Want to know why hardware and software makers are putting so much emphasis into the mobile market? It's because the mobile market is a ginormous freight train that keeps picking up passengers along the way. According to a recent survey by Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) and The Economist Group, 22 percent of all adults living in the U.S. own a tablet, 44 percent own a smartphone, and half of them own either one.
In what's being described as "just the beginning of Intel's effort in the tablet market," the world's largest chip maker unveiled its Atom Z2760 processor (codenamed Clover Trail) for Windows 8 tablets. According to Intel, the spunky Atom chip allows for the thinnest, lightest tablets built on the company's architecture -- as thin as 8.5 mm and 1.5 pounds -- and lends itself to long lasting battery life, enough to watch 10 hours of local HD video.
Amazon found itself in a bit of hot water with potential customers last week when it was revealed that new Kindle Fire tablets would ship with home screen ads on by default. The decision to not allow people to purchase a slightly more expensive model without “special offers” flew in the face of the companies pre-existing policies, and represented yet another shift in the company’s ongoing razor and razor blade business model for digital media. In response to all the controversy, Amazon has quickly changed direction, and has agreed to scrap ads for a modest $15 fee.
Amazon may have ignited a price war with the introduction of new Kindle Fire models starting at $159, and $199 (and up) for the HD variants. However, the low prices come with a couple of caveats. First and foremost. every new Kindle Fire tablet comes with what Amazon calls "special offers" that appear on the lock screen. These are essentially ads in the form of money saving offers. Secondly, if you want a wall charger, that's a $10 add-on. Let's take a closer look.
We already know that the Windows RT version of Microsoft’s Surface tablet will make its retail debut on October 26, the same day as Windows 8’s global release, but surprisingly not a lot is known about third-party devices running the ARM-friendly flavor of Windows at this stage, with the Asus Tablet 600 being about the only confirmed third-party Windows RT device as of now. Now, Microsoft is requesting just a bit more patience from those currently holding their breath, as other vendors are expected to unveil their Windows RT offerings very soon.
They won’t come right out and say it, but a recent price cut on the Nook Tablet family can only mean one thing, Nexus 7’s are back in stock. The Barnes and Noble devices aren’t even close to being the best Android tablet option out there these days, however for those invested in the B&N platform they are still a very capable device. Additionally, if reading is going to be your primary use for a tablet, these budget devices will fit the bill quite nicely.
DRAM makers have been struggling with falling memory prices for a few years now, and at one point in 2008, Adata chairman Simon Chen declared the DRAM market was the worst it's been in 15 years. Fast forward to today and DRAM players have found their saving grace in the mobile sector. While PC memory is still dirt cheap, mobile DRAM is on a record pace in terms of revenue.
Ah, irony. Google really wants the Nexus 7 tablet to sell well, so it's gone ahead and created a commercial showing off a bunch of the nifty things the tiny little Wi-Fi tablet can do. The goal of advertising is to raise awareness and drive sales, of course, but if anybody sees the ad and ventures over to the Google Play store to pick up a Nexus 7, they'll be greeted with a "Coming Soon" sign -- at least if they want the $250 16GB version.
Here at Maximum PC we love to refresh our hardware with a new OS. Windows 8 is controversial, but given time who knows, we might actually warm up to it. Most consumers on the other hand don’t typically upgrade just software, they will pick up Windows 8 on a new PC. Hardware makers usually count on a new version of the OS to spur a new round of consumer spending, and according to Intel, OEM’s have over 20 Atom-based Windows 8 tablets coming down the pipe, along with 140 new Ultrabooks.