Last summer, Huawei’s MediaPad was one of the first manufactures to ship a device pre-loaded with Android 3.2 Honeycomb. The Chinese company is now attempting a similar strategy with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich. Existing models of the MediaPad will receive an Android 4.0 update by the end of the first quarter, and new MediaPads will come pre-loaded with the software beginning some time the first quarter. Additionally, the tablet will be offered in the current color scheme, and will add shadow black, classic brown, and passion pink to the mix. The MediaPad features a 7-inch 1280 x 800-pixel display that supports 1080p full HD video playback, a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and six hours of battery life. Read on for the company’s full press release. More →
Google TV continues to make a decent impact at the Consumer Electronics Show. On Wednesday, Google and OnLive announced that the company’s streaming game service was coming to Google TV devices. OnLive delivers console-quality games that are synchronized, rendered, and stored on remote servers and then are streamed over the Internet. The service launched in 2010 and is available on Windows, OS X, Android and iOS operating systems. “With OnLive, the latest high-performance video games stream just as instantly as videos or movies,” said OnLive’s chief executive Steve Perlman. As the company does with most new platforms, the service will launch as a “Viewer” on Google TV, allowing users to watch and use OnLive social features. However, OnLive is working closely with Google to enable full gameplay with gamers from around the world. Vizio will be the first manufacturer to incorporate the service into its Google TV devices. More →
Microsoft had a massive booth at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. It was home to brand new laptops, a huge array of Windows Phone devices, demo stations for Xbox 360 and SkyDrive, and plenty more. Sadly, however, there were no Windows 8 devices on display to give show-goers a closer look at Microsoft’s next-generation operating system. We love Windows Phone in its current state and it seems like we aren’t alone; there were tons of people gathered around the phones playing with them and it looked like plenty of people were impressed, too. Whether or not this new wave of enthusiasm will translate into sales remains to be seen, of course. There were plenty of other sights to see in Microsoft’s booth, so be sure to check out our full gallery below.
On Tuesday, Intel announced that it was entering the smartphone space and that Lenovo will be the first vendor to introduce a smartphone powered by Intel’s Medfield processor. Intel also had its manufacturer reference design on display at CES however, which we had a chance to play with. The current device runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and felt just as fast as other high-end smartphones we’ve played with recently, such as the DROID RAZR MAXX. The device was extremely thin and is capable of taking 15 8-megapixel photos in a single second — something no other mobile processor can handle at this point. Intel explained that the reference design is used to show manufacturers what Medfield is capable of, but that manufacturers can and likely will add their own tweaks to their devices. Motorola Mobility announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a multi-year partnership with Intel, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the first Medfield-based smartphones hit store shelves later this year. Check out our gallery below for a closer look at the reference device.
At the Consumer Electronics Show, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt spoke about the idea of fragmentation in Android. Schmidt argued that while there is a “differentiation” between Android devices, it isn’t the same as fragmentation. “Differentiation is positive, fragmentation is negative,” said Schmidt. “Differentiation means that you have a choice and the people who are making the phones, they’re going to compete on their view of innovation, and they’re going to try and convince you that theirs is better than somebody else.” Schmidt defined fragmentation as having an app that runs on one device but not another, with Android this is not the case 99% of the time. The differentiation between devices comes from the various skins that manufactures lay over the Android operating system. “We absolutely allow [manufacturers] to add or change the user interface as long as they don’t break the apps. We see this as a plus; [it] gives you far more choices,” said Schmidt. While everyone who buys an iPhone receive the same user experience, Schmidt doesn’t think the same is necessary with Android. “It’s not required that everyone use the same interface,” Schmidt said. “People are free to make the necessary changes. What’s great is if you don’t like it, you can buy the phone from someone else.” Android is all about choice, not every consumer is looking for a slide-out keyboard, a 4.65-inch display, or a dual-core processor, the different manufactures allow you to find a device that is perfect for you. Though those specifications sounds pretty good to me. More →
We just met with Corning during CES in Las Vegas to check out its new Gorilla Glass 2 panels for smartphones and tablets. The new glass is 20% thinner than before, but just as strong and scratch resistant as the original Gorilla Glass. The thinner build will surely help manufacturers make smaller and lighter smartphones. We stayed to watch a pressure test, images of which are in the gallery below, and were impressed with the strength of the glass. Corning said that it’s already shipping the new panels to phone manufacturers and that we will see smartphones on the market soon with the new glass. We were also told that Gorilla Glass 2 will be used in new Windows-powered computers later this year. Be sure to check out our gallery below.
Imagination Technologies announced at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday that the company’s next-generation PowerVR Series6 GPU core family will offer 20 times more performance over the current generation. Apple is a major shareholder in the company, and have used its chips in the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and the Apple TV. The PowerVR G6200 and G6400 GPU are the first in the Power VR Series6 GPU family and stand as a new benchmark for achieving high performance with low power consumption. The Series6 GPU will provide “ultra-realistic gaming” and enable more complex applications, while delivering 20 times or more of the performance of current GPU cores through an architecture that is five times more efficient than previous generations. “Based on our experience in shipping hundreds of millions of GPU cores, plus extensive market and customer feedback, we have been able to set a new standard in GPU architecture, particularly in the areas of power, bandwidth and efficiency — the key metrics by which GPUs are now judged,” said Imagination Chief Executive Hossein Yassaie. “We are confident that with the Rogue architecture we have a very clear technology advantage and an exceptional roadmap for the PowerVR Series6 family which our partners can depend on.” While there hasn’t been any indications about Apple’s next-generation mobile processor, the rumored “A6” chip that could appear in the iPad 3 may feature Imagination’s Series6 GPUs. Apple’s next-generation iPad is rumored to be announced and ship in March. More →
Motorola is known for the company’s rapid refresh rate on smartphones and tablets. Last fall, the DROID Bionic was released, two months later the DROID RAZR was released, and this week the DROID RAZR MAXX and DROID 4 were announced. Motorola has flooded the Android market with more releases than almost any other manufacturer, however things are about to change. During a roundtable event at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha announced that the company plans to release fewer new models this year, in an effort to focus on its marketing dollars. Jha noted that it was the Bionic’s delays that caused the product’s debut to be so close to the RAZR. Additionally, he said the company plans to pursue fewer new ideas in an effort to make more things stick. With the release of Motorola’s Bionic and ATRIX came the Lapdock, a feature to add a full keyboard and larger screen to your smartphone. Unfortunately, the dock was pricey and didn’t perform as consumers had hoped. Although it has yet to become a commercial success, Jha believe in the Lapdock feature and hopes to continue it in the future. Let’s just hope you don’t have to buy a new dock for each Motorola phone they release. More →
Viewsonic announced another addition to the company’s ViewPad tablet line at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday, the ViewPad E70. The 7-inch tablet runs Google’s latest operating system, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and features a 1GHz single-core processor, 4GB of storage, HDMI-out, and a front facing camera. While the specs may not outshine the competition, the $170 price tag absolutely has our attention. The ViewPad E70 is slated to be available late in the first quarter of this year. Full press release is after the break. More →
This month, DeviceFidelity and Spring Card Systems announced moneto, a new independent NFC payment solution. The service delivers NFC capabilities to any Android device with a microSD card. The card contains an NFC radio and antenna that are encrypted together to deliver MasterCard PayPass technology to any Android smartphone. Additionally, moneto has created a unique iPhone case to deliver the service to iOS users as well. The moneto case is currently available for $80, which includes $10.00 of pre-loaded funds. The Android microSD card is expected to be available within two to three weeks, and will sell for $30. All you have to do to use it, is insert the card, attach a small NFC sticker to the inside of your battery case — it helps with the NFC signal — and you’re on your way to credit card-less mobile payments. Read on for the full press release. More →
Polaroid shocked the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday when the company announced a new camera powered by Android. The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera is a 3.2-inch device, and it features a whopping 16-megapixel camera capable of 3x optical zoom on a 36-108mm lens. When connected to Wi-Fi, users can instantly upload their images to social networking sites and will also even have access to the Android Market. No specific release date or price has been announced, however Polaroid has said the SC1630 Smart Camera will land sometime this year. Read on for the company’s press release. More →
MakerBot announced their brand new personal 3D printer, the Replicator, at CES yesterday and we just had a chance to see it up close and in person. What do we think? Well, let’s just say that we want one of them, and fast. For starters, the unit comes preassembled from MakerBot, but it also features a larger printing footprint so you can print even bigger designs. There’s also the option of using two different colors of plastic to print two-color objects — you can also choose from either ABS plastic or a more eco-friendly variant. While the printing footprint is larger, the unit itself isn’t that big, and it’s reasonably quiet. In fact, it seems more quiet than the previous models MakerBot offered. It starts at $1,749.99 and goes up to $1,999.99 if you’d like the dual extrusion option. Check out our gallery to see the unit for yourself.
Vizio announced the company’s support for Google TV with two new set-top boxes at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday. The Vizio VAP430 Stream Player picks right up where the Logitech Revue left off, and will turn any TV into a smart TV. Vizio’s second set-top box adds a Blu-ray player to the mix and looks to compete with Sony’s new Blu-ray Google TV device. The Vizio VBR430 is labeled as “one of the most advanced 3D Blu-ray players on the market,” with access to the web, apps, and the ability to play the latest Blu-ray 3D movies. Both devices include a touchpad universal remote with a QWERTY keyboard, giving consumers an easy way to navigate everything Google TV has to offer. As with Vizio’s other CES products, shipping dates and pricing will be announced at a later date. More details are available after the break. More →