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All posts tagged "android"

Friday, January 14, 2011

CES 2011: Dell Streak 7 Hands-On

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Streak" @ 08:00 AM

There was practically a rugby scrum immediately following the Dell press conference in the side are where the products were available for hands-on, so this is me filming someone else playing with the device. Looks pretty slick, and the performance looks great - very smooth and fluid. I've been waiting for more seven-inch slates to hit the market before making a buying decision; the Dell Streak 7 is definitely on my short list.

Sprint Chops the Price of the Galaxy Tab

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 06:00 AM

"Word of a price drop at Best Buy for the Sprint Galaxy Tab leaked out via some images last week, but Sprint has beaten Best Buy to the punch and now list their Galaxy Tab for $299 on contact and $499 without contract."

Let the price drops begin! With all the new Android tablets announced at CES I was expecting prices on the Galaxy Tab to drop but this is a really big drop happening sooner than I expected. With a $200 price drop, a great size (at least for me), reasonable resolution for the size at 1024x600, and a Hummingbird CPU that probably has the best mobile GPU other than the Tegra 2 that's a great deal in my book! It may not be upgradable to Honeycomb but at least it does have Froyo now. While I wouldn't want an oversize iPhone and over-sized Android device could be very useful thanks to good multitasking, good notifications, and widgets. Is $200 enough of a price drop for you to buy one?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CES 2011: The Motorola Xoom Tablet

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 03:00 PM

CES 2011 is the first event that Motorola is officially showing off their Xoom tablet at, and it looks like an impressive device. I wasn't able to get more than a few seconds of hands-on time with it, but the fit and finish was solid - I think this is going to be a real competitor to the iPad. The specs include:

  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb
  • 10.1 inch display
  • Dual Core 1 Ghz CPU NVIDIA Tegra 2
  • 1GB RAM
  • 32 GB inbuilt memory with microSD Card slot
  • 10 hr video playback battery life
  • 5 MP Rear camera with Flash and 720p HD video capture
  • 2MP video calling camera
  • Wifi(n) Bluetooth 2.1, 3G , 4G

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CES 2011: The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Demo

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 03:30 PM

This is a very brief demo of the Lenovo IdeaPad U1, an interesting tablet/laptop hybrid computer. The screen detaches and you have an Android 2.2-based tablet computer, and when you dock it with the main chassis, you have a full-fleged Windows 7 computer. I think it's great to see companies pushing the envelope of what's possible with computer designs like this - we need more of that in an industry where, all too often, companies are afraid to experiment in case they fail. My hat is off to Lenovo for stepping out with this design.

Engadget has further details on the product that, while originally was announces at CES 2010, seemed to become more official at CES 2011.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Here come the E FUN Nextbooks: Next4, Next5, Next6

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 06:30 PM

"E FUN, a consumer electronics designer and marketer of fun, easy-to-use lifestyle products, has integrated its patented APEN Digital pen with the new Nextbook Next5 Android tablet for a truly versatile communications duo!"

"E FUN, a consumer electronics designer and marketer of fun, easy-to-use lifestyle products, is pleased to announce the addition of two capacitive touch-screen models to its Nextbook Android tablets--the Next4 - 10.1" and Next6 - 7."

The NEXT5 tablet sports a 7-inch (non-capacitive?) screen, Wi-fi, Android 2.1, 2GB of memory, SD/SDHC card slot, an MP3 player, built-in speakers, photo viewer, and 25 pre-loaded e-books, as well a Borders' store app on-board. Availability is listed as April, 2011, with an MSRP of $279.99.

Also announced in a separate press release, two new capacitive screen models, the NEXT4 with a 10.1-inch screen and Android 2.2, and the NEXT6 with a 7-inch screen and Android 2.1. Specs mentioned for these two are similar to the NEXT5, with the intriguing addition of G-Sensor technology. Availability for both is listed simply as Q2 2011, and prices (MSRP) are $349.99 for the 10-inch NEXT4, and $269.99 for the NEXT6.

Interesting that the NEXT5 and the NEXT6 appear similar in configuration, with the NEXT5 offering the APEN digital pen for $10 more, but the NEXT6 offers G-Sensor technology. Also, the NEXT5 makes no mention of screen type, but the NEXT4 and NEXT6 press release explicitly mentions capacitive screens. It's a bit disappointing to read that Android 2.1 and 2.2 are the OSes of choice for these upcoming models.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Surf The Galaxy Tab at LTE Speed!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:00 PM

"With the Galaxy Tab only being on carrier’s shelves for a couple of months now, not too many expected the device to be iterated. But it looks like Verizon is getting the “most powerful” of all the Galaxy Tabs with an upgraded LTE version."

I keep hearing news about dual-core ARM processors. The RIM Playbook is supposed to feature one. The same with the iPad2. It comes as no surprise then that the single-core models would try and make the most out of what they have. A 20% faster clock speed is not too shabby. For a lot of the current apps out there though, I have to wonder just how much of a difference that makes. Web browsing is sure to be faster, but will Angry Birds be any more phenomenal with 2 more fps? Will Voice Search be more compelling if it is .2 seconds faster in recognizing your voice? Can you think of a reason the Galaxy Tab benefits from being just a bit faster?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

AOC Offers Up Its 8 Inch Breeze

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 12:00 PM

"But AOC has actually managed to make a fairly decent name for itself over the years, albeit one in the LCD industry. In fact, this here company claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of LED / LCD monitors, but it's tough to say how that type of expertise will translate in the tablet arena. The newly launched Breeze bucks two screen size trends and splits the difference -- there's an 8-inch touchpanel here, complete with an 800 x 600 screen resolution and a row of physical keys along the right edge."

The "low cost" tablet market sure is getting crowded these days. It seems like every manufacturer thinks they can put together some hardware, slap Android on it and it will see. I am also willing to bet that many of these tablets are the same under the hood, and just rebadged as it comes out of the factory. The Breeze does stand out a bit as instead of the more common 7" and 10" screen sizes, the Breeze comes in at a cool 8". Still, I think it is a welcome addition, especially since it should be available for under $200. Almost cheap enough to be an impulse buy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Could The Scribe Be A Tablet?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:30 PM

"It's an open secret at this point that HTC is almost certainly working on one or more tablets for introduction in 2011 -- and with heavyweights like Samsung, Motorola, and LG all playing the game (or about to play the game), really, how could they not?"

The USPTO (along with the FCC) seems to be a wonderful source for technological speculation. Whenever a company submits a documents, it usually it not long before enthusiasts unearth any details hidden in the filing. This time, HTC is the target and the prize is a tablet, possibly running on Android. HTC has a strong heritage in smartphones and is also no stranger to tablets and tablet like devices. With Samsung showing that Apple is not the only company capable of making a successful tablet, HTC might be able to produce yet another happy story for Android fans. Of course, while it might be Android based, I suspect that HTC's Sense UI may play a role.

Friday, December 31, 2010

What The Geeky Got for Gifts

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 05:30 PM

"If you got an iPad as a gift during the holidays, you certainly weren't alone. In a recent poll of holiday gift recipients, iPads accounted for a full 22.7% of all gadget or hardware gifts, making iPads the single largest category in our gift poll, outstripping the nearest runner-up by nearly 14% of votes. That runner-up was Amazon's Kindle - not surprising considering that the Kindle is the best-selling product in Amazon's history."

It's a relatively small sampling size - less than 2400 votes, and only from people who read Mashable - but among the geek-set, there are a couple of stand-out points: the iPad was the #1 gift, more people got Macs (60%) than Windows machines (40%), Android phones let the way in the smartphone category with a hefty 50.3% figure (iPhones were 30%), but Windows Phone 7 devices at 10.3% just eeked out Blackberry devices (9.4%). Not bad for a brand new platform that most people still haven't heard about! Lastly, the Xbox/Kinect one-two punch clobbered the PS3 with a 54.3% figure versus only 11.9% for the PS3. The Kinect really is driving the Xbox 360 to new heights of popularity!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Viewsonic ViewPad 7 Disappoints

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 03:00 AM

"At first glance, the ViewPad 7 looks like an iPad 4 that’s been taking injections of gadget growth hormone. Like the latest iPhone, ViewSonic’s tablet has rounded-off edges, a handsome metal band skirting its circumference, and a glossy black backing plate. From an industrial design perspective, it’s the slickest Android tablet we’ve tested. And, while the ViewPad 7 easily bests the Dell Streak and lesser Android tablets from a real-world use perspective, it falls short of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, and lags far behind the iPad."

I'm really having a hard time figuring why there hasn't been an awesome Android tablet yet. At least from my perspective, the requirements don't seem too stringent. Make it do the same thing my phone does, just in a larger package. You can also drop the 3G coverage and make it WiFi only as far as I'm concerned as I'll mostly be using it where there is a network or just tether it to my phone. Now come on, somebody get it done!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Archos Updates Their Androids for More Tablet Power

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"Whether it was the mediocre reviews or the competition coming up behind them, the French company knew it was time to step it up, and its Archos 70 and 101 attempt to right all those wrongs. The 7- and 10-inch tablet both have Android 2.2, 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processors, and capacitive screens. Oh, and don't forget the front-facing VGA cameras. With each ringing up at $299, has Archos finally mastered the art of the cheap tablet?"

Archos has been making tablets for quite some time, but not in the traditional sense. For a couple of years, their Portable Media Players have morphed into tablet-like devices, following trends seen in the iPod and other media devices. With Android maturing, they have thrown their lot in with Google and largely focused on building their media player empire on the platform. It sounds like a good idea, and it probably makes things a lot easier to develop, though I am curious how well they can differentiate themselves from the bazillion other Android based tablets out there. Their media software is sound, which is to be expected, but there are Android apps that offer significant codec support as well, so I guess it will come down to polish. Can Archos maintain itself as a premium media player company?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Motorola Tablet Teaser

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

What do you think? I like it and am looking forward to seeing Motorola's tablet. Are you waiting for a next-generation Android Tablet? What's one feature you would love to see in a new tablet with Honeycomb?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Microsoft: The Tablet Bridesmaid, Never the Bride?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:30 PM

"A decade ago Bill Gates, founder and former chief executive of Microsoft, presented a new class of computing to the world: a tablet PC that offered a fully functional computer with the "intuitive aspects of pencil and paper." Since then, Microsoft has struggled to gain traction with a slate-like device, yet each year the company announces new products, software or operating systems that try to promote a world of Windows-based slate computers."

Above: Bert Keely, a Microsoft software architect, shows a prototype of the first ‘Tablet PC' in 2000. Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

I'm trying not to unfairly jump to any conclusions yet, but here's what I predict I'll see at CES 2011: tablet/slate computers running Windows 7 that are heavier, slower, more expensive, and have significantly worse battery life than comparable iOS and Android slates. And that doesn't even factor in the user interface issues. Windows 7 is quite usable on a touch input basis...on a 20+ inch screen. On a 7 to 10 inch screen? Not so much. I'd love to be wrong, but I'll go out on a limb and say that Microsoft hasn't yet admitted to themselves that Windows is not the most appropriate operating system for lightweight slate devices.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Acer Slates Coming in Windows and Android Flavours

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"It looks like the tablet gold rush has another big prospector coming into town. At its global press event today in New York, Acer announced that it is launching three new consumer slates in 2011. Two of the slates, a 7-inch and a 10-inch will have the next version Android and arrive in April 2011, but are dependent on the release of Google’s next major update to its OS. Another 10-incher will have Windows 7 and arrive in February 2011."

With all these companies releasing tablets, you would think that they are a hot commodity. Truthfully, I am surprised that a lot of these announcements are coming out now and for release dates marked for next year. The holiday season is right upon us, and missing out on this critical time means that come February, a lot of people will already be brandishing their 10" silvery black toys and not be interested in whatever anyone else is offering, no matter how good, powerful or slick it might be. The Android versions will face even longer delays, most likely owing to the extra resolution these tablets offer.

Acer's 4.8-inch "Nameless" Smartphone (Tablet)

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android News" @ 12:00 AM

"Acer may be calling this "100 percent smartphone. 100 percent tablet," but something just doesn't add up there. That being said, we have to agree that a 1024x480 screen resolution on a 4.8-inch smartphone is downright drool-worthy. Clocking in at just a smidgen smaller than Dell's Streak, this here phone (no finalized name has been bestowed quite yet) was just revealed at Acer's Global press event in New York City."

Slightly smaller than the Dell Streak, Acer's newest curved-back Android offering sports a full metal body, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 2mp front-facing camera, 8mp rear camera with LED flash, 720p video recording, and an odd 21:9 aspect ratio. No information on phone capabilities, and no pricing information, but availability is listed at April 2011 - everywhere. Interested?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Viewsonic ViewPad 7 Unboxing

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:30 PM

"The ViewPad 7 gets unboxed!! In case you missed it, its got a 7-inch display capacitive touchscreen with 800×480 resolution, phone capabilities, front and back-facing cameras, 3G connectivity, a SIM card slot, and Android 2.2 "Froyo"."

Pretty good looking tablet, advertised as a Smart Pad with a Phone! Nice additions include SD and microSD slots. The ViewPad 7 ships with a case, with the case differing by geography. If you're in the UK, you can take part in Viewsonic's upgrade plan where you get up to £125 cash back when you trade in an old laptop, notebook or netbook. No additional solid details are available, like estimated price or availability in North America.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dell Goes Streaking With Rogers

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"With this rollout, Canada joins the UK, the United States, Australia and India to become the most recent country where we've officially launched it. What’s a Dell Streak? This unique pocket tablet offers some of the best on-the-go entertainment, navigation and social connectivity in a pocket friendly size."

For those of you who looking for some tablet love but do not want to go with an iPad, there are plenty of options, among which, the Streak seems to be gaining a lot of attention. The good? It offers a lot of tablet-like goodness. The bad? It is an interesting size which might not suit a lot of people. It is also curiously sticking with Android 1.6. The worst? It is only available through Rogers in Canada. I will not object to Rogers as a provider, though like any provider in Canada, I have heard numerous complaints, but it would have been nice to see it available through other providers as well. Still, with the holidays soon approaching, I expect that I will be seeing quite a few of these around town. Of course, one does not really need an excuse to get a new toy, right?

Monday, November 8, 2010

CherryPal CherryPad is Far From Cherry

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 03:00 AM

"The CherryPad's $188 price may seem low, but even that amount of money isn't pocket change that you can just throw away on a product that you won't enjoy using. Even assuming CherryPal can get the Android Market working again on this device, the sluggish performance and frustrating touchscreen would make this tablet a poor value at any price. If you're looking for a low-cost tablet, you may want to consider the Nook Color eReader (which isn't a tablet but can surf the Web for $249), go for an iPod touch, or shop around for an affordable Android slate with a more responsive capacitive screen. Ultimately, you're better off saving up for a Galaxy Tab or an iPad."

While this looks like an improvement from the Augen tablet I checked out a few months back, it still doesn't look ready for prime-time. But, we are getting closer to the dream of an affordable and highly functional Android tablet, so be excited, I know I am.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Creative Ziio Tablets Shout "Me Too!" to the World

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 06:00 PM

"Somewhere in the world, Creative just announced a pair of 7-inch (480 x 800) and 10-inch (1024 x 768) Ziio tablets running the Android 2.1 OS. Both feature a ZiiLabs ZMS-08 processor, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, WiFi 802.11b/g, and microSD expansion."

Another vendor jumps on the bandwagon with a pair of Android 2.1 tablets. Creative has announced 7-inch and 10-inch tablets scheduled to ship in December 2010. According to many of the comments, the resistive screen technology is a big negative, but I think, if done right, they can be used in all types of weather, and offers a great deal of precision. Interesting that the commenters seem surprised that the tablet may be targeted to China, and 1.5-billion potential buyers (who prefer resistive technology for writing). Critics seem to be scared of the great numbers of tablets flooding the market, at all price points, but in my opinion, choice is good, and consumers will vote with their wallets.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NOOKcolor Packs Android Goodness, Odd Capitalization

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 11:00 AM

"NOOKcolor, built on Android, is a full-color touch device dedicated to reading that opens up a whole new world of digital reading materials. NOOKcolor provides access to the largest ebookstore with an unprecedented selection of over two million digital titles-all just a single search away. Plus, digital content - from bestsellers to favorite magazines in full color, and interactive children's picture books to enhanced cookbooks - has never looked better than on NOOKcolor's stunning 7-inch VividView Color Touchscreen."

Well well well... here we have a color eReader, although obviously not using eInk. The NOOKcolor (For some reason I think the C should be capitalized, but hey, what do I know). You can pre-order it for $249 now, and it should be shipping sometime around November 17, although given B&N's track record, don't hold your breath. Not a bad looking product though, and I do know a few NOOK lovers, so perhaps this will make the experience even better for the B&N crowd!

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