While AMD’s Bobcat-based Fusion APUs have been pretty successful in the ultra-portable notebook market, the chipmaker’s lone tablet-optimized Z01 “Desna” APU has found few takers. But even that wasn’t enough to stop Taiwan-based company BungBungame from building a business tablet around the Z01, which combines two 1GHz Bobcat cores and a Radeon HD 6250 graphics core on the same die. Hit the jump for more.
When it comes to the Internet, sifting through the crap to find the gems can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing – especially if you’re looking for unbiased opinions on retail products. Unscrupulous advertisers have been paying web workers nickels for whipping up false user reviews at shopping sites for a while now, and apparently, bloggers making false claims about products have become an epidemic in Taiwan. The country’s law makers are sick of it, and today they introduced a law that levies steep fines against bloggers and other reviewers that exaggerate the awesomeness of not-so-awesome products.
While Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge processors remain the immediate focus of the world, the Santa Clara-based chip maker is already laying the groundwork for the coming of Ivy Bridge, the 22nm die shrink of Sandy Bridge expected to hit the market in late 2011 or early 2012. Ivy Bridge processors will be fabricated at four of Intel's plants in Oregon and Arizona. However, a Digitimes report suggests that Intel might outsource the production of Ivy Bridge's chipset consort.
Asus trotted out two tablet prototypes at Computex 2010 in May. One of them featured Windows 7 and the other ran Windows Embedded Compact 7. A couple of months later there were rumors of Asus replacing Windows Embedded Compact 7 with Android. But as it turns out, the company probably never had any plans of replacing Microsoft's OS for ARM-based mobile and embedded devices.
The Taiwanese company actually has a third tablet in the works. According to Asustek Computer's CEO Jerry Shen, Asustek will launch its first Android tablet in March - just after the launch of its Windows-based tablets. Shen spilled more beans while talking to reporters after his company's second quarter earnings call.
The Android tablet will be Asustek's cheapest (if things don't change in the intervening period) as it will cost less than $399. The first tablet to gallop out of the Asus stable, the Windows 7-based Eee Pad EP121, will be priced somewhere around $1,000. It is set to make its debut in December or January. A second tablet will follow in January. Powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 SoC (System-on-Chip), the Windows Embedded Compact 7-based EP101TC will cost between $399 and $499.
Acer is well on course to overtake Hewlett-Packard as the world's leading laptop vendor by the end of this year, according to Chairman J.T. Wang. He said that better-than-expected performance in some countries should see revenues jump 10-15 percent sequentially in the third quarter. He made the comments while addressing shareholders at a meeting.
However, Acer may have already pipped HP to the top spot in the netbook market. Gartner's research shows that the Taiwanese PC vendor finished the first quarter as the world's leading notebook seller ahead of HP, though the gap between the two was marginal – 9.49 million notebooks to HP's 9.47 million.
Wang said that the company has managed to grow even in the face of the ongoing debt crisis in Europe. More importantly, Acer hasn't resorted to price hikes to offset the recent wage increases in China. Moving forward, the world's number two PC vendor hopes to make a dent in the smartphone market aided by Google Android.
Tablets are expected to hog all the limelight at this year's edition of Computex in Taipei. Nvidia is comfortably placed to tap the nearing wave of tablets as manufacturers are increasingly commissioning its Tegra 2 chip for their tablets; MSI and Asus have already announced Tegra-based tablets at Computex. So Nvidia is pretty much in the thick of the action.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang just gave media persons in Taipei an eyewitness account of all the action in the tablet market. He said that Windows 7 is unfit for tablets and smartbooks."Windows is too big and it's too full featured for smartbooks and tablets,” he told reporters. But he was all praise for Android, which he believes is best-suited for modern tablets. However, he acknowledged that Android is still far from being perfect and can do with improvements in graphics.
Although Huang may have a valid point, the unstinting praise stems from the fact that almost all tablets featuring the ARM-based Tegra 2 platform are likely to run Android.
Rumors of an ASUS tablet first surfaced during December last year and the Taiwan-based company wasted little time in confirming them. But the internal organs of the Eee Pad still remained a subject of speculation. Today, ASUS put all that speculation to rest when it unveiled the Eee Pad at Computex 2010.
“The ASUS Eee Pad EP121 offers two convenient modes of character input-an embedded virtual keyboard or an innovative hybrid keyboard/docking station design. All of this power is available in a personal computing device that delivers up to 10 hours of usage,” the company announced in a press release.
As for the 10-inch EP101TC, ASUS has opted for Windows Embedded Compact 7 and the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform. Not a lot is known about the EP101TC at this point in time. According to Engadget, ASUS expects the Eee Pad tablets to fit into the $399 to $499 price band. The company also told the popular tech blog that it will only begin shipping the tablet during the first quarter of 2011.
Though nobody expected Windows Mobile 6.5 to break any ground, it even failed to fulfill whatever few expectations people may have had. It is hard to imagine Windows Mobile 6.5 spurring handset shipments. However, HTC CEO Peter Chou claims there is strong demand for the company’s Windows Mobile 6.5-based HTC HD2 smartphone.
Acer has already been working with Far EasTone Telecommunications in Taiwan. Agreements have also been reached with Bouygues of France, Wind of Italy, and CSL of Hong Kong. Acer expects to begin working with North American telecoms in 2010. Could this mean that the Acer A1, with its Snapdragon CPU, will grace American shores in 2010? By then, it might be just another Android phone.
True to the company's prediction, Acer can finally chant, "We're number one!," so long as they're chanting it in Taiwan. That's because the PC maker's brand value has been appraised at $1.241 billion, the highest value of any Taiwan-based global brand in 2009, according to the government-sponsored Taiwan External Trade Development Council.
This is the first time Acer has ever taken the top spot, after coming in third in 2008 and 2007 with brand values of $1.265 billion and $1.069 billion, respectively.
Acer leapfrogged both Asus (formerly No. 2, now No. 3) and Trend Micro (formerly No. 1, now No. 2) to grab the top spot, but not by much. Trend Micro is close behind with a brand-value appraised at $1.235 billion, and $1.226 billion for Asus.
D-Link also had a good year, moving from the 13th spot up to No. 7 and now valued at $190 million.