Tag: tablet pc

ZTE shows off LTE products

ZTE has launched a range of products in line with LTE technology.

The products were announced at CES. The three products include the LTE-enabled AL621 and MF820 USB Modems. These are claimed to provide bandwidths of up to 20 MHz, and are capable of download/upload speeds up to 100/50 Mbps, respectively.

The MF820 also has HSPA+ 42/11 Mbps downlink/uplink rates, and both are compatible with the latest Windows operating systems.

The ZTE MF91 Mobile Hotspot has rates of up to100/50 Mbps and HSPA+ 42/11 Mbps downlink/uplink rates, it can also apparently tether up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices.

Finally the MF29L supports the LTE and HSPA+ speeds. It has a customisable GUI and works with both Windows and Mac OSs.

However, it’s not just LTE that the company is pushing. It’s also announced a new range in its Light Tablet PC series.   

The ZTE Light tablet PC series has a seven inch touch screen  with a 800 x 480 resolution, and weighs a skinny 389 grammes. It also runs on the Android 2.2 OS, has a 1GHZ processor and a ROM memory size of 4G.

Manufacturers go mad with tablet PCs at CES

Tablet PCs have cropped up in every manufacturers’ corners at CES this year with the likes of Toshiba, LG and Asus all showing off their new devices.

Therefore research that has come out claiming that the tablet PC market is going from strength to strength, isn’t really a surprise.

According to a report by the Yankee Group, which launched its erm, groundbreaking research at CES, the total global revenue from tablet devices such as Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab will increase from $16 billion in 2010 to a whopping $46 billion in 2014.

It said the the tablet sales curve was rising faster than that of HDTVs, handheld gaming consoles or even MP3 players and predicting that in 2015, the US. tablet market alone will generate more than $7 billion in revenue.

In 2010, North America leads the way accounting for 37 percent of total global tablet revenue, while by 2014, Asia-Pacific is the front-runner. The region, primarily China, will own more than half the global market (58 percent), while North America’s share will drop to just 17 percent.
The company claims that annual U.S. tablet sales will more than triple between 2010 and 2015. Tablet sales will grow at a CAGR of 31 percent, from roughly 8 million units in 2010 to 30 million units by 2015.

Companies have been quick to follow Apple’s iPad lead, and are clearly driving this trend. At CES Toshiba previewed its first Android-powered tablet for the US market, which has a 10.1-inch diagonal widescreen HD display.

The tablet has a a high definition 1280×800 resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio and support for Adobe Flash enabled content. It also has a built-in motion sensor that gives users the option of full screen rotation and includes a rotation-lock switch to set the display in position when the user chooses. In addition, the tablet includes an on-screen keyboard with Haptic feedback for more accurate typing.

It’s powered by the dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 with integrated Nvidia graphics and also has not one, but two cameras.

The first is a two megapixel front-facing camera and the second, five megapixel rear-facing camera for taking photos, videos and video chat. There’s also an integrated GPS and compass so users can take advantage of location-based services.

The Toshiba tablet is slated to ship in the first half of 2011 with the Android Honeycomb operating system, the next version of Android designed for tablet devices.

Hot on the heels of Toshiba’s announcement came one from LG, which has partnered with T Mobile to bring users the G-string, sorry, G-Slate.

The tablet will run Android Honeycomb and gives users 4G connectivity.

The tablet is slated for release later on in the year and will feature the latest Google Maps 5.0 with 3D interaction, a collection of more than 3 million eBooks and Google Talk with video and voice chat.

RIM has also jumped on the 4G bandwagon announcing its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on the Sprint network.

The tablet has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and the new BlackBerry Tablet OS. Additional details and pricing will be released closer to launch, which is thought to be in the summer of this year.

For those looking for something more affordable, the new collection by Enspert, could be more up your street. The company has announced its 2011 Identity line, which it claims gives users “a series of affordable Android-based multimedia tablets.”

The Identity tab gives users a colour LCD e-book reader along with HD-quality video playback and web browsing.

The Identity tab E201 is Wi-Fi enabled and scheduled to be available in the US. in early 2011, while the E301 with Wi-Fi and 3G will likely be available shortly after.
   
The E302 model is Wimax enabled and slated for distribution in select in European and Asian markets, while the E300 series of tablets are based on the Android Gingerbread platform.

Asus has also had its moment of tablet glory, announcing its Eee Slate EP121 tablet, which will run on SanDisk’s 32 gigabyte GB1 and 64GB SSD cards.

Unlike many of the other tablets, this one will run Microsoft Windows 7 home premium edition,  and has an Intel Core i5 processor. It has a 12-inch high-resolution touch screen, and an anorexic weight of 1.16Kg.

There’s also claimed to be a10-hour battery life.

With the tablet market going crazy it’s no surprise that the head honchos over in the Towers of Mordor, sorry we mean Foxconn, are planing to work with their partners to push Mirasol panels in the colour e-book reader and tablet market.

According to DigiTimes,  Foxconn is aggressively working with its partners on the development of Mirasol panels and as soon as the panel is able to meet supply, related e-book reader products should start appearing in the channel, the market watchers said.

Apple takes market share for tablets

Global tablet shipments reached over 4 million units in the third quarter of 2010, analysts have said, and surprise surprise, Apple’s top dog, for now. 

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple took the reigning crown capturing 95 percent of the global share and beating Android into second place. Android took just two percent of the global market share in Q3.

But Apple has so far been the only real contender in the market with a fully tablet-compatible Android not entirely ready until early 2011. No tablets available have come close to the iPad – much like Apple’s early smartphone dominance with the iPhone

Total global tablet shipments grew by 26 percent in Q3, pushing shipments up to 4.4 million. The United States was found to be the world’s largest tablet market during the quarter by far, but demand is also emerging in Western Europe and Asia.  

Analysts predict that the Android share will rise in the fourth quarter as more models, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, enter the market. We’re not convinced the costly Galaxy can make a significant dent just yet – wait until Gingerbread in 2011 and like with the phone game the market will offer some serious competition, albeit a little later than they’d probably like.

Graph

Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, said: “The tablet wars are up and running. Apple has quickly leveraged its famous brand, an extensive retail presence and user-friendly design to develop the tablet segment into a multi-billion-dollar global business. Android, Microsoft, MeeGo, webOS, Blackberry and other platforms are trailing in Apple’s wake and they already have much ground to make up.”

Samsung Galaxy Tab out in November for $600

The Samsung Galaxy Tab will be available on Verizon Wireless from November 11 for a wallet-eating price of $599.99, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The tablet will rival Apple’s highly-successful iPad, which is current selling for $629 on AT&T’s network, making the Galaxy Tab slightly cheaper, but still in the rip-off zone for what is contained under the cover of the device, particularly considering what kind of PC could be bought for that kind of money.

While Apple has traditionally gotten away with charging exorbitant prices for its products, a trend it set with its overpriced Macintosh computers, it has a much stronger image and a more loyal fanbase willing to part with cash than Samsung does, which raises serious questions about how Samsung believes it will sell the Galaxy Tab for such a high price.

This price is much lower than original reports, however. In September Amazon.co.uk listed the Galaxy Tab for a whopping £799, which translated to just over $1,250, over double the price Verizon is selling it for.

Amazon still lists the retail price at £799, but it’s now offering it at a discounted price of £529, which still works out at around $850. The US version of Amazon does not currently list the tablet, so it may simply mean that Europeans are getting shafted with an even higher price for an already overpriced product.

The seven-inch Galaxy Tab may also face another problem if Steve Jobs is to believed. He was recently reported as saying the seven-inch size would not be “sufficient to create great tablet apps”, despite the fact that many rivals, such as RIM and Samsung, have opted for this size. 

It was also widely believed that the iPad 2G, expected early next year, would feature a smaller seven-inch size, but Jobs quickly ruled that out, suggesting the next incarnation of the iPad would retain its 9.7-inch screen.

Samsung's Apple iPad display is practice run for its own tablet

Samsung is beginning its shipments of 9.7 inch panels for Apple’s iPad this July, with up to 500,000 shipments being planned monthly, reports Digitimes. Could it be that Samsung is doing a practise run for its own recently confirmed tablet PC and its Bada strategy? Our sources point to yes.

LG Display has been providing Apple with shipments so far, having sent out about 800,000 of the 9.7 inch iPad panels in May alone, an increase from 700,000 in April, 470,000 units in March and 300,000 units in February – so the demand is, quite clearly, there. But it’s known among those who should know these things that the LG Fabs are full, and Apple needs another supplier. 

A source in the know who requested not to be named said that yes, this could be a practise run for Samsung’s own technology. Samsung, our source tells us, operates with the VA wide angle technology, that’s what it likes and that’s what it’s used to. LG however – an iPad supplier – likes wide angle IPS, which is what Apple has and wants as its iPad display technology.

Our source tells us that Samsung is used to VA and switching to a different method of production takes resources – it’s like a software company switching operating systems. It’s something that can be done but there’s a learning curve and your engineers have to get used to it. 

With this in mind, there’s no reason Samsung wouldn’t want to use the IPS technology it will have to have developed to fill Apple’s orders. If it’s made the technology to supply IPS for Apple, it puts it in a great strategic position as it’ll now have IPS and VA technologies it can ship.

We asked display analyst Bob Raikes at meko.co.uk what he reckoned. He told us that the move may be to one-up Apple before it goes into the TV market. It’s kind of like you’ve got three or four screens in your life: there’s your phone, your notebook, your TV and, possibly, your tablet PC. The big strategy Samsung will take is with BaDa, its own app platform.

It will want to, Mr Raikes told us, integrate all of your screens across one platform, and it will want to get to that point either before, or when, players like Apple and Google get there. Not to mention Samsung’s LCD forecast has stopped growing this year – which won’t look good for any industry bods in LCD or TV. It’s forcing Samsung to get on the app trail, which it will do with Bada. It wants Bada everywhere, and it’s worth remembering that Samsung has 25 percent of the TV market.

So, it looks like, yes – this could be a practise run as part of Samsung’s grand strategy. 

Tablet PCs will be high on Computex agenda

Tablet PCs will be the main focus at Computex, according to a report from market analysis group DRAMeXchange.

The report found that netbook growth by 2009 was up 172 percent year on year, but DRAMeXchange believes 2009 was its peak. It expects declines in 2010, which TechEye already discovered in a Retrevo report yesterday that showed 30 percent of netbook users would prefer an iPad. 2009’s netbook sales were 28 million units, while 36 million units are expected to ship in 2010, up 27 percent, a much lower growth margin than previous years.

DRAMeXchange is forecasting a shift in focus among PC manufacturers after the iPad’s launch in April. It sees many manufacturers abandoning the netbook to jump onboard the tablet bandwagon, which promises to be a lucrative industry for some time to come.

Tablet PCs were originally launched back in the 1980s, but it was not until 2001 that the term “tablet PC” became popularised by Microsoft. However, they were expensive, bulky and heavy, had poor battery life, and lacked wireless and 3G connections, resulting in small production lines. It is only now that the problems facing the original tablets are being resolved, making them an appealing product for a wider audience.

The iPad has exceeded expectations for sales, with one million units shipping in less than a month, compared to the 74 days it took for the same amount of iPhones. DRAMeXchange expects that the first half of 2010’s iPad shipments will be upwards of 1.7 million, while the total number for the year will be between seven and eight million.

DRAMeXchange found that those working in busy offices will most likely still prefer a notebook, but those who want an entertainment and internet browsing device will choose a tablet PC. DRAMeXchange also believes that multi-touch and Flash support are two of the most important things that will give a competitive advantage to the tablet. Tell that to Steve Jobs.

DRAMeXchange does not see the customer bases of netbooks and tablets overlapping, but rather forecasts that the tablet will open up a completely new market. This falls in line with the fact that the netbook is still seen as the business device, while the iPad and other tablets are being aimed at a more mainstream audience.

Intel, Asus, and Acer plan to launch their own tablet PCs at Computex next month. Google and Verizon are also planning to release a tablet of their own to compete with Apple. ARM will also be adding its weight behind the tablet PC and will be showcasing some at Computex.

With the market ripe and ready for a surge of tablet PCs, Computex promises to deliver some big announcements. TechEye will be there to bring you the lowdown.

Netbook shipments

Tablet netbook comparison

Fujitsu unveils LifeBook T730

Fujitsu has released its new LifeBook T730 with a starting price of $1,869.

Rumours of the T730 surfaced back in April, but it’s only now that full details of the specifications have been unveiled.

Users have a choice of processors: Intel Core i5-520M, i5-540M or i7-620M, with the latter two being an extra $50 or $150 respectively on the starting price. The new tablet PC has a 12.1-inch WXGA LED backlight bright LCD with wide-viewing angles for better outdoor viewing as standard, but the wide-viewing can be subtracted to save $100. Optional webcams on both versions of the screen can be chosen for free.

You can choose between 2GB and 8GB of DDR3 RAM, with the latter costing an extra $600. For storage the choices are between 150GB and 500 GB HDD or 128GB SSD. The latter will set you back an extra $380.

Intel HD Graphics and an active digitiser for pen input also come as standard, while there is an option for a dual digitizer for pen and multitouch gestures for an extra $100.

Connectivity-wise the T730 has a number of options, including Intel Centrino Advanced-N WLAN or Atheros XSPAN for WiFi. If you choose Intel Centrino you can get a free Intel vPro upgrade as part of the package. Bluetooth and Ethernet come as standard. There are also three USB ports, as well as a VGA and HDMI port.

The main battery is a lithium ion 6-cell 5200 mAh. There is an option to add a modular bay 6-cell 3800 mAh battery for an extra $134. This will add roughly four hours onto the five and half hour  life of the main battery.

LifeBook T730

LifeBook T730

LifeBook T730

LifeBook T730

Germans release their own tablet

A German outfit is taking on the might of the Apple empire by invading its tablet market.

Neofonie GmbH has unveiled a new tablet PC which could potentially compete against Apple’s iPad if it catches on with consumers.

If you thought the iPad was a daft name then the “WePad” will be considered worse for the same reason. People felt the iPad was a woman’s sanitary towel while the “WePad” will probably be something used for colostomy problems.

The “WePad” has an 11.6-inch touch screen which is larger than the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen.

However unlike the hyper controlled iPad, the WePad will be built on open source Android software.

The device has two USB ports and allows users to connect all kinds of devices including external keyboards to data sticks.

There will be WiFi and WiFi/3G-versions, with 16-gigabyte or 32-gigabyte storage.

Helmut Hoffer von Ankershoffen, Neofonie’s founder and managing director, told reporters that given its technological superiority and greater openness, the WePad will be a “bargain compared with the iPad.”

The WePad will hit stores in Germany starting in late July. No word yet on which service providers will be supporting it.

JooJoo tablet delayed by a month

The Fusion Garage JooJoo tablet – supposed to be available at the end of February – has been pushed back until the end of March, the company said.

The problem is with the 12.1-inch capacitive touch screen but that will be fixed very shortly, the company said.  That means the JooJoo tablet at $499 will arrive on the scene just about the same time as the Apple iPad.

The JooJoo tablet has features including a solid state drive, a USB port, and a webcam. It also supports Adobe Flash – and that’s something Steve Jobs has vowed his company will never support on the iPad.

Fusion Garage is in a legal dispute with TechCrunch that is still unresolved. TechCrunch conceived the idea but fell out with its partner Fusion Garage in December last year.

To make up for the delay in shipping the JooJoo device, Fusion Garage said it will ship a free accessory to make up for the mess up.

The specs of the JooJoo can be found here.

See Also
JooJoo tablet now in full production

JooJoo-TechCrunch tablet now in full production

Fusion Garage said that initial shipments of its controversial internet tablet will materialise towards the end of this month.

Fusion Garage and funding and a manufacturing agreement with Malaysian firm CSL Group.  The company said it expects another round of investment from CSL later this month. CSL makes mobile phones, netbooks and notebook computers, and has a $300 million turnover.

Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan, the CEO of Fusion Garage, boasted that the JooJoo tablet will change the hardware market in a similar way to Dell going direct in the 1990s.

TechCrunch has filed a lawsuit against Fusion Garage, accusing it of fraud to acquire the CrunchPad project. In early December Fusion Garage showed off the renamed JooJoo tablet to a number of journalists in San Francisco.

TechCrunch has served subpoenas on Fusion Garage, its PR company, and PayPal as part of a discovery phase in the case.

The JooJoo tablet has a 12.1-inch capacitive touch scree display at 1,366×768 pixels, includes a 4GB solid state drive, and a claimed battery life of five hours using wi-fi.  It has a camera, a USB port, speakers and a microphone. It supports both wi-fi and Bluetooth.