Right as the Microsoft Surface tablet went on sale for pre-order, Apple sent out invites to it's next press event, where it will reveal the 7.85-inch iPad mini to the world. It's also heavily rumored that a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display will also be a part of the festivities, as well as an updated Mac mini, and maybe even new iMacs (finally!) As always, we'll have live coverage of everything that goes down, so keep it locked right here on Tuesday at 10:00am PT, where Apple will show off its new hotness from the California Theatre in San Jose.
When Amazon announced the new Kindle Fire HD, it took a firm step into its transformation into a major player in the consumer electronics space. Jeff Bezos sold the fact that Amazon was in the unique position that allowed it to create a device that was about more than just the gadget itself--Kindle Fire is all about the services that are tied to it, and the Fire HD in particular is the cream of Amazon's tablet crop. Then the price was announced, and at $199 heads turned and ears perked. A high quality tablet that is completely tied in to Amazon's ecosystem with a great display, rock solid Wi-Fi, and stereo speakers for $199? Is it too good to be true, or is the Kindle Fire HD the king of the 7-inch tablet roost? Read on for our full Kindle Fire HD (7-inch) review.
Alongside the Kindle Paperwhite, the other big news from this morning's Amazon Kindle event was the new Kindle Fire HD. The Fire HD will be available in two sizes--a 7-inch model, and an 8.9-inch version.
The larger version sports a 1920 x 1200 254 ppi display that has a polarizing filter (and laminated touch sensor) to reduce glare. On the inside, the Kindle Fire 8.9 is powered by a TI OMAP 4470 CPU and 1GB RAM. It's got dual stereo speakers (very nice for a tablet,) a high definition front-facing camera (with Skype support,) and even HDMI out. Additionally, it has MIMO dual-band Wi-Fi support, making its wireless connection up to 41% faster than that of the new iPad. Amazon is selling these for just $299 for the 16GB model, a full $100 less than we expected, and they'll ship on November 20th. The 32GB model sells for $369. Those who need mobile data connectivity aren't left out in the cold, as there's also a Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE.
A smaller iPad has been rumored to be arriving for over a year now, aimed to compete with 7-inch tablets like the Kindle Fire. Now, on the heels of the announcement of the Nexus 7 and Surface tablets, both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal are reporting that sources are indicating that Apple is set to start production on a 7.8-inch iPad with the goal of launching it this October. Unlike the 2012 iPad model, this smaller slate won't be sporting a Retina display as Apple will instead opt for a 1024 x 768 panel to keep costs down. We know, it's another iPad rumor. The difference here, though, is that when you see major outlets like WSJ and Bloomberg reporting it, it's with great confidence. October should also see the debut of the next-generation iPhone as well.
Microsoft is set to take the stage in just a few hours to make a major product announcement. Rumors have been running rampant that the company will finally reveal its own tablet. Over the weekend, a document surfaced that goes into detail on a product called Xbox Surface. Xbox Surface is purportedly a 7-inch multi-touch tablet that runs at 720p with WI-Fi, Bluetooth, SD card slot, and up to 7 hours of battery life.
The Xbox Surface would interface with a "stationary computing device" as well, allowing you to stream content from a device that's more powerful than the tablet itself. While utilizing the Xbox brand for a new consumer device seems to make sense, always remember that documents like this one are easily faked. We'll know later today, and of course, will keep you updated.
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Here's something you don't see every day. The webOS Nation blog has done a hands-on review of a tablet that will never see the light of day—Hewlett-Packard's unreleased TouchPad Go. The 7-inch webOS-based device was supposed to be released in the fall of this year, but HP's decision earlier this year to pull the plug on webOS and its TouchPad line of consumer tablets put the kibosh on those plans.
So what are we missing? According to webOS Nation, a pretty nifty little tablet (see a video review above). The blog got its hands on a rare prototype TouchPad Go and ran it through its paces recently.
In giving the TouchPad Go an 8-out-of-10 rating, webOS Nation raves about the tablet's "smooth and sleek" design, "solid" feel, and "fast and relatively stable" performance. Reviewer Derek Kessler actually seems to think the more compact TouchPad Go is a better performer than its full-sized, 10-inch cousin.
"Despite going smaller, HP does not seem to have gone cheaper," Kessler writes. "The Go is still just as powerful (if not more so), and it certainly feels better than the bigger TouchPads."