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The iPad Air better be careful - there's a stalking horse on the horizon. Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" isn't just for reading books. This latest and largest incarnation shows that Amazon are serious about making waves in the tablet space - but is it any good? Read our review to find out.

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The Hardware

When you first pick up a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" the first thing to do is find the "on" button. Unlike most other tablets, the switches for on/off and volume controls are on the back of the unit, and not the edges - which actually makes a lot of sense ergonomically.

The device itself certainly feels fairly solid - and is pleasant to hold. Nor is it too heavy. Under the hood things are looking good too: it's got a nice-and-powerful 2.2ghz Snapdragon processor inside, along with 2GB of RAM - with storage options available as either 16, 32 or 64GB. The display appears crisp - which is no surprise when it runs at 2560x1600 - with a pixel density of 339ppi - even better than the iPad. Amazon are serious about this device taking on the Apple behemoth. The rear camera is a decent 8 megapixels - and the front camera is even 720p HD, which will be nice for Skype and the like.

The Software

Once you've powered on the HDX for the first time, and the screen has lit up, you're greeted with a tablet that is already configured for your Amazon account - brilliant. Then it is just a simple case of connecting to your Wifi, and you're away. If you're already a Kindle user, it'll load up all of your book purchases right there in the middle of the screen.

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If you've used an Android device before, a lot will be familiar... but it will be eerily different. It's Android, but not as you know it. The big difference is that there's nothing Google to be found: no apps for YouTube, Gmail, Google Calendar and everything else - though you can still access them through the built in web browser. If you're a big user of Google's services, this will come as a bit of a shock. I was certainly left wondering how do people function without Google hardwired into their devices?

The lack of Google influence is interesting - and shows a completely different direction for Android. One nice innovation is that right in the middle of the screen is a coverflow-style list of what you've looked at on the device most recently, to make skipping back easily. So you can easily jump right back into that book, or back to those photos.

The device is, of course, great for reading. All of your books are there and Amazon's Kindle app does the job very well indeed - with coloured highlighting, social sharing and all of that sort of thing taken care of. Now it's just a case of sitting down and reading that worthy tome you've been meaning to tackle... rather than checking your tweets again... and maybe playing a bit of Candy Crush. Ahem.

What's clear with the Kindle Fire is that you're constantly plugged into Amazon 'app'. Being the retail experts your expect them to be, there are no built-in parts of the device that are not bolted on to the store. Along the menu at the top are the different types of content you may want to access: Books, Videos, Games, Apps and so on - and clicking one not only takes you to the stuff you have on your device, but also prominently features links to the store. Even the lock screen is an advert. What's clear is that this device is all about consuming content.

Crucially, the app store seems well stocked - Google excepted. It seems that most of the major apps also have a presence on the store now: from Facebook, to Spotify, Sonos and Duolingo, to name four I find essential. Even Amazon's arch-rival in video (don't forget they own LoveFilm), Netflix, puts in an appearance.

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Perhaps this latest Kindle Fire is best known for its innovative help function. The "Mayday" button will connect you directly with a helper in one of Amazon's call centres, complete with video chat - so you can see them and they can see you. The Amazon agent can even take direct control of your tablet - and either do stuff for you, or draw on the screen the show you what to do.

I tried this out - and within seconds was connected to the poor bloke manning the Mayday station (I like to imagine an alarm goes off at Amazon HQ), before disappointing him by telling him that I didn't really need any help, but was just seeing how it worked. Kindly though he showed me how he can draw on the screen. It wasn't quite as slick as the TV adverts for this feature you might have seen (the video lagged a bit) but it certainly worked. Could it be a must-have feature for technology of the future? Whilst people in some corners have criticised the idea because the goal should be to build software that is easy to use, not an elaborate help system for when it fails... but I'm fairly certain that anyone reading who is under the age of 40 will appreciate anything that might stop them being their family's de-facto tech support.

The Verdict

So is the Kindle Fire HDX worth it? The 8.9" version is clearly gunning for the iPad Air and the basic 16GB Air costs £70 more than the basic Kindle Fire model. It is certainly a hugely accomplished Android tablet - it is both fast, feature packed and it feels like a premium product. The lack of Google apps is annoying if you're a Google power user - but you can probably get by.

Perhaps this is the only thing that gives it a flash of unprofessionalism: search for YouTube or Gmail in the app store and you're hit with the same problem Windows Phone devices have. Nothing "proper" turns up, and instead you're left with a bunch of knock-off third-party apps to provide an ersatz Google experience.

But if you can live with this, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" is a very good choice for an Android tablet. If you're a big user of Amazon's services - with a LoveFilm subscription and a busy Kindle library, then you can't really go wrong.

Which 2013 tablet is the best for gaming

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The iPad Mini will also launch with a new version of iBooks
that features continues scrolling (more like a long web page) 
rather than flipping through individual pages.

Opinions on which 2013 tablet is best for gaming will always be largely subjective depending on screen size preferences and budget, but there are a few golden rules to which any gaming tablet must adhere: a good display, a fast processor and a good app store. 

The three main operating systems are Windows, Android and Apple's iOS. iOS is generally considered to be the best due to the standard of cutting edge games designed specifically for Apple machines.

Add to this the fact that the new 64bit iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 have wowed critics on their release and for many Apple devotees the decision is quite simple: the larger screen of the iPad Air or the smaller screen of the Mini 2 (Many gamers will demand the retina display version of the Mini 2 for its enhanced sharpness). 

Both new Apple tablets benefit from the incredibly fast A7 chip and both are wonderfully intuitive with perfect sweeping, swiping and scrolling. There's no graphics lag which you might suffer on lesser Android equivalents, and both are very well made. Most games aren't too challenging for any decent tablet.

If you're playing standard physics games like Angry Birds, puzzles like Candy Crush, or online casino sites like www.jackpotcity.co.uk/online-slots, then most mid-range tablets should be sufficient. If you're playing graphics heavy arcade games on the other hand you need to be more discerning. The Google Nexus 7 2 and the Amazon Kindle HDX are both excellent 7inch options, and the ageing Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is a decent alternative for those on a budget who want a brand name at a low price.

It may not have the pixel density of the previous two so arcade games may suffer, but this can be good if you're playing less graphically demanding games. Find your type of game - arcade, casino, puzzle or a bit of everything - and pick a tablet which suits your needs.

Featured Post

Believe it or not, Nokia have never made a tablet before - at least since their Damascene conversion to the church of Windows. Apparently Nokia held off until they thought they could do something new and different - and the Lumia 2520 is the result.

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Nokia are, of course, in an interesting position: Just a few years ago they were the undisputed kings of mobile, but the smartphone revolution started by the iPhone left them floundering. Can the come-back continue? Is the Lumia 2520 the glorious comeback tour, with the right mixture of classics and new material... or is this the old band getting back together out of grim financial necessity, with the enthusiasm gone and the animosity between the band members only dulled by the paycheque? Read on to find out.

The Hardware

In my mind, Nokia have built up something of a reputation for solid hardware. The old brick-like 3210 took a lot of punishment back in the day. And whilst I'm not sure the Lumia 2520 could survive the same amount of trips tumbling down the stairs, owing to it's large 10.1" screen, it definitely feels solidly built.

The screen itself is full widescreen HD - running at 1920x1080, with a pixel density of 218ppi. Whilst this is slightly less than the iPad with Retina display, graphics still look crisp and the edges of boxes on screen appear sharp.

The backing plate is made of plastic, which whilst obviously not as classy as metal still feels solid. And what's cool of course about Nokia phones in general is that they're available in a number of different colours, rather than just bog-standard white or black (or if you're lucky, grey!). Which gives the hardware a little bit more personality. According to a Nokia the colours work too - with a "significant majority" of Nokia sales going on colourful phones - and the coloured devices also get a higher approval rating from consumers.

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Spec-wise, it's a powerful little machine: there's a 2.2ghz Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB flash storage - expandable by another 64GB with an SD card. And Nokia claim that the battery (which can't be removed) will last for up to 25 days on stand-by.

Connectivity-wise the 2520 has everything you expect in a modern tablet: Wifi and Bluetooth, NFC, and there's a mini HDMI out for good measure. Perhaps most interesting is that the 2520 comes with 4G built in - just add a SIM card. In fact, unlike the iPad you can't even get a non-4G version.

So it's definitely got Nokia's track record for good hardware. To torture my musical analogy a little further, it's clear the band still haven't forgotten how to play their instruments and still have something there - but does the new material match up to the old classics?

The Software

Power up the device for the first time and you're greeted with the familiar experience of choosing your language and logging into your Microsoft account, where all of your settings will be synced. Then rather than throw you on to the home screen, you're told the device is going to restart and install updates. Then it hits you: This thing is really running Windows.

The philosophy behind Windows 8 is that you get the same experience, on every device. So in Microsoft's ideal world your phone works the same way as your tablet, as your desktop, and even your Xbox - which is why all of these platforms have moved towards the box-driven "Metro" user-interface. Unfortunately I remain unconvinced that this is a wise idea, flawed at a very simple level: we use different types of input into all of these devices. Fingers are used to control tablets and phones, mouse and keyboards for computers and controllers, voice and flailing motion controls for Xbox... with this mind... can a user experience really be consistent? Can an interface really be designed with all of these in mind?

Luckily for prospective 2520 owners, the tablet interface appears to be the main driving force - the user experience isn't anywhere near as maddening as using Windows 8 on a PC. But it's perhaps telling that every time the operating system's Windows heritage pops up, it diminishes the experience.

When you're in apps and doing activities that were built with tablets in mind, it's more or less fine - and the on-screen keyboard is nice to type on (perhaps due in part to the very satisfying sound effect played when you hit a key), and scrolling around is smooth. There's none of the wonkiness of earlier Windows incarnations - it's fast to switch around what you're doing and it broadly feels like a premium device.

As I say though - as soon as 'real' windows exposes itself, things become a bit weirder. Buttons sometimes seem a bit too small for a fat finger (as if they're expecting a mouse), and at times it feels as though your finger is guiding around a mouse pointer rather than pressing on things. Case in, er, point - one of the first things you have to do on the tablet is enter in a code that Microsoft will email to you (to verify the new device...) and after clicking in the box to enter the code and having the keyboard pop up, when I started typing, the cursor was no longer in the box and my typing wasn't working.

But don't get me wrong - if 'slickness' is a major factor, then it's probably about on a par with Android which too can be clunky at times - just don't expect the polish (and indeed, debatable limitations) of an iPad.

The other frustration with Windows as a platform is not even Microsoft's fault. To be blunt, there simply isn't enough apps. Whilst Microsoft have done their utmost to create a viable ecosystem - going so far as to pay third party developers to port their apps over to the Windows platform, there are still some big gaps. Whilst Nokia are trumpeting the likes of Vine and Instagram being available on the platform... there's no YouTube app. A search of the store reveals a bunch of knock-off "YouTube viewer" apps not made by YouTube themselves - making it feel more like a car-boot sale than the premium experience you get on iOS. Even the Facebook app looks like it's just HTML5 wrapped up and called an app (something Microsoft have been accused of doing before).

There is one thing to it's credit though, that will be especially of interest to business drones: The Lumia 2520 comes with Microsoft Office. And not some lame office viewer: full featured, singing, dancing Microsoft Office - with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook and Onenote. Now you can not only take work home with you - but you can take it to the beach too.

When you boot into Office, rather than load each app as a full screen thing like you might expect on a tablet, the action switches to a traditional Windows-type interface - complete with taskbar and time in the corner. What's weird is that full office is... exactly the same. Not just the same functionality but the apps are identical. This leads to the unusual situation of you now having to browse a traditional Windows computer - but with your finger as the primary navigation device.

What's weird about this is that everything immediately becomes a bit more fiddly - buttons are indeed smaller, and to type rather than have a keyboard pop up when you press on the MS Word page, you have to manually call up the keyboard using the button in the taskbar.

Still - if you can get over this then full Office could be incredibly useful.

What is perhaps worth noting though that though it is Windows you're running, it's Windows RT - which for many boring technical reasons isn't quite old Windows - though it looks and runs nearly identically. Unlike the x86 version of Windows 8 found on laptops and desktop computers, RT will only run software - even windowed traditional-looking software that has been built with Windows RT in mind. So if you've got an old piece of software you really want to run on Windows on a tablet (say, Sim City 2000... not that I'm addicted or anything), then you'll be out of luck. But the windowed possibilities does mean that this ersatz Windows experience does have a lot of possibilities - particularly with regard to multitasking. If the apps are there, there's no reason why this tablet couldn't do some complex things.

So again to the tortured band analogy: Whilst you may forgive the flaws if it were a new band just starting out (the second album could be incredible), seeing the band you idolised in your youth come out with some fairly average new material... well, everyone knows that nostalgia amplifies your recollection, but you can't help but be disappointed that the banned haven't knocked your socks off like they used to.

The Price

Now the big question: how much will it actually cost? The Lumia 2520 launches tomorrow and will be exclusively sold at John Lewis stores for £399.95. Each Lumia will come with a free 4G SIM card containing 200mb of free data - to show off the 4G capabilities of the device. Compare this to the iPad Air, which starts at £399 (sans 4G) and it's priced quite competitively indeed.

Apparently if you buy it in the first couple of days (ie: tomorrow or Thursday) from the Oxford Street store in London too, they're offering free engraving from a professional engraver. Which might make a nice bonus if you're buying it as a present for someone.

The Accessory

Unlike the add-on bluetooth keyboards you can get for iPad and Android tablets, the Lumia 2520, like it's kindred Microsoft Surface means business. Not included in the box - and not tested by me here, a hybrid cover and keyboard/touchpad can be picked up once it launches for an additional £149. (Launch expected soon, but not tomorrow with the tablet).

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This cover not only gives you a more robust keyboard and and a laptop-style touchpad but also additional USB ports (you could even plug in a mouse!), and usefully another big battery to power from - so you can get even more usage out of your tablet. Whilst I haven't tested this here - it certainly seems as though if you want to make effective usage of the more hardcore apps like Office, this keyboard add-on will be essential - so factor that into your decision.

The Verdict

So is it worth it? On the surface (no pun intended!), the Lumia 2520 is a powerful device that is both fast, moderately elegant and theoretically powerful. If gadgets existed in isolation it'd be easy to recommend - but of course, gadgets don't exist in isolation. Once you've switched it on, the internet - and perhaps more importantly, the ecosystem - is all. Whilst there's no doubt Nokia can turn out a good piece of hardware, the software is severely lacking - Windows as a mobile platform is still missing the critical mass of users and developers to make it a viable platform for the consumer.

If you're looking to do some serious business then the office functionality might appeal to you - heck, if you don't own a laptop and want to splash out on this hybrid complete with keyboard, it might just work out. But if you're looking for a tertiary device - something the complement your computer and your phone, where you can sit back and watch a few videos, or read from, then it might be worth looking back towards Apple.

5 tablets with bigger screens than the iPad

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As we mentioned yesterday, tablets with massive screens are becoming popular. So we thought it might be wise to look at what's actually available. It's an interesting space as many of the devices available are closer to laptops than tablets - running fully blown operating systems. Whether this will become common in the mega-tablet space though remains to be seen. Here's our pick of five of the most interesting massive tablets on sale.

Is 13" too big for a tablet?

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Yesterday we saw another entrant in the emerging class of 13" tablets. The HANNSpad has a screen about three inches larger than the full size iPad (10")... and it has to make you wonder, how large can tablets get?

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We're increasingly seeing screens grow larger and larger. This is great for your TV - as you don't have to carry it around with you... but are we not reaching a point where portability is becoming sacrificed? Would you really carry around a 13" tablet when a fully blown laptop would take up about the same amount of space in your bag?

The case for

A bigger screen means that a tablet becomes an even better option for watching HD content. So if you've got a HD video to play - it'll look better on a 13" tablet, rather than you 4" phone.

There's also a very obvious example: if you've got big hands then a big tablet could be good for you. I'm not even joking. Rather than poking at the screen with the shovels on the ends of your arms, and not being able to mash the button you're looking for - a bigger screen will increase the size of everything on screen. Perfect if playing Candy Crush on the Nexus 7 is a bit too fiddly.

The case against

Frankly - something so large could be unwieldy. I realise that I'm in danger of being one of those people who would have said 20 years ago "Why would you need a TV bigger than 20 inches?" - but surely there's a limit to just how big a portable device can be?

As mobile phones have grown larger, and "phablets" have become not just a horrible word but a class of device - we've already started to see some subtle questioning of whether size actually is everything. Case in point - look at the Galaxy Note 3 - a phablet with a large 6" screen. To make it more user friendly though, there's also a "small" mode, which shrinks the screen down to the size of that of a normal mobile phone - so you can operate it with one hand. So what's the point of that extra space?

Similarly - 7" tablets (like the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire) are popular because you can pretty much reach everywhere on the screen with your thumbs, when you hold it like a book - with a 13" screen, unless you're some sort of freak of nature you'll have to lift your hands up.

I'd bet that battery life is going to be sacrificed too. The biggest drain on a device's battery tends to be the screen - keeping that big rectangle brightly lit for several hours is exhausting. And obviously if you increase the screen's size, then that requires more energy than something smaller.

Similarly - generating all of those HD graphics are going to be more processor intensive - which will draw more power compared to similar SD devices. So don't be surprised if you're looking around for a plug socket sooner than smaller tablet users. And screen size isn't everything for HD - pixel density is also important. On the new Handspree 13", the screen resolution is only 1280x800 - compare this to the 10" iPad's 2048x1536 display - meaning that images on the latter's screen are crisp - and arguably indistinguishable from, say, the printed page.

On balance

As you might have guessed... I'm yet to be convinced. As history has repeatedly taught us, size isn't everything - especially when devices are designed to be used whilst mobile. Maybe it is just as easy to carry around a 13" tablet? But then what about when we inevitably start seeing 16" or 20" tablets? At some point we'll have gone too far, right?

Argos have decided to get in on the tablet action, today announcing a brand new entry-level own-brand Android tablet. The MyTablet will be only £100 - though we've no word yet on whether it will come with a stylus modelled on those little stubby blue pens.

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It looks like it'll be fairly basic - though what else would you expect for the price. It has a 1.6ghz processor and a 7" screen - though in terms of resolution, it hits a rather lacklustre 1024x600 (compare to the Tesco Hudl, that has a 1440x720 screen that can handle HD). It only has 8GB of on-board storage too, but this can be upgraded to 32GB with a MicroSD card.

It also comes pre-loaded with Argos's own app, so you can buy stuff from them with ease - though they're sticking with Google Play as an app store, rather than attempting to create their own.

Argos seem to be positioning this to target teenagers - which perhaps makes sense as they can't hope to compete with the premium propositions from Samsung and Apple... and of course, dare I say it, we're in the run-up to Christmas and this tablet is perfectly positioned to make a good Christmas gift.

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing if any other high street retailers will jump on the tablet bandwagon following Argos and Tesco's lead. C'mon Poundland - it's your move!

Amazon have unveiled the latest addition to their tablet line up - the Kindle Fire HDX. Not only is it a powerful beast, but it has an intriguing new tech support feature, that could change how the whole industry operates.

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Let's start with the technical specs - it's got an 8.9" screen that runs at at 2560x1600 resolution - which Amazon claim has an "unsurpassed" pixel density, along with "perfect" (100% sRGB) colour accuracy - which they think will make images on the screen appear even more detailed.

Under the hood there's a 2.2ghz processor and an 8 megapixel camera that can shoot video in 1080p. And there's 2gb of RAM packed in there too.

To put this into perspective this is premium product. The Kindle Fire HDX has almost double the screen resolution of the also recently-announced Tesco Hudl, and the 2.2ghz processor compares favourably to the Hudl's 1.5ghz.

So the numbers are interesting - but here's the really potentially revolutionary thing. Amazon has announced that the new OS (Fire OS 3.0 - built on Android) will have a "Mayday" button. This - they claim - will put you one button press away from a live video chat with someone at tech support. That's right - apparently cutting out any clunky instant message system on the company's website, or a phoneline - video chat, so you'll be able to see the person helping you. They won't be able to see you though - they'll just get a picture of your Kindle screen, so no need to worry if you surf in the nude.

The people at tech support will be able to guide you through doing what you need to, or even take control and show you (or perhaps more likely, your not-quite-as-tech-savvy parents) how to do it.

The implications for this are huge. If Amazon can do it and make it work - and that's a big if - then this surely force the likes of Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Google into doing the same thing?

tesco-hudl.jpgNext time you're topping up your Clubcard points at Tesco, keep an eye out for the company's freshly revealed own-branded tablet, the Tesco Hudl. A 7-inch Android slate, it's priced at £119, putting it in direct competition with the Google Nexus 7 mark-2 and Amazon's Kindle Fire range.

It's a crowded market, but Tesco's Hudl (on paper at least) looks as though it can hold its own. Running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the thick-bezelled tablet packs in a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, with a 1440 x 900 resolution screen that should keep surfing the web and playing back videos for 9 hours before you'll need to start reaching for the charger.

16GB of storage space is the only size offered, though it can be supplemented by up to 32GB with microSD cards, and there's also Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS onboard. If you're looking to do some on-the-go browsing though, you're out of luck - this is a Wi-Fi only device, with no 3G or 4G connectivity.

Tesco will be accepting Clubcard points as part of the purchase, allowing savvy spenders to grab the tablet for as little as £60.

So what's in it for Tesco? Blinkbox is part of the Tesco group, so it's an opportunity for the retailer to push the movie rental service increasingly to their customers. As a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) using O2 infrastructure, they've missed a trick by not offering a 3G version however.

Hitting the supermarket chain's stores on 30 September, we'll be interested to see how well the Hudl holds up against the competition.

note-10-1-1-pen.pngThings can only get bigger for the Samsung Galaxy Note range, if the current screen-size trajectory for the line is anything to go by. Now, the latest leak suggests that Samsung have a real whopper lined up next to bear the Note name - a 12.2 inch tablet.

That rumour comes from a listing on the Bluetooth authentication website, describing a Samsung device sporting the model number SM-P901.

Though the listing reveals little more than Bluetooth 4.0 support, that model number lines up with a device called out by serial leaker @evleaks, describing a 12.2 inch tablet back in July sporting the eight-core Exynos 5 Octa processor, with a high resolution screen of 2560 x 1600.

An educated guess would see the 12-inch Note following a similar design ethos to the similarly-sized Note 10.1, which comes complete with S-Pen stylus and 3GB of RAM.

No official word yet from Samsung, but we'll keep you posted if any confirmation arrives.

nokia-sirius1.jpgThere have been lot so rumours recently about a forthcoming Nokia tablet - nicknamed the Sirius - and now we have spec sheet to look at. Ubergizmo got its hand on this information which seems to concur with a lot of what has already been written about the device. The sheet confirms the Bluetooth certification of the device which has the model number of RM-114.

It will sport a 10.1 inch screen, a Snapdragon 800 processor at its heart and obviously run a Windows operating system.

Other expected specs include a micro HDMI connector and a micro USB port, compatibility with LTE 4G networks, and a decent battery life of around ten hours. It may also have a 6.7 megapixel camera and a case that doubles as a keyboard.

A previous leak showed the device in red which suggests it will be available in the US via Verizon. There's no clues as to who might take it in the UK though.

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Originally published on Shiny Shiny

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ipad-5-dickson.jpgThere's not a moment's peace to be had for the Apple secrets police. After suffering through dozens of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C leaks in the lead up to last night's launch, we're already getting clear-as-day alleged leaks of the new iPad 5 tablet.

And they're from a credible source, being from the camera of serial leaker Sonny Dickson. He's grabbed over 100 high resolution shots of what he claims is the new iPad, some of which place it side by side with an iPad 4.
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Looking very similar to Dickson's video leak from a few days back, the shots show an iPad notably smaller than the iPad 4, with a thinner edge bezel that seems inspired by the iPad mini design, while retaining the full-size iPad's 9.7-inch screen.

With the iPhone 5S now revealed, it'll be interesting to see which of its new features make the jump to the iPad 5. The Touch ID fingerprint scanner for instance would make a perfect fit for the tablet, though Dickson's photos do little to suggest its inclusion.

Apple's next big launch event is expected to be in October, which would likely be the showcase for new tablet tech. We'll be keeping you up to speed with all the latest rumours and leaks until then, so keep checking back for more whispers.

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From Lenovo comes a new Google Nexus 7 rival, the S5000. Unveiled at IFA 2013 in Berlin, the compact 7inch tablet measures just 7.9mm and is also quite light tipping the scales at 246 grammes.

Running Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), the S5000 packs in a Quad-Core processor, optional 3G HSPA+ connectivity and has a battery capable of up to eight hours of non-stop WiFi web browsing or six hours of HD video viewing - so people can catch-up on the latest music, movies and news from the palm of their hands.

The tablet also comes preloaded with custom apps that allow people to share photos, videos, and documents, protect their device from malicious software, as well as backup and restore important data. The S5000 will be available to buy in 4Q of 2013, priced from £179.99.

For capturing and sharing photos and videos on the move, the S5000 has a 5MP rear-facing camera and boasts sharp, high definition video capturing capability, while the front-facing camera allows for Skype video chats with friends and family.

Also joining the PC+ portfolio today is the Vibe X smartphone sporting front and rear cameras and a high resolution beveled edge glass display. The Vibe X will be available in China from October, and in countries where Lenovo smartphones are sold from the beginning of December.

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Toshiba Encore (2).jpgThere are plenty of new tablets at IFA and among them is this newbie from Toshiba. The Encore tablet runs Windows 8.1and sports a you, guessed it, eight inch screen and Tosh says it is designed for consumers who want a tablet that they can both work and play on.

It features a full version of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 inside and comes with seven GB of free online SkyDrive storage which means files can be stored in the cloud for fast access and synchronisation with other Windows devices. There's also an optional Bluetooth keyboard.

It comes with lots of entertainment style apps on board too including, not surprisingly,the Microsoft Xbox app which also includes free music streaming for 90 days unlimited with access to 30 million songs as well as a selection of free Xbox games.

The tablet is also optimised for Skype and sports advanced camera features and dual beam-forming microphones with noise reduction which Tosh claims gives greater sound clarity during calls.

Other features include an 8.0MP rear camera and 2.0MP front camera,micro-USB for transferring data, micro-HDMI® for connection to larger screens and a microSD slot can also be used to expand storage or share content with other devices.

It goes on sale in Q4.

First published on Shiny Shiny.

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lg-g-pad-83.jpgLG will be looking to muscle in on tablet turf dominated by Apple's iPad Mini and Google's Nexus 7 with their latest slate addition, the LG G Pad 8.3.

The company's second roll of the tablet device following the ill-fated Optimus Pad a few years back, the G Pad 8.3 has a top-end spec sheet, including an 8.3 full HD 1920 x 1080 display.

Running Android 4.2.2, the tablet is powered by a 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor, with operating system re-skinned to include many of the same features found in the recently revealed LG G2 smartphone.

"Complementing our G Series smartphones, the introduction of the LG G Pad 8.3 further strengthens LG's premium lineup consisting of our most cutting-edge devices," said LG CEO and president Dr Jong-seok Park.

"Our G Pad is just another example of LG delivering devices with the unique selling points consumers around the world will appreciate."

Hitting the US and Europe this November, there's no pricing available yet, though LG have confirmed both white and black casing colours will be on offer. We'll look to go hands-on with the tablet at this year's IFA press conference.

Check out LG's teaser trailer for the tablet below:

kobo-aura-2013-thumb.jpgKobo is popping a whole slew of brand new devices onto shelves in the next month or so, with the company updating its line of e-readers and tablets.

The new Kobo Aura e-reader, with its front-lit, 6-inch display looks set to challenge Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite for eBook dominance. Offering a 2 month battery life, 4GB of onboard storage (with SD card support) and boasting a 212 dpi "edge-to-edge" display, it'll set you back £119, hitting stores on September 16th.

Top of the line is the new Kobo Arc 10HD, a 10-inch tablet powered by a 1.8GHz Tegra 4 chipset backed by 2GB of RAM. It's got an impressive-sounding 2,560 x 1,600 display, and has a price tag to match, being the most expensive of the new Kobo devices at £299.

Next up are two 7-inch tablets. The Kobo Arc 7HD is the more impressive of the two, powered by a Tegra 3 processor with 1GB of RAM and making use of a 1,920 x 1,200 display, setting you back £189. Bringing up the rear of the tablet assault is the Kobo Arc 7, making use of a quad-core MediaTek chipset for £119.

Expect to see them all in shops by September.

google-nexus-4.jpgA double-whammy of goodies on offer from Google UK today. As well as being the official UK sales launch date of the company's new Nexus 7, the search giants are also knocking massive chunk off the price of the still-impressive Nexus 4 handset.

Looking first at the new tablet, there are two versions of the 2013 edition of the Nexus 7 on sale. A 16GB model will set you back £199, while the 32GB model is a reasonable £239. There's no delivery charge either (likely to combat the high street stores already selling the tablet too). It's looking a great slate for the price - click here for our full specs run-down.

On top of that, the Nexus 4 smartphone is now down to just £159 for the 8GB model and £199 for the 16GB model, making one of the best bargains in mobile tech even better.

Amazon-Kindle-Fire-HD-8.9-review-01.JPGAmazon's Kindle Fire HD is due its annual scrub up, and new benchmark listings spotted by Android Community suggest it's going to be a considerable upgrade.

Most notable of all new additions hinted at by the benchmark tests is a new 2560 x 1600 high resolution display. Putting the Android-based tab on a par with Samsung's Nexus 10 in terms of resolution, the high pixel density suggests that the benchmarked device is one of Amazon's larger 8.9 inch tablets rather than their 7-inch staples.

Elsewhere the benchmarks also reveal the use of the Adreno 330 GPU. Seeing as that graphics chip is only supported by the zippy Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, it's a safe bet that the new Kindle Fire HD line will be equipped with some of the fastest internals available.

With Amazon recently cutting the price of its existing Kindle Fire line-up, it seems the company is gearing up for an influx of new stock. Don't be surprised if new Kindle tablets land to coincide with next month's IFA conference, or shortly afterwards.

iPad-Mini-01.pngNew iPad and iPad mini models are on the way, according to a new report from Bloomberg. And sooner than you may think too!

The report is pencilling in the two Apple slates for a release between October and December of 2013, just in time for Christmas, giving the company some breathing space between then and the expected September 10 launch of the new iPhone models.

Bloomberg are also corroborating reports previously offered by the WSJ on the design of the two slates. As many would hope, the iPad mini is said to be getting a high resolution Retina display (the one flaw in what many consider the titchy tablet's otherwise excellent design), while the full-fat iPad will retain its Retina display but take on a slimmed down form factor and chassis not unlike the current iPad mini model, albeit a few inches bigger.

The report also supports the earlier September 10 date as the iPhone's unveiling.

Though iPad rumours fly our way thick and fast, to have two highly reputable sources offer very similar information is a sign that perhaps there's some truth to this latest round of whispers. Of course, we'll have the full official details once Apple loosen their fused-shut lips.

ASUS giving up on Windows RT tablets

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asus-vivo-tab-rt-top.jpgASUS will no longer be supporting the Windows RT platform, the company has confirmed, following lacklustre interest in the "lite" version of the Microsoft operating system.

"It's not only our opinion, the industry sentiment is also that Windows RT has not been successful," said ASUS CEO Jerry Shen, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

The company will now focus on Intel-based tablets running the full Windows 8 operating system, alongside their other laptop, desktop and Android tablet interests.

ASUS's diminished interest in Windows RT is a sentiment shared by Nvidia, who also revealed they too had been burned by their involvement with the platform.

Microsoft's own heavily-marketed Windows Surface RT tablet also failed to set the world alight, and was soon superseded by the Surface Pro, running the full-fat version of Windows 8. Poor Surface RT sales led to the Redmond company having to write-down $900m for the Surface tablets in its latest earnings report, with sales only adding to $853m.

Windows RT was designed as a mobile-focussed OS for tablet devices, capable of running on low-power ARM-based systems. However, poor software compatibility and a lack of a traditional Windows desktop environment turned off would-be consumers.

Surface-big-top.jpgNvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has confirmed that his graphics chip manufacturing company are hard at work on the development of Microsoft's Surface RT 2 tablet.

Speaking to CNET, Huang said that his company were "working really hard" on the second generation Surface, in the hope that it will be more successful than its predecessor.

Nvidia provided Tegra 3 chips for the original Surface RT tablet that, while commendable from an industrial design standpoint, had crippling software compatibility issues and seemed a poor purchase choice when saddled up next to the superior Surface Pro, which runs full Windows 8.

"It is the killer app for Windows," Huang told CNET.

"Now we're going to bring it with the second-generation Surface. We're working really hard on it, and we hope that it's going to be a big success."

For Huang, the Surface RT 2 needs to be a far greater success than its predecessor. Though never explicitly pointing a finger at Windows RT as the cause of the companies weakened bottom line, Nvidia are said to have invested some $300 million in the platform, money that Huang admits that "we don't expect it in the short term to come back."

"This particular platform just didn't do as well as we or frankly anybody in the industry had hoped," he stated.

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