One of the items Asus unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last month was its upcoming VivoTab Note 8 tablet. Apparently there were a fair number of buyers waiting for this slate -- Microsoft began offering the VivoTab Note 8 online for $329 over the weekend and it now shows as being out of stock. That's pretty impressive, assuming Microsoft didn't start off with just a small quantity.
One of the things that helped drive down the price of Android tablets is the proliferation of smaller size displays in the 7-inch range. This is partially what allowed companies like Amazon and Google to undercut the competition at a time when the market was flooded with 10-inch tablets for $500 and up. This correlation in price also works in reverse, as evidenced by Samsung's 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro commanding $850 at Office Depot.
It hasn't even been a full year since Microsoft launched its first generation Surface Pro for $900, a price tag that undoubtedly scared off more than a few buyers. When we tested the Surface Pro, we came to the conclusion that it has "more than enough power for any casual computing need," though cheaper and lighter solutions made it a tough sell. If pricing is all that held you back, take note that Best Buy is currently selling the original Surface Pro for $500, which is $400 off its original retail price.
It seems like forever ago when the only Android tablets on the market were the ones trying to compete with Apple's iPad line at the $499 price point and above. Fast forward to today and affordable Android tablets are fairly common, though not quite ubiquitous. Might that change this year? Well, we're off to a good start with Acer announcing two new Iconia slates starting at just $130.
Vendors don't want to get stuck with a bunch of 2-in-1 devices
There's still no clear cut indication from consumers whether or not hybrid notebooks that also function as tablets are all that desirable compared to keeping the form factors separate. That being the case, notebook vendors are reportedly having cold feet when it comes to stockpiling 2-in-1 devices, fearing that weak sales could leave them with a bunch of unsold inventory needing to be written off.
There are signs that suggest consumers are warming up to Microsoft's second generation Surface products. The first sign is the sold out status of every single Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 device at Microsoft's Online store. Every single SKU is out of stock, including Surface 2 in 32GB and 64GB form, and Surface Pro 2 in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB form. Can there really be that much demand?
And the award for worst place to leave a delivery goes to...
If you're a delivery driver, there are probably worse places to leave a package than in an empty trash bin at the end of a driveway -- in a barrel of toxic waste, for example. However, common sense should dictate that, in theory, while a trash can isn't the absolute worst spot to leave a package, there has got to be a better alternative in each and every place where a trash can is an option. Yet, that's exactly what a UPS driver did, and of course it had to happen on trash day.
Take a full year to pay for a Kindle Fire HDX today
Amazon is making one last effort to sell more Kindle Fire HDX tablets this holiday shopping season by offering buyers an extended payment plan free of interest. The way it works is rather simple -- you pay 25 percent of the retail cost at checkout, and the remaining balance is billed in three equal installments every 90 days. There are no finance charges, hidden fees, credit check, or application process to go through.
If you're looking to order a Nexus 7 tablet that looks a little different from the ones your friends and family own, we have good news. It's now available in white, though only for the 32GB Wi-Fi model. Those of you shopping the 16GB SKU are still stuck with black. Other than the color of the backside, it's the same Nexus 7 as any other 2013 model, though Google has some more holiday treats of note.
It's fair to say that Intel missed the boat on mobile in terms of tablets and smartphones, and in doing so, inadvertently conceded the market to ARM. The good news for Intel is that it's early in the game, and the bad news for ARM is that we're going to see a much more aggressive Intel target the mobile sector in 2014 than what we've seen before. From entry-level tablets to high-end slates, Intel's processor roadmap has them all covered.