CES Archive


CES 2012: Panasonic Skype Tablet Hands On Detailed

It seems that each and every major gadget maker out there has its sights set on tablets… the best proof of that coming from CES 2012. Panasonic now has a Skype tablet apparently, that was taken for a hands-on spin by the guys of Engadget. Don’t expect much here, aside from your average slate with chatting capabilities (video call included).

This device features a 7 inch LCD, a 3.5mm audio jack, an SD card slot and front webcam for the those videocalls. The guys of CES didn’t disclose any extra info here, so I have no idea if this is an Android device or if it runs Windows. It appears that the unit also has Facebook integration, with a special Facebook widget, so the word “widget” makes me think about Android here. I guess that you don’t need much of a CPU to only run Skype and FB, so even a 1GHz single core unit could do the trick…

Speculating even more, I wonder if there are any special Skype offers bundled with this service, and if the price is affordable for such a model, that looks like a niche product. As far as the pics show, this is a pretty bulky Panasonic tablet, so it may be a fixed gadget rather than a portable one, after all…

Related posts:

  1. Skype for iPad Detailed in Promo Clip (Video)
  2. CES 2012: ZTE and Acer Quad Core Tablets Hands on Detailed
  3. Amazon Kindle Tablet Confirmed, Hands-on Detailed

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Cheap 3D Glasses-Free Tablet Announced – Meet the Gadmei Slates

After seeing cheap Android 4.0 tablets, the next big thing would be getting our hands on some 3D devices with large diagonals that also have decent prices. That’s exactly what the company Gadmei is going for, with a bunch of tridimensional display slates ready to take on the big guns.

These 3D tablets include the Gadmei T863 8 inch model, with a 1280 x 720 resolution, a 5 point capacitive touch panel, 1GB of RAM and a 1GHz Amlogi Cortex A9 CPU. There’s also 8GB of storage on board, a 500 mAh battery (unless I’m mistaking, but it’s very little!) and dual cameras. The usual ports are here: mini HDMI, microSD and mini USB. Don’t expect anything fancier than the regular 3D experience here, but even this one is cramped b the viewing angle.

You have to be looking at the 3D Gadmei tablet from a certain angle to get the tridimensional vibe, or else you’ll see a blurry picture. There’s another model also showcased the E8-3D, with most of the features of the model above, escept for the 1280 x 800 pixel screen. The drawing factor here is the price tag: somewhere in the range of $130 and $160. The T863 has recently hit retail for just $199. Here’s a demo of the slates:

Related posts:

  1. CES 2012: MasterImage Reveals 3D Glasses-Free Display for Tablets and Smartphones
  2. Creative Ziio Android Slates Announced in 7 and 10 Inch Flavors
  3. LG Optimus Pad 3D Tablet Gets Demoed; Comes Without 3D Glasses in Japan, With in the US (Video)

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CES 2012: BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 OS Preview Reveals Impressive UI

CES 2012 wasn’t all about hardware, but also software and since RIM didn’t bring any new hardware to Las Vegas, at least they had a new OS with them. I’m talking about the BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 OS, that was showcased on the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show. This update will be released sometime this month according to the people from RIM and the images were provided thanks to a hands on experience with the OS from BGR.

They seem to be impressed by this UI and as you know, the platform now has all the needed functions, stuff like email, calendar and contacts are here, without the need of a BlackBerry smartphone. Apparently, RIM now provides the best email and calendar experience on a tablet, according to the people who tested the associated apps. All of the applications seem to integrate these features beautifully and the layered UI used by RIM in the email is also a big hit.

The email app features a unified inbox, with a list of messages on the left side and the body of highlighted messages to the right. You can perform searches, apply view filters, drill down to individual accounts and much more. The calendar and contacts app work in a similar way, with layers of panels that slide to the right. Integration of contacts is tight, with these being linked to meeting entries for example, in the calendar. BlackBerry Bridge is not needed anymore to provide email, contacts and calendar, but now it offers extra functionality like a remote control feature allowing you to control a PlayBook tablet using a BlackBerry smartphone.

Related posts:

  1. BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet Debuts in India
  2. BlackBerry PlayBook to Get Huge Price Cut and Software Update
  3. BlackBerry PlayBook 10 Inch Version Coming at Christmas Time?

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Hands On Video: ASUS MeMO 171 – 7-inch Tablet With Stylus and Bluetooth Companion Phone

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The final tablet we got our hands on during ASUS’s CES showing was the MeMO 171. We’ve seen this little guy before as the Eee Pad MeMO 3D — but this time they’ve dropped the 3D and hope to upgrade Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future. The included capacitive stylus and MeMIC Bluetooth companion phone/media play is all here. As for the rest of the specs, they are as follows:

  • 7" WXGA (1280 x 800) IPS panel with capacitive touch
  • 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm 8260 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB/32GB eMMC internal storage and "ASUS Webstorage" options
  • WLAN 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, and Qualcomm GPS One
  • 5MP rear camera with autofocus and 1080P recording and 1.2MP front camera
  • G-sensor, e-compass, light sensor, gyroscope, and proximity sensor
  • Micro-USB port, micro-HDMI (1.3a), and MicroSD card reader
  • 4400mAh lithium-polymer battery with 8.5hrs video playback
  • 7.8 x 4.6 x 0.50" and 14.2oz

You could pretty much file the MeMO 171 under one more ASUS device we’ll likely never see hit stateside. I can’t imagine something like this would do very well in the US and ASUS specifically mentioned they currently have no plans to bring the MeMO 171 anywhere outside of it’s homeland. What do you guys think? Heartbroken? Or is the MeMO 171 too gimmicky?


ASUS Eee Pad Transformer to Get Ice Cream Sandwich by Early February

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After the extremely fast and desirable ASUS Transformer Prime got its Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade this week during CES, owners of the original threw their hands up saying “WTF ASUS.” Well, the Transformer Prime is definitely getting the update but we now have a very specific window to look forward to. Android Police was told that the update would be out by early February meaning you might not have to wait more than a month to get your Ice Cream on. We all know that things can change at the drop of a dime, though, so don’t be too vexed if things don’t go as planned.


Hands On Video: ASUS Padfone – Is It a Phone? Tablet? Or BOTH?

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We haven’t heard much from the ASUS Padfone since it was teased then eventually revealed last year. Arguably one of the greatest ideas ever to hit Android, I was hoping we’d see a lot more from the device. Well, on my trip to ASUS’s CES showing, I was not only able to snag some pics of the device behind its plexiglass enclosure — but after a little sweet talking (I’ve heard my voice could be rather soothing), ASUS was kind enough to enough to give Phandroid some hands-on time with the hybrid device.

Part smartphone and part tablet, the ASUS Padfone allows for seamless transition between your smartphone and tablet by docking the phone portion inside the tablet and moving from a phone user interface, to a tablet interface with no fuss. To show off how seamless the Padfone handles this, ASUS had a video running on the smartphone while docking the device inside the tablet and although there was a slight delay (this is still very early software and very early hardware), the video picked up on the tablet exactly where it left off on the phone. Impressive to say the least.

Details on both portions of the Padfone were scarce thanks to a language barrier and given the prototype we got our hands on is still very much in the early stages of development. The smartphone — or “brains” of the Padfone — is a 4.3-inch device with an IPS display, 8MP shooter and runs on Ice Cream Sandwich. To be expected, all the usual ports made an appearance on both the tablet and smartphone. You have micro USB, HDMI and 3.5mm jacks. Not the thinnest smartphone or tablets on the market but they are definitely not the thickest either. The quality of both devices felt solid with a great build quality and even a little premium thanks to aluminum accents throughout.

While I’m sure you can already think up a few benefits of having a smartphone that transforms into a tablet, there are a few we’d like to emphasize. Gone are the days of having a separate data plan for both your smartphone and tablet. The Padfone makes it easy to use only 1 SIM and data plan that’s good for both devices.

The Padfone also virtually eliminates the hassle of having to constantly transfer (or sync) your media from one device to another, just to access your content on both devices. Another thing, the smartphone actually charges while it’s docked adding extra battery life to the smartphone when you finally need to undock it.

Obviously, being able to convert whatever you’re working on to a larger display, while still having all the functionality of a smartphone on a tablet. SMS phone calls, wireless data — the future is here. Well, coming soon anyway. ASUS mentioned that they are currently shopping around for US carriers to pick up the device but that’s easier said than done. I would imagine a carrier like Verizon Wireless wouldn’t take so well to a smartphone that could transform into a tablet, circumventing the need for a separate tablet data plan. Guess we’ll have to see.

So what do you guys think about the Padfone? Success or flop? For the main attraction, you can check out our full hands-on video down below. Enjoy.

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ARCHOS Home Connect, ARCHOS 70b and Next Generation ARCHOS G9 at CES 2012 [VIDEO]

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Unlike some comapny’s with their sprawling display full of flashy lights and HD television monitors, ARCHOS’ booth at this year’s CES was quite modest. It may have to do with the company’s new focus on helping consumers define their tablet experience. Rather than showing off a range of devices that more or less all accomplish the same thing, we saw products that all aim to please a certain segment of the market.

The ARCHOS Home Connect is a portable Android desk clock and music player. Over WiFi it gains access to a large selection of internet radio stations or you can store your own music on the device’s 4GB internal drive or expandable microSD memory. While the Home Connect can perform the basic function of its Android 2.2 operating system, it isn’t meant to act as a go-to email reader or web browsing device. It’s default display mode is a desk clock launcher that provides plenty of information at a glance.

The ARCHOS 70b is an update to the company’s 7-inch device line and looks to please the same folks who might be interested in Amazon’s Kindle Fire. It comes in at the same $199 price point and features a 1GHz CPU. Media and web surfing is king on the 70b, but the newly updated G9 series aims to please users looking for more power. It was recently updated to a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP chipset and will receive an update to Ice Cream Sandwich in the first week of February.

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Sony’s Google TV Gets 3D Blu-Ray, Set-Top Box, and New Remote [VIDEO]

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Sony has a lot of stuff at CES, my favorite being the Xperia Ion with it’s fast capture camera, but they also had some pleasant surprises to their Google TV lineup. There were three main improvements:

(1) The most noticeable change is with the remote. Sony’s Google TV remote was formerly designed like a Playstation Controller, with the face displaying a full keyboard. Their new version looks and feels much more like a traditional remote with typical controls on one side and a full QWERTY Keyboard on the flip side. The addition of a large trackpad and voice input are incredibly welcome features.

(2) Sony’s Google TV Blu-Ray player has been updated to a much more compact and attractive form factor, essentially halving the size, and adding 3D capabilities. We were told the first generation of devices will receive a software upgrade that will enable 3D as well.

(3) In the past, customers who wanted Google TV with Sony either had to buy a Sony Internet TV with Google TV onboard or buy the Blu-Ray player. But what if you’ve already got a Blu-Ray player and a TV and just want the Google TV experience? Now you can purchase a small Sony Google TV Set Top box that provides a more affordable and compact option.

Other than these hardware alterations, the Google TV experience is very much the same. I’m still waiting for the Android Market to become flooded with apps and games designed specifically for Google TV followed by a flurry of add-ons thanks to Android Open Accessory.

Will 2012 be the year of Google TV? If it is, look for Google IO to be the coming out party.

[Via GTVsource]

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Alcatel Ultra 995 is a Decent Stock Android Phone That Most Will Never See [CES 2012]

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We ran across Alcatel  at CES this year and they came with a pretty decent Android device. It’s being called the Alcatel Ultra 995 and is a stock Android 2.3 device. We’re not sure which carrier it’s aimed at but we do understand that it’s only being aimed at the Asian market for the time being. It had a 1GHz processor and a 4 inch display, enough to run Android 2.3 quite decently.

They had a number of preinstalled apps and games but the most interesting feature was its DLNA gaming. The phone can interface with a smart TV over WiFi and be used as a remote for games on the TV. They were showing a jet ski game where you use the phone to turn left and right. It was pretty cool but we’ve seen this sort of stuff before. It’s a solid device, if nothing else. Check it out above and below.

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Haier Haipad Android Tablet – Still Stuck in 2010 [CES 2012]

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Haier isn’t necessarily new to the Android game but it seems like tbey are with the device they came to CES with. We stopped at their booth to check out the HaiPad, a 7 inch Android 2.3 tablet that does absolutely nothing special.

There’s a 2 megapixel camera on the back, WiFi is present and we have some speakers. There’s a modest amount of internal storage but it can be expanded. At the end of the day, though, a completely stock version of Android 2.3 that hasn’t been customized for tablets is a really disappointing showing.

Perhaps it’s early and they haven’t done anything on the software side yet. Perhaps this sort of stuff still appeals to the Chinese market. For us, we’re just going to give them a quick A for effort and call it a day. The video is above.