You've probably heard the one about Apple and the HDTV it's reportedly working on, but have you heard the one about how the next Apple TV could double as a cable box? No? Well according to a Wall Street Journal report, that's exactly what's happening.
In other news, RadioShack reminds us that it exists by possibly joining with Cricket Wireless to offer no-contract phones, and a supersecret event invite from Motorola tells us, well, pretty much nothing. But we do have a couple ideas about what the event is for.
Thanks for watching, and don't … Read more
Way, way back in November of 2011, I wrote a post about the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi tablet selling for $349.99.
Here's proof of how quickly -- and dramatically -- prices can drop: today only, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the refurbished 32GB Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi + 3G 10.1-inch Android tablet for $199.99, plus $5 for shipping. (And lest we forget, this sucker was $800 when it debuted in February 2011.)
The Xoom may be a dinosaur by tablet standards, but it's loaded with desirable features. It comes with a dual-core processor, 32GB of storage, … Read more
Good keyboards are a valued asset in the laptop world, and they're starting to become a major factor in the tablet landscape, too. The iPad has its Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover; Microsoft Surface has its Type Cover. Perhaps Synaptics should get into the Windows 8 tablet keyboard landscape, too. … Read more
The latest rumors say so, but we'll explain why the latest rumors are probably wrong. Also on today's episode, we learn why IBM might want to buy RIM's secret treasure chest, and we decipher the tea-leaves of iOS 6. What is Apple not telling us about the new OS for fear of giving away iPhone 5 secrets?
And finally, the next Xbox may hit soon, another rumors suggests. This tweeted image of a swirl of colors supposedly indicates that the Kinect 2 might be awesome. To us it just looks like, well, modern art. But you guys … Read more
It was just the other day that Barnes & Noble cut prices on its Nook tablets, making all three of its top-end models more competitive and more affordable than ever.
But those price cuts can't compare with this: While supplies last, Overstock.com has the refurbished refurbished Nook Tablet 16GB for $140, plus $2.95 for shipping.
(Interestingly, Overstock also has the refurbished Nook Tablet 8GB for $135, but for a mere $5 more, the 16GB model is obviously the much better buy.)
In case you're not familiar with it, the Nook Tablet is a fairly robust Android-powered … Read more
During an event at New York's Museum of Modern Art, PC maker Lenovo has announced new details about upcoming laptops, as well as a new ThinkPad-branded Windows 8 tablet.
The event was to mark the ThinkPad brand's 20th anniversary. Originally IBM's PC line, Lenovo bought the brand in 2005. The three new products profiled have all been spotted before, at CES 2012 or later in the year, including the flagship ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabook.
As the leaves change from green to orange and brown, and children go back to school, it could only mean one thing: the iPhone 5 is a-coming. The rumor mill is swirling with speculations of a release date, what it'll look like, and whether it'll be joined by an iPad Mini. Oh yes, the zombie unicorn rumor that never dies.
Recent rumors suggest that an iPad Mini screen is already in production, leading some people to believe that this jibes with a fall release. Who knows! Apple always has tricks up its sleeves.
Also this week, sightings of … Read more
Recently the Internet at large and tech sites in particular (including CNET) jumped on the "news" that a Swedish retail site had the skinny on the supposed retail price of the Microsoft Surface tablets.
Thankfully, and after only a few hundred forums and comment spaces exploded, calling for the head of Steve Ballmer, the Swedish site in question responded, clarifying that it came up with the price on its own, with no inside knowledge from Microsoft.
Typical weekday Internet confusion birthed from a lack of facts and no desire to actually seek any out. If nothing else, the ordeal left me with one primary thought: "Wow, I'm glad I'm off today and don't have to cover that story." However, my secondary thought was closer to, "With less than three months before the purported release of the RT version of the tablet, we still don't have an actual price from Microsoft."… Read more
Editors' note: This story was first published in July 2010, and has been extensively updated, most recently on December 17, 2012.
Shopping for an e-book reader or a small tablet? At first glance, the task seems daunting -- there are more choices than ever before. The good news is that the list of worthwhile choices is actually fairly short. The even better news? Prices and features are better than ever.
When we say "e-book readers," we're now really referring to four classes of products: black-and-white e-ink readers ($69 to $149); 7-inch color LCD media tablets ($150 to $300); midsize color LCD tablets ranging from 7.9 to 9 inches ($269 and up); and full-size color tablets like the iPad (mostly $400 and above).
The market for those products has consolidated around a handful of major players: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Google are the leaders, with companies like Kobo, Samsung, and Sony -- and a host of other Android tablet manufacturers -- bringing up the rear.
Choosing among those those categories of tablets and readers is the dilemma facing any shopper today, with key variables such as size, weight, screen type, and app "ecosystem" leading the shopping considerations. But don't worry; CNET's here to help.
While the January 2013 International CES will no doubt bring a wave of new tablets, nearly all of the major manufacturers have updated their product lines for the Christmas season, so the buyer's remorse meter is quite low -- now is a good time to buy.
Best overall e-ink readers: Kindle Paperwhite. In addition to its built-in light and touch-screen, the 2012 Kindle Paperwhite )starts at $119) offers access to Amazon's best-in-class e-book store, helping it win the e-ink race by a nose. The best e-ink alternative is the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, another excellent self-illuminated e-reader -- just note that Barnes & Noble's selection of e-books isn't quite as vast (nor often as cheap) -- as Amazon's. That said, the Nook is ad-free, a privilege that will cost you $20 extra for the Paperwhite. International readers should also consider the Kobo Glo, another worthwhile self-illuminated e-reader, though it's somewhat hampered by Kobo's content selection, which pales in comparison to Amazon and B&N. However, both the Nook and Kobo readers work with third-party EPUB e-book purchases, while the Kindle does not.
Best bargain e-ink readers: While you lose the built-in light found on the models above, the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch and Amazon Kindle are the two best e-readers you can get for under $80. The Nook has a touch-screen and is ad-free. The Kindle has Amazon's superior e-book selection, but lacks the touch screen found on the Nook (and step-up Kindle Paperwhite).
Best sub-$200 color tablet: Google Nexus 7. There are at least three great 7-inch, $200 tablets on the market today: the Nexus 7, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and the Barnes & Noble Nook HD. All are worthy of consideration, but the Nexus 7 comes out ahead in overall bang for the buck. And it's the most versatile: unlike the "curated" app stores found on Kindle and Nook, the Nexus 7 offers the full Google Play app store, which is second only to Apple's. That said, we suggest installing the Kindle or Nook apps for reading, since both offer better selections than Google's in-house offering.
Best midsize tablets: Want to go bigger, but still stay at $330 or under? The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD ($299) and 9-inch Nook HD+ (just $269) offer supersized versions of their 7-inch siblings at still-reasonable prices. Straddling the line is the 7.9-inch iPad Mini ($329) -- the most expensive option, but also the most polished, and with the best app store.
Best tablets for kids: The Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and the Barnes & Noble Nook HD have support for multiple users, including parental controls. Amazon has further upped the ante with the Freetime Unlimited service, which serves up kids books, games, apps, movies and TV shows to Prime members for an additional $2.99 a month -- or $6.99 per family. In fact, you could also opt to give a kid the $159 non-HD Kindle Fire as well, since he or she probably won't miss the extra features.
Best full-size reading tablet: Apple iPad (fourth-gen) (starts at $499). If you want a full-size, full-featured tablet that can double as an e-book reader, the iPad platform remains the best, no-compromise choice. It offers free Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Google Play reading apps, with full access to the content in those e-book stores. (Additionally, the iPad offers Apple's own iBooks application, though those e-books can't be accessed on any non-iOS device.) And the iPad's Good Reader app remains the best way to read, edit, and annotate PDF files that we've seen to date. To be fair, Android tablets also double as good e-book readers, with those same three major e-book apps available -- and, as we mentioned above, the smaller Android tablets (including Amazon and B&N) are better deals at lower price points. But if you're spending $399 to $499 and want a large (9.7-inch) screen, we'd still rather have an iPad.
The $399 iPad 2 remains a great tablet that beats much of the Android competition, and it's a few ounces lighter than the third-gen iPad. But for $100 more, the 2012 iPad offers that gorgeous Retina Display that will especially appeal to readers.
So, that's the cheat sheet. But if you're ready to do a deep dive, it's time to compare color versus black-and-white screen, backlight versus readability in the sun, touch screen versus not, cheap versus expensive, 4G versus Wi-Fi, lightweight versus heavy, reading-only versus full-featured tablet.
For the purposes of this article, we're steering clear of PC-style tablets running Windows 8 and Windows RT. For those, check of CNET's laptop buying guide and tablet buying guide. Likewise, we're also not focusing on smartphones, though some of the big-screen (5 inches and up) "phablet" models such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 are certainly worthy of considering for those seeking a tablet alternative.
Read on to consult this quick guide, which boils the purchase decision down to six questions:… Read more