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All posts tagged "hardware"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The HTC Flyer Caught on Video

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

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

"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

Quadrant Benchmark for the ZiiO 7

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

"Here is a quick update with the Quadrant benchmark results with the ZiiO 7". I have managed benchmark scores both a little higher and lower than the Quadrant score of 2001. I currently don't have a screen capture app for my ZiiO yet, so please bear with the photo of the results."

Wow, 2001 is a great Quadrant score for a $250 tablet! Benchmarks can be deceiving but just going by Quadrant this looks like a fast device. Actually, the most impressive thing about that Quadrant score may be that the ZiiO is only running Android 2.1. The Creative ZiiO 7 is a 7" Android tablet that uses a ZMS-08 CPU which was designed by ZiiLABS, a subsidiary of Creative. It only has a 480x800 resolution screen but for the price that's not bad. It also has 720p video out and Creative X-Fi which does real-time interpolation of audio to improve sound quality. This could be a good device for consuming audio and video content. Do these benchmarks and it's media features make interested in this tablet?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

T-Mobile Giveaway!

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Android Mobile Operators" @ 06:30 PM

"T-Mobile USA, Inc. today announced a Valentine's offer to fall in love with. On Friday, February 11 and Saturday, February 12, all T-Mobile phones, even the fastest 4G smartphones running on America's largest 4G network, will be offered for free at T-Mobile retail stores with qualifying plan on two-year contract."

Oh me, oh my! It's hard to see a downside to this deal, since you'd have to sign a contract to get a carrier based phone anyway. If this comes off, the only thing I think might turn people off is network congestion from the potntial flood of new users, much like what happened to AT&T when the iPhone first came out. What with Verizon getting the iPhone 4, this is a great riposte from T-Mobile - though I can't imagine how the shareholders might feel about such a hefty potential layout. But that hardly matters to consumers, right? Let us know if you're planning on grabbing one - and how big or small the crowds are.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Charge Your USB Device While Sharing An Electrical Outlet

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 09:30 AM

"To give your USB devices the power they crave without hogging the outlets that other gadget-obsessed folks crave, the Flipit! has a small power tab that flips out and goes over an AC outlet. When you plug in another device over it, the Flipit! borrows some of that power to charge your USB devices."

Here is an effective gadget that may get you out of a tough situation when you cannot find an available power source for charging your USB device. The idea is simple: share an outlet with another device. Flipit! is inserted between the wall outlet and the power cord prongs. Your USB device plugs into the Flipit! and can then be charged by sharing the power source. For comparison purposes, Belkin has a similar product that you might also consider. These are definitely handy tools to have at your disposal at work or while traveling.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Xoom at Best Buy on February 17

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

" internal Best Buy document that's just dropped into our inbox, which explicitly pinpoints February 17th as the launch date for Moto's highly touted, Honeycomb-equipped tablet. Stock is expected to land at the big box retailer on February 16th, with the big party going down the day after."

It looks like the wait is soon over for a Honeycomb Tablet! Apparently it will have 32GB of built in storage and the price will be $700. Is the the tablet you're waiting for? What do you think of the price?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Get the G2 from T-Mobile for Free

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Mobile Operators" @ 07:00 AM

"Oh, how we love a good deal and this one comes courtesy of with the T-Mobile G2 going for the low low price of…free! Of course, this requires a new 2-year commitment."

The G2 is a device that never seemed to get much attention, possibly because of it's 800MHz CPU. Don't let the lower number fool you though. This is a second generation Snapdragon that is just as fast as a lot of 1GHz CPU's out there. In fact, it's probably faster for graphics and maybe some other things. Basically, if you want a good Android phone with a physical keyboard this is a great deal!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Acer And CherryPal Think This Tablet Fad Just Might Stick Around

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

This week we began to hear news of still more Android tablets set to enter the market this year. Acer has announced plans to launch 7 and 10-inch tablets by mid year. Both devices will run on Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors and Google's Android operating system. The big surprise here is that Acer planes to phase out netbooks and move firmly into the tablet market. This is quite the shock coming from the king of netbooks.

In related news CherryPal, makers of one of last years sub $200 Android tablets has seriously stepped up their game. The current buzz is that CherryPal will be launching a new 7-inch Android tablet with a 1 GHz CPU, high resolution capacitive screen, HDMI port, and WiFi/GSM radios for connectivity. Along with GPS, Bluetooth and front/rear cameras this device might be worth your bucks this round.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can the Nook Color Compete?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"The device sold well and launched B&N into the emedia segment. But, using the e-ink display had its drawbacks. Page load times are noticeably slow, magazines and newspapers looked disappointing at best, and there was still a vast amount of information and content to be consumed that an e-ink display simply cannot bring to the table Fast forward to today and they decided to give users another choice in the market, the Nook Color ($250)."

The world is more than Kindles, iPads and cheap Android tablets. Barnes & Noble has their own line of eReaders with their most recent model being the Nook Color. It kind of straddles the line between an eReader and a tablet being an Android based device and offering a colour screen. Does aspiring to be more make it lose its focus? I do think that one of the most notable features of the Nook (and a select few other eReaders) is the ability to "loan" books from your local library.

Yes, that library. While the Internet now gets piped into almost every household and streets everywhere, the Library is still a great fountain of knowledge and has managed to take advantage of some of what the Internet has to offer. The ability to loan out books means that you suddenly have access to a huge wealth of information that does not exist (at least not yet) on the Internet. Couple that with buying books, and Android's web browser, the Nook Color certainly is compelling as an information device.

Friday, January 14, 2011

CES 2011: Dell Streak 7 Hands-On

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Streak" @ 08:00 AM

There was practically a rugby scrum immediately following the Dell press conference in the side are where the products were available for hands-on, so this is me filming someone else playing with the device. Looks pretty slick, and the performance looks great - very smooth and fluid. I've been waiting for more seven-inch slates to hit the market before making a buying decision; the Dell Streak 7 is definitely on my short list.

Sprint Chops the Price of the Galaxy Tab

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

"Word of a price drop at Best Buy for the Sprint Galaxy Tab leaked out via some images last week, but Sprint has beaten Best Buy to the punch and now list their Galaxy Tab for $299 on contact and $499 without contract."

Let the price drops begin! With all the new Android tablets announced at CES I was expecting prices on the Galaxy Tab to drop but this is a really big drop happening sooner than I expected. With a $200 price drop, a great size (at least for me), reasonable resolution for the size at 1024x600, and a Hummingbird CPU that probably has the best mobile GPU other than the Tegra 2 that's a great deal in my book! It may not be upgradable to Honeycomb but at least it does have Froyo now. While I wouldn't want an oversize iPhone and over-sized Android device could be very useful thanks to good multitasking, good notifications, and widgets. Is $200 enough of a price drop for you to buy one?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CES 2011: Dell Teases 10 Inch Tablet

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Streak" @ 03:30 PM

Click over to the YouTube version for a full screen option.

I have a longer video of the Dell CES 2011 press conference coming up, but I wanted to put this short video out first: Dell has become known for showing an early prototype device for a few seconds at each of their CES press event, and true to form, they showed off a 10 inch tablet - it looked similar in design to the current generation of Dell Streak, but the focus seemed to be on business/enterprise use, so it might not ship under that brand. Nice to see Dell is fleshing out the tablet line-up though!

CES 2011: The Motorola Xoom Tablet

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 03:00 PM

CES 2011 is the first event that Motorola is officially showing off their Xoom tablet at, and it looks like an impressive device. I wasn't able to get more than a few seconds of hands-on time with it, but the fit and finish was solid - I think this is going to be a real competitor to the iPad. The specs include:

  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb
  • 10.1 inch display
  • Dual Core 1 Ghz CPU NVIDIA Tegra 2
  • 1GB RAM
  • 32 GB inbuilt memory with microSD Card slot
  • 10 hr video playback battery life
  • 5 MP Rear camera with Flash and 720p HD video capture
  • 2MP video calling camera
  • Wifi(n) Bluetooth 2.1, 3G , 4G

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Here come the E FUN Nextbooks: Next4, Next5, Next6

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 06:30 PM

"E FUN, a consumer electronics designer and marketer of fun, easy-to-use lifestyle products, has integrated its patented APEN Digital pen with the new Nextbook Next5 Android tablet for a truly versatile communications duo!"

"E FUN, a consumer electronics designer and marketer of fun, easy-to-use lifestyle products, is pleased to announce the addition of two capacitive touch-screen models to its Nextbook Android tablets--the Next4 - 10.1" and Next6 - 7."

The NEXT5 tablet sports a 7-inch (non-capacitive?) screen, Wi-fi, Android 2.1, 2GB of memory, SD/SDHC card slot, an MP3 player, built-in speakers, photo viewer, and 25 pre-loaded e-books, as well a Borders' store app on-board. Availability is listed as April, 2011, with an MSRP of $279.99.

Also announced in a separate press release, two new capacitive screen models, the NEXT4 with a 10.1-inch screen and Android 2.2, and the NEXT6 with a 7-inch screen and Android 2.1. Specs mentioned for these two are similar to the NEXT5, with the intriguing addition of G-Sensor technology. Availability for both is listed simply as Q2 2011, and prices (MSRP) are $349.99 for the 10-inch NEXT4, and $269.99 for the NEXT6.

Interesting that the NEXT5 and the NEXT6 appear similar in configuration, with the NEXT5 offering the APEN digital pen for $10 more, but the NEXT6 offers G-Sensor technology. Also, the NEXT5 makes no mention of screen type, but the NEXT4 and NEXT6 press release explicitly mentions capacitive screens. It's a bit disappointing to read that Android 2.1 and 2.2 are the OSes of choice for these upcoming models.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Surf The Galaxy Tab at LTE Speed!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:00 PM

"With the Galaxy Tab only being on carrier’s shelves for a couple of months now, not too many expected the device to be iterated. But it looks like Verizon is getting the “most powerful” of all the Galaxy Tabs with an upgraded LTE version."

I keep hearing news about dual-core ARM processors. The RIM Playbook is supposed to feature one. The same with the iPad2. It comes as no surprise then that the single-core models would try and make the most out of what they have. A 20% faster clock speed is not too shabby. For a lot of the current apps out there though, I have to wonder just how much of a difference that makes. Web browsing is sure to be faster, but will Angry Birds be any more phenomenal with 2 more fps? Will Voice Search be more compelling if it is .2 seconds faster in recognizing your voice? Can you think of a reason the Galaxy Tab benefits from being just a bit faster?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Samsung SH100 Camera Uses WiFi for New Features

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 08:30 AM

"Samsung's SH100 isn't the first point-and-shoot to have Wi-Fi, but it makes better use of it than most: You can use Samsung's Galaxy S Android phones as a wireless remote and geotagger for the camera."

I love when mobile device can be used together in cool new ways. This is a great example. You can use your Galaxy S phone with the SH100 as a remote viewfinder, to take pictures, and for geotagging. It also has DLNA built in so you can get your photos off with countless networked devices. I look forward to features like this being standard in all camera's and working with all Android phones. This camera is due in March at a price of $200.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Could The Scribe Be A Tablet?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:30 PM

"It's an open secret at this point that HTC is almost certainly working on one or more tablets for introduction in 2011 -- and with heavyweights like Samsung, Motorola, and LG all playing the game (or about to play the game), really, how could they not?"

The USPTO (along with the FCC) seems to be a wonderful source for technological speculation. Whenever a company submits a documents, it usually it not long before enthusiasts unearth any details hidden in the filing. This time, HTC is the target and the prize is a tablet, possibly running on Android. HTC has a strong heritage in smartphones and is also no stranger to tablets and tablet like devices. With Samsung showing that Apple is not the only company capable of making a successful tablet, HTC might be able to produce yet another happy story for Android fans. Of course, while it might be Android based, I suspect that HTC's Sense UI may play a role.

Friday, December 31, 2010

HTC Ventures Into The Living Room

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "HTC Android Phones" @ 08:00 AM

"To say that HTC's Media Link is small is an understatement... It's so small that we thought that our friendly government import agents had stolen it from the box that had obviously been jimmied open for inspection while en route to our European test lab."

HTC's ambitions have lately started to venture far from its usual stomping grounds. The HTC Sense team for instance want to extend their UI design into consumer electronics, and some of you might remember the HTC Shift, a marriage between a UMPC slate and Windows Mobile. Here we have another sample of HTC's diversification strategy, albeit a logical one given their proven strength in smartphones. The HTC Media Link leverages on existing DLNA technology to allow wireless media streaming from your HTC smartphone to any DLNA ready screen. It's a neat device, especially for its size, and can act as a WiFi hotspot. Engadget's impressed with it, though they did note some weaknesses (compliance with other DLNA devices, the price) and they think its more suitable for road warriors rather than the home. Think it's suitable for you? Click through the link to read the review.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Viewsonic ViewPad 7 Disappoints

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 03:00 AM

"At first glance, the ViewPad 7 looks like an iPad 4 that’s been taking injections of gadget growth hormone. Like the latest iPhone, ViewSonic’s tablet has rounded-off edges, a handsome metal band skirting its circumference, and a glossy black backing plate. From an industrial design perspective, it’s the slickest Android tablet we’ve tested. And, while the ViewPad 7 easily bests the Dell Streak and lesser Android tablets from a real-world use perspective, it falls short of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, and lags far behind the iPad."

I'm really having a hard time figuring why there hasn't been an awesome Android tablet yet. At least from my perspective, the requirements don't seem too stringent. Make it do the same thing my phone does, just in a larger package. You can also drop the 3G coverage and make it WiFi only as far as I'm concerned as I'll mostly be using it where there is a network or just tether it to my phone. Now come on, somebody get it done!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Archos Updates Their Androids for More Tablet Power

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"Whether it was the mediocre reviews or the competition coming up behind them, the French company knew it was time to step it up, and its Archos 70 and 101 attempt to right all those wrongs. The 7- and 10-inch tablet both have Android 2.2, 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processors, and capacitive screens. Oh, and don't forget the front-facing VGA cameras. With each ringing up at $299, has Archos finally mastered the art of the cheap tablet?"

Archos has been making tablets for quite some time, but not in the traditional sense. For a couple of years, their Portable Media Players have morphed into tablet-like devices, following trends seen in the iPod and other media devices. With Android maturing, they have thrown their lot in with Google and largely focused on building their media player empire on the platform. It sounds like a good idea, and it probably makes things a lot easier to develop, though I am curious how well they can differentiate themselves from the bazillion other Android based tablets out there. Their media software is sound, which is to be expected, but there are Android apps that offer significant codec support as well, so I guess it will come down to polish. Can Archos maintain itself as a premium media player company?

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