Sony Announces Xperia Tablet S with Remote Control and Multi-user Mode

The Xperia tablet that was introduced to us by the way of leaked slides is now official. A short while back, Sony announced the new Xperia Tablet S at IFA 2012. The new tablet shares a lot of the design traits of the original Sony Ericsson Tablet S; however, there are improvements and tweaks all around.


The new Xperia Tablet S is slimmer and lighter, and has a diagonal length of 9.4 inches. The specs revealed in the leaked slides were bang-on, and the Xperia tablet comes with an NVidia Tegra 3 chipset, a 1080p IPS display, expandable memory, and 6000 mAh battery. The tablet will hit the shelves with Ice Cream Sandwich; however, a Jelly Bean upgrade is in the works.

The Tablet S is gorgeous and powerful. However, even that might not be enough to guarantee success in the crowded tablet market. And, Sony knows this. The Japanese electronics giant has thrown in quite a few nifty goodies to give the Tablet S an edge.

On the content front, Sony is integrating its multimedia service titled Music and Video unlimited that provides full access to Sony’s online music and video catalogue for a flat subscription fee. 5 GB storage in PlayMemories (Sony’s cloud storage service) is also thrown in.


On the software front, Sony has added a WatchNow app which will act as your personalized TV guide. It will recommend TV shows based on your social stream and viewing preferences, allow you to checkin to TV shows, and talk about your favorite series over various social networks.

Like its predecessor, the Xperia tablet features an IR emitter, which enables it to act as a programmable universal remote. The improved remote control app now supports macros, which will allow you to pre-configure a sequence of commands.

Finally, the Xperia Tablet S features a guest mode, which is great if you are going to share the tablet with your family and friends. Guests will have their own set of preferences and apps, and can be restricted from accessing certain stuff.


As you might expect, Sony is also going to launch a host of accessories for the Tablet S. The most attractive among them is the Microsoft Surface like smart-cover, which is essentially a cover that can double up as a keyboard. There is also a docking stand that can come in handy when you want to get some serious work done on the tablet. Both of these accessories will cost about $100. Other accessories include a dock speaker ($130), a case ($80 for leather and $51 for non-leather), a charging cradle ($40), and a stand ($25).

The Xperia Tablet S will launch on September 7 with the 16 GB version costing $400 and the 32GB and 64 GB models going for $500 and $600 respectively.

Leaked Slides Reveal Sony Xperia Tablet

Several slides, purportedly from Sony, have surfaced online, which offer a sneak peak at Sony’s next Android tablet. In spite of inspired design, Sony’s (then Sony Ericsson) first shot at the tablet market turned out to be a major disappointment. However, the Japanese electronics giant is not giving up.


The new tablet is going to use the Xperia branding, which has so far only been used for smartphones. The new Xperia tablet will sport a slim, splash proof aluminum body with sandblasted, anodized finish that will be only 8.8mm thick. Sony will retain the wedge design, and 9.4-inch display (1280×800) that we saw in the Tablet S.

The Sony Xperia Tablet SGPT1211 will be powered by Tegra 3, and feature PlayStation certification, along with integration with Sony Entertainment Network. It will feature an 8-megapixel rear-cam, and a 1-megapixel front-cam.


Sony is also planning to release a bunch of accessories, including a charging cradle, dock speaker, dock stand, tablet stand, carrying case, and LCD screen protector.

According to the source, the Xperia tablet will launch in time for the holiday season. Although the slides suggest that the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB variants are going to cost $450, $550, and $650 respectively, the tipster believes that all of the units will retail for $50 less than the earmarked price.

Google Announces its New Augmented Reality Glasses

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.

iPad3 Specification: Improved Display, Camera, and Processor

Apple has just unveiled iPad 3. The conference is still going on, but no major surprises so far. The new iPad features a higher resolution display, improved camera, and a significantly faster processor. We have already discussed the US launch prices of various iPad 3 models. Listed below is iPad 3’s hardware specs.


iPad3 Specification

241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 mm dimension.
9.7-inch multi-touch capable capacitive screen with a resolution of 2047 x 1536 pixels (Retina Display – 264ppi).
A5X processor (Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9) with quad-core graphics (probably PowerVR SGX543MP4).
5-megapixel iSight camera with 5-element lens, backside illumination, and hybrid IR filter. The new camera supports video recording at 1080p. Image resolution is 2592 x 1944 pixels.
4G LTE support for AT&T and Verizon.
Bluetooth 4.0.
10 hours battery life on 4G, and 9 hours on 3G.

Google Goggles with HUD Might Arrive Soon

A couple of years back, Google launched Goggles for Android, which is pretty cool by itself. However, Google is now reportedly trying to build the real thing – an actual goggles with a HUD (heads up display).

9To5Google learnt by the way of a tipster that Google is currently developing wearable glasses that resemble Oakley Thumps. These glasses will be fitted with a tiny HUD for each eye on the sides. The display is expected to provide an augmented reality experience by showing real-time information corresponding to objects in your sight. Navigating the on-screen HUD is said to be as simple as tilting your head. The glasses will have a tiny camera equipped with flash, along with a mic for recieving voice commands. CPU, RAM, and other storage will be equivalent to previous generation Android smartphones, which will be stunning considering the form factor for the device.

Oakley Thump

The glasses are still a long way from being done, and Google isn’t even sure if there is an actual demand for such a gadget. However, what this clearly illustrates is just how ambitious and bold Google has become. It’s not afraid to invest money and time into projects that almost appear to be science fiction. 9To5 believes that Google might launch a public beta testing program to gauge demand, as it did with the Cr-48 Chromebooks. Let’s hope that they are right.

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.

1.4 Million Aakash Tablets Booked; Manufacturer Struggles to Cope with Demand

We had earlier reported that India’s Aakash tablet, also known as UbiSlate, had sold out soon after it was up for preorder. At that time, we didn’t have specific sales figures; however, Economic Times has now revealed that as many as 1.4 million Aakash tablets were ordered.

In order to cope with the unexpectedly high demand, the UK-based manufacturer, Datawind, will be establishing three new factories in India. The new manufacturing units will come up in Cochin, Noida and Hyderabad during the first half of this year. The Aakash, which retailed for less than fifty bucks, was conceived as an educational tablet. However, delays on the part of the Indian government has meant that individual customers and corporate clients will probably get the device before educational institutes.


The unexpected demand has also brought to light how ill prepared Datawind is to handle significant volumes. “We never expected such a high response from both corporate and individual buyers. We plan to supply 70,000-75,000 units per day once the factories are in place by April,” revealed Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind. Digit has highlighted that many customers are in the dark about the status of their shipment and are unsure about how to seek help. Perhaps Datawind needs to take a more proactive approach, or partner with established online retailers like Flipkart in the future.

Samsung Caught Fudging Testimonials, and Lying about Galaxy Tab’s Thickness

Last month, Apple received a fair amount of flak for fudging facts and misquoting rivals during the iPad 2 launch event. However, it seems that Apple is not the only one busy with distorting the truth. Samsung, which has been one of the primary targets of Apple’s reality distortion field, is now trying to return the favor.

Earlier in the week, Samsung unveiled a couple of new Galaxy Tab models at the CTIA the revised Galaxy Tab 10.1″, and a new Galaxy Tab 8.9″. One of the biggest wow factors of the new Galaxy Tab 10.1” is its sleek design. Omar Khan, Chief Strategy Officer and SVP of Products and Services at Samsung, heralded the new Tab as the slimmest tablet in the market. Samsung claimed that the Tab measures in at 8.6 mm, which is 0.2 mm less than Apple’s iPad. However, in reality, the Galaxy Tab is a tad thicker than the iPad 2. It’s still pretty slim, but not slimmer than the iPad. Have a look at the comparison pictures snapped by Information Week’s Fritz Nelson.


Unfortunately, misleading consumers about the Tab’s thickness wasn’t the biggest folly committed by Samsung. During the press event (embedded below), Samsung spent a fair amount of time on its Galaxy Tab Interview Project. The project purported to document how Galaxy Tab changed the life of busy, successful New Yorkers, who were given an opportunity to try the device. The New Yorkers interviewed included freelance travel writer Joan Hess, independent filmmaker Karl Shefelman, and leading real estate CEO Joseph Kolinksi.

The trouble is that these ordinary New Yorkers were gushing about products that aren’t even available in the stores, and they were showering the Tab with cheesy praises that only a PR guy can come up with. Harry McCracken of Technologizer did some digging around, and soon uncovered the real identities of Hess, Shefelman, and Kolinksi. Yes, all of these people exist, but they aren’t who they claimed to be. Joan Hess and Joseph Kolinksi are professional actors, while Karl Shefelman is a filmmaker who works for a NY production company that has done work for Samsung in the past.

It is immoral to fudge minor details here and there, but lying outright by faking testimonials is simply despicable. It’s the act of a company that is desperate. It’s the act of a company that thinks their customers are foolish. This incident demonstrates that Samsung is willing to do whatever it takes to lure customers, even if that means violating established ethical boundaries. Will you be willing to trust such a company with your hard-earned money?