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.

Sony Unveils The Xperia Acro HD and Xperia NX For Japan

At CES 2012, Sony (Formerly Sony Ericsson) announced two new Android phones meant only for their home market – Japan – the Xperia NX and the Xperia acro HD. Both the handsets are similar to the other two handsets announced by Sony, the Xperia S and Xperia Ion.

Both the Xperia (NX and acro) branded handsets feature a 4.6-inch LED Backlit Reality Display with mobile Bravia engine, and come with a whopping 720 (1280×720) resolution. Internally, both the handsets are powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor, an Adreno 220 GPU coupled with 1GB of RAM.

At the back of both the handsets is a 12.1MP camera with an Exmor R sensor, which is also capable of recording videos in 1080p HD resolution. There is also a front-facing camera in the front of the handsets for video calling. Sadly, the handsets run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread but will get the Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in Q2 of this year. The acro HD comes with a TV Tuner, an infrared port and NFC as well.

Other features include a micro-HDMI port, 16GB of on-board memory and an 1840mAh battery on the handsets.

The Xperia NX will be available on NTT DoCoMo’s Network beginning from February this year, while the acro HD will be available sometime in March.



Lenovo K800: First Intel Medfield Smartphone

Intel is probably the biggest name at CES 2012. It has finally delivered on the Ultrabook concept with more than 75 new Ultrabooks launching this year. Intel also entered a strategic relationship with Motorola which includes the latter building new Android smartphones and tablets powered by the former’s chips. This may be the opening Intel was desperately searching for – to enter the mobile market which is currently dominated by ARM.

Today, Intel and Lenovo officially unveiled the K800 – the first Intel powered smartphone. It comes with a 1.6 GHz Intel Medfield processor and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with a possible update to Ice Cream Sandwich on the way. It comes plastered with a heavily skinned UI by Lenovo.

It sports a 4.5 inch HD display and offers an 8 MP camera. It will be launched in China in Q2 2012 on China Unicom’s network. It is comes with WCDMA HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS connectivity. No information about the pricing or global launch has been revealed yet.

Here are some images of the Lenovo K800, courtesy Engadget.

Lenovo K800

Intel will be launching many more smartphones with device partners in 2012. What remains to be seen is whether it will be able to beat ARM at its own game, on its home turf.

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

T-Mobile Unveils The Galaxy S Blaze 4G Smartphone

T-Mobile recently announced the new Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G smartphone at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. It runs on the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. This handset will be exclusively available for the T-Mobile customers in the US. The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G will be T-Mobile’s third smartphone to take advantage of 42Mbps HSPA+ technology.

“Last year, T-Mobile made solid progress during uncertain times, doubling our 4G network speeds and launching 25 new 4G devices,” said Philipp Humm, CEO and President, T-Mobile USA. “We are here, in fighting shape, and we will compete aggressively to win and retain customers by delivering compelling 4G services — all at a great value.”

samsung galaxy s blaze 4g.jpg

T-Mobile has not yet revealed the complete specs of this device. Even the press release does not mention the specs. Currently, we only know that, Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G comes with a Super AMOLED touchscreen display, 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System and a 42 Mbps HSPA+ connectivity. It will also feature the usual 3.5 mm headset jack, micro USB, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, FM Radio with RDS, Micro SD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, GPS with AGPS, Android Market and so on.

The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G is expected to comes with a price tag of $199.99 and a two year service agreement. T-Mobile will soon announce the exact price and availability of this smartphone. Stay tuned for more updates!

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

BlueStacks Android App Player Coming to Windows 8

BlueStacks announced at CES that its Android App Player will be compatible with Windows 8, the next version of Microsoft’s Windows OS which will work on both notebooks and tablets. BlueStacks’ Android App Player is an Android emulator for Windows, which is compatible with ARM and X86 hardware.

It unveiled an alpha version in October 2011, and will now support Windows 8 as well. The beta version of BlueStacks will be released in February 2012, with the final version coming later in 2012.


Check out our previous coverage of BlueStacks: Run Android Apps and Games in Windows with BlueStacks

BlueStacks demonstrated its technology on a Windows 8 Ultrabook at CES. Its Android App Player will integrate all the apps in the Android market, over 400,000 of them, seamlessly into Windows 8. It will support both the Windows 8 desktop mode and the Metro mode. Getting developers to create apps for Windows 8 was going to be one of Microsoft’s biggest challenges. While this doesn’t obviate the need for native Windows 8 apps, it does bring Android vast library of apps to Windows 8.

“The Metro UI is beautiful, but the number one thing Windows 8 is missing is apps. This changes all that,” noted BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma.

BlueStacks recently raised funding, and is working with PC manufacturers and OEMs to pre-load the Bluestacks App Player on their devices.

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

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

Microsoft Offering $100 If Your Phone Can Beat Windows Phone

Microsoft has been really aggressive in marketing Windows Phone to customers. It has not only been pushing its device partners to increase their marketing spend for their Windows Phone powered smartphones, but has actively challenged other platforms and doled out free Windows Phones on Twitter.

Recently, it was giving away free Windows Phones to anyone who was pissed at Android and tweeted about it using the hashtag #droidrage.

At CES 2012, it not only unveiled new flagship smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II, but is also challenging attendees with cash prizes in order to promote Windows Phone.

@BenThePCGuy from the Windows Phone blog is challenging CES attendees to beat his Windows Phone device in everyday tasks using their phone running on any other platform. If you win, you get $100. You may also win free Windows Phones by participating in the contest, but the rules aren’t completely clear yet.

So if you’re strolling around CES, and think that your phone can beat Windows Phone, here’s your chance to make a quick 100 bucks.

More details at the Windows Phone Blog: I’ve got $100 that says your smartphone will get #smokedbywindowsphone

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