ASUS took to its Facebook page on Tuesday to ease tensions from an increasing number of customers unhappy with the locked bootloader on the quad-core Transformer Prime tablet. The company also confirmed that it will begin rolling out an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update on January 12th. It was reported yesterday that the highly-anticipated Eee Pad Transformer Prime featured a locked and encrypted bootloader, making it impossible to flash custom ROMs and kernels. Irate customers took to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook and voiced their opinions. The company announced that it is working on a bootloader unlocking tool, however with an unlocked bootloader comes consequences; Google video rentals will be unavailable and the ASUS warranty will be voided for unlocked devices. ASUS’s full statement follows below.
When the Motorola DROID Xyboard was released earlier this month, reviewers complained about the lack of a microSD slot, old technology, the odd name and most of all the outrageous price tag — $529 on contract for the 10-inch model. While other companies were readying quad-core devices, Motorola and Verizon were seemingly content with last year’s Tegra 2 chipset to power their new flagship tablets. Verizon is now looking to make the tablet more attractive to consumers with a $50 price cut. The 8-inch Xyboard still starts at $379.99 and the 10-inch model costs $479.99 with a two-year agreement, however, which are both tough sells with CES and the first wave of Android 4.0 tablets right around the corner. Unfortunately, both the 8 and 10-inch models will remain $599.99 and $699.99 when buying off-contract. More →
Intel’s upcoming Medfield mobile processor will most likely be the focus of the company’s Consumer Electronics Show keynote next month. The Medfield has been reported to outdo NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 and even Qualcomm’s S3 dual-core processor. An Android Community tipster recently got his hands on a Medfield developer tablet, the site reports, and he raved about the quality of the device. According to the tipster, the 10.1-inch tablet is thin and the weight feels good without giving the device a cheap feel. The device runs Android 3.x Honeycomb and is powered by Intel’s 1.6GHz dual-core Medfield Atom processor. It also sports an array of useful ports, including micro-USB, mini-HDMI and microSD slots. Medfield-powered devices are set to be released in the first half of 2012. More →
Apple rocked the consumer electronics industry when it launched the “magical and revolutionary iPad” in April 2010. It wasn’t the first media tablet aimed at the consumer market by any means, but it was the first that consumers actually wanted. Following the iPad’s unveiling, Apple’s rivals scrambled to build tablets of their own and market research firms were quick to herald 2011 as “the year of the tablet.” More than 100 different tablets were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2011, the bulk employing Android to power their user experiences, and the year of the tablet was upon us. Read on for more. More →
Sprint announced Thursday that it is releasing the Android 3.2.1 (Honeycomb) update for irs HTC EVO View 4G tablet. The slate originally launched running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), an operating system designed for smartphones. The update includes a new “virtual and holographic user interface,” as well as the following changes:
- Physical Hard keys replaced with on screen Soft keys
- New Google search, available on every page
- System Bar: Quick access to notifications, status, and soft navigation buttons available at the bottom of the screen
- Notifications menu moved to the bottom right corner of the screen, on the System Bar.
- The Action Bar—which can be accessed by touching the Plus Sign icon at the top right of the screen—is the key to contextual, changing menus that are controlled by each application.
- Enhanced security including Sprint Data Link and 3LM
Sprint said that it fixed Google video chat on the tablet and that Bluetooth should now work while the EVO View 4G is in airplane mode. The carrier also warned that “due to the unique structure of the Honeycomb layout, your personalized widgets and screen setup will not remain after the upgrade. The device will revert to the out-of-box home screen layout. Wallpapers, widgets, and application shortcuts that have been personalized will need to be re-established.” More →
In addition to the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 8.2, Motorola and Verizon are launching a larger tablet option today: the XYBOARD 10.1. The big difference? You guessed it — a 10.1-inch display compared to an 8.2-inch LCD panel on the XYBOARD 8.2. Both units look almost identical, though the XYBOARD 8.2 has a better rear case design that definitely adheres to the new Motorola DROID personality, complete with metal screws and more. The XYBOARD 10.1 is a bit more plain, yet you do get better speakers positioned on the back of the tablet instead of on the top, and a microUSB port on the bottom as opposed to the side. Compared to the original XOOM, the DROID XYBOARD 10.1 is 33% thinner, lighter and more or less is exactly what the first tablet should have been. Since it’s more of a direct competitor to the iPad, we’ll have to see how it holds up in our full review. In the meantime, make sure to check out some hands-on photos in the gallery below, including some comparison photos with the XYBOARD 8.2 and iPad 2.
We just got our hands on one of Motorola’s latest tablets, the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 8.2. Besides the name, there seems to be a lot to like at first glance. For starters, Motorola has picked a near-perfect size for this tablet. At 8.2-inches, the XYBOARD seems like a perfect and portable tablet. It’s reasonably fast, though we’ve noticed some lag in the UI when browsing, or doing other tasks. One thing we’re just not understanding is the landscape orientation push. It feels unnatural to hold a tablet that has a widescreen proportion in landscape most of the time, though clearly that’s what Motorola intended with the XOOM and now XYBOARDs. There’s also the issue of the black bezel being almost too narrow to hold comfortably with two hands in portrait orientation, though because the device is so incredibly light, there really hasn’t been any fatigue yet in a little bit of usage. With the tapered edges, and the extremely thin and feather light design, this could be a huge winner at an extremely different price point. Maybe at $199 or $249, but not at $429 with a two-year agreement from Verizon, that’s just crazy talk. Stay tuned for coverage of the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 tablet and, of course, the review. In the meantime, we have a hands-on gallery ready to go.
Android Honeycomb, first announced by Google at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011, is now widely available across dozens of Android tablet models. As Google’s first publicly available operating system developed specifically for media tablets, Honeycomb was hotly anticipated ahead of its unveiling, but end users have seemingly not been impressed by the OS or the slates that have emerged carrying the platform. According to a recent study, Honeycomb tablets account for just 1% of Android usage. Read on for more. More →
The long-awaited sequel to ASUS’s Eee Pad Transformer tablet finally has an official release date: December 12th. The Transformer Prime became available for pre-order last week and if the sentiment shared by our readers via email and comments on the site is any indication, this could be one of the most eagerly anticipated Android tablet launches to date. The convertible Android tablet features a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, Android 3.2 Honeycomb with an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich due in the near future, a 10.1-inch display, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, a microHDMI-out port and SD card support. A 32GB model is available for $499.99 and 64GB of storage will cost $599.99, and while December 12th marks the start of the tablet’s availability online, it won’t reach retailers’ shelves until the 19th. ASUS’s promotional video follows below. More →
We first heard mumblings of the XOOM 2, Motorola’s second Android Honeycomb tablet, in late September. Now, a leaked advertisement obtained by Engadget suggests the XOOM 2 will be offered for €399.99 by Carphone Warehouse in Ireland just time for the holiday shopping season. The XOOM 2 is reportedly equipped with a 10.1-inch display, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a camera capable of recording 1080p video and 1GB of RAM. It is also said to be 9-millimeters thick, which is just a hair fatter than the 8.6-millimeter thick Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Motorola has yet to officially announce the XOOM 2, but we wouldn’t be surprised to hear more on it as the holidays get closer. More →
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 made its retail debut in September and it is nearly identical to its larger predecessor, the Galaxy Tab 10.1. It mostly packs the same hardware but, as its name suggests, has a smaller screen. I enjoyed the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 when it launched earlier this year: it was thin, powerful and it offered a brand new tablet experience. Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t get on board with Android Honeycomb and I’ve since stopped using the tablet, and the operating system, altogether. Can the Galaxy 8.9’s smaller size and TouchWiz user interface rekindle my love for Android tablets? Read my full review to find out.
Global media tablet shipments in the third quarter ballooned 280% over the same quarter last year to reach 17 million units. Boston-based research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics found that Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android OS combined to capture a combined 94% of the global market, leaving Microsoft, HP and RIM fighting for scraps. Apple shipped 11.1 million iPads to take 67% of the market according to Strategy Analytics, and Google’s Android platform accounted for 27% of the market. “Demand for tablets in developed and developing markets remains high,” Strategy Analytics director Peter King said in a statement. “Apple shipped a record 11.1 million iPads and registered a healthy 67 percent global tablet market share during the third quarter of 2011. Apple iOS remains the world’s dominant tablet platform with the most established services ecosystem.” Strategy Analytics’ full press release follows below. More →
Netflix subscribers can finally stream movies to their Android tablets without worrying about installing third-party .apks files or attempting annoying work-arounds. The company announced on Wednesday that its application now supports tablets running Android 3.x (Honeycomb). In addition, the Netflix app supports users in Canada and Latin America now. Netflix for Honeycomb is free, provided you already subscribe to the company’s “Watch Instantly” streaming service, and it is available in the Android Market now. More →