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Vendors Roll Out Smartphones And Tablets For Holidays

NEW YORK – Vendors and car- riers continued to leak out more details about their smartphone and tablet plans for the holidays, with phablets and tablets — particularly Oct. 26 availability of Windows 8 tablets — garnering much of the in- dustry’s attention.

(For more on the launch of the iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad, see story at left.)

Here are some of the products that will energize holiday sales:

Asus: The $599 Vivo Tab RT is a Windows 8 10.1-inch tablet with quad-core processor. It will be sold through AT&T stores.

The 10.1-inch Vivo Tab Smart runs an Intel Atom chip at $499.

Dell: The company’s Win- dowsRT tablet is the $499 XPS 10 with 10.1-inch display, ARM-based 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 32GB and 64GB configurations, a 2-mega- pixel front and 5-megapixel rear camera, dual stereo speakers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and MicroSD card slot. It became available Oct. 26.

LG: Sprint and AT&T outlined their plans for the Optimus G Android 4.0 smartphone, which delivers longer battery life, a thinner profile and a brighter display compared to previous LG models.

The quad-core LTE phone became avail- able Nov. 2 through AT&T channels at $199 and will be available Nov. 11 through Sprint channels at $199.

The Optimus G also features QSlide, which enables the display of two applications simul- taneously on one screen, and Live Zooming, which lets users zoom in and out of videos playing back.

Another LG phone, the Optimus L9, be- came available Oct. 31 through T-Mobile channels at $79 with a Classic voice and data plan after $50 mail-in-rebate card. The phone is priced at an out-of-pocket $49 with a Value voice and data plan and two-year ser- vice agreement plus 20 equal payments of $15/month on an installment plan.

Microsoft: From its web store, Microsoft began Oct. 26 shipping of the Microsoft- branded 10.6-inch Surface with Windows RT OS. It’s priced at $499 for the 32GB ver- sion without Touch Cover keyboard. A 32GB version with Touch Cover goes for $599, and $699 is the price of a 64GB version with Touch Cover. They ship with Office Home & Student productivity software.

Nokia: Verizon announced plans for its first Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the entry-level Nokia Lumia 822 targeted to first-time smartphone buyers. Pricing and an exact availability date weren’t announced. Ve- rizon previously committed to one other Win- dows 8 phone, HTC’s Windows Phone 8X.

Samsung: The company rolled out its Gal- axy Note II smartphone/tablet hybrid through Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular.

T-Mobile launched first on Oct. 24 followed by Sprint on Oct. 25 and U.S. Cellular on Oct. 26, with AT&T planning Nov. 9 availabil- ity. At press time, Verizon announced plans to offer it but offered no specific date.

All of the carriers but T-Mobile priced the device at $299.

As for Samsung’s Galaxy SIII, carrier Me- troPCS became the first carrier to offer it with no contract. The LTE phone is priced at $499.

In tablets, T-Mobile said it will join AT&T and Sprint in offering a cellular-equipped version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

Sony: AT&T announced that Sony’s Xperia TL Android smartphone, to be featured in the next James Bond movie, would become avail- able Nov. 2 at $99.