Recently in Tablet Category

Bored of your gadgets? Trade them in at Argos

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Retailer Argos has partnered with the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to offer an "instant redemption" service for old unwanted gadgets.

The trade-in service will be available in its stores across the UK to allow shoppers to trade electrical products for an on-the-spot swap.

Registered waste reduction charity WRAP helped Argos to introduce the initiative in all of the retailer's 788 establishments following research that found UK residents are hoarding up to £1 billion worth of technology that's no longer being used.

The service currently stretches to mobile phones and tablets, and should stop products from being sent to landfill when they could be recycled instead, which preserves reusable materials used in devices that are disappearing.

Currently 40% of electrical products are thrown in the bin when they could instead be recycled, but two thirds of consumers would be willing to trade these products in if they could do so through a reputable retailer.

The initiative is part of WRAP's resource efficient business models, or REBus, project which is working with partners from the UK and the Netherlands such as Rijkswaterstaat, the Knowledge Transfer Network, The University of Northampton and the Aldersgate Group.

The project, which is backed by EU Life+ funding, aims to help businesses innovate to become more energy efficient and to provide pilots of more resource efficient business models.

Director of WRAP, Marcus Gover, says: "Our research told us consumers have an appetite for trading in and Argos is now providing a convenient and easy way for them to do just that and release the value from their unwanted gadgets."

Devices can be traded in for an Argos gift card which can then be used towards a new device or to get your hands on any of Argos' thousands of products.

The traded in devices then get recycled, or refurbished and resold.

Head of corporate responsibility at Argos, Amy Whidburn, says if this initial service goes down well with customers the company will think of extending it to other technologies in the future such as cameras, satnavs or laptops. 

CES 2015: The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with new AnyPen technology

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Lenovo launched its new affordable smartphone at CES this year, the A6000 smartphone available in the Indian market through exclusive online partner Flipkart.

What I found more interesting was the launch of its new AnyPen technology which, as the name suggests, allows you to use anything you want as a pen for the Yoga tablet 2.


The tablet itself is quite light, and has the Yoga-style battery across the bottom which allows for a nice comfy hand hold for when using vertically, and holds the kickstand for when using horizontally on a flat surface.

The Yoga 2 runs Windows 8.1 and has in Intel Atom Quad-Core processor to ensure speed. Its 8 inch display in in HD and the devices features front and rear cameras.

The AnyPen function proves very good for reaching small fiddley bits of the screen, especially for example when using the desktop function on Windows 8 where the icons can get quite small on the 8inch screen.

I tested the screen out using a fork and a pen-knife, which I was worried about at first until I was informed that the screen is scratch resistant.


There is one catch though, your chosen stylus must be conductive in order to work, so anything metal works a treat.

When using applications such as word can be fun with AnyPen, and your handwriting is converted into text-based words to allow you to review them ahead of inserting them into the document to ensure they are correct.

The tablet is currently available for a price tag of around $279, and stick on an extra $20 to use the AnyPen feature. 

CES 2015: Hands on with the Dell Venue 8 7000

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Just a few months after Apple released its ultra-thin iPad Air 2, Dell announced its new Dell Venue 8 7000, the thinnest tablet on the market at 6mm thick.

Not only is it thin, it's also incredibly light and easy to use, with a small bezel and 2K 2560x1600 resolution OLED screen for a sharp display.


The tablet supports Intel's RealSense cameras on the back, allowing it to take images in 3D with depth perception.

When viewing the image, the user is able to change the contrast, focus and colour of the image based upon the depth of the photo. The user can also use the tablet to measure distances between objects within a photo, which would be useful for seeing where furniture would fit in a room, for example.


This also took photo editing to a whole new level, and I was able to seamlessly drop a picture of Intel's CEO into a picture as it resized and scaled his image based upon the depth of the original photo.  

The device has an Intel Moorefield quad core processor, and is running Android KitKat with ability to upgrade to Lollipop in the future when available.

It has one front facing camera, and three rear-facing cameras making up the RealSense, as well as a front facing speaker that runs along one side of the device.

There are two buttons on the side - a power button and volume buttons with the rest of the functionality touch screen.

Now currently available in a black/silver colour in the US for approximately $399.

Apple announces iPad Air 2

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Apple has announced the new iPad Air 2. We won't lie, we were expecting a more innovative name...

Somehow as soon as an Apple event rolls around, everyone already knows what's going to happen. As predicted, just a month after the release of the new iPhone 6 and iOS 8 operating system, Apple has announced its new iPad, the Air 2. 

Apple skeptics will be mockingly asking "but what's new about it?" and loosely quoting Daft Punk I'll reply: "it's smarter, better, faster and smaller." 

That's right, although the iPad Air 2 supports the same screen size as the iPad Air, it's thinner than it's ever been at just 6.1mm thick, and weighs less than a pound. Apple claims this is currently the thinnest tablet on the market. 

Both the Air 2 and new iPad mini 3 have new retina display screens, making images look more crisp and real than real life, excellent for fuelling your Netflix addiction. Or, of course, viewing and writing documents and presentations when working on the move. 

As with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the new iPads come equipped with improved Touch ID for secure access and use of Apple Pay authentication within apps. 

The device still offers 10 hours of battery life, and it's internals support an Apple A8X chip to boost CPU.

Sadly, although I'm sure these new devices provide a better user experience than their predecessors, it circles back to a concept I looked at earlier this year: how far can hardware innovation really go

Can devices only continue to get thinner and faster, or is there something more to look forward to? We'll have to wait to find out. 

In the meantime, the Apple iPad Air 2 is available to order online from a starting price of around $499 (approx. £309) 

Specs at a glance: 
iPad Air 2 
  • Processor: A8x 64 bit processor and M8 coprocessor 
  • Dimensions: 240mm x 169.5mm x 6.1mm
  • Capacity: 16GB, 64GB, 128 GB
  • Display: 9.7 inch Retina display 
  • Camera: 8mpx back mounted camera, 1.2 mpg front facing camera
  • Battery: 10 hours heavy usage

REVIEW: Tesco hudl2 tablet

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If you wanted to buy a high-end tablet, for example and iPad Air or a swanky new Surface Pro 3 you're probably looking at a price tag of around £400 at the least.

But sometimes, you just don't have that much money to spend, especially if the new tablet is to keep your kids away from your corporate device.

Black hudl Front Hi-Res.jpg

Image: Tesco

Tesco's hudl2 is available for £129, and Clubcard points can be used to push the price down further if that option is available to you.

From the first few moments of using it I knew we just weren't going to get along. It's a fully functional tablet, with nothing wrong with it, but the Android operating system has never been my favourite.

Despite my pickiness, the 8.3 inch HD screen is very clear, and would be good for viewing widescreen films or browsing presentations and notes, and with over a million Google Apps behind it you can make use of everything from video apps to file sharing and collaboration tools.

Black hudl Back Hi-Res.jpg

Image: Tesco

The tablet does seem very Tesco heavy when you start using it, and is very geared towards making sure you can access Tesco services. You can use Tesco shop on the tablet, check Clubcard details, use Tesco Bank and Mobile, the list goes on. If you're not someone who needs these services, you can choose to remove these applications, but it's clear Tesco wants to keep you involved.

The feature that seems to be generating the most excitement is the parental controls, which allows users to create a locked-down profile for their kids to ensure they don't see or use anything they shouldn't.

On the not-so-safe side, I did get a couple of minor static shocks when I was using the device. I don't know if it was the tablet, or if I'd just been dragging my feet on the carpet that day.

In summary, this low-cost tablet bit more of a consumer product than a business device, but good for keeping your kids entertained. 


All Hudl Images Hi-Res.jpg
Image: Tesco

Specs at a glance:

Tesco hudl2

Display: 8.3 inch 1920x1200 HD screen

Processor: Intel® Atom™ quad-core processor 

Operating system: Android Kitkat 4.4.2

Price: £129

Camera: 5-megapixel rear-facing and 1.2-megapixel front-facing

Memory: 16GB memory

Battery: 8 hours heavy use

Is the meeting you're in right now pointless?

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Apparently something we've all been suspecting is true - a majority of the meetings we're attending are not worth our time or effort.

According to a recent survey by Ovum and LogMeIn, 92% of employees in the UK stated the number of meetings they attend is going up, but 70% of the meetings attended were marked as a waste of time.

Over the last few years, smartphone shipments have been steadily increasing. Firms have been warned that employees will find ways to use their devices at work, and 26% of employees have used a personal device to get round technology barriers put in place by organisations.

So it's hardly surprising that 30% of UK workers admitted to playing on their smartphone during face-to-face meetings. But this figure is higher in the UK than in other European countries.

Ovum and LogMeIn's research found that many believe collaboration will help to reduce this problem, and with Juniper predicting employee-owned smartphones and tablets used as part of bring your own device (BYOD) policies will increase to over one billion devices globally by 2018, a BYOD and collaboration strategy has never been more important.

The below infographic from LogMeIn explains how the UK compares to other European countries when it comes to attending meetings that aren't worthwhile:


IFA 2014: Samsung's first business tablet

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Samsung is well known for its consumer offerings, providing everything from TVs to connected fridges. So the technology firm surprised us all today when it announced its first ever business-focussed tablet designed for use in enterprises. 

The ruggedised Galaxy Tab Active has been developed for portable use in work environments with a focus on B2B industries such as retail, logistics and transport. 

Other tablets, such as the iPad Air, have features built in to make it easier for employees to use their devices at work, but they are still clearly consumer products. The Tab Active takes that one step further and combines features such as 8-10 hour battery life, KNOX and extended support, with an anti-shock cover. 

Galaxy Tab Active_5.jpg
Photo: Samsung

To make absolutely sure the tablet appealed to business customers, Samsung ran workshops with Fortune 500 companies to find out what was needed from a tablet for professionals. This is what they came up with:

When professionals are carrying around their tablet, they want to be able to drop it. This is what I've learnt from releases of products such as the Panasonic Toughpad. Suddenly when a device is used for work as opposed to personal tasks, we need to be able to make sure it will survive a nasty fall. The Galaxy Tab is shock-resistant, waterproof and resistant to dust and other nasties that can get stuck in cracks, so should be safe to use in every environment.

Replaceable battery
When you're out and about all day, you want to make sure your device is going to last in case you can't charge it. This device has 8-10 hour battery life and an easy to change battery to ensure the devices doesn't run out on you. It also has a built-in pogo pin charger to stop connectors getting mashed.

Hardware features
The built-in camera on this devices can be used as a barcode reader for use in the retail or logistic industry. The tablet also features NFC technology, comes with an input pen for ease of use and a cover designed for people who need to wear gloves when doing their jobs. 

Support is something that a lot of firms can struggle with when implementing a BYOD solution, as it can be difficult to get ongoing support contracts for the devices that employees want most. But, like most Samsung devices, the Galaxy Tab Active will have KNOX to ensure security. The device will also have an extended 3 year warranty and Mobile Care Service, and remote Smart Tutor Service to get technical support.

Specs at a glance
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • Display: 8" WXGA(1280 x 800) TFT LCD
  • OS: Android Kitkat (4.4)
  • Memory: 1.5GB LPDDR3 + 16GB internal memory MicroSD up to 64GB
  • Size: 126.1 x 212.9 x 9.75mm / 388g

Love your smartphone? Huawei thinks you could love it more

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At Huawei's most recent innovation day in Milan, there was a lot of talk about innovation in Europe, research and development centres, and the highly anticipated 5G. 

Quite clearly very passionate about the technology, chief Huawei device designer Joonsuh Kim told me that the main aim for him was to make people fall in love with Huawei devices. Kim hopes to provide consumers with something other than just technology.

He said: "Literally we are touching the consumer's heart. That means you can feel that you are emotionally engaged with a Huawei device."

To Kim, the device is all about user preference, and he believes that once consumers start adapting to their devices, they will want to use them for everything. 

He states that even though the Huawei brand may not be big yet, it's starting to get through to consumers. Its aim it to deliver users with a "pleasant surprise" through usability, comfort, and a perfect combination of hardware and software.

When building the concept for a phone, Kim considers several user scenarios to make sure there is always a device that caters to what consumers want - including the ability to have multiple SIMs, a more professional device which is lighter for increased portability, low-cost devices, or a personal-only device.  

The design team make sure that the hardware appeals to the user they are targeting, providing particular features to appeal to different types of audience such as business professionals, young users and entry-level users. 

Kim also believes that using Huawei's knowledge and connectivity in networking, it can be a leader in 5G when the time comes. 

During a presentation on device innovation, Kim used Angelina Jolie as an example of a perfect human being (following up by commenting that although she might have been considered the most attractive woman in the world, that was several years ago... ouch) and that aesthetics are very important when targeting the appropriate market. 

It just goes to show that even the smallest tweaks in design can make the biggest difference to consumer behaviour.

Apple announces iOS 8 at WWDC 2014

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At this week's WWDC 2014 - the conference that tells developers everything they need to know about what Apple has planned for the future - Apple introduced its next mobile operating system iOS 8.

Thumbnail image for apple logo.png

The new OS brings with it over 4000 new APIs in order to allow developers more opportunity to make applications for Apple's flagship iPad and iPhone devices.

There was a focus on the new HealthKit API, which will allow developers to build apps directed towards fitness and health services. With speculation of an Apple wearable on the horizon, enabling applications such as this could be a step in the smartwatch direction.

Apple also took a leap towards the internet-of-things trend with its new HomeKit API, designed to allow developers to make apps that will allow communication with other devices around the home.

Finally, Apple lightened the restrictions on its touch ID technology, meaning that users will now not only be allowed to access their iPhone lockscreens with the touchpad, but also log into apps. This is of course only on the 5S at the moment, but may also be used with future iPhones.

Although this announcement isn't quite as exciting as the eagerly speculated iWatch, it still encourages the use of smartbands/watches with Apple devices in the future, and brings us one step closer to using our phones to control all things household.

Developers have access to iOS 8 now, but the rest of us will just have to wait.

Microsoft announces new Windows Surface 3

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Microsoft announced the new Windows Surface Pro 3 tablet at an event in New York today. 


The device, which is 12 inches, is designed to fit perfectly into user's lives, with Surface product manager Panos Panay claiming that this could be "the tablet that replaces the laptop." 


The Surface Twitter feed was inundated with updates, labelling  the tablet an "entertainment powerhouse" due to its 2160 x 1440 resolution and Dolby sound capabilities.



The new kickstand is multi-position, so you can angle the tablet any way you want to if placed on a table, although an emphasis was made about the "lapability" of the device, which apparently means it can be used to comfortably complete work from your lap.

As the tablet runs Windows 8.1 Pro OS, you can use all of the features and applications that you are used to, with the added ability to use the new stylus to generate hand-written documents in OneNote. 


Specs at a glace:

Surface Pro 3

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1440
  • Weight: 800g
  • Thickness: 9.1mm
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Memory: Up to 8GB of RAM
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours
  • Storage: Varies from 64 GB up to 512 GB


The device includes features such as a redesigned keyboard that is larger than the previous model and includes an improved trackpad. The device also comes with an accompanying stylus dubbed the Surface Pen to make writing easier. Looks like this device might not only replace the laptop, but may also wipe out pen and paper altogether.


The new Surface is 800g, only 9.1mm thick, and is built to apply to Satya Nadella's vision of "empowering people to do more and be more."  


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