International Data Corporation reports a slowdown in tablet shipment growth
According to latest data published by International Data Corporation (IDC), tablet and two-in-one device shipments dropped to 50.4 million units in the first quarter of 2014, which represents a 35.7 percent sequential decline and just 3.9 percent jump compared to the same quarter a year ago. IDC believes larger size smartphones are eating into the tablet category. In addition, existing tablet owners seem content with their current devices and are no longer upgrading as often.
A budget priced 7-inch slate with an Intel dual-core foundation
Acer has tapped Intel to power its forthcoming Iconia One 7, a 7-inch tablet with a 1280x800 LED-backlit display and Atom Z2560 engine. The Intel Atom Z2560 is a System-on-Chip (SoC) that's part of the Clover Trail+ platform. It's a dual-core chip clocked at 1.6GHz with Hyper Threading support, 1MB of cache, and support for up to 2GB of LPDDR2-1066 memory with a max throughput of 8.5GB/s, along with integrated SGX 544MP2 graphics clocked at 400MHz.
Acer on Tuesday unveiled what it's calling a 2-in-1 Aspire Swtich 10. The 2-in-1 designation is based on the Aspire Switch 10's ability to function as a laptop or a tablet, though that's a bit of an undersell here. Acer could have marketed the device as a 4-in-1 if choosing to focus on its four modes or orientation, which include the traditional laptop setup, tablet mode, display mode, and tent mode.
Samsung on Wednesday announced that it's Galaxy Tab 4 family of tablets will be available in the U.S. beginning May 1 starting at $200. There are three different size options -- 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10.1-inch, all three of which will be available to pre-order tomorrow. Though each of the three tablets features a different size display, each one has the same resolution (1280x800).
Infants raised on iPads have trouble using building blocks, teachers say
Maybe parents should rethink giving their children a tablet this holiday shopping season, especially if their lifestyle makes it difficult to limit use to such devices. Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers are speaking out against overexposure to tablets, warning that a growing number of infants aren't developing the proper motor skills to play with building blocks due to their "addiction" to tablet PCs and smartphones.
A smaller size Surface device may be in Microsoft's future
The neat thing about Microsoft's non-RT Surface gadget is that it's not solely a tablet, but also a full-fledged notebook PC, provided you connect it to a keyboard. Would the dual-form factor approach work on a smaller size display? Perhaps we'll get an answer to that question, as Microsoft is rumored to be working on a "Surface Mini" to compete against the iPad mini and other 7-inch class tablets.
At long last, users clamoring for 4G LTE broadband connectivity on a Surface 2 tablet are about to get their wish. Beginning tomorrow, Microsoft will begin offering a version of its Surface 2 slate with a built-in 4G LTE radio for $679. The tablet will be available to purchase from Microsoft's online and offline stores, as well as Best Buy (online, offline, and through Best Buy Mobile locations).
AMD looks to increase its presence in the tablet market
It's not just Intel that wants to twist some tablet market share out of ARM's grip. AMD sees an opportunity to generate additional revenue as well. The Sunnyvale chip designer is currently showing off a reference tablet built around its 28nm Mullins chip, which is a quad-core part clocked at 1.2GHz. It's also running a 64-bit operating system -- Windows 8.1 with performance described as being "quite good."
As 2013 came and went, there was nary a new Nook tablet in sight. It would be easy to assume Barnes and Noble had given up on tablet hardware, but apparently that's not the case. Instead, Barnes and Noble confirmed it's planning to release a new Nook model sometime this year, though details are sparse -- about the only thing we know is that it's going to be a color device (tablet) as opposed to a black and white model (e-reader).
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.