow developers to upload large Android apps. This new feature will allow big developers such as Disney, Rovio, EA, Warner Bros to upload their big budget game titles and allow users to install the games and have them work.
Many of the top Android games out there have very large OBB files, which is a fancy way of saying Data Files. Take Angry Birds Epic, if you just install the APK (Android File) the game will not work, you also need to install the data file and have it installed into a very specific directory. The new Good e-Reader 1.72 App now allows users to be able to download small and large games at the click of a button, all the real work is done behind the scenes.
Many of the top Android app stores such as 1Mobile and Getjar do not allow developers to upload data files. Amazon does allow people to upload OBB files but makes them self-host them, which can amount to hefty data costs. This puts us in a very unique position among all of the other Android App Stores out there.
Good e-Reader hosts all of the data files on their own server clusters, which allows for super fast download speeds. If a game requires a large data file, the user is notified of it during the app download and everything just seamlessly installs in the background. Many of the top games only have super small data files, like Sega of America’s Crazy Taxi, others such as Injustice – Gods Among Us have a 1.2 GB data file. So basically, some games will download very fast, others will take a bit of time.
I am very excited about this new feature on the App Store, it really opens a wide array of AAA titles that can finally be added to the site. Developers can benefit by being able to tap into the largest Canadian App store. But really, when it comes down right to it, It’s the users that really benefit the most! A whole new world of content is available to them that used to be exclusively available only on Google Play.
Welcome to another Good e-Reader Daylight test. Today, we take a look at the entire lineup of Apple products to see how they perform under direct sunlight. iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina and the iPhone 5 are all pitted head to head to see what one reigns supreme.
The tablet industry is currently on the downward trend as customers start embracing ultrabooks, Chromebooks and cheap laptops. Best Buy, one of the last chains of its kind has admitted that their tablet pc sales are starting to crash.
According to the retail chief Hubert Joly tablet companies are not giving customers a reason to upgrade. “Tablets boomed and now are crashing. The volume has really gone down in the last several months. But I think the laptop has something of a revival because it’s becoming more versatile. So, with the two-in-ones, you have the opportunity to have both a tablet and laptop, and that’s appealing to students in particular. So you have an evolution. The boundaries are not as well defined as they used to be.”
One of the big reasons Best Buy has noticed tablet pc sales flatlining is due to the concept of showrooming. This is where customers come into the store to see the devices in action and then purchase it from Amazon, Newegg or TigerDirect. Joly mentioned that they have started to price match online orders from Amazon and other companies, they really want your business and cited Geeksquad and in-store pickups as being compelling factors.
“Tablet PC demand in 2014 is being affected by falling demand for the 7” class in emerging regions and in China, where many local white-box brands have experienced lower-than-expected shipment growth,” said Hisakazu Torii, vice president, smart application research at NPD DisplaySearch. “Most major brands have recently reduced their business plans for 2014. There is a risk that the replacement cycle for tablet PCs will lengthen beyond the one to two year range unless brands can develop more attractive usage scenarios.”