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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab E comes to U.S. Cellular

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U.S. Cellular has announced that it is now offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab E both online and in-store.

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2 years ago

NVIDIA commits to Marshmallow update for Shield Tablet K1, original Shield Tablet

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With the launch of the new Shield Tablet K1 and the swift move of the original Shield Tablet to end-of-life status, NVIDIA has stated that it commits to a Marshmallow update for both tablets. The new Shield Tablet K1 is of course launching with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, quite the same build that we see on the original, which really is unfortunate but feels a bit better knowing that Marshmallow is on the way.

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2 years ago

NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1 review

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Shield Tablet K1

The same winning formula, now a year older and $100 less.

In July of last year NVIDIA launched the Shield Tablet, which took over from the ho-hum Tegra Note 7 and was really one of the best mid-sized tablets available through that year and into 2015. It had a super-powerful processor, solid screen, good battery life and exceptional gaming chops — but you had to be committed to buying it with its accessories for a total of $400 to get the best experience. Still, I used it as my main tablet (the LTE model, actually) and recommended it to others.

Rather than tear it all down and start from scratch 16 months after the launch of the original Shield Tablet, NVIDIA is releasing a refreshed model simply called the Shield Tablet K1. It has the same specs, screen and performance as the original, but now with a few tweaks in the hardware and a notable reduction in price to $199.

Read on for our impressions of the new version.

Shield Tablet K1

Shield Tablet K1 Hardware

Saying that nothing has changed externally between the original Shield Tablet and the new Tablet K1 isn't entirely true, but it's pretty darn close. the 8-inch screen is surrounded by the same basic design, with a plastic exterior coated in soft touch material wrapping the entire outside of the tablet. You'll still find big front-facing speakers on the shorter ends, ported out the sides where you'll find the necessary ports — USB, HDMI, SD card and headphones — and buttons.

A few cosmetic changes made, but there wasn't much to complain about here before.

There are just three visible changes between the generations, and they're small ones. The front-facing speakers are now surrounded by a different matte soft touch material instead of glossy hard plastic, and that same hard plastic on the original that stretched around the top edges around the display is also gone. Those changes make the tablet a bit softer in your hands all around, and will surely be less prone to scratching and cracking over time like the glossy hard plastic was. The third difference? There's no longer a slot for a stylus, which coincides with the Shield Tablet K1 no longer shipping with one. Though you can buy one separately for $20 (14.99£ / 19,99€), if you wish.

And I'm totally OK with nothing really changing on the Shield Tablet K1. I never had an issue with the design aside from the somewhat-cheap looking glossy plastic bits, and the addition of more soft touch plastic makes it even easier to hold in landscape mode. My gripes on the original of the power and volume buttons being too flush to the side still remain, but I can live with that if it's the biggest complaint I can make.

On the inside, things haven't changed at all. We're looking at the same computing platform all around — a Tegra K1 processor with its 192-core GPU, 2GB of RAM and a base 16GB of storage that's expandable by SD card. Having just 2GB of RAM in 2015 is starting to be a bit on the low side, but there's nothing dated about the capabilities of this processor. And when we're talking about just a 1920x1200 display instead of the higher-end QHD panels in other tablets, it's hard to argue with keeping with the solid formula.

That 8-inch 1920x1200 display seems to be identical to the one found on the first Shield Tablet to my eyes, which is to say it's squarely in the "more than good enough" range. It doesn't get amazingly bright for use outside in the direct sun, but for every other task it performs admirably. And although the Shield Tablet K1 no longer has a stylus built in, the display and tablet software still support all of the stylus' capabilities if you choose to buy one separately.

Shield Tablet K1

Shield Tablet K1 Software and experience

NVIDIA does a great job of shipping its devices with a very stock-like experience, and what you get on the Shield Tablet K1 is exactly where we left off with the original Shield Tablet. This is Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with very few visual changes — stock Google apps are installed, and NVIDIA includes very few of its own.

NVIDIA doesn't change much visually in the software, and adds some great features.

The big changes you'll notice in the software are inclusions for NVIDIA's Shield Controller, the Shield Hub for games and content, and Twitch for live streaming directly to the service. Oddly the Dabbler app — geared toward use with a stylus — is still included, but you can disable it if you'd like.

Performance-wise, the Shield Tablet K1 flies just like the original does. After a bit of a hiccup with the Android 5.0 release on the Shield Tablet the subsequent 5.1.1 update smoothed things out considerably, and I'm seeing the same now on the Shield Tablet K1. Just as I explained back then the Shield Tablet K1 can handle all of your daily tablet tasks like media consumption and some social networking, while also kicking it up for heavy games when you need it. That includes both local Android gaming with Shield-only titles, but also GeForce Now game streaming from the cloud provided you have a good internet connection for the $7.99 per month service.

NVIDIA says Marshmallow is on the horizon for the Shield Tablet K1, as you'd expect, but given how well this tablet performs I can't be too disappointed with Lollipop shipping out of the box. Historically NVIDIA has handled updates pretty well, and I have no reason to believe Marshmallow will be any different.

Shield Tablet and Tablet K1

What you don't get

So NVIDIA managed to save some money here by re-releasing much the same hardware and internals in the Shield Tablet K1 as the previous Shield Tablet, but that doesn't explain the entire $100 price drop. Other corners were also cut here to keep the price down.

Not including a charger rubs me the wrong way, but the price drop had to come from something.

Beyond the aforementioned omission of the stylus (which I doubt many bought the Shield Tablet for), the Tablet K1 doesn't actually ship with a power brick or USB cable. Of course the tablet comes charged out of the box, but you'll have to repurpose an old charger to get this tablet juiced back up — and if all you have is a phone charger that may be a slow proess. That's really rubbing me the wrong way, no matter how much I know that most tablet buyers (especially those buying a Shield Tablet) likely already have a charger at home. Of course NVIDIA is selling its versatile world charger pack for $29 (17.99£ / 24,99€), but you can probably do better for less with a name brand one from Amazon.

NVIDIA has also streamlined the SKUs available for the Shield Tablet K1. You can only get it with 16GB of internal storage, of course with an SD card slot providing up to 128GB more, but there isn't an LTE version or one with more internal storage if you want to buy it. At release there aren't any sort of bundles, either — you'll buy each piece as you want it.

Shield Tablet K1 and accessories

A new value proposition

After reviewing the original Shield Tablet (and again looking at it when the LTE model launched), I didn't have many complaints even when the retail price was $299. Now just a year later the tablet itself has stayed nearly the same, but the price has dropped to an absolutely fantastic $199. Sure you don't get a stylus or charger in the box, but the $100 savings very importantly open up some money for you to buy the $39 Shield Tablet Cover and $59 Shield Controller — both of which are almost required if you want the best gaming experience.

If you plan on gaming with a tablet — especially on the go — it's hard to go wrong with the Shield Tablet K1, especially now that you can get the accessories that make the gaming experience so great without going over the starting price of the original version of the tablet. And for those who have less-intense tasks and just want a mid-sized tablet at a solid price, the Shield Tablet K1 can also be on your list.

You're getting a lot for $199 here, and it's great to see.

Buy the Shield Tablet K1 from NVIDIA

Buy the Shield Tablet K1 from Amazon

Buy the Shield Tablet K1 from BestBuy

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2 years ago

NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1 specs

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NVIDIA's new Shield Tablet K1 isn't actually an altogether new device — it's a slightly refreshed version of 2014's Shield Tablet, and that means not much has changed. The internal specs have stuck around from last year's model, but that's okay — the processor is more than capable and the rest of the hardware keeps up just fine. If you're curious about the full specs, though, we have you covered right here.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy View coming to AT&T on Friday, November 20

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AT&T is the first US wireless carrier to announce plans to sell the recently launched Samsung Galaxy View tablet. AT&T will start sales for the massive 18.4-inch tablet on Friday. November 20.

AT&T has a promotional price for the Galaxy View for new and current DirecTV customers:

For a limited time, customers that sign up for new DIRECTV service (24-month agreement required) can buy the Samsung Galaxy View for $99.99, with a two-year wireless agreement. Existing DIRECTV customers that activate a new line with a smartphone on AT&T Next can also get the Galaxy View for $99.99, with a two-year wireless agreement.

For everyone else, the Galaxy View will be available for $499.99 with a new two-year agreement, or for $30 a month for 20 months under the carrier's Tablet Installment Plan.

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

Nextbook Ares 11 mini review

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Nextbook Ares 11 detached keyboard

In the Android tablet space, price has always been a key factor in quality. The cheaper the tablet, the lower the quality, and it was almost always an instant no when talking about whether it should be purchased or not. Nextbook is trying to change things up in that space, offering a quality tablet at a relatively inexpensive price — meet the Nextbook Ares 11.

So, how does Nextbook begin to change things when it comes to affordable tablets that aren't terrible? Well, let's take a look at the hardware, software and what you get for the money, and then you can make the decision for yourself.

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2 years ago

Save 50 percent on a Project Tango Development Kit for a limited time

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For a limited time, developers can sign up for a 50 percent savings on the Project Tango Development Kit, dropping it to just $256. The codes are limited in quantities, and only available in certain areas, so if you are interested in picking one of these up, you'll need to act quickly.

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2 years ago

Verizon announces the Ellipsis 10, available now for $199 on contract

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Verizon has added another Android tablet to its lineup with the Ellipsis 10, a 10.1-inch tablet that connects to its powerful 4G LTE network. The tablet features a 1920x1200 pixel display, and runs Android 5.1 out of the box. For capturing memories, or taking video calls, you've got a 5MP rear-facing camera along with a 2MP front-facing shooter. Internally, the Ellipsis 10 has 16GB of storage, which you can expand with a microSD card if you need additional. The anti-fingerprint coating that wraps the tablet will help prevent smudges and keep the tablet looking new, and the 9100mAh battery should provide up to 25 hours of power.

As far as pricing, Verizon is offering a few different payment options. First up, you can sign a two-year contract and the tablet would be yours for $199, or if you'd rather pay for it over time you can do so at $12.49 a month for 24 months. Finally, Verizon is offering the tablet off-contract for $299.

Purchase the Ellipsis 10 tablet from Verizon

Source: Verizon

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2 years ago

Acer Predator 8 gaming tablet pre-orders go live for $300

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As promised earlier this year, Acer is now taking pre-orders for its Predator 8 Android gaming tablet. The price for the Intel-based 8-inch tablet is $299.99.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy View now available from Samsung, Best Buy, Amazon and others for $599

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Samsung's Galaxy View, the massive 18.4-inch tablet, is now available to be purchased directly from Samsung, as well as a variety of other retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, B&H and others. Under the 18.4-inch display, Samsung packed a 1.6GHz octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded through a microSD card.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy View coming to Canada through Bell on November 19 for $699

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Samsung and Bell Canada have announced that the massive Samsung Galaxy View tablet will be coming to Canada exclusively through Bell. In Canada, the Galaxy View will come with Bell's Fibe TV video straming app pre-installed, which offers video from over 300 channels, including both live and on-demand programming.

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2 years ago

In pictures: The Samsung Galaxy View

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Today Samsung has officially taken the wraps off its new big-screen Android slate, the Galaxy View. Designed to be a portable, indoor-based portal into a range of different content, the View packs an 18.4-inch display, an octa-core CPU and Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. You'll want to check out our first look feature, but if you prefer to just look at pretty pictures, you'll find plenty below in our Galaxy View hands-on gallery.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy View: First look

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Samsung Galaxy View

Samsung's biggest Android tablet yet is an enormous portal into a galaxy of content.

It's not just smartphones that are getting bigger. As Android handsets push past the 5.5-inch mark -- for many, eliminating the need for tablets in smaller form factors -- tablets themselves are becoming ever larger. In recent months we've seen Apple unveil the iPad Pro, Google pushing the heavy-duty Pixel C as an extension of its Nexus tablet series, and Microsoft continuing to blur the line between laptop and tablet with the Surface 4 and Surface Book. So it's only fitting that Samsung, one of the original players in the Android tablet game, is also prepping a big-screened slate.

The company has taken a shot at bigger tablets before, most notably with the 12.2.-inch Galaxy Tab Pro -- a traditional high-end Tab expanded into a larger form factor. This time around, Samsung's going even bigger, opting for a whopping 18.4-inch portal into a world of content. This is the Samsung Galaxy View, and we've had a chance to preview it ahead of the public launch at the Gear S2 showcase at Westfield White City's Galaxy Studio. Read on for our first impressions.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy View specs

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The Galaxy View was teased by Samsung at Berlin's IFA conference and now the Goliath of a tablet has finally been revealed. It's not your everyday Android tablet and the specs alone don't come close to telling the story.

Nonetheless, here's what's inside it.

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2 years ago

T-Mobile is offering a free Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Tab A with eligible trade-in this weekend

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T-Mobile is back with yet another crazy deal, this time offering customers a free Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Tab A through its Jump On Demand lease program with an eligible trade-in. By trading in an iPhone 6, Galaxy S6, S6 edge, Galaxy S5, Note 4 or Note edge, you can receive both a new Galaxy S6 and a Galaxy Tab A, free of charge.

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