Headlines

7 months ago

Save $50 on select Kindle Fire tablets as Amazon starts Cyber Monday early

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7-inch HD model just $119, 7-inch HDX version only $179

Amazon has announced a sale on their two most popular tablets, the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD and the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX. The 16GB Kindle Fire HD, introduced in 2012, normally sells for $169 (that's about 30-percent off) and 2013's Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch has a list price of $229, making this sale about 20-percent off.

While Amazon's Kindles aren't a standard Android tablet, and have no access to Google Play or any of Google's play services, they are very well built and fine pieces of equipment for those who want to use Amazon's services.

This sale likely won't last long, so if you've been considering either now might be the time to act.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

Source: Amazon

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7 months ago

Dell Venue 8 review

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Dell is back in the Android business, and its Venue tablets are low-cost alternatives to the competition this holiday season

How do you make an Android tablet stand out? If you’re Samsung, you equip it with 101 features and throw in an S-Pen for good measure. If you’re LG, you craft a well-made tablet around remarkable specs and your increasingly popular UI. And if you’re Google, you create a premium and pure Android software experience and let someone else worry about the hardware.

With a market cornered by a handful of big names, how does Dell, a company with an unlucky history in the Android world, compete? Well, one way is competitive pricing. And Dell will be hoping that the Venue 8's $180 price point, coupled with its brand name recognition, will be enough to lure first-time tablet buyers away from the competition this holiday season.

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8 months ago

Kobo Arc 10 HD video walkthrough

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Kobo steps up to 10-inches with its latest reading focused Android tablet

Despite not being the first name you'd think of when considering an Android tablet, Kobo impressed with its first Arc tablet 12 months ago. And now, Kobo is back, and stepping up to the 10-inch mark with this, the Arc 10 HD. We took a first look at this Tegra 4 powered tablet back at IFA 2013 in Berlin, but now it's ready for folks to get their hands on so we've got one in for review. 

As with the previous generation Arc, the Arc 10 HD is still a reading focused tablet. Kobo is after all an e-reading company, and so it's sticking firmly with what it knows. On the top there's the latest version of Kobo's custom UI, but as before underneath is a pretty much untouched Android 4.2.2 experience with some pre-loaded apps and a few minor tweaks. We'll go into a lot more detail in the full review, but for now, here's a quick video walkthrough of the hardware and software. 

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8 months ago

LCD/e-ink hybrid YotaPhone launches in December, in Moscow

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One of the more interesting phones to debut in 2013 has got to be the YotaPhone. (Seriously, you'll want to watch this.) Traditional color LCD display on one side, black-and-white e-ink display on the other. And no traditional Android buttons.

Strange, to say the least.

We're still not exactly expecting this guy to be a big seller in the west — but it will be making its debut in Russia next month. Dec. 4, to be exact, in Moscow. We hear it's cold in Russia that time of year. But the livestream should be plenty warm. Stay tuned.

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8 months ago

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 video walkthrough

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It's versatile, don't you know

Lenovo's latest Android tablet is here, and it's a little more interesting than some of the past attempts. The Yoga Tablet 10 has a distinctive hump at its base which is actually a stand, and provides a little more versatility than most other 10-inch Android tablets. Why? Because it can stand up all on its own when you want to watch a video say, it can lay down and tilt at an almost perfect angle for typing on the screen and that hump provides plenty to grip when holding it in portrait mode reading like a magazine. 

Inside the Yoga 10 packs a 1.2GHz quad-core MTK CPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. There's a microSD card slot for expandability and on some models also a micro-SIM card slot as well. Display wise we're presented with a distinctly average 1280x800 10-inch panel, and we've a pair of cameras; 5MP round the back and 1.6MP up front. Providing the experience is a customized version of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Oh, and a pair of pretty badass front facing speakers.

We've got the Yoga 10 in for review so stay tuned for that, but for now, here's a quick first hands-on. 

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8 months ago

Toshiba Excite 7 review

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An inexpensive 7-inch tablet with a display and performance worthy of the price tag

Toshiba has a history of keeping a fresh lineup of medium and large Android tablets running alongside its Windows offerings, and the latest in that lineup is the Excite 7. A decidedly lower-end device than the latest refresh of its 10-inch Excite Pro tablet, and not to be confused with the previously-released Excite 7.7, the Excite 7 is a $169 7-inch tablet with one clear vision — sit on store shelves with a great price and a few key specs hoping to sell well.

At this price level you're not going to get any fancy features, bells and whistles or flair, but sometimes that's a good thing. Realizing what you can reasonably do in a tablet for $169, Toshiba has put together a pretty solid package in the Excite 7 that undercuts offerings from other manufacturers by $30 to $80, and that's a big deal for many consumers, especially this holiday season.

Read on past the break and see what the Toshiba Excite 7 has going for it.

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8 months ago

Carphone Warehouse tablet withdrawn from sale following licensing blunder

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Google apps on the £49 'Avoca' tablet were not properly licensed, according to reports

Following the arrival of cheap Android tablets from British retailers Argos and Tesco, retail chain Carphone Warehouse made headlines with the launch of its own budget slate, priced at just £49. By all accounts the "Avoca" tablet packed pretty basic hardware — a 1GHz CPU, WVGA display and 512MB of RAM stands out as being decidedly low-end — but at least it included the full suite of Google apps.

Now it seems the those apps may have been loaded onto the device without being properly licensed. The UK-based Mobile Magazine reports via "industry sources" that the Avoca's software was not licensed by Google, and as such manufacturer STB Developments had loaded apps like Google Maps and the Google Play Store onto the tablet without permission. Applications like this form the GMS (Google Mobile Services) package, which is licensed separately to the open-source Android OS.

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8 months ago

Asus Transformer 701 updating to Android 4.3 today

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275MB update specifically addresses stability of the system while docked

Asus' Transformer Pad 701 has a 4.3 Jelly Bean update pushing right about now. The 275MB update boosts the version up a number, and specifically addresses stability and performance of the keyboard dock. You'll need to restart a couple times to get all the dock updates according to reports we've received. 

You also might want to hold off for a little while on this one. Everyone wants Android updates, but as we've seen before, they don't always make things better. We've seen several reports of tablets being locked awake draining the battery both while docked and while free-standing. While these may be random issues, dismissing the update notification for a day to find out may be the smart thing to do. If there is a problem, we'll be sure to let you know.

In either case, the forums is the place to discuss this one.

Via: Android Central forums

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8 months ago

Amazon releases Kindle Fire OS 3.1

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For those who have the Kindle Fire HD and Kinde Fire HDX, a software update is awaiting you. New in OS version 3.1 is the integration of Goodreads, which now ties in directly to whatever you're reading. You also an now "fling" video content to your TV, provided you're using a PlayStation 3 or Samsung Television. (Support for the PS4 is to come.) Amazon also has improved enterprise and BYOD support. Printing support also was added.

You can wait and get the update over the air, or download and install directly from Amazon. We've got the full changelog after the break.

Source: Amazon; Also: Read our Kindle Fire HDX review

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8 months ago

Kindle Fire HDX review

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Amazon's third try at a tablet takes things to the next level — provided you're an Amazon customer or want to be one

Amazon has a long history with Android, delivering a Kindle tablet that mostly runs it for the last three years. Now we're not going to pretend that the Kindle Fire line is yet another Android tablet — either good or bad — because Amazon takes things to the extreme when it comes to making Android into something we never thought it would be.

We know that it's not cool to appreciate what Amazon is doing here, but we can't help that we do. Amazon has taken the open-source component called Android, added in many hours of work and love, and delivered a set of devices that fit perfectly into their ecosystem.

If you're looking for an Android tablet, go read the Nexus 7 review, or the new Tegra Note may be more your style. But if you want a device that works as a portal to a ton of great content from a name you already know, keep reading. 

Buy the Kindle Fire HDX 7

Buy the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

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