Recent Articles

Headlines

1 year ago

With the $50 Barnes & Noble Nook 7 Tablet, you get what you pay for

14

With the $50 Barnes & Noble Nook 7 Tablet, you get what you pay for

If all you're looking for is an e-reader, then maybe $50 isn't that bad. Maybe. Possibly.

The Nook 7 from Barnes & Noble is $50. That may be the best thing I have to say about it. It's not particularly fast. (Or fast at all.) The display isn't anything to write home about. The software is basically stock Android with BN apps added in.

But if all you're looking for is an e-reader, then maybe $50 isn't that bad, right?

Subscribe to Modern Dad!

I guess it really depends on what you're hoping to get out of this. I'd hoped this might be another option for the kids. And while it is, it's not really a good option. At least not without doing some work to it. There's no real kid support built into the Nook 7 out of the box. There's basic Android user switching, and even profile support for the Barnes & Noble content. It's password protected, even, so you can keep your Disney kids out of your Danielle Steel. But that's it. They still have full access to every single app on the tablet. And you're on your own for setting up any sort of screen time limitations. Point is, for not too much more money you can get a much better tablet for youngsters.

On the other hand, this one does have Google Play support from the moment you fire it up, so there's that.

See at Barnes & Noble

Modern Dad

.devicebox { background: #fff; border: solid #000; border-width: 2px 0; box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0 auto 30px; overflow: auto; padding: 20px 0 15px; position: relative; } div .devicebox ul li, div .devicebox p { box-sizing: border-box; color: #000; display: table; font: 16px "Proxima Nova Th",helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width: 100%; } .devicebox h3 { color: #000; font: 26px/0.9 "Proxima Nova Bold",helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; margin: 0 0 15px; text-transform: uppercase; } .devicebox a { color: #008099; } .devicebox .video { margin: 0 auto 15px; } .devicebox p { margin: 0px; } .devicebox p.list-head { font: 20px "Proxima Nova Bold",helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; padding: 0 15px; } .devicebox p img, .entry-content .devicebox p > 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.cta .shop { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.cta .shop, .devicebox a.cta .shop:link, .devicebox a.cta .shop:active, .devicebox a.cta .shop:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.cta .shop: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.cta .shop { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.cta .shop: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.cta .shop { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.cta .shop, .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.cta .shop { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.cta .shop, .devicebox a.cta .shop:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.cta .shop: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.cta .shop: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;} -->

*/ /*-->*/
1 year ago

Amazon Fire HD 8: Finally, a tablet worthy of your kids

33

Amazon Fire HD 8: Finally, a tablet worthy of your kids

See at Amazon

Have kids? Have kids who are always "borrowing" your tablet? Maybe get them this instead!

Fun fact: Kids like stealing their parents' tablets. Maybe they're just watching videos. Maybe Pokémoning. (That's a verb, right?) Maybe they're just catching up on emails and building new slide decks. (My kids are weird. Don't ask.)

Thing is, I've never really found a tablet I actually want to let my kids use. High-end tablets like the Pixel are too big and too expensive. Same goes for iPads, really. At some point they're going to drop it. They're going to leave it on the floor to be stepped on. That's just the way it is.

And I've got a real aversion for cheap tablets. You know — those off-brand things that go for $50, never get updates and have zero in the way of support. But what if you could spend just a little bit more for something decent. And, as it turns out, something that has a little bit of kiddie controls already built in.

And that's why I've been pleasantly surprised with the latest from Amazon — the Fire HD 8. It starts at just $89 for the 16GB model, with "special offers." (That means ads, of course.) I ramped things up just a little bit though, going for the 32GB model and no ads, and came out at about $135. That's not nothing, but it's also not horrible for something that's really gotten a lot of use in my house. (Plus, having a range of options is great!)

Get more at Modern Dad!!!

1 year ago

Lenovo Yoga Book: An Android tablet like none other

26

Lenovo Yoga Book: An Android tablet like none other

The innovative display ... the gorgeous hinge ... the futuristic keyboard ... or the crazy cool pen input — there are loads of reasons to love the Lenovo Yoga Book.

I've seen lots of Android tablets in my day. Even the odd Android-powered laptop. I've seen Android tablets that sort-of try to become laptops. Today, though, we truly have the first one that's able to both — and then some. That beast, of course, is the Lenovo Yoga Book, which the company sent me to take a look at.

It's one part tablet. Another part laptop. Another part futuristic sketch pad. And it pulls off all three in a way that you almost don't expect, given the state of large-form Android devices. But it's pretty easy to nail down just exactly what Lenovo did to create such a unique product.

See at Lenovo

The hardware and that hinge ...

Start with the basics, of course. You've got a 10.1-inch tablet that's impossibly thin, with a gorgeous 1920x1200-resolution display. That's married to a keyboard unlike any that you've ever seen before — because there aren't any keys at all. Instead you get a flat surface on which the outline of keys will present themselves when it's time to type. The rest of the time that area is a high-tech sketchpad, using a souped-up pen to instantly digitize anything you write or draw. It's almost hard to believe how accurate it is, and it turns the worst of scribbles into something that can be stored and manipulated across all kinds of cloud-based ecosystems.

Keeping all that together is the innovative watch-band hinge that Lenovo has made itself famous for. Nothing else looks like that and provides the sort of range of movement. (Never mind that it looks ridiculously cool.) You can easily go from tablet mode to laptop mode to sketchpad mode, with very little effort at all, and without fear of breaking anything in the process. It's as simple as it is innovative.

There's plenty to like under the hood as well. The Yoga Book is powered by an Intel Atom processor, sports 4 gigabytes of RAM, and has 64 gigabytes of storage, with the option for a microSD card to add even more. And the 8500 mAh battery keeps everything powered up. All of this runs Android with aplomb, though there is also a Windows 10 version of the Yoga Book if that's more your thing.

That Real Pen — and that Any Pen ...

For as cool as the hinge is, and as futuristic as that keyboard looks, it's the pen input that's going to grab a lot of folks' attention. But it actually goes way beyond that.

The "Real Pen" is the main method of drawing, writing and digitizing. It's got a more typical stylus nub on it, but you might well want to go with the ballpoint tip so that you can actually put ink to paper while you're putting pixels to the screen.

But then there's "Any Pen" — a technology that lets you take any sort of conductive metal to the display and have it serve as a stylus. Only have a spork handy? So long as it's metal, that half-spoon, half fork will interact with the Yoga Book's display same as the Real Pen. Or a key. Or a knife. You'll obviously want to be a little careful about your writing weapon of choice, but the point is you've got myriad metal options.

The bottom line ...

It's not too often that you get a product that's worth more than the sum of its parts. The Lenovo Yoga Book appears to be one of those, however. You can't overstate the design — just how thin and light and innovative it is. The keyboard has to be seen to be believed. The options for Real Pen and Any Pen add the sort of extras that you won't find anywhere else.

Or boil it down to this — it's just cool. It looks cool. The metal body feels cool. You're going to pull it out of your bag and attract a gaze or two. And you're also going to get stuff done.

And that's truly what it's all about.

See at Lenovo

1 year ago

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

23

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

Galaxy Tab S2 8.0

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.

1 year ago

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

161

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.

1 year ago

Android is not iOS, December 2016 edition

73

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.

1 year ago

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

2

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

1 year ago

Android 7.1.1 is here for the Pixel and some Nexus devices

67

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.

1 year ago

Why the $49 Amazon Fire tablet is a great buy

Why the $49 Amazon Fire tablet is a great buy

Amazon Fire
Amazon Fire

Amazon Fire

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.

1 year ago

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

20

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.

Amazon Fire Tablet

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

1 year ago

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

2

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!

Get social with MrMobile

1 year ago

Lenovo Yoga Book review: Almost amazing

29

Lenovo Yoga Book review: Almost amazing

Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book

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?

1 year ago

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

17

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

1 year ago

AC roundtable: Which Nexus was the best?

217

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?

1 year ago

About that Samsung tablet that 'overheated' on a plane

79

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

Show More Headlines

Pages