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nvidia-shield.pngNvidia may be moving on from purely supplying chips to tablet manufacturers and into the market of making their own branded slates.

Likely inspired by the positive response its innovative Nvidia Shield handheld (pictured above) garnered, Fudzilla are reporting that the GPU manufacturer will be looking to introduce two tablets next year - one a low powered model, and one a top-tier premium tablet.

Fudzilla's European source said the company is looking to squeeze the forthcoming Tegra 5 mobile chipsets, AKA Project Logan, into the high end model, a chip that is said to use just a third of the power consumption most mobile GPU's currently chew through. The source said that its possible this tablet would launch early next year, suggestive of a CES 2014 reveal.

The second "cheaper" tablet would use Nvidia's current gold standard for mobile, the Tegra 4 chip, the same found in the Shield. It would be clocked at a speedy 1.8GHz and power a 1280 x 800 display, running Android 4.2.2.

Seemingly verifying the rumours, German-language tech side Techtab has found a GFXBench benchmark listing for a device called the "Nvidia Tegra Note Premium". While the page now throws up a blank, the URL with the revealing name is still present.

As far as rumours go, we'd say this sounds pretty reasonable. With Nvidia showing interest in becoming a consumer hardware manufacturer in their own right through the Shield, and having lost the next-gen console chip contract to AMD, this could be a valuable new avenue for them to explore.

ASUS, the company Google have signed on to manufacture their own-branded Nexus 7 tablets, have confirmed that the Nexus 7 2 tablets will launch in the UK on August 28.

The sequel to one of the most popular of 7-inch Android tablets, the NExus 7 2 was revealed on July 24, and went on sale in the US just six days later. Thankfully, it looks as though citizens of Blighty haven't had to wait much longer to get their hands on it either.

Stacking up favourably against the competition, the Nexus 7 2 will be avaialble in two configurations - a £199 16GB Wi-Fi model and a £239 32GB Wi-Fi edition.

Packing in a full HD 1920 x 1200 display, the Nexus 7 2, it's the sharpest 7-inch tablet on the market, and is powered by a speedy 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. 2GB of RAM also features, double that found in the original Nexus 7.

As well as hitting high street retailers at the end of the month, expect to be able to purchase the tablet direct from the Google Play store.

RELATED:
Google Nexus 7 2 vs Apple iPad Mini vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD

We're coming up to a full year round since the launch of the iPad 4, and all eyes are now on what Apple will do next with their full-sized world beating tablet line. With leaks beginning to trickle in, Japanese Apple blog MacOtakara have posted a video of what they claim is the casing for the new iPad 5 model.

The video (embedded above) shows what appears to be the standard 9.7-inch format favoured by Apple's larger tablets, rather than the rumours of a larger 12.9 inch device that has been rumoured.

While the video offers little to go on in terms of specs, most interesting is the apparent influence of the iPad mini in this alleged iPad 5 case's design. Look at how thin those left and right hand side bezel edges are, and how much more angular and sharp the curve around into the back plate seems.

There's also interestingly the use of a transparent Apple logo on the rear of the case, though that is likely the by-product of being a prototype model, rather than any design change.

The slim-line bezel also lines up with earlier rumours that Apple were looking to shave as much as a third off the overall weight of the iPad 4 model.

Of course, it could simply be a hoax, but given the warm reception the iPad mini garnered, and Apple's need to show off an updated design for the iPad beyond it simply being a spec boost, this slimmer look is likely the route they will take.

iPad-Mini-08.pngNine months on from the launch of the original iPad mini, all eyes are now on what Apple will bring next to the successor of their small form factor tablet. Top of the list of most-wanted features will most certainly be a high-resolution Retina display, which is now highly tipped for inclusion according to a fresh Wall Street Journal report.

If true, it could mean the full-size iPad resolution of 2048x1536 pixels will be making its way to the smaller slate, just in time to give the full HD Google Nexus 7 2 a run for its money.

The report also claims that, following in the footsteps of the iPod touch line, the iPad mini would be available in a wide range of colours, likely mirroring the iPod touch's red, green, yellow, pink, purple, silver and dark grey shades.

Of course, this being prime time for rumours, there are counter takes on the forthcoming iPad mini also circulating. According to code strings uncovered in the recent iOS 7 beta by 9to5Mac, the iPad mini will land with an upgraded processor, likely an A6-based chip, but without the Retina display.

A processor upgrade is pretty much a given we'd say - it's an important progression to keep the tablet line up to the task of running the most demanding of apps. With the Nexus 7 2 sporting a high resolution display, and rumours of the Kindle Fire HD 2 doing the same, Apple would be putting its mini tablet line in a precarious position if it didn't follow suit.

medion-lifetab-top.jpgWith PC sales falling, German computer manufacturer Medion are taking a stab at breaking into the Android tablet market with their new Lifetab E10310 slate.

A 10.1-inch device with a 1280 x 800 resolution display, it's running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and comes with full Google accreditation and pre-installed Google apps.

There's also a handful of premium apps (somewhat showing Medion's desire to court business users), with Kaspersky Tablet Security and Documents To Go sitting next to the LIFETAB Media player app and self-explanatory Drawing Pad.

Running off a 1.6 GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual core processor, it has 16GB of internal storage (expandable with microSD cards) and 1GB of RAM. 6 hours of battery life is quoted.

Measuring 260.7 x 172 x 12.1 mm and weighing 594g, the tablet includes Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as housing a microHDMI output for pushing the tablet's apps onto a big screen. Should you be mad enough to want to use them, there's a 2MP camera on the rear and a standard 0.3MP front facing camera for video calling.

Available now from ASDA, it's reasonably priced for a 10-inch tablet at £167.

source-code-kindle-fire-hd.pngWith Amazon's main rival in the tablet space (Google with the Nexus 7) haivng shown its hand, it appears that the online-retailer-cum-hardware-manufacturer is almost ready to reveal their own revised tablet line. BGR have got hold of a handful of specs alleged to be for the 7-inch and 8.9-inch 2013 Kindle Fire HD releases.

Citing multiple trusted sources, the 7-inch tablet is said to be sporting a 1920 x 1200 screen (identical to the newly-revealed Nexus 7 2) with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor powering the device. Clocked at 2GHz, that chip is capable of recording and playing back 4K content, making it a notably beefier processor than is currently in the Kindle Fire HD line.

Rounding off the leaked specs is 2GB of RAM, a front-facing camera and storage of options of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. Both Wi-Fi and 3G versions will be available, with the test machines currently using Android 4.2.2.

The 8.9-inch shares pretty much all of the above, including the speedy processor, but comes equipped with high-resolution 2560 x 1600 display and an 8MP rear camera.

The overall look of each tablet will differ from predecessors too, with the 7-inch model using a half-inch-thick bezel, and the 8.9-inch model featuring a bezel three quarters of an inch thick.Each will be shedding a few grammes off their weight too.

Finally, the report suggests a brand new entry-level Kindle Fire model will launch, with 8GB of storage.

No official word from Amazon on this, and with no major press event lined up, it could be a while until we find out from the horses mouth what's to come from the company's tablet line.

RELATED:
REVIEW: Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 tablet
Top 20 Best Free Kindle Fire HD Apps - Temple Run 2, Pinterest and more!

archos-80-titanium-1.JPGreview-line.JPGName: Archos 80 Titanium

Type: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet

Specifications: Click here for full specs

Price as reviewed: £149.99

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Borrowing from the best when it comes to design, the Archos 80 Titanium is a dead-ringer for a shrunken iPad 4. Looking to take on the iPad Mini and next-gen Nexus 7, can this Android slate's performance match its good looks? Read our full review to find out!

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Design
When it comes to looks, the Android tablet market for the most art just can't compare to the craftsmanship that goes into each and every iPad tablet Apple puts out. While it would be disingenuous to call the Archos 80 Titanium's build an inventive design, by ripping off the iPad it's nonetheless resulted in one of the most attractive Android tablets on the market.
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An 8-inch screen sits in a wide white bezel (just like a full-fat iPad's), with the device measuring a tidy 200 mm x 154 mm x 9.9 mm and weighing 440g. It's not the thinnest tablet out there, but it's not the heaviest either, and it sits quite comfortably in the hand. That little extra bezel width is also an advantage when watching movies, as our fingers never fall into a screen-obscuring position. The premium feel of the tablet is capped off with an aluminium backplate, where the rear 2MP camera can also be found (a low-res video calling webcam sits embedded in the bezel around the front). The only black mark against the aesthetic is two visible screws on the top side where the tablet houses its ports. The speaker grille also sits on the rear, and while not unsightly, its positioning means that audio always feels distant and muted.
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There's quite an array of ports too, with the 80 Titanium offering up a micro USB port, a microSD card port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a mini HDMI output along the top edge. That's also where you'll find a dastardly proprietary charging port, meaning you'll always need the 80 Titanium's chunky charger to hand. The top edge also has a small plastic power button on the left side, while the left edge of the tablet has a volume rocker and a rare, small Home return button just above. Though plastic, the buttons feel sturdy, as does the tablet itself: there's no creak or flex to the build, making for one of the better Archos constructions.

The 8-inch screen, running at 1024 x 768 resolution in 4:3 ratio, may not be the sharpest out there (especially when sat beside the new Nexus 7 2's full HD display) but it does make use of a premium IPS display rather than a woeful TN panel. As such, viewing angles are consistently good and colours remain accurate. Brightness levels don't crank up incredibly high but, considering the price, the concessions here are far more easy to stomach than the low-res, high-priced iPad Mini.
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The tablet is powered by a 1.6 GHz dual-core A9 processor, backed by 1GB of RAM and a quad-core GPU Mali 400 MP4. It's a middling spec by today's standards, and you get middling performance asa result - though video streaming and even 3D gaming sessions with the likes of Temple Run 2 often ran without a stutter, multitasking could cause the tablet to hang dramatically. With apps downloading, email syncing, and video paused, even simple tasks like re-arranging the home screen caused the tablet to freeze on occasion. Light use shouldn't cause too many problems, but push the tablet too far and it begins to buckle under the pressure.

Packed with 8GB of storage space, there's a few standard features missing here. Both GPS and Bluetooth are notable absences, while there's no option for a 3G connection across the range either (though a 16GB storage variant is available from selected retailers).

It's worth noting that Wi-Fi performance was at times patchy. While there'd be long stretches without a problem, other times would see the connection drop out entirely, despite being nearby our router and all other Wi-Fi devices having no such similar problem.

Interface, Apps
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In a wise move, Archos have pretty much stuck with the core Android Jelly Bean UI experience. Five homescreens can be customised to your liking, letting you add app shortcuts across the device from the app drawer. There are also a number of resizable Live Widgets pre-loaded onto the 80 Titanium, offering live updating information at a glance. Calendar, web bookmarks and contact details are among the pre-installed widgest, though others such as condensed Twitter or Facebook feeds, email inboxes or weather reports, for example, can be grabbed from the Google Play store.

In terms of pre-installed apps, Archos kit the 80 Titanium out with the full suite of Google apps (Gmail, Google+, YouTube, Maps, etc etc), as well as a few additions of their own. Angry Birds comes pre-installed, as does the OfficeSuite app for document editing. A demo of World of Goo is also present, as is the Zinio digital magazines app and the News Republic news aggregator. Archos-built media players are also onboard.
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And there's of course access to many more apps through the Google Play store. Over 1 million apps are up for sale through the store, and unlike Apple, Google are open to more forms of app submissions, for both better and worse. Though it has a bit more of a Wild West vibe and sometimes attracts hackers, there are also loads of really impressive apps available that can really add to your enjoyment of the Android experience. The catalogue improves all the time; whether you're a gamer, a reader, someone hunting news stories or recipes, a photographer or a blogger, there's something for everyone. Many are free too, and few cost more than £3 or so. When it comes to mapping, the Android version of Google's Maps app is far and away the best navigation solution available, particularly in comparison to the woeful Apple Maps. Likewise, the stock Android web browser is among the best on mobile devices, only bested by Google's own Chrome, itself a free download from the Google Play store.

Media Playback and Gaming
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Archos have a long history in the PMP space, and the 80 Titanium's wide file format support sees them continuing in this fine tradition.

Archos's own Archos Video app is included and is a very nice video player app, pulling in video information from sources including IMDB and themoviedb.org (and playing back AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MPG, PS, TS, MKV, FLV files with H.264 HD and MPEG-42 HD codecs). The Archos Music app is a similarly capable library tool for managing your music collection on the tablet, supporting MP3, WAV, AAC3, AAC+ 5.13, OGG Vorbis and FLAC files. Both apps are attractive and easy to navigate, and arguably better than the stock Android alternatives.

For the most part, video playback is solid, with only a rare stutter in some of the high-resolution files we tested on the tablet. It's a nicely sized screen, and streaming a couple of Breaking Bad episodes to the device while tucked up in bed was a pleasant viewing experience.
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What was less pleasant was the sound - the rear facing speaker is tinny, and, being directed away from the listener, feels distant and disconnected from the action on screen. Invest in a pair of headphones and you'll be fine, but don't expect to have your friends gathered around the screen with much joy.

MicroSD card support gives you the option of adding a further 64GB of storage space to the device, so as a portable player it's fairly well equipped.

Gaming on the tablet is again generally enjoyable. It'll have no problem playing a round of Angry Birds and other casual titles, and even more demanding games like endless runner Temple Run 2. However, major 3D titles like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City can at times prove too much for the tablet, booting us on occasion back to the homescreen. Expect the tablet to get quite hot while attempting such gaming sessions too, but never so much as to make it dangerous nor uncomfortable to use.

Camera performance
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You'd have to be bonkers to use a tablet as your primary photography device given their size, and even if you insisted, absolutely crazy to chose the Archos 80 Titanium for this purpose. It's rear 2MP camera's shooting abilities are woeful. Washed out and low-resolution, there's no detail in any of the snaps we shot on the device, leading every potential Ansel Adams moments to instead be a watery, blurred mess.

Video suffers equally, with low-resolution 640x480 clips captured at a stuttering 9 frames per second. You can get feature phones that are capable of better than that, and the audio captured is equally poor. Don't even think about shooting stills or videos at night either - terrible low light performance makes a nightmare out of both, and the lack of a flash doesn't help in this respect either.

Battery life

A constant stream of HD video to the Archos tablet over Wi-Fi squeezed four hours and ten minutes worth of battery life out of the device, with the screen set to maximum brightness. Dialling the brightness down to half way and playing back a locally-stored HD video with Wi-Fi switched off pushed that up to just shy of 6 hours. That's not a bad stretch for a battery in a 7-inch tablet, though not quite a match for the 10 hours you can squeeze out of a Nexus 7.

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Verdict:

Relatively inexpensive, and with a very attractive design, the Archos 80 Titanium isn't half bad. It has its flaws, including its struggles with multitasking, a poor speaker and so-bad-it-wasn't-worth-including camera, but it is able to counteract these problems with a very watchable screen, a pure Android experience with strong multimedia support and reasonable performance capabilities for basic singular tasks. It's not quite a top flight contender yet, but it shows that Archos have finally begun to understand what it takes to make a worthy Android tablet.review-line.JPG

3.5/5

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nexus-7-2-compare-top.jpgreview-line.JPGGoogle's original Nexus 7 tablet was the finest slice of pocketable Android you could buy upon release, offering a strong spec sheet at an affordable price. A year on and we now have its successor, the Google Nexus 7 2, boosting the specs and keeping the price relatively low.

It enters a market however now brimming with superb seven inch tablet devices, with major competition from the well-received Apple iPad Mini to Amazon's Kindle Fire HD.

The Google Nexus 7 2 is looking a fine tablet, and the Amazon and Apple rivals have already established themselves as great, worthy tablet purchases. So which should you be laying down the cash on? We put the three tablets head-to-head in this spec sheet showdown as we await our full final review verdict on the Google Nexus 7 2.

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Design
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Apple iPad Mini

Much like an iPod touch but blown up to 7.9 inches in size, the iPad Mini is a real looker. A diminutive iPad or oversized iPod Touch depending on how you look at it, the aluminium-built tablet still keeps Apple's exacting build quality standards. Its dimensions measure 200mm x 134.7mm x 7.2mm, with the tablet weighing just 308 grams. As is standard with Apple mobile products, a single Home button sits on the bottom edge of the bezel, with a video conferencing camera up top. With a thinner bezel on the sides and a curved back, it'll fit nicely into one hand. A 5MP camera sits on the rear.

Google Nexus 7 2

Google's Nexus 7 2 tablet measures 7 inches across (200×114×8.65 mm), and is still built in partnership with ASUS. Thinner and lighter than its predecessor at 290g for the Wi-Fi version (299g with a cellular connection), it's the lightest tablet on this list and is a clean refinement of last year's model. Fitting nicely in one hand and finished with a matte black plastic coating, a black bezel around the screen gives room to rest fingers, without impeding the size of the actual display. A scratch resistant Corning glass display should go some way to protecting the device from bumps and scrapes, and while its casing is built from plastic rather than the metal build found in iPad models, its grip-textured black backing looks to offer the same premium feel as its predecessor. This year's model also introduces stereo speakers to the design, as well as a rear 5MP camera capable of 1080p recording.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD is a little smaller in height than the Nexus 7 2 at 193 mm x 137 mm x 10.3 mm, and considerably heavier at 395 grams. Again, it fits nicely in one hand, but has a slightly wider black bezel than we'd usually hope for. Gorilla Glass protects the screen from scrapes, and though built from black rubberised plastic, the casing still looks good and feels solidly put together.

Hardware
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Apple iPad Mini

Under the hood of the iPad Mini you'll find an Apple A5 dual-core processor, the same as is found in the full size iPad 2, but not as speedy as the brand-spanking new A6X chip in the just-unveiled iPad 4th generation. This should be perfect for watching high-definition video and scrolling through web pages and 2D apps, though intensive 3D gaming apps that run smoothly on the newest full-size iPads may not work at all.

Both Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity is available in the iPad Mini, meaning that even if you're away from a Wi-Fi connection, you'll still be able to get speedy web access on the tablet over a mobile connection. In the UK, EE offer 4G mobile connections, and they're not too outlandishly priced; expect a £5 to £10 premium per month over standard 3G connections.

Two cameras feature on the iPad Mini, a 5MP iSight Camera on the rear and a 720p HD Facetime camera for video calling up front. Apple's imaging technology tends to be pretty good, so expect good results from the rear camera for still photos. You'll still look a pillock using a tablet-sized device as a camera.

Sadly, the Retina Display doesn't make it into the iPad Mini. The 7.9 inch display runs at a relatively low 1024x768 resolution, with a 163ppi. That's lower than all the other tablets on this list, and disappointing considering Apple's pedigree in this field.

Other features include an accelerometer, Bluetooth, GPS and gyroscope, but there's no NFC contactless data transfer option, one of the tech industry's current most-wanted features.

Google Nexus 7 2

The Nexus 7 2 uses a stonking 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 8064 processor, with an Adreno 320 GPU that should allow games and apps to run buttery smooth.

Wi-Fi connectivity is built in, with a 4G option on the way, a point sorely missing from last year's model and a welcome introduction here.

A microphone and front-facing camera is available for video calling, and the Nexus 7 2 now also sports a 5MP rear camera, capable of 1080p video capture - again, a feature missing from last year's edition.

Perhaps most striking of all though will be the improvements made to the screen. The 7-inch tablet now sports a 1920 x 1200 resolution display, giving it a super-sharp 323ppi, making it the sharpest tablet in its class.

Other features include an accelerometer, GPS, magnetometer and gyroscope. NFC connectivity is available too, letting you use the Android Beam feature to touch two devices together to share information and files. This year's model also introduces Qi wireless charging, letting you power up the tablet without reaching for a wired charger.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

The Kindle Fire HD uses a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. That's fine for basic web browsing and apps that aren't too graphically intensive, but 3D games can struggle to keep consistent frame rates. For most tableting tasks though, it shouldn't be a problem; watching 720p video for instance is great.

Wi-Fi connectivity is built in, but there's no 3G or 4G option here seeing the tablet lose ground to its Apple and Google competition, meaning you'll again need to be near a Wi-Fi network or public hotspot to access web features.

A microphone and front-facing HD camera is available for video calling, but there's no rear-camera. That's not necessarily a bad thing seeing how ridiculous you look taking a photo on a tablet.

A 1280x800 screen offers up a 216ppi. It's not as sharp as the latest Nexus tablet, but it's still a crisp display; colours are vibrant and black deep, making this easily one of the better 7-inch tablet screens on the market.

Other sensors include an accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as Bluetooth connectivity a microUSB connection and a handy micro-HDMI connection for pushing videos and pictures to a big screen, a great feature missing from the other tablets here.

Interface and Apps
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Apple iPad Mini

iOS 6 sits in Apple's iPad Mini, and it's wonderfully designed. While not as customisable as Google's Android, it's easy on the eye and incredibly easy to use; put an iPad Mini in a tech novice's hands and they'll figure out how to work it in minutes.

iOS 6 is Apple's most current mobile operating system. It puts software known as apps into a grid of icons. Simply tapping them fires them up. Apps can be dragged on top of each other to create folders, or spread across multiple homescreens. Notifications such as email alerts and social networking updates can be accessed by dragging a toolbar down from the top of the screen. It's all very simple and intuitive.

Apps can be purchased from Apple's App Store. Seeing as they invented the whole concept of mobile "Apps" as we know them today, it's unsurprising that their's is the most comprehensive offering on this list. Over 700,000 apps are available to iPad Mini users, 275,000 of which are optimised for the iPad Mini. Be it gaming apps, educational apps, photography apps, music or reference, the App Store's wares are of a consistently high standard. "There's an App for everything" to coin Apple's phrase, but its pretty much true, and plenty of them are free too.

Google Nexus 7 2

Being a Google-branded device, the Nexus 7 2 is obviously be going to use Android, the search giant's own mobile operating system, as the base of its software. The Nexus 7 2 brings with it the launch of Android version 4.3, which introduces multi-user restricted profiles, better Bluetooth power management, OpenGL/ES 3.0, and notification access that will let you push content to another connected device - say a smart watch of Google Glass headset, for instance.

Android is a great operating system, and it's here in its "vanilla" version, unsullied by bloatware or design changes that other manufacturers sometimes lay on top of Google's open OS.

As well as the afore-mentioned Android Beam NFC functionality, Android has plenty working in its favour. Multiple homescreens can be totally customised, with intuitive "long presses" letting you add app shortcuts across the device. There are also resizeable Live Widgets available through Android; these are larger icons spread across the homescreens that offer live updating information at a glance. These may come in the form of condensed Twitter or Facebook feeds, email inboxes or weather reports, for example. It's a great looking OS and incredibly flexible, though it's slightly more complex than Apple's iOS, which idiot-proofs all access to settings and customisation options. Tech tinkerers will get the most from Android.

Apps come courtesy of Google's Play Store. There are over 1 million apps available through the store, and unlike Apple, Google are open to more wacky (sometimes dubious) submissions. While this makes it slightly more prone to attracting hackers and unsavoury apps, there are also loads of really incredible apps for unlocking the full potential of your hardware. The standard of Android apps has greatly improved in recent times; whether you're a gamer, a reader, someone hunting news stories or recipes, a photographer or a blogger, there's something for everyone. Many are free too, and few cost more than £3 or so. When it comes to mapping, Google's Maps app, included here for free, is far and away the best solution, particularly in comparison to the woeful Apple Maps.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

A heavily-altered version of Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS is installed on the Kindle Fire HD. Clearly directed at encouraging you to buy content from Amazon's online stores, it's not very customisable at all, and not always a pleasant experience to use.

On the main screen a central carrousel of your most recently used apps, books, videos and magazines can be spun through. Once you settle on one, a row appears below that suggests similar content that other users have bought. A search bar sits at the top of the screen, while a list of categorised sections houses similar content together below that. It's easy to find what you want, though the connected content stores are often slow to load, and don't make great use of the screen real estate on offer to display the information you need.

Despite being an Android device, the Kindle Fire HD has its own Android app store. This is bad, not because it doesn't work or isn't easy to navigate, but because it offers far less apps than the standard Google Play Store does. You'll still get all the big names (Twitter, Facebook, Angry Birds etc), but there's just not as much to chose from. Gamers may want to look elsewhere regardless; the dual-core processor isn't quite up to the task of playing more advanced Android games.

Video
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Apple iPad Mini

If you're familiar with Apple's iTunes store then you'll be right at home downloading movies and TV shows on the iPad Mini. A gigantic catalogue of films in both standard definition and high definition can be both rented and bought from the store. New releases in HD quality are usually about £13.99, and standard definition films about £9.99. The quality of films on iTunes is top notch; if you can buy it online or in your local HMV, chances are you'll find it on iTunes. It's a shame the screen resolution is lower than on a regular sized iPad, though with the screen significantly smaller, it'll still be very easy on the eye.

Transferring your own content onto an iPad can be bit troublesome, as you have to connect to a Mac or PC and use the desktop iTunes software to manage your content. It can be picky about which file formats it accepts, so it may be worth investing in some file format conversion software or hunting down a reliable one online.

Regardless, the App Store has loads of great movie streaming apps, including LOVEFiLM and Netflix. Movie buffs will be spoiled for choice.

Google Nexus 7 2

The default option for getting movies and TV shows onto the Google Nexus 7 2 is Google's Play Movies store. Here you can rent movies, or if you live in the US TV shows too. New releases are never more than £3.49 for standard definition or £4.49 for HD content. There's a good selection of movies from across the ages (though there's a bias towards newer blockbusters), and the improved display of the Nexus 7 2 paired with the stereo speakers promises to be a lush viewing experience.

As well as easily adding your own personal video collection from a PC over the included microUSB connection, the Google Play app store has access to many other video playing and streaming apps, such as Netflix. There are plenty of options for film fans here.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Through the Amazon Prime one-month trial that comes with the tablet (usually £49 a year with a host of other benefits), you get unlimited access to the Amazon Instant Video collection, offering Netflix style streaming. Searching for content is easy and the library is robust. If you're a LOVEFiLM Instant subscriber, you also get "X-Ray" features with movies, which hooks up to the IMDB movie fact database and overlays key details over the action. There are less movie options available to Kindle Fire HD users, but what's on offer here is of a high standard, in terms of both titles and the way they're presented.

Also, the speakers on the Kindle Fire HD are superb, loud enough for a few friends to comfortably cram around the screen and have listen. Though not as sharp as the Nexus 7 2, contrast levels are deep and colours incredibly vibrant on the Kindle Fire HD. Visually and sonically, we expect it to hold its own against Google's latest.

Books
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Apple iPad Mini

iBooks is your portal to literature on the iPad Mini. It offers 1.5 million books (many of which are free) and arranges them in an attractive bookshelf-style library. Text can be resized to suit your preference, with books slightly cheaper than their paper-and-print counterparts.

iCloud features mean that if you own another Apple device, like an iPhone, you can read on one device and pick up on another exactly where you left off on the other device. The new version of iBooks launched tonight also offers continuos scrolling as an option if you'd rather read your books as one long document, and adds Twitter and Facebook sharing of your favourite quotations and passages.

If you're after newspapers of magazines, Newstand is your app of choice, letting you add subscriptions to many major publications, automatically downloading new issues as they become available. Many publishers put most effort into the iPad versions of their magazines, making for the most interactive and visually appealing versions available in any medium. The same goes for comics, with a really love selection of apps available for fans of the superhero's medium of choice.

Google Nexus 7 2

As with Play Movies, there's the Play Books app for literature on the Nexus 7 2. It's an easily navigated store, broken down into categories and highlighting new releases or popular collections or seasonal genres. There are plenty of free classic books on the store, while new releases are pretty much a match for other outlets, and usually a few quid cheaper than the paper versions. Magazines are available through the Google Play Magazines app too, offering subscriptions and back issues. They look great, with full screen, colourful photography. Books come in open ePub and PDF formats, which work with most devices other than the Kindle eReaders.

Again, the Google Play Store houses plenty of other reading material, from Amazon's own excellent Kindle app to comic book readers form the likes of Marvel and DC, as well as standalone single book apps.

Reading on the Google Nexus 7 was comfortable, and we see no reason why it won't be even better on the Nexus 7 2's improved screen; many apps offer adjustable text sizes and the backlight makes it good for reading in the dark, though it's not a patch on how comfortable it is to read an e-Ink eReader or regular paperback.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD is probably the best option if you're into your books of the three tablets compared here. Tapping into the extensive Kindle book store, you've got nearly a million books on offer, the majority of which are under £3.99 and many free too. Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI and PRC files formats are handled natively, and there's also support for Audible Enhanced format (AAX), DOC and DOCX formats through other apps. Whispersync technology keeps all your bookmarks and last page read in books tracked across devices; if you read on a smartphone or Kindle eReader as well as the Kindle Fire HD, you'll go back to the right point as soon as you pick up the next device.

Amazon Prime members also get access to the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, letting you "rent" 180,000 titles for free, with no due dates. You'll get one book a month, with a one month free trial for Amazon Prime with the Kindle Fire HD. Prime subscriptions cost £49 a year, and adds unlimited free one-day delivery to all your physical Amazon.co.uk orders as well as other benefits.

150 magazines are available through the Kindle Fire HD too, including Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair, as well as newspapers such as the Guardian. Subscriptions are uniformly cheaper than print editions and look great on the vibrant screen.

Storage
google-nexus-7-hand.jpg
Apple iPad Mini

16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions of the iPad Mini are available, offering a nice spread of storage options for all budgets. However, with the size of iOS apps skyrocketing since the introduction of the Retina Display, you're best to grab the 32GB version at the very least. There's no microSD expansion on offer here either; once you've bought it that's all the physical storage space you're ever going to get.

If you need more storage space, you're going to have to find a cloud storage provider. We'd suggest Dropbox (being free and offering the easiest ways to expand your storage space without spending an extra penny), though Apple's iCloud may be more up your street, particularly if you regularly use other Apple products. 5GB of iCloud storage comes as free, but for a fee that can be expanded to as much as 50GB.

Google Nexus 7

The Google Nexus 7 2 will come in 16GB and 32GB versions. You can of course supplement storage with a cloud-based solution. We'd suggest Dropbox which is free, and offers plenty of ways to easily boost the amount of storage space you're initially given for free too as well as premium options. There's of course Google's Drive option too, if you prefer to keep all your Google branded products nestled together.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

16GB and 32GB versions of the Kindle Fire HD are available, and all models are well priced for the storage they offer. Again, there's no microSD slot here, so you'll need to supplement storage with a cloud service. Amazon offer unlimited free cloud storage space for any item you buy from their stores and limited storage space for your personal files, though we'd still recommend Dropbox for your own files.

Battery Life
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Apple iPad Mini

You'll get 10 hours of web browsing, video viewing or music playback from the iPad Mini, or 9 hours if you're connected to a cellular network. From our experience with other iPads, that's a pretty trustworthy estimate, and pretty much as good as it gets in tablet land.

Google Nexus 7

Google quote 9 hours of HD video playback for the Nexus 7 2's 3,950mAh battery. That's above average and commendable, though we'd like to put it through its paces before wholly recommending it.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

the Kindle Fire HD offers 11 quoted hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music. Again that's above average and a good amount of time, but as Amazon admits, that'll vary depending on your usage.

Price

Apple iPad Mini

In the UK the iPad Mini Wi-Fi sells for £269 for the 16GB model, £349 for the 32GB model and £429 for the 64GB model. Pop £100 onto the end of each of those prices if you want a version with a 4G connection.

Google Nexus 7

The new Nexus 7 2 will ship in the UK from September 13, and is set to cost £199.99 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version and £239.99 for the 32GB version. A 4G variant has been announced, but no pricing or network details have been revealed for UK users yet. Even for the Wi-Fi only version alone that's a significant jump up in price from the original Nexus 7 tablet, though still represents good value for money given the spec sheet.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon have a slightly different approach to pricing the Kindle Fire HD, offering a slightly cheaper version that pops the odd advert onto the lock screen. The ad-supported version costs £159 for the 16GB version and £199 for the 32GB version. These adverts aren't intrusive, so if you're counting the pennies, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

If you cant handle adverts of any kind, the ad-free 16GB version costs £169, with the 32GB set at £209. Whichever version you go for, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is cheap as chips.
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WINNER: Google Nexus 7 2
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Two years running, we expect the Nexus 7 2 to retain its crown as the king of 7-inch tablets. Making improvements across the board, and only slightly increasing the price, it's looking set to be a lovely device.

It's not as cheap as the Kindle Fire HD, and considerably more expensive than the original Nexus 7, but offers a far better, open software experience through vanilla Android 4.3,. It's also still cheaper than Apple's iPad Mini, despite packing in a screen that makes Apple's little tablet seem a little lacklustre.

With a 4G cellular connection now also offered it now matches the iPad Mini in this regard and wipes the floor with the Wi-Fi only Kindle Fire HD, as well as offering a useful NFC option, and a far more streamlined way of getting your own content onto the tablet over USB.

Of course, Apple's App Store remains the pack leader, but Google's Play Store is now of a comparably high standard, as are its media content and books stores. Amazon's App Store really lets it down in this regard, as does its pushy commerce-driven interface, though it still sports the best bookshop of the three.

It remains a close run race though. While the Kindle Fire HD now seems to be falling behind the pack, having an affinity for iOS or Android will likely swing it for most users towards either the iPad Mini or Nexus 7 2. Those comfortable with Android though will find a significantly improved tablet awaiting them in the form of the Nexus 7 2 however.
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Google have a glitzy New York launch event lined up tonight, where the search giants are almost certainly going to be lifting the covers off the much-leaked Nexus 7 2 tablet, as well as giving us our first official glimpse of Android 4.3.

And you can watch it all right here! The event kicks off at 5pm GMT (9am PT), and can be streamed from start to finish from that time in the video above.

Also keep an eye out for a re-vamped Nexus Q streaming system, and likely some new details on Google Glass to boot.

And they may have to make up all of tonight's surprise too, seeing as Best Buy jumped the gun and spilled the beans on all the Nexus 7 2's core specifications.

Esquire-ipad-cover-magazine.JPGIf you're anything like me, before you leave for work in the morning you not only check you've got your keys, your wallet and your phone, but you're also now checking that you've got your tablet too. My iPad's become an essential part of both my working life and my leisure time. So it came as no surprise today when Lekiosk (purveyors of app-based digital magazine downloads) revealed the results of a poll of 2,000 tablet users that showed half expect to take their tablet on holiday with them.

What was a tad more surprising was just how paranoid they were about the slates being stolen, with 36% sounding like their holidays were ruined by having to "constantly" keep an eye on their belongings, while a further 29% "admitted to taking the precaution of hiding their valuables under clothes or in shoes".

In the case of hiding the iPad, they must be some pretty big shoes. But the results got Lekiosk thinking, and they've now put together a prototype run of iPad cases, designed as anti-theft protection as much as a physical defence against bumps and scrapes, which disguise the tablet as an inexpensive magazine. Lekiosk show off designs that include Esquire and Marie Claire, to name just a few titles they're considering to turn into cases.

"When it comes to providing entertainment, tablets like the iPad are extremely versatile - that's why so many Brits have started taking the devices on holiday with them," said Nathaniel Philippe, lekiosk's Head of International Business Development.

"But there aren't as many iTravellers as there might be - because people are worried that their precious slates will be targeted by sea- and pool-side thieves. And even the Brits who do take their tablets on holiday with them are resorting to watching them like hawks - or taking a risk and hiding them under piles of clothing. That's why we've developed these very special anti-theft devices that let Brits hide their tablets in plain sight - and experience the kind of true relaxation that everyone goes on holiday to find."

It's a pretty smart idea - I've certainly never heard of anyone going out of their way to nick a magazine before. Having said that, having yesteryear's flavour of the week on front of a magazine (as the cases begin to age) may become a bit of a giveaway as to what's really hidden beneath the glossy cover.

Not quite ready for mass distribution, Lekiosk are gauging interest in the case designs before potentially moving onto production of a full line of the cases in time for summer 2014.

nexus-7-2-press-official-leak.jpgTaking the wind out of Google's sails, BestBuy have jumped the gun and released official press shots and specifications for the Google Nexus 7 2 tablet on their website.

Spilling the beans ahead of the widely-expected official confirmation from the big G itself, the Nexus 7 2 is set to include a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Pro S4 8064 processor with Adreno 320 graphics and 2GB of RAM. A 5-megapixel rear-facing camera makes its first appearance in the Nexus 7 line, alongside a 1.2-megapixel video camera on the front.

Sticking to the 7-inch screen size, the Nexus 7 2 will use a 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS LCD screen, up from the 1280 x 800 screen in the original. Measurements are listed as 114.3 x 200.6 x 7.6mm. with a weight of 317.5g.

The brand-new Android Jelly Bean 4.3 will be the tablet's operating system, do we'll have to wait until later today for the official details on what this latest release includes.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 are both included, but so far there's no sign of a 3G or 4G model. Model variants are instead dictated by storage space, with both 16GB and 32GB on offer. Contrary to earlier reports, there's no HDMI output either.

Best Buy will be selling the tablet at $269.99 for the 32GB version, and $229.99 for the 16GB version.

We'll have full confirmation of these details and more a little later in the day, so keep your eyes peeled. For now, check out the latest leaked press imagery of the Google NExus 7 2 below.

Thumbnail image for nexus-7-gen-2.pngCheap-as-chips, but offering performance and build-quality that hadn't been matched in the 7-inch Android stakes upon its release, Google's Nexus 7 was (and, indeed remains) one of the finest 7-inch Android tablets on the market.

Now a year on since its release, the rumours surrounding a successor to the ASUS-built slate are hotting up, with a Nexus 7 2 seemingly sitting just over the horizon. While we wait for official confirmation of the device from the big G, we've pooled together all the info, leaks and rumours we could find into this post to give you a good look at what to expect from the forthcoming slate.

Design and build

For the most part, the Nexus 7 2 looks to retain a very similar design to that of its predecessor. Heck, there's only so much you can do with a 7-inch tablet design, and with the original Nexus 7 being comfortable in the hand, that's no bad thing.

Still a tough plastic rectangular slate according to the press shots leaked by EvLeaks, the tablet looks set to keep its predecessor's matte-back finish, with a vertical Nexus logo across the rear and a smaller ASUS logo horizontal on the back. Both front and rear cameras feature, while the tablet seems to be finding inspiration from the Kindle tablet range by offering stereo speakers, placed (when held in portrait orientation) at the top and bottom of the tablet, facing backwards. An eagle-eyed Twitter user also spotted a new notifications light, sitting at the bottom of the tablet, in a recent Google+ Hangouts promo videos. 16GB and 32GB models are expected, as well as Wi-Fi and 3G versions. Considering how pretty much every major mobile and tablet device now supports 4G LTE connectivity too, expect a 4G variant to be released at some point too.

Screen

The Google Nexus 7's 1280 x 800 screen was top-notch at launch, but with even 5-inch smartphones packing in a full HD display, it's looking a little less sharp than the competition. The Nexus 2 looks to rectify this, with Android Central claiming to have got hold of a spec sheet showing the new tablet to have a full-HD 1080p 7 inch display. That'd give the tablet a 323ppi, making it one of the sharpest on the market, and pulling it in line with Google's hi-res Nexus 10 device.

Processor and RAM

Both processor and RAM seem set to get a boost in the Nexus 7 sequel, with a leaked product sheet passed on to Engadget revealing that the Nexus 7 2 should ship with a quad-core 1.5GHz processor. With the Nexus 7 housing a NVIDIA Tegra 3, could the Nexus 7 pack in the new NVIDIA Tegra 4?

As for RAM, conflicting reports put it between 2GB and 4GB. 2GB is pretty standard among high-end Android devices these days, so 4GB would be an impressive spec, if potentially overkill.
nexus-7-2-specs-leak.jpgCamera

No-one in their right mind should be using a tablet as a camera, and Google and ASUS spared us the indignity of watching morons walking around snapping away with a rear-mounted camera on the original Nexus 7 by only equipping the tablet is a low-resolution front facing one.

That doesn't seem to be the continued plan with the Nexus 7 however, with the EvLeaks image clearly showing a rear camera in the top corner. Engadget's leaked spec sheet tips that to be a 5MP unit.

Operating System

Plenty of sources have revealed that the new version of Android, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, is doing the rounds in the wild on test devices, and it seems almost certain that the Nexus 7 will be the device to officially launch it.

What's new then? Not too much really, though the reworked operating system is expected to improve touch sensitivity for smaller icons and buttons, include new dialler options and introduce Bluetooth Low Energy and OpenGL ES 3.0 support. There's also the potential for a new camera app, which chimes well with the introduction of the rear-mounted snapper.

Features

For the tablet's key features we once again turn to the Engadget leak, which suggests the tbalet will be compatible with wireless charging devices, as well as offering a slim port for 1080p output to a HD TV. There's no fancy S-Pen like you'd get with a Samsung Note, but the Nexus 7's core performance has always been the most important aspect of its success. Expect NFC connectivity to be a returning feature too.

Price

One of the most attractive features of the original Nexus 7 was its price, with the 16GB Wi-Fi version currently sitting at an inexpensive £159. The Nexus 7 2, according to a number of retailer leaks will be slightly more pricey. Expect to pay $269.99 for the larger 32GB model, according to an OfficeMax leak, which would likely push UK pricing beyond the £200 mark for that model. That would still be a great price for the tablet, should these proposed specifications prove to be true. A leaked BestBuy advert however states that the tablets will start at $229.99.

Release date and launch

Google have a press event set for July 24, which means we could see the tablet launch as soon as this week. As for release, a Staples leak suggests that the company will be selling the tablet from July 31 - an exact week after Google's expected announcement. Sounds legit to us! A BestBuy leak puts the launch a day earlier on Tuesday July 30 though.

We wil be bringing you all the official Google Nexus 7 2 news as we get it, so keep your Tech Digest browser tabs open!

nexus-7-gen-2.pngImages purported to be of the next-generation Nexus 7 tablet have leaked online, showing off what appears to be the final design for the follow-up to the popular Android tablet.

Perennial leakers EvLeaks have got their hands on a leaked press shot of the tablet, seemingly confirming that the Google/ASUS partnership has delivered a device that looks incredibly similar to its predessecor.

Speakers sit at the top and bottom of the device, with the headphone jack sat also along the top. Both front and rear cameras feature, with the Nexus logo sitting around halfway down the back, with an embossed ASUS logo at the bottom.

In terms of specifications, previous leaks have said to expect a full HD 1080p resolution screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of DDR3L RAM, a Slim Port for 1080p video playback over HDMI, and wireless charging. Android 4.3 looks set to be the operating system of choice, which is expected to be announced alongside the new tablet. Both 16 and 32GB variants will be available, with a leaked BestBuy advert stating the tablets will start at $229.99 and become available from Tuesday 30 July.

Google have a press event lined up for 24 July. Expect to hear more then.

Huawei-Media-pad7-youth.jpgHuawei are continuing their assault on the 7-inch Android tablet market, today following up on the previously released MediaPad 7, MediaPad 7 Vogue and MediaPad 7 Lite with the all-new MediaPad 7 Youth.

Aimed at the youth market (or "connected generation", as Huawei like to call them), it features a 7-inch display, a 1.6GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and a 4100mAh battery.

Both Wi-Fi-only and 3G + Wi-Fi versions will be available, with the tablet also retaining phone functionality, much like the Asus FonePad.

Weighing 350g, its brushed aluminium construction could elevate it above other cut-price Android tablets.

"The MediaPad 7 Youth is a versatile tablet that provides an unsurpassed experience across hardware and software,"said Wang Yinfeng, Vice President, Home Connected Device Product Line, Huawei Device.

"Ideal for young people who are always on the move, the MediaPad 7 Youth delivers on Huawei's promise to make extraordinary technology experiences accessible for all."

Launching in Q3 in Russia, China, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Europe, we'll pass on UK-specific pricing and availability information as we get it.

iPad-Mini-03.pngApple's little tablet that could, the iPad mini, may be getting a successor sooner than previously expected, according to supply chain sources.

Though the iPad mini 2, expected to be packing in Apple's Retina display technology, was thought to have been delayed due to problems manufacturing the high-resolution screen, DigiTimes are now claiming that all is well on the production line and that the tablet will be ready for an October 2013 launch. The source is even confident that shipments could hit between two to three million a month in time for the Christmas rush.

The site claims Apple are also on track to get the iPad 5 out and into stores by the end of the year. LG are said to be putting together the tablets' 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 Retina displays, aiming to ship 2.5 to 3 million displays for the third quarter of 2013. More than half of those will go into the new iPad 5 tablet, with the remainder used in older generation tablets or stockpiled for repairs.

Backing up previous claims, DigiTimes also state that the iPad 5 will be lighter and thinner than earlier iterations, with a single light tube in ints backlight rather than the standard two, presumably aiding battery life.

As you'd expect, there's been no word from Apple on any of this, but we'll keep you posted with any official news as we receive it.

Surface-big-top.jpgMicrosoft have revealed their fiscal Q4 2013 earnings. And while overall impressive (with the company posting fourth-quarter earnings of $4.97 billion - 59 cents a share - on revenue of $19.9 billion), it also revealed disappointing Surface RT tablet performance resulting in a write down on the tablet inventory.

As such, Surface RT caused a $900 million loss, amounting to 7 cents a share. It seems the company over-estimated demand for the RT model, leading to stock overloads, though the loss only affected revenue for Windows.

However, even with the loss, Windows division still showed a year-on-year revenue increase thanks to strengthening sales of the Windows 8 operating system and devices carrying its license.

Surface sales have increased during the first quarter of 2013, though this is likely thanks to increased availability of the Surface Pro models, which run the full version of Windows 8 and reviewed much better than the RT models.

Just this week Microsoft slashed the prices of their Surface RT machines, which now seems obviously due to static stock. The 32GB model now costs £279, down from £399, while the 64GB model now costs £359, down from £479.

mediapad-lite-7-top.jpgSmartphone or tablet? Smartphone or tablet? Smartphone or tablet? With purse strings pulling tightly across austerity Britain, it's a tough call to make.

Looking to ease the pain of having to pick one over the other, TalkTalk Mobile are offering a new combo deal that offers their customers both a tablet and smartphone for just £10 a month.

The deal offers a pair of Huawei devices. For the smartphone, you're getting the Ascend Y210, a budget handset with a 3.5-inch display, 2-megapixel camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, powered by a 1GHz single core processor.The MediaPad Lite 7 tablet (pictured) features a 7-inch 1024 X 600 LCD screen, 1.2GHz single core CPU, 1GB of RAM and an SD slot providing extendable memory of up to 32 GB. Neither are particularly exciting, but for a fiver a month each, it's hard to complain.

"Since its launch in 2012, TalkTalk Mobile has led the way in bringing better value mobile offers to the market and we're doing it again with this incredible offer," said Tristia Harrison, Commercial Director of TalkTalk.

"Our customers tell us that they love being able to get the latest technology at low prices, so we're delighted to be bolstering our tablet and smartphone offering with these great new Huawei devices."

TalkTalk will also be offering the new Huawei P6 handset, the world's thinnest smartphone at just 6.18mm thick, on £20 a month contracts. Running Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 off a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, the deal bags you the handset for free with 100 minutes, 250 texts and 200MB of data. Not the most generous of plans - those wanting more flexibility should go for the £35 a month plan, bagging 1000 minutes, 3000 texts and 4GB of data.

Head over to mobile.talktalk.co.uk to check out the deals in detail.

UKStore_mag.pngLekiosk is one of the most popular digital magazine reading applications on IOS and Android, popular thanks to its 3D newsstand-like interface.

And now it's headed to the Windows 8 operating system!

Publishers already touting their wares using lekiosk include the BBC and Dennis Publishing, with magazines such as Wired and T3 available through the service. The magazine library is expected to grow too in the coming months as more and more publishers are being added to lekiosk.

The move of lekiosk to Windows 8 is aimed to bring the digital reading platform to as many desktop users as possible, not to mention the growing number of Windows 8 tablet users. The popularity of Windows 8 has bloomed well with over 60 million licenses sold since release. lekiosk will be looking to capitalise upon the growing userbase, likely to grow substantially again once the consumer friendly features of the Windows 8.1 update land.

lekiosk offers two main price points. Customers can grab 3 magazines for £5 or alternatively 10 magazines for £10. The prices are fairly cheap comparable to those on the high street because the magazine publisher does not have to spend money on printing and transporting the magazine, passing the savings on to you.

Those not fussed about lekiosk's arrival on Windows 8 can check out rival services such as Apple's Newsstand, Zinio or Google Play Magazines. However, a quick scan of the lekiosk library, in my opinion, shows lekiosk to have the most comprehensive range of the gang.

For more on lekiosk and its arrival on Microsoft's platform, click here.

366955-barnes-noble-nook-hd.jpgNOOK Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, has announced new low prices to mark its partnership with the Evening Standard's Get Reading festival and to promote literacy across the UK.

For a limited time only, the 7-inch NOOK HD will start at just £99 (8GB) and £129 (16GB), while the 9-inch NOOK HD+ tablet is available starting at £149 (16GB) and £179 (32GB).

"To celebrate the free Get Reading festival and to help make digital reading more affordable across the UK, we have reduced prices on our award-winning NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ tablets for a limited time," said Jim Hilt, Managing Director, Barnes & Noble S.à r.l.

"We are committed to promoting the cause of literacy and we hope that families from all over the UK come to the Get Reading festival on 13th of July for a fantastic day of events featuring some top authors and celebrities."

The goal of the Get Reading campaign, a partnership between the London Evening Standard and NOOK, is to help struggling readers catch up with their peers and maximise the opportunities that reading brings.

The campaign works closely with the Beanstalk literacy charity to help fund the training of reading helpers who go into schools each week to help children with their reading. As part of its support of the campaign, NOOK donated 1,000 award-winning NOOK Simple Touch eReaders to Beanstalk, all fully-loaded with top children's books donated by leading UK publishers.

The campaign culminates with a free reading festival in London's Trafalgar Square on the 13th of July featuring TV favourite Peppa Pig, Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman, bestselling author Kathy Lette and actor Russell Tovey, alongside hip-hop Shakespeare star Akala, children's author Paul Stewart, children's illustrator Chris Riddle and comedy double act Dick and Dom.

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hp-slate-21-aio-top.jpgWith their bread-and-butter PC market being ripped apart by rising tablet sales, HP's new Slate21 looks to bridge the gap between both product areas. A 21-inch touchscreen computer that can be set up to act like an all-in-one PC, it's running the Android 4.2.2 operating system rather than Windows 8.

Powered by a Nvidia Tegra 4 mobile processor, its got full Google certification, bringing the search giant's raft of top-notch Android apps to the tablet, as well as complete access to the Google Play app store in full 1080p glory.
hp-slate-21-aio-mid.jpgA simple kickstand on the rear of the machine lets you adjust it to your workspace, while a digitiser pen is also included, giving you an extra input option over a mouse and keyboard combo or your trusty old fingertips.

Initially revealed by HP's Chinese arm, we'll have more on the Slate21 once localised specs, pricing and release date is confirmed.

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