Tech News

Amazon Launches a $50 Tablet, the New Chromecast Leaks… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 18-09-2015

Amazon sells cheap tablets, Chromecast II is incoming, the new Fire TV trumps the new Apple TV, The Witness offers puzzling goodness, and Conan conjures up new Facebook buttons.


Amazon Launches a $50 Tablet

It has been possible to purchase a cheap tablet Too Good to Be True: 5 Things to Look For When Buying a Cheap Tablet I'm a big fan of tablets, that new wave of mobile devices that sits comfortably between smartphones and laptops. They're not for everybody. In fact, some people consider them a waste of time and money,... Read More for several years now, and I myself did so in 2012 Why I Chose To Buy A Cheap Android Tablet [Opinion] After doing a little more research than was healthy, I took the plunge and chose a tablet. One which I now own and use every day. It wasn't an iPad, or even a name-brand Android... Read More . Many people have chosen affordability over everything else, as iPads are anything but cheap. However, while Apple (with the new iPad Pro Why The iPad Pro Isn't Just A Bigger iPad If you think the new iPad Pro is "just a bigger iPad", you're wrong. It's a new way of iPad-ing. Read More ) and Microsoft (with the Surface Pro Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Review and Giveaway Although the Surface Pro 2 might not be the latest and greatest, is it still a good device to get? Read More ) have trended upwards, Amazon is trending downwards, seeking to sell cheap tablets in bulk.

The latest salvo in this race to this bottom is a new Kindle Fire Tablet priced at just $50. For that $50 you get a 7-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution IPS display, a 1.3Ghz quad-core processor, 8GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, front- and rear-facing cameras, and seven hours of battery life. The whole thing is powered by the latest version of Fire OS, which is an extremely competent, if somewhat limited, operating system.

This is so cheap that, for a limited time only, Amazon is selling them as a six-pack, with the buyer paying for five and getting the sixth thrown in for free. That’s six 7-inch tablets for $250, which is still significantly cheaper than just one iPad. So, you won’t be getting the best tablet on the market, but you will be getting a tablet good enough for everyday use. For $50. Which can’t be bad.

A New Chromecast Is Imminent


Google is set to unveil a brand new Chromecast at the end of this month, if a report from 9to5Google is to be believed. The Google-focused site claims to have obtained internal documents showing the second-generation Chromecast in all its glory.

Chromecast Mk II, set to be announced on Sept. 29, looks a little peculiar, if we’re being honest, as it resembles a one-sided pair of headphones. Or perhaps a half-inflated balloon. Features include improved Wi-Fi, support for content feeds, and something called Fast Play, which we can only imagine lets you set your Chromecast up How to Set Up Your New Google Chromecast If you own a brand new Chromecast but have no idea how to use it, let our easy-to-follow guide help you get started in mere minutes. Read More more speedily.

Google is also planning to launch Chromecast Audio, which should enable you to plug your Chromecast directly into a speaker using the auxiliary cord. Thus, you’ll be able to play music throughout your house using your Chromecast. Just in time for the addition of support for Spotify.

The Chromecast is already an awesome box full of tricks Awesome New Chromecast Apps, Tips and Tricks You'll Love Messing With Apps are adding support for the Chromecast constantly, so keep checking your apps. Until then, read on to learn how to get the most out of your Chromecast with what is available today. Read More , so we can only imagine the Chromecast II will be more of the same.


Amazon Adds 4K & Alexa to Fire TV

One week after Apple launched the new Apple TV Is This The Apple TV Update You've Been Waiting For? It's here. It's finally here. The long-awaited update to the Apple TV has arrived, but are there any compelling reasons to buy one in 2015? Read More , Amazon has unveiled its new Amazon Fire TV. Amazon’s offering is, in many ways, better than Apple’s offering. Apple added Siri and gaming to the new Apple TV, but Amazon has the perfect answer… Alexa, gaming, and 4K video.

In order to compete with Siri, Amazon has brought Alexa (previously seen in the Echo speakers Amazon Echo Review and Giveaway Amazon’s Echo offers a unique integration between voice recognition, personal assistant, home automation controls, and audio playback features for $179.99. Does the Echo break into new ground or can you do better elsewhere? Read More ) to the Amazon Fire TV. Voice search was already an option, but Alexa can do so much more. Using the voice-enabled remote control means she can queue music, and order items from Amazon.

In terms of gaming, Amazon is releasing a version of the Fire TV just for gamers. This comes with a redesigned controller, a 32GB microSD card, and two free game downloads. All for $140. And both editions now support 4K Ultra HD video, which is a bonus for anyone with a 4K television set and access to 4K content What Can You Actually Watch On a 4k TV? 4K TVs were definitely a hot gift this past Christmas—but what can you actually watch on one? Read More . Your move, Apple!


Witness the Glorious Braid Follow-up

Jonathan Blow, the man who created Braid, one of the best puzzle-platformers of all time The 10 Best PC Platformers Under 10 Bucks The PC probably is not the average gamer’s first choice when it comes to platforming, but this is only because other genres overshadow the robust selection of platformers that are available for computers. In fact,... Read More , is back with a new game. The Witness is another puzzle game, but this time with a healthy dose of exploration built in. Think Myst, with more freedom to move around and much more aesthetically pleasing graphics.

The Witness is due out for the PC and PlayStation 4 on January 26, 2016. Which is a rather sensible release date, allowing all of the bigger titles to fight for dominance over the holiday season. The trailer reveals just enough to draw you in without giving away all the game’s secrets.

Conan’s New Facebook Buttons

And finally, after finding out Facebook is developing a Dislike button Facebook Is Working on a Dislike Button, Pay to Replay Snapchat Snaps... [Tech News Digest] Facebook likes Dislike buttons, Snapchat adds new features, Project Morpheus morphs into PlayStation VR, Square and Twitter help you donate to politicians, and Rockstar Games hates the BBC. Read More , Conan O’Brien (or, more accurately, his legion of writers) came up with a list of his own potential Facebook buttons, all of which use the Facebook thumb in some way. My personal favorite is the “Your baby is not as cute as you seem to think it is” button.

It turns out that Facebook isn’t actually developing a Dislike button, but rather a way for users to express empathy and other emotions. Which could mean Facebook is set to be the latest entity to adopt emoji. The again, emoji are set to be the language of the future Can Emoji Transcend Language Boundaries? Will the connected age help us move beyond language as we know it? Some people think that emoji could revolutionize how we communicate. Let's take a look. Read More , so it makes perfect sense! [H/T CNET]


Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you interested in buying a $50 Amazon tablet? Will you be buying the new Chromecast II? Which is better: the Amazon Fire TV or the new Apple TV? Are you eager to play The Witness? What button(s) would you like to see added to Facebook?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Explore more about: Amazon Kindle Fire, Chromecast, Facebook, Online Video.

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  1. Anonymous
    September 18, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    ... Amazon didn't add Siri to anything, Dave.

    The FireTV is objectively better than Apple's new STB offering pretty much across the board, except in the edge case of needing access to Apple's online store. It's faster hardware. It's less expensive across all price points. It has a wider selection of available ports (hey, a USB port!) and connectivity options. It also has meaningful support for alternative inputs including voice search and gamepads.

    And that was BEFORE the new models with the HEVC decoding and 4k support were announced.

    Give Amazon some credit. It really does set the standard for what an STB should bring to the table unless the only thing you care about it getting something that talks to the itunes store.

  2. Anonymous
    September 18, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    That maybe a good deal for families who want a tablet on the cheap and you can get a Micro SD card and expand the memory. Heck, I may consider one to complement the desktop and Laptop