Tablet PC News: Fire and Nook join the fray

You’ve probably been checking out tablet PC comparison articles and news to see which tablet will be making it to your wish list this holiday season. Well, the holidays are indeed afoot, and tablet makers are timing their next gen releases for just that. Two players, Barnes and Noble and Amazon, are slated to release their contenders next week, and a lot of people are saying that the new releases are going to shake things up in the tablet wars. Let’s check out the latest tablet PC news on the subject, shall we?

Nook and Fire

The Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet and the Amazon Kindle Fire are very similar with 7 inch capacitive touch screens, 1024 x 600 resolutions, 1 GHz dual core processors, and the number of file formats they support. The difference lies in the Nook Tablet’s built in internal memory of 16 GB and microSDHC slot that can extend storage space to 32 GB. The Nook also has bigger RAM at 1 GB. The Kindle Fire, on the other hand, features an 8 GB internal memory with no extension options and only 512 RAM. Battery life-wise, the Nook also comes out with the upper hand, as it promises up to 11.5 hours of reading and 9 hours of video playback. The Kindle Fire has enough juice for 8 hours of reading and 7.5 hours of video playback.

The Kindle Fire, however, beats the Nook Tablet in terms of price since the former (USD 199) will be USD 50 cheaper than the later (USD 249). The Fire also has a larger on-demand media library backing it up and a bigger app selection. Netflix will be integrated with Nook, though some tablet PC news sources say that the Fire will come with a Netflix app as well.

The Forecasts

Analysts have taken their sides in the Nook and Fire head-to-head, and can’t seem to agree about the kind of impact the two affordable tablet PCs will have against the Apple iPad 2. With the iPad 3 still a thing of myth and rumor, these two may just shake up the market enough to cue Apple to lower the iPad 2’s retail price. Some say that Apple could just wait, see how the Nook and the Fire perform, release the iPad 3 next year and then lower the prices for its iPad 2. Either way, we’ll see how it all plays out in the coming months. Stay tuned for more tablet PC news and updates here.

Tablet PC Comparison: iPad Alternatives

The holiday season’s coming up and with tablet PC sales estimated to increase, the competition for dominance remains stiff. Everybody wants a piece of Apple’s market share, and they’re being creative with their contenders. So if you’re in the market for an iPad alternative to give as a gift or to use for yourself, then you should check out this tablet PC comparison.

The Other Contenders

Most people can’t stand the thought of not having a physical keyboard on hand, and if you’re one of those people, the Asus EEE Pad Slider should be perfect for you. It comes with an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core CPU, a 10.1-inch capacitive touch screen, HDMI output, rear- and front-facing cameras, and a slide out keyboard. It ensures that you get both functionality and portability from your tablet PC. If you’re patient though, you may want to catch the Asus Transformer Prime instead. It is said to come with an Nvidia Tegra 3 and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 is another good iPad alternative, with its 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor, Android 3.1 (Honeycomb), 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, and 8.9 inch capacitive screen. It’s the perfect Goldilocks size if you think that 10.1 inches is too big and 7 inches is too small. If you don’t mind a 10.1 incher though, you can check out the Galaxy Tab 10.1. It’s the thinnest and lightest 10-inch tablet around so if portability is what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

One of the newest contenders in the tablet PC comparison wars is the Blackberry Playbook. Research In Motion’s tablet comes with their own OS (QNX), a 1GHz Cortex A9 dual core CPU, 1GB RAM, and a 7 inch capacitive display. This may be a good choice for you if you’re looking for something other than Mac iOS or Android, or if you’re looking for something geared toward business and multitasking.

Another viable iPad alternative is the Archos 101 G9. It runs on Android 3.2, with a dual core CPU, 10.1 capacitive screen, and lots of storage options. The Archos tablet is a good option if you’re looking for a decent tablet but have a limited budget.

Conclusion

There are loads more iPad alternatives out there – and there are more to come once the next generation of tablet PCs hit the stores. If you’re patient, you can score one with Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core and Android 4.0. At any rate, stay tuned for more tablet PC comparisons and iPad alternatives!

Tablet PC Comparison: Samsung to release Windows 8 tablet PC in Q3 2012

You read that right, the electronics giant has a tablet PC coming up and it’s going to come with Windows 8. An official from Samsung has further confirmed that they will start selling the said tablet PCs (alongside their next-gen Android tablets) in Q3 2012. How is this going to change the field for the tablet PC comparison wars? Let’s check it out.

Windows 8 Samsung tablet
During an interview with Bloomberg, Uhm Kyu Ho, head of sales and marketing at Samsung, said that the Windows 8 Samsung tablet will most likely be derived from an improved version of the Samsung Sliding PC Series 7 and that it will come with a wireless keyboard. For those of you who weren’t able to catch it during the last CES, the PC7 Series features a 10.1 inch touchscreen display, a track pad, and a QWERTY keyboard and it runs on Windows 7. The said Samsung tablet is designed to offer the power of laptops at the size and portability of a tablet.

Samsung made a preview version of the Windows 8 tablet and showed it off at Microsoft’s BUILD conference. The preview Samsung tablet featured an 11.6 inch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768, an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB RAM. With these specs, it’s bound to shake up the tablet PC comparison wars.

Fact and Speculation

According to some developers who were able to check out the Windows 8 Samsung tablet, it was a little bulkier, ran hot and had a noisy fan. Since Windows 8 will also be supporting ARM-based processors from AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm, it puts on the pressure on Intel to develop a light and powerful processor that can run the new OS and allow for long battery life.

Windows 8 is anticipated for mobile devices and tablet PCs since it is being optimized to conserve battery life for touchscreen devices. The Windows 8 Samsung tablet will have its kinks and dinks ironed out, as it is bound to run into some very stiff competition with next-gen Android tablets and of course, the iPad 3. Other tablet PC manufacturers have expressed interest in developing tablets that will run on Window 8 like Asus, HP, and Dell, so we can be assured that the tablet PC comparison wars will rage on and will be very interesting come 2012.

Tablet PC review: Sony and Amazon’s contenders

If you’ve been following the tablet PC market in the last couple of years, you’d have noticed that it’s become quite the battle royale. Manufacturers rush to outdo each other in terms of speed and features, while keeping their prices competitive. While that’s all well and good for the consumers, it can be challenging to choose the right one for you. Hence, we’ll take an early tablet PC review of the two much awaited tablets from Amazon and Sony.

The Competition

Everybody seems to have made it their personal mission to one up the Apple iPad 2, and they have come up with their own strategies to take a bite out of the iPad’s market share. Sony, for example, is looking at it from an entertainment point of view. Archos has also made a step toward entertainment, with its ninth generation offering that features high definition video and supporting several audio and video formats. Many a tablet PC review has pointed out that Sony’s edge comes from its content; it has its hands on mobile video games, music, and movies, so giving its users easy access to that should lure the customers.

Amazon, on the other hand, looks at it from a different angle. The e-commerce giant is looking to sell its tablets at a loss – around the vicinity of 200 USD, several times cheaper than the iPad 2. With Amazon’s wide range of content, it should also be able to provide the same access to digital content as Sony, with additional content in e-books and e-commerce.

The Hardware

Sony’s tablets come in two flavours, the Tablet S (available now) and the Tablet P (slated for a fall release). The Tablet S will roughly be the same size as an iPad, while the Tablet P will be featuring a dual screen that opens up like a book and will be made more portable by its ability to fold. Sony aims to be number one in the Android-based tablet market by next year. It’s a bit hard to make a tablet PC comparison at the moment as we have yet to see the Tablet P, but we’ll see it soon enough.

Amazon’s super affordable tablet will run on a custom Android 3.2 operating system and will be slightly smaller than an iPad.

Well, as far as the Android-based tablet PC market is concerned, consumers have a lot to look forward to. Competition will continue to be stiff, and tablet makers continue their arms race to make the best tablet PC in the market. If you can’t wait to get your hands on these babies, then maybe a tablet PC review or two will tide you over until they hit the stores.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Archos Tablet: a closer look

Competition is pretty stiff in the tablet PC market, and nearly all of the mobile PC makers have something up for release in this year’s last quarter. The Archos tablet has hit the stores recently but how does it compare to the others that are yet to be released? What does it bring to the table and how does it measure up to its competitors?

The 9th Gen Archos Tablet

Archos has released its ninth generation tablets in the Archos 80 G9 and the Archos 101 G9. Both will feature the OMAP multi-core processor from Texas Instruments. The OMAP 4 smart multi-core processor is clocked at 1GHz, with a turbo version that can go as fast as 1.5GHz. The processor also allows for 1080p H.264 HD playback with a resolution of 1280 x 800 video for the 101 and 1024 x 768 for the 80 model. Both models will run on Android 3.2 Honeycomb and are equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. If you want 3G, you can get a 3G stick that conveniently upgrades your Archos tablet.

The Archos tablet is pretty affordable and will only set you back 300 USD for the 80 G9 or 370 USD for its bigger brother the 101 G9. If you’re interested in the Archos tablet models with the turbo 1.5GHz processors, you’ll have to wait a little more as those are scheduled for an early 2012 release.

The Other Contenders

As we mentioned above, the competition is pretty stiff. Most tablet makers are starting to gear up for Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich, and are moving to multi-core processors and high definition video. Among the upcoming models are Asus’ Transformer Prime, Toshiba’s Thrive 7 and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, among others. The Asus Transformer Prime is a good example of what the Archos tablet will be up against.

The Transformer Prime will be featuring NVIDIA’s quad-core processor, the Tegra 3, and will showcase the Android Ice Cream Sandwich. With a 1.5Ghz speed, four cores and a fifth ‘companion’ core, a high definition video output of 1080p with 2560 x 1600 resolution, and 512 MB RAM, the Transformer Prime really sets the bar high for its competitors.

We’ll see how future tablet PC comparison news will look like for the Archos tablet as soon as its turbo model hits the stores. Stay tuned.

Coming Soon: Firefox for Android Tablets

Last August, Ian Barlow (a visual designer for Firefox Mobile’s User Experience team) posted some mock-ups of the upcoming Firefox for Android tablets browser. More recent news report that the rough version is up on the Nightly channel, a testing ground for early browser builds. What does this mean for tablet users and how will it affect your tablet browsing experience? Let’s find out.

Firefox for tablets

Firefox, the open sourced and free browser, is already available for Android mobile devices and iPhones, though Mozilla is looking to invade the tablet market as well. The early sneak peek into the user interface revealed improvements over the mobile phone version to capitalize on tablet’s larger screens. According to the earlier post by Ian Barlow, Firefox for tablets will feature a minimalist design to match Android 3.0 Honeycomb’s overall look. The tablet version will also feature an Awesomebar that will allow you to access your browsing history and bookmarks. You can sync with your desktop history and view those from the Awesomebar as well.

Firefox for Android tablets also include features for faster and more convenient browsing with its landscape and portrait modes. Landscape mode will display the tabs you have open as thumbs on the left side of the screen, while portrait mode will minimize this and instead display it as a dropdown menu at the top. These features are designed specifically to maximize the bigger tablet screen.

Nightly Build

Mozilla runs their browsers through several stages of development, the first of which is called Nightly (followed by Aurora, Beta, and General Release). Firefox for Android tablets are in fact in the Nightly build, and if you want to check it out, it’s actually already available for download. A word of warning though: it’s a very early release, so it’s going to be a little buggy and unstable. It’s still a long way off general release, but it does look promising as developers indicated that along with easier browsing, they’re also gunning for speed and improved performance.

If you’re curious about what’s coming to tablets in the coming months, then don’t hesitate to test drive Firefox for Android tablets.

Tablet PC Comparison: The Android-based Competition

In what some have dubbed the Slate Wars, competition in the tablet PC market remains very stiff. The iPad 2 remains the bestseller, but a horde of Android-based tablets have taken the world by storm and threatens to gobble at least some of Apple’s market share. Let’s check out what’s out there and do a little tablet PC comparison, shall we?

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was released last June and runs on Android 3.1 Honeycomb. With a 1 GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, it stands to directly compete with the Apple iPad 2. It also features a 1080p high definition video playback and retails at a lower retail price than Apple’s contender.

Archos 101 G9

This ninth generation Archos tablet sports a multi-core processor clocked in at 1GHz, with a faster model (1.5GHz) coming early next year. Its OMAP 4 multi-core processor from Texas Instruments can handle high definition playback as well, with a resolution of 1280 x 800. It runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Among the other models in this tablet PC comparison, the Archos 101 G9 is the most affordable.

Sony Tablet P and Tablet S

Sony’s tablet PC models both run on Android 3.1 Honeycomb and are equipped with 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processors. They are geared for users who lean more toward entertainment as Sony has integrated its PlayStation store with its tablets. This will surely open tons of content like movies, music, and video games to users.

Asus Transformer Prime

Recently, Asus informally unveiled their upcoming contender, called the Transformer Prime. It features a 1.5GHz quad-core (with a fifth companion core) Tegra 3 from NVIDIA and can handle 2560 x 1600 high definition video playback. It’s estimated to be 5 times faster than the Tegra 2, so a lot of people await this Asus tablet.

There are loads of other tablets slated for release late this year and early next year (like the Amazon tablet) and we’ll be here to check them out as soon as they hit the shelves. At the moment, the Asus Transformer Prime looks like it’s the one worth waiting for, though we’ll see how it stacks up especially price-wise as soon as that information is available. Stay tuned for when we make that tablet PC comparison.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Sticky: What’s the best tablet PC for you?

If you’re in the market for the best tablet PC for you, then you might have checked out the market and have been inundated with various models from different tablet makers. The market has really become quite a royal rumble of sorts, with manufacturers aiming to come up with the best tablet PC. Most people do a tablet PC comparison that pits each contender by its hardware, OS, features, and price and you should do the same.

Best tablet PC contenders

At the moment, the iPad 2 still remains the product to beat for the best tablet PC title and many have taken the challenge to take its lion’s share of the market. The market is divided into Android-based, Windows-based, and iOS tablets and soon, it will be a close game.

The Apple iPad 2 will soon be bested in terms of processing power, as Asus will be releasing its Transformer Prime with its quad-core Tegra 3 processor. The iPad currently has a dual-core chip that clocks in at 1GHz while the Transformer Prime will be featuring a quad-core with a fifth companion core that clocks in at 1.5Ghz. The Tegra 3 processor will also feature a 12-core GPU that outputs 1080p 2560 x 1600 resolution, high definition video.

Also joining the fray is Sony’s two contenders, the Tablet P and the Tablet S. The Tablet P will be featuring a dual screen that opens like a book. Sony is taking on the market with entertainment in mind, opening their stores of content (music, movies, and mobile games) and integrating those to their tablets. Amazon also has something up its sleeve with its upcoming 9 inch Android tablet. The e-commerce giant will be offering its tablet at a super competitive price, hoping to lure consumers into taking advantage of Amazon’s digital content.

Tablet PC Comparison

You as a customer should check out the upcoming and existing offerings from the tablet makers. There are lots of tablet PC reviews available on the net, and you should read up on them to find the best tablet PC for you. With a little patience and some legwork, this research should be worth it in the long run.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich delayed

Needless to say, a lot of people have been craving for Ice Cream Sandwich since its announcement – just imagine the smartphone and tablet PC comparison debates to come! Well, for those who have been waiting (us included) for Android’s newest dessert flavoured mobile operating system, the wait may drag on for a little longer. After Google and Samsung jointly delayed the release of the first smartphone to roll out with ICS, the Galaxy Nexus, not a peep has been said as to the new release date. This may have some people gnawing at their nails, especially since the first tablet to roll out with Ice Cream Sandwich, the Asus Transformer Prime is set for release on November 9.

What’s the buzz about?

For those who may have been living under a rock, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the newest iteration of Google’s mobile operating system. It was developed to merge the features of Honeycomb for tablets and Gingerbread for smartphones and present an operating system that would work on both platforms. Among its announced and speculated features include virtual buttons, offline email search, facial recognition unlock, and unified social networking contacts, among others. Much of the anticipation is caused by the new devices that would roll out with the ICS, as well as the old devices that would be able to upgrade to 4.0. With that much speculation in the air, it isn’t so surprising that people are dismayed by the delay – it’s the announcement that may take today’s tablet PC comparison for Android tablets to an entirely different level.

Delay and the overworked rumour mill

Last October 8, Google and Samsung released joint statements saying that: a. they have decided to postpone the new product announcement; b. a new date and venue will be announced soon; and c. they delayed their big product announcement out of respect for Steve Jobs’ recent passing. As one would expect, the rumour mill started working overtime as soon as the news broke out. Some pointed out that software may have been the likelier culprit in the delay. With the ICS looking to break out and snag a chunk of the mobile market, Google may want to work all the kinks and dinks out first.

Another rumour floating about indicates that Google may be more than just ironing out bugs, but smoothing out features that may raise patent issues with its competitors. Others venture that Samsung may be having problems on their end. Either way, the Galaxy Nexus and ICS’ new release date remains up in the air.

At any rate, we’ll keep you posted on more Android updates and tablet PC comparison news so keep checking back.

PC Tablet News: NVIDIA’s Quad-Core vs. iPad 2’s Dual Core?

For at least two generations of chips, NVIDIA has been at the forefront of making processors for mobile devices, tablets included. In recent PC tablet news, Asus head Jonney Shih announced at the AsiaD conference that their new Transformer Prime will be rolling out in November and that it will be featuring NVIDIA’s new quad-core, Tegra 3. The said processor, codenamed Kal-El, is slated to run Android tablets with the Ice Cream Sandwich OS.

So what does this all mean for Apple’s contender for this generation of tablets, the iPad 2? Well, the iPad 2 runs on Apple A5, a dual core chip. Let’s do a quick tablet PC comparison based on the two processors.

The Apple A5

The A5 has two cores and features a CPU clock rate of 800 MHz to 1 GHz, which is a good speed as far as tablet PCs go. It also comes with a 512 MB DDR2 RAM at 533 MHz and a GPU clocked at 200 MHz. The A5 was a huge leap from the A4, doubling the computing speed and upping the graphics power.

The Tegra 3

The Tegra 3, with its four cores (and a fifth companion core), clocks in at 1.5 Ghz. It also features a 12-core GPU, that can output 2560×1600 video. Tablets with this processor can output high definition video, that’s for sure. The Asus Transformer Prime is said to have a mini HDMI port, which pretty much confirms the quad-core’s 1080p H.264 High Profile video decoding. With these specs, the Tegra is estimated to be 5 times faster than its predecessor, the Tegra 2. No wonder gadget and PC tablet news sites are all abuzz about this upcoming chip.

The said NVIDIA quad-core is scheduled to be released late this year for tablets and early next year for smartphones.

We’ll surely see what the Tegra 3 can do in PC tablet news in the near future (or at least, as soon at the Asus Transformer Prime hits the shelves), but at the moment, it looks like it’s shaping up as a serious contender against the Apple iPad 2. Does Apple have something in the works that can one up the Tegra 3? We’ll see, but knowing the electronics giant, it must have something up its sleeve.

Technorati Tags: ,

Tablet PC Comparison Compare Specs, Prices and more