Entries in Tablet (17)


Sony Xperia Tablet Z Takes Title of Thinnest and Lightest Tablet

Sony(BARCELONA) -- Samsung hopes a pen and software will set its Galaxy Note 8.0 Android tablet apart, but for Sony the difference is in the portability.

Sony has unveiled its Xperia Tablet Z at Mobile World Congress, a large mobile tradeshow in Barcelona, and it’s the thinnest and lightest on the market, at least among the class of 10-inch tablets.

The Xperia Tablet Z is just a hair over a pound, 1.09 pounds to be exact, and a little over a quarter of an inch thick, at .27 inches.  By comparison, the 9.7-inch iPad measures measures .37 inches thick and weighs 1.44 pounds. 

The new Sony tablet feels super light and has a simple (if somewhat plain), minimalist design that echoes the same lines seen in the recently announced Xperia Z and ZL smartphones.

Gone is the foldover-magazine style of last year’s Xperia Tablet S.  Instead, the Xperia Tablet Z is a simple flat rectangle measuring 6.7 by 10.8 inches.

The Xperia Tablet Z replaces Sony’s Xperia Tablet S, which was recalled last year due to a gap between the screen and hardware.  It was determined that if it was exposed to water, the tablet’s innards could be damaged and thereby counter the company’s former claims that the tablet was “splash-proof.”

This year with the Tablet Z, company executives made it a point to showcase the device’s imperviousness to water by immersing it in a small fish tank during a demonstration.  Sony claims that the Tablet Z can remain immersed in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes, and can also respond to touch screen swipes and taps with wet fingers.  The idea being that it’ll withstand the inevitable spills and food stains if you bring it into the kitchen with you.

The tablet has a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels and uses an NTSC color palette of 16 million hues to deliver a viewing experience akin to watching TV.

The Xperia Tablet Z also has more of the same connected TV features that made last year’s tablet unique.  The TV SideView app features a tiled, display feed of TV shows that are currently playing and also lets you cross-search other TV apps like Netflix and YouTube for additional content.

Using the Watch Now feature, you can flick one of the show tiles from the tablet towards your TV and the show will start playing on the bigger screen, essentially rendering the Tablet Z a remote control.  Samsung is also highlighting the TV integration with its new Galaxy Note 8.0.

New this year is built-in NFC capability that lets you transfer content between compatible devices simply by touching them together.  Sony is dubbing it Sony One Touch, and it’s not clear whether it works solely between Sony devices, but it would allow you to do things like transfer music from the tablet to a speaker or video from your phone to the tablet or a TV.

The Xperia Tablet Z has two cameras, an 8-megapixel camera in the rear, which has 1080p HD video recording capability and Sony’s proprietary camera technology -- an Exmor R for Mobile image sensor with Burst mode and Sweep panorama capabilities.  The front-facing camera has 2.2-megapixels.

The Xperia Tablet Z runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) with the ability to upgrade to 4.2 after launch and has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5GHz processor with 2 GB RAM.  A microSD card slot allows up to 64GB of expandable memory. 

The Xperia Tablet Z will be available in May.  The 16GB or 32 GB versions will go for $499 and $599, respectively.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Amazon Looks to Make Kindle Fire HD Top Kids' Tablet

Amazon(NEW YORK) -- Many have heard about the ongoing tablet war -- the one where Google, Microsoft and every other major tech company are going after Apple's long-ruling iPad.  But there's another battle being fought for the best kids' tablet.

According to Nielsen, kids between the age of 6 and 12 have one major gift request this holiday season: the iPad.  Topping children's wish lists are not only Apple's iPad but its iPad Mini and iPod Touch.  

Other companies are trying their hardest to get a piece of the kid tablet market.

On Wednesday, Amazon announced an additional feature for its already kid-friendly Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.  While it already offers a FreeTime feature, which provides a special child environment and gives parents control over usage, it is adding FreeTime Unlimited, a service that provides an all-you-can-eat plan for children's books, movies, apps and games.

Those who already have Amazon Prime, a service that includes savings and free shipping on many items for a yearly charge, will be able to get FreeTime Unlimited for $2.99 a month per child or $6.99 a month per family.  Those who are not Prime members will have to pay $4.99 per month per child or $9.99 per family.

For those prices, buyers will get unlimited access to most of Amazon's kids' books and many of its TV shows.  Popular kids' apps are also free.

"If you are a parent this lets you sign up for services, get all the content, and trust that it has been curated," Peter Larson, Vice President of Amazon Kindle, told ABC News in an interview.  Amazon has also removed the ads in games and apps for FreeTime Unlimited users.

Amazon is hoping that all that will strengthen its offerings in comparison to its competitors.  Amazon offers the Kindle Fire for $159, the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD for $199, and the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire for $299.

"If you think about it, an all-new Kindle Fire for $159 is a full-fledged tablet for parents, and with FreeTime it magically turns into a tablet that is just for your kids," Larson said.  "You can buy a tablet for the whole family."

Larson pointed out that with the iPad you can't create separate user accounts for children.  He said the design of the Fire, with its Gorilla Glass and rubberized back, make it "almost unbreakable."

In addition to the iPad, Nook HD from Barnes & Noble, and the Kindle Fire HD, toy companies like LeapFrog and Toys 'R' Us have put out their own tablets specially for kids.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Apple CEO Tim Cook: Microsoft’s Surface Tablet ‘Confusing’ and ‘Compromised’

Joanna Stern/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The Apple vs. Microsoft post-PC war is just getting started. Microsoft has argued why its new software and Surface tablet are better than the iPad, but Apple’s not staying quiet.

“I haven’t played with a Surface yet, but what we are reading about it is that it is a compromised and confusing product,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on the company’s earnings call late Thursday afternoon, which took place just hours after Microsoft’s Windows 8 launch event. “One of the toughest things you do is make hard tradeoffs and decide what a product should be, and we’ve done that with the iPad.”

Cook didn’t stop there.

“You could design a car that flies and floats, but I don’t think it would do all those things very well,” he said. “I think when people look at the iPad versus competitive offerings, they will continue to want an iPad.”

Apple and Microsoft are taking different routes when it comes to tablet software. While Apple offers its iOS mobile software on its family of iPads, Microsoft has decided to revamp Windows by bringing in elements from its smartphone operating system. Previously, Cook had compared what Microsoft was doing to combining a refrigerator and a microwave.

Microsoft, on the other hand, claims Windows 8 doesn’t have any of the compromises that the iPad has.

“We have a different perspective, a different reason why we would want to make a tablet computer and that is really rooted in PCs being a general-purpose device that works within a broad ecosystem, that connects to a lot of peripherals, and represents an open platform,” Steve Sinofsky, head of the Windows division, told ABC News in an interview.

Apple announced the iPad Mini earlier this week.

On the Apple earnings call, Cook defended the $329 starting price, which is higher than the $199 Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7.

“We try to create a product that people will love for months and years after they’ve purchased it. That’s what iPad Mini is designed to do,” Cook said.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer also noted the premium parts in the tablet, including the aluminum build, the faster processor and the iSight camera.

Apple announced that it sold 14 million iPads in the fourth quarter.

Find a full recap of the earnings HERE.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sony Has No Plans for a 7-inch Tablet

Sony(NEW YORK) -- Despite plans to lay off 1,000 employees, streamline its business and kill off its optical disc drive unit, Sony has announced a slew of new products.

Among the new products introduced at simultaneous news conferences in Berlin and New York Wednesday was the Xperia Tablet S, a new 9.4-inch tablet thats priced at $399.

But absent from Sony's tablet introduction was a 7-inch tablet, a popular size and lower-cost offering among electronics companies looking to compete with the iPad.

The absence is related to Sony's new strategy, the COO and president of Sony U.S., Phil Molyneux, told ABC News in an interview.

"As we move forward you are going to see more of this great innovation at the higher end and the more premium segment.  We will put more emphasis there," Molyneux said.

When asked about the smaller form factor specifically, he said, "That's not our direction.  We are announcing these products and we think they will resonate with the consumers around the globe."

A Sony product manager shared the same thoughts with ABC News a few weeks ago, explaining that the lower end tablets require sacrifices.

Amazon began selling its 7-inch Kindle Fire about a year ago for $199.  It has been one of the most successful Android tablets. Google, in partnership with Asus, followed suit with its $199 Nexus 7 in June. Apple, meanwhile, has been rumored to be introducing a lower-cost and smaller iPad, or iPad Mini, in October.

Sony will also begin to offer Windows 8 tablets and laptops in October when Windows 8 is officially launched.

"We continue on the VAIO series of products; we didn't announce here in detail, but we will be sharing those details later," Molyneux said.

Molyneux also maintained that Sony is continuing to put extra effort into specific categories, including digital imaging, and that he feels confident that the company will be able to continue to maintain its product selection.  Sony introduced its new NEX-5R camera and action cam as well as an 84-inch 4K TV on Wednesday.

"We are confident we can produce them and drive forward," he said.  "We are very positive about the product set we have announced."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


HP Announces Windows 8 Laptops and Tablets

HP(NEW YORK) -- It's not just Samsung and Toshiba with brand new Windows 8 computers to announce this week.  HP is also putting out details about its upcoming Windows 8 PCs, which include two ultrabooks with touch screens and a "hybrid PC."

Of the three computers, the HP Envy x2 stands out the most with its detachable screen, which allows it to be used as a standalone tablet or docked with the accompanying keyboard.  Like the Samsung Series 7 and the Microsoft Surface, the dock has a full sized keyboard and a touchpad.

HP says it has spent a considerable amount of time on the hinge design: the screen is joined to the keyboard dock with two separate hinges as opposed to one big latch.  Like the Samsung, HP's tablet has an 11.6-inch HD touch screen.

The Envy x2 has a brushed aluminum casing, weighs 3.1 pounds (the tablet weighs just 1.5 pounds) and will be available with Intel's third-generation processors and a 64GB solid state drive.  Similar to the Android Asus' Transformer, there are two separate batteries: one in the screen and one in the keyboard, which the company says should provide over eight hours of battery life.  It also has a front-facing camera and an 8-megapixel camera on the back of the tablet.

For those who prefer that the screen always be attached to the keyboard, there's the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook.  As its name implies, the 15.6-inch HD Radiance (1920 x 1080-resolution) display is a touch screen and has been optimized for Windows 8.  The 4.8-pound laptop is 17.9 mm thick, making room for HDMI, Ethernet, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt ports.  It also has NFC (Near Field Communications) so you will be able to tap another device against it to share a file or photo.  The Spectre XT will cost $1,399.99.

For those looking for a cheaper laptop with a touch screen, HP will also have the Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4.  With a 14-inch touch screen, the TouchSmart is smaller than the Spectre, but will also be available with the latest Intel processors.  Samsung also showed Windows 8 laptops this week with touch screens.

HP isn't releasing pricing on the Ultrabook 4 or the Envy x2, but all products will be available on Oct. 26 when Windows 8 is officially launched.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Samsung Debuts Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet

Samsung(NEW YORK) -- With the Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung has stepped firmly into tablet territory.  The company announced its latest offering Wednesday in New York.

Like the Galaxy Note, Samsung's smartphone-tablet hybrid, this newest product includes a stylus, or what Samsung refers to as the "S Pen."  The original Galaxy Note was known for its unconventional dimensions, which struck some people as a too-big smartphone and others as a too-small tablet.

Now, Samsung has decided to go the larger route again.  Indeed, aside from the dedicated slot used to store the S Pen, the Galaxy Note 10.1 looks virtually identical to Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

The tablet measures 10.3 x 7.1 inches, with a 10.1-inch display and a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.  It's available with either 16 or 32 GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot to add up to 64 GB more.  The processor is Samsung's most powerful for a tablet, a 1.4 GHz quad core.

At 1.32 lbs., even though the Galaxy Note 10.1 is technically lighter than Apple's iPad, it feels slightly heavier in hand.  The device will run Android's 4.0 operating system ("Ice Cream Sandwich"), which Samsung says will be upgraded to version 4.1 ("Jelly Bean") later this year.  Three connectivity options will be available to consumers: a Wi-Fi-only version, Wi-Fi-and-3G HSPA-Plus and Wi-Fi-and-LTE.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, the Galaxy Note 10.1 offers AllShare Play, a feature that allows users to sling content from the tablet to Samsung HD TVs, tablets, laptops and other devices on the same network.  A built-in infrared blaster allows the tablet to be used as a universal remote control too, a feature that is also offered on the Galaxy Tab 2.

So what's different?  With the Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung is banking on consumers who favor having a stylus as a digital extension of real pen and paper.

"History has shown that taking notes, capturing ideas immediately, and sketching to realize them is the most personal and natural way to be more productive and creative," said J.K Shin, president of Samsung's IT & Mobile Communications Division.

To that end, the Galaxy Note 10.1 comes pre-loaded with applications that take advantage of its S Pen, like S Note, a combo note-taking and sketching application.  Another app, Adobe's Photoshop Touch, allows users to edit photos and images using the stylus.

And as in real life, where ideas can suddenly come from what's happening in front of your eyes, the Galaxy Note 10.1's multi-screen feature allows users to see two different applications side-by-side at the same time, just in case that online video inspires a quick sketch of your next big idea.

Samsung says the Galaxy Note 10.1 will be available nationwide starting Thursday, and will retail for $499 with 16 GB of memory, $549 for 32 GB.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Google Conference: Android Jelly Bean, Tablet Announcement Expected

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Apple and Microsoft both had their turns to show off their latest software and hardware this month, and on Wednesday, it's Google's turn.

Google executives will take the stage at the annual Google I/O Developer's Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, where they will show off the latest versions of Google software, including Android and other services.  

Google's next version of its Android operating system is expected to be one of the major points of conversation.  Like earlier Android versions, this one is named after a dessert -- Jelly Bean.  Ice Cream Sandwich, the current version of Android, was announced last November.  Before Ice Cream Sandwich, there was Gingerbread and Honeycomb.  Google put out a statue of a bowl of jelly beans at its Silicon Valley campus on Tuesday.

While there haven't been many details to spill out yet about Jelly Bean, Google is likely to announce a tablet to go along with the new operating system.  Rumored to be called the Nexus 7, the tablet is said to have a 7-inch screen, a fast quad-core processor and a very affordable $199 price.  The tablet is expected to go head-to-head with Amazon's Kindle Fire.

While there have been lots of Android tablets released, none have been as successful as the iPad. It is expected that the Nexus 7 will ship in July and that Taiwanese manufacturer Asus is making the tablet itself. Microsoft's Windows 8 Surface tablets, which were announced last week, aren't expected until later this year.

But Google isn't only expected to talk about Android and its tablet strategy.  The search giant will discuss its maps platform and other services like its Cloud storage solutions, including the new Google Drive.

Apple recently ditched the Google Maps app in iOS 6; it has created its own 3-D mapping system for the iPad and iPhone.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Microsoft Unveils New Surface Tablet

Microsoft (LOS ANGELES) -- After a long build up about Microsoft's mystery announcement, CEO Steve Ballmer showed off the company's new Windows 8 tablet, called "Microsoft Surface," Monday night in Los Angeles.

The Surface is just 9.3mm thick, has a scratch-resistant magnesium exterior, weighs less than 1.5 pounds and has a 10.6 inch screen, which is slightly larger than that of the iPad. With a built-in USB port, a kickstand and cover that doubles as a physical keyboard, the Surface is more than just a tablet -- it's a PC, the tech giant says. Microsoft says the device is "designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation" and will function as a full PC that will run programs like Photoshop and Office.

The Surface is clearly meant to compete with Apple's iPad and other tablets already on the market, and Microsoft demonstrated several features existing tablets only have as accessories, if at all.  Engadget's Tim Stevens says other developers working on their own Windows 8 tablets should be worried.

"Microsoft has set the bar very high for Windows 8 tablets with these Surface devices.  They look great, they're very thin, they look to be very well-engineered," Stevens says. "And for companies like Aesus and Lenovo, people who are working on their own Windows 8 tablets … they've just had to rethink some things, I imagine."

Some critical specifications were not mentioned at Monday's unveiling such as price, screen resolution, battery life or the specific release date.

There are currently two models -- a basic Surface and a higher-end "Surface Pro."  The basic version will be available with 32 or 64 GB of memory. The more powerful Pro will be configured with 64 or 128 GB. Stevens says the Pro version could be priced similar to their UltraBook range of laptops, which cost anywhere from $700 all the way up to $1,400 or $1,500.  The basic Surface will likely be cost comparable to other Android tablet in the $400 to $600 range, he says.

So when will gadget lovers be able to purchase Microsoft's new tablets? Stevens says the lower-end Surface will be available around October and will launch at the same time as Windows 8.  The Pro version, he adds, won't be released for another three months after the initial Surface release -- which could be in early 2013.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is Microsoft's 'Major Announcement' a New Tablet?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The most serious challenge to Apple's iPad could come on Monday.

Microsoft is widely expected to unveil its own tablet computer, which might include a smaller screen than the iPad, in response to growing consumer demand. 

Last week, the company invited press to a media event in Los Angeles on June 18 for what it said was a “major announcement.”  But since then, Microsoft has stayed mum on the details.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Reports: iPad Mini Coming this Year

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Apple launched its new iPad just six weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean the world isn’t itching for the next Apple tablet. Rumors of a 7-inch iPad (current versions have a 9.7-inch screen) have popped up again.

This time the speculation comes from a Chinese site Netease, which says that there will be six million units ready for launch in the third quarter of this year. It also says the tablet could sell for $249 to $299 — just about half the price of the current iPad.

Netease says that Apple is prepping the device to compete against Microsoft’s Windows 8, the company's newest operating system, which is expected to hit the market around the holiday season.

Before his death, Steve Jobs had been quite outspoken about smaller tablet. During one earnings call he said that a 7-inch tablet would be “dead on arrival.” On that same call he said, “While one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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