Samsung Isn't Bothering With Windows 8 Tablets


You may have seen reports on how underwhelming the Windows RT tablet has done on the market as of late. However, as of CES 2013, the Windows Surface Pro is on its way and may be what consumers are looking for, if their wallet is deep enough. Alongside Windows are other companies looking to make Windows 8 tablets, but as for Samsung, they've decided to not join in the fight. 

Mike Abary, Samsung's senior vice president has given Windows 8 the cold shoulder as far as tablets go. He says that Windows 8 doesn't interest enough US consumers, leaving not much demand for them. 

With his interview with CNET, he states: 

There wasn’t really a very clear positioning of what Windows RT meant in the marketplace, what it stood for relative to Windows 8, that was being done in an effective manner to the consumer. When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was. And that heavy lifting was going to require pretty heavy investment. When we added those two things up, the investments necessary to educate the consumer on the difference between RT and Windows 8, plus the modest feedback that we got regarding how successful could this be at retail from our retail partners, we decided maybe we ought to wait.

Google Pushes Nexus 7 Tablet With 32GB, HSPA+ At $299

Following today's announcement of the Nexus 10, Google has also released an updated Nexus 7 tablet with 32GB of storage and HSPA+ wireless data for $299 without contract that quickly overshadowed Apple's WiFi-only $329 iPad mini with 16GB of storage. The Asus-made, 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet will still be available in a 16GB and 32GB WiFi-only variants for $199 and $249, respectively. Expect the new 32GB Nexus 7 with HSPA+ to go on sale on November 13.

Nir Schneider


Google's New Nexus 10 Tablet

Google's scheduled New York announcement event was canceled due to severe weather setbacks, but that didn't stop Google from announcing a few of its new gadgets today, notably its greatest flagship tablet. Meet Google's new Nexus 10 tablet starting at $399 with 16GB of storage. The Samsung-made Nexus 10 is Google's answer to the iPad 4, a slick and powerful 10-inch tablet with a enormously sharp screen resolution of 2560x1600 boasting a pixel density of 300 ppi that rivals if not beats Apple's 9.7-inch iPad 4 with a screen resolution of 2048x1536 (264 ppi).

The Nexus 10 will run a highly updated version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and features a 8.9mm thick form factor with a matte grippable backside and 9 hours of battery life with the following specs - 2GB of RAM, dual-core 1.7GHz Cortex A15 processor, Mali T604 graphics chip, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (MIMO+HT40), stereo speakers, NFC, Gorilla Glass 2, magnetic charging, micro-USB and HDMI ports. And who can forget about cameras right? With the 10-inch tablet comes a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera as well a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. So it really has all the bells and whistles.

Google's Nexus 10 tablet will come in a 16GB WiFi-only model and 32GB WiFi-only model for $399 and $499, respectively. Both will become available on November 13 in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Nir Schneider


Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions

Amazon's new fiery hot $200 Kindle Fire tablet is finally here with us. We're going to give it the unboxing treatment it deserves so be sure to check out the gallery down below. Amazon has a very strong ecosystem that is shown when using the Kindle Fire. Music and videos are streamed from Amazon's cloud service and apps can be purchased and downloaded from Amazon's very own Appstore. Although the Kindle Fire sole heart is an Android operating system, the Kindle Fire is heavily skinned and customized per Amazon's taste creating a more unique user experience that differs from other Android tablets on the market. Though after using the Kindle Fire, it seemed to be a bit sluggish and not quite up to par with other tablets in terms of speed and responsiveness.

The Kindle Fire boasts a 7-inch IPS touchscreen display with 16-million colors at 1024x600 resolution, WiFi, dual-core processor and 8GB of internal storage plus 5GB of free Amazon Cloud storage. The 7-inch form factor feels absolutely great to hold with one hand and feels like you could take it with you everywhere you go without sweating a single drop. It also makes it more comfortable to type on the on-screen keyboard that has a spacious key layout. The back is coated with a black soft-touch rubbery texture found on Amazon's Kindle e-readers and it adds a good level of grippyness to the device, but also easily shows oily fingerprints. The screen is crystal clear, bright and reading text on it is very pleasant. I'm amazed Amazon managed to keep the price so affordable yet built a very solid tablet with a great screen. Aside from a power/sleep button at the bottom, the Kindle Fire doesn't have any other buttons or switches. There are two large speakers at the top which aren't as loud as the iPad 2's speaker, 3.5mm headphone port and a micro-USB port for charging at the bottom.  

Browsing the web feels a bit slow even though Amazon's praised Silk browser that is said to handle most of the rendering of pages via the cloud doesn't come close to the fast loading speeds of the much pricier iPad 2 over a WiFi network. Granted you should not compare the two against each other as these are both completely different tablet categories. On the other hand, streaming videos and movies is amazing. Each load in the blink of an eye and start playing instantly with respectable picture quality. This is where Amazon's own services show a very strong presence in the Kindle Fire that not even the iPad competes with iTunes for instantly streaming content. Also, Amazon Prime members get access to Amazon Instant Prime library of over 10,000 movies and TV shows and can stream all of that for free.

Amazon's Appstore isn't what we would call a thriving ecosystem and it isn't filled with quality apps and the vast selection you would find in Apple's App Store or even in the Android Market. Don't worry, you'll be able to get your Angry Birds fix with the Kindle Fire as well as many other apps tailored to run on the Kindle Fire. 

The Kindle Fire comes to your doorstep inside Amazon's famous frustration-free, eco-friendly packaging with only the bare essentials included inside that is a wall power adapter. There's a slew of sleeves and cases already out for the Kindle Fire, we recommend Amazon's own Zip Sleeve for a quick protection solution, although it is overpriced. We'll have a review on it very soon. The Kindle Fire might not be the snappiest tablet around, but as a budget tablet, the Kindle Fire is worth its price without any doubt. It'll make for a nice present this holiday season for someone who uses Amazon more than anything. And that's just our first impressions with the Kindle Fire after only a day!

Nir Schneider


Estylo Magnetic Wooden Stylus For The Artist In You

Having seen our fair share of styluses of many different shapes and sizes, this one is yet another uniquely shaped stylus made for capacitive touchscreen devices with a greener and echo friendly approach. While other styluses only want to be made out of cold aluminum, the Estylo is made out of wood and even claims to be the first and only stylus that is made from wood. It was mainly designed for artists who use tablets like the iPad, but pencil lovers will also come to appreciate the Estylo's wooden pencil-like characteristics. Much like the Stylo, the Estylo features a highly conductive dual-tip design that will let you achieve between 5 to 70 degree angles without having to put any pressure down on your screen. Unfortunately, it isn't clear out of what material the tip is made out of.

The Estylo comes in 8 colors with embedded magnets that let you cling it to your iPad 2's bezel or Smart Cover. You can pre-order the non-magnetic Estylo for only $8 while the more colorful magnetic Estylo models can be had for $13. Video after the break.

Thanks for the tip, Fernando!

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WaterField Intros Kindle Fire Protective Sleeves

Only days after the announcement of the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, the usual suspects one of them being WaterField wasted no time at all to announce its protective cases and sleeves for the sizzling new tablet everyone's talking about. WaterField has announced that all of its current protective cases and sleeves will eventually be made available for the Kindle Fire within 2 weeks after November 15. Cases include the Smart Case pictured above priced at $59, and made out of multi-layered padding including a high-impact rigid insert and lined with soft Ultrasuede and leather trim.

Other offerings like WaterField's Suede Jacket sleeve for the Kindle Fire, the thinnest sleeve available offering scratch protection without the bulk for $19.

Amazon Kindle Touch Loses Keyboard, Adds Touchscreen At $99

After Amazon's press event today in New York and the release of its first Android tablet the Kindle Fire, Amazon has refreshed the Kindle yet again with the new Kindle Touch priced at just $99 with Amazon's Special Offers ads, and $139 without. The Kindle Touch loses the physical keyboard for an on-screen virtual touch keyboard and an even sleeker design with an aluminum back. The same 6" touchscreen remains to be E Ink display that's also multi-touch. The now older 6" Kindle will be called the Kindle Keyboard and is priced at $99 as well.

Amazon's Kindle Touch comes in a WiFi-only version as well as a WiFi and 3G version priced at $149. Both models are now available for pre-order and will start shipping on November 21.

Nir Schneider