Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2013 - 05:12 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Lenovo, convertible tablet, Android
Lenovo officially launched its IdeaPad Yoga 11S convertible tablet at CES, but it seems that Windows 8 is not the only OS Lenovo wants to support. According to tech news and rumors site Digi Times, Lenovo is planning to launch at least one IdeaPad Yoga tablet running Google’s Android operating system within the first half of 2013.
According to Digi Time's sources that are reportedly in the know “Lenovo's planned offerings will target the Android tablet segment, meeting Intel's previous commitment to rolling out Android-based tablets through joint efforts with Lenovo.”
It is an interesting move for Lenovo that should play well assuming they can keep the pricing in check. The sources were not able to confirm whether or not the Android tablets will use ARM or x86 hardware, but the bit of information about Intel and Lenovo seems to suggest it will be Intel powered and use an x86 build of Android.
The new Android tablets would have a useful form factor with the Yoga platform, and if Lenovo can price them right they will make a nice alternative to Lenovo’s own Windows RT tablets as well as make for good competition versus existing Android tablets that do not integrate physical keyboards. I’m interested to see a cheaper Yoga notebook powered by Android matched up against ASUS’ Transformer tablet offerings!
Subject: Mobile | January 9, 2013 - 09:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: CES, smartphone, Lenovo, k900, Intel, clover trail, Android, ces 2013
Lenovo has shown off a new Android smartphone at CES. However, in an interesting twist the new Lenovo K900 is powered by an Intel Atom processor rather than an ARM SoC. The K900 smartphone is constructed of a stainless steel alloy and poly-carbonate material. Lenovo has managed to pack all the hardware in a 6.9mm thin chassis that weights 162 grams. It will come in one of four colors, including gold, silver, and grey in a brushed aluminum pattern and one that has a diamond-plate design on the back cover.
The K900 features a 5.5” IPS touchscreen display protected by Gorilla Glass 2 and with a resolution of 1920x1080. The chassis also hosts a front-facing webcam with an 88-degree field of view and a rear 13MP (F1.8) camera with a dual LED flash.
The outside is neat, but it is the internal specifications where the Lenovo K900 gets interesting. The smartphone is powered by an Intel Clover Trail+ SoC. While Intel is not yet providing details on the new processor, Engadget speculates that the SoC will be the Intel Atom Z2580, which is a dual core Clover Trail successor running at up to 2GHz. The K900 will also include 2GB of RAM and between 16GB and 64GB of internal storage (plus a microSD card slot). The phone will be running Android along with Lenovo’s Le Phone skin on top (though it can reportedly be disabled).
All in all it looks like a really slick smartphone from the specifications list. Battery life and performance are still unknown, but I’m excited to see benchmarks of this once it is released. Unfortunately, it is not headed to the United States at this time. Instead, the Lenovo K900 will be available in China starting in April of this year. Pricing should be available closer to the product’s release date. Engadget has the full press release along with hands on videos with the hardware.
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2013 - 07:51 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: CES, windows 8, toughpad, tablet, ruggedized, Panasonic, Android, ces 2013
Panasonic is continuing to branch out from ruggedized notebooks into the world of tablets, and this time around the company is releasing two new ruggedized tablets that succeed the current-generation FZ-A1. The new Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 will run Windows 8 Pro while the JT-B1 will run Android 4.0 and use ARM hardware.
The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 packs some respectable hardware for this type of ruggedized product. A dual core (with HyperThreading for four total threads) Intel Core i5-3437U processor running at 1.9GHz base/2.9GHz turbo, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to a 256GB SSD comprise the basic internal specifications. On the outside is a 10.1” touchscreen with active digitizer along with USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, microSDXC, RJ45, and serial ports. The FZ-G1 can also host a dedicated GPS and tap into Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular networks. The tablet is rated for various Mil-spec standards such that it can survive harsh working environments of industrial, military, public safety, et al jobs. The tablet does not come cheap though, as the ruggedized form factor comes at a high price – starting at $2,899 for the base model. Still, it is interesting to see that tablets are even being embraced in roles that ruggedized notebooks have long dominated. Notably, Panasonic has stated that it hopes to capture 50% of the ruggedized tablet market by 2015.
|Processor||Intel Core-i5 3437U @ 1.9GHz (2.9GHz turbo)|
|Display||10.1" touchscreen w/ active digitizer @ 1920x1200|
|IO||Full size: USB 3.0, HDMI, micro SDXC (optional), USB 2.0, LAN, and serial port or dedicated GPS.|
|Wireless||802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, optional 4G LTE or 3G|
|Dimensions||10.6" x 7.4" x 0.75"|
|OS||Windows 8 Pro|
|Rugged||MIL-STD-810G, 4' drop, IP65, 14° to 122°F (operational temp range)|
While the FZ-G1 runs Windows and has x86-64 hardware, the Panasonic Toughpad JT-B1 is smaller and goes with ARM internals and Google’s Android mobile OS. This 7” tablet maintains the same MIL-spec ratings as its bigger sibling, but weighs half as much. The JT-B1 features a 7” touchscreen with a resolution of 1024x600, a front and rear camera, and a micro USB port on the outside. Internally, the JT-B1 tablet includes a dual core TI OMAP 4660 (similar to the SoC used in Amazon’s Kindle HD tablets) running at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, 16GB ROM for storage, and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular radios.
The Panasonic JT-B1 will run Android 4.0 and has a starting price of $1,199 making it only viable for the specialized industries that need such a ruggedized device--it is no Nexus 7 (but that’s a good thing for certain jobs).
|Processor||TI OMAP 4460 @ 1.5GHz (dual core)|
|Display||7" touchscreen @ 1024x600|
|IO||Micro USB, Front 1.3MP webcam, rear 13MP autofocus camera with LED flash|
|Wireless||802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, optional 4G LTE and 3G|
|Dimensions||8.7"x 5.1" x 0.7"|
|Rugged||MIL-STD-810G, 5' drop, IP65, 14° to 122°F (operational temp range)|
Both of the Panasonic Toughpads will be available later this year. The FZ-G1 will be available in March for $2,899 and the JT-B1 will be available in February for $1,199. You can find the full press release over at Engadget.
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Mobile | December 3, 2012 - 08:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: jelly bean, flash, galaxy nexus, CyanogenMod, mod, Android
If you were an early adopter and now have an aging Android tablet which is not being supported by the manufacturer, or at least they are very slow at releasing updates, you can always try flashing it with a custom ROM. The Tech Report tried this out on a Galaxy Nexus using a ROM from CyanogenMod, a fairly well known provider of such things. While it certainly improved the performance of the OS, there were several issues including the failure of GPS which prompted them to try out other ROMs. Head on over to read up on the most current images you can flash to, their providers and the difference between the two types of ROMs currently available.
"In his latest blog post, TR's Geoff Gasior recounts his experience trying to revitalize an aging Android tablet with custom Jelly Bean ROMs."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- SUS Zenbook UX51Vz-DH71 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Acer Aspire S3-391-6046 Review @ TechReviewSource
- HP EliteBook 2170p Ultraportable @ AnandTech
- ASUS S56C Ultrabook @ Tweaktown
- Acer Aspire S7-391-6810 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Kobo Glo @ The Register
- BlackBerry 10: AWESOME. If the hardware matches it, RIM jobs are safe @ The Register
- ARM Cortex-A15 vs. NVIDIA Tegra 3 vs. Intel x86 @ Phoronix
- Google Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Mobile OS @ Tweaktown
- Mophie Juice Pack Battery Case For Galaxy S III Review @ Legit Reviews
- Apple iPad Keyboard Folio Round-up @ TechSpot
- Huawei Ascend G330 @ The Inquirer
- Google/LG Nexus 4 @ Tweaktown
- Nokia Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8 Review @ HardwareHeaven
- LG Optimus L5 Smartphone @ Tweaktown
- Google Nexus 4 @ The Inquirer
- Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 Smartphone Review @ Legit Reviews
Subject: General Tech | November 2, 2012 - 07:47 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tablet, nexus 10, jelly bean, google, android 4.2, Android
Reviews of Google’s latest Nexus 10 tablet are starting to pop up around the web, and the results are a bit mixed -- mostly positive with the price being its saving grace. The display and inclusion of Android 4.2 is nice, but will it dethrone the iPad? It's time to find out!
As a refresher, the Nexus 10 is 10” tablet powered by a dual core ARM Cortex-A15 system on a chip. On the outside, it has a 10.055” touchscreen display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 (300 ppi, 16:10), 5MP rear camera, and a 1.9MP webcam on the front of the tablet.
External IO includes micro USB, micro HDMI, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Internally, the Nexus 10 features a dual core Samsung Exynos 5250 SoC clocked at 1.7GHz, a Mali T604 GPU, 2GB of RAM, and either 16GB or 32GB of storage. A 9,000 mAh battery is also preset. Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and NFC radios are also included. The new tablet is also running an updated version of Jelly Bean Google has dubbed Android 4.2.
The 16GB model is listed at $399 while the 32GB Nexus 10 is $499. Both models will be available on November 13th.
What do you think of the Nexus 10?
- Nexus 10 review @ Engadget
- Google Nexus 10 review @ ZDNet
- Google Nexus 10 review @ The Verge
- Nexus 10 Review @ Slash Gear
- Nexus 10: Hands-On With Google and Samsung’s iPad Challenger @ Wired
- Hands on: Google Nexus 10 review @ Tech Radar
Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2012 - 05:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, win8, surface, google, Android, nexus 7, Samsung, Pegatron
Two companies which for the most part sold software only are making a name for themselves in the hardware sector, in two very different ways. Google's Android has become quite a player and the upcoming release of the Nexus 7 platform is anticipated by many mobile players because Google has no intentions of making its own phones. Instead they will make their money licensing the platform to a variety of established cellphone and tablet manufacturers, as they have in the past. According to what DigiTimes has heard, Microsoft is going in the exact opposite direction with Surface and will be continuing with the same plan as their tablet, which has already caused negative backlash from many of the major player in the market such as Acer. Designers of Microsoft Win8 based phones are required to use the same platform and interface in order to meet the requirements of Microsoft's licensing agreement which will make phones difficult to differentiate as competitors are very limited in the customization they can offer, at least on the software side. To make the market even more confusing, Microsoft is reaching out to Pegatron to manufacture their own branded Surface phone, which will find its self in direct competition with the phones from established players, the ones Microsoft is count on to license the portable version of Win8. It would be hard to come up with another way that Microsoft could make licensing their new OS even less attractive for OEMs and ODMs.
"Google and Microsoft both reportedly plan to extend the Nexus 7 and Surface tablet lineups to include smartphones as a means to further increase the penetration of their own platforms, but the two companies will implement the strategies in a different tune, according to industry sources.
Google aims to launch smartphones based on its Nexus 7 platform in cooperation with a number of smartphone branded vendors with Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Sony Mobile Communications and HTC likely to be potential partners, said the sources.
On the other hand, Microsoft is reportedly tapping ODM maker Pegatron for the production of WP8-based smartphones slated for launch in the first half of 2013, the sources indicated."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- How To Make Movies in Linux With OpenShot @ Linux.com
- Refined hack opens locked hotel rooms… with a magic marker @ ExtremeTech
- Home Automation and the 'Internet of Things' @ AnandTech
- ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router Review @ Legit Reviews
- Will Elpida be gobbled by a rival or get a multi-billion cash jab? @ The Register
- Red Dwarf Series 10 on Dave @ 9PM BST today
Subject: Mobile | August 30, 2012 - 08:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Samsung, galaxy s III, Android
Android 4.1, aka Jellybean, is not yet available for the Samsung Galaxy S III, so The Tech Report tested out Samsung's existing TouchWiz software and UI tweaks to the current Android OS present on the phone. They liked that a lot of the special functions available on the phone were controlled with the body as opposed to swiping motions on the screen, as you wouldn't want to smear that 720p screen. They did run into some quirks with the phone which they were less than impressed with as well as the history Samsung has of delaying the release of updated operating systems. That is probably why they ended up getting a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
"Samsung's Galaxy S III is the hottest Android handset on the market right now. We spent a few weeks with one to see what it's like."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Nokia Lumia 710 Cell Phone Review @ Hardware Secrets
- LG Optimus 4X HD: Tegra 3 Handsets Stay Global @ AnandTech
- Sony Xperia P @ Hardware.info
- Cygnett Form, Frost & TubeMap Samsung Galaxy S III Case Reviews @ Legit Reviews
- Toshiba Excite 7.7 Tablet Review: AMOLED in a Fun Size @ AnandTech
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Android Tablet Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Google Nexus 7 Indepth @ Kitguru
- The Archos 101 XS Review: Prettier, Faster, So Much Better @ AnandTech
- Archos 101 XS Android Tablet Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Fujitsu Stylistic Q702 preview: Windows 8 tablet/notebook @ Hardware.info
- Acer Aspire TimelineX 4830TG-6808 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Acer Aspire V5-171-6605 Review @ TechReviewSource
- HP Envy 14 Spectre Ultrabook Review: Something More Than Envy @ AnandTech
- ASUS UX31A: Putting the Ultra in Ultrabooks @ AnandTech
- Apple MacBook Air 11-inch (Mid-2012) Review @ TechReviewSource
Subject: General Tech | August 3, 2012 - 03:33 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sff hardware, Raspberry Pi, android 4.0, Android, $35 game console
The $35 Raspberry Pi computer has received a great deal of attention from enthusiasts and support from developers. In fact, it has a number of Linux-based distributions available, and even more planned or already in development. One of the more recent reveals is that developer Naren has been working hard on porting the Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” mobile operating system to the small ARM computer.
According to the Raspberry Pi blog, the Android 4.0 build is going fairly well and it is currently running on the Raspberry Pi hardware, with some caveats. Also, Naren has been able to get hardware-accelerated graphics and video playback running on the Raspberry Pi. Reportedly, the final major hurdle is getting AudioFlinger support working. The other caveat is that the Android 4.0 build has been compiled using a different kernel and VideoCore (the GPU in the Raspberry Pi) binary than the GitHub hosted files that are publicly available.
Because Naren is working with different code, the Raspberry Pi is not willing to release the source code at this time as they fear severe forking in the code. They have stated that “we’re investigating the feasibility of converging the two code lines to produce a single common platform as soon as we can.” Once they figure that out, the Raspberry Pi Foundation hopes to be able to present the source code to the public so that enthusiasts can play around with Android 4.0 on their Raspberry Pis.
While it is no version 4.1 “Jelly Bean,” bringing Android of any variety is a positive step for the Raspberry Pi. It allows access to a large library of applications and games. Also, the Raspberry Pi becomes a super-cheap board to use for developing Android apps.
For now, the Raspberry Pi Foundation suggests users check out the Razdroid project to play around with Android on the Pi. Alternatively, you can try testing one of the CyanogenMOD images on the Raspberry Pi.
Are you excited about Ice Cream Sandwich on your Raspberry Pi?
You can find more of our Raspberry Pi coverage by following our Raspberry Pi tag.
Image courtesy salmon92 via Flickr Creative Commons
Introduction, Design and Connectivity
Subject: General Tech | July 14, 2012 - 06:39 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: quad core, arm, SoC, Android, xbmc, htpc, mini-itx
This week has been rife with ARM computers. The latest ARM system comes in the form of a mini-ITX form factor motherboard and quad core ARM processor combination from embedded system manufacturer Kontron. Named the KTT30/mITX, it measures 17 cm x 17 cm, the little motherboard provides a plethora of IO ports and the relatively short (depth-wise) motherboard would be great in a HTPC box, assuming the software is there (an XBMC release ported over from the Raspberry Pi build would be nice to see, for example).
The motherboard is paired with a quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor running at 900 MHz, video hardware acceleration coprocessor, and up to 2GB of DDR3L memory. It is reportedly capable of playing back 1080p H.264 videos. Internal connectors include two SD card clots, a SIM card socket, and two mPCIe connectors. Rear board IO includes three USB 2.0 ports (one micro, two regular-sized type A), an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet NIC, S/PDIF audio, two RS232 serial ports, and three analog audio output jacks.
It looks like a neat little board, though only if the price is right. If it is prohibitively expensive, it may be bumping up against AMD’s APU and accompanying motherboards. And because the APUs can utilize x86-64 software, that is a big positive in its favor. With that said, if this board is cheap enough, it could make sense as the base of a cheap HTPC.
Read more about the Mini-ITX ARM-powered system over at Fanless Tech.