Headlines

7 months ago

Tablet maker goes bust after row with retailer over Google services

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'MyTablet' maker enters liquidation after Argos withholds £3.2m over lack of GMS license, The Guardian reports

Penryth, Wales-based hardware maker KMS has entered liquidation after a row with high street retailer Argos over use of Google Mobile Services on tablets without the proper license, according to The Guardian. KMS manufactured Argos' £99 "MyTablet" slate — released late last year along with a flurry of other low-priced Android tablets from UK retailers — as well as other low-cost Android tablets.

The newspaper reports that Argos withheld payments of £3.2 million ($5.3 million) from KMS after it discovered the company had loaded Google Mobile Services — the package including Maps, Gmail and the Play Store — onto its tablets without a license from Google. While the core Android OS is free and open-source, Google's proprietary services and apps are not, and manufacturers must obtain a GMS license in order to legally load them onto devices.

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7 months ago

Sony really, really wants you to take great pictures using a tablet

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Tablet mount inbound for the QX10 and QX100 cameras, to make one giant camera

Part of the beauty of the Sony QX10 and QX100 cameras is the versatility. The ability to use it which whichever Android smartphone you have in your pocket at the time, or even an iPhone should you so desire. The included adaptor to strap it to your phone accomodates most current devices, but not tablets. But Sony looks set to change all that; it really, really wants you to use it with a tablet. 

This image courtesy of the folks at Xperia Blog shows a new mount to strap either of the cameras to a tablet. It isn't going to be available until April, and initially in Japan only, but it shows us what is essentially a 10-inch camera. Yowzas. 

Sure, you can already kind of use the QX cameras with a tablet, and there's no doubt that picture viewing and editing would be better on a big screen. But this goes one step beyond even those folks who wander around taking photos with an iPad. 

One other thing of note; the selection of images shows the camera mounted to a Sony Vaio tablet. Is there a Windows 8 client of the Playmemories Mobile app on the cards? We like the QX cameras, but for us this might be a step too far. How about you? 

Source: Xperia Blog

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7 months ago

ASUS launches another Padfone, in a color named after a whiskey

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ASUS kitting out the Padfone range with this mid-range offering that comes in Johnnie Walker Black

Barely 3 weeks after dropping a bunch of new devices on us at CES, ASUS has quietly launched another new Padfone device in its native Taiwan. The Padfone E is a mid-range hybrid offering, that looks like it sits between the Padfone Mini and the more high end Padfone X. Oh, and it comes in the best named color ever; Johnnie Walker Black – and Pearl White, but that's boring!

Spec wise, the Padfone E comprises a 4.7-inch smartphone and a 10-inch tablet dock, both with 1280x720 resolution displays. As always, the internals are all packed into the smartphone, and we're looking at a 1.4GHz Snapdragon 400, 1GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a pretty small 1820 mAh battery – though thankfully the dock has a 5000mAh power plant within. 

Details on on-board storage seem to be missing from the specs list, though we imagine it won't be anything above 8GB at best, though ASUS does provide a microSD card slot for folks that like that sort of thing. It's going on sale in Taiwan initially in dual-SIM form with a price around $560. 

Source: ASUS (translated)

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7 months ago

LG tablet with Verizon LTE hits FCC, could be the G Pad 8.3

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LG's G Pad 8.3 tablet could be headed to Verizon in the U.S., based on info from a recent FCC filing. Details of the LG-VK810, described in the official documents as a "portable tablet," show it as a device with LTE support on Bands 4 + 13 — the freqs used by Verizon — and with dimensions matching those of LG's existing G Pads.

These latest details corroborate info posted by Twitter leaker @evleaks last week, stating that the G Pad was indeed Verizon-bound.

If the G Pad 8.3 does show up on Verizon in the near future, customers would be getting a compelling mid-sized tablet with a Snapdragon 600 processor, a 1920x1200-resolution display and a metal-based chassis — though they'd also have to deal with LG's polarizing, brightly-colored Android UI. Check out our review, linked below, for the full picture.

More: LG G Pad 8.3 review

Source: FCC via PhoneArena, @evleaks

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7 months ago

KDDI shows off some impressive new Android devices for Japan

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Sharp coming up with the goods in the form of a new tablet and smartphone, not that we'll see them in the west

KDDI over in Japan has been rolling out a bunch of new devices today. Among them are some we're already familiar with such as the LG G Flex and the new WiFi only Sony Xperia Z Ultra. And then there are those we'll never get to see in western markets, such as this tablet, and a new smartphone from Sharp. Both of which are packing some pretty impressive hardware specs. 

The Aquos Pad pictured here is a 7-inch tablet, running the now somewhat outdated Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. But the interesting part is taking place around back. For this tablet contains a smartphone-class camera; a 13MP rear shooter. We don't know if it's actually any good, but if you're one who enjoys taking photos using a tablet, it has to be up there with the best of them. And, with a 1920x1200 display round the front, those full resolution photographs should be pretty great to look at. 

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7 months ago

What we're playing: Our favorite Nexus 7 games

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See what your AC editors are playing on their Nexus 7 tablets when they should be working

I'm not going to lie. A job that involves playing great games on an equally great tablet like the Nexus 7 is amazeballs. We look through and evaluate hundreds of new apps each month, and plenty of them are games. Then we get choosy, and make sure you know about the best ones. It's a responsibility we take seriously, but it's also pretty fun. 

Of course, it also means we each have our favorites. You'll see games here that we may have already talked about a little, but they are the ones we love to play and keep going back to. We wanted to share the list with you guys and gals. Jump through the break and have a look, then tell us your top games in the comments!

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7 months ago

Huawei introduces the MediaPad 7 Youth2, another average looking Android tablet

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Pretty average it may be, but it does come in gold

Huawei has introduced its latest Android tablet, the awkwardly named MediaPad 7 Youth2. And, while it does come in everyone's new favorite color, gold, it's a distinctly average looking tablet.

Despite the name, there isn't anything obviously youth-oriented about the tablet. It packs a mediocre sounding 1024x600 resolution display over a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. Internal storage is a lowly 4GB, though it does have microSD card expansion. Software is handled by Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and Huawei's own Emotion UI. It has two cameras, but they're nothing to shout about, with 3MP round the back and a 0.3MP shooter on the front. 

The party piece of this latest 7-inch Android tablet though is that it's also a phone. Unlike ASUS' Fonepad line, the MediaPad 7 doesn't look to have an actual earpiece, but it is a fully functional phone, with HSPA data connectivity. There isn't any pricing or availability right now, but you'd have to hope that it'll be priced in the budget price range. Even then, it'd be a tough sell. 

Source: Huawei

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7 months ago

Amazon UK offering £25 off Kindle Fire purchases until January 20

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Limited offer to celebrate being voted number 1 in customer satisfaction over Christmas

Amazon UK was voted number 1 for customer satisfaction over the Christmas period, and to celebrate, any of the Kindle Fire range can be had for £25 off list price. The offer only runs until January 20, and the discount will be applied at checkout with the use of the code "MAYDAY25."

That brings the price of the cheapest Kindle Fire HD, the 8GB version down to just £94, with the cheapest Kindle Fire HDX coming down to £174. They're not for everyone, but if you've been on the fence about picking one up, now might just be the time. 

Source: Amazon UK

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7 months ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is official — 7 inches of Jelly Bean

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Just a few scant hours after the user manual surfaced, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is now official. The 7-inch tablet has a rather unimpressive 1024x600 resolution and is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB of RAM and 8GB of on-board storage. It's just shy of 10mm thick, and that svelte nature (if not the price tag, which wasn't announced but likely will be around the $199 we saw for the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3) is this guy's selling point.

It's running Android 4.2 out of the box and presumably would be updated at some point. The Tab 3 Lite has a 2-megapixel camera in the back — the only shooter on this tablet. Battery life likely will be decent with a 3,600 mAh capacity. It's also listing 2G and 3G cellular data — but traditionally that sort of feature is stripped out in U.S. releases.

The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite will be available worldwide in white or black.

More: Samsung

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7 months ago

Official user manual appears online for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite

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Low-end 7-inch tablet is all but confirmed at this point

Rumors have already been floating around about a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, and Samsung has just added more fuel to the fire by posting the user manual online. Posted to Polish support pages, Samsung has confirmed the SM-T110 as the Wifi version of the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite. While there has been no official announcement from Samsung, a local retailer claims to have a bit more information about the device as well.

According to the sources, the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite will feature a 7-inch display with a 1024 x 600 resolution along with a 1.2GHz processor inside. Additionally the device will carry 1GB of RAM along with 8GB of internal memory that is expandable via MicroSD if desired. The rear of the device will have 2MP camera, and it is said to feature a 3600mAh battery — that should easily get you through the day and more on a single charge.

Pricing has not been confirmed, but the device should be coming to market somewhere in the $100 price point for the Wifi version, and likely $150 or more for the one with cellular radios inside. Odds are that Samsung is saving this device for an official announcement at Mobile World Congress, which is just over a month away. 

Source: Samsung PolandX-Kom

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