Motorola created quite some buzz with its first “Intel inside” Android phone, the RAZR i, back in September, so it’s only natural to see the company tapping into the Chinese market with a localized variant. Dubbed the RAZR i MT788, this China Mobile device bears much similarity to its Western sibling on paper: 2GHz Intel Atom Z2480, 4.3-inch 960 x 540 AMOLED display (with Gorilla Glass), eight-megapixel camera, microSD expansion (up to 32GB) and Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
The difference? Well, the chassis is the most obvious one: instead of using the same design as the original RAZR i, the new MT788 looks identical to the MSM8625-powered dual-SIM XT788 on China Telecom. On top of that, the battery is rated at just 1,735mAh instead of the RAZR i’s 2,000mAh, and there’s just 4GB of built-in memory instead 16GB; but the front-facing camera’s bumped up from 0.3 megapixels to 1.3. There’s no price just yet, but interested buyers can pick one up in China starting in mid-December. Will the world’s largest carrier help Intel take a significant bite out of the mobile phone market? Only time will tell.
Intel just outed its new Atom SoC, and at its tablet event in San Francisco today, the company had a whole slew of slates packing the Clover Trail silicon on hand. Dell’s Latitude 10, the ASUS Tablet 810, Acer’s Iconia W510 and W700, Lenovo’s ThinkPad 2, the HP Envy x2 and Samsung’s Series 5 were all there. However, it was the handsome slice of Windows 8 from ZTE that really caught our attention. Called the V98, it has a 10.1-inch, 1366 x 768 LCD on top of an aluminum chassis with a beveled edge similar to what you’d find on a white iPhone 5. Beneath that handsome exterior is the aforementioned Intel Z2760 chipset, 64GB of ROM, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (plus a microSD slot if you need more digital space). There’s 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, tri-band UMTS and quad-band GSM radios, plus NFC and LTE can be had as options. It’s got an accelerometer, proximity and ambient light sensors, a magnetometer and a gyro, too. An 8-megapixel camera is stuck in the back, while a 2-megapixel shooter resides round front. ZTE managed to stuff all that and a 7,000mAh battery inside a svelte 8.9mm-thin package.
We got to spend a little bit of time with a prototype ZTE model, and found the hardware to be solid for a hand-built unit. Its aluminum chassis makes for quite a rigid device in hand, and the machined and polished bevel gives the V98 a very high-end look. The chromed plastic volume rocker, power button and screen orientation lock switch nestled in the plastic radio reception strip at the top of the device are decidedly less luxurious, however — the travel of each was shallow, and the finish on the plastic appeared a bit cheap to our eyes. That said, the rotating magnetic aluminum door that reveals the SD card and SIM slots is slick — far easier to open and close than the plastic port covers found on most other slates. There’s also a 30-pin docking port on the bottom edge of the tablet, but ZTE informed us it’d be another month or so before the dock is ready for public consumption. Unfortunately, the V98 won’t be available for purchase until Q1 of next year, but you can see if its worth waiting for in our gallery of shots below.
Intel details Clover Trail tablets: three weeks on standby, 10 hours of use, ‘full’ Windows 8 experience
You only have to look at the tidal wave of Ultrabooks to know that Intel design specifications can carry a lot of influence with manufacturers. That’s why the chip-maker’s claims about its latest reference tablet, built around a dual-core Atom Z2760 processor (aka “Clover Trail”), likely give us a broad hint of what to expect from devices like the forthcoming Lenovo Think Pad 2, ASUS Vivo Tab and Samsung ATIV Smart PC.
In particular, Intel has shown us slides claiming that the dual-core 1.8GHz chip with Imagination SGX545 graphics will offer the “best Windows 8 experience” on a tablet with “compatibility and support for traditional apps and peripherals.” And if you think that sounds like a subtle jibe at ARM-based tablets running Windows RT — a version of the OS that doesn’t even try to play nice with existing software — then you could be right. To be fair though, the point of RT is to offer superior portability, and that’s why Intel is also keen to emphasize that Clover Trail won’t impact too heavily on your freedom of movement. Tablets should come in below 1.5 pounds (680 grams — similar to the RT spec and much lighter than a Windows 8 Pro tablet) and 8.5mm in thickness, with built-in 3G, 4G and NFC. You shouldn’t need to carry a charger either, since a new power management system promises a distinctly un-laptop-like three weeks on standby and a full day of “active use” — defined as being at least 10 hours.
Windows 8 tablets won’t be like Windows 8 Pro machines, however, so don’t go expecting USB 3.0, or a guarantee of 1080p visuals (most Clover Trail devices we’ve seen are 1,366 x 768) or souped-up security — the Atom Z2760 is very much an evolved Medfield processor, with similar silicon and firmware, rather than a shrunken laptop chip.
Needless to say, what really matters is how well manufacturers adopt this design and what price points they manage to hit. Intel says that at least 20 different Clover Trail tablets are already in the works, and early price tags seem to be around the $799 mark — a hefty demand for sure, but perhaps one worth paying for those who need full-fledged Windows 8 and true portability at the same time. RT tablets, meanwhile, will have to come in much cheaper than that in order to be worthwhile.
Samsung didn’t leave its ATIV introductions to just an ARM tablet and a phone. We first saw them as the Series 5 and Series 7 tablets, which will likely be their final US names; to recap, though, the newly branded ATIV Smart PC and ATIV Smart PC Pro both look to capture some of that Transformer-like aura by mating an 11.6-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard dock for a laptop experience. Some of Samsung’s own Galaxy Note vibe rubs off on them, too — both carry an S Pen and a bundled S Note app for some on-the-spot writing. They likewise share support for 3G and 4G as well as micro-HDMI and USB, but there’s a clear difference depending on what you buy. Going for the regular Smart PC loads in a modest Clover Trail-based Intel Atom processor and a 1,366 x 768 display, but offers a lengthy 13.5-hour battery life, 2GB of RAM, up to a 128GB flash drive, a rear 8-megapixel camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. Slap that “Pro” moniker on the front and you have to drop to eight hours of battery life and a 5-megapixel rear camera, but you’ll get a much faster Core i5 processor, a 1080p display, 4GB of RAM and as much as a 256GB SSD. Unlike the ATIV Tab, we do know the Smart PCs will be available in the US on October 26th at $649 for a base Smart PC/Series 5, $749 for a bundle with the keyboard and $1,119 for a Smart PC Pro/Series 7 with a 128GB SSD built-in.
Nettops have slipped a bit out of vogue, but Shuttle is keeping the flame alive for those who like their desktops tiny and hushed. The XS35V3 and XS35GTA V3 have moved on to more contemporary Cedar Trail-era, 2.13GHz Atom D2700 processors that keep the power draw to a fanless 27W, even when everything is churning at full bore. That limit might get tested with the GTA variant, which brings in Radeon HD 7410M graphics for a lift to 3D performance, but neither mini desktop will exactly make the power company beg for mercy. Either is a barebones kit with the laptop-sized hard drive, optical drive and OS left to the buyer — if you don’t get them at the same time, you’ll have only the HDMI, VGA, USB and card reader to keep you company. Europeans are currently the only ones getting a crack, where it costs €172 pre-tax ($214) for the XS35V3 and €233 ($290) to get its faster GTA cousin.
Yes, another Windows 8 tablet. After getting hands-on with some new devices from Acer, ASUS and Samsung, you might already having trouble telling one device from the other. You might even say the same about Lenovo, which is showing off an early-stage tablet here at Computex. The difference? We can’t remember the last time we saw even a Windows 7 tablet by Lenovo. So when the company trots out a slate running Win8, it doesn’t just feel like a mandatory upgrade from one OS to another; it feels like Lenovo entering a new category.
Intel has typically kept its cool in responding to Windows 8 on ARM, but that war of words (and chips) just got a little more heated at an investor meeting. CEO Paul Otellini saw his more mobile-oriented competition facing a “big uphill fight” without the presence of legacy Windows app support. That’s a big drawback for corporate buyers that have legions of traditional apps they want to keep running, the executive said. He also used the opportunity to rib ARM over a lack of any existing Windows hardware. There’s certainly no question that Intel has a head start in Windows 8 support, but the remarks do come with a degree of irony. Intel is cutting into ARM’s territory with Atom-based Android phones, and while it won’t have as much of a problem with legacy OS support as ARM will with Windows, Intel has a lot to prove on its own.
Choosing is hard. And in the case of ASUS’ forthcoming netbook line, totally not necessary. Just days after Intel snuck out details surrounding the next generation of its Atom line, out flows shots and information about what’ll undoubtedly be one of the first next-gen netbooks to use ‘em. The Eee PC Flare line is expected to supplant the long-standing Seashellrange at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, with a smattering of models to be lining ASUS’ booth. Outside of lively, sleeker exteriors, we’re told to expect models with the new N2600 and N2800 Atom CPU line, a 12-incher powered by AMD’s Fusion APU line and the token chiclet-style keyboard that we’ve all grown used to. It’s also possible that we’ll see revised 10-inchers alongside the big boys, with the 1225B, 1225C, 1025C and 1025CE named in particular. Naturally, we’ll be bringing you more as we get it. Oh, and “netbooks are back, baby!”
Ultrabooks have been getting a lot of love from PC makers these days, and Lenovo’s no exception. But laptops aren’t the only machines getting slim and trim, and the Chinese firm has outed its svelte IdeaCentre Q180 home theater PC to fulfill your entertainment needs. Stuffed inside a 22mm-thin frame that makes other skinny HTPCs look downright portly, is a 2.13GHz Intel Atom dual-core CPU plus Radeon HD 6450A graphics and up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM to keep video playback buttery smooth. You can also get up to a 750GB HDD or a 128GB SSD to store all of your myriad media, and a Blu-ray drive’s available for those digging disc-based content. Hooking up displays and peripherals are easy with USB 3.0, VGA and HDMI out, and wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and 802.11b/g/n WiFi. The Q180 starts at $349 for the base model, with prices escalating accordingly if you start adding options like a hand-held keyboard. Full PR’s after the break.
We discovered this little gem hidden deep within the recesses of the show floor at IDF 2011. It’s none other than Opera Mobile running on a Honeycomb tablet — not just any tablet, mind you, but Intel’s Oak Trail-powered (Atom Z670) Green Ridge device. That’s right, you’re looking at Opera’s web browser, compiled using the latest Android NDK and running natively on top of Android x86. First impressions? It’s fast, even without hardware acceleration — scrolling and zooming are smooth as butter, with no signs of checkerboarding anywhere. According to Phillip Grønvold of Opera software, this is just the beginning. Hardware acceleration is already in the works, along with Flash support.
OnLive outs universal wireless controller, seamless Facebook integration and more — we test the tablet experience on an HTC Flyer (video)
We told you that OnLive was coming to tablets, TVs, and other devices a while back, but perhaps you were vexed by the thought of controlling Duke Nukem via touchscreen or IR remote. Well, worry no more, as OnLive’s made a Universal Wireless Controller to give you console controls on any OnLive-compatible device. The company’s secret sauce lets it connect directly to your slate or smartphone, and there’s also a USB dongle for use with PCs and non-Vizio TVs. We asked company CEO Steve Perlman what was in his wireless witches’ brew, but all he would tell us is that the black magic isn’t Bluetooth. We got to see the new controller in person, and there’s no discernible difference between it and the one that comes with the MicroConsole — they look the same and they play the same, plus the new gamepad has an 802.15.4 radio for backwards-compatiblity with the MicroConsole, too. Unfortunately, that dongle’s not yet ready for prime time, but we’re that it’ll be a “little bit bigger” than Logitech’s tiny Unifying Receiver.
When we went hands-on with the new controller, it was paired with the HTC Flyer. We’d been waiting to see OnLive’s service on HTC’s new tablet, and the experience didn’t disappoint — in our brief time with the device, gaming was as good on the Flyer as it is on a PC, with little lag and the same quality graphics. In addition to the Flyer and Vizio’s VIA hardware, many more devices are set to join the OnLive family this year, though Steve wouldn’t tell us who’s manufacturing them. He did say that no matter what brand-name is on the front of the box, the company hopes to have 50 million Blu-ray players and 25 million internet TVs shipped with the service on board by the end of the year. To hit that goal, the company has partnered with Intel to bring streaming gameplay to devices with Atom CE4100 silicon starting this fall.
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Intel’s Atom processor and the rise of the netbook have gone hand in hand, which has to this date resulted in a tally of one hundred million CPUs shipped by Intel. And though netboks are not quite the new hotness they once were, Intel is today celebrating the third birthday of its low-power processor and promising to keep it going for many years yet. That’ll happen thanks to a category Intel is calling companion devices, which includes clamshells of the old netbook ilk and tablets of all sizes and varieties. As if to prove that point, the company showed off a tablet that could boot into MeeGo, Android and Windows — choice is what it’s all about, according to Intel.
At a time when ARM and Android are dominating the mobile computing world, Intel’s only just starting to catch up with some green robot-friendly prototypes, like these Oak Trail-based 10-inch tablets at Computex 2011. Starting from the left we have the Intel Green Ridge, Foxconn F150, Quanta QXZI, an unnamed Compal device, Intel Marco Polo 2, and Intel Carrot. Sadly, Intel wouldn’t give the names of the ODMs behind its reference tablets, so your guess is just as good as ours.
With the exception of the Gingerbread-powered Foxconn slate, these were all running on Honeycomb 3.0.1 OS — well, we say running, but just barely. As you’ll see in our hands-on video after the break, most of the devices were struggling to keep up with the launcher animation, and needless to say, Intel wasn’t keen on letting us test video playback on them. We also noticed that Android Market was missing on the prototypes, but Intel assured us that it’ll be available on the final products, and that current Android apps are already supported by Oak Trail. In terms of build quality it left much to be desired, though this is forgivable at a trade show; it’s the software that we’re concerned with. From what we’ve seen here at Computex, Android on Oak Trail is far from ready, so it’ll be interesting to see if Acer can actually pull off a July launch for its rumored Oak Trail Honeycomb tablet.
Intel's convertible Keeley Lake concept laptop shows off Cedar Trail, we go hands-on (update: video)
Just before Intel’s keynote at Computex, we decided to stop by at the chip maker’s busy booth to see what it has up its sleeves. Luckily, we spotted a couple of Keeley Lake proof-of-concept convertible laptops, which are here to demonstrate what can be achieved using Cedar Trail processors. As you can see, the 12.1-inch screen sits on a swivel hinge, thus allowing users transform this fairly slim laptop into a tablet within seconds. Oh, you can also use the built-in Wireless Display technology to stream some sweet HD action over the air, provided that you have compatible devices. Alas, Intel says there are no commercial plans for this particular device, so hopefully someone will pick up this design.
Intel took the opportunity at Computex to update the tech-loving world on its processor plans, and it looks like those whispers we heard about low power and an accelerated Atom roadmap were spot on. Executive VP Sean Maloney didn’t divulge specific TDPs but did confirm that we could look forward to reduced power consumption and sleek designs in 2012. The Intel exec declared that new class of PC, dubbed “Ultrabooks,” will make up 40-percent of the market by the end of 2012. These machines, powered by the 22nm Ivy Bridge, will be less than 0.8-inches thick and start at under $1,000 — which sounds just like the lines we were fed about CULV chips back in 2009.
Maloney also confirmed that, going forward, the Atom line would be getting a die shrink every year, as opposed to every two. The upcoming, 32nm Cedar Trail will usher in the new Moore’s Law-smashing era with promises of a 10 hour battery life and weeks of standby, and will be succeeded by 22nm and 14nm models. Intel even talked up Medfield, it’s Atom variant designed specifically for smartphones and tablets, and showed off more than 10 tablets based on the Oak Trail-flavored Z670. With AMD merely a fading blip in the company’s rearview mirror it looks like Chipzilla is gunning for all those ARM-touting manufacturers.
We’re here at Computex’s pre-show event to get some hands-on time with a few new products. As expected many tablets are present, and one such device is Gigabyte’s S1080 Windows 7 tablet, which we almost mistook as Viewsonic’s Viewpad 7. Here you have a 14.94mm-thick chassis housing a 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen LCD, along with an Intel Atom N570, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 320GB hard drive (2.5 inches, 5400rpm, SATA). Other tidbits include a USB 2.0 port, USB 3.0 port, SD card reader, RJ-45 jack, 1.3 megapixel webcam, 4,000mAh battery, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and 3.5G modem. All of this boil down to an 895g (32oz) package.
If the S1080 doesn’t interested you, then maybe its accompanying multimedia dock will. Like similar offerings from competitors, Gigabyte’s version adds stereo speakers, VGA output, three USB 2.0 ports, and audio line-in to the tablet. But the real zinger here is the front-loading optical drive, which is a rare sight on docking stations these days. Oh, and if the built-in 4,000mAh battery isn’t enough for you, there’s also an optional 2.700mAh battery bar that hooks onto the bottom of the tablet. Expect the S1080 to hit US markets in June for around $700, with the yet-to-be-priced dock to follow later on in the summer (or you could just fly to Taiwan in July to pick one up).
Samsung has yet to announce a revised release date for its Sliding PC 7 Series tablet / laptop hybrid, but the 2.2-pound netvertible slider is already available for pre-order on Amazon. According to Amazon’s listing, the 7 Series should ship with many of the same specs we noticed at this year’s CES: a 10-inch touchscreen with 1366 x 768-resolution, dual front and rear cameras (1.3 and 3.0 megapixels, respectively), a 32GB SSD, 2GB of RAM and, of course, Intel’s 1.5GHz Atom Oak Trail Z670 processor, which was originally scheduled to launch in March, before being pushed back to May. The slider will also run on Windows 7 Home Premium, and come equipped with 802.11b/g/n WiFi. When it debuted earlier this year, the Series 7 boasted optional 3G and WiMax features, as well as a six-cell battery that claimed to last up to nine hours on a single charge. Amazon doesn’t mention either of these specs in its listing, but everything else checks out with what we’ve already heard. And, at $649, it’s even a little cheaper than we expected.
The other device, Seaboard, has been floating around the Chrome OS flaw depot for some time, but reports are finally starting to reveal some tantalizing details. We now know that it is powered by a Tegra 2 and sports a touchscreen — the perfect place to test out those finger-friendly tweaks we’ve heard so much about. There are also mentions of a “lid switch” and a physical keyboard, indicating it may be a convertible or something in the vein of the Eee Pad Slider rather than a pure slate. The hybrid form factor would make perfect sense since it will house a pair of USB ports and an HDMI jack, which could make for a rather chunky tablet. Obviously, neither of these devices are confirmed yet (and Seaboard is most likely being used for internal testing only) but at least we’ve got a better idea of what to expect when the browser-based OS comes to consumers later this year.