Tag Archive | "7″"

Toshiba Thrive 7 Launching in Early December With HD Display [Photos]

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toshiba thrive 7Toshiba is announcing the Thrive 7 today, a 7″ Honeycomb tablet which is the second addition to the Thrive series. Toshiba described the Thrive 7 as a smaller version of the Thrive 10 and it will feature that same grip-friendly back. The Thrive 10 is a ‘utility’ tablet of sorts, featuring a range of full-sized ports. I was hoping that the Thrive 7 would retain these full-sized ports, but unfortunately they had to be shrunk to their smaller counterparts in order to fit inside of the Thrive 7.

While other 7″ Honeycomb tablets have so far been released with 1024×600 screens, the Thrive 7 has been fitted with a 1280×800 LED backlit display. Honeycomb 3.2 is installed out of the box.

The Thrive 7 uses that familiar Nvidia Tegra 2 platform that most Honeycomb tablets are using today, which means you’ll find a 1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 CPU and 1GB of RAM inside. As for ports, the tablet hides micro-HDMI, mini-USB, and MicroSD away underneath a dust-cover. I thought an error had been made when I heard mention of mini-USB (instead of micro), but we’ve double checked and it is confirmed that the Thrive 7 has a mini-USB port instead of micro-USB. Why Toshiba went with mini-USB instead of micro-USB is unclear. However, you will be able to charge through the mini-USB port, or through the docking connector on the bottom. I think I speak for most of us when I say it would have been awesome to see full-sized HDMI/USB/SD on the Thrive 7, but I suppose they couldn’t cram all of that in the chassis of the 7″ form-factor.

In addition to the aforementioned ports, you’ll find a volume rocker, lock/power button, and rotation-lock switch on the Thrive 7, just like the Thrive 10. There’s also a 2MP front facing camera and a 5MP rear sensor.

At 11mm thick and 399 grams, the Thrive 7 won’t be the thinnest or lightest tablet on the market, but it’s trimmed way down compared to the Thrive 10 which is 16mm thick and weighs in at 725 grams. 16/32GB capacities will be offered. Though the Thrive 7 is focused on mobility, Toshiba says it has no plans at the moment for a 3G version of the unit.

Toshiba will be offering a range of cases for the tablet, including one which will allow the device to be propped up in both landscape and portrait modes. To make use of the docking connector (not found on the Thrive 10), Toshiba is readying a sort of multimedia dock which will play nicely with a Bluetooth keyboard that will also be offered with the device.

Pricing will be revealed closer to launch, which is planned for early December.

Galaxy Tab 7.7 Hands-On Images

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We were lucky! Thousands that turned up to see the Galaxy Tab 7.7 at IFA were disappointed to find out that it had been removed from IFA.

We’ve got a good hands-on video up already but here are some images to add to that.

You can also find full specs, stats, links, and more on the Galaxy Tab 7.7 tracking page in our mobile device database.

HTC Flyer (Retail Version) Overview and Unboxing Video

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Don’t forget that we’re doing a Live Review of the Flyer on Wednesday evening at 2100 CEST (your timezone here) where we do a detailed, 2hr review of the HTC Flyer with you in the chat session asking questions and steering the testing. It’s free, fun, detailed and interactive and likely to give you all the answers you need.

In the meantime, here’s the unboxing and overview video. I’ve got no comments at the moment apart from saying that the start-up sequence was smooth and that I’m a little bit underwhelmed by the pen input. Annotations seem OK but this is nothing that competes with the pen input capabilities of Windows 7, even on mobile PC devices.

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Here’s the unboxing video…

HTC Flyer Arrived. Live Review Details.

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The HTC Flyer I ordered on Friday has literally just arrived at the door and Im looking forward to ripping this open and seeing how it compares to the Galaxy Tab which is currently the most popular 7″ tablet on the market and has been a very good companion to me for over 6 months now. Expect an unboxing video soon. The Live Review will be held on Wednesday evening at 2100 CEST (Berlin.)

In terms of features, there are definitely a few to talk about and some that are unique to the Flyer ensuring at least some sales. The #1 feature is the digitizer input layer and active pen that integrates with a special input mode on the Flyer. Annotations and notes.made though this layer can be captured into the Evernote cloud storage, OCR and search application. It’s a well known and well trusted application and the integration will carry a lot of value. I hope a full Evernote license is included for offline notes.

There’s also the 1.5Ghz CPU to consider. It should provide a noticeable jump in performance over the Galaxy Tab.

There are two major issues to consider and either of these could be show-stoppers. Firstly, assuming you want to use a 7″ tablet for pen input (something I’ve never been a big fan of over the years that I’ve been reporting about tablets) you’ve got to remember to take the pen with you. There’s no integrated.storage which is really quite an issue. I’ll have to test that all-important palm rejection too.

Then there’s the price. As i write this, the Flyer 16Gb WiFi version is €499. The Galaxy Tab WiFi is available for €269. This issue will reduce over time as margins reduce but it may never catch up with the price of the Tab due to the screen technology used. You’ve got to be a pen-input fan that remembers to take the pen or someone that really really needs the extra CPU power.

Or are the other features worth considering? It’s true that not many tablets offer video content for download and streaming so HTC Watch will be an important service to check out. If the content and price is good, it’s a great feature. OnLive-CloudGaming is also a feature to check out. Dual-location on-frame buttons (that enable and disable depending on rotation) Skype video and HTC Sense are also unique features.I’ll also be interested in the ‘HD’ video recording  support and other hidden features that are sure to crop up.

On the downside, it looks like there’s no voice stack (I assume that includes SMS, MMS and Video calling (over UMTS) support. Its something I use a lot on the Galaxy Tab thatnks to Multi-SIM. I get the same number on my Tab and my smartphone.

Is there enough to entices people here? As time goes by and the price comes down into the same range as the Galaxy Tab and Acer Iconia Tab A100, I think there will.

Stay tuned here for the unboxing or subscribe to Twitter, RSS Facebook, or YouTube for notifications.

Blackberry Playbook Quick Impressions

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I managed to get a few hours hands on with the Blackberry Playbook [tracking page] today. First impression out of the box was: Wow, it’s tiny.

Laptopmag has done a comprehensive review of the device and they are pretty much on the money with their assessment. I didn’t experience any of the software issues they had though except for the slowness to rotate the screen when I turned the device.

The form factor is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab and as you can see in the picture it’s roughly half the size of the iPad 2.

I actually found the square design refreshing and it definitely looked and felt different to the other rounded edge tablets. The unit felt solid and well built. The PlayBook has a soft-touch almost rubberised back and this gives a nice grippy surface to hold onto. It was easy to hold in one hand and light enough to do so for an extended period of time. The Playbook measures 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches, and is thinner than the Samsung Galaxy Tab but is slightly heavier.

It has a 7 inch display but interestingly the bezel forms part of the touch sensitive surface of the screen and allows gestures that make the tablet do things. For example you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to return to the home screen. The gestures were easy to learn and remember, and I picked them up and was using them naturally very quickly.

There’s a 3-megpaixel camera above the screen, along with a notification LED. There’s also a 5-megapixel camera on the back and the quality from both was very good. Two small slots on each side of the display are the speakers and they were surprisingly good in the quiet room.

The top of the PlayBook has a power button and volume controls with a Play/Pause button as well – a neat feature for media. A headphone jack is on the top right.

The device also has a micro-USB port which allows connection to a PC as a hard drive for file sharing. This worked as advertised and almost made up for the lack of a full sized USB port. As long as you have the cable it will be pretty easy to get files onto the device. A micro-HDMI (D-port), and charging contacts for an optional charging dock (no extra ports on the dock) are located on the bottom edge. The unit will charge from the supplied adapter or via USB when plugged into a computer.

Output from the HDMI was good and allowed full HDMI mirroring as well as presenting mode which meant you could be sending an image, slideshow or video to an external monitor while using the tablet for other tasks.

An interesting option in the settings was for the power management. This affected the multi-tasking capability. The options are Showcase, Default and Paused. On the homescreen if you swiped to switch between apps the running apps became smaller windows. Each app continues to run in these windows demonstrating that the OS is multi-tasking these apps and switching between them was ast and smooth. In the showcase power setting the apps still operated in the windows and this was demonstrated by showing a video still playing in the smaller window and while flicking the app selector left and right. This is obviously the most power hungry setting. In Default mode the setting employs smarter power management and in paused mode every app pauses it’s behaviour automatically when you navigate to another app.

Connecting to the Blackberry phone was simple and I tested out the Blackberry Bridge function as well as 3G tethering. The Playbook is WiFi-only and therefore doesn’t have a 3G capability without tethering to your Blackberry phone. Using the browser over a 3G tether was slow and even with a good 3G signal it then had to travel over Bluetooth which may be the bottleneck. Accessing email, files, and calendar functions over the bridge connection was easy but when opening larger files I really felt the slowness as it could take 20-30 seconds to open a 3MB PDF. I think I would use the bridge connection for email as having a larger screen and big on screen keyboard is much better than the small phone screen but for reading larger word documents or PDF files I would have to download them before attempting to read as otherwise it was just painful waiting for the pages to render.

The RIM sales represtative also mentioned that they will definitely be releasing a 10 inch version within months and hinted at some special features on it but refused to reveal what. While I prefer the small, pocketable size of a 7 inch device I know guys in my organisation prefer a 10 inch screen so the playbook 7 inch will not get a lot of interest from my co-workers. I feel that RIM has realised this barrier to entry in the enterprise business market and that’s why they are releasing a 10 inch version.

Overall the Tablet was well made, had lots of processing power and felt like a well rounded unit with a good mix of features.

Enspert E301 Aluminium-body Android Tablet

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In terms of build quality, the Enspert E301 stood out from the other tablets at CES. It’s from the company that brought you the Inbrics M1 (and used to be called ‘Identity.’) The Inbrics M1 never reached EU or US markets so let’s hope this one does better. With cellular data planned for the device, we think they stand a better chance this time round and based on what we’ve seen, this is up there with the best of the non-Honeycomb tablets.

Full specs are in the database but here’ are a few highlights:

  • Samsung SP5C110 – 1Ghz Cortex A8 with PowerVR 540 graphics
  • Digital TV receivers planned
  • 3G/4G recievers planned
  • 5.0MP Auto-focus camera
  • Launch planned for ‘back-to-school’ 2011

It’s the last point that worries us somewhat. By Q3 2011, this device needs Honeycomb!

E301 Enspert E301 (1)

More images in the Gallery

This overview video goes over the main features of the device. (From CES 2011)

Acer has 4.8”, 7” and 10” Android Tablets planned for April 2011

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Acer announced a set of Android tablets this afternoon that are sure to make people pause before they put an order in for the holiday season. The 7” Tablet looks like a belter and you can be sure that Acer will compete heavily on price.

acer7tabletacer7android

The 7” model on the left (neither model has a name yet) will come with a dual-core 1.2Ghz Snapdragon CPU,  a 1280×800 resolution screen, 3G, Wi-FI  and we hear, Android 2.2 with Flash 10.1. With front and rear cameras it looks like it will be suitable for Google application certification so we should see the Market and Google applications on this.

The 10”er on the right above, looks to be aimed at the home market and will also be a dual-core device. HDMI-out, dual-cams and ten-point multitouch, indicate a high-end experience. Interestingly, reports are saying that this one has a dual-core Tegra 2 CPU at 1Ghz. Maybe there’s a gaming slant here.

There’s also a 4.8” super-wide-screen device with 1024×480 on the cards. The strange resolution might be very good for landscape browsing.

Without full specs and pricing it’s difficult to position the devices but it looks like Acer is taking the tablet market seriously because Windows Tablets were announced too. I can’t believe all these devices are going to make it to the same markets but CeBIT in March will certainly be interesting!

News via Netbooknews.com and Engadget.

Viewsonic Viewpad 7 Live Review – Videos and Detailed Impressions

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We’ve had the (final version) Viewsonic Viewpad 7 for 2 days now and last night we completed 3hrs of live testing in front of an audience of 480 people. We’re now in a good position to be able to bring you a good round-up review of the device. Live recordings of the stream are embedded below. Unboxing video is here. Thanks to Viewsonic Europe for sending the device over. UK customers can find details of a trade-in offer and retailers here.

Overall quality of the £400 pound tablet is good and we feel that Viewsonic have got the price/quality ratio right. This is a lot more than a £200 open-source Android tablet here and less than a £500 high-end 7” Tablet (e.g. Galaxy Tab) and it sits alone as the cheapest 7” 3G+Voice Google Android tablet on the market. ‘Google’ means that it really does have everything that you find on a Google Android phone including voice capability, compass, GPS, compass, capacitive touchscreen and the latest Android software.  So why is the Viewpad 7 cheaper than the Galaxy Tab then?

Viewsonic Viewpad 7 (7) Viewsonic Viewpad 7 (8)
Click to enlarge. More in the gallery.

Let’s start with the processor that tricked me. I was originally told it was a Snapdragon CPU at 600Mhz but despite some reasonable Web performance, it turned out to be an ARM11-based device. In real-use yesterday I was still quite happy with the browsing speeds and although I would never recommend anyone get an ARM11-based device for serious web work, when laid-back in a passive usage mode, it’s quite acceptable. You’ll see some browser tests in part 3 of the video review below. The GPU, Adreno 200 – the same as that found on the Snapdragon platform, is probably helping a lot here because UI actions seem smooth, if not ‘physical’ like the iPad.  Android 2.2 helps too. It’s a far more efficient build than 2.1 and helps to pull everything possible out of the platform. This is probably as good as we’ll ever see on an ARM11-based device and at this point it has to be said that this is the best ARM11-based mobile internet device I’ve ever used.

Full specifications, gallery, news and more in our Viewpad 7 tracking page.

There are more hints of ‘value’ though that don’t hide themselves so well:

  • Screen – At 800×480 this isn’t the sharpest. Although Android apps are only designed for up to 800×480 screen, there are photos, videos, ebooks and browser pages to consider. A full-screen, page-to-fit web page is not easily readable and will require a pinch or double-click to zoom to readable quality. It’s bright enough but there are differing results from vertical and portrait viewing angles. This is a typical horizontal-optimised LCD. I won’t go into detail here but portrait mode is not perfect. Text seems to stretch vertically too indicating that the pixels aren’t square. It’s a good screen, but not top-of-class.
    Note: After measuring the screen, pixels are indeed not square. Resolution ratio: 1.666:1  Size Ratio: 1.78:1
  • CPU – Mentioned above. Don’t expect to squeeze much more out of this CPU in the future. There are already applications that aren’t supported on this CPU (Flash for example)
  • Software – This is, to all intents and purposes, a raw Android experience. Some people will prefer this and at least the Market is there to help. In the live review we downloaded and installed about 15 applications suggested by viewers in less than 10 minutes. Try doing that on a Windows 7 laptop!
  • Camera – The 3.0MP camera shouldn’t be regarded as anything more than a snapshot device and the results show high grain and huge traces of plastic lens. It’s easy to smudge fingerprints over the camera lens too so quality can degrade even further. Videos aren’t anything to get excited about either.
  • Video Playback – There are quite a few video formats out there and each has variable bitrate and ‘profile’ levels. Codecs cost money and Viewsonic have chosen not to add them in. You’ll get 3GPP, MPEG4 (not Xvid/Divx support) and H.264 support for low bitrates and resolutions (sub 720p/1Mbps) but that’s it. Software players such as RockPlayer add new codecs in but the CPU isn’t powerful enough to deliver anything above about 1Mbps. Disappointing.
  • User Interface and touch – While not up there with the best ‘physical’ user interfaces, this is a reasonable capacitive touch experience and fine for everyday use. It’s a lot better than a resistive touchscreen for this type of finger usage.
  • On screen keyboard – Typical of loaded Android systems on ARM11 CPUs, the response on the keyboard slows down if there are other things happening around the device. Coupled with a rather ugly layout (we loaded ‘Better Keyboard’ and found it, better!) and a hit-rate that doesn’t come close to the Galaxy Tab or Apple iOS devices, we can’t recommend it for anything more than micro-mails, tweets, SMS and other short-form messaging.

On the positive side, we saw great 3D performance in synthetic tests and games with Angry Birds and Raging Thunder Lite working perfectly. There are other high-points too.

3G throughput in our tests was good. We haven’t tested reception performance.

.Viewsonic Viewpad 7 (14)

Battery life. In our 1-hour test with screen, Wi-Fi, GSM enabled and under testing conditions saw the battery drop 15% indicating a 6-hour heavy-use run-time. It matches the Viewsonic specs and in the rest of our testing over the last few days we were also seeing similar battery performance. We estimate the battery life to be 10-15% less than the Galaxy Tab but still, very good. Charging over USB is a slow process. Expect 8-9hrs for a full charge over a standard USB cable. We can’t get the supplied charger to work through our UK-EU adaptor but we’re told it does enable a ‘fast charge’ mode of around 3hrs.

Speaker quality is good which makes the Viewpad 7 perfect for radio, MP3 and podcast duties around the house. In a 20-minute speakerphone call, quality was very high. We also made a successful Skype call without headphones.

Other points

  • No heat or noise
  • Quadrant scores around the 250 mark
  • Launcher Pro works well (and is recommended) as a home-screen alternative. It enables portrait mode homescreen which the standard build doesn’t.

Example Launcher-Pro Setup

  • YouTube (tested with the latest player available in the Market) works flawlessly
  • Neocore benchmark returned 32 fps
  • Kindle reader and the pre-installed Aldiko reader work well.
  • PDF reading with the included, full version of Documents To Go, worked well
  • Again, note that Flash 10.1 is not available for ARM11 devices such as this
  • The Viewpad 7 is slightly smaller (about 4mm in width and depth) than the galaxy Tab. Same thickness. Same weight.
  • Storage on the device is limited to 512MB and after installing 20 applications, we were down to 24MB of storage space. Inserting an SD card is necessary in order to move some applications over (where possible) and to store audio, image and video files.
  • Wifi reception was average (b/g standards) We haven’t tested Bluetooth
  • Hotspot mode works. (Wifi sharing of 3G connection – We expect 8-10hrs on this mode with screen off)
  • No stand. (Update below)
  • Case is plastic
  • No USB On-The-Go
  • GPS locked quickly (sub 10 seconds with A-GPS enabled) indoors, 1M from a Window
  • No video out (digital or analogue)
  • Skyfire (and included flash video playback) works

Update: Case will change for final retail versions.

Viewsonic notified me that the case has been re-designed for the final version. Its good to see that it now includes ‘standing’ capability.

At £400 we find the Viewpad fairly priced. If you’re in the UK and have a working netbook or laptop you want to trade-in, Viewsonic retail partners will give you 100 pounds cash-back which makes it tempting if that old EeePC 701 is gathering dust for you. Ultimately though, Viewsonic need to capitalise on the fact that this is a well-rounded ‘value’ tablet with a complete feature set, today. In 3 months time when Android devices 2.3 appear, when ARM11 becomes ‘end of line’ for some applications, when high-end applications start demanding more of a CPU and when the market fills with other device options, it may not look so attractive and at that point Viewsonic and their retailers will have to compete in a price war. We say, ‘take the risk’ and drop the price by 50 pounds to capitalise on holiday-season buying and make this an even more attractive package. Throw in a 4GB micro SD card, a cleaning cloth and maybe a free version of ‘launcher pro’ to solve that portrait mode homescreen limitation and you’ve got yourself a great little mobile internet device.

Continued on page 2…

Archos 70 Hands-On, Feedback says Good-Value

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Archos 70 _5_ The price of the Galaxy Tab is gradually coming down but it’s clear that it will never reach the 250 Euro price of the Archos 70. It looks the same, comes with 8GB of storage, a similar processor, similar operating system and plays back video just like the Tab. So what’s the difference?

Balazs of Ndevil unboxes the Archos 70 in the video below and Charbax has a text/video review up. You’ll hear them talk about some of the very important differences between this and the Galaxy Tab but lets list them all here so you can compare.

Galaxy Tab Extra Features:

  • Phone, 3G, SMS, MMS
  • 1024×600 screen
  • 3.2MP Auto-focus camera and 480p video cam
  • Docking port for accessories
  • Stereo Speakers
  • 16GB Storage
  • Samsung software suite including Samsung keyboard
  • Access to Google Market and Google apps suite
  • GPS

Archos 70 Extra features

  • USB OTG (unconfirmed)
  • Micro USB Charging and connecting
  • HDMI out port
  • Kickstand

Full specs for the Archos 70 here. Galaxy Tab here.

There may be others differences and in terms of software, some of the issues on the Archos 70 can be fixed through hacks but the summary is that on the Galaxy Tab, you’re paying 450 Euros for voice,3G, hi-res screen, auto-focus cam, 8GB storage, GPS and the Samsung Google software. That’s a lot of money for features that you probably don’t need when you’re lazing around at home and if the Archos 70 is as good as people are saying (I’m getting good feedback from owners so far) and if Archos push that V2.2 firmware out ASAP then the Archos 70 is definitely a better value product for sofa-surfing. When it comes to mobility though, the Tab has the edge although with the Viewpad 7 coming in at 399 Euros in the next few weeks, there’s quite a head-to-head building up on this 7” space. (Actually there’s at least 16 devices in our database, more to come soon!)

So how’s this 7” space shaping up for you?

SmartQ T7 3G Open Review. Thoughts. Videos Available. Firmware Update News.

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IMG_4404 The recorded videos from our live, open review with the SmartQ T last night are available and shown below. Ustream have put a pre-roll and ads on them but I guess they have to pay for 2 hours of 500kbps streaming somehow.

More info, videos, links for the SmartQ T7 in our tracking page.

Remember that this is a preview device and isn’t fitted with final firmware although it’s close and SmartDevices are constantly working on firmware upgrades. We have some issues we’ll take back to the reseller, HOTMID, so that they can talk to SmartDevices in China. Those issues include: (See UPDATE below)

  • Adobe Reader very slow. Almost unusable.
  • Unable to reset the device to remove private data and Google account
  • Will the Market and Google apps be distributed?
  • Stream audio fails on Last.fm and XiiaLive.
  • USB OTG not working.
  • Market only able to download one app. Further downloads fail to start.
  • Video playback only works with H.264, will there be accelerated WMV, MPEG2 and Xvid support?
  • 3G software unable to work with PIN-locked SIM cards.
  • In high brightness settings with lots of colour on the screen, a slight flicker is seen in the backlight or LCD refresh
  • Will there be a model with GPS?
  • Cell Standby uses a lot of power when 3G is supposed to be of.

Update: From HOTMID.com we’ve just recieved this quick reply to feedback from our live testing: New firmware will be released before August 31st and will ‘solve’  Market and Google apps, USB OTG, Video playback, Cell Standby

On the positive side, we see good build quality for the price, a usable 600-wide portrait mode, excellent value 3G version, loud and clear speaker, good quality controls and a battery life in the 5hrs+ region. Actually we suspect there’s some improvement that could be made to the battery life as we’re seeing the 3G using battery while its supposed to be off.

Highlights on the applications we tested:

  • Kindle (works very well – used in 30 minute bedtime test!)
  • Opera Mini (not shown in video – produces significant browsing speed improvements)
  • 720p H.264 playback worked
  • NewsRob as offline Google Reader
  • Acast as podcatcher.
  • Google Maps and search for local information.
  • 4-way auto ratate working.

Target audience:

Those looking for a very low-cost handheld 3G 7” internet tablet (the SmartQ T7 is unique in the sub $300 bracket) a flexible and cheap ereader with internet and multitasking, holiday device (location-based services work through Google’s location services – if available on final firmware) a low-cost SD card reader for photographers. (TX files, edit and share very quickly.) Standard browsing is very slow but Opera Mini works well to improve basic browsing speeds. Works well as a social networking tablet. Works well as a bedside companion. Taxi drivers and truckers should check this out too!

The resistive touchscreen is going to put some people off for sure but for the price and target audience, we think you’ll get used to the resistive screen without any major issues.

Pioneer Computers Launches Tegra2-based Epad N7 for $AU499

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It’s starting to happen. Those promised Tegra2 tablets of 2009 and 2010 are starting to appear. We’ve seen the Interpad and the AC100 as firm launches and now it’s Pioneer Computers turn. They’ve just emailed information about their Dreambook ePad N7 which appears to be based on the Compal tablet we’ve seen around trade-shows this year.

dreampad

With a capacitive screen it’s not going to trip itself up like the Huawei S7 although it remains to be seen if this is blessed with Google licensed software. Without Market, Maps, Gmail and sync it’s a no-go for many. Sideloading of applications helps but isn’t the ideal scenario.

$499 $AU seems to be a good price but it must be noted that this isn’t with 3G (a $AU99 extra) which, if the lack of GPS is also true, combines with the lack of webcam and [correction: webcam is a free option] potential lack of Google Android apps to make a serious list of issues.

We’ve got an email out to Pioneer about the Google applications, Android 2.2, GPS and the docking station but I guess we’ll have to wait for those Aussie’s to wake up on Friday morning to get the information. In the meantime we’ve added what we can into the product database and will be updating it as we get new information. Let us know what you think in the comments here or on the product page.

Pioneer Computers Dreambook ePad N7 product page.

Dreambook N7 product page (Carrypad)

Huawei S7 Review Models are In The Wild. First Review Not Positive.

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S7 BIG thanks to @memerangslaut. Although you made me jealous by tweeting that you are reviewing a Huawei S7, you prompted me to do a quick search for reviews. Bingo! A short one just popped-up at Austria’s derStandard.

Austrias mobile operator A1 has the S7 up for only 29 Euro per month (99 Euros down) inclusive of 5GB internet package which isn’t a bad deal. (Total cost 795 over 2 years inclusive 5GB internet per month) It’s not known when it will be available but as this review has just gone out, one can expect it soon.

‘Huawei S7 disappoints in test’ says the title and it all revolves round that resistive touchscreen that almost everyone has highlighted as a possible point of failure. However good it is (When I tested it in Taiwan that I thought it was a capacitive screen!) it still won’t be up to the standards required of todays consumer tablets. “The screen feels cheap and is not very precise.” Oh dear.

Other lowlights we’re picking up from the review.

  • Camera isn’t good enough for photography and crashed a few times.
  • Applications switching appears to be slow.
  • The screen feels cheap
  • “With intensive use Wi-Fi and GPS-enabled, the operation was significantly below the promised eight hours”

With Android 2.1 and the 768Mhz Snapdragon CPU the device should perform well enough for home duties but this screen issue is going to cause many to step away.

We’ve still got our S7 on order but we’re going to analyse the next review (probably from @memerangslaut) and wait until we see the Samsung Galaxy Tab pricing/hands-on before we commit to the 350+ Euros that could go towards something better!

derStandard – Huawei S7 Review (trans.)

Huawei S7 product tracking page – Carrypad.

WITS A81 7″ Tablet Finally With Android 2.1 – Review at Shanzai.com

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WiTS-A81-Tablet- We’ve been following this one carefully.  Our review late last year indicated potential but it wasn’t just the Cortex A8 core that got us excited, it was the promised Android build too. We waited a long time but it looks like its finally arrived. Shanzai.com have the WiTS A81E [product information- Wits A81]  in their hands and are starting a three-part review.

The feedback so far is that it’s “one of the best, if not the best Shanzai tablet.” Shanzai means ‘imitation’ or ‘copy’ but this one has been around so long that it really stands on its own two feet. Check out the Part-1 video below and stay tuned to Shanzai.com for parts two and three. Google Apps and Marketplace is a possibility but I’m guessing you’ll have to hack that on. Despite that, it looks like a bargain for around $200-$250

Shanzai.com – First look at A81 with Android 2.1

Is this going to be a competitor to the Huawei S7? There’s no 3G or GPS but for the price, it looks like it should be considered.

Two Brief Reviews of Huawei S7. UK Delivery Date Slips.

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In our experience, Expansys delivery dates have never been the most reliable indicators of when a device is actually going to turn up so we’re not surprised that the Huawei S7 [specs, info] is now available at the end of July. At least it gives us time to assess the device through the reviews that are starting to come in from around the world. We’re looking for showstoppers at this stage and apart from the disappointment that the S7 has a resistive touchscreen like the Archos 5, we haven’t found much to worry about just yet.

S7-1(Long) slide (on a resistive screen) to unlock!

We’ve got a Chinese review from Zol.com.cn and a Russian-language review out of Belarus from Onliner.by to go on and we’ve picked out the followig (my comments in blue.)

  • Restive touchscreen not so pleasant. No surprise
  • UI not optimised for 7” screen. (E.g. swipe to accept a call requires a full-screen swipe on the resistive screen)
  • In general, voice quality good.
  • Battery life in unused, connected state – about 12 hours [onliner.by]
  • Battery life in used state – approx 1% per minute.  [onliner.by]  Sounds poor. Am expecting more
  • Strong, good build quality
  • Speakers good in landscape mode. Perfect podcatcher! Shame there’s no FM receiver.
  • Stylus included. Confirms resistive screen.
  • Video calling should be possible on final retail versions
  • 720p playback possible. I suspect H.264 only.

The two review’s aren’t what we would call in-depth and are probably based on samples so it goes without saying that we’re going to have to wait for retail-package reviews before making a final assessment. We’re still looking forward to it but as time slips by, we’ve got one eye on Archos and their promised summer collection.

Outstanding questions –

  • Docking station?
  • Processor speed. (1 Ghz or 768Mhz?)

Got any more info/questions?

Moonse E7001 gives us a Taste of Android on a Rockchip

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moonsee7001 That Rockchip CPU has been turning up in a lot of devices recently. It’s a Chinese manufactured CPU based on the ARM9 design [We’re checking on that due to varying information] and clearly it’s cheap because all the devices I’ve seen with it recently have been around the $200 mark. The Archos 7 Home Tablet is one and we’re expecting to get the first reports of that soon but in the meantime, here’s a look at a device with a familiar industrial design. Its the Moonse E7001 and its running Android 1.5 (on an 800×480 screen?)

Full specs are available here and you might notice that it matches the Archos 7 Home Tablet almost spec for spec. Will there be any need to buy this from China when it can be had locally for much the same price (U.S. and EU markets, post and import taxes included.)

Stay tuned to Shanzai for their reports as they continue their testing.

Aesthetically its OK but there’s a hint that the UI isn’t that smooth in the video. I’m not surprised and I won’t be surprised if the Archos 7 Home Tablet performs in a very similar way.

More info at Shanzai.com

EKEN M001 7″ Android Tablet Reviewed.

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EKEN M001While Shanzai.com seem to be fairly upbeat about this 7” touchscreen (resistive it appears) tablet, I’m not so sure. I had the same reservations about the Camangi Webstation (which turned out to be less than exciting) and I have the same reservations about the Archos 7 tablet. I’ve experienced it with the SmartQ7 tablet too. The reason is that we’re looking at an Android device built on a processing architecture that pre-dates even the first Android phones.

Via’s WonderMedia platform might be cheap, but with its ARM9 architecture core it’s going to be less than exciting when it comes to web browsing and many other CPU-intensive applications.

Come on Asia. Get some ARMv7/Cortex cores in those tablets instead of aiming for the lowest possible price. $100 might be cheap but if it’s good for nothing, what’s the point?

Source: Shanzai.

Eken website.

Archos 7 Android Tablet Could be Available Next Week.

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After one of my regular browsing sessions at Geizhals.at this evening I found two retailers offering the Archos 7 Home Tablet that was announced at CeBIT earlier in the month and one of them is stating a delivery time of ‘1 Week.’

7hometablet
Detailed Archos 7 Home Tablet information in the database.

It looks like Archos will perform a common trick by feeding-in the high-end version, with 8GB, first and follow-up with the low-cost version at a later date but that’s just based on the advertising seen so far. I haven’t checked extensively in other markets but in Germany I’m seeing offers right now for the 8GB Home Tablet from Amazon.de and Redcoon.de. (Here’s the product page at Geizhals.at) Redcoon are stating a 7-day delivery time although we should point out that many retailers do this just for attention. Amazon are indicating availability ‘soon.’ Both entered the channels on the 26th March.

With the Archos 5 at 199 Euros now it’s a difficult choice between the two. The easier-to-read screen, usb port and stereo speakers on the Archos 7 Home Tablet need to be weighed up against the much faster processor on the Archos 5. Of course, you could wait until summer when Archos will be releasing a new range of tablets on high-end processors but these are likely to cost a tad more than 149 Euros.  Still, I bet they’ll be a lot cheaper than the iPad that is launching this week.

Interested in seeing a full review of the Archos 7 Home Tablet? We’re pondering over the thought of buying one but we’ll see if we can get a loaner out of Archos first.

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