Archos G9 Tablets To Get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Update

Archos, a company which among all other things also manufacturers Android tablets, has announced that it will be upgrading all the variants of its G9 tablet to Ice Cream Sandwich starting from the first week of February.

While the Archos G9 series of tablet are not really popular, they are still pretty good and decently priced. Forr the unknown, the G9 tablet is powered by a dual-core OMAP4 processor, packs 1GB of RAM, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU and come with either an 8-inch screen or a 10-inch one. The tablets are also available with either flash storage or a 250GB hard disk as well.

The usual connectivity features like Wi-Fi, GPS and sensors are also present. Also, unlike quite a few other Android tablets, the G9 series runs on stock Android 3.2 Honeycomb. All this, and the the prices of the tablet starts from a mere $299.

Now, that Archos has confirmed that it will be updating its tablets to Ice Cream Sandwich, it makes them more attractive for potential tablet buyers.

Samsung Unveils The Galaxy Tab 7.0N Plus; Slightly Re-styled version of the Tab 7.0 Plus

Thanks to the patent trolling from Apple, Samsung has released a re-designed version of the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, known as the Tab 7.0N Plus.

Apple had earlier successfully managed to get the whole Galaxy Tab series banned in Germany on grounds that the tablet looked similar to the iPad 2. Samsung has thus released this slightly re-designed version of the 7-inch so as to get around with the ban in Germany.

The re-designed tablet has the same specs as its older version that includes a 7-inch PLS LCD screen with a resolution of 600×1024, an Exynos 4210 SoC sporting a 1.2GHz dual-core A9 processor, an ARM Mali-400MP GPU, 1GB of RAM, a 2MP camera at the back and a 1.3MP camera in the front, microSD card slot and 16/32GB of internal memory. All the usual features like Wi-Fi, GPS, Accelerometer are also present.

Externally, Samsung has increased the bezel size around the screen by a bit and placed the speakers there. Quite a few Galaxy Tab users out there will appreciate this design change.

However, the Tab 7.0N Plus still runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb with Sammy’s TouchWIZ UI on top of it. The tablet should get the Ice Cream Sandwich update sometime in late Q1 of this year. This new version of the Galaxy Tab is already available in retail stores in Germany.

Lenovo Ideapad YOGA: Gets My Vote for the Best Ultrabook at CES

Lenovo IdeaPad YOGA

While at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, I was able to get some video of the Lenovo IdeaPad YOGA. The YOGA is a convertible Ultrabook which has four modes of operation:

  • Regular laptop mode: In its simplest form, the YOGA is a nice Ultrabook. It conforms to the Ultrabook specifications with the thickness (16.9mm), weight (3.1lbs) and startup/resume times (not specified since it is not final yet).
  • Tablet/slate mode: With its patented dual hinge, the YOGA can flip back completely and become a tablet/slate. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is not going to compare to a regular slate in terms of weight or thickness. Instead,  think of it as a way to use your laptop more comfortably for say browsing the web or consuming other content.
  • Stand mode: The hinges are strong and the body is sturdy, and as a result you can flip back the screen and leave the computer on a table instead of carrying a dock around with you. The IPS panel (1600×900 resolution) does provide great viewing angles which helps this mode’s usage.
  • Tent mode: This mode, I am not too sure about, but for sake of completeness, let me describe it. You can fold the laptop so it becomes an inverted “V” and then use it as a photo frame.

I like it a lot because it is thin, it is light and it is not just another laptop. The skeptics may say that we have seen these before and they didn’t work then, so there is no reason they should work now – tablet users want a tablet, and PC users want a PC. Well, I was one of them! The difference between then and now is that this laptop is built for Windows 8. Lenovo didn’t even pretend that it is a Windows 7 PC upgradeable to Windows 8. Windows 8 is a touch-first operating system compared to Windows XP or even Windows 7 which is what powers the “legacy” convertibles.

The operating system being touch-first is one big difference, but also, the form factor. The convertibles of old were thick and bulky, almost like a tablet stacked on top of a regular laptop. The YOGA is sleek, and at 3lbs, it is lighter than most PCs in the market today. The person who was providing me the demo said that they are going to be able to shave another 100 grams before the machine becomes final!

There are many other Ultrabooks worth drooling over, at CES, but this is my best because finally there is a design which is different from the MacBook Air, and not just for the sake of being different (I am looking at you, HP with the Gorilla Glass-covered Ultrabook).

See below for a quick eyes-on, with a demonstration of all four modes in action.

Lenovo IdeaPad YOGA Video

Velocity Micro Cruz T507 and T510: Affordable Android 4.0 ICS Tablets

Velocity has been in the tablet business for a couple of years now, and despite not seeing much success, it continues to fight on, launching new Android tablets every year.

At CES 2012, it unveiled two new tablets – the Velocity Micro Cruz T507 and T510. Both run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and come with some great hardware. The Velocity Micro Cruz T507 and T510 are powered by a 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and a ARM Mali 400 MHz GPU. They come with 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage.

Both have dual cameras, and come with mini USB and mini HDMI ports. The T510 sports a 9.7 inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, while the T507 sports a 7 inch display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. Both run Ice Cream Sandwich and come with Android Market as well as Amazon Appstore. They will ship with an optimized version of Adobe Flash 11.

Here’s the best part – the Velocity Micro Cruz T507 will be priced below $150, while the Velocity Micro Cruz T510 will be priced below $200, which will make them ideal for customers on a budget.

Check out our complete CES 2012 coverage: Techie-Buzz @ CES 2012

Here are some images of the Velocity Micro Cruz T510 and T507, courtesy The Verge:

Velocity Micro Cruz T510

Velocity Micro Cruz T507

Dell Re-enters the Ultrabook Arena with XPS 13

Dell was one of the first companies to jump aboard the super-thin laptop bandwagon. However, after the ultraportable Adamo failed to make a dent, Dell seemingly dropped out of the race. It stood by and watched as Apple, Sony, HP, Asus and others flooded the market with ultrabooks during the 2011 holiday season. Now, with the XPS 13, Dell is re-entering the ultraportable laptop arena.


The XPS 13 is being touted as a 13.3 inch laptop in near 11 inch form factor. Thanks to the resilient edge to edge Gorilla glass, Dell has managed to do away with the bevel almost completely, thus saving previous space. The XPS 13 measures in at 18 mm at its thickest point, and weighs just over 1.36 kg. The ultrabook looks like the a child born out of a marriage between consumer and corporate laptops. The mix of machined aluminum and carbon fiber material used is stunning, but it’s still nowhere near as flashy as the HP Envy. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

The XPS 13 is quite obviously not built for gaming or heavy duty multimedia tasks, but it is no pushover either. Consumers have the option of choosing either Core i5 2467M or Core i7 2637M CPU. Dell’s ultrabook will ship with 4 GB RAM, SSD (128 GB or 256 GB), USB 3.0, and almost 9 hours of battery backup.

The XPS 13 will launch in March, and the base model is expected to cost about a thousand bucks.

Full Specification:

  • Ultrathin laptop (0.24-0.71”/6-18mm) with Microsoft Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium; precision machined aluminum with a carbon fiber composite base
  • Intel Core i5 2467M and i7 2637M processor choices
  • 13.3” HD WLED, 300-nit (1366×768) 720p; edge-to-edge hardened Gorilla Glass
  • Intel HD 3000 video graphics
  • 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333Mhz memory
  • 128 GB SSD or 256GB SSD drive options
  • Full size, backlit chiclet keyboard; glass integrated button touchpad with multi-gesture support
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 802.11 A/G/N and Bluetooth 3.0 wireless connectivity
  • High definition audio with Waves MaxxAudio 4
  • Built-in 47WHr 6-cell battery (Dell XPS 13 batteries are built into the laptop and are not replaceable by the customer) offering up to eight hours, fifty-three minutes of battery life[5]; 45W AC adaptor
  • USB 3.0 (1) + USB 2.0 with PowerShare (1), mini Display-Port, and headset jack (1)
  • Built-in 1.3MP webcam (H.264 enabled via Skype) with dual array digital microphones
  • Dell ProSupport for business customers, Dell Configuration Services and Windows Trusted Platform Module options for commercial models
  • Dimensions: Height: 0.24-0.71” (6-18mm) / Width: 12.4” (316mm) / Depth 8.1” (205mm); Weight: starting at 2.99lbs (1.36 kg)

Update: The Ultrabook is now available for pre-order.

Sony Showcases Intriguing Concept Tablets at CES 2012

Sony’s first attempt at creating bold new tablet devices elicited mixed responses, as the S1 and S2 ended up prioritizing x-factor over plain old usability. However, that hasn’t stopped the Japanese electronics giant from thinking out of the box again.

At this year’s CES, Sony is showcasing two new tablet concepts – the Slate and the Hybrid. The Slate is a sleek tablet with a unique oval design and a beautiful silver back. However, once again, Sony’s penchant for uniqueness means that the tablet is not without its flaws. The bezel is unnecessarily thick, and the rear has oddly placed buttons that might be prone to accidental presses.


Paired with the Slate is an equally stunning wireless keyboard. The remarkable design of the keyboard manages to transform a mundane accessory into something drool worthy.



The most noteworthy concept on display was the Hybrid, which is a cross between traditional laptops and tablets. It is essentially a tablet that docks with a keyboard with embedded speakers. Once again, the design is simply stunning. Interestingly enough, the Hybrid also features a blast from the past in the form of a stylus that fits in beneath the keyboard.


Even though both of these devices carry the old Vaio tag, they represent intriguing attempts by Sony to redefine what we expect from a tablet. Absolutely nothing is known about the technical specifications of the Hybrid and the Slate, which were tucked inside a glass case to fend off the inquisitive journalists. In fact, we don’t even know if Sony plans on manufacturing them.

HP Unveils New Glassy Ultrabook with Killer Looks and Innovative Features

HP unveiled its new Envy 14 Spectre ultrabook that will be running on the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors that were earlier demoed by Intel. The HP Spectre is definitely a looker. It sports a glossy mid-night black Gorilla-glass lid, is 20 mm thin, and features a 14 inch screen with super thin bezel and Radiance display. HP insists that the glass lid will not compromise the durability of the ultrabook.


In terms of configuration, the Spectre is a pretty standard affair with Core i5-2467M CPU and 4 GB of RAM. The battery is said to last for nine hours. Interested users will have the option of upgrading to 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM. Typical HP goodies such as impactful speakers with Beats technology, and CoolSense are also present. HP has even thrown in free copies of Photoshop and Premiere Elements 10, along with a two-year subscription to Norton Internet Security. The other differentiating feature of the Spectre comes courtesy the Intel Ivy Bridge processor that includes NFC support.

The Spectre is drool worthy, but it will definitely make your wallet a lot lighter. Priced at $1,399.99, the Spectre is more expensive than the MacBook Air that is likely to be its biggest competitor. The Spectre will launch in the States on Feb 8, and goes on sale in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom in early March.

Viewsonic Unveils ViewPad E70, Android 4.0 ICS Tablet for $169

Viewsonic is making a play at the budget Android tablet segment, which seems to be under siege by almost every Android tablet manufacturer at CES 2012. After Asus, it’s now Viewsonic’s turn to launch an ultra-cheap Android tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Viewsonic ViewPad E70 comes with the latest version of Android – Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It will be priced at just $169, which makes it one of the cheapest Android ICS tablets around.

Viewsonic ViewPad E70 Specifications

However, the specifications match the price. It comes with a 7 inch display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, which is arguably too low for a tablet. It is powered by a 1 GHz processor and will presumably come with 512 MB of RAM. It also offers 4 GB of internal storage with support for microSD cards, and supports 1080p HDMI output and a front facing camera for video calling. It will come with the Amazon Appstore, but won’t support the official Google Android Market.

The specifications seem to be too low, even for $170, especially if you consider that the Asus EEE Pad MeMo ME370T is priced at just $250, and offers much better specifications. The Viewsonic ViewPad E70 will start shipping in Q1 2012.

Check out our complete CES 2012 coverage: Techie-Buzz @ CES 2012

Viewsonic ViewPad E70

Viewsonic Launches ViewPad 10pi and ViewPad 10e Tablets

Viewsonic has launched two new tablets at CES 2012 – the ViewPad 10pi and the ViewPad 10e. While the ViewPad 10e is a standard Android tablet, the ViewPad 10pi is a dual booting tablet which runs both Android and Windows.

Viewsonic ViewPad 10pi Specifications

The Viewsonic ViewPad 10pi comes with an Intel Oak Trail z670 processor clocked at 1.5 GHz and 2 GB of RAM. It also offers a 64 GB SSD and sports a 10.1 inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It also comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and optional 3G connectivity support.

It also offers a microSD card slot, and 2 USB ports. It has a primary 3 MP camera, as well as a secondary 1.3 MP camera. It is powered by a 3200 mAh battery, and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread as well as Windows 7 Professional in a dual booting setup.

Viewsonic  ViewPad 10pi, ViewPad 10e Tablets

Viewsonic ViewPad 10e Specifications

The Viewsonic ViewPad 10e is a standard Android 2.3 Gingerbread tablet, which comes with a 9.7 inch IPS display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. It is powered by a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and 512 MB of RAM. It offer 4 GB of internal storage, and microSD card support. It also has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth 3.0. It sports a 1.3 MP camera on the front face, and comes with a 5400 mAh battery.

The pricing for either tablet hasn’t been announced yet.

Check out our complete CES 2012 coverage: Techie-Buzz @ CES 2012

Asus EEE Pad MeMo ME370T: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet Priced at $249

Nvidia had announced earlier that it would be launching a budget Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet powered by Tegra 3 at CES 2012.

Asus and Nvidia have officially revealed it. It’s the Asus EEE Pad MeMo ME370T tablet.

Asus EEE Pad MeMo 370T

Asus EEE Pad MeMo ME370T Specifications

It will be launched in the second half of 2012, and will come with a 7-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It will be powered by a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core processor, and will presumably come with 1 GB of RAM. It comes with Wi-Fi connectivity only, and will be priced at just $249, making it a great alternative to the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet.

Despite having the distinction of being the first quad core tablet, it will be one of the most inexpensive Android Ice Cream Sandwich tablet around. We just hope it launches soon enough.

We expect it to have an 8 MP camera and 16 to 32 GB of internal storage. However, the exact specifications are yet to be revealed.

Image courtesy: Engadget

Check out our complete CES 2012 coverage: Techie-Buzz @ CES 2012