Introduction and Honeycomb Overview
Early this year Google teased the next version of their mobile device operating system, Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb). Now we finally have our hands on the first Honeycomb device, the Motorola Xoom. Read on to see how much the face of Android has changed.
While the Motorola Xoom may not be the first tablet that has been released with Android, it marks a major shift in the paradigm of mobile computing. Tracing back the history of Android, Google seems to release new software platforms with a specific hardware partner. While the original G1 phone was developed by HTC, Google decided to launch Android 2.0 (Eclair, known as 2.1 on other phones) with Motorola and their original Droid product. The success of the Motorola Droid is a hallmark moment for Motorola, who had been slowly dying after the massive success of their RAZR phone years ago.
With 2.2 and 2.3, Google decided to partner with hardware partners to develop what they considered the ideal platform. From this we got the HTC built Nexus One, and Samsung built Nexus S. Both of which have been heralded as phenomenal devices.
This brings us to Google’s newest and most ambitious mobile operating system yet, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). Once again, Google has partnered here with great hardware companies, giving us a Motorola built device, powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 2 ARM SoC.
One of the things that veteran Android users will notice right away when looking at a Xoom in action is the lack of the standard Home, Menu, Back, and Search buttons of Android devices of the past. This is actually due to a Google decision, and not one on Motorola’s part. In Honeycomb, the way you navigate through the operating system has been reworked, and these buttons integrated into the UI, instead of the device itself. This allows Google greater flexibility in displaying these navigational items when needed, and flexibility to change their appearance or function down the road in later revisions of Android.
Introduction and Specifications
Luxury. Premium. Exclusive. These are words rarely associated with laptops, particularly PC laptops. While Apple happily reaps in profits from the MacBook Pro, most other laptop manufacturers have a difficult time selling high-end laptops. The U260 is Lenovo’s attempt at a stylish flagship that will stick in the minds of buyers. Indeed, if you visit the IdeaPad main page, you’ll find that the U series is the only line of IdeaPad laptops described as “stylish” in the bite-sized popup descriptions.
Luxury. Premium. Exclusive. These are words rarely associated with laptops, particularly PC laptops. While Apple happily reaps in profits from the MacBook Pro, most other laptop manufacturers have a difficult time selling high-end laptops. Some companies, such as HP, have simply resorted to emulating Apple’s successful formula (with the Envy line) while others, such as Sony, seem to have made peace with their small portion of the laptop market. ASUS’s recent Bamboo line, which we recently reviewed in the form of the U33JC, proved to be the best recent attempt at a luxury laptop by any PC laptop vendor. But it was essentially a diamond in the rough, and it has few peers.
The U260 is Lenovo’s attempt at a stylish flagship that will stick in the minds of buyers. Indeed, if you visit the IdeaPad main page, you’ll find that the U series is the only line of IdeaPad laptops described as “stylish” in the bite-sized popup descriptions.
Before we go into the design details, however, let’s take a look at the guts of this slim machine.
Subject: Mobile | March 2, 2011 - 02:38 PM | Ken Addison
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.
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).
Subject: Mobile | February 28, 2011 - 01:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
Subject: Mobile | February 24, 2011 - 01:52 PM | Ryan Shrout
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
Subject: Mobile | February 21, 2011 - 02:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
Subject: Mobile | February 16, 2011 - 08:31 PM | Ken Addison
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.
Subject: Mobile | February 16, 2011 - 01:02 AM | Ryan Shrout
Geez, you step away from the computer for just a couple of hours and all hell breaks loose over in Spain at the Mobile World Congress. NVIDIA decided that just a month or so after the official release of the Tegra 2 dual-core processor was a great time to let loose information on project "Kal-El", the next step in the Tegra chip line that first entered the NVIDIA offices only 12 days ago.
Subject: Mobile | February 15, 2011 - 05:39 PM | Ken Addison
In the run up to, and subsequent release of the Samsung GALAXY Tab just a few months ago, one of the main questions on our mind became when would HTC enter the Android tablet market. Being one of the biggest players in the mobile phone market, it seemed only natural for HTC to branch into tablets.
Subject: Mobile | February 15, 2011 - 12:19 AM | Ken Addison
The rumors were true, as late last week Nokia killed off their long developed and cherished Symbian mobile Operating System. While the mainstream adoption of Symbian may have been lacking in the United States, it was once a force to be reckoned with in Europe and other parts of the world. Nokia has said that they will continue development on their MeeGo operating system, which is a joint effort with Intel.