Huawei MediaPad M5 Lineup Now Available in The United States

MediaPad M5 8.4

Huawei has announced this morning that the company’s MediaPad M5 lineup is now available in the United States.  Coming in both an 8.4″ and 10.8″ with 2D curved glass – a first for tablets, the Huawei MediaPad M5 brings a powerful Android tablet experience that really no other manufacture can match these days.  Both tablet sizes are powered by the Kirin 960 SoC built by Huawei, 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM.

The MediaPad M5 lineup will be available from Huawei’s Amazon storefront.  The 8.4″ model is $319.99 while the 10.8″ model is $359.99.  Both models are currently in stock.

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[Update: Returned!] Google Removes Tablets From the Android Official Website

Android N on The Pixel C

Update – The tablet section of the Android.com site has returned.   Maybe it was a mistake but tablets are still in trouble I suspect.

It what is the clearest indicator yet that Android on tablets is dead, Google has removed Tablets from the menu on the official site for the platform.  Up until yesterday, if you visited Android.com, you would see an option for Tablets where you could get information on the smattering of tablet devices that are out there for purchase.  Now that is gone, with the menu reset to include Phones, Wear, TV, Auto and Enterprise.

While the move isn’t completely shocking, it is more-or-less the official final nail in the coffin for tablet form factors running the platform.

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Today’s Deal – Lenovo Yoga Book for $275 in Champagne Gold on Amazon

Lenovo Yoga Book Halo Keyboard

Today’s Deal is on the powerful and ultra thin Lenovo Yoga Book Android tablet.  The 10″ 2-in-1 tablet is my current Android tablet of choice and you can pick up a great deal on it right now.  The Champagne Gold model is down to $275, a savings of $224 off the original price.

The Yoga Book has a 10.1″ display that gives Full HD resolution of 1200 x 1920.  It is powered by the Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processor, a quad-core processor that is clocked at 2.4GHz.  That is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.  That internal storage can be expanded up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.  Also, the Lenovo Yoga Book can take advantage of Adaptive Storage in Android Nougat so once you have a MicroSD card installed, it can act as part of the main storage on the device.

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The Google Pixel C Tablet is no Longer Available from the Google Store

Google Pixel C

The Google Pixel C, the latest Android-based tablet from Google, has quietly been removed from the Google Store.  It signals the end of sales for the 2015 tablet that was met with mix results both from a sales and overall satisfaction perspective.  The 10.2″ tablet was released in September 2015 and shipped with Android Marshmallow.  It was upgraded last year to Nougat and the latest update to Oreo rolled out in October.

The Pixel C was power packed and from a specifications perspective, was hard to top.  But it was released at a time when many were beginning to question the need for a tablet at all.  Rumors at the time were pointing to Android apps coming to Chrome OS or, perhaps, a melding of the two (Project Andromeda) which made it curious about releasing a tablet at the time.  Indeed rumors persist that the Google Pixel C was actually slated to run Chrome OS but was switched at the last minute to Android.

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Today’s Deal – Lenovo Yoga Book for $299 on Amazon

Lenovo Yoga Book

Today’s Deal is on the powerful and ultra thin Lenovo Yoga Book Android tablet.  The 10″ 2-in-1 tablet is on sale right now at Amazon for $299.94 in Gunmetal Gray.  That’s a savings of $200.

The Yoga Book has a 10.1″ display that gives Full HD resolution of 1200 x 1920.  It is powered by the Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processor, a quad-core processor that is clocked at 2.4GHz.  That is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.  That internal storage can be expanded up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.  Also, the Lenovo Yoga Book can take advantage of Adaptive Storage in Android Nougat so once you have a MicroSD card installed, it can act as part of the main storage on the device.

What really makes the Yoga Book stand out is its size.  It measure just 6.72 x 10.1 x 0.38 in and weighs 1.52lbs.  That’s 256.00 x 170.80 x 9.60mm and 690 grams in new money.  When you open it up, it is 4mm thin.  It has a beautiful hinge that allows the keyboard to rotate completely around to the back of the tablet to use it in tablet mode.  Camera wise, there is an 8MP main camera and 2MP front camera for selfies and video calls.  All of this is powered by a whopping 8500mAh battery that gets you 15 hours of use between charges.  Charging is done via a MicroUSB connector and it supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology for fast charging.

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Lenovo Yoga Book Gets Android Nougat Update

Lenovo Yoga Book

Good news this afternoon for those of you who, like me, have the Lenovo Yoga Book.  The long awaited update to Android Nougat is now available.  The 1.39GB update is build YB1-X90F_17902 for those keeping score at home and brings a lot of updates and changes beyond the Nougat update.  The OTA is rolling out now and should be hitting devices over the course of the next few days.

The Nougat update for the Yoga Book was planned by Lenovo but it was not slated to hit until October.

First, Android Nougat.  The Yoga Book update takes it to Nougat 7.1.1 so you have all of the benefits that it brings.  It is also updated to the June 2017 Android Security Patch.  That’s not so great but hopefully it’ll get updated soon.

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Today’s Deal – Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet for $149

Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon has done well with their lineup of Android-based tablets and their latest update to their 10″ model is quite impressive.  The new Fire HD 10 is available for pre-order from the retailer and this update is really impressive for its $149 price point.

The new Fire HD 10 has a 10.1″ display that renders 1920 x 1200 resolution making it a full HD display.  It is powered by a Mediatek quad-core processor that runs at 1.8GHz and is coupled with 2GB of RAM.  That RAM count is double of the first Fire HD 10 and should significantly improve performance, especially with multiple apps running.  Storage comes in at either 32GB or 64GB depending on the model but there is a MicroSD expansion slot.  That will add up to an additional 256GB of storage to the tablet.

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Microsoft Officially Brings Tablet Support in Arrow Launcher

Microsoft Arrow Launcher on a Nexus 9

Last month I told you about the latest beta of Microsoft’s Arrow Launcher bringing support for Android tablets.  That support is now official.  The latest update to the popular launcher is rolling out in the Play Store now and with it comes support for tablets along with a handful of other updates & tweaks.  The support of tablets is something that long time Arrow users have requested of Microsoft as it gives a uniform experience across their devices.

Along with with, Arrow Launcher also supports horizontal layout for your apps page from the app drawer.  This is primarily aimed at tablets and it is an option that needs to be enabled.  The backup & restore feature also has more backup options available.  It still backs everything up to OneDrive but you can now have it save things like SMS messages too.

Microsoft Arrow Launcher on a Nexus 9
Microsoft Arrow Launcher on a Nexus 9

The utility page, something that was introduced in the last update to the app, can also be configured in this new release.  You can show it or hide it as well as chose if you want the card to be transparent or white.  For those who may have tried Arrow Launcher in the past, the utility page is now where you find things like your recent contacts, your recent documents and other information.  These all use to be separate pages in the launcher so having them all in once place makes life a bit easier.

If you have Arrow Launcher installed on your phone, you should get the update to the latest build over the course of the next few days.  Unless you are in the beta, you will need to go to the Play Store to install it on your tablet.