Six months and nineteen days. It's been exactly that long since Hugo Barra announced the new Nexus 7 in a press conference, including an unlocked LTE model that works with Verizon 4G bands. It's been almost five months since that particular model went on sale, and about as long since eager users found out that they couldn't activate a new Verizon Wireless account with the tablet, which wasn't included in Verizon's device database.
After such a long wait, the Nexus 7 is finally ready to make its Verizon Wireless debut. For the better part of a year now, Google has offered an affordable tablet with cellular radios tucked away inside that the US's largest carrier refused to activate (granted, there were ways to get around this). But now, the Big Red and the Nexus 7 are cuddling up just in time for Valentine's Day.
If there's a Micro Center nearby and you've yet to jump on the tablet bandwagon, now's your chance to do it on the cheap. For a limited time, MC is selling the 2013 Nexus 7 for up to $70 off its normal price: the 32GB model is only $199 ($70 off), and the 16GB model is going for $179 ($50 off). That's a good savings – and it's worth noting that these are brand new units, not refurbs.
If you have a Nexus 7 or 5, then there's a good chance you've looked at all of El Goog's accessories in the Play Store. There's also a good chance you scoffed at the prices of said accessories, because let's be honest here – they're not cheap.
To make such a purchase easier on your wallet, however, Google has slashed 25% off the prices of most Nexus 7 and 5 cases (including folios and such).
Nexus devices might be a great deal compared to other devices in the market, but you pay the price when it comes to accessories. They're either horrendously expensive or take so long to go on sale it's almost time for a new version of the device. We might be lining up for the second one here, as Asus has just now posted English listings for the wired and wireless charging docks for the 2013 Nexus 7.
The Play Store device section sure is hopping today. Google dropped the new Moto G Google Play Edition earlier, then a new red N7 sleeve popped up, and now folks in more countries have some accessories to splurge on.
The updated wireless charger is now live in the Play Store for Australia, India, Japan and Korea. Pricing will vary, but it should be about in line with the $49.99 US price.
There are undoubtedly many people out there who received a new Nexus 7 for Christmas last month, and now they need a means of keeping it safe. There have already been three sleeves to choose from on the Play Store, but today that option jumps to four. Now owners can get the sleeve in bright "Ketchup" red. This unofficial name nicely complements the equally unofficially named Mustard Yellow, Pepper Black, and Salt Gray pre-existing options.
If you're an audio perfectionist, you've surely stumbled onto flac, an audio compression format designed to deliver lossless recordings. The file sizes are considerably larger than your average MP3, but the sound quality is unparalleled by lossy compression algorithms. It's not hard to see why audiophiles drift towards flac as their preferred storage medium. Now imagine the latest version of Android is causing stuttering, cracks, pops, and static in the otherwise perfect playback of flac.
We've already discussed ASUS' fun-loving ZenFone and PadFone Mini, but for those who want a little more out of their gadgets-that-do-more-than-just-one-thing, the Transformer Book Duet should be worth a look. ASUS calls its "four devices in one" since it's an Android tablet, Android laptop, Windows tablet, and Windows laptop, but you can take that for what it's worth – I think it's kind of pushing it. It's just a tablet and a laptop, silly marketing people.
We just got back from a meeting at ASUS's CES suite, and we had a chance to go hands-on with the full portfolio of the company's new Android products (apart from Padfone X, which sadly sat walled off in a glass case). Of great interest to some of you, no doubt, are the company's new ZenFone handsets. Johnny Shih, ASUS's enthusiastic chairman, announced the ZenFone 4, 5, and 6, would be priced at $99, $149, and $199, respectively.