When the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was announced at the Mobile World Congress last month, it was one of the most impressive Android tablets to be launched this year. It offered a huge improvement over the existing Galaxy Tab, and had way more features than the Apple iPad.
But now, with the Apple iPad 2 having been launched, Samsung seems to be a bit apprehensive about the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The iPad 2 may not have better hardware specs than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the Motorola Xoom, but it is much slimmer and the pricing is very competitive.
Also, there are more than 65000 apps for the iPad 2 while Android has less than 100 apps. The only way Android tablets can be made attractive to consumers is by pricing them much lower than the iPad and by offering more features. While the Galaxy Tab 10.1 does deliver on the features part, its pricing was likely to be much higher than the iPad 2. Samsung seems to have realized this.
“We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate. Apple made it [iPad 2] very thin” said Lee Don Joo, Executive VP, Samsung. “The 10-inch (tablet) was to be priced higher than the 7-inch (tablet) but we will have to think that over”.
This news should be welcomed by Android fans. Thanks to the iPad 2, they will be getting the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for much lower than they would have.
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.
Huang has promised to make his kernel patch public soon. In the meanwhile, here’s the screenshot of the Linkpack result.
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.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the first major Android tablet. It was launched last year and has sold over 2 million units since. Emboldened by its success, Samsung has already announced its successor – the Galaxy Tab 10.1 at the Mobile World Congress.
It will be powered by much better hardware and comes with a bigger 10.1 inch display compared to the Galaxy Tab. However, that’s not all. According to a report by Yonhap News, Samsung is prepping to launch another version of the Galaxy Tab next month. It will have an 8.9 inch touchscreen display, and will be positioned below the 10.1 inch Galaxy Tab 2. It will run Android 3.0 Honeycomb, just like all the new Android tablets.
This rumor, if true, will position Samsung as the perfect Android competitor against Apple. With this launch, it will have devices to fight against all of Apple’s major devices and then some.
The Galaxy S against the iPhone 4, the Galaxy S 2 and the Infuse 4G against the iPhone 5, the Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the rumored Galaxy Tab 8.9 against the iPad and the iPad 2 (which, by the way, is supposed to be announced on March 2), and the Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.0 and the Galaxy S Wi-Fi 5.0 against the iPod Touch.
The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is expected to be launched globally as early as next month.
via Samsung Hub
The Daily, the first iPad only newspaper which was created specifically with tablet users in mind was launched with a lot of fanfare on February 2.
At its launch, Rupert Murdoch of News Corp had praised the iPad a lot – So we built The Daily completely from scratch â€” on the most innovative device to come about in my time â€” the iPad.
It launched along with a new feature for app developers – in-app subscriptions, which has been one of the most controversial features of the App Store, after Apple decided to take a 30% cut for all subscriptions purchased from within iOS apps.
Anyway, The Daily was supposed to be iPad exclusive for a long time, though Murdoch had announced that a version of Android tablets was coming soon. It seems that the Android version of The Daily may be here earlier than expected, probably by Spring 2011.
Sources have revealed that The Daily is slated to launch for Android tablets in Q2 2011, which is a bit surprising considering the amount of praise Murdoch showered on the iPad at the launch. In the end, it’s all about business, I guess.
The Daily has seen a lot of downloads so far, but it’s still in the free trial period. When the trial ends this week, we should know how popular The Daily really is.
The Motorola XOOM, the first Honeycomb tablet of 2010 which will run Android 3.0 Honeycomb is slated to launch in two days, on February 24. There has been much speculation about the price of the Motorola XOOM, but we now know that it will be priced at $800 without contract at Best Buy.
Today, Verizon issued a press release which announces the contract pricing of the Motorola XOOM. It will be priced at $600 with a 2 year contract. Data plans start at $20 per month for 1 GB usage.
The pricing is surely a bit steep, but this subsidized pricing brings it closer to beating the iPad. Verizon has also announced that the LTE upgrade to the Motorola XOOM will be free for users when it is released in Q2 2011.
The Verizon Motorola XOOM is a ‘Google Experience’ Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet with a 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel capacitive touchscreen display. It has a 1 GHz dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and 1 GB RAM. It also has a 5 MP camera and comes with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity and offers 32 GB of internal storage. It won’t offer Flash support when shipped, but should get it within a few weeks of its launch.
If there was one company that was conspicuous by its absence at the tablet orgies at both CES and MWC this year, it was Sony. While all major consumer device manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, Motorola and LG were jumping all over each other trying to get their tablets noticed, Sony fans had to make do with its new Android smartphones – the Xperia Arc, Play and Neo.
However, we soon learned that Sony was busy working on the Sony S1, a Playstation certified Android tablet powered by Honeycomb, which comes with a 9.4 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display and is powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform.
Today, Engadget uncovered some more information about Sony’s tablet plans. Apparently, the S1 is not the only tablet Sony is working on. It is also working on another Android tablet – the Sony S2 and a Windows 7 slider tablet.
The Sony S2 is a clamshell tablet powered by Android 3.0 Honeycomb which will pack a pair of 5.5 inch displays. It will be more like a book and will have specifications similar to the Sony S1. Sony will heavily modify Honeycomb to run on the S2, and we also don’t know if it’s Playstation certified. It will likely retail for around $699.
The other tablet will be a Vaio branded slider powered by Windows 7 with a 9.4 inch display. It is supposed to launch around October and will be priced at around $800.
While the Sony S1 seems genuinely interesting and full of potential, the Sony S2 seems like it is doomed to failure from the very start. Sony’s history with customized Android UIs hasn’t been very encouraging, and if I had to choose between the S1 and the S2, I would definitely go with the S1.
After the relatively high price tag, here’s another dampener for those who were planning to buy a Motorola Xoom – it won’t ship with Flash support.
As we reported earlier, the Motorola Xoom will be available starting February 24. It will be available on Verizon for $800, which is the unsubsidized price of the Android tablet with a $600 Wi-Fi only variant slated for a later launch.
This is quite steep compared to the Apple iPad (which starts at $499). Now, one of the most touted features of the Motorola Xoom was Flash support. Many critics have blasted Apple for not supporting Flash on the iPad. One of the main USPs of Android tablets was the Flash support. Now, it seems that the Motorola Xoom won’t offer Flash support at launch, according to the official Xoom landing page at Verizon. It is expected in Spring 2011. This shouldn’t really matter a lot, since people have been getting along quite well without Flash on the iPad, but it gives users another reason to buy an iPad and not the Xoom.
The Motorola Xoom is an Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet with a 10.1 inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It has a 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor with 1 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage. It also has a 5 MP camera with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity.
Source: Verizon via Engadget
The wait is almost over guys. According to reports, Verizon stores have already begun receiving shipments of the highly anticipated Motorola Xoom, which is slated to go on sale on Thursday (Feb 24). Several stores including Best Buy have already begun accepting pre-orders. However, as AP pointed out, it seems that Best Buy’s offer of $799.99 for the 3G-enabled Xoom doesn’t include taxes, while WireFly’s offer does.
Motorola is also working with European retailers to make Xoom available soon across the pond. The 3G version will be available in the UK via The Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy, while the Wi-Fi only version will be available through Currys and PC World. It should be available in additional markets across Europe through Deutsche Telekom.
The Honeycomb (Android 3.0) flavored Xoom sports a 10.1” widescreen HD display, 5-megapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording, and weighs in at 730 grams. Underneath the hood it has nVidia’s powerful Tegra 2 chip, which features a 1 GHz dual-core processor, and was one of the highlights of last month’s CES.
While the sale price of Xoom turned out to be a much more realistic than the initial rumored prices, it’s still a cause for concern. Motorola is definitely taking a big risk by asking for more than the market leader (iPad). When coupled with Verizon’s steep data charges ($20 for 1GB and $80 for 10GB of data – 1 month mandatory), the Xoom becomes quite an expensive affair.
As the expected iPad 2 launch date nears, new rumors about the iPad 2 are cropping up daily. First, it was rumored that the iPad 2 will have a very high resolution retina display with double the resolution of the original iPad. Then the word on the street was that the iPad 2 would have dual cameras, as well as USB ports, and would be launched on April 2 or 9. We still don’t know if any of those were true, but now, we have another rumor, which is even more incredible.
Today, SuperApple.cz claimed that Apple is working on two iPad models – with screen sizes of 5.7 inches and 6 inches. It’s not clear whether those models will be a smaller iPad or a larger version of the iPod Touch.
Apple has apparently worked on various screen sizes before deciding on the 9.7 inch display on the iPad, which it thinks is the ideal size for a tablet. Steve Jobs had also criticized the Galaxy Tab, saying that 7 inch tablets were dead on arrival.
7 inch tablets were definitely more portable, and more suited for gaming, but considering that with the launch of Honeycomb, all the major Android tabelt manufacturers are moving to 10 inch tablets, we think Apple was right in hindsight.
This device could very well be a bigger iPod Touch, which would be much more suited for videos and games though. We will have to wait for the official announcement for more details, but I’m definitely not betting on Apple launching a 6 inch iPad anytime soon.
As expected, Sony Ericsson unveiled a number of suitably eye-catching Android handsets, including the PlayStation branded Xperia Play, at the MWC. However, there was a glaring omission in its lineup. In a year in which every other company is busy announcing new tablets (mostly powered by Android), Sony didn’t even mention the T-word. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have something cooking for us tablet aficionados.
Engadget has learnt that Sony is busy customizing Android Honeycomb’s interface for a tablet that is being internally called the S1. According to its sources, the S1 might very well be the best looking thing Sony has ever produced. Unlike other tablets in the market, the S1 will feature a “wrap” design that mimics an open paperback book. Sony hopes that this design innovation will make the tablet more personal besides making typing on the keyboard and consuming multimedia content easier.
The S1 is expected to feature a 9.4″ display with a resolution of 1280×800 px, and will be powered by nVidia’s Tegra 2 chip. Engadget has also confirmed that it will be PlayStation certified. Besides that it will include a Bravia media remote, an IR port, and come preloaded with PSX (PlayStation One) games. The tablet will also heavily leverage Sony’s Qriocity, which is a streaming music, games, e-books and video on demand service.
While nothing is set in stone yet, Engadget believes that the Wi-Fi version of the tablet will cost $599, and is expected to ship in September.