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).
HP's thinnest tablet ever brings a plethora of updates
HP revealed a newly-redesigned model of its HP ElitePad 1000, sporting several upgrades and changes from the previous iteration. It's now rocking a brighter touch screen with augmented durability as well as support for 64-bit and 4G. It also happens to be the company's thinnest tablet so far, weighing 1.5 pounds and clocking in at 9.2 mm thick.
Lenovo's Yoga tablet hasn't been out very long, having been announced last fall, but today Lenovo announced an update to the device that's quite pleasantly surprising. The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ sports newer and updated hardware as well as some additional alterations to make it a lucrative buy for anyone looking for a new tablet to add to their collection.
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.
One of the things that helped drive down the price of Android tablets is the proliferation of smaller size displays in the 7-inch range. This is partially what allowed companies like Amazon and Google to undercut the competition at a time when the market was flooded with 10-inch tablets for $500 and up. This correlation in price also works in reverse, as evidenced by Samsung's 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro commanding $850 at Office Depot.
It hasn't even been a full year since Microsoft launched its first generation Surface Pro for $900, a price tag that undoubtedly scared off more than a few buyers. When we tested the Surface Pro, we came to the conclusion that it has "more than enough power for any casual computing need," though cheaper and lighter solutions made it a tough sell. If pricing is all that held you back, take note that Best Buy is currently selling the original Surface Pro for $500, which is $400 off its original retail price.
There's nothing wrong with owning a Nook, though if you've outgrown the custom OS and want to transform it into a standard Android tablet, you have options, one of them being a Nook-to-Android (N2A) card. Even better, the N2A team just updated its software to Android 4.4 KitKat, which is the latest version of Google's open source mobile operating system currently available.
It’s hard not to have high expectations of Google’s new Nexus 7—the original was a standout product that offered a satisfying Android experience in a highly portable 7-inch form factor, for less than $200. Now we’ve got the new Nexus 7 (is it us, or is it very annoying that it has the exact same name?) promising a number of refinements to the original, but also asking a higher price: $230 for 16GB, $270 for 32GB (reviewed here). You’re probably wondering if it’s still a compelling product.
Note: This article was originally featured in the December 2013 issue of the magazine