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All posts tagged "tablet"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Tab Review: Best of the Android Bunch

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 12:30 AM

"The Galaxy Tab is the most refined Android tablet we've tested, in large part thanks to its "Super TFT" screen. At 1024x600, this 7-inch display exceeds Android 2.2's maximum screen resolution of 854x480. While Android apps built to that standard spec will be "upscaled" on the Tab's screen, we didn't notice any ugly pixel interpolation during testing."

Still the best of the Android bunch, the Galaxy Tab does a great job taking Android where it wasn't really meant to go - yet. The inevitable comparisons to the iPad go on and on, with this generation of Android tablets still coming up second best. I'd love to get a Galaxy Tab, but, at about $600 off-contract, I'll have to wait until the new year. Do any of you readers think that a non-Apple competitor to the iPad will appear in 2011?

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?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sneak Peek At Viewsonic's G Tablet and Tegra 2

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 03:00 PM

"The slate computing market is about to explode, with a literal flood of new tablets releasing over the coming months. Many of them will be Android based, running Nvidia's Tegra 2 SoC."

Here's a preview of Viewsonic's new G Tablet and the performance of Tegra 2. The tablet boasts a 10 inch WSVGA screen, Tegra 2 SoC and Android 2.2. Also included along with the preview is a comparison with the Galaxy Tab. Take a look and let us know which one you would be more interested in!

Notion Ink To Offer Pre-orders For Their Adam Tablet

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

"The most awaited day has finally arrived! It took some time, but now when as we look back, it seems more than worth it. This is a rather detailed post and I will try to answer most of your questions. And there is a LOT to share."

Notion Ink is taking pre-orders for their new tablet, the Adam, starting on December 10th with general pre-ordering opening at 6 AM IST. Looks as if prices are starting at $375 and it's operating system is very close to honeycomb. Their specs website says that it is running honeycomb, but it may actually be closer to gingerbread. If anyone finds out, let us know!

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...

Samsung Gloria: 10-inch Tablet Running Windows 7?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 12:30 AM

"According to rumors originally posted on Blogeee, Samsung is set to launch a 10-inch tablet in March or April, 2011. The device, called Gloria, is said to boast a full slide-out keyboard."

As Blogeee asks, Fini les Galaxy Tab? Is a replacement already lined up? All rumors to this point, but Samsung has had a tablet with a keyboard back in 2007, the split-keyboard Q1 Ultra, so it isn't beyond the realm of possibility. Another rumor speculates that Samsung is also developing a custom UI to make Windows more touch-friendly. No additional details are available, but a guesstimate of availability is March/April 2011.

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?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Price Comparison Chart For the Samsung Galaxy Tab

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 03:30 PM,281...,2372723,00.asp

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet will soon be available on five major carriers in the U.S., and while the various models aren't the same, they're similar enough to give similar experiences. They're all priced differently, so if you're interested in an Android tablet, take a look at our chart."

Hopefully, this price comparison chart will help you decide where to buy your Samsung Galaxy Tab. The chart shows pricing for the Tab with a two year agreement or no contract, as well as the cost of data over two years. Depending on how much data you will use with the device, you may profit more by going with a different carrier than you normally use.

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!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ring, Ring: Samsung Tab Has Phone Capabilities On T-Mobile After Flashing

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

"...We now have the US TMobile Galaxy Tab making/receiving phone calls."

The T-mobile Samsung Tab in the US can make and receive phone calls if you flash it. The ability to make phone calls would make this one handy device! Would you consider flashing your Tab to have the ability to use the phone?

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?

Joojoo Tablet is Dead - That Was Sure Fast!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:44 AM

"Fusion Garage told us yesterday that its Joojoo tablet is at "its end of life" and that it is working on several new devices to be released next year. The new devices will have new hardware and will run on a new Android-based operating system developed by Fusion Garage."

Photo Credit: Engadget

I think Fusion Garage should have called their tablet "Fruitfly" instead, because it had the lifespan of one. There's one lesson to be learned here as the opening round of the tablet wars open: everyone is tossing out products, but unless you want to have an orphaned product, you should be careful about what you invest in.

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.

Archos 43 Tablet Features Android 2.2

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 05:30 PM

"A connected AndroidTM palm-sized tablet A simple tap. Just a simple tap on the home screen of the ARCHOS 43 internet tablet and you'll be accessing all the major functions you need throughout the day wherever you are: HD video playback, HD camcorder, apps, emails and full Internet browsing. It's as simple as a tap."

An ideal form factor for carrying in a pocket at 4.3-inches, light at 4.6-ounces (130g), and sporting a ARM Cortex A8 processor with DSP at 1 GHz, as well as 3D OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration, this Wi-fi only tablet seems like quite a bargain at $249.99. With Android 2.2 (Froyo) already on-board, and a 720p video camera (camcorder), it seems that the only thing lacking is access to the Android Market. Archos' own AppLib store is offered, but is really no replacement. Reviews have been good, but many tablet seekers seem to be waiting for the larger Archos 101, already on sale in Europe ( link ), and rumored to be available soon in the US for $299.

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!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tegatech Tega v2 10.1-inch Tablet Running Windows/Android

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:00 PM

"We haven't seen many -- okay, any -- Windows 7 slates from major manufactures (i.e. HP, Lenovo, ASUS) like Steve Ballmer promised back in July, but one thing is for certain, smaller companies aren't just sitting around waiting for the other shoe, er slates to drop. We've already gotten our hands on products from the likes of CTL and Netbook Navigator, but Australian-based Tegatech also wants a piece of the large touchscreen pie with its 10.1-inch Tega v2."

As the reviewer mentions, this tablet is "pretty much a netbook that has lost its keyboard." Decent specs: an Intel Atom N455 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD that boots Windows 7 Home Premium, 0.5-inch / 1.9-pounds. And it boots alternatively into Android, but unfortunately V1.6. The aluminum back makes the Tega feel a bit like an iPad, except for the cheesy plastic buttons. Viewsonic's ViewPad happens to be using the same chassis. The 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen works well, and is a fingerprint magnet. The consensus here is that Windows 7 just isn't a tablet OS (yet). Even with the Thinix Touch extensions, it doesn't quite hit the mark.

Quirks abound on the tablet, especially irritating is (according to the review) accidently turning WiFi off and on by using the back button on the tablet. I'm really looking forward to Windows tablets, but they don't appear to be there quite yet.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Archos Android Tablets Now Have A Real Marketplace

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Android News" @ 10:30 AM

"Our biggest complaint about the variety of Archos tablets? The lack of the Android Market, of course. But while you've been able to sideload the Market apk on lots of these devices, there were apparently compatibility issues with Archos' new Android 2.1 / 2.2 tablets (like the Archos 32 we reviewed just a few weeks). But fear not: ArchosFans to the rescue!"

There may be a huge range of Android tablets and phones out there right now, but a depressing amount of them have been castrated by the lack of access to the Android Market. Some companies have tried are are trying to go their own way, such as Archos, Verizon, etc. However, those attempts find a much more limited selection of tools and toys. Part of what has made the iPhone the success that it is now is the app store. A simple, central location to get new programs and games and a fart app for any occasion. Without the Market, I find any Android device a lot less compelling to own. How about you? Is access to the Android Market a consideration when you get an Android based phone or tablet?

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