The Tab Pro 8.4 is chock full of high end features like a fast quad core Snapdragon 800 CPU with Adreno 330 graphics and an impressively high resolution 8.4", 2560 x 1600 display. At just under 12 ounces and less than a third of an inch thick, this Android 4.4 KitKat tablet is as lightweight and slim as the iPad mini but Samsung manages to squeeze in an AV IR remote, 2 gigs of RAM, dual band WiFi 802.11ac, GPS, Bluetooth and two capable cameras. The tablet features Samsung's new Magazine UX and Hancom Office; it's worth a serious look if you're in the market for a high end 8 inch tablet.
Some folks have given the LG G Flex a hard time for being downright odd: it's a curved 6" Android smartphone with some flexibility to avoid breaking. The curve actually feels good in the hand, cuts down on glare and makes this otherwise huge phone a bit more manageable. Inside the specs are all flagship with one exception: a 2.2GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2 gigs of RAM, 32 gigs of storage, a huge battery and a capable 13 megapixel camera that can shoot 4k video. But the display resolution is relatively low at 720p, and that hurts. Is that enough to doom the G Flex? Read our review to find out.
It's the 10.1 Note on steroids with a reworked Magazine UX, Android 4.4 KitKit and a lovely 12.2", 2560 x 1600 display that works with the included Samsung S Pen. The Note 12.2 bridges the gap between laptop and tablet with its multi-tasking prowess, strong Hancom Office suite and big screen experience. It runs on the 1.9GHz Exynos 5 Octa CPU with 3 gigs of RAM and 32 or 64 gigs of storage. The tablet is just 0.32" think and it weighs a manageable 1.65 lbs. and it has Samsung's faux leather back. Dual band WiFi 802.11ac, 2MP front and 8MP rear cameras, a microSD card slot and a GPS round out the features in this interesting new tablet.
The Dell XPS 11 is one of the sexiest Windows 8.1 2-in-1 convertible Windows tablets/Ultrabooks on the market. Looking at it will inspire a strong case of geek lust: it's super-slim with clean lines and a very attractive and classy looking carbon fiber and metal casing. Open it up and you're greeted by a 2560 x 1440 Sharp IGZO 11.6" display that's bright and has wide color gamut. And the keyboard--it looks so cool, and at first blush you might think it's a normal keyboard because each key is defined by a matte surface separated by what looks like a gloss black bezel. Ah, but those backlit keys don't actually move; like the Surface Touch Cover, they're capacitive touch sensitive keys. The XPS 11 runs on 4th gen Intel Haswell Y series Core i3 and i5 CPUs with 4 gigs of RAM, a 128 or 256 gig SSD and dual band Intel WiFi AC.
The ThinkPad T440s is the slimmed down version of Lenovo's 14" T Series business laptop. With each iteration the "s" model gets even slimmer and lighter, and the new Intel Haswell model weighs just 3.6 pounds and is 0.8" thick. It has a backlit keyboard that's spill resistant an internal roll cage for strength and a carbon fiber and magnesium casing. We look at the model with a lovely full HD IPS display, Intel Core i5 Ultrabook CPU and an SSD drive. The laptop has plenty of ports and it features Lenovo's new Power Bridge system with hot-swappable batteries plus an internal permanently installed battery.
It's hard to outdo the Microsoft Surface 2 when it comes to making an attractive and well designed Windows 8.1 RT tablet, but Nokia has done it with an even better display and their signature Euro slim and elegant styling. The Lumia is a 10.1" Windows tablet with a 650 nit full HD touch screen, a fast quad core Snapdragon 800 CPU and a slim and light design. It's available with WiFi and 4G LTE from two US carriers and there's an optional keyboard case for those who need to be productive on the go. Other tidbits include dual band WiFi, Bluetooth, a decent 6.7MP rear camera with Zeiss lens and a microSD card slot.
The Xperia Z1S is the T-Mobile version of the well-received Xperia Z1, Sony's newest flagship Android phone. The 5" smartphone has a full HD Triluminos display and a stunning black glass black plus Sony's signature slim and angular Xperia look. The 20.7 megapixel rear camera makes this the highest resolution Android camera phone, and image quality is indeed excellent. The Xperia Z1S has top specs including a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU, 2 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of internal storage. The phone has dual band WiFi 802.11ac with WiFi calling and mobile hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS as well as NFC.
The LG G Pad 8.3 is the tablet for those who want iPad mini with Retina display high end appointments in an Android tablet. The 8.3" G Pad has a 1920 x 1200 display, a fast quad core CPU and a rare thing among today's Android tablets: a metal back. The G Pad 8.3 is available in black or white and it lists for $349, though it's sometimes on sale for $299 or less. This is a good looking tablet that's compact enough to fit in a large pocket or purse, but it feels roomier than the Nexus 7 thanks to the 1.3" increase in screen real estate. Speaking of the Nexus, for those who prefer a pure Android experience, there's the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition that sells for $349 on the Google Play Store.
You get what you pay for, and sometimes a bit more when it's a Google Nexus product. The new Nexus 5, based very loosely on the lovely LG G2 and made by LG, is a bargain of a phone though it's not perfect. The Nexus 5 has a 5 inch full HD IPS display, the latest generation Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU with Adreno 330 graphics, 2 gigs of RAM, LTE 4G on a host of bands, a front 1.3MP camera and a rear 8MP camera with LED flash. It's sold directly by Google and it's unlocked for use with any carrier. No contract required! The 16 gig model is $349 and the 32 gig model is $399, and the phone is available in your choice of black or white. Is this the phone for you? Read our review and watch our video review to find out.
The Sony Vaio Flip 15 is a rare 15" Windows 8 convertible in a sea of 11 to 13" competitors. In fact, Sony's own Vaio Flip 13 that we reviewed, and the Vaio Flip 14 compete for your love too. The Vaio Flip 15's bigger but still slim and light chassis affords significant benefits, that make it the best of the 3 (soon 4) Flip sizes. There's more room for cooling, a huge digitizer for drawing with the Sony pen and upgradable internals. We look at the $1,249 configuration that has fairly high end appointments, including a full HD Triluminos IPS display that works with pen and touch, a Core i7 CPU, 8 gigs of RAM and a 1TB hybrid hard drive with 16 gigs of solid state cache. The 5 lb. laptop has NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M graphics with 2 gigs of dedicated graphics memory, giving it a little punch in 3D games and graphics programs.
It's hard to not be smitten with the Dell Venue 8 Pro. A full Windows 8.1 tablet with a sharp 8" IPS display that weighs less than a pound? Sounds sweet. It's only 0.35" thick and weighs less than a pound. Nice. It's just $299 and has a quad core Intel Bay Trail Atom CPU? Sold! Fortunately, it's as good as it sounds on paper, and the Dell Venue 8 Pro is a great pocketable Windows 8.1 touch screen tablet. It's perfect for those who need to run full Windows programs, use USB peripheral like printers, keyboards and 4G LTE dongles. If you want a tablet but need more than the iPad or an Android tablet can offer, the Dell Venue 8 Pro is pretty darned exciting. Mind you, it's not all perfect-- the optional pen for example is a wee bit wonky.
And now for those who want something smaller than the Nokia Lumia 2520, we have the Nokia Lumia 1520 smartphone, released at the same time as Nokia's first Windows tablet. The Lumia 1520 has a few firsts as well: it's the first Windows phone phablet, the first with a full HD display and the first to sport a quad core processor. Nice! Though the 6" Lumia 1520 might be too big for some, there's no denying the temptations of a Windows Phone that finally competes spec for spec with flagship Android phones. And the Lumia manages to beat most with its 20 megapixel main camera with dual LED flash and Carl Zeiss lens.
The Intel Haswell refresh brings back the Dell XPS 12 as one of our top picks among Windows 8 convertibles. It's a no-compromise 12.5" Ultrabook that turns into a tablet, presentation or tent mode machine with a spin of the easel hinge. Better yet, the keyboard isn't facing out the back or bottom when you do this. The XPS 12 has a full HD IPS touchscreen and it runs on 4th generation Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs with HD 4400 graphics. It has a carbon fiber and aluminum casing that looks cool and it easy to grip, and the keyboard deck has a luxurious soft touch finish over magnesium alloy. The backlit keyboard is a typist's dream, and we like the little touches like Intel WiFi 802.11AC, a solid Synaptics touchpad and fast Samsung SSD drives.
The ThinkPad X Series has always been among our favorites for their blend of extreme portability, durability and fantastic keyboards. The X240 slims the X series even further, and brings extreme battery life. The 3 lb. Ultrabook is available with Intel Haswell 4th generation ULV Ultrabook CPUs, from Core i3 to Core i7-4600U with Intel HD 4400 graphics. Unlike the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the somewhat thicker X240 has upgradable internals including a 2.5" drive bay, mSATA bay, RAM slot and a socketed wireless card.
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