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

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All posts tagged "slate"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dell Streak User Interface Caught on Video

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Dell Streak" @ 01:30 PM

This is a nice video demonstrating some of the customizations Dell has done to optimize the Streak to make better use of Android on a larger screen. For the most part it looks pretty good. From the video, they imply that the Streak is landscape-only, which is not something I'd heard before, but maybe I'm just inferring too much from what he said. If true, I think this is a bit limiting, as I'd want to use a lot of apps, like an ebook reader, in portrait mode.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Tablets a Possibility?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:00 PM

"There is a lot of speculation about what the agreement announced last week between chip designer ARM and Microsoft actually means. Some pundits predict that it is a signal that Microsoft intends to deliver Windows or Windows Phone OS tablet and slate devices, while others foresee an overdue overhaul of the Xbox's architecture."

Ah, blogger speculation at its finest! Microsoft announces an agreement with ARM, and the speculation engine revs into overdrive. I think there are a couple of possibilities here, though I'm not sure I place much stock in the idea of this being for putting Windows Phone 7 on a tablet. I really want to believe that Microsoft has figured out that Windows 7 is a poor choice for a touch-based operating system, but they've said things to the contrary on several occasions. I think Windows Phone 7 would be great on a tablet based on what I've seen, but they'd need to re-design that home screen and menu system. It seems to work well on a small screen (boy, do I ever wish I had some hands-on time with such a device) but on a bigger tablet device, I'm not so sure. One thing IS for sure: if Microsoft and their OEM partners want to have any hope of competing with the iPad and Android-based devices, they're going to have to come up with a lightweight OS.

Am I Dreaming, A $150 Android Tablet Available This Week?

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:00 PM

"We can't say we've heard of Augen before, but the company certainly sparked our interest (and that of Kmart circular readers) this weekend with its $149.99 7-inch Android tablet. Oh yes, you heard right shoppers -- the small Florida-based shop is bringing an Android 2.1 tablet with WiFi, 2GB of storage and 256MB of RAM to a store near you for just 150 buckaroos. And according to an Augen spokesperson, it will have access to the Android "Market App Store.""

I already hit up my local Kmart on my way home, no luck. But they get their trucks in on Wednesday, so I'll try again then. At $150 they will have had to fail in a ton of way to not make this an interesting device, so I'll be picking one up as soon as I can get my hands on one and before the reviews start pouring in. If it pans out, I'd say major coup for the little guy getting this thing out while the big players keep stumbling all over themselves. Here is the official product page if you'd like to read up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yet Another Dell Streak Review

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Dell Streak" @ 04:30 AM

"Ultimately, the Streak is a niche device that does some things well. We especially like it as a navigator, and it's a good web surfing companion. It has also has the potential to be a great video player--if Dell makes it easier to transfer content or gets a premium content parter in place. We like the Streak, but we wouldn't pay much more for this hybrid than a high-end Android phone until Dell works out some of the bugs and upgrades to a newer version of the OS."

I'm surprised a lot of the reviewers are not finding issue with the relatively low resolution (800 x 480) for the large screen. From what I've read, a lot of the OS components are scaled down to a lower resolution so that you get more stuff on the screen, but I kind of think that is cheating. Something everyone seems to agree on though is that it is an awful shame to have Cupcake rather than a more recent build of Android on such a unique device.

Tags: dell, slate, streak

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Archos 8 Home Tablet Unboxed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Archos Tablets" @ 02:10 PM

"Archos has been pumping out portable media players and Android powered tablets for a few years. The Archos 5 Internet Tablet was one of the first Android powered devices to ship without the ability to connect to a 3G network or make phone calls - which makes it one of the cheapest Android powered devices around. The Archos 7 Home Tablet is similar, but it has a bigger screen and slower processor. The Archos 8 Home Tablet, on the other hand, is something completely different. While the Archos 5 and 7 were designed to work a lot like smartphones sans the phone functionality, the Archos 8 Home Tablet is really designed to sit on your desk, table or countertop and stay there."

Oh Archos - how curiously puzzling you are as a company! You make such interesting little tablets, but you can't seem to break past the tiny niche of hardcore geeks that buy your products because of the nice hardware. At least you're now using Android instead of that confusing mish-mash home grown OS you've had for years. Maybe there's hope for you after all...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

HP Lists HP Slate 500 on

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HP Slate" @ 04:24 PM

"HP has listed the one model of the HP Slate 500 on its website. The device includes an 8.9-inch touchscreen and runs on Windows 7 Premium. The device also has two cameras -- one video and one still -- for users to do "web conferencing," according to the listing. The HP Slate 500 is also listed on HP's website as being Energy Star qualified in a document dated July 12. The Energy Star website lists the tablet having a 1.6GHz processor."

Well, well now...and here I thought the HP Slate was dead. Could it be that HP had it so far along in the design process they've decided to ship it after all? Or is this just a database glitch on, not a real product we'll ever see?

UPDATE: There's a bit of news on this from Laptop Magazine...basically it seems like HP is willing to release this product if the consumer demand is there.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tablet Forecast - Sunny with Lots of Choices!

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 07:00 AM

"As a long-time tablet enthusiast, it is with amusement that I watch the “new” tablet space taking shape. The Microsoft Tablet PC may have been around for a decade, but the newly released iPad has defined a new market for slates. Sales numbers for the iPad have been good, and tablet makers are racing to get their models to market late this year and early next year. Here’s what I expect to see coming down the pipe."

Smaller iPads, bigger Android devices, and hopefully something to show from the Windows camp. Supposedly the next version of Android (Gingerbread) will support screen resolutions of up to 1366×768 which will really open up the market for larger screen Android devices. The huge success of Android based phones over the last year has made people a lot more comfortable with the idea of this as an alternative OS, so I'm betting that while Linux for the most part failed at being a viable alternative for most users when netbooks came out, Android may just succeed.

Tags: hardware, slate

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cruz Reader is Really an Android Tablet

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

Now this looks pretty interesting. They mention a partnership with Borders and Kobo for ebooks, but if it is running Android with access to the Marketplace, it should be able to also access the Kindle store. So for $199, this looks like quite the bargain. I'll be curious what version of Android this runs. Also curious about the Cruz Tablet, which adds flash support among other things, but ups the price to $299.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Windows Mobile Lost a 'Whole Generation' Says Ballmer

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 05:00 PM

"Steve Ballmer has delivered a mea culpa to Microsoft's partners for its slip-ups against Apple and Google on tablets and smart phones. Ballmer told Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference that Windows Mobile missed a "whole generation of users" and promised Windows Phone 7 will set things right."

Dear Microsoft,

I generally feel a lot of love for you as a company, but it's sure frustrating watching you miss the boat again and again. Remember when you laughed at the iPhone? Yeah, exactly, no one is laughing now. The hype around the iPad had been building for years - didn't someone in your organization (other than the Courier team) realize that this whole slate computing thing wasn't going to just be empty hype? Read more...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Engadget's Toshiba Libretto W100 Preview

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:00 PM

"The Toshiba Libretto W100 made a guest appearance on the Engadget Show last week, and since we got to spend a bit more time with the dualscreen laptop we thought it was only right to release some more impressions into the ether. We also got confirmation from Toshiba that the somewhat-of-a-concept-PC will be hitting retail channels in August, including Amazon, and will cost $1,100. It may be one of the only dualscreen tablets on the market, but no matter how you break it down that price seems a little outrageous."

Engadget got to spend some more time with the alluring Toshiba Libretto W100, and came away with a few general conclusions; namely, that it's a fairly well-designed device with decent performance, but a killer price tag of $1100. This is the same problem that Microsoft's Courier concept had - I read that they'd have to sell it for $1500, and ultimately that's why it was killed. You can build the neatest technology in the world, but if it's not affordable, the mainstream public isn't going to buy it. Unlike Courier, the Toshiba Libretto W100 is coming to market, but I can't imagine Toshiba selling more than 50,000 of these. As my friend Michael Gartenberg likes to say, you can sell 50,000 of anything.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Impressive Packaging on the US Dell Streak

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Streak" @ 09:48 AM

"You didn't think I'd mention all of that Dell Streak beta-testing business if I didn't actually have one for myself, did you? I already unboxed the UK version of the Streak but since the packaging is so different and could end up being what the retail devices ship in, I had to do another unboxing. There's no evidence on the box that this is a pre-production unit and it doesn't seem feasible for Dell to have made these boxes just for 1,000 beta testers, but there's always a chance that the final units will be packaged differently."

Wow - compare that packaging to the UK version, and you can tell that Dell put a lot more effort into the US experience - maybe this means they'll be sold at retail in a bigger way? Lots of pictures and details over at the link, because this guy is one of 1000 beta testers in the USA, so he has the scoop. Anyone out there getting a Dell Streak? I'm rather intrigued by it myself...I like the idea of a device this size, but it really depends on the software/services that come along with it, and I'm not very familiar with anything running Android.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toshiba Libretto W100 in Action

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:40 AM

There's an unfortunate focusing problem with this video, but you can still make out the very interesting hardware creation that Toshiba has come up with. So that's where Microsoft's Courier design went... ;-)

Dell Streak Reviewed

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Dell Streak" @ 03:00 AM

"Dell have worked hard to produce something rather unique, that is a small form factor tablet device (or a large form factor phone device) that has a decent balance of size against functionality. Their customisation of the Android operating system onto the machine has been carried out with aplomb and the interface is a pleasure to interact with. Final thought would I buy a Streak? That is difficult, if it felt a little more robust, and had the software glitches fixed, then yes. Otherwise if I bought one now I'd be handling it very carefully and complaining to Dell over the few bugs that are in there!"

Whenever this hits the US, I'll seriously consider upgrading IF..... It is available on Verizon for a reasonable cost. It has a more current version of Android and looks to be on a faster upgrade schedule. It has a better screen resolution. Until then, just a bunch of wait and see.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More Ambiguity About the HP Windows Slate

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "HP Slate" @ 06:30 AM

"So in the case of the Windows slate PC, HP has done something unusual: It’s gone from hyping a product to refusing to talk about it. And McKinney’s explanation that he can’t say anything until the Palm deal is official doesn’t explain everything. For one thing, an HP Windows slate and an HP WebOS slate aren’t mutually exclusive concepts: The company could make both. And the fact that the Palm acquisition is still a work in progress didn’t prevent McKinney from saying that HP does intend to make WebOS tablets. I see only one possibility here: HP’s Windows slate PC is dead. Doesn’t mean that there won’t be some sort of Windows-powered HP tablet someday, but this one isn’t happening."

I'd really like to know why HP isn't coming out with the Windows Slate. From the demo, it looked promising, so I wonder if they demo'd features they weren't capabale of offering? Which, I guess if you can't do it right, you shouldn't do it. Alternatively, did they wimp out and decide not to compete with Apple? If so, I think that was a mistake, because I think there are enough recognized flaws with the iPad that had a competing product come out that addressed those issues, it probably would have done well.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Welcome to Laptop Thoughts!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Site Updates" @ 08:00 AM

I want to welcome you to the launch of the next Thoughts Media site: Laptop Thoughts. This site will not only focus on laptops/notebooks, along with their smaller netbook siblings, but also on the variety of tablets and slates hitting the market this year. I've always taken an organic approach to growing the network of sites; Digital Home Thoughts is traditionally the place where we've talked about laptops, so over time it only made sense to launch a site focused on this important computing form-factor. Obviously, some of the other sites in the network overlap with this site - Apple Thoughts is where you'll go to see more in-depth news on Mac laptops, but we'll still talk about them here at a high level (big announcements, etc.). You'll see all laptop/netbook news here from now on instead of Digital Home Thoughts.

It took me a while to get my first laptop - I didn't purchase one until 2001 - but since getting that first laptop, I've been hooked on the idea of having a full-featured computer with me wherever I go. Smartphones are great and all, but sometimes you just really want to run the apps and get at your data in the same way you do on your desktop computer. We'll have some fun talking about the history of laptops - I know many of you got started with laptops long before I did - but that will come later.

With the launch of any new site, there's the inevitable question of "If I build it, will they come"?. So my request to you, the community, is to make Laptop Thoughts the focus of your laptop-based efforts. Have a question about a laptop? Come post it in our forums. Looking for a new laptop? Come here first, and use our links and resources (more on that later) to help you in your research. If you're a laptop expert, become a regular in our forums and help to create the knowledgeable, friendly community that Thoughts Media is known for. Submit laptop news to us, and let us know what you want to see from this site. Follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS feed, sign up for the weekly newsletter (in the right-hand sidebar), and subscribe to our channel on Youtube.

I've been looking forward to launching Laptop Thoughts for many months now, so I'm excited it's finally happening. Welcome! Oh, and in case you're wondering, we'll definitely be having a grand-opening contest...I'm working on gathering up some prizes now. Stay tuned!

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