We're live at CES 2014 in Las Vegas with ASUS, where its latest all-in-one, the Transformer Book Duet TD300 has been officially unveiled. Part tablet, part laptop and running Android 4.2.2 and Windows 8.1, we're sure a few of you are more than interested in this hybrid device.
There's no emulation on the Duet, both operating systems are running in full, and switching between the two is both simple, and quick with ASUS' "Instant Switch" technology. Hardware wise there are a few options, but the ones on the show floor are packing an Intel i7, and 4GB of RAM, with a 128GB SSD drive in the tablet, and upto 1TB hard drive storage in the keyboard dock.
Powerful, portable and a real productivity machine, could the Transformer Book Duet TD300 be the hybrid device of our dreams? Well, we've got a quick hands on video and a few more snaps after the break to help you decide.
Samsung’s new ‘Pro’ tablets introduce a new magazine-style UI and productivity features atop Android 4.4 KitKat
Samsung was the first big-name manufacturer to launch an Android-powered tablet with the original Galaxy Tab back in 2010. Yet over the past year the company that dominates Android phone sales has seemingly shied away from the high-end tablet space. With the exception of the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, Samsung’s recent Android tablets have focused on the mid-range and entry-level spaces.
But that’s about to change in 2014, as Samsung kicks off its CES presence with not one but four new high-end Android slates across three screen sizes: meet the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro and Galaxy Note Pro series.
A pair of small tablets launch as part of Alcatel's CES lineup
Also making a CES debut from the folks at Alcatel Onetouch is a pair of tablets, the Pop 7 and Pop 8. Both are aimed at the lower end of the tablet market, and first time tablet buyers. The Pop 7 comes with a 7-inch 1024x600 resolution display, a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot, and a 2MP rear camera. The black variants as seen here also come with a soft touch back, while the white ones have a glossy finish.
The ever so slightly higher spec'd Pop 8 has an 8-inch, 1280x800 resolution display, a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 4GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot and a 2MP rear camera. Both come running Android 4.2.2, which has some very slight manufacturer customizations, including a flatter, stylized UI and stylized menus.
Both tablets will be available in the EMEA region in Q1 2014, at €149 for the 3G variant Pop 7, and €199 for the similarly cellular enabled Pop 8. For our money the more expensive Pop 8 is the smarter buy, with its higher specs, clearer display and smaller bezels.
We've got a few more snaps and of the new tablets after the break.
Acer today announced a pair of new Android tablets ahead of CES.
The Iconia A1-830, seen above left, is a 7.9-inch tablet running Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. It's powered by an Intel Atom processor at 1.6 GHz, has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. The display has a paltry 1024x768 resolution and a 4:3 aspect ratio. There's a 5 MP camera on the back, and a 2MP shooter up front. It'll run $179 in the U.S., and $199 in Canada. The A1-830 is expected to be available sometime this quarter.
Then there's the Iconia B1 tablet (seen here at right). It's a 7-incher that's just $129 (U.S. and Canada). Acer was coy with specs, but we do know it's running a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and sports Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. It'll be available later this month.
Polaroid has just announced some additions, called the Q Series, to its tablet lineup. Coming in a 7, 8 and 10-inch sizes, Polaroid hopes that its latest offerings will attract some attention. The Q7, Q8 and Q10 are all Wifi tablets that will launch running Android 4.4 KitKat — something many people will enjoy. Powered by a quad-core processor, each of these tablets will feature many of the other standard bells and whistles like Bluetooth, HDMI out, front and rear cameras, as well as front-facing speakers for great media enjoyment.
“Tablets are changing the way consumers use and share their favorite media and memories, and Polaroid’s robust line of tablets is allowing more consumers to share with on-the-go convenience,” said Polaroid President and CEO Scott W. Hardy. “Our Q Series provides consumers with super-fast quad core processing speeds allowing for faster performance and less wait times when watching movies, or playing games. In addition the Q series’ sleek design and affordable price point make it a great choice.”
With pricing starting at $129 and going up to only $179, the tablets are definitely in the affordable range. Polaroid hopes to have these in the hands of consumers by Spring 2014, which isn't too far away. The Q7, Q8 and Q10 will be featured at CES, so stay tuned for some hands-on time with each of these from the show next week.
Chimera computational photography architecture support for always on HDR now enabled
Nvidia has a little holiday gift for everyone with a Tegra Note 7 this morning. The Android 4.3 update is pushing out, and it brings along two notable enhancements — and improved stylus experience, and the Tegra 4 specific AOHDR (Always On High Dynamic Range) camera mode.
The DirectStylus enhancements start with the addition of a left-handed mode, which should help reject errant touches for all the southpaws out there. There is also a new help entry for the DirectStylus in the device settings to help answer any general questions, and the overall stylus response has been improved. In addition, there is also a new stylus removal and insertion notification, and screen capture now has the option to include the notification bar.
The new AOHDR feature is a Tegra 4 exclusive that allows the camera to better capture low light and bright light areas. As part of the Chimera computational photography architecture, AOHDR allows the user to take a full dynamic range picture in just one shot, with a real-time on-screen preview. This should reduce the slight blur often introduced with normal HDR photos that need two or more exposures to create the final product.
Join the Android Central forums and get to know your new device — and the community!
Merry Christmas from all of us here at Android Central! If you're unwrapping a shiny new Android smartphone or tablet today there's probably a lot you want to find out about your new device. The once place you'll find plenty of hints, tips and friendly discussion is the Android Central forums. We've got device-specific forums for all the top phones and tablets, so jump past the break to for links to boards for some of the top Androids around!
A great tablet struggling to find a value proposition
It's hard to say we weren't surprised when Google seemingly randomly put two new Google Play edition devices up for sale on December 10th. The LG G Pad 8.3 (along with the Sony Z Ultra) is a new device in Google's quasi-Nexus line that takes proven hardware from major manufacturers and loads it up with new software the way Google intends it.
Now of course the LG G Pad 8.3 isn't the first Google Play edition device, it is simply the first tablet to adorn the title. But in many respects, the story is much the same. The LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play edition is to the Nexus 7 what the HTC One and Galaxy S4 GPe's are to the Nexus 5 — a more expensive device option with a few unique hardware differences and software features to differentiate it.
The question really stands then, is the LG G Pad 8.3 GPe worth the extra dough over a formidable competitor, the Nexus 7? Read along with us after the break and see what the first Google Play edition tablet has going for it.
Presser kicks off on January 6 at 12 noon in Las Vegas
The ASUSCES press conference is set to take place at noon on Jan. 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, and the company looks set to continue its trend of "two-in-one" mobile devices. The first ASUS CES teaser, published today on YouTube, shows the Statue of Liberty brandishing two (or maybe just one) tablet, which switches color between green and blue. The caption reads: "Green or Blue? One or Two?" — and that's led to speculation that we'll see a dual-booting device of some sort, possibly a slate running both Android and Windows.
ASUS has tried its hand at hardware running both operating systems in the past with the Transformer Book Trio, though this wasn't a true dual-booting device. Samsung came closer to Android-plus-Windows interoperability with the Ativ Q, however this device has remained elusive since its announcement this summer.
Whatever ASUS comes out with, we'll be live from Las Vegas on the sixth to bring you full coverage.
Sony today announced that it's pushing out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for four more devices. They are:
Xperia Tablet Z
Along with all the base Jelly Bean features, you can also expect Sony's "social camera," new experiences for messaging, smart connect, MyXperia and Walkman, as well as new themes. Plus Sony's thrown in Xperia in Business.
The exact timing and feature set may vary by market, Sony says.
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