Along with the Asus Padfone, Asus announced yet another tablet similar to the original Transformer Prime (TF201), the Infinity Pad. The company has also renamed its Eee Pad Transformer Brand to just Transformer Pad.
The Transformer Pad Infinity comes with a 10.1-inch Super IPS+ display with a whopping 1920×1080 resolution. While the Wi-Fi variant of the Infinity Pad use an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, the 3G/4G version will come with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and an Adreno 225 GPU. The internal battery capacity has also been increased by more than 10% to outset the increase in screen resolution. There is the same 8MP F/2.2 aperture camera on the back of the Pad as one the Prime, and a 2MP snapper in the front. The usual bunch of sensors and connectivity features will also be present.
Like the original Prime, the Infinity Pad also has an aluminium body with a plastic strip running across the top of the tablet that acts as a R/F window. This R/F window will make sure that the Infinity Pad does not have the same GPS and Wi-Fi issues as the Transformer Prime.
The Infinity Pad will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the box whenever it hits the retail market at an unknown price.
The biggest mobile tech event every year, Mobile World Congress, has not even kick-started yet, and Samsung just unveiled two of its products – the Galaxy Tab2 10.1 and the Galaxy Beam. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is the successor to the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, and shares the same internal as it. Wonder why Samsung is calling the tablet the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 then.
Anyways, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has a 10.1-inch PLS TFT screen with WXFA (1280×800) resolution, 1GB of RAM, 16/32GB of internal memory, microSD card slot, a 3MP snapper at the back capable of recording videos in Full HD resolution, and a VGA camera in the front for video calling. The same old Tegra 2 processor from Nvidia clocked at 1GHz does all the chugging work inside. All the usual connectivity features like HSPA+ 21Mbps, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, A-GPS and Glonass along with the sensors like Accelerometer and Digital Compass etc. are also present.
The only difference between the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is the OS. While the former is running on Honeycomb, the latter runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich ruined by Samsung’s TouchWIZ UI. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 will hit the markets of U.K first in March, before being available globally.
Toshiba has already surprised us with its powerful Android tablets in the past. Last month, Toshiba announced the Excite X10 tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. This device comes with a 10.1 inch IPS display as well as a 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor. The Toshiba Excite X10 is currently the world’s thinnest 10-inch tablet.
This tablet currently runs on the Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) Operating System. However the company has already promised the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update for this device. We have good news for those who were eagerly waiting for the release of this device. The Toshiba Excite X10 is currently up for pre-order at the online retailer Future Shop’s website.
Toshiba Excite X10 features 10.1 inch IPS display, sporting a resolution of with 1280 x 800 pixels, 1.2 Ghz dual-core OMAP 4430 processor, Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS (upgradable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS), 5 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, DLNA capability, Wi-Fi 801.11 b/g/n, and so on.
It also comes with a 3.5 mm headset jack, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, Micro-HDMI, Micro-USB 2.0, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Toshiba Media Player, Think Free Office, Evernote, Android Market, and Toshiba’s SRS sound enhancement technology.
The iPad 2 measures 8.8 mm, while the Transformer Prime measures 8.3 mm. On the other hand, the Toshiba Excite X10 measures just 7.7 mm and weighs 1.2 pounds. Both 16 GB as well as the 32 GB variant is currently available for pre-order. You can pre-order the 16 GB and 32 GB variant of this device for $549.99 and $599.99 respectively. This device is expected to be available from the end of this month. To pre-order the Toshiba Excite X10 tablet, head over to this page at Future Shop.
ViewSonic is on a roll. After its three new dual SIM Android smartphones – the ViewPhone 4s, 4e, and 5e – we have confirmation that it will be launching three new tablets too, at the Mobile World Congress this year.
Here are some details.
ViewSonic ViewPad G70
The ViewPad G70 seems similar to the ViewPad E70 which was a budget Android ICS tablet launched at CES 2012. It will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage and microSD card support. It will also sport a 2 MP camera and a 0.3 MP secondary camera. It also comes with mini-HDMI, micro-USB, and mini-USB slots. It will have a 7 inch display, presumably with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.
ViewSonic ViewPad E100
The ViewPad E100 comes with a 1 GHz processor and an IPS display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. It will be powered by a 1 GHz processor and offer HDMI and USB connectivity and microSD card support. It weighs around 620 gms and is quite slim at just 9.1 mm.
ViewSonic ViewPad P100
The ViewPad P100 is a Windows 7 tablet which sports a 10 inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It’ll be powered by a dual core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N2600 processor.
We should see the complete spec sheets of all three tablets at their official unveiling at MWC 2012. Stay tuned.
None of the Android tablets from any manufacture, except for Asus to a certain extent, has been able to set the sales chart on fire. There are a number of reason behind this including an exorbitant price tag, under-equipped internal hardware, poor screens, and lack of apps among other things.
Honeycomb as a tablet OS also had quite a few issues, which thankfully Google fixed in Ice Cream Sandwich. All Android manufacturers are racing to update their tablet to Ice Cream Sandwich as soon as possible. However, it looks like Toshiba is going to take its own sweet time to update its Android tablets, the Thrive, to Ice Cream Sandwich.
Toshiba’s PR Manager, Eric Paulsen, has confirmed on Twitter that the company will be updating the 7-inch and the 10-inch variants of the Thrive to Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in…wait for it…end of Spring. This means that Thrive owners are not going to taste Ice Cream Sandwich on their tablet before June-end, which is still quite a few months away.
Good news Transformer owners! Asus has started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the original Transformer (TF101).
Below is the official statement from Asus on Facebook -:
Asus had initially stated that it will update the Transformer to Ice Cream Sandwich in January. However, the company had to push back the update to February for some unknown reason. Last week, it looked like the company was again delaying the ICS update for the Transformer, but thankfully Asus has managed to prove us wrong.
The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Transformer should bring in a noticeable improvement in the performance of the tablet, along with UI changes. The update is being rolled out via OTA, so a new software update notification should pop up on your Transformer sometime soon. The update is already live in the United States, and will go live in the United Kingdom from tomorrow.
With the Transformer’s ICS update rolling out, Asus is the only tablet manufacturer out there that has updated all its tablets to Ice Cream Sandwich. Motorola has only updated one variant of the XOOM to Ice Cream Sandwich, while Samsung is yet to update any of its tablets to Ice Cream Sandwich.
If you have root access on your Transformer, you can install the Ice Cream Sandwich update manually by following the instructions mentioned here.
True to its word, Asus has released the bootloader unlock tool for the hottest Android tablet available to the consumers right now, the Transformer Prime. The Transformer Prime was the successor to the original Transformer, and is also the world’s first tablet to ship to the public with a quad-core processor.
However, owners of brand new Prime tablets were in for a rude shock when they found out that the bootloader on the device has a 128bit-AES encrypted bootloader. A locked down bootloader on an Android handsets means no custom kernels, custom ROMs etc. The locked bootloader on the Prime led to Asus receiving a lot of negative publicity and also adversely affecting the tablet’s sale. Asus then released a statement to the public stating that it will be releasing an unlocked bootloader tool for the Prime sometime in February this year.
Like with all other bootloader unlocking tools provided by other Android device manufacturers, using the ‘Unlock Device app’ from Asus will void the warranty of your Prime. And no, re-locking the bootloader when you need to take the Prime to the service center won’t make your warranty valid again.
The Bootloader unlock tool from Asus will only work on Transformer Prime (TF201) running Ice Cream Sandwich. The said tool can be downloaded from here.
Developers, let the custom ROMs and custom kernels flow!
The Transformer Prime was released by Asus in late December last year, and has already got several software updates from the company. In fact, in recent time the Prime is the most updated Android device out there in the market, and that is in a good way.
Now, Asus has again started rolling out another software for the Prime, which apparently improves the battery life of the tablet. Other than this, Asus has not mentioned anything as to what the update changes, but Prime owners should expect the usual performance and stability enhancements. Quite a few Prime owners on XDA are reporting that this new update fixed the random reboots, improved the Wi-Fi performance and the battery life of the tablet noticeably for them. The update breaks root, so use Voodoo OTA Rootkeeper from the Market to preserve root access, after the update is installed.
The software update carries the version number 18.104.22.168, and should be available to all Prime owners effective immediately. The update is being rolled out only in the United States at the moment, so Prime owners in other region of the world might not see the update pop up on their tablet.
Bad news Asus Transformer owners! Asus has today announced via its Facebook page that it will be delaying the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the original Transformer. Asus had initially promised that it would be updating the Transformer to Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in February.
Below is the official statement from Asus -:
Dear fellow Asus members, we would like to say that we appreciate all the support we see in our Asus Facebook page every day. It makes our contributions worthwhile and fulfilling.
We are informed that the ICS upgrade for TF101 will be ready within the Feb/March 2012 period. You will be able to receive the upgrade notification via FOTA once we have a confirmation date.
We thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter
The statement above from Asus is quite vague, especially the time period in which the company will be rolling out the update. The company does not even mention as to why it has to push back the update, so it’s anyone guess at the moment!
I am assuming Asus delayed the OTA update, because it does not want users to face any stability issues like the Prime owners faced after updating their tablet to ICS.
Samsung launched the Galaxy Note back in 2011, and while it may be a bit unwieldy due to its huge display, it is one of the best smartphones available today, in terms of specifications. Samsung has been marketing it differently from its smartphone and tablet offerings, hoping to find a sweet spot between the two.
Anyway, it seems that Samsung may also be working to launch the bigger version of the Galaxy Note – the Galaxy Note 10.1 – at MWC. While there has been no official announcement, an invitation by Samsung for a Developer Day at MWC lists the device alongside the Galaxy Note.
Samsung already has loads of tablets available for purchase, and it’s not clear what more the Galaxy Note 10.1 would offer over the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or its sucessor, except the S Pen stylus functionality.
It will likely have much better specifications than the Galaxy Note and a 10.1 inch display. Apparently, Samsung is also hiring student models for a commercial for the Galaxy Note 10.1, in which he will “record, take pictures, edit” and do some other stuff like that.
Could Samsung be targeting the education market with the Galaxy Note 10.1? It may pit the Galaxy Note 10.1 directly against the iPad 3, which will be unveiled in March.