Diehard Windows PC users, and Maximum PC readers in particular, aren't known for being shy in sharing their disdain for the evil empire known as Apple. Reasons are many: misleading advertisements, overpriced gear (the so-called 'Apple tax'), proprietary architecture, snooty iPhone owners, and the list goes on. Naturally, this contempt extends over to the iPad by those who wish bad things on Apple, which some consider the anti-PC. No keyboard? Oversized iPod touch? iTunes? Whatever your reason(s), it's fine if you choose to hate on the iPad, just don't blame Apple's tablet for weakening the PC market.
Now that app stores have almost become de rigueur, it isn’t hugely surprising that even the next iteration of Windows is widely anticipated to have one. It also makes perfect sense considering the fact that Windows 8 is also being optimized to run on media tablets (even including those powered by ARM chips). While the alleged screenshots of Windows 8’s app store UI that were released a few weeks back eventually turned out to be fakes, some Russian enthusiasts now claim to have uncovered a couple of references to the store in a leaked Windows 8 build. Find out more after the jump.
Apple has been having a bear of time keeping up with demand for its iPad 2, which continues to be a hot commodity in the U.S. New iPad 2 orders on Apple's website will take 1-2 weeks to ship, and supply is low pretty much across the board. It's been reported that manufacturing problems unrelated to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan are at least partially to blame for the depleted stock. Be that as it may, Apple is forging ahead with its international release, launching the iPad 2 in a dozen more territories.
Research In Motion (RIM) is currently trying to hammer out a deal with Hulu that would let BlackBerry PlayBook users gain paid access to the streaming service. Following the PlayBook's launch last week, users were surprised to find that they could load and watch Hulu content on their tablet, but the excitement was short lived. Hulu blocked the BlackBerry browser within 48 hours, just has it has done with all tablets and smartphones.
HTC is a big reason why Google's Android platform has been so successful in the smartphone space, providing the first real alternatives to Apple's iPhone. Can HTC push Android to the same heights in the tablet space? We're about to find out. Starting today, Best Buy is posting HTC's Wi-Fi Flyer tablet up for pre-sale, which will ship later this spring. This highly anticipated device runs Android with an HTC Sense overlay, and will retail for $500.
Well that was fast. Early BlackBerry PlayBook adopters were elated to find out that they could access Hulu's streaming service on their brand new Flash-enabled tablets, but not surprisingly, the celebrations were short lived. Hulu was quick to play the part of party pooper and added the PlayBook's browser to its blacklist, and now when they try to access TV shows on Hulu's website, they're greeted with an error message instead.
Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook has been the recipient of some mixed reviews, including a fair number of negative write-ups slamming the slate for its lack of native email and contacts support (we'll post our own evaluation soon; in the meantime, be sure to check out our first impressions and photo gallery here). Despite the lukewarm reception, BlackBerry PlayBook sales have so far exceeded analysts' expectations.
It's time to find out if Acer's Iconia Tab W500 tablet is really all that and a bag of memory chips. Expect to learn the answer soon, as the Iconia Tab just graduated from an upcoming product release to a slate that's now shipping and available for sale, provided you reside in North America. The Iconia Tab W500 will also provide some on insight on whether a Windows 7-based tablet can compete with the likes of Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and other OSes designed specifically for slates.
You won't catch many power users trading in their gaming notebook or desktop for a tablet PC. Tablets are fun, useful, and convenient, but in our minds, they're complementary products, not replacement PCs. But what about mainstream folk who are only interested in hopping online to browse the Web and sort through emails? It's conceivable that certain segments would choose a tablet over a notebook or desktop, and with consumers not spending as much on PCs as of late, is it fair to say that tablets are cannibalizing PC sales? Intel CEO Paul Otellini tackled that question head on.
It looks at though Dell's Wi-Fi only Streak 7 tablet PC is finally available in the U.S. after having gone on sale in the U.K. earlier this week. Dell hasn't yet formally announced U.S. availability, but a quick peek at mega e-tailer Amazon.com shows that it's in stock and shipping now, provided you have the requisite $380 to drop on the Wi-Fi only device.