Be prepared to wait up to a month if you order a Nexus 5 today
Google treated Android fans to its first official serving of KitKat (Android 4.4) on October 31, 2013 by releasing its Nexus 5 smartphone. Available in Google Play, users can choose between 16GB ($349) and 32GB ($399) models in either black or white and be one of the first to sample the newest version of Android. Unfortunately, there's a penalty for having taken the weekend to think about things, and that penalty is now having to wait up to 4 weeks.
Save a chunk of change on Kindle devices (today only)
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on Halloween (October 31) that it would allow airlines to expand passenger use of portable electronic devices (PED) during all phases of flight, meaning you no longer will be instructed to turn off your e-reader during takeoff or landing, as long as you have a grip on it (or put it in the seat back pocket in front of you). To celebrate the relaxing of the rules, Amazon today is offering discounts on select Kindle devices.
HTC One promises an update to KitKat within 90 days
Android 4.4 (KitKat) has arrived, having hitched a ride on top of Google's Nexus 5 smartphone that was made available to order yesterday. That's great if you plan to purchase a Nexus 5, but what if you already own a smartphone and aren't in a position to upgrade? More specifically, what about HTC One owners? Well, the good news is that HTC apparently confirmed plans to port KitKat over to its One smartphone.
Notebook sales starting to show signs of renewed life
It's probably a bit premature to celebrate the return of booming notebook sales, but at least for one quarter, laptop shipments have given vendors reason to be optimistic. Mobile PC shipments around the world climbed to 47.9 million units in the third quarter of 2013, up 6 percent sequentially. In better times, single-digit percentage gains wouldn't elicit excitement, but in this case, that 6 percent spike represents the largest sequential growth in two years.
Lenovo and Ashton Kutcher teamed up to unveil the OEM's first multimode Yoga Tablet during a livestream launch event this evening. Why Ashton Kutcher? Perhaps because he's played a variety of roles from portraying Steve Jobs to replacing Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men. If, then, you consider Kutcher a flexible actor, then it would make sense he be on hand to unveil the Yoga Tablet, which is also flexible.
Today's smartphones are essentially mini PCs that fit in the palm of your hand. The processing power and GPU capabilities of these devices, combined with the internal storage (and cloud storage) are nothing short of impressive when you stop and think about how compact these devices are. What really separates a smartphone from a PC, however, is that they're not upgradeable. Not yet, anyway. Motorola has plans to change that.
We keep waiting for the day when solid state drives (SSDs) supplant mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs), and even though prices for NAND flash memory storage has dropped significantly in the past year or so, HDDS still offer more storage space for the dollar. Combined with notebook makers offering lower cost models, the demand for HDDs just keeps growing, and that's just fine by HGST.
Is the era of flat smartphones coming to an end? Probably not, though we do expect an influx of handsets with curved screens. One of those devices is the LG G Flex, supposedly the first device to offer a 6-inch curved display to follow the contour of the face. To complement the curved design, LG said it built a new user experience to take advantage of the form factor's unique features.
Samsung kicked off the week by introducing the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, a tablet intended for both parents and kids alike. It features dual operating modes, including a special Kids mode with a bright, colorful display and a user interface that's intuitive and easy to navigate, and a Standard mode so that adults can use the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 as it was originally intended.
A new chip from Samsung checks for authentic accessories
Samsung and Apple, the two biggest players in the mobile space, would love it if consumers only purchased authentic first-party accessories for use with their respective handsets and tablets. Unfortunately for consumers, genuine accessories tend to carry a premium price tag over third-party alternatives, making them less appealing. Nevertheless, both companies have taken steps to encourage first-party purchases -- Apple by changing its connector and Samsung by building an authenticity recognition chip.