We had some screenshots and short videos in the past, but last week Google did the first in-depth presentation of their latest version of the Android system: Honeycomb. This hour long video shows enthusiasts everything that Honeycomb can do. Unlike previous versions of Android that were optimized for smartphones (and were simply stretched to tablet sizes,) Honeycomb was made for tablets. You'll see a better visual interface, and acceleration technologies for 2D and 3D. After the OS itself, they show off some devices in action, including the Motorola Xoom. Check it out if you're thinking of getting an iPad alternative.
Motorola has released a teaser for the forthcoming Xoom tablet.
"2011 Looks a lot like 1984. One Authority. One design. One way to work. It's time for more choices," says the clip.
It seems to be a shot at Apple, with the text of the video appearing over an image of a globe sporting the iPad maker's signature white ear buds.
The preview advertises the Xoom's speed, boasting its dual-core 1GHz processor, 1080p HD video playback, and 3G upgradable to 4G. It also emphasizes the tablet's flexibility. It will run on Android 3.0 Honeycomb and use Adobe Flash Player. The Xoom will also have a five-megapixel rear-facing camera and a two-megapixel front-facing camera. Apple's next-generation iPad is also rumored to include dual-facing cameras.
We've been hearing about Android 3.0 Honeycomb for a while now, the build of Android that would be designed with tablets in mind. Now, Google shows off it's latest version during CES, and it does appear that the UI has been redesigned in some major ways--it now fits especially well on the larger screen. Google posted a video showcasing some of the new design, which looks very different from what we've grown used to in the Android 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
2010 will come to an end in just a few short hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, but Microsoft gets the top two spots with our Xbox 360 dashboard tour, and the an unboxing of the new Xbox 360 slim. Also getting an honorable mention is the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Popcorn Hour Popbox, among others.
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