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Barnes & Noble Cuts Prices on Nook Color, Tablet

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the but-they're-both-color-tablets dept.

Handhelds 154

In perhaps one answer to the question of how tablet makers will react to a more crowded market for small screen tablets, the L.A. Times reports that Barnes and Noble is dropping the price on its Nook tablet by 10 percent, undercutting the Amazon Kindle Fire by $20. The company's Nook Color is also shedding $20, and will now cost $149. I'm glad to hear it; I've been using a Nexus 7 lately, and finding the size (like a trade paperback, including a protective case) far handier and more often used than any of the 10" tablets I've tried.

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Really? (3, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#40970301)

I have a pretty high tolerance for irrelevant articles, but really?
An article about a 10% discount on a product? How low can /. go?

Re:Really? (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 2 years ago | (#40970367)

We can hope for the best that this thread becomes a discussion from people who have gotten their Nexus 7's.

A roommate got one and the screen is exceptional. The hand picked extra apps are great too. As Timothy stated, the portability is a world of difference over 10", but I already knew this, having owned an HP Slate (8.9" device, size of a slender hardback).

Price (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40970389)

One can compete in two manners ---

On feature / service

or

On price

I guess B&N understand that they have no chance to compete on feature on the Nooks (vs other Android tablets) that's why they decide on dropping the price
 

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40970687)

Huh? Of course there's other ways to compete, and anyway "features" aren't really what differentiate one tablet from the next, they're the same difference but with less capable hardware. Actually the Nook Color is better featured, allowing external SD cards.

Re:Really? (1)

erick99 (743982) | about 2 years ago | (#40970585)

I am guessing that the next Kindle will be a lot more like the Nexus than the current version of the Kindle. Amazon really rushed that first version out but I think that they can, and will, do better this go 'round.

Re:Really? (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40970597)

We can hope for the best that this thread becomes a discussion from people who have gotten their Nexus 7's

I'll bite. I got mine. Now maybe a half dozen people who saw it are waiting for restocking so they can get theirs.

Re:Really? (1)

edremy (36408) | about 2 years ago | (#40971829)

I got one and commented (favorably) in the other tablet thread, for which I was told that the iPad mini will blow away the Nexus 7 and that I sounded like a douche.

Clearly you should avoid the Nexus 7

Re:Really? (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40972183)

Then submit a story about the Nexus 7. It's offtopic in this thread. A tablet is not an e-reader any more than a computer is a pocket calculator.

Can you read that Nexus in the sun? You can read an ebook reader there. Can you go for a month without a charge? An e-reader can.

As to the GP, if you don't like a story you see on the front page, just DON'T CLICK! What's interesting about the topic is that it could signal a price war. As someone who's baeen thinking semi-seriously (until this morning) abouot getting a Nook, this is interesting to me. If it doesn't interest you, GTFO.

I stopped wanting an e-reaer this morning when I saw a newscast that said that of those who bought that "50 shades of gray" book in e-reader form, only 10% finished the book. God damn it, I don't want every facet of my life tracked by those corporate bastards. I guess I'll stick to paper for my reading, checking to see whether or not you finished a book is WAY out of line.

You guys who don't like this topic might consider submitting that one.

Re:Really? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40973777)

Can you read that Nexus in the sun? You can read an ebook reader there.

Only at night. Otherwise it'll melt.

Re:Really? (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | about 2 years ago | (#40973875)

> Can you read that Nexus in the sun? You can read an ebook reader there. Can you go for a month without a charge? An e-reader can.

The E-Ink nook (not mentioned in this) is the only nook that would qualify as a e-reader with that description.

I own both the Nook Color, and the original Nook. The color nooks don't have any significant advantage in battery life/sun readability over the Nexus.

Re:Really? (1, Funny)

Naatach (574111) | about 2 years ago | (#40970407)

NEWS FLASH! Barnes and Noble cuts the cost of their content-feeder spoons by 10%. Mass hysteria on the streets!

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

Naatach (574111) | about 2 years ago | (#40970419)

One frantic onlooker commented "This makes it much better than that other company's force-feed spoon."

Re:Really? (5, Interesting)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | about 2 years ago | (#40970583)

Cyanogenmod 7 runs on the Nook Color [cyanogenmod.com] , making it a full-fledged android tablet, now for 10% less money.

While technically the Nook Color still something of a content feeder spoon, since the tablet form factor lends itself more to consumption of content than creation, it's not strictly a pipeline for Barnes and Noble content, as your post implies.

I use mine mainly to read comic book scans. Now, for a modest $149,. you can read every Batman ever.

Re:Really? (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#40971475)

B&N also stood up to Microsoft's patent extortion scheme more than pretty much anyone else, so they get some bonus points.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | about 2 years ago | (#40972465)

Absolutely! Right up until they caved to a Microsoft "investment" of over $600 million. Ask Nokia how their Microsoft partnership is working out.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40972647)

Elop was the only "investment" MS made in Nokia. BN are making out like bandits.

Re:Really? (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 2 years ago | (#40972679)

I would cave if Microsoft gave me $600 million too.

Re:Really? (1)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | about 2 years ago | (#40972747)

And you'd get no bonus points for standing up to Microsoft.

Re:Really? (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 2 years ago | (#40973483)

And I would cry about this every day on the deck of my gigantic yacht.

Re:Really? (3, Funny)

Speare (84249) | about 2 years ago | (#40971957)

I use mine mainly to read comic book scans.

I first read that as "Comic Book Sans [google.com] " and thought there'd be a riot of pitchforks coming your way.

Re:Really? (1)

WRX SKy (1118003) | about 2 years ago | (#40972279)

So does CM9. Search xda for Eyeballer's builds.

Re:Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40970577)

10% lower! But for a limited time only.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40970613)

Eh, it's a story about a snowballing price war, or don't you quite see that?

Re:Really? (4, Informative)

gagol (583737) | about 2 years ago | (#40970673)

Feel free to rate articles in the recent link on the upper left of the website. This way you can help filter the crap out like I do. Whining will not stop the crap, rating articles do.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40973337)

I use the RSS feed with Goggle Reader. If the title of the article and the blurb that goes with is interesting, i point, click and read. Give it a try.

Re:Really? (1)

evilRhino (638506) | about 2 years ago | (#40972039)

To be fair, the Nookcolor was fairly easy to hack and extend into a fairly functional low-cost android tablet. Considering it's low cost and Wifi/bluetooth capabilities, I imagine it would be fairly good for homebrew projects.

Re:Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40973009)

How low can /. go?

10% lower.

In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Artea (2527062) | about 2 years ago | (#40970331)

Local fire dept saves cat stuck in tree. Slashdot Front page

Re:In other news... (5, Funny)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about 2 years ago | (#40970421)

Local fire department saves cat stuck in tree with help from Deep Blue, but the city government gets a DMCA takedown notice after the youtube video of the rescue was posted. It seems Rick Astley is not appropriate background music for a cat rescue. Steve Ballmer still throwing chairs at the tree, and the EFF is investigating if Microsoft is using private citizens' chairs without their consent. Apple users still indignant that the app "Kitty Rescue 10.0" came out on the Android marketplace first.

--- better headline. :)

Re:In other news... (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40970573)

I love this part:
 
 

Steve Ballmer still throwing chairs at the tree

 

Re:In other news... (4, Funny)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 years ago | (#40970705)

It's hilarious, right? Hey there's some other great new jokes on Slashdot if you look around...wait until you see poll results, where "Commander Taco" is cleverly worked into one of the answers!!! Or, 80 comedian Yakoff Smirnoff's trademark line is appropriated to talk about how much we hate copyrights or the USA! It's so funny!!!

OT - your sig (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40974089)

Information wants to be worthless

Free equals worthless? Bullshit. What are you breathing right now? Where does fruit [slashdot.org] come from?

You're saying "the best things in life are worthless."

Re:In other news... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40971299)

Apple users still indignant that the app "Kitty Rescue 10.0" came out on the Android marketplace first.

Just indignant that you said it; because THAT NEVER HAPPENED!

Re:In other news... (0)

pnot (96038) | about 2 years ago | (#40971677)

-1, no Bitcoins.

e-ink model didn't drop (3, Insightful)

MSRedfox (1043112) | about 2 years ago | (#40970351)

The e-ink models didn't drop any. And the regular nook tablets are just outdated tech that are really showing their age next to the Nexus 7; making it just standard price drops to clear out junk. Get back to me when they release a color e-ink reader.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (4, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | about 2 years ago | (#40970483)

E-Ink models had already dropped when the Kindle Fire came out. This is the Android models dropping in response to competition in that market.

As far as I'm concerned, they're really different applications. E-Ink is wonderful for book reading, but I don't really get the 7" LCD tablet market. 10" is almost big enough to use instead of a laptop, but 7" just doesn't have enough pixels for general use, and is too big to fit in a pocket.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#40970603)

I personally find the 10" ones a bit heavy. I like the weight and the center of gravity of the 7" ones. My current setup is a desktop at work and home. A 11" netbook & a 7" tablet for commute and travel. A 4" phone for quick emails and navigation.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (2)

Kazymyr (190114) | about 2 years ago | (#40971199)

7" fits fine in my pockets. 10" doesn't. That's why I use a Nook Color under CM7 instead of a bigger tablet. In fact I just typed this whole reply on it.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 years ago | (#40972003)

Bloody hell you have enormous pockets! That's like claiming a readers digest fits right in your pocket.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (2)

cduffy (652) | about 2 years ago | (#40972135)

Bloody hell you have enormous pockets! That's like claiming a readers digest fits right in your pocket.

I'd argue that you have tiny ones -- I have a Nexus 7 (in a case), and it fits into the pockets of my slacks -- snugly, but nonetheless. (The utilikilts, by contrast, it fits into easily -- but for a garment whose manufacturer boasts 20-beer-bottle cargo capacity on their premium line, that should hardly be a surprise).

This definitely makes a big difference in terms of whether I'm going to have a device with me; I don't see a 10" tablet being of much use except as a laptop replacement, and I don't use/want/need a laptop right now, except for rare occasions that I know of ahead of time (working in colo, attending a Clojure meetup, etc)... but the 7" tablet is great; it's far better for gaming, e-mail, reading, showing people photos, etc. than my phone.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 years ago | (#40972257)

A quick measure says the pockets on most of my jeans are about 12cm by 10cm, that's less than half the area a nexus 7 takes up, ignoring that it's not paper thin, I have several brands of jeans, all with very similarly sized pockets so I don't think this is unusual. Even with that in mind, it's already uncomfortable to put something that fills the pocket in –it stops you from sitting down reasonably as it sticks into you where you're trying to fold in half, and it tightens the leg sufficiently that it's uncomfortable to walk. I honestly can't think of a single person I know who would be happy to have a 12cm by 20cm flat bulge in their jeans pocket.

As an aside – a quick google for "nexus 7 dimensions" reveals that pretty much every review mentions "it certainly isn't pocket friendly" or something along those lines.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#40972559)

Do people glance down at your crotch and then look at you funny (NOT when you're wearing the kilt)?

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (1)

cduffy (652) | about 2 years ago | (#40973369)

Do people glance down at your crotch and then look at you funny (NOT when you're wearing the kilt)?

Well, it's pretty unusual for me not to be wearing a kilt, so yes. :)

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#40973447)

I was out running with a friend once and watched (all 90 lbs of her) fit a Galaxy Note into her running pants pocket. It was entertaining.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40972691)

I have a pocket-less skirt, you insensitive clod!

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#40973659)

They designed a 'utilikilt' for carrying stuff?! Isn't a sporran the place for concealing a Nexus 7?

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40971345)

A 7" table fits in a purse.

Less cumbersome (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 years ago | (#40971657)

10" is almost big enough to use instead of a laptop, but 7" just doesn't have enough pixels for general use, and is too big to fit in a pocket.

The number of pixels is independent of the screen dimensions. You can have exactly the same number of pixels on either. You can make them appear identical depending on what distance you hold them from your eyes. Also, saying 7" is too big to fit in a pocket is not a differentiation either since the 10" screen doesn't fit in your pocket either.

Personally I find the 10" tablets moderately cumbersome to hold and carry. If it is going to be that large, given the way I work I may as well get an actual laptop. If your vision isn't so good the extra size might prove helpful. Maybe 10" is better for some games though I imaging the differences to be mostly unimportant. I suppose you can put a larger battery in the larger unit too. I prefer the more compact 7" form factor. It's lighter, takes up less space, and can do essentially all the same tasks. For me I just don't see any advantage to lugging around the extra weight and bulk.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40973861)

The 7" ones are designed not to hurt the woman, whereas the 10" ones often......

Oh wait. We were discussing tablets. Um. Well the 7" tablets from B&N and Amazon are meant to be used for actual work. They are meant to be used like portable TVs to watch downloaded videos, read books, and some facebook & email on the side.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#40970727)

Colour eink is disappointing if you are getting the device for the colour alone (you get a Ectaco Jetbook for the software, size, whatever but not for the colour). The colour Mirasol stuff (never seen it in person) is available in the USA for about 3x what it is selling for in Korea - it looks like they have given up and are clearing it out.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40970739)

While you're waiting for a color e-ink reader to show up, if you are near a Target store check their e-reader case.
 
They're pissed off at Amazon and clearing out the Kindle Fires for 30% off, but the real news is the Kobo. Target seems to have had a falling out with Kobo and recently started dumping their products. I picked up a couple Kobo Touch [kobobooks.com] units (touchscreen, wifi, e-ink pearl, web browser, runs linux, easily root-able if you're into that sort of thing) for $29.98 and a Kobo WiFi [kobobooks.com] (same as the touch, only no touchscreen, no web browsing, slower processor) for $20.98. Kobo sells these on their Web site for $99.99 and $69.99 respectively. For the price Target has them at, buy two, use one as a nice e-reader and use the other one for hardware/software tinkering. All the ones near me are now sold out, but you might still find some.

The backstory on Target's falling out with Kobo has a bit to do with getting cozier with B&N's Nook, but also Kobo sold them a bunch of e-readers that display ads when they're turned off if you update the software to the latest version. Target says Kobo was playing dirty by slipping that in without labeling the products as such, Kobo says Target was well aware and agreed to label the boxes in the stores and insists Target was neglecting to inform consumers to sell more units. It's really not a huge deal, especially if you're getting a $100 e-reader for $30, and if you don't update the software, it'll never show ads anyway.

Re:e-ink model didn't drop (1)

pnot (96038) | about 2 years ago | (#40971705)

Holy moley, I think it's finally time for me to buy an e-reader! If I had points, I'd mod you down to increase my chances of getting one before they run out...

/. utilizes mods control to censor criticism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40970471)

  Use of -1's to hide
  Collection of IP's for anonymous users
  Whimsical & arbitrary silencing of these IP's, including discrediting censorship complaints as spam

Re:/. utilizes mods control to censor criticism (5, Funny)

OolimPhon (1120895) | about 2 years ago | (#40971081)

  Use of -1's to hide

  Collection of IP's for anonymous users

  Whimsical & arbitrary silencing of these IP's, including discrediting censorship complaints as spam

Sorry, that's not how you write a Haiku.

Re:/. utilizes mods control to censor criticism (3, Informative)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 2 years ago | (#40972131)

  Use of -1's to hide

  Collection of IP's for anonymous users

  Whimsical & arbitrary silencing of these IP's, including discrediting censorship complaints as spam

Sorry, that's not how you write a Haiku.

Yes, but your haiku
also fails to follow the
agreed upon form.

Tablet prices are diving (2)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#40970481)

Acer is begging Microsoft not to price the Microsoft Surface tablet at $199. [cnet.com] Acer would like to see it priced around $499-$599. Otherwise it will "seriously impact the existing PC ecosystem".

Meanwhile, ARM tablets on Amazon start around $60, and ones with decent reviews start around $80. Most run the open source version of Android. Google's Nexus 7 costs $199, and that's the price point Microsoft will probably have to match, if not beat.

From a marketing perspective, once the price of something drops below $100, sales go way up.

Re:Tablet prices are diving (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | about 2 years ago | (#40970609)

Hmm. I actually like the look of the Surface far more than that of the Nexus 7 and, if it actually comes in at 200$, with the keyboard-cover, that's quite the deal! Thanks for the heads-up about how low the pricing might dip on that.

Re:Tablet prices are diving (4, Interesting)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40970813)

I actually like the look of the Surface far more than that of the Nexus 7 and, if it actually comes in at 200$, with the keyboard-cover, that's quite the deal!

Well, until you consider that you get to choose one of two models: A) the one running ARM that can't run standard Windows apps b) the one running Intel with 3 hour battery life.

Re:Tablet prices are diving (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#40971237)

Not being able to run Windows apps some might consider a feature. :)

Further, the ARM version will have MS' locked down bootloader, so you won't be able to load Android nor Plasma Active.

surface rt is 10.6" (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#40973263)

you'll still run windows apps. only they're only going to be the metro variety and from the windows appstore.. quite how you consider that a feature in positive sense I don't get, least with android you can sideload without signing up as a dev..

also the 200$ pricepoint is taken from out of thin air... personally I don't see them going that cheap.

also, surface rt is 10 inches+. I'd expect the 64gb version to be somewhere around 500-600.. and bigger pro at 1000 bucks. plus tax. quite where the 7" inch 200$ surface hype comes I have no idea.. have you looked at the specs of sub 200$ windows phones??

Re:surface rt is 10.6" (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#40973453)

I was considering the hardware from an OS-agnostic POV - a sleek tablet with a screen cover that doubles as a keyboard.

For THAT price, you'd consider dual booting if someone 'jailbroke' it. But yes, the price does seem fanciful given what Asus Transformers retail for... Unless MS are prepared to make a substantial loss on each sale because (a) Android and iOS have the dominant market share (b) they believe they can recoup the money in apps.

Galaxy Tab 7.7 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40970517)

The secret tip has always been the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 since its release in September last year. At that time it was the slimmest and lightest tablet that had a 1280x720 screen (minimum to read PDF books without zooming imho), - and it still fits in the back of your jeans! Until the iPad3 arrived half a year later it also had the highest ppi available on a tablet (non-pentile even). The major damper on release was the sluggishness of Honeycomb and its price. The former has been fixed with the availability of ICS and the latter, well, quality and features do come at a premium. For me the build quality, slimness and SD Card slot makes it worth the price difference over the Nexus 7.

Re:Galaxy Tab 7.7 (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40970631)

...the slimmest and lightest tablet that had a 1280x720 screen (minimum to read PDF books without zooming imho), - and it still fits in the back of your jeans!

I was going to call bullshit on that until I tried the Nexus 7 in my back jeans pocket and it fits no problem. Stupid place to put it though. It fits nicely in the flap of my camera back, but then so does my 10.1 inch tablet.

Re:Galaxy Tab 7.7 (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#40971289)

My 3.7" phone lengthways is just 13mm shorter than the Nexus 7 is wide, so I have no doubt - though your pockets must be deep!

Re:Galaxy Tab 7.7 (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 2 years ago | (#40971863)

My Nexus 7 fits in the side-leg pockets of my cargo pants (yes, I still wear those). Only problem is that when you sit it puts some tension on the fabric, pulling the Nexus 7 against the edge of the pocket and operating the power button. I discovered this when the Nexus 7 started making all sort of noises due to the power button and touch screen being activated inside my pocket.

Re:Galaxy Tab 7.7 (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#40972527)

Tab 7.7 has a LOT of issues - I'd take the N7 over it any day.

1) Samsung used an Atheros wifi chipset in this and the Tab 7.0 Plus. Their implementation of it is utter and complete crap, and since Atheros gave them the choice of dual-license (GPL or BSD), Samsung chose BSD. As a result, you have a wifi driver that sucks AND is closed source so you can't fix it.
2) Extremely expensive due to the SAMOLED screen
3) Samsung's Touchwizzed Honeycomb - I'm not sure if ICS is out for it yet, but it tends to lag the current Android version by at least one major release. Samsung has, for whatever reason, been VERY bad about updating their tablet products. Tab 10.1 didn't see ICS until a week or two ago despite being a Tegra2 Honeycomb tab, which was easymode for ICS bringups.

I would prefer enlargement, not shrinking (2)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | about 2 years ago | (#40970575)

I see a lot of praise for the "paperback" size 7" tablet form factor. I can see why it would be pretty awesome for reading novels etc, as well as the gameplaying/web/movies task load. Although if I had an unlimited gadget budget, if I wanted something to specifically to replace paperback books, I'd get a specialist device with an eInk screen.

However, what I would personally love is a tablet with more than a 10" screen. I play a lot of tabletop RPGs, and the iPad 3 is fantastic for reading RPG-type PDFs. These are books laid out for printing in a 8.5x11 or A4 page size, with multi-column text layout, embedded illustrations, tables & charts, and often in full colour. I also read business documents with similar characteristics (design documents, specifications etc).

On a 7" tablet, you would have your choice of unreadably small text or having to scroll within a page (urgh). The iPad 3's ridiculously awesome 2046x1536 screen has enough pixels that you can get a very readable full-page view of any single page of books with this kind of content. And the 4:3 aspect ratio fits very neatly in the gap between 8.5x11 aspect ratio and A4 aspect ratio, so there's very few wasted pixels for electronic versions of either common paper format. (Unlike the Android tablets, which are almost entirely 16:9, and therefore suck for paper-like layouts in portrait mode).

However, the 10" diagonal measurement means that even though the text is quite sharp, it's still a little on the small side compared to a hardcopy of the same book. In landscape mode, viewing two pages at a time, the text is still incredibly sharp (I love that screen so much) but is basically too small to comfortably read at all. Since a 7" tablet is about half the size of the iPad, that means it's not gonna be very usable for reading full-page document layouts.

I would absolutely jump at the chance to order a table with the same or better pixel count and 4:3 aspect ratio as the iPad 3, but with a diagonal measurement similar to a standard sheet of paper (say, approximately 13"-14"). That would be an awesome device. I know it's far too large for pocketability, but it would slip into a briefcase or carry bag very nicely since it would be the same size as standard documents. And if it ran Android 4+ rather than iOS.... it would be perfection. (iOS's approach to file management drives me f'in crazy.)

Re:I would prefer enlargement, not shrinking (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40970645)

what I would personally love is a tablet with more than a 10" screen.

I have both the Nexus 7 and a 10 inch Xoom and at the moment the Xoom gets most of the use, usually with the bluetooth keyboard. Maybe it's just familiarity. I'd snap up a 12 or 13 inch tablet right away. Basically the same use case as the Xoom - laptop replacement with longer battery life and crappier apps for now - but easier on the eyes.

Re:I would prefer enlargement, not shrinking (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#40970757)

I agree, since 10 inches is already awkward to carry around why not go for the full laptop sizes (13 or more)? I'd love a 17 inch B&W eink device but I doubt it would come in at a price where people would buy it, and 13-15 would be a bit more practical.

Re:I would prefer enlargement, not shrinking (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about 2 years ago | (#40970827)

7" is a convenient size, but unfortunately most of the cheap 7" tablets have far too small a resolution to make them practical. The pop-up keyboard and title bars on (earlier) android seem to be pixel based instead of a percentage, so take up far too much of the screen. At times you're left with 1/4 of the screen for content.

I'm just about to change from a 7" Android 2.3 to 10" Android 4 and am expecting a huge boost in usability.

Re:I would prefer enlargement, not shrinking (1)

sgunhouse (1050564) | about 2 years ago | (#40970849)

All the 10" Android tablets seem to be 4:3 aspect, it's only the 7" tablets which are "widescreen" - and that actually allows them to fit better in a pocket ... Looking online I do see some 10" widescreen and likewise 7" 4:3 tablets, but I'd venture the two common sizes will standardize on 10" 4:3 and 7" widescreen.

(Very few widescreen tablets or monitors are actually 16:9. The 1280x800 ones are 16:10, the 1024x600 ones are 128:75 (16:9 would be 128:72).

Re:I would prefer enlargement, not shrinking (1)

dell623 (2021586) | about 2 years ago | (#40971363)

Android tablets are mostly 16:10, unless you are talking about cheap chinese knock offs which frankly don't count. No one needs a tablet, there is absolutely no benefit to getting a barely functional knock off.

The Microsoft Surface and other Windows 8 tablets are 16:9. I don't know why, it seems a stupid ratio for a tablet and an even stupider one for a tablet that is supposed to convert into a laptop. Hated 1366x768 on 15" laptops? Wait till you try it on a 10 inch laptop!

Re:I would prefer enlargement, not shrinking (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#40972545)

The only 10" tablet in 4:3 I am aware of is the iPad - definitively NOT an Android tablet.

Touchpad may be 4:3 too but that only has Android on it unofficially though hacks.

There is not a single mainstream Android 10" tablet I am aware of that is not widescreen... Or did you fall to Apple's photoshop shenanigans that altered the Tab 10.1's aspect ratio to make it look like it was 4:3 when it wasn't?

Re:I would prefer enlargement, not shrinking (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 2 years ago | (#40971875)

While I agree that when it comes to displays, bigger is generally better, until we have technology that makes a 13" tablet weigh about the same as current 7" tablets they just won't be practical. It's definitely coming, but it's going to take a few more years.

Acer A700 (1920x1200) vs. iPoop 3's retina display (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40972187)

I keep seeing how everyone just loves the iPoop 3's retina display. Well, I am running an app on Acer's new 10" A700 (1920 x 1200 HD) display side-by-side with the iPoop 3 and they're not that much different - especially day-to-day usage (i.e. not viewing photos of everyone's little babies or their vacation).

Just sayin' that there are new tablets out there that close the gap significantly. So much so, that the display should not be the only deciding factor at this point. There are other choices, especially if you're not an Apple fanbois.

Re:Acer A700 (1920x1200) vs. iPoop 3's retina disp (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#40972891)

When you're comparing screens on slashdot, it's important to harp on vertical resolution-- as though a "full 1080p" display represents a significant downgrade from the trusty 1600*1200 screen you've had for decades. In that respect, an iPad's 2048*1536 display is far superior to 1920*1280.

Nexus 7 Blows it Away (4, Informative)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40970773)

I have both a Nook Color and a Nexus 7.

It's not even close! If the Nexus 7 is $200, then the Nook is worth no more than $100.

The Nook has no camera and no microphone, useless for video chat. Video chat is SO easy on the Nexus 7, even my mom can do it.

Nexus 7 is much smaller and thinner and it's the same size screen.

Performance: on this score the Nook is worth maybe $50 compared to the Nexus 7.

The ONLY advantage of the Nook is the micro-SD card slot.

Re:Nexus 7 Blows it Away (1)

dell623 (2021586) | about 2 years ago | (#40971375)

The MicroSD slot and the design and build quality. The Nook Color feels heay but I won't have it any other way, it's a study, beautiful gadget and doesn't feel plasticky though it probably is made of plastic. It's a reading device, it's awful at everything else, the browser is terrible.

Re:Nexus 7 Blows it Away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40971753)

Did you type this post off your Nook Color? Looks like the virtual keyboard does a poor job in detecting keystrokes.

Intentionally and unnecessarily limited (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 years ago | (#40971789)

It's a reading device, it's awful at everything else, the browser is terrible.

$150-200 for a reading device that is terrible at everything else? No thanks. A tablet is a general purpose computer and I expect them to be more than a one trick pony no matter how well they do the one trick. The Kindle Fire and BN Nook are devices that weren't designed to be all they could be and I find that rather irritating. I buy from Amazon and B&N but I cannot conceive of a reason to buy an intentionally and unnecessarily limited device just so they can try to convince me to buy even more stuff from them. If the Kindle Fire was a full Android device like the Nexus 7 and it also happened to work well with Amazon's services, then we have something worth considering.

Re:Intentionally and unnecessarily limited (1)

dell623 (2021586) | about 2 years ago | (#40972443)

Before the Nexus 7 it wasn't such a bad bargain compared to the junk you could get in the price range.

Faint praise (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 years ago | (#40973737)

Before the Nexus 7 it wasn't such a bad bargain compared to the junk you could get in the price range.

Granted but that's sort of damning with faint praise. A machine with ok hardware and crippled software being better than a machine with terrible hardware and crappy software. Not exactly the choices I'd hope for. Really the only reason those machines even sold as well as they did is because Apple left some oxygen at the low end of the market. If Apple comes out with a product that competes in that lower price tier (and I think they will) much of the reason to buy the Kindle Fire or B&N Nook disappears. Regardless of one's feelings towards Apple, the iPad is a more capable and more widely sought after product. It'll be interesting to learn how much (if any) of a mistake this was by Apple.

Re:Nexus 7 Blows it Away (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#40972569)

Nexus 7 has great design and build quality too. Only disadvantage is the lack of MicroSD... Which can be worked around using an OTG adapter cable.

Re:Nexus 7 Blows it Away (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#40973015)

Ironic-- my iPad is basically a portable Safari. Lately, I've been reading in bed, so kindle.app gets a lot of use, but for reading outside, my ordinary e-ink kindle keyboard 3g is more useful. The browser, though, is painful. Imagine lynx-- but without a decent keyboard.

You might need Edwin Land's tailor (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40970807)

if you want to put a 7" tablet in your pocket, but it does seem like a very nice size. It's small enough to use on a crowded train and it's big enough to read comfortably.

My MacBook isn't that much bigger than an iPad and it's a much better experience for that size of machine.

Re:You might need Edwin Land's tailor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40970927)

Actually, I've found that a 7" tablet fits nicely in the inside pocket of every jacket I own. Also, it fit in the back pocket of my jeans.

Re:You might need Edwin Land's tailor (2)

nutcracker666 (641676) | about 2 years ago | (#40971713)

... but the screen cracks every time you sit down.

Competition? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40970843)

But wait - Samsung, Google, B&N are all eeeevil corporations! Surely they can't be producing cheaper, better, products unless some government agency like the FCC is telling them to?

Re:Competition? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#40973909)

I'm satisfied with Amazon, for the moment. Should they earn my wrath, I might be able to fall back on B&N or Apple for my book buying needs, as I have an iPad that runs all three apps. There might even be a way to run Google Play stuff, as well, though Apple and google aren't that friendly right now
  On the other hand, if Apple pisses me off, I'm screwed.

IIRC, Nooks and Kindles are bound to one particular store.

Security can be a concern on tablets (4, Interesting)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#40971105)

I have had a 7" sub $100 tablet, no complaints. It worked great until one day I noticed an extra icon on the screen that had never been there before. When it wouldn't let me perform a 'factory reset' I realized it had been 'hard' hacked, and turned into a listening device. That was the end of that tablet, it got smashed into a hundred pieces! I won't have another android tablet until I've learned how to secure it down completely. It's too bad, I really liked having that tablet around, too. Anyways, here's a link to a 11" Samsung tablet that should be out this year, it might have a screen that equals Apple's... http://www.slashgear.com/samsung-is-moments-away-from-a-true-ipad-alternative-11242611/ [slashgear.com]

Re:Security can be a concern on tablets (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 2 years ago | (#40971901)

All tablets with wifi and/or 3G/4G and smart phones are listening/tracking devices. They come with extra capabilities so that we will voluntarily carry them around. If they didn't there would have to be some law passed requiring that we do so. Welcome to the 21st century!

You'd better smash your cell phone, disconnect your wifi system at home, and stop using credit cards.

Re:Security can be a concern on tablets (3, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#40972571)

So wait - you had a cheap Chinese knockoff with Chinese spyware and you blame Android for it?

Re:Security can be a concern on tablets (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#40973281)

he's just trolling. or stupid, but more likely stupid and trolling.

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40971877)

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware

In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 87

How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

Which software would that be?

Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

[1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

[2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you wouldn't notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

[3] http://www.stallman.org/ [stallman.org]

Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

##

Schneier has covered it before: power line fluctuations (differences on the wire in keys pressed).

There's thermal attacks against cpus and temp, also:

ENF (google it)

A treat (ENF Collector in Java):

sourceforge dot net fwdslash projects fwdslash nfienfcollector

No single antimalware scanner exists which offers the ability to scan (mostly proprietary) firmware on AGP/PCI devices (sound cards, graphics cards, usb novelty devices excluding thumb drives), BIOS/CMOS.

If you boot into ultimate boot cd you can use an archane text interface to dump BIOS/CMOS and examine/checksum.

The real attacks which survive disk formats and wipes target your PCI devices and any firmware which may be altered/overwritten with something special. It is not enough to scan your hard drive(s) and thumb drives, the real dangers with teeth infect your hardware devices.

When is the last time you:

Audited your sound card for malware?
Audited your graphics card for malware?
Audited your network card for malware?

Google for:

* AGP and PCI rootkit(s)
* Network card rootkit(s)
* BIOS/CMOS rootkit(s)

Our modern PC hardware is capable of much more than many can imagine.

Do you:

* Know your router's firmware may easily be replaced on a hacker's whim?
* Shield all cables against leakage and attacks
* Still use an old CRT monitor and beg for TEMPEST attacks?
* Use TEMPEST resistant fonts in all of your applications including your OS?
* Know whether or not your wired keyboard has keypresses encrypted as they pass to your PC from the keyboard?
* Use your PC on the grid and expose yourself to possible keypress attacks?
* Know your network card is VERY exploitable when plugged into the net and attacked by a hard core blackhat or any vicious geek with the know how?
* Search out informative papers on these subjects and educate your friends and family about these attacks?
* Contact antimalware companies and urge them to protect against many or all these attacks?

Do you trust your neighbors? Are they all really stupid when it comes to computing or is there a geek or two without a conscience looking to exploit these areas?

The overlooked threat are the potential civilian rogues stationed around you, especially in large apartment blocks who feed on unsecured wifi to do their dirty work.

With the recent news of Russian spies, whether or not this news was real or a psyop, educate yourself on the present threats which all antimalware scanners fail to protect against and remove any smug mask you may wear, be it Linux or OpenBSD, or the proprietary Windows and Mac OS you feel are properly secured and not vulnerable to any outside attacks because you either don't need an antivirus scanner (all are inept to serious attacks) or use one or several (many being proprietary mystery machines sending data to and from your machine for many reasons, one is to share your information with a group or set database to help aid in threats), the threats often come in mysterious ways.

Maybe the ancients had it right: stone tablets and their own unique language(s) rooted in symbolism.

#

I'm more concerned about new rootkits which target PCI devices, such as the graphics card and the optical drives, also, BIOS. Where are the malware scanners which scan PCI devices and BIOS for mismatches? All firmware, BIOS and on PCI devices should be checksummed and saved to match with others in the cloud, and archived when the computer is first used, backing up signed firmware.

When do you recall seeing signed router firmware upgrades with any type of checksum to check against? Same for PCI devices and optical drives and BIOS.

Some have begun with BIOS security:

http://www.biosbits.org/ [biosbits.org]

Some BIOS has write protection in its configuration, a lot of newer computers don't.

#

"Disconnect your PC from the internet and don't add anything you didn't create yourself. It worked for the NOC list machine in Mission Impossible"

The room/structure was likely heavily shielded, whereas most civvies don't shield their house and computer rooms. There is more than meets the eye to modern hardware.

Google:

subversion hack:
tagmeme(dot)com/subhack/

network card rootkits and trojans
pci rootkits
packet radio
xmit "fm fingerprinting" software
"specific emitter identification"
forums(dot)qrz(dot)com

how many malware scanners scan bios/cmos and pci/agp cards for malware? zero, even the rootkit scanners. have you checksummed/dumped your bios/cmos and firmware for all your pci/agp devices and usb devices, esp vanity usb devices in and outside the realm of common usb devices (thumbdrives, external hdds, printers),

Unless your computer room is shielded properly, the computers may still be attacked and used, I've personally inspected computers with no network connection running mysterious code in the background which task manager for windows and the eqiv for *nix does not find, and this didn't find it all.

Inspect your windows boot partition in *nix with hexdump and look for proxy packages mentioned along with command line burning programs and other oddities. Computers are more vulnerable than most would expect.

You can bet all of the malware scanners today, unless they are developed by some lone indy coder in a remote country, employ whitelisting of certain malware and none of them scan HARDWARE devices apart from the common usb devices.

Your network cards, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, graphics cards, all are capable of carrying malware to survive disk formatting/wiping.

Boot from a Linux live cd and use hexdump to examine your windows (and *nix) boot sectors to potentially discover interesting modifications by an unknown party.

#
eof

Missed the mark (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 2 years ago | (#40972127)

Amazon just hacked and slashed their Kindle line up prices and availability, most likely to dump stock due to pending new models. I assume that Barns and Noble is adjusting their prices accordingly.

Nothing of interest here, please move along.

CyanogenMod v7.2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40972291)

I installed CyanogenMod on my Nook Tablet months ago, and it works beautifully.

Only issue I've had is that the WiFi locks up when the Nook goes to "sleep" (but even that's rare).

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1540272
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1481826

Re:CyanogenMod v7.2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40972329)

User [xda-developers.com]
Dev [xda-developers.com]

Meh: Let me know when it runs Win7 (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about 2 years ago | (#40972349)

The only tablet I'm buying is an Acer Iconia as it runs all of my current software and no, I'm not buying it as a media consumption device but to do the same kind of work that an Ultraportable laptop would do.

Re:Meh: Let me know when it runs Win7 (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#40972593)

You'll be waiting a long time. Tablets like what you want have, historically, been consistent in the market as "complete and total failures".

XP/Vista/Win7 tablets are nothing new. They're all niche products that are overpriced and barely staying in the market.

7 inch tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40972825)

Obviously the 7 inch (diagonal screen size) tablet format is too small for some, while others (like me) prefer it to larger, harder to carry (and much more expensive) tablets. The (Cr)apple fanbois will buy the new ipad mini, while anyone with a brain will buy something better!

No, I don't hate (Cr)apple, I am disgusted with their attempts to use bogus patents to sue their competition out of the market. There are other things about them I don't like too, but I will not go into that here.

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