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All posts tagged "slate"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CES 2011: Kno Tablet, Interview with Babur Habib, Co-Founder and CTO

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:15 PM

We've talked about the Kno here before, and it's now a shipping product - I was excited to see it in person. I was surprised at the size and weight, although when you consider the size of the screens, the weight is quite reasonable. And when you consider the weight of an average college/university book bag, it's practically lightweight. Check out the video for more details - I thought it was really interesting that the cost of the Kno is made up for within two years by cost savings on the digital copies of the books. I have a sister that's going to school for a second degree - I wonder how this would work for someone like her? More information is available at

CES 2011: Dell's Press Conference Announcing the Dell Streak 7, Venue Phone, and Other New Hardware

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 04:00 PM

For full-screen viewing, click click on the video above and watch it on YouTube.

This is a video shot in Las Vegas at CES 2011, the Consumer Electronics Show. This is the first time the Dell Streak 7 has been officially unveiled, along with the Dell Venue, and the un-named 10 inch tablet. Other announced hardware includes a 3D version of the XPS 17 laptop, a new Alienware Aurora desktop PC, a new XPS 8300 desktop PC, and a few other odds and ends. The press conference was almost an hour long, so I tried to include only the interesting parts. Enjoy!

CES 2011: Dell Teases 10 Inch Tablet

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Streak" @ 03:30 PM

Click over to the YouTube version for a full screen option.

I have a longer video of the Dell CES 2011 press conference coming up, but I wanted to put this short video out first: Dell has become known for showing an early prototype device for a few seconds at each of their CES press event, and true to form, they showed off a 10 inch tablet - it looked similar in design to the current generation of Dell Streak, but the focus seemed to be on business/enterprise use, so it might not ship under that brand. Nice to see Dell is fleshing out the tablet line-up though!

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

Everki Track Laptop Messenger Bag

Posted by Chris Baxter in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

Product Category: Laptop Bag
Manufacturer: Everki
Where to Buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
Price: $59.99
Specifications: Length: 16.54 in., Width: 7.09 in., Height: 12.99 in., Weight 1.98 lbs.


  • Handy compartment designed for Apple iPad or any other similar sized tablet computer;
  • Lots of additional compartments to store other electronics, including power cords;
  • Small enough in size to take anywhere, yet can hold a lot more equipment than you would think.
  • Clasps on front flap are difficult to manage while on the move;
  • The bag only accommodates up to a 15.6" laptop.

Summary: The Everki Track Laptop Messenger Bag, is a bag with a twist. It comes with a compartment especially designed to carry an Apple iPad. Given the wildly popular reception the iPad has received since its debut, there have been a lot of products designed to carry and protect it, but this is the first time I have seen a solution designed into a laptop bag, and that makes it rather unique. While some people might argue that the whole reason they bought an iPad was to ditch their laptop, for other people, myself included, that just isn't realistic. As handy as my iPad is, there are just some things that are done more efficiently with a laptop. So how do I easily carry both? Everki attempts to answer that question with their Track Laptop Bag. Just how successful are they? Let's see!


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.

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!

Friday, December 31, 2010

2011: Year of the Tablet?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 12:00 PM,281...,2374757,00.asp

"The sheer multitude of tablets seems to multiply like gremlins, and many of the products are equipped with operating systems that have a few gremlins of their own. CES 2011, nonetheless, will be remembered as the opening bell for the year of the tablet. Thus far, only two true contenders, Apple's iPad and Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Tab, have emerged as viable, enviable tablets. In about a week, that will all change…maybe."

The success of the Apple iPad has turned everyone's attention to slates and we are not just talking about the big boys either. It seems that everyone and their cousin is coming out with some cheap tablet, and much of the time, it is just a rebranded cheap stock model running an older version of Android and offers questionable quality. Slowly, we are seeing some credible competitors and Honeycomb cannot come fast enough. Of course, there will probably also be a few companies insisting on cramming a traditional OS into a tablet. The scattergun approach may prove beneficial in the long run though. While the iPad is an incredible device, the experimentation (along with immitation) may see other interesting concepts see the light of day, and maybe bloom.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

ASUS Eee Note EA800 Note-Taking Tablet

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:30 PM

"One of the most unique devices of 2010, the ASUS Eee Note EA800 is an 8-inch 64-shade grayscale slate that's designed to focus squarely on one important but often-ignored task: note-taking. Unlike popular consumer tablets such as the iPad and Galaxy Tab, which offer colorful multitouch-capable screens and thousands of apps, the Eee Note uses a stylus and a proprietary OS to focus on providing a better writing and drawing experience. Right now, the $250 device is only being sold in Taiwan, where it hit store shelves earlier this month."

I think 2011 is going to be there year of 1000 tablet launches, in all shapes, sizes, and functionalities...and by the end of the year most of them will be abandoned. Companies want to see what "sticks" with the market, so they're throwing a bunch of darts at the dartboard and hoping one will hit a bullseye. For me, the Eee Note EA800 is a miss - but maybe in some vertical markets (education, etc.) it might be a hit. You?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hands on with the MSI Windpad 100W

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:30 PM

"MSI had a CES preview yesterday in Taipei and we got our hands on the MSI Windpad 100W their 10 inch Windows 7 tablet. Not much has changed with the Windpad since we saw it at Computex in June, the build quality still feels like a prototype and the processor is the Intel Atom Z530, which is old school hardware. MSI claims that this is the highest they could go with out installing a fan. True, but i'm not sure who would want to buy it when its thick and outdated."

MSI, like a lot of other laptop/netbook vendors are trying to jump onto the tablet/slate bandwagon - but they're doing it in what seems to be a slapdash fashion, cramming netbook hardware into a slate form-factor and hoping for the best. That's not going to stand up to the competition that's out there today, let alone what's coming in 2011.

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?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Details Leak on Dell's Forthcoming 7 Inch Streak

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Streak" @ 05:30 PM

"The last few days have seen a succession of leaked photos and ads for the Dell Streak 7, the company's upcoming tablet. Engadget first published stills from an upcoming ad for the 7-inch tablet, and according to the images, you can expect a similar design to the 5-inch Dell Streak and the same Dell Stage UI running the latest version of Android 2.2."

Dell's five-inch Streak has garnered a few decent reviews, but in the end I think five inches isn't big enough for an ideal tablet experience. Despite what Mr. Jobs might think about seven inch slates, I think it's an ideal size that blends a fairly portable size (think jacket pocket) with a reasonable screen size. I personally think a seven inch slate is the ideal size for my needs; I'm hoping something will catch my eye at CES!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ASUS To Release 12-inch Eee Pad EP121 Windows Tablet at CES

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 12:48 PM

A 12 inch screen on a slate device? With a Core i5 processor? Hmm. That's a big screen to power, with a powerful CPU, which means a heavy draw on power compared to other tablets on the market. But this is a "real" computer, running Windows 7, so perhaps this is the type of device we've been waiting for? I just can't imagine that the battery life is going to be more than five hours without it becoming quite heavy.

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.

The Creative ZiiO 7" Entertainment Tablet

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 02:50 PM

"The new Creative ZiiO 7" entertainment tablet is the next evolution in wireless digital entertainment and mobile computing. Extremely compact, portable and lightweight, you don't have to think twice about taking it along wherever you go - the café, on the train or simply lounging on your sofa.Unlike conventional tablets that offer mediocre sound, the ZiiO 7" does not compromise on audio quality. A touch of an onscreen button instantly launches the Pure Android Audio* application to offer audio-enhancing options including X-Fi, apt-X and Bluetooth® connectivity. With this unique application, you'll enjoy the highest quality wireless audio streamed from an Android tablet to compatible Bluetooth speakers or headphones."

Creative must be glad this whole "tablet/slate" thing hit, because it gives them a chance to become relevant again - let's face it, it's been a while since they had a really cool product out. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Creative, even though their PR people have a 100% rate of ignoring me every time I contact them...but I digress.

$269 for a 16 GB tablet with a seven inch screen is pretty decent - I wonder how good the screen will be? It's resistive though, which isn't a good sign...still, I'm going to have a serious look at this tablet come CES time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The ASUS Eee Note EA800 Unboxed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:13 PM

"The EA800 was released at IT Month 2010 in Taiwan on December 4th. We've managed to get our hands on the ereader on steriods and flashed it with the english operating system courtesy of ASUS. The 8-inch device is equipped with a Marvell processor, Linux operating system and supports Wi-Fi, shorthand writing and camera functions. The device also has a 3700mAh battery to provide a run-time of 10 hours per charge with wifi on, 13 hours with wifi off and 10 days of standby time. As any good student focused device should be capable of supporting a variety of e-book formats such as TXT, PDF and EPUB."

Take a Kindle, give it a larger touch screen, then give it some apps and you have something sort of like the ASUS Eee Note EA800...though it's bigger and heavier of course. The price point is around $200, which is quite low when you compare the capabilities of the EA800 to other eBook readers - but once you watch the lack of speed in launching apps, the price point makes more sense. I'm not sure how much of a market there is for a device like this, even amongst students - what do you think?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Video Walkthrough of the RIM Playbook

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 12:00 PM

"We promised a hands on demo video of the BlackBerry PlayBook, and that's what you're going to get from us - almost 10 minutes of 1080p joy. As we said previously, we were pretty impressed seeing the PlayBook demo'd in person right in front of us, and well, we could go on for days."

The Playbook is looking like a real-deal competitor to the iPad - but only in terms of hardware. The harder piece is the ecosystem of developers making apps, and entertainment companies providing content. That's not an easy problem to solve...

Monday, November 29, 2010

When is an iPad not an iPad?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"The iPad, without doubt, energized a genre by pretty much redefining it. Of course, that energy is boosted by competition and nowhere is this stronger than the small army of Android-powered tablets that are now available for the seasonal shopper."

If anyone mentions the word tablet these days, most people will immediately think iPad. Slate tablets have definitely been around a long time, but the recent generation of tablets are unlike anything we have seen. While the iPad continues to dominate, there are many competitors which might be worth your consideration. Based on the reviews and comments from Daniweb, there seems to be many limitations to the current crop of Android tablets, and it may be best to wait for them to start supporting to newer Android OS versions which are much more tablet friendly. These tablets also seem to be lacking support for the Android Market, which pretty much means that that lovely tablet you just bought is likely to offer very little in terms of what you can do with it. If you must go Android though, the Froyo tablets are your best bet as they will give you as close to a full Internet experience as can be had. Otherwise, look towards the Fruit for your tablet needs.

Dell Inspiron Duo is a Delight

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:00 AM

"The Dell Inspiron Duo, the company’s first convertible netbook won’t ship until mid-December, but we had a chance to spend some quality time with a preproduction unit today. After a few hours of fooling with the 10.1-inch, $550 slate’s unique swivel screen and Dell’s custom UI layer for Windows 7, we’re encouraged and eager to see what the final build holds."

I find it amusing that with all the rage that slate tablets are, there is plenty of talk about docks for them which include keyboards. Docks, which in some ways, defeat the purpose and benefits of what slates offer over their convertible brethren. Deep within the recesses of my mind, a memory whispers that the flip style screen has been done long before in the form of the Vadem Clio, and it would not surprise me that even older designs have existed. What is nice is to see that Dell has added an extra interface for use with the Duo when in slate mode. I do not know if it is enough to cover up the underpinnings that is Windows 7, but it shows that manufacturers are recognizing that touch and keyboard/mouse interfaces are separate entities. Now if they would only offer slightly more graphical horsepower, this thing would be a surefire hit.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

RIM Playbook vs. the iPad in Browser Performance Tests

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:17 AM

Keeping in mind of course that this is a video from RIM, it's still hard to dismiss the differences shown in the video - the Playbook appears to handily beat the iPad in terms of browser performance. But performance isn't everything; it needs to be balanced off against battery life. The iPad has a single core Cortex A8 processor at 1 Ghz; the RIM Playbook has two cores, possibly based on the Cortex A9 processor. So while it performance faster, it might also chew through battery life faster - until the final specs are known, and independent battery tests can be performed, it's too early to make a call. Still, things are looking good for the RIM Playbook!

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