The Microsoft Surface Tablet: Average Features In An Average Package That Doesn’t Even Come Close To Challenging Android Tablets

 

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few days, you’re probably well-aware of the upcoming Microsoft Surface tablet. Dubbed as one of the saviors for Microsoft’s rapidly degrading brand, the Surface tablet has already been identified as the true iPad and Android tablet challenger. With its thin profile and abundant storage space (comes in 32GB or 64GB configurations with an expandable storage slot), the Surface tablet will have at least the physical features to make it an interesting product. However, the hardware is just one aspect of the tablet— the real kicker is Microsoft’s brand-new OS: Surface for Windows RT technology. The OS will essentially mirror its upcoming Windows 8 OS, while having exclusive offerings like Microsoft Office 2013 and a special version of Netflix included with the tablet. So in essence, upcoming Surface tablet seems to be a true productivity workhorse— at least on the surface (no pun intended folks).

Now while the upcoming Surface tablet certainly looks to be an interesting and perhaps attractive product, Microsoft is treading into dangerous territory. As RIM and certainly HP can attest, Google’s Android platform has a clear stranglehold of the tablet market share— something that both the Blackberry Playbook and HP’s TouchPad certainly couldn’t achieve during their brief lives. Consumers love seeing a new product, but expect reasonable value of what a product offers. The Surface tablet is going to debut at $499 for the 32GB entry-level model– which doesn’t even include the $130 Touch Cover keyboard/cover combo that’s necessary helpful for doing all that increased productivity like using Microsoft Office 2013, as Microsoft is hyping. As indicated by numerous studies, the number of iPad and Android tablets are growing at an astronomical pace. Oh and don’t forget– newer Android tablets are being released on a seemingly daily basis and the prices of the those tablets (and subsequent accessories) are becoming much more reasonable— if not lower overall. So considering Microsoft is certainly unproven, while Apple and more importantly— Android have a clear understanding of not just what consumers want, but what consumers actually need in a tablet— Microsoft doesn’t offer any compelling reason for why consumers should give their product a try. Microsoft’s Surface tablet is a painfully basic product that has a premium price won’t even put a dent in Android sales or overall market share.


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SteelSeries Free Brings Android Gamers A Bluetooth-Based Gamepad Alternative

 

It’s no secret that Android gaming has been taking to another level, so it’s only fitting that we see new accessories being launched to help make the gaming experience a great one. A new controller that has been announced called the SteelSeries Free gaming controller is now on its way to those looking for another way to play their favorite games. The gamepad is a bluetooth-based controller that brings the standard button and analog sticks, but in a unified design. The cool thing is the device is capable of 10 hours of battery life in continuous gameplay or 20 hours of battery life in casual gaming. What’s even better is while the gamepad will have native support for games like GTA 3 or Max Payne, it will feature its own app called the SteelSeries Engine, which allows users to further customize their device to their liking.

While the gamepad has been announced, there is no word yet on its price and availability— and no, the device will not be free contrary to the gamepad’s name silly. Hit the source link for additional details and information.

source: Phandroid

New leak reveals accessories for Sony’s upcoming Xperia tablet

A slew of leaked photos have surfaced, revealing an array of new accessories for Sony’s rumored Xperia tablet. According to the images, Sony has constructed a keyboard case similar to that of Microsoft’s Surface tablet. In addition to the case, the manufacturer is preparing a media docking station with remote control and a stand for the tablet that allows users to operate the device in both landscape and portrait mode.

Functionality seems to have played an important role in the design of Sony’s new accessories, but if the company is going to sell any, it will need to provide a clear reason to purchase the tablet to begin with. And, unless the tablet is priced to compete with other offerings, Sony will struggle to unload many. Considering the iPad, Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire are currently the most appealing options available, the Japanese manufacturer will need to synthesize some sort of an advantage.

We can only speculate at this point, but IFA kicks off this week, so stay tuned for more coverage. You can catch the rest of the photos after the break.


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Verizon Stores All Set To Offer Wireless Charging Kits For Samsung Galaxy S III Smartphone

 

Life is about to get just a little sweeter for owners of the Verizon variant of the Galaxy S III smartphone. Fresh off reports of third party wireless charging kits being on the way, the gang at PhoneArena obtained some confidential information indicating Verizon’s flavor of the device has a wireless charging kit on the way. The wireless charging kit will include a special Sammy and Verizon-branded back cover for $39 and a charging station that will be marked down to $50. All in all, it will run you a hair under 90 bones in order to have access to the cool feature of the device.

So what say you Verizon Galaxy S III owners, you folks getting this not-quite-official accessory?

source: PhoneArena

Samsung Galaxy S III premium edition accessories pack available in Taiwan

Samsung and Asian telecom provider Chunghwa Telecom released a 2012 London Olympics accessory pack  for the Galaxy S III today in the Taiwan market.  The pack includes three phone holders, a couple back covers, and a figurine to mount via the 3.5mm headphone jack. The base of each phone holder is adorned with the British flag as well as one of the back covers. The other back cover is a graphic of a member of the Royal British Guard. The phone holders each use a different Olympic sport for a figure that serves as a stand for the phone – Cycling, Weightlifting and Taekwondo. The figure that mounts in the audio jack is a British Royal Guard figure and serves no purpose other than bling.

In addition to the items indicated, a static wallpaper will be made available via Samsung Apps beginning July 22nd. Pricing appears to be in the $10 US range.

source: Pocket Droid

Nexus 7 Gets Plenty Of Cover— Stylish Tablet Covers Appear On ASUS Facebook Page And Google Play Store

The mouthwatering Nexus 7 tablet will soon be in the hands of prospective owners around the world, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be treated to some accessories— this time in the form of an assortment of covers. ASUS went ahead and posted its tablet covers— which can be found in a variety of colors. As you can see, the tablet covers completely cover and protect the Nexus 7. However, the Facebook post definitely had something amiss— as there was no mention of the availability and how much the tablet covers would cost. It’s definitely unusual, but enter Google who helps to clear up the picture a little. While ASUS chose to omit the pricing, Google also lists what looks to be the same tablet cover on its Play Store— albeit in only one color (Dark Grey) and for a meager $19.99. Keep in mind the tablet cover is clearly listed as coming soon, so we’d imagine it would be available as soon as the first batches of the tablet are shipped.

So whaddya think? Yea or nay on the tablet cover?

source: ASUS Facebook | Nexus 7 Cover Play Store

Jelly Bean brings USB Audio support to Android devices

Digging into the new features and capabilities present in Jelly Bean, one item we have discovered is the addition of USB Audio. Support for USB Audio means audio from a Jelly Bean based device can be accessed via the USB port. This presents an alternative to streaming audio through the external speaker jack or a Bluetooth connection.

Using USB Audio, hardware makers will be able to build audio dock devices to interface with Android powered phones and tablets. A good example of this was an Android.Connect dock on display from Gear4 during Google I/O.  Check out the video after the break showing how this will work.
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Samsung Shows off Official Galaxy S III Accessories in New Promo Video

The first thing I look for right after buying a brand new phone are accessories! I mean, who doesn’t love accessories for their lovely new device, right? Online retailer MobileFun has aired a promo video showcasing the official accessories that are now available for Samsung’s newest flagship device. The video shows off the GSIII’s docking station, some flip cases, a water-proof gel case, the “C” Pen, and the highly talked about wireless charging dock. While I usually tend to shop for generic branded accessories as the official ones are usually very pricey, these ones look great and could really make you enjoy your new Galaxy S III even more. Take a quick look at the video after the break and let us know what you think! Will you be purchasing any of these goodies? You can do so through the link below.

MobileFun


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Samsung Galaxy S III Plays Well With Others

  

The Samsung Galaxy S III is already one of the most capable phones out there, and now we’re hearing even more about its capability to use external accessories via the microUSB port. XDA user NZtechfeak has done some testing and discovered that the latest and greatest from Samsung will play USBHost to XBOX 360, PS3 and Wii controllers, as well as portable hard drives, flash drives, keyboards, mice and more.  You’ll need a USB-To-Go adapter to make it all work, but after that the integration is seamless.  See the video after the break showing the possibilities…


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Samsung Galaxy S III accessory videos

Many of us are itching to get our hands on Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S III. The phone has so many cool features built-in, it’s easy to forget that Sammy is also putting out some nifty accessories to accompany their new flagship device. I’m most excited about the WiFi Display Hub enabling you to wirelessly connect your GSIII to your HD TV for some big screen video streaming and gaming action.

The videos below are a bit disappointing as the GSIII is nowhere to be seen, so the presenters just make assumptions about the function of each accessory. At least we get to see the actual size of each item, so here’s to hoping that we’ll get to actually see them in action soon. Hit the break to see some GSIII accessory monologues.


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