Headlines

8 months ago

Could NVIDIA be preparing its own-branded 'Tegra Tab?'

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Leaked images from China show tablet with camera, microHDMI, stylus slot

In the absence of major tablet design wins for its Tegra 4 chip, it seems NVIDIA might choose to follow up the Shield gaming handheld with an own-branded Android slate. The images, which have appeared on Chinese site MyDrivers, show a concave chassis which shares some design cues with the NVIDIA Shield, with "Tegra Tab" branding. Around the back there's a camera — supposedly a 5-megapixel unit — headphone jack, microUSB and microHDMI ports Interestingly, there's what seems to be a stylus slot in the top left corner. A close-up of the top right corner reveals what could be a SIM slot or some kind of secondary button.

Based on the relative size of the ports in the image, it'd seem we're dealing with a smaller tablet — something around the 7 to 8-inch mark.

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8 months ago

Hisense drops price of Sero 7 Pro to $129

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Hisense today announced a price drop on two of its tablets. The Sero 7 Pro has dropped $20 to $129, and the lesser Sero 7 LT falls to $79.

The Sero 7 Pro is the only one we'd really recommend out of this duo, however. In our review, Casey Rendon concluded that "the Sero 7 Pro does exactly what it sets out to do: offers good all round specs, more features than you can shake a stick at, and comes in at a great price." 

You can snag the Sero 7 Pro at Walmart.

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8 months ago

ASUS MeMO Pad HD7 review

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A tablet stuck between a price point and a hard place.

ASUS is a huge name in the Android tablet space, and while it may be best known for its "Transformer" tablet line and Google's Nexus 7, it also produces a more budget-centric line of tablets under the "MeMO Pad" brand. Targeted directly at the lower end, the MeMO Pad line doesn't focus on specs and instead tries to offer acceptable performance with a few useful features wrapped up in a solid case at an undercutting price.

We reviewed the original MeMO Pad 7 and came away with mixed feelings about the value proposition of a 7-inch tablet with shaky internal hardware hitting the $150 price point. This time around ASUS has bumped up some of the sorely low specs and even dropped the entry price as well, but is it enough to make you consider it as a budget tablet choice?

Hang with us after the break where we find out if the MeMO Pad HD7 has what it takes.

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8 months ago

Android 4.1.2 rolling out for the Verizon Motorola Xoom

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Long-suffering Motorola Xoom LTE owners, your Android 4.1.2 update has finally arrived. A few days after the initial soak test, the first 10-inch Android tablet is getting its update to the slightly newer version of Jelly Bean. (And given that the Xoom is no longer supported as of Android 4.2, that's probably where it'll stay.)

If you're still rocking a Motorola Xoom on Verizon, head to "Settings > About > System Updates" to see if your 4.1.2 update is ready.

Source: Android Central forums; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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8 months ago

New Nexus 7 up for pre-order in Australia

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Prices start at A$299, tablet 'due to arrive late August'

Australia is to be in the first wave of countries to get the new Nexus 7 following the U.S. launch, and now we have some more firm details as to when we can expect the tablet Down Under. Ausdroid has spotted the first Australian pre-order listing for the device at PLE Computers, where it's "due to arrive late August."

Prices start at A$299 for the 16GB Wifi model, A$339 for 32GB and A$439 for 32GB + LTE. It's interesting to see that the LTE version is listed with the same arrival date as the Wifi-only tablets, as this model has yet to go on sale anywhere else, including the U.S.

While there's no official Australian pricing from Google or ASUS yet, PLE's prices loosely track what you'll pay in the U.S. — with the addition of sales tax and a small mark-up.

Meanwhile in the UK, it's possible the Nexus 7 could make an appearance from late August to mid-September, depending on where you order.

Source: PLE Computers; via: Ausdroid

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8 months ago

ASUS Fonepad now available from Three UK

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£29.99 up-front plus £12.49 per month, or £179.99 outright

British mobile operator Three has today launched the ASUS Fonepad on its network. The 7-inch Intel-powered Android tablet/phone hybrid is available for £179.99 outright when bought with a £5, £7.50 and £15 data top-up, or £29.99 up-front on a 24-month, £12.49 per month contract.

So Three is positioning the device as a tablet rather than an Android phone, which is probably a good thing considering its enormous size. Here's what Richard Devine had to say in our review of the Fonepad —

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8 months ago

Sony Xperia Tablet Z Android 4.2 update now rolling out

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4G LTE version of Sony tablet first to get the 4.2 update

Sony recently promised Android 4.2 for the Xperia Tablet Z in early August, and now the updates are beginning to roll out, starting with the 4G LTE version of the tablet — model number SGP-321. The Tablet Z LTE is getting a firmware update to version 10.3.1.A.0.244, which according to XperiaBlog is the same build how hitting Xperias Z, ZL and ZR. The update juggles around the on-screen controls, moving them to the middle of the system bar in the typical Android 4.2 style. And there's now a traditional notification bar up top, too. Similarly, you'll now find quick settings in the notification shade, just like on a Sony smartphone.

We'd also expect to see Android 4.2 features like lock screen widgets, Daydreams and multiple user accounts on the tablet, though we have no specific information on whether they're included or not.

Posts on the XDA forums reveal that while some users are getting the upgrade already, many aren't — so it seems we may be looking at a staged rollout for this particular update. If you've got an Xperia Tablet Z, be sure to check for OTA updates and new firmware via the PC Companion app or Bridge for Mac. Let us know how you get on down in the comments.

Source: XperiaBlog; XDA

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8 months ago

Motorola Xoom 4G LTE soak test to finally begin, 3 months after initial invites [Update 2: Android 4.1.2]

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Android version of the test is unknown, Jelly Bean expected

Update: Shortly after the soak testers started getting emails, Verizon made 4.2 official for everyone with a Xoom. We're not sure if they still have something special planned for testers or if they're done with the Xoom. 

Update 2: It seems that the soak test has begun, and it is for Android 4.1.2 — despite the official Verizon page (see screen shot after the break). We may see a retraction from Verizon soon.

Almost 3 months after the initial invites were sent out by Motorola, emails telling participants that the soak test for the Verizon Motorola Xoom 4G LTE will soon begin and finally being sent. At the time when the invitations initially went out, it was expected that Xoom owners would get a version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to test, or maybe Android 4.2. Now that more time has passed, and Android 4.3 has been released, things could change — although it is unlikely.

It would make sense for Motorola to bring the Verizon Xoom up to the same Android version as its WiFi-only sibling, Android 4.1.2. We won't know for sure until builds become available to those participating in the soak test, which should be any time now. Verizon Xoom owners that received an invite back in May, make sure to keep an eye on your inbox.

Thanks, Hunch!

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8 months ago

NVIDIA Shield review

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NVIDIA has long been a major player in the PC gaming industry, and that translates nicely to mobile with Shield

The NVIDIA Shield is not the first Android handheld designed for gaming. We’ve seen Archos try its hand at a small-form tablet with gaming controls, MOGA and others have created accessories that will transform your smartphone into a gaming unit, and using USB host with a game controller can make plenty of phones or tablets into a great on-the-go gaming rig. We'll try to forget about the Xperia Play. Sony sure did.

But NVIDIA has done something different. The Shield isn’t an Android device that also plays games pretty well, it’s a gaming machine first and foremost. Every design decision, every hardware part, every component was chosen and used to try and offer the best gaming experience you can get from an Android-powered device. You'll be able to pick up your own NVIDIA Shield starting today (July 31). Preorders are shipping, and units are available for $299 at NVIDIA.com or Newegg.com, or at a SHIELD Experience Center in select GameStop, Microcenter, Canada Computer locations in the U.S. and Canada. Now the real question is -- did NVIDIA succeed at making the Android game system everyone has been waiting for?

Editor’s note: This review was co-authored by both Jerry Hildenbrand and Kevin O’Quinn, Android Central’s resident NVIDIA “champ." Kevin is a known hardware junkie, and provided input about the hardware and specifications from his perspective.

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8 months ago

Google Nexus 7 (2013) review

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The new Nexus 7 has big shoes to fill, but Google has made all the right choices

When Google launched the original Nexus 7 in June of last year, it in effect took the fate of Android tablets into its own hands. Sure, there were plenty of Android-powered slates before the Nexus 7 (Google even partnered with Motorola for one) and there have been many since, but the original Nexus 7 saw unprecedented adoption. And rightly so — we'd say that the Nexus 7 was the first "great" Android tablet — one that could actually be mentioned as a competitor to the sales monstrosity that is the iPad. 

We wouldn't say that the success of the original Nexus 7 (which may or may not have been expected) put pressure on Google so much as it encouraged it to one-up the original. For once in the history of Nexus devices, Google had its hands on a product that sold like gangbusters, and not just to nerds but to normal people that just wanted a great tablet experience at an affordable price. Hitting that magical $199 price point, it sold millions of units per month up until the day it was replaced by this, the new Nexus 7.

With their second attempt at a 7-inch Nexus tablet, Google and manufacturer ASUS are looking to appeal to that same audience, with sweeping internal upgrades that will also appeal to spec junkies. It's sleek, well made, trimmed down in all of the right places and bulked up in others that are just as important — everything you want to see in a second-generation product.

ASUS and Google have teamed up again and created something wonderful. Read on for our full review of the 2013 Google Nexus 7.

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