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All posts tagged "slate"


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1: Mediocre, Less Expensive

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

http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/15/..._medium=twitter

"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, August 26, 2011

HTC Puccini Coming To AT&T With LTE

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/24/...port-confirmed/

"Have a gander. Take as long as you need. That, friends, is the AT&T-bound HTC Puccini, and it'll be the first tablet to hit Ma Bell with inbuilt LTE support. According to our sources, the Android-based slate is currently in testing, and should be hitting the markets in the not-too-distant future."

Can you imagine if we were all still stuck with GPRS speeds? As good a start as it was, the increase in speeds for our mobile wireless activities has payed a really large role in our adoption of smartphones and what they are capable of. Of course, we now see speeds where we can stream HD movies, share pictures in the blink of an eye and exceed our data caps in mere hours. The only complaint that I have with tablets and netbooks having built in LTE or wireless data connections for that matter is that they usually tend to be tied to specific carriers. Yes, each carrier uses different technologies or frequencies, but if an expensive device like a modern tablet is going to have wireless connectivity, why not make it compatible with more carriers so that if one does not fit your liking, you can always change?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Slate For Every Taste

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

http://blog.laptopmag.com/top-10-ipad-alternatives

"Between a slew of new Android Honeycomb slates and the HP TouchPad, shoppers have plenty of compelling Apple alternatives to choose from. Here are the 10 tablets we’re most excited about."

The iPad has been out for over a year now and continues to dominate the consumer tablet marketplace. Competitors have had over a year to develop their own slate goodness and some alternatives are starting to gain traction. Unfortunately, few will ever seen a fraction of the media attention that the iPad gets, but Laptop Magazine has compiled a useful list of some options. After being inundated with tablet after tablet, I have to admit that they are all starting to look alike to me, even the iPad. I wonder how long it will be before the slate tablet, with all the energy put into it, will start turning out to be a commodity item, much like how the traditional computer is seen.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Archos Arnova 7 hits the FCC, on the cheap

Posted by John London in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 08:00 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/15/...penny-pinching/

"For those who like their Android tablets cheap, it looks like Archos is ready to unleash yet another budget-friendly addition to the Arnova family stateside."

Is this tablet something that would interest you? Unfortunately, the specifications are still under wraps. I would think this will sport a 7 inch screen (18 cm). Archos has announced 8 and 10 inch screens. This is a low cost device which is targeted for the penny pincher. I have not used Archos equipment and limited exposure to Android, so chime in if you think this device has potential and tell me why Android is good.

UPDATE: Here are some further details about the tablet...


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

http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/13/...-seats-on-amer/

"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.


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...


Friday, May 20, 2011

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.


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...


Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Asus Eee PC Transformer: This Thing Looks Killer!

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

http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee...nsformer_TF101/

I can't say much for Asus' marketing tag line on the Transformer - "My Multiple Life, I decide" sounds like a bad translation of bottle of Chinese bipolar disorder drug - but the device itself is shaping up to me quite impressive...at least on paper. It has all of the standard goodness that we've come to expect from a modern Android tablet - the NVIDIA Tegra 2 1 Ghz dual-core CPU, 1080p playback support, a nice 10.1 inch IPS display running 1280 x 800 resolution, 16 Gb or 32 GB of storage, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 1.2 megapixel front camera, and the usual assortment of sensors (G-Sensor, Light, Gyroscope, E-Compass, GPS).

What's really interesting about the Transformer is the fact that it docks with a keyboard that takes the 9.5 hour battery run-time and boosts it to an impressive 16 hours. If those are real numbers, and not inflated marketing numbers, this tablet will be an amazing breakthrough for people who need a device with incredible endurance. The fact that it has two USB ports, and an SD card reader in the keyboard base station, make it all the more tempting.

The best hardware in the world though won't make up for a lack of tablet-friendly applications, and based on my experience so far with the Motorola XOOM, this is a significant problem. I can only hope that as more Android 3.0 tablets come to market, developers will take note and gear up their coding efforts.


Motorola's XOOM Slate: Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 07:00 AM

Last week I picked up a Motorola XOOM WiFi edition. The XOOM was announced with much fanfare at CES 2011, and while it was heralded as the best hope for challenging the juggernaut that is the iPad, a few things have soured since then.

First, that when Motorola first shipped the device through Verizon in the USA, it would cost a hefty $800 if you got it without a Verizon contract - but you couldn't use the WiFi on it until you paid for at least one month of Verizon's data service (which was $50 or so, making the price $850). What? Yeah, exactly! Then it was revealed that the XOOM would start to ship without the ability to play back Flash, which was one of the original advantages over the iPad - you can download Flash now of course, but at launch this key element was missing. The first tablet to offer 4G would also only offer it after the user shipped it back to Motorola for a hardware upgrade - oh, and the microSD card slot still doesn't work to this day (a future firmware upgrade will fix that). More than a few negatives!

In Canada the XOOM is $599, Flash is available in the marketplace, and lacks the cellular radio, so there's no need to ship it back. So, other than the non-functional microSD card slot, the XOOM I bought is in slightly better shape right out of the gate than the XOOM people bought from Verizon in February. Read more...


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Motorola XOOM Purchased: Let's See if It's a Keeper

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 04:06 PM

Paralysis broken. I just got back from Best Buy an hour ago, and this is what I brought home with me. I played with it for a minute in the store, but I'm banking heavily on Best Buy's excellent return policy: I want to use this thing extensively for a couple of weeks and see if it's what I want in a tablet. If not, iPad 2 here I come. Heading off to shoot a video of this thing now...watch for it!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Tablet Paralysis: Which One Do I Choose?

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

I've been pondering getting a tablet since the first iPad was introduced, but I'm not generally the kind of person who buys a piece of technology and then figures out if I have a good use for it. I'm still not sure how useful I'll find a tablet, but I figure it's worth finding out since this is the beginning of a large wave in mobile computing...I can't just sit it out.

Long-time readers know there are some things about the way Apple does business that really irk me, so it doesn't take much for me to consider products outside the Apple ecosystem if they're viable. When it comes to tablets, that's easier said than done. I find myself leaning fairly heavily toward the iPad 2, but then an email came my way that changed things... Read more...


Thursday, March 31, 2011

The HTC Flyer Detailed in Video

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:10 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzn9LkvKM8E

"Introducing the HTC Flyer -- the big screen that's small enough to hold in your hand. The premium unibody construction looks great and feels solid in your hand, while still keeping the weight to less than a paperback book. Plus, it does most things your PC can -- and more!"

Although I feel a bit leery about HTC's new non-Honeycomb tablet from a will-they-upgrade-the-software perspective, there's a lot to like about this tablet. I've always been fond of the HTC Sense UI, and this tablet at 7" seems to hit a sweet spot for portability and productivity. Best Buy will be selling the WiFi only version via Best Buy in the spring, but no firm details on pricing just yet. This one has my attention though!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The HTC Flyer Caught on Video

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

http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/15/...z-7-inch-flyer/

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


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

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

http://www.htc.com/www/press_produc...o.aspx?p_id=395

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, February 14, 2011

LG's New Optimus Pad on Video from MWC

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

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

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


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