Asus subsidiary ASRock, which recently leapfrogged ahead of both MSI and ECS to take third place in the motherboard market, is planning to dive head first into the tablet market, perhaps as soon as the second quarter of 2011, DigiTimes reports.
ASRock's VP of Sales, Li Jun-Ying, says it will tap into Pegatron Technology to produce the devices, though the company has yet to decide on whether to build a 7-inch slate or a 10-inch tablet. What is certain, however, is that ASRock is only interested in building around Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor and Google's Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) platform, a potent combination that's sure to show up in a number of mobile devices as the year goes on.
The company didn't reveal any potential price points, but if ASRock sticks to the same philosophy it follows for making motherboards, it's likely they'll try to cram in a number of features at attractive price points.
A leaked PR schedule for the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2011 event managed to fall into the hands of Electronista, who posted the details to the Web. Assuming it's real, the itinerary confirms Samsung is working on a pair of second-generation Galaxy devices.
There aren't any details to go on, just the fact that Samsung plans to present the Galaxy S 2 smartphone and Galaxy Tab 2 tablet at MWC. Depending on the direction Samsung takes these devices, we could be in store for some nifty upgrades. Imagine a dual-core processor in the Galaxy S 2, along with a bigger screen and front-facing camera. And as for the Galaxy Tab 2, we'd be willing to gamble (a small sum) that it will ship with a 10-inch screen, a speedier processor, and of course Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).
What would you like to see included in the next generation of Galaxy devices? Hit the jump and sound off!
Sanho just introduced its second run of HyperDrive hard drives for the iPad, this time upping the storage ante to 1TB. The HyperDrives hook up to any iPad using the Apple Camera Connection Kit and then acts just like any normal USB hard drive would.
"HyperDrive iPad Hard Drive lets you carry your entire HD movie and photo library with your iPad," says Daniel Chin, President of Sanho Corporation. "HyerDrive is as compact as your portable USB hard drive and yet at capacities up to 1TB, can hold more data than your laptop. "The iPad is the perfect media player but its capacities are limited and it requires a computer and iTunes to transfer media to the iPad, HyerDrive releases the iPad from this restriction and truly turns it into a media consuming device."
The HyperDrive line isn't cheap, however. You'll have to fork over $400 for the 1TB model. Other capacities include 320GB ($200), 500GB ($250), 640GB ($300), and 750GB ($350). Sanho also sells just the case alone for $100.
Fresh details about one of HP's upcoming webOS tablets have emerged, thanks to an admittedly “massive” internal document published by webOS-centric site Pre Central. According to the leaked document, the 9.7-inch Topaz will be powered by Qualcomm's MSM8660 Snapdragon chipset that features two 1.2GHz processor cores and integrated Adreno 220 graphics. If the final product does not deviate from the spec sheet – a strong possibility at this point, it will include a 9.7" XGA (1024 x 768) screen, 512MB of DDR2 RAM, 16/32/64GB storage and a 1.3MP camera on the front. It will have different SKUs based on different connectivity options, including HSPA , LTE and WiFi-only models (former two to also feature A-GPS). A CDMA variant is also on the cards.
HP has quite a few plans for the second iteration of its Topaz inductive charging dock.Touchstone v2 will do a lot more than its predecessor by enabling a number of wireless services, including video streaming, video game playing, audio streaming and printing. Finally, HP is very keen on offering a rich cloud experience in keeing with its stated goal of making webOS a continuous client. To this end, the Topaz will support a number of cloud-based services, including Snapfish, Melodeo music integration, HP Cloud Drive and HP Cloud Canvas.
Want to see what the MeeGo OS will look like on a Nokia tablet? So do we, but unfortunately for us all, the leaked photo that's making its way through cyberspace isn't a very good one.
Regardless, this is likely the first shot of the new MeeGo tablet. The forum photo reveals what looks like a 7-inch device with the integrated video player loaded up. Other than that, there isn't a whole lot you can glean from the photo, even after doing our best to clean up the poor exposure. You can make out the Nokia logo and a glossy bezel, and really that's about it.
MeeGo is an open-source mobile OS jointly developed by Intel and Nokia. It merges Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo projects into a single platform the companies hope to see employed in everything from netbooks and TVs to in-car devices and tablets.
As Android grows, so too does HTC, Taiwan's No. 1 smartphone maker. It's been a banner year for HTC, which announced fourth-quarter earnings twice as high as one year ago, according to an AP report.
HTC continues to cash in on the smartphone frenzy and saw its net profit for the fourth quarter reach $500 million. That's a 160 percent jump from a year earlier and a 31 percent surge from the third quarter. All this success has HTC thinking about tablets, albeit cautiously.
"It's a new market with many competitors, and we don't want to rush into it," said Peter Chou, HTC chief executive. "We hope the product we eventually unveil will be one that meets consumers' needs."
HTC is wise to play it patient here. Early Android tablets, while showing some promise, lack the polish that Google's upcoming Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is supposed to bring to the table. Honeycomb is being built from the ground up with tablets in mind, and from what little we've seen so far, it appears to be a much more appropriate OS to base a tablet on.
In the meantime, HTC is killing it in the smartphone market. The handset maker shipped 24.6 million handsets in all last year, which is more than twice the number it shipped in 2009.
Remember how the iPad was submerged under tons of ridicule for a variety of reasons even before its release? Of course, you remember it all. The fact is a lot of people simply can’t miss an opportunity to poke fun at the Cupertino-based iEverything vendor. As for its competitors, they just love it even more. Now, Toshiba is mocking those visiting its tablet site from iOS-based devices by reminding them just how big a handicap the lack of Flash can be.
This is the message that greets iDevice users: “Such a shame. Add this to the list of interesting places on the Internet you can’t see on your device. Of course, if you had a Toshiba Tablet, you would enjoy the entire Internet. Yep, Flash sites too.”
Toshiba’s tablet will be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 SoC and run Android 3.0 Honeycomb. However, iPad owners need to wait a few more months if they wish to switch to Toshiba’s 10.1-inch.
Our friends over at Engadget got their hands on a couple of official renders of Hewlett-Packard's upcoming Topaz webOS-based tablet, which is one of two tablets currently being developed at HP's camp.
Topaz is HP's 9-inch slate, while the company is also working on a 7-inch version called Opal. Other than the webOS platform, there isn't a lot of official information to go on, though from the renders it appears the Topaz will come with a front-facing camera, at least two speakers, and a micro USB port.
Engadget says it was tipped off that both tablets will feature a 1.2GHz processor, though it's unclear where the chip will come from. Look for the Topaz to begin shipping in June and the Opal in September.
At some point, you have to think Acer will become a major player in the emerging tablet market, just as the company blitzed the netbook segment full force. But perhaps wisely, the PC maker has, for the most part, taken a wait-and-see approach.
In the coming months, look for Acer to start selling two or three tablet PCs as it now looks to move beyond netbooks, ComputerWorld reports.
"They are aimed at phasing out netbooks," said Lu Bing-hsian, sales manager at Acer Taiwan. "That's the direction of the market.
Acer isn't ditching the netbook market completely, but will shift its focus to basic models and cut back on the number of shipments. As for the tablets, Acer plans to tap into Intel's Sandy Bridge platform coupled with Google's Android OS. According to Acer, these powerful 10-inch slates will run faster than Windows-based laptops.
Acer got in touch with us to reaffirm that it is not phasing out netbooks, hinting that Lu Bing-hsian may have been misquoted.
"According to recent statement from Sales Manager based in Taiwan, Acer Inc. confirms that the company is not aiming to phase out netbooks in favor of tablets," the company told us. "Mobility, which has always been part of Acer’s DNA, finds a new form of expression in the range of tablets on offer, which feature various display sizes and models designed to fit different kinds of usage scenarios. Acer recognizes that the computer market is changing: As PCs are no longer used to only create content but are more and more becoming consumption tools, new devices and new form factors are appearing. This means the range of devices available to users is getting wider and tablets are just another piece of the mosaic. Therefore they will find their space next to netbooks and notebooks, without taking over."