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Tablet

Polaroid mini-tablet offers Android iPod Touch alternative…though not a very good one
January 23, 2014 | 9:28 pm

polaroidtabI have mentioned more than once that Android lacks a real equivalent to the iPod Touch. Sure, there are plenty of smartphones, and there are more than a few mini-tablets, but the mini-tablets generally seem to be running version 2 of Android, which means they have no (legitimate) access to the Play Store. Since I’ve ended up switching to an Android smartphone that fills my music-playing needs, I haven’t needed one as much, but I’ve still been curious whether one might become available. I was interested the other day when Nate mentioned on The Digital Reader that Sony was...

Hardware hackers build their own laptop, tablet
January 12, 2014 | 4:08 am

novena_full-e1389122192543Well, there’s something you don’t see every day. On Makezine, hardware hacker Bunnie Huang writes about designing and building his own open-hardware, open-source laptop computer. He wasn’t satisfied with the current choices available to him, and he didn’t want to “downgrade” to a phone or tablet, so he and a friend put in the time and effort to make one themselves. While it doesn’t exactly look pretty, and it wasn’t exactly cheap, Huang reports it works well, and stands up to rugged use. After over a year and a half of hard work, I’m happy to say our machines are in a...

Should public libraries give away e-book-friendly tablets to poor people? $38 tablet hints of possibilities
January 10, 2014 | 4:54 pm

NextYoung people love suitable paper books, ideally new, that they can own. Could the same idea work for econo-tablets that public libraries gave away to low-income families---with a big, fat, e-book-related icon smack in the middle of the home screens? Yes! Don’t just hand out gizmos, though. Let the tablets come with old-fashioned encouragement from public and school librarians. Technology is no panacea. Kids should be able to own paper books, too, in fact, not just gadgets. But e-book-capable tablets, especially with national digital library systems in place, could multiply the number of books matching students’ precise needs. Paper books could serve as gateways to...

Amazon ranked #1 in customer satisfaction again; knocks $30 off Fire tablets to celebrate
January 9, 2014 | 3:13 pm

In honor of being ranked #1 in customer satisfaction during the holiday shopping season for the 9th year in a row by the ForeSee Experience Index, Amazon has announced it is knocking $30 off all Kindle Fire tablets until 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, January 11th. That would knock the base model 7” Kindle Fire HD down to $109, the 7” HDX (with the new Mayday Button) or the 8.9” HD down to $199, and the 8.9” HDX down to $349. Not bad pricing, all in all, if that’s what you’re looking for in a tablet. To take advantage of...

webOS would have had more devices at HP, but now lives on in LG TVs
January 7, 2014 | 2:45 pm

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.’” ― John Greenleaf Whittier, Maud Muller – Pamphlet Via its Pilot and Palm PDAs, Palm was singlehandedly responsible for ushering in the PDA revolution, which led to the smartphone and tablet revolutions, but it met a sad fate at the hands of a combination of market forces and mismanagement by a series of HP execs. We’ve covered the sad decline of webOS, culminating in the bargain-basement selloff of the TouchPad tablet. But now The Verge has an intriguing report on...

Smartphones are growing into small tablets
January 3, 2014 | 2:04 pm

galaxynoteHere’s a GigaOm article by Kevin C. Tofel looking at why smartphones are getting bigger and bigger, in seeming reversal of the trend of technology making things constantly smaller. It used to be that the iPhone’s 3.5” screen was considered the ideal size for smartphones. The iPhone was made that size because it was the largest the phone could be for most people to be able to reach all corners of the screen with their thumb when holding it in their hand. But screen size crept up to 4 inches, now 5-inch screens are considered normal for many...

Holiday Searches That Led to TeleRead
December 26, 2013 | 4:26 pm

holiday searchesI admit it. I'm a geek, and I love using my Google Analytics app on my Nexus 7. I often check it multiple times a day to see how the site is doing and which stories are performing well. We didn't post many stories yesterday, but our site numbers were pretty good. I was curious to see which stories performed well. I thought it would be an interesting insight into what people were reading on Christmas Day. By the way, it wasn't the stories we posted yesterday. Those performed miserably. There were the (for us) usual suspects. The Streaming Amazon Instant Video...

HP to launch sub-$250 cell-enabled Android tablets, rumors say
December 24, 2013 | 3:39 am

Engadget is carrying a rumor that HP wants back into the smartphone market, and thinks that releasing a line of cheap 6-or-7-inch phone-capable Android tablets with recycled designs from OEMs such as Pegatron and Quanta might be its way back in. Reportedly these sub-$250 tablets are just a few weeks away. Of course, we all remember HP’s last big shot at the smartphone/tablet market, in which it took Palm, a once-respected mobile brand with a 19-year history, and flushed it right down the toilet. (Though the event did show that people wanted sub-$100 tablets enough to buy discontinued, unsupported...

Review: Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution
December 22, 2013 | 11:11 am

coverI finished reading Fred Vogelstein’s book Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution, which I mentioned in my post yesterday. I quite enjoyed it. Even though I read the news reports of the events it describes as they happened, you don’t get the big picture until you read a book like this, that looks back and puts everything together in the proper context. The book covers the development of the iPhone and Android phones, touches on the iPad and what it meant, goes over the Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit, and then wraps up...

Office Max store closings offer bargain tablet, e-reader opportunities
December 22, 2013 | 7:35 am

CAM00515[Bumped due to factual correction.] Looking for a good tablet bargain? Check out your local Office Max or Office Depot store—it’s possible you might find one that’s going out of business. Offices Max and Depot merged this year, and my local Office Max store is closing. (Probably because it’s right down the street from an Office Depot.) An employee at the store told me this closure was due to the merger. I have since been contacted by a representative of Office Depot who said that no closures have been announced and any closures are “part of the...

The ‘$100 laptop’ is now a tablet
December 21, 2013 | 1:00 pm

hisense7Whatever happened to the “$100 laptop”? On Engadget, Ross Rubin poses the question, looking at the original lofty goals of the OLPC to put computing in the hands of everyone for less than $100 and seeing what can be found in that range today. (Was that really all of seven years ago?) Now, of course, the “$100 laptop” is no longer a laptop at all. Back in 2006, Rubin tried to see what computers he could find at the $100 range, which consisted mostly of checking Ebay for computers that tended to have rather dubious pedigrees. This time around,...

UPS driver throws Android tablet away on delivery
December 16, 2013 | 6:15 pm

trashcan_610x306Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up. CNet has the story of a UPS driver who was delivering an Archos 7 Android tablet to a house with a steep, iced-over driveway. Rather than attempting to walk up to the door and put it in a safe place, he left the tablet in the trash can at the base of the driveway. The trash can was empty, so perhaps the driver thought the trash had already been picked up. But it hadn’t. However, it had been by the time the lady who’d ordered the tablet got home! After the...