While many budget smartphones have come a long way in proving that "affordable" no longer necessarily means "bad" over the past few years (Moto G, anyone?), the budget tablet is still oftentimes a gamble. On one hand, devices like the Nexus 7 provide a fantastic user experience for not a lot of moneydollars; on the other, there are devices like the Snakebyte Vyper that basically verify the saying "you get what you pay for." Of course, some manufacturers – like ASUS, for example – seem to have a better handle on the art of building usable, affordable tablets.
Kobo is not a name that you hear a lot in the tablet space, but it does make them. Kobo's pitch is directed at heavy readers, but the Arc 10HD is packing some serious gaming muscle behind its bookish exterior. For a limited time, you can have this device for $299.99, which is $100 cheaper than usual.
The Kobo Arc 10HD has a Tegra 4 ARM chip, 2GB of RAM, a 10-inch 2560x1600 LCD, and 16GB of storage.
Every once in a while, a product comes along that changes our perception of what a particular category of device can be. A device that breaks the mold and becomes something more. Something better. Something that revolutionizes work, play, or both. A thoughtful, well-designed product for the masses.
This is not one of those times.
This is one of those times when a company talks up a product, only to leave its users completely unsatisfied – not that many of you have heard of Snakebyte Vyper in the first place.
The Asus Transformer Pad TF701T launched with Android 4.2, with an update to 4.3 coming less than a month later. Unsurprisingly, an update to KitKat hasn't arrived nearly as quickly. This could be disheartening, but as seasoned Android users have come to expect, a ROM speeding things along is usually on its way. CyanogenMod 11 is now available for the TF701T, proving users with a way to experience Android 4.4 on what is a pretty compelling device.
Customers who want Android tablets on Verizon's admittedly excellent LTE network tend to have only a few options, but there are two more this morning. Flagships from both LG and Samsung, the G Pad 8.3 and Galaxy Note Pro (or NotePRO) 12.2, are now available as branded Verizon devices. You can pick both of them up on the carrier website, and they should be available at retail stores either today or soon after.
Do you use a Sony Xperia Z? Did you buy it from T-Mobile? Then check that Settings menu - according to this T-Mo support page, you're getting a taste of Jelly Bean 4.3 starting today. Of course these things tend to go out in waves, so those without patience can follow the links on T-Mobile's site and manually download and flash the new software (10.4.C.0.797) using the Sony PC Companion software.
When I wrote my initial impressions of the MOJO, I had only been using the unit for about a day or so (hence the impressions being "initial"). Now that I've had it for about three weeks, I've spent a lot of time doing various things with it – playing games, watching movies, streaming videos and NBA basketball; basically, a lot of the stuff I would normally used SHIELD for. This has given me a good idea of where MOJO's strong points are, where it falls short, and how it stacks up against SHIELD and OUYA.
Users of the Subsonic music streaming service are probably familiar with DSub, which was already highly praised. Well, it just learned a new tricks. Top billing for this update goes to Chromecast support, which lets you pipe online and local music your nearest HDMI port. That's not all DSub has in store, though.
Besides the TalkBand B1, Huawei introduced three other devices in their MWC presentation - the MediaPad X1 7.0, MediaPad M1 8.0, and the Ascend G6. The first is pegged as a phone/tablet hybrid, the second just a tablet (capable of Wi-Fi calling and SMS), and the third a budget to mid-range phone.
We'll take a quick look at all three, but let's start with the MediaPad X1.
MediaPad X1 7.0
The X1 "combines the functionality of a smartphone and tablet" in its aluminum alloy body, and besides Huawei's own suite of software enhancements with Emotion UI 2.0, has plenty of specs worth looking twice at.