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Posts tagged ‘Tablet’

6
Feb

130+ HD minimalist wallpapers of colors, macro images and more


Your phone probably has a fantastic display and there is no better way to see the beauty of it than through a wallpaper. We’ve collected a huge library of over 130 wallpapers of macro images, color, water droplets, dandelions and flowers all to make your background pop. These are perfect to show off the pixels and color gamut on your Android, iOS or Windows smartphones. They’ll also look great on your tablets as well.

We’ve changed things up lately and will be sharing the entire collection through Google Photos rather than hosting them on our servers. There are thousands of you who love these wallpapers and rather than drain the speed on our server, we’re offloading that responsibility to Google. All you have to do is join the collection through this link and you’re free to download all of the wallpapers to your device.

We would also love it if you tweeted screenshots of your home screens to us at Twitter.com (@AndroidGuys). We might feature your background in an upcoming wallpapers collection!

See the entire collection by clicking on this LINK to Google Photos.

Here some of our favorites from the collection.

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water-drop-wallpaper-250 Up-close-blades-of-grass-with-water-droplets-wallpaper Macro-Chinese-Lanterns-2560x1600-wide-wallpapers.net macro_light_painting_bubble_2_by_drivenbyblood-d5sm4b0 Drop-Water-On-Dandelion-Flower-Macro-Wallpaper-HD Desktop-Pen-Drops-Macro-Wallpaper

Dandelion seed with water drops

Dandelion seed with water drops

bubbles-macro_00422673 7026741-water-drops-wallpaper-21813 4377_Macro-Centranthus-plant-HD-wallpaper 4901_Flowers-in-water-drops-macro-wallpaper 178330 346952

The post 130+ HD minimalist wallpapers of colors, macro images and more appeared first on AndroidGuys.

4
Feb

Ubuntu’s first tablet doubles as a desktop, goes on sale in Q2


Remember that time Spanish device maker BQ started promoting a new, Ubuntu-powered tablet before Canonical was ready to start talking about it? Well, the Ubuntu developer finally decided to get chatty. As expected, the device is a Ubuntu-fied version of BQ’s existing Aquaris M10 tablet, with just about everything from the 10.1-inch display to the quad-core MediaTek MT8163A chipset left unchanged. The biggest difference centers on what Canonical calls “Convergence” — the updated M10 is the first bit of consumer Ubuntu hardware that acts like a full-blown PC when you connect a keyboard, mouse and display to it.

Ubuntu’s tablet ambitions stretch back for years — Canonical released an Ubuntu installer for the original Nexus 7, and a preview version of Ubuntu Touch was made available for the Nexus 10. It’s a little surprising that it took this long for a full-blown Ubuntu tablet to hit the market, but better late than never, we guess. Anyway, once those peripherals are connected, Ubuntu’s touch-friendly interface shifts into a more familiar desktop view, allowing you to multitask, run desktop apps and manage mobile apps you already have installed. New software can be had after a quick trip to the platform’s single app store, too, and Canonical has to draw lots of attention there if it wants people to seriously consider Ubuntu gadgetry as a functional alternative to other mobile platforms.

If that all sounds familiar, it’s because Microsoft’s direction with its new Windows Phones is nearly identical. Both approaches focus on the ability to let a device’s computing power — and the software that harnesses that power — to thrive no matter what display is attached to it. Unfortunately for Ubuntu, Microsoft’s seemingly endless cash and talent hasn’t kept Windows 10’s Continuum feature from feeling like a fancy, hamstrung add-on. The situation has slowly gotten better as developers continue to explore what’s capable with universal apps — hopefully, Ubuntu doesn’t run into similar growing pains.

2
Feb

Microsoft formally recalls Surface Pro power cords


Microsoft said it would recall Surface Pro power cords to head off potential fire risks, and it’s following through on that promise. The Redmond crew has officially recalled about 2.25 million AC power cables for Surface Pro tablets sold before March 15th, 2015. If you own a Surface Pro 3 or earlier, you’re likely due for a free replacement. There haven’t been many reports of these cables catching fire (56, to be exact), but it’s safe to say that you don’t want to take a chance if you can avoid it.

Via: Reuters

Source: Microsoft, CPSC

1
Feb

Detachable tablet sales are taking off


The tablet market might be tanking as a whole, but there’s apparently one major bright spot: tablets with detachable keyboards. While IDC estimates that slate shipments were down almost 14 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, shipments of detachables more than doubled to 8.1 million. That’s about 12 percent of the entire space, folks. Analysts suspect that many people want to treat tablets as PC replacements, and they’re willing to pay a premium to make that happen.

You won’t win any prizes for guessing who’s at the front, though. Category pioneer Microsoft reportedly shipped 1.6 million Surface tablets (most of them Pros), while Apple shipped over 2 million iPad Pros in the device’s inaugural quarter. Design experience, brand recognition and sheer financial clout clearly went a long way.

This isn’t to say that companies need detachables for success. IDC notes that some of the hottest action came from low-end tablets, like Amazon’s $50 Fire tablet and various models from Huawei or Lenovo. However, it’s no wonder that Samsung and others are getting into the detachable tablet game. It’s not only a booming category, but potentially more lucrative — even if the tablet market shrinks, you could still turn a tidy profit.

Source: IDC

1
Feb

iPad Air 3 drawing hints at a smaller iPad Pro


It’s February, which means we’re likely just one and a half months away from the next Apple launch event — one where we can expect a 4-inch “iPhone 6c”iPhone 5se” and an “iPad Air 3.” So what’s new? Well, today we received an image that’s allegedly a simple dimensional drawing of the aforementioned tablet. While we’d usually dismiss such leaks, we’re siding with our reliable source on this one. Unsurprisingly, the next iPad will apparently pack a couple of features introduced by the iPad Pro: quad speakers for some nice audio boost, and a Smart Connector on the side for its very own “smart” accessories. This goes well with the earlier Pencil support rumor. What does surprise us is the extra hole below the camera, which suggests the iPad will finally be getting an LED flash. Hooray for tablet photographers!

Alas, as with all things in life, there is a slight trade-off with these extra goodies. If the dimensions listed here are to be trusted, then it appears that the iPad Air 3 will be 0.05 mm thicker and 0.1 mm wider than its predecessor. If you recall, there were similar marginal differences between the iPhone 6s models and their iPhone 6 counterparts. Existing soft cases for the iPad Air 2 will probably fit the new tablet just fine, but hard cases may scratch the body over time — as is the result of forcing some iPhone 6 cases onto the iPhone 6s. Besides, it’s not like you’ll want to cover up the LED flash nor the two extra speakers, anyway (nor the Smart Connector, if you’re picking up a smaller Smart Keyboard for this new iPad).

We tried squeezing more info out of our contact but that’s all we got for now, so stay tuned for an update or hold out for the supposed launch in mid-March.

31
Jan

50 HD Wallpapers of comic heroes and villains


Today we have something a little different with 50 HD wallpapers of comic book heroes and villains. Sure scenery is great, but comic book art is really cool to use as a wallpaper.

We’re trying out a new wallpaper format – instead of using the scroller that we typically use above that hogs resources, we have added a few of our favorites below, but are now linking directly to Google Photos. In order to download the wallpapers you want, and please download as many as you want, just click on the image and select “download”. Once downloaded it should show up in your gallery where you can set it as your background.

These wallpapers are all minimum 1080p resolution and should look great across your Android, iOS, and Windows devices. From smartphones, to tablets, to desktops these wallpapers will look great as your background.

Check them out by following this LINK.

 

 

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186033 iron-man-marvel-comics

Gallery

The post 50 HD Wallpapers of comic heroes and villains appeared first on AndroidGuys.

29
Jan

Google Pixel C tablet review: Out with the Nexus, in with the Pixel


Google’s event last Fall left little surprise in the way of Nexus news after a barrage of leaks that preceded it. But we fortunately didn’t know the whole story of that day. Instead of releasing another iteration of the Nexus tablet, Google had taken matters into its own hands and launched a home-brewed solution – the Pixel C.

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This announcement threw the mobile industry for a loop for a few reasons: 1) The Nexus program was for the first time challenged, 2) The Pixel branding had historically been reserved for Google’s own pompous Chromebook (running Chrome OS), and 3) This Pixel device ran Android instead of Chrome OS.

The head scratching was put to the side when Google showed off its neat approach to an Android tablet. The body screamed quality with a sturdy, all-metal build. The complementing keyboard accessory was given the same level of refinement, and neatly integrates with the tablet through a clever use of magnets. Let’s review if the Pixel C is all that it’s cracked up to be.

Design

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The build is where the Pixel line shines, as quality is one of Google’s biggest ideas behind it. The Pixel C continues the trend that the Chromebook Pixel started. It is the little brother, if you will. Smaller in size and lesser in capability (and in price). Nonetheless, the superb design and construction from the Chromebook Pixel is ever-so present. As far as I’m concerned, this thing is the definition of a premium device.

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Except for the front glass, metal surrounds the tablet from every corner. Its soft and smooth finish makes for a fantastic feel in hand. The chassis has been machined impeccably, from the curvature that flows onto the sides to the speaker grills.

From the front, you can see the lip of the metal casing. It surrounds the glass and has a subtle chamfer to smooth the transition.

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The power and volume rocker buttons are made of the same sturdy metal (located by the top, left corner). There’s a simplicity and cohesion to them, as they just appear to protrude from the chassis. They are firm and tactile to the press. The brand-spanking new USB Type-C port lives on the bottom, left side, and the 3.5mm headphone jack is on the opposite top, right side.

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The primary camera has a small cutout on the back, right corner. It was thoughtful of Google to recess the camera module so that it doesn’t get scratched. The front facing camera is dead center on the bezel above the display. And speaking of the bezel (black space around the screen), it won’t win any awards for being the thinnest. It’s not exorbitant but is definitely significant.

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If you recall last years Nexus 9, HTC had incorporated dual front stereo speakers. Although Google had been seemingly sold on the idea (Nexus phones have had stereo speakers too), the Pixel C settled with side-firing speakers instead. But at least there’s still two of them.

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Lastly, there are a couple subtle features towards the top of the device. Four microphones along the very top ensure that the Pixel C listens for your “Ok Google” voice commands, even if you’re across the room (noise-cancellation in tow).

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You may have already noticed the slit on the back. It’s a split of four LED windows. When the Pixel C is in use, it shines Chrome’s signature colors (blue, red, yellow, and green). But it isn’t just for looks. When the display is off, it can show you the battery status (by fourths – 25%, 50%, etc.) when you knock on the back. It also shines red when there’s little battery remaining.

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Display

The Pixel C packs a 10.2″ sized display (in a 1:√2 aspect ratio). It is an LTPS (Low Temperature Poly-Silicon) LCD panel and I must say, Google nailed it with this one. The picture quality (backed by a sharp 2560×1800 pixel resolution) shines stupendously, with a full sRGB color gamut. And at even extreme viewing angles, I didn’t get any hint of washed out or degraded colors.

At 500 nits, it can get plenty bright (50% brightness was typically sufficient in my use). This also mean that outdoor visibility is fantastic.

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The display is just a winner all-around, and it totally backs the quality that the Pixel C promotes in presentation.

Performance

Another thing that backs the Pixel C’s top-notch hardware is the lightning fast performance. Android Marshmallow just flies on the Pixel C, the fastest I’ve ever seen it.

The speedy performance is thanks to the choice in SoC – Nvidia’s latest Tegra X1 beast of a chipset. It has an octa-core processor and a 256-core GPU (graphics processing unit), coupled with 3GB of RAM. This horsepower gives Marshmallow a super satisfying fluidity, making it a real joy to navigate around the Material Design UI and play games.

Nvidia-Tegra-X1

The Pixel C comes in two storage quantities – 32GB or 64GB (with the latter priced at $100 more. Tsk tsk, Google). And there’s no microSD slot for expansion, so you better get comfortable with cloud services if you need more storage. There’s also no SD card reader. It’s sounding more and more like Google didn’t aim the Pixel C to serve as a primary computer (more on this point later).

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Although the dual speakers don’t fire sound directly towards you, I did find that they get surprisingly loud. Also, the quality remains composed even at the highest volume. Audio from the headphone jack sounded great as well.

Tablet Usability

You’ll probably be in familiar territory if you’ve used a 10″ tablet before. I’m not personally a fan of large tablets, navigation can be a bit cumbersome while handling.

Fortunately, although the tablet is mostly comprised of metal, it isn’t slippery. The finish has some friction to it and I’ve had no problem keeping my grip. The robust feel of the chassis has made it a joy to handle and well representative of its price. But money isn’t the only cost of a premium build. The tablet is hefty, at 1.14 lbs.

His brother from another mother, the Dell XPS 13

The Pixel C and Dell XPS 13 – brothers from another mother.

The large size makes for a couple ergonomic concerns. My hands borderline grip the sides where the speaker grills are located. I often use my thumbs for support when I’m watching a video (it’s just comfortable for me), and they naturally land right over the speakers. The other concern is with the power button. It’s on the top of the device (left corner), which is a reach to get to. What frustrates me more is that there’s no tap-to-wake to help the inconvenience. Last year’s Nexus 9 had tap-to-wake. What gives?

Keyboard

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It first must be said that while Google included the neat keyboard attachment with our review unit, it’s not included in the retail purchase of the Pixel C. It’s a separate purchase, and not a cheap one, at $150. However, I’ll argue that having the keyboard with this tablet is less crucial than let’s say the Microsoft Surface. Windows is a productivity-focused OS, while Android is not.

Pixel_C_8

I love that although the keyboard is an accessory, it’s not an afterthought, whatsoever. It’s as well built as the Pixel C is, with the same metallic foundation. The keys, which are chiclet style, are also made from Aluminum. Their sturdiness and soft finish makes it a pleasure to type.

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Pixel_C_3

I’ve had no problems using the keyboard for lengthy writing sessions (I used it for this review). The keys are decently spaced and have great key-press travel. However, Google had to smush some keys (particularly, the “Enter” key is too small) and omit lesser used symbols to fit it in the Pixel C’s form-factor. Nonetheless, if the Pixel C wanted to be a productivity machine, this keyboard could do it with flying colors.

Google included a Hotkey button for a shortcut to the symbol keys on the virtual keyboard.

The Hotkey button “…” toggles extra symbol keys from the virtual keyboard. It can also be used for key combination shortcuts.

Before you commit to the Pixel C + keyboard combo, make sure that you’re okay with the fact that there’s no touchpad. Navigation through the UI is still done via the touchscreen despite the laptop form that the Pixel C can take. This is kind of awkward, especially if you’re an avid laptop user, but it works.

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The magnet/kickstand system is pretty fantastic, in my opinion. There’s no special dock to line up when connecting the tablet to the keyboard; just effortlessly plop it on the kickstand and you get a most satisfying merger. The two pieces won’t separate until you want them to. Also, Google made sure to make the magnets attract in the correct orientation, so you can’t accidentally connect the tablet upside-down. This also goes when you close the device (tablet screen face down on the keyboard). There’s only one orientation where the magnets will clasp.

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The kickstand is very stiff, which allows the user to freely set the tablet’s angle. The tilt range goes from all the way flat to almost 90° vertical. Be careful to stop when you get to either limit, or the tablet will fly off. That brings me to a point about the magnetic connection. It’s so strong that detaching the pieces is slightly jolting. Users need to be mindful and keep a good grip to avoid gravity taking control. Also, I’ve had a few times that the two pieces inadvertently rubbed against each other when I pulled them apart, which can lead to scratches.

The keyboard communicates through Bluetooth and has its own battery. But you never have to worry about charging it. The tablet charges the keyboard wirelessly when they’re mated. Also, the system is smart enough to only pair the keyboard when the tablet is on the kickstand.

Camera

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I’ll cut to the chase and say that the cameras on the Pixel C aren’t anything to write home about. We have a 8MP sensor on the back and 2MP on the front. They work fine for if you’re not mindful on quality. You’ll get an alright shot in good lighting situations, but as the light goes away, quality goes south pretty quickly (grainy-ness will show up).

Check out the gallery below and be the judge:

Pixel_C_Camera_Samples

It’s not as critical to have a great camera on a tablet as it is a smartphone, but I feel like Google should’ve done a bit better, at least with the front camera. I see more likeliness in video chatting than using the rear camera while you’re out and about.

Battery

I was satisfied with the life of the Pixel C’s 34.2 WHr capacity battery. My tablet usage is very on and off. Therefore, the battery life test is determined by usage as much as it is Doze’s efficiency.

Straight up usage shows a really constant battery drain for typical use cases (web browsing, chatting, video watching). I observed about 10% battery drain an hour (with 50% brightness).

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With a more on/off behavior, Doze really shows its power when the tablet is not in use. The following battery drain was over a few days.

You can see how little battery life Doze uses with a couple days of no use.

Notice how little battery life Doze uses with a couple days of no use.

Software

Tons of reviewers bash the Pixel C for not having productivity features to justify the keyboard’s existence. But I think that they’re looking at it wrongly. The keyboard is meant to compliment Android (if you type more than the average bear). Adding on a keyboard doesn’t mean that it’s now a productivity beast, that’s just an implication that the industry is making based on similar devices on the market. My belief is that Google did not target a productivity-focused audience with the Pixel C, or try to make Android something that it’s not.

So from that perspective, let’s dive into the software experience. Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) is as fabulous as ever on the Pixel C. In combination with the powerhouse Tegra X1 chipset, all of the Material Design animations and transitions just fly. Material Design is so beautiful when you see it with this level of fluidity. Sometimes I just want to use it with no purpose; only to play around the UI and adore the response.

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You’ll be in familiar territory if you’ve used Material Design. But because this is a tablet, you get native landscape support. The notification shade drops down from the location where you drag it down. The bottom navigation bar splits the three-button layout, with Back and Home on the left corner and Recent Apps on the right. Other than these things, you pretty much have the same UI as on Android phones.

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I must mention that everything has not been picture perfect. There are a couple repercussions from Android 6.0 not thoroughly being tuned into a tablet interface. My biggest gripe was that content often merely gets stretched to fill the display’s extra space (unless it’s one of the few apps that is coded to take advantage of the larger screen real estate, such as Gmail and YouTube). It seems like a wasted opportunity to make the user feel like the tablet’s large screen was a vauable investment.

Content generally stays small, while the space is stretched

Content generally stays small, while the space is stretched

A Dual Window mode in Android 6.0 would have helped tremendously in this case (Google has said it’s in the works). Also, apps sometimes aren’t coded with landscape support. This is especially awkward when you’re using the Pixel C like a laptop; it disrupts the experience.

I also dealt with a bug in my use. At some point, the performance stopped being speedy, and rather, was jittery and not completely responsive to my taps. So much so that I stopped using it (powering off/on didn’t fix it). When I picked it up again a couple days later (with the intent of factory resetting), I noticed the issue was gone. Weird.

Final Thoughts

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Some may look at Google’s Pixel C as a lost cause. From certain angles, I can get on board with that. There are plenty of more capable 2-in-1’s out there at this price-point. But then I feel like we’re missing the point. The Pixel C is made for the premium Android lover. It’s not about practicality.

The fact that it’s a Pixel or that it has a keyboard attachment shouldn’t confuse that this thing is first and foremost an Android tablet. The Pixel branding is a progression and the keyboard is an enhancement. And it makes senses when you look at the retail price of last year’s Nexus 9 – $399 (16GB model). When you take into account the Pixel C’s souped up build and larger screen, the $100 extra is justified (the 32GB Pixel C starts at $499).

However, there’s certainly more work to do. Usability can be improved on a few fronts, such as adding back in tap-to-wake and shedding off a little weight. The cameras don’t represent the quality that the rest of the device does. And maybe most importantly, we need more support in Android to take advantage of the larger screens on tablets.

I look forward to seeing where the Pixel C heads in the future, and hope Google gives the same treatment to its phone this year. But for now, if you’re an Android fan in need of a tablet, and value a premium device, then look no further.

Pixel C product page

The post Google Pixel C tablet review: Out with the Nexus, in with the Pixel appeared first on AndroidGuys.

28
Jan

Apple reportedly plans to launch a new iPad in March


Apple’s oft-rumored March event is quickly becoming a smorgasbord… you know, a little bit of everything. Sources for 9to5Mac say that Apple now hopes to introduce a new 9.7-inch iPad as part of the mid-March gathering. Just what that tablet will do isn’t clear, but tipsters suggest that it may borrow a page or two from the iPad Pro. The Cupertino crew has supposedly been testing a 9.7-inch screen with Pencil support, for one thing. There’s also talk of better speakers and a rear camera flash, and it’d only make sense to get a faster processor like the iPad Pro’s A9X.

So, what else is on the cards? We’ve already touched on the fabled 4-inch iPhone redesign, but 9to5 has tossed out hopes of seeing an Apple Watch 2 in March — that would have to wait until September. Instead, the upcoming gig would introduce new Watch bands (mostly for the Hermes and Sport lines), including one made from a “new material.” This wouldn’t be an Earth-shattering event, then, but it would cover a lot of ground.

[Image credit: Noah Berger/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Source: 9to5Mac

27
Jan

Apple has 1 billion active devices


Apple’s device sales weren’t stellar as 2015 wound to a close, but it did cross an important milestone: it now has 1 billion active devices. The figure includes all iOS, Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch units that have used Cupertino’s services in the past 90 days. While that’s not as huge a figure as you’ll see on the Android side (which crossed the 1 billion mark back in 2014), it’s no mean feat for a company that focuses almost exclusively on higher-priced hardware.

Not that Apple is depending solely on an ever-growing unit count to make money. As the company explained during its fiscal results call, there’s a lot of recurring revenue here. Customer satisfaction rates are very high, so existing owners are more likely to come back for upgrades and additional products (say, an Apple Watch to go with that iPhone). Also, there are services that are consistent money makers — Apple Music, anyone? We’re sure that Apple still wants to sell lots of devices (it remains “bullish” on places like China and India), but it’s adamant that this isn’t the only criteria that matters.

[Image credit: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Source: Apple (PDF)

25
Jan

Patriot’s Surface tablets break down during AFC title match


Microsoft paid the NFL a fortune to have teams use its Surface Pro 3 tablets on the sidelines, but it likely wasn’t thrilled with the publicity it got on Sunday. During the AFC championship game, the Patriot’s devices stopped working for an excruciating 20 minutes before Microsoft managed to fix them, according to a CBS sideline reporter. Microsoft chalked it up to “connectivity issues,” saying that the Broncos’ tablets were working just fine. The Surface is only used to view formation photos of previous plays, so it likely didn’t handicap the Patriots too much. Unfortunately, they went on to lose the game by a tight 20-18 margin, so they clearly needed every advantage they could get.

Naturally, the internet noticed and unleashed a storm of mocking tweets. Last year, Microsoft spent a lot of time and effort to get players, coaches and announcers to stop referring to its tablets as “iPads,” or worse, “knockoff iPads,” as Jay Cutler put it. However, in the past year, sideline cameras have showed players tossing them in disgust after making bad plays and even smashing them against their heads.

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https://streamable.com/e/q2xb

Source: CBS

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