Apple Selling Refurbished 4th-Gen iPad, iPad Mini
Apple has started selling refurbished versions of its latest iPad lineup, which could help you save between $30-$50.
A refurbished 16GB iPad mini in black will set you back $429, savings of $30 or 6 percent off a brand-new tablet. A new 16GB iPad mini starts at $459, while the 32GB is $559 and the 64GB is $659. The Wi-Fi models run from $329 to $529.
A refurbished 16GB fourth-gen iPad in white for Verizon's network, meanwhile, is selling for $579, which is $50 less or 7 percent off a new machine. The same device would be $629 brand new, and goes up to $929 for the 128GB version.
HP Unveils $169, 7-Inch Android Tablet
HP today formally entered the Android tablet space with the introduction of the HP Slate at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
HP said the 7-inch HP Slate will be available in the U.S. in April (though the Slate website currently says May), starting at $169, which is less than Google's own 7-inch Nexus 7, which starts at $199.
The Slate will run a 1.6-GHz, dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. There's 3-megapixel rear-facing camera and a VGA camera on the front. HP also touted the embedded Beats Audio and the HP ePrint app for home and on-the-go printing. A micro USB port allows for the transfer of files.
HP is offering a two-year HP Care Pack warranty for $29 or a two-year HP Care Pack with Accidental Damage Protection (ADP) for $49.
Rumors about an Android-based tablet from HP cropped up earlier this month. HP has fallen behind on mobile in recent years. In 2010, it completed its $1.2 billion acquisition Palm, and by early 2011, it unveiled the webOS-based HP Veer and Pre 3 smartphones, as well as the TouchPad tablet. The TouchPad was barely on the market, however, before HP discontinued support for webOS devices in Aug. 2011, including the TouchPad.
HP said today that the Slate does not mean the company will become an Android-only shop.
Report: HP Prepping Android-Based Tablet
Hewlett-Packard is turning its attention to Android and will release several gadgets that run Google's mobile OS, according to a new report from ReadWrite.
Citing people familiar with the situation, the blog said the first Android-based HP device will be a tablet powered by Nvidia's Tegra 4 chip, which made its debut at CES. It's not clear, however, if HP will venture into Android-powered smartphones.
An HP spokeswoman said the company does not comment on rumor or speculation.
HP has fallen behind on mobile in recent years. In 2010, it completed its $1.2 billion acquisition Palm, and by early 2011, it unveiled the HP Veer and Pre 3 smartphones, as well as the TouchPad tablet (above).
The TouchPad was barely on the market, however, before HP discontinued support for webOS devices in Aug. 2011, including the TouchPad. It even considered ditching its PC business, but reversed course after Meg Whitman took over as CEO. The move left the future of webOS in doubt, but by year's end, HP decided to open source the OS.
Holidays Boost Kindle Fire, But iPad Still King
The iPad still dominates the tablet market, but Amazon's Kindle Fire is holding on to the gains it made over the holiday season, according to new stats from mobile ad network Chitika Insights.
The tablet market grew 75 percent during the fourth quarter, compared to the same time period in 2011, highlighting the trend of mobile and tablet devices driving personal computing. NPD DisplaySearch reached a similar conclusion last month, estimating that global tablet shipments will hit 240 million units this year — a 64 percent year-over-year increase.
Tablet competition, however, still remains fairly one-sided. Based on data collected by Chitika between Jan. 19 and 25, the mobile ad firm pointed to an unsurprising lead by the iPad , which had 81 percent of the tablet market last month, leaving a giant gap between Apple and it's Android-based contenders.
The Amazon Kindle Fire, however, landed almost 8 percent of the market — a 3 percent boost from its late-December standing. Google Nexus , Samsung Galaxy, and B&N Nook tablets also saw smaller gains last month, with all three now contributing a combined 6.7 percent of U.S. tablet Web traffic, Chitika said.
iPad Loses Market Share, But Still Crushes Tablet Rivals
Tablet sales beat expectations during the fourth quarter, with consumers worldwide snapping up a record 52.5 million devices. Apple's iPad led the pack, but rivals like Samsung and Amazon also had a healthy holiday season, according to stats from IDC.
The same could not be said for the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years, IDC said.
Apple shipped 22.9 million iPads during the quarter for 43.6 percent of the market. That's more than the 15.1 million it shipped during the same time period in 2011, but competition from rivals means its overall tablet share dropped from 51.7 percent.
Samsung came in at No. 2 with 7.9 tablets shipped for 15.1 percent of the market - up from 7.3 percent in 2011. Amazon rounded out the top three with 6 million Kindle tablets shipped; that's up from 4.7 million in 2011, but its tablet market share also dropped from 15.9 percent to 11.5 percent.
Meanwhile, Asus - which makes the Google Nexus 7 $278.20 at Amazon - shipped 3.1 million tablets, while Barnes & Noble shipped 1 million Nooks. Microsoft failed to crack the top five, shipping just 900,000 Surface with Windows RT tablets.
"There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the long haul. However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company's Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best," said Ryan Reith, program manager of Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. "We believe that Microsoft and its partners need to quickly adjust to the market realities of smaller screens and lower prices."
Microsoft's Surface Pro hits stores on Feb. 9.
Overall, the tablet market grew 75.3 percent in the last year, and was up 74.3 percent from the third quarter - thanks in part to lower prices, bigger selection, and increased holiday spending.
Earlier this month, IDC said PC shipments dropped 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter from 2011 to 89.8 million.
Apple Boosts iPad Storage Capacity with 128GB Model Starting at $799
Apple's iPads are no doubt hugely popular with consumers, but the company has been notoriously stingy with storage space on the devices. When the iPad was originally released in 2010, it was available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models. When the fourth generation iPad was announced a few months ago, it too was still stuck with the same storage capacities.
Apple has finally listened to the cries of users craving more storage space by announcing a new 128GB model. However, be prepared to pay dearly for it.
IPad storage upgrades have always been priced at $100 for double the storage capacity, and the 128GB model is no different -- the 128GB iPad Wi-Fi costs $799 versus $699 for the 64GB iPad Wi-Fi. If you prefer to have the 128GB model with Wi-Fi + LTE, it will set you back a whopping $929.
Survey: iPad Changing Owners’ Relationship With Email
Apple's iPad is "changing people's relationship with email," with a majority of owners now saying it's their favorite device from which to read and write messages, according to a new survey from Perion.
The maker of email client IncrediMail surveyed 4,400 U.S. iPad users, and found that most prefer using their Apple tablet for email, rather than their PC or smartphone. Ninety percent said that accessing email on their iPad was either "very" or "extremely" important to them. Moreover, two-thirds said they check email on their Apple tablet more than three times per day.
The study also delved into exactly how and why people are using email on their iPad. Though an overwhelming 97 percent of iPad owners read emails on their device, just two-thirds use it to send replies. Meanwhile, 31 percent read and send all their emails from their iPad.
There are also some differences based on gender. Women enjoy using their iPad to read emails more than men, and are also more likely to write or reply to messages. Sixty-eight percent of women said they only use their iPad for personal messages, while more than half of male respondents use it to send work and personal correspondence.
Microsoft Surface Pro Coming Feb. 9
Microsoft today released more solid information on its anticipated Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro, including tech specs, pricing, and availability. Redmond also unveiled a new Surface with Windows RT configuration, as well as a few accessories.
The Surface Windows 8 Pro (aka Surface Pro) will be available for purchase on Feb. 9 in the U.S. and Canada. Since the Surface Pro runs Windows 8 Pro, it will work with your corporate infrastructure, as well as any older apps that you used on Windows XP to 7. The Surface Pro will also support other browsers, not just Internet Explorer as on the Windows RT version.
As anticipated, the Surface Pro will be slightly thicker than the Surface with Windows RT, and will weigh about two pounds. The Surface Pro also has a metal "VaporMg" construction, kickstand, and is compatible will all the accessories that the older Surface tablet can use, including all Type and Touch covers.
The Surface Pro comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory, 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band Wi-Fi, a stylus for pressure-sensitive input, dual 720p HD webcams, a full-sized USB 3.0 port, microSDXC slot, and mini DisplayPort.
The 64GB version will go for $899, with 128GB for $999.
Sony Unveils Xperia Tablet Z, Thinner Than iPad Mini
2012 was a rough year for Sony as the company watched local rival Samsung capture the mobile lead thanks to its Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets, and Apple continue its global dominance with the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini. But Sony does not appear to be ready to simply fade into the shadows of gadget history; the company quietly released its new entry into the crowded tablet field on Monday.
The Xperia Tablet Z was announced with a simple press release on the Japanese version of the Sony Mobile website, complete with specifications and photos. Offered in black or white, Sony's new 10.1-inch tablet runs on Android 4.1, has a 1.5-GHz, quad-core processor, and comes with an 8-megapixel camera that automatically adjusts to optimum settings when shooting in dark areas.
Sony has also outfitted the tablet with what it calls a "Reality Display" that is designed to offer better high-definition images, and the company claims that the device is also waterproof and dustproof. But one feature that will certainly stir some interest is the tablet's lightweight design. According to the release, the tablet is just 6.9 millimeters thick, a notable improvement on the 7.2 millimeter-thick iPad mini, a device many reviewers have praised for its thinness compared to other competing tablets.
Report: Samsung Scraps Windows RT Tablet for U.S.
Samsung won't be releasing its Windows RT tablet in the U.S. and it's "unclear" what the South Korean tech giant plans to do with the device in other global markets, according to a report by CNET.
Samsung executive Mike Abary, who runs the company's U.S. PC and tablet operations, told the tech site that plans to release the Ativ Tab were scrapped after feedback from retail partners convinced the company that demand for the Windows RT device wasn't particularly strong.
Samsung did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Microsoft released Windows RT last year as an ARM-optimized variant of its new flagship operating system Windows 8, which like previous versions of Windows runs on x86 chips made by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.
Samsung's Ativ Tab was built on Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors, which are based on the ARM architecture. ARM offers a less powerful but also less power-hungry alternative to typical x86 chips, which is why it's come to dominate mobile devices like tablets demanding a processor that can help extend battery life as much as possible.