Skip the Pi and go straight to cardboard computing

Subject: General Tech | January 17, 2013 - 10:56 AM |
Tagged: cardboard, APC, ice cream sandwich, arm, Cortex A9, VIA

APC has released a version of their Rock PC called the Paper which comes in a recycled cardboard case which resembles a hard cover book.  Powered by a Cortex A9 based Via Wondermedia chip running at 800MHz, 512GB of RAM and 4GB of NAND storage and sporting a pair of USB ports, ethernet and HDMI this Ice Cream Sandwich system is great for browsing the web.  At an MSRP of $100 it is an interesting device, almost as expensive as a tablet but in a very different form factor, if it could be convinced to act as an HTPC you could hide it in your bookshelf and only the wiring would give it away as anything but another book.  Check out more at The Inquirer.

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"TAIWANESE TECHNOLOGY FIRM APC has shown off a PC that comes in a book-like cardboard case.

The firm calls its under $100 PC Paper, because it comes with a cardboard case that looks like a book. Inside Paper is the firm's redesigned Rock board. Both run Android and both are designed for mouse and keyboard inputs."

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Source: The Inquirer

Ring! Ring! Lenovo-phone!

Subject: Mobile | January 9, 2013 - 10:45 AM |
Tagged: Lenovo, Ideaphone K860, ice cream sandwich, android 4.0, Exynos 4412

The Exynos 4412 powered Lenovo Ideaphone K860 sports very nice 720 x 1280 IPS screen which takes up most of the body of the phone thanks to the thin bezel on the phone.  The Inquirer were impressed with the performance of the phone as well as the custom interface Lenovo demonstrated, running Ice Cream Sandwich.  They also felt that the phone felt somewhat more rugged than it's competition the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, check out the full preview here.

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"We were shocked to discover the size of the phone too, as it didn't feel as big as 5in when held in the hand. That's not to say it's a tiny phone, as with dimensions of 143.5 x7 4.4 x 9.6mm it won't squeeze easily into your skinny jean pocket, However, Lenovo designed the phone with a narrow bezel around the screen, which means it doesn't waste valuable space with white plastic."

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Source: The Inquirer

Samsung versus Qualcomm; don't judge a tablet by its cover

Subject: Mobile | September 13, 2012 - 04:16 PM |
Tagged: tablet, Snapdragon S4 Pro, Samsung, qualcomm, ice cream sandwich, Exynos 4412

You are likely already somewhat familiar with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, running Ice Cream Sandwich on a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 4412.  Externally it looks almost identical to the 10.1" engineering sample that Qualcomm pulled out in front of The Inquirer today but internally they are very different.  Inside the Qualcomm tablet is the new 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, running a hair faster than the Exynos and with a different architecture.  That customized architecture showed up in the testing, the Qualcomm tablet benchmarked higher the Samsung, much higher than the 100MHz speed difference would imply.  However not all was perfect with the usability of the tablet, though The Inquirer does point out this is a tablet still in development and the software is not quite ready for prime time.

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"The INQUIRER took the chance to test Qualcomm's developer tablet Snapdragon processor against the Exynos quad-core chip used in Samsung's popular Galaxy Note 10.1.

On paper, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Qualcomm development tablet are quite similar. Both devices run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and have 10.1in touchscreens."

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Source: The Inquirer

Transforming ASUS' Eee Pad by shoving an Ice Cream Sandwich into it

Subject: Mobile | March 19, 2012 - 09:25 AM |
Tagged: asus, Transformer, ice cream sandwich, android 4.0, eee pad, eee pad transformer

The new ASUS Transformer Prime may have had Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, as its OS for a while now, but only recently has the same been true for the original Eee Pad Transformer.  The Tech Report upgraded their Transformer with the approved version of ICS and took it for a spin.  Many of the advantages they found were tied directly into the ASUS version which allowed the tablets base functionality to be integrated with the OS as opposed to being an app running on the OS.  That is not all however as they described the OS upgrade as feeling more like a hardware update thanks to the increased fluidity of the tablets responsiveness. 

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"Asus has been quick to roll out Ice Cream Sandwich updates for its Eee Pad Transformers. We take a closer look at the new OS to see how it fares on the Android tablets."

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Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) Update For Original Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Subject: Mobile | February 25, 2012 - 09:31 AM |
Tagged: Transformer, tablet, ics, ice cream sandwich, eee pad transformer, asus, Android

While the new Tegra 3 powered Transformer Prime and it's Transformer Prime with upgraded display sibling have stolen the spotlight from the original dock-able Transformer tablet, Asus has not forgotten about it. They recently began pushing out an Over The Air update to bring a tasty Ice Cream Sandwich to the Asus Transformer (original)!

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In case you missed it, our own Matt Smith did a review of the new Android operating system on the Transformer Prime here. While the original Transformer is running older hardware, users are reporting that aside from minor app glitches performs fairly well on the Tegra 2.  And if you've been living under a rock for the past two years, he also wrote up a nice review of the original Eee Pad Transfomer.

According to Maximum PC, users are reporting that the update was mostly a success and the performance was decent, though there seems to be a few instances of app glitchy-ness.  It will just take some time to work out the kinks in updating the older hardware, and in general I think the update is a great thing for Asus to provide, especially  this late in the game.  Perhaps we will start seeing some discounted Transformers, though we may also see them become more valuable and go for a few more dollars now that they are updated to the new ICS OS.

It is nice to see Asus continuing to support their products with new updates.  Have you received the ICS update on your Transformer yet? Let us know what you think of the performance and new features in the comments below!

Source: Maximum PC
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Google

Introduction, Interface

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The Prime seems to have no trouble achieving notable firsts. It was the first tablet with a Tegra 3 processor to go to retail, and now it’s the first tablet to have official Ice Cream Sandwich support. The update, scheduled originally for January 12th, actually went live after a surprise announcement on January 9th during Nvidia’s CES conference.

Since we still have our Prime review unit, this update provides us with a unique opportunity to compare Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich side-by-side on the same device. This update is important for the Prime - and all upcoming Android tablets - because the operating system is something that’s currently holding back a number of products with great hardware.

Honeycomb was never an OS that impressed me. It’s often jerky, lacks elegance, and has poor app support. So long as Honeycomb was the version of Android shipping on tablets there was simply no chance for an Android tablet to defeat the iPad 2. The software simply wasn’t up to the high standard set by iOS. 

Ice Cream Sandwich is a chance at redemption. The rumors have spread like wildfire. Various sources have reported improvements including better multi-core support, a faster web browser, improved notifications and much more. Official announcements have generally limited themselves to commenting on feature improvements, however - going into the ICS update I didn’t have any expectations for performance improvements because none were ever provided by Google. Nvidia also never set any expectations about the improvements, if any, we’d see from Tegra 3 processors running ICS.

Now that the Prime is updated we can test ICS out for ourselves. Let’s jump in, starting with the interface updates.

Continue reading our review of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the ASUS Transformer Prime!!

Yummy: Transformer Prime running Ice Cream Sandwich

Subject: Mobile | November 22, 2011 - 02:21 PM |
Tagged: transformer prime, tegra 3, nvidia, ice cream sandwich, google, eee pad, asus

The world’s first quad-core mobile processor was recently made official with our announcement of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip, which will debut in the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android tablet. Following on Google’s release of Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” (ICS) source code last week, we thought you’d like an early demo of ICS running on the Eee Pad Transformer Prime.

Google has done a great job on ICS and has made the platform open to the ecosystem and easy to develop on. Thanks to Google’s developer support, NVIDIA’s experienced software team was able to work with ASUS to quickly bring up Android 4.0 ICS on the Transformer Prime.

Recorded on November 16, only two short days after the source code for ICS was made publicly available, the video below shows the next-gen Android OS user interface looking clean and snappy on the Transformer Prime. This is just a sneak peak of things to come for the first Tegra 3-powered Android tablet.

This is just an early demo, but we think you’ll agree it’s extremely impressive that so much is already working well. Check out the flawless1080p video playback and quick demo of the quad-core optimized Riptide GP game in the video below.

By the way, find pre-order information for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, powered by Tegra 3, at asustablets.us.

Source: NVIDIA

Hope you weren't holding your breath for Ice Cream Sandwich

Subject: General Tech | October 7, 2011 - 09:45 AM |
Tagged: Android, ice cream sandwich, Samsung, nexus prime

It looks like the release of the full specs of Samsung's Nexus Prime yesterday was nothing more than a tease as today we find out that the release of the phone and Google's new Ice Cream Sandwich will be delayed.  Not only do we not know the new schedule for release, we also do not know the reason for the delay.  The Inquirer mentions the possibility that the release of the phone would be overshadowed by the iPhone 4S and iOS 5, though it could also be simply because of the leaks about the phone that have occurred recently.  Whatever the true reason, you won't able to snack on a sandwich anytime soon. 

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"KOREAN HARDWARE GIANT Samsung has confirmed it has pushed back its product announcement that was due to take place next week.

It was extremely likely that the company was going to announce, along with Google, the Nexus Prime smartphone at the Cellular Telephone Industries Association conference in San Diego next Tuesday. The phone will be the first to run Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), but the announcement now has no date or venue."

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Source: The Inquirer