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11 months ago

Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 is just $249 until Christmas


Get a great compact tablet for a solid price for the holidays.

Though it's getting a bit old (about a year at this point), the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 is still a really solid tablet and it can be had for a full $150 off retail price from now until December 25. There's no discount link or coupon code to follow, as the price has already dropped at Amazon.

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11 months ago

With Windows 10 on ARM, Microsoft is coming for the Chromebook — and might win


Microsoft is taking on Chromebooks with a new ARM-based version of Windows 10, and everyone wins.

Microsoft is coming for your Chromebooks. No, they're not going to confiscate them like the TSA steals your water bottles, but more so in the competitive sense.

This week, Microsoft announced that it is launching an ARM-friendly version of Windows 10 in collaboration with Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 835 SoC, which comes out next year. While most Android fans will know Qualcomm's work from such phones as nearly every product on the market, Snapdragon is increasingly capable, especially at the high-end, of powering tablets, 2-in-1s and traditional laptops.

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11 months ago

Android is not iOS, December 2016 edition


Marshmallow rises while KitKat slowly melts.

December's Android distribution numbers are out, and they're boring. Android is still not iOS, and things don't change in large increments, so haters will still hate and defenders will still hate.

Impressively, Android 6.0 Marshmallow now holds the single version crown with 26.3% share. That takes over Android 4.4 KitKat, the previous leader, which dropped 1.2% to 24% even. Lollipop cumulatively holds the lead with 34%, divided between versions 5.0 and 5.1.

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11 months ago

Save $80 when buying an Amazon Tap and Fire tablet together


Best Buy is currently offering an $80 savings when you purchase the Amazon Tap and 7-inch Fire tablet together. To get the offer all you need to do is add both items to your cart, and then the $80 will be subtracted. With the savings, it is essentially like getting the Fire tablet (normally $69) for free and $10 off the Amazon Tap (normally $129). With the Tap, you'll be able to use your voice to order Amazon items, check the weather and much more with Alexa, and the tablet is great for browsing the web, watching videos and playing some games.

So, for $119 plus tax you can get both of these great items, which is a pretty awesome deal. This offer is only good for today, December 5, so don't wait long to place your order.

See at Best Buy

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11 months ago

Android 7.1.1 is here for the Pixel and some Nexus devices


Sideload or wait for the update? That's the question.

Android 7.1.1 is slowly rolling out to the Google Pixel and select Nexus devices, with Google updating its factory images and over-the-air (OTA) pages to reflect the new builds.

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11 months ago

Why the $49 Amazon Fire tablet is a great buy

In the past we've steered people clear of really cheap Android tablets at holiday time. Not this year.

The Amazon Fire Tablet is both really cheap and Android, though perhaps not the Android you're used to. There's no Google to be found, which means no Play Store or Google Apps of any kind.

But if you go for the 7-inch Fire you're only going to be asked to part with $49 of your hard-earned cash. Or as is often the way, even less than that, thanks to frequent sales like Black Friday just gone. I've been using one for some time and people keep asking me if it's worth buying?

The answer is yes.

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12 months ago

Today only, Amazon will sell you a Fire Tablet for just $33

Amazon Fire Tablet

Stop complaining about specifics, this is a tablet for $33.

Amazon has the 7-inch Fire tablet with 8GB storage (and "special offers" ads) on sale right now for just $33. If that's all you needed to hear, click right here and buy one before they run out of stock.

If you aren't convinced right away, for 33 bucks you're getting a quad-core 7-inch tablet that can run Android apps from the Amazon app store or ones you sideload from other places. Basically, anything that doesn't need Google's Play Services integration. If you like to tinker with things, you can monkey with the software and install "regular" Android and/or the Google Play Store with a little bit of effort.

Read:Why you should try the Amazon Fire tablet

If you're not the kind of person who hacks away at tablet software, this is the best tablet you can buy for $33. In fact, it's the only tablet you should buy for $33. It's perfect to sit on the living room table to control your lights or TV remote. It's perfect to give to the kids (without the password for app purchases!) so they can shoot angry birds out of a slingshot or watch a video or two. Or 90. For $33, you can buy one for each kid so they aren't fighting over it and stuff them in a stocking so you look like a superhero when they grab it.

It's no iPad or Pixel C. But it's the best damn tablet you can buy for $33.

See at Amazon

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1 year ago

Lenovo Yoga Book review: The future is (almost) here


It's easy to say that using the Lenovo Yoga Book feels like living in the future, but with its inclusion of (literal) pen-and-ink technology and an all-touch keyboard reminiscent of the first Microsoft Surface, it's just as accurate to call it a leap into the past. The result is an intriguing contradiction that only gets more interesting as you delve deeper into the custom Android software on this tiny tablet/notebook crossover.

Join MrMobile for the Lenovo Yoga Book review!

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1 year ago

Lenovo Yoga Book review: Almost amazing

Lenovo Yoga Book

The Lenovo Yoga Book is the closest thing to the greatest Android convertible ever made, for whatever that's worth.

Lenovo's clever hardware is a great deal more functional than you'd think it could be, but have Android apps grown up enough to handle tablets and convertibles?

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1 year ago

Windows Central reviews the next awesome Android 2-in-1!


A beautiful, ambitious 2-in-1 from Lenovo.

OK, OK, that title isn't entirely true, but it's half true. See, our friends at Windows Central have one of the first reviews out for what we thought was one of the more interesting announcements at IFA — the Lenovo Yoga Book. While, naturally, they are reviewing the Windows 10 version, we're excited about the form factor, safe in the knowledge that it will soon be released running a modified version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Here's what we said about the Yoga Book back in August:

The Yoga Book is perhaps the most visually appealing and interesting convertible Android tablet we've seen, and we have to applaud Lenovo for trying something entirely new rather than trotting out a simple detachable keyboard 2-in-1.

Now that we've gotten our hands on the Windows version, Mobile Nations' Zac Bowden has reinforced our first impressions of the hardware:

The Lenovo Yoga Book is an interesting device. It's a beautiful, premium-feeling 2-in-1, with tablet-class specifications. It's rocking a futuristic Halo Keyboard and Create Pad that's excellent for note-takers and artists alike, but not great for those who need to get real-work done such as typing an article/report or editing a video.

In other words, there's a lot to like here, but just as much to chalk up to early-adopter bugs, many of which will likely be resolved through software updates. The hardware keyboard (or lack thereof, really) may not be to everyone's taste, but it's the package as a whole — and the prospect of it eventually running Android 7.0 Nougat — that makes our heart flutter a little. That particular model is set to be released at the end of October.

Check out Windows Central's review of the Lenovo Yoga Book

See at Lenovo

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1 year ago

AC roundtable: Which Nexus was the best?


The AC editors get all nostalgic, reminiscing about their favorite Nexus products over the years.

The Nexus line has always been for enthusiasts, but has occasionally broken into the mainstream, often by finding the right balance between price, performance and software accessibility.

Now that we're on the verge of a new era, one potentially without the Nexus name, we asked our editors to reminisce about their favorite model, and to think back to how it improved their lives over the years.

So here's the big question: Which Nexus product was your favorite?

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1 year ago

About that Samsung tablet that 'overheated' on a plane


If you jam any modern tablet in an airplane seat, bad things are going to happen.

You don't need to look far for reports of Samsung things catching on fire these days. In the wake of the Galaxy Note 7 recall, the media — and public consciousness — is highly sensitive to anything that looks remotely connected to the Note's unprecedented battery woes. That's true whether we're talking about a completely different phone with no known issues, or a Samsung washing machine made by a completely different division of the company.

In any case, here's today's exploding Samsung thing: what appears to be a Galaxy Tab of some description, which started smouldering on a Delta flight from Detroit to Amsterdam.

The flight was diverted to Manchester after smoke was discovered in the business class cabin, then the (utterly destroyed) tablet was found wedged in a seat. The talk of "overheating" and "thermal runaway" here might make you think the tablet's cracked appearance is unrelated to the apparent battery fire. But what's way, way more likely is that the battery ruptured because of extreme physical damage — the kind that'll result from jamming it in an airplane seat.

As Jerry Hildenbrand explains in an earlier article:

Lithium batteries are designed to be lightweight, deliver high output, and be easy to charge. This means that the outside shell and the barrier(s) separating the electrodes are very thin and light, with most of the weight coming from the parts that can actually power your phone.

Because the partitions and case are thin, they're fairly easy to puncture or tear. If the structure of the battery itself is damaged in a way that makes the electrodes touch, a short circuit will happen. The instant electrical discharge is explosive, which can (and will) heat the electrolyte and create pressure to push it out through any ruptures in the battery case. It's hot, it's flammable and it's in contact with a spark. That's a recipe for disaster.

A Samsung statement given to The Telegraph blamed "external factors" — it's easy to see why given the extreme nature of the damage.

MORE: What makes a battery explode?

Everyone is more aware of exploding gadgets following the Note 7 recall, and as a result, incidents like this are often reported in the context of other Samsung gadgets catching fire. Case in point: Reports on a Galaxy Note 2 catching fire over India last week.

What we have here is a case of frequency illusion. (Sometimes called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.) This is a cognitive bias — a trick of the mind — where something which has recently come to the personal or collective attention seems to appear with much greater frequency shortly afterwards.

That's amplified considerably by the modern media, which is quick to jump on unrelated stories like the Note 2 catching fire over India, and present them in the narrative of the Note 7 battery fiasco. Had the Note 7 not had battery issues, a story about a single smartphone malfunctioning (albeit spectacularly) on an airplane, with no harm coming to anyone, wouldn't have been splashed around major news outlets as much as it has been.

The very same applies to a tablet battery rupturing after being crushed in an airline seat. Would this be getting so much traction if we weren't in the midsts of an unprecedented smartphone recall? Probably not.

MORE: Frequency illusion and exploding Samsung phones

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1 year ago

Huawei MediaPad M3 review: Excellent hardware meets frustrating software

Huawei MediaPad M3

Huawei brings its top specs to a new, smaller MediaPad — and the result is basically an 8.4-inch phone.

Android tablets are in a weird place right now, with slow sales and relatively few compelling devices on the market. Huawei is one of the rising brands in Android phones right now, particularly in Europe, and thus the company has cash to plow into making high-end tablets where others might shy away.

The Huawei MediaPad M3 is the latest creation of the Chinese firm, with significantly upgraded specs from the previous-gen M2 — let's just forget about that thing, okay? — as well as refreshed software and refined build quality. Huawei's latest fits neatly into its portfolio between devices like the MateBook and P9 series, with an 8.4-inch display size that hits the same sweet spot as the iPad mini.

But can a company still struggling to find its way in smartphone software step up and create a worthy Android tablet experience? Read on to find out.

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1 year ago

Lenovo's Yoga Book aims to be the tablet-laptop convertible the Pixel C never was


Lenovo Yoga Book

Lenovo's not new to tablets or convertibles — but the Yoga Book is something fresh and exciting.

The end game for any sort of tablet is, really, for it to transcend its status as merely being a tablet. And this is the stuff of legend, folks. We're talking about the likes of the aborted Microsoft Courier. We're talking about what ASUS tried to do with its Transformer line. Or, really, what Microsoft has managed to accomplish with its Surface devices. And we're also talking about what Google generally failed to do with the Pixel C.

And now we have the Lenovo Yoga Book. Two, really. One running Android, the other Windows 10. (With the latter named "Yoga Book with Windows.") Two huge swaths of glass, but only one is a display — the other moves between a touch-only keyboard and giant stylus tablet. And it's a really neat idea — let's take a look.

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1 year ago

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus hands-on: A 10-inch tablet for entertainment


Lenovo rolled out the Yoga Tab 3 series last year at IFA, and this time around we're being treated to the latest addition to the lineup, the Yoga Tab 3 Plus. The big change from last year's Yoga Tab 3 Pro is the shift in hardware from Intel's Atom x5-Z8500 to the Snapdragon 652.

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