Intel has been working on designing a tablet, dubbed the Studybook, that focuses and built primarily on educational needs. The tablet would run on Windows 7 or Android 3.0, powered by the Atom Z650 processor, feature a front and rear-facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, and all the versatile ports such as USB 2.0, HDMI, and a microSD slot. It would fall into Intel’s line of educational computers, such as the Classmate Convertible, which is used by 7 million students over the whole world.
Now, you might be cringing thinking about how quickly students will destroy the tablets, but Intel has designed the Studybook to withstand abuse. It’s made of durable plastic and can withstand a drop from about 2 feet or so.
The StudyBook is to come with preinstalled educational software, such as the Kno e-reader and LabCam suite for science. It’s reported that the tablet should sell around $200, but no word of when its official release and availability date will be.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime feels like the first laptop-class Android tablet, with its quad-core 1.4GHz processor, clever add-on keyboard dock, and its support for USB storage and console gamepads. This is easily the most impressive Android tablet ever. But with such startling specs, it's outstripping the weak app selection available for Google's Android Honeycomb OS. Although there are a few standout apps for the platform, the lack of a thriving Android tablet app community makes the Transformer Prime a less sure choice than it should be. Read on for our full review of the Transformer Prime to see if it's worth your attention (or money.)
Sonos, makers of the Play:3 and high-end ZonePlayer wireless multi-room music systems, has announced an update to its system software that adds more wireless music streaming options, and lets users control their Sonos systems with their Android tablets.
The most notable feature of the 3.6 software update makes the Sonos Controller app available to Kindle Fire and Android Honeycomb tablets users, letting them use their tablets as remote controls for their Sonos products. The company released the app for Android phones in February, and the Sonos Controller is also available for iOS devices.
The Android tablet app, which can be downloaded for free from the Android Market or the Amazon Appstore, is scaled to take advantage of tablets' extra screen space. It includes enhancements like on-device music library and zone management, alarms that let you fall asleep or wake to your favorite tunes, and Twitter integration, so you can tweet what you're listening to on Sonos from your tablet.
This is a huge deal. Ice Cream Sandwich is the biggest upgrade to Google's Android OS since Android 2.2 hit in May 2010, and possibly the most important update ever. From what I've seen so far in a day with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone, Android users should be demanding their share of Ice Cream—and it should absolutely make a difference in your phone purchases.
Google lent me an international developer unit of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first ICS phone. This isn't the LTE device that Verizon Wireless will be selling in the U.S., but it's roughly the same size and shape with very similar capabilities, so it's a good way to judge what ICS will be like when it hits the USA.
But on the Google Forums, Jean-Baptiste M. "JBQ" Queru, a software engineer on the Android Open-Source Project, warned that "this is a large push," so developers should expect that "it will take some time to complete".
"If you sync before it's done, you'll get an incomplete copy that you won't be able to use, so please wait for us to give the all-clear before you sync," Queru wrote.
The source code is Android 4.0.1, which is the version that will be released on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
The release also includes the source code for Honeycomb, but "since Honeycomb was a little incomplete, we want everyone to focus on Ice Cream Sandwich," Queru wrote. "So, we haven't created any tags that correspond to the Honeycomb releases (even though the changes are present in the history.)"
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is ready for its close-up and under the hood it sports Nvidia's next-generation Tegra 3 mobile processor. That makes the Transformer Prime the first tablet to feature the quad-core System-on-a-Chip (SoC), which Nvida says provides three times the graphics performance of its current Tegra 2 chip while soaking up 61 percent less power.
The 10.1-inch Transformer Prime is nice and thin at 0.33 inches and weighs in at 1.29 pounds, Asus said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters. Thanks to the Tegra 3's improved power consumption, the tablet's battery life is rated for up to 18 hours, although that's when you combine it with the optional mobile dock and keyboard which Asus is also offering, naturally, as part of the Transformer Prime package.
Without the accessory, you're still getting up to 12 hours of battery life, which Asus was happy to point out is enough for "a trans-ocean flight, all-night game session, viewing several movies on a long road trip, or even video recording, editing, and then playing back your child's school play."
The Tegra 3 chip, the first quad-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU, significantly boosts 3D gaming and Internet browsing on tablets like the Transformer Prime, thanks to a 12-core GeForce GPU that's also part of the next-gen SoC, according to Nvidia.
Samsung's big hardware upgrade to its first-ever tablet, the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, had a name as of the device's announcement late last month. And Samsung has now finally gotten around to announcing a release date and price for the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. According to the company, the upgraded version of the Galaxy Tab will start selling in the U.S. on November 13 for $399.99 – all of $100 less expensive than the starting price for tablets from Samsung's chief rival as of late, Apple (it's also much smaller than the iPad as well.)
So what are some of the big improvements arriving on this 7-inch tablet refresh? For starters, the 7.0 Plus is taking a leap from Android 2.2 to Android 3.2 – that's a move from the Froyo iteration of Google's operating system to Honeycomb. Samsung's still slapping its Touchwiz interface on top of Honeycomb, which includes new resizable widgets and a sticky "mini app" tray that can be pulled up from any screen on the device and used to load a variety of preset apps on the device.
Samsung on Monday offered the first glimpse of a new 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab tablet with Google's Android 3.1 Honeycomb that will be available Oct. 2, as well as two new media players, the Galaxy Player 4.0 and Galaxy Player 5.0.
"These three additions to the Galaxy family of products are impressive examples of our commitment to offering consumers an unrivaled array of choices for entertainment and information on-the-go," said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile, in a statement.
"People want their mobile device to fit their lifestyle and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Players offer unparalleled power and portability to meet the widest consumer needs."
The Wi-Fi-only Galaxy Tab 8.9 (pictured above left and below) comes in two flavors, a 16GB tablet priced at $469, and a 32GB version priced at $569, the company said at its Samsung Experience event in New York. Samsung's Galaxy Player 4.0 is priced at $269 and the Galaxy Player at $229—b;oth; are set for U.S. release on Oct. 16.
The following is a column sent to us by Skip Ferderber. We though it hit home on a lot of points, and decided to republish it with his permission:
Let’s start with a popular tech-talk premise especially among Apple iPad afficionados: Among the reasons Android tablets come up short is because there are only a handful of apps specifically optimized for them.
If there’s no big bucket of optimized Honeycomb apps, then it’s too soon to get an Android tablet ... not when you can get an iPad with more than 100,000 tablet-optimized apps.
The tech blogosphere (including yours truly) reported early on that only 10 apps were specifically redesigned to take advantage of the Honeycomb operating system, the Android software specifically engineered for a new generation of powerful tablets with heavy-duty processing power and bright high-resolution screens such as the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. A March Wired article reported it had found only 50 Honeycomb-optimized apps.
Well, hold on there, buckaroos.
What happens when non-optimized apps — the same apps you use on your Android smartphone — are run on a Honeycomb tablet? What’s the user experience like? Can you live with it? I decided to find out.
Starting Sunday, the Logitech Revue with Google TV is available for $99, down from $249. The company also said it will roll out an automatic software update later this summer, which will add Android 3.1, a simplified user experience, and access to the Android Market.
The price drop is the second for the Revue this year; Logitech dropped it from $299 to $249 in May. That, however, did not help sales and during a recent earnings call, the company said that "returns of the product were higher than the very modest sales."
Logitech later issued a clarification to say that it did not mean that more Revues were being returned than purchased.
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