The media tablet truly entered the public consciousness after the launch of the iPad, but it in no way was the first tablet in the world. Tablets have been around in some form or the other since the late 80s. But you don’t have to cast your mind too far back to recall that Archos had a steady presence in the pre-iPad market. That it has little to show for its faith in the category is an entirely different thing. The French company is now taking aim at the Kindle Fire with a sub-$200 Honeycomb tablet.
A slew of hardware makers that didn’t start out as online bookstores—including Acer, Samsung, and Toshiba—debuted 7-inch Android Honeycomb tablets just in time for Amazon’s Kindle Fire to steal their thunder. The apparent goal: to discover if anyone is actually interested in 7-inch tablets. Acer’s Iconia Tab A100 serves as our guinea pig for this form factor.
In the land of Android, it’s hard to know what device is going to see an update next. This time, it appears that the inexplicable answer is the HTC Flyer. This device was an early 2010 7-inch tablet with mid-range specs and a focus on pen input. HTC has confirmed that some variants of the device are getting Android 3.2 Honeycomb today, complete with HTC’s Sense UX interface.
Some Maximum PC staffers couldn’t live without their tablets, but others show no interest in them whatsoever. It all comes down to individual use cases. No one really “needs” a tablet, but many people are discovering that a tablet is a wonderful supplement to their core hardware arsenals. In fact, Maximum‑caliber tech enthusiasts are often the folks best served by tablets.
In the following article, we’ll explain all of that, plus review the eight most-talked-about models currently available. Six of the contenders run Google’s tablet OS, Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb). Another, the iPad 2, runs the latest version of Apple’s iOS. The final entrant is RIM’s oddball PlayBook, which is tied to a software ecosystem so funky, the PlayBook can’t really be included in any serious tablet conversation. The most oddball tablet of all—HP’s WebOS-based TouchPad—was left out entirely because it was discontinued a few weeks before we started working on this article.
Excited? Anxious? Maybe a little scared? Simmer down, amigo. Tablets are a confusing proposition, but they need not be feared.
There are two things you need to know here. First, Google TV is still a thing. Secondly, and perhaps more startling, the long-awaited Honeycomb update is finally official. The Android 3.1 based software will be available next week, and brings a total redesign and access to more service like the Android Market. Is this going to make Google TV into an overnight success a year after introduction?
As we mentioned in our Netflix vs. Amazon Prime head to head a week or so back, Netflix supports virtually every device you can buy on the market these days. Part of the reason for that “virtually?” Honeycomb tablets. Sure, you could make some minor tweaks to get it up and running on your Android 3.x tablet, but officially, Netflix supported Android 2.2 and 2.3 only. Up until today, that is; an upgrade to the Android app has officially de-shunned Honeycomb users, Canadians and viewers from Latin American countries.
Just how big could the $200 Kindle Fire be when it launches next month? Pretty friggin’ big. Not “Bigger than the iPad” big – at least not yet – but some sales forecasts and thought-provoking, yet unofficial calculations by an Android developer show that the Fire and its custom Android 2.3 interface could own a bigger slice of the market pie than all Android Honeycomb tablets combined before the end of the year.
Just days after Amazon let the cat out of the bag and announced its 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet, Samsung is putting the word out that it's getting ready to launch a new addition to is Galaxy Tab line, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Like the Kindle Fire, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus features a 7-inch form factor, but also comes rocking a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and Google's Honeycomb OS.
When the Motorola Xoom was first announced on Verizon Wireless, one of the main points used to justify the high price was the future addition of LTE 4G data. Well, after six months of waiting, Verizon and Moto are reporting that all system are go for the upgrade to get under way tomorrow, September 29th.
Unless you catch one on sale, you're not walking home with a new Android 3.x (Honeycomb) tablet for less than $400 from a reputable vendor (give or take a few bucks). Most of them run $500 and up. Ever wonder why that is? Back when the iPad was the only game in town, the assumption was that Android tablets would bring affordable slates to the masses. We're starting to see that with pre-Honeycomb tablets, but slates running Google's latest and greatest mobile OS still command a premium. Is that by design?