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Entries in Tablets (14)

Wednesday
Nov212012

Forget the Kiddie Tablets, Kids Want iPads for Christmas

Tooga/The Image Bank(NEW YORK) -- They don’t want a Leapfrog LeapPad 2, Nabi 7 or any other of the new tablets for kids. Nope, the kids want iPads.

According to a Nielsen survey, kids are asking for Apple devices more than any other tech item this holiday season. “American kids aged 6-12 are generally more interested in the latest iOS offerings than other consumer electronics and gaming devices,” Nielsen reported on its site.

Forty-eight percent of the children surveyed want the regular iPad and 36 percent want the iPad Mini. And when they don’t want the iPad many of them are asking or the iPod Touch or iPhone. Beyond the iDevices, kids between the ages of six and 12 are asking for the new Nintendo Wii U, a new computer, Kinect for XBox 360, and other types of tablets.

And the itch for the iPad doesn’t vary much by age. Twenty-one percent of consumers 13 and older also are itching to get the iPad this holiday season, though 18 percent said they would like a tablet other than the iPad.

The demand of the iPad is also predicted to push along another popular gift this year — apps. According to a survey conducted by PBS KIDS, 58 percent of parents plan to purchase “downloadable gifts,” including apps, games, e-books, etc. for their kids. Parents plan to either preload apps and games onto the devices they give their kids or buy gift cards to the Apple App Store or the Google Play store.

And it’s that simple: it’s those apps and games that are pushing iPads to the top of those lists.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct162012

Microsoft Launches Surface Tablet for $499 with Ad Blitz

Microsoft's own Surface tablet and its magnetic Touch Cover. (Microsoft)(REDMOND, Wash.) -- While companies from HP to Acer to Lenovo have announced information about their forthcoming Windows 8 tablets and computers, Microsoft itself has stayed relatively quiet about its own hardware -- its Surface tablet. That is, until Tuesday.

Tuesday morning the company revealed that its first tablet computer will be available for pre-order starting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time Monday from Surface.com. It will start shipping and be on sale at Microsoft stores on Oct. 26, the same date that Windows 8 is officially available.

The Surface, which has a 10.6-inch screen and a pop-out kickstand, will start at $499 for the 32GB version. The base model doesn't include the company's new and innovative Touch Cover, which clips to the bottom of the tablet and doubles as a keyboard and a protective cover.

The 32GB tablet with the Touch Cover will cost $599. A 64GB version with the Touch Cover will start at $699. The Touch Cover separately will cost $119.99 and comes in a rainbow of colors, including red, blue, magenta, and white.

The price is competitive with Apple's iPad, which starts at $499 with 16GB of storage space. But the Surface is more expensive than many had predicted.

"We wanted a base package that would let people enter the tablet market. It's highly competitive," Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division, said when speaking to a group of journalists on Microsoft's campus Monday. "We know the prices of our competitor and we know this is a better deal, plus it is a bigger screen and holds more stuff."

While a number of Android tablets have fallen below the $300 price level and a few below $200, all of the Windows 8 tablets and computers introduced so far are priced at $499 or more.

And that's intentional. Microsoft is marketing the Surface and other still-to-come Windows 8 devices as more than just tablets -- they are computers. They are the Windows experience completely "reimagined."

"We think of PCs as a generic device that can work across a number of different scenarios and form factors. They have peripherals and ecosystems and we wanted to bring all of that goodness to a kind of device that you carry along with you all the time, that has all-day battery life with its roots in the ecosystem and in the notion of productivity," Sinofsky said. "That's where we start with Surface. That's the perspective we bring to market."

The Surface is, however, just as much about hardware as it is about software for Microsoft. After years of letting other companies make hardware, the company decided to create the best hardware, it says, to set the best stage for Windows 8.

The tablet is crafted from a new "VaporMg" metal Microsoft says it developed to make the Surface extra-durable, able to withstand drops and bruises. The kickstand mechanism has been specially developed, even down to the very sound it makes when you snap it back. The Touch Cover keyboard doesn't have physical keys, but touch sensors built into the cover. And the 10.6-inch, ClearType HD screen was also specially made so it could accommodate a wider keyboard.

"We had to use every ounce of space smartly," said Panos Panay, the general manager of the Microsoft Surface project. Panos and his team went through over 250 mock-ups of the design for the tablet.

The tablet has a lower-powered Nvidia ARM processor, which unlike Intel processors is built on totally different underlying architecture. The new architecture doesn't let you run older apps on the tablet (you can still run those older apps on Windows Pro tablets or computers), but it does come with Microsoft Office 2013.

Microsoft's investment in the production of the Surface was clearly no small undertaking, and neither are its marketing efforts. Over the next couple of weeks Microsoft's advertising will be hard to avoid. It has begun running Windows 8 countdown ads on TV and just released a brand new ad for the Surface itself, heavy on dancing and choreography.

Additionally, Microsoft will open more of its own stores. Over the holiday season, it will put up an additional 34 holiday shops, making for 65 stores nationwide for the heavy buying season. On Oct. 26 it will launch a pop-up store in New York's Times Square, which will feature Surface front and center.

"I have used a lot of tablets and this is not a tablet, but this is the best tablet I have ever used. I've used a lot of laptops and this is not a laptop, but it is also the very best laptop I have ever used," Sinofsky said. "It's a new kind of device."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct122012

Apple’s iPad Mini Could Now Be Announced Oct. 23

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While Fortune had predicted that Apple would hold an event on Oct. 17 to announce its new iPad Mini, with invites going out to reporters Oct. 10, there’s now a new rumored date: Oct 23. AllThingsD, a technology website with a very good track record when it comes to reporting on Apple, says the company will reveal the smaller iPad, or iPad Mini, to the media at an invitation-only event in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Oct. 23 certainly makes more sense for a number of reasons. First, Apple hasn’t yet sent out official invites, making it too soon for an Oct. 17 date. Second, Microsoft is launching Windows 8 and its own Surface tablet later in the week on Oct. 26. Additionally, Apple’s earnings release is on Oct. 25, and the company would likely prefer to announce the new tablet before that date.

Rumors have been swirling about the smaller iPad for months now. It has been said that it will have a 7.85-inch screen, the same Lightning Dock Connector as the new iPhone 5, and 3G/4G cellular connectivity. Some images of the tablet have been leaked, and The Wall Street Journal reported a few weeks ago that mass production of the smaller tablet had begun.

Last month Amazon released its new Kindle Fire HD, which starts at $199. Similarly, Google and Asus launched the Nexus 7 in June for $199. Barnes & Noble released the Nook HD two weeks ago, which -- you guessed it -- starts at $199. There have been no reports on the pricing of the iPad Mini.

Apple has declined to comment to ABC News on any of the iPad Mini rumors that have circulated over the past few months, but if the latest rumor is true, it looks as if we’ll have much more than a comment from Apple.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct112012

Sales of Personal Computers Drop as More Buy Tablets, Phones

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Consumers have been spending a lot more on tablets and smart phones, but less on personal computers, according to a new report.

The research firm Gartner says PC shipments during the summer quarter fell more than 8 percent compared with the year before.

“A continuing slowdown in consumer PC shipments played a big part in the overall PC market decline,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.  “The third quarter was also a transitional quarter before Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system release.”

But the demand for Windows 8 computers during the holiday season may fall short of expectations.

In another change, Gartner says Lenovo took the number one position in worldwide PC shipments for the first time in the company’s history.  Hewlett-Packard slipped to number two.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct032012

Lenovo to Start Making Computers and Tablets in the US

Lenovo(MORRISVILLE, N.C.) -- While many PC companies have their headquarters in the U.S. -- HP, Apple and Dell, for example -- they build the computers overseas, primarily in China. Lenovo is going the other way, creating a PC production line in the U.S.

After two decides of making computers and other gadgets overseas, Lenovo will start making hardware in early 2013 in Whitsett, N.C., near the company's U.S. headquarters.

"I am very excited about this for two reasons," David Schmoock, president of Lenovo North America, told ABC News. "The first is that this is the right time to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. The second is that we will be able to provide something different than what our competitors do."

Lenovo will make some of its newest products at the new assembly line, including the ThinkCentre M92p desktop and the ThinkPad Tablet 2 with Windows 8. While many of the core components -- RAM, hard drives, displays, etc. -- in the laptop will be made overseas, Schmoock said the company is hoping to source more components locally over time.

"We believe local manufacturing is a strategic advantage and we want to do as much local sourcing as we can too," he said in an interview.

The manufacturing line is in the process of being built and is scheduled to open its doors in January 2013. The company will begin hiring for the 115 manufacturing jobs later this year, but Schmoock says that is just the start for the jobs this could create.

"I am bullish on this and I expect that it will grow over time. This is just the first phase."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep102012

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD: $15 to Lose Pre-Loaded Ads

Amazon(NEW YORK) -- Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD starts at $199, but it will cost $214 if you don’t want ads on your screen.

Last week when Amazon unveiled the new tablets it didn’t mention that the company would be getting a bit more aggressive in marketing Amazon.com books, movies, and deals to tablet users.

Amazon told ABC News last week that the all Kindle Fires would come with its “Special Offers,” which, like the offers on the current Kindle e-readers, show full-screen ads when the device is powered off or in sleep mode. Amazon said there was no way to disable them on the Kindle Fire HD tablets. On the tablets, the offers or the ads appear on the lock screen and include ads for movies or books you might want to buy through Amazon’s store.

However, Amazon changed its tune over the weekend and now says it will offer users a $15 option to disable the ads. “We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out.  We’re happy to offer customers the choice,” an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to ABC News.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said last week that Amazon is able to make its hardware so affordable because it wants to make its money after you get it out of the box. “We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices,” he said. Through advertising, Amazon hopes you’ll be alerted to even more content and then in turn you’ll buy that movie or album right on the device.

The new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, which has a dual-core processor, improved MIMO Wi-Fi, and stereo speakers, will start shipping Sept. 14. The 8.9-inch version, which has a higher resolution screen, will ship later in November.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

ThinkPad Celebrates 20 Years, Announces Windows 8 ThinkPad Tablet 2

Lenovo(NEW YORK) -- The year was 1992. Bill Clinton was elected president. Charles and Diana had separated. And the first ThinkPad laptop was released by IBM.

Twenty years have passed now and a lot has changed. But in the world of technology, the ThinkPad brand is still kicking. And to celebrate its birthday Lenovo, which acquired the ThinkPad brand in 2005 from IBM, is releasing some new products.

"This is the tablet everyone is waiting for," Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager of the ThinkPad business unit, said as he showed the ThinkPad Tablet 2. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 runs Windows 8 and will be coming out at the end of October when Windows 8 is finally out.

The tablet is aimed, like most ThinkPads, at the professional set. It has a 10.1-inch screen and while it's only 9.8 mm thick it still has room for a full USB port on its edge. Inside it has a brand new Intel Atom processor and runs Windows 8 Pro, so it will be able to run all older Windows applications. (Windows 8 tablets based on ARM processors will only run new apps made for Windows 8).

But while the tablet has a lot of new features, it has one that has been a staple of ThinkPad tablets for years: a stylus. Hidden along the left edge is a digital pen with a red top. You will be able to take notes on the tablet using the pen but also then dock the tablet into a keyboard that will be available separately.

It seems like a strong entry, but there will be lots of Windows 8 tablets in October, including two from Microsoft itself. Bhatia says is he is nevertheless confident in the second-generation tablet (there was an Android version released last year) and not worried about Microsoft's Surface.

"Microsoft is a strategic partner for us. The Surface has brought more excitement to the marketplace. The ThinkPad tablet is focused after the business individual; the Surface is more geared towards the consumer offering," he said.

In addition to the ThinkPad Tablet 2, Lenovo just started stocking shelves with a new ultrabook -- the ThinkPad Carbon X1. The thin, light laptop has the traditional Thinkpad look and feel but has some firsts.

"It's built of carbon fiber, the same material you find in a Dreamliner airplane that allows it to get better fuel efficiency savings. It's very tough," Bhatia said.

On top of that it has a new keyboard and trackpad that's coated in a rubberlike material. It's also the lightest 14-inch laptop on the market. It starts at $1,299 and while it runs Windows 7 now, it is Windows 8 ready and will only cost $14.99 to upgrade at the end of October.

Lenovo isn't commenting on the price of the ThinkPad Tablet 2, but one can guess it will be a lot less than the first ThinkPad, which cost $4,350.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul092012

Windows 8 Tablets and Computers Coming in Late October

Microsoft(TORONTO) -- Windows 8 devices will hit store shelves “in late October,” Microsoft’s CFO of Windows and Windows Live, Tami Reller, said at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference today. Windows 8 software will be released to manufacturers the first week in August, Reller said, and software and devices will be in stores in late October.

Reller didn’t specify when Microsoft’s own Surface tablet would hit the market. The late October timing would put Windows 8 devices on shelves by the holiday season.

Microsoft announced the Surface tablets in June; the tablets will run Windows 8 and will be available with unique keyboard docks. Microsoft’s partners, including Lenovo, Asus, and Acer, are expected to release a number of Windows 8 computers this year with interesting form factors.

Amazon is expected to release a new Kindle Fire tablet in the next couple of months and Apple has been rumored to be planning to release a 7-inch iPad in September.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr242012

Tim Cook on Windows 8: Converging a ‘Toaster and a Refrigerator’

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you had any concerns that Apple CEO Tim Cook might not be able to provide Steve Jobs-like one-liners on earnings calls, think again. Following the announcement of its blowout earnings, Tim Cook took questions from analysts on everything from iPhone sales to Apple’s iPad and laptop offerings.

And it was on that last point that Cook had a lot to say. When asked if Apple was planning to merge its tablet and laptop products, much as Microsoft is proceeding with Windows 8, Cook responded with a quip: “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those aren’t going to be pleasing to the user.”

Cook elaborated that converging the iPad with a laptop would result in tradeoffs, ones Apple isn’t willing to make. “We are not going to that party, but others might from a defensive point of view.”

On top of that, Cook highlighted both Apple’s separate tablet and laptop offerings. “The tablet market is going to be huge....As the ecosystem gets better and better and we continue to double down on making great products, I think the limit here is nowhere in sight,” Cook said.

“I also believe there is a good market for the Macbook Air and we continue to innovate in that product. I think it appeals to someone who has different requirements. You wouldn’t want to put these things together.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr022012

New iPad Named Best Tablet by 'Consumer Reports,' Despite Heat

Apple, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Consumer Reports has named Apple's latest iPad the best tablet on the market. The magazine gave a favorable review for the new iPad, despite previous reports that the device could reach high temperatures. The weekend after the new iPad went on sale, Consumer Reports reported that it got hotter than the previous iPad and other tablets on the market. That temperature concern got a lot of attention, although Apple maintained that the tablet operated “well within our thermal specifications.”

Consumer Reports found the iPad could reach 116 degrees when playing processor-intensive games.

“The high-resolution screen of the new iPad establishes a new benchmark in excellence, providing the best rendering of detail and color accuracy we’ve ever seen on a tablet display. As a result, the iPad tops our tablet ratings,” Consumer Reports posted on its blog Monday.

Consumer Reports
does note the heat issue, but the author of the post, Donna L. Tapellini, says, “We didn’t find those temperatures to be cause for concern.” It also doesn’t find some of the reported battery recharging issues to be showstoppers: “Our high overall judgment of the new iPad was not affected by the results of either battery of tests.”

In 2010, Consumer Reports called out the iPhone 4′s antenna issue, a problem that ultimately led Apple to distribute free bumpers, or cases. Because of that flaw, the publication didn’t recommend the phone.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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