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1 week ago

HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift: Which should you buy?

Should I buy the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive?

Buying a desktop-class VR headset right now is a big, expensive choice. You have to have a PC capable of driving the experience before you even plug a headset in, but when you finally reach that point you'll find yourself faced with a pair of excellent choices. You can buy an Oculus Rift, the VR headset that rekindled a global interest in consuming 360-degree content with its record-shattering Kickstarter campaign. Or you can go with the HTC Vive, a VR headset with new tech developed by Valve — the champion of PC gaming as we know it today.

Read More at VR Heads!

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1 week ago

Top Black Friday Deals from Android Central Digital Offers

Shopping on Black Friday can be chaotic — there are tons of sales around the web and it can be hard to pick which ones you'll actually benefit from.

Something that many seem to overlook when shopping deals on Black Friday is software. From online courses to more information about career-specific topics than you can handle, you won't want to miss out on these awesome savings.

Luckily Android Central Digital Offers is here to help make sure you don't miss out! Here are some amazing deals and huge savings that you'll want to check out.

Martian Notifier Smartwatch

  • Retail price: $129
  • Our regular price: $39.99
  • Black Friday price: $29.99 (76% off)

The Martian Notifier Smartwatch is a seamless blend of classic analog with a convenient digital display that elegantly joins the old with the new. You can receive push notifications for texts and email, set custom vibration alerts, check the weather, and more. For a great, minimalist smartwatch experience, check out the Martian Notifier!

See at Android Central Digital Offers

Code Black Drone with HD Camera

  • Retail price: $199
  • Our regular price: $99
  • Black Friday price: $44.99

New to drone-flying? The Code Black is the perfect introductory drone for those looking to get their air legs. You get about 10 minutes of flight time per charge, and you can shoot HD video to capture the excitement of every flight!

See at Android Central Digital Offers

PureVPN: Lifetime Subscription

  • Retail price: $597
  • Our regular price: $69
  • Black Friday price: $59

If protecting your data and internet activity is of the utmost importance to you, then a VPN is the way to go and PureVPN is incredibly reliable, trusted by over a million users. You can connect at top speeds with up to five devices, and you can access more than 550 servers in 141 countries. Encrypt your data and keep yourself safe and your activity private.

See at Android Central Digital Offers

Getflix: Lifetime Subscription

  • Retail price: $855
  • Our regular price: $39
  • Black Friday price: $29

If you love Hulu or want more than what's on Canadian Netflix (why don't we have "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"?!) and you're outside the U.S., Getflix can help. It unlocks over 100 streaming services from around the world — no need for a complicated VPN or messing with your home DNS. Better yet, you can use it on all your favorite devices!

See at Android Central Digital Offers

Become an Ethical Hacker Bonus Bundle

  • Retail price: $680
  • Our regular price: $49
  • Black Friday price: $25

Digital security is paramount in today's world of online information and companies need to know that their systems are attack-proof. Learn to be an ethical hacker and get paid to hack companies' networks to help them find holes in their defence and fortify their security. And get paid pretty well in the process!

The Complete Machine Learning Bundle

  • Retail price: $780
  • Our regular price: $39
  • Black Friday price: $29

Programming computers to learn without having to be explicitly programmed is the future and getting in on the groundfloor and learning how to teach computers to learn is a great career path to start on. This learning bundle will teach you everything you need to learn from the basics to the advanced, including investment strategy applications.

See at Android Central Digital Offers

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1 week ago

Save up to 58% on Alexa-compatible WeMo accessories!

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Right now you can save up to 58% on a variety of WeMo accessories. These Alexa-compatible accessories can be controlled with your voice if you have an Amazon Echo, so you'll be able to turn your lights and outlets on and off without even having to get off. Connected homes are becoming more and more popular, but part of the problem is that it can get expensive to turn your home into one.

This deal offers big savings on the connected outlets, light switches, and more. It won't last long, so if you are looking to save some money and make your house smarter, you'll want to act quickly!

See at Amazon

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1 week ago

ShopAndroid Thanksgiving Sale - Save 25% on all accessories

Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for everything that you have around you, and here at ShopAndroid we are very thankful for each and every one of you. To show a little bit of appreciation, we've discounted all the accessories in our store by 25% as long as you use the coupon code Thanks16. That's pretty simple, right?

Whether you are in the market for a new case, battery pack or some cables for your phone, you'll want to check out our wide selection. From devices like the Galaxy S7 to the HTC 10 and even the Honor 8, we've got a ton of great accessories for you to sort through.

Remember, you'll need to use coupon code Thanks16 once you've loaded your cart up with goodies in order to get the 25% savings. Now, get to shopping!

See at ShopAndroid.com

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1 week ago

Here's everything Google Assistant can do on the Pixel

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OK Google, let's see what you can do.

While currently in its infancy, Google Assistant is still capable of doing a lot of pretty cool things to make life that much easier.

From helping to book reservations and find transportation for your night out to setting your morning alarm without having to stare at a bright screen in a dark room, here's just some of the ways to use Google Assistant throughout your day. And it all starts by saying "OK Google".

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1 week ago

EE discounts the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 by £200, Beoplay H2 on sale for £119

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How badly do you want a tablet?

UK carrier EE has rolled out its Black Friday deals, offering a £200 discount on the 8-inch Galaxy Tab S2. There's also a £70 discount on the upfront fee of a 32GB Pixel, and price cuts on several accessories.

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1 week ago

Amazon's Black Friday deals are live: Fire tablet for $33, Honor 8 for $259, and much more!

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Get ready to spend a whole lot of money on Amazon.

Amazon has kicked off its Black Friday deals, offering heavy discounts across a variety of categories. We've got a constantly updated list of all the best deals, but if you're looking for Amazon-specific offers, read on.

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1 week ago

State of the Android Central Survey: Help us help you (and win a free phone!)

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Take a survey, win a phone!

Android Central is a living thing, always evolving to meet the needs of our user base. The past year has been one of transition, and many of you have seen a number of big changes happen to the way we deliver news, reviews, editorials and product recommendations, and how we operate on YouTube and social media.

That's why we thought it was the right time to ask you to fill out a survey — I know, there have been a few recently — about how we're doing: what you like, what you don't and what you'd like to see more of in the future. There are no wrong answers, just an opportunity to give us feedback that we will take to heart. If you'd like to take the survey in its own window, you can do that, too! The whole thing should take between 10 and 15 minutes to complete, depending on how much you choose to share.


To thank you for taking the survey, you have the option of leaving your email address or Mobile Nations username for the chance of winning a free Moto Z! The winner will be contacted directly, and thanks for being a part of the AC community!

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1 week ago

Unlocked HTC 10 units begin receiving Nougat update in the U.S.

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Good news for HTC 10 owners!

The HTC 10 is getting its Nougat update a week after its kin, the Bolt, shipped with Android 7.0 on board.

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1 week ago

First look: BLU Vivo 6 delivers metal body, fingerprint, 64GB storage for £185 on launch day

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BLU Vivo 6

BLU's UK debut is an attractive mid-ranger — available on Black Friday for £45 off.

Today Florida-based BLU announces its first entry into the UK market, with the mid-priced BLU Vivo 6. The phone sees the upstart manufacturer bring an attractive metal unibody and a handful of premium features like fingerprint security and USB-C connectivity to a phone with a standard price of £239.99. But pick up the phone on launch day — Black Friday — on Amazon UK, and it's yours for a mere £184.99.

So what does that get you? Let's take a look.

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1 week ago

PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?

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Which PlayStation 4 should I buy?

Anyone looking to buy a PlayStation for family now have three options that look very similar. You've got the original PlayStation 4, the new slimmer PlayStation 4 with the exact same branding on the box, and the new PlayStation 4 Pro. It's confusing by anyone's standards, so your best bet is to know what you need before you head into the store.

What's the difference?

Sony has a history of releasing a "slim" version of the PlayStation a couple of years after its initial release. In the past, those consoles have been labeled a little differently at launch to make it easier to tell the new version apart from the old one. These slimmer versions typically offer more a physical difference than a functionality difference, and this year is no different. The significant feature and performance difference comes with the PlayStation 4 Pro, and even then the difference isn't huge unless you own a 4K television with HDR support.

Category PlayStation 4 (2013) PlayStation 4 (2016) PlayStation 4 Pro Price $349 $299 $399 Dimensions 10.83in x 12.01in x 2.08in 10.43in x 11.34in x 1.54in 11.61in x 12.87in x 2.17in CPU AMD Jaguar 8-core (x86-64) AMD Jaguar 8-core (x86-64) AMD Jaguar 8-core (x86-64) GPU AMD Radeon (1.84 TFLOP) AMD Radeon (1.84 TFLOP) AMD Radeon (4.2 TFLOP) Storage 500GB / 1TB 500GB / 1TB 1TB Optical out Yes No Yes AV out AV/HDMI 1.4 HDMI 1.4 HDMI 2.0 Power consumption 250w max 165w max 310w max 4K Streaming No No Yes USB USB 3.0 (x2) USB 3.0 (x2 ) USB 3.0 (x3) PSVR support Yes Yes Yes (Enhanced)

The biggest functional difference between the original PS4 and the new slimmer PS4 is power consumption. Sony claims the new PS4 has a max power draw of 165 watts, which sounds impressive next to the original 250w max of the first PS4 until you see most benchmarks. The original PlayStation 4 had an average power draw of 150w during its heaviest gameplay sessions, and never pushed anywhere near that 250w max. It is slightly smaller though, so there's that.

PlayStation VR performance is something altogether different.

As you can see, Sony is using the same CPU and a GPU that's a little more than twice the performance in the new PlayStation 4 Pro. There's also an updated version of the HDMI standard in the PS4 Pro, but there's no immediate difference in performance out of the box for video output. Games that struggled in the past to maintain 60fps on a standard PlayStation 4 will be able to offer a more consistent experience with the PlayStation 4 Pro, but it's unlikely most will notice that small improvement. PlayStation 4 Pro exists to offer 4K video streaming and enhanced graphics on supported titles. Game developers will have the option to offer higher quality graphics to PlayStation 4 Pro gamers, which will be clearly labeled with PS4 Pro Enhanced on the box. While the list of games that support this new enhanced mode is increasing every week currently there aren't many available.

PlayStation VR performance is something altogether different. PlayStation 4 Pro was built to better support PlayStation VR (You know, Project Morpheus and PlayStation Neo kinda go together and all that) but even here the differences will be subtle at first. Games available now look slightly better on the Pro, but game developers over time will use that added power to create more compelling VR experiences and that's going to be a much bigger deal.

Bundles and sales

The default pricing for these consoles can and frequently are augmented by sales and bundles. Each of the PlayStation 4 consoles comes with a single game, usually marked with a giant photo on the packaging, so you have everything you need to get started. Many retailers have already placed the original PlayStation 4 on sale, so it's just under the $299 slim PlayStation 4 in order to help get rid of the older stock. The standard $399 PlayStation 4 Pro does not currently ship with a game, but does offer some free trials of popular titles.

Is the PlayStation 4 Pro $100 better than the PlayStation 4 or its slimmer brother? Only if you have a 4K television or are planning to purchase one soon, and even then only if that 4K television supports HDR. If you're happy with your existing television and have no plans to upgrade, you aren't going to see any significant difference between the PlayStations 4 aside from how much space they take up on your entertainment center.

Many retailers like to create their own bundles as we get closer to the holiday season, combining extra gamepads or recently discounted games to the package to help you feel like you're buying everything you need. A big part of this year's offering will no doubt include PlayStation VR. There are plenty of people who already own a PlayStation 4, but if you're looking to go all in for the first time and get everything you need, expect those same retail stores to have everything you need to get going.

Which should I buy?

Now that you know everything you need to know about the differences between these consoles, lets break it down!

  • PlayStation 4 — This is the PS4 most likely to be included in some kind of extra bundle with more accessories and games. This is also the only PlayStation 4 that comes in white right now. If you're looking for a PS4 and price is a big point of concern, you probably want to stick with the original.

See on Amazon

  • Slim PlayStation 4 — This is the PS4 you will see the most of on shelves this year, and it's the nicer looking of the three. If you care about that sort of thing, or you're just rushing in to grab a PS4 and nothing else, this is the version you want.

See on Amazon

  • PlayStation 4 Pro — If you own a 4K television, or you plan to own one before long, this is the PlayStation 4 you want. It'll last the longest, and be able to offer the most over time.

See on Amazon

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1 week ago

Google Pixel vs. Pixel XL: Which should you buy?

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One of these things is not entirely like the other. Here's how to choose between the Pixel and Pixel XL.

There's no doubt that the question that's plaguing you this very moment as you salivate over the varying color options for the Pixel and Pixel XL is: Which one is even worth bringing home? Well, that will depend entirely on your need, but we've put together a quick, helpful guide so that you can choose the right phone for you.

What's the difference?

Unlike last year's Google event, which revealed two different Nexus devices developed by two entirely different manufacturers, this year's Pixel and Pixel XL are both made by Taiwan-based HTC. As a result, they both look quite similar—so much so, that from far away, you can't really tell them apart, despite their differing screen sizes.

The biggest difference between the Pixel and Pixel XL are their display and battery sizes, though the 5.5-inch Pixel XL isn't that much larger than its 5-inch sibling. The Pixel also feels more like a refined, matte HTC One A9, while the Pixel XL sits in the hand as comfortably as the OnePlus 3. But no matter which one you pick, both devices have high-quality AMOLED screens that are both vividly colored and plenty pixel dense for the average smartphone user.

More: Google Pixel review

Here's a quick specification breakdown for those of you who just want the basics:

Category Google Pixel Google Pixel XL Operating System Android 7.1 with Google UI Android 7.1 with Google UI Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 RAM 4GB 4GB Display 5-inch AMOLED 1920x1080 5.5-inch AMOLED 2560x1440 Rear Camera 12MP f/2.0
1.55-micron pixels
PDAF 12MP f/2.0
1.55-micron pixels
PDAF Front camera 8MP 8MP Battery 2,770mAh non-removable 3,450mAh non-removable Charging Fast charging Fast charging Connectivity USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2 USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2 Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes Storage 32GB/128GB 32GB/128GB IP rating IP53 IP53 Colors Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue Price $649 $769

But which one is better?

Well, let's weigh the options. The Pixel features a regular 1080p AMOLED display with a 2,770 mAh battery, so chances are that its battery life might manage a longer day than the Pixel XL's Quad HD AMOLED display and 3,450 mAh battery simply because the display doesn't require as many resources. Then again, larger batteries do usually manage longer up-time.

Here's more on battery performance from executive editor Alex Dobie's initial review of the Pixel and Pixel XL:

In both cases you're likely to get a decent, full day of use out of the Pixel and Pixel XL, though the XL fares a little better on heavier days.

The XL never failed to get me through a full day of regular use, with a typical day getting me 14 to 16 hours off charger with 4.5 to 5 hours of screen on time. That's with mixed use across LTE and Wi-Fi, and approaches what I've gotten out of the Galaxy S7 edge earlier in the year. Unremarkable for a high-end Android phone perhaps, but the major difference I noticed with the Pixel XL was how it weathered heavy use that much better than many rivals.

It all comes down to whether you want a phone to be usable in one hand, or one that can double as a small tablet, used with Nougat's new Multi Window mode in landscape with two apps side by side. You're still getting the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM and the improved 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, as well as rear-facing fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, and fast charging. Both phones are also IP53 rated, so you don't have to go into freakout mode if either phone gets rained on.

More: The Google Pixel is IP53 rated — here's what that means

Which one is better for virtual reality?

It's a good idea to buy a Pixel XL over a smaller Pixel if virtual reality is your primary concern. The Pixel and Pixel XL are both Daydream-ready, but the larger Pixel XL has a higher-resolution display, which translates to better per-eye density in VR. This gives the XL a definite advantage for current content and it helps with future-proofing as well. The larger battery may also eke a few more minutes in battery life while playing VR, which is nice.

You also probably shouldn't get a white Pixel for VR.

More: Using the smaller pixel with Google Daydream is a big compromise

What's the price difference between the two?

The Pixel starts at $649 for the 32GB version, while the Pixel XL starts at a whopping $769. If you bump up the storage to 128GB, it's an extra $100. And if you add on device protection, that's another $100. These smartphones aren't as cheap as Nexuses used to be.

Which carriers support the devices?

Both the Pixel and Pixel XL are sold unlocked through the official Google Store. They're compatible with all four of the major carrier networks in the U.S., in addition to Google's own Project Fi. You can also purchase either device through Verizon, though you'll want to hold off on doing so outright unless you've got a grandfathered subsidy that the carrier is offering you.

The Verizon variant of both devices include three Verizon apps, an encrypted bootloader — a bummer for tinkerers — and you'll have to wait on Big Red before receiving any software updates. Alternatively, if you're a Verizon subscriber and you buy it unlocked, you'll still have access to advanced features like VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling.

More: Don't buy your Pixel at Verizon

Want to know more?

Be sure to peek at our review of both the Pixel and Pixel XL for the full rundown on Google's two new smartphones. Let us know which one you're bringing home in the comments!

See at Google

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

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1 week ago

Amazon Echo vs. Dot vs. Tap: Which should you buy?

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 Which should you buy?

Control your music and way more with Amazon's line of Echo smart speakers.

The world of the connected home is still very much a disconnected mess. As Apple and Google each compete with their own standards — and other companies doing the same with their own — Amazon has quietly snuck in the side door with its smart, attractive, and intelligent speaker. Or, rather, speakers. After more than a year with just the Amazon Echo to lead the way, Amazon's line of smart speakers embodies that future. The Echo, Tap, and Dot are very similar smart speakers, in that they perform nearly all the same functions, with some minor differences.

If you're in the market for a smart speaker but can't decide between these three, we'll outline the key differences and let you know which one is best for you.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

The first of its kind, Amazon Echo is a 9-inch speaker that at first glance resembles a tube of Pringles. However, this unit is far more than just a speaker that can play all your favorite tunes from Pandora, Spotify, Prime Music, and more. (Tell it to "Play the [Android Central Podcast," too!) It can easily become the smart controller for your entire home, connecting to smart lights (like Philips Hue), Nest thermostats, Samsung SmartThings, and much more.

It's basically a smartphone search appliance without the screen. It can answer questions, read audiobooks, check traffic and weather updates, and essentially act as your voice-activated butler (aside from actually bringing you a snack, though you can use it to order pizza from Domino's…).

In a somewhat creepy display of semi-AI, the Echo is always connected to Amazon's Alexa network, which is in the cloud and always getting smarter. The more you use it, the more it learns your preferences, speech patterns, and vocabulary, to better deliver on what you're asking for. It's always learning.

Check out our review for more!

Is it for me?

You'll want the Echo if you want the total package. If you want a whole-home control center coupled with a decent speaker, then the Echo is your best choice. It's an especially prudent choice if you already have your home rigged with smart devices. This one is designed to truly integrate with your home and therefore become a relatively permanent fixture. It comes in white and black.

See at Amazon


Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon Echo Dot

The Dot is essentially the Echo's "Mini-Me." It has a smaller, quieter speaker and, in size, is more akin to a hockey puck. It does everything the Echo does, but also has a 3.5mm output jack and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect it to your current sound system. Truly, it's as though someone just decapitated the Echo and then scrunched up the full-size speaker and jammed it up into the neck, and boom, the Dot.

Connect to and control all of your smart home devices, as well as your existing audio set-up, making the Dot perhaps the most desirable of the Echo family, especially since it's only $50 (and right now, if you buy a 6-pack, you'll only pay for 5!).

Check out our review for more!

Is it for me?

It is if you have an existing audio setup and several smart devices around your home that you'd like to control with just your voice. Don't go looking for real sound quality from the Dot, though it will do in a pinch if nothing else is available. Like the Echo, the Dot is constantly learning and adapting to your voice and your preferences. Comes in white and black.

See at Amazon

Amazon Tap

Amazon Tap

The Tap is the next in line and brings most of the same features that the Echo has, with the added benefit of portability. With up to nine hours of playback, the Tap is rechargeable and comes with a handy wireless charging cradle.

Since it is battery-powered, the Tap isn't always listening, so — as the name would suggest — you have to tap it to activate Alexa, which only works over Wi-Fi. It's kind of a pain in the keister.

Like the Echo and Dot, the Tap can control your smart home devices, but you'll have to get up and tap it to do so (at that point, you might as well pull out your phone). It can also act as you futuristic assistant, adding items to your calendar and helping with searches. It connects to your phone and other smart devices, like tablets, via Bluetooth, but just for playback.

The Tap is the only somewhat customizable Echo option, with the Tap Sling cover available in six colors.

Is it for me?

It is if you want a portable speaker that also lets you stream music from many of your favorite services. The Tap can still do all of the assistant-related things that the Echo and Dot do; you just have to get off your duff and tap it to get it to work. If you just want a Bluetooth speaker that doubles as a personal assistant (by using the Alexa app), then the Tap is your best choice. Only available in black.

See at Amazon


How do you choose?

If you want the total package — decent speaker, whole-home control, and a personal assistant, all controlled by your voice — then go with the Echo.

If you want the exact same thing, but smaller, since you already have a sweet home-audio setup, then go with the Dot. It's definitely the best value.

If you want a portable Bluetooth speaker that can also act as a personal assistant, and you don't mind getting up to tap it when you want to control your smart home devices, then the Tap is your bag, baby.

Amazon Echo

Amazon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 week ago

Best Android Tablet

The Android 7.0 update makes the Pixel C the best Android tablet you can buy.

Best overall

The Pixel C

See at Google

We liked the Pixel C when it first arrived at the end of 2015. We thought the aluminum design was striking, even at a time where we saw aluminum and other metal devices from all the people making phones and tablets and decided the added weight (a 10.2-inch aluminum tablet can be hefty) was a fair trade for the excellent way it was designed and built. The NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor handled everything well and the 1:√2 aspect ratio was easier to get used to than anyone had guessed. We really loved the display. The 2560x1800 display was bright and crisp and represented the Pixel brand very well. But we couldn't help but feel the tablet hadn't reached its full potential.

Android 7.0 and the native multi-window display feature changed that. With either of the keyboard folio covers, multi-window turned the Pixel C from yet another Android tablet with a keyboard case into something you really could use for light work or school. We're not trying to validate any company's claim that a tablet can replace a laptop when it comes to productivity, but when you need to do it, The Pixel C is the best way to do it.

Bottom line: No tablet is perfect. Neither is Android. But when you want to combine the two, the Pixel C is the best way you can spend your money until someone else can build something better.

One more thing: Because this is a Google hardware product, the Pixel C will be among the first Android tablets to be updated with new features.

Why the Pixel C is the best

A tablet that covers every need.

The Pixel C does everything you would want a tablet to do. YouTube or anything else on the web is great on the gorgeous screen, all the apps you love work well. The NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor is a screamer when it comes to gaming. This can be said about many Android tablets. The difference really did come with the Android 7.0 update.

Working, whether it's on a presentation for your boss or a paper for your professor, is very different on a tablet than it is on a more conventional computer. Apps are designed to be more simple and easy to use with a touch screen while omitting many of the battery-hungry features you would find in their desktop counterparts. The biggest hurdle has always been finding a way to organize the things you're doing on your screen while you're doing them. Samsung has had this figured out for a while, and even those of us who don't appreciate a split-window view on a phone will see the value on a 10.2-inch screen. The Pixel C now offers a native Android solution, with arguable better hardware (and a better keyboard) and current software.

The software has finally caught up with the excellent design and build and we put the Pixel C at the top of the Android tablet hill.

Budget power

NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1

See at Amazon

The Shield Tablet is a gaming powerhouse featuring NVIDIA's cutting-edge 2.2 GHz Tegra K1 processor. Forward-facing stereo speakers offer quality sound, and the now optional stylus opens up helpful functionality for day-to-day usage. But the Shield Tablet's software is what really sets it apart. Built right into the notification tray, for example, is the ability to stream what's on your screen to Twitch. Remote access software combined with the optional hardware gamepad allow you to play games that are running on your PC.

Alternatively, the GeForce Now cloud gaming service lets you do the same with games and computers hosted by NVIDIA. The Shield Tablet K1 recently received a mild refresh over the original, changing the exterior styling a little but more importantly reducing the price by $100. You no longer get a charger or the stylus included in the box, but the savings do give you enough extra cash to pick up the cover and controller. Which you really want if you're going to use the Shield to its fullest.

Bottom line: Even for those that aren't hardcore gamers, the NVIDIA Shield Tablet is a powerful tablet and offers excellent value for the price.

One more thing: The 8-inch Shield Tablet is great for people who want something smaller, but still very capable.

Slim and sleek

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

See at Amazon

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 brings together some of the best components available. As usual, Samsung delivers a high-quality display and manages to do it in a particularly slim package. To top it all off, it's got the processing power to handle just about anything you could throw at it.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is available in two sizes, 8 inches and 9.7 inches, each only 5.6 mm thin. The display resolution comes in at 2048x1536 pixels, which is more than enough for enjoying HD movies or 3D games. Inside you'll find a 1.9 GHz processor and 3GB of RAM. An 8-megapixel camera sits on the back, and the home button doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The Galaxy Tab S2 ticks all of the boxes on hardware and while Samsung's software still divides opinion, it's packed with useful features.

Bottom line: While a bit pricier than other Android tablets, the slim design and beautiful screen are things you won't find in any other tablet.

One more thing: The Galaxy Tab S2 also has a great fingerprint sensor built into the home button.

For the enthusiast

Nexus 9

See at Amazon

Google partnered with HTC to deliver the Nexus 9 tablet as a spearhead for the Android Lollipop release. As it stands, the Nexus 9's blazing fast 64-bit 2.3 GHz processor and direct affiliation with Google provide it with a healthy degree of future-proofing, despite the fact it's over a year old. The Nexus 9 shuns the 16:9 form factor favored by so many Android tablets and instead goes for a more portrait friendly 4:3 with a 2048x1536 resolution display. So it's much nicer to hold in either orientation.

The back of the Nexus 9 has a soft touch coating available in a few different colors, but what's great about it right now is that you can find it for some bargain prices. Deals are frequent and since it's a Nexus you're getting the latest software, usually before everyone else. If you want to get some work done with the Nexus 9, there's an optional keyboard cover for it, too.

For the nerds out there who like to be on the bleeding edge (or more so, developers), the Nexus 9 is one of the early devices with access to any Android developer previews. But think twice before putting them on a daily driver.

For Android enthusiasts, the Nexus 9 is an easy pick. But if you just want a big tablet, running Android and don't want to spend too much, check it out.

Bottom line: For the Android enthusiast, the Nexus 9 is an excellent test-bed for custom software installations. It's fully unlockable and factory software is readily provided.

One more thing: The Nexus 9 should be eligible for the Android beta software program for people who want the bleeding edge.

Conclusion

Like most things, there is no one Android tablet that's right for everyone. That's one of the big reasons Google was able to break Apple's dominance in mobile computing — they offer a choice for just about everyone. Whether you want the stylish look and thin profile of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 or the high-powered yet low-priced NVIDIA Shield K1 — or anything in between — someone is making a tablet that will work for you.

Our pick with the Pixel C is tough to beat. Great construction, an awesome screen, and current software with all the features you hear about directly from Google make it the one tablet we can recommend to everyone.

Best overall

The Pixel C

See at Google

We liked the Pixel C when it first arrived at the end of 2015. We thought the aluminum design was striking, even at a time where we saw aluminum and other metal devices from all the people making phones and tablets and decided the added weight (a 10.2-inch aluminum tablet can be hefty) was a fair trade for the excellent way it was designed and built. The NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor handled everything well and the 1:√2 aspect ratio was easier to get used to than anyone had guessed. We really loved the display. The 2560x1800 display was bright and crisp and represented the Pixel brand very well. But we couldn't help but feel the tablet hadn't reached its full potential.

Android 7.0 and the native multi-window display feature changed that. With either of the keyboard folio covers, multi-window turned the Pixel C from yet another Android tablet with a keyboard case into something you really could use for light work or school. We're not trying to validate any company's claim that a tablet can replace a laptop when it comes to productivity, but when you need to do it, The pixel C is the best way to do it.

Bottom line: No tablet is perfect. Neither is Android. But when you want to combine the two, the Pixel C is the best way you can spend your money until someone else can build something better.

One more thing: Because this is a Google hardware product, the Pixel C will be among the first Android tablets to be updated with new features.

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1 week ago

Don't miss this rare $50 savings on the Sonos Play:1 speaker!

0

The powerful and compact Sonos Play:1 speaker is currently $50 off, which is a pretty rare sighting. The speaker, which normally runs $199, can now be had for just $149, which is quite a great price for everything that it offers. Whether you have Sonos speakers already spread throughout your house or you are looking to get started with your first one, taking advantage of discounts when they are available is the best way to do this. You'll be able to add this one to your existing set up or put it in a room or office to run independently.

Sonos does an amazing job of supporting its speakers and bringing new features to them often. Unfortunately, this price won't last long. If you're in the market for a Sonos speaker, be sure to grab one before the deal ends.

See at Sonos

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