NVIDIA Shows Tegra DirectTouch and $249 ASUS Tegra 3 Tablet

Subject: Mobile | January 10, 2012 - 12:26 AM |
Tagged: tegra 3, tablet, nvidia, mobile, CES

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Much of today’s NVIDIA CES conference focused on small milestones, including the implementation of apps and new app features. The company showed multiplayer LAN gaming, easy access to your PC’s desktop via an app called Splashtop, and highlighted the NVIDIA Tegra Zone curated gaming app store. All of this is interesting – but not new 

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There were a couple tricks up the green team’s sleeves, however. One is a new feature for use with Tegra 3 processors called DirectTouch. This allows the fifth low-power hardware core on Tegra 3 to act as a touchscreen controller. Usually an independent piece of hardware performs this task, and it’s much slower than the low-power Tegra 3 core. As a result, touchscreen sampling speed can be increased by up to three times – allegedly resulting in a smoother touch experience. We’ve yet to see how it pans out in execution, but the idea is promising.

Another interesting piece of tech that will be made available by Tegra 3 is called PRISM. It attempts to compensate for the image fidelity reduction that occurs when a mobile device is used with its display at a low brightness setting.

Availability for both of these features is not yet clear. 

The remaining big announcements came via ASUS. First was the decision to release Ice Cream Sandwich on the Prime today, January 9th.  As of the time of this writing it should be available for download via the built-in OS update functionality of Honeycomb. 

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Second was an ASUS 7” tablet featuring ICS, Tegra 3 and a low $249 price point. Oddly, the tablet was not named at the conference, but it appears to be the ASUS Eee Pad MeMO 370T. To clarify earlier information, the MeMO 171 is the version with a Qualcomm processor, stylus and cellular networking support, while the MeMO 370T offers Tegra 3.

The reasons for being excited about a $249 Tegra 3 tablet are obvious. That’s the same as a Nook Color and not much more than a Kindle Fire – both of which run far older versions of Android (Gingerbread) and use older dual-core OMAP processors.

Last, and unfortunately least, was a demonstration of Windows 8 on a Tegra 3 reference platform. While Microsoft’s new OS looks very sleek on the device, nothing new was announced, nor were new features introduced. It seems we’ll have to wait awhile longer to see products pairing Tegra 3 and Windows 8.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

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

Nokia Lumia 900 With LTE Modem Becomes Official At CES

Subject: Mobile | January 9, 2012 - 10:23 PM |
Tagged: WP7, windows phone 7, nokia ace, nokia, lumia n900, CES

We reported earlier on the rumored Nokia Lumia 900 (aka Nokia Ace) Windows Phone 7 smart phone. We said that it would basically be the Nokia Lumia 800 only a bit bigger and featuring a LTE modem. The Nokia Lumia 900 is now official and the speculation seems to be correct.

The new smart phone made it debut today at a Nokia CES 2012 press conference. An AT&T exclusive, the phone features a cyan blue polycarbonate shell, 4.3" AMOLED screen with 800 x 480 resolution, 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 512 MB of RAM, 8 Megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics (stated 28mm, f/2.2) and dual LED flash, front facing camera, LTE 4G modem, and a rather spacious 1840mAH battery. Sporting the Windows Phone 7 operating system, the phone has a rated seven hours of talk time and 300 hours of standby time.

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It will be available in either cyan or black colors in the US within the next few months and bound to the AT&T network with "aggressive" pricing. Nokia stated in their conference that it has been working closely with Qualcomm to ensure solid performance on AT&T's LTE network. SIM-free and carrier unlocked phones will also be available; however, it is not clear whether users in the US will be able to purchase them (or if they would need to be imported). Ballmer stated plainly that the "Lumia 900 is a very exciting launch," and that AT&T is critical to the WP7 future.  More information on the Nokia Lumia 900 can be found here.

A sexy device it is, but personally I've been burned once by Nokia's other (N)900, so I think I'll stick with Android for the time being.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

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Source: Engadget

Hands-On with the ASUS Eee Pad MeMO 171 Tablet

Subject: Mobile | January 9, 2012 - 06:33 PM |
Tagged: tablet, memo, eee pad, CES, asus

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We already reported on the announcement of the MeMO, but today we had the chance to go hands-on with the device. You’d expect it to be nothing more than a 7” version of the Prime – but you’d be wrong. The MeMO, as the name implies, is designed to enable easy use as a note-taking device.  As such it includes somewhat large bezels on the right and left (when held in landscape mode) to provide an easy grip. There’s also a stylus. Yes, that’s right – a stylus. It may seem old-fashioned, but it works with bundled software to make hand writing simple. 

You don’t have to rely on the stylus, however. Choose to ignore it and you have an attractive 7” Android tablet. Though the version we looked at was running Honeycomb, ASUS plans to ship MeMO tablets with Ice Cream Sandwich. We also had the opportunity to use a Prime running ICS after we checked out the MeMO, and though we could not run benchmarks, first impressions told us that web browsing in ICS is much snappier even when the same hardware is available.

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Unlike other 7” tablets, the MeMO 171 isn’t asking users to sacrifice resolution to obtain a smaller size. The MeMO is to ship with a 1280x800 display, the same resolution as the current Transformer Prime.  It’s also bestowed with an IPS display. This gives the tablet a substantial hardware advantage over the small tablet competition we’ve seen so far.

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Speaking of hardware advantages, the MeMO 171 is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm 1.2 GHz processor. The reason for this is compatibility with mobile carriers. We were told that the Qualcomm version will be usable as a mobile phone (though ASUS is still working with North American carriers – none are planning to offer offical MeMO support yet). 

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Because sticking 7” tablet to your face would be a bit ridiculous there will also be a small handset and media control that can be paired with the tablet. ASUS did not have a functional version to display, however – perhaps indicating that the kinks aren’t worked out just yet.

Overall, the MeMO looks like a promising tablet. It is sleek, fast and small. However, pricing is not yet available. I’m hoping for $299 to $349. While this is in essence a smaller version of the Prime, it is packing a stylus and potential mobile network support – things that can really ramp up a device’s price. 

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

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Source: ASUS

Intel Shows New Ultrabook Features for 2012, Focuses on User Interface

Subject: Mobile | January 9, 2012 - 02:21 PM |
Tagged:

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Normally, Intel’s press conferences focus heavily on some new processor or graphics component. Yet there’s no new ultrabook processor to talk about, as they just started to hit store shelves a few months ago.

But that doesn’t mean Intel had nothing to show. Instead the focused on other technologies that the company wants to make a part of the ultrabook experience. A number of these were input technologies, and in this regard, Intel seems to be taking the kitchen sink approach. New and prototype laptops were shown with touch input, gesture input and even voice input.

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Touch received the lion’s share of attention. Intel has decided that touchscreens are important, and wants them to be included as part of the ultrabook specification. The short demo given by Intel showed a Windows 8 ultrabook performing all the usual stunts such as scrolling and pinch-to-zoom.

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They did have a new trick to show, however – a prototype laptop with a transparent touchpad/palmrest surface. The idea behind this is that when the laptop is closed, the transparent surface becomes a mini-touchscreen that can be used for Windows 8 notifications. It’s a bit hard to wrap your head around without seeing it in person, but hopefully the photos help.

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Other laptops with touch input included a HP convertible slider that loses the touchpad entirely in exchange for touchscreen input. Also shown was a Compal laptop that appeared to be a 12” or 13” Windows 8 tablet with a keyboard dock. Intel didn’t specifically reference it during the conference, however, so details on it are sparse.  

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Gesture recognition was hinted at via a system that seems to work much like Microsoft’s Kinect. Intel would like users to be able to move through files without touching anything at all. However, only a basic slingshot demo was shown at the press conference, indicating that it may be some time before it bares fruit. The new voice recognition features, which are being implemented in partnership with Nuance, were not demoed at all. However, Siri-like functionality was hinted at.

Finally, Intel briefly showed a secure wireless payment system in which a user can fill in online payment details simply by placing their credit card on or near their ultrabook. Not just anyone will be able to use it, however – you’ll have to bind your card to the PC beforehand.

Most of these features are things that we’ve seen before in smartphones or tablets, indicating that Intel is now playing a bit of catch-up with the mobile market.

Intel was not entirely devoid of hints at upcoming performance improvements. The new Ivy Bridge graphics component is apparently going to be over 80% better than current Intel IGP graphics and support DX11, but that’s all we know. You’ll have to wait until the Ivy Bridge Conference tomorrow for Intel to spill details – check back in tomorrow for our coverage of that event.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

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Source: Intel

CES 2012: ASUS Updates Transformer Prime with 1920x1200 Display

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2012 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: transformer prime, Transformer, tf700t, CES, asus

The ASUS Transformer and the newer Transformer Prime are often considered the best Android tablets on the market and the most likely to be able to compete with Apple and its iPad in 2012.  Our own review from Matt Smith tells the same kind of story and is definitely worth a read to get some context for this news today.  

At CES 2012 ASUS is unveiling a new version of the Transformer Prime with the TF700T suffix that adds a couple of really nice features including a high-resolution 1920x1200 screen and a new 2.0 MP front camera for HD video conferencing.  These replace a 1280x800 resolution screen and a 1.3 MP front camera.

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The current Transformer Prime that might already be outdated...

Also worth noting is a change to the back plate on the device that ASUS claims "should enhance WiFi, BT and GPS performance."  Some users had complaints about WiFi issues and this should address it, if you are willing to pay the higher price for the better hardware as well.

Expect to see this selling for $599 to $699 when it is available this quarter.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

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

CES 2012: ASUS Eee Pad MeMO ME370T 7-in Tablet with IPS Screen, Stylus

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2012 - 12:32 PM |
Tagged: tablet, stylus, memo, ME370T, eee pad, CES, asus

ASUS is hitting on all cylinders today and is announcing the new 7-in tablet called the Eee Pad MeMO ME370T.  The company claims the device has "an emphasis on entertainment, media and light productivity" and with an IPS display and both capacitive and included-stylus touchscreen, the MeMO is a very unique product in the US market.

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The hardware of the MeMO includes a 1280x800 resolution, dual-core Qualcomm 8260 1.2 GHz processor and 1GB of memory.  I am kind of intrigued that they didn't use any currently available NVIDIA Tegra SoC on this though I won't speculate on why just yet.  

It will be available in both 16GB and 32GB storage capacities and has 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 and dual cameras for the front and back of the device; 1.2 MP front, 5.0 MP back.  The unit will have a micro USB port, an audio jack that can be used for either output or input, Micro-SD memory card slot and micro-HDMI as well.  Apparently a SIM card slot is included as well though I am not sure how that will work in the US market.

Coming in at under 1 pound, the MeMO is very light.

The Eee Pad MeMO will ship with Android 4.01 aka Ice Cream Sandwich when it is available in Q2 of 2012. 

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

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

ASUS Announces New Eee PC Flare at CES

Subject: Mobile | January 9, 2012 - 12:31 PM |
Tagged: netbook, eee pc, CES, asus

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ASUS remains one of the best manufacturers in the netbook category. Today, they’ve pulled the wraps off some new products that will freshen their lineup for 2012. 

Source: ASUS

Toshiba unveils plans for world’s thinnest 10-inch tablet at CES

Subject: Mobile | January 9, 2012 - 09:28 AM |
Tagged: toshiba, tablet, CES, Android

Last year, Toshiba unveiled their first offering into the mobile tablet frenzy with the 10.1-inch Thrive, which was moderately successful by many people's standards because of its unique form factor that included an HDMI port, USB port, and full SD slot. New information has been trickling in about their latest Excite X10 tablet, which is being touted by Toshiba as the "world's thinnest 10.1 tablet".

 

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Courtesy of Toshiba

The Excite X10 is being released at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and the specs are somewhat unusual with the inclusion of a Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 1.2GHz dual-core processor versus other multi-core offerings from NVIDIA or Qualcomm. The Excite X10 is just 0.3 inches (7.7mm) thin and weighs a little more than a pound (1.18 lbs) and includes micro-USB and HDMI ports, a micro-SD slot, and wifi and bluetooth connectivity. They also added a 1280x800 resolution display that showcases a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass display with an anti-smudge coating. There are also 2MB front and 5MB back cameras (with flash) for photos and 1080p video recording and conferencing.

The Excite X10 tablet will be available in the first quarter of this year for $529.99 for the 16GB model and $599.99 for the 32GB model.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

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

Source: Toshiba

CES 2012: One Laptop per Child -- but get a tablet too!

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2012 - 01:19 AM |
Tagged: tablet, OLPC, CES 2012, CES

While tablets are so CES 2011, that does not stop that segment of consumer products from having a large showing at CES this year. You might consider them be a year too slate to the party, but that would have too many layers of pun-laden irony. One Laptop per Child Association (OLPCA) and OLPC Foundation (OLPCF) are non-profit organizations responsible for the popular One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project. OLPC is responsible for highly affordable laptops aimed at the education of youth with a particular focus on developing countries. OLPC’s XO-3 is the project’s latest announced product and their attempt at an educational tablet.

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Just a touch of Sugar…

Photo Credit: The Verge

Joanna Stern from The Verge conducted an interview with Ed McNierney, CTO of OLPC, to examine the product. While the specific system internals is not precisely known apart from their use of an ARM-based processor backed with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of permanent storage, there are two noteworthy comments regarding their ports. Firstly, while the power adapter is apparently a custom design, it is done in such a way that permits voltages between 10 and 25 volts; specifically, the OLPC is very apathetic when it comes to the purity of the inbound power and can even be charged by OLPC’s hand-crank generator. The other point-of-note for the XO-3 regards its audio jack: it is designed to be extensible to various non-auditory input devices such as a thermometer. This is not a tablet that you should be expecting under your tree both because it is not your typical consumer tablet as well as it not having a set release date -- and why do you still have gifts under your tree in January anyway? When the tablet does launch, it is expected to come along with a price-tag below $100.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

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

Source: The Verge

CES 2012: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Hybrid Demonstration Video

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2012 - 10:07 PM |
Tagged: Thinkpad, Lenovo, hybrid, CES

Earlier in the weekend we heard about Lenovo's new ThinkPad X1 Hybrid notebook that combines standard Intel x86 hardware with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running an open-source Linux OS.  While you will not be able to run both pieces of hardware at the same time the Media Mode allows you to put the Windows OS and hardware to sleep and run the light-weight OS with about double the battery life.

Lenovo was on hand at CES Unveiled to give us a walk through of how the feature really works.  Take a look!

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

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