HP's return to the tablet market hasn't exactly set the world on fire just yet, with only the budget-focused Slate 7 filling in the spaces on retail shelves. Today the company aims a little higher with the StateBook x2, a riff on ASUS' Transformer series with high-end specs and a high-end price to match them. The tablet comes bundled with a keyboard - there's no tablet-only option - for $479.
I've never been a huge fan of racing games, but there's always been something about Hydro Thunder that captivated me. As a teen, it was one of my favorite games, and I've kept up with the franchise as much as possible over the last several years. Naturally, this means I've spent a more-than-ample amount of time playing Riptide GP, the mobile-equivalent to Hydro Thunder.
The first Riptide was one of my favorite games to emerge from the Tegra 2 era, and Vector Unit maintained fantastic support over the past two years, even updating it to support enhanced graphics on the Tegra 3 chip.
In an impromptu Reddit AmA earlier today, Vector Unit – the development team behind Riptide GP, Beach Buggy Blitz, and Shine Runner – announced that Riptide GP 2 will be hitting the Google Play Store on July 23rd for just $3.
You may remember Riptide GP 2 from its debut on NVIDIA's SHIELD back in March, which showed off the game's updated effects, physics, and overall improved gameplay. Naturally, GP 2 is optimized for NVIDIA's Tegra 4 chip, which means that it will be one of the many games pushing SHIELD to the max once it's released to the masses.
With little fanfare, the first available devices running Nvidia's Tegra 4 ARM chip have popped up at Best Buy and Amazon. The Toshiba Excite Write and Pro tablets are 10.1-inch slates based on Tegra 4, whereas the Pure is another Tegra 3 device. All three new slates appear to be available for purchase right now.
The Tegra 3-based Pure tablet is a midrange affair with a 1280x800 resolution 10.1-inch screen. It comes with 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM.
Stylus inputs for smartphones and tablets have become largely obsolete, with the exception of devices packing an integrated digitizer and active stylus, like Samsung's Note series and a few others. But some of us love our styli, as millions of cheap, plastic passive pens lining iPad accessory bargain bins across the country demonstrate. NVIDIA is hoping to boost the capability of passive stylus input on Tegra 4 hardware with its DirectStylus solution, a way for a standard capacitive touchscreen to more accurately emulate pen and paper.
Say hello to Toshiba's 2013 Android tablet lineup. Though the company still hasn't made a dent in the tablet market, it's not for lack of trying, and the latest trio of ten-inchers proves that they're not ready to give up the ghost. All three have roughly the same body and dimensions: the Excite Pure is Toshiba's new low-end offering, the Excite Pro is for gamers and resolution junkies, and the Excite Write steps up to Samsung with both high-end specifications and a digitizer-stylus combo.
Watch out, Transformer fans, ASUS is about to give you something pretty great to drool over. As part of its Computex 2013 announcement, the OEM gave away details of the shiny new replacement to the once reigning king of Android tablets, the Transformer Pad Infinity.
Virtually every spec will see a significant improvement as part of the refresh, owing quite a bit to the equipped Tegra 4 system-on-a-chip. Most notably, the display resolution will rival Samsung's current leader, the Nexus 10, at 2560 x 1600.
NVIDIA SHIELD, the company's first in-house built device, is officially available for pre-order for $350. And no sooner than the announcement was made, the "this is too expensive!" comments started showing up. I want to explain why I think that line of thinking is not only unfair, but also illogical.
The issue with SHIELD, in my opinion, isn't actually with SHIELD itself but rather the way people are perceiving it.
Hey HP, we know you're new to the Android game, so here's a tip: if you've got a hot new piece of hardware, the absolute worst time to announce it is a few hours before Google I/O. That said, the new SlateBook x2 might garner some interest thanks to its internals alone - it's one of the first devices after NVIDIA's own Shield to use the Tegra 4 SoC. Throw in a 10.1-inch 1920x1200 screen and a very familiar-looking keyboard dock, and you've got the makings of a serious competitor.
Toshiba is kind of all over the place when it comes to Android. It has released some absolutely fantastic hardware in the past, but the lack of support for said hardware is awfully damning when it comes to recommending its devices in good conscience.
Still, it looks like the company is knee-deep in the development of a new tablet, which is currently being called the "AT10LE-A," and is said to be powered by NVIDIA's newest baby – the upcoming Tegra 4.