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25
Aug

Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits Capital Factory Tech Incubator in Austin


Apple CEO Tim Cook has arrived in Austin, Texas, the latest destination on his mini trip around the United States the week.

Photo: Capital Factory
Cook started his day by visiting the Capital Factory tech accelerator and incubator in downtown Austin, where he met with local developers and entrepreneurs like Joah Spearman, the co-founder of local travel recommendation app Localeur, and Whitney Wolfe, the founder of popular dating app Bumble.

Cook also announced that Austin Community College District will be one of more than 30 community college systems across the United States to adopt Apple’s “App Development with Swift” curriculum in the 2017-2018 school year.

Photo: Alyssa Vidales‏/Austin American-Statesman
Austin mayor Steve Adler was in attendance, and Cook complimented him for his leadership and for having the same values as Apple about diversity, the environment, development, and many other areas.

Cook visited the Cincinnati, Ohio and Waukee, Iowa areas yesterday, and it’s possible he may have a few more visits or announcements planned in Austin before heading back to Apple headquarters in California later today.

Tag: Tim Cook
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25
Aug

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 Compared to iPhone 8 Dummy


Samsung yesterday unveiled its new Galaxy Note 8 in New York, introducing a device with a 6.3-inch AMOLED Infinity Display, 12-megapixel dual rear cameras, a new S Pen, a 10nm processor, 6GB RAM, IP68 water resistance, and a few features cribbed from Apple, including a “Live Focus” photo mode for adjusting depth and dual rear cameras with telephoto and wide-angle lenses.

MacRumors videographer Matt Gonzalez attended Samsung’s launch event and was able to get some hands-on time with the device this afternoon. Because Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 will directly compete with Apple’s upcoming “iPhone 8,” we decided to compare Samsung’s device with an iPhone 8 dummy to compare and contrast the design elements.

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Size wise, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is larger than the iPhone 8, with a 6.3-inch AMOLED display with a 18.5:9 aspect ratio. Comparatively, the iPhone 8 is expected to have a 5.8-inch OLED display. The Galaxy Note 8 has an Infinity display with no side bezels, but it does continue to have bezels at the top and the bottom.

We’re expecting the iPhone 8 to have a greater screen to body ratio, with slim bezels all around (so no infinity design) and no prominent top and bottom bezels aside from a notch that will house the front-facing camera and the sensors necessary to enable facial recognition.


When it comes to colors, the Galaxy Note 8 is available in midnight black, orchid gray, deep sea blue, and maple gold. Apple, meanwhile, is rumored to be planning to release its 2017 iPhones in a black, silver, and a new shade of gold that’s similar to a copper color.

Like the iPhone 8, the Note 8 features a glass front and back with a metal band around the edges, with the glass enabling an inductive wireless charging feature. Inductive charging has long been available in Android devices, and is expected to make its first appearance in Apple’s 2017 iPhone lineup.

Neither the Note 8 nor the iPhone 8 have a physical home button, with the Note 8 instead sporting an on-screen home button that can detect pressure and offer haptic feedback to simulate a press. We’re also expecting Apple to implement a similar virtual home button on the iPhone 8.

Samsung’s Note 8 features a fingerprint scanner on the back of the device, while the iPhone 8 may have no fingerprint scanning functionality at all. Samsung also augments its fingerprint technology with a facial and iris scanner, which we’re also expecting in the iPhone 8, but rumors suggest Apple will have a better implementation that’s far more secure.


The Galaxy Note 8 is equipped with a top-of-the-line 10nm processor and 6GB RAM, while Apple’s iPhone 8 is expected to feature an A11 chip (also built on a 10nm process) and somewhere in the range of 3GB RAM. The Galaxy line often outspecs the iPhone line on paper, but Apple’s deep integration between hardware and software always causes the iPhone to outperform the Galaxy in the real world, and we expect that to be the case with the iPhone 8.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is already available for pre-order and will start shipping out on September 15, which is likely close to when Apple will unveil its own 2017 iPhone lineup. Samsung plans to sell the device for $930 to $960 depending on the carrier, a price point on par with the rumored price point of the high-end OLED iPhone, which could cost somewhere around $1,000.

For a closer look at Apple’s 2017 iPhone plans, make sure to check out our dedicated iPhone 8 roundup.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
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25
Aug

These are the best Galaxy Note 8 accessories for your new Samsung phone


The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is finally here. Nearly a year after its ill-fated predecessor was recalled, Samsung took the wraps off its stylus-equipped flagship phone. The Note 8 has optically stabilized dual cameras, a powerful processor, an edge-to-edge screen, and Samsung’s Bixby assistant.

Accessories make the Galaxy Note 8 even better. Whether you’re scouting out charging pads, docks, or additional S Pen styli, our guide to the best Galaxy Note 8 accessories will put you on the right track. If you’re looking for a case to protect the fragile smartphone, check out our best Galaxy Note 8 cases guide.

S Pen ($50)

Samsung’s S Pen stylus is arguably the Note’s defining feature. It’s included with the Note 8, but if you need a spare, Samsung sells extras.

With an S Pen on hand, you can take advantage of the Note 8’s Live Message feature, which lets you draw emojis, animated GIFs, and handwritten messages on photos. Screen Off Memo lets you scribble up to 100 pages of messages on the Note 8’s always-on screen when the phone’s locked, and Translate lets you translate words and convert measurements by hovering over them with the S Pen. The S Pen’s technical specs are impressive. It has 4096 levels of pressure and a 0.7mm tip, making it Samsung’s most accurate stylus to date.

Galaxy Note 8 Keyboard Cover (TBA)

If the Note 8’s touchscreen keyboard slowing you down, Samsung’s QWERTY Keyboard Cover might be just the tactile answer to your prayers. The protective hard cover snaps onto the front of the Galaxy Note 8 and pairs via Bluetooth, and doesn’t require any configuration — it works just like a normal keyboard. Better yet, when you take it off, the Note 8 automatically switches back to a software keyboard. It’s seamless.

Fast Charge Portable Battery ($60)

We’ve all been there: You’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with a battery approaching nearing empty. In most cases, you’d be flat out of luck, but not if you have Samsung’s Fast Charge Portable Battery Pack. Its 5,100mAh capacity is enough for full two charges, and it’s compatible with Samsung’s Fast Charge standard, meaning it can recharge the Note 8 up to 1.5 times faster than a standard USB charger. A nifty LED power indicator shows how much power is remaining, and a 2A charging interface ensures compatibility with a wide variety of devices.

Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand ($60)

What better way to take advantage of the Note 8’s wireless charging feature than with a fast-charging stand? Samsung’s Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand juices your Note 8 up to 1.4 times faster than off-the-shelf wireless chargers, and it looks good doing it. The circular, minimalist dock comes in four colors (black, white, gold, and silver) designed to match your desk’s aesthetic, and handy LED lights on the back indicate when the Note 8 is properly aligned. The Fast Wireless Charging Stand is fully compatibility with Qi devices, which means it’ll work just fine with any old Galaxy Note and Galaxy S series devices you happen to have lying around.

Gear 360 camera ($230)

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Note 8’s dual rear cameras take pretty amazing snapshots, but if 360-degree content is more your style, consider Samsung’s Gear 360. Its IP rated splash- and dust-resistant 180-degree sensors shoot 30-megapixel photos and 4K (3,840 x 1,920 pixels) 30 frames-per-second videos, and its companion software combines that data into a single 360-degree or panoramic photo. With the Gear 360 companion app for the Note 8, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy S8 Plus, you can remotely control the camera and see a live-view image of what the camera sees, and you can tweak shooting parameters like white balance, high-dynamic range (HDR), exposure, compensation, and ISO sensitivity.

Fast Charge Vehicle Charger ($12)

Need to charge your Note 8 in the car? Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging Vehicle Charger will get you texting in no time. It plugs into any standard cigarette lighter and charges the Note 8’s battery from zero to 50 percent in just 30 minutes, and it’s compatible with more than just the Note. The Fast Charging Adapter comes with a detachable USB to Micro USB adapter, so you can charge non-Note devices in a pinch.

Gear VR with Controller ($130)

Good news for virtual reality enthusiasts: Samsung’s new Gear VR headset is compatible with the Note 8. Once you fit the phone snugly in front of the headset’s lenses, plug it into the included USB Type-C adapter, and fire up the Gear VR’s companion app for the Note 8, you’re whisked away to a digital world. The headset supports more than 800 apps and experiences, and the included Gear VR controller lets you swipe and tap your way through a massive catalog of VR games. Plus, Samsung’s close partnership with Facebook-owned Oculus means you get access to features like Oculus Rooms and Parties, which let you hang out in VR with avatars of your Facebook friends.

Dex Dock ($124)

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Note 8 is more than just a phone. If you have a spare monitor and Samsung’s Dex Station, it can double as a full-blown computer. Plug the Note 8 into the Dex dock and pair a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth or USB, and you get a Windows-like desktop with resizeable apps, games, and programs. Dex comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office apps, Adobe photo-editing tools like Lightroom Mobile, Samsung’s Internet browser, YouTube, and more, and it can remotely link to a Windows machine via VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) apps such as Amazon WorkSpaces, VMWare Horizon, and Citrix Receiver. It’s like having a desktop at your fingertips.

128GB Evo memory card ($50)

The Note 8 has a minimum 64GB of internal storage, but apps and games take up a lot of space. That’s where the phone’s MicroSD card slot comes in, which can accommodate up to 256GB of removable storage. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to MicroSD cards, but Samsung makes a great one: The 128GB Evo. It can store more than 70,000 photos and 2,000 minutes of video, and it’s UHS-1 enabled, meaning it can capture videos and photos up to two times faster than most MicroSD cards. It’s rugged too — Evo cards are waterproof for up to 24 hours, X-ray-proof, and immune to the effects of magnets and temperatures from -25 degrees to 85 degree Celsius.




25
Aug

Bosch synthetic fuel could pave the way for carbon-neutral cars


Why it matters to you

Electric mobility is one way to reduce emissions, but Bosch’s synthetic fuel provides an alternative with no range anxiety.

Electrification is currently the automotive industry’s preferred solution to the problem of CO2 emissions. German components manufacturer Bosch is proposing an alternative solution which could save the combustion engine from an untimely death. The company is developing a synthetic fuel that is completely carbon-neutral, and it could replace gasoline and diesel in the long term.

The first step in the alchemy-like process involves extracting hydrogen from water and adding carbon to it. The carbon can be sourced from factories which generate it as a waste product, or extracted from the air using special filters. The carbon and the hydrogen are then combined to produce a liquid fuel. The process will be entirely CO2-neutral because the plans call for a power-generation plant fueled by renewable energy.

Because the fuel is man-made, engineers can dial in the different properties for various uses. One type of synthetic fuel could replace gasoline, another could fill in for diesel, and a third could take over for kerosene.

“Achieving our future climate targets calls for other intelligent solutions apart from electro-mobility. After all, even if all cars were to drive electrically one day, aircraft, ships, and even trucks will still run mainly on fuel. Carbon-neutral combustion engines that run on synthetic fuels are thus a very promising path to explore – also for passenger cars,” said Volkmar Denner, Bosch’s chairman.

Reducing the environmental impact of the freight industry is just one piece of the puzzle. Bosch points out synthetic fuels are compatible with existing infrastructure, so there’s no need to build a brand-new network of refueling stations. They’re also compatible with every type of internal combustion engine, so they can play a sizable role in keeping classic cars on the road in the coming decades. How else will you drive your 1939 Lincoln hot rod 50 years from now?

Synthetic fuel technology is still at the embryonic stage of development, and making it remains a complicated and expensive process partially funded by the German government. Bosch engineers predict the fuels could get considerably cheaper in the coming years as production ramps up. The fuel itself could cost about 1.20 euros per liter in the long run, which is about the price of gasoline in Europe right now. Of course, it will inevitably get more expensive once taxes are factored in.




25
Aug

Latest Surface Pro 3 update adds full Pro Type Cover support for older models


Why it matters to you

Microsoft is maintaining its pledge to keep updating its older products in the Surface Line, and this one adds new support for Type Covers.

Microsoft’s latest firmware update for the Surface Pro 3 is focused entirely on bringing various systems in line with the Surface Pro Type Cover and Surface Pro Signature Type Covers. It doesn’t add anything revolutionary, but this update does improve compatibility and has no effect on battery life or security.

Although able to operate as a tablet thanks to its 2-in-1 form factor, the Surface Pro line is designed to work well as a laptop, too. You’ll need a keyboard for that, though, and for some users, the new Type Covers for the Surface Pro are a worthy upgrade over their existing keyboard solution, as they can now run the new Type Covers with older Surface Pro 3 2-in-1.

This firmware update addresses several key drivers within the Surface Pro 3 that will enable the use of the new Type Covers. It updates the Surface Smart Cover Backlight, adding support for the Surface Pro Type Cover and Signature Type Cover. The Surface PTP filter and fingerprint sensor driver have also been updated to add support for both keyboard options.

The final two updates in this firmware patch the HID and keyboards functionality to add the Surface Pro Type cover and Surface Type Cover Filter to work correctly with Surface Pro 3 devices.

Although Microsoft’s update breakdown does claim that you need to be running the Windows 10 Anniversary update to download this firmware upgrade, Neowin reports that it should work for those running the Windows 10 Creators Update as well.

Regardless of which of those versions of Windows you’re running, if you haven’t updated your Surface Pro 3 drivers in a while, it would be a good time to do so. The previous firmware update went out in June and updated the UEFI for improved preboot IPV6 performance and increased battery efficiency during sleep mode.

While Microsoft isn’t adding anything groundbreaking to its older Surface products, it’s good to see it keeping updates coming regularly and with added features to maintain the relevance of older hardware. While Microsoft’s newer Surface models like the Surface Pro 4 might be far better, older devices in that range are still viable buys.




25
Aug

Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time


Everyone likes Apple apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 

Moonganizer

Moonganizer features a handy combination of astrological Moon calendar and organizer. With these calendar recommendations, you can plan your business, personal, and social life based on lunar patterns.

Available on:

iOS

Weather FX Pro

Do you want to add weather such as rain, rainbows, snow, stars, or fog effects to your photos? This is a weather photo editor with instant weather overlay for all your photos.

Available on:

iOS

AdBlocker

With a single tap, AdBlock is capable of blocking various ads, protecting your privacy, speeding up your websites with less data cost, and improving the experience of your internet browsing.

Available on:

iOS

Aura

Apply stunning filters to your photos more easily than ever. Choose from a beautiful collection of stunning filters to make your photos achieve the specific look and glow you want.

Available on:

iOS

Night Mode Camera

The application takes real pictures and videos at the lowest luminosity without any additional appliances on iPhone.

Available on:

iOS

Top Speed App

Top speed app is used for calculating an automobile’s top speed, gear ratios, engine RPMs, and tire sizes.

Available on:

iOS




25
Aug

Our personal information is now currency and we should spend it more wisely


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We’re all data-millionaires and should start acting like one.

I like to talk a lot about security and privacy. It matters to me, and I place the same astronomical value on my personal data that Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook do. Your data has the same value, and I think we all need to be aware of how our data is used by the people who use it because it’s so valuable.

Big tech companies are able to convert our data into dollars and pounds and euros. It becomes their responsibility to collect it the right way, store it the right way, and protect it at any cost. When those companies blunder, because we all do from time to time, the way they handle the issue(s) and what they change to prevent it from happening again in the future is very important. This is why I’ll never use another Netgear router without looking at the software, or set up a Yahoo account. If you want to have my valuable data, you need to take good care of it.

Our bits and bytes are now equivalent to dollars and cents. Be as careful with your data as you are with your money.

It’s also a given that “accidents” will happen when it comes to storing user data, as will dumb ideas. Evernote serves us a classic example. The original idea of letting actual humans read your private data in any capacity needed a lot more explanation than they provided, so the idea seemed absolutely stupid. They decided to change course and do the right thing after a good amount of kick back and pressure from press and users. We kicked, because they didn’t make us feel like they would take proper care of our valuable private data. There was one thing in the whole mess that was great, even if it didn’t make up for the things that weren’t as great — Evernote didn’t try to hide what they were going to do and let everyone know about a big change in advance.

I’m not a user of their services (I like simple notes and reminders versus the do-everything that is Evernote) but I would use Evernote’s service if I needed to. Not because I want a human to read my notes, but because they were transparent. They had a change in the works and told everyone in advance so we could take all our data and leave.

Transparency is also part of the reason I, and many others, use Google services.

Your data is part of the reason companies like Google or Microsoft are so successful and have billions of dollars.

Google harvests a scary amount of my (and your) personal data. They know where I am, they know what I buy, they know what bank I use and which airline I prefer. They know about my family — where my kids went to school or where my wife works. They know everything. And they aren’t alone. Look at the phone and/or computer you use, and see what things that connect to the internet are installed on it. If any of those companies are big enough and can afford it, they are taking the same types of data in one way or another.

The amount of personal data and the kind of data Google takes — and Apple, and Microsoft and Facebook, and Amazon, and you get the picture here — makes how they handle it and the way they let you know the most important thing about them.

Everything is based on a barter system. I trade my data for a service or product. I look at what data a company wants, how they collect it and what they will do with it once they have it. Then I look at what they are offering. This way, I can decide if the trade is worth it to me. Being able to say “OK Google what’s my day like?” and getting a ton of pertinent information from my phone or a Google Home is worth letting a machine look at every word and number that I ever typed online, because I have a very clear and concise document that explains exactly how it’s collected, stored, and used. I trust that my data will be kept safe, and if something ever did happen things would be handled in a way I can approve of. I’ll grant my trust in advance, and give them the opportunity to use my life’s data in exchange for a service I like.

Make sure the things you get in return are as valuable as the data you pay for them with.

I trust Apple and Microsoft the same way. I do wish some of their privacy policies were a bit clearer and less vague, but they do a good job covering the things I’m looking for in general. But I don’t use Cortana or One Note, or Siri because that extra bit of my data they need is worth more to me than the duplication of services I get from Google Now and Assistant. Sorry, Microsoft and Apple, you don’t get to read my keystrokes and listen to my voice. Not because I don’t trust either company, but because I don’t need the services either is offering. Millions of others do, and I think it’s great that they take care of user’s private information. On the flipside, I’ll don’t trust Facebook because they like to play fast and loose with their privacy policies and surely the things they have been caught doing are just the tip of an iceberg of bad practices.

You need to decide who you trust in the same way. That’s not easy. But it’s important because you’re handing them your data each and every day. Decide who gives you the most in return for the data you pay them with, look into what they do with it and how they keep it safe. This is a discussion we should be having more often.

How we spend this digital currency is a discussion we should be having more often.

Of course, you can also feel that nobody needs your data. I can’t say I blame you if you follow a tin-foil hat and scorched earth policy when it comes to being online. And that’s the only way to stop the internet giants from taking what they want from you. But I will say that folks who feel they have nothing to hide and just don’t care need to rethink their position. I don’t have anything to hide either, but I don’t want someone from an internet services company to come into my house and rifle through my underwear drawer unless they have something to give me in return.

Google is worth billions of dollars, and the bulk of what made them all that money is our user data. We all need to realize how valuable our information is and that data is now currency. Then we need to make a conscious effort to spend it wisely.

Update August 2017: This post was previously published in December of 2016, The information is still important and relevant.

25
Aug

Wileyfox Swift 2 X drops to £169 in the UK


Amazon has kicked off a promotion for the bank holiday weekend here in the UK. The Wilefox Swift 2 is part of this promotion and has been discounted to just £169.

The online retail giant has kicked off the #Shopthefuture promotion that will run until August 25. This period will see a number of deals prop up across multiple categories, including technology. To get everything started, Amazon has dropped the price of the Wileyfox Swift 2 X to just £169, which includes the gold variant exclusive to Amazon.

wileyfox-swift-2-x.jpg?itok=ovJCh2fw

The Swift 2 X is the company’s most recently released flagship offering, sporting Android Nougat and some fairly solid specifications for the asking price. Available in both Midnight and Gold options, this handset features a 1080p display with a 16MP main shooter, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a 3010mAh battery. There’s even a fingerprint reader for added security. This deal will last until August 30.

See at Amazon

  • View all #Shopthefuture deals at Amazon

25
Aug

Get the Oreo-ready Google Pixel for as little as $550 right now


The Google Pixel has been hard to find, but our friends at Thrifter have tracked down an exclusive discount just for you!

If you happened to miss out on Google’s recent discount on the Pixel and Pixel XL, don’t worry. Thrifter has partnered up with the folks at Daily Steals to bring you some more savings, but this time on brand new units instead of refurbished ones. Using the coupon code THRFTPXLN, you’ll be able to pick up a 32GB Pixel for $549.99, which is only a little more than Google was charging last time around.

pixel-xl-wood-computer.jpg?itok=RHB16Qv3

You can also go for the 128GB Pixel model, or jump up to the 128GB Pixel XL if you want the larger phone. Most configurations are available in both black and silver right now. The pricing breakdown is:

  • 32GB Pixel – $549.99
  • 128GB Pixel – $649.99
  • 128GB Pixel XL – $719.99

These are brand new in box units that come with a full 1-year warranty. If you are looking to save more, and don’t mind picking up a refurbished version, you can grab the 32GB Pixel for $355 with coupon code THRFTPXL.

Don’t forget to check for the Android Oreo update as soon as you get your phone!

See at Daily Steals

More from Thrifter:

  • How to get the most out of your Amazon Prime membership
  • Here are some of the best AmazonBasics products to buy

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

25
Aug

Lenovo Tab 4 10 review: A cord-cutter’s dream tablet


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The Lenovo Tab 4 10 is a great, affordable companion for any cord cutter in 2017.

The quick take

Lenovo latest 10-inch tablet isn’t the most powerful workhorse, but then again it was surely never designed to be a device for everything. With modest specs and a budget price, this is a tablet for anyone looking for a reliable second screen to use around the home for streaming music and video, browsing the internet, cooking instructions in the kitchen, or sheet music when learning to play an instrument.

The Good

  • Great build quality
  • Perfect for streaming
  • Lenovo Performance Mode is fantastic
  • Great battery life
  • Loud Dolby Atmos speakers
  • Mostly stock Android experience

The Bad

  • Cameras are a total afterthought
  • Screen is a fingerprint magnet
  • Hard to use in direct sunlight
  • System takes up nearly half of the 16GB storage

Tech Specs

Operating System Android 7.1 Nougat
Display 10.1-inch LCD IPS Multitouch, 1280×800
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 (1.4GHz, quad-core)
Storage 16GB
Expandable microSD up to 256GB
RAM 2GB
Rear Camera 5MP w/ autofocus
Front Camera 2MP w/ autofocus
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS
Charging Micro-USB
Battery 7000mAh non-removable 2 Cell Li-Polymer
Dimensions 247 x 170 x 8.5 mm
Weight 503g

Lenova-Tab-4-10-lifestyle-shot_0.jpg?ito

The things you’ll love

The Lenovo Tab 4 10 features a (you guessed it) 10-inch screen with a 1280×800 resolution and is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor and 2GB of RAM. With those specs, you’re definitely going to notice a significant slowdown if you try to play any particularly resource-heavy games, but overall it feels capable of handling anything you throw at it — especially video streaming — with ease.

The Lenovo Tab 4 10 is lightweight without feeling cheap.

While the Tab 4 lacks the premium design materials like a glass back and aluminum frame, it doesn’t feel cheap, either. I personally prefer a non-glass back design for my devices, so I appreciated the Slate Black model’s subtle texture on the back. The power and volume buttons are perfectly placed on the left side of the device, so you won’t accidentally press them when you’re just kicking back watching your favorite shows, yet accessible when needed. Overall, the Lenovo Tab 4 10 is lightweight without feeling cheap — while I was fortunate to avoid dropping my unit during the review period, I always felt confident that it would survive without barely a blemish had it.

I’ve found the battery life to be outstanding. Lenovo says you can expect up to 20 hours of usage on a fully charged battery, and in my experience that even seems like a conservative estimate based on heavy usage.

In terms of software, you get a mostly stock Android experience here running Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box. However, one of my favorite features using the Tab 4 10 is Lenovo’s Productivity interface. Designed to be used with an optional Bluetooth keyboard attachment to convert the tablet into a makeshift laptop for added productivity, I enjoyed using it all the same without the keyboard, as it moves the on-screen Android navigations within reach of my left thumb while also adding a task bar for conveniently switching between apps as you would on a PC. I spend most of my review time using the Productivity mode because it’s just a smartly-designed interface. There’s also a Kids Mode, too, making this a great option for families.

I predominantly used the Lenovo Tab 4 10 for media streaming from Netflix, Plex, and DAZN with nary a hiccup, and the built-in Dolby Atmos speakers had me ignoring the Bluetooth speaker I’d typically use. As a hardened cord cutter, the Tab 4 served all my needs very well.

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The things you’ll hate

Firstly, the screen is an absolute fingerprint magnet, so you’ll definitely want to keep the included screen cleaning cloth nearby at all times. It also doesn’t fare too well near direct sunlight, so I’d say this is definitely a tablet to be used in and around the home and less so for commuting. There’s a model that includes 4G connectivity with a SIM-card slot alongside the microSD slot, but honestly, I wouldn’t spend more money when you’re only going to want to use this thing wherever Wi-Fi is probably available.

You’ll probably want to buy a microSD card for this thing as you only have about 8GB space out of the box.

The 16GB of internal storage is a tad underwhelming, as nearly half of that space is dedicated to the OS system files, making the option for expandable memory almost a prerequisite. Some users have had issues mounting a microSD card, but I did not have such problems.

As mentioned above, the specs are a little weak if you were hoping to do some serious gaming. Playing Madden Mobile was fine but noticeably sluggish at times. Temper your expectations or look elsewhere if top-end gaming is what you’re after.

Lenovo included both front- and rear-facing cameras because I suppose they had to, but a 2MP and 5MP respectively, it’s not even worth opening the camera app.

Should you get it? If you’re a cord cutter, yes

If you’ve cut cable out of your life and are simply looking for a tablet for streaming Netflix, Hulu, and the rest around the house, the Lenovo Tab 4 10 will serve your needs wonderfully. You’re unlikely to find a better Android tablet for under $200 that offers such a clean and focused design and user interface.

See at Amazon

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