As Black Friday approached, several retailers including Best Buy lowered the price of the much-maligned BlackBerry Playbook. After selling an undisclosed number of the device, Best buy has taken to cancelling orders. By some accounts, all outstanding online orders have been cancelled, and the device is no longer listed on the Best Buy site. Did we just see the PlayBook fire-sale?
Samsung has apparently gotten all its legal ducks in a row and has fired back at the recent court ruling that banned the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in the land down under. The court found that the Galaxy Tab likely infringed on Apple’s patents, and barred Samsung from selling the device until the case could be heard next year. Lawyers for Samsung in Australia have filed an appeal of the temporary injunction, saying the judge in the case misunderstood the basic facts of the case and called the ruling “grossly unjust.” Snap.
Here’s an amusing follow-up to the “Could Apple Surpass HP As Top PC Vendor In 2012?” article we posted yesterday. In case you missed it, here’s the Cliff Notes version: one analyst says that if you count tablets as PCs, Apple will become the world’s largest PC supplier in 2012. Now a new twist! According to the NPD Research Group, HP sold more tablets than anybody not named “Apple” so far in 2011. Before you get all worked up, that number’s not quite as exciting as it seems.
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.
With Netflix’s 21.5 million streaming subscribers set to lose access to Starz’s content in February 2012, everyone has been left wondering what comes next. The company’s content catalog currently includes hundreds of movies from Sony and Walt Disney, including several original programs such as “Spartacus” and “Boss”. Will the company retreat back to the safety of established cable networks? According to Starz President Chris Albrecht they still have a bright future ahead of them online, but will soon be going direct to customers with an HBO Go-like application for phones, tablets, and other popular streaming platforms.
The age of unlimited mobile data on Sprint has come to a close with the introduction of new tiered mobile broadband plans. Sprint announced plans to call off the all-you-can-eat data party late last month, but at least the plans now available are better deals that those offered by the competition. Users on tablet and Wi-Fi hotspot plans will have their pick of a few different options.
Remember our quick blurb about how Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich was going to turn mobile devices into portable gaming machines thanks to its gamepad and HDMI support? At the time, we thought playing Game Dev Story on a big screen would be cool. Our excitement factor just increased ten-fold on the heels of ARM’s announcement of the eight-core Mali-T658 mobile GPU, which ARM claims can pump out Playstation 3-quality graphics on mobile devices and smart TVs. There’s a catch, though.
Over the last year, Microsoft has embarked on a crusade to secure license fees from device makers that use the Android operating system. While Google provides the Android source code for free, Microsoft claims to own patents infringed by Android. most OEMs have capitulated and payed up, but Barnes and Noble, which sells the Nook line of e-readers, has gone to court. Today, the bookseller turned tablet-pusher has asked the feds to get involved. B&N claims that regulators should investigate Microsoft for attempting to drive competition out of business.
As we told you earlier, HP is rumored to be preparing to sell off the corpse of webOS to the highest bidder. New in the rumor mill is that HP is preparing for a last-minute all-hands meeting tonight after the markets close. This sort of maneuver usually means bad news, and sources are saying that the company will finally detail what’s going to happen with webOS.
According to Engadget, Barnes and Noble will indeed be announcing a Nook Color successor at its event on November 16th. The leaked documents obtained by Engadget refer to the device as the Nook Tablet, but that could be a placeholder. The specs of the Nook Tablet are strikingly similar to those of the soon to be released Kindle Fire, but just a bit better in some ways. The new Tablet is expected to look very similar to the original Nook Color, and is expected to sell for $250 at launch.