On paper, at least, Google’s Nexus 10 is a remarkable-sounding tablet that challenges the iPadon key hardware metrics.
Those metrics would include size, weight, and display. Not to mention price.
“What we’re seeing is the establishment of the new high end,” said Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch.
Google’s high-end 32GB Nexus 10 model is priced at $499 ($399 with 16GB). By comparison, Apple’s 32GB Wi-Fi iPad is $599.
And the lower-priced Nexus 10 includes impressive iPad-busting hardware specifications, making it harder for Apple to distinguish itself on hardware alone.
“Apple has always demanded a premium for their products and we’ll see during the holiday season how much [market share] they’re able to hold onto,” said Shim, who correctly anticipated the new tablet, telling CNET earlier in the month that Google would hook up with Samsung on a very-high-resolution 10-inch tablet .
The Nexus 10, announced today, boasts features such as Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), a 2560-by-1600 pixel density 10-inch display and a dual-core ARM Cortex A15 processor, the first tablet from a top-tier vendor to use ARM’s latest chip technology.
The iPad is still ahead on connectivity, though. Google is not currently offering a version of the Nexus 10 with 3G or 4G/LTE. And, needless to say, hardware alone does not define a device.
Nexus 10, Retina iPad key metrics: the Google tablet is thinner, lighter, and boasts a higher pixel density.
Thickness: Nexus 10: 8.9mm, iPad: 9.4mm
Weight: Nexus 10: 603g, iPad: 652g
Display: Nexus 10: 300 PPI*, iPad: 264 PPI
*PPI = pixels per inch
“Having winning hardware specs is important but only one piece of the total tablet experience. Android is narrowing the gap but iOS is still leading on the content and applications race, which is a big component of the end-user’s purchase decision,” said Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS-iSuppli.
And Apple may not suffer as much as other Android players. “The biggest short term share damage is likely to be to other Android players, rather than Apple specifically,” she added.
Apple’s Retina display tech had been a key feature that set Apple apart from the pack.
After weeks of rumours and speculation, Google has finally unveiled two new variants of its Nexus 7 tablet. The Wi-Fi only 32GB Nexus 7 will be available in the Google Play store for $249 in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada. This version will also be available in-stores with the company’s retail partners like Gamestop, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, and Walmart in the US.
Google also launched the 32GB Nexus 7 3G version with HSPA+ connectivity, which will be sold in US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada starting November 13. The unlocked model of this version will be offered at $299 starting November 13.
Further, the search giant has now made the Wi-Fi only 16GB version of the 7-inch tablet as the entry-level device and as we reported earlier, it also received a price cut.
Despite cancelling the Android event scheduled for Monday, Google made the announcement via its blogpost.
Nexus 7 brings you the best of Google-YouTube, Chrome, Gmail, Maps-and all the great content from Google Play in a slim, portable package that fits perfectly in your hand. To give you more room for all that great content you can now get Nexus 7 with 16GB ($199) or 32GB ($249) of storage. But we also wanted to make this highly portable tablet even more mobile. So we added HSPA+ mobile data. Nexus 7 is now also available with 32GB and HSPA+ mobile ($299), which can operate on more than 200 GSM providers worldwide, including AT&T and T-Mobile in the US.
The only new change in both Nexus 7 variants is the additional memory and data options along with the Android 4.2 OS. Both new devices are the same as the original Nexus 7 models in terms of specs. They come with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor with 1GB RAM, 1280×800 pixel resolution display and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera.
Google also took the wraps off of its highly rumoured Nexus 4 smartphone. The Nexus 4 phone boasts a 4.7-inch screen with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution.
A 16GB model of the Nexus 4 will sell for $199 with a two-year contract to buy phone service and Internet access from T-Mobile. A contract-free version is available for $299 with 8GB and $349 for the 16GB model.
The 10-inch tablet from Samsung was also a part of the unveiling. The entry-level Nexus 10 will be sold at $399, or about $100 less than the least expensive iPad, starting November 13 in the US, Britain, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan. The only other option is a 32GB Wi-Fi only Nexus 10 that costs $499.
Squeezing in between Nokia’s Asha series and the Lumia 610, the wallet-friendly Lumia 510 has been unveiled in India. The smartphone will be priced around $199 when it ships next month in India and China. It will eventually make its way to other Asia-Pacific countries and South America, but there’s no details yet on any stateside availability. We did expect this Microsoft-powered device to turn up withversion 7.8 of its mobile OS, but instead, there’s Windows Phone 7.5 and the promise to an eventual upgrade. We’ve got more impressions after the break.
In keeping with the trend of Nokia’s other Lumia hardware, the 510 will arrive in five colors — red, yellow, cyan, white and black. We got our hands on the black version and the plastic body certainly felt well built with nary a squeak. The screen may be a fingerprint magnet but the rear has a nice matt finish. A tad lighter and thinner than the Lumia 610, the new device has a slightly larger footprint, due to the bigger 4-inch display which dominates the device. Beneath that 480 x 800 touchscreen, you’ll find the three Windows Phone backlit capacitive keys, while the bottom edge houses the micro-USB port. The headphone socket is on the top edge, while the sleep / wake button and volume controls are all found along the right side
The 800MHz processor may sound disappointing, but we didn’t face any significant slowdown during our brief time with the device. Apart from some minor lag in launching apps, menu transitions and navigation felt smooth. On the software front, Nokia has armed it with several signature items, includingNokia Music, Drive, and Maps, but alongside this older Windows Phone build, we’re a bit disappointed by the lack of a front camera and the miserly 2.2GB of non-expandable storage. At this cost however, Nokia’s free voice-based navigation alone could make it worth the spend.
Android: Swype, one of your favorite Android keyboards (and one of ours too), just rolled out an update for beta users packed with useful features, like the ability to sync your dictionary across Android devices, tablet-friendly layouts, and more.
Swype users who have been waiting for a tablet-friendly layout for the app have several to choose from. The new “hotwords” feature solves the problem of typing words that are trending in common language and social media that may not be in a dictionary yet. The feature is opt-in, and if you do participate, your dictionary will periodically get updates with new words based on what people are discussing online, from “gangnam style” to “stratos.”
The latest version of the Swype Beta is still free, and available at the link below.
It’s crunch time. In just over two weeks Microsoft is hosting a massive media event in New York to officially launch Windows 8. With the clock winding down, Microsoft is working diligently to improve some of its Windows 8 apps, but there are still some big question marks remaining for Windows 8 apps.
The most prominent and obvious change from Windows 7 is the Modern UI. The colorful, tiled interface is reminiscent of the Windows Phone interface, and Microsoft has designed it with touch-enabled devices like tablets in mind. It takes some getting used to, but once you master tapping and swiping to get what you need the Modern UI is actually pretty slick. Still, for traditional desktops and laptops that lack touchscreen capabilities, the Modern UI just seems like a cumbersome extra layer.
Whether you use Windows 8 on a touch-enabled device or not, the value of the Modern UI lies in the mobile-esque Windows 8 apps designed to work with it. There are some that stand out as examples that set the bar—like Microsoft’s own OneNote MX app—but there aren’t many app choices out there yet, and the Store needs work.
Microsoft isn’t resting just because Windows 8 is “officially” done. Microsoft has continued to monitor metrics, gather feedback, and make changes to both the Windows 8 operating system itself, and the default apps from Microsoft, and it has already issued updates before the operating system is even officially available.
Aside from performance enhancements and other tweaks to the core OS, the News, Photos, Weather, Finance, Mail, Calendar, People, Maps, Sports, Travel, Reader, and Bing apps have all been updated. I’m not suggesting the OS or the updated apps are now perfect—Microsoft will continue to improve them over time. But, the good news is that Microsoft is being vigilant in its search for areas to improve on, and expedient in cranking out the update rather than waiting nine months or more to roll it all out as a Service Pack.
The bad news for Microsoft is the anemic third-party support for Windows 8 apps. After searching for apps in the iOS or Mac OS X App Stores, or browsing through Google Play, shopping for apps in the Windows 8 Store leaves a bit to be desired. It reminds me of shopping at a store that is going out of business and has already clearance out most of it’s inventory, so all you have left are sparse items nobody really wants scattered about on mostly empty shelves.
It’s getting better everyday. The closer we get to the official launch, the more apps will continue springing up to populate the store. There’s an app for Box, Evernote, Kindle, and others, but there are still some key players missing from the mix.
Case in point—Facebook. Facebook and Microsoft are strong allies and partners, yet there is no Facebook app yet available for Windows 8. Perhaps it will be there by October 26, but Microsoft should have had Facebook on board before it rolled out the Consumer Preview.
The ugly is the Windows 8 Store itself. Right now it’s actually a good thing that there aren’t very many apps because navigating the store and browsing for apps is a challenging experience.
The Store displays the apps in categories like Photo, News & Weather, Lifestyle, etc., and each also offers up options to view the Top Free and New Releases within the category. If you click on a category, the apps are displayed along with the user rating and price—which is nice—but, it sorts based on “noteworthy” by default, which doesn’t seem to have any logic order to it. You can change how the apps are sorted with a drop-down, but alphabetical isn’t even an option.
What if you have an app in mind, but you aren’t sure what category to search? The Store doesn’t have an obvious or intuitive search option. There is nothing visible to suggest you can conduct a search at all. But, if you swipe from the right to open the Charms, you can use the Search charm to search for apps as well.
The bottom line is that Microsoft needs more quality Windows 8 apps when the operating system launches in a couple weeks, and the app store needs some work—especially if Microsoft builds a library of hundreds of thousands of apps.