Laptop Thoughts: News & Reviews on Laptops, Netbooks, Slates, and More.

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All posts tagged "tablet pc"

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.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kno Textbook Tablet Priced

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:30 AM

"The company says its flagship tablet textbook is still on track for release by the end of this year -- with limited available, at least -- tagged at $899 for the original double-screen model and $599 for the single-screener."

As much as I love my Kindle, I really don't think it would work very well in the academic setting for a lot of subjects, so there is certainly room for a tablet/ebook reader specifically designed for the educational setting. In a perfect world, I'd like to see this combined with the work of one of the many open source textbook projects so the cost of the device could at least be offset by the use of free content.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Making Windows 7 More Tablet Friendly

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Laptop Thoughts Software" @ 04:00 AM

"As someone who believes in open platforms and user choice, I want Windows 7 to compete in the tablet space. After all, there are millions of applications that run under Microsoft’s desktop OS and there’s no app store gate keeper to stop anyone from writing and distributing software. Unfortunately, as I (and others) have seen on a number of tablets lately, the Windows 7 UI just doesn’t work well with finger input. On the bright side, we hear that Microsoft is working on a more touch-friendly interface for Windows, which is supposed to be based on the “big buttons” of Media Center."

This article is spot on. I just picked up a new netbook that converts into a tablet and runs Windows 7. After messing around a bit with the tablet functionality, I don't think I'll be making much use of it. This article hits the main reasons, and it was a relief to see that these are legitimate issue with the OS, not just that I wasn't using it correctly or hadn't read the manual type issues.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

HP Slate 500 Tablet PC Finally Appears - With Windows 7 Professional!

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Slate" @ 10:00 PM

"Nope, you're not dreaming, but feel free to pinch yourself, rub your eyes or take a cold shower! You've read right -- the HP Slate is finally official, and after all the teasing, back and forth, and (very recent) leaks, the Atom-powered, Windows 7 Slate will finally see the light of day -- though in a different way than originally intended."

The long-awaited HP Slate may be available soon, starting at $799. At 1.5-pounds (0.68kg), the Slate sports an 8.9-inch capacitive screen at 1024x600 resolution, 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD, Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator for 1080p video, Windows 7 Professional, a Wacom active digitizer, front-facing VGA camera, and a 3MP back camera. Also a USB port, and a CONTROL + ALT + DELETE key, vital for Windows. With a rubberized back and metal edges, it has a very substantial feel, but still, some quirks, like a slide-out Windows license, and a digitizer, but no place on the Slate to hold the included stylus. This is intended for business and enterprise users, so no additional touch layers, tweaks or skins, but we expect that it will be available for consumer purchase from HP. No information on availability other than that it'll be released in the U.S. first, with other markets to be evaluated. A bit smaller than the iPad, it should run -business software- (like Microsoft Office) that is lacking on other tablets. Looks pretty good to me, but I do wonder about battery life.

EDIT: 22 OCT 2010. I just ordered an HP Slate 500 from HP's Online Store. Expected ship date is 12 NOV 2010. I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

60 Days With The iPad; Now What?

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Tablet
Manufacturer: Apple
Where to Buy: [Affiliate]
Price: $779 USD (tested)
System Requirements: iTunes 9.1 or later, MAC or PC with available USB port.
Specifications: 9.7-inch Multi-Touch display, 64GB, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1, 3G GSM/EDGE ATT only, 1.6 pounds (0.73 kg), 9.56 inches by 7.74 inches. Features vary by model.


  • Extreme geek appeal;
  • Convenient, fun and easy to use;
  • Mail, Synchronization;
  • Great battery life.


  • Expensive;
  • Heavy;
  • ATT fees;
  • Limited productivity.

Summary: If you liked Star Trek, you had no choice, you had to get an iPad; and so did I. As I exited the Apple store with my big flashy bag in hand, I made the whooshing sound of the Enterprises' automated doors, and headed home knowing my life had just changed. 60 days later, I am left wondering - Now what? It's not that it's not a useful device - it is. It's not that it's not fun - it certainly can be. But I find myself constantly trying to justify it in a sea of laptops, netbooks, and e-readers. If this sounds like blasphemy, perhaps it is. Or, perhaps I've been able to avoid being sucked into the reality distortion field broadcast from Cupertino, and into space? Let's investigate.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Archos Android Tablet Line Up

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Archos Tablets" @ 03:00 AM

""How do you tablet?" Oh yes, that's Archos' new tag line when it comes to its growing number of Android tablets. Good timing since, you know, it just went ahead and released a quintuplet of new gadgets. The offerings range from small PMP-like devices with 2.8- and 3.2-inch screens to higher-end 4.3-, 7- and 10.1-inch tablets. All will ship with Android 2.2 "Froyo" and will include accelerometers, while only some have capacitive touchscreens, front-facing cameras and 1GHz processors."

OK Archos, it looks like you've got the hardware down. The 7" tablet is at a price point I'm comfortable with. But, I'm spoiled. At this point, I'm going to require the Android market on any device I buy. So, this leaves me with fingers crossed that Gingerbread opens up the market to tablet devices.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Peek at the Toshiba Folio 100

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

"We just got to handle the Folio 100, after witnessing it bolted to a wall earlier, and we have to admit that it's lighter and thinner than it looks at first glance. Unfortunately, it still feels pretty cheap, and we're not sure how much we trust ourselves one-handing something this large and fragile seeming. Our brief glimpse of Toshiba's custom skin on here was most depressing -- it's not final, but we're not sure why Toshiba is even bothering showing anything in this abysmal state."

Toshiba appears to want some of the hot Slate action that has been sparked by the release of the iPad. The Toshiba Folio 100 (Not to be confused with the failed project known as the Palm Foleo) seems to be rushed and the lack of the Android Market pretty much makes the Folio a really limited device. Granted, the Android Market still has a lot of catching up to do when compared to the App Store. Still, I think manufacturers are missing out on the point that the hardware and pre-loaded software alone is not good enough in today's environment. The whole package, meaning hardware, software and online stuff (Apps, browsing, etc.) need to all blend together into a compelling experience. Until someone else comes out with a competing device that takes all of these into account, Apple will continue to dominate the headlines and sales for these kinds of devices.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Android Tablet Prototype Costs $50 per Unit

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 08:30 AM

"Sure, the government of India thinks it can produce a Google Android tablet that will cost just $35 (when you order a million units), but Indian company Allgo has designed a prototype that is says could be built for just $50 — without requiring a government-sized order to bring costs down."

These kind of numbers really don't surprise me. Given that the US retail cost for the Augen tablet was $150, these prices don't seem too far out. Given that a tablet device can be made at such low price points, I wonder if an Android based iPod touch like device will also be forthcoming at a low price. Something dirt cheap with the ability to run apps and access the internet would certainly have a market.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Asustek Readying Several (Android and Windows) Tablets

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 08:30 AM

"Asustek Computer plans to launch its first tablet device with Google's Android mobile operating system in March, the company's CEO said Friday. The Android tablet will be the third in the Eee Pad family and will cost less than US$399, said Jerry Shen, CEO of Asustek, speaking to reporters after the company's second quarter earnings conference.

"Asustek will launch its first tablet device in December or January, a 12-inch touchscreen tablet that will cost around US$1,000, Shen said. What makes the device more expensive than, say, the iPad, is that it comes with a docking station that transforms it into a laptop computer ... The device, officially called the Eee Pad EP121, has Microsoft's Windows 7 Home Premium operating system and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor inside."

The competition is heating up! Of particular interest to business users may be Windows versions that may allow "enterprise-class" applications. Also mentioned is a version with a 10-inch screen that runs Windows Embedded Compact 7 software, that ships without a docking station and should be priced between $399 and $499. Of course, a lot may change in the upcoming months, but the future looks bright for tablets!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

HP Slate To Morph Into Best Buy Rocketfish Tablet?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 07:30 PM

"Well, look at that. A Rocketfish tablet. Can't say we saw this coming, but Best Buy's CTO and Geek Squad founder, Robert Stephens, just tweeted two pics of the surprisingly polished-looking tablet. We're currently digging for more details but from what we can tell from the pics, the tablet looks remarkable similar to early HP Slate pics. Every seem and port seems to be the same right down to the (docking?) port on the bottom. Even if it's not built on the same platform, the screen sizes look about the same, placing the Rocketfish tablet in the 9-inch range."

Very interesting! Ever wonder what happens to a technology product that doesn't quite make the grade with the original concept/manufacturer? The Rocketfish branding is used by Best Buy for other hardware, so the tablet may be using Windows 7, or even webOS. Speculation is that the HP Slate 500 is destined to be the enterprise offering, so is this the consumer version? Back in early July 2010, Stephens also tweeted that HP was working on an Android tablet, so we'll just have to wait to learn more, if this does indeed turn out to be true. In any case, it appears that Best Buy will be a player in the nascent tablet market. What do you all think, does this sound plausible?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Macallan Coming Soon to Windows 7 Tablet

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Laptop Thoughts Software" @ 03:00 AM

A lot of the UI certainly seem to be pulled from the Zune/Media Center interface, at least as a strong inspiration. But the peel back/page turn does look kind of interesting. They say we will see this in quarter 3 of 2010 from a major manufacturer. Given that we are already 1/3 of the way in, I find that kind of doubtful.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ASUS EeePad 101TC Tablet To Run Android, Not Windows

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Asus Laptops & Netbooks" @ 04:00 PM

"In another ding against Windows 7‘s ability to play ball in the tablet arena, the ASUS Eee Pad 101TC, an iPad-league device slated to run a scaled down version of Windows called Embedded Compact 7, will now land on the streets with an Android operating system instead."

Seems like Windows Embedded Compact 7 needs more horsepower than currently available in this generation of tablets (Intel Atom) so Android seems to be the choice for this and other devices competing with the iPad. Using Android should also lower the price a bit, in May 2010 the expected price was 'under $500' with Windows EC7. Shipping is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2011.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

HP tm2 Laptop Reviewed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 07:00 AM

This is my review video of the HP tm2 laptop [affiliate] - also known as a tablet PC because of the touch screen, though it's worth pointing out that HP doesn't use that term anymore. My unboxing and first impressions video is here if you haven't already watched it. The exact model I'm reviewing is the 1070ca, on loan to me for a few weeks from HP Canada. The exact model and configuration will change depending on where you are in the world, but the basics are the same. Read more...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Microsoft Still Pursuing Windows 7 Based Slates

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 02:00 PM

"No worries, guys, because Microsoft is “hardcore” about tablets. Well, “hardcore” about Windows 7-based slate computers. So said Steve Ballmer at its Worldwide Partners Conference in Seattle. Microsoft says that its big strength here is that it consumers will have a wide variety of choice when it comes to buying a Windows-based tablet. That’s opposed, of course, to a certain other company’s tablet offering that is available in any color, so long as it’s black. You know what I mean."

Quit talking and get something done. I want a slate that is not an iPad and I want it now. Earlier this year I fully expected to have an HP product running Windows 7 in my hands by now, but we all know how that went. At this point, I'm kind of expecting that I'll be owning an Android based slate by the end of the year unless Microsoft and their partner get their butts in gear.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Entry-level Fujitsu TH700 Tablet PC

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 12:00 PM

"Regular reader Acerbic, in following up my review of the Fujitsu Lifebook T900, ran across a new product listing tucked into the Fujitsu site over the weekend: the Lifebook TH700..."

Full-featured, a bit chunky, and considered to be an "entry level" Tablet PC. Fujitsu appears to be positioning this PC as a direct competitor to the HP TouchSmart TM2, at a slightly higher price point, but with slightly better specifications.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What Direction Should Microsoft Take in the Tablet Space?

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Laptop Thoughts Software" @ 03:00 AM

"Both Forrester Research and IDC analysts are banging the Microsoft tablet drum. They believe Microsoft can compete with the likes of Android, iOS/iPad, WebOS, but they need hardware partners in order to be successful — and there in lies the problem. HP is going full stream with WebOS after their decision to shelve its Windows Slate device (at least for now), Dell has been busy developing their own tablets running Android, and Lenovo has recently shifted to Android for its hybrid tablet/nettops."

In the past, Microsoft hasn't wanted to directly compete with the hardware partners selling their software. But if their normal hardware partners are not going to go after the tablet hardware space using Microsoft software, I think Microsoft should not have any qualms about going it alone. Market it as a consumer entertainment device, perhaps an expansion of the Zune/Xbox experience and grow from there.

Friday, June 11, 2010

HP's tm2 Laptop: Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:40 PM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the HP tm2 laptop [affiliate] - also known as a tablet PC because of the touch screen, though it's worth pointing out that HP doesn't use that term anymore. The exact model I'm reviewing is the 1070ca, on loan to me for a few weeks from HP Canada. The exact model and configuration will change depending on where you are in the world, but the basics are the same. Read more...

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