Rumors of the next iPad have been running rampant for a couple months now, and it looks like they'll all be put to rest next week. AllThingsD is reporting that Apple will be announcing the iPad 2 next week on March 2 in San Francisco, most likely at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Expect a thinner bezel, improved display, better sound, and cameras for FaceTime. In addition, we expect that the Qualcomm MDM6600 chip will find its way into the device, allowing it to operate on both AT&T and Verizon 3G networks. We also hope to hear about iOS 5.
The other big question is, will Steve Jobs be the one to take the lead at the announcement? As we know, he has been on medical leave since January, but he's been seen on campus and around Silicon Valley during that time, and also appeared at a dinner with President Barack Obama and other industry powerhouses last week.
Motorola seems to be readying its forthcoming Xoom tablet to take on the dominant device on the market, Apple's iPad. But on Sunday, a pre-order page on Best Buy's Web site showed a staggering $1,199.99 price tag for the Xoom.
That's about $400-$500 more than the rumored price for the 32 GB tablet, and much more than a $729 iPad with similar specs.
Unveiled early last month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Xoom is the first tablet to run on Google's tablet-optimized platform, Android 3.0 "Honeycomb." PCMag analyst Tim Gideon said the Motorola Xoom is "perhaps, the first tablet truly armed to take on the mighty iPad."
It's not a comparison that has happened by accident. Motorola has pitted itself against Apple in ads for the Xoom. In Motorola's one minute Super Bowl ad titled "Empower the People," a young guy commutes to work surrounded by fellow travelers who are all dressed in white jumpsuits, plugged in via Apple's familiar white earbuds. The man uses his Xoom to create an animation for his office crush, who is inspired to remove her earbuds and presumbly join the real world.
According to a new study by Forrester Research, the US sale of tablets, whether it's the iPad, Android or others, will more than double in 2011. The trend will keep going up, until more than one third of Americans own one by 2015. Their previous figures were much more conservative, and the outlook is likely to change again in the future. Still, this is probably closer to reality, as the iPad showed us that people really do want tablets, as long as the software and hardware are well executed. While the iPad will dominate at least for the foreseeable future, most device makers have already jumped on the bandwagon (you'll see proof of this at CES this week.) By 2015, the yearly amount of units sold should reach 44 millions.
Read More | Forrester
This time last year, the tech world was holding its collective breath for the "slate" device Apple was heavily rumored to be releasing. A few weeks after CES, we had the Apple iPad, and a new product category with a clear leader was officially born. Since then, it feels like someone poured water on the tablet category or fed it after midnight. The sheer multitude of tablets seems to multiply like gremlins, and many of the products are equipped with operating systems that have a few gremlins of their own. CES 2011, nonetheless, will be remembered as the opening bell for the year of the tablet. Thus far, only two true contenders, Apple's iPad and Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Tab, have emerged as viable, enviable tablets. In about a week, that will all change…maybe.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is currently the one viable iPad competitor on the market, and we are featuring it in our Deal of the Day. You can get the Sprint version of the Tab from HSN at a 43% discount, saving a total of $300 off the regular price, and you don't even need a contract. The Galaxy Tab offers a 7-inch touchscreen, 2GB internal memory, 3G built in (although you need a data plan to take advantage of it,) 1.3 megapixel front camera, 3 megapixel rear camera, and it ships with Android 2.2:
Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread.
Microsoft, along with various hardware partners, entered the tablet market a decade ago, but it was never a big success for them. Now that the iPad has taken off, and with Android tablets also looking strong this Christmas, the New York Times has an exclusive report saying that Microsoft is about to release a series of new tablets at CES early next year. According to inside sources, Steve Ballmer will introduce devices from Samsung, Dell and others, and try to get Microsoft back in the race. However, unlike the iPad and Android tablets, they will run Windows 7 or 8, a full desktop OS, and include a slide out keyboard.
Of course the fact that they will run a full OS brings questions like how much battery life they will have. Also, some of the marketing points will be for people to "work on Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint while doing work”. This seems very similar to what the UMPC and previous Windows tablets were about, and it seems like a repeat of previous attempts--including last year at CES where Ballmer announced their new tablet initiative.
Read More | New York Times
A 10-inch slate tablet seemed imminent when news broke that Dell had an iPad rival on the way, but that turned out not to be the case. The 5-inch Dell Streak was their first attempt, but ended up being more smartphone than tablet. Its second attempt—the Dell Inspiron Duo ($549.99 direct)—isn't even close. Although it is a novel take on a netbook convertible tablet, it's anything but an iPad rival. It features a cleverly designed flip hinge that exposes (and conceals) a physical keyboard, and is one of the few netbook tablets that run on an Intel Atom processor and a full blown Windows 7 operating system. Although it sports one of the most innovative designs we've seen in a while, the Inspiron Duo is no threat as a touch device to any tablet and completely misses as a netbook.
At a Rogers TabLife conference this past week David Neale from RIM provided a very interesting first look at their upcoming tablet, the BlackBerry Playbook. As he commented about the media skepticism on whether the recently announced tablet was up to par with the iPad and Android tablets, or if it even existed, he said "it does live!" The video presentation showed the fast processor, 1080p video, flash browser and multi-tasking. He also promised that the unit was not finished too and that it would be even faster. In the questions part of the interview he touched on the fact that the tablet is aimed at the "professional grade" audience. He also said security was a top concern, and that it would securely pair with BlackBerry smartphones via Bluetooth. He stated that 7-inches would be the form factor for the first instance, but that he could see more sizes coming in the future, and even devices with keyboards. Check out the video for more interesting tidbits from the 18 minutes presentation.
Read More | Vimeo
Coby has just released another Android tablet which is available now for $250. Coby’s new Android tablet, the Kyros MID7015, is equipped with a 7-inch resistive touchscreen, Android 2.1 (AppsLib marketplace only,) 4GB of built-in memory, a microSD card slot with an upgrading capacity of up to 16GB, and an HDMI port for 1080p video.
Read More | Coby
It’s no secret that Apple’s iPad is a hot-ticket item this holiday season. Though with its price of $499-$699, you better hope your secret Santa has the hots for you this year. No such luck? Well, if you’re in the UK then consider looking to Orange for a contract-tied iPad deal of the decade. That’s right, with a two-year contract of £27 ($42) per month (£25 for existing customers) you can get an iPad Wi-Fi + 3G at prices of £199 ($312) for the 16GB version, £249 ($391) for the 32GB, or £349 ($626) for the 64GB.
This two year monthly plan allows you 1GB of anytime data, 1GB off-peak data (basically between midnight and 4pm), and 3GB of BT Openzone Wi-Fi.
Read More | Orange