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Acer Iconia Tab A200 Unveiled; Another Run Of The Mill Tegra 2 Android Tablet

Acer has just announced its latest addition to the Android tablet world, the Iconia Tab A200. Apart from the name and looks, the A200 is similar to the Iconia A500, internally.

The A200 sports a 10.1-inch display with 1280×800 resolution, and is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor. Other usual specs include 1GB of RAM, 2MP front facing camera, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, and GPS with A-GPS. The tablet will initially come with Android 3.2 Honeycomb update pre-installed, but Acer has promised that the A200 will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box in January 2012.

The Acer Iconia A200 is just another run-of-the-mill Android tablet powered by the slow Tegra 2 SoC. Compared to all other tablets, the only selling point of the A200 is its full blown USB 2.0 port. The tablet will also come with some pre-installed apps from Acer including SocialJogger, which consolidates all updates from your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

The Iconia Tab A200 will be available in Titanium Gray and Mettallic Red for an unknown price on an unknown date.

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Amazon’s Kindle Fire Gets a Root-Breaking Software Update

Amazon has started rolling out a new software update for their recently released $199 Android running tablet, the Kindle Fire. The shopping giant has not mentioned anything about the changes brought about by the new software update (v6.2).

The sad part is that the update breaks root. The worst part? You cannot stop the update from installing itself. The Kindle Fire will automatically update itself over Wi-Fi, even if the user does not want the update to happen.

The only good news? Even though users loose root access to the system partition of the tablet, they can gain it back easily by using a popular rooting utility – SuperOneClick – to root their tablet  again. If Fire owners already have Android Market installed on their tablet, the Market might vanish after the update. Users will need to re-root their tablet, and then install the Android Market on the Fire again.

The zip file of the software update is available online, and some developers went through the files inside it, and according to them this software update is just aimed at fixing bugs.

(Source)

AMD Gets Into the RAM Business; Teams Up With Patriot and VisitonTek

Today, AMD has announced the retail availability of the first ever AMD branded memory (RAM) for desktops. The company has tied up with Patriot Memory and VisionTek for the same.

The company has worked hard with Patriot  in optimizing the DRAMs  with their APUs, GPUs and CPUs via the AMD OverDrive performance optimization tool. All memory modules from AMD will meet certain minimum specifications and will be tested comprehensively, before being branded as an AMD memory module.

AMD has been our strategic technology partner for ten years and VisionTek has focused our efforts on bringing their PC upgrade products to the North American market,said Michael Innes, chief operating officer of VisionTek.   The AMD brand means cutting edge technology, as well as uncompromising quality and compatibility for PC users.     AMD Memory will help expand the ability to optimize performance in personal computers of today and tomorrow.

AMD Memory will be available in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB size in different categories. The Entertainment category will features RAM modules with speeds of 1333MHz and 1600MHz, which is designed for use in Home  Theater  PCs. The Performance category RAMs will be running at 1600MHz with low-latency and in matched pairs so as to enable Dual-Channel. Finally, the Radeon Edition DRAM will run at 1866MHz and is ‘tuned, tested and certified for specific AMD platforms to enable maximum performance’.

BlackBerry Playbook OS Updated To Version 1.0.8.4985

Earlier this year, Research-In-Motion (RIM) launched its first tablet device, the BlackBerry Playbook. This tablet comes with a 7 inch multi-touch capacitive screen LCD display, 1 GHz dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera with full HD (1080p) video recording, 1GB RAM and so on. The BlackBerry PlayBook runs on the BlackBerry Tablet OS.

blackberry playbook

RIM has recently started rolling out a new software update for its not-so-popular tablet device. The latest update is numbered 1.0.8.4985 and it brings the updated version of Adobe Flash Player, updated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi software, improved syncing and much more. Check out the complete changelog after the break.

Changelog:

  • Updated version of Adobe Flash Player version 11.1 and Adobe AIR 3.1
  • Daylight savings time updates for time zones in the regions of Latin America, Australia and Central America
  • Updated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi software to help to improve connectivity
  • Fixed issues some users were experiencing with account payments in the BlackBerry App World storefront
  • Improved syncing when restoring applications with BlackBerry Desktop Software
  • This update also includes a security update for Adobe Flash Player, as noted in Adobe Security Bulletin APSB-11-28, which addresses issues that can potentially affect any PC, tablet, or other device with an operating system that supports Adobe Flash.

This update is available only via. Over-The-Air (OTA). The size of the update is just 95 MB. You will receive a notification on the PlayBook status ribbon as soon as the update is available for your device. You can also manually check for update under Software Updatesin the settings menu. If you find some other changes after the update, please let us know in the comments section below.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android 3.2 Honeycomb Update Rolling Out Again!

Samsung has again started rolling out the Android 3.2 Honeycomb update for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi edition in the United States.The company had originally rolled out the update last week, but had to pull it back since it broke Wi-Fi functionality for most users who installed the update.

The Android 3.2 Honeycomb update does not bring much visual changes, but does bring a noticeable improvement in the performance stability of the Tab. Google has also tweaked the GPU drivers in this update, so Tab 10.1 owners should expect to see a notable improvement in the gaming department and benchmarks as well. Other than this, the update also brings a compatibility mode for unsupported apps, ala the iPad’s 2x mode for iPhone specific apps.

The update is rolling out via OTA (Over-The-Air), and should hit all Tab 10.1 owners in the next couple of weeks.  Tab 10.1 owners, who have installed the previous broken Honeycomb build, need to download the update manually via KIES and then install it on the tablet manually.

This is the last Android 3.x related update for the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Tab Owners should expect the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, to land on their tablet sometime in late-Q1 of 2012.

Asus and Nvidia Give Us a Sneak Peek Of Ice Cream Sandwich Running On The Transformer Prime

At the beginning of this year, Tegra 2 were the hottest SoCs on the planet. All Android geeks out there were eagerly waiting to get their hands on a Tegra 2 powered handset. Tegra 2  deserved  all the attention it got since it was the first ever dual-core SoC to be used across any mobile device. This in by itself is no small feat.

Fast forward to year-end, and things are looking the same, except that this time we have Tegra 3 which is gathering all the limelight. The Tegra 3 is going to become the first ever quad-core SoC ever to be used in a consumer-oriented device. This consumer-oriented device is the Asus Transformer Prime, which Asus had announced a few weeks ago. The Transformer Prime is the successor to the original Transformer, which without a doubt has been one of the most popular Android tablets of the year.

When A-soos announced the Prime, it stated that the tablet will come with Android 3.2 Honeycomb but will get the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update soon after. Today, Nvidia and Asus have joined hands to show us all future-Prime owners,   Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running on the Transformer Prime.

Below is the video I am talking about :

Asus and Nvidia team managed to get Ice Cream Sandwich up and running on the Prime in only 3 days, and from the video it looks like they have done an incredible job. This is also the first time we get to see how Ice Cream Sandwich actually looks like on a tablet. The Prime looks super-smooth in the above video, and was easily able to playback a 1080p video and Riptide GP 2, which has been optimized for Tegra 3.

The only thing I did wish was that Nvidia and A-soos made the video a bit longer. By releasing such a short teaser, both the companies have only added fuel to all the peoples’ desire of buying the Prime.

The Transformer Prime is all set to go on sale in the United States this December for $499.

Toshiba Thrive Gets The Android 3.2 Update

Toshiba Thrive is the company’s first tablet device. It was announced and showcased at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. This tablet originally runs on the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Operating System. Don’t get confused with the 7-inch Toshiba Thrive, which runs on the Android 3.2 OS from day one. We’re talking about the powerful 10-inch Toshiba Thrive tablet.

If you own this tablet, then you might want to check the system update option in the settings, since Toshiba finally started rolling out the latest Android 3.2 update for its year-old tablet. The latest update is numbered 3.2.1.31.5.0002 and it comes with increased compatibility with applications that are not optimized for larger screens. Check out the complete changelog after the break.

Changelog:

  • Enables an improved compatibility mode enhancing the way applications originally designed for smaller screen devices appear and function on the larger tablet display.
  • Improves screen rotation acceleration.
  • Adds extended screen support API, giving developers more precise control over the user interface across a range of Android-powered devices.

Toshiba Thrive owners should also note that YouTube and Android Market widgets may disappear from the home screen after installation of this update due to a change in the application naming convention. To check the update manually, go to Settings > About Tablet > System Updates. The size of the update is just 74 MB. If you find any other changes, then please let us know in the comments section below.

[ Image Credit ]

AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Coming To The U.S On Nov. 20

Samsung and AT&T have just announced via a press-release that both the companies will be joining hands to bring the Galaxy Tab 8.9 to the United States.

As its name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 sports an 8.9-inch HD screen, and is a mere 8.6mm thin. The tablet is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.5Ghz, along with an Adreno 220 GPU. The tablet also packs in 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

This 8.9-inch tablet sports a 3.2mP camera at its rear with an LED flash, and a 2MP camera in the front. The tablet runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb with Sammy’s TouchWIZ UI on top of it. All the usual connectivity features are also present, including support for AT&T’s recently released 4G LTE network and its ‘fake’ 4G network – HSPA+ – as well.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 will burn a hole of $479.99 through its future-owners pocket, which will be accompanied by a two-year commitment. Early Tab 8.9 owners will also get a Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket free of cost with the tablet, with a separate two-year contract. The tablet will be available at all retail stores and online stores beginning from November 20th.

AT&T will also expand its 4G LTE coverage to six new markets on November 20th including Charlotte, Indianapolis, Kansas city, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The cheapest iPad costs $499 without any sort of contract and offers a bigger screen, and a faster processor and GPU combo, and not to mention the fact that more apps are available for it. Compared to all this, the Galaxy Tab costs $479.99 with a two-year contract, offers a smaller screen, inferior processor+GPU combo, hardly has much apps available for it. Its high time Android tablet manufacturers get their pricing right, else the iPad will continue to rule the tablet market.

Asus Transformer Prime Unveiled; World’s First Tegra 3 Tablet

Asus has just unveiled the successor to the Transformer, the Transformer Prime. The Prime will be the first ever tablet in the world to feature Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad-core, technically ‘five cores’, processor. The Prime is one of the slimmest Android tablet around at only 8.3mm thick, and weighs only a mere 586gms.

 

The Prime wil also boast of a 10.1-inch Super-IPS+ LCD display,  with 1280×800 resolution. Asus promises that the display will have a viewing angle of 178  degrees, and will also provide  up to 600 bits of brightness when at max brightness. The display is protected by Corning’s Gorilla glass, and there is also an oleophobic coating so as to prevent fingerprints. Other key features of the Prime include 1GB of RAM, 32/64GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS, micro-HDMI port, and a bunch of sensors.

Even though its a tablet, Asus has installed an 8MP camera with F2.4 aperture at the back, with an LED flash. There is also a 1.3MP camera in the front for video-conferencing. The Prime is physically smaller and lighter than its predecessor, and yet manages to pack in bigger speakers. Asus quotes the battery life of the Transformer at a staggering 12 hours while continuously playing back 1080p videos, which increases to a whopping 18 hours when the keyboard dock is connected.

The Prime will ship with Android 3.2 Honeycomb on-board, and will get the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update shortly after its launch via an OTA update. The 32GB version of the Prime will cost $499, while the 64GB version will cost $599. This makes the Prime $100 costlier than its predecessor, but it is also lighter, slimmer and much faster than the Transformer.    The Asus Transformer Prime is expected to hit the shelves sometime next month in the U.S.

Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet Announced; Coming Next Week!

Barnes & Noble have just taken the wraps off their newest Nook branded eReader cum tablet, the Nook Tablet. The tablet comes with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor from OMAP, and 1GB of RAM on-board along with 16GB of on-board memory.

The Nook Tablet comes with a  7-inch screen, which provides “HD viewing” experience. Rumors suggest that the display is sourced from LG, and is an IPS LCD, which has a nearly 180 degree viewing angle. The tablet also has the usual connectivity features including Wi-Fi b/g/n, accompanied by a bunch of sensors including an accelerometer. The tablet will also have a microSD card slot.

On the software front, the Nook Tablet will come with Nook Cloud, which will allow users to backup their content on the cloud. The tablet will also come pre-loaded with Netflix and Hulu, which will be deeply integrated with the device.

Barnes & Noble say that the tablet will provide up to 9 hours of battery life, when playing back a 1080p video. The Tablet runs on a custom version of Android.The device will go on sale from next week, for only $249, and it will be available at all popular retailers including Best Buy, Target, Walmart, RadioShack, Staples and others.

 

 

 

Asus Transformer Gets a Software Update

Asus has started rolling out a new software update for one of the most popular Honeycomb running tablet – the Transformer. The update is aimed at mainly fixing the bugs found in the current software of the Transformer, including the abnormal battery consumption issue. The update also introduces an application named ‘App Backup’, which allows users to backup their installed apps and games.

One handy feature of the app is that it allows you to restore the backup on another Asus tablet. Looks like Asus wants to make sure Transformer users are easily able to upgrade to the Transformer Prime. Below is the full change-log of the update-:

Performance Improvement:

  • Improve Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Fix 8.6.5.13 mobile dock abnormal battery consumption issue
App Updates:
  • Latest version of Google Books, Maps and Market
  • Asus Sync – Ability to turn on/off Asus Sync
  • Email: Supports .Zip download
  • MyNet: Improves Device Search
  • Browser: Improves Compatibility
  • MyCloud: now supports remote desktop within different network
  • Update Italian Input method
  • Supernote: Improves performance and bug fixed
  • Polaris Office: supports large file loading, improve compatibility
Next week, Asus will also announce its much anticipated successor to the Transformer, the Transformer Prime. The tablet will be powered by Nvidia’s quad-core SoC, dubbed Tegra 3.
Recently, some  preliminary  benchmarks of the Prime leaked on the Internet. The tablet blew its competition out of the water, by scoring more than 10k points in the AnTuTu benchmark.

Motorola XOOM 2 and XOOM 2 Media Edition Announced

In a press release, Motorola has just announced the successor to the XOOM – the XOOM 2. The XOOM 2 is accompanied by a small variant, the XOOM 2 Media Edition.

 

Like the original XOOM, the XOOM 2 also comes with a 10.1-inch HD display, protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass. However, the quality of the display on the XOOM2 is much better than the one found on the original. It is not only brighter, but also more vibrant and enhanced colors. The tablet also comes with a splash-guard coating, which allows it to withstand rough use. To improve handling, the XOOM2 comes with rounded corners, and is 100grams lighter than its predecessor.

The smaller version of the XOOM2, the XOOM 2 Media Edition sports an 8.2-inch HD display, which is again protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass. Like its elder brother, the XOOM2 Media edition also has a splash-guard coating.

Both the tablets are powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, which in all probability must be the OMAP4430 or the OMAP4460. Other key specs include 1GB of RAM, Wi-Fi b/g/n, 16GB of internal memory, microSD card slot, and stereo surround speakers. The tablets also have a 5MP camera with LED flash and Auto-focus at their back, and a 1.3MP camera in the front for video calling.

The XOOM 2 Media Edition tablet also has an infrared IR, which makes it an universal remote. Users can control their home AV devices, like TV, music system etc. right from their tablet.

Both the tablets run on Android 3.2 Honeycomb, with the XOOM2 having a  quoted  battery life of 10+ hours, and the Media edition having a batter life of 6+hours when web browsing. The tablets are also pretty slim at 8.8mm and 8.9mm, respectively. They will also have the Motorola’s MotoCast app pre-installed, which first debuted with the Droid RAZR.

Motorola also announced a bunch of accessories with these two tablets, including a stylus. The Wi-Fi version of both the tablets will be available in the U.K and the Ireland by mid-November.

Google TV Gets a Major Update; Now Supports Android Market

Google has just announced via the GoogleTV’s official blog that they will soon be rolling out a major update for its Google TV platform.  With this update, the big G is hoping to revive this dead platform.

Google has focused on four main areas in this update, which are as follow-:

1) Keep it Simple – The whole interface of the Google TV has been redesigned, and is now much simpler. The home screen is now customizable, and users also get an ‘App drawer’ similar to their Android handsets.

2) Make it easy to find something – Google has vastly improved the search feature of with this update, and has made it easier for users to find content from Live TV, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO and more services. There is also a dedicated “TV & Movies” app, which lets users browse through 80,000 movies and TV episodes from across a bunch of services.

3) Make YouTube better on TV – The software update will tightly integrated YouTube with Google TV, and make it easy for users to find their desired content on YouTube.

4) Bring more apps to TV – Lastly, the software update will bring a bunch of apps for Google TV through the Android Market. Developers can now port their Android apps to TV, or create new ones. Right now, more than 50 developers have released apps specifically for Google TV.

The software update will be coming to Sony devices from early next week. Logitech devices like the Revue will get the update soon after.

Viewsonic Launches the ViewPad 7e, $200 Android Tablet

With the entry of Amazon in the budget tablet segment with the new Kindle Fire, it seems that everyone now wants to crack that space. Rumors indicate that Apple may be working on an iPad Mini, and many other Android manufacturers have already slashed the prices of their pricier tablets.

Today, ViewSonic announced the new ViewPad 7e, an Android tablet which will be priced at just $200. It comes with a 7 inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, and is powered by a 1 GHz ARM A8 CPU with 512 MB of RAM. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and a custom UI – ViewScene 3D.

Viewsonic ViewPad 7e

It also offers 4 GB of internal storage and supports microSD cards. It doesn’t support the Android Market, which is a deal breaker, at least for me. However, it does come with access to Amazon’s Appstore.

I would rather buy a Kindle Fire, which has much better hardware, and then flash it with a custom ROM, which is sure to come, given the tremendous popularity of the device and the awesomeness of XDA.

Here’s the official product page: Viewsonic ViewPad 7e

Kobo Vox Android Tablet Launched

Amazon’s new Kindle Fire has almost all other tablet manufacturers, except Apple, running scared. We have seen quite a few price cuts already, and now every manufacturer who was pricing their tablets out of the market is scrambling to launch inexpensive tablets.

Barnes & Noble and Kobo competed with the Amazon Kindle in the ebook reader space, and now, they are challenging Amazon in the tablet segment as well.

Barnes & Noble will launch the next version of the very successful Nook Color soon, and Kobo just launched the Vox Android tablet, priced at just $200.

It’s not as powerful as the Kindle Fire, but it seems to be a pretty good deal for just $200.

Kobo Vox Specifications

It comes with a 7 inch multi-touch display with a resolution of 1024 x 800 pixels. It is powered by an 800 MHz processor and has 512 MB of RAM. It comes with 8 GB internal storage, and supports up to 32 GB SD cards. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and supports the Android Market too. Kobo is touting a battery life of 7 hours for the Vox.

Kobo says that the AFFS+ display works great outdoors as well, unlike most normal display panels, and has extra wide viewing angles.

It will be available starting October 28.

Check out the official link for more details: Kobo Vox Android Tablet

Kobo Vox Android Tablet