All new Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet announced

Amazon has announced an all-new Fire HD 10 Tablet. The 10.1″ tablet comes with Alexa Hands-Free and features a 1080p full HD Display (224 ppi). At only $149.99, Amazon has shaved over $80 to $100 off the price of the old Fire 10.

This tablet is a huge improvement over the old one:

  • The previous generation only had a 1280 x 800 display (149 ppi). The new tablet is 1920 x 1200 (224 ppi).
  • The old Fire had 1.5 GHz processor, the new one is a faster 1.8 GHZ.
  • Old tablet cost $229.99 to $259.99, this one is $149.99.
  • The previous generation required you to push the home button for Alexa, the new tablet will be voice-activated and hands free (after an update).
  • The new Fire weighs 2 ounces less and is marginally thinner than the first version.
  • It also promises better battery life.

In order to bring this tablet in cheaper than the previous version, Amazon did seriously downgrade the cameras in this device. The new version has VGA Front-facing camera and a 2 MP rear-facing camera with a 720p HD video recording. The previous Fire had a 720p HD Front-facing camera + 5 MP rear-facing camera with full 1080p HD video recording. Since most people do not buy these tablets for the cameras anyway, this will probably not be a deal-breaker.

(You can find the specs for the previous generation here if you want to compare.)

I passed on the previous tablet model because at only 149ppi, it didn’t offer a good enough resolution for reading and watching video for my tastes. This one may be a different story. There are no third-party cases and covers for the new tablet available yet, but given past experience, new one should be popping up soon.

The new Fire 10 HD will be released on October 11, 2017. Amazon is offering the tablet on a payment plan of 5 monthly payments of $30.00.  You can pre-order the tablet here.

What do you think of the new tablet?

So that $50 NOOK has malware….

new_nookIf you had wondered if that NOOK $50 tablet was too good to be true, turns out you were right. Remember last month’s story on that ADUPS malware that was infecting the Blu R1 HD phones and sending data back to China? Yeah, that one. Well, as it turns out, the same malware is affecting the NOOK BNTV450. And, unlike the BLU scenario where an update was issued, 9 to 5 Google is reporting that there seems to be no way to disable the ADUPS on the NOOK device.

If you want the technical info on the malware, there’s a lot more information on the issue in the Linux Journal article that apparently broke the story. The article notes that Google has blacklisted the ADUPS agent and that a user can expect “zero privacy” from a device with this agent installed. Barnes and Noble has yet to comment on the story.

Since I bought one of these last month, I am not a happy camper. Although I hadn’t had time to do much with it (maybe a blessing in disguise), I was already past the 14 day return window that the online store allows. I have performed a factory reset on my device while I reach out to Barnes and Noble on the matter.  I suggest you do the same or use at your own risk. While the ADUPS does not seem to be active at the moment, that can change at any time.

To reset the device, go to Apps> Settings>Backup and Reset. (Note that the correct one is the grey option that says just settings, not the green NOOK settings option.) Everything will be erased from the tablet, so make sure to transfer any files you want to keep.

More on this as it unfolds. I will update with any news from Barnes and Noble. I am off to change passwords. 😦

See an update to this story here.

How does the new $50 NOOK tablet compare to the $50 Fire?

nook_tab_2016

Barnes and Noble has a new NOOK tablet coming on November 25th. Most recently, B & N has had a line of tablets co-branded with Samsung, but now is getting back into the tablet game again with this new budget friendly device. It’s priced at $50, clearly competing with Amazon’s 7 inch Fire tablet.

Here’s a comparison table of the specs for the two devices:

Fire 7” NOOK
Price Starting at $49.99 $49.99
Screen Size 7″ IPS Display 7″ IPS Display
Resolution 1024 x 600 (171 ppi) 1024 x 600 (171 ppi)
Colors Black, Magenta, Blue, Tangerine Black
Processor Quad-core 1.3 GHz Unknown
Alexa Enabled Yes No
Google Play No Yes
Content Access to millions of movies, TV episodes, songs, books, apps, games, and more via AMAZON Audio: M4A, 3GA, AAC, MP3, FLAC, WAV, OGG, AAC

Video: MP4, 3GP, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

Gallery (pictures): JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP

Reader/Other: PDF, ePUB, DRP, ePIB, HWP, HWT, HML, HWPX, DOC, DOCX, TXT, RTF, DOT, DOTX, HWDT, XLSX, XLSB, XLS, XLSM,XLTX, XLTM, XLT, CELL, HCDT, PRN, TXT, CSV, TSV, HTML, HTM, PPTX, PPT, POTX, THMX, SHOW, HSDT, HTHEME

Audio Mono speaker,

Built-in microphone

Unknown (website specs only list headphone jack)
Storage 8 or 16 GB

(expandable by up to 200 GB microSD card)

Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content

8GB on-board memory

Add up to 128GB with an optional microSD card and store eligible eBooks (NOOK Books® with Digital Rights Management enabled only) to make more room. All of your NOOK® purchases are stored for free in the NOOK Cloud.

Cameras VGA Front-facing camera +

2 MP rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording

Front: VGA

Rear: 2 MP

Connectivity Single-band Wi-Fi b/g/n Dual-Band (2.4GHz/5GHz) Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)

 

Battery Life* Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music Up to 7 hours of reading, watching videos and web browsing
Weight** 11.0 oz (313 g) 8.80 oz
Dimensions** 7.5” x 4.5” x 0.4”

(191 x 115 x 10.6 mm)

7.40” x 4.2” x 0.39”

 

Customer Support Screen Sharing + email, web, and phone In-store support provides assistance for setup, connectivity, and basic troubleshooting when you visit Barnes & Noble bookstores

The specs on the new NOOK tablet seem pretty comparable with the 7″ Fire. There are a few pluses for the Nook. Unlike the Fire, the new Nook doesn’t have the special advertising offers on the lock screens. It also runs a straight version of Android (6.0) and has the Google Play store installed on the tablet. (You can install the Play store on the Fire, but it involves work and whether it continues to function is at the mercy of software updates.) The new NOOK tablet also features dual band WiFi rather than the single band sported by the Fire.

The Fire, of course, now has voice integration with digital assistant Alexa installed on the device.

The tablet is available for pre-order now with free shipping on the Barnes and Noble website. Tablets begin shipping on Friday, November 25, 2016. It will also will be available in stores on Black Friday.

I ordered one of the these new NOOK tablets and will be posting a review after I have played with it for a while. 🙂

And PS: If you are interested in one, at least for the time being, the Samsung-branded NOOK tablets are still available (and at sale prices!).

Daily Links and Deals: The Librarian of Congress is not the nation’s copyright authority

daily_links_1Today, an article that asks if the Librarian of Congress is really the nation’s ultimate copyright authority. Also, a look at just how accessible Kindle’s VoiceView really is for the blind, Hindi book cover illustrations and a look into children’s tablet use from a different perspective. In deals, Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere 14.

Daily Links for day, September 1, 2016:

The Librarian of Congress is not the nation’s copyright authority (The Illusion of More) The role of the LOC in copyright matters has changed in the digital era. This opinion piece examines the history and validity of those choices.

The Pocketbook Illustrations of the Rebel Artist B. M. Anand (Public Books) Fascinating look at some of the Hindi book covers done by this Indian artist.

I’m blind. Kindle text to speech has been a nightmare to master—here’s how to fix this (Teleread) A blind person tried to use the VoiceView features on the new basic Kindle. The results were not pretty. Related: Teleread’s suggestions for a fix to the problem.

Exploring Play and Creativity in Children’s Tablet Use (Huffington Post) People tend to focus on whether children should use tablets. This study looked at how, when and why they were using them instead.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Revenge by Lisa Jackson. (This is a collection of the Love Letters trilogy.)

In Today’s DealsAdobe Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements 14.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage.by Rob Delaney.  The Romance Daily Find is A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle. The Extra Daily Deal is Passage to Paradise (Carrie Hatchett, Space Adventurer Book 2) by J.J. Green. There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres.

The Kobo Aura One and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for pre-order at the Kobo store.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell.

Google Books has a selection of Topsellers Under $10.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Daily Links and Deals: How music streaming service exclusives make pirating tempting again

daily_links_1In today’s stories, we look at music streaming exclusives’ effect on the streaming industry, the tablet market and the future of the Nook. In today’s deals, $2 genre Kindle books, a Samsung 65-inch TV, colored pencils and continuing deals on Kindle e-ink e-readers and Fire tablets.

Daily Links for Sunday, April 10, 2016:

Are you a bad boyfriend? These techies can fix that for $70 a month (Guardian) This is one of those digital life things that makes me shake my head. Would you use this? Or want to be on the receiving end of it?

The tablet market is 100 million units smaller than expected. What happened? (ReCode) What’s the driving factor for these changes? Price? Upgrade cycles? Competition from devices like the $50 Fire?

How music streaming service exclusives make pirating tempting again (The Verge) Yes, streaming is the future. But this exclusivity thing has got to go.

YouTube Copyright Claim Strips Audio Out of Conference on Surveillance Overreach (Motherboard) Um… Calling youTube’s system mere broken may be an understatement.

Google Fiber drops its free basic tier in Kansas City, replaces with $50/m 100Mbps plan (9 to 5 Google) The free is gone, but the new plan sounds like a pretty good deal.

B&N Outsources Nook Functions to Indian Tech Company (The Digital Reader) I missed this story the other day, but it does not bode well for Nook lovers.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes George R.R. Martin’s Dreamsongs: Volume I for $1.99.

In Today’s Deals, a Samsung UN65J6300 65-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV, $2 kindle books and Prismacolor Verithin Colored Pencils for your coloring books! And, I don’t play, so I probably need someone to explain the purpose of this Bushnell Tour V3 Jolt Standard Edition Golf Laser Rangefinder to me…. Does it help you choose which club to use?

Those Kindle and Fire deals are still available: You can still save on the Fire HD 6, the pre-owned Fire tablets, and the great  Kindle Deals for customers with Amazon Prime. The 16 GB version on the 7″ Fire is back up to its original price of $$69.99! I’m still recommending the 16gb HD6 for only $20 more as the better value if you prefer a higher resolution.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews for $2.99. The Romance Daily Find is Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney for $1.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks for $1.99.

There are still several Kobo several promotions available for a little longer. ♥ Through April 11, get 3 ebooks for the price of 2 (terms and conditions apply). You can get free shipping on any Kobo e-reader through April 13, 2016. And, until April 18, select Romantic Times winners & nominees are on sale for under $3.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Finds and Deals: Kindle 7″ HDX on Sale

fire HDXAs part of Today’s Deals, Amazon has a Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB (Previous Generation – 3rd) for $149.99.  That is 30%  ($65) off the regular price. The HDX model is considered to be Amazon’s  answer to the iPad, because of its high density 323 ppi / 1920 x 1200 display.

The specs include:

  • Exclusive 7″ HDX display with high pixel density and perfect color accuracy (100% sRGB, 323 ppi / 1920 x 1200)
  • Includes Amazon Underground  app store experience
  • Ultrafast 2.2 GHz quad-core processor for quick app launches and fluid graphics
  • Free, live video support 24×7, 365 days a year with Mayday
  • Front-facing 720p HD camera
  • 2 GB of RAM, with 16 GB storage and free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content

Covers and cases that fit this model will be marked for the 7″ HDX, 3rd generation or for the 2013 model.

Note: This price is listed as good for today only.

The first 10 things you should do on your new ereader or tablet

tablet_bowNote: The order in which these are completed may vary from device to device. I was also trying to make sure this advice applied as much as possible to most e-readers, tablets and phones. Therefore, I may have broken some sort of a world’s record for the number of times I use the word device, LOL! Sorry!  🙂

First thing, charge the device. The device probably comes partially charged. Is a good idea to make sure it has a full charge before you start any kind of heavy use. You can usually still use the device for setup and personalization while it’s plugged in and charging.

Read/watch the tutorial. If this is a new device, go through the tutorial and familiarize yourself with the device.  Kindles, for example, generally only show the tutorial the first time you boot up the e-reader. Other devices, like Samsung tablets, allow you to choose whether or not to show the tutorial again. Watching the tutorial helps to familiarize yourself with how the device works. If this is an upgrade from a previous model, this will clue you in to what you need to know to understand the changes.

Set up the Wi-Fi (and the cellular service). Generally, Wi-Fi controls are found under settings. Most devices will scan for available Wi-Fi networks, ask you to choose a network and then ask you to enter your password. If your device uses GSM, you will need to insert the Sim card  and then follow your carrier’s instructions to activate it.

Don’t skip the update!  The first thing many devices do is to perform a software update. Don’t skip this step! Your device will run much more smoothly and securely with the latest software version installed.

Set up your accounts. Most of today’s devices are personal and designed for one person’s private use. Whether it’s a phone,  a Kindle, a Chromebook or an iPad, setting up your account is crucial. It personalizes your device and auto fills most of your profile information. Essentially, it does most of the hard work for you. If you have a device which allows you to set up family or multiple profiles, it is easiest to add them right at the beginning. Remember, if you have accounts with services such as Amazon, iTunes, or Google play, all your content is tied to your account. By setting up your account on the new device, you authorize all your content to be available for the new device.

Personalize. Every device has a settings and or preferences section. Here, you can personalize and send aspects of the device to your personal preferences. These settings can include basics such as setting how the clock displays, choosing a time zone, or changing the colors and setting your home screen. There are also advanced settings where you can manage preferences such as passwords, parental controls, languages, dictionaries and connects social media accounts.

Download and re-load. Depending on the device, you may find content already waiting for you. Kindles and Fire tablets allow you to send purchased content to the device before it is even delivered. If you already own content, you can find your previously purchased content in the cloud, waiting to be downloaded. Some tablet manufacturers (such as Samsung and Apple) will install everything from your old device onto a new one from a recent backup.

Get yourself a cover! Do yourself a favor and get some sort of a skin, cover or case for your device. Accidents happen and you want to protect your investment. There is a wide variety of accessories available, making it easy to find something you like at a reasonable price.

Play with it! The best way to familiarize yourself with a new piece of technology used to use it! Allow yourself some time to play with the device to learn how it works and get comfortable with it. Try to use the device under low stress situations until you’re used to it. You’ll learn more and have a lot more fun.

Keep it plugged in! I know. You were told that this blank had an incredible battery life, right? So, why am I telling you to keep it plugged in? Most electronics batteries perform better after several charges. In the case of Kindles, the e-reader actually reads every book you put on the device. This process is called indexing. It allows the Kindle to search for a particular word or phrase. This process occurs every time you add a book to the Kindle, even ones that use sideload manually. The indexing process uses a lot of battery power and if you’re adding a lot of books or adding them on a regular basis, for best performance, keep the battery plugged in.

Any questions, leave it in the comments and I will try to help. 🙂

You can more resources for new e-readers and tablets on the New e-reader? Start Here page.