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All posts tagged "tablet"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It Didn't Take Long. Root Your Kindle Fire Now!

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:00 AM

"The solution comes courtesy of a user lovingly known as "death2all11o," who posted the "1-click' recipe to Android Forums earlier today."

If you bought the Kindle Fire hoping to get full access to the OS to "make the device yours" you don't need to wait anymore! Now there is a documented method for rooting this nifty $200 e-reader.

Updated: I just saw that if you root the Kindle Fire you will not be able to use Amazon streaming video.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ASUS Transformer Prime: Ready to Challenge the iPad 2

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Asus Eee PC Transformer" @ 10:00 AM

"This morning I sat in on a conference with ASUS about their upcoming Tegra 3-based Transformer Prime tablet. The event covered everything you and I need to know about the tablet, as well as a few surprises."

Reading about the improved specs on the Transformer Prime, it seems like the iPad's competitors are really raising their game. Thin, improved processing power with a quad-core Tegra 3, a great IPS+ 1280x800 gorilla glass screen that is adjustable to work well outdoors, great sound, decents cameras, quicker touch responsiveness, all bode well for this device - with planned shipping in December.

The bundled SuperNote app is also getting some rave reviews. Polaris Office is included for handling MS Office documents. And, of course, the keyboard dock is superb, and increases battery life from 12 to 18 hours.

Upcoming (US) prices are listed at $499 for the 32GB model, and $599 for the 64GB model. The keyboard dock adds another $149. And, with Android 4.0 onboard, this should be a superb tablet for both office and "other" use.

Monday, October 17, 2011

HTC Jetstream LTE Tablet coming to Canada on Rogers

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:00 AM

"Available tomorrow to Rogers customers, the HTC Jetstream is the first HTC tablet running on the Android™ 3.1 (Honeycomb) operating system. Beyond blazing speeds, it also boasts a striking design, HTC Scribe™ digital ink technology and the latest in HTC Sense innovation - HTC's unique user experience that puts people at the centre."

HTC and Rogers have officially announced the HTC Jetstream. This nicely loaded Honeycomb tablet will be available in Canada starting tomorrow for $500 on "select three year plans". As far as hardware goes, it has a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU, 10.1" 1280x800 Super LCD screen, 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage and a MicroSDHC card slot. It supports Rogers gsm, HSPA, and LTE. One thing that I really like about it is the fact that it has a 7300mAH battery! That should give some descent battery life. One thing I'm not sure I like is the fact that it has some form of Sense on it and it only has Honeycomb 3.1, not the latest 3.2. While it supports the HTC Scribe stylus it will cost you an extra $80. Follow the "Read more" link to see the full press release.

The Jetstream looks like a very nice Android tablet. I would want to play with the interface a little before picking one up but I like the hardware HTC put in it! What are your thoughts on the HTC Jetstream? Will this be your next Android device?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Archos 80 G9: Quick Review of a New 8-inch Tablet

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Archos Tablets" @ 11:00 AM

"As far as tablets go, a couple of interesting things are going to happen between now and the holiday season. One, we're going to see a glut of smaller 7- and 8-inch tablets running Honeycomb (like this, this and this) hit the market. And if the Kindle Fire and Acer Iconia Tab A100 are any indication, they're going to be cheaper, making slates palatable to folks who previously couldn't bring themselves to spend $500 on a plaything. The Archos 80 G9, then, is the perfect specimen on both counts."

A surprisingly good, solid wifi-only tablet for the money, and it's sporting Android Honeycomb 3.2 (nearly pristine) rather than Gingerbread (2.x) as found on most tablets with a smaller form factor. A very good 1024x768 display (with a very useful kickstand) that can actually be seen outdoors, and a decent processor and battery life (for this smaller size) are the highlights. Negatives are a tinny sound, and a relatively poor 720p front-facing camera. Also offered is an HDD option with a 250GB drive, and a 4GB flash drive for the OS. Prices are $300 for an 8GB version, $320 for a 16GB version, and $370 for the 250GB HDD + Flash version. Nice to see that prices are realistic for potential buyers that are not willing to spend more for a tablet.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ASUS Eee Pad Slider SL101 Hands-on Video Review

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Asus Eee PC Transformer" @ 08:36 PM

This is the first video I've seen of the shipping version of the Asus Eee Pad Slider - if you're looking for an Android tablet that has a keyboard but don't want the added weight or cost of the detachable keyboard a la Transformer, this is worth considering. Although checking the prices, I see that the Transformer with the dock is only $20 more than the Slider. Hmm. Given the huge benefit to battery life that the Transformer offers with the keyboard dock, I'm not sure why I'd go for the

Friday, August 19, 2011

HTC Puccini, er, Jetstream, er, Skyrocket Tablet in the Pipeline

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

"The HTC Puccini tablet now has an official name attached to it – the HTC Jetstream, as discovered in a new screenshot of the settings menu showing the name of the tablet, and another screenshot showing the AT&T logo confirming the carrier (once again). That name is expected to be unique to AT&T where it’ll clearly launch with 4G LTE given all we’ve seen in the past. It’s expected to have a different name internationally, which is not known yet but one possible candidate is the “HTC Skyrocket”."

Here's some speculation about an AT&T 4G LTE tablet arriving in North America on or about September 1, 2011. Configured with a 10.1-inch 1280x800 screen, optional Pen Scribe input, a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (1.2 GHz or 1.5GHz), an 8MP rear-facing camera, and, of course, the 4G LTE radio, it appears to be similar to many other tablets out there. No details on price were posted. Why do carriers feel that they have to rename (almost) every product? Wouldn't Puccini work here? Just wondering.

Monday, August 15, 2011

TabCo Fusion Garage Grid 10 Tablet and Grid 4 Phone

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:30 PM,281...,2391116,00.asp

"Earlier this summer, a company called TabCo burst onto the scene with videos, skywriting (yes, really), and the promise that it was "reinventing the wheel." What and who TabCo actually was, however, was still unknown. Until Monday, anyway.

A lot of cheesy, manufactured hype, and now (or September 15th), maybe a real device promoted from a possibly pre-recorded press conference. This may be a 10-inch tablet with 1366x768 resolution, 16GB storage, a Nvidia Tegra 2 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, weighing in at 690g. Their own OS is called GridOS, and is built on an Android kernel, with major UI tinkering, including an on-screen navigation wheel, that promises to baffle end users. Price for the WiFi only version will be $499, with a WiFi/3G model expected to cost $599.

The 16GB Grid 4 phone has a 4-inch screen with 800x480 resolution, and is expected to cost $399 unlocked. GridOS promises some synergy between tablet and phone, for example, playing video on the tablet, stopping it, and restarting it on the phone from the exact point where it stopped. PC Mag promises a full review if and when the products are actually in their hands. Skeptical? Yes I am.

Friday, August 5, 2011

At Last, Lenovo Joins the Tablet Race with the IdeaPad K1

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:30 PM

"Let's do a roll call, shall we? Who doesn't have a Honeycomb tablet to shill in the states? Acer, ASUS, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba all have something to their names, with Dell possibly bringing its China-only Dell Streak 10 Pro here too. Until now, Lenovo was one glaring exception. The company already had a head start selling the LePad tablet in China, but it was only last month that it announced not one, but two Honeycomb slates for the US market: the IdeaPad K1 for mainstream consumers, and the ThinkPad Tablet for business users (and a fair share of geeks, too)."

Is this a case of "me too," or "too little too late," or "better late than never," or perhaps even "We waited until we could do this right?" Lenovo's IdeaPad K1 is a decent, visually attractive tablet for the money, but is it enough to overhaul the competition? My guess is no. Arriving as Wifi-only for now, but with Android 3.1, lots of bundled apps, and some customization to make it more "user friendly," the K1 doesn't offer really anything to make it stand above the competition. So my answer for now is that this is a "me too" tablet.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Latest Xoom 4G LTE Upgrade Rumor Says September is the Magic Month

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 10:00 AM

"We just received word that Motorola XOOM 3G owners could will see an email from either Moto or Verizon today with details about their 4G LTE upgrade. According to our source, the email will inform them that the upgrade will not happen until September"

If you were one of the first to buy the Xoom you're probably disappointed that you've had to wait this long. The good news is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Verizon has announced that the LTE upgrade will be available in September. At least the Xoom did get Gingerbread 3.2 and it has at least some support for use of the MicroSDHC card slot. If you have a Xoom I would be interested to know if the lower bandwidth of 3G has been a real problem for you. Do you think it's holding you back or are there a lot of things you're not downloading because it would take too long?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Does Anyone Need a $1500 Tablet? No?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 11:30 PM

"Watch the video at the bottom of this post very carefully. There’s a woman who is about to bankrupt herself for a product she does not need."

Interesting to look at total cost of ownership (TCO) of a long-term rental at $15.99 per week from Rent-A-Center. They claim that a renter can simply bring it back and stop paying. Beware of the small print! The author's calculations show that the real rental cost for the contract life is over $1500, and, in his opinion, no current tablet is worth that much. I agree that this method of getting a tablet is horrible, but I do disagree with him on the overall usefulness of tablets. I find that they occupy a specific niche in my world between laptop and smartphone. For example, I need some quick info while watching a movie? Up comes IMDB on my iPad 2. Easy peasy. Use the right tool for the job!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Amazon Android Tablet Release Possible as Early as August

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 09:30 AM

"Amazon is poised to step into tablet PCs and will launch models as soon as August-September, with targeted global sales of four million units for 2011, according to Taiwan-based component makers."

Could this be the for Android Tablets what the Motorola Droid was for Android Phones? Amazon/Verizon Droid/Kindle - all some names with muscle behind them! We'll have to see. Now that Honeycomb has been cleaned up a little with Version 3.1 and more and more tablet optimized Android apps are released every day this fall could be a good time for a well respected company to release some good Android tablet hardware! The info from the source basically says Amazon wants to hit the Christmas season and it will use a TI CPU/GPU instead of the more common Tegra 2. I think that could be a good thing with rumors suggesting the TI processor has better GPU performance. It also mentions that Amazon will provide movie streaming services for it. Are you holding out to buy a tablet until you see what Amazon releases? What do you think about Amazon getting into the full-featured tablet business?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Acer Iconia A500 Review: Better Alternatives Available

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Iconia" @ 10:30 AM

"Next in our series of Honeycomb tablet reviews is the Acer Iconia Tab A500. The A500 was the second Honeycomb tablet to go on sale, and is one of four on the market at present, all of which are very similar. They share basic specs—10.1” 1280x800 displays, NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 underhood, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 16-64GB onboard NAND, front and rear facing cameras with HD video capture, basic wireless connectivity options, and stock versions of Android 3.0/3.1 Honeycomb (albeit with different preloaded software packages)."

A telling comment is that the reviewer liked the A500 better when he read about it than when he actually had one in his hands to review. Cheaply designed and cheaply manufactured, the A500 is good for a bargain price of $379 (where it has sometimes sold at MacMall's eBay store), but the alternatives are better. His recommendation is to wait for the next generation of hardware to appear, or, if you can't wait, to look for an ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, if you can find one.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Archos Releases Two New Tablets: The 8" and 10" G9 Series

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Archos Tablets" @ 11:15 AM

"DENVER, CO - June 23, 2011 - Today, ARCHOS, an award winning technology innovator and pioneer in the tablet market, introduces an unrivaled combination of speed and storage with its latest tablets featuring an OMAP 4 processor with an ARM® CortexTM dual-core A9 running at 1.5 GHz and Seagate's 250GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) capacity. The 8" ARCHOS 80 G9 and 10" ARCHOS 101 G9 are powered by AndroidTM 3.1 "Honeycomb,''* the latest Android version. ARCHOS G9 tablets come with Google's full suite of mobile applications and Android MarketTM, giving users access to over 200,000 applications such as games, books, social media and news. With the latest version of Honeycomb, G9 tablets also offer a full web experience complete with Adobe® Flash® support for on-the-go web browsing, communication and applications."

I've always admired Archos hardware; it's historically been great. But what kept me from ever buying one of their products was the user interface. I found it baffling. Now that Archos has fully embraced Android though, I think they can be a real player in the tablet market. Archos made an interesting call in making the screen on the 8" tablet a 4:3 aspect ratio, 1024 x 768 resolution display. On the 10.1" tablet, it's a 16:9, 1280 x 800 display. I think that makes a lot of sense, and I'm personally intrigued by the eight inch tablet. Oh, and remember these tablets have 250 GB of storage in them courtesy of Seagate's new 7mm hard drive. Specs and details below, along with news about their clever 3G stick that apparently slides into the tablet unobtrusively.

The remainder of the press release is after the break. Read more...

T-Mobile Claims G-Slate is much faster than the iPad 2 and Xoom

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 11:00 AM

"T-Mobile is ready to re-position the T-Mobile G-Slate as one of the best tablets on the market given its recent price drop. According to this internal document T-Mobile is claiming that they have received “legal approval” to “definitively” state that the G-Slate is more than “2x faster than the iPad2 on AT&T and Verizon, and over 3x faster than the Motorola Xoom.”"

T-Mobile is referring to carrier data speeds here. Marketing the LG Slate based on it's "4G" connectivity is a questionable move because the G-Slate can only do 14.4Mbps, not the full 42Mpbs that T-Mobile's 4G network is capable of. Also, they're comparing to a 3G Xoom which will get upgraded to LTE at some point. I think it would be a better idea to market the G-Slate based on it's price and features. To me, a $400 tablet with an 8.9" 1280x768 3D display, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage built in, 5MP rear cameras for 3D, a front 2MP camera, and 1080P 2D recording with Honeycomb all for $400 on contract sounds like a great deal to me!

What are your thoughts? Do any of you have the G-Slate? Does the carrier network connectivity speed make that much of a difference to you on a tablet?

Seagate Delivers Unmatched Price-Performance Storage For World's First Tablet's Featuring Hard Drives

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:45 AM

"Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) is delivering hard disk drive storage for the world's first handheld tablet computers with hard drives. The ARCHOS G9 8- and 10-inch tablets, announced today in Paris, feature the Seagate Momentus® Thin hard drive, a speedy notebook drive with a super-slim 7mm profile. The performance and capacity of the Momentus Thin drive are the perfect complement for the cutting-edge speed of the ARCHOS G9 family of tablets that features the industry's fastest dual-core 1.5 GHz processor and, on the strength of the Momentus Thin drive, gives users 250GB of capacity, eight times more than a standard 32GB tablet but at the same cost, making the ARCHOS G9 one of the tablet industry's best cost-performance values."

A hard drive that's only 7mm thin? Now that's impressive. 250 GB of storage on a tablet really changes the game when it comes to storage; if you're a movie, photo or music enthusiast, being able to carry all your media content on your tablet would be fantastic. Myself, I'd need 60 GB for all my photos (with some videos thrown in the mix), and another 99 GB to carry all my music. It will be 2016 until I'm able to get anywhere near that with Flash storage. On the flip side, even with as good as hard drives have become with shock tolerance, I'd feel like I'd have to treat the tablet in a more gentle fashion knowing that it had a spinning hard drive in it. It's a trade off to be sure. These two Archos tablets sound pretty interesting though - an 8 inch tablet with a dual-core 1.5 Ghz CPU for $279? Hmm. The remainder of the press release is after the break. Read more...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When You Want Something Other Than an iPad

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:30 PM

"Sure, it’s easy to point at specific things that other devices do better (or at least differently) than the iPad, and some of the people reading this article can explain why they chose another tablet and don’t regret the move. (If you’re one of them, please do!) Still, sales figures for tablets show that when consumers compare the iPad to other choices, an overwhelming percentage conclude that the iPad is the best option."

There are lots of reasons why someone might prefer a different tablet than an iPad but one thing I am quite sure annoys a lot of people is that when you whip out your fight-the-masses-and-not-be-like-everyone-else tablet, someone nearby will look over and ask, "Is that an iPad?" Just let it go. No matter whether your choice is a Galaxy Tab, A RIM PlayBook or Motorola Xoom, to a lot of people, they are all iPads. Do you remember how long it took for people to stop calling every PDA a Palm Pilot? Oh, that's right... The good news is that there are a lot of options other than the iPad, and no matter what the public mindshare is, you can rest well knowing that your choice fits your needs, even if is a real iPad.

Updated Galaxy Tab 10.1 Reviewed; Includes Honeycomb

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

"When it released the original Galaxy Tab last year, Samsung became one of the first mainstream hardware vendors to deliver an Android tablet. With its new Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung kept the Galaxy Tab name and branding, but the new device has little else in common with its predecessor. Don't let the "10.1" fool you-this is all new."

The Galaxy Tab has proven itself to be one heck of a product! But it get's even better with the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 which includes Honeycomb! Check out this comprehensive review of the new Tab and let us know if you will be purchasing it!

Exomount, The Only Mount You Will Need

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 01:00 AM

"A simple car mount that won't fall mid-drive is all anyone really needs. Still, there's something to be said for one that can stick firmly to almost any surface."

ExoGear sells the mount for $29.95 USD, and it is pretty versatile as you can see from the photo above. Granted, all the photos show an iPhone 4 but if you visit their site you will see that it will work with any device up to a 5-inch screen (thinking tablet here). They even have it adapted to use as an iPad holder or stand by flipping the suction cup around. A one size fits all mount if you will and the price certainly is affordable.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

BlackBerry Playbook: Currently Only Half-Baked At Best

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:30 PM

"For the record, the Maximum PC Lab keeps both feet planted squarely in the present tense. We don’t believe anyone should buy hardware based solely on its future potential. So what then to make of RIM’s nascent and decidedly half-baked Blackberry Playbook? Unless you’re 1) a Blackberry owner, 2) don’t care about apps or games, or 3) a devoted BB fanboy, the answer is: not much."

Not many positives in this article. Half-baked is the verdict, with much promised By RIM for future updates, like a standalone email client. In short, beta quality software along with some odd hardware choices, like the power switch location. And, no apps currently use the built-in front-facing camera. As for multitasking: there is a serious lack of applications, for example, no streaming video app, and no games. On the positive side, the processor screams, the UI feels "snappy," and the 1024x600 screen is rated as the best overall, even better than the iPad 2. This appears to be definitely a case of "wait for the next version." Starting at $500 for a 16GB version, the 32GB and 64GB versions cost $600 and $700 respectively, and this is for a WiFi-only version. Disappointing, to say the least.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mobileburn's Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Video Tour

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 08:13 PM

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is an 8.6mm thin Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablet. As its name suggests, it features a 10.1-inch display that offers 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. The version seen in this video is the 16GB Wi-Fi only white model, but 32GB and gray versions are also available and 3G-capable Tabs will be on the market eventually."

Samsung really did an excellent job on the hardware on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 - it looks superb and is incredibly thin - but I'm personally disappointed that this product doesn't have a microSD card slot. Removable storage is one of the key advantages of Android, so it's curious that Samsung wouldn't include that. They might have had to sacrifice it in order to go head to head with the thinness of the iPad 2. Check out the video for all the details.

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