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Chili's Launching Touch-Screen Tablets for Tables

Chili's Launching Touch-Screen Tablets for Tables

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Customers seemingly prefer paying via tablet, rather than waiting for the check

Chili's is launching these touch screens in 800 U.S. locations.

We might not have robot servers just yet, but it looks like we're slowly getting there.

Chili's has announced a rollout of touch-screen tablets at American restaurants, the Wall Street Journal announced, starting today. The computer screens from Ziosk, which were being tested last year, will be at more than 800 Chili's in the U.S. by early 2014.

And it turns out, placing the menus on the table is a smart move for the chain; WSJ reports that Chili's found diners often spent more money per check when they had easy access to the tablets. The tablets were used to advertise for desserts, as photos would pop up on the screen halfway through the diners' main course, WSJ reports. Dessert sales jumped 20 percent in tests, while coffee sales similarly rose, most likely because impulse purchases are easier when you can simply touch and swipe, instead of being judged by the servers.

Krista Gibson, senior vice president of brand strategy, suggests that the chain may soon promote alcoholic beverages through the new platform during meals, although currently guests cannot order an entire meal, or a first round of booze, through the tablet. Instead, it's meant to be a fast way for customers to add on orders, side dishes, and extra drinks without having to flag down a busy server. "We never pursued this as a way to cut labor," Gibson said, noting that a server will always be "the first person who comes in contact with our guests."

The chain promises that there won't be a reduction in the amount of staff each outlet hires due to the tablets; instead, the tablets are simply there to facilitate the dining out procedures. Gibson notes that 50 percent of diners opt to pay through the Ziosk, instead of waiting for the bill, diminishing the possibility of credit card skimming, as Fast Company notes. So it's not quite cutting out servers, but it might help when your server is stretched too thin. Bonus points: there are games for kids (although we do have a soft spot for those crayons and kids menus).

A Touch Screen to Ease Airport Stress

For the beleaguered and bored waiting out delays in the nation’s airports, there isn’t much to turn to beyond the TV on the wall or an uninspired restaurant. But some airports are trying to change that, as they install iPads by the thousands so that travelers can browse and, officials hope, eventually buy.

In November, OTG, a company that designs, builds and operates airport dining outlets, began installing 1,500 iPads in eating and waiting areas at Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal C. Part of a $120 million upgrade to the terminal, some 6,000 iPads will be in place by the middle of next year.

Travelers will be able to browse the web and track their flights as well as order food and beverages and, in the future, sundries like neck pillows. Customers who are members of United Airlines’ loyalty program will also be able to pay with United Mileage Plus miles.

The goal is to turn one of air travel’s most unpleasant experiences — waiting for a flight — into something more endurable.

“This is a brand new way of interacting with customers,” said Albert Lee, the company’s chief technology officer. “Technology is a core part of that experience.”

OTG is leading the push to adopt iPads at airports.

While the use of tablets at dining establishments is not new — restaurant chains like Chili’s Grill & Bar as well as Panera Bread have tried it before — OTG says that the tablets are particularly well suited to airports, because travelers can easily check their flight status or order a cheeseburger from their seat at the gate and have it delivered. To pay for it, they can use frequent-flier miles.

This payment innovation should benefit United as well, said Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorksCompany, a consultancy for the airline industry. “It promotes the feeling among members that miles are a universal currency,” he said.

OTG has already installed its iPads at gate areas and in restaurants at New York’s two other area airports, Kennedy International and La Guardia, as well as at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. It also has restaurant iPads at Philadelphia International Airport. Newark’s Terminal C, when renovations are completed, will be by far the largest of these projects.

For many travelers, the distraction is welcome.

“I usually try to make it a point to go through JetBlue so I can go to Terminal 5,” said Kristen Kawachi, a Hawaii resident who regularly travels to the East Coast. On a trip through the airport a year and a half ago, she encountered the iPads, which are coupled with outlets where travelers can charge their devices.

“I just thought it was really convenient because then I didn’t have to lug my things around and bump people in line,” said Ms. Kawachi, who said she usually traveled alone and did not have anyone else to watch her carry-on luggage while she bought food. “It does make it a lot more convenient and the charging station just made it really easy for me.”

Tablets can also speed up transactions, which is helpful when dealing with on-the-fly customers, said Warren Solochek, vice president for business development at the NPD Group, a market research firm.

“One of the very top complaints people have at full-service restaurants is the amount of time it takes between when they finish their meal and when they can actually leave,” he said, a concern that is even more pressing for diners who hear their flight’s call to board.

Android: Pin the screen

The latest Android phones (specifically, handsets running on Android 5.0 "Lollipop" or better) make it easy to lock—or as Google puts it, "pin"—an app onto the screen, disabling the Home, Back and multitasking controls until you tap the right combination of buttons.

Tap the green "pin" button to get started with pinning the screen on your Android phone.

First, launch the app, then tap the multitasking button (a.k.a. the "Overview" button) in the bottom-right corner of the screen. (If you don't see the button, swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal it.) When the multitasking screen appears, scroll down to the app's floating card, then tap the green button with the pin.

Now, go ahead and hand your phone or tablet to your kid, secure in the knowledge that she can't switch to another app.

To unpin the screen on Android, tap and hold the Back and Overview buttons at the same time.

When you're ready to "unpin" the app, tap and hold the Back and Overview buttons at the same time. (Hopefully, it'll be a few years before your little one figures out that trick.)

If you like, you can set your Android device to require an unlock code to unpin an app. That way, if your child does manage to tap the Back and Overview buttons at once, she won't have the run of your phone. Tap Settings > Security > Screen pinning, then enable the Ask for unlock pattern before unpinning setting.

Why Tablets on Restaurant Tables Are Here to Stay

Over the past few years, a new fixture has popped up on restaurant tables next to the ketchup bottles and salt shakers: tablets. iPads and their ilk are now a common sight on tabletops at numerous restaurants, from fast-casual burger chains to pillars of the casual-dining sector like Olive Garden and Chili’s.

Putting tablets on tables is intended to speed up service by enabling diners to perform various tasks such as ordering food or paying their check without having to wait for their server to appear. In theory, they allow restaurants to turn tables more quickly and serve more guests. Now that such systems have been in place for a few years, chains are finding that tablets are a valuable tool in their technology arsenal.

Applebee’s installed tablets at its restaurants in 2014, and they’re now found on every table at all of its nearly 2,000 U.S. locations. “More than 70 percent [of Applebee’s diners] interact with the tablets, and more than 50 percent of those guests will use it for payment,” Charlie Jones, executive director of digital and guest-facing technology for Applebee’s parent company DineEquity, told a crowd at this year’s MUFSO conference presented by Nation’s Restaurant News. Jones estimates that 30 percent of the chain’s transactions now come from tablets.

In addition to self-order and pay features, the Presto-branded tablets used at Applebee’s come loaded with games that guests can fork over $1.99 to play during their meal. Jones says only 15 percent of diners use the tablets to play games during their meal, but all those small transactions add up — and mean that the tablets basically pay for themselves.

(Don’t expect tabletop tablets to start appearing at DineEquity’s other brand, IHOP, though: Jones explained that the tables are already too crowded with syrup bottles, coffee carafes, and the multiple plates that a full breakfast spread typically occupies.)

Steve Weigel, CEO of Cerca Trova, which as the largest Outback Steakhouse franchisee in the nation operates more than 100 stores, said that the tabletop tablets enable their restaurants to cut labor costs by “one or two percent,” and run fewer servers per night who are each making more money.

There’s been a fair amount of concern that tablets would put human servers out of jobs, but thus far Outback and other casual dining chains say they are using tablets as server’s assistants: Human servers still interact with the tables and lead service, but diners can use them for common requests like ordering drink refills and closing out their tab. (Other restaurants, such as TGI Fridays and Chuck E. Cheese, take a different approach: Instead of tabletop tablets, servers are equipped with handheld tablets that send orders to the kitchen in real time.)

Some worried that tabletop tablets would result in lower gratuities for servers, since people would be less inclined to tip humans when computers are doing part of the work, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. In fact, tips have stayed steady or even increased, thanks to the ease of tipping via tablet: Diners can typically tap just one button to automatically apply a tip of the industry standard 20 percent, which is easier than manually entering a smaller tip. Tips are likely also higher thanks to diners’ increased satisfaction with service — e.g., their ability to pay their check at will rather than having to wait around for the tab to be dropped.

Restaurants are also seeing increased check averages when tablets are in use. Weigel noted that dessert sales are up at Outback, because diners can now order it with just a touch of a button — eliminating any potential sheepishness that may come along with asking a server for, say, a slice of chocolate cake after inhaling a Bloomin’ Onion and a steak. Ziosk, which provides the tablets for Outback, Chili’s, and a number of other chains, claims its clients have seen a 30 percent overall increase in dessert sales.

Across the board, restaurants are finding that tabletop tablets are also serving as a valuable data gathering tool. Presenting a post-meal survey for diners to fill out electronically as part of the payment process provides the restaurants with useful feedback on food and service, and in some cases guests who want to provide more specific feedback — such as complaining about cold fries or praising a staff member — can send emails directly to management, which is a much smaller hurdle than actually flagging down a manager to speak to face-to-face. (But while restaurants may love collecting data on their guests, that aspect can be less than great for diners: Inputting personal information into internet-connected devices always comes with inherent risks, as the rash of recent data breaches illustrates.)

The self-order and pay trend continues to spread, with some unexpected restaurants getting on board: Shake Shack, the rapidly expanding burger chain that’s long touted founder Danny Meyer’s concept of “hospitality first,” announced this week that a forthcoming downtown Manhattan location will eliminate human cashiers in favor of cashless, touch-screen order kiosks.

Microsoft Surface: Behind-the-Scenes First Look

Microsoft's corporate campus is a sprawling affair, with more than 100 buildings scattered over 261 acres. To make sense of it all, you have to navigate by numbers. The Microsoft Visitor Center, for instance, is in Building 127, north campus, while the Microsoft Conference Center is in Building 33, just down the road from the company soccer and baseball fields. About 4 miles away, however, there is an unnumbered building that is decidedly "off campus." In that building, Microsoft has quietly been developing the first completely new computing platform since the PC &mdash a project that was given the internal code name Milan. This past March, when the project was still operating on the down low, I became the first reporter invited inside these offices. My hosts politely threatened legal consequences if I blabbed about the project to anyone not directly involved in it, then escorted me down a dark hallway to a locked corner conference room. Inside that room was Microsoft's best-kept technology secret in years . a coffee table.

The product behind the Milan project is called the Microsoft Surface, and the company's unofficial Surface showman is Jeff Gattis. He's a clean-cut fellow who is obviously the veteran of a thousand marketing seminars. He spoke in sentences peppered with "application scenarios," "operational efficiencies" and "consumer pain points" while he took me through a few demonstrations of what the Surface can do. One of Gattis's consumer pain points is the frustrating mess of cables, drivers and protocols that people must use to link their peripheral devices to their personal computers. Surface has no cables or external USB ports for plugging in peripherals. For that matter, it has no keyboard, no mouse, no trackball &mdash no obvious point of interaction except its screen.

Gattis took out a digital camera and placed it on the Surface. Instantly, digital pictures spilled out onto the tabletop. As Gattis touched and dragged each picture, it followed his fingers around the screen. Using two fingers, he pulled the corners of a photo and stretched it to a new size. Then, Gattis put a cellphone on the surface and dragged several photos to it &mdash just like that, the pictures uploaded to the phone. It was like a magic trick. He was dragging and dropping virtual content to physical objects. I'm not often surprised by new technology, but I can honestly say I'd never seen anything like it.

The Anti-PC

The name Surface comes from "surface computing," and Microsoft envisions the coffee-table machine as the first of many such devices. Surface computing uses a blend of wireless protocols, special machine-readable tags and shape recognition to seamlessly merge the real and the virtual world &mdash an idea the Milan team refers to as "blended reality." The table can be built with a variety of wireless transceivers, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and (eventually) radio frequency identification (RFID) and is designed to sync instantly with any device that touches its surface.

One of the key components of surface computing is a "multitouch" screen. It is an idea that has been floating around the research community since the 1980s and is swiftly becoming a hip new product interface &mdash Apple's new iPhone has multitouch scrolling and picture manipulation. Multitouch devices accept input from multiple fingers and multiple users simultaneously, allowing for complex gestures, including grabbing, stretching, swiveling and sliding virtual objects across the table. And the Surface has the added advantage of a horizontal screen, so several people can gather around and use it together. Its interface is the exact opposite of the personal computer: cooperative, hands-on, and designed for public spaces.

If it seems as though the Surface machine sprang up out of nowhere, that's only because Microsoft has been unusually secretive about it. Early designs of the table were displayed around the room as evidence of the product's long development cycle rejected shapes included "squashed white egg" and "podium." Steven Bathiche, research manager for the project, has been involved since the beginning (in 2001) when he and fellow researcher Andy Wilson first dreamed up the idea of a tabletop computer. Bathiche spoke about the Milan project's evolution with the evident excitement of a man who's had to keep the most important thing he's ever done a secret for six years. "We've gone through several generations of this machine," he said. "The first was a proof-of-concept called T1, and we just hacked it into an IKEA table."

And there it was, partially disassembled, behind me. It looked as if they had attacked the prefab particleboard furniture from the Swedish superstore with a Sawzall, then stuffed in off-the-shelf computer parts, cameras, projectors and mirrors until it all worked. The idea went straight to the top: Once Bill Gates okayed it, surface computing moved from a heady research project to the nuts-and-bolts planning of product development.

(1) Screen: A diffuser turns the Surface's acrylic tabletop into a large horizontal "multitouch" screen, capable of processing multiple inputs from multiple users. The Surface can also recognize objects by their shapes or by reading coded "domino" tags.

(2) Infrared: Surface's "machine vision" operates in the near-infrared spectrum, using an 850-nanometer-wavelength LED light source aimed at the screen. When objects touch the tabletop, the light reflects back and is picked up by multiple infrared cameras with a net resolution of 1280 x 960.

(3) CPU: Surface uses many of the same components found in everyday desktop computers &mdash a Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and a 256MB graphics card. Wireless communication with devices on the surface is handled using WiFi and Bluetooth antennas (future versions may incorporate RFID or Near Field Communications). The underlying operating system is a modified version of Microsoft Vista.

(4) Projector: Microsoft's Surface uses the same DLP light engine found in many rear-projection HDTVs. The footprint of the visible light screen, at 1024 x 768 pixels, is actually smaller than the invisible overlapping infrared projection to allow for better recognition at the edges of the screen.

Touchscreen Salesbot

After you see the Surface in action, it doesn't take long to figure out just how attractive such a machine must be to the retail and service industries. Microsoft has partnered up with cellular provider T-Mobile, as well as hotel conglomerate Starwood Hotels and Resorts (which owns Sheraton, Westin and W Hotels, among others) and Vegas casino giant Harrah's Entertainment. Machines will be ready for deployment by the end of 2007.

So you could, for instance, walk into a T-Mobile store, pick up a phone you're considering buying and place it on the Surface. The table could then either link with the phone via Bluetooth or scan a code imprinted on the packaging to identify it. Suddenly, the phone is surrounded by graphical information (pricing, features, etc.). After selecting a service plan and any accessories, you just run your credit card through a reader built into the table (or, when RFID cards have become the norm, just slap your card on the tabletop) and your new phone is paid for. By the time you open the package, everything is set up &mdash all without talking to a single employee.

It's easy to dismiss the concept as pure novelty &mdash and at first it may well be. But ask yourself: When was the last time you made a bank withdrawal from a human teller? The Surface machine is networked and infinitely flexible. You could use it to order food in a restaurant. While you wait, you could play games or surf the Internet, and then eat off its surface. And every table in the joint could be a jukebox, a television or a billboard for advertising. (You didn't think advertisers would miss out on this, did you?)

And once you've gotten used to ordering calamari through a tabletop at your favorite eatery, you may want to use it to call up recipes on your kitchen counter. Surface machines will cost $5000 to $10,000 at launch, but as prices fall, similar devices may find their way into the home. "We view its migration as similar to that of plasma TVs," says Pete Thompson, Microsoft's general manager for surface computing. "People will see it in public spaces like bars and restaurants and want to expand it into other environments." Its current coffee-table shape could evolve into a Pottery Barn-style catalog of computerized furniture &mdash a dining room table, a wall-mounted panel, a desk or practically any surface. "It's a platform that can be put into various form factors," Thompson says. "This is a way to put technology into a piece of wood."

Computer scientists see technologies such as surface computing and multitouch as the key to a new era of ubiquitous computing, where processing power is embedded in almost every object and everything is interactive. Last year, New York University professor Jeff Han launched a company called Perceptive Pixel, which builds six-figure-plus custom multitouch drafting tables and enormous interactive wall displays for large corporations and military situation rooms. "I firmly believe that in the near future, we will have wallpaper displays in every hallway, in every desk. Every surface will be a point of interaction with a computer," Han says, "and for that to happen, we really need interfaces like this."

Short-term success for a technology can be measured by how much attention a product gathers when it is new. Long-term success is measured by how effectively that product disappears into the everyday routine of life. Surface computing has enormous potential to do both &mdash it is a splashy new computer interface, surrounded by hype, but it is also, quite literally, furniture. It is a technology in its infancy, where even the engineers behind it can't predict its full impact but the possibilities are everywhere, underhand and underfoot &mdash on every surface imaginable.


Steve Jobs famously introduced the Apple iPad at an Apple event in 2010, where he asked if there was room for something in-between an iPhone and a MacBook or Mac. People weren't sure at the time, but since its launch, the iPad has become a tablet staple in many homes across the world.

An iPad is an Apple tablet device with a touch screen, Wi-Fi capabilities, and access to the Apple App Store. In some cases, an iPad has cellular capability and can be added to your cell phone plan with your carrier, allowing it to use cellular networks to connect to apps and services. iPads are more compact and lightweight than a traditional laptop, making it great for working professionals who travel a lot, or families who find themselves constantly on-the-go.

Whether you're looking to improve your connected home services, want to work more efficiently, or just want a small device to make your life a little simpler, Sam's Club has an iPad that can fit your needs.

What Types of iPads Are There?

There are several different types of iPad to choose from. Generally, the differences come down to screen size, processing power, storage capabilities, colors and supported accessories.

The different iPad models are:

  • • iPad Pro 12.9”
  • • iPad Pro 11”
  • • iPad Air 10.9”
  • • iPad 10.2”
  • • iPad mini 7.9”

What Sizes do iPads come in?

iPad size is determined by screen size, a measurement that goes diagonally across the surface of the device. Depending on what you plan on using your iPad for, you may benefit from different screen sizes. If you're hoping to illustrate or work on your iPad, a larger screen size could be beneficial. If you want something small, compact, and easily portable, then you may want to consider an iPad mini.

The sizes of iPad available at Sam's Club are:

Screen sizes of iPad available at Sam's Club are:

What Features Should I Consider When Buying an iPad?

iPads have some features shared across each type of device - the iOS operating system, access to the App Store, and a signature seamless user experience. Many new iPads have Touch ID, Face ID, retina display, and all-day battery life. However, there are some different specifications you may want for your smart device as you shop. For example:

Storage space

Every app, service, and piece of media you add to your iPad takes up storage space. You should consider the main use for your iPad before buying to ensure you pick a storage capacity that makes sense. For example, if you primarily want to download large gaming apps and use your iPad for entertainment purposes, then you may want more storage. If you plan on using your iPad mostly for email and messaging, you'll need less storage. You can also sync your iPad to an existing iCloud account to store files and photos in the cloud.

Capacities of iPad available at Sam's Club are:

Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi-plus-cellular connectivity (LTE)

Whether you use Wi-Fi-only to connect your iPad to the internet or you want to use cellular towers will change which iPad you need to purchase. Wi-Fi-only is perfect if you're using your device primarily in the home or office, then you'll be set. If you feel you'll be using the device with no or limited access to Wi-Fi, then you'll need to pursue an iPad with cellular connectivity to be completely mobile.

What Are the Different Uses for iPads?

You can use your iPad and iPad apps for just about anything you would use a tablet, smartphone or computer for.

Everyday use

Some everyday uses for iPads include following recipes while cooking in the kitchen, keeping up with social media, and setting reminders or to-do notes for the week ahead. It can be used as a smart planner or assistant, depending on how your household needs help.

Laptop replacement

With a smart keyboard, maybe iPads can function as a laptop replacement, allowing you to use word processors and send emails as needed. Many iPads use powerful chips, which gives them some of the highest processing speeds of any tablets on the market and can even outperform some computers.

The App Store has some of the world's greatest games available for download, ranging from match-3 to RPGs to mystery and adventure puzzles. Many popular titles from console games are making mobile versions as mobile gaming rises in popularity.

You can read the news, borrow books from your local library, or use the Kindle or iBooks app to read a variety of titles.

Many popular music apps are available on most iPads, including Apple Music, Spotify and others. iPads have Bluetooth capabilities, so you can connect them to your AirPods, Beats, favorite speaker or sound system to listen to music.

With Netflix, Hulu, Vudu or any other streaming apps, you can watch TV right on your iPad.

Editing Photography

Most of Apple's smart mobile devices have built-in editing tools via the iPhoto and Camera app. However, with access to the App store, you can find any number of photo-editing apps, making your iPad an all-in-one camera and creative device. Use an Apple Pencil to enhance the experience

With fast processing, easy connectivity, and apps like Gmail, Google Docs, and Files, you can store, save, and send all the documents you need to keep your business running smooth. iPads with Apple pencil capabilities add an extra layer of ease for taking notes or signing contracts on the go. Apple Keyboards also make the iPad a perfect workstation.

Can I use an iPad as a phone?

You can use FaceTime from your iPad, which allows you to video call people. You can also use services like Google Voice or Skype to make calls. Your iPad can connect to your phone when close by. You can't use your iPad as a traditional phone to make voice calls directly, but the apps make internet calls easy.

How much storage do I need for my iPad?

Depending on how you use your iPad, you'll need different storage. Consider higher storage capacity for an iPad that will be heavy in media usage like for photos and videos, or for games.

Does the iPad have GPS?

Wi-Fi-only iPads do not have a GPS chip. iPads with wireless/cellular capabilities do have GPS chips. Regardless, you can use apps like Apple Maps or Google Maps to access map capabilities within the iPad, so long as you have an internet connection.

How can I back up my iPad?

You'll need to be connected to Wi-Fi, but then you'll simply go to Settings, tap your name, then tap iCloud. Then you'll tap iCloud backup, then "backup now." This is the simplest way to back up your iPad

Causes of iPad Issues

When an iPad has a problem, it could have a few root causes. Apps can interfere with one another or with the iPad's operating system. These malfunctions can affect the device's resource management or corrupt parts of its memory. The tablet might also have network issues that cause trouble connecting to the internet.


Samsung Galaxy Tab and Kids Tablets are among the best smart devices available today. These versatile work-and-play Android tablet computers are central for connecting your Samsung smartphone and Samsung smart-home appliances. Checkout mid-range models like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7-inch tablet, 8-inch tablet and 10.1-inch tablet with Dolby Atmos sound. Or consider on-the-go models the 7-inch Galaxy Tab E Lite with an excellent low-light photography camera.

For the very best, pro models like the 64GB Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e can make for a realistic laptop replacement. These have a 10.5-inch super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Octa-core processors, Quad-speakers and fast-charging.

What Can I Do With My Samsung Tablet?

Typical Everyday Use

Watch, listen, draw, schedule, email, photograph, share, laugh, gather around. Ever since the Samsung Galaxy Tab s2 and Galaxy Tab s3, these Android tablets have been leaders among tablet devices. The Galaxy-Android operating system has treated users to casual and pro applications and web services, or just served as your everyday portal to the internet.

And unlike the iPad Pro, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch, Galaxy Tab A 8.0-inch, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab E offer expandable memory via microSD card.

The adaptive-brightness displays, along with accessibility features, means you can read your news, eBooks and social media feeds for hours without straining your eyes.


Whether you're a professional photographer or an Instagram model, the Samsung Galaxy rear-facing and front-facing cameras capture vivid photos, even in low-light conditions.


Manage your schedule, presentations, budgets, and video calls on-the-go with these excellent tablets. Easily program and deploy custom software for your field operators using Android-Samsung tablets. And connect to business services from Google, Apple, and Microsoft.


Music sounds great on the Tab A, but the AKG tuned Quad speakers on the S5E provide next-level immersive sound.

Galaxy Tablets Full-HD displays allow for crisp viewing of TV, Movies and web videos over Wi-Fi or a cell phone LTE plan.

What Are the Features of Samsung Tablets?

Run two apps on the same screen

Samsung Galaxy Tablets have multi-window mode, which allows you to split these large screens into two parts to run completely separate applications at the same time. Write-out your shopping list while scrolling through an online recipe. Draw along with a Youtube video. Edit your schedule or spreadsheet while on a video call. Or stream yourself playing a mobile game on Twitch.

Pause screen when you're not looking

Samsung Smart-pause uses your front-facing camera to pause your videos when you're not looking. Great for making it through an episode without needing to rewind after distractions or for passing a video to friends or family without teaching them how to unpause.

Differences from iPads

While iPhone users may think the only tablet for them should be an iPad, think again. Samsung Galaxy tablets have better cameras and more apps. They don't run out of memory as quickly as iPads because most Galaxy tablets have microSD expandable memory slots. They cost less than iPads, and buying your Samsung Galaxy Tab from Sam's Club means paying members-only prices. You won't get those deals from Apple.

What Are the Different Accessories for my Samsung Tablet?

Smart keyboard

The Samsung Smart Keyboard connects to your Samsung TV, laptop, tablet and even some appliances so you can control your smart home with a single input.

Bluetooth headphones

Half the fun of a tablet is going full-wireless. That means listening to your calls, music, shows and movies from beyond arm's reach. Samsung Galaxy Tab models support many of the latest Bluetooth features from all smartphone Bluetooth headphones.


You can plug in your 0%-charged tablet and walk away with a 100% battery in under 3 hours with a Samsung Galaxy Tab Fast-Charger.

Book Covers and Protective Cases

Samsung Galaxy Tabs have sleek and stylish Book Cover cases that protect the screen while it's in a purse or backpack. They also prop up the device for watching movies hands-free. For something more heavy-duty, there are plenty of protective cases modeled for Samsung Galaxy Tab devices.

What Sizes of Samsung Tablets Can I Choose?

Sam's Club carries Samsung tablets in the following screen sizes:

What to Consider when Buying Samsung Tablets

Storage Capacity

Is this device just for connecting to the internet? Or are you going to download music, movies, apps and games? Each tablet starts with a stated amount of integrated memory for storage: either 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB. But, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A and Samsung Galaxy Tab E offer expandable memory via microSD cards. These cards can offer up to an additional 512GB of memory for movie-junkies and gamers.

Battery Life

If you're going to be using your tablet for work, don't get something that won't last through the workday. If you're not playing power-intense games the whole time, Samsung tablets will last between 9 and 13 hours of active use on a single battery charge. But, if you need to get a jump during a lunch-break, Fast-Charging is available for some tablets to can recharge your device by more than 50% in just one hour.

Screen Size

Do I need the tablet for handheld work or for watching movies on the go? Screen sizes fluctuate from an oversized-smartphone 7-inch to the small laptop 10.5-inch.

Do I need a stylus?

If a big purpose for this tablet is drawing and sketching, you should be looking for models that support a stylus pen. Some Galaxy Tabs can support drawing devices, but you may need to look towards the Samsung Note devices for the best support in this case.

FAQ - Samsung Tablets

How do I clean my Samsung tablet?

To physically clean your device, purchase a screen-cleaner spray and a microfiber rag, and gently mist the cleaner over the screen, avoiding the charging ports, speakers, microphone and headphone jacks. Wipe gently and avoid streaking.

To digitally clean your device, open your device settings, and under privacy, you should periodically clear the cookies and browsing history, as well as the cache. Apps may be slightly slower to load upon your next launch, and you may need to log back into certain apps and websites. But your device will be less bogged down by data.

Is there a warranty on Samsung Tablets?

Samsung Tablets have a 1-year limited warranty on the device, as well as parts that came with it.

When is the next Samsung tablet coming out?

Most Samsung Tablets are launched annually in the late summer and early fall, usually in August.

Can the Samsung tablet be used as a phone?

Some Samsung Tablets can be used as a phone independently with their own active phone plan, but not all of them. They connect to a Samsung smartphone with an active phone plan and then calls can be routed to the tablet when the phone is nearby.

Chili's Launching Touch-Screen Tablets for Tables - Recipes

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25 Best Windows 8 Apps

As the number of Windows 8 users grows, so does the number of apps for the operating system — and the quality of those apps is improving, too. There are now more than 125,000 apps in the Windows Store, ranging from games and social networking apps to photo-editing tools and newsreaders. There's even an app for finding apps (great for iOS and Android transplants). Here's our list of the top 25 apps for Windows 8 devices, including touch-screen laptops, tablets and hybrid devices.


Everyone hates getting to a restaurant to find out there's no table available. Make sure that doesn't happen to you, by downloading the OpenTable app, which allows you to reserve a table, browse restaurants in your area and check out menus before you sit down to eat. The app supports more than 20,000 restaurants.

Halo: Spartan Assault

Featuring some of the best graphics we've seen from a Windows 8 app, "Spartan Assault" brings the Halo universe to Windows 8. This game offers 30 addictive levels as fans of the series battle familiar foes. This is truly one of the best game apps on the market.

Slacker Radio

While Pandora and Spotify are sitting on the Windows 8 sidelines, Slacker Radio is happily filling the void. Using a Metro-inspired layout, the app is easy to navigate, and songs load quickly. You'll find more than 200 stations, including talk and sports radio from ABC, ESPN and other sources. Other goodies include the ability to pin your favorite stations to the Start screen and share them with your friends via the Share charm.


On a tablet, many people may still be inclined to visit the Facebook website. However, Facebook's app is well designed and intuitive, and optimizes content for touch-screen devices. Although one or two features may be missing, the load times are very fast. The Facebook app works nicely in Windows 8.1's Snap View mode, allowing you to keep tabs on updates while you do work or surf the Web. Facebook also supports updates in Live Tiles on the Start Screen.

Gym Guide

If you're sticking with your New Year's resolution to get to the gym, Gym Guide will make sure you're whipped into shape. Not only does the app have workouts focused on specific parts of the body, but it's beautifully designed and incredibly intuitive.


Keep up-to-date on the latest news and your social feeds with the slick Flipboard app for Windows 8. The app is highly customizable, allowing you to choose from multiple topics and sources to build your own personal magazine. Flipboard connects with up to 12 social networks for commenting, liking and sharing.

TouchMe Gesture Studio

Considering so many Windows 8 devices have touch screens, it would be great if you could launch apps and programs, or perform tasks, with the swipe of a finger (or two). TouchMe Gesture Studio makes this possible, allowing users to assign tasks to custom swipes on their touch screen.


The first version of this game, "Flow," made our original list, and the second version, "Bridges," offers a welcome new twist: Players now need to bring lines over others to make connections. While this can take a few games to get used to, we trust that fans of the original game will like this great brain-teasing, time-passing puzzle game.

Meme Generator

If you're a fan of Forever Alone, Fry or The Most Interesting Man in the World, you will enjoy using this app. It allows users to create memes very easily, is well organized and should have you posting your political points or inside jokes on Facebook in no time.

Cocktail Flow

If you enjoy hosting parties, this app could become your best friend. Not only is the app beautifully designed, but it's very functional too, allowing users to create drinks based on what they have in their liquor cabinet. Thinking of trying out new drinks? Cocktail Flow allows users to search for drinks by make, style and even color.

Reddit with Redditting

One of the most popular social sites on the Web, Reddit can often turn users off because of its somewhat complicated user interface. However, this app simplifies the experience with clearly laid-out categories, well-labeled topics and easy interaction.

Stardock Start8

Stardock's Start8 app is the best Windows 8 Start-menu option available. You'll have to fork over $5, but in return, you'll get the look and feel of the Windows 7 Start button on your Windows 8 machine. You can also add the Windows 8 Flag to your desktop or any custom image you'd like. The app lets you change how things such as Run, Control Panel and Documents appear in the Start screen.

Xbox One Smartglass

If you have the latest Xbox, you should use it to its full potential. Xbox One Smartglass makes this easier by letting you control your Xbox One with your Windows tablet or phone. This app gives you full control over the console's entertainment features. You can also browse the Web on your TV using your mobile device, as well as track achievements and message friends.

Despicable Me: Minion Rush

"Minion Rush" is one of the most popular games on Windows devices, and for good reason. While it is a typical "running game" in the style of "Temple Run," it is graphically one of the best games available, and it's easy to learn. This combination makes "Minion Rush" a ton of fun to play for users of all ages.


With the Kindle app for Windows 8, you can pin your favorite books right to your Start screen, so you can quickly pick up where you left off. The app also offers a robust search function and lots of customization options. These include background color, font size and the number of reading columns. As with the Kindle app on other platforms, you can highlight, take notes, and look up definitions and pronunciations.


The video-chatting, free conference-calling space is far more crowded now than when Skype entered it. However, this app is polished and well-integrated with Windows 8. We love how easy it is to snap Skype next to other apps so you can keep chatting while you multitask. You can also easily share files and photos. If you get a message, you'll see it no matter what you're doing, even on the lock screen.


Although Microsoft's OneDrive is more tightly integrated with Microsoft's OS, there are millions of Dropbox users who want to be able to access their files from their Windows 8 laptop or tablet. The Dropbox app lets you browse your stuff, as well as upload, download, and move and rename files and photos. You can also open files from other Windows 8 apps, share content from the Share charm and find your files via the Search charm.


Designed with the Metro theme in mind, Netflix makes it easy to watch great movies and TV shows. You can rate content to get better suggestions suited to your taste, as well as resume playback from another device, whether it's a game console, smart TV or smartphone. The Netflix app for Windows 8 supports search from the Charms menu. If you hover over a movie or TV-show poster, you'll get a pop-up with a synopsis.

Photoshop Express

Photoshop Express has more than enough options for the casual photo editor. These include cropping, rotating, straightening and adding filters to images, making the app a great tool for quickly enhancing photographs saved to your Windows 8 device. Or, try Auto-Fix, which adjusts brightness, exposure and shadows with one touch. Other features include 15 filters and an in-app purchase for the Looks Pack, which offers more options. The separate Noise Reduction Pack minimizes grain in your pics.

Wikipedia 8

Wikipedia 8 is definitely easier on the eyes than its website counterpart, delivering more than 20 million articles in an easy-to-read full-screen view. You can easily search text, and the bottom bar (accessible by swiping up) reveals several additional functions.

Comics (formerly Comixology)

The name may have changed, but the recipe for success is the same. A slick, colorful interface and ease of access to a library's worth of titles is just part of the appeal of this app. Top publisher partners include Marvel, DC, Image, IDW and more, giving you favorites like Batman, Spider-Man and the Avengers on the go. The app's Guided View Technology lets you read comics panel by panel for a cinematic effect. You can also sync your account across multiple devices.


Twitter has continued to improve since first appearing on our Top 25 list. The Windows 8 app now supports multiple accounts, and a new Lists feature lets you organize accounts you follow by type. The app is also speedier than ever. And, just like before, it's a cinch to upload photos and videos.

Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus boasts a clean and intuitive touch interface for catching up on your favorite shows. Your $7.99 per month provides access to such hits as "Modern Family," "Family Guy" and kids shows like "Kung Fu Panda." We especially like the ability to pin our favorite shows to the Start screen. Use the Charm bar to search for programs.


Craigslist+ is a great example of a Windows 8 app that's tailor-made for Windows 8. The app allows users to view pictures and listings at the same time and easily search through different regions. Other features include the ability to view postings inside a map, search postings with filters and take notes on favorite postings. You can also save searches, as well as save and share postings.

App Switch

If you are moving from an iOS or Android device, the hardest part of the switch can be finding replacements for apps not offered for Windows. App Switch aims to make the transition easier by asking users to enter an iOS or Android app. The app then searches for a comparable alternative available in the Windows Store.

Watch the video: Tactus Puts the Touch Back in Touchscreen (June 2022).


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