Last night, Toshiba announced a bunch of new tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich, and they come in varying sizes to cater to the needs of various customers. The smallest, the Excite 7.7, comes with a 7.7-inch AMOLED display with a 1280*800 resolution and has a slim waistline of 0.3-inches. Following the Excite 7.7 is the new Excite 10.1 that comes with a…as you guessed it…a 10.1-inch display with a 1280*800 resolution. The 10.1-inch model is a bit thicker than the Excite 7.7 though (0.35 vs. 0.3).
Last but not the least, and definitely not the smallest or slimmest is the Excite 13. The tablet comes with a whopping 13.3-inch display with a 1600*900 resolution, along with four inbuilt speakers to provide users with that perfect movie watching experience. It is also the thickest tablet in the Excite line-up with a 0.4-inch waistline.
All the three tablets pack in a NVidia quad-core Tegra 3 processor, a GB of RAM, a sturdy aluminum shell, Corning’s Gorilla glass, a 5MP camera in the back, a 2MP shooter in the front, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a bunch of sensors, and sound enhancements from Toshiba and SRS Labs. Toshiba states that the Excite 13 has a whopping 13 hours of battery life, while the Excite 10 will last around 10 hours on a single charge.
All the three tablets also run on stock Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, and pack in a micro-USB port, microHDMI port and a microSD card slot. The Excite 10 will hit the retail stores first early next month, with the 16GB model costing $449.99, and the 32GB and 64GB model costing $529.99 and $649.99 respectively.
The Excite 10 will be followed by the Excite 7.7, which will hit the retail stores a couple of months (early June) from now for $499.99 for the 16GB variant. The 32GB model will cost $579.99. The Excite 13 will be available to the consumers sometime in early June for $649.99 for the 32GB model, while the 64GB model will set users back by another $100.
The Asus Transformer Prime, launched late last year, is un-arguably the best Android tablet in the market right now. Not only does the device run on the latest version of Android – Ice Cream Sandwich – it also packs in a powerful quad-core Tegra 3 processor from Nvidia. The build quality, battery life and the camera of the device, and most importantly, its pricing were also top-notch. However, the Transformer Prime was plagued with poor GPS performance and Wi-Fi issues soon after its launch.
Later on, Asus identified the poor GPS performance of the tablet a design flaw, and removed GPS as a feature from the official spec sheet of the handset. The company tried its best to improve the GPS reception of the tablet by rolling out numerous software updates, but that only improved matters to a certain extent.
Now, Asus has gone a step further and will be providing all Transformer Prime owners with a free GPS dongle. The GPS dongle is already being tested by some testers, and they are happy with how well the dongle goes with the Prime. All Prime owners need to register over at Asus website’s to be eligible for the free dongle though.
The folks over at Android Police have also confirmed that the newer builds of the Transformer Prime have received tweaks, which improve the Wi-Fi performance of the device and bring it on par to its predecessor’s (original Transformer).
Remember the ultra-futuristic Google Goggles we had reported a couple of months back? Well, they just moved a couple of steps closer towards becoming a reality. A short while back, Google officially acknowledged the existence of the top-secret project, and offered the world a glimpse of its grand vision. Check out the somewhat poetically titled Project Glass video embedded below.
We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t.
A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.
Initial speculation had suggested that Google Glass is going to be similar to an Oakley Thump. Thankfully, the design that Google showed off today is a lot more slick and practical. The new pictures suggest that Google Glass is simply going to be a heads up display (HUD) instead of a full on goggles. As far as functionality is concerned, Google Glass behaves like something right out of a sci-fi flick. Google will tap into several of its services to power the glasses. Google Maps, Latitude, Gmail, Calendar, Picasa, GTalk are some of the obvious ones.
I would absolutely love to get my hands on one of these uber-geeky gadgets. However, whether or not I will use it daily is another question. For the gadget to be practical, Google will have to make it reliable, intuitive, and unobtrusive.
We already knew that Micromax was planning to launch an entry-level tablet during the Q2 of 2012. Today, the company finally launched the much-awaited Micromax Funbook tablet in India. Surprisingly, this tablet runs on the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. It comes with a 7 inch capacitive display as well as a 1.2 Ghz Cortex A8 processor. This tablet comes with the E-learning app which offers reading materials, videos, multimedia, tests, assessment, references from leading content brands like Pearson, Everonn, GK Publishers, Scholarshub, Vidyalankar, Universal Tutorials, CAPS, Zion and many more.
The Micromax Funbook features a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, 1.2 Ghz Cortex A8 processor with Dual Mali 2D/3D GPU, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, 0.3MP VGA front-facing camera for video chat, HD video playback, WiFi Connectivity, 3G Dongle support via USB, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, USB 2.0, HDMI out, up to 5 hours of browsing time and a 2800 mAh battery.
The Micromax Funbook comes pre-loaded with the Bolly Buzz and M clips app, which allows you to access more than 6000 songs and 4000 videos on the go. This tablet is available in 2 diiferent colors -Midnight Black and Slate Grey. The Micromax Funbook comes with a price tag of just Rs.6,499 (approx. $130) in India. To get this device, head over to this page.
Remember the new incoming firmware update for the Asus Transformer Prime that was going to bring “awesome” new features to the tablet? Well, Asus has started rolling out the new software update for Prime owners to enjoy.
The new update (v126.96.36.199) brings includes changes like the ability to access the notification bar from the lock screen, an updated version of Asus Vibe with a new UI and more content, the ability to update the camera firmware independently, the ability to select portrait or landscape mode while viewing content over HDMI via the Prime.
One of the most important and requested features by Prime owners is the support for Ad-hoc Wi-Fi networks. Post this update; Prime owners can also connect their tablet to the Internet by using the Ethernet cable. You need the USB to Ethernet to plug-in the Ethernet cable though. Other than this, the update also includes the new re-branded Google apps, including the Google Play Music, Play Store, Play Books and Play Movies.
While the update does bring some nice new features, none of them are really “awesome” enough. Nevertheless, kudos to Asus for continuously pushing software updates to the Transformer Prime.
Motorola and Verizon have started rolling out the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (IMM76) update for the Wi-Fi variant of the XOOM in the United States. The new build of Android includes quite a few new enhancements, including stability improvements, faster auto rotation, better phone number recognition and much more.
Below is the full change-log of the update via Droid-Life -:
- Quicker screen rotation
- A new setting to choose whether the power button immediately locks the device or not
- Microsoft Exchange improvements with additional EAS policies
- Better phone number recognition
- Camera and image quality improvements
- Improved stability
The update is being rolled out via OTA and went live just a few mins ago, so users should expect the software update notification on their XOOM to pop-up sometime soon. Hopefully, Google will also release the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S, along with pushing it to AOSP.
An Android 4.0.4 build for the Nexus S 4G did leak last month, and it brought quite a few improvements, but since then the big-G has not shown any signs of releasing the final Android 4.0.4 build to the public.
Amazon launched the Kindle Fire to enter the booming tablet space in late 2011. The Kindle Fire has been a huge hit, selling millions of units, and is probably the most popular tablet after the Apple iPad.
According to a new report by a Taiwanese daily, Amazon may be planning to launch three new variants of the Kindle Fire in 2012. With the three new Kindle Fire models, it will target different segments of the market.
1. 7 inch Kindle Fire (1024 x 600 pixels)
2. 7 inch Kindle Fire (1280 x 800 pixels)
3. 8.9 inch Kindle Fire (1920 x 1200 pixels)
All three variants will likely have different hardware configurations as well. The low end 7 inch model will likely be priced at $199 and compete with cheap Android tablets, while the high end 8.9 inch one will compete with the iPad and premium Android tablets. All three variants will be assembled by Taiwanese manufacturers like Quanta.
Amazon will have to roll out a better budget tablet soon, if it wants to compete with the rumored Google Nexus tablet, which will supposedly be priced in the same range. It will likely price all these tablets as low as it can, and just barely break even, while making money by selling content on the tablets, like it always has.
Asus Transformer Prime owners, here is a surprise for you! Earlier today, Asus announced via its Facebook page that it would soon be releasing a new firmware update for the Prime with “awesome new features”. The company did not reveal much information as to what these awesome new features are, so it’s anybody’s guess at the moment.
The Asus Transformer Prime was released last year, and was the successor to the original Transformer. It was also the first tablet available to the public to use a quad-core Tegra 3 processor. However, soon after its launch the Prime was plagued with GPS and Wi-Fi issues which made a dent in its sale. The company however has since then released numerous software updates to improve the GPS performance of the device. The Prime was also among the first Android tablets to get updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, ahead of the Motorola XOOM.
Unlike other Android tablet makers, who simply release a tablet and then release either maintenance update or Android OS updates, it is nice to see Asus taking a different approach. No wonder the company is aiming to be the number 1 Android tablet maker!
Remember the Archos G9 Ice Cream Sandwich update? Well, apparently the update while adding many new features and enhancements, also introduced some new bugs. Post the update, Archos G9 users faced Wi-Fi connection issues on their tablet, with the tablet refusing to connect to any Wi-Fi network or disconnecting frequently.
There were other issues as well, like the HDMI output not working properly, VPN connection failing and the touch screen not responding to multi-touches properly. The battery life of the tablet was also affected, because of the device not going into suspend mode properly once Bluetooth was enabled. Thankfully, Archos has been quick to react to the complaints of its users, and has released a new firmware update for its tablets that fixes the above issues. Below is the full change-log of the update -:
- Wi-Fi: fix slow throughput and disconnections happening on some access points
- HDMI: solve no sound or no video output issue on some TVs
- Bluetooth: make sure Bluetooth does not prevent device suspend
- VPN: fix VPN connection failing
- Touchscreen: avoid loss of first finger touch while tapping with second finger
The update is already live, and Archos G9 owners can download the update manually by going to Settings -> About and then selecting the Software Updates option.
Earlier this year, Dell announced the powerful XPS 13 Ultrabook at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. The Dell XPS 13 features a 13 inch HD (720p) WLED display with the edge-to-edge hardened Gorilla Glass. Consumers have the option of choosing either Core i5 2467M or Core i7 2637M CPU as well as 128 GB or 256 GB SSD. It offers up to 8 hours of battery-life. Dell recently launched the much-awaited XPS 13 ultrabook for the Indian customers at an event in Mumbai. Check out the complete specs below.
Mr. Mahesh Bhalla, Executive Director & General Manager, Consumer and SMB, Dell India said,
“The XPS 13 is a perfect mobility device packing powerful technology into a small, portable package and delivering enterprise-friendly protection and security. With XPS 13 users don’t have to make a choice between beauty and practicality. XPS 13 offers enterprise ready features for professionals enabling them power to connect, collaborate and innovate with unique features and services – like Dell ProSupport services and Trusted Platform Module (TPM)– that satisfy the needs of IT departments.”
Dell XPS 13 Specifications:
- Ultrathin laptop (0.6-1.8 cm /6-18mm) and light starting at 1.36 kgs
- 34 cm HD WLED, 300-nit (1366×768) 720p; edge-to-edge hardened Gorilla Glass
- Precision crafted machined aluminum with a carbon fiber base
- 128 GB SSD or 256 GB SSD drive options with Intel Rapid Start Technology
- Intel Core i5 2467M and i7 2637M processor choices
- Intel HD 3000 video graphics
- 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333Mhz memory
- Full size, backlit chiclet keyboard
- Glass integrated button touchpad with multi-gesture support
- 47WHr 6-cell battery offering up to eight hours, 53 minutes of battery life ; 45W AC adaptor
- Dell Pro Support for business customers, Dell Configuration Services and Trusted Platform Module
- Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 802.11 A/G/N and Bluetooth 3.0 wireless connectivity
- USB 3.0 (1) + USB 2.0 with PowerShare, mini DisplayPort, and headset jack
- Built-in 1.3MP webcam with dual array digital microphones
- High definition audio with Waves MaxxAudio 4
- Microsoft Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
The Trusted Platform Module (TPM) offers user and machine security with BitLocker Data Encryption for network-based client computing. The Dell XPS 13 is currently available for purchase in India with a starting price of Rs.79,900 for the base model, while the price goes up to Rs.99,900 depending on the user’s customization. You can easily get the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook at Dell Exclusive stores as well as other retail partners. However, you can also order it online from the Dell’s official website.