When Huawei revealed its new MediaPad 7 Lite slate, it wasn’t generous with the details, but now we’ve got a few more to share with you. The final specifications are out, so we now know for sure that the ICS tab will arrive packing a 7-inch IPS display (1,024 x 600) supporting 1080p, a 1.2GHz Cortex A8 processor, 1GB RAM and 8 gigs of storage, expandable via microSD (up to the usual 32). To keep you connected, you’ve got Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi of the a/b/n varieties, or the option of sticking a SIM in it for HSPDA 3G speeds on the move. The cameras are nothing to shout about, but 3.2 megapixels on the back and 0.3 on the front will probably do for the odd Skype call or emergency picture. We can’t see how much later into August you can get, but the PR states shipping will begin then, to South Africa, China, Russia, the Philippines and Taiwan, and to Indonesia and Malaysia in September. Seven inches just not enough? Then how about its keyboard-endowed bigger brother?
The ASUS news, it just keeps on flowin’. Shortly after getting a sneak peek at the Eee PC Flare, in flies yet another leaked image of yet another leaked ASUS product. This go ’round, we’re looking at what’s purportedly the 7-inch Eee Memo Pad, a handy little fellow that we’ve actually heard about before. We’re told that it’ll ship with a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 16GB to 64GB of internal storage space, built-in 3G, WiFi and a 1,280 x 800 screen resolution, and it’s apt to be revisited at CES 2012 before launching as an Asia-only product later in the year. It’s hard to say what edition of Android will pop up when this is formally unveiled next week at CES, but we’re guessing that it’ll stick its tongue out at the long-awaited Padfoneas it’s introduced, regardless.
We’ve already established that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a great tablet. Then, just recently, we summarily found that the 1.2-inch smaller Galaxy Tab 8.9 is an even better tablet — at least for anyone who wants to take their slate places. So, following that logic, the even more petite Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus should be the best of the three, right?
Not so fast. We’ve been here before, and things weren’t exactly great. The original Galaxy Tab was, of course, a 7-incher and wasn’t universally well received thanks to a number of problems — the first being a $600 MSRP. Another issue was an Android 2.2 build that tried its best but was ultimately ill-suited for tablet duties. This new 7-inch installment packs a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a tablet-friendlier build of Android 3.2 Honeycomb and a somewhat more palatable $400 price tag.
So, it’s clearly better equipped than its predecessor, but that one shipped a whopping 12 months ago. How does the newer, fancier Tab compete in this newer, fancier present? Read on to find out.
Panasonic’s bringing its Tough ways to the tablet front, unveiling two new Honeycomb slates that could be the most durable consumer entries to that field we’ve yet seen. First up is the 10-inch A1, running with a 1.2GHz dual-core Marvell processor backed by 16GB of integrated storage and further expansion courtesy of microSD. That display packs 1,024 x 768 pixels in a 4:3 form-factor that is said to be anti-glare and stylus-ready, the whole package clocking in at a very healthy 2.13 pounds. Remember, this is an evolution of the Tough series: it’ll have more to love — including LTE or WiMAX connectivity and 10 hours of life from a user-replaceable battery.
There’s also a 7-inch B1, which we know a little less about at this point, but both are MIL-STD-810G rated to survive drops, dust and water. You know, the sorts of things that most tablet owners buy expensive cases to protect from. But, a starting MSRP of $1,299 for the A1 might make your budget keeper recoil at least a little bit, though the presumably somewhat cheaper B1 is still lacking a price. Both will quite literally drop in 2012, so watch those feet.
Nearly a month after its initial announcement, Samsung’s ready to deliver the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus to the good ol’ US of A just in time for the winter gift-giving season. The WiFi-only device, which packs a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU with 1GB of RAM, Android 3.2, 3MP camera with 720p HD video capture and a 7-inch LCD with 1024 x 600 resolution, will be begging for your credit card as of November 13th at Best Buy, Amazon and other retailers. Are you an early adopter? No prob — you’ll have the opportunity to pre-order yours at “select retailers” this coming Sunday, though no specific outlets were called out by name. The 16GB is the only version arriving so far, but Sammy told us to expect the 32GB flavor later this year or early 2012 (likely for $499, if yesterday’s brief appearance on Amazon is any indicator). No word on partnerships with carriers yet, but we’ll keep you posted on any updates. View the press release in all its glory below.
Sure, rumors and scuttlebutt clued is in that T-Mobile might be seeing a pair of slates landing sometime this year, but we loves us some confirmation. The magenta network just announced that the T-Mobile SpringBoard with Google and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 are primed to launch just soon enough for you to shove some HSPA+ holiday cheer into your relatives’ oversized stockings. The SpringBoard looks very much like the dressed up MediaPad we expected, replete with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear-facing 720p camera and an SD card slot for up to 32GB of expandable memory — not to mention a 7-inch capacitive touch display, and a 1.3 megapixel camera upfront. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the same Samsung slate we already know and love, but dressed in T-Mobile’s not-quite-4GHSPA+ style. In fact, both tablets sport HSPA+ compatibility and run Android 3.2. There’s no official word on price yet (although that MediaPad was rumored to hover at about $200 on contract), but the press release promises these slabs will drop sometime before the holiday season. Oh, that PR? Just hit the “read more” button below.
Okay, so it wasn’t much of a surprise, but Amazon finally has a tablet, and as expected its name picks up where the Kindle left off: Fire. Of course, rumors of an Amazon tablet date back to this time last year (if not before), but it seems that Jeff and co. have wisely chosen to get this thing out on the open market before having yet another wild and wacky holiday quarter. Bloomberg has curiously reported on some of the details before the event itself kicks off, noting that the 7-inch device will run a version of Android while acting much like a “souped-up Kindle.” The real kicker, however, is the price — at just $199, it’s bound to turn heads, regardless of whether you were interested in a slate before. Naturally, that bargain-bin sticker explains the lack of an embedded camera and microphone, though consumers will find WiFi (no 3G, sadly) and a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. It’s also quite clear that Amazon’s hoping to make a bigger splash on the content side of things than has been made already by Apple, and with the deals flowing like wine, we wouldn’t be shocked if it does just that.
It looks like the AT200 isn’t the only Toshiba tablet poised to land in time for the holidays. The company just announced the Thrive 7″, a (surprise!) 7-inch version of the original. Like its big brother, it runs on Tegra 2 and packs twin 5 MP / 2 MP cameras, though this time around that textured, rubberized back isn’t removable, and the rear-facing camera comes paired with an LED flash. As you’d expect, in exchange for a smaller form factor (0.88 pounds, half an inch thick), you’ll be giving up the full-sized ports that made the original so unique. Instead, it offers a more typical selection, including mini-USB and micro-HDMI sockets, a headphone jack, docking connector and a microSD slot. Like pretty much every 7- and 8-incher trickling into the market, it runs Android 3.2, and Toshiba did us the favor of leaving it completely unskinned (it did include Swype as a keyboard option, though). No word yet on pricing or availability, though a Toshiba rep confirmed that 16GB and 32GB models will go on sale by early December with a starting price of “less than $400.” How low is Toshiba willing to go? Your guess is good as ours but until then, you can meet us past the break for some early impressions and a short vid, too.
It’s not often that we feel a keen sense of déjà vu while writing a review, but here we are. The EVO View 4G ($399.99) is a first, but also something you’ve most definitely seen before. This tablet is, for all intents and purposes, the HTC Flyer: it has the same 7-inch display, aluminum build, single-core 1.5GHz processor, Gingerbread-plus-Sense-combo, 32GB of storage, and stylus for pen input. But, it also happens to be the first WiMAX tablet to go on sale in the US, with a WiMAX radio promising download / upload speeds up to 10Mbps / 1Mbps on Sprint’s network. And, at the risk of spoiling our review, the View’s connection is, indeed, zippy. But does this have any bearing on the tablet’s overall value? Join us past the break to find out — we’ve got some revisiting to do.
Does that bulky black plastic surround look familiar? It’s becoming standard uniform for Android tablets at the $250 price point like the Nook Color and now ViewSonic’s latest offering, the ViewBook 730. Basic specs also look pretty similar — the ViewBook has a 7-inch screen (albeit with a 800×480 resolution, lower than the Nook’s), 8GB of internal storage and an SD card slot. But the 730 does have some significant advantages over its older rival: notably a front-facing VGA camera and a faster 1Ghz Cortex-A8 processor (versus 800Mhz on the Nook Color) that claims to handle 1080p video and output it via an HDMI port. Plus there’s full Android 2.2 instead of the Nook Color’s walled-off ecosphere. Interestingly, the ViewBook also tries to distinguish itself with stylus support for note-taking — akin to the HTC Flyer. Goes to show you can’t judge a multi-function e-reader by its bezel. Hit the PR after the break to see if this budget tablet will tick your boxes when it arrives at the end of June.
The HTC bonanza that Sprint has been cooking up for a while now has its official launch date: June 24th. That will be the day when the 4.3-inch EVO 3D and its tablet buddy, the 7-inch EVO View 4G, launch on the Now Network, both equipped with WiMAX radios and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) as their OS. The 1.2GHz dual-core EVO 3D costs $200 on contract, with pre-orders available right now provided you buy a $50 Sprint gift card, whereas the 1.5GHz single-core EVO View 4G will set you back double that, at $400, while still requiring a two-year contract. Skip past the break for the full press release details.
Oh, we’ve also just noticed that Sprint Premier customers will be able to buy the EVO 3D online on June 21st — a three-day headstart on the competition to say thank you for being so damn premier.
Guess who’s sneakily beating the pack to the title of having the globe’s first 7-inch Honeycomb tablet… why, it’s none other than ViewSonic! The ViewPad 7x (1024 x 600 resolution) managed to leak out earlier this month, but now it’s fully official with Google’s Android 3.0.1 OS, HSPA+ connectivity, and a pair of cameras, one on the front and one on the back. A Tegra 2 dual-core processor plus an HDMI-out have also been included inside a featherweight 380g package. Ironically, ViewSonic’s neglected to provide a release date for this “world first” tablet, but we’ll be hitting up its booth here at Computex for some more hands-on time and making sure to collect that and every other salient detail about the ViewPad 7x.
Brits eager for a taste of the first 7-inch BlackBerry device have just under a month of anticipation left to go. UK retailers have today revealed the date and prices at which they’ll be selling RIM’s PlayBook: depending on how much integrated storage you want, you’ll have to pay up £400 (16GB), £480 (32GB), or £560 (64GB) for your slate, starting from June 16th. Aside from the gigabytes, you’ll be getting the gigahertz too, with a dual-core 1,000MHz TI OMAP4430 processor keeping the PlayBook’s insides warm and its outsides responsive. Availability will be widespread, with Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u, and Best Buy UK having already announced they’ll be stocking the tablet. You can even hit up the source link now and lay down some cash to secure your pre-order.
Well, it looks like ViewSonic is finally digging its Android tablets out of the Froyo doldrums and, what’s more, it may be first to market with a Honeycomb slate of the seven-inch variety. According to Pocket-lint, the company will debut the Tegra 2-powered ViewPad 7x at Computex later this month. The 7x will supposedly pack WiFi, HSPA+, and an HDMI port while weighing in at a svelte 0.84 pounds. Oh, and it’s got a design on the back that is supposed to make it look “funky”… or something. There’s no word on price but, it’s rumored to hit shelves in June.
Today is the day in BlackBerry land. The wait for a dual-core device with an up-to-date operating system and that stylized BB logo is now over, and a vast array of stores in the US and Canada are now ready to sell you your PlayBook. Whether you’ll actually want to buy one is less clear-cut, however, as basic productivity apps like native email and calendar aren’t yet available, Android app compatibility hasn’t yet been rolled out, and the PlayBook has an unfavorable dependency on having a BlackBerry smartphone nearby in order to be the best tablet it can be. Still, if you believe in RIM’s ability to overcome those early software hurdles, the PlayBook’s ready for ownership in exchange for $500 for the 16GB model, $600 for the 32GB version, or $700 for the 64GB-equipped top option (prices are the same in both US and Canadian dollars).
With one of the original 5-inch Streak’s chief downsides being that it was considered too small to be a proper tablet, Dell did the sage thing this January and introduced a 7-inch variant in the Streak 7. The newer slate is outfitted with a nice Tegra 2 dual-core chip, 16GB of storage, a 5 megapixel rear- and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, a WVGA (800 x 480) display, and now the eminently reasonable UK price of £299 ($487). Alas, where Dell fell short with its Streak family expansion was in installing Android 2.2 on the 7, which hasn’t changed during its trip over the Altantic, and in offering pretty poor battery life — which might actually be a bit better here since Brits are receiving the WiFi-only model. Then again, if we’re having to praise a device for improving itself by omitting a valuable feature like 3G, perhaps that tells you all you need to know about its viability. At least the Streak 7 is priced correctly and Dell does promise a Honeycomb update is in the offing. You can order yours at Dell’s UK outlet linked below or jump past the break to familiarize yourself with the company’s press release.
The words “play” and “book” are a bit of an odd choice for RIM’s latest attempt at consumer relevance, a tablet that, at its core, runs one of the most hardcore and industry-friendly operating systems known to man. The OS is QNX and the hardware is, of course, the BlackBerry PlayBook. It’s an enterprise-friendly offering that’s also out to conquer the consumer tablet ecosphere, hoping to follow in the footsteps of the BlackBerry handsets that have filled the pockets of corporate executives and BBM addicts around the globe.
It’s something of a serious tablet when compared to the competition running software from Apple and Google and, while it certainly has games, its biggest strengths are rather more boring. It does a really great job at displaying PowerPoint presentations, for example, and has the security chops to keep last quarter’s dismal sales figures from falling into the wrong hands. Exciting stuff? No, but useful features for sure, and regardless of whether you find those intriguing or boring this is RIM’s seven-inch, Flash-having but 3G-lacking tablet clad in an unassuming but extremely sophisticated exterior. It’s what’s running behind the glass that disappoints.
The one Android tablet that isn’t riding NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 dual-core chip and Google’s Honeycomb iteration (but might still be worth buying) has this weekend become available to pre-order in the UK. The Carphone Warehouse is listing a £600 ($983) fee for owning the HTC Flyer, which is more or less a match for the €669 price Amazon.de is offering to German slate lovers. In exchange for a dozen rose-tinted notes with the Queen’s face on them, you’ll get a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 display, encased in an aluminum unibody case and powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm chip. HTC’s Sense UI has undergone some tablet-friendly tweaks and there is of course that Scribe stylus to flex your artistic muscles with. 3G connectivity and 32GB of storage flesh out the Flyer’s hardware offering, while the underlying Android Gingerbread OS is promised to get a Honeycomb-flavored update, most likely some time this summer.
Sprint has stopped playing coy about one of the worst-leaked devices in recent memory and has at long last made it official. The EVO View 4G is a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 Android tablet with a 1.5GHz processor, 5 megapixel rear- and 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, a WiMAX radio, and HTC’s loving application of Sense for a UI. If all this sounds familiar, it’ll be because we’re really talking about HTC’s Flyer tablet, introduced at last month’s MWC, and just like it, the EVO View will also feature the HTC Scribe capacitive stylus. The Evo View 4G will ship with 32GB of storage “this summer.” You’ll now find the full press release and spec sheet (including a healthy gigabyte of RAM and a 4000mAh battery) after the break, and some preliminary shots below. Full hands-on to come!