Laptops & Tablets

IDC: Tablets Slow Down, iPad Declines

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IDC: Tablets Slow Down, iPad Declines

According to IDC the 2014 global tablet market sees "massive deceleration" with growth slowing down to 7.2% (from 52.5% in 2013) as tablet lifecycles stretch further, becoming more like those of PCs than smartphones.

The analyst also says 2014 is the year where the iPad sees its first full year of shipment decline, making a reflection of the market as a whole.

"The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets," IDC remarks. "In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years. We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks."

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Nokia Returns to Devices With N1 Tablet

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Nokia Returns to Devices With N1 Tablet

The Nokia Devices & Services division might belong to Microsoft, but that doesn't mean the Finnish company can no longer make hardware-- such as the just announced N1, a Nokia-branded Android tablet reminiscent of the iPad mini.

How reminiscent? It is a 7.9-inch device featuring a rounded chassis crafted out of a single block of aluminium. In other words, very much.

Inside are a 64-bit 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 CPU, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage and 8MP rear-/5MP front-facing cameras. Connectivity comes through wifi and a reversible USB Type-C port.

The OS is Android 5.0 as reskinned with Z Launcher, a Nokia Technologies pet project turned actual product. In fact Android device owners can also download and check it out from the Google Play app store.

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IDC: Apple Continues to Lead Tablets

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IDC: Apple Continues to Lead Tablets

According to IDC the global tablet market sees shipment growth of 11.5% Y-o-Y in Q3 2014, with shipments reaching 53.8 million units as back-to-school promotions and US tablet demand drive shipment growth.

Apple continues to lead in the vendor rankings with 22.8% Q3 2014 market share, even if it sees declines of -12.8% Y-o-Y on shipments reaching 12.3m units. IDC accounts such declines to an extending iPad lifecycle, as well as consumer anticipation and the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Samsung follows with 18.3% market share and 5.6% Y-o-Y growth through its focus on markets like MEA and N. America, while Asus beats Lenovo to 3rd place via Windows-based 2-in-1 devices.

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Toshiba Intros Satellite Radius 11 Convertible

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Toshiba Intros Satellite Radius 11 Convertible

Toshiba launches the Satellite Radius 11-- a Windows laptop with an 11.6-inch touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge allowing one to push the screen until it is back-to-back with the keyboard, turning it into a tablet.

Described as "ultra mobile, super light," the notebook features either Intel Celeron or Pentium processors, as well as up to 4GB RAM, 32GB SSD or 500GB HDD, 1366x768 resolution display and Intel HD graphics. Connectivity comes through x2 USB and x1 HDMI ports, whie the keyboard is a frameless tile type complete with "large touchpad."

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Google Announces Lollipop Nexus Devices

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Google Announces Lollipop Nexus Devices

Google announces the next generation of Nexus devices, the Nexus 6 smartphone, the Nexus 9 tablet and the Nexus Player STB, via the medium of unassuming blogpost. It also reveals what the "L" in Android L stands for-- Lollipop.

Google describes Android Lollipop, the 5th iteration of the OS, as the most ambitious Android release yet, with over 5000 new APIs for developers, a UI design philosophy consistent across all devices ("Material Design") and and battery saver feature, among others.

But back to the actual Lollipop-powered devices. The first is the Nexus 6, a 6-inch (bigger than either iPhone 6 Plus or Galaxy Note 4) smartphone developed by Google's Motorola. It features a contoured aluminum frame, a 5.96-inch 2560 x 1440 resolution display, 32 or 64GB internal storage dual-front facing stereo speakers and 13MP rear-facing camera.

Powering all is a Snapdragon 805 processor, while the 3220 mAh battery includes a Turbo Charger allowing one to charge up to 6 hours of phone use in only 15 minutes.

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Apple Unveils Next iPad, iMac Generation

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Apple Unveils Next iPad, iMac Generation

Little more than a month after the iPhone 6 and Watch launch Apple takes to the Auditorium at its Cupertino, California HQ to reveal the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, the iMac with Retina Display and a new Mac Mini.

Of course, the event was also an excuse for the company to pat itself on the back. CEO Tim Cook opened the launch event by telling how the  iPhone 6 and 6 Plus set a new record for most orders taken on its 30 days in the market, as well as announcing Watch ships from early 2015, Apple Pay starts operating from next week and OS X Yosemite is available now.

In actual new devices, Apple first unveiled the iPad Air 2-- an even thinner (6.1mm) update on the first iPad Air featuring a touchscreen with an anti-reflective coating, a tablet first according to the company. It is powered by a 2nd generation 64-bit A8X processor promising a 12x performance boost over the original iPad, 16, 64 or 128GB of storage and, as expected, includes a TouchID sensor.

The camera also sees improvements with an 8MP iSight sensor, f/24 aperture and an Apple-designed image signal processor. Meanwhile the front-facing camera promises improved face detection, "burst" selfies and f/2.2 aperture.

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Lenovo Refreshes Yoga Convertibles

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Lenovo Refreshes Yoga Convertibles

Lenovo announces an update on its Yoga lineup of convertible tablets and notebooks-- the Yoga Tablet 2, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro and the Yoga 3 Pro, with models featuring multiple screen sizes.

An update on the 2013 Yoga Tablet, the Yoga Tablet 2 comes in 8- or 10-inch models running on either Android or Windows. Lenovo says the kickstand is improved with a mode dubbed "hang" allowing users to, well, hang the tablet to display content.

The kickstand still handles the 3 modes from the original model, namely "hold," "tilt" and "stand."

Hardware-wise the Yoga Tablet 2 carries an Intel Atom processor, dual front speakers with Dolby Audio and Wolfson Hifi technology, 8 MP rear-facing camera and connectivity via wifi and micro USB port.

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Apple Confirms 16 October Event

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Apple Confirms 16 October Event

"It's been way too long" the invite to the next Apple event cheekily says before announcing the date and place to what we assume is the next iDevice launch-- 16 October 2014.

The venue is the Town Hall auditorium at the Apple Cupertino, California HQ.

What will the event involve? According to a Re/code story from earlier this week it will see the launch of the next generation of Apple tablets, as well as a new iMac lineup and the next OS X release.

Bloomberg adds Apple will also reveal golden-coloured 9.7-inch iPads, part of an attempt to improve sales. No such luck for the rumored 12.9-inch iPad though, as the oversized tablet will not be announced before 2015.

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Tesco Follows Up on Hudl

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Tesco Follows Up on Hudl

Tesco launches a successor to its low-cost Hudl tablet-- the Hudl 2, a "bigger, better, [and] faster" device promising a bigger display and hardware improvements within the original's colourful stylings.

The Hudl 2 features an 8.3-inch 1920 x 1200 display, up from 7-inch in the first Hud, together with a quad-core 1.83GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB built-in storage (expandable to 32GB via microSD). Audio comes via "Dolby optimized" speakers, and Tesco claims the battery powers up to 8 hours of use.

The OS of choice is Android 4.4.2 (KitKat).

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WSJ: HTC Makes Next Nexus Tablet

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WSJ: HTC Makes Next Nexus Tablet

The Wall Street Journal reports Google has found the maker of the next Nexus tablet-- HTC, a company that hasn't worked on a tablet since 2011, following the disappointing sales of the Flyer tablet.

Why would Google choose a company with a relative lack of tablet experience over the likes of Samsung or LG? According to one WSJ source it is due to Google's want for a broad partner base, thus avoiding the risk of any vendor gaining an Android tablet monopoly.

Another possible reason is fear of the Samsung juggernaut-- the Nexus 10 maker is so big (it sells around 40% of Android-based devices on the market) the contract for the next Nexus tablet would provide it with more leverage for renegotiation of current agreements, cross-licensing deals notwithstanding.

Meanwhile HTC should be eager for the deal, even if it swore off tablets 3 years ago. It also has some experience working with Google, having made the very first Nexus One smartphone back in 2010.

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Nvidia Boosts Shield Tablet

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Nvidia Boosts Shield Tablet

Nvidia announces an upgrade on its gaming-focused tablet, the Shield, one providing double the built-in storage and 4G LTE connectivity for internet connections on the go.

As well as mobile internet the upgraded Shield tablet carries 32GB of storage, up from 16GB in the first version. Otherwise the specs remain the same-- being an 8-inch tablet powered by an 192-core Tegra K1 mobile processor. It runs on Android and can stream games from GeForce GTX-powered PCs via GameStream technology.

An optional wireless controller for console-style gaming is also available, and a preloaded Hub app store provides a number of Shield-optimised games.

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