Amazon on Wednesday unveiled its third generation of Kindle Fire tablets with the moniker "HDX" added to the end. Like the Kindle Fire HD family, Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX comes in two size options, 7 inches and 8.9 inches. Unlike the previous slates, however, the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets are rocking a 2.2GHz Qualcom Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor with 3x the processing power and other tantalizing upgrades.
Surface Pro 2 boasts up to 75 percent longer battery life than predecessor
Microsoft on Monday introduced the world to the second generation of its Surface tablet family. According to Microsoft, the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 both pack “significant” improvements in everything from processing power to battery life.
Nvidia designs GPUs and launches reference graphics cards around its new silicon, which its hardware partners then take and either customize to their own liking -- beefed up cooling solutions, for example -- or simply replicate and slap their own logo on the box. In a somewhat similar fashion, Nvidia just announced Tegra Note, a full-fledged tablet platform running its Tegra 4 System-on-Chip (SoC).
Microsoft has put the past behind it and is nearly ready to introduce to the world its second generation Surface line later this month. The special unveiling is scheduled to take place on September 23, 2013 in New York City, according to invitations Microsoft has begun sending out to members of the press. At that time, the Redmond outfit will introduce its Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro products.
Google's hardware partners figured out that lower priced slates are where the real money is at, but if you're more interested in a premium, non-iPad tablet and are willing to pay more for a higher end device, Asus has your back. The company introduced its new Transformer Pad TF701T, a 10.1-inch Android tablet rocking a 2560x1600 resolution and Nvidia's latest and greatest Tegra 4 quad-core processor with 72-core GeForce GPU.
Go ahead and forget all about the original Surface RT and Surface Pro. They came, they flopped, and Microsoft ate its fair share of crow prepared long ago by Acer. It was also a learning experience for Microsoft -- albeit an expensive one -- and hopefully the lessons learned will result in a smoother Surface 2 launch and warmer reception than its predecessor. Yes, there will be a Surface 2, and this is what we know about it so far.
Piles of unsold Surface inventory are sitting in Redmond, and part of the reason for that is because it's extremely tough to sell a $499+ non-iPad tablet to the masses, a lesson Google's hardware partners found out early on. That doesn't mean Windows 8 tablets are a bust, they just need to come down in price and have more apps available. Toshiba is taking care of the first part by launching the appropriately named Encore.
Samsung's foray into phablet territory began with the release of the original Galaxy Note in 2011, a 5.3-inch device with a 1.4GHz or 1.5GHz dual-core processor (depending on territory). That journey into tweener territory continues today with the official launch of the Galaxy Note 3, the biggest and fastest Galaxy Note to date. Samsung also unveiled a new tablet (Galaxy Note 10.1) and smart watch (Galaxy Gear).
After the clusterhump surrounding Microsoft's Surface strategy that resulted in the Redmond outfit taking a $900 million charge on unsold inventory, you might not think Steve Ballmer and company would be all that eager to release a second generation slate. Not only is there strong evidence to support the notion that Surface 2 is coming, but there are even details on what hardware will be inside.
Whatever plans Microsoft may have had for Windows RT heading into 2014 may need to be adjusted. Consumers just aren't buying Windows RT devices, and with sales being as weak as they are, Microsoft's OEM partners are beginning to lose interest, too. Case in point, Asus has reportedly decided to stop producing Windows RT tablets, which run on ARM-based processors rather than x86 chips.