Asus Releasing Two Windows 8, Two Android Tablets Next Year

Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2011 - 05:25 AM |
Tagged: windows 8, tablet, software, kal-el, hardware, Android

With Asus’ previous tablets being a success, the company has decided to push forward with four new tablets that are slated to debut next year. The new tablets will join the ranks of the Transformer and soon to be released Transformer Prime tablets under the Asus Eee Pad lineup. Of the four new devices, two tablets will be running Google’s Android OS (Operating System) while the remaining two tablets will run Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS.

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The two tablets running Android are slated for release in the first quarter of 2012. While Asus has not released any specific hardware specifications, they will likely be powered by the quad core Nvidia Kal-El ARM processor like the upcoming Asus Transformer Prime (or the Kal-El’s successor).

On the other hand, quarter 3 of 2012 will see the release of two tablets running Windows 8. Interestingly, Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors are also supposed to launch in 2012, which would make for a nice match of technology.  Whether we'll see Ivy Bridge powered tablets; however, will depend on how soon Ivy Bridge launches and how quickly Asus can turn around and roll out a product designed around it.

The marketing speak in the above slides indicates that at least the marketing department is excited about the prospect of what they have dubbed hero products. They are striving to win mind share and achieve a “perfect” product. Whether they will achieve that or not remains to be seen; however, having more Windows 8 tablets isn’t a bad thing! More information can be had here.

Are you still holding out for your “perfect” tablet, and if so what are you looking/waiting to see from a tablet?

Source: Softpedia

HP Testing Windows 8 Developer Preview on Touchpad Tablets

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | October 25, 2011 - 07:17 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, webOS, touchpad, tablet, slate, hp

The HP Touchpad was tablet that ran HP's WebOS mobile operating system.  It was also a tablet with an extremely short lifespan, one that was ended long before its time according to the sentiments of many enthusiasts.  The tablet's demise was a casualty of the company's former CEO Léo Apotheker getting rid of HP's PC division, and it started going for fire sale prices only a few weeks after its initial release.

There may yet be hope for the tablet, however.  According to Fox News, an HP employee has told them that a team within the company is playing around with the (not so) dead HP Touchpad tablets by replacing the WebOS operating system with Windows 8 Developer Preview.

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It seems as though the idea of a Windows powered slate may be something that HP is willing to try out.  Although slates nor convertible tablets have never really caught on (at least in the US) due to Windows not being the most touch friendly interface, with the rise in popularity of tablets and Microsoft beginning to put a bit more care into a touch friendly UI, HP may be weighing the odds of a Windows 8 powered slate computer.  If; however, HP goes ahead with the previous plans to ditch the PC division, the idea of a HP Touchpad reincarnation may be moot anyway.

If the souce turns out to be true; however, there may be hope for a new HP Touchpad in the future sans WebOS.  Do you think HP will go ahead with the plan to follow in the footsteps of IBM, or will it give its PC division and(/or) touchpad tablet line a second chance?

Source: Fox News
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Design

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Tablets may be the darling of the tech industry, but they’ve also received their fair share of criticism as well. One of the most consistent barbs throw towards them is the tablet’s inability to serve as a competent platform for content creature. While it’s technically possible to write a document or edit an image on a tablet, it’s certainly not enjoyable.

Part of the problem is the lack of a keyboard and mouse. Touchscreens are beautiful and intuitive, but they’re not precise. While third-party cases and docks have tried to solve this issue, they’re often both clunky and expensive.

It’s little surprise that a tablet designed specifically to work in conjunction with a keyboard dock has hit the market, but it is surprising that the first such device comes from ASUS, a company with relatively little experience building mobile products. The Eee Pad Transformer is already the second-best selling tablet on the market (after the iPad, of course) and reports indicate sales are constrained by supply rather than demand. What is it that has made the Transformer a quick success? 

Continue reading our review of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer tablet!!

Will Windows 8 be for the tablet or the ultrabook?

Subject: General Tech | August 22, 2011 - 08:56 AM |
Tagged: ultrabook, tablet, windows 8, microsoft, Intel

Two contrasting opinions appeared this morning on the internet, concerned with not only the future of mobile computing in a possibly post-PC market but also touching on the impact Microsoft's Windows 8 could have on that choice.  DigiTimes has a report from Wistron, an original design manufacturer based in Taiwan, which is concerned with the ultrabook.  They see the coming year as dominated by the contentious ultrabook platform which Intel has been talking up recently.  The company managed US$21.1B in revenue last year, so they are neither a small player nor uninformed about the industry.  That does leave one wondering how they plan on making a profit if the bill of materials is as high as some manufacturers have claimed.  Still, that is where the manufacturer sees Windows 8 making the most difference to the market.

Ars Technica sees a different path for Microsoft to take, one that would be very different from the theory discussed by DigiTimes and very different from anything Microsoft has previously done.  In this article, Ars suggests that the PC market is at a standstill because we have hit a post-PC market thanks to the tablet.  While Microsoft has always considered the tablet to be a PC in a different form factor, Apple and other successful tablet marketers have visualized a completely different model.  While Apple may have taken it to the most extreme, with no visible OS nor even a USB connector so you can transfer files directly from a camera or thumbdrive, nor hook up a wired peripheral.  Other manufacturers have taken a less extreme approach but still hide the OS and have removed associated tasks like driver installation.  That is very different from Microsoft's version of a tablet or phone which runs a trimmed down but still very recognizable OS and tends not to sell very well.

The question becomes one of design incompatibility; if Microsoft wants to release a Windows 8 which emulates the successful tablet OSes of the competition it will have to design something so different from their past OSes that it would be unrecognizable as a PC.  In order to hide the OS and offload applications onto the cloud to make a perfect tablet the design choices would limit the effectiveness of Win8 as a PC OS.  On the flip side, if they choose to design for the Ultrabook, risky in that we still have yet to hear the end of the pricing issues, the OS will be much lighter than previous versions but will still have a recognizable file system, the ability to update or customize drivers and all the other features common to netbooks through laptops.  It will however not be a successful tablet OS, as history has shown with the failures of Microsoft's tablets and phones, some of which died before every being released.

The one thing that they can't do is try to make Windows 8 do both service as a laptop and a tablet OS.  If they go that way, users on both sides of the divide will likely lose as you end up with an OS not customizable enough to do duty on a more powerful notebook or desktop.  As well, it will have an interface which is similar to previous attempts by Microsoft to sell tablets which to this date have all failed against the competition.

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"The launch of ultrabooks and Microsoft's Windows 8 OS will serve as growth drivers for the notebook industry in 2012, according to Simon Lin, chairman of Taiwan-based notebook ODM Wistron.

Shipments of ultrabooks will account for 10-20% of Wistron's total notebook shipments in 2012, Lin estimated.

 

Despite current economic turbulence touched off by debt issues in Europe and the US, Wistron's target to ship 30 million notebooks in 2011 remains unchanged, said Lin, who added that notebook Wistron's shipments will grow by a single-digit rate sequentially in the third and fourth quarters.

However, the company has slashed its LCD TV shipment target for the year to 8.5 million units, from 10 million units projected previously, while also scaling down the target for mobile devices from 10-12 million units to nine million.

Wistron has reported net profits of NT$4.5 billion (US$154.77 million) for the first half of 2011, down 20.44% from a year earlier. The earnings translated into an EPS of NT$2.28 for the six-month period."

 

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Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Samsung

Introduction, Design and Ergonomics

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Courtesy of Samsung

Samsung's first product to make a splash into the Android tablet market was the original 7" Tab, and while its performance numbers were on par with other similar tablets produced in 2010, it left many consumers wanting more multimedia, gaming, and productivity features like what was available with Apple's iPad and iPad2. Many vendors, including Samsung, were dealing the same issues and challenges associated with the lack of tablet support in Android-based games and applications because Android's SDK only comes in one flavor for general mobile devices, not tablets with larger displays. 

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Courtesy of Samsung

After hearing feedback from consumers and hardware reviewers, Samsung completely redesigned the Tab 10.1 to accommodate users eager for enhanced video and gaming capabilities that take advantage of modern technologies like Android's latest Honeycomb OS and NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor that support higher resolution displays beyond 1024x768 (the Tab 10.1's display runs at 1280x800). They also gave the Tab 10.1 a slimmer profile that is comparable to the iPad2. The Tab 10.1 can be purchased for around $499 for the 16GB version and $599 for the 32GB version, which is also on par with its Apple counterparts. We are reviewing the 16GB version to check out all the new features in Honeycomb and see what surprises Samsung included with the Tab 10.1 that justify the $500 price tag.

Continue reading our review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

AMD will be snubbing the smartphone

Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2011 - 12:30 PM |
Tagged: amd, tablet, smartphones, trinity

In a revent interview, AMD's SVP and GM, Rick Bergman restated that AMD has no current plans in the works to jump to the handheld market.  They will continue to focus on their current product lines and that the only ultramobile development currently underway is for tablets.  That could help them get a leg up on Intel's Atom, as Intel is definitely making a move for the hand held market.  Focusing on tablets gives them a less strict power limitation and may just give them a boost as they push to the 28nm process with only one ultra low power Trinity APU product line to design.  Check out The Inquirer for more.

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"CHIP DESIGNER AMD has ruled out making a move in the smartphone market, preferring to concentrate on tablets.

Rick Bergman, SVP and GM of AMD's products group told a conference that the chip designer has no plans to get into the smartphone market, saying that its expertise in graphics does not suit that market. Instead it will be up to AMD's Z-series embedded chip to push X86 into the tablet market."

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Source: The Inquirer

This Two Will Passed – Episode 4 released of total 5…ish.

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | August 6, 2011 - 11:19 AM |
Tagged: tablet, sony, S2, S1

Want to rest your eyes from all of the Quakecon coverage? How about another Sony tablet ad? The first three parts of Sony’s S1 and S2 ad campaign are behind us with the conclusion of this five part series occurring in the fourth part. Frankly I do not really understand it either, but apparently the fifth ad will be a collection of the previous four making the fourth one the actual finale of a series of five. I guess that somewhat makes sense: what better way to promote the products’ collective slogan “Open Your Imagination” than blowing your mind? I say nothing.

This Two Will Passed… okay? Go play it.

The title of this video is “Together anywhere” and features an unsurprising amount of tracks for anyone who watched any or all of the preview videos. Besides metal rails, be sure to pay close attention to the setup prior to the couch station because you will drop bricks at the end of the video. This is also the first time that lyrics appear in the ads which put a very uplifting feel on the campaign. While not as metaphorical as the first two parts suggested, I believe they got their point across. Now all that is left to do is see if it will translate to sales.

Source: Sony

Asus May Launch a Kal-El Powered Transformer Tablet This Year

Subject: General Tech | August 3, 2011 - 05:20 AM |
Tagged: tablet, nvidia, kal-el, asus

As Superman fans well know, Kal-El is faster than a speeding bullet, and NVIDIA’s new Tegra 3 Kal-El chip is no different. We reported on a demonstration of the Kal-El chip running games with dynamic lighting and realistic cloth physics earlier this year, and it is certainly an impressive mobile chip.

Speaking of “impressive,” Asus’ chairman Jonney Shih was quoted by Forbes recently in stating that the upcoming Transformer 2 device would be “impressive.” While Shih was not able to share any details about the device in question, he did mention that Asus will be unveiling new tablets before the end of this year. With the NVIDIA Kal-El chip set to launch this month, the timing is certainly favorable for a quad core Transformer 2.

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The Transformer 1, will the second iteration have even more oomph?

Of all the Android tablets, the Transformer has been one of the most well recieved; therefore, it seems likely that Asus would pursue another iteration of the device.  Whether that device will be powered by the Tegra 3 chip is still uncertain, however.  Do you think the rumor of a quad core Transformer is likely, or is this something that is "too good to be true?"

Source: Forbes

The Toshiba Thrive might be a little overweight but you won't have to buy it accessories

Subject: Mobile | July 20, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, thrive, tablet, Android

The basic stats of the Toshiba Thrive don't make it stand out, a 1GHz Tegra 2, 1GB of RAM, 8, 16 or 32MB internal storage and a 10.1" screen at 1280 x 800 pixels.  What does make this Honeycomb 3.1 device stand out is its support for peripherals, a full-sized HDMI port, 2 USB ports, one standard and one micro and a full-sized SD card slot.  That means this slightly weighty tablet doesn't need adaptors for your peripherals which might mean less total weight for you to carry around.  Even better, Ars Technica had absolutely no problems using the ports, it truly was plug'n'play.

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"When Toshiba asked if we'd like to review its Android tablet, called the Thrive, we were initially a bit skeptical of the Honeycomb 3.1 device. There are so many other Android tablets on the market, so why choose this one? Especially when it's heavy?

When you're fighting the iPad on one hand and multiple Android competitors on the other, you have to stand out. Toshiba chose to fight a battle of connectivity and convenience with the Thrive, and it added full-sized HDMI, USB, and SD ports. If those things matter to you, the Thrive succeeds admirably."

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Source: Ars Technica

MSI Launches New WindPad 110W Tablet Computer

Subject: Mobile | July 8, 2011 - 08:51 AM |
Tagged: msi, WindPad, AMD Z-01, tablet

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – July 07, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp., a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, today announced the first North American shipment of the WindPad 110W. MSI worked closely with Microsoft and AMD (NYSE: AMD) to create a tablet that combines powerful processing and Microsoft Windows® 7 operating system designed for professionals, including business travelers, healthcare and education professionals.

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"Bringing Windows 7 and AMD's newest generation processor together is a significant step forward for MSI's tablet line," noted Andy Tung, vice president of North American sales for MSI. "Our business customers want portability and multimedia entertainment on the go, and the new hardware and latest software gives us the ability to deliver that experience in a tablet form factor."

The MSI WindPad 110W combines security features with easy navigation tools to make using the tablet while away from a desk easy and secure.

"Microsoft is pleased to work with MSI to help bring their portable Windows-based tablet to market," said Nick Parker, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing in the OEM Division at Microsoft Corp. "Windows 7 is a great choice for commercial customers looking for a device that enables the productivity, mobility and security their businesses need to succeed."

The tablet also packs the new AMD Z-01 Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), offering powerful processing and display performance with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 32 GB solid state drive, 1280x800 screen resolution, a USB port and mini-HDMI port included.

"The MSI WindPad 110W tablet featuring the AMD Z-Series APU with unmatched AMD Radeon™ graphics is an exciting new product and a perfect fit for end users that want DirectX® 11 capability and vivid HD media experiences," said John Byrne, corporate vice president and general manager for Americas Mega Region, AMD. "In addition to its integration with operating systems like Microsoft Windows 7, the AMD 2011 HD Tablet Platform enables enterprise-level security and offers support for HTML 5 and external monitors, enabling crisp graphics for enhanced productivity, streaming video, gaming and other multimedia."

The MSI WindPad 110W highlights and features include:

  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM): With the TPM, files and data are automatically encrypted for maximum security using the BitLocker functionality in Windows 7 Enterprise or Ultimate to provide encryption for the tablet and any removable HDD.
  • Easy Face Software: MSI's Easy Face software allows you to log in without typing a password. Instead, show your face to the tablet's webcam, and you will automatically be logged in to the system. The software employs your unique facial features to remember your passwords, so you don't have to.
  • Multi-control Navigation: The Smart Tracker provides smooth operation, so that you can grip both sides of the tablet and use small finger movements for navigation, an additional navigation control to using the touch screen. The SAS Hotkey performs the traditional role of the "Ctrl+Alt+Del" combination whenever needed.
  • Smart O-Easy Application: The user-friendly application delivers full-control panel at your fingertips and allows you to manage and find the functions or programs that are most often used, including volume, webcam, wireless, mute, standby mode and screen brightness.

The new WindPad110W has an MSRP of $599.99. It is available for presale at Newegg.com and Amazon.com.
For detailed specification and purchasing options, please visit http://www.msimobile.com.

Source: MSI