Tag Archive | "honeycomb"

Full Toshiba AT200 Specs

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02092011501_2_resizedChippy just showed you how thin the AT200 is (7.7mm!) and now we’ve got full specs to share:

    • Android 3.2 Honeycomb
    • 10.1 inch capacitive LCD touchscreen @ 1280×800
    • TI OMAP 4430 CPU @ 1.2GHz
    • 1GB of RAM
    • 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
    • Up to 64GB of in-built memory
    • Micro USB, Micro SD, Micro HDMI
    • WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth (unspecified specification), and GPS
    • Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass), ambient light sensor
    • Stereo speakers
    • Rated for 8 hours of video playback

Nothing groundbreaking here, but this is in line with modern tablets and it is pushing the limits of thickness and weight which is sure to be appreciated by users.

Toshiba AT200: Hands-on With the World’s Thinnest and Lightest 10” Slate [video]

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At IDF, Toshiba is showing off its second entry into the 10” Honeycomb slate category with the AT200, which currently holds the title of both thinnest and lightest 10” slate.

Toshiba’s first 10” Honeycomb tablet was the Thrive which went for a utility-over-style approach. The Thrive is 16mm thick and weights 725 grams, but it also offered a range of full-sized ports such as USB and HDMI.

With the AT200, Toshiba is showing that they’re just as capable as the rest when it comes to making a svelte slate. To prove it, the AT200 beats out the current champ, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in both thickness and weight.

The Tab 10.1 is 8.63mm thick which the AT200 bests by 11% at 7.7mm. For weight, the AT200 undercuts the Tab 10.1’s 564 grams by 3% at 550 grams.

Impressively, the AT200 is even thinner than the recently announced Galaxy Tab 7.7 which is in the 7” category and has a thickness of 7.89mm.

Of course, the margin for these titles is quite thin, so things could change slightly, but just enough to unseat it, by the time the unit hits production – especially when they throw 3G/4G into the mix.

Toshiba says that the AT200 will be available in a WiFi-only incarnation in December, while you’ll have to wait for sometime in Q1 2012 for a data-equipped model. Pricing is not yet official and specs are quite thin at the moment, but a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU has been confirmed so far. We’ll track down full details for you though, stay tuned!

Archos 101 Hands-on

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Full specs for the Archos 101 available here.

Archos 80 G9 Hands-on

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Chippy goes hands-on with the upcoming Archos 80 G9 [specs sheet]. Overview of Archos’ new G9 tablets here.

Lowest Capacity Archos G9 Tablets Will be Slower Than Others, But Why? (also, EU pricing confirmed)

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archos-g9-tablets1We’re really looking forward to Archos’ new G9 tablets, their inexpensive price and unique features are going make them a welcomed addition to the world of Honeycomb tablets.

As Charbax of ARMdevices.net shows us, the TI OMAP 4460 found in the G9 tablets will run at different speeds depending upon the capacity (and the price) of the tablet that you purchase.

When Archos first announced the Archos 80 G9 and the 101 G9, they were said to eventually be available in 8/16/250GB capacities, while other specs would remain the same. However, at IDF they are now showing that the 8GB variant of both models will run at 1GHz instead of 1.5GHz.

The lower capacity makes sense to bring down the price even further and offer additional choice to customers. What I don’t quite understand is the lower clock speed. As far as I can tell, the 8GB model of the 80 and 101 is still running the same CPU as the 16/250GB models. Feel free to correct me on this, but I can’t think of any additional fee that would be incurred to use a different clock speed on the CPU, so I have to wonder why they are lowering the speed on the 8GB variants.

My best theory is that Archos wants the more expensive models to be the most appealing, and give an additional incentive for going with one of the higher capacity units. If that’s the case, I can’t help but feel like they’re artificially giving users of the 8GB variants the shaft, though I’m hoping there is something less dubious behind it.

Archos confirmed US pricing for the 16GB variants of the 80 and 101 back when they were first announced; $270 and $349 respectively, and we should see the other models officially priced soon. Charbax has the official EU prices for all models here. The G9 80 and 101 will become available at the end of September, according to Archos.

Chippy is on the IDF show floor and we’ll see if he can get this question about the CPU speed answered for us.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Features Impressive Super AMOLED Screen and 1.4GHz Dual-Core CPU – First Hands-on Video

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tab 7.7It’s about time Samsung got a true successor to the Galaxy Tab 7 out the door. Today at IDF they’ve announced the somewhat leaked Galaxy Tab 7.7, which features one of the largest AMOLED displays ever seen on a consumer mobile device.

Please excuse the video title typo!

The CPU has been upgraded to a 1.4GHz dual-core CPU which is apparently of Samsung’s creation, which they say can run 1080p video just fine along with DivX support; they’ve otherwise been quite quiet about the specifics so far. This sets the Tab 7.7 apart from most other Honeycomb tablets which use Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core CPU which runs at 1GHz.

The press release lists the RAM at 8GB, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that is a typo. We’re probably looking at 1GB of RAM. On the capacity side, you’ll be looking at your classic 16/32/64GB flavors with a microSD slot for adding even more.

From my experience with the AMOLED display on Samsung’s Nexus S, I can say that I’m quite excited to see the Tab 7.7 in person. This is the first mobile device that I’d actually want to watch movies on. Thanks to the AMOLED technology you can expect the 1280×800 screen to have an exceptional contrast ratio when compared to other mobile devices (and even some TVs), most of which use LCD technology.

The Tab 7.7 runs Honeycomb 3.2 out of the box with Samsung’s custom TouchWiz modifications, and they’ve brought the device down to an impressive 7.89mm thick and 335 grams (from the original 12mm thickness and 380 grams)! The back is made out of aluminum and the whole device does look impressively svelte.

galaxy tab 7.7 product image_02

The cameras have sadly not seen a big bump in MP (just 3MP on the rear camera and 2MP on the front-camera), but it’s quite possible that the optics have been upgraded. Both cameras have sufficient resolution for capturing 720p HD video, though Samsung hasn’t clearly stated that the device will be able to record at such resolutions.

It sounds like initially the Tab 7.7 is going to be released with carriers, but we may eventually see a WiFi-only version, as we did with the original Tab 7.

The unit has HSPA+ connectivity, and Samsung’s press release says it can make calls, but it isn’t clear whether they are talking about true cellular voice calls or VoIP.

Like the Sony Tablet S, the Tab 7.7 has infrared built-in for remote control functionality on your TV and other IR equipped devices.

Samsung says that the Tab 7.7 supports something called “WiFi channel bonding” which is used for “bonding two channels into one for improved network connection and data transfer at up to twice the speed”.

If Samsung can keep the AMOLED display from making the device too expensive, they could have a big hit with the Galaxy Tab 7.7.

Top 12 Tablet Weights Compared — At 595 Grams, Sony’s Tablet S is the Second Lightest 10” Tablet on the Market

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Though Sony’s Tablet S has been known about for months now, today they finally unveiled official specifications for the device. While weight isn’t the spec that everyone jumps at immediately, it’s certainly an important factor for a large 10” tablet. Sony says that their Tablet S is just 595 grams, which makes it the second lightest of the top 12 tablets, right between the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Apple iPad 2 (with the Tab 10.1 being the lightest) – quite impressive considering that the Tablet S design isn’t as thin as many of the other tablets on the market because of it’s interesting folded shape, though it should count itself lucky to be considered a 10″ tablet when the screen is actually only 9.4″. Have a look at how the top 12 ten inch-category tablets compare:

Image 9

I would love to be able to say that tablets are getting lighter as time goes on, but as you can see, there are four Honeycomb tablets that were released after the first (the Xoom) that are actually heavier (though the Eee Pad Slider sort of has an excuse!).

tablet s leverage

The Tablet S is only about 1% lighter than the iPad 2, but Sony designed it with that funky shape specifically to make it feel lighter in one hand by grouping the weight on one side and reducing leverage again your hand. I’d be curious to see how much torque the iPad 2 puts on a hand vs. the Tablet S.

Sony Tablet S Available 9/16, Starts at $499; Trade in an old Tablet and Save $100

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sony tablet sFollowing the official unveiling of the Tablet P and Tablet S (formerly the S1 and S2) at IFA this morning, Sony now has official pricing and release dates available online. Right now you can go to SonyStyle.com and pre-order the Tablet S (the single-screened one) in its 16GB flavor starting at $499 (to match the iPad 2, no doubt), while the 32GB version goes for $599.

Sony is running a promotion through October 1st which will provide you with $100 off of the Tablet S if you’re willing to trade in an old tablet.

On this page you can enter your old tablet’s details and see if Sony considers it valid for the promotion. At the moment, Sony lists the following tablet manufacturers as those which would be valid:

  • Apple
  • Archos
  • Dell
  • HP
  • Motorola
  • Samsung
  • Viewsonic

Once you select a brand you need to specify the model, so not every old tablet may work, but it won’t hurt to give it a try if you want to trade up to a newer device.

Pre-ordering reveals that the device will become available on September 16th, a little more than two weeks away. It’s nice to finally see Sony get their tablets to market, but I don’t think they represent the bar the Sony had once set for handheld devices.

The dual-screened Tablet S is not immediately available for pre-order alongside the Tablet P, and the release date has not been indicated on Sony’s site.

Sony Tablet S and Tablet P Hands-on at IFA

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Following the annoucenement here at IFA I managed to get some hands-on with the Sony Tablet P and Tablet S.

Acer Iconia Tab A100 Now Available Starting at $329–First 7” Honeycomb Tablet

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iconia tab a100The wait is officially over. Today, Acer announced that the Acer Iconia Tab 100, the first 7” Honeycomb tablet, is available in the US today and will be coming to Canada next month. It haven’t yet found it officially listed for sale on the site of any major retailers (or even on Acer’s own site), but I’d expect it to start popping up later today

We’ve actually known pretty much all there is to know about the Iconia A100 for some time now, other then when it would be launched. Right a the end of the July, we covered a story by Engadget that indicated that the A100 would be available in August, and it seems that they were right on the money.

Speaking of money; it was unclear which capacity the $300 price-point that we heard originally was intended for. Now we’ve got that information officially. Acer is offering an 8GB and 16GB variant of the device. The 8GB has an MSRP of $329 USD and though $329 USD is only $324 CAD, Acer lists the CAD MSRP as $349. For the 16GB version, the MSRP is $349 USD and $399 CAD.

These low initial prices are great as we’ll likely see them come down further relatively soon.

Another good thing is that the Iconia A100 will be shipped with the latest Honeycomb 3.2 installed, which means that, at least for now, customers will be able to enjoy the latest and great version of the OS and not have to worry about whether or not they’ll receive timely updates… yet.

Joanna Stern has some hands-on photos and early impressions over at This is My Next. She’s already reporting some unstable software on the device, which will hopefully get cleared up soon.

I’m still concerned as to whether or not Acer is lying again about the 1080p support on the A100, as they did with the Iconia A500. At launch, Acer claimed that the A500 would be able to do 1080p output even though it actually couldn’t. They promised an update that was supposed to hit in June to include the functionality, but that never came, and to my knowledge, still hasn’t. The press release for the A100 claims 1080p output capability, just like the A500 situation. Time will tell whether or not they are lying again.

Swing by our Acer Iconia Tab A100 forum for discussion, and if you missed it, you can find full product specs, links, and more on the Iconia Tab A100 tracking page in our database.

WiFi-only Dell Streak 7 to Receive Honeycomb Update, 3G/4G Variant Being Left Behind with Android 2.2

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honeycomb streak 7According to our pal Jenn over at StreakSmart, the WiFi-only version of the Dell Streak 7 is set to receive an official update to Honeycomb next month.

Details haven’t emerged yet, such as which specific version of Honeycomb will be used and whether or not it will be customized or left stock. Jenn says the the update is expected to greatly increase the battery life of the device.

This is great news for Streak 7 owners, but it only applies to the WiFi-only version of the device. Apparently T-Mobile’s 3G/4G variant, which StreakSmart points out was recently discontinued, may never receive the update.

An alternative option to acquire Honeycomb is a custom ROM which is an unofficial software release that can be installed to your device if you’ve got the skills necessary. Jenn has a link to that ROM on her original post, go check it out.

Are you a WiFi-only Streak 7 user who’s excited for the Honeycomb Upgrade? Or perhaps a T-Mobiler who’s angry that your device wont be updated? Let us know in our Streak 7 forum.

Breaking: TouchWiz “Emulator” for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Goes Live + Review Roundup

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Breaking: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 TouchWiz Interactive Emulator just went live. Samsung calls it an emulator, but its really a simulator! Still, it gives you a way to play with TouchWiz before installing it on your device.

I am not a fan of OEM UI’s. I am even less of a fan when they are not optional (more on that later). User interfaces added onto a device by their OEM, instead of just using the one that is part of the associated OS, are always better when they can be enabled or disabled at the user’s discretion. They tend to be burdened with a lot of content that is just marketing or sell-through fluff, so being able to enable or disable them at will makes the bitter seed more palatable. 3rd party UI’s, in contrast, are designed to be competitive, and to make the developers money, and are therefore typically more lean and arguably provide more value. None of these trends have prevented Samsung from rolling out its TouchWiz UI for its flagship tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, however, and maybe it is a good thing that they did.

We’ve taken some time to scour the web and bring you an aggregated perspective of how the media has received the software update so far. There are some good takeaways and some bad. Read on to familiarize yourself with the basics:

Software updates are big news these days. A press event to announce a new version of an OS would sell seats like a Justin Bieber concert, but to a much cooler crowd of people. There is no other tablet on the market today that is running Honeycomb with a custom skin, so Samsung’s release of the TouchWiz UX overlay is a first. My own exposure to TouchWiz (TW) was with an overlay for Windows Mobile 6.5. In that instance, it made sense. WM6.5 did not have much going for it in the GUI department, and Samsung took a very textual interface and made it graphical and object oriented.

The most noticeable thing that most of the reviewers picked up on is how TouchWiz on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 brings what is arguably Android’s biggest differentiator, widgets, to the forefront. Samsung has implemented a customized widget system that brings a slightly more appealing color palette and some added functionality. The new GUI version is very much about liveness of data, and goes a long way towards increasing awareness from the surface of the GUI without making you dig too much further into an app. Many views, like news and weather, are aggregated so that you spend less time bouncing through apps to get up to speed on the latest.

TouchWiz is, however, not just about widgets. Several new features come along for the ride with the update. One of those, Samsung’s MediaHub, reveals a pair of trends; one good, the other not so much so. The first trend is that there is this third tier of developer that is growing out of Android. You can think of it as Android being an engine, and developers using that engine as an SDK. But what is significant is that companies like Samsung and HTC who are going this route, are seeing the need to have their own media services coupled with the Android-flavored code-base their devices run on. MediaHub provides access to a lot of recent content, but it requires its own account and login credentials. The downside of this trend is the set of restrictions that we have seen on the rise concurrent with these services. In this case, Samsung restricts you to 5 devices that can access MediaHub content through one account. While it is unlikely that any one individual will have 5 Samsung devices, I am curious as to how MediaHub handles device retirement. Hopefully a little better than iTunes.

The major downside to TouchWiz is what might happen to you of you don’t opt-in for the upgrade. Reportedly, if you do not install TouchWiz, your Galaxy Tab 10.1 will not receive future updates to the OS. Now, it is unclear to me exactly how far this goes. Engadget reports that, at a minimum, it means no Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade. I would believe, however, that actual firmware fixes to correct a problem with the device would still be delivered. However, even for that, it is tough to have a high degree of confidence. If Samsung has to spin two versions of a firmware update (one for TouchWiz and one for non-TW), then I can see the company dropping support within a year. Of course, not every firmware update should have an interface to the classes that govern the UI, although it is feasible that some would. Either way, it sounds like if you have bought into the Galaxy Tab, then you have, by Samsung’s definition, bought into TouchWiz as well.

Regardless, most of the reviewers were pleased with the value and performance that the TouchWiz UI seemed to bring to the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The update will turn the current version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 into the first Android Tablet to market with an OEM skin on top of Honeycomb.

Could TouchWiz set off a new trend of skinned Honeycomb devices? It all depends on how well the Galaxy Tab 10.1 does at retail. If it does significantly better than other tablets out there, that just might encourage other manufacturers to roll their own skins for Honeycomb. Right now, it seems like general consumers are driven primarily by price-point. The technoratti seem to be mainly encouraged by performance. Every Android lover is looking for the same immediate-response experience that the iPad delivers. TouchWiz will need to prove itself fast and unintrusive to make it a positive differntiator of the Galaxy Tab product.

Here are some links to the original Engadget review, as well as some additional perspectives from the usual suspects. Read on after the gallery for my more of my own assessment of what the TouchWiz UI may mean for users and Samsung.

Source: Engadget

Further Reading:
PhoneDog
CNET
PCMag

My personal assessment is that TouchWiz worries me, and the requirement to opt-in in order to continue to receive support firmly strikes the Tab 10.1 from my “I Want” list. A few key notes:

  • On the Android platform, Samsung has had a poor record of quickness to deploy Android updates. I firmly believe this is due to the additional qualification time needed to test Android updates against their customized UI’s. They have gotten better, but are still not as quick to OTA as some others
  • On Windows Mobile 6.5 (running on a Samsung Omnia II), one of the things I did not like about TouchWiz was the replacement of key apps with TW variants. So when you called up Calendar, if TW was enabled, you received a different view and different functionality in terms of input to create appointments, edit appointments, and so forth. This pervaded into text messaging, notes, and the phone view. in some cases, the TW variant was actually better, but in others it was not.
  • The good thing was, you could disable TW in WinMo 6.5. Of course, it was all on or all off, so you got the better TW apps enabled along with the apps where you would have preferred to just run the native Windows Mobile version. This incentivized me to more often then not to run with TW disabled
  • I have found a similar effect in HTC Sense (running on the HTC Evo 3D); the Calendar app is the HTC Sense variant, which is not a 1:1 replacement for the Android calendar. This gets aggravating when running several Android devices, and then going to a Sense device and having things oriented slightly differently than every other instance of the app that you run.
  • This is where the overlay starts to get in the way of using the device rather than the overlay being a helper. The bad thing is, you cannot turn Sense off, and when running stock, the Calendar app is not even available as an app, only as a widget. Hitting the widget even, just launches the HTC Sense version of the Calendar app.
  • If TW has similar hooks, then users who run more than one Android device may not see it as appealing a differentiator as Samsung would like.