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All posts tagged "slate"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The ViewPad 10s 3G Reviewed

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"It’s a shame that ViewSonic couldn’t ape the design of the ViewPad 7 in some way, or bring some of the official Google certification that the smaller device has. As we’ve seen a number of times before with Android tablets (from Advent, Archos, Creative, etc.), the ViewPad 10s comes with Android 2.2, but misses out on the Google endorsement, so that means no official Gmail, Google Maps, Contact, Calendar, Android Market…"

Whether you like the easy to view 10" tablet, or prefer a more slvete 7" pocketable, it is a good year to want a tablet. Dual core tablets are becoming more common, and there are enough manufacturers out there that you actually have a selection in quality and price. The ViewPad 10s is a decent contender, and the price makes thing that much more attractive. 3G, of course, is a nice bonus, and I am pleased to see that at least one Canadian carrier has decided to offer a multiple-device bucket when it comes to 3G data. The only downside it seems with many of the Android tablets coming out is lack of Android Market support. I know there are certain technical (Read:Google) reasons for this, but until there is a sizeable competitor, these tablets will remain hobbled.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

HTC Takes a Flyer On Tablets

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

"The HTC Flyer picks up on HTC’s now-familiar unibody design. The 7-inch 1024 x 600 screen offers up HTC Sense, now customised for use on a tablet. Than means it works in landscape much more naturally making much better use of the screen space on offer. The HTC Flyer is very much a HTC Sense tablet meaning it won’t be launching on Honeycomb."

Hooray for tablets! By the end of the year, everyone is going to be selling their own kind of tablet. HTC, though, has its own plans and the Flyer looks to be a good option when it becomes available. The video makes it look fairly fluid and fast though the stylus, at least for me, is a welcome addition. Touch has revolutionized mobile computing, but it just feels a bit inaccurate to me. For many things, it does not make a difference, but I can see myself whipping out the tablet to do some notes once in a while. Does the HTC Flyer perk your interest, or do you only have eyes for the iPad2?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tablet Not So Far Away

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

"With the first Galaxy Tab's display measuring seven inches, Samsung's story is clever and simple: 7, 8.9, 10. The message: Not only are Samsung's tablets just as thin and light as the iPad 2, but they're also just as powerful, their cameras are better, and they come in a variety of sizes."

With all the hype around the iPad2 launch complete with lineups for the coveted device, it is easy to miss out on other tablet related announcements like that for the Galaxy Tab. While Apple is trying to downplay hardware specifications, I do believe that it is still important, at least for the near term, as tablets and smartphones have not quite reached a point where increases in speed (or cores) is marginally noticable. The Galaxy Tab does come with some pretty powerful hardware, enough to keep things peppy for the next month or two, until you lose interest in your toy, and start craving the newest quad-core tablets running Android 4.0 Dried Mango.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tekkeon’s New Dual Port Power Pack, Certified by Apple for iPod, iPhone and iPad, Charges Two Devices at Once

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

"TekChargeTM MP1860A, a dual port power pack with two USB outputs, simultaneously charges and powers your iPadTM, iPhone®, iPod® nano or iPod® touch, and a second small portable device. With mobile power at your fingertips, this high-capacity, lightweight battery lets you enjoy hours of extended play time on many of your small portable electronic products. Most portable devices are often in need of recharging after a few hours of use. By taking advantage of the TekCharge MP1860A rechargeable lithium ion battery, you can enjoy hours of extended play time on your iPad, iPhone, iPod, mobile phones, smartphones, Zune® and MP3 players, portable routers, e-readers, and other small portable electronic products. As an added bonus, TekCharge MP1860A includes a flashlight so you have emergency light at your fingertips."

Got an iPad or another tablet that needs a hefty bump of juice to charge? The Tekkeon MP1860A might have a uninspired product name, but it offers plenty of power - up to 2.1 amps, enough to charge an iPad or iPad 2. It's also been officially certified by Apple, so you know it will work. The battery holds 4400 mAH of power, which should be enough to recharge several smaller devices and partially recharge the iPad or another tablet device. I'm working on a review of another Tekkeon battery pack and it's quite impressive. Tekkeon really knows their batteries!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Motorola Xoom: Meeting Early Expectations?

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

"No offense to Dell, Samsung, or the many other companies that released Android-powered slates before now, but the Motorola Xoom is really the first official Android tablet. It's not an oversized phone with tablet stuff tacked on; this 10.1-inch device is the first slate that's powered by Android 3.0, an OS built from the ground up with larger screens in mind."

A somewhat disappointing early review. While Android 3.0 (and up) is where tablets need to be, I do wonder if Motorola rushed the Xoom to market too soon - before the bugs were squashed. As is often the case, the end user gets to be an unofficial beta tester, and pays a pretty penny for the privilege.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Windows 7 Slate Destined to Fail?

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

"The bModo 12G makes a decent stab at trying to bend the Windows 7 OS into better shape for slate computing. Even so, those looking for a seamless touch experience will be sorely disappointed. Aside from video performance issues, UI crashes, and poor endurance, there's the 12G's steep $799 sticker price. If you really want Windows on a tablet, wait for longer-lasting devices powered by Intel's Oak Trail processors."

Even if you build a tablet that satisfactorily runs Windows 7, until Microsoft develops a touch optimized front end for the OS, it just isn't going to be a go.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What's the "Perfect" Tablet Size for You?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 02:00 PM

"Over the weekend, news leaked of Apple preparing a larger iPod Touch to compete with low end tablets that offer a smaller screen size than the iPad's 10" display. This comes after Steve Jobs has stated a that a 7" tablet isn't the same as a true tablet in a 10" model. Add to that the fact that Samsung has a 10" tablet arriving very soon in the next generation of the Galaxy Tab. It was an inevitable upgrade, but it has me wondering what the "perfect size" for a tablet PC really is. Do companies see the 10" profile being the only answer or are they simply trying to gauge the perfect approach for consumers."

Apple's flat out refusal to make a 7 inch iPad is typical of their "We have the perfect product for you as long as you like it in this size, this colour, and with these features" approach. But if they release a bigger iPod Touch, well, that solves the problem of them not having a bigger iPad yet not having to back-peddle on their statements. I for one would love to see a bigger iPod Touch - 5 inches would be excellent I think.

I'm a huge fan of my iPod touch - we have two in our house now - largely because it's such an amazing educational tool for my 18 month old son Logan. We're purposefully keeping him away from TV and computer use, but with limited iPod Touch use (I'd guess less than 30 minutes per day) he's learnings letters, numbers, shapes, colours, and how to navigate a user interface.

So, survey time! What's your ideal tablet/slate screen size?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The HTC Flyer Caught on Video

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:30 PM

Lots of videos about the new HTC Flyer are popping up, so here are a few to satisfy your curiosity...

HTC Flyer: The Andriod Tablet I've Been Waiting For?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:07 PM

"BARCELONA, SPAIN - Mobile World Congress - February 15, 2011 - HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today announced its first tablet, the HTC FlyerTM. HTC Flyer blends HTC's trademark design language with an all-new HTC Sense user experience that has been reimagined for the tablets. Using an intuitive and innovative approach to tablets, HTC Flyer combines natural touch and pen interaction. HTC also announced HTC Watch, a new connected video service that will debut on HTC Flyer tablet, and will collaborate with OnLive, Inc. to launch the first cloud-based mobile gaming service on a tablet."

I've been watching the Android tablet market carefully, looking at every new tablet coming out, and have been pretty underwhelmed by many of them. Some of them, like the Motorola Xoom, have impressive hardware - yet the software leaves much to be desired. I'm not an expert on Android so it's hard for me to say what's stock Android and what's not, but much of what I've seen is summed up by the word "Meh". It just doesn't seem to have much style.

The HTC Flyer, however, has caught my attention in a big way: as an HD2 owner (the phone is now retired) I'm very familiar with HTC Sense and the overall design language and functionality of their software has impressed me for the most part. Sure, some of it is silly fluff that does nothing but use CPU cycles and battery life, but I for one like a good UI as long as it doesn't feel slow. With a 1.5 Ghz single-core CPU, the HTC Flyer should be anything but slow. The 7 inch capacitive screen offers a 1024 x 600 resolution, and is pressure sensitive, which allows HTC to bring something interesting to the table that I haven't seen elsewhere yet on an Android tablet: a stylus. Engadget has more details on that, but suffice it to say that I think it brings a unique advantage to the table. It also synchronizes with Evernote right out of the box, which is killer if you're an Evernote user.

Rounding out the hardware spec is HSPA+ wireless (I have to assume WiFi is in there as well), 1 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage (with expansion via microSD), a 5 megapixel rear camera, and a 1.3 megapixel front camera. It's said to weigh "as little as a paperback book", and the 4000 mAH battery will allow for up to four hours of video playback. Four hours doesn't sound very impressive to me - Engadget says the Samsung Galaxy Tab does just over six hours of video playback with the same sized 4000 mAH battery.

No word on pricing, but it will be available globally in Q2 2011 - I suspect that means there won't be a WiFi-only version initially, and it will be sold via carrier partners with data contracts. What that probably means is that it won't be able to compete with the WiFi only $499 iPad - which is a real lost opportunity in my opinion.

Oh, did I mention it can't make calls either? For some that may be a deal-breaker, though I personally don't think it would matter to me - that's what I have a cell phone for, and it's not like I'd leave the house with my HTC Flyer and not my cell phone. Frankly, I think a bigger problem is where do you put that stylus when you're not using it? It looks too big to be stored inside the device - and if it's not kept inside the device, it's something that might get lost easily.

The remainder of the press release, along with more images, after the break. Read more...

Monday, February 14, 2011

LG's New Optimus Pad on Video from MWC

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 01:08 PM

The Mobile World Congress event kicked off today, and we're seeing all sorts of interesting hardware pop up. In the video above, we have the LG Optimus Pad, an NVIDIA Tegra 2-based system (1 GHZ, dual-core CPU), two rear-facing 5 megapixel cameras (I believe for 3D image/video capture), a front-facing 1.3 GHZ camera, and what looks like a 7 inch screen. I tried playing back the video in 720p and pausing it to see if I could make out the spec sheet, but no dice. It looks like Android 2.x rather than Honeycomb, which is interesting given that several of the tablets I saw at CES last month were going to launch with Honeycomb. Still, the performance and design of the LG Optimus Pad look excellent. I'll have to keep my eyes out for this one!

UPDATE: NetbookNews has more details on this product. Turns out it's an 8.9 inch screen, and it is indeed Honeycomb-based.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

One Tablet OS is not Enough

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"Moving on, there's a highly intriguing new tablet in the waiting -- the ViewPad 10Pro. This 10-incher (shown after the break) is a "professional" slate with dual-boot functionality, enabling users to tap into Android 2.2 or Windows 7 Professional at their leisure."

It happens to me all the time. I am out on the road, working away on my Windows 7 tablet, and I think, "You know what would be great? If I could switch to Android and do my stuff through that OS for a while". It looks like ViewSonic has been read my mind! The ViewPad 10Pro. No more compromises! You get the best of both worlds. I only hope that in Android mode, there are some more tangible benefits than just having access to some Froyo goodness like extended battery life. Dual boot tablets have been tried before, and companies are still trying to find a sweet spot. Maybe the ViewPad 10Pro will do just that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Touching the HP TouchPad

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

"It tips the scales at 1.6 pounds and measures 13.7mm thick, which is somewhat of a downer for those already put off by the heft found in Apple's slate. As we'd heard last month, HP's shipping this one with its own Beats audio engine, Touch-to-Share (a feature that lets users easily transfer a website, document, song, text or call from the phone to the tablet -- or vice versa -- simply by tapping the two devices together) and a huge reliance on the cloud."

It is taking some time, but efforts to challenge the iOS empire is shaping up. While there are more Android tablets out there than Justin Beiber fans, few have seen any traction. Enter HP's first real attempt at the slate tablet, powered by webOS. The claims made by HP make it sound like it might just be able to replace your computer, desktop, notebook or otherwise, for all your regular day to day consumerish needs. It even has a few features like support for some office applications for can probably do some work if one is so inclined. The video looks delightfuly yummy as well. All I can say is that it is nice to see some competition and decent alternatives come about. It should help encourage even better stuff down the road.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Motorola's Much-Hype Xoom Tablet Commercial Debuts During Superbowl

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 11:46 AM

Thoughts? I liked it quite a bit, though it's clearly more about establishing the positioning of the product in the marketplace - "We're not the iPad! We're different!" - than it is about showing the product. Definitely my favourite commercial of the ones that Laptop Magazine profiles. Yours?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

LG's G-Slate Coming to the US

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"The G-Slate is 8.9 inches running Android 3.0 and a dual-core 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, 32 GB of internal memory, two cameras (5 megapixels on the back and 2 megapixels on the front), LED flash and HD (1080p) video as well as stereoscopic 3D recording capability."

It took a while, but it looks like Android is finally shaping up to present some competition to the iPad. With Honeycomb, a lot of companies are making their entries into the slate market in a big way and with a step up over the original iPad specs. Dual core processing and capable 3D rendering should make Android tablets tempting to buy, though once the iPad 2 comes out, competition might become a lot stiffer. With the rate at which the slate market is developing, it actually will not surprise me if we start seeing quad core devices within a year. Once we reach that milestone, I actually begin to wonder if we will see a rule of diminishing returns, where slate (and even smartphone) capabilities will be enough that hardware will no longer be a determining factor. Is a slate tablet in your sights or are you going to wait the weeks months needed for yet another generation to come out?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Motorola Xoom Will Be $799 Unsubsidised?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:30 PM

"Well at exactly 12:58PM we received a tip that at launch, the Motorola XOOM would be introduced at $799 with the HTC Thunderbolt coming in at $250. The prices weren't surprising and fit exactly what we had imagined, but were hesitant to go with it. And then, pictures providing visual evidence popped up confirming our tip. So here we go with the first glimpse into Verizon's 4G LTE pricing model."

$799 seems a bit steep, but based on what I saw at CES, the Xoom is an impressive piece of hardware - certainly one of the top Android slates that should be considered by anyone looking for a high-end device. I'm looking forward to some actual reviews of this device rather than watching it play video clips.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Acer And CherryPal Think This Tablet Fad Just Might Stick Around

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 02:00 PM

This week we began to hear news of still more Android tablets set to enter the market this year. Acer has announced plans to launch 7 and 10-inch tablets by mid year. Both devices will run on Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors and Google's Android operating system. The big surprise here is that Acer planes to phase out netbooks and move firmly into the tablet market. This is quite the shock coming from the king of netbooks.

In related news CherryPal, makers of one of last years sub $200 Android tablets has seriously stepped up their game. The current buzz is that CherryPal will be launching a new 7-inch Android tablet with a 1 GHz CPU, high resolution capacitive screen, HDMI port, and WiFi/GSM radios for connectivity. Along with GPS, Bluetooth and front/rear cameras this device might be worth your bucks this round.

Sign Up For Updates On T-Mobile's G-Slate

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

T-Mobile now has a sign up page for their G-Slate! The G-Slate will come with Android 3.0 (AKA Honeycomb) and have 4G. But other than that, not much else is known so sign up to get instant updates!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Renderings of HP webOS Tablets Leak to Engadget

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:30 PM

"Oh, hello. A trusted tipster just sent in these internal renders of HP / Palm's "Topaz" webOS tablet, which is one of two tablets currently being developed in Sunnyvale. That's right, two tablets: the 9-inch Topaz and a 7-inch model codnamed Opal -- a lineup that fits nicely into Palm's "Something big, Something small, Something beyond" tagline for its upcoming February 9th event."

The tablet space is getting crowded, but with the brand muscle of both HP and Palm, I think they can make some magic happen here - assuming that the specs and price point of the products are in line. There's going to be a 7" and a 9" tablet, and it looks like a button-less design. Engadget has a few more details - looks quite interesting! I wonder though if HP has the muscle to get developers on board with apps? That's the real secret sauce in the tablet race in my opinion - having nice hardware isn't quite enough.

Friday, January 14, 2011

CES 2011: Panasonic Viera Android Tablets

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 09:00 AM

It seems like you couldn't go ten feet at CES without running into someone showing off an Android-based tablet - oh Microsoft, how could you not see this coming - but sometimes the popped up in surprising places. One such place was the Panasonic booth. Amidst giant 3D TVs, HD video cameras, and technology galore, were a series of three tablets: 10 inch, 7 inch, and 4 inch. Each of these tablets were prototypes; Panasonic isn't shipping these yet. They link up to Panasonic's on-board Viera software to do neat things like steam any video from the tablet to the TV. This type of integration is slick - check out out the video.

CES 2011: Dell Streak 7 Hands-On

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Streak" @ 08:00 AM

There was practically a rugby scrum immediately following the Dell press conference in the side are where the products were available for hands-on, so this is me filming someone else playing with the device. Looks pretty slick, and the performance looks great - very smooth and fluid. I've been waiting for more seven-inch slates to hit the market before making a buying decision; the Dell Streak 7 is definitely on my short list.

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