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Tablet PC, iPad, Netbook, Notebook & Multi-Touch News, Reviews,Comparisons, Software and Accessories



Tablet PC News Archive

November 2012



November 1, 2012

Samsung Says Tablets to be New Growth Engine
Wall Street Journal

Summary:  Samsung doesn't like coming in second.  That said, after overtaking Apple in the smartphone market they have set their sites on the Tablet market.   Samsung has there own Tablets the Galaxy Tab line and this week they announced the a joint tablet venture with Google the Nexus 7.

Samsung is targeting to “expand sales of tablet products in the fourth quarter and nurture them as a Samsung Tabletsnew growth driver in our mobile business in the longer term,”Robert Yi, head of Samsung’s investor relations, told analysts and investors during a recent earnings conference call. 

Samsung, once a late comer into the smartphone market, became the world’s largest seller of smartphones to overtake Apple early this year. But in tablets, it isn’t a big player yet. With a slew of tablets from major U.S and Asian competitors coming out, it’s realizing it can no longer be a small player.

Samsung is pushing out tablets based on both Android and Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

Earlier this week, Samsung and Google Inc. jointly announced a new $399 tablet running on the latest Android mobile operating system, Jelly Bean. The Nexus 10 is a 10-inch tablet manufactured by Samsung and will be available in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, France, Germany, and Spain from mid November, the company said.

“Samsung is making tangible progress in the tablet business . For the third quarter alone, Samsung likely sold about four million tablets, of which two million came solely from the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet,” said Shin Hyun-joon, an analyst at Dongbu Securities.

He estimates Samsung’s fourth-quarter tablet sales to increase by more than 50% from the third quarter.




Prizefight : Microsoft Surface RT vs. Asus Transformer Pad Infinity

That tablet wars are hotter than ever with Microsoft's Surface stepping into the ring against one of Android's best. Who will reign supreme? Find out!




Why Microsoft's Surface Tablet is my new favorite device
TG Daily

Summary: Those who purchased Surface RT tablets have had a week to get used to them and the consensus is that Surface is a good blend of work and play and for the most part, unlike the Apple iPad Surface can replace a laptop so you only have to purchase one machine.  Navigating Surface does take time to get used to, but so do most things that are new to users.

I’ve been playing around with Microsoft's Surface tablet for several days now and suddenly realized that I’m using it very differently than any other tablet or laptop I’ve ever owned. 

It seemed to come to me naturally, but this little device has really improved the quality of my life. Surface RTPersonally,  I think Surface represents more than just a new product and should be pereceived as the beginning of a new way of blending work and play. Then again, it may not come as naturally to many of you and I think that aspect of Surface deserves some further discussion.

The Surface Difference

I’m an avid reader and so I’ve started to peruse my Kindle books on the Surface tablet. I’ll be reading and an email will arrive (little flag in the corner). If it is important, I'll switch to email, flip the keyboard around, and respond. Often these emails come with attachments I need to address, I can open them in Office and do that, and if I get an idea my reader transforms almost seamlessly into a laptop so I can capture and flesh out the idea and then I’m back to reading. I can do the same thing with movies on the device but I notice I’m a bit more resistant to stopping the movie but it can keep running in the side of the display while I write back. 

Wrapping Up:  Leave Your Laptop At Home

This was kind of the unsaid promise of the iPad based on how many people I know tried unsuccessfully to  do serious work and leave their laptop at home. But it is clear to me that Apple wanted people to buy both an iPad and a MacBook which is why they didn’t make a lot of the same decisions that created Surface. However, with Surface you really can leave your laptop at home.  

But the real benefit of Surface is its seamless approach to integration for different tasks. Meaning, you can move from work to play, as the device easily allows you to work where you want. One surprising but welcome difference? The kickstand angles the screen so I don’t get anywhere as much glare as I would off a regular tablet, so it is easier to view the screen outdoors. Strangely enough, even though this is a 1.0 product, for once a vendor appears to have learned from the mistakes of others.  The fact that this vendor is Microsoft, a software vendor known for screwing up hardware, is kind of blowing my mind at the moment.  

Suddenly I have a new favorite product and it is the Tegra 3 powered Surface Tablet from Microsoft. Go figure. 


November 2, 2012

Oprah Endorses Microsoft Surface Tablet: ‘It’s Like a Mercedes!

Summary: When it comes to unpaid product endorsements it doesn't get much better than making Oprah's list of Oprah WinfreyFavorite Things.   Oprah loves the keyboard built into the cover and the kickstand.  I wonder if this means she has given up her iPad...

Microsoft’s Surface Tablet launched last week to mostly positive reviews, though it hasn’t yet attracted the kind of fervor that attended the iPad — and the company won’t yet say how well it’s selling.

But the Redmond giant can now bask in one potentially game-changing endorsement from Oprah Winfrey, who has declared the Surface one of her “Favorite Things” of 2012.

“It feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people!” gushes Oprah in the December issue of O, on newsstands Nov. 6. Her “Favorite Things 2012″ list was released online Thursday.

“The full-size keyboard built right into the cover makes work easy, the very smart kickstand makes watching a movie or Skyping a friend a delight, the less than a pound-and-a-half weight makes a great alternative to a laptop,” she adds.




Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 Change the Game

Summary: Surface RT doesn't have what it takes to give Apple a run for its money but Surface Pro, which is expected to be released in January just may be the game change that Microsoft is hoping for.  Full Support for legacy applications including Outlook means users have access to everything they are used to using and are not not dependent on the app store.  For power users and road warriors Surface pro is the machine they have been waiting for.

The initial product launches are a little underwhelming, but the Pro tablet could make inroads in the enterprise space

The Surface Pro is where I think Microsoft stands its best chance of pulling off something big (and boosting Windows 8 adoption along with it). Yes, this will be a bigger and more expensive tablet than people have become accustomed to (Microsoft’s not talking cost yet, but expectations are for the $750-to-$1,000 range when it’s released in 2013), but this is not a consumer tablet. The Surface Pro runs full-blown Windows 8 and users can install existing Windows software applications on it (instead of apps) — it’s aimed directly at the business and professional market.

Ultrabooks were expected to take off and help PC sales recover, but that hasn’t happened. With many models priced at $1,000 or over and some businesses considering Macs or iPads, these streamlined portables haven’t caught on the way Microsoft, Intel and manufacturers had hoped.

The Surface Pro could be the device that comes to the rescue. With support for Windows applications and a competitive (to laptop and Ultrabook) price, it’s IT-friendly — a big plus for enterprise adoption. It’s a tablet, which will appeal to the businesses that feel a tablet form factor is the way of the future, yet it should be capable of being used with little compromise as a laptop, which — as someone who often uses an iPad to work will tell you — is a big win over offerings from Apple or Google.

To wrap up, I doubt Google, Amazon and Apple have much to fear from Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet. Apple, however, may see the Surface Pro and Windows 8 combo put a dent on its iPad and Mac enterprise adoption aspirations. And the companies that may have the most to lose — at least if the Tablet Pro lives up to expectations — are those that manufacture Ultrabooks.


November 5, 2012

Please Help

ABC TV Day Of Giving

SAMSUNG is Matching 3 Million Dollars of Pledges Made to ABC Day of Giving!

Disney and ABC have teamed up with the American Red Cross for a “Day of Giving” to raise money for hurricane relief efforts. From “Good Morning America” to “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ABC shows will give viewers the chance to help those devastated by the storm by making a contribution to the American Red Cross. Here’s how you can participate:

  • TEXT: Text ABC to 90999 to give a $10 donation to the Red Cross.
  • BY PHONE:  Call 1-800-HELP-NOW. This number will bypass all the other menu options and direct your call to Hurricane Sandy relief.



Samsung Windows 8 PC Lineup Includes Tablets, AIOs

Summary: Samsungs New Windows 8 lineup includes two new Tablet PCs, the ATIV Smart PC 500T and the ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T.  The Samsung Tablets are both convertible style tablets that include application optimized for the Samsung S pen and ten finger touch.

Among the new Samsung devices running Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS are two convertible tablets and Samsungtouchscreen AIO desktop PCs.

Electronics manufacturer Samsung unveiled its family of personal computers that would be optimized for Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, including mobile PC and All-In-One product lines. Samsung also offers a range of applications across devices including Samsung Quick Starter, and applications for the S Pen stylish, such as S Note and S Memo.The Series 5 Ultra Touch is Samsung’s first Ultrabook with a 10-finger multi touchscreen.

The Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T is engineered for mobile users, allowing them to switch between a traditional clamshell notebook PC and tablet PC, while the ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T, designed for on-the-go professionals with an Intel Core i5 processor, can also switch between a clamshell and tablet form factor. The ATIV devices are preloaded with S Pen optimized apps such as S Note, S Memo and S Cloud. With 1,024 levels of sensitivity, the S Pen is designed for intuitive content creation, and offers features including handwriting to text conversion and varying thickness when drawing or writing, depending on the pressure applied.

The latest Samsung PCs also feature exclusive applications, and all of the products have the ability to interact with other Samsung devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and TVs, through Samsung AllShare Play, which integrates the PC into users’ home or office ecosystems. Users can share content between their AIO and other Samsung devices on the same network, such as showcasing photos from their phone to the larger AIO display or share a document drafted on the desktops with their tablet and continue editing when mobile


IDC report: Tablet market grows nearly 50 percent, Apple loses iPad share

Summary:  As expected with Apple is beginning to loss its stronghold in the tablet market. As time goes on and Windows 8 grows we expect Apples share of the tablet market to continue to decline.

While Apple begins to deliver the new iPad mini to new buyers, today we read the IDC report on worldwide tablet shipments that has Apple dominating the tablet market. Apple's share did decline from 59.7 percent to 50.4 percent, but the firm did see growth of 26.1 percent in shipments year on year.

The share loss for Apple was picked up primarily by Samsung, Amazon, and Asus. It seems the Asus manufactured Google Nexus 7 helped quite a bit as they saw a 252.9% growth in shipments over the last year.

Samsung is now clearly in second place with 18.4 percent of the market, thanks to a 325 percent growth in shipments on the previous year. This is a huge increase. With the new Note 10.1 and Google's Nexus 10, both developed by Samsung, this figure is likely to continue to grow. Apple's iPad mini received on the whole good reviews and the lower price point should get more people into the tablet market, so it will be interesting to see how Apple fares at the end of the current fourth quarter and fiscal year.

The entire tablet market grew 49.5 percent over the last year and it seems that more and more people are starting to find a place for a tablet in their lives.

Microsoft recently launched their Surface RT a few weeks ago too, with Windows 8 tablets arriving shortly. We will have keep an eye on the impact to the tablet market in future reports.


November 6, 2012

Microsoft Surface Review, Part 1

Summary: Microsoft first foray into tablets hardware has its up and downs, Windows RT does not run legacy app's, you have to app's have to be downloaded from the Windows App ( like the ipad app's have to be downloaded from itunes) store but Office 2013 Home & Student RT, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote come pre installed on Surface RT machines. 

We bought Microsoft's Surface the day it came out, and we're ready with first impressions and benchmarks. Does the company enable a truly productivity-oriented experience to complement content consumption, or will we have to wait for the Surface Pro?

Up until now, we've used tablets in one general way: consume content. We browse the Web, listen to Microsoft Surfacemusic, watch videos, and play the occasional mainstream game. We all have our more specialized apps, too. From helping educate our kids to organizing wine cellars, finding the best deal at the grocery store, and controlling our home theaters, there is no shortage of ways we've found to use tablets.

The Surface piques our interest because it sets out to alter existing preconceptions about tablets. Microsoft is very deliberately working to convince us that it isn't necessary to take a tablet and notebook everywhere we go: its Surface should be every bit as competent at content consumption as its competition, with the added benefit of enabling productivity in a segment where it sorely lacked before.

We've already established that one of the Surface's most distinctive features is its Windows RT operating system, designed to run on hardware driven by ARM's processor architecture. Experientially, Windows RT is very much like the x86 version of Windows 8 we reviewed in The Definitive Windows 8 Review And User Guide, sharing the same Windows 8 UI, Start screen, and multi-touch gesture support.  

Windows RT handles multi-tasking much differently than other mobility-oriented operating systems. iOS- and Android-based tablets suspend background applications, forcing you to use one at a time. In the screenshot above, you can see that we're in Windows RT's Desktop app using Word, Excel, and IE10 simultaneously.


Moreover, Windows RT ships with Office 2013 Home & Student RT, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Those apps are functionally similar to what you'll find in the Customer Preview of Office 2013 for Windows 8. The changes specific to Windows RT largely center on optimizations for performance and battery life. For example, the Surface's copy of Office displays a non-blinking cursor once you go idle, since the animation drains resources. Also, GPU acceleration is enabled by default. All Windows RT-based devices must satisfy a minimum specification, guaranteeing hardware support for certain tasks (like playing embedded video within a slide). Because desktop PCs are more diverse, Microsoft isn't able to impose the same requirement, shifting playback to the host processor instead.

But the most significant difference between Windows 8 and RT is that the Surface's operating system is only compatible with applications that come from the Windows Store. If you try to install Firefox, you'll get an error. No third-party apps will run on the Windows RT Desktop.



Microsoft Surface RT gesture and keyboard shortcut guide

Summary: Microsoft's Surface RT is a new device and comes with a new UI and gestures, many of which are not intuitive. I found many helpful gestures and keyboard shortcuts and hope this guide helps relieve some frustrations.

I wrote about my 64GB Microsoft Surface RT preorder last month and have been using it for the past couple of weeks. Windows RT does not have an intuitive UI and I have been struggling at times to get things done. I'm still debating about whether I am going to keep it or not, but wanted to help readers who have it with a guide covering some helpful gestures and keyboard shortcuts.

Windows RT keyboard and mouse shortcuts

  • Start+B: Back to Desktop
  • Start+C: Open charms
  • Start+D: Go to the Desktop
  • Start+E: Go to File Explorer on Desktop
  • Start+F: Search files
  • Start+H: Start Share charm
  • Start+I: Start Settings charm
  • Start+K: Start Devices charm
  • Start+L: Lock the Surface RT
  • Start+M: Minimize everything on the Desktop
  • Start+P: Open second screen manager utility
  • Start+Q: Search apps
  • Start+R: Open Run on the Desktop
  • Start+T: Open Task Manager in Desktop
  • Start+U: Open Ease of Access Center in Desktop
  • Start+W: Search settings
  • Start+X: Open system utility settings menu
  • Start+Z: Emulate swipe up from bottom of screen
  • Start+.: Snap app left
  • Start+,: Peek at desktop, let go of Start to go back to Metro UI
  • Start+Tab: Open Metro UI task manager
  • Start+Enter: Open Windows Narrator
  • Start+Shift.: Snap app right
  • Alt+Tab: Application switcher, different look than task manager
  • Ctrl+Tab: Toggle between All Apps and Start
  • Ctrl+Escape: Toggle between last open app and current app
  • On Start screen, with the mouse active click the - button in far right bottom corner: This will zoom out the Start screen so you can create group names for apps on the Start screen.
  • On Start screen, right click on an app: You will see the options found with a tap, hold, and drag down by your finger using this quick right click.
  • On Start screen, move mouse to upper left corner to see last used app: Move the mouse down the left edge to see the most recently used app list.

As you can see the keyboard is extremely useful and functional on the Microsoft Surface RT device and there are likely even more things than I wrote about here. I was pleasantly surprised by how functional the trackpad and mouse buttons are as well.


November 7, 2012

TabletPc2.com Review  Hands On With The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

Lenovo Yoga 13 in Tent mode

The wait is over.... The Lenovo Yoga 13 Ultrabook is here, and I can tell you that without question, it was worth the wait.   First shown at CES last January, the Lenovo Yoga has been the most anticipated Windows 8 Tablet released.

From the minute you have Yoga's elegant black box in your hands, you know you have something special... and what's inside doesn't disappoint.

Packed with power and loaded features, the Yoga 13 stands out from the crowd in may ways. Starting with the 360 degree "flip and fold" design that lets you use Yoga as a laptop, standing up in "tent" style or folded flat like a tablet. 

  Having the ability to change how you view Yoga with out having to carry around extra accessories gives users the flexibility to have everything they want in one one slim, elegant machine.

Lenovo Yoga


November 8, 2012

Apple iPad Mini is Gorgeous, But Not the Best

Summary: While the iPad Mini does have a very nice screen the higher price tag is just not justified when you can purchase alternative 7 inch machines with more power and higher resolutions for considerably less money.

The iPad mini is beautiful. At 10.68 ounces, the Wi-Fi version of the iPad mini (which I tested) is light, lighter even than the Barnes and Noble Nook HD (which is just over 11 ounces and Kindle Fire HD (13 ounces). It’s thinner, too, and by a wide margin. It simply looks and feels nothing like any other 7-inch tablet on the market. Instead, the iPad mini is a visual mash-up of the iPad (Retina, iPad 2, take your pick) and the fourth-gen iPod (with a little iPhone 5 thrown in for good measure). It’s thinner than the iPad Retina and a bit thicker than the fourth Generation iPod and has a smooth aluminum unibody that makes the back virtual seamless and affords the entire frame a comforting rigidity.

Aside from the unibody construction, the iPad mini chassis is unremarkable. It has a 5 MP camera on the back and a 1.2 MP FaceTime camera on the face. There’s a tiny slot on top for the microphone and a pair of grills in the base for powerful speakers. Where the iPad has a volume rocker switch on the edge, the iPad mini features two discrete metal buttons. Similarly, the mute and power buttons are, while in spots similar to their iPad counterparts, also made of aluminum.

As you may have guessed, the iPad mini jettisons its larger brother’s 30-pin connector for a tiny Lighting port. Apple handed me a bunch of adapters, including the precious, though pricey ($29.99!) lightning-to-30-pin adapter, an SD-Card reader and a USB-in cable adapter. Having them afforded me a level of flexibility I might not have had otherwise. I especially enjoyed using the SD-card reader to add media to the iPad mini.

7-inch tablet buyers who are not wedded to the Android or iOS platform will certainly consider the iPad mini, it is the most aesthetically pleasing device, so maybe it wins. However, these are price conscious consumers and don’t see how they can justify the iPad mini’s $329 price tag when competitors are offering more powerful, extensible and higher-resolution alternatives for $120 less.


November 9, 2012

Nook HD Hangs In as Tablet Wars Grow Hotter: Rich Jaroslovsky

Summary: The Tablet Wars Continue to blaze and while some thought that the introduction of the Apple iPad mini would wipe out the competition, it lower priced tablets like the Barns and Noble Nook KD continue to Barns & Noble Nook HD Tabletgrow and thrive in the tablet marketplace.

In the tablet wars, Barnes & Noble is the scrappy underdog. Lacking the development resources, vast content stores and marketing muscle of deep-pocketed rivals like Apple and Amazon, it still somehow manages to remain competitive.

The latest example is the new Nook HD, B&N’s entry into an increasingly crowded market of similarly sized compact color devices that includes Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s somewhat larger iPad mini. Measured against them, the Nook doesn’t excel, but does at least hold its own.

Its biggest asset is its display, which is a pleasure to behold. The 7-inch-diagonal screen has a resolution of 1440 by 900 pixels, putting it first in its class. E-book text was sharp and crisp, while the movie “The Dark Knight,” with its deep blacks, was appropriately creepy.

At 11.1 ounces, the Nook is also lighter than either the Kindle or Nexus 7 — and nearly as light as the iPad mini. Its starting price, $199, matches those of the Nexus and the ad-supported version of the Kindle, and is $130 cheaper than the iPad mini.




Lenovo sees 7-inch tablets vying with phones, not PCs

Summary: Up to now most we compared Tablets against tablets but now Lenovo sees Tablets competing with smartphones as well as tablets.  This brings to minds Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 which sold over 3 million units in the first week.   With its 5 inch display its both a smart phone and a tablet that you can draw and take notes on. 

The burgeoning 7-inch tablet market will do battle with large-screen smartphones, says Lenovo.Lenovo IdeaPad a2107

Lenovo expects the growing market for 7-inch tablets to compete with large-screen smartphones, not PCs.

During the company's second-quarter earnings conference call Thursday, Lenovo Chief Executive Yang Yuanqing said he had just read a report on Apple's iPad Mini and was encouraged about the trend in the tablet market.

"The market accepts the 7-inch [tablet] better than the 10-inch. That's a very strong signal, the tablet will not replace the traditional PC," he said during the conference call.

Yuanqing continued. "Probably, the tablet will compete with the large-screen smartphone rather than the PC," he added.

Popular smartphones, like the 1,280x720 resolution 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S3, sport large displays that are approaching five inches in size.



Tablets beat out PCs on holiday shopping lists

Summary: As the Holidays approach when give the choice between a new PC and a Tablet, the majority of people would like to see a new Tablet for the holidays .   While the majority of people surveyed said they wanted an iPad or an iPad mini, some would prefer to find a Samsung Galaxy Note, Amazon Kindle Fire HD or Microsoft Surface under the Christmas Tree this year.

PC industry takes another slap as majority wish for a tablet under their tree

Holiday wish lists may deal another blow to the PC industry, according to a new survey.

Asked if they'd rather receive a PC or a tablet as a holiday gift, 59% of respondents in a PriceGrabber survey opted for the tablet, the price comparison shopping site said.

When asked which tablet or tablets they wanted, 63% of respondents said they want an iPad 3 or an iPad 4, while 24% said they're hoping for an iPad mini. (Apple's iPad launched in March is known as the iPad 3, and the latest tablet, the fourth-generation iPad released in in October, is commonly known as the iPad 4.)

However, it's not all about Apple. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they would like a Samsung Galaxy Note Tab while 20% said they are hoping for an Amazon Kindle Fire HD, according to PriceGrabber.

Another 13% have Microsoft's new Surface tablet on their holiday wish list.

"Tablets continue to grow in popularity as a top holiday gift, especially with the emergence of lower-priced tablets in the $200 to $300 price range targeting budget-conscience consumers," said Rojeh Avanesian, a vice president at PriceGrabber, in a statement. "We expect to see a lot of shopping activity in the tablet category again this holiday season, with retailers' battling it out to win the consumer dollar."


Lenovo expects convertible PCs to overtake tablets


Lenovo's CEO said Thursday that he expects the market will gradually move away from entertainment-focused tablets in favor for convertible PCs, which he said can strike a balance between the functions of touch-based tablets and the productivity of a laptop.

"From our competitor's recent earnings announcement, you can find that the emotional attachment to Lenovo Yogatablets has gone down," said Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing in a Thursday conference call.

While he did not name the specific company, Yang appeared to be referring to Apple and how it sold 14 million iPads in the last quarter, a figure well below Wall Street's projections.

During the quarter, Apple also saw its tablet market share dropto 50.4 percent, according to research firm IDC. But Apple's iPad sales are expected to pick up with the release of the iPad Mini and the fourth-generation iPad, IDC added.

Lenovo's CEO, however, questioned whether consumers would continue buying tablets. In another apparent reference to Apple, Yang said people would think seriously about buying a tablet from an expensive brand with less innovation than before when they could buy a more powerful convertible PC.

"I think the market will become more realistic in the future," he added.

With the arrival of Microsoft's touchscreen-friendly Windows 8, Lenovo is launching two convertibles under its IdeaPad Yoga family and the devices work as laptop/tablet hybrids. "I still believe the Yoga type of convertible is more usable, more user-friendly," Yang said. "Definitely that's the better product. That will be the future of the PC."



November 12, 2012

When Is a Tablet Not a Tablet? When It's Microsoft's Surface
PC Magazine

Summary: Microsoft Surface is a combination of a laptop and a tablet but some programs like Microsoft office, work best in landscape and still require a keyboard for optimal use.   On the Surface when you switch to portrait mode the type on the screen get smaller, other Tablets like the iPad, iPad mini, nook and kindle fire which are pure Tablets and can switch back and forth between portrait and landscape mode with not difference in the size of the text on the screen.

I have been using Microsoft's Surface tablet for some time now and I find it to be a very interesting Microsoft Surface with white keyboardproduct. However, something that Steve Ballmer said about the Surface at the Windows 8 launch keeps coming back to me: "Windows 8 is the greatest example of the PC meeting the tablet." I believe this to be a very true statement and one that is quite telling when it comes to Microsoft's Surface strategy.

That thinking reflects a more PC-centric view that I believe is at the heart of the Surface's design. It is one that just extends the PC model to a touch-screen device. With its keyboard and 10.6-inch display, it reminds me of a netbook, minus a touch screen. For all intents and purposes, it is a PC.

When you orient Surface to portrait mode, due to the 16:9 aspect ratio, everything gets smaller. When you flip the iPad or Android tablets, on the other hand, the text size stays the same in some cases, or shrinks slightly in others. In portrait mode, you get more text on a screen that, even when smaller, is not crunched or illegible. You are able to see more of the webpage on the Surface because of 16:9, only the text is much harder to read. Of course, you could zoom in or tap in, but that requires some time to get the webpage consumable. Not a deal breaker, but also not ideal.

This discrepancy in design reinforces the fact that the Surface is more like a small laptop that is not optimized to deliver a rich tablet experience. Because of that, I am skeptical whether the Surface will be a big hit. Landscape has its advantages in many scenarios, like when watching movies or playing some games, but in a broad set of tablet use cases, portrait is equally and sometimes more important. I believe that a true tablet provides an excellent experience in both landscape and portrait modes.



November 13, 2012
TabletKiosk Offers FREE Memory and SSD Upgrades on select Business Tablet PCs

For a limited time, get 8.0GB RAM and an Intel® SSD FREE on select Sahara Slate PC i500

TabletKiosk®, a leading manufacturer of enterprise-grade Tablet PCs and accessories for business, announced today that until the end of the year, customers who purchase select Sahara Slate PC i500 TabletKiosk Sahara i500 tablet PCTablet PCs with a capacitive touch screen will receive a free memory upgrade to 8GB RAM and a free upgrade to a Solid State Drive (SSD).

The Sahara Slate PC i500 offers business professionals a robust and powerful Tablet PC computing platform that runs full versions of Windows-based enterprise application software (EAS) programs instead of just cloud-based apps.  All Sahara Slate PC i500 Tablet PCs feature a 12.1"  WXGA (1280x800) screen, 300 nit AFFS+ LCD panel, Intel® Centrino 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR, biometric fingerprint reader, hot swappable batteries, a full array of PC standard I/O ports, and run Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional (64 bit). The Sahara Slate PC i500 is available with either an Intel® Core™ i7-640LM vPro™ or Intel® Celeron® U3405 processor.


Toshiba's 10 Inch Excite Tablet – Good Contender or Just Another Android Tablet?
Gstyle magazine

Summary: The 10 Inch Toshiba Excite is an excellent choice for those who are looking for an Android tablet.  THe Excite is packed with features, that include HDMI, micro usb ports and a camera and has a great screen quality speakers and very good battery life.  

This Toshiba has a very sleek look to it, and it has a sturdy modern design. The back and sides aresilver, and the face of the Toshiba Excite 10 is a sleek black border around the 10.1 inch display. The front-facing camera is located in the center of the black border just above the display while the tablet is Toshiba excite cameraturned to landscape orientation. The rear-facing camera is located on the back of the tablet along with the Toshiba logo which is located in the opposite corner of the back off the tablet.

Other awesome features included on the Excite 10 include the small HDMI, micro-USB, and SD card slots on the right side, with volume control and screen orientation lock on the left side of the tablet. You can turn to the screen to the orientation you prefer and slide the small button to lock for as long as you want the screen to stay in that particular mode. I haven’t found this particular feature very useful, but I have talked with people who prefer their screen to remain in either portrait or landscape mode. The microphone is a very small opening on the top of the tablet, and the charging port is located on the bottom. The size of the charging port and the gage of the charger cord enable faster charging which is always a plus.

All in all, the Excite 10 presented a pleasant experience for me. It looks like Toshiba has this tablet thing down. I have run many apps all at once, switching back and forth between them, and I have yet to experience any lag or force closing that tends to occur as a result of the lack of memory. I normally listen to the audio from YouTube or Netflix with my headphones, but, every now and then, the awesomeness of this Toshiba tablet will draw a small crowd (usually while I am watching game highlights at work). In this instance I will unplug my headphones and treat everyone to the excellent sound produced by the high quality speakers built into the bottom of the tablet. I didn’t expect much at first. I mean, let’s face it; the tablet is no boom box, but I have to admit that I was pleased with how clean and clear the sound was. There was none of that grainy static that seems to be intermittently present when listening to low quality speakers.


Google Nexus 10
PC Magazine

Summary: Apparently The Google Nexus 10 Tablet looks better in theory than it does in reality. Sascha Segan at PC magazine was more than a little frustrated with its slow speed, flaws and lack of applications and short battery life.

Google's Nexus 10 tablet ($399/16GB, $499/32GB) is nearly perfect on paper, with the highest-Google Nexus 10 Tabletresolution screen in the business, a fast processor, the very latest version of Android, and an elegant design. But it's not as good in practice. During testing, I ended up frustrated by bugs, slower-than-expected performance, and a lack of third-party apps which use the hardware well. Our Editors' Choice for large tablets is the fourth-generation Apple iPad, but even if Apple products make you cringe like a vampire faced with garlic, the Nexus 10 isn't the best non-Apple tablet.

The 300 ppi, 2,560-by-1,600 screen is the sharpest tablet screen out there, even besting the iPad's 2,048-by-1,536 Retina Display. Although as we'll see below, third-party apps often make very poor use of it. It's bracketed by two large, well-spaced stereo speakers, along with a 1-megapixel camera, which is placed to encourage you to use this tablet primarily in landscape mode. The microUSB and headphone jacks are on the left side when you hold the tablet in landscape, and the microHDMI jack is on the right. The volume rocker and Power button, which are easy to find with your fingers, are on the top panel. There's a docking port on the bottom that can also charge the tablet, but at the moment, there are no docks available for it.

These super-high-resolution tablets typically suffer in the battery life department. I got 5 hours, 9 minutes of video playback with the Nexus 10 switched to full screen brightness. This result fell short of the 5 hours, 36 minutes the fourth-generation Apple iPad scored on the same test, and far short of the 7 hours, 17 minutes turned in by the Asus TF700, with its 1,920-by-1,200 screen. Expect battery life to almost double if you reduce the brightness to half.


Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi review

Summary:  The ipad mini has a very thin bezel which not only makes the most out of the 7.9 inch but also can detected the diffrence between the user holding the device and interacting with the screen. THe Mini is a great device for watching movies and the sound from the internal speakers is exceptional.

One of the reasons that tablet manufacturers have given for the customarily generous bezels is that it ensures that the user can hold the device comfortably without accidentally interacting with the touch screen. However, the iPad mini can recognise when your thumb or finger is holding the device, as opposed to interacting with it – in practice this worked flawlessly, and never has my resting thumb at ipad mini for moviesthe edge of the screen caused any problems.

The mini is significantly smaller than the regular iPad in every dimension (200 x 134.7mm compared to 241.2 x 185.7mm), while at only 7.2mm thick, the iPad mini is 23 per cent thinner than its sibling, with its 9.4mm depth. But it’s the weight of the iPad mini that really stands out compared to its big brother. While the iPad weighs in at 652g, the iPad mini weighs less than half as much at 308g. So, while I always found the iPad too heavy to hold while watching a movie or reading an eBook, the iPad mini presents no such issue.

One of the reasons that tablet manufacturers have given for the customarily generous bezels is that it ensures that the user can hold the device comfortably without accidentally interacting with the touch screen. However, the iPad mini can recognise when your thumb or finger is holding the device, as opposed to interacting with it – in practice this worked flawlessly, and never has my resting thumb at the edge of the screen caused any problems.

The iPad mini makes a brilliant mobile video player, but you’ll have to find an app that can make the most of its ability. Unfortunately Apple still insists on severely limiting the codec support built into its own video player, while also insisting that you can only playback video that you’ve purchased through iTunes.

I installed OPlayer, which happily played back every file type I could find, including MKV and VOB. Unfortunately, many of the third party video player apps have had to remove Dolby AC3 support, which means that any files encoded with Dolby Digital surround soundtracks will play with no sound at all. Hopefully updates will go out soon to resolve this issue, but bear it in mind before choosing your video app.

What’s really surprising is how good the internal speakers are, especially considering how slim the iPad mini is. You’re hardly going to fill a room with a booming, cinematic soundtrack, but if you’re like me and often find yourself stuck in a car while you’re waiting for your daughter to finish her ballet/horse riding/swimming lesson, the speakers are easily good enough for catching up on your favourite TV shows.


November 14, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 trumps Apple iPad 3
Design & Trend

Summary:  Consumer Report has announced 2012’s top electronic devices testing and ranking 600 different electronic devices, including everything from smartphones to HD-TVs and digital cameras and everything in between.  Number one on the list is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.  Amazons Kindle fire came in at number 7.  Notably absent from the list is the Apple iPad

Here’s yet another blow for Apple, which is embroiled in a multi-billion dollar battle with Samsung.

Consumer Reports, a magazine that reviews consumer products, recently pitched Samsung Galaxy Note, and not the market-dominating iPad, as the most groundbreaking tablet of 2012.Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Based on performance and innovation, the magazine noted that “the 10-inch Galaxy Note adds capabilities that no other tablet, not even the Apple iPad, currently offers. An excellent performer overall, it almost matches the superb battery life of the iPad and adds a memory-card slot that its rival lacks.”

On the design front too, many reviewers feel that the Galaxy Note scores over the third generation of iPad. For instance, the Apple iPad 3 has an all aluminum back and glass front, which makes the device heavy. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note has gone for a plastic construction, which makes it easy to hold for long hours.

But if its style over substance, the iPad 3 is the best choice as it “looks and feels like the premium option,” according to an IBTimes review.

Microsoft Surface RT has the best display, says report

Interestingly, Microsoft’s recently-released tablet, the Surface RT, has trumped Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Apple's iPad 3 in a series of tests conducted by display testing firm DisplayMate Technologies, according to Books & Review.



November 15, 2012

Amazon: Kindle Fire HD 8.9 starts shipping today
Washington Post

Summary:  As online retailers ramp up for with early black friday sales for the holidays, Amazon has announced that its 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD has begun shipping a week ahead of schedule and the 8.9 inch 4g version will begin shipping next week.  Priced at $299 and $499 both tablets are expected to be big sellers for the holidays both online at Amazon and in stores such as Best Buy.

Amazon announced Thursday that it’s shipping a larger Kindle Fire HD tablet earlier than the date set Amazon: Kindle Fire HD when the product launched in September.

“With the holiday season upon us, we’re excited to make our $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9” available early—we think customers are going to love web browsing, email, gaming, watching TV shows, reading magazines, and more on the large, stunning HD screen, with fast Wi-Fi and exceptional audio,” said Dave Limp, the vice president of Amazon’s Kindle unit.

In addition to opening orders for the tablet on its own site, Amazon is also selling the larger device in Best Buy stores starting Friday. It will add retailers including Staples and Radio Shack in the coming weeks.

The Kindle Fire 8.9 starts at $299 and is going after the budget-minded consumer who wants a larger screen. While slightly smaller than the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen, the larger Fire device is a clear shot at the Apple tablet.

Like the previous generation of the Kindle Fire, the Fire HD is a portal to Amazon’s enormous online store and collection of video, books and apps. It also has a front-facing HD camera for use with video calls as well as an “X-Ray” feature for movies and textbooks that supplements content with information from the IMDB movie service, Wikipedia and YouTube.

The 4G-enabled version of the tablet is due to ship next week, the company said, just in time for the holidays.

The tablet starts at $499. For data, however, users will have to pay a one-time fee of $49.99 for a data package that also includes a $10 Amazon Appstore credit and 20 GB of storage in Amazon’s Cloud Drive.




Microsoft's Ballmer Says Company Must Combine Hardware, Software
San Francisco Chronicle

Summary: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is working hard to bring Microsoft back into the forefront as a technology company by combining software, hardware and online presence into a powerful presence that can compete in today's market.   Windows 8 which was launched last month is the most drastic change Microsoft has ever made to its operating system.  In addition to Windows 8 Microsoft launched Surface RT Tablets, the first Microsoft branded computers.

Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said the maker of Windows programs must exploit the opportunity to combine hardware and software as it challenges Apple Inc.’s iPad with the Surface tablet computer.

Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, won’t cede that market to competitors even as partners build the “lion’s share” of devices using Windows in the next five years, Ballmer said yesterday during an address at the Churchill Club speaker series in Santa Clara, California. The company recognizes “there’s an innovation opportunity” by collaborating across hardware and software, he said.

Microsoft is undertaking an overhaul of its product line meant to keep it relevant in the post-PC era. The company dominated the technology landscape during the heyday of the personal computer in the 1990s and much of the last decade, yet has been eclipsed in influence by a resurgent Apple and the rise of mobile devices taking the place of PCs that run Microsoft’s flagship Windows operating system.

“We really reimagined Windows,” he said at the on-stage discussion with Reid Hoffman, the chairman and co-founder of the online business network LinkedIn Corp. “The distinction between a PC and a tablet I think, at least in our ecosystem, completely goes away.”

On the Web, Google Inc. has made its pages hubs for many of Internet users’ activities, and its Android operating system powers many of the world’s mobile phones and tablet computers, markets Microsoft has tried for years to penetrate. Ballmer, 56, is trying to adapt in a computer industry landscape vastly changed from when he took over as CEO from co-founder Bill Gates in 2000.


November 16, 2012

Display shootout: Microsoft Surface RT vs. iPads vs. Android Tablets

Summary:   With what Microsoft touts as the best its pixel rendering technology in the industry Microsoft Surface  has the best display among 10 in tablet computers.   On Surface screens text is much sharper and the out of box calibration is better and the is considerable less screen glare on the Surface screen

Before Surface for Windows RT began shipping, Microsoft's Steven Bathiche said that "Microsoft has the best pixel rendering technology in the industry," subtly implying that the Surface display might Surface, iPad, Asus tabletsbe superior to the display in the iPad. Naturally this started a flame war between opposing camps with Apple users doubting that a 1366 x 768, 148 PPI display could best the almighy iPad's 2048 x 1536, 264 PPI.

Now that the Surface is shipping, Dr. Ray Soneira President of DisplayMate Technologies Corporation, pits all the top tablet displays against each other in his latest shoot-out.

So, how good is the Microsoft Surface RT display compared to the iPads and Android Tablets? Here is part of his conclusion:

The display on the Microsoft Surface RT outperforms all of the standard resolution full size 10 inch Tablets that we have tested in our Display Shoot-Out series. The Lab tests and measurements documented in the Shoot-Out Comparison Table indicate that Microsoft has paid a lot of attention to display performance for the Surface RT. In particular, on-screen text is significantly sharper, it has a better factory display calibration, and also significantly lower screen Reflectance than the iPad 2 and all full size 1280x800 Android Tablets. But it is not as sharp as the iPad 3 or 4, nor does it have their large full Color Gamut. We'll have to wait for the high resolution Windows Pro Tablets that will be launching in early 2013 for direct comparisons with the high resolution iPads and Android Tablets. This is a great start for Windows Tablets and brings much needed competition to the Tablet marketplace. In addition, many other manufacturers will be launching their own branded Windows RT and Pro Tablets - we'll include the best of them in future Mobile Display Shoot-Outs.



Dell makes pitch for $649 Windows 8 tablets at businessDell Latitude 10 tablet

Summary: Going forward Dell is switching gears and trying to focus on selling its IT services to bossiness.  In the interim Dell is setting its sights on selling Windows 8 tablets to business

After Dell reported lackluster earnings today, executives made a case for the company's Windows 8 tablets at businesses.

Dell's earnings fell sharply today, with net income in the quarter ended November 2 sinking 47 percent to $475 million compared with the $893 million reported in the same period last year. Revenue was off 11 percent.

So, what is Dell doing about it? Well, it's trying to transform itself into a supplier of IT services.

But before it can do that, it's still trying to sell lots of PCs -- and now Windows 8 tablets.



UK Queen's First Tablet Not iPad
Wall Street Journal

Summary: Queen Elizabeth is presented with a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet loaded with digital time capsule of the 60 years she has reigned as the Queen of England.   The Samsung Galaxy Note was chosen for its ease of use. Earlier this week Consumer Reports names the Galaxy pad the number one electronic device of 2012.

Queen Elizabeth of the U.K. is to be presented with her first tablet computer for the Royal Collection. It Queen Elizabeth with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tabletwill form a “digital time-capsule” of memories of the first 60 years of her reign. More than 37,000 people have taken part contributing 80,000 entries to the “Diamond (re)Collection”.

What has surprised some commentators is the choice of hardware, a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 rather than an Apple iPad. The BBC reports:

“The digital nature of the project required a digital device to present to Her Majesty, and The Queen will be able to press ‘play’ on the tablet before watching a video of some of the best Jubilee time-capsule entries,” said Danny Sriskandarajah, director of the Royal Commonwealth Society charity.

The organisation said it had at one point considered using an Apple iPad, but ultimately opted for Samsung’s tablet after discussing the project with both firms.


November 19, 2012

A month with the Microsoft Surface

Summary: After using Microsoft Surface for month BGR reports that they believe that the Microsoft Surface Tablet is the best piece of tablet hardware, but finds the software restrictions of Windows RT a bit restrictive to the way they work.  Having Microsoft Office on the Surface makes it easy to be productive, however for those who use Outlook, Windows RT’s email client isn't a good substitute so if have to use Outlook Web Access if you want to use Outlook.    

I have now spent more than a month with Microsoft’s Surface. While I did not use it as my main Excel on Microsoft Surfacecomputer during that period of time, I worked on it several times each week, I used it in place of the iPad for nearly all personal functions, and I carried it with me as much as possible. Here are my thoughts after a month with the Surface:

First and foremost, I still firmly believe that Microsoft has built the best tablet on the planet in terms of hardware. Seriously.

The Surface isn’t anywhere near as thin as Apple’s fourth-generation iPad but the thicker case is easy to forgive when you consider the various advantages the Surface offers. For one thing, it features dedicated charger, USB and HD video-out ports. The ability to charge the tablet while an accessory or a flash drive is plugged in and while connected to a second monitor or TV is a welcome change from the single-port setup on the iPad. The Surface also features stereo speakers on either side of the top of the device when held in landscape — where speakers should be — along with a microSD slot and a kickstand.

The kickstand is a huge benefit for the Surface. Machined from the same “VaporMg” magnesium as the rest of the Surface’s case, the integrated kickstand props the tablet up on a table or even on a user’s lap quite comfortably. The result is a tablet that is perfect for watching movies or TV shows in any setting. Add on Microsoft’s Touch Cover or Type Cover and you have a legitimate notebook computer that occupies a fraction of the space despite its full size keyboard.

I have gotten to the point where I type about 80% as fast on the Touch Cover as I do on my standard keyboard (I use a Logitech diNovo Edge). While a 20% reduction in speed is significant, I’ll gladly take that hit in exchange for a keyboard cover that protects my tablet’s display, is just 3 millimeters thin, and effectively adds no weight to the device.

If you live in Microsoft Office apps like Word and Excel, it just doesn’t get any better than the Surface. This is a $499 tablet that offers a true desktop Office experience — for free — that is so much better than similar experiences on the iPad or on Android tablets, there isn’t even a usable scale for comparison. Multitasking and switching between open apps is also a far better experience on the Surface than it is on any other tablet.

Trouble arises when users need more specialized software to do their jobs, even if that software is relatively simple.



What's Better: Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ or New Apple iPad?
Mobile Magazine

Summary:  Is the iPad worth twice the price of the Kindle fire?  This is a very good comparison between all aspects of the Kindle Fire and the iPad 4.   If your on the fence between the two tablets, when you read the all the specs you can decide for yourself if the ipad is worth

Kindle Fire VS ipad 4

Are you shopping for a new tablet this holiday season? Are you disheartened that the Samsung Nexus 10 is sold out? Fret not, because this is probably one of the best times to be a tablet customer. If you can’t decide between the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ and the new Apple iPad, this is the comparison for you.

The surprising thing is that even though the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ starts at a full $200 cheaper than the starting price for the Apple iPad ($299 vs. $499), the specs on paper are actually very, very comparable.

Both tablets are available in your choice of WiFi-only or Wi-Fi plus LTE. If you need to stay connected, either tablet will do the job.

While both tablets have a front-facing camera (1MP on the Kindle Fire HD, 1.2MP on the iPad) for video chats, only Apple’s tablet has a 5MP rear camera. This isn’t a huge deal–the Nexus 7 doesn’t have a rear camera either–but it could be an important differentiator for some people.

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ is powered by a modified version of Google Android, but it does not have access to the full Google Play Store. You can only go through the Amazon Appstore, which limits your options. At the same time, some people might prefer the Amazon-ified OS over a more conventional Android interface, since it is simpler and more geared toward media consumption. The iPad, of course, is powered by iOS and comes backed by Apple’s gigantic App Store. If you want tablet apps, not much can compete with Apple’s juggernaut at this point.

As mentioned at the top, this is really where the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ beats the new iPad by a long shot. Starting at $299, Amazon’s tablet is only a little more than half the price of an equivalent iPad. Considering that the core guts are so comparable, it may be hard to justify the Apple tax on the iPad, but it is arguable that iOS is superior and there are more iPad apps.


November 20, 2012
Tablet Wars: Picking a Tablet for the Holidays

Summary: With so many tablets to chose from for the holidays Techzone360 helps make the choice a little easier this year by guiding you through what they think is best in the diff rent categories and sizes of tablets.

Tabletpc2.com Christmas TabletWell it’s that time again, and we are once again up to our armpits in tablets to choose from. Unlike last year when there really was just the iPad and the first Kindle fire, this year there are a number of compelling choices to make, and I’ve had a chance to pound on most of the tablets.  

Here are my thoughts. 

Apple: If someone wants an Apple tablet, I’d suggest that is what you get them. We’ve had a couple of decades to review what has happened when someone asks for an Apple product and gets something else. It generally isn’t pretty, so if Apple products are outside of your budget for a gift, and for a lot of us they are this year, you may want to shift to another gift class you can address more affordably.  

Large Tablet

In the large tablet class, the Microsoft Surface product, which I’m using to write this piece, is by far the most capable. It currently has three shortcomings that keep it from being perfect. It doesn’t have all of the apps you may want (missing a VPN and any alternative browsers at the moment), the kickstand isn’t adjustable (but at least it has one), and the full iTunes migration solution isn’t done yet.

However, it is far better than any other large-form tablet on the market and you can actually leave your laptop at home. 

Incredibly light with 10 or so hours of battery life and relatively robust, this product has become my favorite large tablet, and the folks that I know that are using it rave about it.  

Small Tablet (7”)

You have a choice of two here: the Amazon Fire HD or the Google Nexus 7. The Amazon is better for someone who likes things simple or is already a heavy user of Amazon, and the Nexus 7 is for someone who is a bit of a geek and likes things to be a bit more technical, capable and challenging.  

The Nexus is better for games as well, while the Kindle is a better reader (when in native Kindle reader mode).  

Overall, you can’t do badly with either, but I find I personally use the Kindle Fire HD more than the Nexus 7.  


Next Generation Mobile Tablets Will Lead the 2012 Holiday Shopping Season
Fox Business

Last year, the tablet PC market experienced previously unprecedented growth during the holiday season and on a worldwide scale, sales increased by an incredible 256% throughout the course of 2011. In the United States alone, tablet device ownership amongst adults increased from 10% to 19% in a month-long period between December 2011 and January 2012. While some predicted that the “tablet trend” would quickly fade, the market has remained strong throughout this year and is expected to skyrocket in the fourth quarter of this year with the debut of a new generation of tablet PCs.

Apple’s iPad 2, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7 have dominated the tablet market over the past year, but a new line of smaller, slimmer and less expensive tablets hitting stores this holiday season will undoubtedly re-ignite consumer interest in mobile computing. These “mini tablets” provide the same functionality as their larger predecessors, in a more compact form factor. Apple’s newest entry into the mobile computing arena, the iPad Mini, made its much-anticipated debut in virtually all of the company’s global markets on November 2nd with a starting price point of $329 for the 16 GB version. Amazon has also developed a “next generation” tablet, the Kindle Fire HD. While the new Fire HD starts at $199, a price point intended to draw consumers away from its more costly Apple competitor; the Fire’s current market share stands at only 9% compared to Apple’s 50.4%.

This year, the most formidable new entry into the tablet computer market is Microsoft. With the long-awaited debut of the new Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft premiered the Surface on October 26th. This full-size (10”) tablet features a full keyboard as the device’s screen cover and is the first on the market to offer such functionality. Additionally, the Surface has received much acclaim since it first became available and Microsoft’s $1 billion advertising campaign centered on the tablet and Windows 8 will maximize the exposure of the brand’s newest offerings this season.


November 21, 2012

Nexus 7 and iPad Mini to lure more tablet PC buyers, shipments to top laptops

Summary:  It's been ten years in the making and now according to new a new study, shipments of Tablet PC computers will out number laptops for the first time.  Apple is still leading the pack, but the infusion of more OEM's jumping into the frey, including Microsoft, Google, Nexus, Samsung, Lenovo, Toshiba and more have fueled the demand for Tablet computing.

Tablet PC shipments to eclipse laptops in United States for the first time according to a new ipad mini and Nexus 7 tabletsresearch, growth courtesy of new tablet PCs like the Google Nexus 7 and the Apple iPad Mini.

It’s still the iPad Mini vs the Nexus 7, but the battle will give the tablet market a boost, putting Microsoft and other PC manufacturers in the danger zone.

A new forecast is suggesting that tablet computer shipments in United States will top laptops for the first time, and the expected soaring demand is courtesy of the new breed of tablet computers with smaller touchscreen displays and better form factor.

As reported by multiple tech sites, NPD DisplaySearch is predicting that shipments of tablet computers will soon surpass laptops that run Windows and Mac OS because the growing tablet PC market is now offering the attractive $199 to $329 price category. Apparently, Google is enjoying its first tablet PC success courtesy of the Google Nexus 7, the first Android Jelly Bean tablet with the highly competitive tag price of $199 (16GB), and $249 (32GB).

Also worth noting is the new iPad Mini of Apple, unlike the Google Nexus 7, Apple has decided to take the high-end spot of the so-called “small tablet PC” market by slapping a slightly expensive tag price of $329, or more than $100 more expensive than its Nexus 7 counterpart.

Despite its $329 price tag, the iPad Mini is still more affordable compared to Apple’s other tablet PCs like the iPad 3 and the new iPad 4.

Collectively, smaller tablet computers will push the tablet PC’s market up, beating the laptop market, and it looks like the post-PC era is happening now.

NPD DisplaySearch predicts that shipments of tablet computers will surpass 21.5 million units, larger than the predicted laptop computer shipments of 14.6 million. Numbers posted here are predictions for the “Q4 2012″ market quarter, considered by many as the most lucrative.



Oprah Tweets Love for Microsoft Surface (from an iPad)

Oprah gave Microsoft Surface some props on Twitter…using an Apple iPad. Awkward. oprah tweets about Surface from iPad

“Gotta say love that SURFACE! Have bought 12 already for Christmas gifts. #FavoriteThings,” the talk show host tweeted to more than 14.8 million followers on Nov. 18.

She tweeted some of her favorite things about Surface to a fan — also using Twitter for iPad: “@bmartin2011 they’re different. Picture seems #sharper on Surface. #FavoriteThings” and “@bmartin2011 also keyboard easier for me on Surface. #FavoriteThings”.

It is unclear whether the talk show host herself wrote the message or whether someone else was managing her account from an iPad. Twitter clients have revealed the gaffe — or “#Twitfail” as they say in the Twitterverse — because their metadata usually notes which devices or apps users are using when they tweet.

Microsoft Surface made Oprah’s 2012 list of her “Favorite Things,”alongside other tech items like the high-definition TV Bose VideoWave II and the Jetson E-Bike. She praised the tablet: “The Surface, Microsoft’s first tablet, feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people!”

CNET points out that Apple’s iPad was her favorite thing ever in 2010: “from our very first moment together, I knew it had stolen my heart,” she exclaimed, dancing around an iPad with angel wings that was hanging from the ceiling. Looks like Oprah’s technology preferences are changing as fast as technology is evolving.




November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving


November 23, 2012

Surprisingly, some tablets might make good presents for kids
Joplin Globe

After watching their children play games on a tablet PC, some parents may consider giving their kids a device on their own. After watching their children drop a plate, bang a chair, break a toy or cause other examples of childhood destruction, many of those same parents think they might be nuts for even considering the idea -- especially after considering the cost of such a device.

The ability of a tablet to easily play movies, music and video games or access the Internet make them tempting for kids of all ages. And surprisingly, there are enough lower-cost, durable options that a tablet PC might make the perfect gift this holiday season.

But there are still plenty of cautions, said Shawn Giddens, manager of the Geek Squad department at Best Buy in Joplin.

"They are portable devices, so they are prone to some damage Giddens said. "A lot of warranties don't cover damage because of drops, so if parents are buying a device, we recommend some sort of extension plan that covers physical damage.


November 26, 2012

Best tablets for Christmas 2012

Summary: According to Rawiya Kameir over at It Pro Portal, the best Tablets for the 2012 Holiday season are the iPad mini, iPad with Retina display, Google Nexus 7, Google Nexus 10 and Microsoft Surface with Windows RT.

Best tablets for Christmas 2012

Few people took Bill Gates seriously when he unveiled his prototype tablet computer in 2001, but history has proved the Microsoft founder remarkably prescient. Over the past few years, the tablet market has exploded, with mobile computing due to eclipse traditional PCs in the near future.

Though Apple can take credit for taking tablets mainstream with the introduction of the first iPad in 2010, the Cupertino-based company is certainly not the only player in that market nowadays. And so with the holiday season on the horizon, we've taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of our five favourite tablets of 2012 to guide you in your search.



Microsoft commits to Surface with Windows RT for at least four years

Summary: Microsoft will support Windows RT until April 11, 2017, four an a half years from its release date.  What remains to be seen is if Windows RT will still exist in four and a half years.......

Although Windows RT was officially released nearly a month ago on Microsoft's Surface and on a handful of PCs from its OEM partners, Microsoft has been quiet about its support policy for RT.

Now, the mystery is partly resolved. In an update to its support lifecycle page, Microsoft has officially declared that it will support its initial Surface release for four years. That is, not coincidentally, long enough for a determined undergraduate to get through a conventional university degree program.

Normally, Microsoft supports consumer and business versions of Windows for five years (the so-called mainstream support phase) with business versions getting an additional five years of extended support.

Because Surface with Windows RT is a hardware-software combo, it plays by a different set of rules. Microsoft has decreed that its Mainstream Support End Date will be April 11, 2017, which is nearly 4-1/2 years after the product's initial release date. Because this device is considered a consumer device, there's no Extended Support End Date.



November 27, 2012

Barnes & Noble launches Nook for iOS and Android
PC Advisor

Barnes & Noble Nook Library for Android and ios

Barnes & Noble, the US book seller, has launched Nook apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

Although Barnes & Noble has launched its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets in the UK, iPhone, iPad and Android user can now access the Nook Store. The free app offers 2.5 million books, magazines, newspapers and comics. Best iPhone & iPad apps.

Jamie Iannone, president of Nook Media, said: "we’re delighted to introduce our free Nook Reading Apps that seamlessly bring millions of digital titles to the fingertips of customers who use Android and iOS devices, and to put our unmatched digital reading experience into the hands of even more Brits."

A feature called Smart Nook Sync allows users to automatically synchronise their media library between devices. This includes the last page read, bookmarks, notes and highlights.



Putting Word 2013 to Work on Microsoft's Surface RT Tablet

Summary: For those of you with Surface RT tablets, who had trouble with the Office 2013 preview crashing,  Make sure you install the update for Office 2013 on your Surface RT tablet.   Once updated to the final product office functions as it should.

I spend the bulk of my work hours using Microsoft Word. I’m also particularly fond of tablets. And so, a Microsoft Word Screen Shotnative mobile version of Word (as opposed to a Word-compatible app) on a lightweight tablet is something I’ve wanted for a long time. 

With its Surface RT tablet, Microsoft nicely filled that void for me—but not without putting me through some harrowing moments.

Thankfully, things are much improved now. I installed the final version of Office 2013 Home & Student Edition for the Surface RT tablet, and haven’t experienced these problems. (To install the final Office version, choose "Search" from the Windows "charm bar." Type in "Windows Update," and select "Settings" from the search results. You should see "Update for Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview," which, once installed, will update you to the final Office version.)

Though the final version of Word 2013 on the Surface can be sluggish at times, such as when I copy and paste a hyperlink from a Web page, I’m finding it to be a pleasure to use. I love having all the Word features I use on my PC—including Track Changes, which is hard to find on Office-compatible iOS and Android apps—available to me on a tablet. Plus, the Surface RT Type Cover is the best tablet keyboard I’ve used to date. The combination of full versions of Office, the Type Cover and the Surface’s sleek, lightweight design makes for a compelling tablet geared for creating content, not just consuming it—as long as you’ve upgraded to the final Office 2013 tablet version. 



Tiny Tablets: A Holiday Shopping Must-Have?
CIO Today

If you've settled on a small tablet this holiday season, some top choices include Apple's iPad Mini, iPad mini tabletAmazon's Kindle Fire HD, Barnes & Noble's Nook HD, and Google's Nexus 7. These half-sized tablets are excellent first computing devices for a kid, or a gentle nudge into the digital world for an older adult with little computing experience.

The most expensive of the small tablets is also the prettiest. Its exquisitely machined metal rim sets it well apart from competing tablets clothed in plastic and rubber. It's also thin and light, despite having a screen that's 40 percent bigger than other "small" tablets. But the quality of the screen doesn't quite measure up to the competition. It has fewer pixels than other small tablets, and they're spread over a larger area, making for a relatively coarse, pixelated look. On the other hand, the Mini has two cameras, front and back, which is a rarity.

Where the Mini really wins is in third-party apps: it's the only small tablet that has access to Apple's App Store, with a superlative selection of high-quality apps. It's an excellent addition to the household that's already hooked on iPhones and full-size iPads. For those not wedded to the "Apple system," the other tablets merit a close look.


November 28, 2012

The 2012 List for Santa

*TabletPc2.com's Tenth Annual Holiday Gift Guide*


November 29, 2012

Is the iPad Mini the Perfect Holiday Gift?

In a recently conducted Nielsen survey, 36 percent of kids aged 6–12 said that the item that they wanted most for the holidays was an iPad mini.iPad mini

Adults and consumers over the age of 13 also had a high desire for a mini, at 11 percent, putting Apple’s tablet in the top ten most wished for gifts this season.

There’s a good reason that the iPad mini is at the top of so many Christmas wish lists this year – it’s small, it’s portable, it’s light, and it’s the perfect size to fit in a hand. After all, it weighs just 308 grams (just over half a pound) and is only 7.2 millimeters wide.

Though it has a much higher price tag than its competition, the mini offers a bigger display, a high quality camera, and an impressive battery life. Apple’s mini also comes with an important feature that you won’t find in the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD – Apple’s rich app and content ecosystem.

There are more than 700,000 apps in the App Store right now, which means you can find an app for almost anything. There are also a whole slew of fantastic games that you just won’t find on Android. Apple’s also able to offer movies and music through iTunes and books through iBooks.


November 30, 2012


Santa's List on a Tablet pc

The 2012 List for Santa

*TabletPc2.com's Tenth Annual Holiday Gift Guide*



Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro pricing: $899 and up

Summary: Microsoft has announced the price of their Surface Pro tablet which is due out in January.  Surface Tablets with Windows 8 Pro, with 64 GB of storage will start at $899.   Unlike Windows RT, Surface pro tablets will be able to run all of your legacy apps.

A 128 GB version will also be available for $999. Both models will include a Surface active digitizer pen with “Palm Block” technology, but Microsoft's Touch Cover and Type Cover will be sold separately. As Microsoft Surfacepreviously stated by Microsoft, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro will go in sale in January.

In terms of both size and tech specs, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro is beefier than its Windows RT sibling. It weighs about 2 pounds and measures 0.53 inches thick, compared to 1.5 pounds an 0.37 inches thick for the Surface with Windows RT.

But instead of a Tegra 3 ARM-based processor, the Pro version has an Intel Core i5 chip, and its 10.6-inch display has a resolution of 1920-by-1080, instead of 1366-by-768. When connected to an external monitor through mini DisplayPort, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro supports resolutions up to 2560-by-1440. Its storage configurations are also double those of the RT version, but Windows 8 itself will likely consume more of that space compared to Windows RT.

The biggest difference, however, is that the Intel-based Surface runs a full version of Windows 8 Pro. That means it can install any desktop app, in addition to Modern-style apps from the Windows Store. Although the price is much higher than the Windows RT Surface, which starts at $500, it's more akin to an Ultrabook in terms of its capabilities.




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What is Tablet PC?

If you want the reliability and power of Windows XP, with the added benefit of pen and ink, the Tablet PC is the solution for you

The Tablet PC

The Tablet PC is a fully functioning mobile computer that runs Windows XP, Tablet PC Edition which includes new, advanced handwriting and speech recognition capabilities that enable the creation, storage, and transmission of handwritten notes and voice input. Tablet PCs come in three styles, Convertible, Slate and Hybrid.