Sony can finally add tablets to the laundry list of consumer electronics categories it addresses, but the launch of its premier device — the Sony Tablet S — is raising questions as to how seriously Sony plans to take the tablet space. The 9.4-inch Honeycomb tablet features a Sony “TruBlack” display, a dual-core Tegra 2 processor and the ability to control Sony televisions, Blu-ray players and other peripherals with a custom universal remote app, but we’re not sure Sony has its sales strategy ironed out just yet. Read on for more. More →
The Russian government is considering disallowing the use of Apple’s iPad tablet within government agencies due to security concerns, Russian-language business news site RBC Daily reports. Instead, it is investigating various alternative tablet options including RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, Android-powered tablets or even a new device created by a Russian agency. Government security experts are reportedly looking for more “cryptographically secure tablet PCs” than Apple’s iPad tablet, and if the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s recent certification is any indication, the BlackBerry PlayBook could fit the bill. RIM announced last week that its PlayBook tablet received FIPS 140-2 certification, thus allowing it to be used by U.S. government officials. No other tablet has received FIPS certification to date. More →
It could very well be that Android’s best hope for a competitive tablet offering in the near term lies in Amazon’s hands. Retrevo Labs, a division of consumer electronics shopping site Retrevo, surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers in June to find out what people are looking for in a tablet. While 50% of those surveyed who intended to purchase a tablet this year said it would be an iPad, Retrevo determined that the most important feature to prospective tablet buyers is a low price point. Considering the unlikelihood of Apple budging when it comes to price, Android tablets have a clear opportunity to attack the market at more affordable price points. Among those brands that respondents would seriously consider buying a tablet from excluding Apple, Amazon was given the nod by 55% of those surveyed, followed by Samsung and Dell at 38% each. BGR reported exclusively that Amazon is working on two tablets it hopes to launch in 2011, a dual-core slate codenamed “Coyote” and a quad-core beast codenamed “Hollywood.” And as we discussed in a recent podcast, we think Amazon has the best chance to make some serious waves in the still-emerging tablet space. Amazon has several content ecosystems that will be at the core of its tablet offering such as the Kindle eBook store, a streaming movie service, its cloud locker service for streaming music and, of course, the Amazon Appstore. If deeply integrated into a customized Android build, these content channels could combine to produce a rich, comprehensive tablet experience. Additional graphs from Retrevo’s study follow below.
Sprint’s HTC EVO View 4G could land on June 24th — the same day the EVO 3D is set to make its debut — according to an advertisement obtained by Engadget. The 7-inch tablet is nearly identical to the HTC Flyer we recently reviewed, save for its 4G WiMAX radio. It packs a 1.5GHz processor, HTC’s Sense user interface, a 1.3-megapixel forward facing camera, 32GB of storage, 3G/4G hotspot capabilities, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a 4,000 mAh battery in a sturdy aluminum uni-body package. If you want to push the tablet’s capabilities a bit further and take advantage of the View 4G’s HTC Scribe feature, which allows you to take notes on the display, you’ll need to drop an additional $80 for a special stylus. Sprint has yet to reveal pricing for the EVO View 4G, but the Wi-Fi-only Flyer goes for $499.99 without a contract, so we expect to see it priced somewhere below that when purchased with a contract. More →
Best Buy announced on Thursday that it will be the exclusive retailer of the Wi-Fi HTC Flyer when it lands in stores and online on May 22nd. The Flyer is a 7-inch Android tablet with a 1.5GHz single core processor, a 4,000 mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, HDMI-out, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. It was originally announced during Mobile World Congress in February, where we had a chance to get up close for a hands-on. Best Buy has not yet revealed how much the tablet will cost but with the 22nd three short days away, we won’t have long to wait to find out. Hit the jump for the full announcement. More →
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview earlier this week to “stay tuned” for news on the company’s plans to release its own tablet. Bezos wouldn’t come out and confirm the tablet, but he took particular care in clarifying that such a device would not replace its popular line of dedicated Kindle eBook readers. “We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device,” Bezos continued. “In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn’t answer.” It doesn’t take Nostradamus to see where Amazon is headed with all of its recent product and service launches, of course. An Amazon-controlled Android app store, a new streaming movie and TV show service, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, the Amazon music store, Kindle… it all adds up to a self-contained ecosystem that will allow Amazon to issue a complete package when it finally does release its first tablet. More →
The Acer Iconia Tab A500, an Android 3.0 (Honeycomb tablet) with a 10.1-inch display, is now available from Best Buy for $450. The Iconia Tab A500 — not to be confused with the Iconia Tab A501 headed to AT&T — is powered by a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor clocked at 1GHz, offers 16GB of onboard storage, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and up to 8 hours of battery life. It also comes with 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, and a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB of additional storage. Best Buy says the tablet will ship from its warehouse within 1 business day, and we confirmed that local stores in New York City are stocking the device. More →
Back in December of last year, Motorola boss Sanjay Jha made it known that the company planned to take the tablet market very seriously. With its first tablet offering pulling in an estimated $50 million or more each month, it’s certainly likely that Motorola is planning an all-out assault on the market. During a keynote speech at the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference, Jha revealed that Motorola intends to target enterprise markets with a variety of tablet devices. Jha mentioned the retail market specifically during his speech, but it looks like Motorola is preparing a rugged 7-inch tablet as well. Spec highlights include a dual-core 1GHz processor, Android 2.3, a 7-inch display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and a ruggedized case. No name or release details are available for the time being. More →
Samsung confirmed Wednesday that the Wi-Fi-only version of the 7-inch Galaxy Tab will be available through retail stores and online beginning on April 10th for $349.99. The Galaxy Tab’s other features remain unchanged: it runs Android 2.2 (Froyo), has a 3-megapixel rear camera, a secondary 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat, and comes with 16GB of internal storage. The 7-inch display has a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, and the device comes with Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support out of the box. “We are excited to have the WiFi version of the Galaxy Tab join our growing portfolio of Galaxy-branded devices,” said Dale Sohn, President of Samsung Mobile. “The 7-inch Galaxy Tab is the first truly mobile tablet on the market, allowing users to comfortably hold the device in one hand while typing or navigating the Web with the other.” Samsung says the device will initially be available from CompUSA, TigerDirect, and Circuit City first, although more retailers will likely be announced in the near future. Hit the jump for the full release.
UPDATE: Samsung reached out on Thursday to note that its press release mistakenly stated that the Wi-Fi Galaxy Tab contains 32GB of internal storage. The correct spec is 16GB, and this post has been updated to reflect the device’s proper storage capacity. More →
Sprint announced last week that it would soon launch the HTC Flyer Android tablet rebranded as the EVO View 4G. Now, a new rumor circulating on Monday suggests another U.S. carrier will soon offer the Flyer as well. A series of leaked promotional materials and retail mock ups suggest that HTC’s Flyer is set to hit T-Mobile shelves in the near future. The are currently no indications as to when the tablet might launch or how T-Mobile might price the device, but odds are good that we’ll see something official pop up in the near future. HTC’s Flyer tablet does not feature Android 3.0 Honeycomb, as most recently announced tablets do, though it does feature a 7-inch touchscreen display and a new 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor. We took a hands-on look at Sprint’s version of the device last week and we identified a few issues as far as utility is concerned. Overall, however, we liked the device and thought it was very well built. More →
We already brought you a photo-centric hands-on of Sprint’s brand-spankin-new HTC EVO View 4G tablet, but we thought we would get a little closer to the sexy slab with a hands-on video. The 7-inch tablet reminds us a bit of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, however the View 4G does run Google’s Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) mobile operating system. HTC also added its solid Sense user interface to the View that makes the whole experience a bit more enjoyable — the 1.5GHz processor purring under the hood helps too. Throw in an innovative stylus, the HTC Scribe, and you have a pretty compelling package. Hit the jump for a video walk-through of the hardware and UI.More →
AT&T on Tuesday announced that it will launch the 4G-enabled Acer Iconia Tab A501 Android tablet early this summer. The A501 features Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system as well as a 10-inch touchscreen display, a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a front-facing camera for video chat and an HDMI-port capable of piping 1080p HD video to any attached device. “Consumers are seeking cutting-edge mobile computing devices and we look forward to giving them another great choice with the Acer Iconia Tab A501,” said AT&T’s VP of business development for emerging devices, David Haight, in a statement. “This tablet is packed with features that will enable HD gaming and exceptional video playback. It offers a first-class on-the-go entertainment experience.” AT&T has not yet revealed a specific launch date or pricing for the Iconia Tab A501. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
According to an unconfirmed report, Motorola is set to curtail production of its XOOM tablet beginning in April and production will cease after June. Industry watcher DigiTimes cites anonymous sources from within component suppliers in claiming that XOOM production in the first quarter of 2011 met forecasts of between 700,000 and 800,000 units. Motorola’s manufacturing partners are expected to ship between 400,000 and 500,000 units in March, and then April production will drop to 300,000 tablets. May’s production will reportedly dip further still and DigiTimes claims Motorola will stop building the XOOM at the end of June. The cause of the alleged drop in production is unclear, though the website’s sources speculate that Motorola may be uncertain about its position in the tablet market and will therefore slow production. They also speculate that Motorola may instead launch a new version of its XOOM tablet, which is the more likely scenario considering Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha’s previous comments with regard to the tablet market. Total XOOM shipments in 2011 are expected to be 3-5 million units, the report states.
UPDATE: Following the publication of this post, Motorola supplied BGR with a comment via email. The company states that DigiTimes’ report is not accurate, and Motorola will continue to manufacture the Motorola XOOM.