tablets stories

 
The last few weeks have been a veritable smorgasbord of new device releases giving us new Amazon Kindles, the long-awaited iPhone 5, and even a Toys 'R' Us tablet. But there's more to come before the year is up, and next in line in the tablet wars is Barnes & Noble's new Nook HD and HD+.
 
A few months after the iPad came out, computer makers who had made convertible laptops started phasing them out, believing the iPad usurped their need. What's old is new again: several computer makers are planning to introduce new Windows 8 convertible laptops soon after Microsoft makes the OS official on October 26. I agree with the assessment that the iPad stymied the need for convertible laptops; if you need a keyboard with the lighter-than-a-convertible iPad, or even an Android tablet, you could buy an auxiliary Bluetooth QWERTY keypad. In fact, your bag would probably be lighter with an iPad and an ultrabook both contained therein, as opposed to a single convertible laptop. But if these new hybrids succeed, we can't keep calling them "convertible laptops" (for one thing, it takes too long to type). So, I'm inventing a new name for these sometimes-a-laptop, sometimes-a-tablet combo computers.
 
If you're sick of your kid borrowing your iPad or Galaxy Note whenever they want to do some kiddie stuff, perhaps it's time to get them their own tablet. Toys"R"Us has recognized this opening, and has introduced the Tabeo just for the younger set.
 
Sony's Tablet S is refreshing for two reasons: 1) it doesn't look like an iPad and 2) it has a unique asymmetric "curl" to one side that makes it feel like you're holding a folded magazine. What's more, Sony's mobile division has taken all of the feedback from last year's tablet and channeled them into creating the gorgeous Xperia Tablet S, a tablet it hopes will rule the living room.
 
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 officially goes on sale August 16 in the U.S. (that's today), and with it comes the return of the stylus in the S Pen. The Note 10.1 is not a iPad killer; it's an iPad alternative and it's being targeted at people interested in creating content — most notably design-heavy content — that Apple once aggressively catered to. There's a lot like and a lot to dislike about the Note 10.1. Read on for our hands-on with Samsung's latest tablet.
 
Now that the smoke has settled and we've all had a chance to take in Microsoft's sudden Surface tablet announcement, we need to ask ourselves, can the Surface live up to its hype? Here's three things Microsoft needs to get right if it wants the Surface to have any chance of success at disrupting the iPad and Android-dominated tablet market.

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