Today's a big day for Google and its Android platform. In addition to launching the big-size Nexus 6 handset built by Motorola, Google today also unveiled the Nexus 9 tablet built by HTC. Like the Nexus 6 smartphone, the Nexus 9 rocks the newest build of Google's mobile operating system, Android 5.0, otherwise now known as Lollipop. Unlike the Nexus 6, the Nexus 9 sports a 64-bit Nvidia Tegra K1 processor clocked at 2.3GHz inside.
Tablets are starting to look like that popular kid from high school who fizzled in his later years. After seeing a surge in sales, including a whopping 55 percent growth rate in 2013, market research firm Gartner predicts that tablet sales will only grow by 11 percent in 2014. By Gartner's estimate, worldwide tablet sales are on pace to hit 229 million units this year, representing 9.5 percent of total device sales (including smartphones, hybrids, traditional PCs, and ultramobile premium devices).
News of the Surface Pro 3's demise have been greatly exaggerated
It's not too often that Microsoft addresses rumors and speculation floating through cyberspace, so the fact that it stood up in defense of its Surface Pro 3 tablet amid talk that it's planning to cancel the product line is telling. Straight and to the point, Microsoft took to its Surface blog to reiterate to businesses (and anyone else) that it's not planning to discontinue the Surface Pro 3. Period.
The big news regarding Hewlett-Packard is that the OEM has again decided to split off its Printing and Personal Systems Group (printer and PC divisions), which is something former CEO Léo Apotheker wanted to do several years ago. However, that's not the only news related to HP. With nary a peep, the OEM just released the HP 10 Plus, a 10.1-inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1200) tablet running Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
Samsung's and Apple's share of the tablet market is eroding, though they still lead the pack
It will be tough (not impossible) to catch up with and/or surpass Apple or Samsung in the tablet race, though the sprint for third place is a ferocious one led by Lenovo, Amazon, and Asus, as well as other "emerging vendors," according to ABI Research. Lenovo is especially well positioned to take the No. 3 spot in tablet market share and is expected to ship 21 million slates by 2019.
Amazon decided that releasing a new Kindle Fire HD tablet wouldn't be enough, so the e-tailer went and added more than half a dozen new slates and e-readers. It begins with the introduction of two brand new Kindles starting at $79 (Kindle) and $199 (Kindle Voyage). The Kindle Voyage ups the ante with the thinnest design yet for a Kindle device (0.30 inches) and a next generation paperwhite display.
The lightest 11.6-inch rugged tablet in its class, GammaTech says
Tablets aren't exactly known for their durability. Can you image dropping your Android slate or iPad down a flight of stairs? If the stairs are carpeted, you might get away with it (we don't recommend testing this out), otherwise there's a good chance the screen will end up busted. GammaTech's new Durabook R11 is a rugged slate that would probably survive such a tumble, as well as other harsh situations.
Not only did the NFL mishandle a major situation with Ray Rice's domestic abuse incident, but even comparatively minor tasks are turning into fumbles. Before the season began, Microsoft inked a $400 million deal with the NFL to make its Surface the official tablet of the league for the next five years. Under normal circumstances, that would be a sound (and even savvy) advertising deal on Microsoft's part, except for one little thing -- NFL announcers couldn't help but to refer to the Surface tablets as iPads.
Whether it's a low-cost Windows 8.1 tablet or a newly minted Chromebook model you're after, today's your lucky today. That's because Toshiba announced the retail availability of its Encore Mini, an affordable 7-inch Windows 8.1 tablet priced at a scant $120 MSRP, along with its second generation Chromebook model simply dubbed Chromebook 2 (pricing ranges from $250 to $330 MSRP).