During the Computex trade show in Taipei on Monday, ViewSonic officially took the wraps off of its ViewPad 7x Android tablet. We had heard mumblings of the device earlier this month, but now we know all of the ins and outs of the tablet: it runs Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb, is powered by a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, has HSPA+ connectivity, an HDMI-out port, rear and front facing cameras, and a 7-inch LED display with a 1024 x 600 resolution. We hope ViewSonic has plans to update the 7x to Google’s newer Android 3.1 operating system once it launches, but it’s not clear if that’s in the works right now. ViewSonic has not yet announced details on pricing or revealed a launch date, either. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, an Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet with a 10.1-inch screen and an optional QWERTY dock, made its U.S. retail debut today, and it’s flying off of store shelves. Amazon and Target appear to have already sold out of initial stock of the unit, and Best Buy’s website currently says that the $400 tablet is backordered, too. ASUS announced the Eee Pad Transformer late last month, and it’s equipped with a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1.2-megapixel camera for video chat, a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera, and it’s rated for up to 9.5 hours of battery life. There’s no word on when U.S. stock will be replenished, although Best Buy’s “ship to store” option says the unit usually ships to the store within 3 to 5 days. More →
Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry on Monday became the latest analyst to take a shot at Motorola’s XOOM tablet, though Chowdry’s figures appear a bit suspect. The analyst claims Motorola Mobility manufactured between 500,000 and 800,000 XOOM tablets thus far, and he estimates that the company has only sold between 5% and 15% of those tablets. Chowdry thinks that Motorola may have sold as few as 25,000 units or as many as 120,000 XOOM tablets to date. Yes, a range that large is absurd — some might even call it an egregious disservice to Global Equities’ clients — but if Chowdry’s numbers are at all accurate, this could spell trouble for Motorola. While we argued that recent XOOM sales estimates didn’t render the XOOM a flop, if Motorola did in fact build nearly a million tablets and sell less than 100,000 units, “flop” might become an accurate descriptor. Of course if the XOOM was in fact selling at such a slow rate, Motorola would have likely cut its orders and slowed production, again leading us again to wonder if Chowdry spilled coffee on his notes before typing up these recent estimates. We should know more on Thursday when Motorola Mobility reports its earnings for the last quarter, though we’re not sure the company will disclose a breakdown of device sales. More →
T-Mobile introduced the world to its first Android 3.0-powered tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show this past January. Unfortunately for T-Mobile, however, the G-Slate was announced amid a flurry of similar announcements — remember, over 100 tablets were introduced at CES this year — so the LG-built tablet got a bit lost in the fray. What’s more, Motorola’s XOOM tablet was the star of the show, thus positioning the G-Slate as a second-class citizen at CES. Later this week, however, T-Mobile will finally embark on its virgin Honeycomb as it pushes the device out to market. It looks as though the launch will be a quiet one compared to the XOOM, but that doesn’t necessarily mean LG’s tablet is unworthy of some attention. I’ve spent a few days putting the device through its paces and while I must admit my expectations weren’t terribly high to begin with, T-Mobile’s tablet definitely managed to surprise me in a few areas. Does that mean you should consider stepping off one of those iPad 2 lines still forming outside retailers and consider the G-Slate instead? Read on for my full review.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 →
Ahead of a planned launch event next week, ASUS on Friday made its latest tablet official. The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is a device we may not see much of stateside, but it seemingly has it all. The unique design marries a standard 10.1-inch tablet with a QWERTY-equipped hinged dock. When combined, the result is a full-sized touchscreen laptop experience that can afford up to a staggering 16 hours of battery life on a single charge. When apart, the Eee Pad Transformer becomes a regular Honeycomb tablet. Spec highlights include a dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a 10.1-inch Gorilla Glass-covered display with 1280 x 800-pixel resolution and 10-point multitouch support, 1GB of RAM, up to 32GB of storage, dual cameras and an HDMI-out port. ASUS has not yet provided any details regarding pricing, launch markets or a release date. Hit the jump for specs and the full press release. 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.
Samsung wasn’t exactly coy about its plans to launch an 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab during CTIA this week, and that’s exactly what it just did. On Tuesday Samsung took the wraps off of the Galaxy Tab 8.9, its third Android-powered tablet. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and features a mini-apps drawer for quickly launching your favorite applications. A future update will also bring Samsung’s custom UI to the slate. As its name implies, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 has an 8.9-inch screen with a 1280 x 600-pixel resolution. Despite being thin and light — it weighs just 470g and is 8.6mm thick — it packs some serious hardware muscle including a 1GHz dual-core processor and support for 802.11n Wi-Fi in both the 2GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. The 16GB Wi-Fi-only model of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 will retail for $469 and the 32GB version will cost $569 when the devices launch later this year. Hit the jump for the full release, and be sure to check out our hands-on. More →
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 →
Adobe has announced that it will release Flash Player 10.2 for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices, as well as a beta version for Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb tablets, on March 18th. The release will provide performance improvements and take advantage of the dual-core and GPU-enabled processors in phones such as the Motorola ATRIX 4G and LG Optimus 2X. The addition of a new soft-keyboard should make it easier for developers to optimize desktop apps for use on full-touchscreen smartphones and tablets, too. Adobe worked closely with Google on the new Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb update to add support for hardware accelerated, HD, H.264 video content using the Stage Video rendering pipeline. On Honeycomb tablets, Flash Player 10.2 will also offer improved webpage scrolling, and better support for websites that implement HTML content on top of Flash Player content. Unfortunately, these features won’t be supported on Android 2.2 (Froyo) or Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) just yet, however.
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 →
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 →