Finding a Chromebook just got easier with expansion of retail availability

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Google revealed on their official blog today that they have reached agreement with several retailers to start carrying Chromebooks on their retail shelves. The devices have been available at Best Buy locations and through Amazon.com. Probably the biggest outlet added to the list is Walmart, which will carry a $199 Acer version of the Chromebook in 2,800 locations throughout the U.S.
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Amazon releases Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ in Canada

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Amazon has been working on making its Kindle Fire lineup available all over the globe, and today they’re continuing on the warpath by releasing the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ in Canadian markets, although with a slight caveat. Due to licensing restrictions, these Kindle Fire models will not have access to Amazon’s instant streaming service. That’s a pretty big thing to drop considering how hard Amazon pushes its movie and TV show rentals, but a half-tablet is is better than no tablet, so to speak.

The specs haven’t changed on the devices otherwise, so if you thought this was good device before, now is your chance to pick one up.

source: Amazon

Sony’s Xperia ZU slated for June 25th announcement, specs revealed early

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Remember that monster phablet from Sony, the Xperia ZU? If you’re in the market for devices that big, we’ve got some more details on a release date and the hardware behind the ZU. According to Taiwanese site ePrice, Sony will make the Xperia ZU official on June 25th, which fortunately isn’t too far off. ePrice also listed some specs for the device, including that massive 6.4-inch, 1080p screen. The ZU will be one of the first devices to run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 CPU, clocked at 2.2 GHz, and will also feature 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot, an 8 MP rear camera, and a 3,000 mAh battery. Compared to phones of similar size, that battery isn’t particularly large, (the Galaxy Note II has a 3,100 mAh battery, for reference) but hopefully some extreme software optimization from Sony and Qualcomm’s latest monster processor will keep battery life as a positive for the device.

As soon as June 25th rolls around, we’ll keep you up to date on Sony’s official announcement.

source: ePrice

Intel demos Bay Trail-T reference platform, boots both Windows 8 and Android 4.2.2

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This week at Computex 2013 Intel unveiled their next-gen processor for mobile devices in the form of Atom micro-architecture, codenamed Silvermont. Intel recently demonstrated their new SoC in their new Bay Trail-T reference platform— a 10-inch, 2560 by 1440 tablet, weighing in at 611 grams and is about as thick as the 4th generation iPad. The device boots both Windows 8 and Android 4.2.2— this is good news, because it means that Intel is planning to enter the Android tablet market. Battery life and performance specs haven’t been released yet but Intel has promised that both will be good.

Source: AnandTech

 

Android could hit 1 billion phones shipped annually by 2017, Windows Phone expected to have 400% growth

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Android’s got a pretty steady grip on the market right now, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon. Canalys, a marketing research firm, has recent reports backing up that statement, and the statistics may even be a little bit scary.

By 2017, Android is expected to hit 1 billion phone shipments— annually. And this is all with Android expected to lose 0.6% of its market share, standing tall at a total of 67.1%. Right now, Android ships 470 million phones annually, so that figure is expected to more than double. Oh, and one more thing— this is only counting phones, and not tablets, or any other type of device Google launches four years from now running Android.

Windows Phone is expected to take a pretty solid chunk of the market too, as it is expected to see 400% growth between now and 2017. Check out the full presser after the break.
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Asus “We Transform” event at Computex 2013 available to watch in entirety

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The event that Asus began promoting about a month ago with its series of video trailers is now available to watch in its entirety. Asus made use of the “We Transform” mantra as expected, and unveiled some pretty interesting products including the Transformer Pad Infinity, Fonepad Note, MeMoPad HD7, MeMoPad FHD 10 and Transformer Book Trio. Check out the full video after the break.
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Google makes use of Chrome’s cross-platform syncing in new game “Roll It” for Chrome/Android

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Ever wanted a skee-ball machine for your home? Well in Google’s newest Chrome Experiment, you actually can— virtually, of course.

“Roll It” links your phone or tablet straight to your computer’s Chrome browser, allowing you to shoot a ball right through your computer in a virtual game of skee-ball. The game is reminiscent of  “Wii Sports,” but this is entirely different technology. Setup is extremely simple— it only took me a couple of minutes to figure it out. First you have to visit the game’s start page on your computer’s Chrome browser. After some pretty sweet intro-animations, you’ll be told to grab your smartphone and follow the rest of the instructions. In a few minutes you’ll be on your way and enjoying the game.

Game-play isn’t perfect but games like this are still first pioneering the new technology (including Racer). From here on out it will only get better and more advanced. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come…

How are you guys liking “Roll It” so far? Check out the video after the break.
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Ekoore Python S3 offers triple the operating system fun in one device

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Italian company Ekoore has announced a device that offers an interesting combination of options for the consumer that cannot decide exactly what they want. Whether you are interested in a large tablet device or laptop, Linux, Android or Windows, the Ekoore Python S3 has you covered. Making it unique is the ability to have access to three different operating systems out of the box, including Ubuntu 13.4, Android 4.2 or Windows 8. Besides offering flexibility in the operating system, Ekoore offers a choice of configurations between a large tablet or a laptop thanks to a fully QWERTY keyboard dock. The keyboard has a built-in battery that can power the entire device, extending the useful life of the device when on battery power, a touchpad, two USB ports and an ethernet port.
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Samsung Galaxy S 4 to be in AT&T stores on April 27

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Are you wondering when you can finally put your hands on the Samsung Galaxy S 4? Well AT&T made it official via Twitter that it will be in stores starting this Saturday, April 27. It appears they will only offer the 16GB version for now, and the 32GB version will arrive at a later date. Word is that if you pre-ordered it, you could get it as soon as tomorrow.

source: @ATT

Androidbooks, as in Android notebooks, could show up by Q3

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Ever since Sundar Pichai took over the Android team, rumors started to swirl that Chrome and Android would merge since Sundar is also in charge of Google Chrome at Google. Shortly after, Eric Schmidt put a kibosh to that by saying they will remain separate, but to expect more overlap. As you know, Chrome is primarily in notebook computers, and the closest thing we have seen of Android on a notebook would be the ASUS Transformer series. The DigiTimes is reporting that Androidbooks, as in Android notebooks, are coming this fall.

It wasn’t mentioned in the report, but if the Androidbook were to have a detacheable display, I’m not sure what more it would offer over the Transformer line. Of course, it they were to be similar to the Chromebooks, where the display is permanently attached, it would be inferior. If there really is an Androidbook in the works, what makes the most sense is for it to not only have a detachable display, but it should also have both Chrome and Android with the ability to boot into either OS. I’m very interested to see what this rumor develops into.

source: DigiTimes