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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pick up a companion tablet for signing a contract on your new Note 3
Although it may not be the same great deal as getting a free Galaxy Gear, Phones 4U is offering a free Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 with purchase of a new Galaxy Note 3. For one week only, if you buy Samsung's latest Note 3 from Phones 4U and sign up for a contract to get it, you'll get the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 (a £149.95 value) for free along with it.
Plans on offer range from £49 up-front and £43 per month to free and £48 per month depending on the carrier, and if you happen to go with a 2-year contract on EE you'll get a free wireless speaker to go along with your phone and tablet.
While signing up for a 2-year contract may not be the best of choices, if you were going that route and wanted a Note 3 you might as well grab your free tablet at the same time. Hit the source link if you're interested in the proposition — you'll have the choice of black, white or pink for your new Note 3.
Return to stock or update to the latest version on your Nexus 7
Along with the Nexus 4, all versions of the Nexus 7 have also received Android 4.4 factory images. Even though the OTA update to KitKat hasn't come to the Nexus 7 variants that have mobile data, all four variants of the smaller Nexus tablet have factory images available.
If you're willing to put a little time into it you can use these to update your own tablet, or just download and have them at the ready should you ever need to return to stock.
With the right tools and a little knowledge, there's no need to wait for your OTA
Update: Nexus 7 (2012) link has been added. Get to flashing!
Update 2: And the Nexus 10 is now good to go.
The Android 4.4 update has started rolling out to the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets around the world. But if your tablet has yet to receive the update, then don't despair — we've got a quick walkthrough that'll get you updated in a few minutes, assuming you've got a little experience with a command line.
Note that this is for stock Nexus tablets, and for people who want to update without really doing any real hackery, but don't mind a little command line work. Nothing we do here is permanent, other than the update itself. If you've already flashed a custom recovery, you should be able to update manually using that, instead of our method. And with that...
Caution: This guide is intended for technically proficient users only. Proceed at your own risk. Dragons ahead, etc.
A completely stock Nexus tablet running the latest build of Android 4.3
Amazon wants to deliver more smiles to the land down under
Amazon has announced the availability of both the Kindle store and Kindle devices for their Australian customers. The new store will offer more than 2,000,000 eBooks, with more than 26,000 being free English-language titles. Customers will be able to choose from more than 700,000 books priced at $3.99AU or less, and more than 1,400,000 titles at $9.99AU or less. To round out the news, independent authors can now use Kindle Direct Publishing to make their books available, and earn the standard 70-percent royalty in the Kindle store.
To read all these books, you need a capable device, and for accessing the Kindle store none are more capable than a Kindle proper. The Kindle Fire HD is available now at Dick Smith and Big W stores across Australia for $189AU. The Kindle Fire HDX in both the 7 and 8.9-inch models will be available from Dick Smith and Big W as well, with the 7-inch model coming November 26 for $329AU, and the 8.9-inch version coming December 10 for $479.
While most of what we call Android has been stripped from the Kindle family, the devices themselves are great for reading. We're happy to see Amazon expanding into Australia. For full details, see the source links.
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