Hot pink Atom and Ion love; the new Eee PC 1215N

Subject: Mobile | April 26, 2011 - 04:30 PM |
Tagged: atom, ion, asus

If you hadn't noticed the pink laptop in the carousel, it is Matt Smith's newest review for PC Perspective and is right up the alley of anyone looking for an inexpensive and light mobile PC.  With a 1.8GHz Atom D525 and NVIDIA ION 2 graphics it can perform light duties but is not a heavyweight in any sense of the word.  Unfortunately for the 1215N, Matt has found another model that does more work for less money, read on to see which competitor beat it.

1215n-7.jpg

"Should you buy the Eee PC 1215N? That depends on your priorities. There are much quicker laptops of similar size priced between $100 and $200 more, and in terms of bang-for-your-buck, they make more sense. The 11.6” Acer Timeline X with the Core i3 processor is one great example. However, the ASUS Eee PC 1215N has advantages over many such competitors."

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Was the wait for the PlayBook worth it?

Subject: Mobile | April 19, 2011 - 07:59 PM |
Tagged: RIM, blackberry, playbook, tablet

It has been a long wait for the 7.6" by 5.1" BlackBerry PlayBook, smaller than some competitors but also lighter.  It fully supports Adobe Flash, another benefit on top of its main competitor but Wired had trouble finding any other benefits.  Check out their full review to see what they thought.

wired_playbook.jpg

"The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is a good-looking piece of hardware.

Like the proto-humans in 2001: A Space Odyssey, you’ll be eager to touch the monolithic object’s black, buttonless visage. But once you do, things get a little more complicated."

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Source: Wired

MSI’s Newly Designed C Series Notebooks Arrive in North America

Subject: Mobile | April 19, 2011 - 05:43 PM |
Tagged: optimus, msi, laptop, core i3

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – April 18, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp., a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, today announced that it has begun shipping its mainstream CX640 and CR640 notebooks to online retailers in North America. These two 15.6” notebook units combine the Intel Core i3-2310M Processor with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M with Optimus technology (the silver CX640-071US, MSRP $679.99) or the Intel HD 3000 Graphics (the black CR640-035US, MSRP $629.99) to deliver the power and performance you need for school or for work.

To address the needs of mainstream notebook users, MSI offers 4GB system memory and 500GB hard drives in both models. Additionally, the elegantly designed PCs include a number of features, including:

  • Worry free one-touch back-up and restore with MSI’s Time Stamp technology. With just a touch of the Time Stamp button, your concerns about crashes, viruses, and data loss will become a thing of the past
  • Butterfingers rejoice! MSI designers integrated extra hard drive protection by changing the position of the C Series hard drive to the middle of the chassis and surrounding it in a unique housing that helps protect your data from the occasional drop or shock.
  • In a hurry? The MSI CR640 and CX640 Fast Boot technology helps the unit power up approximately two times faster than standard notebooks.
  • Speed up your file transfers with USB 3.0. The new C Series laptops comes equipped with two USB 3.0 ports that lets you transfer files up to ten times faster than USB 2.0
  • Automatic backlight adjustment tailors screen brightness by considering the lighting in your current surroundings, which helps manage power consumption and battery life.

“We listen very carefully to our customers, and we know that anticipating and addressing their needs is critical to success in the PC industry,” noted Andy Tung, vice president of sales for MSI US. “The CX640 and CR640 models deliver the standard elements people look for in a PC– performance, price, features and design – however we also go a step further. These units incorporate features that respond to people’s real-life concerns: data backup, hard drive protection, etc. And we believe consumers will respond to this consideration.”

Specs for the CR640 and CX640 notebooks can be found here

 

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The units are available for purchase at B&H and J&R. For more information, please visit http://www.msimobile.com/.

Source: MSI

Sleek and Energy Efficient MSI X370 Notebook Powered by the AMD Accelerated Processor Arrives in No

Subject: Mobile | April 14, 2011 - 07:02 PM |
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CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – April 14, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp., a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, today announced that it is now shipping its X370 notebook. This 13.4” notebook is powered by the efficient AMD Dual-Core E-350 APU platform, which helps this unit achieve up to ten hours of battery life and at the same time delivers exceptional graphics performance.

From the svelte design of this 3.1 pound unit, the MSI X370 notebook delivers a fully immersive HD multimedia entertainment experience powered by AMD Radeon™ HD 6310 Discrete-Class graphics with Microsoft® DirectX® 11 support. Additionally, the notebook’s power saving LED backlit display provides bright color and enhances the overall picture quality while extending battery life.

With the launch of the X370, MSI is also expanding its support for Smallbean, a Boston-based non-profit that helps cross the digital divide by bringing technology to the developing world. By donating ten X-Series notebooks to their effort, MSI is supporting the creation of an innovative educational and cultural hub in a rural community in Tanzania. The Smallbean ESCARGO prototype computer lab will be self-sufficient: it will generate revenue to support its operation through the rental of battery units to the community powered by excess solar capacity from solar panels on its own roof.

“The solar power captured on the roof of our computer lab in Tanzania charges the notebooks and provides clean, renewable energy for the village,” commented Sean Hewens, founder and executive director of Smallbean. “The MSI X370 is the perfect design for our use in areas where energy is scarce. You can’t use just any notebook in these conditions. This project is coming to life because of the functionality that MSI created in its X Series notebooks.”

“We designed the X370 for those who want a fully functioning notebook in a compact form, with long battery life,” noted Andy Tung, vice president of sales for MSI US. “Most of us think of battery life in terms of convenience: time away from our office or power cord. It’s innovators like Smallbean that remind us that longer battery life also means using less power, which is what truly makes a difference in rural areas, and around the world.”

 

Specs for the X370 X-Slim notebook (MSRP $599.99) can be found here: http://www.msimobile.com/level3_productpage.aspx?cid=4&id=293, and the unit is available for purchase on Newegg.com and Amazon.com. For more information, please visit http://www.msimobile.com/.

Source: MSI

A new SandyBridge laptop from ASUS

Subject: Mobile | April 13, 2011 - 10:38 PM |
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ASUS N53S Core i7-2630QM Sandy Bridge 15" notebook was on his test bench.  At 1366 x 768 the screen seems an odd resolution and the GTX540M is not in too many systems yet either.  He had some concerns with the overall sturdiness of the unit, there was a lot of flex around the keyboard as well as the optical drive, though the overall look was appealing. 

Check out the performance in his full review.

"There are a few rough edges. The display of the N53 is quite poor for a laptop of this price, and the squishy keyboard is a nasty oversight in a laptop with an otherwise luxurious finish. However, these problems are tolerable considering this laptop’s performance. The ASUS N53 is a hardware powerhouse; indeed, it’s a testament to the fact that computer processors – quick though they may be – still have significant room for improvement in the future, and those improvements will positively impact the quality of the computer you receive for your money."

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IE10 shown running on Windows 8 with NVIDIA Tegra

Subject: Mobile | April 13, 2011 - 09:07 PM |
Tagged:

You still haven't upgraded to Internet Explorer 9 yet?  That's old hat anyway, IE10 is being shown off and in fact it is being used to showcase more than just browser enhancements. 

Yesterday at a conference you have probably never heard of, Microsoft demonstrated the changes to the world of Internet Explorer with the upcoming IE10 iteration to developers.  Improved HTML5 support and performance enhancements even over the current best Google Chrome browser were just part of the story though; thankfully they had a little surprise for the hardware junkies as well.

MSI Steps Up Multimedia with F Series Notebooks, Now Shipping in N. America

Subject: Mobile | April 6, 2011 - 04:51 PM |
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With Intel’s next generation Sandy Bridge Core processors under the hood, the F Series has plenty of oomph for casual gaming and entertainment. To offer the finest movie viewing experience they each have a built in DVD drive and HDMI-out, as well as MSI Cinema Pro Technology and MSI Premium Sound enhanced with THX TruStudio Pro to provide excellent surround sound effects. All three units have the fastest data transfer technology available via two USB 3.0 ports. Each is eligible for MSI’s one-year extended warranty as part of the “MSI Quality Assurance Program.”

FX420
The smallest form factor of the F Series, the 4.8 pound FX420 notebook has a 14-inch HD 16:9 wide screen display, and is powered by the Intel Core i3 or i5 processor, and delivers exceptional graphics via its AMD Radeon HD6470 discrete graphics card. (MSRP starts at $749.99).

FR720/FX720
The FX720 and FR720 are 17-inch members of MSI’s F Series of stylish notebooks, with strong mainstream performance and 16:9 wide screen display for multimedia enjoyment. Both come with a 720P HD Webcam.

Additional FR720 specs include:

  • Processing horsepower from the Intel HRV Core i3-2310M (MSRP $709.99) or Intel HRV Core i7-2630QM (MSRP $899.99)
  • Intel HD 3000 Graphics

Additional FX720 specs include:

  • Intel Core i5-2410M (MSRP $849.99)
  • Nvidia GeForce GT520M discrete graphic
Source: MSI

ASUS K53E, dual core SandyBridge mobility

Subject: Mobile | April 5, 2011 - 05:12 PM |
Tagged:

With a 2.1GHz dual core Core i3-2310M processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a 15.6" TFT with 1366x768 and a price tag under $650 the slightly bulky but also powerful ASUS K53E is an interesting notebook.  The Tech Report started the review hoping that the dual core processor would translate into longer battery life but instead ASUS opted for a less powerful battery, which does help the price.  Still, six hours of web browsing and 4.5 hours of perfect HD video playback is nothing to sneer at.  Check out the full review to see how well it handled other tasks.

"We've already put a quad-core Sandy Bridge notebook through the paces, but how does a system with a dual-core CPU based on the same architecture perform? Does it give previous-gen Core 2010 chips a run for their money, and perhaps more importantly, does it offer better battery life?"

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Looking to grab an new mobile PC before summer?

Subject: Mobile | March 30, 2011 - 05:40 PM |
Tagged:

TechSpot have put in a lot of effort to their recent guide to mobile systems new for this first half of 2011.  They've broken the models down into six different areas, covering Ultraportables, Business, Desktop Replacements, Gaming, Value and lastly Netbooks.  Each of these areas represents a different segment of the market, now that consumers have a choice in size and performance, the needs of various users can be met specifically by the model they choose.  Head on over for an overview of the current market.

 

"The year kicked off to a good start in the laptop sector with AMD finally delivering its promised Fusion chips -- five years in the making -- and Intel launching its Huron River platform powered by Sandy Bridge processors. Fusion is doing well at the entry level market with limited competition from the Atom, but things haven't been going so smoothly for Intel. The company discovered a design flaw in its 6 Series chipset, which resulted in product launch delays across the board for new Sandy Bridge-based notebooks."

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Source: Tech Spot

ASUS Introduces the Eee Pad Transformer

Subject: Mobile | March 25, 2011 - 03:12 PM |
Tagged:

Fremont, CA (March 25, 2011) - ASUS is excited to announce the launch of the Eee Pad Transformer, the best tablet choice for users looking for media consumption and mobile productivity in an elegant yet versatile design. The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer features the powerful and responsive Android 3.0 operating system, an optional expandable keyboard docking station, and ASUS’ intuitive Waveshare user interface that results in an exciting portable tablet for content creation, social communication, high-definition media playback and smooth realistic game play.

Exciting mini-cinema entertainment on-the-go
Powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, the Transformer browses the web at blazing speeds, providing snappier response times and excellent multi-tasking performance. An IPS (in-plane switching) Panel made from durable and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass is viewable at angles up to 178°, perfect for sharing your favorite photos, web pages, work documents and more with co-workers, friends or family next you or across the room. The 10.1” IPS panel features LED backlighting that provides brilliant and vivid colors at a 1280x800 resolution, perfect for viewing high-definition movies and other media content.

Built-in SRS Sound technology provides a dynamic 3D stereo audio experience, with maximum bass response and a wide sound field from the discrete speakers housed in a thin 0.51” thick chassis that only weighs 1.49lbs. A 1.2MP front-facing camera is perfect for video conferencing while the rear-facing 5MP camera can shoot and record HD video, which can be played back on HDTVs via the mini HDMI output port, making the Eee Pad Transformer a true mobile entertainment device.

Transform from pad to notebook mode with optional keyboard docking station
The Transformer sets itself apart from other tablets on the market by featuring an optional docking station. This unique docking station provides access to a full QWERTY keyboard along with unique Android Function keys, instantly turning the Transformer into a mobile content creation device.

A touchpad, 3.5mm audio jack, two USB ports as well as a built-in SD Card reader for easy file sharing and storage expandability makes the Transformer a versatile media hub. The docking station also extends the Transformer’s 9.5 hours of battery life up to 16 hours, so users can use it all day for work or play. In addition, the ultra-convenient ASUS WebStorage with one year of unlimited storage space provides worry-free cloud computing.

Android 3.0 OS melds with ASUS’ Waveshare UI for a unique user experience
Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is a revolutionary operating system specially designed and optimized for tablets, which enables users a rich web experience for on-the-go web browsing, social media activities, video playback and casual gaming. Supporting Adobe Flash 10.2 and the ever growing Android Market, media entertainment is just a finger swipe away. The convenient ASUS Launcher also allows users to easily launch software, manage content and access online services and connect devices with a few simple taps, while ASUS’ Waveshare Interface hosts a variety of unique applications such as MyNet, MyLibrary, MyCloud and more.

MyNet easily streams digital media wirelessly within home network devices so HD videos or music can be played on devices such as an HDTV or desktop PCs for an even better experience from the Transformer. MyLibrary consolidates downloaded books, magazines and newspapers in to one easy to browse profile while MyCloud is a total cloud solution, providing access to digital content such as music, videos and files from the cloud anywhere, anytime. Users can even use MyCloud to remotely access and control any PC or Mac system and access applications or files to extend the versatility of the Eee Pad Transformer experience.

Source: ASUS

Playing with RIM's Book

Subject: Mobile | March 24, 2011 - 06:33 PM |
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The Inquirer had a chance to check out the new RIM Blackberry Playbook and a customized version of Need for Speed that can use the tablet as controller and display.  A 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9-based processor resides in the 7" tablet and there are dual cameras, a 3MP front facing and 5MP back facing which can be handy in numerous situations ... as is support for Flash.  We still don't have an exact availability date though.

****Update***

Not long after this post appeared RIM announced the availability of the Playbook in both the US and Canada on April 19th.

"THE PLAYBOOK TABLET from Research in Motion (RIM) is a neat and stylish bit of kit and its entertainment potential delighted us.

Though we don't know yet when the Playbook will be available, The INQUIRER was impressed with its first proper go with the device. The tablet is still in development and was running an older version of the Blackberry tablet operating system than will be preloaded at launch."

 

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Source: The Inquirer

A cloud with Chrome lining; the Google Cr-48 Notebook

Subject: Mobile | March 22, 2011 - 04:34 PM |
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Google's Cr-48 Chrome notebook does not come with crapware preinstalled, technically it has hardly anything installed as it is a cloud based laptop.  In this particular case this means it has an App store with a variety of 'programs' ranging from what are in truth simply bookmarks to actual extensions similar to those found on the browser.  Physically it is powered by an Atom 455 @ 1.66GHz, 2GB of DDR3-1333, a 1280x800 LCD powered by Intel's GMA 315a and a 16GB Integrated SSD for local storage. 

See it at Benchmark Reviews.

"Cloud computing has been the big word for the last two years, and has quickly become a part of everyone's daily lives. Photos going up on the web to be edited, music and video being streamed, and documents stored online are becoming the norm. Google's CR-48 Chrome Notebook running the Chrome OS is a culmination of all of these. It provides no local services and allows users to only use internet accessible services. Benchmark Reviews will investigate to see if the CR-48 is really the future of computing or if it just is an interesting idea that will fade away like many other products that have been touted as "the future of computing."

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Slim Core i7 Gigabyte Laptop, with a subwoofer too

Subject: Mobile | March 17, 2011 - 10:40 PM |
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Tweaktown has a look at a Core i7 powered GIGABYTE P2532, a 15.6" laptop with a 1920×1080 backlight screen, a 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 4GB of RAM and NVIDIA's GeForce GT550M with Optimus technology if for some reason you wanted to pretend this beast could enter a 'power saving mode'.  Also included is a DVD burner, two USB 3.0 ports, and HDMI but the real kicker is the 4.1 sound system; yes there is a subwoofer inside. 

"With all the notebooks flooding the market it's nice to find one with a grand claim to fame. "The thinnest 2nd Generation Core i7 Notebook", as with all tech titles like that are fleeting, but they are good while they last. The GIGABYTE P2532 multimedia laptop offers a stylish design with a powerful quad-core 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processor.

In its 15.6" chassis it sports a full HD display with 1920×1080 resolution and a LED backlight screen. Under the hood we've got a 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 4GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GT550M/ 2GB VRAM with Optimus technology. Taking a look around the unit, you'll find a DVD burner, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and THX Tru Studio Pro technology in its 4 speakers and 1 subwoofer."

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Source: TweakTown

Fusion powered 15.6" notebook joins Toshiba's Satellite lineup

Subject: Mobile | March 14, 2011 - 06:25 PM |
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The Toshiba Satellite C655D is an AMD E-240 Fusion powered notebook that you can pick up for under $450.  Unfortunately the MSRP is $349, so you might want to wait for the price to come down somewhat before picking up this notebook.  AMD's choice to offer a relatively low powered CPU on such a large notebook has resulted in some interesting sacrifices.  The extra size is nice but Matt discovered that it meant 720p playback on YouTube was not smooth and gaming at the native resolution also suffered.   Check out his full review to see if you feel the positive outweighs the negative.

"This makes for a complex verdict. Yes, the AMD E-240 is slow. But this laptop, the Toshiba Satellite C655, is a nice laptop for the price - and this laptop only exists because AMD has finally produced a competent Atom competitor. The 15.6” display, with its correspondingly large keyboard, is more pleasant to use than your typical 10.1” or 11.6” netbook. If you’re looking for a laptop, but your budget is slim, the Toshiba Satellite C655 should be on your short list."

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It's a 3D phone from LG, no glasses needed

Subject: Mobile | March 7, 2011 - 07:44 PM |
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With a 4.3" LCD screen powered by a 1GHz OMAP4 3D dual core processor the LG Optimus 3d can display 2D content at full 080p when outputed to an HD capable screen and 3D video at 720p on a stereoscopic display.  You can also watch 3D content on the phone its self without needing glasses, though The Inquirer warns you can't move your head much without the image degrading.  You can also create your own 3D content as the phone has dual stereoscopic 5MP cameras with which to capture your video. Check out the sneak peek over at The Inquirer.

"The INQUIRER was able to get its hands on the Optimus 3D for a quick test run at the CeBIT trade show in Germany. The phone was running Android 2.2 Froyo at the show but will be upgraded to Android 2.3 Gingerbread shortly after release and eventually will be available on the Three network."

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Source: The Inquirer

Apple announces iPad 2

Subject: Mobile | March 2, 2011 - 07:38 PM |
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Today, amidst much rumor and speculation, Apple announced the second generation of their iPad. The iPad 2 as Apple is calling it, is the first device to feature their new A5 processor. Apple is touting the specs of the A5 as having a dual core processor with a "9x faster' GPU. It seems most likely that PA Semi and Intrinsity (both ARM design companies purchased by Apple in the past few years) have developed a chip based off of the ARM Cortex A9 platform with a PowerVR SGX543 dual core GPU.

The power of this GPU is utilized in the new HDMI video out feature of the iPad 2. Like some Android Tegra devices that we have seen, the iPad 2 will support mirroring on the screen through HDMI output at resolutions up to 1080p with a separate adapter. A nice feature of the adapter however is that it has a fullsize HDMI port, and Apple 30pin dock connector to still facilitate charging.


Image courtesy of Engadget

Apple is also saying that this new iPad is 33% percent thinner (8.5mm), with the same battery life oh 10 hours that the original iPad achieved. This points to improvements in efficiency of the new A5 chip.

The iPad 2 also adds cameras to the equation. Both a back and front facing camera allow for things such as video conferencing through FaceTime on Apple devices.

Apple also talked about features of their new iOS 4.3, such as the Photo Booth application, enhancements to the Apple AirPlay standard, and an improved JavaScript rendering engine for the mobile Safari browser.

The iPad 2 will be available in both black and white on March 11, in the same pricing scheme for the current iPad with prices ranging from $599 to $830 (16GB WiFi only to 64GB 3G model).

Hate the iPhones and figure Android is a flash in the pan? HTC has a Win7 phone for you.

Subject: Mobile | February 28, 2011 - 06:16 PM |
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If you are a Windows user and want a phone with a familiar interface then perhaps the HTC HD7 Windows 7 smartphone will be perfect for you.  A 4.3" WVGA display at 480 x 800 pixels gives decent video as it is powered by a a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.  It even has some nice extras like a built in kickstand so you can rest it on a flat surface, but expandable storage would have been nice.

Source: TECHGAGE

Apple updates Macbook Pros with Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt

Subject: Mobile | February 24, 2011 - 06:52 PM |
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Along with the release of Intel's Thunderbolt technology, Apple also released updated MacBook Pros that is really only a minor product update.  In general, the major update includes a move from Arrandale platform on the 15-in and 17-in models and from the Core 2 Duo CPU on the 13-in model to a complete Sandy Bridge based lineup.  Dual-core CPUs ranging from 2.3 GHz to 2.7 GHz will make up the 13-in MacBook Pro while the 15-in and 17-in versions will get the quad-core varian

Check out the Viewsonic Viewpad 7

Subject: Mobile | February 21, 2011 - 07:22 PM |
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The numeral on the Viewsonic Viewpad 7 indicates the size, not the version.  It is a 7-inch TFT @ 800x480 powered by a 600MHz Qualcomm MSM 7227 processor, 512MB SDRAM and with 512MB NAND Flash storage and a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB of removable storage.  The Inquirer had a chance to try it out and were quite impressed by all but the resolution of the front-facing camera which sports a 0.3MP resolution.

Source: The Inquirer

Motorola announces price for Xoom tablet, release date leaked?

Subject: Mobile | February 17, 2011 - 01:31 AM |
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According to a report today from Reuters, Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha has officially announced the pricing for their Xoom Tablet. While rumors have been flying about how expensive the 32GB Android 3.0 tablet will be, it has been confirmed to $799 (3G model) and $599 (WiFi only). As the Xoom seems to be Google's flagship product for Android 3.0, it becomes an interesting comparison with the 3G and WiFi only iPad 32GB at $729.00 and $599 respectively.

Source: engadget