We've got a couple brand new editors to throw to the podcast wolves: Emily Price and Chris Velazco, both of whom have certainly seen their share of the wireless industry over the past few years. We'll be doing a live Hangout on Google+ and YouTube, and you'll be able to tune in below the break as well. The main topic of discussion, as you might expect, will be Lenovo's purchase of Motorola; we're also planning to tell you a little bit about the new podcast format we'll be trying out in the coming weeks. Lots to be excited about, so join us at 2PM!
If you were jonesing for a 16GB OUYA console but didn't snag the limited white edition, we have good news: you just got a second chance at buying your dream Android gaming system. The company plans to launch a standard 16GB model in matte black (aka "anthracite") that throws in a handful of important tweaks. It includes the refined gamepad, with higher-quality buttons and a more responsive Bluetooth connection; it also boasts stronger WiFi performance and more recent firmware. Should the color, capacity and tweaks be enough to seal the deal, you can buy the black variant starting today from Amazon or OUYA for $130.
You won't have to endure data caps if you want cheap phone service at US Cellular. The carrier has just launched a promo plan that offers unlimited internet access, messaging and voice for $50 per month without a contract. There is a big gotcha, though -- US Cellular will start throttling data speeds after the first 500MB, which rules it out for movie fans and others who need a lot of bandwidth. Still, it's worth a look if you're keen to both lower your bill and avoid those dreaded overage fees.
[Image credit: Vincent Desjardins, Flickr]
Wish you could easily craft a musical instrument out of whatever you have lying around the house? You'll get that opportunity if Yuri Suzuki's team at Dentaku brings its crowdfunded Ototo kit to market. The synthesizer turns any conductive material into an instrument, changing its sound based on the nature of the object. An eggplant will carry a different tune than tinfoil, for instance. You can take greater control of your performance through optional light-, touch- and even breath-sensitive sensors; the gadget also connects to computers through USB if you'd like to use it as a MIDI controller. It will take a minimum £45 pledge ($74 plus $8 in shipping) to reserve Ototo ahead of its planned launch in June, but it may be worth the expense if you're tired of conventional music-making.
Been considering a slate-style purchase? Well, today may be the time to make the leap. While Microsoft's Surface Pro (no, not the deuce) gets a massive discount, and may very well be the most attractive tablet/hybrid buy of the week, we've nabbed a few other options too. Take a look at the other side of the break for discounts on the rest of the lot.
Just window shopping? No worries. Join us and add the gadgets you're shopping for to your "Want" list; every time there's a price cut in the future, you'll get an email alert!
Microsoft Surface Pro
Regular Price: $900
Engadget Score: 75
Buy: Best Buy
It's not the Surface Pro 2 that was announced last fall, but it's still a stellar deal at $400 off of the regular price, and the device still isn't a year old. If you'll recall from our review, we were high on the 128GB version with its solid performance despite abysmal battery life of just under four hours. To see how this model stacks up with the current-gen models, take a gander at our comparison tool.
Regular Price: $250
Engadget Score: 73
2013's Kobo Arc mustered a better effort than the disappointing Vox, but it still wasn't enough to compete with the 7-inch Android slate elite. However, with a 50 percent discount, this now-$112 16GB option may be worth a look for e-reading and tablet-style media consumption. Add the Arc (64GB version pictured) to the compare tool to pit it against the rest of the top-rated Android devices.
Nexus 7 (2012)
Regular Price: $249
Engadget Score: 88
Once heralded as the best $200 tablet you can buy, the 32GB version of the original ASUS Nexus 7 is now priced well below the 16GB current-gen model. This 2012 version sports better battery life than the newer slate and you'll still get a bite of KitKat, too. Take a look at how the two Nexus tablets compare right here.
Kindle Fire HD 8.9
Regular Price: $269
Engadget Score: 74
If you don't mind those pesky special offers and 16GB of storage, our price drop tool alerted us to Amazon cutting the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 by $40 earlier this week. Willing to hold out for a bigger discount? Add one to your "Want" list and you'll get the next price drop alert when we do.
Aereo launched in New York in early 2012 to let people watch over-the-air TV on their gadgets, but a recent hiccup means denizens of the Big Apple can no longer sign up for the service. The culprit? Aereo says it all comes down to capacity, or lack thereof. The service has hit a bottleneck, so it can't take on more customers until it's beefed up its network of tiny antennas and the infrastructure that binds everything together. Word of the situation started making the rounds early this morning, and it wasn't long before Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia took to Twitter to confirm the bad news, though he remained awfully mum on when New Yorkers could start signing up again.
This isn't far from the first headache that Aereo has dealt with since it launched two years ago. It's been sued a by slew of networks that aren't keen on the startup's video-streaming mission, and the Supreme Court is getting close to passing a ruling on the matter. At least this time Aereo is a victim of its own success instead of just being a courtroom punching bag.
There isn't much choice among 7-inch Android tablets with high-resolution screens -- the Nexus 7 is frequently the only practical option. However, it's about to get a proper challenger. China's TENAA has certified the Huawei MediaPad X1 7.0, a small slate with a 1,920 x 1,200 display. It's not clear that the X1's 1.6GHz quad-core Hisilicon processor will outperform the Snapdragon S4 Pro inside the Nexus, but the device will be a featherweight at just 8.4 ounces and 0.3 inch thick. There's also 3G inside. About the only clear setback is the use of Android 4.2 -- where's KitKat, Huawei? The company hasn't said when it might reveal the new MediaPad, but certification raises the possibility of an announcement in the near future.
We're breaking it down to the bare essentials this week, with Terrence and Ben getting laser focused on the recent Lenovo / Motorola deal and Nintendo's state of financial affairs. With just those two topics on the table, every stone is upturned and every tech nook explored. Ben delves into the world of poultry puns and even explains the Pokemon portmanteau situation, while Terrence eyes him from across the room, fiercely ready to fight for Sonic the Hedgehog's dignity. We're even reaching out to you, the listener, for your input on the future of the podcast, so please join the conversation. As for the podcast itself, it's ready and waiting for you at the streaming links below. Enjoy!
Producer: Jon Turi
Hear the podcast:
07:39 - Lenovo buying Motorola's handset business from Google for nearly $3 billion
13:17 - Lenovo gets Motorola, but Google gets to keep its skunkworks
14:49 - Nintendo sold fewer Wii Us in a year than Xbox Ones or PS4s sold in two months
19:31 - Nintendo bosses take big pay cuts in penance for Wii U failure
25:56 - Nintendo denies smartphone software rumor, says it has 'no plans' to offer mini-games on rival hardware
38:46 - What would you change about the Engadget Podcast?
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We still don't know exactly what Apple's long-rumored smart watch is, or what it's called -- yes, iWatch is probably right -- but a report today from 9to5Mac posits a whole heap of new information. First, the wearable works in concert with "Healthbook," a new internal app intended to track various fitness (steps, distance, etc.) and health metrics (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.). Second, it looks like Healthbook -- at least currently -- is a crucial part of iOS 8, and when paired with iWatch (or whatever it's called) the two are "able to monitor several other pieces of health and fitness data." It's unclear exactly what that means. Like it's name, Healthbook is apparently pretty similar to Passbook, and you'll be able to swipe through various "cards" with health information.
Of course, none of this should come as a tremendous shock (though it's all still firmly in the rumor bin) -- word of Apple working on a wearable has been floating for quite some time, and it's past the point of coincidence. Between Apple hiring wearable electronics engineers (notable ones!), meeting with FDA regulators about "mobile medical applications," and the competition already staking a firm claim in the nascent smart watch market, no one following the tech news beast should be shocked. That's to say nothing of the dedicated chip inside Apple's latest iPhone (seen above). Regardless, with nothing officially announced just yet, we've reached out to Apple for more.