Nexus 7 with 4G LTE lands at Verizon on February 13
Feb11

Nexus 7 with 4G LTE lands at Verizon on February 13

After a very, very long period of getting it certified for use on its network, Verizon is finally ready to launch the 2013 Nexus 7 this week. This event has been a long time coming, with most people expecting it to happen last year soon after Google announced the new tablet. But Verizon being Verizon, things dragged out quite a bit, and here we are – and it’s already February 2014. Anyway, if you’ve been craving a Nexus 7 bought from Big Red, here’s the important bit. The tablet will become available on February 13, which is this Thursday. The normal asking price will be $349.99, but “for a limited time” (whatever that means) you’ll be able to purchase one from Verizon for just $249.99. The catch? Well obviously you’ll need to sign a new two-year contract with the carrier. If you’ve already bought an LTE-capable Nexus 7 (say, from Google via its Play Store) and want to activate it on Verizon, you’ll be able to do that too, but only after you download and apply “the latest software update” – this may mean that a maintenance software version will be released by Google for the Nexus 7 in a short while. Or maybe that update is the KitKat update that the tablet has already received, it’s not particularly...

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Nexus 8 rumored to be launching at the end of April
Feb07

Nexus 8 rumored to be launching at the end of April

Google is once again being rumored to be prepping an 8-inch Nexus tablet. This time, though, we even get a purported release time frame – the new tablet should be out by the end of April. Why a Nexus 8? Well, apparently for two reasons. First, the 2013 Nexus 7 hasn’t been selling well at all. It’s done much worse than its predecessor despite its better specs. That might be because when the first Nexus 7 came out it really had absolutely no competition – no tablet costing around $200 came even close to its hardware. But after that initial shock, Android tablet makers got wiser and dropped their prices or created new and interesting cheap tablets. So Google got to kickstart the cheap 7-inch tablet market, but isn’t profiting that much from it anymore. The second generation Nexus 7 is more expensive than the first one was, so that may have something to do with its poor sales too. The other reason for a Nexus 8 being in development is said to be the increasing prevalence of ever bigger phablets. Many such devices are already around (or more than) 6 inches big, at which point they’re dangerously close to a 7-inch tablet in size. So some people that would have bought a ‘normal’ size smartphone and a 7-inch tablet could simply opt for just a phablet instead. To counter this trend, Google apparently wants its next small tablet to go bigger – hence the 8-inch size, which has been experimented with in recent months by both Samsung and LG – so it’s clearly becoming more and more mainstream than ever before. According to the infamous “Taiwan-based supply chain makers” once again quoted by DigiTimes, Google wants to avoid “price competition in the 7-inch segment” and has thus ordered around two million units for initial shipments of the 8-inch Nexus tablet. This time the rumor fails to be clear about who will be making them, though the aforementioned sources do claim that it very well could be Asus. The same name popped up the last time we heard something about the Nexus 8. Furthermore, the new tablet was then said to employ an Intel chipset – which would be a first for the Nexus line and could propel the otherwise well known desktop chip maker into the spotlight in the mobile...

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8″ Asus Nexus tablet with Intel CPU rumored for this year
Jan21

8″ Asus Nexus tablet with Intel CPU rumored for this year

Apparently the 2013 Asus Nexus 7 tablet will get a successor this year, but with a twist or two thrown in for good measure. Now we obviously aren’t surprised that Google is working on a new small tablet for 2014, as 2013 saw the second-gen Nexus 7 released around one year after the original launched in 2012. It’s also not surprising that Asus is said to be making the next small Nexus tablet – after all, it’s the same company that did both Nexus 7 versions. So it’s pretty obvious that Asus and Google can work together real good on such things. What is interesting, though, is that according to DigiTimes and its infamous “sources from the upstream supply chain” in 2014 we’ll see the first Nexus 8 tablet. Yes, an 8-inch device this time, as a successor to the Nexus 7 from 2013. Furthermore, the Nexus 8 may come with Intel’s Bay Trail-T chipset platform, which would be a first for a Nexus device. Apparently that hasn’t been decided just yet, with Qualcomm still in the running for supplying the Nexus 8 with its innards. But clearly, an Intel-powered Nexus tablet would send that particular chipset platform into the spotlight for many Android enthusiasts. So far we’ve seen devices with Intel CPUs only from “tier 2” manufacturers, and limited mostly to emerging markets. Though Asus has been announcing more and more Intel-powered wares recently, so maybe that company’s friendship with Intel counted in this consideration. The second generation Nexus 7 is said to be far from the original’s sales levels. That’s in spite of all-round improved specs. When the first Nexus 7 launched in 2012 though, the concept of a high-end 7-inch tablet being offered for just $200 was alien to the mobile world. Last year things were different however, with many options in that price range. And the second generation Nexus 7 being $30 more expensive than the original hasn’t helped either, it does seem. So Google and Asus are hoping that a bump in screen size will help differentiate the Nexus 8. Whether or not that will actually happen remains to be seen of course. We should expect more details about the Nexus 8 starting in March, the aforementioned sources said, so do stay tuned for...

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Asus unveils PadFone X for AT&T alongside affordable ZenFone line. PadFone Mini coming to the US
Jan07

Asus unveils PadFone X for AT&T alongside affordable ZenFone line. PadFone Mini coming to the US

Asus is one of those companies that like to announce dozens of new devices at once, and this time around is no different. At its event at CES 2014, Asus brought us a whole new line of smartphones, and a new smartphone that docks into a tablet. It’s also announced US availability for yet another device. The PadFone X is Asus’ latest flagship PadFone – that is, a smartphone that comes with a tablet dock that it can be tucked into. Unfortunately, Asus hasn’t been very forthcoming with specs for this device. What we do know is that the phone features a 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen, and the tablet dock comes with a 9-inch touchscreen. As with previous PadFones, the tablet dock has a battery which charges the phone’s battery. The PadFone X runs Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and has support for NFC and 4G LTE. The device will be an exclusive to AT&T in the US, though pricing and a release time frame have not been announced yet. Next up, a quick note: the PadFone Mini that was announced about a month ago will be released in the US, and it will cost $249. The specs have been changed slightly, though, compared to what was unveiled in Taiwan in December. The US-bound PadFone Mini still comes with a 4-inch phone and a 7-inch tablet dock, but the phone’s resolution is 800×480 and not 960×540, and the processor powering it is a 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 (no more Snapdragon). The internal storage has been cut in half to 8 GB from 16 GB. All of that was done, we assume, in order to reach the $249 price. When exactly the PadFone Mini will be in stores is unclear for now. Asus also launched an entirely new range of smartphones today – the ZenFones. These come in three sizes, and they’re all incredibly cheap. The ZenFone 4 has a 4-inch 480×800 touchscreen, a 5 MP rear camera, a 0.3 MP front camera, a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2520 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 1,170 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with an Asus skin called ZenUI on top. The battery capacity is certainly tiny, but consider that this thing will be priced at $99 – sans contract. The ZenFone 5 has a 5-inch 720p IPS touchscreen, a 2 GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 processor, 1 GB of RAM, an 8 MP rear camera, dual-SIM support, 42 Mbps HSPA+, 4 GB of internal storage, microSD card support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 2,050 mAh battery. It also runs Android 4.3...

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Asus Padfone Mini gets official, it’s affordable for a hybrid device
Dec11

Asus Padfone Mini gets official, it’s affordable for a hybrid device

As expected, today Asus has officially introduced the Padfone Mini, which is the smallest member of the Padfone family. The new device runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and combines a 4.3 inch smartphone (qHD display) with a 7 inch (1280 x 800) tablet dock. The smartphone features dual SIM capabilities, a quad-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, MicroSD card support, 8MP rear camera with Hi-Light Mode (for shooting in dark environments), and a 1,500 mAh battery. The tablet dock comes with a 2,200 mAh battery, which can be used to charge the smartphone when needed. According to FocusTaiwan, Asus hopes to “sell 100,000 Padfone Minis in Taiwan during its nine-month life cycle.” The device will cost around $400 there. Focus Taiwan also mentions that the new Padfone will be released in the US, Europe and other Asian markets. It may be launched in China, too, as Asus is “evaluating the best timing to sell it” there. An official promo video of the Padfone Mini is embedded below: Engadget has talked to Asus CEO Jerry Shen, who said that they’re working with a “big operator” in the US to introduce a high-end Padfone there sometime in Q2 2014. That big carrier is probably Verizon or AT&T – although this hasn’t been confirmed...

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Asus Padfone Mini might be announced on December 11
Dec05

Asus Padfone Mini might be announced on December 11

Until now, Asus has released a total of four Padfone products, starting with the original model that was introduced in early 2012, and finishing with the Padfone Infinity 2 (which is available in some markets since October). A fifth one, called Padfone Mini, is reportedly going to be announced later this month – although we initially heard it was scheduled for an unveiling at CES 2014 in January. According to UDN (in Chinese), Asus has sent invitations to Taiwanese media for a Padfone Mini event that will take place on December 11. The Padfone Mini includes a 4.3 inch (960 x 540 pixels) smartphone that’s housed in a 7 inch tablet dock. It should come with a quad-core Snapdragon 400 MSM8226 processor, dual SIM support, and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (most probably upgradeable to 4.4 KitKat). Pricing details aren’t known at the moment, but it seems that the new Padfone is aimed at customers who aren’t willing to spend too much on a smartphone-tablet combo (unlike the Padfone Infinity 2, which, at around $900, is definitely not an affordable product). In early 2014 Asus should launch several other new Android devices, including the MemoFone HD 5. The Taiwanese company may also manufacture Google’s third-generation Nexus 7 tablet, continuing what it has started with the 2012 Nexus 7 and the model released this...

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This year’s Nexus 7 tablet now going for $199.99
Nov21

This year’s Nexus 7 tablet now going for $199.99

The 2013 Nexus 7 tablet was launched for a price that was $30 more than what its predecessor sold for. That might be explained by the higher-end specs, but for some this still was an unfortunate thing to have happened. Well, those people can now hurry and buy a Nexus 7, because starting today it can be yours for just $199.99 – just like the 2012 edition always was. The caveat here is that you have to skip the Play Store and go directly to Amazon, Best Buy, or Ebay. All of these retailers are now offering the Asus-made Nexus 7 $30 cheaper than they used to. Sure, that’s not a huge amount to save, but it’s something nevertheless. And now that this device has gone below the $100 psychological threshold, who knows what sales records it will break… The Asus Nexus 7 from 2013 comes with a 7-inch 1,920×1,200 touchscreen, a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, a 5 MP rear camera, a 1.2 MP front camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, and a 3,950 mAh battery. It already runs Android 4.4 KitKat (if not from the box, then via a software update that should pop up once you power it on for the first time). Via Android...

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Asus still has “a very good chance at making” the 2014 Nexus 7. MeMOFone expected to be announced at CES
Nov14

Asus still has “a very good chance at making” the 2014 Nexus 7. MeMOFone expected to be announced at CES

Last we heard about it, the manufacturer of the third-generation Google Nexus 7 was supposed to be chosen between Asus, LG and HTC. Google is, unsurprisingly, quiet about all this at the moment. But Asus isn’t. The company’s CEO, Jerry Shen, has reportedly declared that they “still have a very good chance at making the Nexus 7 next year.” Most probably, this means that not even Google knows who it will choose. Asus expects to sell 12 million tablets this year, including Nexus 7 units. Next year, the Taiwanese company plans to sell 12 million units of its own-branded tablets only. Jerry Shen said that sales of Asus-branded tablets would surpass sales of Nexus 7 models by the end of this quarter. As for smartphones, Asus hopes to sell at least 5 million units in 2014. One of the new smartphones that the company will introduce next year is the MeMOFone, expected to be announced at CES in January. The MeMOFone should feature a 5 inch Full HD display and, hopefully, the latest Android 4.4 KitKat. Asus is – as we all know – the maker of Google’s original Nexus 7 (released in 2012) and Nexus 7 2013. Both are affordable tablets, the current model being sold for as low as $229 (16GB Wi-Fi-only version). Via The Wall Street Journal,...

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Asus Transformer Pad TF701T (Infinity) to be updated to Android 4.3 on November 18
Nov14

Asus Transformer Pad TF701T (Infinity) to be updated to Android 4.3 on November 18

Asus’ latest high-end 10-inch tablet, the Transformer Pad TF701T (introduced as the successor to the Transformer Pad Infinity 700 from last year), will get Android 4.3 Jelly Bean starting November 18. At least that’s what Android Police is reporting, Apart from the standard new features that Android 4.3 offers, the update – an over the air one – will also bring improved battery life, improved dock battery charging, and improved trackpad responsiveness (in dock). As you may already know, the Transformer Pad TF701T is currently running Android 4.2.2. It’s probably safe to assume that Asus will also provide an update to Android 4.4 KitKat for it at some point. We’ll let you know when it happens. The Transformer Pad TF701T costs $449 at the moment (the keyboard dock being sold separately for $139). The tablet’s features include a 2560 x 1600 pixels Super IPS+ display, quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 processor clocked at 1.9GHz, 2GB of RAM, 5MP rear camera, and a 1.2MP front-facing...

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Google Nexus 7 now up for pre-order at T-Mobile, ships on November 20
Nov08

Google Nexus 7 now up for pre-order at T-Mobile, ships on November 20

Just in case you have something against buying your new Nexus 7 tablet straight from Google’s Play Store, here’s something for you. T-Mobile has started taking pre-orders for the device, with shipping slated to start on November 20 (which, incidentally, is the same date on which we previously heard that the Nexus 5 would be available at the magenta carrier). The main thing TMo offers if you buy from there and not the Play Store is the possibility to get the tablet with a cool $0 upfront. You will however then have to pay $16 each month for two years. You can cancel service at any time, but when you do the remaining balance on the Nexus 7 becomes due. So if you simply don’t have $349 lying around but must have the Nexus 7 and must have it connected to an LTE network, T-Mobile may be a decent choice for your needs. That said, paying for the tablet outright at T-Mobile makes no sense, since the carrier is asking for $384 in that case, which is exactly $35 more than what you can find it for in the Play Store. And it is the exact same hardware. Anyway, if you want to pre-order a Nexus 7 at T-Mobile, this is the link to go to. This is of course this year’s version of the Nexus 7 we’re talking about, complete with 7-inch 1,920×1,200 touchscreen, a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, a 5 MP rear camera, a 1.2 MP front camera, and a 3,950 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but should receive an official update to Android 4.4 KitKat very...

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