Mobile Devices

Amazon Updates Tablet, STB Lineup

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Reports might suggest Amazon is giving up on hardware, but the online retailer shows this is at least partly not the case as it presents a pair of Fire TV devices and not one, not two but four low-cost tablets.

Amazon Fire STBThe Fire TV devices in question are upgrades of the original STB and the Stick HDMI dongle. The new Fire TV feature 4K/UHD resolution and HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) support, as well as more processing power, 802.11ac MIMO wifi and 8GB built-in storage (expandable to 128GB via microSD card slot).

Meanwhile the new Fire TV Stick gets Alexa integration and a companion Voice Remote, giving it nearly all capabilities of the Echo voice assistant.

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Faster Connectivity Through Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

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Qualcomm describes the upcoming Snapdragon 820 mobile device processor as its most powerful yet, as it features the company's "most advanced" integrated modem and Quick Charge 3.0 technology.

Snapdragon 820The integrated modem in question is the X12. It handles LTE category 12 download speeds reaching up to 600Mbps, beating the previous company record of 450Mbp, as well as speeds of up to 150Mbps. It is also the first to support unlicensed LTE (aka LTE-U).

When it comes to wifi the X12 gets 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO and 802.11ad support, making it fairly futureproof as far as mobile device modems go.

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Samsung Boosts Mobile DRAM

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Samsung starts mass production of what it claims is the first 12Gb (or 1.5GB) LPDDR4 DRAM modules for mobile device use, as based on the company's advanced 20nm process technology.

Sasmung memory The modules take the same space inside devices as Samsung 6Gb modules, allowing mobile phone makers to either double the device memory within the same space or make smaller phones with 3GB of RAM.

The company adds the 12Gb modules are 30% quicker than its 8Gb modules (found in many 4GB devices), meaning future smartphones and tablets get a further performance boost. Energy use is also down by around 20%, allowing for longer battery lives.

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Apple Goes Big With iPad Pro, iPhone 6S

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As previously announced Apple held its traditional September event-- one featuring the announcement of the much awaited iPad Pro, as well as the next iPhone generation, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

iPad Pro Proceedings opened with talk on the Apple Watch. The company continues to refuse to provide any sales details, instead preferring to announce the Watch OS 2 update should be available from 16 September. The wearable also gets new models, such as a Hermes -designed number, a Red edition, and new aluminium and rose gold finishes. A selection of new bands will also be available, of course.

However the event's biggest news involves the iPad. Following talk on enterprise partnerships with IBM and Cisco the company revealed the iPad Pro. As repeatedly suggested repeatedly by rumours, the iPad Pro is the biggest (12.9-inch) and most powerful Apple tablet yet.  It is powered by a specially designed 64-bit A9X chip promising double the graphics, memory bandwidth and disk performance of the A8X, as well as 10 hours battery life, for "desktop-class performance." Audio comes through a 4-speaker array.

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Lenovo Intros ideapad Miix 700

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Lenovo presents a Microsoft Surface look-alike at IFA 2015-- the ideapad Miix 700, a 12-inch Windows 10 tablet complete with built-in kickstand and magnetically-attachable keyboard accessory.

ideapad Miix 700The kickstand is actually one of the more interesting features of the tablet, since it has what Lenovo says are dual watchband hinges. Similar to the hinges in the Lenovo Yoga tablets, these allow the tablet to stand from 0 to 160-degrees.

Meanwhile the keyboard accessory doubles as a screen protector and comes complete with a stylus users can connect to a spare USB port.

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