Some have said that Sony are a bit late to the game with the Z3 but with exceptional performance, two days battery life, waterproofing in a premium design, I think the game is just heating up. Read more…

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iPad Air

There have been photos and vague rumors hinting that Apple’s next iPads will involve more than just a speed bump, but there hasn’t been much in the way of hard evidence… until today, that is. Hamza Sood has uncovered code in the iOS 8.1 developer beta that alludes to unannounced iPads with Touch ID fingerprint readers and, appropriately, Apple Pay support. Don’t think that you’ll be tapping your iPad to pay for goods at the local shop, however. From all indications, this is just for in-app transactions; there’s no mention of NFC. It’s also unclear when this new iOS version will arrive, although history suggests that the new iPads (and thus the finished 8.1 update) could surface in October.

Filed under: ,

Via: Cult of Mac

Source: Hamza Sood (Twitter), Apple Developer Blog

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Google is reportedly planning to change Android’s distribution terms for vendors in order to push more in-house apps on devices, that already are filled with redundant apps and features. Read more…

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The Bottom Line

Tablets you can enjoy without burning a hole in your wallet

PROS
  • Solid build quality
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Great battery life
CONS
  • Low resolution display
  • Poor camera
  • Occasional lag

7.5

There are a slew of great mid-range tablets available, and LG is hoping to make a name for itself in this category with its latest range of tablets. LG followed up the somewhat popular G Pad 8.3 with a series of mid-range offerings in different sizes, and if you’re looking for an option that is wallet-friendly, this may be the way to go. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at two of these tablets, the LG G Pad 7.0 and the G Pad 10.1. Let’s get started!

Design

LG G Pad 10.1-10

There’s no denying that the G Pad 7.0 and 10.1 are budget tablets and aren’t going to compete effectively against some of the higher-end options out there. That said, these two tablets offer a solid build quality, and look a lot nicer than their price point would lead you to believe. Both are made entirely of plastic with a matte finish, so you don’t have to worry about fingerprints. The G Pad 10.1 is obviously the larger of the two devices, but both are sturdy and relatively lightweight. The G Pad 7.0 is slightly thicker, but that shouldn’t affect the handling experience because of its smaller footprint overall.

LG G Pad 7.0-11

The button and port layouts are a little different to adjust for the variable sizes. On both, the volume rocker and the power button are on the right side, when the device is in the portrait orientation. On the G Pad 7.0, the microUSB port is at the bottom, while the headphone jack, IR blaster, and the microSD card slot, that is covered by a flap, are found on top. In the case of the G Pad 10.1, the IR blaster is on the same side as the volume rocker and the power button, while the headphone jack, microSD card slot, and microUSB port are on the left side, if you’re holding the device in landscape orientation.

LG G Pad 7.0-10

The speakers are located on the back on both, but while it looks like there is a dual speaker setup on the G Pad 7.0, it actually just a single speaker, while the G Pad 10.1 does come with dual speakers. The placement on the back is a little unfortunate, especially on the G Pad 10.1, where you might end up covering them with your hands while holding the device, but they actually offer decent sound quality.

Display

LG G Pad 7.0-13

As their name suggests, you get a 7-inch display with the G Pad 7.0, and a 10.1-inch screen on the G Pad 10.1. Even with the difference in size, both displays come with a resolution of 1280 x 800, which is fine on a 7-inch screen, but is a little low for the bigger tablet.

LG G Pad 10.1-17

That said, you get decent colour reproduction, great viewing angles, and good brightness, so apart from the low resolution, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to these displays.

Performance and Hardware

LG G Pad 10.1-6

Apart from the display size, the specifications of both these tablets are mostly identical. In the case of the processing package, both sport a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, clocked at 1.2 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 305 GPU, and 1 GB of RAM. This processing package is becoming increasingly common with the current crop of mid-range devices, be it smartphone or tablet, and as we’ve seen from similar devices, the performance is actually quite good.

LG G Pad 10.1-3

There have been a few instances of lag and dropped frames, but for the most part, these tablets can handle day to day tasks very well. Apps opened quickly, swiping and scrolling were smooth most of the time, multi-tasking wasn’t as issue, and playing games was fine, even with something a little more graphically intensive. All things considered, performance is one area where you shouldn’t have much to worry about.

LG G Pad 7.0-8

Both tablets come with microSD card slots, which will likely prove useful, as the G Pad 7.0 offers just 8 GB of internal storage, while the G Pad 10.1 packs 16 GB of built-in memory. Both feature an IR blaster and Bluetooth 4.0, while the larger tablet also comes with an NFC chip and dual mono speakers.

LG G Pad 10.1-5

When it comes to the battery, the G Pad 7.0 packs a 4,000 mAh unit, while the G Pad 10.1 doubles that capacity, with its 8,000 mAh battery. As expected with such large batteries, you can comfortably get more than a couple of days of battery life with moderate use. I managed around 8 hours of screen on time with the G Pad 10.1, while its smaller sibling lasted for 6 hours. If battery life is a concern, and you aren’t partial to a particular display size, the G Pad 10.1 is the better choice in this regard.

Camera

LG G Pad 7.0-5

Cameras isn’t a priority when it comes to tablets, and that is certainly true in the case of these two tablets. The G Pad 7.0 features a 3 MP rear shooter, while the G Pad 10.1 comes with a 5 MP unit, with neither including a flash. Both tablets also comes with a 1.3 MP front-facing camera.

LG G Pad 10.1-14

When it comes to the camera software, you get a simplistic interface similar to what you’d see on any other LG device. Its simplicity helps in the fact that you don’t really have to, or get to, play around with the settings much, but the picture quality is nothing to write home about. These cameras are serviceable in a pinch, but they’re certainly not going to be your go-to option when it comes to mobile photography.

Software

LG G Pad 7.0-15

You get Android 4.4 Kitkat out of the box, with the latest version of the LG G UI on top. As such, the software experience is largely similar to what you get with the current crop of LG devices, like the LG G3. From the lock screen, the home screen, the app icons, along with features such as Knock Code, Knock On, and Dual Window, everything is the same here, so if you own a smartphone like the LG G3, or its various mini versions, you’ll be right at home with the G Pad tablets as well.

LG G Pad 10.1-20

Another advantage, if you do own a LG smartphone, is the feature called QPair, which allows you to connect your smartphone to your tablet, and use the latter to receive calls, text messages, social network notifications, and more, along with the ability to transfer QMemos across both devices. It’s not a requirement of course, but having another LG device will certainly help you get the most out of the software features of these tablets.

Galleries

LG G Pad 7.0

LG G Pad 10.1

Pricing and Final Thoughts

The LG G Pad 7.0 is available for $150, while the bigger G Pad 10.1 will set you back $250. These tablets are Wi-Fi only, and available colour options include black, red, and white.

So there you have it – a closer look at the LG G Pad 7.0 and G Pad 10.1! Both tablets are quite impressive, with their solid build quality, decent specifications that allow for good performance, and great battery life, all for a great price. If you’re in the market for a tablet that is solid, yet budget-friendly, the G Pad tablet series should definitely be under consideration.

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nexus-10-logo

Paul O’Brien, a trusted voice in the Android community, suggested that Nexus 9 could launch on October 16.

It’s important to take this info with a grain of salt, as its provenience is murky. According to O’Brien, the source is an “anonymous tipster” which could mean that this alleged release date is totally unverifiable. Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time a leak is attributed to a mystery tipster in order to protect their identity.

Anonymous tipster: The HTC Nexus 9 will be launched on 16th October…

— Paul O'Brien (@PaulOBrien) September 18, 2014

Paul O’Brien isn’t known as someone who shares unreliable info for the sake of publicity. The Brit, who is a respected Android developer and founder of the MoDaCo mobile community, has leaked other developments in the past – last year, for instance, he predicted the Nexus 5 and KitKat would be made official on November 1 (he was off by one day.)

Given everything we know so far about the Nexus 9 and Android L, as well as Google’s track record of releasing Nexus devices in October, we think October 16 is a plausible release date for Google’s new tablet. Of course, we will need some sort of official confirmation before we mark the date down in our calendars.

Rumors claim the HTC-made Nexus 9 will feature an 8.9-inch 2560×1600 display and an Nvidia Tegra K1 processor. A legal document from Nvidia that surfaced last week said the device is expected to launch in Q3 2014, of which there are only two weeks left. That seems to contradict O’Brien’s tip, though release timelines often change and Nvidia’s legal team may not be up to date with Google’s plans.

One thing’s sure for now – we’re entering Nexus season, so expect more rumors and reports about the new device(s) to crop up over the next few weeks.


Source: Paul O’Brien;

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fire hd kids edition

Amazon introduced its revamped Kindle tablets series earlier today, which includes a kids-focused device that comes with a 2-year no-questions-asked warranty.

The Fire HD Kids Edition comes in 6-inch and 7-inch varieties (both HD) and features a quad-core processor, front and rear cameras, and Dolby Digital Audio. As Amazon puts it on its product page, this is not a toy, like many of the products in this category feel like, it’s an earnest tablet that can handle everything a child could demand from it.

The Kids Edition comes with a large rubber case available in three cheerful colors, that should ensure that the device will make it through all the daily bumps and drops in one piece. Even if your kids manage to break it, the Fire HD Kids Edition comes with an extensive two-year “worry-free” warranty. Amazon will replace it for free, no questions asked. That’s a pretty amazing proposition, especially for a device that, let’s face it, is going to take a lot of punishment.

amazon fire hd kids edition (2)

The tablet appears to be running a custom version of Amazon’s Android-based operating system, complete with kids-centric features like parental controls, profiles, and time-based limits.

Amazon is also throwing in a year of FreeTime Unlimited with each purchase. FreeTime includes over “5,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games.” In other words, you won’t need to worry about downloading content for your kids or fret over the stuff they download themselves.

The Kids Edition is now up for pre-order on Amazon with a shipping date of October 21. The 6-inch version costs $149, while the 7-inch version will hit $189. Both come with free shipping and an included rubber case.

There are some competing kids-focused tablets out there, like the Fuhu Nabi or Samsung’s Tab 3 Kids, but the Fire HD Kids Edition blows them out of the water with its generous warranty and free content. We definitely expect Amazon to sell a ton of these this Christmas season.


Source: Amazon;

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nvidia shield tablet first impressions (3 of 9)

The NVIDIA Shield Tablet offers one of the best gaming experiences in mobile. It performed amazingly during our review and we know many of you are planning to sign up for it. Chances are you don’t want to be limited by the 16 GB of storage the released version sports.

Those who want a little more from their NVIDIA Shield Tablet can now pre-order the 32 GB, LTE version. It is the same stunning Tegra K1-powered tablet with 2 GB of RAM, an 8-inch 1920x1200p display and 5MP cameras. It is a true gaming experience, especially when paired with that sweet gaming controller.

nvidia shield tablet first impressions (9 of 9)

In addition to all the current features (NVIDIA GRID, remote PC streaming, etc.), NVIDIA is also announcing the availability of three new games: Beach Buggy Racing, BombSquad and Broadsword: Age of Chivalry.

You can go ahead and pre-order your own 32 GB/LTE NVIDIA Shield Tablet straight from the official website. The added storage and connectivity will cost you an extra $100, amounting to a total of $399. AT&T will also be offering it for $299 on-contract, though. Not a bad deal if you are willing to commit to 2 years of data.

Do keep in mind these prices only include the tablet. You will have to purchase the other accessories separately. It’s one expensive device, that’s for sure. We believe avid gamers will love it, though.


Via: Engadget;
Source: NVIDIA;

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Better late than never, Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform picks up the important news aggregate app Flipboard and is now available for download. Read more…

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A Nokia executive has said that the company is scaling back – but not completely ending – its development work on HERE Maps for Windows Phone, as it now plans to focus its efforts on Android and iOS. Read more…

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The long-awaited Nexus 9 tablet, built by HTC, and Nexus 6 handset, from Motorola, are said to be launching on October 15 or 16, followed shortly after by the rollout of Android L to other devices. Read more…

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