ASUS VivoTab RT 10.1-inch Windows 8 RT tablet comes to AT&T later this year, we go hands-on (update: now with video!)
The ASUS VivoTab RT is heading to AT&T exclusively this winter with 4G LTE — that much we already knew. But how does it feel? Well, it feels like a super thin (0.33-inches) and light (1.1 lb.) Windows 8 RT tablet. The Tegra 3 quad-core processor packs more than enough power into the 10.1-inch, multitouch Super IPS screen to make swapping between apps and other such affairs a smooth snap, and 2GB of internal RAM certainly doesn’t hurt in the speed department either. That 10.1-inch screen comes with ASUS’ “TruVid” technology, which intends to make your viewing experiences all the more magical — the screen looked plenty nice to us, as did media displayed on it, but perhaps not the “brilliant viewing experience” that ASUS is touting. There’s still no price for the device or its non-RT cousin (not to mention those AT&T data plans), but we expect to hear more in the near future — winter’s only so long, right?
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.
Razer’s second attempt at a gaming laptop is just as sleek as its first try, and even more powerful. The second-generation Razer Blade — Razer Blade 2.0, we’re calling it — packs some serious hardware: an unannounced Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M graphics (a big step up from last year’s GT 555M inclusion), 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive, and 64GB of solid state storage. All that hardware is stuffed in a nigh identical aluminum chassis to the first edition, with a 17.3-inch high def screen and the infamous multitouch LCD Switchblade interface (read: that bizarre little touch screen built into the keyboard). And all this for the low, low price of … nearly $2,500. Yikes.
For the savvy, independently wealthy gamer on the go, however, little else on the market compares to Razer’s Blade laptop. The second generation focuses on beefing up the tech specs from last year, and that’s immediately apparent with the inclusion of the Kepler-grade GTX 660M. Not much else is changed in the hardware department otherwise, with the exception of the USB slots all being upgraded to 3.0 — the same LCD touch panel display sits on the right side of the keyboard, and its been bolstered with a new software suite.
Before the craziness commenced here in Los Angeles, ROCCAT got its E3 party started with announcements concerning two gaming mice. The outfit unveiled the three-button Lua and the more high-end Kone XTD to suit gamers who prefer a truckload of programmable options and those who fancy a much simpler set-up. We grabbed some hands-on time with the pair on the show floor to see just how the two stacked up. We were particularly impressed with how both felt in the hand and how comfortable they were to use for all our gaming-related movements during the mini session. For a close look at both the Lua and the Kone XTD, stop by the gallery below or head on past the break for a few thoughts on the gaming peripherals.
Synaptics is a touchscreen-interface company that has around 30 customers, but since that list includes the top 15 smartphone makers and the top 15 tablet manufacturers, it does okay for itself. The company rented a quiet booth at the back of CES to show off its impressive new ten-finger touchscreen tech. The Clearpad 7300 is a significantly smaller unit: to demonstrate the company pulled apart a HP touchpad and swapped out the 15-chip daughter board with a single chip — still recognizing ten inputs at a refresh rate of 100Hz. The company also had a Windows 8 demo unit (it’s partnered with Redmond) that allows five-finger touch. It’ll allow you to depress a software shift key without toggling and play piano with five fingers at once. We also saw a calibration unit just acting on a piece of glass (held mid-air) that could still register ten interactions. The technology will be arriving towards the end of the year and will be an integral part of all the Windows 8 tablet launch. Head on past the break to see us take the unit for a ride.
You need a bluetooth keyboard, and you wish you had a tablet or at least a phone with a larger screen. Perhaps you need to give presentations or just want to watch movies. What’s a person to do? LightPad has a very unique and clever idea: why not stick a pico projector and superthin 11-inch plastic rear projection screen onto a bluetooth keyboard case? By simply connecting your smartphone to the lightweight pad via MHL or HDMI-out, your phone gets transformed into a virtual laptop, albeit with a significantly lower-res display. It works just fine, however, if all you need is a larger screen that you can use for email or simple web browsing. But wait, there’s more — flip the projector around, point it at a wall, and now your screen blows up to a max of 60 inches. The dock, which is super light and can be easily folded into itself, should be available in Q2 for an undetermined price. Peruse the gallery and watch the video below to get a better idea of how it all works.
We’ve been hitting Fujitsu phones for a while, looking in awe at the super-thin gear that remained firmly in the hands of the Japanese. Fortunately the Consumer Electronics Show is the perfect time for the company to further tease us with a product that might just make a trip to the west. Yesterday we got our mitts onto the Arrows Mu and today we’ve got a really special exclusive: a first look at the prototype of the quad-core packing Arrows super-phone. So, what delights are tucked inside and is this going to be the phone of 2012? Head on past the break to find out.
This week, Canon reinforced its commitment to not producing a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera by launching the PowerShot G1 X. The company’s latest G-series camera is by far the most powerful, and most expensive model, ringing up at $799.99 — approaching (and in some cases exceeding) DSLR territory. Its pricing and spec list imply that the G1 X could be a DSLR competitor, but is it? No, not by a long shot. Instead, the company’s most powerful compact cam is designed to be a companion to cameras in Canon’s DSLR line, acting as a second, third or fourth shooter to professional photographers. The G1 X includes a 1.5-inch (18.7 x 14mm) 14.3 megapixel sensor — which puts it in almost the same class as APS-C models, but with a fixed 4x, 28-112mm optical zoom lens and a compact camera form factor, it’s a completely different beast. So is the G1 X able to justify its nearly $800 price tag? Join us past the break to find out.
By now, you should be familiar with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. We’ve done countless hands-ons with the super-svelte Honeycomb slate, and even reviewed it… twice! Now it’s back, again, and this time its packing an LTE radio tuned to the frequencies of a little company known as Verizon. Outside of a few tiny cosmetic changes — the brushed, gray plastic back and the rumored Micro SIM slot up top, nothing else has changed. We won’t waste too much time rehashing what you already know, but we figured it was worth firing up the latest version, which officially went on sale today, and putting that 4G antenna to the test. You know the routine, keep on keepin’ on after the break.
HBO Go has been live on the iTunes App Store and Android Market for just a few short hours, but we’ve already put it through the paces, poking and prodding on our iPad and iPhone, to see what all the hubbub’s about. We’re pleased with the hefty amount of video that HBO’s offering up here, and the interface is pretty intuitive as well. Still, browsing through the myriad content on the iPad’s larger screen is definitely a bit more leisurely than on the iPhone’s 3.5-inch counterpart. Both apps sport the same feature set, so searching for content, saving things to watch later, and blasting updates to Facebook and Twitter will work well on whichever device you choose. To make the deal even sweeter, it’s free for current subscribers, so there’s really no reason to not check it out for yourself — unless you don’t have HBO, in which case we have a video walkthrough embedded after the break.
Staring at spreadsheets crushed down to unreadable sizes on a 4-inch phone screen is far from pleasurable but, clearly there is a demand. In fact, we’ve been clamoring for a proper Google Docs app for ages, even though sometimes we’re not entirely sure why. It was only a matter of time before Google finally got around to appeasing us mobile workaholics and put an official app in the Android Market. Well, our masochistic prayers were answered — the Mighty Goog unleashed the new, native Google Docs for Android app and we rushed on over to the Market, clicked the install button, and gave it a whirl.
Our interest in the BlackBerry Touch (codename Monaco) was piqued when we first caught wind of the device, and we had a feeling it’d be making its way into the wild ever since one showed up in Verizon red around mid-Feburary. Now, BGR has managed to procure an unreleased prototype, and we’ve gotta say that we like what we’re seeing. According to the pub, it should get official at BlackBerry World in May, and it’ll run OS 6.1 underneath that 800 x 480-pixel screen. The new BB6 is said to use a BlackBerry ID in place of a PIN for certain key functions — a necessary move for non-BB platforms rumored to be getting BBM (a historically PIN-based service). BGR also claims it won’t be getting the Storm nomenclature, so we apologize in advance to the SurePress fanboys. Either way, we’ve got an inkling that we’ll be hearing more as we get closer to May, but unfortunately our dreams of a super AMOLED-equipped Torch running stock Android with a BBM app will just remain figments of our imagination.