What to look for when buying a tablet as a laptop replacement

Tablets didn’t exactly take over the computing world, as Apple and Microsoft had predicted years ago. But they have been evolving to the point where they can fill in for a laptop under the right circumstances. Still, how do you ensure that the tablet you buy is good enough for you to leave conventional PCs behind? It’s not always easy — a tablet that’s powerful enough for one person might be overly complicated for another. We have some tips to help you navigate the shopping maze.

The best tablets for kitchen use

Tablets may not be for everyone, but they're uncannily well suited to the kitchen. They can guide you through recipes or play Netflix shows without taking up as much countertop space as a laptop. And unlike the Echo Show and other screen-equipped smart speakers, you can move them anywhere you like while you prepare your meal. But how do you go shopping for a tablet with kitchen use in mind? It can be tricky, since some of the usual shopping advice goes out the window. Here's what you'll want to consider if you're buying a tablet as a cooking companion.

How the ‘new’ iPad compares to the rest of Apple’s tablets

The iPad line has diversified a bit the past few years, with Apple introducing two sizes of its "Pro" model in addition to a more basic 9.7-inch device. But, while last year's tablet offered some decent specs at a friendly $329 price point, it lacked few of Apple's more modern flourishes. Apple's "new" 9.7-inch iPad rectifies some of that by upgrading to an A10 processor and (most importantly) adding Pencil support. The hope here is it can go toe-to-toe with affordable Chromebooks that have taken over classrooms. It helps that schools can buy an iPad for $299, but the price hasn't budged for consumers -- you'll still need to cough up $329. So, how does it compare to its iPad siblings? Check out the table below to see all the most important specs.

Apple to launch new iPad next week, report claims

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Apple will launch a new version of its iPad tablet at its education-centric event, slated for March 27. 

This is according to a new report from Bloomberg, which claims the new iPad will be a low-cost variant that should fit the needs of the education market. 

No other details about the device were shared, but the report claims Apple is also working on a sub-$1,000 MacBook laptop that will probably replace the (horribly outdated) MacBook Air. That device probably won't be ready for the March 27 unveiling, though. 

While the new iPad is likely the only significant piece of hardware we'll see at the event, Apple will reportedly launch new education-related software, and possibly a new, redesigned version of iBooks. Read more...

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Amazon brings Alexa calls and messaging to tablets

You no longer need to hang around an Echo speaker to make free calls and messages with Alexa. As of now, you can use Alexa to place calls (including video calls) and send messages from Android tablets, iPads and of course Amazon's own Fire models. How easy it is depends on the device. It's easiest on the Fire HD 10, where you only have to ask Alexa to get in touch; other Alexa-ready Fire tablets require that you tap the home button first. And for everyone else, you'll have to open the Alexa app.

Source: Amazon (1), (2)

Apple will probably launch two new iPads soon

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Rejoice, iPad lovers: New Apple-branded tablets may be coming soon.

New entries in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, discovered by French blog Consomac and noticed by 9to5Mac, indicate Apple is preparing launch two new iPad models. 

The filing contains no info about the new iPads except the model identifiers, A1893 and A1954. So what does this information tell us?

Well, judging by previous findings of this type, it's quite likely that we'll see these new iPads soon, perhaps as soon as next month. This is hardly unusual; for example, Apple launched the $329, 9.7-inch iPad in March last year. Read more...

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Apple might delay iOS interface revamp to focus on stability

If you hadn't noticed, iOS 11 has had more than its fair share of bugs. And that's apparently been worrisome enough to prompt a rethink of how the company approaches iOS 12. Axios sources have said that Apple is pushing some major iOS feature updates into 2019 to focus this year's upgrades on "performance and quality issues." Reportedly, Apple is delaying refreshes of the home screen interface, CarPlay, core apps and photography in favor of quality and responsiveness. There will be significant improvements in 2018, the insiders said -- they'll just focus on less dramatic areas like augmented reality, health and parental controls.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Axios

Save up to $300 on Dell Inspiron items, pre-order Nintendo LABO Kits, and more of today’s best deals

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Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

This one's for you, gamers. As you've probably seen splattered all over the Internet today, Nintendo has released a new DIY way to play Switch games — and it's made out of cardboard. The Robot Kit and the Variety Kit seem really cool and we are so pre-ordering this stuff. For the more traditional "I want a screen larger than an iPhone" gamers, deals can be found on numerous Dell Inspiron and Intel Core desktop PCs and laptops. Read more...

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Get a touchscreen stylus and just accept the fact that your sausage fingers are too big

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Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

You know that feeling when you need to sign for a purchase, and the register doesn't recognize your sloppy signature? Or when you need to select an option on your smartphone, and you just can't click that tiny box no matter how much you zoom in? Sometimes, touchscreens are just the worst. If you're sick of dealing with the hassle, consider picking up a Hand Stylus

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D&D Reader app brings paper reference books to your tablet

Dungeon Masters can rest a bit easier now that the library of Dungeons and Dragons core rulebooks will soon be available in an easy-to-lug digital edition. Instead of a stack of heavy paper-bound volumes, you'll be able to take your iPad or Android tablet to your next gaming session loaded up with the upcoming D&D Reader app, which should be available this fall.

Microsoft inadvertently hints at its own iPad keyboard cover

You might not have any inclination to buy a Surface Pro tablet if you're an iPad owner, but Microsoft may be happy to sell you the keyboard portion. WinFuture has noticed that Microsoft posted a battery document mentioning an unannounced iPad Touch Cover. The file reveals precious little about the peripheral, but its name harkens back to the Surface Touch Covers that Microsoft used to sell -- the emphasis here would be on thinness over the tactile feel of a Type Cover. The inclusion of a battery and the April timing of the document suggests that it uses Bluetooth and targets the entry-level iPad, although we're not ruling out a Smart Connector attachment for the iPad Pro crowd.

Via: WinFuture (translated), The Verge

Source: Microsoft

Apple iPad Pro 10.5 is Apple’s best tablet

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What is the optimal size for an iPad? Is it 9.7 inches? 7.9? Maybe 12.9 is the right size?

No, the new sweet spot is 10.5 inches. 

That’s the new in-betweener size Apple come up with for its latest iPad Pro, which replaces the 9.7-inch model introduced a little over a year ago.

You can still buy a standard 9.7-inch iPad, but, after spending some time with this device, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Apple’s essentially reinvented its premiere tablet and instantly set the bar for tablet hardware.

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro looks a lot like the 9.7-inch model. The aluminum chassis is, at 9.8 in. x 6.8 in., only slightly larger than the 9.7’s (9.44 in. x 6.6 Continue reading "Apple iPad Pro 10.5 is Apple’s best tablet"

iPad Pro 10.5 review: Where execution and ambition meet

Never mind that Apple keeps updating its notebooks and desktops -- Tim Cook once said the iPad represented the future of personal computing. That was one year ago, when the company revealed the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and he seemed to mean it. Of course, you don't need me to tell you that a lot can happen in a year.

The iPad that Phil Schiller revealed after Cook dropped that bombastic statement has already been discontinued, making way for the shiny new 10.5-inch model Apple unveiled at WWDC 2017. The Pro 10.5 ($649+) feels very familiar, not to mention surprisingly powerful, but that's no surprise -- every new iPad Pro that Apple releases is the best one out there. What's more impressive is how finally -- finally -- Apple has put together an iPad that feels capable of living up to the company's lofty words. It's not Continue reading "iPad Pro 10.5 review: Where execution and ambition meet"

The new iPad Pro packs a bigger screen into a familiar body

The tablet market isn't in great shape, but Apple is still convinced that the iPad represents the future of mobile computing. That's where the Pro models come in: They're designed to bring serious horsepower to everyday tasks in hopes that people could use them to replace traditional computers. Now we've got a new one, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which replaces the 9.7-inch model we reviewed last year. After a bit of hands-on time, one thing is clear: If you're looking for a premium tablet, this is one slate you can't ignore.

Apple’s iPad mini might not be long for this world

When Apple didn't do much more to the iPad mini 4 this spring besides increase the storage, it left more than a few people wondering if the tiny tablet is on its way out. If you believe a BGR source, the answer is "yes." The contact claims that Apple plans to phase out the iPad mini now that it has been "sized out of its own category" -- why get one when the iPhone 7 Plus and new entry-level iPad can cover the bases for many people? That's reportedly reflected in the sales figures, which make it "very clear" that the iPad mini isn't in high demand.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: BGR

Apple’s fabled iPad redesign may arrive at WWDC

Apple could have more than one hardware treat to unveil at WWDC this year. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (who has a mostly solid track record for Apple predictions) now believes that Apple is likely to launch a long-rumored 10.5-inch iPad redesign when the developer conference kicks off on June 5th. Kuo understands that mass production is supposed to start in the late second quarter (aka June), so it only makes sense for the tablet to launch around the same time. As for what the device would entail, provided the report is accurate? To no one's surprise, Kuo mostly focus on the display.

Source: 9to5Mac

Google’s official calendar app is finally ready for your iPad

                    <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/e9a6b6003fff86c83bfbf14c52bd2076/205103402/google-calendar-ipad.jpg" /><a href="https://www.engadget.com/2015/03/10/google-calendar-for-iphone/">Google Calendar for iOS</a> can be exceptionally useful if you're tired of Apple's stock scheduler, but there has always been one inescapable catch: it's only designed for iPhones... or rather, it was. Two years later, Google has <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/app/google-calendar-make-the-most-of-every-day/id909319292?mt=8">updated</a> Calendar to add iPad support. Yes, you can finally jot down appointments and set goals while taking advantage of your <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2016/03/31/ipad-pro-9-7-review/">Apple tablet's</a> larger canvas. That's the only major update on deck right now, but there are promises of more in the pipeline.
                                                <strong>Source: </strong><a  href="https://itunes.apple.com/app/google-calendar-make-the-most-of-every-day/id909319292?mt=8">App Store</a><!--//-->

iPad bomb threat led to recent device ban on flights

                    <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/GLOB/crop/3500x2334+0+0/resize/1600x1067!/format/jpg/quality/85/http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/9713f37db93873ba85204b05688f711d/205096405/RTR3L52B.jpeg" />When <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/20/us-bans-electronics-on-middle-eastern-airlines/">the US</a> and UK banned people from <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/21/uk-flight-device-restrictions/">carrying large devices</a> aboard flights originating in the Middle East and northern Africa, they only made vague claims about this being in response to threat reports.  But just what were those threats, exactly?  We might have an idea.  A <em>Guardian</em> security <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/26/plot-explosives-ipad-us-uk-laptop-ban">source</a> understands that the bans were prompted in part by a plot to tuck explosives into a fake iPad.  This wasn't the <em>only</em> motivation -- there was a "combination of factors," according to the newspaper -- but it played an important role.  It's not clear where and when this faux tablet bomb would have been used.
                                    <strong>Via: </strong><a  href="https://9to5mac.com/2017/03/27/laptop-tablet-flight-ban-ipad-bomb-plot/">9to5Mac</a><!--//-->
                                    <strong>Source: </strong><a  href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/26/plot-explosives-ipad-us-uk-laptop-ban">The Guardian</a><!--//-->

Apple’s cheap iPad is tailor-made for education

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Lost amidst the red iPhone and death of iPad Air hoopla was Apple’s latest attempt to turnaround its education market: A $299 iPad. Apple didn’t lead with that news and the pricing for the new 9.7 iPad flagship is only for education institutions, but make no mistake, it’s a critical strategic move and one that could help revive the company’s tablet business. It’s been decades since Apple and Steve Jobs helped drive through state legislation that put Apple computers in every California classroom and helped trigger much wider adoption of the Apple in grade schools across the country.

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