Tag Archive | "touchscreen"

Mirasol Transflective Displays. Faster, Brighter, Touch-Enabled. (Product Update Video)

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Qualcomm gave us an update on Mirasol this morning. If you remember, Mirasol is a daylight-readable (transflective) display technology with color. The screen refresh rate and colour depth isn’t that good for video and photo experiences but for reading, it’s getting better every time I see it.

Power-saving, daylight readable and now with touch and sidelight. Here’s an video in which I give you an update about timescales for mass production. (Expect products in 2013.)

 

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Huawei MediaPad 7 Honeycomb Tablet Review [video]

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I recently got my hands on a trial Huawei MediaPad 7 and over the last week I have been using it instead of my Eee Pad Transformer to see how it stacks up in the workplace.

The screen is one of the Huawei MediPad 7′s strongest features. It’s a 7” capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280×800 and is IPS. It’s bright and produces colors well and is perfect for photos and videos but is also great for reading text. E-books look fantastic and the text jumps off the “page”.

Build quality

Firstly I am impressed with the look and feel of the Mediapad 7 and it seems to be very well made. The materials are first rate and the fit and finish equal to any other high grade tablet I’ve used. The device feels solid in the hand and it’s ergonomically easy to hold. The MediaPad7 feels a bit heavier than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 (380g vs. 391g) and this may have an impact if you intend to carry it around a lot or hold it for extended periods while reading or watching videos.

Personally I like the smaller form factor but with a high resolution screen and the 7″ size if you don’t have good eyesight you may struggle with the MediaPad 7.

The Cracked Screen

I found out the hard way that the MediaPad doesn’t have Gorilla Glass screen as unfortunately my Son dropped the tablet and it landed screen first and slid a bit. It scratched badly and has a crack running edge to edge across the top of the screen. And this from a drop onto a wood floor from a height of less than 2 feet!  I’d highly recommend a screen protector and a case as the first accessories you buy. Personally I don’t like screen protectors and haven’t fitted any of my devices with one and the Eee Pad, for example, hasn’t got a scratch on it. I don’t know whether it was just bad luck or a soft screen but this scratching is the worst I’ve ever had on a tablet or phone screen and it didn’t take that much of a fall. YMMV as it could also have been a freaky perfect storm of impact and angle.

Cameras

Moving on to the device, I tested the cameras and I was pleasantly surprised by the rear facing camera.  It’s a 5 megapixel camera and just using the standard Android camera interface it handles low light well and the image looked nice and crisp. This photo of a teddy Bear was taken in the middle of the loungeroom with filtered light from a window about 10 feet away and there’s little grain in the image. The front facing camera is 1.3 megapixels and also handled room-only lighting easily. Under low light the MediaPad 7 performed as well as any of the other Android cameras I’ve tested and so would be fine for video conferencing or VOIP calls.

Test image from Huawei Mediapad camera

Keyboards and Mice 

Periperals like my portable Bluetooth keyboard and mice setup worked fine. I couldn’t connect any USB devices or drives because the MediaPad 7 doesn’t have a full-sized USB port, so this was untested.

Battery life

Huawei claims 6 hours for the battery and this feels right to me. I didn’t run any formal benchmarks on the battery but I could easily get through the day and night using it and have 25% left in the battery when I plugged it in at night. I had WiFi and Bluetoth on, auto brightness, and default screen time-out and sleep settings. My ‘all day’ is from 7 am to midnight usually. The MediaPad 7 will do well for active all-day use.

Overall

I liked the Huawei MediaPad 7. Cracked screen aside, the Medipad 7 is well made, fast, has a great screen, and is very portable. With the right accessories, like a good case and a keyboard, it could work OK in an enterprise environment (of course with the standard Android limitations) but the lack of a full size USB port hamstrings the MediaPad 7 for enterprise work. This may be the tradeoff you have to make to get a 7″ form-factor so you need to asses whether the ability to connect drives or peripherals via USB is a real need for you. I prefer the 10″ screen tablets for work but a 7″ is great for portability and as a quick around-the-house consumption device. I’d consider the Huawei MediPad 7 if it’s priced correctly — stay tuned for pricing announcements which should be coming soon from Huawei.

Video

HTC Flyer Demonstrated as an Artist’s Canvas, Unlikely to Satisfy Serious Digital Artists

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htc flyer inkingThe upcoming HTC Flyer [tracking page] is one of the only (if not the only) Android tablets that is built specifically with stylus driven input in mind. NotebookItalia.com has caught a video of an artist demonstrating what it’s like to use the Flyer as a drawing tool.

I don’t speak Italian, but the video gives us somewhat of an idea of what experience you can expect from inking on the HTC Flyer. My initial feeling is that while the N-trig capacitive/active digitizer screen will feel great for digital inking, the software on the Flyer is going to determine how seriously this tablet could be used for art.

I’m no artist, but from what I understand, layers and a robust brush tool are vital to creating digital hand-drawn art. Artists need to be able to selectively work on various layers of their projects, and need to have a huge brush-head selection to be able to do mass-outs and draw textures what would be difficult to achieve with manual strokes.

At first glance, HTC’s drawing application might look ok, but a major roadblock that I can already see is that brush sizes appear to be quantized, meaning that only specific pre-set sizes can be chosen, rather than being able to select from a virtually unlimited number of possible brush sizes. Layers also don’t seem to be present, so when if you are looking at the Flyer as a seriously digital-drawing art tool, you might be better off sticking with your Wacom pads. Drawing (not writing, mind you) on the HTC shift appears to be more useful for simple sketches than masterpieces.

Digital ink for note taking, however, will likely be well received to people unfamiliar with using a real stylus and active digitizer. HTC has talked about Evernote integration on the Flyer which happens to be my go-to digital ink (and regular text-based) note taking app, so they definitely picked a good ally in this department.

The on-device inking experience might not be up to professional artistic standards, but HTC could potentially pull a Notion Ink and allow the Flyer to function as a wireless drawing pad for a full blown computer. The Flyer appears to have pressure support (a must for life-like digital inking), so conceivably it could work as wireless drawing pad when linked up to an application like Photoshop. HTC hasn’t yet announced such functionality, but here’s to hoping (or at least a clever third-party implementation)!

The HTC Flyer is launching in the UE region on the 8th of May for a steep $792 (479 pounds) for the base model. Thus the Flyer is unlikely to be anyone’s first choice as a dedicated digital inking pad as Wacom’s industry-recognized Intuos drawing pad line starts at $299.

[via netbooknews.com]

Rugged Android Tablet coming from Mobile Tout Terrain

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As I watched the continuing catastrophe in Japan today I imagined how important rugged technology is in these tough conditions and I thought back to a device I had seen at CeBIT. I searched through my YouTube videos and realised that I hadn’t even posted the video yet.

Mobile Toutterrain Tablet (2)Mobile Toutterrain Tablet (5)

Mobile Toutterrain Tablet (4)

The prototype ruggedized Android Tablet from Mobile Tout Terrain shown in the video below and in the gallery here is not certified for the sort of environment we’re seeing in north-east Japan right now but it’s certainly more rugged than your average tablet or ultra-mobile PC (UMPC.)  Think about hiking, traveling, the beach, your bike and even extreme situations like baby drool or even, and this is one I’m interested in, the bath!

Mobile Tout Terrain, a French company, are aiming to get this IP67-spec tablet ready for Q3 2011 at a price that sounded wrong. €350 sounds way too low for a splash-proofm dust-proof device.

Specifications and pricing are subject to change but we’re looking at a 1.2Ghz CPU (of unknown type) and an 800×480 multi-touch capacitive screen. There’s no telling what version of Android will be on it in 6 months time but we heard that 2.2 is being worked on.  GPS is included, micro SD, 512M RAM and Web Cam.

Styling work is planned for the connector/holding block but as it is, I found it incredibly easy to hold in landscape mode.

Extremely important for this, even critical, will be that it has a full Google suite of applications. Without Google Maps, Talk, Latitude, SkyMap and all the other great applications available through the market this will only be interesting for companies wanting to develop their own applications. Mobile Tout Terrain may just be aiming for such a niche of tour-guides, meter-readers and surveyors but I really hope not because there’s so much more this device could do. I’m sure you can think of a huge list of applications here.

Here’s the video.

Here’s MobileToutTerrain.

Early Thoughts on the HP Touchpad from Chippy and Thomas

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Thomas and I watched the HP event as close as we could this evening (Credit to Engadget and Twitter!) and I think it’s fair to say that we were both impressed with the might of the announcements. The main event for us was the launch of the Touchpad and after just a few hours of mulling over the specs, hands-on and information, we’ve put some thoughts together for you.

WebOS Touchpad

Chippy Says:

It’s slick, it’s powerful and it’s the underdog. The HP Touchpad, announced today, is getting a lot of support from the online community this evening. Or is it just the bloggers and twitterers going mad to get their early SEO and follower-optimised articles and keywords in?

It’s targeted directly at the iPad with a similar look and, we suspect, a similar price but there are a few differences to point out. Number one, of course, is the operating system. ‘True’ Multitasking (some of the UI features are targeted towards true window-multitasking) and a good track record of usability and speed. It’s an operating system, however, that doesn’t have the application database that the iPad has so it will have to draw users (and devs) in by other means.

  • Webcam
  • Dual-core 1.2Ghz CPU
  • 1GB RAM

Storage, screen, weight, battery and sizing seem very similar to the iPad.

You’ve got the micro-USB port and BT 2.1 of course so at least the OS is more open to physical connectivity and there’s that touchstone technology (if you’ve got both a pre, a touchpad and the touchstone accessory – or is it BT3.0 near-field – you can do some neat tricks too) but that’s about it. The key feature is really the OS brand and the CPU and with the iPad 2 coming up, that CPU advantage is likely to drop away. You’re left with an OS, applications and content choice. Both iOS and WebOS appear to have a productivity angle. Both, to be honest, are going to be slick devices. At the end of the day, the HP Touchpad is going to be for the people that want an iPad, but don’t want an iPad! I doubt many Google users (mail, maps, talk, reader users) are going to be tempted away from Android if it does look less impressive although yes, there’s a growing number of new customers out there still trying to make a decision.

Could pricing be the answer? It has to be in my opinion because unless HP can ramp up a serious amount of devs and apps before launch, it hasn’t got enough to give it long-term momentum.

Thomas Says:

The Touchpad is a very nice looking device, powered by the compelling webOS and backed by one of the worlds biggest PC manufacturers. So, why do I remain sceptical?

Firstly, it’s not about the device, it’s about who uses them. iPhone users are familiar with iOS and are much more likely to choose the iPad. Android users are generally familiar with Android (duh?) and even with the various custom user interfaces I can see Android customers to be more familiar with a Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom or any other Android tablet. The same can be said for any platform,  however this could never useful to HP with the webOS platform in it’s current state, thanks to it’s limited user base.

Secondly, not only did Apple and Google have a large number of users on-board when they announced their tablet platforms, they had developers too. Both Apple and Google can both boast a well stocked application store, something that HP / Palm can not.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish HP every success with their new webOS products, but in terms of tablets your average consumer will only be willing to spend big money if they’re buying the best available product. Much like the early days of Android, users won’t flock to webOS till the platform is right, never mind the product.

I’d say selling the Touchpad in vast quantities will be an upward struggle for HP, unless of course they can keep the pricing down. Buy one Pre 3, get a Touchpad half price - any takers?

Questions that should be on your Motorola Xoom Checklist

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XoomThere is no doubt that the Motorola Xoom / Honeycomb combination has caused a lot of tablet buyers to hold-back on their purchases. It’s understandable because they will want to see what Android 3.0 and the dual-core processor offering really gives them in terms of value for money.

I’ve just finished adding the Xoom to the product database here and was quite impressed. The weight seems good and the additional barometer and gyroscope sensors could be useful when new applications start taking advantage of them. That’s one of the key things to think about with the Xoom though, the apps. How long will it take for applications to go, not only ‘HD’ with 10” screen support at 160dpi but to add fragments and support for multi-threading and the unique features of the Tegra 2 GPU?

I certainly want to get some quality time with the Xoom as soon as possible but in the meantime, I’ve scribbled a few notes down about things I DONT see mentioned in any specifications or marketing information.

  • Video codec support.  While Android 2.0 offers better streaming and media transfer capabilities, it doesn’t add much to the codec support. Of course, you can only include so much in an open-source operating system so it’s up to the manufacturer to add support in for other common formats. I don’t see any mention of WMV or DivX and the MKV container format. OGG? With an HDMI out port you’d expect multiple video codec support AND DLNA certification.
  • Audio. Wireless audio transfer over Bluetooth (A2DP) isn’t easy and isn’t high quality. How about some APT-X support in the A2DP protocol Motorola for some CD-quality wireless audio?
  • Browsing speed. Just how fast is the dual-core processor going to make it. I estimate that 2.2 was about 20% faster than 2.1. That 2.3 added little but that the dual-core CPU under Android 3.0 should add another 20% speed improvement. You’ll be looking at netbook browsing speeds. What’s the tab-limit? Is it still 8 tabs?
  • Battery life. So far we’ve seen average battery life figures coming from Tegra 2. The 2nd core WILL add to the power envelope and with Dalvik attempting to use both cores, it might impact battery life. With a weight of 730gm though I expect Motorola have at least squeezed in a 20wh battery pack. It’s going to need it. That 10” screen is LED backlit from what I can tell.  Would it be nice to have a single-core long-battery life mode?
  • Size. 10” is great for reading large amounts of text and perfect for the new generation of tablet-based magazines and newspapers. Unfortunately, 720 grams isn’t. Watch out for that if you are thinking of going handheld for any length of time.
  • USB OTG. I don’t see any mention of this so there’s no way to plug a USB keyboard and mouse in. Or a USB stick. Or that fantastic idea that Nokia use, the USB OTG TV and radio receiver.
  • Mic Array. For HQ video and audio calls (a feature of Honeycomb) I’d expect to be able to use the device without headphones. A dual-mic array can really help here.
  • HD cam – Does it have continuous auto-focus? Are there any camera features over and above what Honeycomb provides? Probably not. And what about the quality of the optics?
  • Stereo speakers? I only see one speaker port on the device.
  • FM radio / transmitter. FM radio is still the lowest-power method of receiving audio broadcasts. An FM transmitter will help get that audio to the back seats of the car for the kids to watch a video together.
  • Removable battery. One to note because it doesn’t have one, like most tablets.
  • Is the headphone port a headset port?
  • Analogue video out – Unsupported I believe.
  • Stand. Flip out stands are worth having.
  • Voice call capability? SMS, MMS capability. EU video calling?
  • Consumer IR. I still don’t understand why these don’t appear on tablets. A TV-remote app would be the ultimate in laziness.
  • Multi-track audio pass-through via HDMI. If the unit can’t handle AC3 or similar, you might not be able to play the audio. The same problem occurs on the Galaxy Tab and it is annoying!
  • Haptic feedback / vibration notifications
  • Split keyboard for two-handed use in landscape mode?
  • Tethering to phone for non-3G use?
  • Scratch resistant touchscreen?

Is there anything else you’re wondering about?

The Motorola Xoom is going to be a breakthrough device, make no mistake. Honeycomb finally stamps the ‘tablet’ seal of approval on Android and the dual-core Tegra 2 platform is going to shine. There are some nice accessories too but don’t let all the marketing fuzz distract you from your task of finding a tablet that suits YOU! Make that checklist now!

The Motorola Xoom specifications are now in the database.

More on tablet design:

Making a HIT. (Your Checklist for a Quality Handheld Internet Tablet)

Things to Consider when Designing or Buying a Tablet-Style Device

Notes on productivity issues with Tablets:

30 iPad Productivity Problems.

Angry Birds – Now on Netbooks via AppUp – Video Demo.

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Intel have scored a hit for their AppUp store. If you’ve got a netbook you can download it via the AppUp store. I’ve tested it and it’s working really nicely. I’ll be doing more ‘testing’ as soon as I can!

This is the sort of application that will start to attract attention for AppUp and while I suspect it was an Intel-supported port by Rovio, it won’t take too many of these before AppUp becomes a well-known and self-seeding product. The stats from this will be very interesting indeed. I’m sure Intel will be watching how many people download AppUp and keeping tabs on numbers from Rovio!

You can download AppUp and buy Angry Birds for your netbook here.

So here I am, in Las Vegas, stuck in a room testing games. Life’s hard!

Viewsonic Viewpad 7 – Shaping up Nicely. Pics, Thoughts.

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We’ve got a few videos coming up on the Viewsonic Viewpad 7 but first, here’s the pics and a few thoughts (I need to hit decent internet connection before I upload the videos – they’ll come later.)

In summary, the Viewsonic Viewpad 7 is delivering most of what the Galaxy Tab is delivering, for an excellent price. You haven’t quite got the build quality (it’s good though) and you’ve got a known brand, Android 2.2, capacitive touch (good screen quality), 3G, voice and the Google apps. The only thing you might notice is the user interface. It’s not as swift as the Galaxy Tab and that’s clearly because the CPU is a Snapdragon at 600Mhz and not the high-end A8 Cortex device of the Samsung. It’s not bad though and in my tests over 3G I was happy.

The price, BTW is a decent 399 Euro (350 UK pounds) and it’s coming soon. (Within the next few months)

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Full gallery available here.

Viewsonc Viewpad 7 (1)

Watch out for more later. I’ve got two videos of the Viewsonic Viewpad 7 and I’ll also be checking  out the Viewpad 10, an X86 device.

ViewSonic Viewpad 7 – Grade A Android Tablet? (Video, Specs)

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Viewsonic announced their 7” Viewpad 7 Android tablet yesterday [Full Details now in the database] and we’re keen to get hands on with this one over the next few days while we visit IFA. It’s ticking nearly all the boxes so far with Google applications and Market, A-GPS, 3G, capacitive multitouch (beats the Huawei S7 that was in the running until now) and Android 2.2. The processor is a 600Mhz Snapdragon which shouldn’t be too bad at all with the latest Android version. The rear, 3MP camera is also interesting. We wonder if it’s an HQ job or just something to satisfy Google’s requirements. This thing can even make voice calls! There are question marks over the RAM and built-in flash. The price, 350 UK Pounds (which includes taxes.) That’s not super-cheap but with those specs, it’s right on the mark.

ViewSonic ViewPad 7 Android Tablet

Latest news links for Viewpad 7:

Viewsonic Viewpad hands-on videos

Viewsonic Viewpad 7 live images – IFA

Viewsonic Viewpad 7 launch info

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.

SmartQ T7 3G Unboxing and Overview, Video.

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Live VIDEO Q&A session on Carrypad.com/live tonight at 2200 Berlin time

(1600 New York, see other locations)

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Just in! The SmartQ T7 3G from Smartdevices (and sent for testing by HOTMID.com, formerly Eletroworld.cn – changeover happening this week.) is a 7” touchscreen tablet running Android 2.1 and offering an 800×600 resolution, Wifi, 3G/BT option, SDHC Card slot, USB OTG in a sub 500gm package. It’s not the highest spec device out there but when you consider the price – $249 (exclusive shipping and possible import taxes) or with CDMA/EVDO (no BT) just $289, you’ve got yourself quite the bargain. We’re testing a WCDMA (UMTS/HSDPA) version here which could be a big seller considering pay-as-you-go 3G in Europe is easy and cheap to get hold of.

Full specifications, links to gallery, news and related products available on the SmartQ T7 tracking page

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We’ve unboxed, turned it on and taken a look around and we’re quite impressed. GPS is something we would pay another $20 for if available (turning this into a great Google Navigation device) but overall, the 3G version is turning out to be quite the bargain. Well built, light, matt (resistive) screen and a suite of applications that, on this buid, include the Google suite. Yes, Market is there. The device also appears to be rooted so beware, this could be a late development version of the firmware. If the final version doesn’t include the Google suite you’ll be looking at alternative app stores and sideloading as your route to apps like Kindle (600-wide screen is going to work well for that) Acast,Listen, Last.FM (excellent quality mono speaker) and your favorite twitter application. We’re testing out some video apps to see how it copes too. We expect to see a few issues (browser speed is certainly one to flag straight away) as we continue testing so stay tuned for more review and testing articles over the next weeks. (Note, due to IFA and IDF commitments and a Toshiba AC100 that was despatched to us today, time is very very tight right now. We’re going to do our best to get the important info out to you ASAP)

ANNOUNCEMENT: Live VIDEO Q&A session on Carrypad.com/live tonight at 220 Berlin time (1600 New York, see other locations)

€179 To Spare? Smartbook Surfer Android Tablet Available In Germany

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There are a slew of Android tablets which are heading our way but here’s one for the more budget conscious. The Smartbook designed ‘SURFER’ is a 7” tablet loaded with Android 2.1. For the €179 ($236 USD) price tag the specifications are actually quite impressive, a 720MHz Telechips TTC8902 processor, 256 MB DDR2 RAM, 2GB inbuilt storage, WiFi, microSD slot, webcam, 800×480 resolution display and a 1400mAh battery all make this a compelling option for someone in the market for such a device.

On top of that, Smartbook say the tablet is cable of 1080p output via its onboard HDMI port and supports flash, although we assume this is through flash lite.

Interestingly on the Smartbook site the tablet is priced at €249 ($328 USD) although at online retailer Marktkauf its a slightly more Wallet friendly €179. The sleek package comes with a leather case and is available in German now.

Viliv N5 Review – Full Internet Experience in a Handheld

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Carrypad is a place to check out the advanced, fun, easy, consumer-focused world of handhelds. We love the direction that Android, iOS, MeeGo, WebOS devices are heading to and we love the way that smartphones are taking on the ‘Mobile Internet Device’ theme but if you’re a productivity user or someone that relies on desktop Internet quality and applications, you might want to check this out.

ViliV N5 Portrait Mode

The Viliv N5 has been with us for a few weeks and we’ve just posted an extensive review on UMPCPortal. Windows 7 + Optical Mouse + Touch + 3G + Voice + Slick design = A device that really could cross-over and appeal to people looking for a fun and quality mobile experience.

The full review is available at UMPCPortal.

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?

Viliv X10 Android Tablet.

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Viliv X10 Android (2) We caught a sniff of a hint that an Android device was in the works when we met Viliv at CS in Jan and here it is. A 10” Slate-style device with the usual high quality Viliv design and materials that turns out to be one of the best we’ve seen here at Computex. (It’s in the running with the MeeGo tablet and the Huawei S7 for me right now.)

The X10 runs on a Samsung 1Ghz Cortex A8-based CPU and, even in the early stage of the software build looks fast. Check out the brochure image for a few more tech details. The X10 is being penciled in for Q4 and Viliv appear confident that they will get marketplace and Google applications onto the device for launch. I asked about price and the only hints I could get were that it would come in at a price below the Viliv S5. We’re looking at the sub $500 bracket here which of course, is a figure you could probably work-out yourself!

IMG_3609 Viliv have also worked on a Windows 7 version of the X10 and I’ll have some information about that in a later post.

Check out the video below where I take you round the device, demo a fast racing game which looks great on the 1366×768 screen, show you the Aldiko book reader and  talk about some of the specifications.

More X10 Android pictures in the gallery.

Linpus Lite, MeeGo and Slate Edition (video)

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Linpus are working on Linpus Lite Slate Edition and, in-line with Intel Moorestown and Oak Trail-based products, is planned for tablet PC’s of 2011. We took some time to speak to Linpus about Lite and MeeGo too.

Linpus Lite appears on Acer Netbooks and is expected to be the distribution that will appear on Acers’s MeeGo netbooks.

The video was shot just before the Intel keynote in which the MeeGo tablet UI was announced.

Intel Atom Software Summit. Intro and X3T Tablet Pics.

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IMG_3528 The Atom Software summit is just kicking of here at Computex. We’re expecting to hear about roadmap, support for advanced features such as multitouch, sensors, gestures. Different UI models from handset to netbook will be shown too. There’s also some hardware here that we’ll get to play with.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the day because later we join the ultra mobility group for their presentation.

Update: Full overview of the session is now available.

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Hello from the Intel Atom Software Summit at Computex Taipei.