Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi up for pre-order from Costco; $589.99, free case

By on March 17, 2011 at 9:28 AM.

Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi up for pre-order from Costco; $589.99, free case

Motorola announced the March 27th launch of its Wi-Fi-only XOOM on Wednesday, and now Costco has made the tablet available for pre-order. While Costco quotes a ship date five days later than Motorola’s — April 1st as opposed to March 27th — the wait will award buyers free shipping, a discounted price and a free gel case. Granted, the discount is only $10, but tack on the free shipping and that snazzy gel case, and you’ve got yourself a solid deal. We reviewed the Motorola XOOM in February and said it packs a serious punch. Included with that punch is Google’s Android 3.0 Gingerbread OS, a dual-core 1GHz processor, 32GB of storage and a 10.1-inch HD display. More →

27 Comments

HTC Flyer tablet production to exceed 1 million units in initial run

By on March 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM.

HTC Flyer tablet production to exceed 1 million units in initial run

Citing industry sources, Taiwan Economic News reports that HTC has high hopes for its debut tablet, the HTC Flyer. Announced at Mobile World Congress last month, the HTC Flyer is an Android 2.4-powered slate with a 7-inch touchscreen display, a 1.5GHz processor, 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling. Despite a tremendous amount of competition expected this year, HTC has reportedly placed an initial order with manufacturers for over 1 million units of its Flyer tablet. This seems like a massive first order for HTC, which is also expected to launch two more Android tablets in the first half or 2011 according to the report. Taiwan Economic News states that the 3G-enabled Flyer will retail for approximately $600 off contract, which would make it over $100 less expensive than the 32GB iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G model from Apple. More →

37 Comments

Motorola XOOM sales not very impressive, analyst claims

By on March 11, 2011 at 4:30 PM.

Motorola XOOM sales not very impressive, analyst claims

In a note to investors on Friday morning, an analyst from investment firm Morgan Keegan & Company claimed in-store sales of Motorola’s XOOM tablet are crawling. Morgan Keegan analysts reportedly spoke with roughly 80 Verizon Wireless retail locations, and the tablet is selling at a rate of two units per day on average in each location. While this purported sell-through rate is less than impressive, the firm notes that at its current pace, the XOOM would reach sales estimates of 300,000 units in the quarter. We reviewed the Motorola XOOM tablet last month and said it packed a serious punch. We also said there is plenty of room for improvement with Google’s Honeycomb operating system, however, and that it lacks innovation in its current state. More →

116 Comments

Honeycomb is ‘by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks,’ analyst writes

By on March 10, 2011 at 10:11 AM.

Honeycomb is ‘by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks,’ analyst writes

Android 3.0 — or “Honeycomb,” as Google lovingly calls it — is not fit for mass consumption. This according to analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research, who calls Google’s tablet-friendly operating system “by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks,” and says it has little chance of mass adoption. In a note to investors on Wednesday, Chowdhry lambasted Honeycomb and said it would fail. In a bizarre twist, however, the analyst also said the failure wouldn’t matter because “Honeycomb is insignificant to Google revenues.” As an ocean of consumer electronics OEMs bet the bank on tablets and Honeycomb (along with future Android builds that will be based on Honeycomb) quickly becomes the platform of choice, we’re pretty sure Google stands to make a buck or two off of the Google services all these potential users will have tossed on their laps. But Chowdry thinks Google should stick to the Web, where consumers won’t complain about buggy products because they’re free. When an $800 Motorola XOOM crashes repeatedly, however, “the consumer is unforgiving.” More →

130 Comments

ViewPad 10 dual-boot tablet now available from ViewSonic

By on March 7, 2011 at 9:34 PM.

ViewPad 10 dual-boot tablet now available from ViewSonic

ViewSonic announced on Monday the immediate availability of its unique dual-boot tablet, the ViewPad 10. First announced this past November, the ViewPad 10 is an Atom-based tablet that features a 10-inch 1024 x 600-pixel touchscreen display, a 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB of memory, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. Most notably, however, it features a dual-boot configuration that allows users to boot either Android 1.6 or Windows 7 on demand. “The lines of professional and personal life are blurring, which creates a need for devices that are suited for both sides,” said Adam Hanin, vice president of marketing for ViewSonic Americas, in a statement. “The ViewPad 10 delivers just that by enabling users to merge business productivity with personal enjoyment anywhere, anytime.” The ViewPad 10 is available immediately for $599 (16GB SSD, Windows 7 Home Premium) or $679 (32GB SSD, Windows 7 Professional). Hit the break for ViewSonic’s full press release. More →

62 Comments

Samsung denies Galaxy Tab 10.1 overhaul, says tablet will ship as scheduled

By on March 7, 2011 at 1:38 PM.

Samsung denies Galaxy Tab 10.1 overhaul, says tablet will ship as scheduled

Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported last week that Samsung was considering making changes to its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet following the unveiling of Apple’s iPad 2. “We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate,” Samsung’s executive vice president of mobile was quoted as having said, leading many to speculate that the tablet might not launch on time. But Samsung denied the report this past Saturday, saying it plans to release its second Galaxy-branded Android tablet on schedule. We took a hands-on look at the Galaxy Tab 10.1 last month and found that it might even best the Motorola XOOM in some areas. We also thought Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS still needed some refinement, however. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is expected to launch later this month through Vodafone in Europe, and launch details in the U.S. market are not yet available. More →

91 Comments

ASUS CEO talks up 3D tablet, Android and MeeGo netbooks, Windows Phone

By on March 4, 2011 at 2:26 PM.

ASUS CEO talks up 3D tablet, Android and MeeGo netbooks, Windows Phone

ASUS is on a mission to become a tablet-toting, force to be reckoned with and it looks like that mission could begin to yield some pretty nifty tablets moving forward. And while ASUS’ aim is to become the world’s No.2 tablet vendor by next year, it sounds like ASUS will continue to cook up some interesting products in other categories as well. Netbooks don’t get as much coverage these days, but the category is still a pretty big money maker for companies like ASUS. According to ASUS CEO Jerry Shen who spoke to reporters at CeBIT, we can look forward to both Android and MeeGo netbooks from the company in the near future. Shen also says ASUS is working on a Windows Phone that will launch next year. Moving back to tablets, Shen talked up 3D displays, quad-core processors and SSD drives when discussing the company’s roadmap, though he didn’t get into any specifics. The just announced Apple iPad 2 gave competitors plenty of room to shine in 2011, though it could be almost impossible for any single vendor to make any real headway with imminent floods about to drown us all. What definitely won’t help is a lot of talk with no products to back it up, so we’re hoping ASUS has some intriguing devices in hand next time executives talk tablets. More →

7 Comments

Samsung considers Galaxy Tab 10.1 overhaul following iPad 2 unveiling

By on March 4, 2011 at 10:37 AM.

Samsung considers Galaxy Tab 10.1 overhaul following iPad 2 unveiling

Following the unveiling of Apple’s second-generation iPad tablet earlier this week, competitors are left scrambling to react. The iPad 2 wasn’t perfect, of course, but it still sets the standard for tablets in 2011 and it will still outsell the competition 10 to one. Apple had its eye on hardware with its iPad 2 update, and the sleek, slender result was so impressive that it seemingly left Samsung scrambling to overhaul its upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 slate. The company is already rethinking some of the tablet’s hardware components, Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports, in consideration of the iPad 2’s 8.8-millimeter aluminum body. “We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate,” Lee Don-joo, EVP of Samsung’s mobile business, told Yonhap. “Apple made it very thin.” Samsung is also considering a lower price point when it releases the Tab 10.1 later this year, according to Lee. “The 10-inch [Galaxy Tab] was to be priced higher than the 7-inch [Galaxy Tab] but we will have to think that over.” More →

90 Comments

‘Significant’ new tablet, plenty of Android devices headed to CTIA

By on March 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM.

‘Significant’ new tablet, plenty of Android devices headed to CTIA

CTIA vice president Rob Mesirow said on Thursday that a “significant” new tablet will be unveiled at the annual CTIA trade show later this month. The show will be packed full of tablets — just like this year’s CES — as we all expected. “Tablets are just an extension. We’ll start seeing a lot of extension devices. It’s probably no accident that most of the new phones coming out will be able to tether 5-7 products to that phone,” Mesirow told PC Magazine in an interview. “We’re going to see a ton of tablets at this show.” Unlike CES, however, it also looks like we might finally see a new round of Windows Phone 7 devices announced at CTIA. “We’re going to see a lot more out of Windows Phone 7 at this show, but it’ll be moving into the fall show in a much bigger way,” the CTIA exec noted. But Android will still be the belle of the ball, of course. “Android, Android, Android,” Mesirow said when asked what the predominant smartphone platform at CTIA might be. More →

18 Comments

RBC: 185 million tablets sold by end of 2014, Android to dominate long-term

By on March 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM.

RBC: 185 million tablets sold by end of 2014, Android to dominate long-term

In a note to investors on Thursday, RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky reiterates the firm’s belief that the tablet market is poised to explode over the coming years. RBC forecasts a rise in global tablet revenue from $11 billion in 2010 to $70 billion in 2014, noting that leadership will be achieved through a differentiated user experience, innovation, value and the surrounding software ecosystem, among other things. Abramsky views Apple’s iPad as the clear leader in the space right now, though he notes that the iOS tablet’s dominance will likely be short lived. “While Apple’s iPad may continue to set the bar high for experience, we expect Android to dominate (40% share Tablets by 2014), given its broader support from OEMs and carriers and expected budget-priced Android Tablets from Asia,” Abramsky writes. But he also notes that several Android tablet makers will exit the market along the way. “Too many vendors entering the market sets up for a pending shakeout.”

152 Comments

iPad 2 will have stiff competition this year, analyst thinks

By on March 1, 2011 at 12:25 PM.

iPad 2 will have stiff competition this year, analyst thinks

In a note to investors on Tuesday, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White became one of only a few analysts to take a minority stance on the iPad 2… sort of. White thinks Apple’s next-generation iPad will see stiff competition from the wave of tablets set to crash down on our shores this year, whereas most believe Apple’s tablet will be a clear winner over competitive offerings. “We estimate there are well over one hundred tablets coming to market around the world this year.” White writes. “Assuming a new iPad is unveiled at this event, we believe Apple must make a convincing case for why the iPad 2 is better than the plethora of competitors coming to market, while at the same time persuading iPad 1 buyers to upgrade to iPad 2.” That was enough to garner some attention, apparently, as White then pumped the brakes. “We still believe the combination of the Apple brand, economies of scale and the company’s powerful ecosystem are reasons enough for Apple to outpace its competitors,” he notes. White currently has a Buy rating on Apple stock with a $550 price target. More →

82 Comments

Motorola CEO says 7-inch tablet due this year, again

By on February 28, 2011 at 5:50 PM.

Motorola CEO says 7-inch tablet due this year, again

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco on Monday, Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha repeated the company’s plans to issue a tablet with a 7-inch form factor this year. Jha’s new claim mirrors remarks he made to the same effect during a keynote speech at the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference late last year. The CEO said earlier that both 7 and 10-inch form factors will be “quite meaningful” to the company’s tablet business. Jha’s repeat mention of the coming smaller tablet has tech blogs buzzing just as it did the first time around, as the company has yet to name any specific tablet devices beyond the newly launched Motorola XOOM. Jha also noted during his talk that all of Motorola’s high-end smartphones will include compatibility with laptop dock accessories beginning later this year.

7 Comments

Motorola XOOM overclocked to 1.5GHz; shreds benchmarks

By on February 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM.

Motorola XOOM overclocked to 1.5GHz; shreds benchmarks

So you’ve gone ahead and purchased a Motorola XOOM for a cool $800. You’ve been politely pawing at it for the last few days, playing by its rules, running at — or under — its manufacturer-designated speed limit. Now what? You overclock that bad boy’s processor… that’s what. XDA forum member coolbho300 has managed to tweak the XOOM’s kernel to get both Cortex-A9 cores running at a benchmark-shredding 1.5GHz. “I have successfully brought the Tegra 2 in the XOOM to 1.5GHz,” writes coolbho300 in a forum post. “A few kernel modifications make the dual core chip in the XOOM even more powerful than the recently announced Tegra 2 3D. 1.5GHz through two Cortex A9 cores is truly a force to be reckoned with.” We’re not going to argue with that assessment. As you can see from the above image, the device’s performance in benchmark tests is quite impressive (especially when compared to a lowly smartphone). You can hit up XDA to check out the tutorial on how to bring your XOOM up to warp speed… but do be careful. More →

31 Comments