iFixit: New $329 iPad is a throwback to the original iPad Air

iFixit

Apple's $329 iPad, officially dubbed the iPad (5th generation), is a lot like the iPhone SE insofar as Apple is revisiting a design from 2013, putting more modern components in it, and selling it for a relatively low price. We already knew from the size, weight, and other specs that the iPad 5 was going to be a lot like the original iPad Air, and a teardown from iFixit reveals just how similar the tablets are inside and out.

For starters, the glass on the front of the tablet and the LCD panel aren't fused together as they are in the iPad Air 2 or either of the Pros. This makes it possible to replace either the glass or the LCD without having to replace both, which can make some kinds of repairs cheaper to do (laminated screens make for thinner devices, though, and they can also improve contrast and make colors seem more vivid). This is still an iPad, though, and Apple's tablets (for whatever reason) remain more difficult to fix than its phones—the battery is held in with a lot of glue, and opening the tablet up in the first place is going to require a heating pad to soften the glue holding the glass and the aluminum base together.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

AT&T gets $6.5 billion to build US-wide public safety network

Enlarge / Fire marshal texting a message on his cell phone. (credit: Getty Images | yougottalove)

AT&T has won a lucrative contract to build and manage a nationwide public safety network for America's police, firefighters, and emergency medical services.

The First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, was authorized by the federal government in 2012 and operates as an independent authority within the US Department of Commerce. AT&T has just been selected by FirstNet to build the wireless network and said that construction will begin later this year.

"FirstNet will provide 20MHz of high-value, telecommunications spectrum and success-based payments of $6.5 billion over the next five years to support the network buildout," AT&T said in its announcement. FirstNet's spectrum is located in the 700MHz band often used for consumer LTE networks.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Samsung will throw in a free Gear VR if you preorder the Galaxy S8

Enlarge / The Samsung Galaxy S8. Check out those bezels. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

Preorders for Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones are available now, and the company is throwing in a gift if you pledge your money before the handsets launch on April 21. When you go to Samsung's website and preorder either smartphone, you can get a free Gear VR headset and the new motion controller Samsung developed with Oculus.

We mentioned this yesterday when the Samsung Galaxy S8 was announced. It's a good deal because you're getting a $170 bundle (the $130 Gear VR plus the $40 motion controller) for free. If you do choose the free gift, you'll also get a content bundle from Oculus that you can redeem as a digital download when you receive your order. Samsung's pricing for the Galaxy S8 isn't surprising: the website says the handsets start at $650, but the base models you can preorder from each major carrier (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint) place the S8 at about $750 and the S8+ at about $840. Currently you cannot preorder an unlocked Galaxy S8 or S8+ from Samsung's website.

If you want to splurge, Samsung is also offering a $99 "Gear VR Immersive Bundle," which includes a Gear VR headset, the motion controller, a pair of AKG headphones, and a 256GB microSD card. All those items separately would cost about $530 total, so getting Samsung's bundle for just $99 is a good deal as well. You'll only be able to pick one of these additional gifts if you preorder the S8 or S8+ before April 20.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments