Category: Tablets


Archos Child Pad

Tablet PC’s have really become quite popular that even kid’s now would want to play with them. Unfortunately, most tablets today are not designed for use with kids in mind. It is because of this that a new tablet niche for makers has sprouted up. There are now devices like the new Archos Child Pad specifically designed for kids.

The new Archos Child Pad is introduced in the market in order to fill the void for tablets that kids can safely use. It comes with a 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM and runs with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS. It also comes with a 7 inch touch screen display and uses a colorful kid-friendly interface with colorful icons and direct access to a number of apps and games designed for kids to enjoy and play with. The new Archos Child Pad is expected to come out by the end of this month. It is expected to cost around US$129.

Image Source: Archos

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Apple just unveiled the brand new iPad on Wednesday. As far as we can tell it’s just being called the “new iPad.” Not the iPad 3 or the iPad HD, although there are references to the “third generation iPad” on Apple’s website. It’s a pretty stunning device and I’ve already argued that it offers new enhancements to change the tablet game all over again. You may have been there for our live blog or hitting the TechnoBuffalo homepage as we broke the news, but in case you weren’t, here are the top five features of the new iPad as we see them.

Retina Display

The Retina Display is definitely the highlight feature of the new iPad. It doubles the sharpness of the previous iPad 2 with a 2047 x 1536-pixel resolution. That’s like having an HDTV in your shoulder bag, folks, except it can be used for email, gaming and more. You already know that. Just know that it’s much sharper and a huge advance over any other tablet’s display currently on the market. Yes, I’m fanatically in love with the Super AMOLED Plus screens on Samsung’s smartphones, but the sharpness just wins this round for me, hands down.

4G LTE Support

Oooo weeee! This is what we were looking for and Apple included it. The new iPad is capable of running on AT&T and Verizon’s brand new and super fast 4G LTE networks. Here in New York City, I’ve noticed that both are capable of providing faster download and upload speeds than my Time Warner Cable connection — that’s impressive and I’ve loved the speeds on other smartphones and tablets, including the Motorola Xyboard 8.9 tablet that I use regularly. Add in support for sharing the connection with other Wi-Fi enabled devices and the new iPad is that much sweeter. Better yet, the tablet supports HSPA+ and HSDPA networks, which means you’ll be able to take advantage of “4G” or 3G speeds in international markets. Seriously, it supports all of these bands:

  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 technology
  • Wi-Fi + 4G for AT&T model: LTE (700, 2100 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Wi-Fi + 4G for Verizon model: LTE (700 MHz); CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

Quad-Core Graphics

Apple’s new iPad is equipped with a dual-core A5X chip, but it also supports quad-core graphics. That means we can expect some killer games, including Epic Games’ Infinity Blade: Dungeons. As a huge fan of Dungeon Hunter 2 and other dungeon-crawler hack-and-slash style games I can’t wait to give this one a whirl. NVIDIA has killer games for its Tegra 3 quad-core processor in the pipeline too, and that chip offers 16 graphics processing cores, but at this point I think Apple’s going to beat it to the market with the amount of games available. It’s going to be a wait-and-see approach here, though, and I won’t make too many judgements until I try games that take advantage of the quad-core GPU in the new iPad and NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 chipset.

5-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording

Plenty — and I mean plenty — of other devices already offer 5-megapixel cameras, even 8-megapixel cameras, with 1080p HD video recording. But it’s nonetheless one of the newer and more appreciated features on the new iPad. It remains to be seen how great the images and videos turn out, but we know for sure that the iPhone 4S offers among the best recording and photo snapping cameras on the market today. Aside from, perhaps, Nokia’s freshly announced 808 PureView phone, which has an incredible 41-megapixel camera!

Killer Battery Life

Apple included a 42.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery in the new iPad. Despite adding a better GPU, a faster processor and support for 4G LTE networks, there’s little to no sacrifice on battery life. The Cupertino-based company still promises 10 hours of battery and 9 hours of juice on 4G LTE networks. The iPad 2, by comparison, offers the same 10 hours of battery life and 9 hours of battery life on 4G LTE networks. Usually, we see a sacrifice in usability time when it comes to 4G but that appears it won’t be the case with the new iPad. Of course, we’ll know much more once we get a unit in for testing.

The new iPad is up for pre-order beginning today and starts at $499. It should arrive in your hands by March 16th. You can bet we’ll be doing in-depth video and text reviews of the new device as soon as we get our hands on one, so be sure to stick around!

Apple just unveiled the next-gen iPad at its event in San Francisco. Packing a Retina IPS display with the mind-blowing resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels and a bumped up GPU, this shapes up to be one of the hottest slates on the market. And yes, the iPad has kept its Home button alright.

Strangely, rumors about the new slate being called iPad 3 or iPad HD turned out wrong and the new device is simply called iPad – just like the first generation device.

The event started with the announcement of iOS 5.1 – it’s available starting today and will roll out in Japan over the next few weeks, bringing Japanese language support for Siri, as previously rumored.

The new Apple TV also got a spot under the sunlight at the event – 1080p-capable, running iOS with a new UI with big “billboard images for movies”. It will be available for $99 and will be available next week with pre-orders starting today.

Moving on to the main course for the night, the new Apple iPad offers a Retina display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 with around 263.92 ppi. Apple also says that it has better color saturation than the iPad 2.

The processor inside is not a quad-core A6 but a dual-core A5X with quad-core graphics. The camera is dubbed iSight – it’s a 5 MP BSI unit with auto-focus, sporting a 5-element lens. The new iPad’s camera offers 1080p video recording. The new iPad features 21Mbps HSPA+ and 42Mbps DC-HSDPA and 4G LTE up to 73Mbps.

The new iPad will keep its acclaimed 10-hour battery life, save when in 4G mode when it will be able to do 9 hours. The 16GB version of the new iPad will cost $499, the 32GB abd 64GB will be $599 and $699. The 4G versions will be $629, $729 and $829 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. It will be available on March 16.

Along with the third-gen iPad we saw the iPhoto for iOS and updated iMovie app as well as new versions of Infinity Blade – Dungeons and Sketchbook Ink.

Crytek, the studio responsible for the Crysis franchise and the positively regarded CryEngine, are set to take a crack at the mobile gaming sphere with a puzzle game.

The game is called “Fibble – Flick ‘n’ Roll” and is currently set to launch for both the iOS and Android platforms during the spring of this year. The pricing and exact release date have not been announced.

The title supposedly sports easy to understand navigation and gameplay based on physics. It features leader boards for competition amongst friends and strangers, and it also rocks its own set of achievements.

In speaking with Develop during GDC, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli expressed the company’s decision to get into mobile games as exciting. He went on to talk a little about what Crytek can bring to the platform:

“Going mobile is an incredibly exciting step for us as a game development company…

…The way that people play games on mobile devices is a real blessing. This allows us to get back to our roots, experiment and focus our energy on creating great gameplay experiences while still keeping Crytek’s high production values…”

The game’s first teaser trailer sits at the top of this post. You can head to the official site to see some assets or read about the game in a more in-depth fashion.

Does the prospect of seeing the traditionally FPS focused studio of Crytek try their hand at mobile game development excite you? Or, would you rather the studio works on more core titles for the PC and console gaming crowds?

[via Official SiteDevelop]

One of the best bits about the HTC newly unveiled smartphone lineup that we saw at the MWC is undoubtedly the screens of the One S and the One X. The displays of both new flagship droids of the Taiwanese company represent a major step forward, compared to their predecessors and we imagine you are as curious as we are to learn more about the underlying technology.

Fortunately, the guys from BestBoyZ managed to get their hands on the two and put them under a microscope to examine what was going on beneath the surface. There were a couple of interesting findings to be noted.

HTC One X SLCD2 matrix (left) vs LG Optimus 4X HD AH-IPS matrix (right)

It turns out the HTC One X HD SLCD2 uses virtually identical matrix to the one found on the LG Optimus 4X HD. That’s the same AH-IPS screen we loved so much on the LG Optimus LTE and it’s hardly a surprise it led to some great results on the One X. The curious omission of the IPS technology from the One X official specs sheet was explained with trademark reasons.

As for the HTC One S – we got confirmation that its qHD Super AMOLED uses a PenTile RGBG matrix, instead of a conventional RGB matrix. This will probably lead to the familiar dottiness in some images, but it seems HTC has designed its interface cleverly enough to make that less apparent.

HTC One S PenTile matrix

We spent quite some time with the One S at the MWC in Barcelona and we weren’t bothered by the missing sub-pixels at all. Here’s hoping this won’t change when we get the smartphone for a full review.

Source

Android took a major step today as Google unified it’s Google Music, Google Videos, Google Books and Android Market services into one. The new one-stop store goes by Google Play.

Google Play is Google’s effort to put all of its downloadable content, be it apps, movies, music or eBooks and make it easily accessible using Cloud syncing. This would allow you to easily get any music tracks, videos and eBooks you purchase to all of your Android devices, just like with the apps from the Android Market so far.

To make the switch from Android Market to Google Play, the search giant will release an update for the Android Market app on devices running Android 2.2 or later over the coming days. So, from now on, it’s officially Google Play, Google Play Music, Google Play Books and Google Play Movies.

How much music and videos, you ask? The company says that you can store up to 20,000 of your own songs plus any of the millions available for purchase in the Google Play itself. And with the app and video count growing literally by the minute, you can be sure that Google will certainly target global market dominance.

And to make sure it attracts more and more users, Google Play will be celebrating its launch by slashing prices on a ton of applications, books, music and movies. Sadly, the full power of Google Play will only be available in the United States at launch, while the rest of the world will have to have to sit on the sideline, looking enviously.

Finally, here’s Google’s introductory video to Google Play.

Source

jelly bean

Android fans are still struggling to get their hands on Ice Cream Sandwich, but Google is already working on Jelly Bean and now Key Lime Pie.

Product codenames are part and parcel of the technology world, with many companies choosing to go with mythological figures (Zeus, Athena), place names (Chicago, Vienna), rivers (Tualatin, Willamette), or animals (Snow Leopard, Lion) to refer to their products before they get a “real” name. With Android, Google whimsically chose to go with desserts, and has been bumping Android codenames one letter along the alphabet with each release: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo (for “frozen yogurt”), Gingerbread, Honeycomb, and now Ice Cream Sandwich. Now comes word that the next two Android releases will be “Jelly Bean” and “Key Lime Pie.” But with the Android ecosystem still struggling to get its hands on Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich,” what can folks expect future releases to bring?

Google itself has had absolutely nothing to say publicly about future versions of Android, and — as expected — declined to comment. So these represent educated guesses about Jelly Bean and Key Lime Pie… sprinkled with a a few things we’ve heard through the grapevine.

Jelly Bean

The “Jelly Bean” name isn’t news: It’s been kicking around since mid-2011, with strong confirmations only landing when Google started gearing up for Ice Cream Sandwich. Just like ICS, Google is being tight-lipped about what it plans to include in Jelly Bean. Expect these key features.

samsung-series-5-chromebookTablets… and notebooks? — As with Android HoneyComb, Google is expected to be optimizing Jelly Bean for tablets and other large-screened devices, potentially including notebooks or netbooks that could dual boot Windows and Android, and possibly run them live side-by-side without requiring users to shut down one or the other. Although noted by only one source in the Android device industry, the rationale is apparently two-fold: Google’s Chrome OS have so far failed to gain traction amongst consumers, and tablet makers haven’t considered Ice Cream Sandwich to be a game-changer for Android in the tablet arena. If Android wants to take on the iPad, Jelly Bean will need to bring a better proposition to device makers.

Google Galaxy Nexus Tablet

What’s in a name? Call this guilty by association – for now – as Google has yet to confirm anything, but the company’s name has been showing up quite a bit in recently registered domains. And, if recent rumors are anything to go by, the domains just might tell us quite a bit about the search giant’s upcoming plans.

Judging by the registered domains, Google’s so called Nexus Tablet may actually come to be known as the Google Play once it begins production this April. The unknown tablet is rumored to become a direct competitor to Amazon’s Kindle Fire with a 7-inch screen of its own. And because it’s Google we’re talking about, you can bet the device will come with a nice vanilla flavor of Android 4.0.

The domains were said to have been registered by brand-shielding firm MarkMonitor, who Google regularly employes so it can hide behind Whois privacy. Some of the captured domains include: googleplayapps.com, googleplaybooks.com, googleplaydownloads.com, googleplaygames.com and googleplaymovies.com. If we were to assume this is in fact evidence of a Google-branded device, it certainly sounds like a tablet to us.

Of course, merely registering domains could mean diddly-squat. Or, and this is a big or, the company might just be preparing an announcement for a tablet called Google Play. A visit to googleplayapps.com yielded no further information. But the names themselves might be enough to go on already.

[via Geek.com]

Just a couple of days after uncovering the security loophole in iOS, whereby an application can copy the user’s entire photo library and upload it simply by asking for location information in photos and videos, The New York Times is back with similar issue found on Android devices as well.

In case of Android, the issue is a bit more worrying, as was demonstrated by the Times, using the same method they used with iOS. They built a simple time app for Android, which, in its permission dialogue, made no mention of accessing the photos on the device but simply for Internet access. This app was then able to not only access the photos on the device but also post it on a website, all behind the user’s back.

When The Verge contacted Google regarding this, it gave the typical developer argument of it being a feature and not a bug. Google said Android was designed in a way to facilitate access to your files because older devices had memory cards in them. But now that more and more Android device are having a fixed internal memory, the will be looking into adding permission for apps to access images.

Like we mentioned in our previous article regarding the iOS bug, this is no different than the way images can be access on your desktop computer. However, with Google now monitoring apps using its Bouncer program, like Apple, it too has fewer excuses to allow such behavior from apps on its store.

iPad 2 cockpit

Nearly a month after making a proposal to replace its inflight manuals with 18,000 iPad 2s, the U.S. Air Force has awarded a $9.36 million contract to Phoenix-based vendor Executive Technology to make the purchase. Apple’s tablet supposedly beat out competition from the PlayBook, Xoom, Galaxy Tab and Nook Tablet.

Bloomberg reports the Air Force will opt for the 32GB, Wi-Fi model at a subsidized price of $529 compared to the normal rate of $599. Someone ought to warn the USAF that Apple is planning an event for its next iPad next week. Actually, Executive Technology has acknowledged a refresh is looming, but noted it has a year to make purchases with the funding – so far 63 iPad 2s have been purchased.

The devices will act as electronic flight bags for paper manual and chart replacement, which can sometimes weight up to 40 pounds. In comparison, an iPad weighs in at a fraction. Apple’s iPad was previously adopted by both Delta and Alaska Airlines as part of a trial program in 2011. The USAF has plans to implement the devices largely the same way.

“Aircrews fly nonstop worldwide missions and require access to flight publications both on and off the aircraft, throughout all phases of flight,” Captain Kathleen Ferrero told Bloomberg in an email. In the USAF’s eyes, the iPad 2 was the perfect device for the job.

[via Bloomberg]

Asus: Original Transformer Android 4.0 Update Now Coming in March

By 

ASUS Transformer

It looks like Asus may have over promised when it said Ice Cream Sandwich would be hitting the original Transformer in early February. In fact, owners may have to wait as long as March, as Asus made a statement on its Singapore Facebook page saying the Android update is being pushed back, although no reasons were given. The Transformer Prime previously received Android 4.0 treatment, although TechnoBuffalo saw mixed results.

Here’s the statement in full from Asus:

Dear fellow Asus members, we would like to say that we appreciate all the support we see in our Asus Facebook page every day. It makes our contributions worthwhile and fulfilling.

We are informed that the ICS upgrade for TF101 will be ready within the Feb/March 2012 period. You will be able to receive the upgrade notification via FOTA once we have a confirmation date.

We thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter

It’s frustrating news for Transformer owners patiently waiting to experience Ice Cream Sandwich, but if a delay is what it takes to get a compatible, bug-free port, then an extra few weeks wait won’t sting too much. Hopefully this time Asus will hit its predicted timeframe, though.

[via Android Police]

PlayBook OS 2.0 Reportedly Launching February 21

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PlayBook OS 2.0

When Research In Motion’s PlayBook OS 2.0 was revealed early last month, rumblings suggested the update would hit sometime in February, although no specific date was given. According to N4BB, the date in question is next Tuesday, February 21.

We detailed RIM’s new tablet experience when the company unveiled the OS during CES 2012, and it looks like it’s finally ready for public consumption. In short, PlayBook OS 2.0 will offer native email, calendar and contact apps – features that quite frankly should’ve been included from the get-go. Unfortunately, N4BB‘s sources said BBM will be a no-show in the 2.0 update, though it can still be accessed through BlackBerry Bridge.

It’s a much needed step in the right direction for RIM. Let’s hope the company can keep it up and bring BBM to the PlayBook sooner rather than later. Once (if) the update hits, we’ll be sure to bring you an extensive hands-on.

[via N4BB]

zAPPed Makes Your iOS Gadgets Part of the Board Game

By Joshua Schnell, Feb 14, 2012 4:44 PM

Photo: Hasbro

Hasbro plans to release new editions of three of its classic games this year. The spin? The zAPPed games will use iOS devices to help bring them to life.

The Game of Life zAPPed is available in stores now. Instead of being represented by tiny, featureless pink and blue pegs, players can completely customize their virtual pegs, adding hair, hats and other accessories. The iPad is also used to play a series of mini-games that have been integrated into the main game, as well as serving as the spinner, complete with an authentic tick-tick-ticking sound. Hasbro additionally partnered with America’s Funniest Videos to bring life stage appropriate videos to the game.

In Monopoly zAPPed, you can use any iOS device as a digital bank. That’s right; there’s no paper money in this version of the game, which is good for those with limited math skills but bad for those who liked to hedge their bets by hiding a few hundreds under the board. [Crap; there goes my entire strategy. –Ed.] Instead, each player gets a “debit card” that lives on your iOS gadgetry–just tap it to complete a transaction. The Community Chest and Chance cards have also gone digital, replaced by more digital mini-games. You can play additional mini-games to get out of jail or avoid fines. [Man, imagine if that existed in real life… –Ed.]

With Battleship zAPPed, you place the battleships onto the surface of an iPad. Special conductive paint on the battleships will allow the iPad to track their positions (Monopoly zAPPed uses a similar technology to differentiate the debit cards).

Monopoly zAPPed should be out this June, with Battleship zAPPed following in September. The games should all be priced around $25, but they of course do not include the iOS devices, which could be the bigger price hurdle for some. The accompanying iOS apps will be available for free in the App Store.

Samsung Launches Low-Cost Android 4.0 Tablet

By Mikael RicknäsIDG News    Feb 13, 2012 10:30 pm

 

Samsung Electronics has launched the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), the first of its tablets to ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and its own Touchwiz user interface, the company said on Monday.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0)The latest addition to Samsung’s tablet portfolio is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and has a 7-inch screen with a 1024-by-600 pixel resolution.

The tablet will cost about €270 (US$350) excluding taxes for the Wi-Fi version, according to a statement from Samsung in Sweden, which also says that it will start shipping in March.

Samsung will also sell a 3G version of the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), which can function as a phone and connects to the Internet using HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) at 21mbps.

The tablet is 0.41 inches (10.5 millimeters) thick and weighs 0.75 pounds (344 grams), compared to the iPad 2, which is 0.34 inches (8.8 millimeters) thick and weighs 1.32 pounds (601 grams).

The specification also includes two cameras; 8, 16, or 32GB of integrated storage and MicroSD card slot; and a 4000 mAh battery that should last for up to 39 hours, according to Samsung.

With a lower price, Samsung hopes to attract a larger audience to its tablets. Sales of Android-based tablets more than tripled during the fourth quarter of 2011, but Apple still dominates the market, according to a recent report from Strategy Analytics. The Android camp had a 39.1 percent share of global tablet shipments, compared to 29 percent a year earlier. Apple’s share dropped from 68.2 percent to 57.6 percent, according to Strategy Analytics.

Chinon Unveils Bargain Tablets

Chinon Unveils Bargain Tablets

The Chinon Swift-7 costs just $160, while the Swift-10 costs $280.

By Jeff Bertolucci  Feb 14, 2012 7:15 am

Chinon USA Monday announced two low-cost Android tablets targeted at cost-conscious buyers. The 7-inch Chinon Swift-7 costs $160, while the 9.7-inch Chinon Swift-10 is $280.

Both tablets run Android 2.3–a disappointing choice what with new Android slates like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 featuring version 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

The smaller Swift-7 is aggressively priced. In fact, it’s $40 less than Amazon’s popular Kindle Fire.

How do they compare? Both tablets have 7-inch screens, but the Kindle Fire’s 1024 x 600 resolution is higher than the Swift-7’s 800 x 600.

Unlike the Fire–but like Apple’s iPad–both Chinon displays (7- and 9.7-inch) have a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Expandable Storage

The Kindle Fire has more storage, too: 8GB (with 6GB available for user content) versus the Swift’-7’s 4GB. That’s enough room, Chinon says, for about 2,000 songs, 40,000 photos, or four full-length movies.

You can add storage to the Swift-7 or Swift-10 via a Micro SD memory card slot. Battery life for both Swift tablets is approximately five hours.

Like the Kindle Fire, the Swift-7 supports 802.11n Wi-Fi. Unlike the Fire, the Swift-7 has a front-facing camera with a not-so-great 640 x 480 resolution. (Given the tablet’s $160 price, it might be too greedy to expect anything better.)

The Swift-10 has two cameras–front and rear–each 2 megapixels. Like the iPad 2, its 9.7-inch IPS display has a 1024 x 768 resolution.

Chinon USA is clearly aiming for the bargain end of the burgeoning tablet market. The Swift specs suggest a so-so slate experience–which may be good enough for users who simply want to check email, watch the occasional YouTube video, and, yes, play Angry Birds.

Then again, the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook may very well offer a better user experience for a mere $40 more.

In the 10-inch market, the Swift-10 faces stiff competition from a host of Android challengers, many of which are priced only slightly higher. For instance, the Wi-Fi version of the aforementioned Galaxy Tab 2, which runs Android 4.0, will cost around $350 when it ships in March.

And don’t forget about the iPad 2, which Apple may continue to sell at a reduced price, once the iPad 3 (allegedly) arrives next month.