Premium Android tablets are few and far between right now, but Samsung is pushing ahead with an update to its Tab S series. The Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 and 8.0 are now available for pre-order on Samsung's site, and will soon be live at Amazon, Best Buy, and other retailers. Remember, premium tablets come with a premium price tag. The WiFi-only Tab S2 starts at $399.99 for the 8.0 and $499.99 for the 9.7.
Asus was one of the first Android tablet OEMs to distinguish itself with devices like the original Transformer, and it followed that up with two 7-inch Nexus tablets. While Asus is no longer the Nexus tablet maker of choice at Mountain View, it's still doing some interesting things with Android slates. After a run of heavily budget-oriented tablets, Asus is launching a somewhat more premium offering, the ZenPad S 8.0. As the name implies, this is an 8-inch Android tablet with a very similar vibe to the Zenfone 2. Depending on how you look at it, that can be either good and bad.
Android tablet users know what it's like to get stuck with a phone app stretched out to a large display. It's less of an issue today than it used to be, now that smartphones come with 1080p displays and apps sport visual elements that would look crisp on a television screen. But sometimes you're still left with an excess of white space or an interface that you can't spin horizontally, even though that's how you want to hold your tablet.
Well, Yahoo has updated its News Digest app to play along more nicely with Android tablets. The interface still looks similar to the highly stylized experience users have grown accustomed to on their phones, but now it's wider, and you get to swipe left and right.
There have been a few rumors of a Samsung premium tablet refresh in recent weeks, and now it's official. The Galaxy Tab S2 is coming this August in 8.0-inch and 9.7-inch varieties. They've got more of a Galaxy S6 design vibe, and the screens are 4:3, just like the mid-range Galaxy Tab A. And of course, there are physical nav buttons on these tablets, because Samsung.
Most games that deal with warfare are centered on soldiers and shooting at things, but This War of Mine (from 11bit Studios, maker of the Anomaly games) is a very different experience. This survival-strategy game follows the regular people caught up in the violence and hardship of war. Can you survive, and what sort of decisions will you have to make in the process?
Asus has a history of making inexpensive Android tablets. While it doesn't make Nexus tablets anymore, the Taiwanese OEM is still chugging along in the tablet market. The latest tablet from Asus is the ZenPad S 8.0, and it's now available at Best Buy in the US. It doesn't appear to be for sale through any other channel yet.
Dell's recent Venue 8 7000 was one of the most interesting tablets from Dell in... well, ever. Now it's trying its hand at something bigger with the Venue 10 7000. Dell is pitching this as a work machine, and you can buy it today starting at $499.
We're back to discussion mode this weekend, and this weekend's discussion may require some thought. Increasingly, I've noticed an interesting side effect to the ever-larger smartphones we carry: people don't seem as interested in tablets anymore as a result. I know that when I'm using my Nexus 6, I'm much likelier to place that on my bedside table than I am my iPad for my morning email and reading, because it's a bit more comfortable to hold and type on, but still gives me plenty of room to watch videos or bang out an appreciably long email.
I'm not sure if I'd say I don't want a tablet as much as I used to, but I will say that I am much pickier about what I want my tablet to be as a result.
No one is going to claim that tablet designs are exactly innovative. After all, they're pretty much all thin slabs of plastic or metal with big touchscreens. Maybe they need more pointy bits? Acer certainly thinks so, which is why it's planning to release a gaming tablet called Predator. It's not an attractive device.
Amazon doesn't seem to particularly want Android users to enjoy its video streaming service. First it took its sweet time expanding the offering out from Fire and iOS devices. Then when it did finally bring the app to Android, it required installing the standard Amazon app, which then prompted you to install a dedicated Prime Instant Video app from the Amazon Appstore (Google Play, what's that?). After that, it only ran on phones. Tablets, for the most part, were inexplicably left out.
The latest version of Amazon Instant Video for Android fixes that. You still have to go through the website to watch videos, but at least it works.