Microsoft and its hardware-making partners are sure in a charitable mood these days, even though the season to be jolly (and generous) is still a little ways down the road. Perhaps the best cheap Windows 8.1 tablet around, Toshiba’s Encore Mini, got better and cheaper as MS lowered its price tag to $99, and now the ultimate Chromebook “killer” is available at an all-time low as well.
Microsoft’s decision to give up Windows 8.1 licensing fees for manufacturers of smartphones and small tablets may have been one of the most inspired in ages, as it’s currently raining with sub-$150 and even sub-$100 Win slates.
Acer literally just refreshed its budget-minded Switch line of 2-in-1 mini-laptops with a couple of not-so-affordable, beefier models, and another spin-off is already in the works. Only this one doesn’t quite fall in the spin-off category, being more a rethinking of the concept rather than a modest rehash.
Asus has always been full of wacky, original, unconventional ideas, but perhaps its wackiest yet is the PadFone concept. Bringing together a smartphone and a tablet is one thing, but also offering the ensemble for a low price on one of America’s “big four” carriers is what really gets us.
Gone are the times when hybrid laptop/tablet machines were considered niche-y, quirky devices aimed squarely at the geekiest geeks. And perhaps Asus proves it best, focusing most of its advertising and marketing efforts on so-called convertibles.
The next-generation Nexus tablet is yet to go official, and great uncertainty hovers around its build materials and quality, but you can forget about picking up the N9 on a budget. It’s not happening.
Before taking charge of Motorola and rebooting its tablet ambitions, Lenovo continues to flood the laptop replacement market with its wide range of own-brand Android and Windows models. And when not acting totally weird about quirky, nichey, underwhelming Yogas, Lenovo can actually pull off decent low-cost iPad alternatives.
You didn’t need a crystal ball to anticipate Amazon’s latest additions to the Fire tablet family would bring hefty discounts to older members of the product lineup, but the question was when. Right now is the answer, although we’re not exactly looking at hefty savings. Not yet.
We know, we know, it’s rarely wise to make a big PC purchase with mere weeks to go until the busiest shopping period of the year. But do you really want to go through all the Black Friday fuss, the Cyber Monday ruckus and Christmas hubbub again?
A goat getting milked by a creepy 36-year-old. A baby in a pink octopus onesie. A midget wrestler massaging same 36-year-old, probably for relaxation purposes after a long milking session. And creepy 36-year-old getting even creepier by channeling inner… beaver, and meta-painting a beaver using toes.
For a surprisingly long time, we’ve been in a fog as to Google’s future Nexus plans, blindly working our way through an abundance of glaringly misleading intel, or fruitlessly trying to read between the lines of formal silence.
All but confirmed is a satisfactory enough status for a gadget rumored to go official in a matter of weeks, maybe days. Even better however is to receive validation of said product’s existence from the horse’s mouth.