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

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!

Android Thoughts

Loading feed...

Windows Phone Thoughts

Loading feed...

Digital Home Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "slate"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

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.

Monday, November 8, 2010

CherryPal CherryPad is Far From Cherry

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

"The CherryPad's $188 price may seem low, but even that amount of money isn't pocket change that you can just throw away on a product that you won't enjoy using. Even assuming CherryPal can get the Android Market working again on this device, the sluggish performance and frustrating touchscreen would make this tablet a poor value at any price. If you're looking for a low-cost tablet, you may want to consider the Nook Color eReader (which isn't a tablet but can surf the Web for $249), go for an iPod touch, or shop around for an affordable Android slate with a more responsive capacitive screen. Ultimately, you're better off saving up for a Galaxy Tab or an iPad."

While this looks like an improvement from the Augen tablet I checked out a few months back, it still doesn't look ready for prime-time. But, we are getting closer to the dream of an affordable and highly functional Android tablet, so be excited, I know I am.

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!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Can The Kindle Survive In a Tablet World?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 08:00 PM

"We can read books on our phones, laptops, and tablets. So why would we throw in a dedicated e-reader like the Kindle when packing our already cramped carry-on bags? As you might expect, CEO Jeff Bezos is happy to supply an answer: angry birds."

An interesting perspective, and one that I ultimately agree with. Although the Kindle and the iPad look similar on the surface, when one weighs 1.6 pounds and the other 8.7 ounces, one lasts hours on a charge while the other lasts weeks, and one is $139 and the other is $499, you start to realize they're very different sort of devices. I'm planning on getting a Kindle this holiday season - the cheap Wi-Fi one - and am hoping I'll like it quite a bit. I love reading, but devices have never reached the price point where I was willing to take the risk of purchasing digital, DRM-protected content. I think that point has finally come...and, yeah, I'm still thinking about buying an iPad. I think I'll wait for v2 there as well...

October 11, 2010: Will There Be a Windows Slate Under My Christmas Tree?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 08:00 PM

"Microsoft is planning to unwrap its slate strategy next Monday at a press event in New York City, Neowin has learned.According to sources familiar with the company's plans, Microsoft will hint at its future Slate plans at the event on October 11. The event's main focus is Windows Phone 7 but Neowin understands that Microsoft officials will speak briefly about the company's future Slate plans."Will Microsoft finally announce a Windows tablet computer? A big New York City event scheduled for Monday, October 11th is expected to concentrate on Windows Phone 7, but slate (tablet) announcements "may" be a part of the program. With the iPad selling in the millions, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab on the horizon, Microsoft certainly is worried seeing a drop in netbook sales, a drop in their share prices, and a drop in their valuation from Goldman Sachs. According to Steve Ballmer, Windows-based slates -will- be available "from this Christmas." Is this too little too late?

Netbook Navigator Nav 9 Slate PC = The Suck

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:00 PM

"With friends like these, Microsoft doesn't need enemies. Reminiscent of the exceedingly mediocre Archos 9 PCTablet, little-known company Netbook Navigator is entering the market with the 8.9-inch Nav 9. This Windows 7 slate has even shorter battery life and an equally frustrating resistive touchscreen. Oh, and it costs almost as much as two entry-level iPads. It's a shame, too, since Microsoft, already late to the tablet game, has barely any Windows 7 slates to show for all of its talk about going after the iPad with "big guns." So far, this seems the best its partners can do."

Ouch. But you really have to wonder what the guys at Netbook Navigator were thinking with this product? "Hey, let's make something that's twice as heavy as an iPad, an awful resistive touch screen, and costs twice as much as an iPad. Win? WIN! <high fives all around>" If you can't bring a product to market with some sort of notable advantage over your competitor, what's the point? Sure, it can run real Windows applications, but with a battery life of only 2 hours and 47 minutes, you won't be doing that for long. Windows 7 is an ugly choice for slates - that seems to be a clear fact based on what we've seen thus far.

Monday, October 4, 2010

T-Mobile Pre-Registration Page for Samsung Galaxy Tab (Info)

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 11:00 PM,+and+Updates)

"We already know that the Galaxy Tab is landing in the UK on November 1, but those of us residing in the US and Canada are still eagerly awaiting information regarding pricing and release dates."

No additional details yet, but you can sign-up today for information in Canada and the US. UK arrival date is expected to be around November 1, 2010, so we can probably expect it sometime after that. I do hope that we will be able to purchase it 'contract free.'

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Netbook Sales Continue to Crash

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

"According to recently released numbers from DisplaySearch, the iPad is taking over, and netbook sales continue to crash. From the second quarter of 2009 to Q2 of 2010, sales of clamshell mini-notes with 10-inch displays were down 8 percent to 6.5 million units."

The graph is a bit confusing, but the bottom line is that the iPad appears to be drawing buyers away from netbooks. According to DisplaySearch, from Q2 of 2009 to Q2 of 2010, netbook (clamshell netbooks with 10-inch displays) sales dropped eight (8) percent to 6.5 million units sold. The article states that over the same time period Apple sold 3.3 million iPads. A slight problem in the statistics, since the iPad wasn't available until April 2010. But the underlying meaning is clear, buyers are looking for something portable. DisplaySearch predicts tablet growth "as much as 41 percent" from this year to next. Even though I own an iPad, I won't replace my "business netbook" with a tablet until I can get one that runs MS Excel and Word. I guess that means that I wait for a Windows 7 tablet ... Come on HP!

Tags: netbooks, slate, ipad

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Official Samsung Galaxy Tab Promo Video

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 09:30 PM

"[The] Samsung Galaxy Tab is loaded with superb cool features, and is going to give the iPad a real tough fight. The widgets interface is specifically neat! The video shows other features, all titled under the "It's Go Time" slogan."

So, where does the Samsung Galaxy Tab fall on your "Want" list? High up? I really like the size - I think it's a logical bump up from a smartphone, but not as gigantic as an iPad.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Death Of The Netbook, Again

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"While PC makers are running full-speed to chase the iPad's success, it's notable that just as quickly they've stopped talking about Netbooks. Some people call them mini-notebooks. Even more people now call them that thing that's bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a laptop that looks more than a little bit clunky next to a tablet device."

Oh no! If you want a netbook, you better go out and buy one fast! From all the press that it has been getting, you would think that manufacturers would be panicking and switching all their factories over to making slates! At 8.4 million shipped in the second quarter of this year, that still sounds like quite a healthy number. And there are some developments, although marginal, in the netbook space. Netbooks just do not have the sparkle they once had and have largely stagnated. If they were to drop in price, or offer something new like great performance (which may be coming!) or 3D acceleration (which is possible!) and more creative designs, consumers might be willing to buy more. I still think that netbooks are a great value, and will continue to exist for years to come. They just are no longer the hot topic.

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.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thoughts on the Augen Gentouch Tablet

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

So, after a good amount of hunting, I finally managed to acquire the Gentouch Android tablet. There have been some mixed reviews on the web and The Yaz posted a very nice analysis in our forums. So, after a few days of using the device I'm going to give you my thoughts. Overall, I think it is a pretty good device, but I don't think a lot of users are going to be disappointed with it in its current form. Read on to see why.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Early Review of the Dell Streak

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Streak" @ 09:30 PM

"The Dell Streak is born into a hardware environment that desperately needs an Android-based tablet-or any kick-ass tablet that doesn't run Apple's "stop it now before it borgs the free world" iOS. Our current tally shows no fewer than 30 touch-operated tablets that could be launching in the next six months, and the majority of this freshman class of iPad killers will probably be running Google's mobile operating system."

This review rates the Streak as an average tablet, but as a pretty darned good (if huge) Smartphone. Simply holding the Streak up to an ear takes the author (and me) back to the early days of mobile phone bricks - it's really big. Using it as a tablet, some of the oft-described software quirkiness makes for a less than stellar experience, for example, web browsing on this 5-inch screen using the smallish on-screen keyboard. On the plus side, comparing the Streak to some typical Smartphones, its feature-set scores well.

I thought about getting a Streak, but rumors of upcoming models with larger screens (also from Dell) have convinced me to wait. That, and the fact that I need a tablet computer that runs Excel and Word ... meaning Windows in some flavor.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

HP's "eStation Zeen" - What the Heck is This?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 10:04 PM

"This is crazy, but we've now gotten multiple tips claiming that the Zeen is actually an Android-based tablet with e-reader functionality that can also dock with an HP printer and become its interface. E-reading, Zeen, magazine -- get it?"

So, any guesses as to what this is? It looks like it might be a Compaq-branded product (why they even have the Compaq brand any more is beyond me...), but as to what exactly it is...who knows. I know HP is trying to innovate in the printer space, but do we need a tablet to print stuff?

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?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Augen GenTouch78 Disappoints

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 03:30 PM

"When buying discount electronics, there's a delicate balance consumers have to consider between expense and quality. If a device doesn't cost much, some faults can be forgiven. Sometimes, however, it's not worth even the small amount of money you forked over for it. Sadly, Augen's $149 GenTouch78 falls in the latter category. While it may achieve cult status in the Android hacker community, consumers should steer clear of its frustrating resistive touchscreen and poor button placement."

My local Kmart fell through on their promise to have me one of these on Monday, so I haven't had the chance to play with one. Based on this review, they might have just saved me $149. While I was initially excited about this device, that fact that I'm probably going to have to wait a while to get one and still am going to be a bit disappointed with it makes me think I'd be better off being patient until the end of the year and hope that for a bit more cash I can get a much better product.

The iPad Will Rule The US Tablet Market

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 PM

"But did Apple just destroy the US tablet market in the same way? Are manufacturers really going to invest millions upon millions of dollars in R&D and marketing when consumers are buying the iPad by the millions? Is the US tablet market dead?"

Tablets, even slate tablets, have been around for a very long time, so I do not think that the iPad has preemptively killed the US market in any fashion. I believe that the iPad will certainly dominate for quite some time, as the tablet market was about as stagnant as the phone market was when the iPhone was introduced, but competition for the iPad already exists in the form of netbooks, and I am fairly sure that other major manufacturers will also look into entering the market with their own slates. The iPad certainly has a lead in the market but just as they drew from the resources and lessons learned with the iPhone, other manufacturers already have numerous tools, largely from the phone market, which can be used to compete.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Big Competition for the iPad?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 01:00 PM

"Check out this 14mm-thin contender: built by Pegatron and still at the prototype stage, the MasterPad looks to be the embodiment of Steve Ballmer's incoming armada of desirable Windows 7 tablets."

Tipping the scales at about 990 grams (around 2.2-pounds) in its prototype stage, the MasterPad may sport an 11.6-inch screen, 1366x768 resolution, 3G connectivity, webcam and 32/64GB SSD. Windows 7 (premium, apparently, from the video) and Android appear to be the OS options, and support for Flash and 1080p video is expected. Negatives, at least as described in the prototype are a 2-cell battery providing only 5-hours of use, and an Intel Atom 1.66GHz Atom N450 CPU. Looking at the video showing what I assume is the prototype, it appears reasonably thin, but has a massive onscreen keyboard. Arrival expected "in the coming months," and no pricing information was available.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Engadget Reviews the Gentouch 78

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 07:30 AM

"We'll be spending a bit more time with the Gentouch 78 to make a final call on its functionality, but it's crystal clear that this isn't a high-end device. If you were hoping to find a beautiful iPad substitute for a fraction of the cost, keep on looking. However, considering most Kmarts have been selling out of these within hours of receiving new inventory, this just may be the answer all you cheap tablet seekers have been looking for -- just be prepared to put up with more than a few annoyances along the way."

Engadget has done a quick review. It looks like there are definitely some quirks, but in my opinion most appear to be acceptable for a $150 device. The one thing that may be a deal-breaker is that the advertised market availability does not seem to be realistic. I'll report back on that more as soon as I get my hands on one.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Video Proof that the Augen Tablet Exists

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

This is the first video I've seen of the tablet. The reviewer is an iPad user and has never touched Android before, and he still thinks it is OK for the cost. Overall, I think it looks like a buy for $150. The local Kmart manager told me I'll have one in my hands this Monday, so I'm hoping to have a quick look done shortly thereafter. If you've got some specific questions you want answered about this device, post them here and I'll do my best to include the answers.

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Sponsored links