Tag Archive | "Android"

Dell Venue 8 7000. Hands-on and Realsense Snapshot demos

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I was asked for my opinion on the price of the Dell Venue 8 7000 just after it was announced and all I could think of was the nice looking Lenovo Tab S8 which is very similar, for about $199. After handling the Dell Venue 8 7000 I now see a product worth much more than that. The amazing OLED 2K screen is punchy and sharp. The 6mm thin design is light and stylish and the 3 additional Realsense snapshot cameras offer some interesting options for photographers. In this video you’ll see some of those features being demonstrated.

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After talking to a number of people about the Dell Venue 8 700 I know know the following.

  • It will be available in November.
  • There will be an LTE version. (Intel 7260)
  • It runs on Merrifield (Intel |Z35xx-series)
  • The screen is  2K resolution OLED
  • The base configuration will be 2GB RAM and 16GB storage
  • An SDK will be released but it’s looking like early 2015 before developers can create apps

 

Youll find out more in the video after the images…

 

Dell Venue 8 7000Dell Venue 8 7000 (1)Dell Venue 8 7000 (2)Dell Venue 8 7000 (3)Dell Venue 8 7000 (4)Dell Venue 8 7000 (5)Dell Venue 8 7000 (6)Dell Venue 8 7000 (7)

Dell Venue 8 7000 3D photography video

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Mobilegeeks got the best video of the Dell Venue 8 7000 at the Intel Developer Conference today. (This Android tablet launched earlier today, here’s my coverage.)

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A reminder of the specs.

  • 2K resolution screen (Ultra HD(

  • Edge to Edge screen.

  • 8.4 inch screen

  • 6mm thin.

  • 2GB RAM

  • MicroSD

  • 16GB SSD

  • Realsense ‘snapshot’ capability

  • Early November availability

I’ll write no more. Please just watch the video.

 

Lenovo Tab S8 – Android also comes in 8-inches at $199. (Inc. Benchmarks, video)

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This is the competition for 8-inch Windows tablets in the consumer space, and it’s good. Thin, fast, full HD and coming with an LTE voice and data option for an extra 50 Euros.  The Lenovo Tab S8 runs Android KitKat on an Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core CPU.

I had an overnight session with the Lenovo Tab S8 before the Lenovo press event at IFA today and I was really impressed with the value-for-money. Like Windows 8 tablets it’s not something you’ll slip into your pocket but  it’s thinner and lighter than any Windows 8 tablet. The Full HD screen looks bright and punchy and there’s a familiar user interface.

 

Lenovo Tab S8 (6)

 

In terms of performance browsing felt really fast although it seems it’s attributable to the LTE I was using at the time. A Peacekeeper score of 1055 is slightly less than we see on Windows and that could be due to browser capabilities although I did use Chrome for the test. Sunspider came in at 668 ms and the Octane Score was 5406.

 WP_20140903_021WP_20140903_024

 

The 8MP camera my not be up to the standards of the latest smartphones but it’s not bad and it beats most Windows 8 tablet cameras I’ve tested. There’s an FM radio and, in the LTE version, voice calling, SMS and of course, data. The dual front-facing speakers are loud and clear.

There’s no HDMI port but you’ve got the standard MicroSD, MicroUSB and headset ports.

Lenovo Tab S8 (15) (1280x855)

There’s no substitute for a full review to find out if the Lenovo Tab S8 is as good as it seems but when it comes to consumers, maybe that’s not the point. The specs are good, it looks good, Android is good and when that full HD screen is popping at the local mall it’s going to look irresistible at $199. The jump to LTE at 250 is something I’m considering myself given that there are few Windows LTE options available and none at this price.

While ‘adventurers’ know and care about the difference between Windows and Android when it comes to your average consumer, the Lenovo Tab S8 is going to be a lot more appealing. Here’s my Lenovo Tab 8 image gallery. The video is embedded below…

MMV launches Console OS, a Dual OS Android project for your Windows PC

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consolebot-head-alphachannelBack at MWC we spoke to MMV CEO Christopher Price about dual-OS tablets, Ultrabooks and desktops. At that time they were public about iConsole.TV – an Android build designed to run games on high-power PC platforms. The idea of high-end gaming power is interesting but the more interesting topic for us was the promise that they were “building the first Android desktop PC.” [Watch the video here.] MMV have officially launched that project and it’s called Console OS. It’s going to be a true instant-switch dual-OS options for Windows PC owners.

Console OS is a part-completed dual-boot Android build that has the aim of being a complete desktop-capable fork of Android for X86 . The project has launched on Kickstarter where you can support and influence the project. If the project is successful we could see a true hypervisor-controlled instant-switch Android build in 2015.

The Kickstarter project is mainly geared towards building Console OS Pro – a version with hypervisor-based switching, service layers, maps and stores. This version will also, eventually, include OpenGL4.0 support and a Windowing system. Console OS will also be available to everyone soon as a basic dual-boot version.

Neither version will ship with the Android application store or Google service integration but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It’s up to MMV, OEMS and Google to solve that issue and there’s obviously going to be money directed towards teasing OEMs into the project. Unofficial Google solutions are likely to appear but the hope is that Google would eventually come to their senses and support this commercially led project. The Amazon store is has already been tested and MMV will also build a Console Store that will include enhanced apps. MMV are also promising to allow you to import applications from your existing Android devices.

Other Cosnole OS Pro features:

  • Toggle between native and modified user-interface.
  • Ten-Second toggle between Windows and Android.
  • The Hypervisor looks like it will be based on Xen and include XenGT graphics virtualization technology.
  • 2 apps can be run side by side (on both versions)
  • ‘Industry licensed’
  • Secure-Boot supported
  • Gaming OpenGL 4 will be supported in 2015
  • ASUS Transformer Book T100 will be one of the first products to get a tailored build
  • Kickstarter supporters will be able to vote on which devices get priority in the tailoring process.

I’ve taken a close look at the project and spoke to MMV and I think it’s one of the best dual OS projects yet. Where Bluestacks, the AMD-funded project, runs inside a Windows-based runtime and others from Insyde and AMI haven’t really got off the ground this is not only a good technical solution but a well-organised project. Choosing to go through Kickstarter means it gets a good amount of free marketing too.

So why would you want Console OS? The free, dual-boot version may not interest too many people outside the early-adopter class but I think many will be interested in testing games on devices like the T100 and even some more powerful Ultrabooks. The Pro project is going to be the more interesting one for the mainstream though. There are going to be device-specific issues that will limit the audience at first but by choosing popular devices first – and the Transformer Book T100 is a perfect example – they should improve their reach quickly. Ultimately the OEMs need to pick up Console OS to make it truly successful and that success really does ride on being able to get a full Store and quality service layers into the product. Google is obviously the first choices but let’s not forget that Microsoft have a full Android stack in the Nokia X project.

MMV have published a list of competing Android X86 options and features.

COS-competitive-061214-002

 

Here’s the list of devices that will get tailoring treatment from day 1 although it must be noted that there could be issues and changes. Sensors, 3G, multitouch, digitizers and other hardware will need open-source drivers before they are supported.

Support for additional systems will be steered by OEM backing and by the community.

Console OS release timescales

Console OS Developer Release 1 within about 30 days of the Kickstarter’s conclusion (Est. September) After the initial launch the Kickstarter funds will be used to build out support for the devices that are  voted for.

MMV expects Console OS (Pro) 1.0 around December, 2014 with the goal of giving OEMs something to ship in time for new x86 tablets and convertibles this winter to ship in stores.

We’re in touch with MMV and looking forward to early testing. Expect more coverage from us soon.

HP SlateBook 14 is official and unique at $399

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$399 buys you 1.7KG of 14-inch Android smartbook. Maybe this isn’t something for ultra-mobile computing fans but it will be worth tracking the HP Slatebook 14 to see how it’s received in the market. The unique specifications and a ton of local apps (and a ton of great games) will differentiate it from Chromebooks and cheap Windows laptops.

HP Slatebook 14 (5) (550x460)

Video and gallery below.

64GB of storage is good (16 and 32GB also listed in the specifications) and when you pair that with 9 hours battery life, the dynamic OS that many many people know and love from their smartphones, a fullHD touchscreen, three USB ports, a MicroSD slot and HDMI you have indeed got something unique. We assume the Nvidia Tegra 4 processor is fanless too. Try getting FullHD on 14-inches with an SSD in the Windows PC world for $400!

Other specifications:

  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • Display: 14.0-inch diagonal FHD BrightView WLED-backlit Display (1920×1080) Touchscreen Brightness: 270 nits
  • Nvidia Tegra 4 mobile processor with quad-core CPU (1.8 Ghz) GPU (Fanless)
  • 2GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
  • Storage: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB
  • Size: 0.63 in (H) x 13.54 in (W) x 9.45 in (D)
  • Front-facing HD Webcam
  • WiFi: 1×1 802.11b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth
  • 1 x USB3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, MicroSD slot, HDMI 1.4b, headset port.
  • Miracast
  • Beats Audio
  • 32Wh battery

We note that there’s no 3G/4G so getting those SMS’ back for Whatsapp could be a problem!

Update: It’s clear to see space for a module and SIM card slot in an internal image we found.

Slatebook 14 internal

 

 HP Slatebook (487x350) (2)HP Slatebook 14 (1024x538)HP Slatebook 14 (3) (550x460)HP Slatebook 14 (2) (550x460)HP Slatebook 14 (1) (1024x442)

Source: HP.

Intel NUC (DN2820FYKH, Celeron N2820) set-up and first test with Android 4.4.

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For the purposes of creating an exciting project for myself and something different than 8-inch Windows tablets for the readers I’ve bought an Intel NUC. The Intel Next Unit of Computing is now in its second generation and this Baytrail-M powered (N2820) version has been chosen for a number of reasons. Firstly, Intel are building Android X86 for it (and KitKat has already booted and installed without a problem,) it’s new and finally, I’d like to see just how Baytail perfroms in real-world scenarios with a very fast SSD – something we can’t do on the Baytrail-T platform.

Intel NUC DN2820FYKH (4)

The Intel Celeron N2820 is a dual-core (no hyperthreading) 2.13 – 2.39 Ghz processor based around the Silvermont CPU you find in all ‘Baytrail’ variants. It’s a 7.5W TDP SoC with 64-bit architechture that can handle  a useful 8GB of DDR3L-1066 memory. HD graphics (gen 7) up to 756Mhz clock, USB3.0 and SATA storage interface make it more flexible than any Baytrail-T platform although you won’t get, in this N2820 version, high-end Quick-Sync performance. [The new versions of this product will have an N2830 that supports Quick Sync. If you can find one, it’s better than the N2820 version.

The box itself is mainly aluminum with a plastic top and bottom. Inside you’ll find a SATA interface and 2.5” 9mm drive bay, one RAM slot and a PCIe slot that contains an Intel WiFi module. There is one front-facing USB3.0 port, two USB2.0 ports, audio port, HDMI port, power port and a Gig-E port. Also on the device is an IR receiver which is obviously intended for home theatre usage. A VESA mount is also provided…

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Intel NUC DN2820FYKH (2)  Intel NUC DN2820FYKH (10)

 

Memory choices for the DN2820FYKH

You’ll see in the video below that my first attempt at boot-up resulted in no response. I thought the unit was dead until I tried a third, newer stick of memory. I’m currently using a 2GB module from Kingston. (ACR16D3LS1NGG/2G.) Intel have published a list of working memory modules here.

Visual BIOS

Intel’s Visual BIOS is a much, much easier way to handle BIOS settings. It’s mouse-controlled, interactive, live and far more useful than the old BIOS setup systems of old. Current fan speeds, voltages and temperatures can be seen and there’s a lot that can be configured over and above the boot-sequence order. There’s even a built-in screenshot facility. More time is needed with this before I can report in detail on Visual BIOS but I’m already hoping to see it on more PCs in the future.

bioimage2biosimage

 

OS testing.

As a quick-start route into OS testing I’ve already installed Android KitKat from the Intel Android site 01.org. Latest downloads are available here. I tested a 28 April 2014 release of Android 4.4 ( android-4.4.2_r1-ia2 – Bat Trail generic.) which booted from a USB stick without any modifications to the BIOS. Installation onto the hard disk was simple.

This build is a raw Android open-source image without any Google services but after installing the Amazon store I was able to test Facebook, Twitter and a few other apps.

P1170239Android 4.4 on Celeron N2820 NUC performance.

After installing the above Android KitKat build on the SSD I ran a series of tests. Here are the results. [Windows 8.1 is being installed as I write this. Watch out for a follow-up post.]

Sunspider : 1.01: 520

Quadrant : 5544

3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited : 13214

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme : 7504

3DMark Ice Storm : Maxed Out.

Linpack : 167.667 MFLOPS

 

Fan Noise.

In normal operation this mini-PC is very quiet. The fan runs at about 3000 RPM under zero load. After 3DMark IceStorm tests were run fan noise was audible with air rush and mechanical hum. This level of noise is, in my opinon, not acceptable for a home office when the unit is positioned on the desk. Under a desk or at home TV viewing distances this (max) level of noise should not be an issue. In the current test setup an Acer V5 laptop, next to the NUC, is creating more noise than the NUC.

Full image gallery.

A gallery of various images is available here. It includes internal close-ups and some images of Android 4.4 running.

Intel NUC (DN2820FYKH, Celeron N2820) Video

Further Testing.

This report is based on the first 12 hours of testing with the Intel NUC. Windows is being installed as this is being written and a follow-up post with Windows performance test results will come within 24 hours. This report will include information on the consumer IR receiver.

What would you like to see tested? XBMC? Games? What video demo’s would you like?

Intel Android Portal 01.org includes KitKat download for PCs

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androidonintelarchitectureThe Intel Developer Forum in Shenzen has just come to a close and I’m trawling through some interesting slides that were presented in the sessions. There’s a few articles queued-up but here’s one related to Android that is stimulating my thoughts about the future and battling with a very positive attitude I have about Windows following day 1 of BUILD.

Intel have set up a new Android-on-Intel site at 01.org and the latest AOSP build, 4.4 KitKat, is available for download.

First, here’s the relevant part of the IDF day 2 press release:

Intel’s broadening focus on Android includes a new, comprehensive device developer program that will be rolled out over the next few months. As part of the program, a device developer resource portal is available today as a one-stop shop for all Intel resources, including source code, documents and specs for Android on IA. Intel Build Tool Suite for Android will also be available in the coming months to automate the configuration and customization of Intel firmware and operating system images for new devices. Local resources such as builder training events, local support teams for developers and academic programs to train tomorrow’s designers are offered through the program.
Intel also released Android KitKat 4.4 with a 64-bit kernel optimized for IA. With this release, the company ported, validated and tested the Android Open Source code on IA, taking on the work that developers typically would need to do on their own. This release will provide the ecosystem with 64-bit kernel support for development of next-generation devices. Fisher said Intel will regularly make Android code for IA available as part of the company’s effort to speed up the device development process and improve quality.

As you can see, Intel are increasing efforts to court device and product manufacturers and to encourage them to put Android on the i86 platform.  From Baytrail to Core-based PCs there’s some interesting possibilities out there.

The latest download available is Android (open source project) 4.4 which has been built for two specific pieces of hardware. The Dell XPS 12 and the Intel NUC (*1)  which means there’s not much flexibility for us tinkerers but as time moves on, the builds will improve and become more generic so we’ll be able to start hacking together our own dual-boot systems. I’m particularly looking forward to a Baytrail-T build that could go on the 8-inch Windows tablets and the resulting community that would build around that considering the number of 8-inch Windows tablet sold recently.

A company that’s already doing this is  iConsole.tv  We spoke to Christopher Price about Android on Intel back at MWC and I came away thinking that gaming could be a great reason to boot into Android.  I contacted Chris again today and he had some interesting comments about the Android build:

“The Android-IA build is strictly for developers. Really this is about giving the community (startups and big companies alike) the tools to build the next generation of Android platforms and services for users on Intel processors. Ordinary people really shouldn’t use it – it lacks most of the user functionality that makes Android enjoyable. It’s big news, but it’ll be a few months before it trickles into tangible stuff for geeks and ordinary people alike.”

Having downloaded Android 4.2 and run it up as a live USB image on my Ultrabook here I can confirm it’s sparse. Naturally the Google service layer is missing but it would have been nice to see an alternative store installed. Maybe Microsoft/Nokia can give Intel a hand with the service layer through the Nokia-X project. It sure would be interesting to see a competitor to Google in the Android space although seeing as Android is a trademark of Google, that would probably result in the Open Handset Alliance exploding!

https://01.org/android-ia/downloads/2014/android-4.4.2r1-ia0

(*1) Does anyone know what the “NUC with Intel Centrino N2840” is? It’s mentioned on the download page. I assume they mean the Celeron N2820 NUC available for $140 shown on the right? I’m ordering one for testing here as soon as it’s available.

Intel announces a Dual-OS platform

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Just minutes ago at the CES keynote, Intel announced, briefly, that they have a dual-OS platform ready. Windows and Android on one device.

dual-os intel
The live demo worked!

 

We know little right now apart from the fact that the Android part will include additional security. In an on-stage demo the switch time was near-instant. Have Intel developed a better solution than ASUS, Insyde? Does it have a true dual-virtual container? The exciting thing is that Intel have the best access to hardware drivers so getting all the hardware mapped through to both operating systems could be easier.

Read the full story

Samsung Pushes 12-inch ‘Pro’ Tablet, Running Android

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Multi windowing, collaboration, ‘full size’ virtual keyboard, digitizer, and performance with a 12-inch screen. Sounds like an Windows Tablet right? No, Samsung have launched the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro, a 12-inch tablet running Android.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro

Read the full story

Dual-OS ASUS Tablet Appears at FCC. How Do They Do That?

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Dual-OS. It’s a possible solution that could bridge the differences between Windows and leading mobile operating systems if it’s done right. ASUS already teased us with us the dual-OS ATIV-Q but it looks like there’s a smaller tablet offering coming. The M80T has been spotted going through testing at the FCC.

asus-m80t

The dual-OS variants are labelled M82T, L82T and R82T ‘Dual-OS’ and that, my friends, is really all there is to know right now.

Read the full story

Ramos i10 Pro Could Run Dual-OS on Baytrail

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If Intel and friends can pull-off the dual-OS trick in a slick way they’ll have a valuable selling point and a ‘bridge’ between the app-gap in Windows and the consumer richness of Android. Ramos already have a set of Intel-powered Android tablets in China but the Ramos i10 pro is said to be coming with a dual-OS option on a Baytrail core.

IMG_5365

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Intel Could Succeed in the Android Market with HDRC

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Back at IDF September, Intel and Google finally announced that they’d be working together to get Android up and running on x86 devices. While there were a number of Android-running x86 tablets and a smartphone prototype or two floating around IDF, it wasn’t immediately apparent what the major advantage of Android 0n x86 devices would be for your everyday consumer. In fact, it wasn’t even apparent exactly why any of the existing Android manufactures would  want to create x86 Android devices, given that up until now, pretty much all of their R&D has been focused on ARM devices. However, Intel may actually be perfectly positioned to be able to stimulate the growth of an upcoming segment of Android device — one which truly converges mobile and desktop functionality into one device. Chippy has coined such hybrid functionality: ‘High Dynamic Range Computing’ (HDRC), and the time might just be right for Intel to ignite this segment and find their own place in the Android market.

Before moving on, you might want to visit this link to see Chippy’s look at HDRC from last year.

Any consumer-available Android device that you can get your hands on today uses ARM architecture which is fundamentally incompatible with the x86 architecture that Intel products are based on. Android was originally built to run exclusively on ARM (though being open-source, some community projects were able to do some porting to x86). It wasn’t until several years after Android was on the scene that Intel and Google finally got together to work on full hardware-level Android on x86 support. That work is still ongoing. We’ve had our hands on Android devices running with Intel’s x86 architecture, but it is clear that there is still much optimization to be done. Once everything is complete though, won’t a device running Android on ARM be, for the user, indistinguishable from a device running Android on Intel’s x86?

If ARM has battery life, Intel has power. It’s an interesting dichotomy — we’ve watched as ARM-based devices have continuously scaled up to meet performance demands as the Android device market has grown. Intel has the opposite problem; they’ve got power, but have been constantly trying to scale it down to work with mobile at the tablet/smartphone level. Intel’s Atom series is a notable effort in the last several years to scale things back far enough that users could get reasonable performance and reasonable battery life out of a netbook. Once Intel can achieve the same thing at the smartphone and tablet level (and they’ve been working on this for years), they’ve got the expertise to push the processing end of things far beyond what we currently see from ARM — not to mention that the same x86 architecture that will be found in Intel-based phones and tablets is capable of booting full-fledged desktop operating systems.

If Intel plays their cards right, they could do very well in the Android market by stimulating the HDRC segment. HDRC isn’t really a mainstream thing at this point — most people have their desktop computer and they’ve got a smartphone and maybe a tablet. They view these two devices as fundamentally different. The promise of HDRC is creating a device that scales so well that it can converge these two categories of devices, which are viewed as different, into a single unit. This is a serious challenge because essentially it asks for a single device that is instant-on and has phone-like (all day) battery life, but, when plugged in, can be as powerful as one would expect from a laptop or desktop. Intel has the expertise for the high-end of the HDRC spectrum, we see this daily from the desktop computers that we work on. If they can combine this with phone/tablet-like low-power functionality, they could blow ARM out of the water and define the HDRC space that mobile technology has been steadily moving toward for the last 5 years.

(continue reading on page 2…)



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