Showing posts with label Android Tablets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Android Tablets. Show all posts

Friday, December 23, 2011

“$100 ICS Tablet” Novo7 is available for pre-order… for $120

More than a few people got excited at the prospect of a $100 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet when a no-name manufacturer sprang out of China marketing the Novo7… and immediately became less excited at a $60 shipping fee that seemed more than a little fishy. Now the same low-powered tablet is sitting pretty with a pre-order status on import sites PandaWill and Merimobiles, both of which seem legitimate enough as far as Internet storefronts go. The latter is claiming an $80 discount off of the “retail” price of $200.

Just for a quick refresher, the specs on the Ainol Novo/Novo7/Knight/Paladin (it seems to have something of an identity crisis) are as follows: a 7-inch screen with just 800 x 480 pixels, a 1Ghz processor and 512MB of RAM, and a microSD card slot. The resellers note that it comes with the Android Market, but I would frankly be amazed if this turns out to be true. Considering the brief experiment Android Community pulled with the Galaxy Nexus screen density, I’m kind of amazed they managed to force Ice Cream Sandwich to display its tablet interface on a resolution that is a little low even for a 5-inch device, let alone a 7-inch.
So, will the somewhat lower price and less shady sellers convince you to lay down your hard earned cash? It shouldn’t. In the next few months dozens of cheap ICS tablets will become available, and almost all of them will feature better specs and less cringe-inducing credentials than this little guy. For just a little extra cash you can pick up the Archos Internet Tablet 70b, a Honeycomb tablet from a respected manufacturer with an active mod community for just $200. You’ll be seeing a home-grown ICS build on the hardware soon enough, and an official update eventually.
[via Liliputing]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ubislate7 - Aakash's Commercial version on Sale

Aakash, the $35 Android tablet by DataWind has taken commercial shape in form of Ubislate7. Ubislate7 is priced at 2999 INR, roughly $60 and will be out by late January next year. DataWind has already started Pre-booking the tablet. Ubislate7 is touted as the next generation tablet which will be commercially available everywhere and to everyone. This next version of Aakash is loaded with better features and specifications.

Ubislate7, as per spec, is a 7" tablet like Aakash and 3x faster than the former. The tablet runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Below are the detailed spec of the tablet.
  • 7" inch TFT capacitive multi-touch screen
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Cortex A8 – 700 Mhz
  • 3200 mAh
  • Wifi & GPRS connectivity
It is interesting to note that the Aakash tablets have already been sold out and only Ubislate7 versions are on sale. 2012 is going to be year of cheap tablets. Ubislate7 is definitely right on target with the price point and features. Book your own Ubislate7 from here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

GameStop begins selling Android tablets with free games

Say what you will about GameStop, as many have and will, but you can accuse them of being anything less than shrewd business. To that end they’re expanding their mostly console and portable video game stock to include Android tablets from Samsung, Asus and Acer, starting in a few select stores today. The tablets will be pre-loaded with seven free games including Dead Space and Madden NFL 2012.

The first tablets on sale are the Acer Iconia Tab 100, Asus Eee Pad Transformer and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The tablets won’t cost any less than they do at other retail locations, and if GameStop’s regular pricing structure is anything to go on, they’ll probably be more expensive than at least a few. But gamers hungry for a new mobile experience can practice the time-honored tradition of trading in old consoles and game discs for store credit, which can be used to purchase a new Android tablet. GameStop has already expanded its trade-in and used programs to cover general gadgets like the iPhone and iPod, and presumably, you’ll soon be able to trade in your Samsung Galaxy Tab or Acer Transformer as well. GameStop may integrate these tablets with its mobile streaming service Spawn Labs at some point in the future.
This may seem like an odd move for a company so well-established in the lucrative game console retail space, but if you take a look at some of the games coming out for Android lately, it makes a lot of sense. Check out the graphics in Shadowgun or Modern Combat 3, and you’ll see almost the rival of any Xbox or PlayStation 2 game. Who knows what can be done with upcoming hardware like the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 found in the Transformer Prime, and with HDMI output already on many Android devices and native controller support coming with Ice Cream Sandwich, Android tablets are beginning to look a lot like gaming hardware, to say nothing of specialized smartphones like the XPERIA Play.
With downloaded games making up a bigger and bigger chunk of the digital market, GameStop finds itself in the same position that bookstores were five or six years ago. They can continue to make most of their profits off of software which will soon be available at the click of a mouse, or they can diversify and begin delivering the one thing that can’t be replicated with a broadband connection: hands-on, instant hardware gratification. It could be the difference between GameStop being the next Barnes & Noble (appropriately, since they used to be owned by them)… or Borders.
[via SlashGear]

$35 Aakash tablet gets a hands-on, deemed surprisingly OK

The Indian government got some gadget good will when they began subsidizing the incredibly cheap Aakash Android tablet, bringing its student price down to a mere $35. The question on hardware junkies’ minds is, is the experience on such a low-grade device acceptable at all? VentureBeat smuggled one of the tablets out and put together a hands-on, and surprisingly, the Aakash came away with a pretty solid showing.

Naturally the Aakash isn’t going to wow those of us jaded by high-res, high-price Honeycomb tablets. Its Android Froyo operating system and 366 MHz processor are outstripped by the cheapest subsidized smartphones, and a resistive 800 x 400 touchscreen doesn’t hold a candle to more modern devices. But for all that, the tablet includes a couple of surprises along its thick side – full-sized USB ports for a mouse and keyboard. The tablet is designed to teach children to use the web, and in that respect, it could demonstrate the basics of both touchscreen and traditional computer inputs. Unfortunately, there’s no Google apps or Android Market access.
The 7-inch Aakash is, if we’re being generous, utilitarian. If we’re being realistic, it’s ugly. But for all that it’s supposed to do, it’s a surprisingly versatile device, and I know that I would have been thrilled to get something like it when I was in grade school. As a mechanism for bringing modern technology into the most remote regions of India, it looks like the Aakash is a solid performer. There’s still no word on sales outside of India, but even if you could order one, the unsubsidized price is closer to $70 USD.
[via Engadget]

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Android tablet users to get free articles from top mags

Zinio has announced that its new Zinio Explore offering is now available. The Explore service will allow Android tablet users to get access to free magazine articles from some of the top magazines in the world. The goal is naturally to get you to buy the magazines that the stories come from, but if all you want is some free reading material the app will do that too.

Zinio Explore is offered alongside the “Shop” and “Eead” sections of the existing app. There is supposed to be a wide variety of stories that the users can read at no charge. The stories the Explore section offers are updated daily at the same time the new issues of magazines and publications hit newsstands.
The new feature is offered in the latest update to the Zinio application for Android users. The last Zinio update we talked about was in July when the app was offered for Android smartphone users for the first time.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Android scores 27% of worldwide tablet sales in Q3 2011

Things are looking up for Android’s tablet aspirations. Though the iPad is still the market leader, Android tablets are slowly carving out a space, to the tune of 4.5 million shipments in the last three months. That’s 26.9% of the worldwide market, edging up towards the iPad’s 66.6%. The growth is considerable, since not long ago the iPad made up a huge 80% chunk of sales.

Unfortunately a large percentage of Android tablets are still running on Gingerbread or Froyo, essentially translating a smartphone interface into a 7-10″ screen. According to Google’s latest activation and OS percentage numbers, only 3.4 million Android devices are running Honeycomb, despite a worldwide total of 6 million. Smaller, cheaper tablets are still firmly in the Gingerbread space, even for new offerings from the likes of ViewSonic and Velocity Micro.
But there’s hope on the horizon for cheap Android tablet everywhere in the form of Android 4.0. Ice Cream Sandwich features a scalable interface equally suited to smartphones and tablets, and according to Google engineers, the OS will be open-sourced by the end of the year. After that, it won’t be long before OEMs begin to make new tablets to take advantage of Ice Cream Sandwich, and the Android developer community won’t take long to get Ice Cream Sandwich onto current tablets of all sizes and price points. The upcoming Asus Transformer Prime is suspected to be the first commercial tablet with Ice Cream Sandwich.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Coby Kyros 10″ Android tablet clears the FCC

The popular manufacturer that has recently took interest in Android lately, Coby, has another tablet in the works and it has just cleared the FCC. Being called the Coby Kyros MID1125 this 10″ Android 2.3 Gingerbread tablet looks pretty sleek for the price we expect it to be, and apparently should be hitting stores soon.

Coby currently has a few lower end tablets already on the market but with outdated software. While we don’t have Honeycomb on this latest offering it will be a great all around tablet and be priced around $200. Their other devices can be found at places like Amazon, or local stores such as K-Mart and Target. The new Kyros MID1125 seen above features a 10.1″ 1024 x 600 resolution display, 1.0 GHz single-core processor, 4GB memory, stereo speakers and even HDMI-out. We also spot a mini-USB port and a few other goodies on board.

We have a dedicated home button since this is Gingerbread and all, but that is about it around front — well that and what appears to be a front facing camera. With a very small bezel around then entire frame the device wont be very large and should be quite portable, it looks to feature some sort of aluminum design on the front and rear that should keep things durable. We are still digging through the documents to find out more specs but for now what you see is what you get. A decent mid-range tablet for around $200 running on Gingerbread.
[via Wireless Goodness]

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sony Music Unlimited comes to Tablet S and other Android tablets

Sony has announced that its unlimited music streaming service is now available for Android tablets. The video streaming platform has been on tablets already. The service is Sony’s Music unlimited and it is first hitting the Sony Tablet S device. It will also be available as a download app for any Android tablet user to enjoy. The app allows access to the cloud-based Music Unlimited network.

The new v1.2 app allows tablets to access the service, which has been available for Android smartphones for a while. The updated app also brings with it a tweaked user interface. The subscriber can now create playlists faster and discover related artists more easily. The navigation between album view and the catalog is faster as well.
The Music Unlimited service is available in nine different countries with a basic subscription at $3.99 monthly. The premium subscription is $9.99 monthly. Sony Tablet S users can get a 180-day trial of the Basic plan at no charge right now.
“As one of the largest digital entertainment services, Sony Entertainment Network aims to bring new ways for consumers to enjoy digital music and video,” said Tim Schaaff, President, Sony Network Entertainment. “The launch of the Music Unlimited service on Sony Tablet marks one of our many significant steps to satisfying the mobile demands of our current consumers while opening up our cloud-based music service to completely new audiences.”

Kobo Vox tablet is ready to fight Fire at $199

Between Barnes & Noble and Amazon, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the Kobo line of e-readers, but the company has just presented a compelling reason not to. The Kobo Vox is Kobo’s take on a tablet/reader, a la the Nook Color or Kindle Fire, and like the latter it starts at just $199.99. Unlike the Fire, it’s shipping out this month.

In a bit of convergent gadget evolution (Kobo must have been working on the Vox for months), the tablet features a lot of the same specifications as the Kindle Fire. It’s got a similar 7-inch, 1024 x 600 screen, and it also runs a heavily skinned version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread. An 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM isn’t exactly screaming fast, but it’ll do for reading books from the Kobo bookstore and some light web browsing. Like most of its competitors the Vox doesn’t use Google apps or the Android market, but the product page lists “over 15,000 free apps for Android!” so presumably there’s some kind of app store included.
Storage is limited to 8GB, but there’s a user-accessible MicroSD card slot for expansion. Unlike the Kindle Fire, which comes in any color you want so long as you want black, the Kobo Vox is available in black, hot pink, ice blue and lime green. You can order today, and the tablets will begin shipping on the 28th of this month. With the Kindle Fire getting a lot of press and hundreds of thousands of pre-orders, the Vox might just make an acceptable substitution if supplies get tight around the holidays.
[via SlashGear]

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sony Video Unlimited now available on Tablet S, coming to other devices

Are Netflix, HBO GO, movie rentals from the Android Market and a half-dozen other video solutions just not enough for you? Well take heart movie buff, Sony Video Unlimited is available now for the Tablet S, and it’ll be coming to other Android devices soon. What’s interesting here is that Sony isn’t limiting its distribution to its own tablets and phones – other manufacturers will be supported as well.

That’s a surprising move from Sony, who’s historically been a big proponent of the Apple-style walled garden. (Anybody remember ATRAC? Ugh.) The company says that it will soon release the Sony Video Unlimited rental app (formerly Qriocity) for a wide range of devices, dependent upon the software’s hardware requirements. The complicated dealings of video licensing will play a part too. “Video is complicated by some of the technical aspects of our deals with the studios… we have to make sure that the quality of our service is something that lives up to our standards and is something our studio partners are happy with too.” said Sony vice president Mike Aragon.
Sony is uniquely situated among Android manufacturers. They have a historically strong brand and a decent following along with Sony Ericsson, but they bring something to the table that not even Google can match: media experience. Sony’s got properties and deals in TV, movies, music and video games, a position they’ve tried to exploit to push their own hardware in the past. There’s a fair bit of marketing going on here too, of course, but it’s promising to see the company opening up.
[via The Los Angeles Times]

Friday, October 14, 2011

Epesitec launches new Android tablets starting at $189

There are hoards of Android tablets on the market today and it seems that everyone wants to get in on the action. I think that what the market needs isn’t more Android tablets that have high-end features to sell in the same price range as the iPad. What we really need are some companies to step in and flesh out the cheap entry-level range of the Android tablet realm.

Amazon recently did this with the unveiling of the Kindle Fire tablet. Another company is stepping into the low-end tablet realm with a pair of offerings that aren’t the most powerful, but they are solid for the price. Both of the tablets come from Epesitec and have 7-inch capacitive touch screens. They also run Android 2.3 and have 512MB of RAM onboard. Storage is to 4GB of NAND flash and they have expansion up to 32GB.
The processor is a Freescale 1.2GHz unit with PowerVR Series 5 graphics. The resolution of the front camera isn’t specified, but the rear camera has a 3MP resolution. The devices support Bluetooth, WiFi, and have a USB port along with analog TV output. The only difference between the two offerings is that the E516 with 3G onboard sells for $249 and the E515 with WiFi only sells for $189.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Velocity Micro unveils new Cruz T408 and T410 tablets

Velocity Micro is extending its tablet offerings with a pair of new budget-priced Gingerbread models. The Cruz T408 and Cruz T410 are 8-inches and 10-inches respectively (natch), with built-in access to the Amazon App Store and WiFi Internet access. The tablets are available now starting at $239.

Both tablets share identical internals: a 1GHz Cortex processor, 512Mb of RAM, a front-facing camera and an extremely welcome capacitive touchscreen. The screens themselves are oddly mismatched: the 8-inch T408 will have a 4:3 screen, whereas the T410 goes for a full widescreen 16:9 experience. Resolutions weren’t announced, but I’d guess 8oo x 600 and 1280 x 720, respectively. There’s a surprising amount of built-in apps, including QuickOffice, Adobe Flash and the ever-popular Angry Birds. These being Gingerbread tablets, there’s no access to the Android Market or Google apps, but the Amazon App Store should have most people covered.
Check out the official video below – watch at 42 seconds for a familiar face.

Both tablets are shipping from Velocity Micro’s web store now, and you can probably expect them at retail locations soon. The Cruz T408 will retail for just $239, while the big brother T410 will cost $299. That might be a hard sell as the Amazon Kindle Fire release draws nearer, but some might prefer a more traditional Gingerbread tablet to Amazon’s super-customized loss-leader. And who knows – if Google releases the open source code for Ice Cream Sandwich as promised, these budget tablets could become platforms for custom ICS ROMs very quickly.
[via Android Central]

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Angry Birds themed tablet

So we know that the Angry Birds game is popular, so much so that there have been so many spin-offs based on the game, both in the official and unofficial capacity. For example you will be able to find Angry Bird apparel, soft toys, figurines, speakers, phone covers, and even an amusement park based on the game! Now it looks like there’s even an Angry Birds tablet available.
The tablet is actually based off the Wopad V7 tablet, which houses a Cortex A8 CPU with the ability to playback 1080p HD videos. What makes this Wopad V7 an Angry Birds tablet is that the 4GB of memory it comes with has been installed with a variety of Angry Birds digital media. It ranges from applications like the different Seasons variations of the game, along with wallpapers too.
We’re not sure how big a fan you must be to buy this tablet, but apart from those features we mentioned, users can also expect a 7” 800×480 display with 512MB of RAM, a front-facing camera with Android’s Gingerbread 2.3 loaded on board. It does not appear to be on sale in the US.

Panasonic unveils new BizPad Android tablets

In Japan, Panasonic has officially announced the launch of two new BizPad Android tablets. Designed for heavy duty work, these Android tablets are said to be shock resistant, dust resistant and water resistant, with an easily replaced battery pack – for those times when you just need a fully charged battery to use out of the office.
Other features include: a card reader/writer, NFC, security features, and optional 3G. The tablet will be available in two sizes: the 7″ JT-580VT Series and the 10.1″ JT-581VT Series. Both tablets will run on Android 3.2 Honeycomb. No word on pricing, but the JT-580VT will be available in late December, and the JT-581VT in mid-January next year.
[Press Release]

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pandigital SuperNova confirmed, 8-inch Gingerbread tablet for $229

It’s positively raining cheap wifi tablets lately. The big brother to the original Pandigital Nova is the SuperNova, and after munching down a Super Mushroom it’s upgraded to an 8-inch capacitive display. Unfortunately, the resolution is still a rather disappointing 800 x 600 in a 4:3 aspect ratio. The budget tablet should hit retailers soon at a price of $229.

Other hardware details include a 1Ghz single-core processor, an onboard micro-HDMI port and Bluetooth 2.1. Internal storage is 4GB with a free MicroSD slot for expansion. Pandigital doesn’t have Google’s blessing for any of their tablet offerings, so users will have to make do with the GetJar alternative app store. A few built-in apps like Barnes & Noble’s ebook store, YouTube and Adobe Flash help spruce up the Gingerbread operating system before owners download anything new. According to Pandigital’s press release, the SuperNova will be available in mid-October at retail locations across the US.
Slightly larger screen notwithstanding, it’s hard to see why anyone would pick up a SuperNova over any of its close competitors. If you’re looking for a cheap, hack-friendly tablet, the Barnes & Noble Nook Color is just $20 more (or even less if you play your cards right) and the solid HTC Flyer now provides a full Gingerbread tablet with access to the Android Market for $299. If you’re dead-set on a cheap tablet and you’ve got some spare patience, Amazon’s Kindle Fire will release in just over a month for only $199.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

$35 DataWind Aakash tablet on sale in India

India has long been the home of dirt-cheap tech for the masses, and now you can add an Android tablet to the mix. The Aakash (Hindi for “sky”) tablet is being sold for the equivalent of $45 to the general public, with subsidized $35 versions selling to students and teachers. In local currency it’s about 1,700 Rupees. The basic tablet is being made by budget manufacturer DataWind.

There’s not a lot of info available on the tablet hardware, but we do know that the 7-inch device is running on 2.2 Froyo, like most Android smartphones at the moment. Since video conferencing is mentioned by the Human Resource Development Minister, we can conclude that there’s at least some kind of webcam included. The low-cost devices are intended to “lift villagers out of poverty” by teaching them basic computer skills, including word processing and web browsing.
The Indian government intends to get the Aakash tablet into the hands of no less than 10 million students across the country. If they succeed, that would make India the #1 user of Android tablets, even if they won’t be showing up on Google’s activation press releases any time soon. And before you ask, modders, no, it isn’t being sold outside of India.

Get the low-down on India’s $45 tablet

India is set to launch a $45 ultra-low cost tablet computer aimed at providing connectivity to the country’s masses.
The tablet, called Akash (meaning Sky), is a government project that was long heralded as innovative, however years of delay and uncertainty have frustrated many advocates of the program.
The limited spec, which is expected given the $45 price-point, is detailed below:
  • Running an Android 2.2 operating system
  • 7 inch touchscreen
  • 32GB expandable memory
  • 256-megabyte RAM
  • Two USB ports
  • Wi-Fi Internet access
  • Video conferencing capability
  • Internal media player
  • Estimated battery life of 180 minutes
  • 2GB SD memory card included

AFP confirms that an initial 500 devices will be given to students, with the Indian government hopeful that device manufacturer, Datawind, can produce 700 units per day.
Smartphones and tablet computing are India’s great new hope for connectivity. Current internet penetration rate is below 10%, severely limited the online potential of the the country’s 1.2 billion population.
The Akash is up against strong competition in the budget tablet market, earlier this Hong Kong-based iberry announced a 6,999 rupee ($140) device while Beetel ($180) are amongst others jostled to compete for sales.
The Indian government is not alone in introducing a budget smartphone for the benefit of its population, a key pledge of Thailand’s newly elected Pheu Thai Party was to distributed a tablet-PC to every schoolchild in the country. The government is aiming to begin its distribution of the estimated 400,000 tablets, estimated to cost $100 each, by May 2012.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ASUS Transformer 2′s price to remain the same

One of the reasons why the HP TouchPad did so well after HP had announced their plans to discontinue webOS, was due to its massive price cut, which saw the webOS tablet drop to a mere $99 for the base model, which was a price even cheaper than certain digital photo frames! Amazon too decided to follow suit and announced that their Kindle Fire would only cost $199, even going as far as losing $10 per tablet sold.
Now if you were expecting this particular strategy to start being adopted by other tablet manufacturers, you may be in for a disappointment. While market watchers had expected ASUS to follow suit with their upcoming Eee Pad Transformers 2 tablet, the company’s CEO Jerry Shen stated that they had no plans on reducing the tablet’s price. The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 2 is expected to go on sale for $499, which is priced similarly to the base model iPad 2.
However given that the first-generation Transformer did astonishingly well, it’s understandable that ASUS is confident that they will be able to achieve similar success with the Transformer 2 despite it being priced rather steeply. Only time will tell if ASUS’s strategy of sticking to their guns will pay off. No official word on when the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 2 will be making an appearance.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Panasonic Toughbook Android Tablet Revealed

Panasonic has revealed its rugged Android tablet. It is a sturdy-looking 10.1″ tablet that looks like it can take punishing shocks on every corner, without being knocked out. Panasonic pitches it as a “business tablet”, so it comes with 3G/4G and IT management features, including hardware-level features that could mean “encryption”. It also has handwriting recognition and does not need a stylus, which has been a hallmark of business tablet for so long.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sharp kills Galapagos 5.5 and 10.8 tablets, 7-inch version inbound

Sharp has announced that it has ended the production of the first two Galapagos tablets, the 5.5-inch and 10.8-inch versions. Sharp isn’t killing the line though, it still has plans to launch a 7-inch tablet. The two killed Galapagos tablets are no longer available to order. I would assume that means that there is no more stock on them since presumably Sharp would want to move all that inventory rather than just stop taking orders on them.

Sharp does note that it will continue to offer eBook downloads on its store. That means if you own a Galapagos tablet you will still be able to use it as an e-reader. That 7-inch tablet that is still in the works is the A01SH that we first talked about back in August. We know the tablet will have a screen resolution of 1024 x 600, a 5MP rear camera, and a 2MP front camera. It will also have a mobile broadband modem inside good for downloads at up to 42Mbps in Japan.
The OS for that coming tablet will be Android 3.2 Honeycomb on NVIDIA Tegra 1 dual-core and the battery life is in the area of 7.5 hours. There are plenty of other 7-inch tablets on the market today and the hardware inside that Sharp tablet isn’t special. I hope the A01SH is cheap or I don’t think it will do well.
[via SlashGear