Samsung's "diversify and fill all niches" approach to the mobile market is starting to get on my nerves. Not because I object to having a dozen different choices at every screen size and price, but because I can't keep the hardware details for all these phones and tablets in my head. Nine months after unveiling the Galaxy Tab 3 in 7, 8, and 10-inch varieties, Samsung is back with a "Lite" variant of the smallest model.
You might not be able to activate the Nexus 7 on Verizon, but Big Red is more than happy to offer its own branded alternative to the best 7-inch tablet available. The Ellipsis was announced a couple of days ago to the raucous applause of absolutely no one, and now it's officially on sale. You can pick one up for $149.99 with a two-year contract, or a surprisingly low $249.99 off-contract.
The new Nexus 7 is pretty awesome in all respects, and it should be right at the top of your list if you're looking for a 7-inch tablet. But if your budget won't stretch up to $230, ASUS has a more low-end model that's perfectly respectable. The Memo Pad HD7 (ME173X) is an upgrade to last year's budget tablet, and it's up for pre-order at no less than four, count 'em, four US online stores.
It took them the better part of two years, but HP is finally ready to get back in the consumer tablet game, this time backing Android. Their first tablet will be the Slate 7, a small model that's light on price and even lighter on surprises. Roughly comparable to the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, the 1024x600 FFS+ LCD screen sits on top of a 1.6Ghz dual-core A9 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of MicroSD-expandable storage.
ASUS, in a bid to sell to "several emerging markets," has just announced the MeMO Pad – a seven-inch tablet sporting ASUS' nearly-stock Android 4.1 Jelly Bean experience, a 1GHz VIA CPU (with Mali-400 GPU), a 1024x600 display, 1GB RAM, and up to 16GB internal storage with a refreshing microSD slot available for expansion.
Just like the Nexus 7, the MeMO pad just offers a front-facing camera, though it's a 1MP shooter with a back-illuminated sensor.
Photoshop Touch may not be completely comparable to Adobe's desktop counterpart, but when you compare it to other photo editors on the Android platform, it's still the most powerful piece of software out there. At $10, it better be, too. Today, the best just got a bit better, especially if you own a Nexus 7. The app has improved support for 7" tablets. Though, there's a catch: the resolution on said tabs have to be 1024x768 or higher.
Leave it to Comcast to be ahead of the curve on keeping up to date with new technology*. The Comcast subsidiary Xfinity has just updated its TV Player app to be compatible with Android 4.1, with special emphasis on supporting the Nexus 7. The app is technically compatible, though the release notes say that the next version of the app will include a UI designed specifically for the 7" form factor.
Rounding out their holiday offerings, T-Mobile announced today that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus will become available (complete with 4G capability) beginning November 16th, bringing an even more portable version of the Galaxy Tab we've come to know and love to the hands of T-Mo subscribers.
The 7.0 Plus boasts many of the features of its older siblings, including a crazy-thin, lightweight form factor, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and more.
Toshiba announced Tuesday their upcoming Thrive 7, a smaller variant of the original Thrive tablet. Carl Pinto, Vice President of product development has dubbed it "a seven inch tablet done right," touting an HD display, an "incredibly portable" design, and a weight coming in under a pound.
The Thrive 7 includes all the ports users have come to expect, including Mini USB, Micro HDMI, and a Micro SD card slot.