Remember all those grand plans Research In Motion (RIM) had for its BlackBerry PlayBook line of tablet PCs? Well, whatever remains of those plans will have to be carried out by the 32GB and 64GB models. Somewhat surprisingly, RIM has reportedly decided to discontinue its 16GB PlayBook, essentially conceding defeat to the likes of Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet in the sub-$200 category.
There's a whirlwind of products being introduced at the this year's Computex convention, including one that Asus and Nvidia gleefully claim is the world's first Windows RT consumer device. They're talking about the Asus Windows RT Tablet 600, a nifty device built around Nvidia's ARM-based quad-core Tegra 3 platform that, when combined with the optional dock, transforms itself into notebook.
It's a mobile world we're living in, and everyone's along for the ride. That includes Microsoft, maker of the Xbox 360 console, which is reportedly going to unlock the capability for developers to stream game content to mobile phones and tablets so that gamers can use them as companion devices, adding a whole new dimension to gaming. Look for an official announcement to come soon.
APPLE DIDN'T CALL the newest iPad the iPad 3 or the iPad HD—just the iPad. And that’s fitting, because while it’s a handsome upgrade to the best tablet on the market, it’s not a huge leap forward. If you’ve used any iPad for more than 10 minutes, this won’t blow you away—the revolution was two years ago. Now it’s time to iterate.
Yes, it’s a little bit thicker: 9.4mm, compared to the 8.8mm iPad 2. And it’s a skootch heavier: 1.44 pounds, or 1.46 pounds if you get Wi-Fi + 4G; the iPad 2 ranged from 1.33 pounds for Wi-Fi to 1.35 pounds for the AT&T version of the Wi-Fi + 3G. We bet you won’t notice. What you will notice is the 4G/LTE speed and the Retina display.
The bright 9.7-inch display’s dizzying resolution is now 2048x1536, or 264ppi. That’s four times the pixels on the 1024x768 iPads of yore, and the best screen we’ve ever seen on a hunk of electronics. It’s got a million more pixels than a 1920x1080 HDTV, plus better color saturation than the iPad 2.
If the motto to live by is 'Go big or go home,' don't bother putting out a dinner plate for ViewSonic. The company has chosen to go big in the tablet market, teasing a ginormous 22-inch Android powered slate rocking what looks to be Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, at least until Jelly Bean (Android 5.0) comes out later this year.
GameStop is best known for selling used games, oftentimes much to the chagrin of game publishers and developers who have had to get creative in order to cash in on aftermarket game sales. But GameStop is also trying to get in on the ground floor of the whole tablet movement, announcing that it now carries a selection of Android slates in more than 1,600 U.S. stores.
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 FIRST AND SECOND Transformers movies were abominations, and Hasbro has sued Asus for violating its Transformers trademark, but there’s no denying that Asus’s Eee Pad Transformer Prime improves on the original Transformer tablet in nearly every conceivable fashion.
Asus’s latest tablet—we’ll just call it the Prime—loses the awkward build of its predecessor in favor of a smaller, lighter, and more stylish aluminum-backed chassis. It’s actually thinner than the iPad 2—probably as thin as it could be considering it’s outfitted with a combo headphone/mic-in jack, a Micro HDMI port, a MicroSD card slot, and a USB/charge/dock port. A matching keyboard dock (a $150 option) adds full-size USB and SD card interfaces and up to 10 hours of additional battery life. The dock provides many helpful keyboard shortcuts, and its keyboard action and trackpad mouse response improve over the original.
During Dell’s quarterly earnings call earlier this week, CEO and founder Michael Dell promised a “full complement” of devices, including tablets and other touchscreen products, for the launch of Windows 8 later this year. Now, a slide purportedly showing a 10.8-inch Windows 8 tablet from Dell has cropped up on the Web. Hit the jump for more.
Tosbhia today officially trotted out its AT300 tablet with a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor tucked inside and Google's Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) running the show. The AT300 features a 10.1-inch LED-backlit touchscreen display with a 1280x800 resolution and Gorilla Glass, 1GB of RAM, and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, upgradeable via a full size SD card slot.