Google may be ready to roll out new Nexus hardware this year, but that doesn’t mean potential Android tablet buyers should forget last year’s models. In fact, Google and Asus are currently offering U.K. residents a very interesting Nexus 7 deal on the 16GB model: each purchase comes with a free £50 Google Play store credit, and is valid through June 1. More →
The advent of media tablets has been a fantastic development for consumers ,who now have a great inexpensive option for mobile devices with big displays. It has also added a nice additional source of revenue for many top consumer electronics companies. Tablets are still stuck in an awkward place for most users, however, since they can’t really replace a laptop computer or a cell phone. As such, these mobile devices had better be as light and portable as possible if we’re going to carry them with us and not leave anything else behind.
With that in mind, CNET has compiled a nice little list of the thinnest and lightest tablets in the world. More →
It’s been a long time coming, but the latest version of the Nexus 7 is finally available for Verizon Wireless customers as of February 13th. Verizon’s Nexus 7 unsurprisingly features the same specs as the tablet has in previous releases: 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution 7-inch display, 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and 5-megapixel rear camera. Interestingly, Verizon refers to the Nexus 7 as an Android KitKat tablet, although it ships with Jelly Bean on the Google Play Store. If you’d like to purchase a Verizon Nexus 7, you can pay $349.99 for an unlocked tablet, but if you’re willing to sign on for a two-year contract, the price drops to $249.99.
There are dozens of different features to weigh when buying a new tablet. The size is important, the platform and ecosystem matter of course, specs and available storage impact buying decisions, and plenty more must be considered. Battery life is likely near the top of many tablet buyers’ lists as well, since buying a tablet means having yet another device that needs to be charged on top of your smartphone and laptop. So for those who find battery life to be extremely important, which tablets offer the best battery performance on the market today? More →
Google’s new Nexus 5 smartphone isn’t just the best value on the planet, it’s also the only device that runs the latest version of Android. Rather, it was until Tuesday night, when Google began rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat to the first round of older devices. The Android team announced on its Twitter account that the first-generation Nexus 7 tablet, the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet and the Nexus 10 tablet will all be updated to KitKat beginning today. A subsequent tweet clarified that the Wi-Fi only versions of the Nexus 7 will be getting the update immediately, while the Nexus 7 will cellular data and the Nexus 4 smartphone will be getting the updates sometime in the near future. For more details on the new functionality included in Android 4.4 KitKat, check out our Nexus 5 review.
Apple may not like the implications for its margins, but smaller, cheaper tablets are on the rise. Stephen Baker of the NPD Group writes that his company’s research has found that sales of tablets that measure in at under 9 inches have grown by a whopping 550% so far this year while sales of tablets that are more than 9 inches have actually fallen by 36% over the same period. One of the most interesting things to watch over the next few months will be how well Apple’s Retina-equipped iPad mini is selling now that it has a $400 price point even though the iPad Air is priced at just $100 higher. The original iPad mini was a hit at $329 last year and while Apple is still selling the year-old device for $300 it remains to be seen how well it still competes with cheaper tablets with higher display resolutions such as Google’s newest Nexus 7.
Now that Google’s second-generation Nexus 7 tablet is here, pure Google fans’ attention has collectively turned to the Nexus 5 smartphone. We have seen the new Nexus phone leak in photos and on video, and it looks pretty fantastic. Google has retained LG to handle the design of the Nexus 5 just as it did with the Nexus 4, just like vendor partner Asus designed and built the first two generation of the Nexus 7 tablet. According to a new rumor, however, Google may be changing things up next year. More →
Normally when an employee of a major technology company reviews or even discusses one of the company’s products in public, inevitable skew means any comments have to be weighed in context. When it comes to Google’s developer advocate Tim Bray, however, we can always rely on him to be a straight shooter. Bray has written about various Google products such as Google Glass on his blog in the past, and on Tuesday night he published a quick Nexus 7 review that cuts to the chase and tells us what users should really expect. Written from the perspective of a current Nexus 7 user upgrading from last year’s model to the new version of Google’s 7-inch slate, Bray says the new enhancements to the tablet’s speed and display can be subtle at first. Upon further inspection though, Bray noted solid improvements and also said the addition of 4G LTE and mobile hotspot capabilities are also appreciated. The full review can be found on Bray’s blog, which is linked below in the source section.
Surprise, surprise: Verizon is being accused of ignoring the Federal Communications Commission’s rules on what it can do with its spectrum. Jeff Jarvis says that Verizon so far has refused to hook his unlocked Nexus 7 tablet up to its LTE network because the device is “not part of our lineup and can’t be activated.” As Jarvis notes, this seems to violate the regulations the FCC placed on Verizon when it first won the rights to operate on the 700MHz spectrum that it uses for much of its LTE network. More →
AT&T announced on Tuesday that it has begun offering 4G LTE service for Google’s Nexus 7 tablet. AT&T’s 32GB model will feature Wi-Fi and 4G LTE data, but unlike the other 32GB models from Google, this one will include an AT&T SIM card. Other than that, the AT&T Nexus 7 is identical — it has a 7-inch display with 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution, a quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, Adreno 320 graphics, a 5-megapixel camera, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, optional 4G LTE, HDMI output, NFC, wireless charging support and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Nexus 7 with an AT&T 4G LTE data plan is now available on the Google Play store for $349. AT&T is also offering “a $100 AT&T bill credit” to users who sign a new two-year service contract between now and December 31st, 2013, bringing the final cost down to $249.