Google unveiled the Nexus 7 tablet at Google I/O 2012 (watch the keynote here,) making it the very first device to launch with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Many were waiting for Google to compete directly in the tablet space, and the 7-inch Nexus 7 is the answer. The specs show that it's a powerhouse, and the sales have been off the charts, resulting in the 16 GB Nexus 7 being sold out briefly (it's back now.) Still, many consumers have the iPad on their mind when thinking about tablets, regardless of how hard companies like Amazon and Google are pushing their alternatives. Does the Nexus 7 have a place in the marketplace, meeting needs that other tablets can't? Join us in our full review as we explore Google's first tablet.
Yesterday we told you all about the big announcements Microsoft made--the Microsoft Surface tablet was unveiled, along with the intriguing Touch Cover and Type Cover accessories. There was even an odd Surface intro video they teased us with. Now, you can watch the entire Surface event in its entirety after the jump.
Now that Microsoft has revealed its plan to do battle in the tablet market, Microsoft Surface (as well as its super-cool accessories, the Touch Cover and Type Cover,) we thought you'd appreciate a look at the teaser video that Microsoft put together to unveil the product. Check it out after the break.
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The rumor mill was calling for a new Microsoft tablet to be announced today, and thats exactly what happened. Just a few minutes ago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the Microsoft Surface tablet. The Microsoft Surface is a companion to Windows 8, with Microsoft saying that it's "a tablet that's a great PC, and a PC that's a great tablet." The hardware is 9.3mm thin with edges beveled at 22 degrees. The casing is all magnesium, which is a first for a computer, making the Surface weigh in at 1.5 pounds. Oh, and it's also got a 10.6-inch display, so it's here to compete with the big boys. As you'd expect, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are present, as is a built-in kickstand, Gorilla Glass, and an amazingly thin 3mm cover that also doubles as a keyboard for touch typing.
Surface will be available in the model we just detailed, as well as a Pro model that supports a higher resolution display. It's got the same chassis, same kickstand, and supports the same accessories, but this model wuns full Windows 8 Pro rather than just Windows RT. It also supports digital ink by way of a stylus. When the Surface detects the pen, it stops accepting touch input, making it easy to write on. The upgraded model also has a DisplayPort, allowing you to plug it in to a larger monitor, this giving you the regular, full PC experience.
Vonage has released an updated version of its Vonage Mobile app, 1.5, for the iPhone and iPod touch, which includes Bluetooth support and a bunch of messaging features as well. Vonage Mobile allows users to make free VoIP calls to other users on the app on iOS and Android, as well as directly to landline numbers in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico for free (up to 3,000 minutes per month.) The new update allows you to use any Bluetooth headset that works with iOS, and the messaging feature has been enhanced to allow for sharing of contacts, photos, and locations. Call quality and connectivity has been enhanced as well. You can grab Vonage Mobile for free from the App Store.
Allerta, the group behind the Pebble Bluetooth watch that became an overnight Kickstarter sensation, has announced that due to overwhelming demand, the watch will be compatible with Bluetooth 4.0. If you scour the comments on the Pebble Kickstarter page, you'll notice Bluetooth 4.0 requests by the plenty. We figured it was just too late in the game to switch around the design of a watch that's slated to ship so soon, but the company says that Bluetooth 4.0 inclusion was on the list for a while, and therefore, the decision won't affect the ship date at all. That said, when the Pebble watch does ship, it'll be Bluetooth 2.1 out of the gate, with the Bluetooth 4.0 module being activated later through a software update that'll be available to all.
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We give you our review of the Jawbone JAMBOX in this episode. The JAMBOX is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that you can use with smartphones, tablets, and anything else that can stream audio or phone calls over Bluetooth. It also has an aux in, so that you can use it with non-Bluetooth devices as well. It's light and portable too! Take a look in this episode. If you wanna get one for yourself, the JAMBOX typically sells for $199, but you can get it on Amazon for $162.
In this episode we give you a look at the Jawbone JAMBOX. The Jambox is a Bluetooth loudspeaker that can connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device like a smartphone, PC, Mac, or tablet. Once paired, the JAMBOX can then function as your speaker for audio, as well as hands-free phone calls. It's small, light, compact, and stylish - but the best feature of the JAMBOX is that it offers great sound. It's available in multiple colors and designs, including a model that helps Charity: Water. We open up the Jambox and give you a look at it in this episode! You can pick up the Jawbone JAMBOX for 28% off.
Since we’re on the topic of watches today, let's talk about the Sony SmartWatch. Powered by Android, the Sony SmartWatch does more than just tell time. The SmartWatch features a 1.3-inch OLED 128 x 128 display, and is 0.3-inches thin. The SmartWatch will allow users to connect the watch to Android devices, thereby allowing them to read texts, tweets, and also use various apps and widgets found on Google Play. The battery life is somewhere around the three to four day mark (depending on use) and has a standby lifespan of 14 days per charge. The SmartWatch features interchangeable straps, so you can color coordinate it to your liking. Expect to pay $150 USD for this one.
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In today's Ask Andru column, we get a question about an issue with the iPad that we've actually experienced ourselves for years. Ever since the release of the original iPad, it's been painfully obvious that the speaker on the Apple tablet isn't exactly up to snuff. It's fine if you're somewhere quiet, but go somewhere that has any ambient noise, and all of a sudden it's a challenge to enjoy any audio-based entertainment. So, on to the submitted question:
I love my new iPad, but I wish it were louder. It seems that everything about the new iPad is high-quality, with the exception of the speaker! Is there any way I can get more volume out of this thing?
I hear you! As I said earlier, the low volume issue has been around since the very first iPad. When the iPad 2 was released, the speaker grille was larger, and many assumed that this meant that the device would be louder. Unfortunately, despite the visual cue, the iPad 2 suffered from the same issue, and the new third-generation model (see our new iPad review) seems to have the exact same speaker as its predecessor. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the frustration.