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5 months ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 available from March 9

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12.2-inch tablet available this Sunday in the U.S. for $649.99

Samsung has announced that its enormous new Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 tablet will be hitting the U.S. from this Sunday, March 9. The 12.2-inch slate, which packs a 2560x1600-resolution display and Android 4.4 KitKat topped with Samsung's Magazine UX, will sell for $649.99 with 32GB of storage.

Launch outlets include Samsung's own online store, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Tiger Direct, PC Richard and Sons, Fry’s, and Newegg, and the manufacturer says it'll come with more than $800 worth of bundled goodies through its "Galaxy Perks" program. For more on Samsung's full range of "Pro" tablets, check out our full review, linked below.

More: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro review

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5 months ago

LTE-toting LG G Pad 8.3 to launch March 6, exclusively on Verizon

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It costs less off-contract than the one without LTE. Wait, what?

It's only been a few months since the LG G Pad 8.3 was released, and now US buyers will be able to get their hands on a LTE-enabled version, so long as you're happy with Verizon. When we reviewed the G Pad 8.3 back in November we came away impressed by LG's efforts. It's a thin and sturdy tablet with a fantastic screen, and now all of that is coming to Verizon.

The LG G Pad 8.3 LTE (say that five times fast) is launching exclusively on Verizon's LTE network on March 6th — that's two days from now — and will be available for the first five days (until March 10) at a discounted price of $99.99 with a new, two-year contract. Yep, lock-in. After that, it's $199.99, still with a two-year contract. If you want it without a contract, but still on Verizon, you're looking at $299.99.

Yes, that's less than the $349.99 MSRP of the standard non-cellular LG G Pad 8.3 and the Google Play edition. Even if you weren't planning on going cellular with a G Pad 8.3 purchase, it might not be a bad idea to consider buying it from Verizon, just so you've got the radio there in case you change your mind. Unless there's a pending price drop for the non-LTE version coming up. Either way, not a bad deal here, so long as you're okay with the inevitable bloatware.

Source: Verizon

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5 months ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro and Note Pro review

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With its Pro line of tablets, Samsung adds yet another flagship brand, and bridges the gap between work and play

Introducing the Samsung "Pro" line, a sampling of the best tablet models Samsung has to offer complete with beefed-up specs, a shiny new coat of paint and the next iteration of TouchWiz. It’s yet another tangent for Samsung's tablets tablets, and it complements the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note lines as the company’s high-end brands for tablets.

All in all, there’s four models to choose from – the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, and Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

But what exactly makes a Pro a Pro?

We’ve spent nearly two weeks on opposite ends of the spectrum with the Tab Pro 8.4, a compact and lightweight competitor to the iPad mini and the Nexus 7, and the Note Pro 12.2, Samsung’s largest Android tablet to date. Here, we’ll be looking at the lineup holistically, and exploring what sets these "Pro" tablets apart. 

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5 months ago

Tablet sales up in 2013, Android overtakes the iPad for the first time

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Gartner says Android tablet sales grew 121 percent last year, Microsoft a distant third

Android tablet sales are on the rise and according to the latest numbers from Gartner, now outsells iOS tablets – so that's the iPad, then – quite substantially. OK, there's also plenty more Android tablets on the market that there are iPads, but the growth of 121 percent over 2012 is still staggering.

The tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers; this led Android to become the No. 1 tablet operating system (OS), with 62 percent of the market.

That's a pretty important statement to consider. Apple corrnered the tablet market with the launch of the iPad, but launched its first smaller tablet quite late on – and it wasn't that hot, either. With affordable Android tablets on sale from the likes of Google, Samsung and Amazon to name but a few, it's hardly surprising to see the rise of the Android tablet.

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5 months ago

Samsung outs Galaxy Tab 4 in its own small print

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7-, 8- and 10.1-inch unannounced tablets mentioned on Gear Fit site

It's a safe bet that we'll be seeing more Galaxy Tab devices from Samsung at some point, but if the small print on one of its own websites is to be believed then we might be seeing them sooner rather than later. On the official Gear Fit features page, the some 20 compatible devices are listed which includes the as yet unannounced Galaxy Tab 4.

Following the Galaxy Tab 3, there looks to be three size options again, a 7-, 8- and a 10.1-inch version. We know that the Gear Fit will be compatible with all three, but after that, nothing.

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5 months ago

The ASUS PW100 wireless charging stand

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A quick look at an expensive but capable Qi ​charger

We love us some wireless charging here at Android Central. And so we quickly scooped up the ASUS PW100 after it was announced through a YouTube video

The short, short version? It's a pretty cool stand/charger, but it's expensive. And it only charges the Nexus 7 (2013) horizontally, not vertically. It does, however, work just fine with the Nexus 5, or Nexus 4, or other Qi-compatible devices you've got laying around. And you can charge through cases, which is always good.

But the damned thing costs $90.

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5 months ago

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ hands-on

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Same design with improved internals and display mark a significant improvement on the original

Lenovo announced a new and improved Yoga Tablet at Mobile World Congress and we got chance to take a very quick first look at it. At first glance the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ is the same tablet as the original. It has the same design, the same fold out kickstand, camera placement, front facing speakers, everything. But, arguably this is the tablet the original should have been.

The 1920x1200 resolution display is far better than the originals 1280x800 panel, which for a tablet we recommend for heavy media consumers improves the experience greatly. The internals have been bumped too, with a Snapdragon 400 inside now instead of the MediaTek CPU in the original and USB OTG support has also been added. We've got Android 4.3 on board, and an 8MP camera round back that sadly is still in the same awkward location as its predecessor.

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5 months ago

Barnes & Noble's revenue from Nook plummets by 50%, but they're planning a new one anyway

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Turning to the next page

Barnes & Noble is in a tough spot. Their book selling business, anchored by a nationwide chain of massive and expensive stores, isn't doing well in the face of digital competition. Their effort to jump into the digital realm themselves, first with the Nook e-reader and then Android-powered Nook tablets, did well for a while and has since floundered. In the last quarter, Barnes & Noble's Nook division (encompassing devices, digital content, and accessories) saw revenues of $157 million — down 50.4% from the year prior. Device sales made up two thirds of that revenue, and even with an increased userbase, Nook saw a drop of 26.5% in digital content sales. That's revenue, though. Losses in the Nook division topped $129 million, a 67.5% increase from last year.

That Barnes & Noble didn't release a single new Nook tablet over the past year might have something to do with that, though they admit that their plan was to sell through a glut of existing device inventory. And seeing these numbers, we'd have thought that the Nook tablet (and eventually Barnes & Noble) was done for this world. But it's not so, said Barnes & Noble CEO Michael P. Huseby:

"We remain committed to delivering world-class reading experiences to our customers through our reading centric e-Ink and color reading devices. Barnes & Noble is actively engaged in discussions with several world-class hardware partners related to device development as well as content packaging and distribution. As a result, we plan to launch a new NOOK color device in early fiscal 2015."

So Nook isn't dead, nor is Barnes & Noble, at least not yet. We generally liked the previous Nook tablets — they offered a decent bang for your buck — but it's hard to say how they'll be able to compete against today's budget offerings, both from Google and a more direct competitor like Amazon. Let us know in the comments if a new Nook tablet interests you.

Source: Barnes & Noble

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5 months ago

Samsung announces new hexa- and octa-core Exynos 5 processors

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Plus new camera sensors and radio chipsets

Mobile World Congress isn't just big smartphone announcements — like any big trade show there are announcements small and big, consumer and technical. This one trends more on the side of technical, and it's Samsung's latest application processors: the Exynos 5422 and Exynos 5260.

We'll start with the Exynos 5422, an octa-core chipset that, like previous Samsung octa-core processors, is really more like two quad core processors combined. The Exynos 5422 includes four powerful ARM Cortex-A15 cores that can be clocked up to a blazing 2.1GHz, and four ARM Cortex-A7 cores running at up to 1.5GHz for lighter loads. Samsung claims the Exynos 5422 can "deliver up to 34 percent higher performance than in previous Exynos Octa models." All this power means the processor can handle 4K displays with aplomb, though it's not likely we're going to see those any time soon, so that extra oomph can instead be directed at other tasks. The 28-nanometer process used to fabricate the Exynos 5422 is said to result in a 10% reduction in power consumption.

The Exynos 5260, on the other hand, is a hexa-core processor with two big 1.7GHz ARM Cortex-A15 cores paired with four 1.3GHz ARM Cortex-A7 cores. The 6-core model isn't quite as powerful as its 8-core brother, having both a lower clock speed and fewer cores, but Samsung still projects it to be able to handle displays all the way up to WQXGA (2560x1600). The Exynos 5260 is currently in production, while the Exynos 5422 is scheduled to start mass production in the first quarter of the year, so be looking for both in future Samsung products.

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5 months ago

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet first look

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A year on from its last tablet effort, Sony presents another compelling large form factor slate

Sony has so far resisted the move to smaller, cheaper tablets, instead focusing its efforts on 10.1-inch slates like the Xperia Tablet Z, and before that the Tablet S. Sony's offering tablet for 2013 was a solid 10.1-inch Android slate — a thin, light, waterproof device packing plenty of performance — but it never really saw mainstream success. This year the company presents a similar looking large form factor Android tablet, in the form of the Xperia Z2 Tablet. Same screen size, same resolution, only with upgraded internals, a refreshed design and an even slimmer chassis. It's an insanely thin Android 4.4 KitKat tablet with a multimedia focus and a boatload of bundled Sony content.

Check out our first look video and photos after the break.

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