Better buy a case if you plan to purchase an iPad Air
Apple's 5th generation iPad is the recently announced iPad Air, a remarkably slim and light slate that's around twice as fast as its predecessor, yet noticeably slimmed down. Perhaps as a result, it's also a little...soft? We're trying to be nice here, and while most tablets aren't built to withstand drops on concrete, we're a little surprised by a YouTube video showing the iPad Air's display shatter when dropped on some soft dirt (to be fair, there were some rocks mixed in).
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.
Part of the reason why Microsoft had so much trouble moving its original Surface and Surface Pro products was because it priced them too high. And with the Surface Pro specifically, one could also argue that Microsoft did a poor job marketing the device as a full fledged laptop, but that's water under the bridge at this point. Second generation Surface products are now available to purchase in 21 countries, and so to rid itself of old inventory, Microsoft just slashed $100 off the price of Surface Pro.
During Apple's press event earlier this week, the Cupertino company took advantage of its stage time by taking subtle digs at Microsoft over its Surface strategy and software costs. Apple chief Tim Cook pointed out that Microsoft "tried to make tablets into PCs and PCs into tablets," and Apple made sure to point out the price tag of Windows 8.1 and Office when announcing that OS X Mavericks and iWorks would go the pro bono route. If Apple was hoping to elicit a response from Microsoft, well, it got one.
Nokia's already gone all-in with the Windows Phone platform for its mobile handsets, but up until now, the company didn't have a Windows tablet in its portfolio. That changes today with the introduction of the Nokia Lumia 2520, a 10.1-inch slate running Windows RT 8.1 and powered by a 2.2GHZ quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
While Microsoft is still trying to sell the public on its Surface tablets, third-party OEM partners are forging ahead with their own Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 products, including Lenovo, which just unveiled its Miix 2, an 8-inch slate running Windows 8.1 with an Intel Bay Trail-T quad-core processor inside. It's also an aggressively priced tablet at just $299, and combined with its feature-set, this could be the Windows 8.1 tablet to beat.
ARM-based Surface 2 systems won't carry RT branding
Whatever your opinion of Microsoft's original Surface products, one thing most people can agree on is that the Redmond company did a poor job educating consumers on the difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT. It's not as though tech savvy users picked up a Surface RT and expected to run legacy Windows apps, but for the mainstream user who doesn't understand that ARM-based SoCs and x86 processors feature completely different architectures, the RT branding could be confusing. Microsoft has now admitted as much.
Looking for a Windows 8 tablet with Intel inside? Boy, have you come to the right place. Today's crop of deals are chock full these Wintel devices. Kicking them off is today's top deal for a Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx Tablet for $274 with free shipping (normally $299 - use coupon code Pandora13). It has an Intel Atom Z2760 processor driving an 11.6-inch touchscreen display, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of built-in storage, and of course Windows 8.
For other deals on Windows 8 tablets with Intel, click the "Read More" button!
It's pretty rare to score a desirable tablet for a fraction of its retail price, but if you're willing to ink a 2-year service agreement with Sprint, you'll soon be able to bring home a Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 for $50 (plus tax). Sprint says the $50 price tag is an introductory rate, though it's unclear how long that price is valid. What we do know is that it goes into effect on October 11, 2013, in all Sprint channels, including Sprint Stores, Spring Business Sales, web sales, and via telephone.
While Michael Dell is celebrating the impending acquisition of the company he co-founded, which he'll take private once the deal is complete, it's still business as usual for Dell, the world's third largest PC maker. On tap from Dell are more than half a dozen portables designed for Android or Windows 8.1, including four Venue tablet products and three XPS laptops of various sizes and configurations.