ASUS PadFone launches mid-April in Taiwan for nearly $1,000 with accessories

By on April 5, 2012 at 6:25 PM.

ASUS PadFone launches mid-April in Taiwan for nearly $1,000 with accessories

When ASUS announced the PadFone at this year’s Mobile World Congress, the company promised the hybrid device would begin shipping in April. Staying true to its world, ASUS on Thursday revealed that pre-orders will begin on Friday and the device will launch on April 20th in Taiwan, Engadget reported. The 4.3-inch Android-powered smartphone will be priced at NT$17,990 ($610) on its own and the dockable tablet and keyboard will cost roughly $240 and $130, respectively, bringing the PadFone’s total cost with accessories to $980 in Taiwan. ASUS will also be offering an extra battery as a bonus to those who pre-order the device. The handset features a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, an Adreno 225 graphics processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. The device also has the unique ability to dock inside a tablet shell that will deliver a 10.1-inch display, a tablet UI and a new range of functionality. The company has not announced further details regarding the PadFone’s global availability. More →

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Google to launch its own online tablet store, report claims

By on March 29, 2012 at 6:55 PM.

Google to launch its own online tablet store, report claims

Google is planning to market and sell tablets directly to consumers through its own online store, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The paper’s anonymous sources say the search giant hopes the move will turn around the slow adoption rate of its Android-powered tablets. The Mountain View-based company will reportedly look toward its partners such as Samsung and ASUS to manufacture devices for the shop, with the latter creating a Google-branded tablet to be sold in the store later this year. The Journal’s sources also confirmed previous reports that stated the next version of Google’s Android operating system, called Jelly Bean, will be released in the middle of this year. More →

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Google’s $199 Nexus tablet may pressure vendors to cut prices

By on March 28, 2012 at 9:45 AM.

Google’s $199 Nexus tablet may pressure vendors to cut prices

It is widely believed that Google will entere the tablet market in 2012 with an own-branded 7-inch Android tablet. The search giant has reportedly partnered with ASUS to build a $199 device that will compete against Amazon’s Kindle Fire. These low-cost tablets are expected to have a big impact on the entry-level tablet market and apply pressure to other vendors such as Acer, Lenovo and Samsung Electronics to cut prices, DigiTimes reported on Wednesday. The average gross margin on tablets is roughly 10% to 15% the report said, however as prices continue to drop and internal component costs increase, gross margins are expected to drop rapidly, forcing vendors and component makers to fight over narrowing profits. Google’s Nexus tablet is reportedly a “done deal” and should enter production in April and ship around June. The slate could be unveiled at Google’s annual I/O conference on June 27th if earlier rumors pan out. More →

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Google Nexus tablet ‘a done deal,’ report says

By on March 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM.

Google Nexus tablet ‘a done deal,’ report says

Google chairman Eric Schmidt started a firestorm when he was quoted saying the company planned to “market a tablet of the highest quality.” Since then, speculation surrounding a Google-branded slate has nearly spiraled out of control. DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim recently fueled the fire, suggesting that a Nexus-branded tablet will enter production in April for an initial run of between 1.5 million and 2 million units. Further reports also suggested that the Mountain View-based company had reached out to ASUS to design the Google-branded slate based on its Eee Pad MeMo tablet. Now, a new rumor suggests that ASUS has scrapped its $249 MeMo to focus solely on the “Nexus tablet.” Read on for more. More →

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Android tablet vendors may not survive an ‘iPad mini’

By on March 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM.

Android tablet vendors may not survive an ‘iPad mini’

Samsung, Asus and other Android tablet vendors are reportedly very concerned over rumors that Apple is working on a 7.85-inch version of its iPad tablet, currently referred to as the “iPad mini.” Apple sold more than 15 million post-PC slates in the December quarter last year, and Android tablet makers are said to be concerned that a smaller, cheaper version of Apple’s wildly popular tablet will make it extremely difficult to remain competitive in the space. Moreover, Google is said to be prepping an own-brand 7-inch Nexus tablet to launch later this year, which will likely make it even more difficult for Android partners to competeDigiTimes’s sources said “non-Apple” tablet vendors are fine for the time being thanks to the growing popularity of the 7-inch tablet space. If Apple and Google do release mid-sized tablets of their own, however, companies like Samsung and Asus “may soon have difficulty to survive” according to the site’s sources. More →

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ASUS rumored to produce Google’s ‘Nexus Tablet’ featuring quad-core Tegra 3

By on March 5, 2012 at 7:29 PM.

ASUS rumored to produce Google’s ‘Nexus Tablet’ featuring quad-core Tegra 3

Speculation surrounding a Google-branded Android tablet is ramping up with a new rumor suggesting that the search giant has partnered with ASUS to release a 7-inch tablet, an Android fan site reported on Monday. The slate is expected to retail for $199 and include a quad-core Tegra 3 processor with a stock version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich. According to the blog, Google was highly impressed with ASUS’ previously announced $249 MeMo tablet. The Mountain View-based company reached out to ASUS to see if they could reduce the cost of materials — possibly internal storage —  and reach the coveted $199 price point. The final product name is unknown, although the company has been reportedly purchasing domains referring to “Google Play.” The tablet should enter production in April and ship around June, possibly at the company’s annual I/O conference on June 27th if these rumors pan out. More →

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Asus announces Padfone tablet/smartphone hybrid alongside low-end Transformer Pad 300

By on February 27, 2012 at 7:35 AM.

Asus announces Padfone tablet/smartphone hybrid alongside low-end Transformer Pad 300

Asus on Monday unveiled the Padfone from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The hybrid device was first announced in May last year, however a bit has changed since the Padfone’s initial announcement at Computex 2011. The unique Padfone tries to capitalize on separating itself from the pack, and is comprised of a 4-3-inch Android 4.0-powered smartphone docked inside a 10-inch tablet. The handset portion of the device features a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 225 graphics processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Docking the smartphone inside the tablet brings the device a 10.1-inch display, a tablet UI and a new range of functionality. Announced alongside the Padfone is the entry-level Transformer Pad 300, a new version of Asus’s popular Eee Pad Transformer that features a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, a 10.1-inch 1,280 x 800-pixel display and 16GB of internal storage. The Padfone will finally begin shipping in April, 11 months after it was first announced, and pricing is not yet available. Launch details for the Transformer Pad 300 have not yet been announced, but hit the break for an image of the device. More →

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Original ASUS Transformer receives Ice Cream Sandwich update

By on February 24, 2012 at 7:35 PM.

Original ASUS Transformer receives Ice Cream Sandwich update

Last week, ASUS announced that the original Eee Pad Transformer would receive an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the coming weeks, a slight delay from the company’s original claim. The wait is over, however, and the update is currently rolling out over-the-air for Wi-Fi-only Transformers, according to forum members at XDA-Developers. Numerous reports have also indicated that the update is available in the U.K. and Canada as well. More →

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iPad pushes Apple to 26.6% of the mobile PC market in Q4

By on February 23, 2012 at 5:05 PM.

iPad pushes Apple to 26.6% of the mobile PC market in Q4

Apple’s shipments of iPads and MacBooks in the fourth quarter combined to give the Cupertino-based company a 26.6% percent share of the mobile PC market, according to a report from DisplaySearch released on Thursday. Apple shipped a total of 23.4 million units, nearly three times the amount of No.2 HP. The iPad accounted for 18.7 million units and captured 59.1% of the tablet market. Amazon shipped 5.3 million Kindle Fire’s for 16.7% of the market, with Samsung shipping 2.1 million and controlling 6.7% of the market. ASUS shipped 1.5 million units for a 4.6% market share and Barnes & Noble shipped 1.1 million units for a 3.5% share. Apple’s fourth quarter notebook shipments came in at 4.6 million units for an 8.3% share of the market. Ranking ahead of the Cupertino-based company was HP (15%), Dell (11.8%), Acer (11.8%) and Lenovo (10.8%). Read on for DisplaySearch’s press release. More →

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ASUS Transformer Prime bootloader unlocking tool now available

By on February 22, 2012 at 8:30 PM.

ASUS Transformer Prime bootloader unlocking tool now available

As promised, ASUS has released a bootloader unlocking tool for the Transformer Prime. The tool is packaged in an APK that can be downloaded from the company’s website. Once downloaded and installed, the Transformer Prime will have the ability to run custom ROMS, however ASUS warns that unlocking your bootloader will void your warranty. “Once you activate the [unlock app] you will not be able to recover your ASUS product (“Original Product”) back to original locked conditions,” ASUS stated. “You also acknowledge ASUS does not guarantee service satisfaction to any Revised Product, including events involving paid service requested by you to be performed to the Revised Product.” More →

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ASUS Transformer TF300T specs revealed ahead of MWC launch

By on February 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM.

ASUS Transformer TF300T specs revealed ahead of MWC launch

Earlier this month, images of the next-generation ASUS Eee Pad Transformer tablet leaked onto the Internet. The slate’s “TF300T” code name was in line with the original naming convention used on the Transformer (TF101) and the Transformer Prime (TF201), indicating it was next in line in the Transformer family. According to a purported screenshot of the tablet’s spec sheet obtained by Polish site Tabletowo, the TF300T is will feature a 1.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with a 10.1-inch 1200 x 800-pixel IPS display and 1GB of RAM. The slate will also come equipped with 16GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera (no flash), a 1.2-megapixel front facing, a microSD slot and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Oddly enough, the device is both heavier and thicker than the Transformer Prime, measuring 9.9 millimeters and weighing 640 grams. The Polish site’s leaked document also indicates that the new high-resolution Prime will be equipped with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060A processor clocked at 1.5GHz, rather than the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3. ASUS is expected to reveal its new Transformer tablet at this month’s Mobile World Congress trade show. Tabletowo’s screenshot follows below.

More →

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Ice Cream Sandwich update for ASUS Transformer delayed

By on February 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM.

Ice Cream Sandwich update for ASUS Transformer delayed

ASUS on Wednesday announced that the original Eee Pad Transformer will receive an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the coming weeks. “We are informed that the ICS upgrade for TF101 will be ready within the Feb/March 2012 period,” said an ASUS representative on the company’s Singapore Facebook page. “You will be able to receive the upgrade notification via FOTA once we have a confirmation date.” The company previously assured users an update was coming in mid-February and that Google was in the process approving it. ASUS gave no reason for the delay. More →

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Images of ASUS’s next-generation ASUS Eee Pad ‘TF300T’ leak

By on February 3, 2012 at 12:45 AM.

Images of ASUS’s next-generation ASUS Eee Pad ‘TF300T’ leak

Images of a possible next-generation ASUS Eee Pad tablet have leaked onto the Internet through Taiwanese website NCCC. The mysterious 10.1-inch slate could be a followup to the Transformer Prime — with its “TF300T” code name, the device’s pre-release moniker is somewhat in line with the original naming convention used on the Transformer (TF101) and the Transformer Prime (TF201). Aside from a couple of blurry photos, there are no specs or other details to report at this time. Hit the break for a second image of the device. More →

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