Tag Archive | "tablet"

Neither NVIDIA Shield tablet will get updated to Android Oreo

If you’re looking for an Android tablet, your choices are pretty limited. Besides Samsung, the only company to make a tablet that stands out in the last few years has been NVIDIA. The Shield Tablet and Shield Tablet K1 aren’t new by any means. The tablets came out in 2014 and 2015 respectively, but are still some of the better options on the market. Unfortunately, they won’t see Google’s newest version of Android.

Editor’s Pick

Manuel Guzman is a software quality assurance worker at NVIDIA. He recently took to Twitter to respond to a fan asking about updates for the tablets and confirmed that they won’t see Oreo. An update to the Android Nougat build currently on the Shield K1 is still coming, but that’s it. It’s sad that the tablets won’t be updated but two years of software updates are what’s generally accepted for Android devices these days.

As for NVIDIA’s other Android device, we’re still waiting to see when Shield TV will get Oreo. Back in August, NVIDIA’s General Manager, Ali Kani said that it was “looking forward to the exciting new features that Android O will bring to SHIELD TV.” Shield TV recently gained access to Google Assistant so it looks like the future is bright there.

What do you think? Are two years of software support enough for an Android tablet? Should NVIDIA be doing more? Let us know down in the comments.

Android Authority

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What would it take for you to buy a new tablet?

Most tablets are kind of hard to tell apart, aren’t they? Samsung’s current tablet lineup is filled with near-identical products, and when a new one pops up, it’s not always clear what has been improved or changed. Though there are a few exceptions (examples of which should be visible throughout this article), very little separates tablets from 2012 and tablets from present day in terms of functionality.

This sense of tablet stagnation may be at the heart of recent reports that tablet shipments for Q1, 2017 are down 8-10% year-on-year. While that isn’t a fascinating statistic in isolation, tablet sales have been in decline since a peak around 2014, and the market has now seen ten quarterly drops in a row compared to the same quarters a year previous.

Fewer and fewer people are buying or upgrading these gadgets — so what would it take for you to buy a new tablet? Before you leave your answers, let me highlight some things to consider.

The cycle of life

Firstly, recent tablet shipment numbers don’t necessarily mean that people have stopped using or being interested in tablets — only that they have stopped buying them. It’s possible tablet owners are satisfied with their current product (I’d even say, likely), with even three or four-year-old tablets still being considered “good enough.” Where tablet manufacturers seem to have failed is with upgrades.

One of the greatest achievements of smartphone manufacturers is the way in which they have leveraged planned obsolescence. The LG G4 is almost the same as the LG G6 — the core experience hasn’t changed much in the past two years. Yet there’s no doubt that some, perhaps many, LG G4 owners believe their phone must be ditched for a newer model, purely thanks to the G6’s presence.

See also:

Best Android tablets

March 18, 2017

Of course, every business wants to foster this idea of “new is good, old is bad,” but few are as successful as smartphone companies, be it through the way new features are marketed, software security concerns highlighted, the way smartphone battery life dwindles, or how some devices just seem to fall apart, in the hand, on the day they reach their upgrade window (don’t tell me it hasn’t happened to you).

This bi-annual upgrade habit hasn’t been achieved to the same extent with tablets, where years-old devices are still perfectly capable products. Further, advances in operating systems tend to target smartphones first and foremost, leaving less incentive for the tablet owner to upgrade. Yes, there are some features which stand to benefit tablets more than phones, such as the recent split-screen mode, but generally speaking, phones are the priority.

Thus the upgrade from Android 5.0 to 6.0, or 6.0 to 7.0, doesn’t have the same appeal on tablets. It’s not a big enough deal, especially when tablets owners can enjoy the latest Android OS on a new smartphone anyway. Tablets simply aren’t used frequently enough to feel the daily pain of an older OS version, while it’s a very different story with the smartphone in your pocket.

Though tablets are upgraded in a similar fashion to phones with regard to better displays, more RAM, and more impressive cameras each year, the benefits here are also less apparent. Smartphones are our go-to communication tool; they stay with us the entire day. We can instantly apply the advances in the camera tech of a new phone with some photos for friends; we’ll feel immediately how much faster it is than its aging predecessor. That feeling of gratification isn’t as powerful with new tablets, partly because of what we use them for and partly because we don’t use them as often.

In other words, the latest OS and some beefed up specs don’t mean much on the device you only take out to occasionally watch a video or play a free game on a long road trip.

On necessity

Another reason tablet sales may be dropping is that the niche they fill is losing relevancy. Tablets aren’t as portable, and therefore as useful, as smartphones are, and they aren’t as powerful, or indeed versatile, as laptops. You wouldn’t replace your phone with a tablet, just as you wouldn’t replace your laptop or PC with one. (That is, if you need it for business purposes and specific software — more on this below).

That’s not to say they aren’t interesting products. They are ostensibly lighter, smaller and have longer battery life than some laptops. They also provide touch input that’s preferable for certain activities and run apps from the Play Store or iTunes. They evidently have benefits —  and are still selling by the millions — it’s just that they’re not essential benefits.

And with smartphone screens getting bigger and laptops getting smaller, they’re being somewhat crushed.

Wrap up

Based on the above, I see six scenarios in which someone decides to buy a new tablet:

  1. Current tablet breaks
  2. Tablet software distinguishes itself from other platforms (and is good)
  3. Great tablets become so inexpensive that they just buy one anyway
  4. Tablets become “better” alternative to laptops
  5. Tablets become “better” alternative to phones
  6. A radical hardware shift

Point four is where I see a clear opportunity — and I’d bet some people would already argue this has happened. Hybrid tablets can offer touch and keyboard interfaces natively in a more portable form factor than a laptop. And since some of them run Chrome OS or Windows, they’re different enough from an Android phone to feel necessary. Google is also introducing Android app support to Chrome OS sometime soon which will strengthen that platform further.

Of course, that would only replace laptops with tablets. As to what would make me upgrade to a new tablet, as a “current-gen” smartphone and laptop owner, I’m not sure.

Tablets can continue to become less costly, with better specs, for years to come — but will that reverse the current trend of consumers holding onto their previous devices? I don’t think so. In my eyes, it can only come from a radical hardware shift (like foldable tech) or a radical software shift. Because, as long as there are Android phones, just another Android or Chrome-based tablet won’t cut it.

That’s my view of the situation. Tell me what it would take for you to buy a new tablet in the comments below.

Android Authority

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A rumored Motorola tablet could have a feature long awaited by many Android users

Android tablets have not been the best when it comes to actually getting work done. Even with the multiple window support for apps in Android 7.0 Nougat, its hard to switch between them for work. It’s much easier if you have a Windows laptop or tablet. Now, there’s word that an upcoming tablet from Motorola might have a feature that could make working with multiple apps easier.

See also:

Best Android tablets

March 18, 2017

The report comes from Android Police, who received a slide that shows off this feature from an unnamed but trusted source. The slide shows that this tablet will have a productivity mode, which will allow for Android apps to be pinned on the navigation bar. The slide indicates that users should be able to switch between those apps by tapping on their icons in the nav bar. In theory, this should allow people to switch from a word processing app to a note taking app quickly without having to go to the normal Android home screen.

Keep in mind that this description is just based on what’s shown in the slide. It’s possible there’s more to this “productivity mode” than is shown in this single leaked image. The article also doesn’t reveal anything else about this future Motorola tablet. We don’t know its hardware specs, its size or weight. We also don’t have a release date or price tag. All of this could affect how well this “productivity mode” will work in the real world.

By the way, this product, if it comes to market, will be the first such tablet from Motorola since the release of the Droid Xyboard in 2011, although Motorola’s parent company Lenovo has been selling a number of current Android and Windows tablets.

This new Motorola device could finally bring a work-capable Android tablet to market that may be able to rival the iPad Pro or Microsoft’s Surface products.

Assuming that this new mode will work the way we think it will (and admittedly that’s a big assumption) this new Motorola device could finally bring a work-capable Android tablet to market that may be able to rival the iPad Pro or Microsoft’s Surface products. Most Android tablets are designed to watch content, but a “productivity mode” could offer businesses, schools and other customers a way to actually get stuff done on a tablet. This is something that not even Google has been able to do with its own Nexus 9 and Pixel C tablets, so it will be very interesting to see if Motorola can offer its own solution.

In the meantime, what do you think about this leaked slide? Will this future Motorola tablet really offer a better multitasking experience? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Android Authority

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Dell Venue 8 7000 Android Tablet Review

The Bottom Line

  • Fantastic design and build quality
  • Good media consumption features
  • Solid performance
  • Impressive battery life
  • Challenging handling experience
  • Underwhelming camera
  • Old software version


While the Dell Venue 8 7000 is not without its flaws, the world’s thinnest tablet brings a lot to the table, with a fantastic price point to boot.

Current trends in the mobile industry show that tablet sales are seeing a slowdown in growth, but that doesn’t mean that there is any reduction in the intensity of the competition in this space, giving rise to some unlikely challengers, such as Dell. Dell isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think about Android tablets, but that may soon change with the company’s latest product.

Introduced at CES 2015 during the Intel Developer Forum, this tablet certainly fits the bill of a fantastic Android tablet, at least from the outside and on paper, even if the name is somewhat uninspiring. Will it manage to hold its own in the uber competitive tablet arena? We find that out, and more, in this in-depth review of the Dell Venue 8 7000!



As a whole, Android tablets have almost always been aesthetically underwhelming, even if a few OEMs have managed to mix things up from time to time. The appearance of the Venue 8 7000 is a good indication though that Dell is going all out in attempting to change that notion, and definitely succeeds in visually differentiating its tablet from the rest. This tablet is truly stunning to look at and hold. Its industrial design is comprised mostly of precision-machined aluminum, with hard edges and corners. It looks and feels fantastic, save for the glass section at the bottom on the back, which proves to be a terrible fingerprint magnet.


The primary design feature present here is the nearly edge-to-edge display, with the screen running up to just 6 mm from the top and side edges. Along with the fact that this is also the thinnest tablet in the world, measuring in at just 6.1 mm thick, the Venue 8 7000 looks almost surreal, almost like a render of a concept device that we wished would be real. Except in this case, it is. Surprisingly, its extra thin build doesn’t take away from its sturdiness as you might expect, feeling very solid in the hand, without being too heavy to negatively impact extended periods of use.


However, all of those staggeringly small numbers for bezels and thickness mean the larger components have to fit somewhere. In the case of the Venue 8 7000, the stereo speakers, 8 MP rear camera, 2 MP front camera, and likely the antennas, have all been crammed into the bottom bezel, that can be best described as a chin. This adds to its unique design, and while we don’t hate how it looks, it does pose some ergonomic challenges.


This chin does come with some added utility, like a place to actually hold the tablet, since the other edges are so close to the screen. At the same time, it gets in the way, and often makes me question how to hold the tablet. Portrait is the only orientation that feels natural, both because the chin is at home at the bottom, and because the navigation buttons don’t always follow the orientation of the tablet. Also, unless you hold the tablet from the narrow top edge, it’s virtually impossible to not cover up one of the cameras or depth sensors. In many ways, it’s almost like the tablet doesn’t want to be held in any orientation other than portrait.


Adding to that, the power button and volume rocker are positioned along the top half of the left edge, which is the opposite of most devices, and will take some getting used to, and while the buttons are metal, they’re only slightly raised, and offer very little in the way of travel and tactility.

Everything said and done, the design of the Venue 8 7000 is stunning, even if the ergonomics simply don’t work out most of the time.



The impressive nature of this tablet continues with regards to the display. The 8.4-inch OLED screen features an impressive resolution of 2560 x 1600, resulting in a relatively high pixel density of 359 ppi.

The blacks are deep, colors have a distinct pop without being oversaturated, and the brightness range is quite good. That said, outdoor visibility is a common problem among OLED displays, and could definitely be improved on this tablet, as could the viewing angles. For gaming and viewing multimedia though, there is no doubt that this is one of the best displays around.



Unlike most Android tablets, the Dell Venue 8 7000 relies on the Intel Atom Z3580 chipset, which is a combination of a quad-core 2.3 GHz CPU and the PowerVR G6430 GPU. As far as the performance goes, the Venue 8 7000 has very little trouble holding its own.


Through most menial tasks, like scrolling through lists and swiping between homescreens, we noticed no serious signs of lag or stutters. It wasn’t too hard to find some performance quirks and reproduce them though, seemingly at will, especially when pressing the Recent Apps button, and changing the orientation. Still, the overall performance is pretty much on par with all the competition out there, and it handles gaming very well, which is great since this tablet is basically the perfect size for some casual gaming.



The rest of the internals on the Venue 8 7000 are pretty standard fare, with the device packing 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. It does have a slot for a microSD card, capable of expanding the storage by an additional 512 GB. To clarify though, a 512 GB microSD card doesn’t exist yet, and regular SD cards in the half-TB flavor go for upwards of $ 1,000, so this is mostly future-proofing more than anything. Connectivity options are par for the course as well, but doesn’t include NFC, which a bit of a let down.


There are some mixed feelings when it comes to the speakers. It was surprising how loud and full the sound coming from them actually was, and they do sound pretty good, mostly thanks to the built-in equalizer app, MaxxAudio by Waves, which comes with four presets – Movie, Music, Voice, and Gaming. The difference between MaxxAudio being on and off is night and day, both with and without headphones. However, despite being front-facing, if you use the tablet in landscape, all your audio is coming from just one side of the tablet, drawing away from an immersive effect. In portrait, this isn’t much of an issue, with all the sound coming from the bottom, which you may be used to, depending on what smartphone you use.


One of the most impressive aspects of this tablet is with regards to its battery life. Only after three days and 12 hours of use did the tablet reach 28 percent of remaining battery. When the screen is off, it barely sips at the battery, dropping between just two and four percent each day. If you jack the screen brightness up in use, you’re going to see that awesome stamina take a hit though. Dell claims 10 hours of use, and that’s definitely possible, as long as you manage the screen brightness well.



The camera on the Venue 8 7000 is admittedly a bit strange. The setup around back is a primary 8 MP camera, with two 720p cameras which work as depth sensors, not totally unlike HTC’s DuoCamera. This is what Dell calls Intel RealSense 3D Technology. Simply point the camera at an object in the Depth Snapshot shooting mode, hold it steady, and snap a photo. If you open this photo in Dell’s Gallery app, you can adjust the focal point, the amount of defocusing, and more. Further, you can estimate distances and measure items within the photo using the captured depth information.


This RealSense technology works pretty well, or at least, as good or better than most other faux-defocusing methods. It’s not without its issues though. For starters, it doesn’t work in low light, and secondly, the images take an incredibly long time to process once you open them in the gallery. Lastly, snapping photos is extremely awkward with this tablet, not only because it is a tablet, but because all the cameras are positioned around the only place you really have to hold the tablet with, the chin. It’s easier to accidentally take a photo than it is to take one on purpose, and even Dell’s Depth Snapshot instructions look awkward and show the user holding the tablet by the screen.

The front-facing camera isn’t any less awkward to use either. All of the cameras are in strange positions, making it quite difficult to not cover up. To top it all off, the image quality itself isn’t much to get excited about. Dell is so close to a solid execution, but the unwieldy nature of capturing photos with the Venue 8 7000 makes us wonder how much better this technology would be if it were on a smartphone.



One of the most upsetting aspects of the Venue 8 7000 is the software, but not because it’s a poor implementation. This tablet ships with Android 4.4.4 KitKat in a very near stock form, and while that would normally be a good thing, it’s been over three months since Android 5.0 Lollipop officially arrived and even longer since it was announced, and definitely what you’d expect a new device to be running.


If you’ve never used Lollipop before, this tablet’s software will feel natural and quite polished. That said, if you’re coming from a phone or tablet which currently runs on Google’s latest firmware, even after just a few days with Lollipop, the software on the Venue 8 7000 will feel borderline archaic. The separated panels for notifications and quick settings, Recent Apps instead of the Overview menu, and five permanent home screens, are stark contrasts and reminders of just how much the Lollipop update has improved the usability and appearance of Android. I constantly found myself long-pressing on the home screen to add widgets, but they still reside in their old home on this tablet, the app drawer, in the tab to the right of the applications.


Outside that, there isn’t much to say about the software. A few applications, like Kobo Books, McAfee Security, CamCard, and File Commander come pre-installed, and Dell’s additions are pretty minimal. It has its own camera app, the My Dell app, some live wallpapers, a custom Gallery app for editing photos with depth information, and Dell Cast. Dell has replaced the screen casting feature of Android with its own proprietary software, which requires Dell-specific hardware, which is unfortunate for purists, but is otherwise a slight modification that won’t affect most users.

Overall, the software is pretty solid, even if it does feel and look a little old. Fortunately, a Lollipop update is in the works and is expected to land sometime in the near future. It’s also nice to see the app situation specific to Android tablets constantly improving, even if some of Google’s own apps still have their own quirks when it comes to larger displays.


Dell Venue 8 7000 specs

CPU/GPU Quad-core 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580
PowerVR G6430 GPU
Display 8.4 inches OLED (2560 x 1600)
359 ppi
Memory 16 GB storage, expandable up to 512 GB
Battery non-removable
Camera 8MP rear cam with Intel RealSense 3D technology
2MP front cam
Connectivity WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS / GLONASS, Bluetooth® v 4.0 (LE)
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
OS Android 4.4.4 Kitkat
Dimensions and Weight 215.9 x 124.2 x 6.1 mm
305 grams


Pricing and Final Thoughts

The Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet sells for just $ 399, which is a fair and comparable price to much of the competition. Many potential buyers will be torn between Dell’s 8.4-inch slab and the 8.9-inch Nexus 9, which goes for the same price with many similar specs and features. With expandable storage, a killer edge-to-edge display, and a really sweet industrial design, you might be getting more bang for your buck with the Venue 8 7000.


So there you have it – the Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet! Our biggest cause for concern with this tablet is its ergonomics. In just about anything but portrait, it doesn’t feel quite right, and accidental screen taps or button presses are inevitable. Those issues are aren’t enough to out shine all the high points of this tablet though. It’s definitely one of the best looking Android tablets to hit the market in a very long time, the speakers and display make it ideal for multimedia consumption, and it also offers up some pretty impressive battery performance. While not perfect, the Dell Venue 8 7000 is a surprisingly great tablet and is well worth the cash.

Android Authority

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Rumor: HTC to release a new tablet ‘based on Nexus 9′

Nexus 9-19

Since its inception in the early days of Android, Google’s Nexus program has always been about creating “reference” hardware by which developers and OEMs alike can see how Android is meant to look and run. As OEM and carrier skins got/get/are getting more and more expansive, Nexus units are often coveted by enthusiasts who want a clean and unadulterated OS. Indeed the devices have been proceeded or followed by OEM-skinned variants: the original HTC Nexus One and HTC Desire, the LG G(1) and Nexus 4, etc.

Now thanks to a new rumor, it seems that HTC will be following-up on its Nexus 9 hardware with its own flagship tablet. Take a look:

B4JGxcsCIAAQnkI Upleaks

Among the various “Hima” listings (believed to be the successor to the HTC One M8) including mysterious “Hima Ace” and “Hima Ultra”, the latter of which could be a new HTC M7 Max-type device, we can see the HTC Butterfly 3, the RE Camera 2, and the Tablet “based on Nexus 9, and maybe running HTC Sense”.

Assuming this leak is genuine, this would be excellent news for HTC fans, as well as those customers smitten with the Nexus 9’s 4:3 aspect ratio. It would mark HTC’s independent return to tablets, a market it briefly toyed with a few years back with the Flyer and Jetstream.

Given that HTC has changed to a company interested in manufacturing premium hardware (both inside and out), the potential of a non-Nexus Nexus 9 device is promising. Imagine the same hardware inside a premium casing with solid buttons, a non-bouncy back, and clad in an all-metal unibody design. Top this off with Lollipop and HTC’s own Sense skin and the end result could be quite impressive indeed!

Would you be interested in a new HTC tablet made with Nexus 9 specs?

Android Authority

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Blackphone makers planning a tablet too


You might remember the Blackphone, built by Geeksphone and Silent Circle. The handset featured pretty mid-to-low-end specs considering its asking price of $ 629, but of course the selling point wasn’t the hardware — it was the OS. Running a modified version of Android called PrivatOS, the phone was loaded with security-minded features like encrypted text messaging, encrypting voice and video calling, private browsing, anonymous search and the list went on.

It seems that the Blackphone effort was enough of a success to trigger even more security-focused hardware from the companies, as Silent Circle’s co-founder Jon Callas recently revealed in an interview with BBC Newsbeat that they are working on a privacy tablet as a followup to the Blackphone. As Callas put it: “Blackphone as it is, is our first device not our last device”.

For those that feel the need for higher security and privacy, what do you think of Blackphone? Excited about the idea of it being extended into a range of various hardware products? Conversely do you feel such devices are overkill and unnecessary? Let us know in the comments.

Source: BBC;
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