We know you're anxious to learn all about Apple's upcoming tablet, and you will, but not until tomorrow morning when Steve Jobs plans to announce "a major new product that we're really excited about." So even though it might be pretty poor timing on HP's part, there's a new video making the rounds on the Web in which Phil McKinney, CTO of HP's Personal Systems Group, answers a few questions about his company's upcoming HP Slate.
Most of the video deals with the Slate's background and history, and we learn that HP first began working the tablet concept five years ago "around the concept of an e-reader platform." Based in part on user feedback requesting rich media content, the initial concept evolved into the Slate, McKinney says.
"What we predict is that users are looking for that consolidated device, that one device that they can use really as their ultimate content consumption experience," McKinney explains. "And also we saw this gap in the marketplace north of kind of what a smartphone was and smaller than the netbook and notebook. They wanted something thin and light, but again, allowing them to have that rich media experience."
According to McKinney, the Slate will be every bit as good as the current e-book readers on the market, but also capable of a whole lot more. What he didn't say, however, is what kind of hardware you can expect, though he did describe 2010 as the optimal year for the Slate because of a "perfect storm of innovation" consisting of a convergence of "low cost, low power processors, Win 7 with an operating system that is touch aware, the ability to create these kind of platforms with new kinds of touch technologies and hit that price point."
Sure, chalkboards and paper do what they do quite well, but we’re always looking for a way to apply technology to solve problems no one knew they had. Case in point, the “Boogie Board” from Improv Electronics uses a power-free transflective LCD to mimic a chalkboard.
No special tools are required; anything that can apply pressure to the tablet will work fine. You can draw whatever you like, educational or not. When you’re done, the tablet can be erased. The manufacturer claims the device will last for 50,000 erase cycles. If used in lieu of paper, Improv Electronics claims the savings are significant. The Boogie Board costs a mere $30.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to get anything off the tablet. No connecting to the computer, no syncing. This is for writing and erasing only. So if you hate dry erase boards and wasting paper like it grows on trees, this might be a good buy. Okay, paper does sort of grow on trees, but this thing is still cool, right?
Hey, have you heard the news? Apple's making a tablet, and it's going to be awesome. It's going to have a touchscreen, and it's gonna be a tablet. And it's going to be awesome!
Confused? Then you haven't been listening to the Maximum PC podcast. But Gordon's rant notwithstanding, Apple really is making a tablet (we think), and according to the Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins Publishers is currently hammering out a contract with Apple to provide electronic books for the upcoming tablet.
Like everything else surrounding the Apple tablet, details are fuzzy. It looks as though HarperCollins will set the prices of the e-books, and that they'll come with some additional features, but it's anyone's guess whether they'll be sold in a new e-book store or via the iTunes Store.
Either way, HarperCollins is turning the heat up on Amazon, which currently rules the e-book kingdom, at least until Apple finally starts shipping its long rumored tablet.
If anything, the tablet dampened hopes of Microsoft setting the bar quite high for Apple's rumored tablet by unveiling a truly revolutionary slate of its own at CES2010. Being a Windows 7-powered tablet, it was anything but avant-garde.
A lot of people thought – or actually hoped - that Microsoft would unveil something based on its Courier tablet prototype, but it wasn't to be. All said, not a lot is known is about the HP tablet and the version of Windows 7 that it runs.
Nvidia has announced today that they are releasing a new version if their powerful Tegra chip. This one has been specifically designed for the higher power requirements of tablets. The new chip promises hardware acceleration of Adobe Flash 10.1 for 1080p video streaming. Nvidia claims the new Tegra will also be capable of running high resolution 3D graphics while maintaining battery life.
The Tegra uses eight independent processors including an industry first 1Ghz dual-core ARM CPU. Also on board are dedicated HD encoding and 3D graphics processors. Overall performance is said to be 10 times that of current smartphone processors, and 4 times faster than the original Tegra. Nivdia plans to show off a number of Tegra-packing tablets at CES, so stay tuned.
Just when you thought that you had seen the last of the iPhone killers another one popped out from nowhere. But the threshold of banality has been reached and, thankfully, people's tolerance of prospective iPhone killers is now close to nil – the Nexus One being the only exception. The stage is now all set for a breathtaking tablet or two to take the limelight away from all other gadgets.
According to the venerable New York Times, Microsoft will try and conquer the vacant stage with a tablet of its own at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, effectively beating Apple to the tablet-announcing punch.
America loves split personalities -- how else do you explain Hanna Montana's rise to stardom? -- and that's exactly what Lenovo aims to deliver with its new IdeaPad U1 laptop/tablet hybrid.
"The IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook is a game-changing technology in the PC industry that lets users switch their PC experience within a single device to match their dynamic lifestyle," said Liu Jun, senior vice president, Idea Product Group, Lenovo. "By fusing the functionality of a notebook with the slate tablet's rich multitouch entertainment and mobile Internet experience, U1 provides consumers the freedom to choose the device they prefer for any activity."
On the portability front, Lenovo says the IdeaPad U1 has a footprint slightly smaller than a sheet of notebook paper and weights just 3.8 pounds. And in terms of the hardware, the hybrid notebook sports an 11.6-inch HD LED display and Core 2 Duo SU processor. Remove the outer display, however, and it transforms into a tablet with a Qualcomm ARM Snapdragon processor.
Other features includes 4GB of RAM (512MB in slate/tablet mode), a pair of USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, VGA, HDMI, 4-in-1 memory card reader, and a 1.3MP webcam.
Netbooks and internet-hungry consumers began romancing each other in 2007. They cemented their relationship this year and set off on their honeymoon. In fact, most of this year has been like a honeymoon for netbooks. But the thing that makes a honeymoon all the more special is that it only occurs once in a lifetime and almost always seems to end abruptly. Some industry analysts prognosticate the end of the honeymoon period in 2010.
They feel that netbooks will again be haunted by the same identity crisis that was born with them but was overshadowed by consumer enthusiasm. But it is a question that will be hard to ignore in the new year if prices continue to rise. Some netbooks are priced perilously close to entry-level laptops much more powerful than them. Besides, most users have become used to a more exciting brand of internet than the one netbooks offer.
"It's the internet's fault for making us much more multimedia savvy," Stuart Miles, founder and editor of technology blog Pocket Lint, told BBC News. "Technology has advanced so much that it's outmanoeuvred itself. You wouldn't go for something so basic anymore."
Netbooks may come under heavy pressure from the upcoming deluge of tablets and smartphones built to provide PC-like browsing, according to a BBC report. There are many different form factors being thrown around, to the extent that it has become difficult for consumers to choose among them. But Arm spokesperson Ian Drew believes that various device types will have to eventually coexist. "It will be a lot of different machines for a lot of different people," he told BBC News.
The site's sources went on to name iPhone-display supplier Wintek as the company Apple may call upon to lessen Innolux's burden. Foxconn Group subsidiaries seem to be in the thick of things as far as Apple's tablet is concerned. G-Tech Optoelectronics, another Foxconn subsidiary, will reportedly provide a glass strengthening process for the tablet's display.
The report goes as far as claiming that Apple delayed the launch of the tablet until the first quarter of 2010 as it wanted more time to optimize the strength of the tablet's display.