It’s the dawn of a new era for the stock Android-running Nexus gadget line, as Google intends to target the mainstream, upper-tier tech market with the family’s fresh 6 and 9-inch members. The Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet are slightly tougher sells than their predecessors, costing $650 and $400 respectively.
Microsoft doesn’t normally make a fuss over every new Windows product release from no-name brands such as E Fun, but the Nextbook 10.1 has been announced on the platform’s official blog, so it’s clearly a big deal.
In stark contrast with Sony’s habitual sluggishness, things are moving mighty rapidly on the Xperia release front this fall, with the “full-sized” Z3 smartphone en route to T-Mobile and multiple Canadian carriers, and the compressed Z3 Compact handheld available in unlocked form stateside.
It was fun while it lasted, almost magical in fact, but they say all good things must come to an end, and they’re right. Let us bid farewell then to the departed brave Nexus 7 and 10 soldiers in the growingly forceful Android army, welcoming their young, strong, all-guns-blazing subs.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know devices part of Google’s Nexus family will be first in line for Android 5.0 Lollipop updates, as they’ve been every time a new OS version was released. But the product roster grew and grew over the years, and Lollipop is perhaps the most radical, richest goodie pack in Android history.
Looking for an alternative way to get on the Nexus 9 bandwagon early, given the Play Store’s notorious instability around big launch events like this? Not so impressed with Apple’s largely unchanged “new” iPad mini and too slightly upgraded iPad Air 2?
It’s the classic good news/bad news scenario. Hot on the heels of Motorola’s bold Android 5.0 Lollipop proclamations, Sony went on record with its own upgrading pledge. That’s the good news, of course, the bad being it’ll take the Xperia makers a few months to stabilize the first L port and send it OTA.
Perhaps the best part of any new Android version announcement has little to do with the actual intro, going down in the days, weeks and months following the formal unveil. It’s this general, overpowering sense of wholeness, as each and every player in the game goes the extra mile to rapidly skin, modify, customize and finally release over-the-air software updates.
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.