Headlines

2 years ago

Amazon Kindle Fire official at $199, ships Nov. 15

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There it is, folks. The Amazon Kindle Fire. Looking a little more like an e-reader than a tablet -- though it certainly does resemble the BlackBerry PlayBook on which it's based -- the Kindle Fire's getting its official announcement this morning in New  York. The 7-inch device will run a version of Android, but don't expect it to look or feel like a top-shelf tablet.

Price, however, may be its killer feature. At just $199, it pretty much undercuts everything available today, including the highly popular Barnes & Noble NOOK Color.

It'll ship Nov. 15.

Specs include:

  • 14.6 ounces
  • 7-inch IPS display at 1024x600
  • Gorilla Glass
  • 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor
  • Wifi-only
  • Whispersync
  • Amazon Silk browser
  • WiFi, no 3G option
  • 8GB of on-board storage

Source: Bloomberg
More: Amazon Kindle Fire Forums

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2 years ago

Microsoft, Samsung reach licensing deal over Android smartphones, tablets

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Samsung will pay Microsoft royalties for smartphones and tablets running Android. A cross-licensing deal reach between the two companies was announced Wednesday morning. And while that means both companies will receive "broad coverage for each [other's] products," Microsoft's also going to be getting money in the deal. As for how much money per device? That wasn't disclosed.

Here's the official word:

REDMOND, Wash — Sept. 28, 2011 — Microsoft announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., to cross-license the patent portfolios of both companies, providing broad coverage for each company’s products. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform. In addition, the companies agreed to cooperate in the development and marketing of Windows Phone.

“Microsoft and Samsung see the opportunity for dramatic growth in Windows Phone and we’re investing to make that a reality,” said Andy Lees, president, Windows Phone Division, Microsoft. “Microsoft believes in a model where all our partners can grow and profit based on our platform.”

“Through the cross-licensing of our respective patent portfolios, Samsung and Microsoft can continue to bring the latest innovations to the mobile industry,” said Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, executive vice president of global product strategy at Samsung’s mobile communication division. “We are pleased to build upon our long history of working together to open a new chapter of collaboration beginning with our Windows Phone “Mango” launch this fall.”

This is just the latest licensing deal involving Microsoft and Android device manufacturers. Acer and Viewsonic reached deals earlier this month, and HTC already had one in place.

No matter how broken the current patent system may be, this is still the way it's done, folks. And while it might not be the one you hoped for, it's certainly better than lawsuit after lawsuit, no?

Source: Microsoft

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2 years ago

ASUS EeePad Transformer update to bring Android 3.2.1, fixes

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Read our ASUS EeePad Transformer Review!

ASUS today dropped word on its Facebook page about an impending update to the EeePad Transformer. Here's what's in store:

  • Google Update: Android 3.2.1: Security enhancement
  • New Feature: Supernote
  • IME/Translation: Added Farsi IME support; Czech IME improvement : support Qwerty & Qwertz; JP SKU fixed translation bug and Polaris office font; Added more language translation into ASUS App
  • App Updates: CN SKU 3rd party app bug fix; Polaris office & ASUS WebStorage update
  • Improvements: Browser with Adobe Flash improvement; ex: YouTube; Browser force-close improvement; Improve Wi-Fi stability; Improve Chinese handwriting prediction : recognize character from each stroke

Looks like some are seeing the update push out now.

More in the Transformer forums

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2 years ago

Toshiba announces the Thrive 7" Android tablet, available in December

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The Toshiba Thrive was one of the first 10-inch Android Honeycomb tablets with full-size port -- and it'll be joining the expanding ranks of 7-inch tablets come December.

Officially dubbed the Toshiba Thrive 7", it'll sport a 1280x800 resolution with Toshiba's Adaptive Display and Resolution+ video enhancements, stereo speakers, a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front camera, and be available in either 16- or 32-gigabytes. It'll run Android 3.2, powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual processor.

But back to the size. It'll weigh less than a pound at 14.1 ounces and is 0.47 inches thick. It's not skimping on ports, either, with miniUSB, microHDMI and a microSD card slot.

Pricing has yet to be announced. The full presser is after the break, and you can find more images here.

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2 years ago

ITC to investigate Apple over HTC's patent complaints

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Tech Armageddon continues, and now the ITC (International Trade Commission) will be launching an investigation against Apple Computer Corp. over disputes brought by HTC earlier this year.  TechCrunch reports (by way of BusinessWeek) a basic description of the patents in question as:

The patents in the ITC case relate to an interface that lets the user add identifiers such as .com or .org; an interface that enlarges characters being typed; a way to display information on mobile devices; and status bars that let a user check phone calls, text messages or calendar events.

The investigation itself goes well beyond the smartphone arena -- the ITC states it will cover "computers, tablet computers, and smartphones."  It's worth noting that some of the patents in question were granted to HTC by Google, who so far has stayed out of the current tech courtroom drama it's OEM's are involved in. 

As always, it's the consumer who will be the biggest loser here.  Licensing agreements will be worked out, and that cost will be funneled down to all of us.  It's a war with no winners.

Source: ITC; via Tech Crunch

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Galaxy Tab 8.9 (updated with video)

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Samsung took the wraps off of its Galaxy Tab 8.9 tonight in New York City, the latest product in its ever-growing Galaxy line. Shoneel Kolhatkar, Samsung's Director of Product Planning, said that the 8.9 "hits the sweet spot ... between screen real estate and compact size," and we tend to agree. First thing you'll notice is that on paper, a little more than an inch doesn't seem like a whole lot of difference between the newest Galaxy tablet and it's big brother, the Galaxy Tab 10.1. However in your hand, the two products are radically different. The 8.9 will be the perfect product for those who find the 10.1 to be just a bit too large. 

Other than its smaller footprint, there isn't much more to say about the Galaxy Tab 8.9, as it shares the same hardware and software as the already reviewed Galaxy Tab 10.1. Same Tegra 2 processor, same 1 GB RAM, same Honeycomb 3.1, and the same version of TouchWiz. If you've even peeked at anything that's been said about the 10.1, you'll know what to expect in the 8.9.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 will be available nationwide on October 2: the 16 GB model will set you back $469, while the 32 GB model will cost $569. Some hands on photos, which include a comparison with the Galaxy Tab 10.1, are after the break.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0 get official in the U.S.

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Samsung this afternoon officially unwrapped U.S. versions of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 Honeycomb tablet, and the Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is an aptly named 8.9-inch Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablet with TouchWiz that we first saw way back CTIA in March. It'll be available nationwide Oct. 2 for $569 for the 32 GB version, and $469 for the 16 GB version. Or, you might be able to snag one at a Best Buy before Sunday.

The Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0 are 4- and 5-inch Android 2.3.5 devices, respectively -- basically smartphones without the phone. The Galaxy Player 5.0 sports a massive 2500 mAh battery, while the 4.0 has a meager 1200 mAh battery.

Full press release is after the break.


Galaxy Player 4.0, left, and Galaxy Player 5.0

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2 years ago

Motorola Xoom price falls to £299 in the UK

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First it was £399, then £329, and now the UK price of the Motorola Xoom has dropped below £300 for the first time. British retailer Play.com is now offering the 32GB, Wifi-only Xoom for £299.99 (~$475), a full £100 less than the official RRP just a couple of months ago.

Despite being surpassed in many ways by the thinner, lighter Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Xoom is still a solid Honeycomb tablet with plenty to offer. However, with Android tablet competition hotting up, and Ice Cream Sandwich just around the corner, we think the Xoom could be a hard sell, even at this price. If you're tempted, let us know in the comments.

Source: Play.com; via: Eurodroid

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2 years ago

RAM: What it is, how it's used, and why you shouldn't care

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Recently, a wise man holding a new Samsung Galaxy S II made a great observation --

Why, in the name of all things holy, does the fastest, most powerful phone on the market have a widget warning me how many apps are open?

Many of you guys know me, and how I am (if you don't, imagine some godless mash-up of anal retentiveness and OCD), so you know this is something that just had to be addressed or I would never sleep well at night again.  Which leads us to here and now.  The answer to the question is pretty easy -- user madness and FUD forced manufacturers to add some sort of RAM-cleaning, task-killing, and problem-causing widget to current builds of their software.  For most of us, the system running on our Android phones, and the way it handles RAM usage, is very different than what we are used to on our computers.  If we take a few minutes to understand the way RAM is managed on our phones, we'll not only be able to better interpret what that widget is telling us, but also understand why it doesn't really matter.  Let's do that, after the break.

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2 years ago

Latest Motorola Xoom 2 leakage outs specs and 'media edition'

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Just the other day we were presented with a new image of the unannounced Motorola Xoom 2, and yesterday This is my Next and Engadget leaked just about everything except for a working model. It seems there will be two different variations of the Xoom 2, one standard edition and one "Media Edition", which will be a tad smaller. 

The Motorola Xoom 2 will allegedly sport a 10.1-inch display and with a thickness of 9mm, just .2mm thicker than the iPad2. Other specs apparently include a 1.2GHz dual core processor of some description, and 1GB of "faster" RAM. Apparently the device will record 1080P video, have the ability to stream Netflix HD, and be the first tablet to ship with Adobe Flash 11 support. It's also said to have an IR blaster built in, which could tie in with some of the Android at Home stuff we've seen in the past. Battery life apparently remains around the 11-hour mark.

Now onto the Motorola Xoom 2 "Media Edition", which reportedly has an 8.2-inch HD IPS display, and is aimed to be an "e-reader replacement". Like the Motorola Xoom 2, this device will have an on-board IR sensor and subwoofer, which makes sense for a media-focused tablet. Could this be the blurry-cam device we saw the other day?

And while we're in full-on speculation mode, could that be a Droid RAZR in the reflection of the shot above?

Source: This is my Next (1) (2) / Engadget

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