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.
Microsoft's arch rival Apple is receiving some free publicity for its iPad line during NFL games. That's because TV announcers can't seem to tell fathom that not all tablets are iPads. Take the Surface, for example. After paying the NFL $400 million for Surface to be the official tablet of the league, Microsoft is understandably ticked that its slate keeps being referred to as an iPad on national television.
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).
The IFA convention in Berlin is off to a fast and furious start with product makers pouring out announcements by the handful. Among the attendees is Acer, which revealed its new (and rather extensive) product lineup for the holiday season. Acer's new products include a pair of Aspire R Series convertible laptops. two Aspire Switch Series 2-in-1 hybrid PCs, three Iconia Series tablets, and a Liquid Series smartphone.
Don't accuse Lenovo of putting all of its eggs in a single basket. That wasn't the company's strategy up to this point, nor is it the road to success going forward -- instead, Lenovo is kicking off the 2014 IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited show in Berlin by showcasing three new tablet and gaming systems. They include the Tab S8, Y70 Touch laptop, and Erazer X315 desktop
Following the launch of the original iPad, consumers began flocking to tablets as if their favorite drug had just been legalized. Demand reached a fever pitch once name-brand Android slates came onto the scene with lower price tags, and the growth was so explosive that it had some analysts talking about the post PC era. What those short sighted analysts failed to take into account is market saturation, and for the first time since the iPad debuted, tablet shipments are on pace to see an on-year decline, market research firm TrendForce says.
Welcome back to the tablet scene, Barnes and Noble
After failing to compete in sales with the likes of Amazon and its Kindle Fire line, Barnes and Noble is officially invested in tablets again with the introduction of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is essentially a combination of the Android-based Nook platform baked into the Samsung's Galaxy Tab 4 hardware and billed as the first ever full-featured Android slate.