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All posts tagged "tablet"


Monday, June 6, 2011

Toshiba's Thrive Tablet Detailed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:08 PM

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a conference call today that covered the Toshiba Thrive, a tablet that I initially saw at CES back in January. The official wraps came off today, and I got the full breakdown along with a bunch of photos. The specs for this tablet are impressive, though I'm not sure if Toshiba is going to be able to justify this price premium - with the 32 GB Asus Transformers coming in at $499 USD, Toshiba wanting to charge $579 for the same thing is going to be a hard sell. Here's how things look...

  • 8 GB ($429.99), 16 GB ($479.99), 32 GB ($579.99) - it's unusual (in a good way) to see a mere $50 give you double the storage at the 8 GB to 16 GB jump
  • I asked, but no explanation was given as to why there's no 64 GB version - I'd guess it comes down to price. Toshiba probably didn't feel they could be price competitive at the 64 GB mark
  • The Thrive is 0.6 inches thick and 1.6 pounds
  • They didn't tell us what powered it, but other sites are reporting a 1 Ghz Tegra 2 with 1 GB of RAM
  • When I asked about why they were starting at 8 GB, they said it was for users who were interested at a low price point - users who use Web surfing and simple tasks and 8 GB is enough for them. With the full-sized SD card slot, it's easy for users to expand storage easily.
  • Battery life is rated at 7 hours of continuous HD video playback at an unknown brightness
  • The battery will charge to 90% capacity in 90 minutes
  • It has WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, accelerometer
  • Android 3.1, 10.1 inch display, 1280 x 800 resolution IPS screen, stereo speakers with SRS audio, 2 MP front camera, 5 MP rear camera

Read more...


Waterfield Design's iPad 2 Suede Jacket Reviewed

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

To watch in full screen 1080p, please click on the video title and go over to YouTube.

This is my review of the Waterfield Design iPad 2 Suede Jacket. It's a simple product that works exceptionally well - if you're looking for a simple sleeve for your iPad 2, this is an affordable, effective product. The Ultrasuede is extremely soft and will protect your iPad from scratches and scuffs - but of course won't protect it from anything more than that. The pouch on the back is handy for carrying a few iPad accessories, and with prices starting at $19, it's an affordable option. If you're looking for a simple, lightweight way to protect your iPad v1 or iPad v2 - with or without a Smart Cover - I highly recommend the iPad 2 Suede Jacket.

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, his wonderful son Logan, and his sometimes obedient dog. He's surprised how much he uses his iPad 2.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.


DecalGirl and GelaSkins: Different Levels of iPad Protection

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

Remember that awesome skin above that I posted about a month or so ago? Well, I decided to swap the iPad 2 32 GB for a 64 GB model - my local Apple Store made it incredibly easy for me, allowing me to keep the 32 GB iPad until the 64 GB models came back into stock (which was an extra two weeks). Even though Apple email support can sometimes be downright creepy, I've had mostly good experiences inside the Apple store. Back to the skin: I removed the Wolverine skin (which came from GelaSkins) and left it for a few hours, hoping it would restore some of it's original form. Read more...


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Zinio Brings Magazines to Android Tablets

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

http://www.zinio.com/press/press-re...easeid=pr148220

"Thousands of magazines that satisfy every passion and hobby, from Road & Track and Rolling Stone to Robb Report, ELLE and BlackBook are now available to Android users on the Zinio app in Google’s Android Market. Whether they are at home on their PCs and Macs, or on the road with their Apple or Android tablets and select smartphones, magazine lovers get the most from their magazines with Zinio."

Zinio has been putting magazines on iOS devices for a while. They've finally released a reader for Android! If you like reading any magazine and you have a Honeycomb tablet you may want to check this out. Zinio apparently offers almost any magazine you can think of. You can get the Zinio app for free in the Android Market. If you need some incentive, they're offering an issue from the top 24 magazines for free to get you started. The blurb above, from their press release, says Zinio works on "select smartphones" but I tried and couldn't install it (the Market wouldn't let me) on my Droid X. It looks like you're set as long as you have a Honeycomb Tablet. I'd love to hear how the reading experience is on a Honeycomb tablet with their app. Let us know if you try it out!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ASUS' Padfone Brings A Cool Summery Treat Just In Time For the Holidays

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 10:30 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/30/...dfone-launch-v/

"We just got to spend some quality time with ASUS' newly unveiled Padfone and you can see the smartphone that doubles up as a tablet on video after the break."

Is it too early to start thinking about the holidays again? ASUS doesn't think so! They are working on the Padfone, a smartphone/tablet combo, and hope it will be released later this year. It isn't official, but they have hinted that it may ship with Ice Cream Sandwich. If we find out more details we will let you know!


Monday, May 30, 2011

HTC Puccini 10.1" Honeycomb Tablet Coming Soon

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:30 AM

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20110525PD220.html

"HTC has entered the final stages of testing for its 10.1-inch Puccini tablet PCs, with volume production slated for June 2011."

Mass production of the HTC Puccini tablet is scheduled to start in June. This will be an interesting device for a few reasons. First, the hardware. It is the first tablet I'm aware of with a 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor (I'm pretty sure that's dual-core). It also has a resistive/capacitive screen so it can use touch people are now used to on these devices as well as an old-school stylus. This makes a lot of sense for data entry, note taking, or editing on a tablet device. It will be interesting to see how practical or needed a stylus really is these days. Second, the software. It apparently will ship with Android 3.0.1 which I'm hoping is a typo and it will have 3.1 instead. Either way, as you can tell from the screen shot above HTC has built a new UI for Honeycomb devices. A lot of people seem to like Sense on their phone. I really wish OEM's would stop changing the stock interface and just let you download a different launcher if you want instead. Have you been waiting for the Puccini? What do you most like, or not like, about it?


Friday, May 27, 2011

The Latest Android from Archos: The 101 Internet Tablet

Posted by Anjuan Simmons in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 10:00 AM

Product Category: Android Tablet
Manufacturer: Archos
Where to Buy: Expansys
Price: $299.99 (8 GB), $349.99 (16 GB)
Specifications: 10.5 inch 1024x600 Touchscreen, Android 2.2, Front-facing Camera (1.3 MP), 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, 8 GB Onboard Memory, Micro SD Card slot, 4,000 mA battery, 1.0 Ghz AP S5PC110 Processor, Bluetooth 2.1

Pros:

  • Large screen;
  • Multiple connectivity options (USB, micro-USB, HDMI);
  • Great battery life.

Cons:

  • Limited viewing angles;
  • Poor camera;
  • Has difficulty handling processor intensive apps.

Summary: The latest Android tablet from Archos offers a 10 inch screen, a panoply of ports (USB, Micro-USB, Mini-HDMI, and more), and enough battery life to get you through the day. However, it lacks the processing power of more expensive models and also has one or two fatal flaws such as a low resolution front-facing camera. Is the Archos worth the investment of your hard earned money, or should you wait for another entrant into the mid-range tablet field? Check out my review and see for yourself! Read more...


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tablets For Real Work? If You Keep Your Expectations In Check, Yes

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:00 PM

Last week I did something for the first time: I took my iPad 2, my Apple Bluetooth keyboard, and a pair of headphones - nothing else - and went to my local library to do some writing work. Read more...


Intel Based Honeycomb Tablet on the way from Acer

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

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20110523PD221.html

"Taiwan-based notebook brand vendor Acer is set to launch a tablet PC featuring the Intel Oak Trail platform and Google Android 3.0 operating system with the device already going under mass production by Compal Electronics and will start selling in July at the latest, according to sources from upstream component players."

There you have it! Acer has a 10" Android Honeycomb tablet coming, probably in July. While this is not the first Android tablet with an Intel processor, I think that would be the Cisco Cius, it is the first one running Honeycomb that I'm aware of. Since the architecture is different than the ARM architecture used by all other Android devices there would be some compatibility issues to work through that would probably involve recompiling the Android kernel and who knows what bugs could come up. Let's hope Acer worked out all the kinks and the tablet works just like a ARM Honeycomb tablet. Since Android uses Java which is supposed to be platform independent there is a good chance that with a recompiled JVM it should be able to run all the current Android apps - without the actual apps being recompiled. It think it's good Intel is finally going to start challenge ARM. This could help innovation and prices! Will you be waiting for an Acer Honeycomb tablet?


Friday, May 20, 2011

Not Enough Tablets to Choose From? Don't Worry, Here Come More from Intel!

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:30 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/18/...ex-including-a/

"For all its processing might, Intel is a non-player in the booming tablet space. Consumers, no longer trapped in the WinTel PC juggernaut, are increasingly opting for devices running software experiences optimized for more power efficient ARM processors. Intel hopes to break back into the market it once dominated with the release of "more than ten new tablets" at Computex later this month."

The tablet world is exploding and Intel wants in on the action! Back in Pocket PC days Intel used to make StrongARM mobile processors (actually bought it from DEC) and then replaced that line with the XScale line. Of course there were the Tablet PCs as well. Really though, Intel don't have a lot of experience with low-power high-performance processors, especially when it comes to graphics and everything being done with mobile devices now. Who knows, Intel may come up with just the right CPU for your tablet needs. Intel expects to have their chipsets (probably including an Intel CPU) in more than 35 tablets shipping by the end of the year - that's crazy! I love all the shapes and sizes of tablets available and, as always, I'm glad to see more competition entering the market. What do you think? Will you hold out for a tablet with an Intel inside?


Android 3.1 Tested and Found Worthy

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 05:00 AM

http://blog.laptopmag.com/android-3...ch-better-is-it

"Put simply, Android 3.1 makes Honeycomb feel like a finished product, making it a much more worthy competitor to iOS on the iPad. It's more stable, provides increased usability with expandable widgets, and lets you access more recently used apps than before. We also appreciate the improved web browsing and Flash performance. And with the introduction of movie rentals, the Android Market is finally starting to catch up to iTunes in terms of multimedia content. The Android Market still needs a lot more apps, but Android 3.1 provides a much better foundation for anyone considering a Google-powered tablet than its predecessor."

Laptop Magazine gives Honeycomb 3.1 a pretty thorough evaluation and comes to the conclusion that 3.1 is a mature, ready-for-prime-time tablet OS. Is this the OS that will not only push Android into the tablet mainstream, but give iOS a run for its money? Only time will tell, but the future is looking bright for the little green guy in his bumblebee suit.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

HTC Takes a Flyer With Their New Tablet

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/16/...c-flyer-review/

"Yes, we're talking about the 7-inch Flyer, the most unique of this year's Android tablet offerings, opting for a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a sturdy aluminum construction that doesn't even try to compete in the race for extreme thinness, and a Magic Pen to make you forget it's running Gingerbread and not Honeycomb (yet). Also set for release under the EVO View 4G moniker on Sprint in the US, this tablet is the sum of a set of bold choices on the part of HTC."

HTC has really made a name for themselves in the Android marketplace, coming up with some innovative designs and features and their Flyer tablet is no exception. Check out this review to see if it's the right tablet for you. As far as I'm concerned, this one is right up there on my wish list.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Another Tablet on the way from HTC...Meet the Puccini

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 10:30 AM

http://www.slashgear.com/htc-puccini-tablet-detailed-honeycomb-1-5ghz-dual-core-and-lte-17152391/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: slashgear (SlashGear)

"Details on what could well be HTC’s second Android tablet of 2011 have leaked, codenamed the HTC Puccini, and expected to be the company’s first Android 3.0 Honeycomb slate complete with AT&T LTE 4G support."

One thing that sets this tablet apart from the others is that instead of a Tegra 2 HTC chose to use a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. That CPU uses an Adreno 220 GPU which should be very fast. With that high clock speed and good GPU it will be interesting to see if this is a Tegra 2 killer. It will also have AT&T 4G LTE support built in. One plus or minis depending on whether or not you like the HTC Sense interface is that HTC has it on the Puccini. Personally, I would much rather have the original Honeycomb interface but I shouldn't knock it until I try it. Make sure to hit the "Read" link below for the rest of the details. What do you think of the HTC Puccini? Does it seem to be a tablet that you would consider?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Head to Head Battle: iPad 2 vs. Motorola XOOM

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Motorola XOOM" @ 07:30 AM

This is a head to head comparison video between the Android 3.0 Honeycomb-based Motorola XOOM and the iOS 4-based Apple iPad 2. Each tablet has pros and cons, and I discuss my findings after using both of them for a while. Chime in with your own thoughts!


Engadget Reviews the HTC Flyer: 12 Hours of Battery Life? Yowzers!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 06:00 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/16/...c-flyer-review/

"Over the past couple of years, HTC has rapidly built up an enviable reputation (and bank balance) in the smartphone space with a succession of feature-rich, smartly designed, and innovative handsets...Today, the company's Android assembly line is turning out yet another groundbreaking device, though this one's closer in size to the Athena than the Aria. Yes, we're talking about the 7-inch Flyer, the most unique of this year's Android tablet offerings, opting for a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a sturdy aluminum construction that doesn't even try to compete in the race for extreme thinness, and a Magic Pen to make you forget it's running Gingerbread and not Honeycomb (yet)."

I have a soft spot in my heart for HTC products - I've watched this scrappy company grow from being a fairy small ODM making Pocket PCs for the likes of HP to being a powerful phone brand making phones for practically every carrier in the world. It was with great interest that I read this review of the HTC Flyer, because I've been wondering how this latest foray into the bigger-than-a-phone world would go for them this time. This isn't their first time at the plate - remember the HTC Advantage? Or the HTC Shift? Both were products that had a gem of awesomeness at their core but were ultimately limited by the hardware at the time.

So did the Flyer do any better? Yes and no. I was relieved - and quite impressed - that the battery life of the Flyer was tested at being 12 hours. There were rumours for the past couple of months that they battery life on the Flyer was a meagre four hours...I read it time and time again in forum comments, Tweets, etc. Why HTC didn't step up and correct this fallacy is beyond me - I was initially quite interested in the Flyer because I'm a fan of the 7 inch tablet form factor, but when I read about the four hour battery life I immediately axed this from my list of potential non-iPad 2 options.

It looks like the HTC is a strong contender in a field of competition - can it stand out, and can HTC slim it down in the next generation?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 Inch HTC "Puccini" Tablet on the Way?

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

http://pocketnow.com/android/htc-pu...-tablet-for-att

That itty-bitty picture above is supposedly an image of the forthcoming 10 inch HTC tablet, code-named "Puccini". The rumour is that this tablet will be one of the first to work on AT&T's forthcoming LTE network, making it a true 4G device. Nothing is known of the specs, though one can safely assume it's based on Android Honeycomb 3.x and will very likely feature the same HTC Sense interface we saw on the Flyer. My hope? That it gets into the 10 hour battery life range that has become the norm for tablets of this size - the four hour battery life of the HTC Flyer kept me from even considering that tablet.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Motorola's XOOM: Promising, But Not Ready For Prime Time

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Motorola XOOM" @ 08:00 AM

At first I was somewhat paralyzed. Then I pulled the trigger on the XOOM and I unboxed it. And now it's time for the review!

Here's the rundown on the hardware: this version of the XOOM has 32 GB of storage and no integrated 3G/4G; like other XOOMs, it has 1 GB of RAM, a microSD card slot (that unfortunately doesn't work right now), Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, a 5 megapixel rear camera with dual xeon flashes, and a 2 megapixel front camera. The 10.1 inch screen is 1280 x 800 resolution, and there's a 3.5mm headphone jack - along with a microHDMI connector for video out, and a microUSB connector for synchronization. It has a special power connector though and won't charge over USB. It weighs in at 681 grams (1.5 pounds), and is 249 mm across, 168mm tall, and 12.9mm thin.

Now, on to the two-part review! Read more...


Friday, May 6, 2011

Things Amazon's Possibly-Forthcoming Tablet Must Have to Beat the iPad

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 03:30 PM

http://www.businessinsider.com/amaz...features-2011-5

"All signs point to an Android-based tablet coming soon from Amazon. There are reports that it's already in production for a fall launch, and Amazon has gone on a hiring spree for Android developers. It makes sense. The Nook Color just got a nice upgrade to Android 2.2 Froyo, turning the device into a fully-functional tablet for just $250."

Most of these fall into the "no brainer" category, but if Amazon can deliver a tablet that offers an attractive design, reasonable performance, and an easy-to-swallow price tag, they could have a hit on their hands. Amazon has had a near-perfect execution with the Kindle - they achieved great mindshare, have evolved the product over three iterations, and have a powerful ecosystem for selling products. If anyone can deliver an Android tablet that really rocks, it just might be Amazon!


Friday, April 29, 2011

Nokia Wants in on the Tablet Game!

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/28/...another-tablet/

"According to an interview with YLE television in Finland, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is taking a very calculated approach to tablets, saying, "We could take advantage of Microsoft technology and software, and build a Windows-oriented tablet, or we could do things with some of the other software assets that we have. Our team right now is assessing what's the right tablet strategy for Nokia.""

I would have thought Nokia had enough on their hands moving from Symbian to Windows Phone 7. I guess I was wrong. While there is no timeline and they don't even seem sure which operating system they would use on a tablet it's clear the CEO wants to to compete with all the others out there. At least he wants to make sure their tablet is different from the rest. While I'm having a hard time picturing this as a hot seller maybe Nokia will have the fresh ideas needed to take tablets to the next level. What do you think about a Nokia tablet?


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Motorola Releases Update for the Xoom

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 07:00 PM

http://www.droid-life.com/2011/04/2...-live-tomorrow/

"A Motorola XOOM update will be made available [today] that brings a bunch of fixes to the device including Bluetooth support on Google Talk and for a mouse, proxy support, and a new picture transfer protocol."

A PDF from Verizon introduces the latest update for the Motorola Xoom Android tablet. Is has a number of fixes like for HTML display of POP3 email as well as a few new features like support for a Bluetooth mouse. I'm not sure how Android would be with a pointer but it would be fun to at least try. I wonder if they have a way to do two finger gestures with the mouse, like rotating the display in Google Maps...anyway, it's great to see that so many issues are addressed. The update is only 28MB, which doesn't sound too big to me. Unfortunatly it doesn't add support for the MicroSD card slot. I'm not sure what's up with that since apparently the MicroSD card slot is fully functional out of the box on the Asus EeePad Transformer. Please let us know if you give this update a try. Does it work as advertised, do more, or less?


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