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Acer Iconia Tab A200 now available to order in the UK for �299

Friday, December 30, 2011

Acer Iconia Tab A200 now available to order in the UK for �299
If you're in the UK and have been waiting for Acer's new and affordable Android tablet to become available, the wait is finally over. With a slight caveat.

The Acer Iconia Tab A200, which was announced at the beginning of this month, can now be ordered in the UK. It is quite a bit cheaper than similar tablets, but it will be shipping “by January 6, 2012″. We don't know if that “by” in there is supposed to mean that there's a small chance you'll get it earlier than January 6, but we wouldn't risk hoping for that. So just assume it will be at your doorstep in ten days.

As for the price, it's £299 as you can see, which is about £100 cheaper than similarly specced tablets. That said, those similar offerings do usually come with 16 GB of built-in storage, whereas the Iconia Tab A200 only has 8 GB. And it doesn't have a rear camera, like the competition (yet it does come with a front-facing unit for video calls and such). So take that into account when deciding whether to purchase one or not.

Because aside from that, this is basically your run of the mill Android tablet. The Nvidia Tegra 2 processor is in there, as are 1 GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth support, a 10.1-inch 1280×800 touchscreen, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5 mm headset jack.

Very.co.uk is where you should go to order yours in black or red.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer gets a software update, sadly not ICS

Asus Eee Pad Transformer gets a software update, sadly not ICS
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer (the original tablet, the Transformer Prime‘s predecessor) has just received a software update. And it isn't going to make your tablet run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, sadly. But if you own a Transformer, you really shouldn't lose hope. That's because so far Asus has been the best when it comes to Android tablet OS updates, so there's no reason to think that the original Transformer won't be the first (or second, if its successor has a say in this) tablet to be updated to ICS. Perhaps all that's needed here is a little bit more patience.

Back to the update. It's a minor affair, containing bug fixes and various performance enhancements. After you apply it, your tablet will be on software version 8.6.5.21, and Android version 3.2.1.

If you have root access on your Transformer, it's best to refrain from updating until your favorite developers verify that you won't loose root by doing so.

The update naturally is of the over-the-air variety – no computer needed to download and install it. If you manually check for updates, it should be there waiting for you even if your tablet hasn't yet notified you that it's available.

HP TouchPad Go receives its first and possibly only review

HP TouchPad Go receives its first and possibly only review
The HP TouchPad Go was canned by HP when they decided to stop making webOS devices a few months ago, but fortunately, a handful of the TouchPad Go prototype devices managed to make their way into the wild, surfacing in the hands of various people. Well the folks over at webosnation managed to get their hands on one of these rare webOS tablets and decided to review the tablet after spending a few days with it.

According to them, “The TouchPad Go will not be the saving grace of webOS, and we doubt it could have been. It's a fine tablet for what it is, but it would have had serious trouble competing with the likes of the Amazon Kindle, Nook Tablet, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus”.

Taihe era's 7″ tablet is a pretty convincing Galaxy Tab clone

Taihe era's 7″ tablet is a pretty convincing Galaxy Tab clone
China has produced some pretty innovative phones of their own, such as the Meizu and Xiaomi, but they have also managed to pull off some pretty impressive clones, and upon first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that the tablet pictured above is the Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet.

In fact what you are looking at above is Taihe era's attempt at creating a Samsung Galaxy Tab clone, which the company boasts will be able to support both GSM and China's very own TD-SCDMA EVDO 3G standard. As far as its specs are concerned, it features a 7x800×480 display with a Qualcomm 7627 processor under the hood. It will also feature an Adreno 200 GPU, 512MB of RAM, 512MB of internal storage that can be expanded via an SD card.

It will also feature a rear-facing camera, four capacitive function keys much like the original Galaxy Tab and based on the screenshots of the device, it appears to be running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. No word on how much it will cost, but then again it's highly unlikely we will be seeing this device arrive stateside anyway.

Sony Tablet S and Tablet P to get Ice Cream Sandwich updates

Sony Tablet S and Tablet P to get Ice Cream Sandwich updates  
Sony has confirmed that the Tablet S and Tablet P devices will be on the receiving end of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update, making that announcement over their online community forum. This is definitely not the first Ice Cream Sandwich announcement from Sony, where they do have the intention of introducing Android 4.0 for the Sony Ericsson Xperia handset range from March next year. Better late than never, of course, as the Galaxy Nexus is the first smartphone that ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and while the rest of the Android-powered phones catch up with Google (and Samsung, of course). Well, at least it is nice to know that Sony is doing their part to keep their customers happy – as far as we know, the Tablet S and Tablet P are not exactly flying off the shelves, so this bit of news is definitely encouraging if you happen to own either tablet device from Sony.

Why Windows 8 Tablets Might Surprise Everyone

Why Windows 8 Tablets Might Surprise Everyone
At Microsoft's Build conference, Michael Angiulo, corporate vice president of Windows Planning, Hardware and PC Ecosystem, displays a prototype Windows 8 tablet. Image: Microsoft

Windows-based tablets haven't been treated kindly by the test of time. Those released in the Windows XP era relied on wonky, stylus-based data entry, and even modern, touch-based tablets running Windows 7 are poor performers.

Indeed, Microsoft has a troubled tablet history that the public isn't soon to forget. This November, Forrester released a study that showed consumer interest in a Windows-based tablet dropped significantly this year. At the start of 2011, 46 percent of potential tablet owners wanted a Window device. By Q3, that number slipped to 25 percent.

Forrester's report stated, “Windows 8 hasn't entered the consciousness of tablet buyers yet.”

That's a shame because Gadget Lab has seen a Windows 8 tablet in action, and the experience opened our eyes to just how useful — and, yes, even fun — a Windows 8 tablet might be. Sure, Microsoft was demoing a mere reference design, but what we saw was so intriguing, we're legitimately excited to see final, shipping products.

Windows 8 is being developed from the ground up to elegantly run on both traditional computers (desktops and notebooks) as well as touch-based tablets. The OS can run on either ARM or x86 processors, though apps written specifically for the x86 desktop environment won't be able to run on ARM-based mobile devices.

Is this a terrible handicap? No, not based on what we've seen. Windows 8 tablets will run an updated version of the Metro UI found on Windows Phones, and the UI appears to transfer remarkably well to larger touch screens. You'll get that same fun, friendly and animated “Live Tile” home screen found on Windows Phones, but with (theoretically) much more processing power to drive more powerful apps.

Windows 8 will go beta in February, which would peg a full software release around June 2012. Everything we've seen thus far suggests that Microsoft has really taken the time to develop a platform that will succeed on tablets, without abandoning the company's PC roots.

Still a skeptic? You should be. Windows tablet wanna-haves have been burnt before. But please consider these four reasons why Microsoft's upcoming push into the tablet space may surprise everyone by ultimately proving successful.

“If Windows is to have any hope, its product strategists must not only bring new features to the platform but also must fundamentally reinvent the experience,” analysts J.P. Gownder and Sarah Rotman Epps say in the Forrester report.

Many current upstart tablets are just iPad copycats. They share essentially the same UI (multiple pages of identically sized home screen icons), they operate with nearly identical touch gestures, and they basically look the same. But by being such a relative latecomer to the modern tablet party, Microsoft has a great opportunity to look at what's not being done, what can be done better, and what can be done differently.

And all this observation can inform a better Windows 8 tablet. Take, for example, Windows 8's ability to switch from a tablet UI to a desktop UI. This could be a winning innovation.

“We are reaching a point where ARM platforms can deliver us desktop experiences in mobile form factors,” mobile developer Kelly Sommers told Wired.com. If this is true, and if Windows 8 tablets in desktop mode can overcome the performance issues that plagued Windows 7-based tablets, Microsoft might strike gold by delivering two operational environments for the price of one.

“In my opinion, the ideal user experience allows both [a desktop UI and touch-based UI], but not at the same time,” Sommers told Wired.com. “What if you dock your tablet, and it becomes a desktop experience on your monitor, with keyboard and mouse, for non-power uses? Undock your tablet, and it transitions to a tablet experience.”

Indeed, who wouldn't want a dual-OS device that can serve as both a casual tablet, and as a no-excuses productivity computer? Neither Apple nor the Android contingent have answered this very real consumer problem.

The Nokia Lumia 800 runs the Windows Phone OS with great aplomb. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/WIred.com

Microsoft had a rocky start entering the mobile space, but has finally found its footing with Windows Phone 7 (and in Mango, Windows Phone 7.5, in particular). Consumers aren't flocking to Windows' new mobile OS like they are to iOS or Android, but if you haven't gotten a chance to try it out, you should — it's very well done. For a first-hand look, open up http://aka.ms/wpdemo in your mobile browser to give it a whirl.

“I think that what Microsoft learned with Windows Phone will carry over and influence Windows 8,” Display Search analyst Richard Shim says.

Microsoft is working hard to reach out to developers and provide support, marketing guidance, and app visibility through programs like BizSpark and Mobile Acceleration Week to fill out its still meager app offerings. These programs are by all accounts successful, so we can expect that Microsoft will continue them for Windows 8.

Indeed, if Windows 8 is as well-executed as Windows Phone Mango, it will be a positive experience for users. That's something most Android tablets can't claim.

And therein lies a very powerful strong point for Microsoft: The Windows Phone platform may not have a copious catalog of apps, or even that many adoptees, but most everyone who actually uses a Windows Phone enjoys the essential OS experience. So, if Windows 8 tablets can somehow get a foothold among vocal opinion leaders, consumer adoption could self-perpetuate as users evangelize the tablets on Microsoft's behalf.

“I think that ultimately what users are looking for is for their computing experience to follow them around,” Shim says. “Creating a consistent UI across devices is the first step.”

It's not exactly clear whether all Windows 8 experiences will be able to deliver on Shim's vision described above, but if any platform has a chance to execute this, it will likely be Microsoft's. Google doesn't have a desktop environment to speak of (unless you include browser-based apps), and Apple's iOS and Mac OS X environments are cleanly split with no easy paths to unification.

But Windows 8 will be a cloud-powered experience through Windows Live SkyDrive. As a result, data, apps and settings will be synced across Windows 8 devices using your Microsoft account. Much like what iCloud is striving to accomplish with a more unified iOS experience, SkyDrive will similarly do for Windows 8.

“A truly consistent experience across every Microsoft device is something new to the space,” Resolve Market Research analyst Randy Hellman says.

So how will this work? Well, first it's important to note that Metro apps (i.e., Windows 8 tablet apps) are HTML5-based, and will therefore work in any environment — on x86 and ARM devices, on tablets, laptops and full-fledged PCs. This alone provides a windfall for users seeking a harmonious computing experience.

It remains to be seen whether current Windows Phone apps will run on Windows 8 tablets; Microsoft hasn't officially commented on that possibility. Nonetheless, by using HTML5 as a bridge between tablets and computers, Microsoft has a distinct advantage. For the broad swath of software that HTML5 can support, users should be able to appreciate seamless integration.

The Kindle Fire offers its own Amazonian brand of Android. Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.com

For Windows Phone, Microsoft provides a list of mandatory specs in order to ensure a quality experience across all Windows Phone devices. Microsoft will likely implement the same policy for its Windows 8 tablet devices.

Android, by comparison, lets manufacturers (and carriers) essentially do whatever they want with both software and hardware. This has led to some serious fragmentation issues ranging from OS version incompatibility to inconsistent home button placement. Even the popular Kindle Fire tablet is a huge departure from other Android tablets, with its own Amazon-centric UI.

“Windows 8 tablets will come in different sizes and different orientations, and have different battery lives depending on their capabilities,” Microsoft representative Christopher Flores told Wired.

But fragmentation? “Never software fragmentation,” Flores said. Former Windows Phone 7 GM Charlie Kindel wrote in a recent blog post that Android “enables too much fragmentation“, which “will eventually drive end users nuts.”

This means Windows 8 could become a refreshing, consistent, easy-to-use alternative purchase for anyone not interested in an iPad, whether for philosophical or financial reasons.

Of course, there's still much we don't know about Microsoft's tablet initiative, and all of the what-if'ing above goes out the window once we have real hardware to evaluate.

But Microsoft definitely has the potential to deliver, and from what we've seen of Windows 8 tablets so far, the future is promising. Could a Windows 8 tablet be the focus of Microsoft's final CES keynote? We're excited as anyone to find out.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 4G LTE receives major update

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 4G LTE receives major update  
Awhile ago the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi received a major update that brings TouchWiz and a whole bunch of improvements to the tablet. However, folks who owned the 4G LTE version of the tablet were left out - until today. Verizon has announced the arrival of the EL01 update for the 4G LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The 351MB update includes fixes to the email client, Google Security Patches, TouchWiz user interface updates, WiFi enhanced connectivity, DivX, Bluetooth 3.0 support, new apps and widgets like: AllShare, Memo, Pen memo, Photo Editor, My Files, Social Hub and World Clock, enhancements to Music Player and Video Player, support for additional security policies for Enterprise ActiveSync, and additional Enterprise Application Support.

The update should start rolling out within the next few days so keep a look out for it. As usual, backup your tablet before you attempt anything - you never know what could happen. And let us know how it goes for you when you do get this update.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 gets a limited edition 10 CORSE COMO cover

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 gets a limited edition 10 CORSE COMO cover
For those lucky enough to own the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, if you're looking for a limited edition cover for your device, Samsung may have the answer for you in the form of the 10 CORSE COMO Galaxy Tab cover. The fashion conscious/aware might realize that 10 CORSE COMO is a global lifestyle concept store, and to celebrate the launch of the Galaxy Tab 8.9, Samsung has deemed it appropriate to release a limited edition cover for the device with 10 CORSE COMO's branding on it.

The limited edition cover designed by Kris Ruhs, is expected to arrive in January next year and will be available from the 10 CORSE COMO store located in Chungdam-dong in South Korea. No word on how much it will cost, nor if there are any plans for international availability, but for those who the Galaxy Tab 8.9, living in South Korea and looking for a unique design, this just might be what you are looking for.

Acer Iconia Tab A200 now available in the UK

Acer Iconia Tab A200 now available in the UK  
Remember the Acer Iconia Tab A200 that was launched earlier this month? Well, it looks like Acer has decided to skip the January release date with Ice Cream Sandwich and put the device up for sale this month with Honeycomb onboard. The Android tablet can now be purchased in the UK for $460 (£299) and is available in red and black.

As for the tablet's specs, it's pretty much your run-of-the-mill 10.1″ Android tablet: Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8x16GB of internal storage, a 10x1″ 1280 x 800 display, 2-megapixel front facing camera, USB port, MicroSD card slot, DLNA, a 3,260mAh battery and Android Honeycomb with preloaded Acer software.

The tablet is scheduled to arrive in the US in January with Ice Cream Sandwich onboard.

Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 software update imminent, not Ice Cream Sandwich

Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 software update imminent, not Ice Cream Sandwich
Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is about to receive another software update. Unfortunately though, it's not going to pack Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. That's probably a long way out at this point.

Instead, this update will generally make your tablet's operation smoother. Many bugs have been fixed, and many things have been enhanced.

The TouchWiz UX will be updated. There will be a new SocialHub widget. Built-in photo editing will be added. The Daily app will be preinstalled. Bluetooth 3.0 compatibility is also in. The music and video players have been enhanced too. DivX support has been added. Wi-Fi connectivity has been improved.

The update's documentation is already available at Verizon, which means that it should start to be pushed to Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices pretty soon. The update will arrive over-the-air, so you don't need to do anything special to receive it – your tablet will simply prompt you when it's available.

After applying the update, your tablet will be running software version I905.EL01.

Pantech Android tablet with LTE to be launched by AT&T next year

Pantech Android tablet with LTE to be launched by AT&T next year
Pantech and AT&T have been good friends throughout the years, with the Korean company launching more than a dozen phones and smartphones via the second largest US mobile carrier.

Now it looks like Pantech is readying its fist tablet for AT&T.

According to JKN (website in Korean), the tablet has an 8 inch display and LTE connectivity, and should be out early next year – most probably with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board.

It's quite possible that the upcoming tablet is the Pantech P4100, approved by the FCC earlier this month (and sketched below). The P4100 features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, HDMI, MicroSD card slot, a camera on the back and, of course, a SIM card slot.

The new Pantech LTE tablet for AT&T could be announced at CES 2012. We'll obviously let you know if this happens.

JKN also reports that the LG Optimus Pad LTE (which still hasn't been announced) will be out in the US next year, too.

Android Medfield tablet caught in the wild

Android Medfield tablet caught in the wild  
We all know that Intel plans to enter the smartphone and tablet market sometime in 2012 with the release of its new Atom chip codenamed Medfield. We've all seen the render of the Medfield phone before, so if you've ever wondered how Intel's Medfield-powered tablets would look like, you're in luck. The folks over at Android Community managed to get their hands on a Medfield developer tablet that was shown off during the Intel Developer Forum conference in the past and snapped some pictures of it.

The tablet has a 10.1″ display, and has a Medfield dual-core processor that is running at 1.6GHz, with graphics processing capabilities touted to beat the Tegra 2 and Qualcomm's S3 1.5GHz dual-core processors. Since it is a developer tablet, it probably isn't going to be what consumers will be getting their hands on in the future. Besides the tacky design on the back, it looks just like any other regular tablet but I guess it's what on the inside that counts.

Google Nexus tablet could be coming within 6 months

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Google's chairman told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that the company will be releasing a “high quality” tablet within six months and continue the “brutal competition” with Apple in the mobile communications market. Schmidt also commented on Apple's Siri, mentioning that Google has the technology to do something similar, and hinted that the company will have such a product in the future.


With Motorola on board, Google should have the capability to deliver its vision of a capable tablet, which has been rumored to be in the works for well over a year. Apple is expected to release its iPad 3 early next year with a major update for its display as well as software integration with an also speculated Apple HDTV. Google will have to follow Apple in hardware specs as well as software experience that will have to include a significant improvement of Google TV.

In Corriere della Sera, Schmidt also commented on Google X and its most critical area of research, the self-driving car. According to Schmidt, that car will not be available for years or even a decade due to regulatory hurdles. Initially, that car may be released as a driver-assistance system that informs the driver what it intends to do.

Acer Iconia Tab A500 gets two software updates, new Android Market and speedier UI

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is currently in the process of receiving not one, but two different software updates. Sadly, none of them contain Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but they do come with some neat stuff.


First of all, you'll get the absolute latest version of the Android Market (3.4.4). Then there are also many UI fixes and improvements which make operating the tablet simply faster. The speeding up can also be seen in the keyboard.

It's unclear at the moment if either of these updates (7.014.01, and 7.014.02, respectively) breaks root, so in case your Iconia Tab does have root, perhaps you should hold off on installing the updates until you can be sure you'll be able to get root access back.

Asus gets sued by Hasbro over the Transformer Prime's name

Wishing for another lawsuit to pop up in the mobile world? It's your lucky day! This time, Asus has been sued. Thankfully though, not by Apple, and not for patent infringement.

The company suing is Hasbro, which you may have heard of because it makes toys (and licenses truckloads of well known game brands to companies such as EA, but also apparently is into digital entertainment). Hasbro, of course, is the parent of the famous Transformers series (and movie franchise). Furthermore, the protagonist of both the animated series as well as the film series is called Optimus Prime.


It is then quite easy to figure out that Hasbro's beef is with the recently-announced Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet's name.

If you're wondering why Hasbro hasn't sued over the original Transformer, perhaps that would have been easily overthrown by Asus – after all, it is a common word. But Transformer and Prime, in the same brand? That must have been too much for Hasbro.

That said, it's really unlikely that anyone would confuse a toy with a tablet, even one that transforms into a netbook if you want it to. On the other hand, Asus did use some of the brand recognition already established by the toys (and franchises) to drive interest for its new tablet.

So this will be an interesting one. What will prevail? The differing fields in which the companies operate, or the (uncanny) similarity between the brands? We'll just have to wait and see.

Oh, and it looks like Hasbro has a pending trademark for “Transformers Prime”, a 2010 animated series. Uncanny indeed.

Ainol Novo7 Paladin tablet retails for $120

A couple of weeks ago we reported about the MIPS tablet that would retail for $99 and carried a shipping cost of $66, now it looks like we won't have to pay that much anymore. According to the listings on PandaWill and Merimobiles, the Ainol Novo7 Paladin tablet can be yours for just $119.99 - inclusive of free shipping. Now we're not sure if it's just for the holiday season or it's going to be permanent, but what we do know is that it's a lot cheaper than many other tablets available on the market right now, and it's going to be running the latest version of Android: Ice Cream Sandwich.



The Ainol Novo7 Paladin tablet features a 1GHz JZ4770 Xburst MIPS processor, a Vivante GC860 graphics processor, a 7″ 800 x 480 display, 8GB of internal storage, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Android Market, mini USB port, and WiFi. If you're looking for a basic, bare-bones Android tablet for your basic daily needs for a low price, you can consider picking one up.

Archos 70b Tablet Runs Android 3.2 OS, To Debut In January!

Picture in focus: Archos 70b Internet Tablet. It's the company's first Android Honeycomb-based tablet and it's available for an incredibly low price of $199.99 — just on par with Amazon's blazing hot Kindle Fire.

But, the two have their differences which stretch much beyond the cosmetic appearance. The Archos 70b Android tablet is faster and powerful than Kindle Fire. In contrast, it has more features than the Fire, yet it will be selling for just about the price of the latter : $199.


Scheduled for a January release next year, the Archos 70b features a 7" display with capacitive multi-touch support, the tablet-optimized Android Honeycomb 3.2 OS, access to thousands of apps from Android Market unlike the Fire, and much more.

Under the hood, the tablet is home to about 8GB of internal storage with support for up to 32GB of expandable memory using a microSD card — something that's painfully missing in Kindle Fire, but there's a different view to that issue, anyway.

Other interesting features include a 1.2GHz processor, access to plethora of apps and services, and a HDMI out port for connecting the tablet to a HDTV for multiplied fun.

Here's a quick list at its features:
  • An affordable price starting at $199 for 8GB
  • Smoother multi-tasking and faster web experience thanks to the upgraded RAM
  • Brighter colors with a high resolution capacitive screen
  • Android 3.2 Honeycomb, the Android version designed for a tablet
  • Access to a full array of apps with the Android Market and its 250,000 apps such as news, eMagazines, eBooks, social media, games and more
  • A full multimedia experience with upgraded multimedia ARCHOS apps for video and music
  • HDMI output, giving users full access to their Android experience on their TV including all the pre-loaded apps, video playback, 3D games, photos and all the Android Market apps
Expect the tablet to be display at CES 2012. We will keep you posted as more details surface. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, you may want to click here to know more.

NOOK Tablet downgraded and auto update blocked

Earlier today we reported about how to prevent your Kindle Fire from receiving automatic updates so you can keep root, and it looks like the Kindle Fire isn't the only tablet that requires such a workaround. Remember the NOOK Tablet update that blocked sideloading and removed root as well? It turns out that people don't want that as well, and thanks to the folks over at The Ebook Reader and XDA developers, they've managed to beat it.



First, you've got to download a recovery file for the NOOK Tablet which you can easily use to downgrade the Android tablet back to version 1.4.0. Next, you'll need root access, but it basically involves editing the devicemanager.db file on the tablet to disable automatic updates. Once you've done it, you're pretty much set and won't have to worry about dealing with automatic updates from Barnes & Noble ever again.

Triangle tablet from The Office might end up in your hands

Truth is stranger than fiction at times, but fiction does inspire the present to create something for the future as well. Case in point, the triangle-shaped tablet that was spotted on NBC's “The Office” proved to be a rather interesting device in the show, and it certainly got tongues wagging after that episode. While ordinary folk talked about it, Eric Calisto decided that action is louder than words, so he has set out to make an attempt to build one instead. In an e-mail interview, Calisto mentioned, "Tablets are interesting to me. I enjoy building things, and I love 'The Office.' Why not combine the three?"



Having said that, Calisto decided to leverage the power of Kickstarter, launching a project so that those who believe in him and his idea will be able to generate the necessary funds to develop said triangular tablet. He needs approximately $25,000 to churn out a limited nnumber of tablets, but do you think this kind of form factor is going to actually sell? It really is an unorthodox form factor, and good luck trying to program games and apps on such a display.

Hasbro sues Asus over Transformer Prime tablet

Hasbro sued Asus over the name of its Transformer Prime tablet last week, in a federal district court. The toymaker is no doubt worried that the name could be confused with that of its Transformers franchise, not to mention Optimus Prime, the lead protagonist of the animation and film series… though we're not quite sure how a robot that transforms into a semi-truck could be confused with a tablet and detachable keyboard. Who knows, maybe dad may accidentally buy the wrong Christmas present for little Pete.


Perhaps Hasbro is worried that tablet buyers might see it as a licensed product. Hasbro has already sent out a generic statement about its willingness to “aggressively protect its brands”. According to court filings, Hasbro's attempting to seal the actual complaint, but we can also see that the company's pursuing a preliminary injunction against Asus as we speak. The court has given Asus 21 days to respond to the complaint.

According to the filing, Hasbro's citing trademarks 2455261, 3689720, 3468487, 76690677 and 85008156. Notably, the last one is a pending trademark for “Transformers Prime,” its 2010 animated series. Hasbro would hold that particular trademark for toys, board games, and animated shows.

Galaxy Tab 8.9 gets a taste of homemade Ice Cream Sandwich

So we know that Google's latest and greatest OS is headed to the Galaxy Tab 8.9 at some undefined point in 2012. But Samsung's promise of a future update just isn't enough to sate the appetites of a certain enterprising subset of Android users. With their hunger for Ice Cream Sandwich guiding their hands, a trio of XDA members decided to whip up a homebrew version of 4.03 for their Sammy tabs. While the bootable builds, of which there are now three, are far from complete, an update over on the site's dedicated forum notes that Bluetooth, GPS, hardware acceleration and the accelerometer are now functioning, with efforts continuing to enable WiFi. If you were hoping to sample a slice of these early ROMs, you're out of luck - the group's decided to refrain from offering downloads until the ports are complete. Think you can hold out for the unofficial goods?

Galaxy Tab 8.9 unofficial Ice Cream Sandwich ROM on the way

Samsung has previously confirmed that Ice Cream Sandwich will be arriving on its Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablets sometime in 2012. However it looks like the hardworking folks over at XDA-developers might just beat the Korean manufacturer to the punch: a group of developers have managed to successfully port Android 4.03 over to the 8.9″ Galaxy Tab.



While the update is not ready for public consumption yet (the developers want to make sure that everything is functional before releasing it), they have released a video demonstration showing the tablet booting up with Ice Cream Sandwich. No word on when they will be finishing work on the ROM, but you can stay tuned to the XDA-developers thread to keep track of their progress.

Ainovo's bargain Novo 7 ICS tablet ready to tickle US pockets?

Remember that curious $100, ICS-touting, Novo 7 tablet we saw back at the beginning of the month? Until now, the Ainovo (aka Ainol) branded device was a bit of a gambler's punt, with some Chinese sites charging a suspicion-arousing $60 shipping fee. Now, however, the odds are looking slightly better, with some US-centric retailers listing the 1GHz MIPS-based XBurst CPU slate as available for pre-order. With Gingerbread and Honeycomb versions still out there, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled and check exactly what you're getting. But, if you still really want some of the seven inch Android 4.0 budget-slab goodness (albeit for $19 more than initially thought),

Amazon Kindle Fire 6.2.1 update rolls out

Thursday, December 22, 2011

In the earlier days, hardware rarely received firmware updates that improve its performance or fixes some bugs, but as time progressed, software and firmware updates have become so commonplace, nay, often mandatory, to prolong the lifespan of a particular device and make it all the more appealing to the masses. Amazon's hot selling Kindle Fire is now on the receiving end of the 6.2.1 udpate, and depending on which side of the fence you are sitting on, it really is a mixed bag. While the Amazon Kindle Fire 6.2.1 update will remove root privileges, it might just cause issues for those who have already rooted their tablets. As for the others who have not done anything to their Kindle Fire and keep the stock Amazon software, this update will see an improvement in performance.

Some of the features of this update include removal of books, apps and other content from the carousel of recently used items on the home screen, while the scrolling process is made all the smoother. You can also now issue a password to turn on the Wi-Fi connection – handy for those who have tech-savvy kids and use this to surf the Internet when parents are not around. This update will be released automatically to Kindle Fire owners, and can be downloaded manually as well if you so desire.

Archos 70b tablet runs under $200

Archos lays claim that their Archos 70b tablet is the first Android 3.2 Honeycomb-powered device in the market that does not surpass the $200 mark – anyone out there care to dispute this particular statement? Basically, if the Archos 70b sounds familiar to you, that is because this is an enhanced version of the Archos 70 IT Gen 8, sporting an upgraded capacitive touch screen display as well as a beefier 1.2GHz processor to get the job done. It is ideal to surf the Internet, not to mention doubling up as your portable media player of choice. Even the RAM has doubled to hit 512MB, while the display sports a higher resolution count at 1,024 x 600 pixels.

Other hardware specifications include a 3D graphics accelerator, Wi-Fi connectivity, HDMI output to enjoy high definition videos over a compatible display, and a microSD memory card slot for expansion purposes. You will not be able to find the Archos 70b under your Christmas tree this year, considering how this will hit the stores from January next year onwards at $199 a pop.

Acer Iconia Tab A200 priced at $470 (in Russia)

The Iconia Tab A200 was officially announced at the beginning of this month, and, although Acer said the tablet had started shipping in select markets, we haven't heard anything regarding its price.

Well, according to Mobile-review, the A200 (16GB version) will cost 14,990 rubles in Russia when it arrives there in February 2012.

That's about $470 in US dollars, so probably Acer will want to match the price of the Asus Transformer Prime ($499) when it launches its new tablet in North America.

NOOK Tablet latest firmware update disables sideloading

The version 1.4.1 update for NOOK Tablets has started rolling out, but it looks like it comes with some unwanted features. According to reports online from XDA-developers and the B&N community, the update disables the tablet's ability to sideload apps and removes root access. And just like the Kindle Fire, this update is automatically downloaded and applied onto the NOOK Tablet without warning - just as long as you're connected to WiFi.

Quite a puzzling move if you ask me, since B&N's NOOK Tablets were supposed to be cheap alternatives to the pricier Android tablets on the market - locking them down isn't going to make sideloading/root customers very happy. However one thing to note is that all apps that have been sideloaded previously still work after the update, so it's safe to load your tablet with all the apps you need before you get the update.

RenBen tablet from China features dual-SIM capabilities

If there's one thing you've got to love about all these obscure tech companies in China is that they don't play according to the rules. The results are devices that are rather innovative in design, although we're not sure how marketable they are, and one such device is a tablet by a Shenzhen based company, RenBen.

It's essentially a tablet with phone calling capabilities, putting it up there with other "hybrids" that seem to combine devices like smartphones with a tablet-sized body. The tablet will feature a 7" touchscreen with a 800×480 display resolution. It is powered by an MTK 6573 processor clocked at 650MHz along with dual-cameras, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth with Android's Gingerbread on board.

It will also feature dual-SIM capabilities, so essentially you could load it up with one SIM card with a calling plan, and the other SIM card purely for data usage. A rather interesting idea, no? Unfortunately pricing is unknown and we're guessing that it's unlikely that this tablet by RenBen will make its way outside of China.

Firefox 9 for Android receives a new tablet-friendly UI

So Mozilla's Firefox 9 was unofficially released a day earlier, and for fans of Firefox and just can't get enough of it on their computers, the good news is that Firefox 9 has also been released for Android for both smartphones and tablets.

For those who have been using Firefox on their Android smartphones all this while, you may or may not notice any changes aesthetically, although based on what Mozilla has advertised, you should noticed speedier start-up speeds. Tablet users on the other hand, if you have been avoiding Firefox all this while or have yet to give it a go, perhaps now's as good a time as any to load it up on your tablets.

Firefox 9 for Android tables has seen a UI update and now sports a tablet-friendly interface that some may find better than their default Android browser. This includes full-screen portrait browsing, tab optimization and it sports a new action bar with quick access buttons. For more information on the latest Firefox build for Android, the release notes can be found at Mozilla's website while the update can be downloaded from the Android Market.

Amazon issues Kindle Fire update to address user complain






Amazon on Wednesday began rolling out an update for its Kindle Fire tablet that is expected to address a number of user complaints. Software version 6.2.1 should “enhance fluidity and performance" and "improve touch navigation responsiveness.” The patch will also enable users to customize the order in which applications appear in the Kindle Fire UI carousel and enable additional security features, such as the ability to create a password lock for Wi-Fi access. Amazon says the free patch will be delivered over the air via Wi-Fi to the Kindle Fire, and the company advises that users make sure their devices are fully charged before initiating the update.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 rolls through the FCC packing Verizon-friendly LTE

Monday, December 19, 2011

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 is certainly no stranger to the good people at the FCC, as both WiFi and HSPA+ versions have already run the Commission's gauntlet of radiation tests. The third time's the charm for Verizon customers, however, because a new model dubbed SCH-i815 has made its way to the FCC bearing CDMA and LTE radios built to surf Big Red's network. So, it looks like the Galaxy Tab 7.7 will be making its way to American store shelves sometime soon. The question is, did Sammy have to beef up the Tab's profile to cram in the LTE gear like its Nexus cousin?

Sony Tablet S update lets you play with PS3 controllers, but you'll need a cable adapter



We've got some good news for gamers that were willing to plunge into the PlayStation-certified world of Sony's tablets. The latest update to the company's divisive Tablet S will let you connect your PS3 controllers with those 32-bit games of yesteryear. The update is available now in Sony's homeland of Japan and the company is also rewarding its tablet faithful with a free download; an Ape Escape-themed mini-game collection. It's not all good news, however. The clamshelled Tablet P doesn't get the controller hook-up and you'll need to buy an additional USB adapter cable to connect a controller to the monoscreened Tablet S. However, an odd thing is that you'll only need to the cable to initially pair the controller with the tablet. After that, you're free to wirelessly play away.

Amazon currently selling over 1 million Kindles each week

Amazon's Kindle line was expected to be a popular option for holiday shoppers and the retailer confirmed as much on Thursday. Straying from its normally tight-lipped stance with regard to sharing sales volumes, Amazon announced that its Kindle Fire tablet and Kindle eReaders have sold more than 1 million combined units for three consecutive weeks. ”Kindle Fire is the most successful product we've ever launched - it's the bestselling product across all of Amazon for 11 straight weeks, we've already sold millions of units, and we're building millions more to meet the high demand,” VP of Amazon's Kindle business Dave Limp said in a statement. “In fact, demand is accelerating - Kindle Fire sales increased week over week for each of the past three weeks. People are buying Kindle Fire because it's a simple, fully-integrated service that makes it easy to do the things they love - watch movies, read books and magazines, listen to music, download apps, play games, and surf the web.” Limp added that the Kindle family of eBook readers are close behind Kindle Fire on the Amazon.com bestseller list. The company's full press release follows below.

Customers Purchasing Kindles at Rate of More Than 1 Million Per Week for Third Straight Week

Kindle Fire continues to lead the way as the #1 bestselling, most gifted, and most wished for product across all of Amazon.com since its introduction 11 weeks ago

Kindle Fire sales increase week over week for each of the past three holiday shopping weeks

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 15, 2011– (NASDAQ: AMZN) - Amazon.com today announced that Kindle devices remain the hottest products this holiday season - for the third week in a row, customers are purchasing well over 1 million Kindle devices per week, and Kindle Fire remains the #1 bestselling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available on Amazon.com since its introduction 11 weeks ago. To learn more about the all-new Kindle family - the $79 Kindle, $99 Kindle Touch, $149 Kindle Touch 3G and the $199 Kindle Fire - visitwww.amazon.com/kindle.

"Kindle Fire is the most successful product we've ever launched - it's the bestselling product across all of Amazon for 11 straight weeks, we've already sold millions of units, and we're building millions more to meet the high demand. In fact, demand is accelerating - Kindle Fire sales increased week over week for each of the past three weeks. People are buying Kindle Fire because it's a simple, fully-integrated service that makes it easy to do the things they love - watch movies, read books and magazines, listen to music, download apps, play games, and surf the web," said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "Our family of Kindle e-ink readers are close behind Kindle Fire on the Amazon.com bestseller list. Customers continue to report preferring their Kindle e-reader for long-form reading, and in fact we've seen many customers buy two Kindles - both a Kindle Fire and a Kindle or Kindle Touch - this holiday season."

Kindle Fire offers more than 19 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, magazines, apps and games - such as Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and Angry Birds - as well as free storage of Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync for books and movies, a 14.6 ounce design that's easy to hold with one hand, a vibrant, color touch screen, a powerful dual-core processor and Amazon Silk - Amazon's new revolutionary web browser that accelerates the power of the mobile device by using the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud - all for only $199.

The $79 latest generation Kindle is for readers around the world who want the lightest, most compact Kindle at an incredible price. Kindle is now small and light enough - at less than 6 ounces - to fit easily in your pocket and carry with you everywhere, yet it still features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight.

Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G feature an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes - still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G are also lighter, smaller, offer audio capabilities, such as text-to-speech and deep integration for audiobooks, extra-long battery life and hold thousands of books. Kindle Touch 3G offers the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle's free 3G connection means you never have to hunt for or pay for a Wi-Fi hotspot - you simply download and read books anytime, anywhere in over 100 countries around the world. Amazon pays for the 3G connection so there's no monthly fee or annual contract. Both Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G include X-ray - a new feature invented by Amazon that lets customers explore the "bones of the book."

With an Amazon Prime membership, all of the new Kindles offer access to the new Kindle Owners' Lending Library and Prime Instant Video. With theKindle Owners Lending Library, Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free - including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers - as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. No other e-reader or e-bookstore offers such a service. With Prime Instant Video, Kindle Fire owners can access nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows available to stream at no additional cost.

Customers can order the new Kindle family today: the $79 Kindle at www.amazon.com/kindle, Kindle Touch for $99 atwww.amazon.com/kindletouch, Kindle Touch 3G for $149 at www.amazon.com/kindletouch3G and Kindle Fire for $199 atwww.amazon.com/kindlefire.

Pre-alpha MIUI ROM released for the HP TouchPad

Driven by HP's $99 fire sale of their webOS-based ToucHpad tablets, many hackers and developers have been busy attempting to port over a variety of Android flavors onto the device, most notably CyanogenMod 7. However if CM7 isn't your thing, the team behind MIUI have been making some progress with their own version of Android for the TouchPad.

So far the team has managed to get the MIUI custom ROM up to a pre-alpha stage, but even then it's rather impressive as to the features and functions that they've managed to get up and running so far. These includes features and functions such as audio, touch input, WiFi, and Bluetooth. However some of the functions and features not available or not working include the lack of an on-screen menu for home, back or menu functions.

Thanks to Brad Linder at Liliputing, here are some workarounds to the bugs we listed above.

If you'd like to go the MIUI ROM on the HP TouchPad a go, head on down to RootzWiki for the download links and instructions. Once again this is done at your own risk, so proceed only if you know what you're doing!

Sony Tablet S update lets you play with PS3 controllers, cable adapter required

We've got some good news for gamers that were willing to plunge into the PlayStation-certified world of Sony's tablets. The latest update to the company's divisive Tablet S will let you connect your PS3 controllers with those 32-bit games of yesteryear. The update is available now in Sony's homeland of Japan and the company is also rewarding its tablet faithful with a free download; an Ape Escape-themed mini-game collection. It's not all good news, however. The clamshelled Tablet P doesn't get the controller hook-up and you'll need to buy an additional USB adapter cable to connect a controller to the monoscreened Tablet S.

Amazon Kindles burn up the sales charts

Or so we are led to believe, as Amazon has more or less rolled out the actual figure of how many Kindles the company has moved overall. Their most recent announcement says, "for the third week in a row, customers are purchasing well over 1 million Kindle devices per week." I guess that gives away not too much, and yet just enough for us to figure out that it sells around 4 million Kindles each month if the momentum keeps up. Of course, bear in mind that the 1 million figure does not mean it is just the Kindle Fire alone, as it encompasses of the entire Kindle family, including a dedicated e-book reader like the Kindle Touch.

Amazon did say that the Kindle Fire is the most popular item on Amazon ever since it rolled out nearly 3 months ago, citing that "Kindle Fire sales increased week over week for each of the past three weeks." Do you think the momentum behind overall Kindle sales will continue throughout the holiday season, or will it peter off in a couple of weeks' time?

Galaxy Tab 7.7 4G LTE headed to Verizon

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 was officially announced a couple of months ago, and while it's already available for pre-order - we still don't have an official date of when it will be arriving in the US yet. Now we still don't have a date but at least we know which carrier will be selling it when it is released. According to leaked photographs of Verizon's inventory listing it looks like Samsung's 7.7″ Android tablet will be sold by Big Red.

Just in case the DROID XYBOARD 8.2″ or 10.1″ are too large for you, I guess the 7.7″ might be the sweet spot for the tablet size you want. Oh, and it looks like the Galaxy Tab 7.7 will feature 4G LTE on Verizon as well (judging by the 4G label on the side of the list). No word on pricing or a release date, but Verizon would do well to take advantage of the holiday season - especially since the Galaxy Nexus is still nowhere to be seen. Who's waiting for the Galaxy Tab 7.7?

Kindle Fire 1-Click Could Be Crack for Kids

Planning on buying a Kindle Fire for your kids? It seems like a great idea, right? All the books, all the movies and all the Angry Birds action you'd find in an iPad, but at less than half the price. Who cares if the brats break it?

Not so fast. Like the regular Kindle before it, the Kindle Fire is equipped with 1-Click shopping. Once signed in, you can buy as much as you like without needing to enter your password.

But unlike the regular Kindle, the Fire's colorful touch-screen and huge library of apps, music and movies is rather tempting to a child's little brain and fingers. And these can all be bought by little Johnny with a simple tap.

The answer is to de-register the Kindle after every purchase, something that almost nobody will do. Aside from the inconvenience, de-registering will also disable any installed apps. And you thought Android was “open.”

Speaking to Reuters, Amazon said that more parental controls will be added in the future. That probably won't help on Christmas day this year year, with parents drunk and distracted, and the kids all hopped up on sugar, manically tapping the 1-Click button and plundering Pops' credit card account.

Amazon's Kindle Fire lets kids charge up a storm [Reuters via ]

Motorola Xyboard 10.1 and 8.2 Unboxing

The Motorola Xyboard tablets have landed at the office: there is a 10.1″ version, and a 8.2″ one. Both share a similar “design language”, but the usage model can be slightly different because of their size. For these new tablets, Motorola has used quality materials, and a “tough” design that makes both tablets look solid, and almost rugged (almost). We bet that Motorola wanted to differentiate itself by going after one of the main criticism that other Android tablets, namely the Galaxy Tab series, receive often: they feel a bit “plastic”. Motorola takes the opposite route and even shows metallic screws in the back.

Lenovo LePad S2005 Mini Tablet Now in China

Even after releasing a 3.7-inch LePhone and 7-inch A1 tablet in China, Lenovo gears up to launch a 5-incher into the mix. The company has announced that the Lenovo LePad S2005 Android smartphone-tablet hybrid is now available across China.

The Gingerbread-powered LePad features a 5-inch LTPS touchscreen with 800 x 480 resolution, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. It also comes with a 5-megapixel rear camera, as well as a 1.3-megapixel shooter at the front for video chat.

The Lenovo LePad S2005 is available in Lenovo's online stores, as well as its Taobao store for 2699 Yuan (about US$415).

Coby announces five new Ice Cream Sandwich tablets for Q1 2012

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Coby Electronics has made known its plans to be among the first few companies to release Android Ice Cream Sandwich tablets onto the market next year. Today the company announced not one - but five brand new tablets that will enter the market in the first quarter of 2012 and yes, all of them will be running Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

The five tablets will all feature the same specs except for the display sizes. They will pack a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU, 1GB of RAM, expandable memory of up to 32GB, WiFi, HDMI 1080p output, and a streamlined experience when it comes to core features (browsing the web, playing games, email, viewing media). The tablets will be available with 7″, 8″, 9″, 9.7″ and 10″ displays - with the 8″ and 9.7″ models featuring a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Other than the aforementioned details, nothing else is known at press time, but the tablets are expected to go on sale “at incredible prices” starting Q1 2012.

Motorola's Tablet Do-Over Is Ready for Pre-Order

Look familiar? The Xyboard tablet is not all that different from the Xoom. Photo courtesy of Motorola

“Those who cannot remember the past,” George Santayana wrote, “are condemned to repeat it.”

Motorola must have a very short memory. This much is apparent in the impending release of the Xyboard, Motorola's successor to the Xoom Android tablet. The Xyboard is up for pre-order on Verizon's web site, but by most measures, the device isn't all that different from its predecessor.

For one thing, it boasts markedly similar specs. The Xyboard comes with a slightly more powerful dual-core processor (1.2GHz instead of 1GHz), a 10.1-inch screen (same as the Xoom), and front and rear-facing cameras with the same resolutions as those in the previous tablet (5 and 1.3 megapixels, respectively). The only major difference that we can discern thus far is that the Xyboard will measure in slightly lighter and thinner than the Xoom.

And for those who want more than just Wi-Fi, built-in 4G LTE connectivity on Verizon's network is also an option. That's an update to the Xoom, which required sending the device back to the manufacturer for a 4G upgrade (sheesh).

But here's the ugly kicker: Motorola is selling the Xyboard at premium (read: pricey) rates, starting at $530 for the 16GB version, and stepping up gradually to $630 for 32GB and $730 for 64GB. And those prices are after signing a two-year Verizon Wireless contract.

To be fair, these prices represent a $100 price cut relative to comparable iPad 2 models, and the Xyboard includes 4G instead of 3G. So it would seem that you're getting a deal by choosing Android over iOS.

But as the past year has vividly shown us, customers don't want to buy Android tablets at premium prices. We've only seen non-iPad tablets fly off the shelves when hitting bargain bins, and even then the parent companies have been forced to sell premium components at a loss. That's no way to run a business.

So why not learn from previous mistakes? And further, why release another device — one that is, for all intents and purposes, identical to the previous flop of a tablet launch — when both quad-core processors and a new version of Android are on the horizon?

Maybe the company knows something we don't? Or maybe not.

The Xyboard goes on sale nationwide on Monday, with pre-orders currently available on Verizon's web site.


Motorola Xoom 3G finally gets updated to Android 3.2 in Europe

In November, Wi-Fi-only Motorola Xoom tablets sold in Europe got their update to Android 3.2 Honeycomb. And now it's finally the 3G-enabled version's turn. That's right, if you own a 3G-capable Xoom in Europe, the Android 3.2 update is on its way.

As for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich… expect to be waiting a few months for that, if it ever arrives.

The Android 3.2 update is now rolling out for T-Mobile branded tablets in Germany, and for those bought unlocked and SIM-free in Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

To download the update, head over to motorola.com/myxoom or motorola.com/update.

Toshiba's Excite Honeycomb tablet confirmed for Canadian launch in January

We've already heard a fair bit about Toshiba's forthcoming 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet, but the company has only now finally confirmed a name — Excite, previously seen in a trademark filing — and a launch date (or month, anyway) for the tablet outside of Europe. You can look for it to roll out for an as yet unspecified price sometime in January — in Canada, at least. It will come in both 16GB and 32GB versions, each of which pack a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 processor, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, a 5 megapixel cam 'round back, and a microSD card slot and a micro HDMI port. Toshiba also boasts that it's the “world's thinnest, lightest tablet,” with it measuring just 7.7 mm thick and weighing in at 558 grams (or 1.23 pounds).

Nook Tablet shipments total 1 million units, report claims

Barnes & Noble's manufacturing partners have now shipped a total of 1 million new Nook Tablets according to a recent report. Unveiled early last month and released shortly thereafter, the new Nook Tablet features a 7-inch "Vivid View" display built by LG, 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a dual-core 1GHz processor and the Android 2.3 operating system. According to sources at component suppliers speaking to DigiTimes, more than a million new Nook Tablets have been manufactured and shipped to Barnes & Noble so far. The report also claims Barnes & Noble had to increase orders recently due to strong sales; the bookseller initially ordered 800,000 Nook Tablets to be built through the end of 2011, DigiTimes noted.

Amazon Kindle Fire users complain about WiFi issues

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some strange issues have cropped up with Amazon's debut tablet, the Kindle Fire. According to reports online, and even Amazon's own Kindle forum - quite a number of users have complained about their tablets having trouble connecting to WiFi networks. Other people have complained about the tablet being able to connect to WiFi networks, but they weren't able to access the internet.

However it looks like all hope is not lost. Apparently quite a number of forum posters have reported that installing the latest Kindle Fire update (6.2) solves the issue. And if you're wondering how the tablets installed the update without any internet connectivity, you'll need to update it via the tablet's USB port and restart your router to get it to work (though some posters have mentioned that it didn't work for them).

In our review of the Kindle Fire, it didn't exhibit such issues so we can't say for sure what the cause of this WiFi issue is. Amazon has yet to publicly address the issue but let's hope they don't take too long to come up with a proper solution to the problem.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer now just $299.99 at Best Buy

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet can now be had for only $299.99 from Best Buy online. This is the original Transformer tablet, which will soon get a shipping successor in the form of the Transformer Prime. Still, the Transformer is a very capable device even to this day, and it's now cheaper than ever (well, except Black Friday).

So if you'd like to purchase a tablet this holiday season and think the iPad is too expensive and the Kindle Fire too limited, here's your perfect choice. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer comes with the added bonus of a promised update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which should happen really soon. We say that since the Taiwanese company has the best track record with regard to tablet OS updates so far in the Android world.

Hail The MIPS Android 4.0 ICS Tablet, It's Just $99 Without Contract!

The MIPS Android 4.0 tablet may not sport a dual-core processor like you'd expected, but it does pack some decent specifications under the hood, and it somehow seems worthy of that price.

Without doubt, it's from Chinese manufacturers, but that did not stop Google's CEO Andy Rubin from cascading some words of appreciation on its release. And why not, it's touted as the world's first Android 4.0 tablet under $99. Interestingly, without any contract.


Under the hood, the tlabet sports a 1GHz MIPS-based XBurst CPU, a gigabyte of rAM, a powerful battery claimed to last for about 30 hours on standby or about 8 hours on video playback, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, a microSD card slot for expandable storage and much more.

For now, the tablet is available only in Chinese markets, but of course, you can order one online if you are too desperate to wait until it hits stateside sometime later. And oh, we are likely to see 8-inch and 9-inch versions of the same, if the first offing turns out to be successful.

We will keep you posted as more details surface. Stay tuned!

Click here or here to know more.

Acer Iconia Tab A200 officially announced, will get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in 2012

Monday, December 5, 2011

That Acer Iconia Tab A200 which we've been seeing around in the last few weeks has been officially announced today. Presented as a tablet that "comes at a very affordable price", the new A200 is currently running Android 3.2 Honeycomb.

According to Acer, shipments of the Iconia Tab A200 have already started "in select countries." There's no word on its exact price, though.

Measuring 260 x 175 x 12.4 mm and weighing 720 grams, the Iconia Tab A200 features a 10.1 inch display with 1280 x 800 pixels, 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, 3.5mm headset jack, Acer SocialJogger (with Facebook and Twitter integration), full-size USB port, 2MP front-facing camera, 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, MicroSD card support, and 8GB / 16GB of internal memory. It looks like the new tablet has no rear camera at all.

Starting January 2012, the A200 will be shipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Users who are buying the tablet with Android 3.2 Honeycomb will obviously be able to update it to ICS.

Acer announces Iconia Tab A200 packing Tegra 2 CPU, Ice Cream Sandwich on the way

Today, Acer's Iconia Tab A200 has finally received official status, courtesy of an announcement obtained by Netbook News. Powered by NVIDIA's 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, the company's latest Android slate comes with 1GB of RAM and boasts a “generous” 10.1-inch display, with 1280 x 800 resolution. Available in either Titanium Gray or Metallic Red, the slate also features a two megapixel front facing camera and, as we observed earlier, comes packed with Acer Ring — a multitasking manager that provides shortcuts to Google Maps, screenshot functions and other apps. Acer says it began shipping Honeycomb-laced models to select countries in November, but promises that an Ice Cream Sandwich version will be available worldwide in January (along with a free update for early buyers). No word yet on pricing or current availability though.

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