CES 2014 Stories January 6, 2014

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Earlier tonight during its CES 2014 press conference, Sony took the wraps off of two new Xperia smartphones for the United States market. First off, the company introduced the Xperia Z1 Compact. Sony pointed out that this is no the “mini” version of its Xperia Z flagship, as it thinks that mini phones are just “watered down.” According to the company, this device has “no compromises.”

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Just as we reported on this morning, Samsung has just officially announced a new Galaxy Pro line of tablets. The line-up includes four models, coming in at 8.4-inches, 10.1-inches and 12.2-inches. All of the models include the same specifications. The WiFi-only models are powered by an octa-core processor, while the LTE models will have a Snapdragon quad-core chip under the hood. The WiFi models will have 2GB of RAM, with the LTE models coming in with 3GB, presumably to make up for the processor difference. The 8.4 and 10.1-inch models come with either 16 or 32GB of storage, and the 12.2-inch model comes in a 32 or 64GB flavor.

Samsung has also unveiled the Galaxy Note Pro, which features the same 12.2-inch display and processor and RAM configuration as the other models. Of course, the only difference is that the Note Pro includes the famous S Pen. All four of these devices include a high-resolution 2560×1600 display.

Samsung has also refreshed the software on the device, which if you’ve used a Samsung tablet recently, is definitely not a bad thing. The company has also added multi-window support, and will also give users a “content gift package” with paid content from apps like Evernote and Dropbox.

The Galaxy Pro line of tablets will be available “globally” starting from Q1 2014.

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Samsung’s CES 2014 keynote kicks off in just a few minutes at 2PM PT/5PM ET. Check out the live stream up above and stay tuned for more info as it hits.

Just a few minutes after announcing the hybrid Transformer Book Duet, Asus has unveiled an entirely new line of Android devices dubbed ZenFone. Asus hasn’t had much luck in the Android phone market, due in large part to its odd choice to only release phones that dock in tablets. The company hopes that these ZenFone devices will bring it some commercial success, though.

The ZenFone devices will come in three sizes, 4-inches, 5-inches, and 6-inches. All models will be powered by a dual-core Intel Atom processor and be available in a wide-variety of colors. The devices will ship with Android 4.3 on board, but don’t get too excited, as Asus has decided to overlay its ZenUI on top of the operating system. Asus promises that ZenUI will be simply, beautiful, and easy to use. One feature Asus is heavily promoting is a What’s Next feature that keeps track of your daily schedules.

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Hybrid devices that dual-boot both Android and Windows have become all too common over the past year or so, and as the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show kicks into full force, it only seems fitting that we’d see just a few more. Asus has just announced the Transformer Book Duet TD300. As the Duet name implies, the device is a convertible laptop and tablet hybrid that dual boots Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Windows 8.1.

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AT&T has just announced that it will be the exclusive United States carrier of the ASUS PadFone X, although the carrier has no detailed information on pricing or availability at this point. The PadFone X is a 5-inch Android device, running 4.4 KitKat, that that you can dock to turn into a full 9-inch tablet. ASUS touts that the integration between the tablet and phone interface is seamless and that the docking process will automatically resize all apps to fit the larger display.

The PadFone X is a 5-inch full HD smartphone that activates a 9-inch full HD tablet when the phone is docked. It runs Android KitKat 4.4. and features a thin and light design with a brushed metal frame, a soft-touch back cover and dual front speakers that deliver captivating audio.

At this point, we don’t know all that much about the PadFone X, including specific specs, such as what sort of processor is powering the device. Rumors suggest that it’s a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip with 2GB RAM, although that has not been confirmed.

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Just a few minutes ago during its CES 2014 press event, LG announced that its highly-anticipated G Flex device will be making its way to the United States in Q1 and is destined for Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T. We’d heard rumors of United States G Flex availability for a while, but this is the first time LG has confirmed its plans.

Early reviews of the self-healing G Flex were rather mixed. The main issue most reviewers had, however, was the price tag for the device. Presumably, when it hits United States carriers, it will be subsidized, which will reduce the initial up-front cost. Reviewers also remarked that the curved design made the device’s size more manageable and ergonomic. They also had positive things to say about the G Flex’s performance, and camera, though they were somewhat skeptical of the “self-healing” back.

The big question surrounding the device now is its subsidized price on T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. We should hear more about that as we progress further into the first quarter.

CES 2014 Stories January 5, 2014

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Hot on the heels of Acer announcing a pair of Android-powered all-in-one desktop computers, HP has just taken the wraps off of its own model. Dubbed the Slate 21 Pro, the device is an all-in-one targeted at business users. HP’s biggest selling point with the device is the fact that it comes pre-loaded with a variety of services and apps, including Kingsoft Office, Evernote, Skype, HP Classroom Manager, 50GB of lifetime Box storage and Citrix Receiver for remote Windows access. Of course, you also have access to the full Google Play Store for apps, as well.

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During its press conference to officially kick off CES 2014, NVIDIA has announced its latest next-generation mobile processor. Dubbed the NVIDIA Tegra K1, the processor is the world’s first “192-core Super Chip.” The K1 will begin to make its way into mobile devices, more than likely several Android ones, sometime this year. In addition to mobile Android devices, NVIDIA also plans to implement the Tegra K1 into cars, gaming consoles, and 4k televisions.

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For those of you that aren’t going to make it to CES this year, Qualcomm has released several videos to its YouTube channel, showing off some of the features of its Snapdragon 805 processor. The videos focus mainly on the enhancements the chip can make to camera technology and styluses (via Engadget).

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CES 2014 Stories December 17, 2013

Chrome OS-powered desktops have not caught on in the past, to say the least, but it looks like that won’t stop LG from trying. The company has just sent out a press release announcing a new Chromebase, that it will officially unveil at CES 2014. The Chromebase is an all-in-one computer, much like the iMac, but powered by Chrome OS. The Chromebase will feature a 21.5 inch 1080p display, as well as 2GB of RAM, 16GB of solid state storage, and an unspecified Intel Celeron processor.

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