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All posts tagged "samsung"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Samsung Windows 8 Slates: Series 5 and Series 7

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Samsung Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:30 AM

"We're still a couple of months away from Windows 8 being available, but we're starting to get a pretty good picture of what the first round of devices will look like running the new operating system. Samsung just showed off the upcoming Series 5 and Series 7 Slates - both are tablet and dock combinations that let each device act as a light, thin tablet, and a full-fledged laptop all at once."

Looks like the ASUS Transformer concept (tablet + keyboard SECURELY connected) is going to be a feature in upcoming Windows 8 Slates (Tabtop or Laplet?), at least from Samsung with their Series 5 and Series 7 offerings. The 1366x768 resolution Series 5 will be offered as a tablet-only at $649, or a tablet+keyboard combo at $749, with 2GB RAM and a 64GB SSD. The more robust Series 7 offers full 1080p resolution, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD, and will start at $1199. Each device will also ship with Samsung's "S Pen" for onscreen activity. Arrival date is expected to be October 26, 2012, to coincide with Windows 8's arrival. Anyone besides me think that this keyboard looks an awful lot like a MacBookAir? Not a bad thing, in my opinion.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1: Mediocre, Less Expensive

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 AM

"When we review a second-generation product there are certain things we tend to take for granted: this new thing, whatever it is, will be thinner, faster, longer-lasting, maybe even with more bells and whistles in tow."

It seems that cheaper isn't always better for the consumer. Samsung has taken their original Galaxy Tab 10.1 and released a "refresh" that is nearly identical, but in some cases have downgraded peformance. But it's cheaper, so it's now competing at the $400 price point with many other tablets (Surprise, Samsung - everybody lowered their prices!). Rather than progressing with design and performance, Samsung took the safe route, and kept to the middle of the road = minimal change. Compromises have been made.

Still sporting a quality 1280x800 display, Samsung has moved the speakers from underneath of the front side, eliminating the muffle effect when lying flat, but they're still buzzy at high volume. Performance lags its Tegra 3 competition, and the user experience is less-than-thrilling, as the OS suffers inexplicable lags and stutters, and the screen becomes unresponsive at times. Battery life comes in at about 9-hours in real life, oddly almost an hour less than the original galaxy Tab 10.1. Apps are pretty standard, on top of ICS 4.0.3 and Samsung's TouchWiz UI-layer. The onboard cameras are pretty dismal, even by tablet standards.

Overall, Samsung has produced an upgrade (or refresh) destined to get lost in the market shuffle of $400 tablets. Really nothing to recommend it over any other tablet in this price range, and there are better choices. Disappointing.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Samsung Wants Everyone In Your Family to Have a Different Galaxy Tab

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 03:00 PM

"And now there's the Galaxy Tab 2, with two models (7.0 and 10.1) that are very slightly improved, but not enough to justify a few hundred bucks."

There are two more tablets from Samsung that are not a lot different from the others. With the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 they are coming in at a nice low price point of $250. The 7.0 has a 1024x600 display and the 10.1 has a 1280x800 display - both are PLS (Samsung's form of IPS) LCD displays. Maybe the biggest change compared to previous Galaxy Tabs is that they both come with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). Samsung did add a MicroSDHC slot to both the 10.1 and the 7.0 models. They're also using TI dual-core processors which, while they're great, they're generally a little slower than Samsung's own Exynos processors that were in some or all older models. The camera's are nothing to brag about with a 3MP in the back and VGA in the front. If you're not sure, VGA was good in about 1992. At least the 3MP is good enough to do 1080p video which both tablets can record at 30fps. One interesting feature on both Galaxy Tab 2's that apparently isn't new to Galaxy Tabs is an IR port for controlling your home audio and video equipment.

Really, you'd think Samsung could have just put Ice Cream Sandwich on some of their older Tabs that haven't sold and lower the price but I guess "newer" is "newer". Lots of people love their Galaxy Tabs so maybe there is more of a market for these than it seems. What do you think?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7: Great Tablet w/Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 AM

"Samsung wants to make an Android tablet for everyone, which is why they have four screen sizes: 7.0", 7.7", 8.9", and 10.1". For many, their 7.0" and 7.7" tablets provide an excellent level of portability while also giving you plenty of screen to warrant a great tablet experience."

A super AMOLED Plus screen with a pixel density of about 196 ppi (iPad 2 is about 131 ppi, for comparison) at 1280x800 makes this tablet a delight to the eyes. Two models are currently shipping: one with wifi and one with wifi and unlocked GSM/UMTS bands. A 4G LTE version is planned for 2012 from Verizon. An unusual (but interesting) feature, the Tab 7.7 has an earpiece, making phone features a possibility, bit it is not yet enabled in the software. Overall, this is a great tablet, but is currently hampered (per the reviewer) by Android 3.2's quirkiness. Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is expected sometime in 2012 Q1. Battery life is outstanding, thanks in part to the Super AMOLED Plus screen's efficiencies. There are currently several resellers, and costs start at $572 for the wifi-only version, or $668 for a version that'll work with an AT&T SIM. With Android 4.x onboard, this may be getting close to the perfect tablet: long battery life, beautiful screen, and fast!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Engadget Reviews the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

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

"We've already established that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a great tablet. Then, just recently, we summarily found that the 1.2-inch smaller Galaxy Tab 8.9 is an even better tablet -- at least for anyone who wants to take their slate places. So, following that logic, the even more petite Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus should be the best of the three, right?"

I'm not a fan of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 because of the lack of MicroSDHC, MicroHDMI, and MicroUSB. The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus actually adds MicroSDHC so that's cool but it has a 1024x600 screen instead of the 1280x800 screen on the larger models. Keep in mind though, while the resolution is lower the screen is significantly smaller so it actually has a higher dpi then the 10.1 at 170dpi compared to 149dpi on the 10.1 - so it will look sharper at the same distance. The 8.9" model actually has the same dpi as the 7" at 170dpi. One interesting difference is the inclusion of an IR port and software that let you use the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus as a universal remote. The review shows good performance, thanks to a 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, and battery life so if you're looking for a 7" tablet you should definitely check it out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus: A Worthy Update

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:00 PM

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus retains its seven-inch display from the first generation Galaxy Tab. Now, upgraded with a dual-core Exynos processor, Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system, and a number of enhancements thanks to the TouchWiz user interface and some preloaded apps, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus refines on the experience that the Galaxy Tab 7 had promised."

Samsung has taken good 7-inch tablet and made it even better: Light; improved but sometimes laggy performance; excellent 1024x600 display that works indoors and outdoors; expandable storage (up to an additional 32GB SDHC); reasonably good cameras that record VGA or 720p HD video; updated Android OS that is actually designed for tablets; and enhanced TouchWiz. Negatives reported are less than stellar battery life, some performance lags in some apps, and slightly confusing design decisions by Samsung. Some bundled apps and some enhancements made by Samsung make for a better user experience. No pricing or availability information was provided, with T-Mobile expected to offer a Wifi + 4G version.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Coming Soon

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 AM

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus tablet with Android 3.2 Honeycomb is available for pre-order on Amazon.Eager customers can now place their pre-orders for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus on Amazon. The device cost $399 for the 16GB model, and $499 for the 32GB version. Shipping dates have not yet been announced."

I think that Samsung will find it tough going competing against the Kindle Fire, especially for twice the price, even though this Wifi-only tablet sports Android 3.2, a 1024x600 touchscreen, front and rear-facing cameras, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. I travel a lot, and regularly perform (admittedly very unscientific) tallies of the types of devices that I see at airports, on airplanes, in coffee shops and restaurants, etc; and I really haven't seen many 7-inch tablets (Kindle readers, yes), so this market segment has room to grow.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Samsung Series 9 Laptop Reviewed: Be Very Afraid Macbook Air, Be Very Afraid

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Samsung Laptops & Netbooks" @ 08:00 AM

Samsung's Series 9 laptop (here's my unboxing) presents the most serious challenge to the success of the Macbook Air thus far - as long as you're not one of those people who has to run OS X. As someone who ran Windows 7 on a Macbook Air for two weeks, I can say that while it's workable, there are enough differences with the keyboard that it can be hard to adjust. Given a couple of months, I probably could have made the shift, but when I started using the Series 9, there was no need to adapt: I could type normally (well, except for that ridiculous tiny left shift key) and the size/weight on the Series 9 felt virtually identical to the Macbook Air I had. Read more...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

European Union To Get The Galaxy

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 07:00 AM

"According to Dutch site Webwereld, the Dusseldorf District Court has issued an interim statement allowing Samsung to again sell the Galaxy Tab throughout the EU nations, with the exception of Germany. The German court will have a formal hearing on August 25, at which time the sales injunction could return."

Tablets are a hot commodity, and it is understandable that companies would take great efforts to protect their sales. However, it seems that Apple's attempt to block the Galaxy Tab from the European Union has hit a snag. The whole Apple iPad/Galaxy Tab battle does signify a greater battle since all tablets are likely going to share a lot of similar properties. The ultimate decision by the courts will probably affect the future of tablet interfaces, and even hardware design.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Will a Google-Motorola Merger be a Disaster?

Posted by Jake Ludington in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:00 PM

Integrating the software engineering culture of Google with the hardware manufacturing business of Motorola Mobility will certainly face some challenges, but will it go down in history as one of the biggest merger disasters of all time? Henry Blodget seems to think so when he says, "But if Larry plans to keep Motorola and operate it as a stand-alone business, as Google said on the conference call yesterday, look out. This deal could easily end up in the same Hall of Shame that enshrines AOL Time Warner and many more of the worst mergers in history."

Patents may be the only part of this deal Google cares about. If it's about patents, there's really nothing interesting to talk about and a disaster is highly unlikely.

From an Android OS perspective, Google owning Motorola won't change much. While Google may insist on a more specific Android experience on Motorola hardware, it still needs HTC and Samsung to make sexy devices or the market for Android phones won't grow. Maybe Google will subsidize Xoom sales to grow the Android tablet market. The biggest problem facing every Android tablet I've tried so far is that it feels unfinished, which is partly due to the fragmentation. Having Google dictate a software release schedule for a set of tablets would push the other tablet makers to keep pace with adding Android features. I'm guessing here, but none of that sounds like a disaster.

The Motorola set-top box business looks like a bigger opportunity than phones. Google hired away some of the people who built Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV product back while I was consulting for Microsoft IPTV. If Google can provide a mature enough TV experience with in-house set-top boxes, they may be able to steal some business from Microsoft, assuming Google has patience for the lengthy sales cycle. The cable companies all buy either Motorola or Tatung set-top boxes, so Google has a great in to offer their own complementary software. Or maybe we need to imagine an Adwords business that offers more direct television ad buying where Google cuts the cable providers in for a slice of the action. Again, nothing that sounds like disaster.

Blodget may be right that the Motorola culture won't mix with Google. But if Google isn't trying to mix culture, there is opportunity for Google software business units to work directly with Motorola hardware business units. What do you think? Will buying Motorola break Google?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Q Does That Bendy Foldy Thing

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:30 PM

"News has circulated in Korea about a possible Samsung Galaxy Q in the works with a 5.3-inch display, that could be shown off at IFA in September. Barely any details were mentioned other than it would have a high quality display and be available in W-CDMA 3G and LTE 4G varieties. Now, put on your speculation glasses. Could that display actually be the 5.3-inch foldable AMOLED display we took a look at last year?"

Bendable displays are really cool and the stuff of science fiction. Maybe not so much anymore and you could have one in your hand, sometime, soon, I think. I love the idea of flexible displays and what that could mean for the world of phyiscal design for electronics, but it just makes me cringe when I see that display gold up. I guess I have just spent too many years, and dollars in learning that electronic displays do bad things when bent.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LAPTOP's Tech Support Showdown 2011: The Worst and the Best Tech Support

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 03:31 PM

"Who wouldn't jump at the chance to wait on hold only to barely understand the person on the other end? And why wouldn't you want to conduct a live chat with a tech support rep who asks you a million questions before addressing your issue? Fortunately, not all laptop tech support is bad, and knowing who's good could tip the balance during your next shopping trip."

I'll spoil the surprise for you: Apple is at the top, with Dell and Samsung fairly close behind. The latter two have improved a great deal since the last report, so it looks like someone is paying attention. Do your own experiences with the companies in this report match up with the results? From my perspective, the 22 minute average call time for Dell seems rosy - I'd venture my calls with Dell are always 45 minutes or more...and usually rt 15 minutes of that are my call being transferred from one department to another while someone tries to figure out who can assist me. About 20% of the time, said transfer disconnects my call, which means I have to start over again. I am not fond of Dell tech support, though once I get to the right person, they usually help me with a fair degree of competence.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Unboxing the Samsung Series 9 Laptop: Is This a Macbook Air Killer?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Samsung Laptops & Netbooks" @ 07:00 AM

This is a three-part unboxing and first impressions video of the Samsung Series 9 laptop; the 900X3A-A02CA model to be precise. It's on loan to me from Samsung Canada for a couple of weeks, so I'm putting it through its paces. This is a thin and light laptop that goes head to head with the Macbook Air, though it costs a pretty penny doing so. Is it worth the extreme price premium? It's unusual to talk about Apple having a less expensive product than the competition, but you can't escape the numbers: a maxed out Macbook Air 13 in Canada with a 256 GB SSD, 2.13 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB of RAM, and the Ethernet dongle, would cost me $1878. This Series 9 with a 256 GB SSD, a 1.4 Ghz Core i5 second-gen (Sandry Bridge) CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and the Ethernet dongle included, rings in at $2399. That's a 28% price premium. Yes, the Series 9 comes with twice the RAM and a better CPU, but the Air has a better GPU. Read more...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Black Friday Comes Early, on The Cheap

Posted by John London in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 07:00 PM

Most notebooks under $400 have specs so low-end that even the most basic users won’t be satisfied, but thanks to the latest cost effective AMD processors, consumers can pick up a new notebook from Best Buy or Staples that will deliver on all the standard needs of home users for just $350. Instead of the sub-par single core processors and lackluster specs, these new AMD Fusion E-350 powered notebooks are packing a dual core processor, capable graphics card, 3-4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, built in webcam and Windows 7. These notebooks are available today from Best Buy and Staples for $350.”

For most users these new low-cost laptops are a great replacement. The new low-cost laptops are as good as they were just a few short years ago. It is amazing how fast the price is dropping on laptops. The new low-cost laptops are now in the price range of a netbook, but the hardware and performance they offer is significantly better. I find the new laptops appealing in that they are now very affordable and can handle probably most of my computing needs. In addition, with rapid development of technology improvements does it make sense to invest in higher cost laptops? Check out the article to find out if these new low-cost laptops are for you.

Updated Galaxy Tab 10.1 Reviewed; Includes Honeycomb

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

"When it released the original Galaxy Tab last year, Samsung became one of the first mainstream hardware vendors to deliver an Android tablet. With its new Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung kept the Galaxy Tab name and branding, but the new device has little else in common with its predecessor. Don't let the "10.1" fool you-this is all new."

The Galaxy Tab has proven itself to be one heck of a product! But it get's even better with the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 which includes Honeycomb! Check out this comprehensive review of the new Tab and let us know if you will be purchasing it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Surf The Friendly Skies With A Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

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

"Move on over, Delta. The 200 iPads at your JFK terminal may entertain some folks waiting to board, but before the year's out American Airlines will start switching out 6,000 in-flight entertainment systems with Samsung 10.1-inch Galaxy Tabs."

When I fly it's usually one step above luggage class so this is something I'll never see. It looks like American Airlines will be replacing their old media devices available to those who sit in the front seats with fancy new Galaxy Tab 10.1s. Samsung made quite the splash in the Android phone market with their Galaxy S phones. Now it appears they are off to a pretty good start in the tablet realm. Good news for Samsung, even better news for Android.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Samsung Chromebook Series 5: Not Quite Ready

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Samsung Laptops & Netbooks" @ 08:30 AM

"The Samsung Chromebook Series 5 isn’t just any laptop — it’s one we’ve been waiting on since the fall of 2009. It was then, back in an economy where netbooks were still selling like hotcakes, that Google’s Sundar Pichai took to the stage in Mountain View to talk about a future operating system that would be completely based around the browser — Chrome OS. He promised a new type of netbook that would connect you to the internet in less than 20 seconds and would be entirely based in the cloud. No hardware was revealed that day, but Google promised Chrome OS laptops made by other manufacturers before the end of 2010 and a real change in computing."

Finally, a review of a real Chromebook, and not a re-hashed CR-48 review. Samsung made their 12.1-inch Chromebook thin and light, but they've made some manufacturing compromises to keep the cost (somewhat) down, for example, flimsy plastic moving parts, no ethernet, no HDMI-out, no USB 3.0, and no backlit keyboard.

The keyboard is a chiclet, and has done away with some traditional keys (they can be re-mapped) like the CAPS LOCK. The touchpad is better than expected. The matte screen at 1280x800 is a 300 nit screen, so it's "bright and crisp," and also works well outdoors. The shiny bezel can be distracting. The videocam is HD and works well - reports of audio being slightly out-of-sync were reported, although this could've been an issue with network congestion. Unfortunately there is no production Skype client yet. Speakers are small and tinny, no big surprise.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Chromebooks Available to Pre-Order Today - On Sale June 15th

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 11:00 PM

"Electronics retailers and Best Buy are now taking pre-orders for the first two Chromebooks, lightweight notebook computers running Google’s cloud-dependent Chrome OS. The units, announced last month at Google IO, are made by Acer and Samsung, and represent Google’s first effort in the desktop operating system market. The notebooks rely on Internet connectivity to connect to Web-based apps and storage, and Chrome OS is based on bringing a simplified, browser-based experience to users: there’s no real way to access the file system, and right now users are limited to only a handful of apps. But Google’s hope is that by providing streamlined, simplified access to cloud-based applications and services, Chromebooks will be a hit with consumers looking for an inexpensive computing option—and the ability to access their data anywhere they can get an Internet connection."

There are four models available from Samsung, and two from Acer. The Samsung models are a bit larger, and a bit more expensive. The big question right now is whether consumers will embrace the new technology, with somewhat limited functionality, when a netbook or laptop with much more capability can be had for about the same price. Funny, but there are already reviews (but mostly on the CR-48 pilot program) on Amazon, even though the product isn't released yet. The price range runs from about $380 to $500. All six Chromebooks can be pre-ordered at our LaptopThoughts Amazon Store.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mobileburn's Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Video Tour

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 08:13 PM

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is an 8.6mm thin Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablet. As its name suggests, it features a 10.1-inch display that offers 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. The version seen in this video is the 16GB Wi-Fi only white model, but 32GB and gray versions are also available and 3G-capable Tabs will be on the market eventually."

Samsung really did an excellent job on the hardware on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 - it looks superb and is incredibly thin - but I'm personally disappointed that this product doesn't have a microSD card slot. Removable storage is one of the key advantages of Android, so it's curious that Samsung wouldn't include that. They might have had to sacrifice it in order to go head to head with the thinness of the iPad 2. Check out the video for all the details.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The U.S. Wait for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Is Almost Over

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:30 PM

"Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be on sale June 8 at Best Buy's Union Square store in New York City; everywhere else gets to wait until June 17."

If this sounds strangely like an Apple product launch, it tells me that the competition is finally learning how to compete with Apple. Limit initial sales, build up buzz (and demand) for a week or so, and then make sufficient quantities available to eager buyers, at a cost no higher than the competition. For WiFi versions, $499 for a 16GB version, and $599 for a 32GB version seem spot-on. With Honeycomb 3.1, 1280x800 resolution, up to 9-hours of battery life, and NVIDIA's 1GHz Tegra dual-core processor, 3-megapixel rear camera, and 2-megapixel front-facing camera, this may finally be a true iPad alternative.

In a nod perhaps to less tech-savvy consumers, Samsung promises all sorts of future software upgrades/enhancements, including their own TouchWiz UX, with many UI enhancements, including a 'task manager-like' utility, as well as a bunch of media-related apps. This may be what is needed to push Android more into the mainstreet. Oddly enough, no 3G or 4G versions are being reported. I do like the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, and it'll be interesting to see how its larger sibling performs with a real tablet OS.

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