Tag Archives: Tablets

Acer Iconia Tab A500 Reviews

25 Apr

The good: The Acer Iconia Tab offers Android Honeycomb on a 10.1-inch screen along with GPS, front and rear cameras, Adobe Flash compatibility, full-size USB host port, HDMI output, and a reasonable price.

The bad: The Iconia Tab is thick, and one of the heaviest consumer tablets we’ve seen. Some locally stored HD video files wouldn’t play properly.

The bottom line: Acer’s Iconia Tab offers the features of the Motorola Xoom at iPad-beating prices but weighs in as the heftiest Android tablet yet.

Motorola made a splash in early 2011 when it released the first tablet to run Google’s tablet-optimized Android 3.0 operating system (aka Honeycomb). But enthusiasm for Google’s tablet OS didn’t translate into Apple iPad-level success for Motorola’s Xoom tablet, which was hampered by a high price and thick design. At the time, though, Motorola’s exclusive agreement with Google made it the only game in town when it came to Android 3.0. Fortunately for tablet fans, those days are over.

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 doesn’t stray far from the Motorola Xoom’s formula. Spec-for-spec, the two tablets are nearly indistinguishable. The most important distinction is price, with the Iconia Tab tech gadgets coming in at an iPad-besting $449.

Design
In spite of the $50 savings over an iPad 2, Apple doesn’t have much to worry about when it comes to the Iconia Tab. Like the Motorola Xoom, the Iconia Tab is nearly twice as thick as the iPad 2, making it less comfortable to hold and less sexy in general. Acer’s tablet also has the unfortunate distinction of being the heaviest Android tablet we’ve tested, weighing in at a beefy 1.69 pounds.

As with any decent tablet tech gadgets, the centerpiece of Iconia Tab’s design is the screen. Measuring 10.1 inches and boasting an LED-backlit 1,280×800-pixel resolution, the tablet’s screen does the Android experience justice. And because Honeycomb moves the Android navigation controls off the hardware and into the touch screen, a crisp, accurate screen is more critical than ever.

Flip it over, and you’ll find a 5-megapixel camera on the back with an integrated LED flash. The back is covered with gunmetal-finished aluminum, with the exception of two strips of plastic that meet your hands at the edges. Near the bottom you’ll see a pair of stereo speaker grilles cut out from the aluminum. We worried that our hands would naturally cover up the speaker–and they did–but oddly, it had no effect on the sound quality. Sound seemed to project through the screen more so than the speaker grilles, which is ultimately fine, if a little illogical.

A camera is also located on the front, near the upper left corner of the screen. Meant to be used for video chatting (using the included Google Talk app) or impromptu self-portraits, this camera uses a lower 2-megapixel sensor, but can still be used to record standard-definition video.

On the sides of the Iconia Tab tech gadgets you’ll find a number of logically placed ports and buttons. A volume rocker and orientation lock switch are available on the top edge. On the left you’ll find the power button, headphone jack, and Micro-HDMI. The right side supports the included power adapter, and offers Micro-USB sync, and a full-size USB host port for connecting keyboards or thumb drives. A dock connection on the bottom sticks out like a wart on an otherwise attractive design. Unless you feel like shelling out an extra $79 for a charging cradle that doesn’t even offer an HDMI connection, the dock port is a waste of space.

Hardware features
Like we mentioned at the start of this review, the Acer Iconia Tab is nearly a spec-for-spec clone of the Motorola Xoom (Wi-Fi). Inside, both devices take advantage of a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM, and each boasts 802.11 n Wi-Fi, an integrated HDMI output, support for Bluetooth 2.1, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, GPS, a digital compass, and memory expansion via MicroSD.

But, for all their similarities, there are some differences between the Xoom and Iconia Tab tech gadgets. One notable difference is the amount of onboard storage. The Xoom includes an integrated 32GB whereas the Iconia Tab offers only 16GB. In Acer’s defense, the Iconia Tab offers a useful full-size USB host port, while the Xoom (not to mention the iPad) does not. And though it’s a small thing, we’re glad to see that Acer included a dedicated screen-rotation lock instead of burying the feature in the system menu tray.

Source from CNET

T-Mobile G-Slate Gets Early Availability On eBay

11 Apr

If you get on T-Mobile’s site to try and order a G-Slate electronic gadgets, you’ll end up staring at a big coming soon sign. But on eBay it’s a different story. The 8.9-inch Honeycomb tablet isn’t expected to launch for another two weeks but one eBay user is claiming the G-Slate is on hand and ready to ship.

Starting bid is currently at $800, but if you have to have it, buy it now is set at $1200. Is it worth it? Well, when it does come out it’s going to cost $529 with a 2-year contract and after mail-in rebate. Suddenly $800 doesn’t look too bad to be contract-free electronic gadgets.

 

Source from CrunchGear

The Archos Arnova 10 Trades High Amounts Of Memory For A Lower Price

31 Mar

Archos quietly became the favorite low-cost Android tablet maker of fanboys everywhere thanks to a solid 2010 offering. The company’s Arnova brand builds upon the same formula with even cheaper tablets. The secret sauce? The bare minimum amount of internal memory. But buyers might overlook that little detail especially with the Arnova 10 electronic gadgets shipping for only $180.

Under the Arnova 10′s 1024 x 600 10-inch screen is an ARM-based CPU running Android 2.1, 802.11 b/g, front-facing camera and an SDHC slot. Archos says there’s enough computing juice to handle 720p video . The only downside is the 4GB of internal memory, but the SDHC slot effectively counters that altogether. Liliputing points out that the model carries a $199 MSRP but can be found for $180.

 

Source from CrunchGear

Ainol tablet sports IPS display

28 Mar


Ainol of China has been spotted to run the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system, not to mention having a Cortex-A9 processor inside that ought to make sure it wont’ fall short of any processing firepower if the need arises. The design itself is average at best, considering the amount of (or rather, lack of) talent in that part of the world to come up with truly inspiring designs for others to follow. Well, it is OK by their standards, and we’re stoked to know that the display will be of the IPS (In Plane Switching) variety at 1280 x 800 resolution. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G and HDMI, with a front-facing camera serving you for your video call needs, coupled with a microSD memory card slot and a headphone jack. No idea on pricing as at press for these electronic gadgets time though.

Source from ubergizmo

The PlayBook polyglot

28 Mar


When Apple introduced the iPad, it had but a smattering of third-party applications, but the company stressed its own. As Apple iPhone software SVP Scott Forstall stated in the iPad introduction video, “We looked at the device and we decided: let’s redesign it all. Let’s redesign, reimagine and rebuild every single app from the ground up specifically for the iPad.”

Compare this to the strategy employed by RIM, makers of the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet tech gadgets. One year after the iPad’s debut, Apple’s head start in apps has proven a formidable advantage against the onslaught of slates announced by its competitors in the smartphone world. Some have chosen to latch onto Android and attain backwards compatibility with over 200,000 existing smartphone apps. HP, with its TouchPad as flagship, will circle its wagons of PCs, printers and phones around the webOS platform. However, the announcement this week that RIM, too, will support Android apps says much about how the company sees its position in the tablet wars.

C and C++ are the native routes to app development on RIM’s long-gestated tablet, but they certainly not the only ways. Flash / Adobe AIR and HTML5 will also be supported as will several popular game engines. Android and Java apps will be accommodated with add-on players and distributed via RIM’s App World, RIM’s app marketplace. The ability to run Android apps without the underlying Android operating system certainly helps bring a degree of cachet as well as functionality. At a discussion with an executive from a downmarket carrier at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando last week, I asked what customers are asking for as they adopt smartphones tech gadgets. His response: “Android. Android is the brand. They want the apps.”

But support for Android could also have some potential downsides. With the BlackBerry OS platform generally taking a backseat to other smartphone platforms and a major platform shift to QNX in the works, Android support could serve as a sideshow that gives Android developers even less reason to natively support the platform. Android apps are also unlikely to exploit the PlayBook hardware and user interface, both of which have generated consumer excitement on their own merits. Contrast this with Apple’s attempt to optimize the iOS app experience to the point where it sought to block third-party development tools because of concern about cross-platform apps that might pander to the lowest common denominator.

Controlling the software platform may not be as vital to RIM as it is to Apple or others, but it’s still an important priority in which RIM is heavily investing. RIM’s challenge will be weaving the PlayBook’s hodgepodge of sources into a tapestry of engaging functionality. Apple may prioritize a consistently crafted experience but RIM is about delivering what works to encourage adoption and development. The key is ensuring that Android apps remain more or less an option of last resort, while the company can build the case for QNX apps that showcase and differentiate the PlayBook tech gadgets from competitors in the tablet space, and to help the company make a case for the same operating system to power future smartphones.

 

Source from Engadget

NOOKcolor to receive software update this April

25 Mar

The Home Shopping Network website did suggest that the NOOKcolor e-book reader is going to receive a major software update this coming April, and while the product description lacks an explanation on what will be included within the update, we do know that it was mentioned that Adobe Flash will be supported – so with the powers of inference that are in our hands, this might mean an operating system update that will finally hit Android 2.2 Froyo (or higher, that would be better). At the present moment however, the NOOKcolor tech gadgets will ship with Android 2.1 Eclair, and that doesn’t do Flash at all. The Home Shopping Network also has their customers at the top of their priority list, making it available to them first. Does this mean sales of the NOOKcolor will come to a standstill between now and April?

from http://www.ubergizmo.com

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 specs and Honeycomb UI tweaks leak out before its official launch

22 Mar

You didn’t have any doubt that Samsung was going to bring its new Galaxy Tab 8.9 to CTIA, did you? Well, this thing is definitely coming very soon. We snuck onto the show floor this afternoon, and while we didn’t find the actual tablet, there was a serious amount of Galaxy Tab 8.9 signage. We couldn’t get a close look at the placards, but the guys at PocketNow had better luck.

Here are some specs and features abour these brilliant electronic gadgets.

Not only does the 8.9-inch display have a 1280×800-resolution, but the tablet itself is said to be incredibly thin — it measures just .33-inches thick and weighs 1.03 pounds. It also looks like the 8.9 will be the first Honeycomb tablet with some noticeable interface customizations — one of the signs showed a new “Live Panel” and a “Mini App” tray. All that certainly makes this one a bit more interesting — we’re assuming we will be hearing all the official details at Samsung’s press conference tomorrow, so stay tuned!

 

Source from engadget

Let The Honeyclones Begin: The Pioneer DreamBook ePad H10 HD

15 Mar

Right off the bat, let’s just make something clear: this isn’t from Pioneer, makers of quality audio devies. No, this is a tablet by Pioneer Computers, a major Australian laptop maker that makes a whole line of Android tablets — but this ePad H10 HD (catchy) is their first Honeycomb device.

It costs $700 (Australian) naked and is actually quite competitively specced: Tegra II 120 (it’s what’s in many upcoming Honeycomb tablets), a gig of RAM, a 10.1″ 1280×800 capacitive screen, dual cameras (5 and 2 megapixels), 16-64GB SSD, GPS, 3G, and yes, it ships with Honeycomb.

Those are really almost exactly the specs we see on the Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10.1. Why should you choose these electronic gadgets over this? Well, they’re probably built better, and you might get a better return policy (big company, new device), but really, there’s not much difference. And at 760g and 12mm thick, it’s not like it’s that chubby either.

They’re shipping in April (supposedly), but don’t blame me if it gets lost in the post between Australia and wherever you live. If you’re looking for an “off-brand” Android tablet, wait a couple months and there will be a hot dozen to choose from. The price will go down, too; even the clones can’t beat the iPad on price right now, hardware differences aside.

 

Source from: CrunchGear