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Groupon offers 16 GB 2013 Nexus 7 for $150
December 9, 2014 | 7:38 pm

If you were disappointed when Google stopped selling the Nexus 7, this deal on Groupon might make you feel a little better. Groupon is offering a new, not-refurbished 16 GB 2013 Nexus 7 for $149.99. That’s $50 less than Amazon’s price. That’s the generation 2 model, with a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2 gigs of RAM, and a full 1080P display, capable of running Android 5.0 Lollipop without breaking a sweat. Made by Asus, branded by Google. The high-resolution, 323 pixels-per-inch display is one of the best you can get for e-reading short of an e-ink display. ...

Have we hit Peak Tablet? IDC says maybe
November 26, 2014 | 6:25 pm

IDC_logoA new study from International Data Corporation (IDC) minces no words about its prognosis for the global tablet market, predicting "a massive deceleration in 2014 with year-over-year growth slowing to 7.2%, down from 52.5% in 2013." The forecast also highlights "the expectation that 2014 will represent the first full year of decline in Apple iPad shipments." The conceptual nugget at the heart of this statistical breakdown is that: "in the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years," as Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile...

Jolla gets moolah with $1.2 million and counting for alternative tablet
November 24, 2014 | 2:22 pm

Finnish startup Jolla apparently tapped into a source of serious demand when it launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for its Jolla Tablet, a 7.85" display device running the Linux-based Sailfish OS 2.0. The crowdfunding campaign blew past its $380,000 target within a couple of days of its November 19th launch, and as of the time of writing, has secured over $1.2 million in pledges, or 318 percent of the target, with 16 days still to go. What could be the secret of Jolla's success? It might be the Sailfish OS, "mobile-optimized with the flexibility, ubiquity and stability of the Linux core and...

HP Stream series could herald new era for Windows 8 tablets?
November 10, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Windows 8 tablets have not exactly fared well in the market share wars so far, with Microsoft Windows tablets holding only 1.6 percent of the North American market, according to the latest Chikita Insights numbers. One of the factors could be price, although that hardly seems to have held the iPad back. If so, HP appears to be aiming for a solution, with the debut of the low end of its HP Stream series of devices, offering Windows 8 tablet power for just $100. The HP Stream 7, bottom of the range, offers a 1280 x 800 7" screen, as well as an...

Personal hotspots: Wal-Mart vs. Karma
November 5, 2014 | 6:12 pm

karmaIn March of this year, I took a look at the current options for pay-as-you-go cellular wi-fi hotspots—just the thing for giving wi-fi-only tablets and e-readers connectivity wherever you go. At the time, I switched over from TruConnect to Wal-Mart’s equivalent 3G MiFi, to get away from TruConnect’s $5 per month fee, and was more or less happy with it, as far as it went. But one of the other competitors I mentioned at the time, Karma, is about to change things up, and it looks like it might just be worth trying. A lot of people with smartphones...

Opening the Inbox: Google’s new paradigm for reading email
November 5, 2014 | 5:20 pm

Screenshot_2014-11-05-17-12-58If you’ve heard about Google’s new “Inbox” system for reading GMail, you’re just about to have your chance to request an invitation. Between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Pacific) today (starting just about 40 minutes from now), Google will send invitations to everyone who requests one. Just send an email to inbox@google.com between 6 and 7 and you’ll get your invitation by 8 p.m. (5 p.m. Pacific). I requested an invitation the day it launched and got it the very next day. I’ve been using it since then, on my PC, tablet, and...

Could on-wall reading be a thing? Thanks to Lenovo, it just might be
October 12, 2014 | 11:30 am

Screenshot from 2014-10-11 11:05:43Lenovo has just rolled out a new line of tablets, including one that could have some very interesting real-world reading applications. The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has a  13.3" QHD display, which would make it ordinarily quite interesting enough as a reading device, if a little cumbersome. But its real edge is the Pico projector built into its housing, which according to Lenovo can project the display onto a wall with an image covering up to 50 inches. You can see the obvious educational benefits for combining one of these tablets with an ereader. Immediately you have instant on-wall reading for the entire...

Intel rolls out new reference design platform for Android tablets
September 10, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Prospects for more, cheaper, higher specced, more up-to-date, tablets for ereading and other purposes took a turn for the better when Intel announced their new reference design platform for Android devices, with both hardware and software components. "At IDF today, we announced the Intel Reference Design Program for Android," said Intel's official blog post. "This program is our commitment to the industry to make it easier to bring Android devices based on Intel Architecture to market." The plethora of low-cost and often low-performance Android tablets flooding supermarket shelves proves that OEMs have not exactly been finding it that hard to bring...

Staples offers 2013 Nexus 7 for $99 with clearance coupon
August 25, 2014 | 5:22 pm

If you’re in the USA, you have a Staples in your area, and they still have 2013 Nexuses in stock, you might be able to get a really good deal. Android Authority has the details on a coupon good for $100 off the 16 GB and 32 GB Nexus 7 tablets. This would cut their price down to $99 and $159, respectively. For a tablet as good as the N7 ‘13, that’s a steal. They’re already out of stock online, so you’d have to go into a store to get the deal. On a related note, Nate at The...

Best Buy CEO says tablet sales are ‘crashing’
August 4, 2014 | 12:38 pm

Re/code has an interview with Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly in which he talks about a few things like fighting showrooming with pricematching, why people might want to buy gadgets in Best Buy rather than Amazon, and perhaps most interestingly, the sales rates for tablets. We’ve mentioned before how the tablet seems to be replacing the laptop in terms of most ordinary consumers’ needs, but according to Joly sales have been starting to fall off. He believes this might suggest the market has just about reached saturation—all the people who wanted a tablet have gotten one, and they don’t...

Why people aren’t buying iPads anymore
July 30, 2014 | 2:25 pm

ipad mini vs ipad airHuffington Post has this little write-up on the iPad situation. In short: sales of iPads are flat, why can this be? They list the usual reasons---other brands are cheaper, Apple won't budge on price and so on---but also offer a new one that's true for me: people simply don't upgrade their tablets as often. Perhaps it's because they prioritize upgrading their phones, which they carry with them daily, so there is no money left for a frill like a tablet. Perhaps it's because there has not been as much innovation in the tablet sector recently---my iPad 2 is still going strong after...

Audience migration to digital pulls The Legend of Korra off Nick TV channel
July 26, 2014 | 7:32 pm

korraThe digital transition: it’s not just for books. With the advent of tablets and smartphones with fast cellular connections (or wifi), there’s been a critical shift in the way media are consumed. I’ve talked about that before: In the early days of the Internet, companies invested in computer-on-TV devices, assuming that when convergence came, everything would converge through the TV set. They invariably flopped. But now that we have small screens we can always carry with us, with processors good enough and Internet fast enough to stream video in real time, more and more people...