Monthly Archives: July 2010

Samsung sPad gets a date as first shot in the wild turns up

Android powered tablet coming our way shortly
Samsung sPad gets a date as first shot in the wild turns up

We already know that Samsung?has plans for a 7-inch tablet called the sPad, thanks to a first sighting of Samsung sPad?in June, but now we are getting word of a few more details, officially and unofficially.

On the official side of things, Reuters is reporting that it has Samsung on record saying it "plans to introduce tablet computers this quarter based on Google's Android operating system", to take on the iPad?and every other internet tablet about to be released in the run up to Christmas.

Unofficially an image has turned up on of the new sPad tablet showing that if you've got big hands you'll be able to hold it one handed.

The news adds Samsung to the list of manufacturers confirmed or rumoured to be launching internet tablets, which includes Asus, RIM, LG, HP, and MSI.

The latest confirmation confirms previous rumours that the sPad will hit stores in South Korea around August, but there's still no indication on time frame for other territories.

Samsung is hoping it will be able to continue to build on the success that it has found with the launch of the?Samsung Galaxy S?Android handset.


Tags: Hardware Gadgets Samsung Samsung sPad iPad Tablets Android Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung sPad gets a date as first shot in the wild turns up 

Samsung sPad gets a date as first shot in the wild turns up originally appeared on on Sat, 31 Jul 2010 07:13:00 +0100

Interpad: Tegra tablet with Android onboard

Possible iPad rival emerges from Germany
Interpad: Tegra tablet with Android onboard

Whilst we wait for the big-hitters like MSI, Asus, LG and Samsung to get official with their Android tablets, we are having to make do with releases from lesser known manufacturers such as Malata, Rover Computers, and now, Interpad.

The German manufacturer has unveiled its Android 10-incher, that it plans on releasing in its home country later this year.

Running the Eclair (2.1) OS variety, the tablet is powered by a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 T20 Cortex-A9 dual core chip - Nvidia had previously shown off an Android tablet running on this chipset at Google I/O.

Also on board this potential iPad botherer is 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 16GB of flash storage (with microSD expansion capabilities), a USB port (see, it isn't that difficult Steve), HDMI output, and a 3900mAh battery.

We're not sure if the Interpad will be available outside of Germany, but we do know that it is likely to cost around 399 euros (?334). Ebay could well be your best bet if you want one as soon as they come out.

Are you onboard the tablet express yet? Did Apple pluck you early with the iPad, or are you holding out for an Android tab from one of the electronic big-guns? Let us know using the comments below.


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Tags: Interpad Nvidia Android 2.1 Android iPad Hardware Tablets

Interpad: Tegra tablet with Android onboard originally appeared on on Tue, 27 Jul 2010 12:15:00 +0100

Dell Streak

Is that a 5-incher in your pocket?
Dell Streak

What are you Dell Streak? Are you a phone? Are you a tablet? Are you just an Android thing? Where do you sit in the order of must-have gadgets out there, and what do you think your primary purpose is??

These are the questions we find ourselves asking when faced with the Dell Streak. Of course with a screen size of 5 inches, it battles against the likes of the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, but betters it with the inclusion of mobile phone connectivity.?

At 5 inches its nearest cousins are phones like HTC Evo, the Samsung Galaxy S and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, but with an extra inch of screen, the Dell Streak isn't exactly pocket-friendly. We’ve been making calls with the thing and holding it against your face not only makes your hand ache, but feels a little daunting, even if the call quality is perfectly fine.

At 5 inches it doesn't give you the expansive screen of the iPad either, so it isn't as adept at browsing the Internet, although it is easier to slip in a bag, so it's more portable. Packing 3G connectivity makes it practical for staying connected on the move, but do you want to carry something like this, if you have a device an inch or so smaller which does practically the same thing, like the HTC Desire?

We can't help thinking that the Dell Streak becomes a connected companion for someone who wants a phone for making calls, like a basic Nokia handset, and wants a more accomplished device for consuming media around the home or on their travels. Or someone who always uses a headset for calling. All of which makes it, in our minds, a little niche.

But these musings won’t stop you from wanting one because it is lovingly designed, looking like a large BlackBerry Storm, with sensitively curving ends that make it a pleasure to hold. It is designed from the outset to be held in landscape format. It is simply too big to be able to hold in your hand and use your thumb to type as you might on a touchscreen smartphone.

It measures 152.9 x 79.1 x 9.98mm, so it is certainly skinny and at 220g it is light enough to hold. There is no stand, which we are sure some would call out for, but the design around the back may well be spoilt by such an addition from an aesthetics point of view.

Finished in gunmetal grey, the matte back features a large removable plate to access the innards, where your SIM card and microSD will go, along with the 1530mAh battery. Currently O2 has the exclusive on the Dell Streak and we tested it on its network where you can get it on contract, but you can also pick one up SIM free from Dell directly.

Other details on the back of the Streak include the external speaker and the 5-megapixel camera accompanied by a double LED "flash". Around the sides of the Streak you'll find a bespoke port for charging and syncing in the absence of the conventional Micro-USB on the bottom, while the top edge offers up power, camera, volume and a 3.5mm headphone socket.

The front of the Streak is where the action is of course, and you'll find three touch-sensitive controls, offering home, menu and back. There is also a front-facing 640 x 480 camera, ideal for all those video calls you don't make. And then you come to the screen.

We've seen a lot of hot air blowing around screens recently, like Apple's Retina Display and Samsung's Super AMOLED, but the Dell Streak copes fine. It is constructed from Gorilla Glass, meaning it should be tough. With an 800 x 480 pixel resolution it matches most of the top Android devices, but doesn't quite give you the sharpness of the Apple iPhone 4. Like the others it does have a glossy finish, so reflections will be a problem and viewing it next to a window or outdoors will never be the best.

But it manages to present the Android OS with plenty of clarity and it really is a very responsive display, reacting to touches as we'd want it to. The typing experience is good because you have so much space and in this instance, Dell has seen fit to include a numberpad to the right of the on-screen keyboard and a comprehensive array of alternative characters, so you don't need to dive in to alternate key sets as you do on many other devices.

The predictive elements don't seem quite as snappy as HTC's, but we managed to get along just fine with entering text on it. Given the size, the portrait keyboard is also easy to use, although as we've said, one-handed operation is nigh on impossible.?

The Streak runs Android v1.6, which is a little disappointing and instantly takes the shine off things as you don't get quite as many native features as the latest Android systems offer you. Dell is promising an upgrade however (is there a handset manufacturer who isn't?) so we'll have to wait and see on that one.

Dell has also customised the interface a little, so you have customisable home pages (called Homes funnily enough), which you can customise to your liking, with a selection of widgets at your disposal. Our review sample came with wallpaper of the Millennium Dome/The O2, with three images making up the backdrop to these pages. It's a shame they can't be used to slow background scrolling like HTC and Samsung, as you'll find odd pages with images that don't match: a petty thing, but the devil is in the details.

But otherwise we like what Dell has done here. The top notification bar has been put to good use, taking advantage of the space available and divided into different areas. First up you have the applications menu, which drops down into recently used apps, then a second press brings up the full list. It might seem a little fiddly, but if you are a creature of habit (as well as dropping app shortcuts onto the home pages) then it works well enough. The second area lets you add and remove home pages, as well as jump to them - a little like HTC's Leap feature.

The third area is your notification area and rather than your normal Android pull-down bar, you press and the list pops-up. The fourth area is your status area, a press here pulls up a menu to turn on or off the wireless connections, gives you network and battery status and set alarms. Finally you have the date and time.

These home screens only work in landscape, they don't rotate for portrait use, although once you get into applications, they will rotate depending on how you want to hold the Streak, with keyboards flipping round as you need them.

The standby/lock screen is a little disappointing. To unlock the screen you don't need to swipe to unlock, you merely have to press the menu soft button, so it might be worth using the on-screen pattern security to stop you unlocking the device with a simple touch. Standard "Screen Locked" window doesn't say you have received messages or anything else, which would have been useful.

Sitting at the core of the Streak is a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which gives the Streak the power it needs to zip around. We saw very little sign of lag when opening apps and navigating around the device, even with a number of applications open and running. The processor is backed by 512MB RAM and we found it ran nicely for normal tasks.?

It's a surprise that natively Dell hasn't made the most of these specifications. There is no real support for HD playback, although we found that RockPlayer had a stab at some HD video, with MKV playing smoothly, but some MP4 files dropped lots of frames to become unwatchable - of course, with so many variations in video, some will work and some won't. Likewise there is no HD capture from the video camera - you only get a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 which sets the Streak behind the curve.

Given the great screen, we'd also expect more in the way of media support. It had no problem with SD MPEG4 and AVI files from the default media player, but we would have expected a wider remit - DivX and MKV for example - although the beauty of Android is you can step around this problem with third-party apps.

We'd also have liked to see the Streak be a little more network savvy. There is no sign of skills shown by the Samsung Galaxy S with its All Share application, so again, if you want to stream content from your home network, you'll have to turn to a third party. Little details like this would have strengthened the offering from Dell and perhaps defined what the Streak should be. There is no FM radio either, a basic thing, but one that commuters?appreciate.

Dell offers its twist on Facebook and Twitter with a widget, but as we've seen from the likes of Sony Ericsson with the Xperia X10, this isn't backed up with real applications, so you'll have to download the Facebook app and a Twitter client to really use these tools. Pressing on a Twitter or Facebook entry in the widgets will take you through to the browser version of those services, which you may well be happy with. Remember too that the official Twitter client from Android isn't compatible with v1.6, so you'll be looking at one of the third-party apps again.

The contacts experience is fairly rich, with information pouring in from your Google account and from Facebook, although we couldn't find a way to merge this information, so you may end up with duplicate contacts. It doesn't go as far as HTC Sense or Motoblur in feeding all the information through one channel.

As such, there isn't a link-up online photo albums, but we like the simple timeline that the photo and video browser offers. It also incorporates pinch zooming and swiping, so it's great for showing off your photos. We feel it could do with a few more navigation options. You can filter whether you are viewing photos, videos, etc, but we'd like to be able to see folders, so you could browse a collection of images. You can share photos via Facebook, Flickr and Picasa however.

The music player gives you nice big icons of album art, and the widget will also show this, with the widget offering up play/pause and skip controls without having to dive into the application. There is only one external speaker and it is rather brutal. When we tested it on a conference call, it wasn't clear enough to hold a decent conversation. Its position on the back means you are likely to cover it with your fingers when holding the Streak and it will be blocked if you place it on a surface, so it's an awkward experience. We'd have liked to see stereo speakers, again to strengthen the media offering.

But the reality is that you are likely to use headphones. A 3.5mm jack takes care of that and there is Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR if you prefer to go wireless. The bundled headphones are of reasonable quality, but easily and cheaply bettered. On the wireless connectivity front you also get Wi-Fi b/g and then there is HSDPA for your data on the move.

The standard Android browser has been adapted slightly, so you get multi-touch zooming and we found the browser to be quick to load pages and smooth in scrolling around large pages. Internet video is handled by the on-board YouTube app (for YouTube content), but there is no Flash player. Again, you could try the Skyfire browser for your internet video, but an update to Android 2.2 is likely to be the more comprehensive solution.

The internet experience on the Streak is good, serving pages quickly and providing plenty of space for browsing images especially. It doesn't have the size that the iPad does, which is even more expansive, but that extra inch on the screen makes a noticeable difference from your normal smartphone experience. This is all helped by the great colour depth that the screen offers.

Some may even be tempted to use it as an ebook reader, and although there is no included provisioning for this, the Kindle or Aldiko apps are waiting in the store for you. We fired up Kindle for Android and found that there was enough space to be effective, although you will be flicking through the pages rather more frequently than most ebook readers.

The Dell Streak comes with an embedded GPS and here the 5-inch screen size is of great benefit, allowing you to turn it into your satnav. The screen size is more common for navigation devices, and a quick update of Google Maps offered up the Navigation arm of that application, so you do have free navigation here. We've said it before, Google Maps Navigation is a little primitive, but will do in a pinch. Talking of pinches, there is no pinch zooming in Google Maps on the Streak.

You'll have to ensure you have your power supply handy for the Streak if you are going to use it as a PND. The bespoke connection chosen by Dell means that you'll need a USB connection in your car to use the supplied lead, but they are available in 12V "cigarette lighter" form these days.

The battery on the Streak isn't outstanding. We found it would last through most of the day, but it needs charging every night whilst in regular use. Like all these devices, power saving measures can be taken, but with the size that the Streak is, it would have been nice to see leading battery performance.

Finally we come to the camera. Dell has customised the camera interface and it certainly is a great experience composing your shot on such a large screen. The interface offers up settings around the edges of the screen and everything is easy to get to. You can toggle the "flash" although we found it to be typically ineffective.

The arrangement of having these side menus offered up when you touch the screen means there is no touch to focus option, so you get a central focusing reticule. The results in good light are nice, perhaps a touch under-exposed with colour balance a little off, but easily corrected. In lower light noise rushes in as you'd expect.?

Video, as we mentioned previously, is limited to a rather lacklustre 640 x 480 pixels, and we found it to be at varying frame rates, all a little on the low side. For a device of this ilk, this seems a little limiting, especially as we know that HD video capture on these specs is possible.


We'd pick the Dell Streak over the Archos 5 if we were convinced that a tablet of this size was what we wanted. But it's difficult to ignore the fact that the Streak sits awkwardly above smartphone dimensions, without really establishing a position for itself.

It doesn't deliver the all-round entertainment out of the box that it should. Make the video offering stronger and people would see it as a great travel companion. It comes with a 16GB microSD card in the box which is welcomed, but provision of native support for a wider range of video codecs and home network love, perhaps a stereo speaker arrangement, and things would be more convincing.?

Overall we like the Dell Streak. We like the look, we like the feel, we have enjoyed using the device at this size for cruising the Internet and watching video content. We even appreciate some of the tinkering that Dell has done with the interface. But for pure consumers, we feel it needs a little more for greatness, so you need to do a little less tinkering yourself.

It's a first device and it's clear to us where Dell should go with it: an update to Android v2.2 and a few more software features added, and the Streak will earn its place in your bag.?

Tags: Phones Mobile phones Tablets Dell Dell Streak Android

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Dell Streak originally appeared on on Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:19:04 +0100

VIDEO: iPad projection 3D-stylee

Bonkers futuristic display using simple app
VIDEO: iPad projection 3D-stylee

Is this what Steve Jobs meant when he said the iPad was magical?

Japanese genius Aircord Lab has demonstrated how, by using a pyramid shaped screen made with a special film, and a simple iPhone app that has moving images, it can create 3D images that float within the pyramid and can be seen with the naked eye.

Called the N-3D, it's a bit like the Sony's 360-degree volumetric 3D display that we showed you recently, except probably a lot less expensive. Although it isn't as perfect as Sony's machine, because it isn't seamless.

The app is also able to determine sounds, so you can interact with it by clapping.

It's clever, clever stuff and we like it a lot. Check out the Aircord Lab website if you liked it as much as we did, where you'll find many more brilliant tech demos.?


Tags: Hardware Tablets iPad Apple iPad Aircord Labs Video

VIDEO: iPad projection 3D-stylee originally appeared on on Thu, 22 Jul 2010 10:06:28 +0100

Asus Eee Pad dumps Windows 7 and opts for Android instead

Gingerbread launch early next year on the cards
Asus Eee Pad dumps Windows 7 and opts for Android instead

Back at the end of May Pocket-lint got its grubby paws on the Asus Eee PC, or to give it its full name the Asus Eee Pad EP101TC, at the Computex conference in Taiwan.

Now, at the time, the potential iPad botherer was running on Windows Embedded Compact 7, the updated version of Windows CE.

However, reports now suggest that the 10-inch tablet has ditched the Windows CE platform and instead is going to launch with Android 3.0 at the beginning of next year, with a CES unveiling looking likely.

What's not clear yet though is whether the Asus Eee Pad EP121, the 12-inch tablet, would be dropping Microsoft's OS as well. When we saw this device back at Computex it was running the full-fat version of Windows 7, not the CE modified variety.

If Asus does decide to ditch Windows completely it will be a big blow for Microsoft who had announced, via CEO Steve Ballmer at its WPC earlier this month, that Asus was one of the players on board for a Windows 7 tablet revolution.

We can see why Asus would have dropped CE in favour of Android on a lower powered tablet, but we can also see the benefit of having a fully functional Windows 7 tablet in its armoury as well.

We'll have to wait and see how this one pans out.

What do you think? Has Asus gone the way of HP and ditched Microsoft from its tablet assault or are we likely to see a mixture of devices? Fill out the section below to let us know...


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Tags: Hardware Tablets Asus Eee Pad Asus

Asus Eee Pad dumps Windows 7 and opts for Android instead originally appeared on on Tue, 20 Jul 2010 15:34:34 +0100

iPad iOS 4 update to come at a price?

Rumours claim there will be a charge to upgrade
iPad iOS 4 update to come at a price? is reporting that Apple is planning to make iPad users pay if they want to upgrade to iOS 4. The premium for multitasking and all the other iOS 4 goodies - around ?5.

The site claims to have spoken to an Apple source who described the charging plan as "definite". Apple has officially stated that it "doesn't comment on rumours and speculation".

If this turns out to be true it will be a big kick in the teeth for iPad owners who have already forked out at least ?429 for their tablet, or maybe even as much as ?699 for the top of the range model.

However, the iPad EULA would suggest that Apple will not be introducing a charge. It reads:

“Apple will provide you any iPad OS software updates that it may release from time to time, up to and including the next major iPad OS software release following the version of iPad OS software that originally shipped from Apple on your iPad, for free. For example, if your iPad originally shipped with iPad 3.x software, Apple would provide you with any iPad OS software updates it might release up to and including the iPad 4.x software release. Such updates and releases may not necessarily include all of the new software features that Apple releases for newer iPad models”.

So, we've got one site claiming a definite charge from a source and a legal agreement saying that it will come as free. We hope the latter turns out to be true and after the Apple PR disaster of the last few weeks, we think it probably will be.?


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Tags: Hardware Tablets iPad Apple Apple iPad

iPad iOS 4 update to come at a price? originally appeared on on Tue, 20 Jul 2010 13:45:57 +0100

iPad makes its way to Ireland (and 8 more countries)

iPad global tour shows no sign of stopping
iPad makes its way to Ireland (and 8 more countries). Hardware, Tablets, iPad, Apple iPad, Apple 0

At last, some good news for Apple fans. The iPad is continuing its quest for world domination with a launch across nine more countries, including the Republic of Ireland, on Friday 23 July.

The iPad first hit the US with the Wi-Fi only versions on 3 April, followed by the 3G versions at the end of that month. It hit the UK on 28 May (along with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland) and the 23 July launch adds Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore to the iPad zone.

If you live in one of these countries and you have your heart set on getting one, make sure you read our comprehensive guide first. It will tell you everything you need to know and will leave you wanting for nothing.

We're checking with our Apple contacts now how much the iPad is set to cost in Ireland, so check back for updates. Keep checking your local Apple site as well though, as Apple is usually pretty swift to update its pages with the relevant info.

Live in one of these nations? Excited by the prospect of an Apple product that actually works? Let us know using the comments below...

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Tags: Hardware Tablets iPad Apple iPad Apple

iPad makes its way to Ireland (and 8 more countries) originally appeared on on Mon, 19 Jul 2010 14:23:33 +0100

iPad turns up on Transformers 3 set

iPad in cool use example #57
iPad turns up on Transformers 3 set

Last week we thought it was pretty cool that Squeeze keyboardist Stephen Large used an iPad as a musical instrument live on US network TV.

A few weeks back we thought that is was pretty amazing how David Jon Kassan knocked up an absolutely brilliant portrait using Brushes on his iPad.

But to see a Hollywood director using an iPad on the set of a Blockbuster movie, well - that's the sort of PR dream that the Cupertino brainstormers would have been praying for, in what has been a difficult few weeks for Apple.

The film in question is Transformers 3, where director Michael Bay was spotted running through a scene with actor Patrick Dempsey with his iPad.

At least, the general consensus was that he was running though a scene - for all we know he could have actually been showing Dempsey that his Weather HD app was predicting showers for the afternoon.

Have you spotted an iPad, or any other piece of popular tech, being used in a cool way? If so, we'd love to hear about it.


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Tags: Hardware Tablets iPad Apple iPad Apple Transformers

iPad turns up on Transformers 3 set originally appeared on on Mon, 19 Jul 2010 09:51:11 +0100

VIDEO: iPad used by Squeeze on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Britsh New Wavers use the iPad as a genuine musical instrument
VIDEO: iPad used by Squeeze on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Hardware, Tablets, iPad, Apple iPad, squeeze 0

Up until now the coolest use of an iPad we had seen was American artist David Jon Kassan's brilliantly lifelike 'painting' that was created with the brushes app.

But now New Wave rockers Squeeze has taken the title, by using the Apple tablet as a genuine musical instrument during their rendition of 'Pulling Muscles from a Shell', which they performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC.

Keyboardist Stephen Large can be seen with the iPad in his hand throughout the performance but things really get geeky when he kicks into a iPad solo around the 2.30 mark.

The app used by Large was MooCowMusic's Pianist, which is available in the App Store for ?2.39.

Seen a cooler use of the iPad than this? Let us know using the comments below.


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Tags: Hardware Tablets iPad Apple iPad squeeze

VIDEO: iPad used by Squeeze on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon originally appeared on on Fri, 16 Jul 2010 12:12:20 +0100

Getac V100 rugged tablet gets an upgrade

Tough tablet gets a speed boost
Getac V100 rugged tablet gets an upgrade

The rugged V100 tablet from Getac has received a speed boost making it 47 per cent quicker than the original model.

We reviewed the original tough, man's man, tablet at the beginning of last year and we rather liked it (we are rather rugged ourselves, you see) - so the upgrade is a welcome announcement.

Getac claims that the upgrade to a Intel Core i7 1.2GHz processor, that can be ramped up to 2.26GHz using Intel's Turbo Boost technology, means that the machine is now "the fastest dual-core rugged convertible tablet on the market".

You can have up to 8GB of RAM on board and there is HDD options up to 320GB. The swivel 10.4-inch LCD screen supports multi-touch and there's connectivity via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. There's also a 2-megapixel webcam built in that is reversible and water resistant.

It's all cased in a magnesium alloy casing that is both military standard and IP65 certified.

"The added memory and processing speed alone make the V100 the ideal all-in-one solution for mobile-based applications", said Getac's Peter Molyneux.

"Coupled with the 1200 NITS sunlight readable screen, flexibility of connectivity and added extras, it will prove ideal for anyone working in some of the toughest environments".

The upgrade is going to be available soon and we're just in the process of confirming the exact price, so check back for an update.

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Tags: Hardware Tablets GETAC V100 GP

Getac V100 rugged tablet gets an upgrade 

Getac V100 rugged tablet gets an upgrade originally appeared on on Thu, 15 Jul 2010 12:25:09 +0100