Right on schedule, Samsung’s TouchWiz update began rolling out to Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners on Friday. The update provides a number of visual enhancements to the user interface including a live panel view, a new mini mode tray for quick access to open applications, a clipboard, an indicator quick panel and a photo editor. Samsung also added Amazon Music Player, Words with Friends, Samsung Media Hub, Social Hub, the Swype keyboard and Kindle software. To update simply go to Settings > About Tablet > Update. Unfortunately, it looks like Samsung hasn’t pushed the patch out to its Limited Edition Google I/O Galaxy Tab 10.1 or to Verizon’s 4G LTE version just yet, but we’re hoping it does soon.
Verizon Wireless just sent us the 4G LTE-equipped version of Samsung’s flagship Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and we’re ready to deliver our initial impressions. First things first: this should go without saying at this point, but this puppy is ridiculously fast. Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network is unmatched when it comes speed and latency — from the user’s perspective, it’s pretty much like being connected to a Wi–Fi network. A few quick tests performed just outside New York City showed the blazing-fast speed we’ve come to expect from Verizon’s 4G network, ranging from about 12-15Mbps down and 3-5Mbps up. On the hardware side of the equation, Samsung’s LTE tablet has undergone a handful of cosmetic changes. Holding the slate in landscape orientation, the stereo speakers have been moved up the sides of the device to accommodate the power button and the volume rocker, which are now on the left side of the Tab 10.1 instead of up on top. The back of the tablet is also slightly different. It now features a gray plastic rear cover with a brushed metal effect. We like the look of the new back but unfortunately, the quality seems to be a bit lacking. Within a few minutes of removing the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 from its box, there were already a few scratches on the back case. Overall build is solid, however, just like our original limited edition 10.1 model, and it’s still remarkable that Samsung was able to make this tablet so thin. Check out our hands-on 4G LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 photo gallery below for more photos of this sleek, speedy slate.
Lenovo announced three new tablets with 10.1-inch displays on Wednesday morning, including the IdeaPad Tablet K1, the ThinkPad Tablet, and the IdeaPad Tablet P1. The Android3.1 (Honeycomb) powered IdeaPad Tablet K1 will be targeted at the everyday consumer and is equipped with a 1280 x 800 resolution screen, HDMI-out, a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity. It’s also the first Netflix certified Honeycomb tablet. The 32GB IdeaPad Tablet P1 will be available on July 20th for $499.99, and the company confirmed that a 3G model will also launch in the U.S. at a later date. Lenovo will market its ThinkPad Tablet to business users. It’s equipped with a Gorilla Glass display, features a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, runs Android 3.1 (Honeycomb), has a full-size SD card slot and a USB port, and can be bought with an optional digitizer pen. The 16GB and 32GB ThinkPad Tablets will be available on August 2nd for $479 and $589, respectively. Finally, the IdeaPad Tablet P1 runs Windows 7 and is powered by a 1.5GHz Intel processor. It will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. Read on for the full press release. More →
Shipments of Asustek’s popular Eee Pad Transformer tablet have surpassed 400,000 units per month according to a report from DigiTimes. The industry watcher cites anonymous sources at touchscreen display panel suppliers in claiming shipments are expected to grow even further in the third quarter, possibly reaching up to 500,000 units per month. ASUS reportedly hopes to ship between 4 million and 5 million tablets across all of its models during the second half of 2011, and almost 3 million units could be Transformers if DigiTimes’ report is accurate. Analysts at J.P. Morgan Chase claimed last month that sales were slowing and ASUS’ convertible tablet was overstocked in some channels, but this continued high production volume would certainly suggest that the opposite is in fact the case. The Eee Pad Transformer is a 10.1-inch Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablet with a dual-core Tegra 2 processor that ships with a full notebook-sized keyboard dock. The slate can be used on its own or docked so that its function more closely resembles that of a laptop computer. More →
Amazon will soon place initial component orders for its upcoming tablet, which is slated to launch in the second half of 2011 according to a new report from DigiTimes. Citing anonymous industry sources, the report claims Amazon’s initial order will likely fall in the 1.5 million to 2 million-unit range, and the retail giant is expected to take its first delivery in September. Taiwan-based touchscreen manufacturers Wintek, HannStar Display and J Touch are said to be vying for the contract, though Amazon could face supply issues right out of the gate. DigiTimes says Apple’s iPad tablet is expected to occupy the bulk of tablet production in the second half of the year, and this could make it difficult for manufacturers to meet Amazon’s production demands. Earlier this year, BGR exclusively reported that Amazon is planning to launch two tablets in the near future, a dual-core slate codenamed “Coyote” and a quad-core Kal El-based tablet codenamed “Hollywood.” More →
A new independent study by security experts at Symantec attempted to measure how secure Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform are, and also to determine how these mobile platforms stack up against desktop operating systems. Symantec claims that these mobile platforms are much more secure than today’s popular desktop operating systems, though the firm does note that the key variable, as always, is the human element. “Today’s mobile devices are a mixed bag when it comes to security,” said Carey Nachenberg, Symantec Fellow and Chief Architect, in a statement. “While more secure than traditional PCs, these platforms are still vulnerable to many traditional attacks. Moreover, enterprise employees are increasingly using unmanaged, personal devices to access sensitive enterprise resources, and then connecting these devices to 3rd-party services outside of the governance of the enterprise, potentially exposing key assets to attackers.” While Symantec neglects to reach a firm conclusion regarding which mobile OS is the most secure, the firm definitely seems to favor iOS more often than not. It says iOS’ app screening procedure plays a big role in the operating system’s security, and it also says the platform’s architecture makes it better at resisting malware attacks and data integrity attacks. It also says iOS offers better encryption and more secure access control for apps. Symantec’s full press release follows below.
The original Google TV products were met by lukewarm reviews at best, and according to Geek.com, the search giant is hard at work on its new Google TV 2.0 product. Developers have been joining Google’s new “Fishtank” program to get early access to tools that will allow them to create compelling new content for Google’s next attempt at entering our living rooms. Google TV 2.0 runs a barebones version of Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) and there are reportedly only 50 developers partaking in the initial Fishtank program. Fishtank includes an Intel CE4100 reference platform with a beta version of Google TV 2.0 preloaded, and a wireless keyboard. Intel’s Sodaville SoC, part of the CE4100 reference platform, also includes support for 3D gaming and Flash. Geek.com noticed a new “dual-view” feature that allows users to watch TV and use the OS at the same time; and the user interface has the same glowing-blue Tron-like effects as the tablet version of Honeycomb. Developers are said to be up in arms over the “Live TV” application on Google TV 2.0 — many want to interact with the TV interface directly, but Google isn’t allowing that just yet. Will it be enough for Google to tackle Apple TV? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, another shot of the box and a couple of UI images can be seen after the break. More →
Google’s share of the U.S. smartphone market dipped for the first time since 2009 according to Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf. Needham says Android’s share slid from 52.4% to 49.5% in the first quarter, its first sequential market share loss in any region since the second quarter of 2009. Wolf attributes the dip to the launch of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4; Apple’s U.S. market share ballooned more than 12 points to 29.5% in the first quarter. Wolf believes Android’s market share in the U.S. will rebound in the June and September quarters, though it will see a “material decline” in the fourth quarter of 2011 following the launch of Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone. “This is just the beginning of Android’s share loss in the U.S.,” Wolf wrote in a note to investors. “The migration of subscribers to the iPhone on the Verizon network should accelerate this fall when Apple coordinates the launch of iPhone 5 on the GSM and CDMA networks. The iPhone could also launch on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks.” Hit the break for a graphical representation of U.S. smartphone market share from IDC. More →
Sprint took the wraps off of its EVO View 4G tablet during CTIA 2011 in March — the device is nearly identical to the HTC Flyer, save for its support for Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network. As an Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) tablet, the View 4G is a bit less versatile than Honeycomb products from Asus, LG, Motorola, and Samsung, but it does offer HTC’s custom Sense user interface catered to tablets, and support for HTC Scribe stylus input. I thought the Flyer was lacking in a few areas when I reviewed it, but has time with Sprint’s 4G version changed my mind? Read on to find out!
Editor’s note: We’re running this review ahead of schedule thanks to a broken embargo (WSJ). Photos and gallery will be up shortly! ^ze
More than 100 tablets were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show this past January, but only a few of them really caught our attention. Among those select few were the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer — a tablet that saw high demand at launch, though it may now be waning — and the ASUS Eee Pad Slider. When the slider was announced back in January, ASUS said it would launch in May and we expected it to cost between $499 and $799. While exact pricing remains a mystery, May has come and gone, and the month was decidedly Slider-less. A launch in some regions may be fast approaching, however, as Amazon’s German website now displays the Eee Pad Slider alongside an option to be emailed once the slate becomes available. ASUS already covered most of the specs when the convertible tablet was announced, though Amazon.de does indicate that it will sport a new 1.2GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, known previously as the Tegra 2 3D. More →
There were rumors floating around earlier today that Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 tablets in Europe running Google’s Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS were delayed until August, but Google has confirmed to us that that isn’t true. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will launch next week with Android 3.1 and the Motorola XOOM has already received the Android 3.1 update. Verizon Wireless is also close to launching the Galaxy Tab 10.1 with LTE which is set for a “summer” launch running, you guessed it, Android 3.1.
Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced that it will carry a 4G LTE version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android Honeycomb tablet. The device — currently the thinnest tablet on the market — will be available in two capacities, 16GB and 32GB, and will launch in two color schemes: “metallica gray” and “glossy white.” Save for its 4G LTE radio and updated operating system, the tablet is nearly identical to the special edition that we reviewed earlier this month: it offers a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a 1280 x 800 resolution display, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats, and a 3-megapixel rear camera. Pre-orders begin on June 8th, and you can pick up the 16GB version for $529.99 or the 32GB model for $629.99 with a new two-year contract. Verizon Wireless also said that it will offer a range of accessories for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, including a full keyboard. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
While Samsung and Google gave out limited edition Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 units to Google I/O attendees, the general public hasn’t yet been able to get their hands on one of the thinnest Android Honeycomb tablets to date — and, coincidentally, one of our favorite. Today, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available exclusively at the Union Square Best Buy store in New York, NY starting on June 8th, with availability expanding to all Best Buy locations on June 17th. The Galaxy Tab 10.1, the world’s thinnest tablet, will be available starting at $499 for the 16GB model, with the 32GB model coming in at $599. The full press release is after the break.
Updated with revised press release. More →