Samsung takes on the iPad with its new Galaxy Tab S2

Just days after announcing its thinnest smartphone to date, the Galaxy A8, Samsung has just announced its thinnest ever tablet in the form of the Galaxy Tab S2.

At only 5.6mm thick, the new Galaxy Tab S2 is 1mm thinner than last year’s Galaxy Tab S, and even thinner than Apple’s 6.1mm thick iPad Air 2.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Samsung’s latest tablet comes in two sizes; an 8 inch and 9.7 inch model, both with a 3 x 4 aspect ration, which is much more reminiscent of the iPad’s dimensions than those of its widescreen predecessor.

The new tablets are not only super thin, but also extremely light, weighing only 265g and 389g respectively. They also have a 2048 x 1536 pixel super AMOLED display that, while lower res than its predecessor, is designed to provide bright, vibrant colours whilst also being easy to read.

As well as being slim and easy on the eye, the Galaxy Tab S2 is also fast and powerful, with loads of memory. It has an octo-core processor running at 1.9Ghz/1.3Ghz, and 3GB of RAM, with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, which can be increased to up to 128GB via micro SD. There’s also a 8MP rear camera and 2.1 MP one on the front.

With its sleek design, altered dimensions and improved specs, it’s clear that Samsung is taking on the iPad, and the Galaxy Tab S2 may be its biggest rival yet.

Available in either black or white, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 will go on sale in August although the price has yet to be divulged.

What do you make of Samsung’s latest tablet? 

Amazon announces new Kindle Paperwhite with high resolution screen

Amazon Kindle PaperwhiteToday Amazon announced an updated version of its best selling e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite that will boast a much sharper display, improved layouts and a new font.

The 2015 iteration of the Kindle Paperwhite will have the same 300 pixel-per-inch density as the premium Kindle Voyager, making it twice as sharp as its predecessor.

The new model will also be the first Kindle to support Amazon’s new typesetting engine and Bookerly font, which the company claims will make it easier to read.

Other than these upgrades, the overall design and dimensions will remain the same as the previous two generations.

Despite an impressive upgrade in specs, the new Kindle Paperwhite will retain the same affordable price of £109.99 (plus an extra £10 to eliminate ads on the lock screen), which makes it much better value for money than the Voyager, and most other e-readers on the market.

The new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is available for pre-order now and is expected to begin shipping at the end of the month.

What do you think of the new improved Kindle Paperwhite? 

iPad Air 2: is it worth upgrading?

ipad-air-2-thin3Last week Apple released the iPad Air 2, to great acclaim. It’s been heralded by many as the best tablet on the market, and there’s no doubt that it’s an impressive piece of tech, but is it worth the upgrade, given its £399-£559 price tag?

There wasn’t much about the iPad Air that needed improving, but Apple has managed to do so nonetheless. For starters, they’ve made it even thinner than the, already thin, iPad Air, trimming it down from 7.5mm to only 6.1mm to make it one of the thinnest tablets on the market.

Not only is it slimmer, but also considerably more powerful and has a new processor, the AX8, which is 40% faster than previous generations.

The 9.7 inch screen has the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as its predecessor but the iPad Air 2 now has an anti reflective screen, which Apple claims reduces glare by around 56% compared to the iPad Air.

The iPad Air 2 also now has Touch ID, which will come as a relief to those who’ve got used to using the feature on their iPhone and keep trying to unlock their iPad with their thumb!

iPad_Air_2_Touch_ID_1000It also has new improved cameras for those who don’t feel silly taking photos with their tablet. The rear camera has been upgraded from 5 to 8 megapixels and now has time lapse, slow motion and multi burst functions. Perhaps more pertinent to tablet use is the 1.2 megapixel front camera with improved sensor, which allows for much improved FaceTime calls, especially in low light.

The only potential downside appears to be the battery, which has been reduced from 8,827 mAh to 7,340 mAh in order to accommodate the new slimmer design. Apple claims that the smaller battery will not affect battery life, which will remain at 10 hours. However, early reviews suggest that it has been reduced slightly.

So, is it worth the upgrade? If you already own an iPad Air, it’s probably not worth the additional expense, but those with previous generations of iPad will certainly notice a considerable improvement. There are certainly worse things you could spend your hard earned cash on!

What do you think of the iPad Air 2? Are you upgrading?

New iPad to have anti-reflective screen

ipad-air-gallery1-2013With autumn fast approaching, we’re getting closer and closer to the expected arrival of Apple’s latest products. And as August marches on, more and more details about what to expect from the latest crop are starting to emerge.

Leaked details and images of the iPhone 6, in both a 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch model, have been circulating for a while but until now we’ve heard relatively little of any note regarding the new iPad Air 2.

However, today Bloomberg revealed that “according to people with knowledge of the matter”, the new 9.7 inch iPad has gone into mass production, with a launch expected at the end of this quarter. It also revealed that the new larger iPad will have an anti-reflection coating on the screen to make it easier to read in bright light. Details on the nature of this coating were not provided but it’s a change that will be well received by iPad users who’ve previously had to add anti-glare films to the screen to make it easier to see in direct sunlight.

A new 7.9 inch iPad mini was also reported to entering production for release towards the end of the year, but it’s unclear whether that too will feature the anti-reflective screen.

The iPhone 6 is expected to be launched at an event on the 9th September, exactly a year after the launch of the iPhone 5s, with the new iPads to be unveiled at a later launch in October. The eagerly anticipated iWatch is also expected to make an appearance this autumn, but it’s likely to be at a later launch.

Are you excited about the latest crop of Apples about to drop?

Air Type: “keyboardless keyboard” that lets you type on anything, anywhere

air-type_655x438Sick of struggling to type on your phone or tablet? It’s one of the main issues people have with mobile devices and the reason why compact laptops remain so popular.

Certain companies have devised ways to incorporate discreet keyboards into tablet-style devices, such as the Microsoft Surface with its ‘type cover’ or the Lenovo Yoga Pad that folds in half. However, a start up in Texas is working on a prototype that will allow you to type anywhere, without the need for a keyboard at all.

Air Type is being billed as a “keyboardless keyboard” that allows you to type on any surface thanks to a pair of cuff style sensor units that fit around your hands and detect your finger movements. Unlike other virtual keyboards that project an outline of a keyboard onto a flat surface, Air Type will provide no outline whatsoever.

Airtype-keyless-keyboard-innovative-ideaFirst impressions are that it would be nigh on impossible to touch type accurately enough without a guide, but the company behind Air Type claims that you won’t have to, as the cuffs will have adaptive technology that allows them to learn to adjust to your typing habits in much the same way as voice recognition software learns to recognise speech patterns.

Air Type will also come with an app that provides autocorrect and text prediction.

The cuffs are slim and unobtrusive, and to make them even more portable, they will clip onto your tablet when you’re on the move.

It all sounds great in theory but as the project is still in the early stages of development, we’ll have to wait and see whether the team is able to deliver on its objectives.

Could you see yourself using a “keyboardless keyboard”?