Whether you’re looking to replace your laptop or just find something to keep you entertained, there’s a tablet out there to suit you. But with an ever-increasing array of slates crowding the market, narrowing down the list can be a chore. So we’ve sorted through the pile and picked out some of our favorites for both power users and media consumers. Our complete buyer’s guide is always just a few clicks away, but feel free to cruise through the gallery below for a quick rundown of the best tablets you can buy today.
With Nokia’s range of Android-powered smartphones all but dead, Microsoft is pushing its newly-acquired Lumia line harder than ever. Today, it’s introduced the lowest-priced Windows Phone to date, the Lumia 530, delivering middle-of-the-road specs for €85 ($114). For that, you’ll get a 4-inch FWVGA (854 x 480) display, quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory (with support for 128GB microSD storage). There’s also a 5-megapixel camera on the rear (no selfie camera here folks), which is controlled by Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8.1 software. That, of course, offers access to Cortana (if you’re in the US), the new WordFlow swipe keyboard and a multitude of other custom Microsoft- and Nokia-crafted apps. Like its older siblings, the Lumia 530 will also come in both single and dual SIM (3G) variants and offer interchangeable back covers, which will be available in the traditional orange, green, white and dark grey colors. Microsoft’s latest Lumia will go on a global tour in the near future, starting with an initial rollout in “select markets” from next month.
Via: Conversations Blog
We always want to know how Microsoft is doing, but today we’re paying especially close attention: The company just released its earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter, the first full quarter that new CEO Satya Nadella was on the job. Also, let’s not forget that Microsoft just announced it’s cutting 18,000 jobs and axing Xbox Entertainment Studios. So how’d the company do? Not bad, actually: The company says revenue is up, mostly thanks to its strong cloud business (previously led by Nadella himself). In particular, Microsoft has its loyal business customers to thank: The company saw big gains in commercial cloud revenue, Windows licenses (natch) and server products. Other honorable mentions include Bing, which gained 40 percent in revenue; Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions; and revenue from PC makers.
Largely missing from the report: mentions of hardware. Though the company’s new mobile business helped revenue a bit, the company also had to take a $38 million hit on Surface inventory. Basically, then, there are few surprises here: Microsoft made the most money off its bread and butter — things like enterprise services, the cloud and its core Windows business. And to be honest, we could have expected as much. Consider that just last week, Nadella posted an open letter to employees, reiterating that cloud and productivity tools were the future.
All told, the company generated $4.61 billion in profit on $23.38 billion in revenue. To put that in perspective, revenue is up 18 percent over the year-ago period, and profit only fell by a modest 7 percent — that’s not bad considering Microsoft recently closed its massive $7 billion purchase of Nokia’s mobile division.
Image credit: Associated Press
Wacom loves doodlers almost as much as serious artists, but its Paper-esque sketching app was limited to iOS devices only. That changes from today, now that the company has launched Windows, Android and Kindle Fire versions of Bamboo Paper. Thanks to Wacom’s Ink Layer Language, your notes will seamlessly be shared between your devices — enabling you to sketch out a plan on your leisure tablet before passing it to your work one. The free app is available to download at the links below, and you’ll also be able to try out the various premium brushes for a limited time before you’re asked to open your wallet to keep them.
This week, we learned about the dangers of stem cell treatment, explored the world of 3D motion capture and went on a vending machine shopping spree in Tokyo. Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last seven days. Oh, and be sure to subscribe to our Flipboard magazine!
Stem cells have the potential to be one of modern medicine’s most promising advances and we’re still learning a lot about how they work. A paralyzed woman in the US discovered this, after an experimental treatment caused her to grow a nose-like tumor on her back.
The virtual simians in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are impressively lifelike, but 3D motion capture animations haven’t always been so awe-inspiring. Read on as Steve Dent explains the history behind this century-old technique.
If you’ve ever had to break in a new baseball glove, you know that the process take time — usually a few months at best. Not so with Nike’s new fielding mitt.
Why is it so hard to buy a Tesla? It’s a combination of archaic laws and a stubborn automotive industry.
What are the top smartphones on the market today? Our new buyer’s guide has you covered. Boom! You’re welcome.
What do 45th wedding anniversaries and next gen smartphones have in common? Sapphire, that’s what. This nearly indestructible gemstone makes the toughest displays on earth, but not without a hefty cost.
Japan has more vending machines per capita than anywhere else on Earth. Follow along as Mat Smith tries to live off nothing but vending machines as he travels around Tokyo.
“In-flight hackathon,” you say? By partnering with American Airlines, Wearable World aims to equip wearable startups with the tools they need to build apps that ease the burden of flying.
Microsoft announced the biggest round of layoffs in company history, giving 18,000 workers their walking papers. CEO Satya Nadella explained that the company’s new strategy is designed to make it “more agile” moving forward.
Samsung’s latest ultrabook is here. How does the ATIV Book 9 2014 Edition hold up to the competition? Check out Dana’s review for all the details.
Deep-pocketed power users may buy new smartphones once a year or even every few months to take advantage of improved displays, better cameras and faster processors, but the majority of owners are more likely to tire of their device’s appearance long before its outdated specs. A few manufacturers have taken a new approach when designing their handsets, opting to include not only replaceable batteries, but also swappable backs, that let you change the look of your phone for only a few bucks. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and LG’s G3 are two recent flagships that you can change up after purchase, but there are a few other options to consider, too. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you could even replace the backplate on, say, an iPhone 5s, but such an undertaking requires precise work, pricier parts and a voided warranty. Click through for our customizable picks that keep things simple (and cheap).
The restructuring plans from Microsoft caused a ripple effect throughout the company, with its recently acquired Nokia Devices and Services business being the most affected one. Now, as part of this, The Guardian reports that Nokia’s MixRadio music-streaming app is expected to spin out and live as a standalone service. Essentially, this means MixRadio will no longer be limited to Microsoft’s platform, though it’s still going to come pre-loaded on Windows Phone handsets made by Nokia. Not that the world needs another streaming service for tunes, but the eventual spin-off would give the MixRadio app the chance its curation features to other platforms such as iOS and Android. At the moment, however, there are still things to work out: “I’ve been meeting with potential investors around the world in the last few weeks. We have very strong interest from investors in the US, Europe and Asia, and we remain open for further discussions,” Nokia’s Jyrki Rosenberg, VP of Entertainment, told the British publication.
Source: The Guardian
OK, so it usually doesn’t cost as much as a car, but a smartphone is still an important lifestyle purchase. And it will probably be at your side 24/7 (if you’re anything like us). There’s always a bit of hemming and hawing, for sure, but we’ve distilled the options down to a short list of the top handsets, with top picks for each OS. Head down to the gallery below for a quick stroll through our selections or check out our full buyer’s guide for the lowdown on the best smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearables that your hard-earned money can buy.
A new lower price alone may not have moved the Xbox One past the PS4 on the sales chart, but Microsoft is still keeping up with its quick update cycle. The August update preview is arriving for testers, and one of the areas getting a lot of attention is the friends list. Right on the home screen, gamers will be able to see what their friends have been playing and a Gamerscore leaderboard, and in the activity feed you can finally like or comment on activity. It seemed like an obvious feature for the feed from the beginning, so it’s good to see it’s here now. Also, after an update to the app it will be able to handle Blu-ray 3D — something we asked Phil Spencer about, 5,644 of you requested, and something the PS4 still can’t do. Check after the break to see what else is changing, plus a video demo of the new features.
Two more tweaks bring features we were used to on Xbox and PlayStation, since you’ll be able to purchases games and updates from the website or SmartGlass app and the Xbox One (if it’s in standby and set to receive updates) will wake up and download them automatically, and set the system to disable notifications while any video is playing. There’s a new low battery notification for your controller, OneGuide support in Brazil, Mexico, Austria and Ireland, and a listing for “last time seen” next to your friend’s names in the friends list. That last one is said to have come as a result of feedback — now that we’ve got our Blu-ray 3D playback what do you want to see on the list next?
Microsoft famously said the Xbox One Kinect wouldn’t work on a PC, but hackers have already done the trick mere days after the release of the Kinect for Windows v2.0 SDK. As shown in the video below, they managed to rewire a USB 3.0 cable to pair it with a laptop, giving them access to the depth sensor. The pair work at Hyperkin (which happens to sell gaming accessories), and plan to make a retail version of the cable available. Kinect for Windows 2.0 is already up for pre-order, but such a cable could be handy if you can’t wait to get one, or don’t want to splurge for a redundant Kinect. The Xbox 360′s sensor was hacked in a similar way, but the Kinect 2′s hardware is far more powerful. On a PC, it could function as a motion capture device or map a 3D environment, to name just a few examples — far more interesting applications than Just Dance.
Source: Chris Gallizzi (YouTube)