According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, Sony is planning to enter the tablet market and compete with Apple by developing a product similar to the iPad. Some analysts assume that this device, whose details are quite limited, will run on Google Android OS though its possible it could run Windows 7 instead. No one yet knows. However, Sony has never been one to undercut its competition on price and therefore we may be looking at a device costing more than the iPad which might hurt its foray into this market.
MSI just revealed the newest addition to its tech lineup at Computex 2010. The WindPad 100 is a 10″ (1024×600 resolution) Windows 7 Home Premium tablet powered by a 1.66GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor and packing 2 GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD hard drive. The MSI tablet will also feature two USB ports, an HDMI port, as well as a webcam.
Something interesting about the tablet is that is made entirely of plastic. Sadly, it does feel like it, but on the bright side, the WindPad also weighs in at a mere 1.7 pounds. The prototype featured at Computex didn’t have any of the ports listed above, but the final product is expected to output 720p video to an HDTV.
The MSI WindPad 100 tablet is expected to hit the market later this year for a cool $499.
According to Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of AMD’s products group, AMD is in no rush to develop a smart phone or tablet but remains focused on netbooks. Their current projects include the release of graphic cards ATI Radeon HD 5450, 5570 and 5670 and the 2011 release of the Bobcat processor for netbooks.
This is positive news for netbook enthusiasts (such as ourselves), since while other companies seem to be switching gears, AMD’s priorities have not changed.
Via ZDNet, image via ZDNet.
Chinese computer manufacturer Hongrun Electronic is releasing a new mobile internet device (MID) to the market. The MID700 tablet will feature a 7″ screen with 800×480 resolution, 256MB of DDR2 RAM, and 2 GB of flash storage. It will be powered by an 800MHz Telechips TCC8901 chipset and run on Windows CE 6.0. Other features of the tablet include a mini USB port, an SD card slot, and an HDMI port. The MID700 is also able to support 1080p videos.
There’s no word about how long the device’s battery will last, and unfortunately the resistive touchscreen won’t provide the best experience that money can buy, but the MID700 also supports stylus input. At least it’s relatively small, portable, and somewhat cute. The tablet, pictured below, retails for roughly 980 Yuan, or about $145 U.S.
At the company’s investor meeting in Santa Clara, California this past week, Intel showed off a netbook that was equipped with the company’s very own Intel Atom dual-core processor. The webcast event also showed off a new tablet computer that would be equipped with an Intel Atom chipset.
New netbooks and tablets featuring Intel chips will be displayed at Computex 2010. According to Mooly Eden, the Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s PC Client Group, the company wants to raise the bar in netbook performance and they’re aiming to do that with the release of dual-core Atom processors. Essentially, this technology will allow users to more efficiently run multiple applications on their netbooks at the same time.
Netbooks have been around for a while, and people are no longer willing to sacrifice their relatively poor performance (at least compared to laptops) for the added portability and convenience. Eden says, “People are not willing to compromise anymore. We do not think about one thing, we think about several things at a time. We expect our computer to do the same thing.”
According to Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini, the netbook market is continuing to grow, so improving the performance of netbook technology is very important.
With the release of the Apple iPad tablet comes a whole boatload of accessories being released as well. One that’s worth noting is the ClamCase (so named for the way it opens — like a clam shell), which basically serves as an all-in-one peripheral for the iPad. Not only does it serve as a case/protector, but it also serves as a keyboard add-on and a stand as well.
In addition, once the iPhone OS 4.0 is released, maybe the keyboard add-on feature will significantly boost users’ productivity. Unfortunately, there’s no built-in mousepad on this version of the ClamCase, but maybe that might be something the company considers for future versions of the accessory.
The ClamCase is rumored to hit stores this Fall. We’ll be sure to keep you posted if we hear any further news and/or uncover some other stellar accessories for the Apple iPad. Interested in learning a bit more about it now? Check out the video below.
Viliv, a Korean PC manufacturer, has been creating efficient and creative portables for a while now. Although relatively unknown in the United States, Viliv’s visibility here does not accurately reflect on the quality of products released. Originally, Viliv’s merchandise was only available through online retailers, but that will change tomorrow: Best Buy plans on releasing a total of 5 new Viliv models, including the anticipated S7 convertible netbook. The S7 features a touch screen, Windows XP, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth, and a 60GB hard drive.
Weighing a miniscule 1.76 pounds, and having dimensions of 8.3 by 4.6 by 1 inches, the S7 is highly portable. In the end, the S7 comes in at a reasonable cost of $579. As an added bonus, if the buyer registers a Sprint Mi-Fi or Overdrive hotspot, a $50 rebate will be included. Although $50 seems like a respectable offer, the mildly more expensive $649 S7 model has a 3G modem capable of utilizing any SIM card for internet connectivity. Which one’s the better investment? That decision will be left for you to decide.
There are times where it really seems as if Android tablets just grow off trees. Indian-based EAFT is providing us with yet one more of these times. The Magic Tile is another minor brand’s attempt at providing a tablet for Android to run off of. Let’s see how the specs line up for this one:
NVIDIA Tegra 2
7-Inch 1024 x 600 Touchscreen
Front mounted 1.3 MP webcam
8 hours of battery life
Not bad, not bad at all… until you look at the image. Very bad. That logo and body in general have some serious work to be done if this machine wants fit within the last decade. Still, if it’s your taste it will be coming out sometime during Q3 this year.
However, that’s not the only Android tablet news for today: Compal announced in Mumbai that it is releasing a similar tablet. The specs include a 7-inch screen, Tegra 2, 3 MP camera, and 512 MB DDR2 RAM. What it most notably doesn’t include is any form of Wi-Fi. How useful is an internet tablet without Wi-Fi, anyway?
The great thing about having an open source operating system is that so many different manufacturers can install it on their product and users get a wide array of choices to choose from. The not so great thing is that it might take some time before that operating system finds a champion. Well, yet another company has announced the newest fad in mobile computing: an Android tablet. German company Neofonie has plans and the oh-so necessary renders for their WePad.
The specs are not bad:
- 11.6” 1366×768 LCD Display
- 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450
- 16 GB Flash w/ expandable SD
- 2 USB Ports
- WLAN, Bluetooth 2.1, GSM
- SIM Card Slot
- 6 hour battery life
- Flash support
Of course, the last two are snipes at their obvious competitor: the Apple iPad. Still, Neofonie wants to bring its own legitimate elements into this field. It will have a WePad App Store and be Google-certified with the Android Market. It also has a “publishing ecosystem” plan to become a mainstream eReader. Of course, as with all Android products, the most important point will be price.
With only a few weeks remaining before the much anticipated Apple iPad is released, Microsoft is finalizing details on its own “Courier.” Microsoft’s tablet, “a book-like device with two opposing screens,” according to Engadget, will supposedly have handwriting recognition built-in, and a stylus resembling a pen seems to be a primary source of input.
Engadget also claims there will be a built-in camera and a headphone jack as well. It will also serve as an e-book device, similar to the iPad’s own “iBook” app.
There has been no more information concerning pricing for the Courier, but because of the larger amount of features it is rumored to have, it is expected to be more expensive than the iPad
The Courier is to be released prior to the holiday season this year, which means by the time it is released, the iPad will have been part of the tablet market for over half a year—meaning more rumors about future updates, such as cameras on both sides of the device, tethering, and Flash support for Safari could cause possible Courier purchasers to refrain from purchasing until an iPad refresh.
Android’s beauty as an open-source operating system is that it allows any random manufacturer to develop a product and slap Android on top of it. This does, however, allow for some issues in terms of legitimacy of manufacturers. Case and point: The Haleron iLet Mini HAL.
If you want a tablet with groundbreaking features or earthshaking specifications, look elsewhere. If you want a quaint little tablet that does its job, stick around but don’t buy this. Why? I’ll tell you in a bit. Here come the somewhat interesting specs:
- VIA ARM Processor 600 MHz
- 7” TFT LCD Touch Screen w/ 800×480 Resolution
- 128 MB RAM
- 2 GB Flash Memory
- Up to 32 GB SDHC
- 16 Hour Active Battery
- Android 1.6, Upgradable to “Windows CE 6.0”
Amazing? Far from it. But still it’s not a bad tablet per se. And it is a pretty sweet deal given the $200 price tag and March 1st shipping date. So why did I warn against buying this? Quite simple. It’s a scam.
Indeed, since the news hit the internet there was some wariness in trusting this random French company named Haleron. One commenter over at Pocketables did some research and couldn’t find much to back up their image as some sort of legitimate tablet maker. The only picture of the iLet Mini HAL is a render found at some other French forum, and they clearly stated they did not license the design to Haleron. Other attempts to find copyright information and company registration have ended up dry. Unless we get any reports stating otherwise, then we will have to assume it is fake. So stay safe, and do your research when purchasing.
Fusion Garage appears to have made a mistake when it earlier announced its plan for the JooJoo Tablet to be shipped by the end of February. With only 2 days left in the month, they have pushed back shipments a whole month back to March 25. Here’s the full release:
“Earlier this month, Fusion Garage’s JooJoo Internet tablet went into full production with an anticipated on-time delivery to consumers at the end of February. Last week, the company became aware of a manufacturing issue involving JooJoo’s industry-first 12.1 inch capacitive touch screen which Fusion Garage was quickly able to diagnose and rectify. The company now forecasts the JooJoo will be sent to consumers on March 25.
The manufacturing issue centers on fine tuning the touch sensitivity of the capacitive screen. Fusion Garage will be providing all pre-order customers with a free JooJoo accessory to compensate for the delay in the delivery of their JooJoo.”
It must be highly awkward when your main (and possibly only selling point) is holding you back from delivering your product. Given all the other problems surrounding the CrunchPad-turned-JooJoo, you can’t help but wonder if Michael Arrington is sitting at home smirking.
The iPad has yet to hit shelves, and yet it has already become clear that a tablet war will likely consume much consumer attention in 2010. Apple, to much applause, has announced its champion, and Windows will likely respond with an arsenal of 3rd party devices. But who will carry the open source community’s banner into the fray? Joojoo Tablet has fallen from favor once it became clear it would run a browser-based OS, and the other Android tablets have failed to garner much attention.
Notion Ink’s ADAM appears to be standing ready to fill this hole. It’s a Linux-based tablet that already has set its eye on defeating the iPad, and the spec list does not seem to betray it in that regard:
- 10″ Transflective LCD, Pixel Qi Screen 1024 x 600 with low power mode
- Multitouch capacitive screen
- Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 with NVidia Tegra 2
- HDMI 1080p Out
- 3 USB Ports
- Battery life: 160 hours backlight off, 16 hours video playback
- Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth
- Rear trackpad
- Adobe Flash Support
- SD Card Slot
The truly revolutionary component on this tablet is its screen, which incorporates Pixel Qi technology to give a similar experience as e-Ink when the backlight is off. This gives the tablet its godly battery life, and allows it to directly challenge the reading experience of eReaders. It is a powerful tablet, and the device’s multitasking with Flash support is undoubtedly a response to the iPad’s inability to do either.
Still, this thing comes with some weird quirks. It is unclear what the OS shall be on this tablet, as three are listed in the spec sheet (Android, Ubuntu, Chromium). Pricing is highly variable, $327-800, but still easily competitive with Apple. All that remains is to see how well Notion Ink will market this and get public support behind it. For now, it seems like Linux’s best shot to take the mainstream.
Via Gizmodo, image via Notion Ink.
Tablets, once viewed as a lukewarm substitute for a pen and a pad of paper, have now become much more fun to use with the popularity of multitouch. And just as Apple‘s iPhone popularized that function, so the iPad might do to the tablet PC.
Netbook Navigator came out with a new 9 inch tablet PC with the following specs:
At $799 for the base model, it’s a bit on the pricey side, but the Nav 9 tablet is a solid piece of engineering. It can support multitasking, run most Windows applications, and the multiple ports certainly don’t hurt. The question now is, will it catch on?
People might have thought Acer, the new rebellious teen on the block and netbook powerhouse, would have come out full throttle into this tsunami of tablet products. Instead, however, they plan to go against the tide, refusing to take part in the tablet war. Acer’s champion of choice will instead be the ultra-thin laptop, a form factor that has never truly realized its full potential.
Acer Taiwan’s President Scott Lin simply retorted to Digitimes that, while there would be no difficulty in developing such a tablet, it simply has no place in the Acer business model. He estimated that 20-30% of their business this year would come from ultra-thin laptops, a surprisingly large statistic for what has remained a niche market for so long. This is indeed a peculiar and unique announcement, given the current climate where the public’s attention is fawning over tablets.
He also mentioned models thinner than 2 cm (0.7 inches) coming out this year. Most likely, some of those fabled Chrome OS netbooks will be tossed into this mix. Whether or not they will be ready to compete with the tablets will be seen in due time.
A French computer maker has added another combatant in what has become a war between Apple’s iPad and the netbooks. Similar to the HP Slate, the ExoPC is a new tablet form factor netbook, featuring 8.9″ of multitouch goodness. It looks similar to the iPad, though most tablets in this field are probably going to have the same characteristic bevel layout.
This is a full-fledged netbook, minus the keyboard. Specs are standard: Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz, 2 GB DDR2 RAM, 32 GB SSD w/ expandable SD slot. Naturally, the ExoPC will be running Windows 7, allowing for a much more functional if not visually pleasing environment than the modified iPhone OS. This also allows ExoPC to promise “the web without compromise,” a reference undoubtedly pointed towards the iPad’s lack of flash support.
There is one place where the ExoPC shows some weakness, and that’s in the battery life department. At only 4 hours, it lacks the godly battery life that we have come to expect from netbooks, but it is at least user replaceable. Still at $599 and release date in March it is placing itself as a direct competitor to its iPad counterpart.
The pricing has been fully broken down for the iPad. Basically, it is variable on two factors: storage and 3G. There will be the classic 3 flavors of storage sizes for the iPad: 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB. Adding 3G network compatibility will cost you $130. Prices start at $499. Here is the full table:
|16 GB||32 GB||64 GB|
|WiFi + 3G||$629||$729||$829|
However, 3G will end up costing more due to the need for a data plan. Mind you, there is no contract necessary, which is a refreshing change from the norm of mobile pricing. AT&T is also offering surprisingly low data plans: 250 mb/month for $15/month, and unlimited data for $30/month, opposed to the traditional $60/month unlimited for laptops. The final hidden costs will be in accessories, most notably a keyboard dock (similar to earlier rumors), for people who don’t want to deal with extended virtual keyboard typing, and other things like cases and cords. Expect the WiFi model to be available in March and the 3G capable one in April.
Via Engadget, image via Apple
Lenovo‘s new hybrid PC, displayed at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show this week, is reminiscient of the Always Innovating Magnetic netbook which featured a detachable screen for use as a tablet. Designated the Lenovo IdeaPad U1, the device is usable as both laptop and multi-touch slate tablet.
It’s a heavyweight, coming in at 3.8 pounds, and it rocks an 11.6-inch LED screen and the Windows Relevant Products/Services 7 OS. It has a videocamera, two stereo speakers, and an integrated microphone for voice chat and other activities.
According to Lenovo Senior VP Liu Jun:
“By fusing the functionality of a notebook with the slate tablet’s rich multi-touch entertainment and mobile Internet experience, U1 provides consumers the freedom to choose the device they prefer for any activity.”
When used as a laptop, the Lenovo U1 actually accesses a second processor within the keyboard for synchronized use. When you remove the 1.6 lb multi-touch tablet you can continue computing in portrait or landscape mode with the ARM CPY running Lenovo’s Skylight OS.
The Ideapad U1 Hybrid can deliver more than 5 hours of 3G web access and should be available this June for $999.
Via NewsFactor, image via Engadget.
HP is allegedly working with Microsoft on their tablet. There have been rumors that it will be called Courier and use two adjacent seven-inch touchscreens - quite a departure from the traditional single touchscreen. Though some are interpreting Microsoft’s tablet as a competitor to Apple’s tablet, the reality may be that they are two completely different products. Of course, with neither product released, it is impossible to do a proper comparison. But Apple’s tablet may be much more App Store oriented, and Microsoft’s could have a completely different interface, especially if it has the dual screens.
Also, even though Microsoft is expected to announce its tablet before Apple, both products are expected to ship at the same time: by March or mid-year.
Via PC World, image via Gizmodo.
Amid all these Apple tablet rumors, it is sometimes difficult to remember that other companies make decent tablets, often with very decent prices as well. Freescale Semiconductor has showcased designs for an affordable tablet computer which will be sold later this year.
The Freescale tablet will feature a seven-inch touchscreen, a built-in 3-megapixel camera, and sensors for ambient light. It will come with 512MB RAM and 64GB of storage through microSD. It will run Android or Linux OS. These specs are not all that bad, especially considering that it costs $199.
It will be designed to run a web browser, email client, an RSS reader, social networking tool, and an office suite. It is set to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show later this week. The tablet currently does not have a manufacturer but once it does, this charmingly priced little tablet could show up as early as late summer 2010.
Via PC World, image via PC World.