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All posts tagged "honeycomb"

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Engadget Reviews the New Toshiba Thrive 7"

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 06:00 AM

"Indeed, the Thrive 7" looks near-identical, and even packs the same Tegra 2 chip, 16GB of storage and vanilla take on Honeycomb. Still, it brings an LED flash, keeps its big brother's 1280 x 800 display and costs less than the original did when it first came out."

There were a few things I liked about the 10" version of the Thrive. For one thing it had a full size SD slot, as well as full size USB and HDMI ports! It also had a mini-USB (oddly not micro-USB) and a Toshiba developed "Resolution+" technology for scaling phone apps and making them look decent on a tablet. The Thrive 7" drops the full size ports as you may expect but it does keep the Resolution+ and the 1280x800 screen - which gives it a high dpi for a tablet of 216. Unfortunately it sounds like performance isn't very good, the screen isn't great, and battery life is poor for a current tablet. Still, depending on your needs this could be the right tablet for you. Check out the full review for the details.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ARCHOS 70b Internet Tablet for $199 in January 2012

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Archos Tablets" @ 09:30 PM

"DENVER, CO – (December 20, 2011) – ARCHOS, an award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, announced today the upcoming availability of the first android 3.2 ‘’Honeycomb’’ tablet under $200, the ARCHOS 70b internet tablet. The new ARCHOS 70b IT is an enhanced version of the ARCHOS 70 IT Gen 8 that features an upgraded capacitive touch screen and a powerful processor at 1.2 GHz."

With Android 3.2 (Honeycomb), 8GB storage, full access to the Android Market, 1024x600 capacitive LCD, and a fair complement of ports, this may be a good buy for those that don't like (or want) the Kindle Fire's training wheels (UI). With "only" 512MB RAM, I don't expect lightning performance, and the lack of details as to the nature of their "powerful processor" is a bit puzzling. I've seen ARCHOS products in retail stores, but haven't had the desire to test one, but the 70b may change my mind. I had a Kindle Fire, but wasn't impressed, and sold it, maybe this will be a better (or real) introduction to Android. Anyone have experience with ARCHOS products?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

HTC Flyer 3G Gets Honeycomb Update

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

"HTC just confirmed over on Facebook that the GSM 3G version of the Flyer gets the Honeycomb update today, the update for WiFi-only users is "coming soon.""

It's great to see HTC doing the right thing here! Anyone with the HTC Flyer should be pretty happy about this. As far as I know Samsung still has not released an update for the original Galaxy Tab to bring it up to Honeycomb. Have any of you updated your Flyer to Honeycomb? If so, how's it working for you?

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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Google and Microsoft to Offer MS Office on Android?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 10:30 PM

"Google and Microsoft have a problem -- and to sum it up, that problem is Apple. Google has tablets but they aren’t selling well against the far more complete iPad offering. Microsoft won’t have an iPad competitor until well into 2012. Google is having an issue with relevancy on tablets and Microsoft loses not only a Windows footprint but an Office footprint with every iPad sold. What if the two partnered? Ironically it isn’t as hard as it sounds. You could actually see how this could work today. So let’s explore Microsoft Office on Android this week."

Interesting idea, as the iPad sometimes can be a viable lightweight replacement for (the Big Three of) Windows, Office and IE. Microsoft doesn't seem to be able to come up with a competitor for the iPad, so maybe teaming-up with Google is a step in the right direction, getting their flagship application running on Android devices. Needing Excel and Word on a regular basis for work, this concept is intriguing, without waiting for Windows 8, and would make Android tablets more desirable, in my opinion of course. The author's recommendation is to try Windows Live on a Honeycomb tablet using Opera for Android. But, since Microsoft is one of Apple's largest developers, any guesses as to when MS Office will appear for iOS?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Everynote Gets A Taste Of Honeycomb

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Previously mentioned note-taker Evernote just pumped up its Android app with a number of handy features, most notably rich text entry."

Evernote for Android just got quite the update. Along with a nice new Honeycomb layout this update brings the ability to enter rich text. Formatting options such as bold, italics, numbered lists and check boxes are just a few of the features added. This sounds like an awesome update for any Evernote users out there. Any of you Honeycomb users finally glad to get a proper layout?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Acer Iconia A500 Review: Better Alternatives Available

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Iconia" @ 10:30 AM

"Next in our series of Honeycomb tablet reviews is the Acer Iconia Tab A500. The A500 was the second Honeycomb tablet to go on sale, and is one of four on the market at present, all of which are very similar. They share basic specs—10.1” 1280x800 displays, NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 underhood, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 16-64GB onboard NAND, front and rear facing cameras with HD video capture, basic wireless connectivity options, and stock versions of Android 3.0/3.1 Honeycomb (albeit with different preloaded software packages)."

A telling comment is that the reviewer liked the A500 better when he read about it than when he actually had one in his hands to review. Cheaply designed and cheaply manufactured, the A500 is good for a bargain price of $379 (where it has sometimes sold at MacMall's eBay store), but the alternatives are better. His recommendation is to wait for the next generation of hardware to appear, or, if you can't wait, to look for an ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, if you can find one.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is Android Failing as a Tablet Platform?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 10:30 AM

"I like Android. I own both a tablet and a smartphone running Android, and I find them both to be great mobile devices. I have tested and reviewed dozens of phones and tablets running some form of Android, and for the most part I have liked them all. My personal preference for Android aside, I have to be honest and state that Android is failing as a tablet platform compared to the competition."

Failing? Not really, but, I look at Android for tablets somewhat like I look at Linux for desktops and laptops, it works, but there is currently no compelling reason for me to switch. Like Linux, Android for tablets come in a variety of flavors, layered atop Honeycomb, just as the various Linux distros are layered upon a Linux kernel. Slight differences. The author makes a good point, that no one company is stepping up and driving the platform forward, not even Google. An example would be the Xoom's lack of support for the SD hardware onboard, even though this was touted as an advantage over the competition. A fix is rumored to be soon available outside North America, according to Motorola Europe. What about us? Until someone (Amazon, for example?) steps up and drives (unifies, extends) Android for tablets forward, it'll continue to be second in the race, and we all know that almost nobody remembers a second place finisher in a competition.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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 2, 2011

Zinio Brings Magazines to Android Tablets

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

"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!

Monday, May 30, 2011

HTC Puccini 10.1" Honeycomb Tablet Coming Soon

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

"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?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Intel Based Honeycomb Tablet on the way from Acer

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

"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

"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?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

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

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

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!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

File Transfer Problems with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Freebee

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 02:00 PM

"You know what's cool? Handing out 5,000 Android tablets to your most loyal developers at Google I/O. You know what's not cool? Handing out 5,000 Android tablets that can't have files loaded onto them. Believe or not, that's exactly what happened at this week's I/O conference, where hordes of developers were handed a Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition that cannot currently interface with OS X, and has a whale of a time doing so with Windows 7."

As mentioned above Google gave out a new, actually unreleased, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Honeycomb tablet to all the developers who attended the Google IO conference this past week. Unfortunately, it turns out it's not easy to connect them to a computer for file transfer. If you read the source article, including the update, you'll see they did find a way that works with Windows 7 or OS X but it's still not a quick an easy process. It does sound like some of the problem is the fact that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is not out yet and it's not recognized by software that is commonly used for this type of connection. Once that software is updated, hopefully soon, PC or Mac connectivity will be a non-issue. It's too bad someone at Google didn't do a little more testing with this before they gave out 5000 of these tablets. They could have at least give out instructions with it for connecting it to a computer.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What Features do Android Honeycomb 3.1 and Ice Cream Sandwich bring to the Table?

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 04:00 AM

"Google's upcoming Android 3.1 is coming for tablets, of course, but it's also improving Google TV's interface. Even better, Google TV gets the Android Market as well."

"The Ice Cream Sandwich release, on the other hand, doesn't have a release date, but will put all of Honeycomb's new features into phones. One new feature is facial detection with the camera, so video chat will automatically focus on the speaker who's talking (if there are multiple ones)"

This week at the Google IO conference two significant new versions of Android have been officially announced. One is Android 3.1, the next version of the tablet optimized Honeycomb OS, and the other is Ice Cream Sandwich, which has no version number right now but is expected to be something like 3.5 or 4.0.

Android Honeycomb 3.1 is rolling out now to Verizon 3G Xoom tablets and will be available for WiFi Xooms in the coming weeks - though we don't know exactly when. Honeycomb 3.1 adds re-sizable widgets, a re-written multitasking and task switching engine, USB host support, USB input device support, and support for the hardware graphics acceleration of Flash content available to tablets in Flash 10.2 which is available in the Market now. Version 3.1 will also bring more features, including the Android Market, to Google TV devices.

While we don't know much about Ice Cream Sandwich we do know that its main goal, or at least one of them. It is to combine the two forks of Android, the one for phones and the one for tablets, into a single OS that provides different display optimizations depending on the device display size. This should make things easier on developers and hopefully combine the best of both worlds in a way that makes each better than it is on its own.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Asus EEE Pad Transformer in Short Supply

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

"We can't say for sure whether we're looking at overwhelming demand or just limited supply, but it's hard to argue with ASUS' excellent value proposition here: a 10-inch IPS display, a dual-core SOC and a feature-rich tablet OS all for less than four Benjamins."

If you're interested in Asus' new EEE Pad Transformer, you may have a difficult time finding one in the US. Not only did it sell out in short order, but reports are surfacing that their supply may be limited to just 10,000 units per month. This is a very nice looking device at a great price, so it's no wonder it's popular, but supply issues may end up hurting it's sales.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sony Announces Two Tablets, One with Two Screens

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 04:00 AM

"Android Honeycomb tablets are becoming a dime-a-dozen, which naturally leads to attempts to set new tablets apart from the growing pack...What’s left for Sony to do so its tablets don’t get lost in the crowd?"

Sony has officially announced the S1 and S2 tablets. The S1 is a fairly conventional looking tablet but with a design that moves the weight to one end, making it easier to hold. It's also angled so it should be easier to view when resting on a table. It has a 9.4" screen, DLNA, and can be used as a remote for Bravia TV's. The S2 is a little more interesting. It has two 5.5" screens and can fold in half. The screens can be used separately for doing different things or together as one large screen, but with a break in the middle where the device folds.

I love the way Sony has supported things like DLNA, USB Mass Storage, standard Bluetooth HID profiles, standard USB keyboards, and standard Bluetooth headsets on the PS3 for a long time as well as all the features they have added to the PS3 over the years like improving the audio player, Flash support in the browser, streaming video services, and remote power on with a PSP. They've also added a ton of features to the PSP like customizable scene skipping thumbnails in video, a comic book player, letting you run music in the background while in the XMB or playing slide shows, and adding support for more audio and video formats.

I can't wait to see what Sony Does with the S1 and S2. I think there is a lot of potential for interaction between these tablets and the PS3 or maybe even PSP. I'd love to hook a tablet to a TV with HDMI and then use my PSP as the controller for a game on the tablet that I'm watching a big screen! Hopefully, whatever they do, they'll do a reasonable job at keeping the base OS up to date. With the Xperia Play on the way as well Sony is really showing a strong commitment to Android and whether you like Sony or not the competition is always good! I know Sony is getting a black eye right now since their network has been down for the last week but I'll definitely give them another chance. Do you have any interest in an Android tablet from Sony? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lenovo Has a Honeycomb ThinkPad Tablet on the Way!

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 04:30 AM

"...we just got a hold of a juicy PowerPoint that reveals a new ThinkPad tablet for “on-the-go professionals.” No, this isn’t a Windows 7 convertible like you’d expect — this is a full-fledged Android 3.0 slate complete with an optional pen and an accompanying “keyboard portfolio case.”"

Those of you who have read my posts know that I'm not a fan of Apple's mobile devices. One thing that I do think Apple has done right is use IPS LCD's. OLED's, I don't care what kind, just take too much juice too much of the time and while a 40,000/1 contrast ratio is all kinds of hotness I'm not convinced that 1000/1 isn't good enough for my phone. IPS LCD's are just as bright as possible without using too much power. I'm glad there is finally an Android tablet coming that will use this display technology and, unlike Apple, it will not have a screen resolution and aspect ratio from 1995;) Besides that, I'm a big ThinkPad fan. I had one for about 8-10 years, yeah it was IBM but still made by Lenovo and took a real beating. It was definitely a high quality and well built machine so I'm glad to see Lenovo releasing a Honeycomb tablet. One other thing I like about this is the full size SD port and full size USB port. A full size HDMI port on there would be great while they're at it but MicroHDMI isn't too bad since they're becoming fairly common anyway. I should make sure to mention this information is an unconfirmed leak so please check out the source for yourself from the "Read" link below. Let us know if anything about this tablet gets your attention. What do you think of the optional keyboard and pen input?

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