Blackberry Playbook Hands-on Videos

The ; a 7 inch tablet from RIM will be out soon. The tablet was featured at the CTIA 2011 and I got a good chance to play around with the tablet.

Blackberry PlayBook

I must say that I was pretty impressed with the tablet and definitely look forward to it’s release next week. The interface is fluid and smooth. I addition to that, the tablet is a multi-tasking powerhouse with live widgets that will continue to play in the back while you launch other applications.

For example, if you are playing a video and switch to another app, you can still view a live feed of it in the apps panel. The same goes for games, emails, and practically every app.

To know more about the feature take a look at the PlayBook hands-on video I shot at CTIA 2011. Click here or here if you can’t watch the videos.

Motorola XOOM Gets Overclocked to 1.2 GHz

After getting rooted within hours of its release, the Motorola XOOM has been overclocked as well. Michael Huang, the developer of SetCPU, a popular underclocking/overclocking app for Android, has succeeded in pushing the clock speed to 1.2 GHz using a custom kernel. The 20% increase in clock speed allowed the XOOM to touch the 40 MFlops mark in Linpack. However, in reality, XOOM should be able to do better, as Linpack is a single core benchmarking tool, which can’t properly harness the power of the dual-core Tegra 2 powered XOOM.


First OC attempt on the Xoom: Success. 1.2GHz booted and working perfectly.less than a minute ago via web

Huang has promised to make his kernel patch public soon. In the meanwhile, here’s the screenshot of the Linkpack result.

XOOM-Overclocked

Motorola XOOM is a “Google Experience” device, and one of the first Honeycomb powered tablets to hit the market. Honeycomb is a specially crafted version of Android, which is targeted squarely at higher resolution devices like tablets. Riding on the back of a myriad of usability enhancements introduced in Honeycomb, and impressive hardware, the XOOM has been garnering largely positive initial reviews. However, the real test for the XOOM will come once the iPad 2 is launched.

Opera Software Set to Showcase New Tablet Browser at CES 2011

OperaLast year, Opera Software gained attention at the CES by demoing the breezy Opera Mini for iPhone, which went on to become the first non-webkit based alternate browser for the iPhone. This year, the browser maker will be demoing its new browser tailor-made for Android based tablets and netbooks.

In 2011, tablets are a new must-have. Opera is creating waves with the first public preview of Opera for tablets,said Christen Krogh, Chief Development Officer, Opera Software. Opera for tablets brings the same trusted Internet experience to tablets and netbook PCs as users have come to love on their mobile phones and desktops.

Opera for tablets will be based on the yet to be unveiled Opera Mobile 10.5. As you can see in video embedded below, the user interface has been tweaked for bigger screens. Nevertheless, according to Haavard K. Moen, Opera for tablet will be supporting a wide range of form factors, and should be able to adapt itself to both small and large screen sizes. Little else is known about Opera for Tablet. However it will support flash, and should come with all the standard features of Opera Mobile like Opera Turbo, Opera Link (synchronization), speed dials, password manager and kinetic scrolling.

The Notion Ink Adam Fiasco Worsens: Why I Am Not Pre-Ordering, and You Shouldn’t Too

Notion Ink’s Adam was expected by many to be the dream tablet – a tablet that will successfully marry iPad’s elegance and usability with Android’s flexibility. Critiques questioned the ability of a startup with little experience to pull off such grand plans, while others, including me, hoped that Notion Ink might just have what it takes to succeed.

Notion-Ink-Adam

After a long delay, Notion Ink finally opened pre-orders for Adam yesterday. However, things have gone rapidly downhill since then. It’s been one disaster after another. Keith discussed some of the issues raised by Android Police and others. However, that’s not all that bothers me. Some of the other factors raising eyebrows and causing suspicion are:

  1. As pointed out by PhanDroid, NI takes your money even without asking for a shipping address. This has now been fixed, and was possibly an oversight. However, how many oversights can one ignore from a company that is launching an international product that costs around about half a thousand bucks (depends on the model).
  2. We had earlier pointed out the lack of any real pictures or videos of Adam. Once again, it’s possible that this is just a marketing strategy gone wrong. Notion Ink had been building up hype by slowly unveiling the product, and Rohan probably thought that holding back the hands-on videos will probably help sustain the air of mystery. The trouble is that you can’t just expect people to shell out money in blind-faith, especially when you are the new kid in town.

    Notion Ink has now stated that an in-depth video will be released on December 18. The justification being offered is that NI wanted to hold back videos and photos of the actual product, as they intended to demo it at CES 2011. That is a pretty flimsy logic, and also brings me to the third caveat.

  3. Although Notion Ink claims that they will be demoing Adam at the CES, as pointed out by Android Police, they aren’t anywhere to be found in the official CES exhibitors list.

    It’s also worth mentioning that, Adam is yet to receive a formal approval from the FCC. Without that, Notion Ink can’t even ship it to the US. Obviously, NI is confident that Adam will soon be approved. However, this only adds another element of uncertainty to the entire equation.

    Even if all of this is just a series of massive but honest mistakes by Notion Ink, and Adam is not an elaborate scam, I don’t think I can recommend Adam any longer. The main culprit being the refund and return policy.

  4. There is a lot that can go wrong with electronic gadgets, and that is why warranty and return policies are extremely important. Unlike its competition (Apple and Samsung), Notion Ink doesn’t have established retail presence or support centers spread across the globe. Hence, if something goes wrong, you will have to simply ship your device to Notion Ink. This is not an ideal scenario, but could have been acceptable. The trouble is that Notion Ink wants you to bear most of the charges, as a result of which, you will end up paying a hefty amount, even during the warranty period. Here are the relevant sections from the ToS.

    In case your products needs a physical inspection or repair, you need to ship the product with return shipping paid to Notion Ink’s International Service Centre’s along with an transaction number of 9USD payment made on Notion Ink Website as International Service Assistance Fees.

I hope that I am wrong and Notion Ink succeeds. I really do. However, at this moment things are looking bleak. I still believe that the device is real. However, we have to remember that Notion Ink is a new startup without any proven track record. There is uncertainty regarding how they are sourcing the hardware for the device and its quality. There are simply too many unknowns at this moment. It’s obvious that a lot of people are willing to give Notion Ink a chance – the Pixel Qi editions were sold out within hours. Unfortunately, I can no longer be among those recommending Adam.

Rumor: iPad 2 Camera Manufacturer Selected

AppleAlong with Microsoft’s Kinect, the iPad is quite possibly the most popular consumer electronic device of the year. It kick started an entire new segment virtually on its own. Over the past few months, we have seen dozens of tablets being launched by both big and small companies. Unfortunately, none of them have managed to offer strong competition to the iPad.

While others are busy playing catchup, Apple is already working on the iPad’s successor. Rumors about the iPad 2 have already begun to trickle in, mostly via Digitimes and other Chinese news sources. After disclosing that the successor to the highly successful iPad will feature a camera as well as Facetime support, Digitimes has also dug up the name of the manufacturer.

Largan Precision, a Chinese lens manufacturer, which also supplies lenses for the 5 megapixel camera for the iPhone, is the rumored manufacturer of iPad’s camera. The iPad 2 is expected to be launched in Q1 2011.

Rumor: iPad 2 Will Have Retina Display and FaceTime

Apple This was supposed to be the year of the tablets. However, if anything, it is turning out to be the year of the iPad. Baring Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, others failed to even make their presence felt. At this point, the tablet I have the most expectations from is Notion Ink’s Adam. However, it remains to be seen if the heavily delayed tablet from an inexperienced startup can truly deliver on its promises.

In the meanwhile, Apple is working to increase its lead with the iPad 2. According to the information plucked by Digitimes from a Chinese newspaper called Economy Daily News, the iPad 2 will feature a significantly improved hardware specification. Unsurprisingly, it will support Apple’s Facetime video calling technology. The 3-axis gyroscope introduced in iPhone 4 will also make an appearance, as will the iPhone’s famous Retina display. The newspaper also believes that the next generation tablet from Apple will have better mobility and USB ports.

Of course, we still have a good few months to go before iPad’s successor is announced. At the moment, it’s probably best to treat any leaked news about the iPad 2 with a generous dose of skepticism.

Notion Ink Adam Continues To Excite – Will Feature Innovative Multi-Tasking Capabilities

With new tablets being announced or launched every week, the tablet market is truly on fire. However, other than Apple’s iPad, none of the other tablets have succeeded in making a significant impact. The Samsung Galaxy Tab might just turn out to be the first actual iPad competitor. However, the tablet that I am really excited about is Notion Ink’s Adam.

The Adam, which has been plagued by a series of delays, is being manufactured by an Indian startup called Notion Ink. What sets Adam apart from the rest of the tablet crowd is its ambition. Unlike other Android tablets, Adam will be using an extensively modified operation system with its own interface and market.

Related: Specs and Pics of Notion Ink Adam | Adam Pricing Information | Interview With Notion Ink’s CEO

Notion-Ink-Adam-Eden-1

In a new blog post, Notion Ink’s CEO, Rohan Shravan, has shared some of the key details about Eden – Adam’s multi-tasking environment. It allow applications to run in 3 modes –
i) Full Screen Mode: In this mode the application will occupy the entire screen and will be the sole object of attention. Only one application can be in this mode at a time.
Notion-Ink-Adam-Eden-2 ii) Light Mode/Panels: In light mode, the application will only expose its key functionalities. Up to three applications can be simultaneously in light mode. Screen real estate, as well as other resources will be shared among these applications.
iii) Waiting Mode (Background): When an application is minimized it creates a panel with its most important features and goes to sleep. At any point of time, three panels will be visible. Other panels will be hidden and waiting to be called upon.

Existing Android applications (which are designed for mobile phones) will work as panels, instead of being stretched to fit the tablet’s higher resolution screen.

Discussing the benefits of introducing Panels, Shravan wrote:

Using these concepts now you can compare two documents, transfer files from one folder to another, take notes from one panel and write in another, you can chat in one and read RSS in another, while third one is playing your song, read this blog and update your twitter message. Most important element in multi-tasking is to SEE two things to work on them, and now we have 3!

India’s $35 Tablet Will Arrive in January 2011, Will Be Manufactured By HCL

The much-hyped $35 tablet announced by the Indian government is on track, and is expected to arrive before January 10, 2011. LiveMint is reporting that the contract for manufacturing the low-end tablet has been awarded to HCL Technologies Ltd, which will be manufacturing 100,000 units.

India-Cheap-Android-Tablet

Back in July, India’s HRD (Human Resource Development) minister had created a flutter by promising to deliver an Android tablet to students for just $35. Initially, in spite of the hands on demo provided by Mr Kapil Sibbal, many pundits maintained that the tablet was priced too aggressively to become a reality. Nevertheless, this announcement should help the device in shedding its vaporware status.

Related: Meet STAMP: The $50 Tablet from India

IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Rajasthan has been tasked with carrying out intensive laboratory and field tests across the country. The government is hoping to make the affordable portable computing device available to university level students from the second half of next year.

Specifications:

Dimensions: 8.9×7-inch
Weight: 1.5kg
RAM: 2 GB
Connectivity: Wi-fi, USB
Operating System: Android

(via AndroidOS.in)

Twitter for iPad Adds Inline Media, Gestures and Panes

users have a huge screen and more screen-estate than smartphones and is all set to take advantage the fluid interface of iPad to provide a better experience with their new Twitter for iPad app.

Twitter for iPad

Twitter has announced the introduction of a new Twitter for iPad app which bring in several new features including Panes, which are similar to tabs and allow you to open multiple links at once and switch back and forth between them.

In addition to that, Twitter for iPad has also allows you to view inline videos in the panes that you open. The videos will continue loading without hampering your navigation and you can easily switch to watching the video by clicking on the pane.

Twitter iPad Gestures

Twitter for iPad also has gestures support where you can pinch on a tweet to see actions such as reply, retweet etc., or use two fingers to pull the tweet to view the twitter conversation. You can download the Twitter for iPad from here and find more information about it at the official Twitter blog.

First Glimpse of LG Optimus ‘Better Than iPad’ Tablet

LG’s Chang Ma set the expectations really high when he claimed in an interview given to the WSJ that LG’s tablet PC is going to be better than the iPad. The tablet, which is being dubbed as the Optimus Pad, will run an unknown version of Android operating system, and is expected to be released in Q4.

LG-Optimus-Pad

LG is claiming that the Optimus Pad will offer superior performance, while being sleeker than its competitors. The slide shown above also claims that the tablet will boast of “many firsts”. With very little information being currently available about LG’s iPad competitor we can only wait with baited breath. Let’s hope that it will live up to the expectations.