via Surface 3 review: Finally, a cheap Surface you’d actually want. (No not really)
Review from Engadget shows that the MS surface line is improving. Just not quite enough. Let me get this out there the whole surface concept I have always thought was flawed. It’s a niche device that I don’t think has a market to support it. The surface was a reaction to the fact that people who were buying Ipads and then buying keyboard covers for them.
The surface 3 (not to be confused with the surface 3 pro, which it will be) has a few key points.
- Windows RT is gone so its running a full version of Windows 8.1 (which has its own draw backs see why we hate 8)
- It’s toting a $499 price tag. Witch it is the most stripped down model. (meaning its most likely to be returned for the
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One size does not fit all, especially when it comes to tablets. Knowing this, Lenovo debuted its first multimode Yoga Tablet in 8 inch and 10 inch sizes at a livestreamed device launch recently in Los Angeles (I was at the press preview in New York). On hand at the launch was actor and tech investor Ashton Kutcher, who happens to now be Lenovo’s newest product engineer.
Known for pioneering multimode devices such as the Yoga convertible laptop, Lenovo is proud to claim that their new Yoga Tablet offers a better way for people to get the most out of their tablet UX. Its three modes are “hold,” “tilt,” and “stand.” These modes were the answers to what Lenovo identified as three challenges tablet users face: fatigue when holding and using the tablet; no self-supporting mechanism when laid on a flat surface; and an inadequate viewing angle when set on a table. This final design was engineered to let the tablet adapt to normal ways people use tablets, instead of forcing users to adapt.
3 “modes” erase 3 problems
With its exclusive cylindrical handle, hold mode is designed to fit an individual’s hand, making the Yoga Tablet is easier to hold with just one hand instead of two. Hold mode makes reading, checking social media and browsing the web easy. It was inspired by how people hold magazines when reading.
To convert the Yoga Tablet into stand mode, simply rotate the side cylinder 90° so that the tablet stand deploys, allowing the tablet to stand by itself on a desk or table. Users can change the viewing angle to fit what’s comfortable for them from 110° to 135°. Stand mode makes it easy for users to comfortably watch movies, place video calls and interact with the ten-finger touchscreen without having to rely on add-on accessories.
Users can lay the Yoga Tablet down in tilt mode to type directly on the tablet, play games and just surf the Internet with a better viewing angle. Even better, Lenovo lets users enable smart software on the Yoga Tablet, which will automatically bring up “frequently used apps” in hold and stand modes.
Both the 8-inch and 10-inch model have 1280 x 800 displays, a 5 MP auto focus rear camera plus an additional front camera, a micro SD expansion slot (allowing up to 64 GB of total storage), and a micro USB connection and Dolby DS1 for rich audio. Lenovo offers an optional Bluetooth keyboard for the 10-in model that functions as a cover. It even wakes up the Yoga Tablet when it’s removed and puts it to sleep when it’s attached. Another very nice fact is that the Yoga Tablet has up to 18 impressive hours of battery. The secret is in its cylindrical handle which packs in powerful, dual batteries. Unlike most tablets, it uses batteries typically found in laptops. That to me is genius. This Yoga Tablet video says it all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzK_qP-rK80
Both models are pretty light: 1.35 lbs for the 10-in model and 0.88 lbs for the 8-in model. The Yoga Tablet can even charge other devices such as smartphones via its USB on-the-go. The 10 inch and 8 inch models run on MT8125 for WiFi models and MT8389 Quad Core processors for 3G models with 16 or 32 GB capacity. The OS is Android 4.2. Users can also opt for a WD100 dongle in select countries to stream video content from the tablet wirelessly to a TV.
More on Ashton Kutcher’s role at Lenovo
Liu Jun of Lenovo says “Watching and discovering that people frequently use tablets in three main ways allowed us to break the mold on the current ‘sea of sameness’ designs, giving them a better way to read, browse, watch and interact with content. As consumers continue to demand innovative multimode designs, we’re thrilled to have Ashton Kutcher on board with us to help further develop the immersive and complementary hardware and rich content experience.” Kutcher said “This partnership with Lenovo brings together my love of technology and design that makes your life better. I can’t wait to dig in and help Lenovo develop future mobile computing products, starting with the Yoga Tablet. Lenovo is all about innovation and strong leadership. Entrepreneurship is part of their DNA, and I couldn’t ask for a better fit.” Kutcher will work with Lenovo’s global engineering teams to develop and market the Yoga line of tablets by providing input into design, specs, software and usage scenarios. Over the past several years, multiple tech companies have benefitted from Kutcher’s involvement, including Airbnb, Flipboard, Foursquare, Path, Quora, Shazam, SoundCloud, Spotify, The Fancy, and Uber. As a philanthropist, Kutcher co-created Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children (www.wearethorn.org). Thorn invests in, builds and deploys the latest technology as part of the ongoing fight to end child sexual exploitation. In 2010, Kutcher’s company, Katalyst, was named one of the year’s Top 50 Most Inspiring Innovators by Ad Age and one of Fast Company Magazine’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies. To hear Ashton speaking about Lenovo, go to LenovoVision.
Pricing and Availability
MSRP is $249 and $299, for the 8-in and 10-in, respectively. The 8-in model will be available exclusively at Best Buy stores and lenovo.com while the 10-in model will be available via major retailers including Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Fry’s, Newegg.com and through Lenovo. The Lenovo Yoga 10 Bluetooth Keyboard Cover is $69 and will be available through major retailers and lenovo.com.
You can see the most recent tweets about the Yoga Tablet by using hashtag #betterway
Originally published: Sept. 4, 2013; updated Sept. 7: Samsung gave us a first look at their Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet today, a nice refresh of the original Note 10.1 from 2012. The unveiling in Berlin was simulcast in New York, and the Galaxy Note 3 “phablet” and new Galaxy Gear smartwatch were also revealed at the same time. During the presentation for the updated tablet, its traits of productivity, content creation and information/entertainment were highlighted. The 10-inch screen provides 4x the pixel density of the original Note 10.1, giving users a high-end content viewing experience with WQXGA Super clear LCD (2560×1600) resolution. It boasts 3GB of RAM, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean in a lightweight, slim frame. Multi Window allows users to run separate instances of the same application and use the updated S Pen to drag and drop content from one window to another. Pen Window enables users to simply draw a window of any size on the screen, and instantly access unique in-application features such as YouTube or the calculator. The S Pen included with the Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition improves responsiveness, and you can access helpful features like Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write and S Finder.
With the new Scrapbook function, you can organize any interesting content you find by using the S Pen and stashing it neatly into versatile scrapbooks. You can conceivably have a log of discussion points for an upcoming meeting at work, a wish list for new clothes, a task list for a major kitchen reno, or a simple personal favorites list. A step closer to a magic wand? Could be!
JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics says “The GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) unites a range of features that will consistently surprise consumers as they realize how much easier and more enjoyable it makes their everyday lives.” Speaking of enjoyable, it was a nice touch for Samsung to bring in music duo Icona Pop to perform live for us. One of the songs they sang was a ‘Galaxy mix’ of “In the Stars.” If you look closely in this performance, they’re wearing the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. You can also download the studio version at playgalaxymusic.com
The S Note feature has been upgraded with a more intuitive UI. With Easy Chart, hand-drawn visualizations of data can be instantly transformed into more formal charts and graphs. You might remember with the original Note 10.1, Samsung partnered with Adobe to give buyers a touch-optimized Photoshop UX baked into that tablet. For the new Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung again made wise partner choices with well-known third parties such as Evernote. These premium partner applications, freebie memberships and services means the new Note 10.1 provides a lot a user might find useful in one place, whether it be for productivity, creativity or entertainment. Notable goodies include Businessweek, the New York Times, Autodesk Sketchbook, and a custom version of Twitter. The Samsung Apps widget includes a “Special Offer for GALAXY” section that will highlight unique, country-based content for users.
The 2014 Edition of the Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with enhanced privacy and security protections provided by Samsung KNOX. Users, especially business users using “SAFE™” (Samsung for Enterprise), can activate Samsung KNOX with ease which allows them to run and store security-sensitive applications and data inside a protected execution environment called “container.” The security inside the container is strengthened by system-level protection of Samsung KNOX against malware and phishing attacks as well as hacking attempts on physical devices when devices are stolen or lost. For instance, important personal pictures or video can be stored in the container with no worries on data leakage due to hacking. In addition, users may choose to store enterprise applications and data such as corporate email, contacts and calendar and allow the IT department to manage the container through EAS (Exchange ActiveSync). These features make the 2014 Edition of the Galaxy Note 10.1 an ideal device for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device to Work).
The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition will come in the following connectivity options: WiFi Only, WiFi and 3G, WiFi and LTE. It will be available globally starting in Q3 2013. The new Note 10.1 will be on display at the Samsung booth, #20 at IFA 2013, September 6 through September 11, 2013.
Admit it. You’re a bargain hunter at heart, but you find it hard to resist reading up on upcoming devices, e.g., the anticipated iPad mini 2 from Apple, or maybe the improved Kindle Fire HD from Amazon. That’s okay – A little excitement is a natural thing to want, and nowadays for tech fans, news and chatter about device refreshes can feel like Christmas before Christmas.
Based on historical pricing data from dealnews.com, it’s possible we’ll see new price cuts on the current generation of tablets — and perhaps even a few deals on the new batch of incoming models. So how can you get your hands on a bargain iPad or Kindle Fire HD?
Because the iPad mini was a first-gen product for Apple with no predecessor, dealnews.com looked at price trends of previous iPads to analyze what the discount landscape might look like right around launch day for the iPad mini 2. They noticed that Apple has typically — though not always — taken 20% off the cost of its previous-gen iPads with the introduction of a new model. Even better, the data showed that minutes after Apple’s official price cut, various retailers had also taken up to an extra 8% off Apple’s just-discounted price. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely Apple will discount the iPad mini by a full 20%, which would drop the 16GB WiFi model to $263. However, some resellers have discounted the mini to as low as $290, which seems like a more comfortable price point for Apple if it decides to keep the original mini in its repertoire.
The article from dealnews.com says: “If that new MSRP comes to pass (we’ll drop it to $289, to keep it in line with general pricing trends), and we factor in the additional 8% off from retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and MicroCenter — which have all typically led the pack in iPad discounts — then we could see a $266 iPad mini. If Apple announces an iPad 5, then there’s a chance (given past behavior) that the iPad 4 will stick around at that 20% off price point of $399. If we factor in an 8% retailer discount, then we may see reseller deals that knock it to $367, which would be a new low for a factory-sealed 16GB WiFi model. However, if the iPad 4 meets the same fate as the iPad 3 and gets discontinued, we’ll still see deals as resellers scramble to get rid of old stock. So far the lowest price we’ve seen for a 16GB WiFi model is $440, so look for deals below that price point.”
Amazon’s current Kindle Fire HD could receive a 20% price cut. It would then be $159, which is a nice bargain, and even better, there’s the real possibility of bonus promos which could drop the price even lower. The article goes on to say: “Meanwhile, that would bump the SD tablet from it’s current position in the lineup, and we’re predicting that, if it’s kept around, it might fall to an astonishingly low $99, which it has already hit this year. However, Amazon’s situation is more complicated than Apple’s, and various scenarios could affect pricing. For instance, there’s a slight chance Amazon may announce a $99 Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablet. If that were to occur, we don’t expect to see significant discounts, but rather anticipate seeing the aforementioned $99 Kindle Fire HD bundled with a gift card or Amazon credit.”
The next few months in the current-gen mainstream tablet market will be interesting. When brands compete, we win. We could see the price of the ASUS Google Nexus 7 32GB slashed again, etc. Even better, the mainstream tablet wars will also affect budget tablets, evidenced by Hisense cutting prices on its line of Android tablets.
So, bargain-hunting tech fans, you have a lot to keep your eye on, old and new. Do yourself a favor and visit dealnews.com to sign up for instant email alerts regarding devices from Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. The site’s a great resource to find out what’s going on with prices, best times to buy, recaps, roundups, commentary, etc. Follow @dealnews on Twitter too!
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[Breaking news, Oct. 2012: Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint will be gracing the Android universe in March of 2013!]
I had the pleasure of attending Samsung’s August 15, 2012 media event showcasing the Galaxy Note 10.1 ~ Oh, what a tablet! World-famous fashion designer Zac Posen spoke on stage telling the audience that in his line of work, collaboration is key. The Galaxy Note 10.1, he told us, is conducive to collaborative workflow and has therefore become a productivity-booster for Zac’s different teams. Up until now, Americans (and the world) have regarded tablets as devices that are cool for viewing and receiving content. But creating content was still considered “best done” on desktops and laptops. Some early critics of tablets even slammed them as “expensive toys for the rich.” However, the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, with its lightweight, battery-free S Pen, is great for editing/creating on Photoshop and other software mainstays used in creative businesses. The tablet is smart enough to ignore the fleshy part of your hand under your pinky finger when it leans against the screen (and inevitably, it will, especially if you’re drawing). Attention all managers in creative fields: Your workhorse device has arrived, and you’re gonna get alot more done in your workday!
For those of us who feel time away from the office has alot of wasteful downtime, the remedy for this “wasteful feeling” is – you guessed it – mobile devices.