You know June was a peculiar month in technology when the most talked-about gadgets were designed not by Apple, but by software giants Google and Microsoft.
Microsoft unveiled its Surface tablet on June 18, showing off the first PC of its own creation in the company's three-decade-long history. Its coolest feature: A thin-as-paper case that doubles as a touch-sensitive keyboard.
A week later, Google launched its own tablet, the Nexus 7, as well as the Nexus Q media player. The Nexus 7 tablet may not get many "oohs" or "ahhs," but it comes with almost all of the iPad's high-end features for less than half the cost.
Microsoft and Google's newfound love affair with hardware doesn't end there.
Microsoft is also developing its popular Kinect gaming accessory to work with tools beyond just the Xbox.
But for all their success in computers and phones, neither Microsoft nor Google have made the kind of dent that Apple has in tablets. The iPad has begun to eat away at PC sales and Google's tablet market share is waning.
Without a big, splashy tablet to offer their customers, it's unlikely that trend would change dramatically. Microsoft and Google clearly figured it was time to follow Apple's lead and do the work themselves.
Hewlett-Packard, one of Microsoft's closest hardware partners, said it has no plans to produce a tablet PC that runs a new version of Windows optimized for slates, according to a published report.
An HP spokeswoman told Bloomberg that the decision was a response to customer feedback. "The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future," the spokeswoman said.
HP's move is a setback for Windows 8 RT, the formal name for Microsoft's new tablet operating system. Windows 8 RT is built to run on chips designed by United Kingdom-based ARM Holdings. Microsoft has tapped three chipmakers, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Motorola, to make ARM-compatible chips for Windows 8 RT tablets.
The ARM architecture is generally viewed as snappier and more power-efficient than Intel's x86 platform, making it the hardware of choice for tablet makers. HP said it still plans to produce tablets that run a full-blown version of Windows 8 on Intel chips. Unlike Windows-on-ARM, Intel-based Windows 8 systems will be able to run the full range of so-called legacy apps, including the current and older versions of Microsoft Office.
Last week, Google introduced its first branded tablet during the I/O developer conference. You can preorder one now, for delivery in a few weeks: $199 (8GB) or $249 (16GB). Maybe you're wondering if you should get one. I'd like to help that decision-making process, having the privilege of using Nexus 7 since June 27.
Nexus 7 is the most important Android device released to date. The tablet represents a culmination of disparate product and cloud services development coming suddenly together -- hardware, Jellybean, Chrome, curated content, seamless sync and personal assistant Google Now, among others. The tablet is first and foremost for anyone living the Google lifestyle. If you use more than a handful of Google services, this device, or Galaxy Nexus, is for you. Well, with caveats. Those aside, if you don't want this tablet, you really should.
My iPad goes with me on all my trips and is in my bag for my daily train commutes as well. With the orange ZAGG Keyboard Case and slick black keyboard I am finding I use it more for dedicated writing, reading, and media consumption than my laptop. The fantastic battery life, amazing display, and pleasant user interface have it serving as a valuable mobile device. You can check out screenshots for my favorite ten apps to use in the summer in my ZDNet image gallery.
Evernote: I use Evernote to capture lots of things and with the solid camera on the new iPad it is handy for receipts, lists of movies to watch, attractions you want to visit, and much more. Evernote takes advantage of the large display on the iPad to give you an excellent experience that I even prefer over the version on my Macbook Pro.
ABC Player: We no longer have cable TV in my house so I catch up on all the shows I missed on ABC through the ABC Player app. I can't stop laughing through episodes of Modern Family and enjoy the intrigue in Castle. The ABC Player app is free and is great for viewing TV content. I even use the app with the adapter to play shows on my HD TV at home so the whole family can enjoy TV without paying for cable.
Kayak: I use both TripIt Pro and Kayak for travel, but have to say the Kayak iPad app is much better than TripIt. I love the way it uses the full screen to present your itinerary and since my iPad is always with me when I travel it is great to have along, especially since it is free. You can also use Kayak to plan trips on the go with its powerful search features.
IA Writer: I was using the default Apple Notes application to write in the past, but when I sent this content to copy and use in my posts the margins were all goofed up. I recently discovered IA Writer for the iPad, after hearing others talk about it for quite some time, and already wrote a couple ZDNet posts and extensive Facebook posts using this app. IA Writer gives you a full screen, basic experience for writing and is already proving that 99 cents is cheap for such a powerful document creation tool.
Skydrive: There are a number of cloud storage solutions out there now and I have accounts with several of them. I was signed up early for Skydrive so I have a free 25GB account and use this on all my devices to keep documents backed up for easy access from my devices.
As a tablet PC provider, MobileDemand’s accelerated growth is recognized for the third time in five years by the Corridor Business Journal.
MobileDemand, the nation’s leading provider of Rugged Tablet PC systems in Transportation, announces that the company was recently recognized as the Second Fastest Growing Company by the Corridor Business Journal. The Corridor’s Fastest Growing Companies list identifies the most dynamic companies in the region and their contributions to the Eastern Iowa local economy.
President Matt Miller founded the company in 2003 when he decided to parley more than 15 years of experience developing successful rugged tablet computers for other manufacturers in the mobile computing industry into a business of his own. Using an aggressive online marketing strategy MobileDemand is now established in numerous verticals, including manufacturing and distribution, warehousing, consumer goods, field service, retail, government/defense, EMS, and agriculture and is the nation's leading provider of rugged tablets in transportation.
Slowly but surely, though, other tablets are emerging that are worthy of consideration. Tellingly, they haven't challenged iPad directly. Instead, they've offered compelling features at prices much lower than Apple's tablet, which starts at $500.
The Nexus, which will go on sale later this month starting at $199, is a device built for consuming content. Specifically, Google's content - books, movies, music and magazines, all purchased through the Google Play store.
Fire up the Nexus for the first time and you'll see prominent widgets highlighting the content already on your device. The Nexus will come with a Jason Bourne novel, issues of popular magazines, and the video "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." And early buyers will get a $25 credit in the Play store, making the $199 price that much more attractive.
A device built for consumption needs a top-notch display, and the Nexus delivers. With a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, the tablet makes text and videos look good. And it has a powerful battery, which promises 9 hours of video playback and more than a week of standby time.
Apple Inc.’s component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a new tablet computer with a smaller screen, people familiar with the situation said, suggesting that the Cupertino, Calif., company is close to launching a smaller tablet.
Two of the people said the new tablet will likely come with a screen smaller than 8 inches, compared with the 9.7-inch screen of Apple’s latest version of the iPad, which was released in March. The iPad’s screen size has remained the same since the first model was released in 2010.
The Wall Street Journal first reported in February that Apple was testing a smaller tablet, though people familiar with the situation said at the time that the company hadn’t decided whether to proceed with the device.
Fujitsu today announced an update to its convertible, pen-based tablet laptop, as well as a new hybrid tablet.
The Stylistic Q702 business hybrid tablet and the Lifebook T902 convertible tablet PC combine 10-finger touch screens with a digitizer stylus to give your business plenty of input options. The systems feature 3rd generation Intel Core processors and highly portable form factors. Both will be optimized for Windows 8 compatibility, though both will initially ship with Windows 7
The Stylistic Q702 is a 1.88-pound slate tablet with an 11.6-inch widescreen AH-IPS display, Intel Core i3 or i5 processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, Intel HD Graphics 4000, front- and rear-facing cameras, accelerometer, gryometer, magnetometer, ambient light sensors, 64/128GB SSD, and a 10-finger capacitive touch screen. The system also comes with a 4.5-hour built-in battery, digitzer pen, and Intel security features like TPM, Anti-theft technology, Computrace support, and fingertip biometric sensor/
But despite their popularity, tablets remain expensive. The iPad costs from £399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, and the chances are you’ll need the pricier 32- or 64GB model to avoid running out of storage space. Android tablets tend to be a little cheaper, and usually have microSD slots for storage expansion, but the major rivals to the iPad’s crown, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Asus Transformer Prime, also cost £399-plus.
It is possible to pick up a tablet for less than £200, and still get most of the features you’d expect from a premium model. Budget tablets might not turn heads like an iPad, but they still have lots to offer.
When deciding which tablet to buy, how you intend to use the device is probably the most important factor to consider. If you simply want to watch YouTube on the sofa, catch up on Facebook or Twitter, send some emails and indulge in a spot of internet browsing, almost any tablet will do the job.
Xplore Technologies Corp. ( www.xploretech.com ) today announced that RuggedPCReview.com has posted an article on the ability of its iX104C5 computers to handle thermal stresses - whether blistering heat as high as 140 degrees or freezing temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit. The full text of the article can be found here.
Although there is a growing focus on recent heat waves, workers in industries where tablet computers are mounted in vehicles are faced with this issue on a regular basis, as these computers are frequently left in locked vehicles where temperatures can soar quickly to extremes - easily 140F or 60C in less than thirty minutes on a sunny summer day. The ability for a computer to function in these situations can be extremely important to these workers, who can include utility workers, field service workers, oil and gas workers, and first responders - all dealing frequently with the need for the computer to work without waiting for the vehicle's air conditioner to cool the computer for mission critical data and communication. Many tablet computers are not designed for these summer conditions and will literally shut down or creep along and the home office may not be aware of the field issue.
This RuggedPCReview.com article, written by Conrad Blickenstorfer, editor-in-chief, is particularly timely in light of the country's recent heat waves - unprecedented temperature extremes that are befalling areas of the US this summer.
Motion Computing®, a leading global provider of tablet PCs and mobility solutions, today announced the availability of its latest ultra-mobile and durable tablet PC, the Motion® CL910. Motion’s latest generation of the CL-Series line of tablet PCs delivers optimized mobility, durability and connectivity that mobile professionals require across key vertical markets. Running Microsoft® Windows® and powered by the Intel® Atom™ N2600 dual core processor, the CL910 Tablet PC is ideally suited for and seamlessly integrates with business environments.
Featuring Intel’s new dual core processor, up to a 128GB solid state drive (SSD) and standard 2GB of RAM, the new CL910 Tablet PC offers improved performance while Bluetooth® 4.0 enhances peripheral device connectivity. In addition, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) offers secure information management and data protection.
Declaring a new era for the company, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the Surface tablet will rejuvenate Microsoft as it takes on Apple and he didn’t discount the possibility of a Microsoft-made smartphone.
“We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,” Ballmer told CRN following the Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto on Monday. “We are not. No space uncovered that is Apple’s.”
Ballmer stressed that Microsoft had advantages in productivity, enterprise management and manageability compared to Apple.
“But we are not going to let any piece of this [go uncontested to Apple],” Ballmer shouted. “Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch.”
The new focus on Apple comes after Microsoft has embraced an end-to-end hardware and software product in Surface.
I'm not saying that in two years everyone will be using a 7" tablet, leaving their bulky iPads behind like Apple left the 17" MacBook Pro behind in their latest refresh. It seems pretty clear, in fact, that we'll see both larger and smaller form factors. However, no matter what anyone says, size matters and in ways that you might not expect.
There's a reason that Google's first tablet is a 7" model. Part of it is cost, no doubt. I'd rather have a cheap, fast, small tablet, than a cheap, slow big one. There is also a whole in the tablet market right now that isn't being filled by the Kindle Fire and certainly not by the iPad. A small, high-performance tablet running the latest Android OS and UI has a lot of appeal. At 7", the Nexus 7 may not be the best machine for running Adobe's Touch Apps, but it's small enough to fit in a large pocket, whip out for a fussy kid, or use unobtrusively in a meeting in ways that 10" of iPad isn't.
Samsung is developing a tablet PC that runs on Microsoft's new Windows 8 RT operating system, according to a published report. The device could ship as early as October, when Windows 8 becomes generally available.
Word of Samsung's plans was reported by Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the electronics maker's intentions. Samsung officials did not confirm the report.
Windows 8 RT only runs on chips based on ARM Holding's mobile reference design, meaning that Samsung's new tablet would run processors from either Qualcomm, Motorola, or Nvidia, the three ARM chipmakers that Microsoft has tapped for Windows RT tablets.
Getac, a leading innovator and manufacturer of rugged computers that meet the demands of field-based applications, is introducing a new, fully rugged tablet PC with significant performance enhancements designed to maintain and exceed the growing demands of users in the field service, utilities, industrial, and law enforcement sectors. Safely housed in its rugged magnesium alloy case, the Getac E110 tablet PC incorporates a host of new and improved technology and performance features including a fast, Intel(R) Atom(TM) N2800 1.86GHz processor, embedded LifeSupport(TM) backup battery to support hot-swapping, a 10.1-inch HD sunlight readable display with QuadraClear(TM) and it runs Windows 7 Professional for immediate deployment with existing software platforms.
The Getac E110 rugged tablet addresses a critical concern among field technicians and public safety professionals by offering an embedded LifeSupport battery to support battery hot-swapping. LifeSupport allows users to quickly swap in a charged battery without having to shut the system off or risk loss of data. And, with spare batteries and optional dual-bay battery charger, the E110 with LifeSupport can continue working through multiple users and multiple shifts. In addition, Getac's exclusive Power Management Technology helps maximize battery power for extended use.
New Delhi: Homegrown firm Zen Mobile on Wednesday said it is eyeing revenue of Rs 500 crore this fiscal on the back of its foray into burgeoning tablet PC and smartphone segment in the country.
The company, which registered a revenue of Rs 325 crore in FY2011-12, plans to launch its portfolio of about six tablet PCs and smartphones each this fiscal.
"We have seen a huge demand for smart devices like tablets and smartphones, which is driven by increasing consumption of entertainment on the go," Zen Mobile Managing Director Deepesh Gupta told reporters.
"With the launch of Ultratab A100 on July 14, we expect to have about half a dozen tablets in the market by March 2013 and a similar number of smartphones as well," he said.
The most affordable tablet in the latest XPad series is the 7-inch Cortex Arm8 Multi-touch WiFi tablet. This Simmtronics tablet is the hottest selling product in the Asia-Pacific region with a current order booking of nearly half a million units.
The XPad comes in 7", 8", 9", 9.7" and 10" versions and is way ahead of its competitors by incorporating both calling function as well as high-definition displays on its robust Android ICS4.0 operating system. The tablet offers maximum connectivity to the Internet, printers, high density TVs, or any number of external devices for easy and reliable on-the-go access to email, movies, videos, music and photos.
The XPad's six-in-one architecture supports 3G connectivity, 1080p high-definition video playback, audio processor, and dual 2D/3D graphics.The tablet comes with powerful 1 GHz CPU that can handle multiple tasks at considerable speed and packs 4 GB of internal Nand Flash memory for data storage.
The tablet also features a Micro SD card that can be expanded to provide storage of up to 32 GB. Additionally, the presence of the USB and HDMI ports allows users to connect their hard-drives and other devices to offer full operating flexibility and larger viewing.
Toshiba is one of the few Japanese tech giants to be riding high from a cash standpoint, but the company is still looking for ways to trim the fat -- not to mention get some fresh design in the process. The firm is merging the design team for its Regza TVs into the same western Tokyo facility that houses its PC and tablet groups. While there's a certain amount of cost-cutting involved, the shift will help "fusion products," Toshiba says, where TV influences PCs and tablets
Under this reorganization, Toshiba will carry out the following measures in Japan to enhance the efficiency of design and development, quality and production control and after-sales services.
* Within the year, the LCD TV design and development function at Fukaya Complex, in Saitama Prefecture, will be transferred to Ome Complex in western Tokyo, Toshiba's development hub for PC and tablets. This integration will allow product developers to draw on TV, PC and tablet technologies and accelerate development of fusion products for the global market that meet regional needs and trends, and value-added services. The number of models of digital products and product platforms will be reviewed to bring greater efficiency to design and development and to optimize use of R&D resources.
Microsoft's forthcoming Surface tablet is the iPad rival that businesses have been waiting for, according to CIOs around the world polled by ZDNet and TechRepublic.
The CIO Jury groups from Asia, Australia and the UK and US all voted 'yes' to the question: "Will Microsoft’s Surface tablet provide a real alternative to the iPad?"
The CIO Jury is ZDNet and TechRepublic's quick response panel of tech leaders around the globe. The first 12 CIOs from the pool to respond to a yes or no question become the 'jury' for that question.
All three groups voted yes, albeit by different margins, reflecting the Surface tablet could be a genuine challenger to the iPad, Apple's hugely successful tablet that has not faced much serious competition until now.
Tim Stiles, CIO at Bremerton Housing Authority, said Microsoft’s entry into the market represents "tremendous promise" for corporate IT. "The buzz, even among corporate iPad users, is very strong," he said. Meanwhile, Jeff Canon, CIO of Fire and Life Safety America, said he is getting as many requests for the Surface as he got for the iPad when it first came out.
Sony has confirmed that it will launch a tablet by the end of the year.
The technology giant isn't the most well-known tablet maker but after speaking to various Sony representatives this week, a follow-up to the current tablets in on the cards. The Tablet P and Tablet S both launched last year and we've seen nothing from Sony since
Details are limited but one spokesperson told PC Advisor they were sure we would be taking a look at a new device at some point over the next few months which will tip up before Christmas.
Both the Tablet S and Tablet P run on Androidbut it is unclear whether the mystery tablet will continue this trend or offer something different like Windows 8.
Tablets are on the verge of displacing typical PC and notebook sales. And that will make for a consumer electronics industry that is configured very differently.
Microsoft is hedging its bets in this regard, with Windows 8 for the PC tablet and notebooks market, and the Windows RT operating system for the media tablets. "Corporate and enterprise customers need the legacy support that Windows 8 will provide," added Alexander. "This has been a hardship Microsoft has faced, as Apple and other companies have been able to work with faster and more dynamic OS for the mobile platforms. But they make no hesitations about being legacy free. That has allowed them to innovate more quickly."
he other factor that is worth considering is that tablets are surpassing notebooks, only when PC tablets are factored in. "The tablet market is in its infancy, and it could go in many different directions," emphasized Rhoda Alexander, senior manager for monitors and tablets at IHS iSuppli. "The numbers however are all over the map with what people are saying."
In fact, the numbers from IHS iSuppli differ from those of NPD and Forrester. IHS iSuppli forecasts 311 million media tablets to be sold in 2016 along with 49 million PC tablets, while the notebook market will hold steady at 322 million including tablet and non-tablet PC notebooks. This of course only creates more confusion -- as some tablets are notebooks, but obviously not all notebooks are tablets. "The distinction that we see is that a media tablets run on the ARM processor and feature a mobile operating system," explained Alexander, "where as the PC tablets still feature an X86 processor and full desktop OS."
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Tablets with paper-thin screens that can be folded and tucked into your back pocket, artificial intelligence and augmented reality -- the stuff of science fiction may be coming to a store near you.
It's been two years since Apple launched the iPad and spawned rival tablets from the likes of Samsung , Amazon, Sony , and now Google and Microsoft Corp.
"We should think beyond just the touch-screen device," said Lin Zhong, a professor at Rice University who does research on mobile systems. "Why do we have to hold tablets, carry many displays? We should think about wearable computers."
Some researchers are experimenting with wearable devices, such as Google Glass, a stamp-sized electronic screen mounted on eyeglass frames to record video, access email and surf the Web. Others, like Microsoft, are investigating the use of 3-D cameras to create images that pop up when a person calls. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBCUniversal.)
Samsung has a concept video that shows a bendable, transparent 3-D smartphone-hybrid tablet that can also be used as a real-time interpreter.
Each new generation of tablets boasts big improvements in pixel density and image quality, making photos, games and movies more life-like. Manufacturers and software designers have made less progress finding ways to let computers give physical, tactile feedback -- but they're working on it.
The stakes are high as tablets become more and more integrated with smartphones and other devices at home. Betting on the right technology and features is imperative, since the still-new category has already claimed many victims, including Hewlett Packard's Touchpad tablet that was killed last year after only a few months on the market.
Those of you looking to buy Google's new Nexus 7 tablet may have a wait on your hands.
Unveiled late last month, the tablet has slowly trickled into the retail market. Google was naturally first in line, offering the Nexus 7 as a preorder in advance of its official mid-July launch. Other retailers, such as GameStop, Staples, and Sam's Club, soon followed suit.
But a lot of eager customers apparently scooped up those pre-sales, since the tablet is playing hard to get at most outlets.
Staples, Office Depot, and Sam's Club all show the Nexus 7 as currently out of stock with no further information as to its availability. Google's own site is promising that the tablet will "ship soon," meaning a one- to two-week delay.
For me, the key is the size. Again, I was skeptical at first, but for many situations, I’ve come to love the 7-inch frame. The iPad is brilliant when you’re sitting on a couch or camped out in a coffee shop. In my view, the 9.7-inch iPad is slowly but surely becoming a laptop replacement. I expect this to continue. But a 7-inch tablet is different. The iPad is clunky to read in bed, for example. The Nexus 7 is perfect for that.
More broadly, the 7-inch tablet further opens the door to true mobile computing. I find myself constantly using it while walking around the house (as opposed to sitting on the couch). And I don’t think twice about shoving it in my bag when I take off for the day (as I sometimes do with my iPad when I have my laptop with me). Many could say the same about the iPad, but in my view, the 7-inch tablet is more desirable in many circumstances simply because it’s — shocker — smaller. 9.7 inches versus 7 inches may not seem like a huge difference. But it is.
Having used a 7-inch tablet for the past week, I now see it as an absolute no-brainer that Apple has to make an iPad with this form factor as well.
HTC didn't have much success with its first batch of tablets, such as the Flyer, but that does not seem to have deterred it from pursuing a new line of slates. PC Advisor is reporting that HTC is working on a new tablet and that it had been waiting "until it had something unique to offer" before launching it. HTC did not dislose what that "something unique" was or when it would be made available.
With the Flyer, HTC tried to stand out by including a stylus, but that's hardly the unique feature a new tablet would need to have to compete against the iPad, the Google Nexus, and Microsoft's own Surface. It would probably run Android, which means it would join Samsung and a host of other companies in developing tablets using that OS.
In the past, when I’ve tested a new Android tablet, the process is usually the same: Open the box, spend a few minutes trying to figure out where the power button is to turn it on, shuffling through the software, and then quickly realizing that it isn’t a contender to the Apple iPad. Back in the box it goes.
But with the Nexus 7, the opposite happened. I’ve been using it. A lot.
I have to say it created a strange impulse for me. Although I’m thoroughly happy with the iPad, I’m now yearning for a seven-inch version of — Apple’s flagship tablet.
Although I enjoy reading digital books and magazines on the iPad — especially with the crisp retina display — I found that reading on the Nexus was thoroughly enjoyable as you can actually hold the device with one hand. Its smooth edges and slim size fit snugly in your palm like an old paperback book. It is incredibly light, weighing just 12 ounces. The iPad, in comparison, weighs about 22 ounces.
But I won’t be ditching my iPad anytime soon. The Google Android interface and overall design, although better than before, still feel clunky and confusing compared with the Apple iOS. (The Nexus 7 features Google’s latest version of its Android mobile operating system, called Jelly Bean, that comes with a slew of new features.)
MobileDemand, the nation’s leading provider of Rugged Tablet PC systems in Transportation, has expanded its embedded mobile broadband technology options for customers. The xTablet T7000 rugged tablet PC is now certified on the Sprint 3G network. In this on-demand world, businesses can now extend the enterprise by connecting people, information and systems wherever they are through constant communication via a variety of carrier networks.
In addition to improving efficiency and productivity of mobile workers the connected, extended enterprise gives businesses a competitive advantage by allowing them to become highly agile and respond quickly to shifting market demands. Employees, customers and partners can work together from wherever they are in the world toward process improvements and better service to achieve sustainable growth.
“We are excited to work with Sprint to offer our joint solution to customers,” says Matt Miller, MobileDemand President. “We serve many of the same markets including transportation and logistics, field service, retail and hospitality, food and beverage distribution, government and public safety. Sprint has dedicated resources serving these markets which will allow us to work together to provide the best productivity solutions to meet our customers’ needs, now and in the future,” Miller continues.
2013 could be the year that ends HP's reign as the largest PC maker in the world say industry analysts. Given its current growth, Lenovo seems poised to take over the mantle of the new number one.
There has been a paradigm change in the PC market. Call it a post-PC era or a PC+ time, the fact is that today you cannot ignore mobile computing devices. Research firms such as Gartner and IDC have been vocal on the impact mobile devices have on PC sales. In one of its reports, Gartner states that tablets and smartphones are continuously eating away at worldwide PC shipments. "Consumers are spending less on traditional PCs and more on smartphones and tablets," Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a statement.
Tablets are still not included in the PC shipments, and on including these mobile computing devices in the PC shipment, Apple is a threat to any traditional PC vendor. Apple has already challenged the top positioned in past.
In an interview with CNET, Office division President Kurt DelBene said Microsoft's own Windows is the priority for the newest version of Office. The new touch-friendly productivity suite will debut on Windows 8, which launches in October, in large part because the operating system is the best showcase for Microsoft's application suite.
"We have a unique opportunity with Windows 8 style applications to push that even further," DelBene said.
DelBene didn't specifically address when, or even if, Microsoft would release a version of Office for the iPad, the dominant platform for touch-based tablet computing. But he made it clear that Microsoft would give Windows tablets the first crack at what for many companies remains a must-have application.
Intel chief executive Paul Otellini said today that 20 Windows 8 tablets are being designed by computer makers for launch later this year when Microsoft unveils its new operating system.
To date, strong sales of Apple’s iPad have actually hurt Intel’s sales of PC-related chips, since the Apple tablets and most others use low-power ARM-based chips. But Intel has designed a line of low-power Atom chips using its x86 microprocessor architecture. The system-on-a-chip Atom solution is an attempt to deliver high performance worthy of a computer with the low-power requirements of battery-operated devices.
Two Windows 8 Pro Surface tablets we’ve reported on are listed: one with 64GB of flash memory and the other with 128GB. The Surface Pro tablets are the beefier models, with Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processors and the full version of Windows 8. They are also expected to cost more than typical tablets--more in line with Ultrabooks, the main competition for the Surface Pro.
The latest update to Microsoft's My Xbox Live app adds a bit of handy functionality for iPads — or rather, brings iPads up to date with the rest of the devices supported by the app. You can now launch games, view achievements, and send messages using your iPad.
And some things were never really meant for tablets in the first place: the enormous d-pad and controls for playback control, for instance. You also are unable to play games on the tablet, which is no surprise, but still may be a little disappointing to a few hopeful gamers.
As our need for on-demand technology that is portable, light-weight and versatile has increased, our interest in tablets has increased as well. Tablets are lightweight, powerful and have a wide variety of features. The question is, "which tablet should we buy?" There are hundreds from which to choose, all with different features and specifications. For the purposes of this article we will focus on three tablets that currently dominate the market. The Kindle Fire from Amazon, the iPad from the Apple ecosystem and the flagship Nexus 7 Android tablet from Google. This article will compare and contrast the key features.
SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has updated its Xbox Live app to support the Apple Ipad, enabling owners to use the tablet to connect remotely to their Xbox games console.
the 'My Xbox Live' Ipad app lets Ipad users view their console activity and navigate through recently opened applications. There's also added functionality to search for new content and access on-screen media controls, including pause, fast forward and rewind.
"Use your iPad with your Xbox to connect, control and discover content on your console. Connect your iPad for access to a quick list of your most recent console activity," Apple explains.
Microsoft's My Xbox Live application can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and is compatible with Idevices running IOS 4.3 and above
Most tech pundits are confused about the Tablet computer. They compare the abilities of the PC (traditional notebook and desktop computers) to those of the Tablet and find the Tablet wanting. They can’t understand how the Tablet can be so dog gone popular when it makes for such a terrible PC.
What they don’t understand is that the tablet isn’t trying to be a PC (unless it’s the Microsoft Surface). Tablet sales are exploding because the Tablet is competing against…nothing. The Tablet is going where the PC is weak and where the PC is absent. There’s virtually nothing standing in the tablet’s way.
Comparing the PC to the tablet is like comparing the Titanic to the iceberg that sank it. It wasn’t the one-ninth of the iceberg protruding above the waterline that sank the Titanic. It was the eight-ninths of the iceberg that lurked beneath the surface of the waters. Similarly, it isn’t the few overlapping tasks that the PC and the Tablet can both do well that matters most. It is the tasks that the Tablet excels at – and which the PC does poorly or not at all – that will ultimately reduce the PC to niche status and turn the Tablet into the preeminent computing device of our time.
Specifically, it is Apple's iPad that has changed the way the NFL handles its mental component.
As Jeff Darlington explains on NFL.com, the process by which information is obtained by players and coaches will never be the same.
John Elway, now the Denver Broncos' vice president in charge of football operations, ordered an iPad 3 for each of his 130 players and coaches this year. The NFL's Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers each had tablet programs in place last season.
Transitioning to the iPad takes more than just the purchase of the devices, Darlington relates. For Elway and the Broncos it meant upgrading the stadium's (particularly the locker room's) Wi-Fi signal and integrated software apps that allow players and coaches to view video and playbooks on their iPads.
Microsoft’s Office Web Apps-SkyDrive combo are great tools for working online, as long as you’re using a traditional mouse-and-keyboard PC. But if you’re using a tablet such as an iPad or one of the many Android slates, you must use app-based options such as Apple’s Pages for iPad to edit your SkyDrive docs . . . or do you?
Even though Microsoft does not yet officially support the iPad on its Office Web Apps, you can still access the online productivity suite thanks to Google’s recently released Chrome browser for iOS. It’s not a perfect solution, but if you need to get some editing done in a pinch it’ll work.
Microsoft has announced that the official launch date of its latest operating system (OS), Windows 8, is October 26. When the touchscreen-friendly OS becomes widely available on tablet devices later this year, will it make the current incumbent, the Apple iPad, look less appealing in comparison?
We have been using the Samsung Series 7 Slate loaded with Windows 8 Release Preview for a while now. Though there will still be changes to the the final version of the OS, the main enhancements are already in the preview. Performance-wise, the Series 7 Slate is pretty top-of-the-line, featuring the latest Intel Ivy Bridge processor and the all important solid-state drive (SSD).
VERIZON Wireless, has absolutely worst customer service I have eve encountered. Instead of resolving problem they told me to go home, call American Express & have them do a charge back!
Verizon is knowingly and intentionally overcharging iPad users for service and hoping they won’t notice. Hands down the worst customer service there is. Instead of charging me just for the data I use on a one time basis Verizon started changing me a monthly fee for my iPad.
Amazon has big plans for its coming onslaught of tablets to compete with Apple’s iPad and Google’s Nexus 7. Reuters reports Staples US Retail president, Demos Parneros as saying there are five or six upcoming tablets, among them a a 10-inch model. That 10-inch model would clearly be positioned against iPad, as well as a plethora of Android tablets. Rumors about a bigger Kindle Fire have been circulating for some time, but since Staples sells the Kindle Fire, this 10-inch model is a bit more believable now.
The original Kindle Fire tablet which Amazon debuted in September last year is due for a refresh any day now (rumors point to the end of July), so we could count the 7-inch Kindle Fire 2 as one of those other many tablets Amazon has planned.
It’s not clear if the five to six tablets Pareneros mentioned are actually really two tablet models (a 7-inch and a 10-inch) with different storage options or even display resolutions—or if another Kindle Fire size is coming too.
We did a little research with our readers in anticipation of the interview. We polled our guys before the Surface tablet on the Windows 8 tablet opportunity, and we polled them afterward. The number of solution providers rating Windows 8 tablet as an outstanding or good sales opportunity nearly doubled from 34 to 64 percent after the Surface launch. What is your response to those partners? They are excited, Steve, about the Surface sales opportunity. They want to know if they are going to have the opportunity to sell it.
We made a decision to get into the market in a way where we know we’ll have a perfect experience to get started, and then we can always do more -- go broader.
We had no idea what kind of a reaction we were going to get to the product, to the concept of us doing Surface. None of that. So we took our first step. It doesn’t mean we can’t take other steps.
We get to decide. Right now we are focused on executing well this first phase, which is to ship the Surface RT along with Windows 8 in October. We said it would be about 90 days later before we would have the Surface [for Windows] 8 [Pro], and those will just be in limited distribution to start.
But, there is not only going to be Surface tablets, which I am very excited about. But, we have partners who are doing tablet designs, x86 tablet designs, Intel SOC tablet designs, Nvidia , Qualcomm. I mean you are going to see an explosion of a number of Windows tablets. I happen to have a personal fondness for the work we are doing with Surface. But, you are going to see a range. You saw that Lenovo Yoga device that Tami showed today. Is that a tablet or a PC? I don’t know. I don’t know what to call that. I think most people call it a notebook. And yet, it looked pretty tabletish to me, too.
You’ve probably read that the Google Nexus 7 is the first credible challenger to Apple’s iPad and that it is markedly superior to other 7-inch Android tablets currently in the market. That’s not what I’ve found. Instead, the Nexus 7 is a solid, capable media tablet and a nice, Google-oriented alternative to the Amazon Kindle Fire if you’re looking for such a thing.
To me, reviewer reaction to the Nexus 7 was reminiscent of reviewer reaction to Windows Phone 7.5: Rather than admit that they were wrong about the products’ respective predecessors (Windows Phone 7, of course, and the Kindle Fire and other 7-inch Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus), they just pretend that, finally, magically, this time someone got it right. But that’s not the case at all. There’s nothing wrong with the Nexus 7, nothing at all, assuming you’re OK with this sort of device. But it’s also not demonstrably better than the Kindle Fire or Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus that I’ve used quite a bit over the past year.
The first is the size of the device. When Apple released its first iPad, one of my initial concerns was that the device was a bit too big for a consumption device and that a smaller, 7-inch screen would be more ideal. Others disagree, of course, and looking at the pre-Windows RT world of 10 inch tablets today, there is basically the iPad and then nothing else.
But if you prefer to use a smaller, lighter device and have purely entertainment-based goals (reading, movie and TV watching, music, and the like), then a 7-inch tablet is ideal. And at this point your choice comes basically down to the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, because these are the only two currently on the market that are both excellent and offer lowball, $200 pricing.
Overall, the Nexus 7 is a credible 7-inch media tablet that is on par with the Amazon Kindle Fire and other Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. It offers some minor advantages related to screen resolution and battery life (hey, it’s newer) and some more important advantages related to performance, all of which will soon be wiped out by 2012-era tablets from Amazon, Samsung and others. Since Apple doesn’t (yet?) offer a 7-inch tablet, it’s pointless to compare this device to an iPad; you either want a 10-inch device or you don’t. You’re either all too willing to spend a lot of money on a tablet or you’re not.
The small (7-inch) tablet market is another beast entirely with several worthwhile competitors released that are grabbing decent sales. The Nexus 7 from Google is the latest in a group that includes the successful Kindle Fire from Amazon.
What the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 indicate is there are enough buyers out there interested in a small tablet if it is cheap enough. There have been quite a few cheap large tablets that have never made a dent in the market like the two smaller tablets.
There are three criteria that set the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 apart from other cheap tablets: 1) name brand recognition; 2) price; 3) 7-inch form factor. When all three criteria are met buyers have shown they are willing to open the wallet.
Tablet makers should adjust their business plans in the tablet space and go all-in with the smaller tablet. It will be tough to be profitable while meeting the criteria defined, but that's the game. If profits can't be made playing the game as defined than get out and go home.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a research note Monday that Apple is planning to release the next iPhone in early September, followed by the new iPad Mini later that same month.
Kuo has a pretty good track record when it comes to Apple's product schedule. He correctly predicted that Apple would kill off the 17-inch MacBook Pro, and he was one of the first to report on Apple using new in-cell technology to make the next iPhone thinner.
In his latest research note, Kuo says that Apple will introduce the iPad Mini later in September as well as a modified version of the third generation iPad around the same time to address heating issues. This confirms several previous rumors that Apple would tweak the latest iPad.
"Though shipments of iPad mini’s components will start in August, the new iPad line will end production, ready for transition to a modified New iPad line," Kuo writes in the note. "As such, component shipments will drop in August as iPad mini’s components shipments growth will be offset."
What I like most about the tablet wars is that it's now been made clear that quality tablets can be made affordable. This will encourage broader deployment of tablets, thus driving more apps and more reductions in prices as competition and volume increases.
There are fairly well-substantiated rumors that Apple will be coming out with its own mini-iPad that may compete with the 7-inch tablets already in existence.
To turn the tide, Microsoft is counting on business users, a market where Apple remains relatively weak and CEO Steve Ballmer’s crew retains several critical advantages. Microsoft’s counterpunches will include Windows 8 and Office 13, a combination Apple can’t match in the business world.
In 2010, Apple blindsided Microsoft - and most everyone else - with the phenomenal success of the iPad. That success is now eating away at Windows PC sales. While Apple’s innovation took Microsoft down for the count, the software giant has regrouped and is trying to come back by shifting the battlefield from consumers to businesses.
All of this is good news for consumers and heralds new ways that people can benefit from more accessible computing. Fight on, tablet makers!
Businesses are likely to give Microsoft the foothold it needs to challenge Apple in the tablet market. Sales of Windows tablets will grow from roughly 5 million this year to 44 million in 2016, or about 12% of the market, according to Gartner. Apple’s share is projected to fall from 61% this year to 46% in four years, while Android tablets rise from 32% to 38%. That leaves Microsoft still in third place by a wide margin, but perhaps with enough momentum to block Apple from the lucrative business market - a market that Apple also missed out on during the PC boom in the 1990s.
To go further in the tablet market, though, Microsoft will eventually have to win over consumers. “If someone wants to create or modify Microsoft Office files on their tablet or use other Windows applications, Microsoft has a definite advantage,” said Ezra Gottheil, analyst for Technology Business Research. “Otherwise, the iPad will be perceived to be the superior consumer tablet.”
Despite all chatter about Microsoft's upcoming Surface tablet being competitively priced, rumors are swirling that it might cost $1,000 at the cheapest, according to The Next Web.
This news comes via a Swedish Web site that lists prices for all four of the future models, including the Windows RT and Window 8 Pro editions. The cheapest of the four models has the price tag of 6,990 kroner, which is $1,002, and the most expensive is 14,990 kroner, equaling $2,150.
Of course, the tablets could cost less in countries with a lower cost of living than Sweden. However, the iPad is significantly cheaper in Sweden; in the online Apple Store, the most expensive iPad is 7,195 kroner or $1,032 but the cheapest is 5,395 kroner or $773.
Swipe Telecom has launched 3D tablet PC called 3D LIFE which runs on Android 4.03 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Priced at Rs 5,999, it has a 7-inch TFT five point touch capacitive screen packing 800x480 pixels.
Swipe Telecom's new tablet 3D LIFE is powered by A13 Cortex processor with a 1.5GHZ clock speed, 4GB internal memory and a 512 MB DD RAM and a 2MP front camera which supports video calling.
Swipe Telecom says that the tablet can play videos for 5-6 hours at a stretch, being powered by a 3400 mAH battery.
The big leak that everyone knew about
Demos Parneros, president of Staples retail stores in the U.S., inadvertently let the cat out of the bag during an interview with news agency Reuters when he stated that Amazon would be offering “up to five or six tablet options.”
Most industry watchers were speculating that Amazon was already working on new tablet models and products, but nothing was ever officially stated by company officials. With Parneros’ admission, it now is a certainty.
Apple’s secret weapon
The one thing that Apple has that other tablet manufacturers would love to have is the iPad’s cool factor; it looks cool, it works cool, and it's cool to own. As long as Apple can perpetuate this coolness in their iPads, the competition will always be running to catch up.
Circle Sept. 12 on your calendar, Apple fanboys and fangirls. Because rumor is that the next generation iPhone will be announced on that day — along with an "iPad Mini."
Ritchie writes that while both the next-generation iPhone as well as a long-rumored "iPad Mini" will be announced on Sept. 12, only the iPhone will start shipping nine days later, on Sept. 21. There's no word on an expected release date for the other device, though presumably it would be soon after, if not at the same time.
This little morsel of gossip comes to us via iMore's Rene Ritchie, who says he heard about it "from sources who have proven accurate in the past." While this sort of cagey sourcing is typically easy to dismiss, it is worth noting that Ritchie nailed the announcement date for the third-generation iPad a month ahead of time — thanks to similarly mysterious sources. (Perhaps even the same ones?)
Microsoft will launch its ARM-based Surface tablets October, 26, the same day they release Windows 8. According to the companys recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012, Microsoft says in its 10-K filing with the SEC. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices.
Microsoft has not officially announced pricing or a launch date for its Surface devices. During a press event in June when Microsoft debuted its Surface tablets, the company only said that ARM-based Surface for Windows RT would be available sometime during the general release of Windows 8. The Surface Pro, based on an Intel chip, is slated to launch about three months after the ARM tablets. Microsoft also said that the Surface RT tablets would be priced in line with comparable slates, and the Pro would be priced similar to Ultrabooks.
Introducing a Microsoft-branded tablet is a dramatic step for a company that has traditionally stayed out of the hardware business
Though the pricing of the device is yet to be officially announced by the software giant,many of the blogs and sites are speculating their figures for the upcoming tablet.Yesterday one of the Swedish online store reported about an entry level Surface Tablet pricing to be around $1150 for the 32GB version of ARM based Surface Tablet.
But as reported earlier by Techie-Buzz Author Paul Paliath,who reached out to the Webhallen.The site then cleared the air on the pricing which they showcased for Surface Tablets,saying that the existing pricing has nothing to do with the final pricing of the product,they set the initial pricing high for the pre orders and that when the official pricing comes out those who have pre ordered the Surface Tablets will get the prices adjusted to the actual costs that time.
So this statement from the site should now clear all the doubts about the pricing of Surface Tablets,at least what we do know that the entry level ARM based Surface Tablets won’t cost your pocket a $1000,but you might see a higher price range for the Intel based Surface tablets running on Windows 8 Pro.
One Laptop Per Child is redesigning its venerable XO-1.75 laptop, by adding a touchscreen, the non-profit organization said in a blog post late last week.
The next version, called XO Touch, will have a "tablet mode," the organization said in a blog post. The tablet will have a sunlight-readable display and function in both tablet and laptop mode.
The XO Touch will modernize the XO-1.75, which the non-profit organization has been shipping as a learning tools for kids in developing countries for a few years. OLPC also plans to ship a tablet called the XO-3, which has an 8-inch screen, an ARM-based Marvell chip and a multitouch display. The XO-3 was due to be shipped earlier this year, but design constraints have delayed the device.
While Microsoft’s Surface is going head to head with its tablet partners, the company is also rolling out new hardware to help its Windows 8 allies. Coming soon are two new mice and two keyboards designed to complement tablets and laptops, plus an update to Microsoft’s Touch Mouse that supports Windows 8s multi-finger gestures.
The star of the lineup is the Wedge Mobile Keyboard, which sports a cover that doubles as a flexible stand for slates.
Samsung’s plan for an 11.8-inch Android tablet code-named the P10 was discovered among the reams of court documents filed in the company’s $2.5 billion patent case against Apple, according to online reports. The P10 would have a Retina-like display with 2560-by-1600 resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio, according to court documents first uncovered by The Verge.
Other than display size, the documents indicate the purported new tablet would have Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity, but details about ports, media card readers, or other hardware features are unknown. The court documents say the P10 is slated for a 2012 release, but it’s not clear whether the company is still on track with that timeframe or if the tablet would be pushed into 2013.
Samsung is planning a press event on Aug. 15 in New York City, but the appearance of an 11.8-inch tablet seems unlikely. Current speculation suggests the New York event will kick off availability for the long-expected Galaxy Note 10.1-inch tablet that was first introduced in February at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
A perfect tablet, if there is such a thing, requires hardware and software that serve to complement each other. For example, Sony’s Tablet S is a multimedia buff’s dream because it includes so many home theater-inspired design cues. The Tablet S has a great audio setup, it's ergonomic, and it includes a built-in TV remote. Likewise, the Kindle Fire is perfect for Amazon addicts because its Android ecosystem is specifically modified to support all things Amazon. Hardware and software that appears to have been designed in concert creates a magic far greater than the individual pieces on their own.
We think that the Nexus 7 is a very sexy-looking tablet. Its svelte design turns heads, as does its list of features, respectable 8 GB of storage capacity on the base model, and $199 price tag. It also appears as direct competition for Amazon's popular Kindle Fire. The main differentiator is that Google's Nexus 7 runs a completely unaltered version of Android 4.1, code-named Jelly Bean, giving it access to Google Play, a feature sorely lacking on the Kindle Fire.
With the BlackBerry 10 OS delayed until 2013, it's anyone's guess when this super-sized Playbook is going to hit the shelves.
Despite not producing any new touchscreen hardware in a while, BlackBerry has clearly not given up on tablets, with a 10in PlayBook on its way to succeed its 7in older brother. The iPad-sized PlayBook was leaked in photos on Tinhte in what appears to be a finished form.
The new tablet from RIM features what looks to be a 3:2 display, unlike the original PlayBook’s 10:6 screen. There also appears to be a SIM tray for rumoured mobile connectivity. The final piece of information revealed is that the battery will be a 26.82Whr juice-pack – similar to that of the iPad 2, but way smaller than the iPad 3’s, suggesting it won’t have a ground-breaking display.
The Tablet PC is a fully functioning mobile computer that runs Windows XP, Tablet PC Edition which includes new, advanced handwriting and speech recognition capabilities that enable the creation, storage, and transmission of handwritten notes and voice input. Tablet PCs come in three styles, Convertible, Slate and Hybrid.