Perhaps anticipating the UK launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 next Thursday, British retailers have slowly begun lowering the price of the original Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola Xoom. Amazon UK is leading the charge, selling the Wifi-only version for a mere £394.95 ($650), which is within a fiver of the Tab 10.1's UK launch price.
Not quite as affordable as the $499 you'll pay for the same hardware over in the US, but it's a step in the right direction from the Xoom's astronomical European launch price. Would you consider a Motorola Xoom over the Tab 10.1 at this price point? Let us know in the comments.
The ASUS Eee Pad Slider has passed through the FCC certification process, getting the all clear for its Bluetooth and Wifi radios. With no mention of any cellular data in the FCC reports, the slider sounds much like the popular ASUS Transformer (check out our review), a great no-contract, no carrier, no fuss stand alone Wifi Honeycomb tablet. Also like the Transformer, the slider sports a 10.1 inch screen, Tegra 2 dual-core processor, front and rear cameras, and connectivity via a number of i/o ports -- micro SD, mini USB, and mini HDMI. Add in a sliding full size qwerty keyboard and you have something very different than the rest of the Honeycomb tablet pack. We love different, and manufacturers that try to do it, providing it's done well. We're ready to give the slider a try, just like many of you guys are.
If you can't wait until the August 4 nationwide street date for your British Galaxy Tab 10.1, then you might want to head down to the Tottenham Court Road branch of PC World, where it can be yours from 5pm the previous day. In exchange for your £399, you'll get what's arguably the hottest Android tablet currently available, powered by Android 3.1 and a 1 GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip.
If you'd rather not cough up the full retail price, it'll also be available at a subsidized price from Vodafone UK. However there's still no word from from the carrier on when this launch is due to take place -- its website still lists it as "coming soon".
Let us know in the comments if you're planning on picking up a Tab 10.1 on launch day, and if you're undecided, then head on over to our review of the limited edition Google IO version.
BlackBerry fans everywhere were astonished Thursday when an early version of the Android Player for the PlayBook leaked out and their little tablets suddenly became usable. Usable as in once you've got Android running on the PlayBook, you suddenly have an e-mail app. Craziness!
Pretty cool stuff, especially since it's running Android 2.3.3, and there's a good chance your phone doesn't even that yet. Glad we could help you out there, RIM.
Baseball fans in Anaheim will like this news for sure. T-Mobile and the Los Angeles Angels have just announced a partnership that will allow fans to rent either a Samsung Galaxy Tab or T-Mobile G Slate during Los Angeles Angels games, The tablets, when rented will come pre-loaded with some goodies:
Free game-day program, optimized for viewing on the tablet — an instant $3 added value.
Free content from the Zinio magazine app, with the ability to read from a sampling of magazines during the game, including ESPN and many other popular magazines, drawing from Zinio’s library of more than 4,500 magazine titles.
Free T-Mobile TV (on the T-Mobile G-Slate only), providing content from popular TV shows. All regular free content, plus the “Select” package, regularly $4.99, is available as part of the game-day tablet rental.
Pretty awesome! Hopefully, T-Mobile will be able to expand the program in the long run and bring it to many other venues. Just don't go rooting the tablets should you decide to go ahead and rent one during a game.
Lenovo has been hard at work on its Android offers, as we most recently saw with the IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad but a new 7-inch tablet has just been spotted. Confirmed details for the 7-inch IdeaPad are rather slim still but rumors are suggesting this one will be powered by a TI OMAP3621 processor, a 7-inch 1024 x 600 touchscreen and various other goodies like 3G connectivity, SDCard slot, front and rear-facing cameras all rounded out with a 3700mAh battery. Not great but not bad either, you can find one more pic after the break.
Google has (finally) released the Music Manager PC client for Linux, meaning work-arounds like WINE are no longer necessary. You can download pre-packaged binaries in either .rpm or .deb format, ready to install on many popular Linux systems. This is a closed source project, so if you're not using a Linux distro that can parse a deb or rpm package, you'll have to convert it to your preferred package type with a program like Alien, or extract the archive and manually inspect the install script (I'll drop those ubergeek instructions after the break for those interested).
Along with official Linux support, Linux versions of Google Music Manager also support .ogg files, by transcoding them to 320kbps .mp3 files. This is the same way it handles FLAC files, and while not perfect, we're not going to complain because any support is better than none. Getting it installed is easy -- just fire up your web browser (on your Linux computer, of course) and head to music.google.com. Once there, click the "add music" link, and download the client. It seems pretty solid, and certainly better than using the (not an)emulated Windows version.
Microsoft has released a set of tools and samples that now makes it a good bit easier to get users Windows Live data from Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger for smartphone applications, including Android apps. Developers will only need to enter the application name and language used, and then they will receive a client ID and secret token. These are then used in your application to allow the user to sign in via the web, with no back-end needed for this from the developers. Microsoft provides a working sample to view a user's SkyDrive photos, with more examples to follow.
Microsoft, as much as anyone, understands the open platform model. It's been good to them over the years, and it's nice to see simple and effective methods to access user account data across mobile platforms. I hope some developers out there with the "next great idea" for a Windows Live app takes advantage of them. Drop us a line if that sounds like you!
The all-new Nook (aka the Nook Touch) is Barnes & Noble’s follow-up to their successful e-reader of the same name, which for months served as the Kindle’s primary competitor. BN, of course, also has the Nook Color, an intriguing e-reader/tablet hybrid running Android that is pretty much universally accepted as the most affordable way to get yourself and Android tablet. As such, the newly released Nook Touch should be seen as a competitor to the original Nook, not the Nook Color as it’s designed to perform one function really well: to serve as an e-reader.
It runs Android, sure. But will you get a diminutive Android tablet experience on it? Read on.