You’ll see this touchscreen Ultrabook used extensively over the next month or so as I explore and demonstrate software and operating system elements. In this video I want to answer one of the most often asked questions – why have a touchscreen on a laptop when your hands need to be near the mouse and keyboard?
I’ve been using touchscreen devices since 2007. For over 1 year I used a touchscreen netbook as my only laptop, It was running Windows XP (not tablet edition) and had a resistive touchscreen. Even with all those limitations there were scenarios where I found using touch to be an advantage. Sometimes it’s not natural but sometimes it’s worth it.
We’re waiting for a price on this productive tablet from Tegatech but if it’s anywhere near what Viewsonic are proposing for the equivalent (we assume same OED) Viewpad 10 – around 550 Euros for an entry-level version-Â it will be well worth checking out.
Update: The launch is postponed untilt he 15th due to global Windows Phone 7 launch events.
We tested the Viewpad 10 at IFA last month so we’re already fairly confident that the performance and responsiveness isÂ acceptable and with Windows 7 Pro, 2GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD and 3G option, it really would make an interesting modular PC. Take it from me, someone that has been using a ultra mobile PC and netbook exclusively since March, you will be able to use this as a desktop PC for most day-to-day scenrios.
As with all Windows-based tablets, I tend to look immediately for a docking port and unfortunately, it’s missing on the Tega v2. (and Viewpad 10.) I can not overstate the usefulness of a docking port and docking cradle on a productive tablet, especially when you’re looking at having to charge during the day and with the possibility that 10â€ in portrait mode makes a superb second screen.
With a confirmed (we checked out the hardware at IFA) 4hrs of battery life possible, it’s not bad for an 800gm PC with a 10â€ screen.
Our only issue is that if you’re using the 16GB drive version, there won’t be much storage space left after Windows has gobbled up most of it.
As for the included Android Open Source build, well, it’s interesting. You might find some use for it. A sideloaded Amazon Kindle app comes to mind if you fancy holding an 800gm book but we don’t see Android as being a key feature here.
As we mentioned, we don’t have prices for the Tega V2 yet but we do know that Tegatech have now expanded operations into Europe and US which is perhaps a sign that the pro-mobile segment is benefiting from the consumer tablet craze.
Our hands-on with the similar (unconfirmed but we suspect the two devices are coming from the same production line) Viewpad 10 is shown below.
Most of you will have heard about the Archos 70, part of the new range of tablet devices being launched over the next few months. Archos have stripped away their recording software and docking station, bumped up the processor, improved the operating system and hit a very competitive pricing point. Add features like HDMI, USB host, capacitive multitouch, multiple video format support and you’ve almost got a full Android Tablet specification list. It’s not complete though. While 800×480 might be acceptable as a resolution, the lack of Google applications isn’t. No Gmail. No free Google Navigation, No Contacts sync and of course, no Google Market. We’ve experienced it on the Archos 5 and it really is noticeable.
Having said that, if you consider the Archos 70 as a sofa tablet, car tablet, holiday tablet and bedside tablet, you’ve got a video and audio player that returns a great browsing experience and offers a stylish way to view photos and ebooks. If you’ve got a way to ‘sideload’ some Android applications you’ll also benefit from some really great applications for entertainment and communications.
Pricing is $275 and it’s coming in Sept or Oct. Note that it might ship with 2.1 but 2.2 will, apparently, follow-up very quickly.
We’ve had some hands-on at IFA and this is how it wentâ€¦
One does wonder why you’d run Android on an X86 platform that can’t even get near an ‘always-on’ capability that, if missing from Android, turns it into a very strange experience, especially if you don’t have any Google apps available. Viewsonic have chosen to include the Android build on the Viewpad 100 to give users a simple user interface option and in that respect it works but if you want to get back to the serious side of the device, it’s a 2 minute process that you won’t want to do very often.
Fortunately the Windows 7 side of the Viewsonic tablet appears to be very well built and makes much more sense. We’ve got an N455 (Pinetrail platform) CPU driving Windows 7 Home Premium and the capacitive touchscreen allows for 2-point multitouch. All Windows 7 tablet features are working. Win 7 on Pinetrail with 1GB of RAM is certainly a low-end setup but it works to provide a nice fast Web experience. As Windows tablets go, the Viewpad 100 looks good, feels good (if a little heavy in one hand) and performs acceptably. 4-4.5hrs battery life (we checked power drain) isn’t fantastic but at that weight and screen size, it’s not bad. Oh, and by the way, the 16GB SSD might not offer too much in terms of storage after the OS’ are loaded on but it seems to be fast. You’ll have to use the microSD slot for storage.
As the rumours surrounding the HP Windows 7 tablet continue to swirl and with no official response on the matter, no one is quite sure if the project is dead or not.Â For those who like the form factor and who aren’t interested in owning an Apple iPad, the Jumper JK01-TT may be of interest.
It’s a 10.1 inch tablet running Windows 7 and sports a 1024 x 600 multitouch display. The JK01-TT is powered by a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450, 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. It comes loaded with WiFi, 3G, USB, 4 in 1 card reader, 2MP webcam, accelerometer with autorotation and a 3000mAh battery.
I would estimate a possible 2 – 3 hours run time if you’re lucky but given its 1.2kg weight and slim dimensions (11.4â€ x 5.9â€ x 0.8â€) it does make for a small, full-featured tablet.
As an added bonus the Jumper JK01-TT ships with a docking station, wireless mouse / keyboard and is available at Ownta costing â‚¬556.92
Archos Lounge (translation) are reporting (source: ITNews) that the Archos 8 Family will be available by the end of summer. The range will run from 3â€ to 10â€, will be Cortex A8-based (Ti OMAP as with the current Archos 5 Internet Tablet) and willâ€¦â€¦oh I so want to just copy the whole article from Archos Lounge but the wouldn’t be fair on them. Hop over there, check it out and let us know what you think here.
Did someone say Multitouch=Capacitive? The big outstanding question for me has to be â€“ Do they have Android 2.x with Google Apps?
We’ve had a few hands-on sessions with the Hanvon Tablet at IDF and CES and found it to be an interesting device that works smoothly and productively. The 1.6Ghz Menlow platform seemed to provide good performance. There have been hints that there’s a second version though and JKK managed to uncover it today by visiting the Hanvon booth at CeBIT. It’s the BC10C built on the Intel Celeron 1.3Ghz ULV743 CPU, an expensive but powerful CPU.
The BC10C includes 2GB RAM, 10â€ multitouch capacative screen, 250GB HDD, 2 x 2Mp webcams and has a weight of only 900gm.
JKK spoke to us earlier on a MeetMobility update (embedded below) and has produced a demo video too; also embedded below.
As for the price points, JKK is quoting 500-600 Euros for the BA10E and 600-700 for the BC10C. I get the feeling that the BC10C will be more expensive than 600-700 Euros based on the costs of the parts in it but let’s wait and see. Maybe Hanvon are looking to make a big splash with these two devices when they launch.
Hop over to JKK movile to see some pics of the new Gigabyte T1000P.
Basically we’re looking at an updated version of the T1028X with Pinetrail and a Multitouch screen. This will go head to head with the Viliv S10, Asus T101H, Lenovo S10-3T.
It’s a shame they didnt take the chance to update the design but at least all the upgrade ports and 3G antenna will still be there. This is a big advantage for people wanting to upgrade with 3G modem, SSD and 2GB RAM.
You wouldn’t want to be left up the creak without this now would you!
EviGroup launched the Evigroup Pad last October and have been busy since then to try and improve on the design. The result is a multitouch, SSD-capable version called the ‘Paddle.’
Available for 699 Euro (estimated April to June availability) the Paddle will come with a new software layer called ‘Scale’ (see video below) which promises to make organising and viewing your documents and media a lot easier. Certainly a large touchscreen helps to get a good overview like this so we’ll be interested to see exactly how well it is implemented come launch time.
Other improvements include an optional Wifi antenna (great for stealing the Wifi from others in press conferences!!) and discreet positioning of microphone and web cam. Battery capacity is unknown at this stage but we’re suspecting the battery can’t be more than 25-30wh meaning 3-4hrs max battery life on this 1.6Ghz Intel Atom / Windows 7 HP platform.
The pricing has since been removed from Froogle but here’s the detail:
Viliv S10 32ssd -Â IntelÂ® Atomâ„¢ Z530 1.6GHz 32GB SSD Windows XP $699.00
Viliv-S10/32ssd – IntelÂ® Atomâ„¢ Z530 1.6GHz 32GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium. $797.00
Viliv S10/32ssd/3G – IntelÂ® Atomâ„¢ Z530 1.6GHz 32GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium Built in HSPA modem. $889.00
Viliv S10/64ssd – IntelÂ® Atomâ„¢ Z530 1.6GHz 64GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium. $857.00
Viliv S10 64ssd/3G – IntelÂ® Atomâ„¢ Z530 1.6GHz 64GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium Built in HSPA modem. $949.00
Viliv S10/2.0GHz/64ssd – IntelÂ® Atomâ„¢ Z550 2.0GHz 64GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium. $987.00
Viliv S10/2.0GHz/64ssd/3G – IntelÂ® Atomâ„¢ Z550 2.0GHz 64GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium Built in HSPA modem. $1,079.00
Note that these prices are unconfirmed but they look correct to me. I already predicted $1200 for the high-end versions.
Note that the entry-level version does not support multi-touch (although an upgrade to Windows7 should enable that) The 2.0Ghz version starts with a 64GB SSD at a shade under $1000.
A quick comparison to my current convertible touchscreen device, the Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M, which runs 2GB on a retro-fitted 64GB SSD and 3G, tells me that the S10 is not something I should be upgrading to UNLESSâ€¦.
I want up to 10 hours battery life. (compared to my current 2+4 using my standard and extended batteries)
I want hardware decoded video and flash video (Flash 10.3 supports the GMA500 under Windows 7 now although I haven’t seen this working in practice yet.)
I want a much more stylish device
I want a lighter (by about 400gm) device.
I want a multitouch touchscreen
My worry with the S10 though, despite the advantages, is that Windows7+1.6Ghz+SSD might not be fast enough to give an noticeable improvement over XP. Indeed, based on RAM requirements, the device could run into memory problems after extended or heavy use in which case. The same issue is true of the 2.0Ghz versions. I would personally choose XP as the OS under 1 GB scenario and that renders the multitouch screen useless.
If you consider the 2.0Ghz version, there are currently no competitors at this screen size so lets take the S10 1.6Ghz version with the 64GB SSD, 3G and Windows 7 Home Premium and compare it to German Euro prices for competitors.:
Lenovo S10-3T â€“ 1GB RAM, Multitouch (1024×600) Windows 7 Home Premium 449 Euro
Gigabyte Touchnote â€“ 2GB RAM, Single Touch N280 1.6Ghz (1366×768) Windows 7 Starter, 569 Euro
ASUS T101 MT â€“ 2GB RAM, Multitouch (1024×600), N450 1.6Ghz CPU, Win 7 Home Premium. 320GN HDD. 499 Euro
Clearly there’s nothing out there that exactly matches the specifications of the S10. If the SSD is fast it will make a lot of difference to the performance of the device. The Menlow platform should also help with battery life too although do remember, the battery life is untested at the moment.
Upgrade prices for a Touchnote T1028X.
3G retro-fit. 100 Euro (USB stick for 49 Euro is also a solution)
SSD Retro-fit â€“ 64GB fast SSDs such as the one I use in my Touchnote are around 200Â Euros.
Extended battery: Approx 60 Euros
Home Premium upgrade: 67 Euros.
Single-to-multitouch upgrade: (Not recommended due to warranty issues) Around 100 Euros.
Example: Total upgrade cost for 64GB/3G/2GÂ is around 420 Euros bringing the price of a Touchnote T1028X with single touch screen to around 890 Euros which is going to be very near the Dynamism price for the high-end 1.6Ghz S10. The advantages of buying the S10 are: 200-400gm weight saving, better looking, multitouch, hardware video decoder.
Or, you could stick with the ASUS T101MT with the 1024×600 screen for 499 Euro. Add a USB 3G stick and SSD for 250 Euros and you’re at about 750 Euros. For some, in fact many, I think this could be the choice they will make.
Touchnote upgrade for me?
Personall, theÂ Viliv S10 Blade has come in at about $100 more than I expected but when I calculate what I’ve spent on my Gigabyte Touchnote to bring it up to similar specs, the cost is much the same.Â The S10 isn’t actually that OTT considering it’s not a netbook and only two years ago, you would have dreamed of such pricing!Â Having said that, even considering the advantages of the S10, there’s no major reason for me to upgrade my Touchnote for the S10.
What do you think? Did Viliv price the S10 too high or, considering the battery life and SSD advantages, is it acceptable?