Tag Archive | "icd"

Summer Breaks, Products Wait. Round-Up and Outlook Q3/Q4 2010. (Pt. 2 of 2)

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smartbook surfer Yesterday, in Part 1, I talked about 3 tablet products. Today, there’s more and the first one is something that shouldn’t be a surprise because Smartbook AG have released a ‘Smartbook.’ The only problem is that I don’t see this as a smartbook. A smartbook to me would be in the laptop/netbook form factor and have an advanced CPU that brings enough power for a quality web, gaming and application experience along with an application store. Smartbook’s Smartbook Surfer runs an ARM11 based Telechips CPU and has a basic Android 2.1 install with, as far as I know, no Gmail, maps or marketplace. That’s not to say it’s a bad product because at 170 euro with GPS (possibly not in the 170 Euro version) HDMI-out, stereo speakers and a case, it’s worth considering for basic coffee-table and holiday duties. If you’ve looked at the Archos 7 Home Tablet.

The final 7” tablet to talk about is the Viewsonic which is in a different league to the Smartbook Surfer. It’s a rumor but looks likely to me considering the Viewsonic branding we’ve seem on prototypes around the trade shows this year. Stuff.TV indicates that it will be running Android 2.2 and have 3G, hi-res cam and GPS options making it a competitor to the Samsung and Huawei slates. They say that is will launch in the UK in about 2 month. Again, this is a rumor, but it seems likely.

Before I move on to the other news items I want to talk briefly about smart books. I’ve been very positive about the possibility of ARM and Android bringing an always-on, social, fun and lightweight netbook alternative to the market but as yet we haven’t seen anything that really hits the mark. The hardware is there in my opinion but it was always the Android build that fell short. Both the Compaq Airlife 100 and Toshiba AC100 were build on open-source Android and included none of the important, even critical elements of sync, Gmail, maps, marketplace and other Google software. For a category that would benefit from software re-writes, not having a software delivery channel means no developer is going to bother with the opportunity. I’m 100% sure that Google and ARM know about this and the stars seem to be pointing towards Android 3.0 (codename Gingerbread) as the solution. It will finally branch Android out to non Smartphone devices. Why the delay? I suspect Google is re-writing some of its apps to suit WVGA and higher resolutions just like Apple did with their apps on the iPad. As for timescales, I suspect we won’t see anything until the last weeks of 2010 which is just about when MeeGo/Moorestown based tablets will hit the scene. The differences between the two hard/soft platforms will be clear at that point.

Did you see the new renderings of the Eking slider UMPC? It looks similar to the design we saw in plastic form with Wibrain (sold to Eking) in Sept 2009.

eking-slider IMG_7033

It also looks a lot like the Mui HDPC. I remember using the Amtek U650 in 2007 and liking it a lot. If Eking can bring this to market on Oaktrail with some quality engineering and better aesthetics, it has a chance in the UMPC market but maybe it would be more successful as a ‘smart’ product on a Cortex A9 core with Android 3.0? Slimmer, always-on, great for Android gaming? Just a thought.

Here’s something about MiFi-a-likes. I’ve been using the MiFi for over a year and it’s been a great product but I’m disappointed that there haven’t been any upgrades since launch. The GPS remains unusable, I get the occasional lock-up, it gets very warm, it’s impossible to remember to indicator meanings and the battery life needs to be more than 4 hours. Novatel will fall behind if they don’t watch out because the new Huawei E583C looks to match the MiFi’s current capability and offer an OLED display panel on top. The idea of an on-board application processor sounds attractive with the MiFi but there’s no software for it yet so why bother? I’d rather save 40 or 50 Euros and take the E583C to be honest.

Other news I’ve ‘starred’ over the last few days of catch-up time…

Clearwires Apple-centric 4G hotspot.

Motorola-Verizon Tablet with FIOS TV.

Nokia’s take on the MeeGo handset UI.

Android 2.1 on the Dell Streak

ExoPC slate update.

‘Watchlist’ and ‘Events on the next page…

Meet:Mobility Podcast 47 – ‘Pad’ies Day

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Meet:Mobility Podcast 47 is now available. Recorded on 9th April 2010.

Chippy, JKK and Sascha cover news about the iPad, the JooJoo, ICD Gemini, Hanvon Tablet, HP Slate and other consumer and mobile internet devices.

Full show notes, playback and download info at Meet:Mobility.


You can also find the podcast on iTunes (Please rate the show on iTunes.) You can also subscribe via RSS.

Meet:Mobility Podcast 47 – ‘Pad’ies Day

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Meet:Mobility Podcast 47 is now available. Recorded on 9th April 2010.

Chippy, JKK and Sascha cover news about the iPad, the JooJoo, ICD Gemini, Hanvon Tablet, HP Slate and other consumer and mobile internet devices.

Full show notes, playback and download info at Meet:Mobility.


You can also find the podcast on iTunes (Please rate the show on iTunes.) You can also subscribe via RSS.

ICD Gemini Official Specs Confirmed. Comes in White Too!

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We’ve acquired an an official PDF which confirms specification details for the ICD Gemini 11.6” Android Tablet. Engadget outed the details a few days ago so now we know the specs are real, we’ve added them all to our product database. Many seem to have missed the fact that the Tegra 2 powered device will be vastly more powerful than the iPad. 2-3 times more processing power (it’s a dual-core optimised Cortex CPU as opposed to the single-core version in the iPad) which means super-fast web rendering times and/or problem-free multitasking. Also missed is the fact that Google Marketplace is an ‘option’ on the device. That means ICD haven’t sealed the deal with Google yet and probably need the weight of a carrier agreement behind them before that can be sorted out. It’s a significant issue because without it, the device isn’t half as interesting.

Full specifications are now in our database along with images that we’ve picked up. Those are also shown below.


ICDGemini-specs ICDGemini ICD Gemini

ICD Gemini (2) ICD Gemini (1)

The confirmed specifications come just as Stuff, a UK publication, reports on their hands-on session (Via NdevilTV) with the device. They seem very happy…

The Gemini’s built-in stereo speakers sound superb – much better than iPad’s single, tinny tweeter…

Web browsing is even smoother than the Nexus One – blisteringly fast page renders, smooth scrolling, speedy rotation and full Flash support.

It all bodes well for basic specs but time, price and that Google app-suite and marketplace are all as yet, unknown.

ICD Ultra Alternatives: Click for a list of similar devices.

Check out this giant of a slate — ICD Vega 15.6”


vega Fee-fi-fo-fum. ICD announced that it was working on several Android slates back in November with screen sizes of 7, 11, or up to 15.6 inches. The Vega is the name of their largest 15.6” model and we’ve actually seen this slate in photos and on video before, but it never really hit me how enormous this device was until I saw someone holding it. Luckily Slashgear has made that possible and posted a vid a few weeks back of someone using the device. Check it out:

This may very well be the largest touchscreen Android device in existence. It’s pretty cool that it can handle HD video and has the resolution to actually watch it at HD quality (720p anyway), but honestly this thing is so big that I sort of fail to see how it would be useful. It’s not pocketable, and you won’t be able to input text efficiently on it. I’m seeing ICD phasing this size out pretty quickly and sticking with their smaller devices like the ICD Ultra [Portal page].

[Slashgear] via [Netbook News]

ICD Ultra. Nvidia Tegra 2 Tablet for Q2 2010. (Video)

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The UK company ICD (Innovative Converged Devices) has an interesting product called the Ultra. Its a 7” device based on the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform and runs Android. (Detailed overview here.) We weren’t able to see it running so we can’t confirm if this is a true Google Android phone device or just a build based on the open-source components. Like the Mobinnova Beam, if it comes with Google apps and the Marketplace, it’ a good indicator that Google are taking the non-voice segment seriously.

ICD Ultra specifications

The IC Ultra is heading for Verizon in the US and as ICD is known to be working with T-Mobile in the UK, we hope that it will reach the EU shores too.

Could the ICD Ultra be the Haiku of 2010?

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If you remember back as far as 2006, you might remember the Haiku tablet which was part of Microsoft’s Origami project. It was a prototype and it never reached a production line.


Origami was all about mobility, connectivity and style but the PC technology and operating systems of the time just couldn’t deliver the dream. The Origami project and team were eventually closed down.

Look to 2010 and you have this:

icdultra5 icdultra4

It’s a 7” tablet PC by ICT called the Ultra and is aimed and mobility, connectivity scenarios with a good pinch of style. The technology IS ready now and this product should be getting a lot of airtime at CES in just a few weeks. Engadget have already had hands-on.

The operating system is Android 2.0 which doesn’t have the productivity focus that Microsoft might have wanted but that’s probably a good thing. Squeezing Excel cells into a 7” screen was always a challenge.

Ironically neither Microsoft or Intel are involved in this device. The ICT Ultra is based on an Nvidia platform running an ARM core.

More information, specifications and some analysis over at Carrypad.

ICD Ultra Android 2.0 Tablet. Specifications and Overview.

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Information on the ICD Ultra appeared via Engadget and NBC (Via Ebooktest)  over the over the weekend and we’ve just spotted that the information is also available on a new webpage and hidden PDF (currently available here) on the ICD website. The information reveals a ton of exciting specifications including Android V2 and built-in 3G.

Engadget’s hands on says:

“The version we had a chance to play with — a prototype running Android 2.0 — was blazingly fast when it came to 1080p playback and web browsing”

Looking at the specs it appears that we’re seeing the first device on the new Nvisia Tegra Platform. Details aren’t available but we suspect it to be a multi-core Cortex A5 design. If it’s running at 1Ghz and if Android can take advantages of a multi-core OS then yes, this is going to be fast and multi-tasking capable.

Information and updates are being tracked in a new ICD Ultra product page at UMPCPortal

As for size, we’re a little dissapointed. The target weight is 600gm which is too big for e-reading. Based on whave we’ve seen with the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, we’re sure that something thinner and lighter is possible. The 16-bit screen isn’t going to impress video fans either.

However, if ICD can sell entry-level versions of this for under 300 as is suggested on the Engadget article, it makes it a very very interesting home tablet indeed. 7” works well in the hands and looks great on a coffee-table.

icdultra4 ICDUltra03 ICDUltra02

Specifications from our ICD Ultra product information page.

  • Manufacturer: ICD
  • Model name: Ultra
  • CPU type: Nvidia Tegra
  • CPU speed: 1000 Mhz
  • OS: Android V2.0
  • Display Size: 7″ 800 X 480
  • RAM: 256 MB
  • Flash: 512 MB
  • Weight (target): 600gm / 21.2 oz.
  • Size (w/h/d mm) 186/158/18 mm
  • Size (w/h/d inches) 7.3/6.2/0.7

Physical Interfaces

  • Micro USB
  • HDMI
  • Line-out / Headphone (3.5mm)

Wireless Interfaces

  • 802.11b/g
  • BT 2.1
  • 3G option

Additional Specs and Accessories (can vary)

  • FM radio
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Mic array
  • Accelerometer
  • Stereo speakers
  • GPS (option)

Alternatives and comparable devices can be found in the product database.

Stay tuned for more information and hands on. We plan to check this one out in detail at CES in Jan.

Engadget has a quick hands-on video with a Vega prototype

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vega We mentioned the supposedly Android and Nvidia Tegra powered ‘Vega’ tablet a few weeks ago, and now it looks like Engadget has gotten their hands on a prototype. Jump over to their story to see the video.

The thing that will probably jump out to any of us is that the prototype is running Windows CE at the moment. It’s possible that this is just temporary while they build and fine tune the Android software that will be purportedly powering the device at launch, but I’m just hoping that they don’t rush the unit out the door with Windows CE and promise Android firmware at a later time. This would put them in some regards on the same unwanted level of the no-name MIDs I wrote about the other day (see the ‘Users as beta testers’ section). I’ve also got to mention that I’m not digging the resistive touchscreen.

At least the Tegra hardware ensures some pretty good performance. A movie playing at 1280×720 is demoed in the video and the device seems to handle it just fine. The ZuneHD might have the same Nvidia Tegra hardware, but it is too small to actually have a screen with an HD resolution, so on the Vega it is nice to see that HD decoding capability put to good use.

Vega, the giant Tegra/Android slate

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vega A company called Innovative Convergent Devices has put info up on their website about a new device called the Vega, which purportedly will be an Android 2.0 powered Slate device which will come in your choice of size: 7”, 11” or up to a whooping 15.6”.

Check the specs (likely subject to change):

  • Android OS
  • 7/11/15.6” resistive touchscreen at 1366×768
  • Nvidia Tegra (probably the Tegra 600 or 650, which are both Arm 11)
  • 4 hour battery life
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 512MB of memory (expandable through MicroSD)
  • Bluetooth and WiFi b/g
  • Options for 2G or 3G data module
  • headphone jack and webcam
  • dual microphones
  • accelerometer

And one other thing listed on the spec sheet that is rather odd: 262,000 colors (6-bit) which seems sort of low for a device that claims to be usable for HD content.

The press release on IDC’s site says that the device will be released through “Tier 1” carriers in the US, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, which should mean that the device will be subsidized. They are also set to show off a demo unit at this year’s CES (Jan 7-10) and hope to launch in the first half of 2010.

There is a lot of talk about the Vega being a “no compromise” product that consumers really want, however, I don’t know about you… but I’d call a Slate device with no physical keyboard and a resistive touchscreen just that: a compromise. Your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.


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