Best Buy will soon be able to boast of another tablet on its inventory list. This time its going to be the Android tablet from Toshiba which surprisingly is yet to be accorded an official name. Or perhaps Toshiba is liking it to be referred to as just that – Toshiba tablet.
In any case, the tablet from Toshiba isn’t breaking any new grounds in that the tablet will be another one running the Android Honeycomb operating system which is fast becoming common. This since the specs on board are pretty much the same. Like there is going to be the 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor beneath the 10.1 inch display that makes up the front of the tablet. The Toshiba tablet will have a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.
The tablet will also come bundled with other features such as an HDMI port, a full size and a mini USB port, along with 2 mp and 5 mp camera at the front and rear of the tablet. A nice thing about the Toshiba tablet is that it will comes with a full sized SD card slot and a user replaceable battery while the added rubber padding along the rear of the tablet will make it easy to hold. The tablet though is able to connect to the internet via 802.11b/g/n WiFi only with no mention of 3G as of now.
There is also no news of when the tablet is going to be available or what it will cost when it does. That the tablet is only Wi-Fi enabled is perhaps the indication of the tablet to have an affordable price tag and won’t require one to break their bank to buy on of these Toshiba tablet.
In any case, it looks to be another nice Honeycomb option soon to come our way.
- Toshiba Android tablet may be called Antares
- Toshiba launches site dedicated to the upcoming tablet
- Toshiba to launch new Android tablet
- Toshiba Planning 3 Tablet PC’s in 2011 – Android, Windows and Chrome
- Honeycomb tablets from HTC, Toshiba, Dell and Acer coming in June
- Good e-Reader CES exclusive – Toshiba Android 3.0 Tablet PC
Harry Potter Books May Soon Be Available On iPad And Kindle
Obama promised us the utopias of Philip K. Dick and Aldous Huxley and all we got was James Cameron: Osama avatars prancing through security in PETN-enhanced underpants.
Read more on The Huffington Post
Barnes & Noble has announced a big update for the Nook Color e-reader coming in April which will include a number of new functions such as applications and email, essentially bringing the LCD e-reader closer to being a full-fledged Android tablet.
It has been understood for a while that the Nook Color can be jailbroken and rooted to give it full tablet functionality, and the rooted tablet compares favorably to the Galaxy Tab—a bit slower, but a lot cheaper. But it’s been attracting a lot more attention lately: NPR’s All Things Considered did a story on the practice over the weekend. (Found via Slashdot.)
"It’s a little slower [than the Galaxy Tab]," [David] Cogen [of theunlockr.com] says. "There are occasional glitches. Sometimes things don’t appear correctly on the screen in certain applications. If you’re just using it to surf the Internet, use some apps, play Angry Birds, etc., it works very well — and the thing I like about it is it’s very lightweight and thin, even more so than, say, the Galaxy Tab."
Still no comment from Barnes & Noble on the practice. Still, it will certainly add a lot of appeal for ordinary users who don’t want to bother with even a simple unlocking process. Under the auspices of an e-book reader, Barnes & Noble is sneaking a full-fledged Android tablet into the hands of consumers. (Or at least fuller-fledged than before the update.)
A picture of the Motorola XOOM with the Sprint logo splashed on it is perhaps indication enough of there being a version of the XOOM from Sprint coming our way. If that happens, Verizon’s exclusivity with the XOOM will also come to an end. Such a development was always in the rumor stages and now it seems to be probable. Everything else is likely to be the same though Sprint’s WiMax might come into the picture to ensure faster connectivity.
However, this is all that is known as of now and more details are awaited. What will be interesting to know is whether Sprint will follow Verison’s price model of 0 and 0 for the unsubsidized and unlocked versions of the XOOM respectively.
- Motorola Xoom price revealed
- XOOM to cost 0 as per the latest leak
- HTC Evo View tablet from Sprint may be launched at CTIA
- Motorola defends XOOM’s 0 price + more XOOM news
- Sprint Galaxy Tab to cost 9 with Sprint
- Verizon Motorola XOOM news
It wasn’t too long ago when there used to be a niche segment where we would come across e-readers that exhibited a certain degree of flexibility. Often and on there would be pictures of e-reader bend to some extent which would hold us in awe. Unfortunately, none of them ever turned out to be a market success and it was left to only the conventional and inflexible e-reader to satisfy the e-book loving crowd.
However, it seems such bendable e-readers are back again, thanks to a group of researchers based in Taiwan who claim to have hit upon a novel way of devising electronics that could withstand bending and shearing forces up to some extent. And the most surprising aspect of it all, our good old silk fabric is the center of it all. For it’s all about a technique that comprises of silk in liquid form, which is converted to a membrane that exhibits properties of insulators and can function as flexible thin film transistors.
The method has been devised by an engineering professor along with two post graduate students at Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University and have stated they are already in discussion with a few manufacturers. Needless to say, the technology holds a lot of promise and could well be the material of the e-readers, LED displays and RFD tags of future.
The use of silk for the manufacture of electronic devices can also lead to a lot of savings cost wise as it is estimated that its just .03 worth of silk that would be required for every device. Then silk being a natural fiber also means the damage done to the environment is also the least. Much less than what plastics usually do.
There is no word though as to when we might get to see a silk e-reader in a real world scenario sharing retail space with perhaps the Kindle and the Nooks of the future.
- Innovative Tablet-Size Flexible Electronic Paper Display
- Inspiring Technology For E-Readers in 2010
- Bridgestone The New Flexible E-reader
- E-Readers Cost Might Come Down To Just 0 This Year
- Deciding Factors for eBook Readers
- ITRI introduces new flexible color AMOLED display
Unity is a young company by today’s standards, but they are rapidly proving that they can play in the sandbox with the longer established companies. At the Game Developers Conference this March, Unity announced their new plugin that will support 3D graphics in Web-Browsers for Android devices. The Unity plugin has been available for Apple devices for quite some time already, so it is only natural that the company would follow up Android.
What this means for consumers is that there will be no need to wait for long download times, or having to buy the DVD to install a game. This will all be supported through the browser plugin, providing more access for those that may not have the top of the line computer to play the latest games. Since we are dealing with playing 3D games in a web browser, some of the full effect will be lost. The amazing graphics need to be scaled down to fit in the browsers, where on a PC they would be utilized to their full potential. The availability outweighs this small deterrent though. Unity also has a development kit readily available, so developers can easily transfer their games into the new format so that the consumers can play! Keep in mind Unity games require Tablets with the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor.
Another newcomer to the scene is also displaying a very strong plugin for displaying 3D games in web browsers. ShiVa3D has been working exclusively with a 3d browser plugin, whereas Unity is a general development company. Where Unity just announced their capability for Android, ShiVa has already been creating 3D real-time applications and games compatible with the system. While ShiVa appears to be more user friendly, the consensus is that Unity offers better developer support.
The market is slowly starting to become crowded as Adobe and Epic Games, Inc both get on board to offer 3D web browser support. Adobe angling to launch the ability to create 3D graphics in flash, which has traditionally been 2D. Epic Games is looking to expand on their Unreal engine to add more functionality and accessibility. Bringing their outstanding PC experience to Mobile devices.
Already on the market is WebGL, which is embedded in most browsers already and does not require a plugin. At least if you use Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Safari. Microsoft appears to be unenthusiastic about it though. So while WebGL is growing and becoming more accepted, it is hampered by Microsoft’s lack of interest, leaving the field wide open for the plugins.
In the spirit of free trade, this only bodes well for the consumer, offering more options and competition between the developers to all be the one to design the best system, for the best price, to get the most sales.
- Barnes and Noble Nook to get web browser and games
- Amazon to have Games on their Kindle E-Readers?
- Free Games Available for Amazon’s Kindle
- Electronic Arts launches Scrabble for the Kindle
- Cloud based iDuple Internet tablet from India
- Intel Oaktrail based tablet from Pioneer
The ASUS “Campus Life” blog reports that the Eee Note EA800 is about to hit shelves in North America at a list price of under 0 (which probably means “exactly 9.99”). The device is an 8” touchscreen 4GB e-ink “digital notepad” that comes with a stylus (or, as they call it, a “2,540dpi resolution touch pen that has 256 levels of pressure”) for precise, pressure-sensitive note-taking, annotating e-books, and so on.
It also includes a 2MP camera, micro USB, micro SD, 802.11 b/g WiFi, headphone jack, and speakers. Battery life is given as 13.5 hours with a 10-day standby.
The piece doesn’t mention whether the touchscreen is capacitive or resistive, or what e-book formats it supports, though it compares it to an Eee Reader. And the Eee Reader DR900 has a capacitive touchscreen and supports the EPUB format, so it seems likely this device will as well.
It’s unclear how well this device will be able to compete against more popular e-readers, or the color tablet disguised as an eReader Nook Color, but at least it’s got the price range right. And in embracing a sort of halfway position between an e-reader and a tablet, aiming at college students who want to take notes on their classes, it at least seems to be aiming for a niche that no one else has yet tried to fill.
(Found via E-Reader Info.)
Asus will be launching a new device in the North American market in the next month that will solidify the place of pen and paper e-readers. Asus is billing this device to be the best device to be used in classrooms and aimed at students.
The Asus EEE Note EA800 is a 8 inch touch screen tablet with a resolution of 768X1024 (2540dpi) and feature 64 levels of grayscale. It will also showcase new Anti-Glare technology to be visible outdoors. The processor that the eee Note will run on is the 624MHz Marvell ARM11 CPU and have 256 MB of internal RAM.
The eee Note is a eight inch device and will allow you to store around 4 GB of data which is the equivalent of 10,000 ebooks. It will also allow you to store handwritten notes of 20,000 notes.
One of the most exciting features is the touch screen sensitivity. It will support almost 256 levels of pressure – that means the Eee Note will feel just like writing with a pen – press harder for heavier weight, or press lightly
for fine lines.
It will also have a 2 Mega Pixel camera that is rear mounted and will allow you take pictures of graphs or complex formulas. It will also feature a Micro USB port and Micro SD in order to add even more storage. The ability to transfer media to your device from your computer will allow you to add music, pictures and other files.
The battery life is also amazing as it will last around 13.5 hours and over 10 days in standby mode.
- Asus Eee Note EA800 will make European debut this month
- Asus Eee Note launching this week in Taiwan
- Asus e-reader to cost around 0
- ASUS developing LCD e-reader
- Asus Eee Tablet getting renamed and due out 2011
- ASUS DR-900 e-reader to make November end debut in Taiwan for 0
The Wall Street Journal reports anonymous sources tell them that Borders is about to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and indeed could make the filing as soon as today (though Borders itself refused to comment on the matter yet). One paragraph in particular of the report reads like an epitaph:
Borders’s finances crumbled amid declining interest in bricks-and-mortar booksellers, a broad cultural trend for which it offered no answers. The bookseller suffered a series of management gaffes, piled up unsustainable debts and failed to cultivate a meaningful presence on the Internet or in increasingly popular digital e-readers.
Reportedly it will seek to close 1/3 of its 674 stores, and lay off large numbers of staff. However, whether it even can reorganize itself and avoid liquidation is unclear. The sources report it will declare over billion in liabilities, and the article quotes Mike Shatzkin (no stranger to these pages) as suggesting that brick-and-mortar shelf space for books will be half-gone within 5 years, and 90% gone within 10.
Publishers who Borders owes money are not going to be thrilled about this, and Borders shareholders are going to take a big hit as well. It will also likely result in much of Borders business migrating to other retailers and e-tailers such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The article doesn’t mention what, if anything, this will mean for users of the Kobo e-readers that Borders sells.
(Found via Galleycat.)
If you though its Android 2.3 Gingerbread was the last of the series (at least for the time being) and that its Android 3.0 Gingerbread that the tablet world would hop onto thereafter, well, there seems there is a new twist in the tale. For if Viewsonic’s recent revelation to Pocket Lint is to be believed, there is something after Gingerbread. It will be Android 2.4 though the rumored version of Android would still retain the Gingerbread tag. Rumored since there is no word from Google as of now confirming such a development.
Further, it is believed it is the ViewPad 4 – the smartphone that its manufacturer claims is a tablet device – would be the launching device to first come ported with the new Gingerbread, which is around April. In fact, the site claims the release date of Android 2.4 has been brought forward to April just to ensure single core devices such as the ViewPad 4 running Android 2.4 are also compatible with the dual core apps built for Honeycomb. Now this can’t be said a very convincing explanation, particularly since its being said Honeycomb does not have any special hardware requirements as such.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see what comes out of the entire development. As for the ViewPad4, we know the smartphone / tablet device will have a Qualcomm MSM 8255 1GHz CPU coupled to a 512 MB or a GB of RAM, 4.1 inch 800 x 480 pixel display, a 3 and 5 megapixel camera integrated at the front and the rear of the tablet along with 2 GB of on board storage.
- Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread is finally here
- Motorola might come up with a “Gingerbread” tablet this month
- HTC to launch Android ‘Gingerbread’ tablet early 2011
- Galaxy Tab will have Gingerbread and Honeycomb updates
- Gingerbread launch within a few days
- Android Froyo is not suited to Tablet