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

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All posts tagged "tablet pc"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

LG Optimus Pad 3D to Help Canadians Work Harder and Play Harder

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 09:30 PM

"Today, LG is bringing media content to life with the release of the Optimus Pad, the world's first tablet with a 3D camera. The tablet is the latest in mobile technology, with a dual-core processor and running on the newest Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS. The LG Optimus Pad with Android 3.0 Honeycomb means that, not only will you be able to access all the latest apps from the Android Market, but you'll also be able run multiple apps simultaneously."

Another Android 3.0 tablet thrown into the mix, but this one has a gimmick, a 3D camera. With an 8.9-inch screen, LG is betting that maybe this is the tablet for people that think a 7-inch screen is too small, and a 10-inch screen is too large and unwieldy. Oddly enough, the resolution is 1280x768, or a 15:9 aspect ratio. The ability to capture 3D images and video is interesting, but unless a 3D TV is available, it remains simply a gimmick. Do 3D images seen in 2D still look bad? Does the addition of a 3D camera add value? Price at Rogers range from $449 subsidized (with plan), to $699 (unsubsidized). Canadian readers - thumbs up? thumbs down?

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LE Reviewed

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 02:30 PM

"It may be a bit difficult to pay attention to the spate of Honeycomb tablets that seem to be popping up left, right and center -- you know, now that Ice Cream Sandwich has been officially promised -- but what's not easy to overlook is an 8.6mm slate. Checking in at a sliver of a pinch thinner than the illustrious iPad 2, Samsung's rethought-out, redesigned and definitely-not-renamed Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the first Android tablet to date that seriously goes toe-to-toe with Apple in both specifications and design."

Looks like we may soon have a new leader in the Android Tablet Race. Scheduled for release on or about June 8, 2011, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 is, in the reviewer's eyes, the first Android tablet to equal and (or) surpass the iPad 2 in most areas. Larger (wide) screen, sleek and attractive, better resolution @ 1280x800, lighter, and arguably more powerful, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 appears to be arriving at the same price as the iPad2, starting at $499 for a 16GB WiFi model. Come on, Samsung, how about being a tad cheaper than the iPad?!

Still, looking at the video, I think that the iPad still leads in ease-of-use out of the box, but Android seems to be catching up. With Android 3.1 on the near horizon, some of the complains are remedied, like adding re-sizeable widgets, USB host support, better HTML5 support, task switcher improvements, and improved performance. Looks like the gauntlet has been thrown down - it'll be interesting to see if iOS now 'borrows' some of the better features from Android. And, again, the consumer benefits!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Look at the Fujitsu Lifebook T580

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:30 PM

"Fujitsu's LifeBook T580 convertible notebook caters to a niche market segment looking for the functionality of a standard ultraportable notebook with the slick interface of a tablet PC. The unit's rotating 10-inch display folds flat over the nearly full-size keyboard, providing users with a dual digitizer display that can be used with an active stylus and up to four fingers"

If you like tablets, but do not want to give up your keyboarding skills, convertible notebooks still exist. Fujitsu has just released their LifeBook T580 to the masses and while it is not quite as light or cheap as a tablet, it offers much more punch than your typical slate. In the same size as a netbook, it is a bit beefier, but do not expect workstation performance for such a wee device. I would also question the tablet mode's utility. While Windows 7 does have support for touchscreens, including multi-touch, the whole Windows 7 interface is much more appropriate for traditional use, and some links are bound to be tiny on the small screen. Does anyone use a convertible like this? Is it worth the cost?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Motion Computing Readies CL900 For Sale

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

"It's been a while since we first laid eyes upon this rugged little guy, but Motion Computing's CL900 tablet is finally available for orders, starting at $899. Designed with enterprise markets in mind, the 2.1-pound Windows 7 slate runs on a 1.5GHz Intel Oak Trail Atom Z670 processor and rocks a 10.1-inch, 1366x768 multi-touch display that's shielded in Corning Gorilla Glass."

It is not an iPad, or is it a PlayBook, or even a Xoom. It definitely looks much more like consumer tablets than its predecessors with a cleaner bezel, but do not be fooled! The corporate world still exists, and while other tablets get much more mindshare and marketing, tablets have been in use for a long time and it is nice to see them get updated with more current technology. And yes, there is still a place for stylus input!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sony Tablets Fail to Impress

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:00 PM

"Sony just announced out two new tablets. Announced that is, of course and there is just the promise that the products will likely be on the market by the end of the year, which is a sure sign that they will be old news when they finally arrive in stores. They seem to repeat the mistakes Sony, and others, made during the iPod wars and we know how that turned out. Sony got its ass kicked along with pretty much everyone else."

Let us all feel sorry for Sony. They just do not seem to be able to catch a break lately. Aside from certain security issues they are dealing with righ tnow, it seems as if their newly launched S1 and S2 tablets are not getting much love. The S1 and S2 certainly look interesting, but I double that they will get much traction among consumers. I have seen many impressive products come from Sony. The one I remember most is their VAIO UX series. Like the S1 and S2, the UX series was really ultra-mobile and portable. Unfortunately, it never really caught on, and Sony seems to have gone from one unpopular idea to another. Maybe someday, one of them will stick!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Acer Offers its Own Tablet Love with the Iconia Tab 500

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

"Priced at $449--$50 lower than the iPad 2--this slickly designed 10.1-inch Honeycomb slate features a brushed-metal design and a full-size USB port, plus Nvidia's powerful Tegra 2 processor. But can this tablet stand out in a field that's already crowded with devices bearing the same OS and specs?"

Hooray for tablets! If you will recall, a few years ago, everyone and their brother was offering netbooks. Over the past year, we have seen many different tablets spring up, but only recently has the main OS for them, Android (Yes, iOS is THE tablet OS right now, but Apple does not license its OS to other manufacturers) come out with a version that is tuned to the needs of a tablet user. With all these choices, what is the best one? It looks like it will come down to personal preference. Just like how the notebook market is saturated right now, the Android tablet market is going to have dozens of choices, most with similar capabilities, and all you have to do is figure out which one feels nicer to you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Atom Z670 Ready And Willing

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

"Built using a 45nm manufacturing process, the Z670 runs at 1.5GHz and promises to support 1080p video with the aid of Intel's GMA 600 integrated graphics, while also keeping power consumption to a minimum and allowing for smaller, thinner, and fanless devices."

Intel seems to want to move the ultraportable x86 market at a glacial pace. The Z670 is an improvement. Woo hoo! Look! It can how handle 1080p video! If that is the biggest claim it can make, I worry about how incremental we can get. Next year, a new model Atom will come out that can decode 3D 1080p video. With AMD's APUs now out in the wild, providing some real competition, the only leverage I can see Intel having is branding and possibly manufacturing capacity. And that is only if the ARM behemonth does not come up and smack the bottom out from under the market.

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.

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

Best Tablet User Experience (UX)? HP TouchPad

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 09:00 PM

"If you asked me last week which tablet user experience was the best, I wouldn't have had a solid answer for you. They all have good points and bad. Whether one is "best" depends greatly on the user. Well, I'm chucking some of that out the window because I have seen the light and it is the HP TouchPad."

Interesting that many tech writers suddenly seem to have a new top challenger to the iPad's dominance: HP's new TouchPad. The author opines that HP's User Experience (UX) is best: the card metaphor (anyone remember Apple's hypercard?); interoperability between the tablet and its siblings in the phone world; portrait or landscape doesn't matter; WebOS, lean and mean, and not like a desktop OS. That being said, some of its best features require a companion WebOS phone, and it lacks the ecosystem that iOS and Android tablets have (or will have). The conclusion is that this will be a tablet for average users, and not for power users. And it has that undeniable Wow factor. But, again we see a lack of a support ecosystem - show me the apps!

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.

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?

Dell Streak 7 Reviewed by Engadget Battery Lacking

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

"Sure, the Streak 7 may just look like an enlarged version of the 5-inch version, but they differ in more than just screen size: the 7 packs a powerful 1GHz dual-core Tegra T20 processor, 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, 5 megapixel lens on the rear, T-Mobile "4G" HSPA+ connectivity, and 16GB of internal memory. The tablet runs Android 2.2 with Dell's Stage UI for now, but Dell promises an upgrade to Honeycomb once it's ready. It sounds like one of the more well-rounded 7-inch tablets on the market right now and at just $200 on contract at T-Mobile (it's $450 without), it's actually quite well priced. However, there are quite a few things that are going to keep 7-inch tablet seekers from forking over the cash."

Looks like another close but no cigar. I'm itching for a 7 inch tablet but after already being burned on one that wasn't ready for prime time, I'm pretty gun shy. Hopefully there should be a plethora of acceptable options in less than 6 months.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Everki Track Laptop Messenger Bag

Posted by Chris Baxter in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

Product Category: Laptop Bag
Manufacturer: Everki
Where to Buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
Price: $59.99
Specifications: Length: 16.54 in., Width: 7.09 in., Height: 12.99 in., Weight 1.98 lbs.


  • Handy compartment designed for Apple iPad or any other similar sized tablet computer;
  • Lots of additional compartments to store other electronics, including power cords;
  • Small enough in size to take anywhere, yet can hold a lot more equipment than you would think.
  • Clasps on front flap are difficult to manage while on the move;
  • The bag only accommodates up to a 15.6" laptop.

Summary: The Everki Track Laptop Messenger Bag, is a bag with a twist. It comes with a compartment especially designed to carry an Apple iPad. Given the wildly popular reception the iPad has received since its debut, there have been a lot of products designed to carry and protect it, but this is the first time I have seen a solution designed into a laptop bag, and that makes it rather unique. While some people might argue that the whole reason they bought an iPad was to ditch their laptop, for other people, myself included, that just isn't realistic. As handy as my iPad is, there are just some things that are done more efficiently with a laptop. So how do I easily carry both? Everki attempts to answer that question with their Track Laptop Bag. Just how successful are they? Let's see!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Could The Scribe Be A Tablet?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:30 PM

"It's an open secret at this point that HTC is almost certainly working on one or more tablets for introduction in 2011 -- and with heavyweights like Samsung, Motorola, and LG all playing the game (or about to play the game), really, how could they not?"

The USPTO (along with the FCC) seems to be a wonderful source for technological speculation. Whenever a company submits a documents, it usually it not long before enthusiasts unearth any details hidden in the filing. This time, HTC is the target and the prize is a tablet, possibly running on Android. HTC has a strong heritage in smartphones and is also no stranger to tablets and tablet like devices. With Samsung showing that Apple is not the only company capable of making a successful tablet, HTC might be able to produce yet another happy story for Android fans. Of course, while it might be Android based, I suspect that HTC's Sense UI may play a role.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Viewsonic ViewPad 7 Disappoints

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

"At first glance, the ViewPad 7 looks like an iPad 4 that’s been taking injections of gadget growth hormone. Like the latest iPhone, ViewSonic’s tablet has rounded-off edges, a handsome metal band skirting its circumference, and a glossy black backing plate. From an industrial design perspective, it’s the slickest Android tablet we’ve tested. And, while the ViewPad 7 easily bests the Dell Streak and lesser Android tablets from a real-world use perspective, it falls short of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, and lags far behind the iPad."

I'm really having a hard time figuring why there hasn't been an awesome Android tablet yet. At least from my perspective, the requirements don't seem too stringent. Make it do the same thing my phone does, just in a larger package. You can also drop the 3G coverage and make it WiFi only as far as I'm concerned as I'll mostly be using it where there is a network or just tether it to my phone. Now come on, somebody get it done!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Microsoft Misses the Boat

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:00 PM

"A new poll suggests that one in five Americans plan to buy a tablet computer within the next three years. That's great news for Apple, RIM, HP Palm, and the hardware companies like Motorola who are building Android-based tablets. It's horrible news for Microsoft, which stands poised to miss the tablet surge just like it missed the first three years of the consumer smartphone explosion."

Quite the shame too. I've had two Windows based laptops that convert to tablet mode and found the software totally lacking. Had Microsoft put some effort into the software interface, they could have been first out the door via their laptop division and then followed on with other more modern tablet devices.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Angry Birds and the Root of All Nooks

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

"In his review of Barnes & Noble’s e-reader Nook Color, Andrew mentioned that eventual root access perhaps could provide the somewhat limited tablet with extra functionality. Thanks to the industrious and experimental gadget lovers at the xda-developers, the Nook Color has now indeed been rooted, but the process is still pretty complicated."

Hacking hardware seems to be a tradition of popular, or even semi-popular electronics. From the Linksys WRT54G series to various HTC phones, hackers have been busy stretching the boundaries of what these electronics are capable of. The Nook Color is no exception. Why root an eBook reader? Well, since the Nook has Android underpinnings, rooting means that you can install your own apps. This is a Good Thing, since the Nook does not give access to the Market. It also makes the Nook a very tempting colour Android tablet. I hope Barnes and Noble priced their tablet so they do not sell it at a loss, as I suspect that once the rooting process is streamlined, quite a few sales of the Nooks will be for non-eBook purposes.

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