CES 2013: Vizio Shows Off 7-inch and 10.1-inch Tablet, Will Compete With Nexus 10 and Kindle HD 7

Subject: Mobile | January 7, 2013 - 10:43 AM |
Tagged: vizio, tegra 3, tablet, ces 2013, CES

In addition to the AMD-powered tablet running Windows 8 that Vizio showed off earlier this week, the company is showing off two new ARM-based tablets running Android at CES. Vizio has reportedly listened to feedback from users as well as completed internal testing to arrive at a new tablet form factor that is lighter and thinner. In contrast to the previous-generation design, the two new Vizio tablets will be 7-inches and 10.1-inches respectively.

Both tablets feature an IPS display, rounded corners, and a back panel that is covered with a soft-to-the-touch material. Also, both tablets have a similar color scheme and logo placement.

Vizio 7-inch tablet.jpg

While the exterior design is similar between the two devices, the internal specifications differ significantly. The 7-inch tablet is much smaller and has been optimized for portrait viewing. According to Vizio, the tablet is light enough to hold in one hand comfortably. Along the edges, it offers micro USB, a headphone jack, and volume controls. It has a front-facing 1.2MP webcam and an IPS display (non-laminated) with a resolution of 1280 x 800. A Vizio logo and speaker bar adorn the underside of the device.

Internal specifications include a NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC, 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microphone, and the Android 4.2 operating system. There is no word yet on the amount of RAM or how much the tablet weighs.

Meanwhile, the 10.1-inch Vizio tablet is matched to compete with Google’s Nexus 10. The Vizio tablet features a laminated IPS display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, front and rear-facing cameras, speakers, and micro USB, HDMI, and headphone connectors. Internally, the 10.1-inch tablet uses NVIDIA’s latest Tegra 4 System on a Chip (SoC), which should push it above the performance of the Nexus 10 -- and (hopefully) provide the computing power necessary to smoothly push all the pixels on the high resolution display. Other hardware specs that Vizio has shared includes 32GB of internal storage, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 support. The tablet will ship with Android 4.2 as well.

Notably, Vizio has opted to provide a completely stock Android 4.2 operating system with its new tablets sans any skins or bloat-ware. Both tablets are expected sometime this year, with The Verge claiming the 7-inch model’s release date being within the first half of 2013. Allegedly, the tablets are noticeably lighter than the current (and, granted, older) crop of competing tablets such as the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. It will be interesting to see how well the Tegra 4 chip handles the 2560 x 1600 display with the Android UI, movies, and 3D games.

For comparison, the Kindle Fire HD 7” is running a dual core OMAP 4460 SoC at 1.2GHz and the Nexus 10 is running a dual core Samsung Exynos 5250 chip at 1.7GHz. It is somewhat of a tossup with the 7” Vizio tablet and Tegra 3 as it will depend on the task and how well multi-core/multithreading is handled in the particular piece of software. The comparison between the Exynos 5250 and Tegra 4 will be interesting though, as it reminds me of the early Intel Core days where debates would be waged over the faster clocked E6600 versus the slower Q6600 and the merits of dual vs quad core on the OSes and games of the time. I’m interested to see some independent benchmarks of Tegra 4 versus Tegra 3 and A6X-powered devices in particular though (to see if it lives up to NVIDIA's claims).

Besides the unknown Tegra 4 improvements, current unknowns on the two tablets include pricing, availability, battery life, amount of RAM, and the SoC clockspeeds.

What do you think of the redesigned Vizio tablets from what we know so far? Did the company get it right this time around with its re-engineered stock devices?

For more information, The Verge has managed to grab some hands-on videos of the two Vizio tablets on the show floor which you can find on their site (7-inch tablet and 10.1-inch tablet videos).

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: The Verge

CES 2013: Lenovo ThinkPad Helix Convertible Ultrabook With "Rip and Flip" Design

Subject: Mobile | January 6, 2013 - 07:21 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, Thinkpad, tablet, Lenovo, helix, convertible tablet, ces 2013, CES

The ThinkPad line from Lenovo just got a bit more interesting with the announcement of the Helix, a new touch-enabled convertible tablet form factor that includes a new design labeled as "rip and flip." 

Thinkpad prince with keyboard_tour_11.jpg

Hardware specifications on the Helix are pretty impressive given the small form factor and include Ivy Bridge-based Core i7 processors, up to 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, RJ45 port, mini-DisplayPort and even mini-HDMI.  The machine will also have optional LTE radios to go along with the 802.11n WiFi and even NFC support. 

The display panel is an IPS 11.6-in 1080p rated at 400 nits - that is very high brightness for a Lenovo machine in my experience.  The screen is rated for 10 point touch capability as well in case you need BOTH HANDS for your project.

Thinkpad prince with keyboard_tour_06.jpg

Also new is the Lenovo glass ClickPad which I am very eager to get my hands and try.  That is the one area where MacBooks have continued to dominate in terms of notebook design and if Lenovo's ThinkPads can match or improve then we might have a winner on our hands. 

The machine will weigh in at 3.68 lbs for the tablet and dock, 1.84 lbs for the tablet on its own, for great portability.  Battery life claims are at 5 hours on the tablet alone and 10 hours with the tablet and base combination, but as with all battery life specifications plan on cutting that to 50-60% for real-world usage scenarios. 

Thinkpad prince with keyboard_tour_13.jpg

The new form factor of the ThinkPad Helix is being branded as "rip and flip" due to the tablets ability to be pulled off the keyboard / trackpad dock easily with a single release point.  Folding it down into a standard clamshell design results in your standrad laptop configuration, but with only a 20mm z-height.

Lenovo will start shipping the ThinkPad Helix in mid-February with a starting price of $1,499. 

Keep checking our CES 2013 coverage at http://pcper.com/ces and continue on after the break for the full press release!

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

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
Manufacturer: Lenovo

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

01-ThinkPad-Twist-S230u-Convertible-Tablet-Laptop-PC-Close-up-Front-Laptop-View.PNG

Courtesy of Lenovo

As one of the newest members of Lenovo's Thinkpad line, the Lenovo Thinkpad Twist attempts to bridge the gap between laptops and tablets in a convertible Ultrabook format. We decided to put the Twist through the normal suite of benchmark and functional tests, along with some tests specifically geared towards laptops, to gage how well it performs. At a starting MSRP of $829.00 for the base model, the Lenovo Thinkpad Twist offers an intriguing price to feature proposition with its ability to convert from a fully functional laptop into a tablet almost seamlessly.

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Courtesy of Lenovo

The Thinkpad Twist offers an innovative take for the user that wants the best of both worlds - the portability and usability of a laptop with the ease of use of a tablet. Featuring the Windows 8 OS, the Twist comes with a 5-point touchscreen usable in all modes of operation. Lenovo designed in support for the following features: USB 2.0 and 3.0 type devices; three networking types including a Realtek-based GigE NIC, a Broadcom-based 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter, and a Broadcom-based Bluetooth adapter; 4-in-1 media card reader port; mini-HDMI and mini-Display Port video output ports; a dual-purpose audio port; and a 720p HD-capable integrated webcam.

04-ThinkPad-Twist-S230u-Convertible-Tablet-Laptop-PC-Overhead-Twist-View.png

Courtesy of Lenovo

In designing the Twist, Lenovo decided to use a center hinge on which the screen pivots to support its four modes of operation: laptop mode, presentation mode where the screen can be rotated to face the audience, tent mode which allows the system to stand upright for movie or other media viewing, and tablet mode where the screen folds down to cover the keyboard entirely.

Continue reading our review of the Lenovo Thinkpad Twist Convertible Ultrabook!!

The Reviews Are In For Google's Latest Nexus 10 Tablet

Subject: General Tech | November 2, 2012 - 03:47 PM |
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.

nexus10-1.png

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?

Reviews roundup:

NEC Launches LaVie Y Windows RT Tablet in Japan

Subject: Mobile | October 28, 2012 - 03:59 AM |
Tagged: windows rt, tablet, nec lavie y, nec, ideapad yoga

NEC, a Japanese IT services and products company, is launching a convertible laptop similar to the Yoga 11 from Lenovo that we covered previously. The NEC LaVie Y is an 11” laptop that incorporates Lenovo’s 360” hinge to allow it to transform into slat mode when folded down or operate as a traditional laptop. The device measures 298 x 204 x 15.6 mm when it the screen is folded down over the keyboard. Further, it weighs in at 1.24 kg, or approximately 2.7 pounds.

Similarly to the Lenovo Yoga 11, the LaVie Y will run Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system. The convertible notebook will be powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 system on a chip (SoC) along with 2GB of RAM, and a 64GB SSD. NEC has reportedly packed a decent-sized batttery as well, as the company is claiming up to 8 hours of use.

NEC Windows RT Tablet_LaVie Y.jpg

Wireless connectivity options include 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. External I/O ports include USB 2.0, a 5-in-1 card reader, and HDMI output. Other specifications include an 11.6” touchscreen display with a resolution of 1366x768, a full QWERTY keyboard, and a touchpad. A 1.3 megapixel webcam is nestled above the display as well. The device comes in a two-tone color scheme: black for the keyboard and display bezel, and a silver color for the hinge and bottom of the tablet.

NEC LaVie Y Convertible Windows RT tablet.jpg

According to Engadget, the LaVie Y will be available for purchase on November 22nd, and the US pricing would be close to $1,136 should you import it. Needless to say, many Americans will want to wait it out for the Lenovo Yoga 11 which should be cheaper in the United States. For readers in Japan however, this might be worth checking out if you are into the Yoga-like form factor!

Read more about Windows RT tablets at PC Perspective

Source: NEC

Tired of hearing about WinRT yet?

Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2012 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: win8, winRT, microsoft, tablet, surface

Now that you have finished reading and absorbing Scott's take on what WinRT will mean to developers of games and programs as well as users who have become habituated to the desktop being the computer you might wonder if there are any alternate viewpoints.  AnandTech offers a different take, starting with the history of tablets and touchscreens and the ways in which Microsoft has previously failed in that market.  They move onto the rational behind the decision to toss backwards compatibility out the window as well as how the app environment will likely change over the near future and the new locked down nature of the desktop.  You can finish up with a look at the current state of WinRT's apps such as Office 13 and the different versions of IE on these WinRT powered devices.

anand_WordSplash_575px.png

"Meet Windows RT. It’s Microsoft’s first major foray into the modern tablet market, the shipping version of Windows-on-ARM, and it’s one of Microsoft’s most important product launches ever. Windows 8 shares the same touch-friendly user interface, but the ARM silicon makes RT an almost entirely tablet-centric operating system, the first for Microsoft. Combined with the focus on premium hardware experiences, this is Redmond’s most serious push to be competitive with the iOS and Androids of the world. How does it fare? Keep reading."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: AnandTech

Samsung Launching ATIV 500T and 700T Windows 8 Convertible Tablets

Subject: Systems, Mobile | October 19, 2012 - 05:14 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, tablet, saumsung, Ivy Bridge, Intel, clover trail, atom, ativ 700t, ativ 500t

Samsung is the latest company to announce its fleet of dock-able tablet computers running the full version of Windows 8. Launched under the ATIV Smart PC brand, the company is offering up two models depending on the amount of computing horsepower you need to get work done. Specifically, Samsung is launching the Series 5 ATIV Smart PC 500T and the Series 7 ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T. Both models will be available for purchase on October 26th for $749.99 and $1,199.99 respectively.

Samsung Series 5 Slate: ATIV Smart PC 500T

The Samsung Series 5, also known as the ATIV Smart PC 500T is a 11.6” tablet powered by Intel’s recently released Clover Trail-based Atom processor platform. It measures 11.6” x 7.2” x 0.38” and weighs 1.65 pounds.The tablet features a LED-backlit touchscreen display with a resolution of 1366x768. A 2.0 megapixel camera and dual 0.8W speakers are also included. The tablet itself can further be paired with a keyboard dock that has a full qwerty keyboard and touchpad.

Samsung ATIV 500T.jpg

Internal specifications include an Intel Atom Z2760 processor (running at 1.5 GHz and featuring dual cores with 256 KB each), 2GB of DDR2L memory, and a 64 GB solid state drive. Radios and networking gear includes 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. [The specifications sheet further claims Gigabit LAN support but there does not appear to be any Ethernet jacks on the tablet so I’m assuming it’s solely marketing to say that it supports connecting to a Gigabit LAN (over Wi-Fi)...] The 500T is powered by a two cell, 30 watt-hour lithium-polymer battery.

The external IO ports include a micro HDMI port, one USB 2.0 port, a combination headphone/mic jack, a microSD card slot, and a docking connector.

The Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T will come pre-loaded with the 32-bit version of Windows 8. The tablet itself is $649.99 and with the keyboard dock, it will be $749.99.

Samsung Series 7: ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T

If you need more computing power, Samsung is offering up its newest Series 7 slate, the ATIV 700T. This tablet is slightly thicker than the 500T at 11.6” x 7.2” x 0.5”. It is also a bit heavier at 1.89 pounds versus 1.65 pounds with the 500T. That tradeoff in size nets you significantly better hardware, however. It features a LED-backlit touchscreen with a resolution of 1920x1080. It further includes the same 1.6W (2 x 0.8W) stereo speakers, but adds a second 8MP rear camera in addition to the 2MP front facing webcam.

Samsung ATIV 700T.jpg

Internally, the 700T is packing an Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5-3317U processor. This chip is a dual core part with HyperThreading for a total of four threads along with 3 MB of L3 cache. The 700T features 4 GB of DDR3 at 1600MHz and a 128GB solid state drive. Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi also comes standard. The 700T also has a larger 4 cell Li-Po battery (rated at 49 Wh) to power the faster Intel processor.

External IO includes one micro HDMI, one USB 3.0, a combination headphone/mic jack, docking connector, and a micro SD card slot.

The Series 7 ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T comes bundled with a dock as standard and it has a starting price of $1,199.99. It will come pre-loaded with the 64-bit version of Windows 8.

Read more about Windows 8 convertible tablets at PC Perspective.

Source: Samsung

Hondo powered Win8 tablets; sweet spot or not?

Subject: Processors | October 18, 2012 - 05:58 PM |
Tagged: homdo, AMD z-series, z-60 apu, tablet, win8

Could AMD powered tablets firt in a sweet spot for those looking to pick up one of these new Win8 powered devices?  They will certainly be more powerful than an ARM powered WinRT tablet and the graphics will be superior to Intel powered tablets.  The Z-60 will have two 1GHz Bobcat cores each with 512KB of L2 cache and the HD 6250 GPU with 80 DirectX 11-class shader ALUs which should give snappy performance up to a 1920x1200 resolution.  The Tech Report talks about the various benefits and penalties to choosing a Hondo based device over an Ivy Bridge powered on in their article here.

amdhondoz60apu.jpg

"AMD is readying a new APU aimed at Window 8 tablets and hybrids. Otherwise known as Hondo, this Z-60 processor offers lower power consumption than AMD's existing APUs, and it comes with a side order of USB 3.0."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

Sony Launches VAIO Duo 11 Convertible Tablet Ultrabook Running Windows 8

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | October 13, 2012 - 02:55 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, tablet, sony vaio, sony, Ivy Bridge, Intel, convertible tablet

Not content to let the other OEMs have all the Windows 8 tablet fun, Sony has announced a new 11” convertible ultrabook – the VAIO Duo 11 – that uses a sliding hinge to transform from a notebook into a tablet.

The Vaio Duo 11 weighs in a 2.86 pounds and measures 12.6 inches x 7.8 inches. It features an 11.6” IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 10 point multitouch. Also, it has stereo speakers, a 2.4 megapixel webcam, full (backlit) qwerty keyboard, and pressure sensitive digitizer. Interestingly, the Duo 11 does not have a trackpad. Instead, it has a small touch sensitive trackball that resembles the pointing sticks on IBM/Lenovo PCs but on the Vaio Duo 11 the nub does not move. In that respect, it is more like the trackpad on some Blackberry Phones, but smaller. There are two mouse buttons below the spacebar, however. Other specifications include a magnesium alloy chassis.

Duo_Black_01_Hero.jpg

Sony is calling the hinge the “Surf Slider” and the display slides forward to lay the display flat over the keyboard for tablet mode. As Ars Technica points out, when the computer is in notebook mode, there is a ribbon cable to the display that is exposed which is less than ideal.

Ports around the sides of the device include a VGA video output, card reader, and headphone jack on the left, and two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI output, and a power button on the right. Reportedly, there is also an Ethernet jack.

Fortunately, Sony did not have to compromise as much on the internal specifications to achieve the 11” form factor. The Vaio Duo 11 includes an Intel Core i3 (Ivy Bridge) processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and a 128 GB solid state drive.

Sony Vaio Duo 11.jpg

Image credit: CNet. See their full review here.

The convertible ultrabook will come pre-loaded with Windows 8. It will also include Wi-Fi that can establish ad-hoc wireless connections with other devices by tapping the NFC radios together.

Sony’s Vaio Duo 11 will go on sale October 26, 2012. Prices will start at $1,099.99, with more expensive models adding more storage or a faster processor. It is a bit pricey, but this PC is positioned as an ultraportable convertible tablet, and in that respect it is priced competitively with the competition.

You can find the full press release on Sony's website.

Source: Sony

Lenovo Launches Yoga 11 Windows RT Tablet

Subject: Mobile | October 10, 2012 - 10:26 PM |
Tagged: yoga 11, windows rt, tegra 3, tablet, nvidia, notebook, microsoft, Lenovo

At an event in New York earlier this week Lenovo announced a new Windows RT tablet called the Yoga 11. It will be joining the company’s lineup alongside the larger x86-powered Yoga 13.

Ideapad-Yoga-11_05-575x515.jpg

The Lenovo Yoga 11 follows in the footsteps of the Yoga 13 but steps down the hardware specifications. The 11.6” tablet is 15.6mm thick and 2.8 pounds. On a simple level, the Yoga 11 is a notebook that doubles as a tablet thanks to the five point multitouch screen that can swivel 360 degrees to lay flat like a tablet.

Ideapad-Yoga-11_08-575x469.jpg

The notebook will come pre-loaded with Microsoft’s upcoming Windows RT operating system as well as Office 2013 RT. It is powered by a NVIDIA Tegra 3 ARM System on a Chip (SoC) and 64GB of internal storage. What we don’t know yet is the amount of RAM, radio support (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE, et al) if any, and the specific display resolution and panel type. Lenovo has announced that the Yoga 11 will be able to get up to 13 hours of usage on a single charge.

Ideapad-Yoga-11_09-575x424.jpg

The Yoga 11 is a traditional notebook at first glance, and it even includes a full Qwerty keyboard and trackpad. Where the Yoga differentiates itself is in the screen hinge. The hinge allows you to swing the display all the way around to lie flat against the bottom of the computer, which amounts to tablet mode, and every position in between. One use for this feature would be to show off presentation to a small group or prop it up on an airplane to watch a movie. It is essentially a convertible tablet without the center-mounted swivel hinge.

It certainly looks like an interesting device, and the Tegra 3 should provide enough GPU horsepower to allow you to watch HD videos with ease. Unfortunately, pricing and availability are still unknown, which makes this a hard product to place or predict the success of.

Read more about Windows RT tablets at PC Perspective.

Source: NVIDIA