Infants raised on iPads have trouble using building blocks, teachers say
Maybe parents should rethink giving their children a tablet this holiday shopping season, especially if their lifestyle makes it difficult to limit use to such devices. Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers are speaking out against overexposure to tablets, warning that a growing number of infants aren't developing the proper motor skills to play with building blocks due to their "addiction" to tablet PCs and smartphones.
A smaller size Surface device may be in Microsoft's future
The neat thing about Microsoft's non-RT Surface gadget is that it's not solely a tablet, but also a full-fledged notebook PC, provided you connect it to a keyboard. Would the dual-form factor approach work on a smaller size display? Perhaps we'll get an answer to that question, as Microsoft is rumored to be working on a "Surface Mini" to compete against the iPad mini and other 7-inch class tablets.
Looking at Microsoft’s hardware model, you might think that all Windows tablet/laptop hybrids fall into one of two camps: capable-but-pricey, à la the Surface 2 Pro, or the opposite of that, i.e., the ARM-toting, Windows RT–sporting Surface 2. Luckily, not all PC manufacturers see things so black-and-white. Hence we have the Asus Transformer Book T100, which not only offers Intel’s new x86 Bay Trail Atom processor and a full version of Windows 8.1, but is also priced at an affordable $400 for the 64GB model reviewed here ($350 for the 32GB). Shoot, an ARM-based Surface 2 with 64GB of storage costs $550! And that’s with the funky, fuzzy, flat TouchCover keyboard. That makes the T100 a compelling value proposition, to be sure. But we wanted to know how this combination tablet/laptop fares in actual use.
Note: This review was originally featured in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.
Score two free games and a wireless Xbox controller with purchase of a Surface 2 Pro
Microsoft is hoping to convince gamers to purchase a Surface Pro 2 tablet by giving away some free games and accessories. In partnership with Geek and Sundry, PC gamers who purchase any variant of the Surface Pro 2 will also receive two free downloadable games -- War Thunder Mustang Advanced Pack and Farming Simulator 2013 -- plus an Xbox Wireless Controller for Windows.
At long last, users clamoring for 4G LTE broadband connectivity on a Surface 2 tablet are about to get their wish. Beginning tomorrow, Microsoft will begin offering a version of its Surface 2 slate with a built-in 4G LTE radio for $679. The tablet will be available to purchase from Microsoft's online and offline stores, as well as Best Buy (online, offline, and through Best Buy Mobile locations).
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.