You got your full-featured Windows PC in our touchscreen tablet device!
AS IT ONCE AGAIN steals all the bestselling-tablet glory, the new iPad can lay claim to the highest pixel density per inch of any tablet display. But it can’t—nor can any Android tablet—identify as a full-fledged PC. Anyone hankering for a handheld touchscreen device with no compromises in computing capability should seek out something like the Samsung Series 7 11.6-inch Slate PC.
With an Intel Core i5-2467M, 11.6-inch LED‑backlit display, and 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium, the Series 7 Slate PC fully serves as a home or mobile machine in the guise of a 10-finger-sensitive touchscreen tablet. The 128GB SSD model we tested costs a pretty penny compared to lesser tablets, but includes a helpful dock/cradle and Bluetooth keyboard. A 64GB model shaves the price down to $1,099.
Full-featured Honeycomb tablet tries to steal discount slates' thunder
TIMES ARE, LET'S SAY, challenging for anyone who makes a 7-inch tablet but doesn't also own some type of bookstore. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet could look the Thrive 7" square in the eye and say, "You're good, kid, but as long as we're around, you'll always be second best, see?" It hardly matters that the Thrive 7" has the full Honeycomb 3.2 OS, more storage, and superior screen resolution, because it also carries a price that's almost twice that of the Fire and without all the Amazon ecosystem advantages, to boot.
With that said, for those discriminating individuals who do appreciate the finer things in life, the Thrive 7" furnishes the highest resolution of a 7-inch tablet and costs a bit less than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus. Graphics in games and videos on the Thrive 7" look crisp and finely detailed, with excellent black levels. It's a great tablet display for reading ebooks or websites.
On the downside to browsing the web, the Thrive 7" performs pretty poorly with web browser screen redraws and scrolling and exhibits demonstrable touch‑response lag. Several other Honeycomb tablets we've tested also suffered from such problems to a degree belying their hardware specs, but the Thrive 7" felt particularly laggy, if only intermittently. Similar problems occurred with certain other apps, on the home screens and menu screens, and when waking up the tablet. These behaviors were only occasional, but still common. Benchmark tests also showed results inexplicably lower than other Tegra 2 devices with similar specs.
THE MARKETING BLITZ swirling around the Droid Razr’s launch drive home these twin selling points: thin, yet powerful. This wafer of a smartphone measures just over a quarter of an inch thick along most of its chassis before filling out at the top where the camera lens and flash; speaker; and HDMI, USB, and headphone jacks reside. A layer of Kevlar fiber drapes the backside, and the Gorilla Glass covering the 4.3-inch display has a water-repellent coating for protection against errant spills and inevitable raindrops.
For all its vaunted thinness, the Razr feels very sturdy in your hand, while its substantial surface area assures that it doesn’t feel small. If anything, it’s a bit unwieldy for one-handed operation. The thin build has its share of downsides, too: The side-mounted power and volume buttons are too small, and this is one of the rare Android form factors that doesn’t let you remove the battery.
We do, however, cherish the generous qHD Super AMOLED Advanced display, which exhibits vivacious colors and deep black levels. The Razr is one of the first smartphones to allow Netflix streaming in HD; and for what it’s worth on a screen this size, movies, other HD video, and games look extraordinary.
With such a steady clip of Droid devices marching into the smartphone marketplace, eventually you're bound to find the Droid you're looking for. Maybe it's Motorola's Droid 4 you've been holding out for, a 4G LTE smartphone with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, five-row QWERTY keyboard, and a 4-inch qHD display with scratch and scrape resistant glass. If so, you only have to wait a few more days.
Verizon and Motorola turned some heads at CES 2012 when they announced an update to the just released Droid Razr, the Droid Razr Maxx. Verizon has finally cut short the waiting game and announced that the Maxx is out on January 26 for $299 on-contract. To the great annoyance of Razr owners, the Maxx brings some notable spec bumps, and sells for the same price users paid for the first Razr a few months ago.
As expected, Motorola has announced the new Droid RAZR Android phone for Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The iconic name evokes images of something impossibly thin, and the Droid RAZR delivers on that count. The device is powerful, but only 7.1mm thick. That’s thinner than the iPhone, and Motorola claims over 12 hours of talk time per charge.
This may be bad news to anyone that bought a Droid Bionic last month on Verizon. The Droid RAZR is expected to be announced tomorrow, and bring the RAZR branding roaring back with a slim design and 4G LTE on board. There’s a new teaser site up ahead of tomorrow’s event, and it leaves little to the imagination.
If you wander into your local Best Buy store hoping to walk out with Motorola Droid 2 Global, or Droid Pro, you could be in for disappointment. According to Engadget, Verizon is mightily displeased that Best Buy knocked to two-year contract price of the Droid 2 Global and Droid Pro down to $100 and $50 respectively. This reportedly violated an agreement the company had with Verizon.
All the units of these two phones are being pulled from shelves now, and Verizon won't even activate them even if you could get Best Buy to sell you one. If you ask Best Buy, this is being called a "recall". How civil. We can understand Verizon's desire to keep the price on new phones higher, but they rake in more money from the two-year agreement than they ever would from the upfront price. So what if Verizon stores miss a few sales? Something seems fishy here. Anyone care to guess at just what is going on?
You may remember the flurry of interest in the apparent exploding Motorola Droid 2 last week. A user claimed that while talking on his Droid 2, the device's glass screen blew outward, cutting his ear. After some investigation, Motorola has told PC Magazine that this phone does not appear to have exploded at all. Rather, it was dropped. They surmise that the user did not notice the glass around the earpiece had been make sharp by the aforementioned dropping.
It's hard to say why this story had such legs. It might just be that we're all secretly wondering if our phones are out to get us. No one is saying the consumer was intentionally trying to mislead anyone. Perhaps he just jumped to conclusions. Moto's investigation pointed out that the only components in the phone that could explode, would render the device unusable, but this phone still works. It is not unheard of that a battery could be damaged and go up in flames, but there is nothing volatile near the earpiece.
This incident has been embarrassing for Motorola. Even though it now looks to be a non-issue, some customers might have already filed the Droid 2 in the "do not buy unless I desire a head wound" category. What do you think happened here?
It's a good news, bad news situation for users of the Verizon Droid Incredible today. According to Engadget, the software update being pushed to the device next week will automatically install the VCast App Store on the phone in addition to bug fixes. This move has been expected for some time, and the Droid Incredible is the first Android phone to get the alternative carrier-run app store.
Verizon notes that developers continue to submit apps to the store, but we've yet to hear of any compelling titles. Although, the VCast app store does offer carrier billing, so purchases made there will show up on the monthly bill. The Android Market only supports this for T-Mobile USA customers.
We worry that users will be confused by the appearance of a new app store on the device. The Android Market is tightly integrated with a user's Google Account. Purchased app are easily transferred to a new phone. It is unclear how the VCast apps will work. Some user simply take issue with the carrier adding apps without their consent. The update will eventually need to be installed for users of the stock ROM. Users looking to take more control can always root and install custom ROMs, but really -- they shouldn't have to.