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All posts tagged "tablet"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Give Your Old Tablet A New Lease On Life

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home Talk" @ 11:23 PM

"Tablets of both the Android and iPad variety have been lauded for their portability and greatness as often as they've been berated for their uselessness. Regardless, lots of people have them, and lots of people upgrade. We've talked before about using your iPad as a creative tool, but what about the rest of us? If you don't want to sell that tablet you might as well find a creative use for it."

The life cycle of tech is getting shorter and shorter. Us enthusiasts are trading what we have for the newest and greatest almost on an annual basis if not sooner. Take tablets for an example. I'm willing to bet most of us have already upgraded once. So, what do you do with your old tablet once you've gotten the new one?

LifeHacker has compiled a list of ways to give your tablet a new lease on life. Some of the more intriguing uses include dedicated e-reader or magazine reader, portable media center and home automation remote. LifeHacker's list is by no means exhaustive so do you have any good tips on re-purposing an old tablet?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Can the iPad Replace a Desktop for Photo Editing?

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:07 AM

"Since Apple’s first iPad came on the scene in 2010, people have wondered if tablets could stand in for computers. Few would argue they’re not up to casual tasks like Web browsing and emailing, but what about the more demanding ones? What about, say, photo editing? Until recently, that was firmly out of the question. The graphics and processing power of even the top tablets couldn’t hack it. But now, with the new iPad, I’m not so sure."

Everyone likes to chase technology, I suppose, but really, editing photos on a potentially 6-bit screen on an OS without a visible file system, being limited in toolset due to lack of input depth (multi-touch isn't everything), and having limited software that might be nice to use (Snapseed, iPhoto), well, I'm going to pass on this for my serious work for now. I still think the devices need a lot more power too, especially given the new DSLRs are coming out with ever increasing mega-pixel count.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Windows 8 Beta Release Not Far Off (Early 2012)

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 05:30 AM

"Over at The Next Web (TNW), they've spoken to sources close to Microsoft who claim that the public beta has been pegged for late Febraury, though what exactly will be included in this version of Windows 8 is still being finalised."

Windows 8, Microsoft's forthcoming desktop and tablet-based operating system, has been previewed a few times over the last year or so. It has sparked a fair bit of interest for a variety of reasons, including its purported ability to work effectively on a tablet and for its implementation of their Windows Phone 7 Metro-like interface. We may see the next iteration of the software at CES in January, and following that a public beta is expected in late January or February.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seagate Delivers Unmatched Price-Performance Storage For World's First Tablet's Featuring Hard Drives

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:45 AM

"Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) is delivering hard disk drive storage for the world's first handheld tablet computers with hard drives. The ARCHOS G9 8- and 10-inch tablets, announced today in Paris, feature the Seagate Momentus® Thin hard drive, a speedy notebook drive with a super-slim 7mm profile. The performance and capacity of the Momentus Thin drive are the perfect complement for the cutting-edge speed of the ARCHOS G9 family of tablets that features the industry's fastest dual-core 1.5 GHz processor and, on the strength of the Momentus Thin drive, gives users 250GB of capacity, eight times more than a standard 32GB tablet but at the same cost, making the ARCHOS G9 one of the tablet industry's best cost-performance values."

A hard drive that's only 7mm thin? Now that's impressive. 250 GB of storage on a tablet really changes the game when it comes to storage; if you're a movie, photo or music enthusiast, being able to carry all your media content on your tablet would be fantastic. Myself, I'd need 60 GB for all my photos (with some videos thrown in the mix), and another 99 GB to carry all my music. It will be 2016 until I'm able to get anywhere near that with Flash storage. On the flip side, even with as good as hard drives have become with shock tolerance, I'd feel like I'd have to treat the tablet in a more gentle fashion knowing that it had a spinning hard drive in it. It's a trade off to be sure. These two Archos tablets sound pretty interesting though - an 8 inch tablet with a dual-core 1.5 Ghz CPU for $279? Hmm. The remainder of the press release is after the break. Read more...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Real iPad Photography App: Photosmith

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Software" @ 01:30 PM

"Professional photographers who use Lightroom have one more excuse reason to swap an iPad for their MacBook while traveling. Squared Enterprises has released Photosmith, an iPad app for organizing your photos on the road before importing them into Lightroom."

When people talk about photography apps for the iPad, they tend to talk about apps that control the miserable thing that is in the iPad2. For us people who take photography seriously however, this is what we mean by a useful app. In this case, it is the ability to apply your Lightroom cataloguing workflow out in the field before hitting your desktop. My only concern is memory space; even a 64GB iPad may not be enough if one is out in the field for a long long time. That and the fact you need Lightroom as your Digital Asset Management (DAM) software. So if you have both an iPad and Lightroom 3, go check this out!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tekkeon’s New Dual Port Power Pack, Certified by Apple for iPod, iPhone and iPad, Charges Two Devices at Once

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

"TekChargeTM MP1860A, a dual port power pack with two USB outputs, simultaneously charges and powers your iPadTM, iPhone®, iPod® nano or iPod® touch, and a second small portable device. With mobile power at your fingertips, this high-capacity, lightweight battery lets you enjoy hours of extended play time on many of your small portable electronic products. Most portable devices are often in need of recharging after a few hours of use. By taking advantage of the TekCharge MP1860A rechargeable lithium ion battery, you can enjoy hours of extended play time on your iPad, iPhone, iPod, mobile phones, smartphones, Zune® and MP3 players, portable routers, e-readers, and other small portable electronic products. As an added bonus, TekCharge MP1860A includes a flashlight so you have emergency light at your fingertips."

Got an iPad or another tablet that needs a hefty bump of juice to charge? The Tekkeon MP1860A might have a uninspired product name, but it offers plenty of power - up to 2.1 amps, enough to charge an iPad or iPad 2. It's also been officially certified by Apple, so you know it will work. The battery holds 4400 mAH of power, which should be enough to recharge several smaller devices and partially recharge the iPad or another tablet device. I'm working on a review of another Tekkeon battery pack and it's quite impressive. Tekkeon really knows their batteries!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CES 2011: Dell's Press Conference Announcing the Dell Streak 7, Venue Phone, and Other New Hardware

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 04:00 PM

For full-screen viewing, click click on the video above and watch it on YouTube.

This is a video shot in Las Vegas at CES 2011, the Consumer Electronics Show. This is the first time the Dell Streak 7 has been officially unveiled, along with the Dell Venue, and the un-named 10 inch tablet. Other announced hardware includes a 3D version of the XPS 17 laptop, a new Alienware Aurora desktop PC, a new XPS 8300 desktop PC, and a few other odds and ends. The press conference was almost an hour long, so I tried to include only the interesting parts. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Archos 32 Reviewed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:00 AM

"Archos has been making portable media players for a while and, as the likes of the Archos 5 showed, the company knows a thing or two about making a good one. Which is why despite being a touchscreen media player running a mobile OS initially designed for a mobile phone, and adapted for a PMP, the Archos 32 isn't a direct competitor to the iPod touch."

The Archos 32 is a bit of a curious seems to compete in the iPod Touch space, but with a price point of $149 USD, it clearly undercuts the iPod in a big way. It's not a surprise why it's so cheap though: the 3.2 inch screen is a mere 400 x 240 in resolution, and its 8 GB of storage isn't expandable. Still, if you're looking for a pocket entertainment device, this is worth considering.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Barnes & Noble Raises the Ante With Nookcolor

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:30 AM

"Barnes & Noble Inc. is introducing a new Nook e-reader with a color touch screen for $249 as competition in the fast-growing industry heats up ahead of the holidays. As the first full-color touch electronic reader, the Nookcolor stands apart from black-and-white competitors... [and] can be used to read books, magazines, newspapers and an expanded array of children's titles. It also takes hints from Apple Inc.'s iPad with more games, Web browsing, music streaming and its own application store. Like earlier versions, it runs on Google Inc.'s Android operating system."

Barnes & Noble appears to be sticking with the "e-reader" designation, even though the new Nookcolor appears to blur the lines between e-reader and tablet with its feature set, which includes: 7-inch color touchscreen, microUSB port, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, and ability to play audio and video files - with sound piped through a built-in mono speaker or via a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. In addition to promising "over 2 million" book titles (and over a million free titles!), the Nookcolor includes several games, the ability to access Pandora internet radio, and works with the same "LendMe" app that the original Nook offers. Barnes & Noble is also attempting to leverage their brick & mortar stores by offering Nook owners free Wi-Fi, special discounts, and the ability to read free books (up to an hour per day...) when visiting one of their locations. The Nookcolor can be ordered now, with deliveries expected beginning November 19. Is this a brilliant hurry-up-and-order-one / go-stand-in-line device, or an awkward jumble of e-reader and tablet?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Can The Kindle Survive In a Tablet World?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 08:00 PM

"We can read books on our phones, laptops, and tablets. So why would we throw in a dedicated e-reader like the Kindle when packing our already cramped carry-on bags? As you might expect, CEO Jeff Bezos is happy to supply an answer: angry birds."

An interesting perspective, and one that I ultimately agree with. Although the Kindle and the iPad look similar on the surface, when one weighs 1.6 pounds and the other 8.7 ounces, one lasts hours on a charge while the other lasts weeks, and one is $139 and the other is $499, you start to realize they're very different sort of devices. I'm planning on getting a Kindle this holiday season - the cheap Wi-Fi one - and am hoping I'll like it quite a bit. I love reading, but devices have never reached the price point where I was willing to take the risk of purchasing digital, DRM-protected content. I think that point has finally come...and, yeah, I'm still thinking about buying an iPad. I think I'll wait for v2 there as well...

All I Want For Christmas Is An Android Tablet

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Android News" @ 10:30 AM

"LG had initially said their tablet would be available as a Christmas stocking stuffing, but it appears it's been delayed until January's CES show now. It's no big deal really, but according to Bloomberg it's due to software issues."

This is not the first time that a product has not made its initial release date, though I wonder if missing the holiday season is a good decision as those who might like this delightful tablet may not want to wait and spend their gift money on a competitor, like, say, an iPad. With other Android tablets coming out, the claim that the delay is because of Android makes me wonder if the tablet really will be ready or reliable. It almost sounds like LG is working on their own layer on top of Android to try and differentiate themselves and are having problems making it a smooth experience. Whatever the problem is, it probably is best to wait until the reviews come out over this tablet to see if the added wait is worth it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The iPad Will Rule The US Tablet Market

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 PM

"But did Apple just destroy the US tablet market in the same way? Are manufacturers really going to invest millions upon millions of dollars in R&D and marketing when consumers are buying the iPad by the millions? Is the US tablet market dead?"

Tablets, even slate tablets, have been around for a very long time, so I do not think that the iPad has preemptively killed the US market in any fashion. I believe that the iPad will certainly dominate for quite some time, as the tablet market was about as stagnant as the phone market was when the iPhone was introduced, but competition for the iPad already exists in the form of netbooks, and I am fairly sure that other major manufacturers will also look into entering the market with their own slates. The iPad certainly has a lead in the market but just as they drew from the resources and lessons learned with the iPhone, other manufacturers already have numerous tools, largely from the phone market, which can be used to compete.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First Impressions of the ExoPC

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 AM

"After months of following along, we finally got to spend some quality time with the 11.6-inch slate at Computex, and came away surprisingly impressed. Read on after the break for our impressions of this Windows 7 tablet, what that funky UI is all about, and a video of the Slate in action."

The ExoPC will invariably be compared to the hottest Slate on the market, the iPad. It packs what one would normally see in a netbook with the addition of a Broadcom Crystal HD chip so its performance will not break any records, but the big question is how well does Windows 7 work on it. With its capacitive touchscreen, the multi-touch features of Windows 7 have a chance to show themselves. Is it worth it? Well, the current generation of Slates are still fairly new and I am not convinced that Windows 7 is the best choice, but the release of the ExoPC gives us just that, choice. While the iPad is still headlining every few days, it is nice to see a greater selection coming out to let consumers figure out what best suits their needs. Tempting as the Slates are though, I hear no voice telling me that any of these are a must buy.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Where in the World is Microsoft's Slate?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

"Microsoft could also build its own device from start to finish, using Windows 7, Windows Phone 7, or potentially some other software. That could allow for a more tightly integrated experience but runs the risk of further alienating partners. The company's recent decision to kill the Courier project suggests that Microsoft may have considered and rejected this option. "

Image credit: Gizmodo

I would have to agree with Forrester research. While Microsoft has had a strong brand name (good or evil, take your pick) it is definitely losing mindshare these days with the successes that Apple has had. More importantly, it looks as if the computing landscape is changing, with other devices being used in combination with your traditional PC. What Microsoft could see is the erosion of what people think Microsoft is for which may make it harder for the company to stay relevant. With consumer expectations in mind, I believe that Windows Phone 7 may be the best option, since it is designed to be instant on and power sipping. Of course, Windows Phone 7 is not out yet, so that may end up being a horrible disaster. The 800lb gorilla needs to wake up!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More Flavors for the Dell Streak

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"It looks as if a 7-inch and 10-inch Streak tablet is on the horizon. But that's not all -- we learned that the "coming soon" we heard earlier regarding the Aero's release date on AT&T really means "June." Later this "summer," said phone will be joined by the Streak 5 (yeah, that's the Mini 5 we've had for months now) for those who prefer a more capable mobile."

Looks like Dell isn't taking any chances with the screen size for the Streak. With 5, 7, and 10 inch offerings there is a size to fit your needs. I'm really interested in seeing some pricing on these (and even more interested in getting my hands on one). Hint, hint - Dell, if you send me one to play with, I promise to not leave it lying around on a barstool. ;)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Engadget Hands-on with the JooJoo

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"There are just so many things we wish Fusion Garage did differently with the JooJoo. Even putting aside the fact that Apple's $499 iPad brings more to the table than just web browsing, the JooJoo is less portable, has a worse (if larger) screen, is unintuitive to use, and ships with half-baked software. We commend the start-up on its nice piece of hardware design, but until the software is given some much-needed love and the price is seriously reevaluated we simply cannot recommend this tablet. To add insult to injury, Apple's entry level iPad provides a much more seamless and feature-packed experience, and there are plenty of $199-ish ARM-based tablets just around the corner. We told you it was terrible timing. The one shining light we can see is that Fusion Garage has actually managed to finish and build this thing, which is a lot more than can be said for the dozens of ARM / Tegra / Fairy dust-powered, Android / Linux / CE-based tablet prototypes we've seen in the wild."

I guess I'd been so caught up in the JooJoo hoopla that I'd just assumed it has more features than it really does. For example, I assumed it would be able to play locally stored video. Apparently, this is only a web browser. Compared to the iPad, the ability to play Flash is the one positive; but the fact that it doesn't do it very well just kind of defeats the point. So even if Flash is an absolute essential, I'd recommend holding out for one of the other tablet offerings that should be coming out soon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

HP Slate Specs Leaked?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 PM

"Well, well -- what's this? We just got our hands on what looks like an internal HP Slate presentation given to cool down some of the iPad hype amongst HP employees, and it just happens to have specs and pricing details on the elusive Windows 7 tablet."

This looks official enough, but anyone with moderate skills can mock up nearly anything, so I'll hold off on believing this 100%...but there's nothing on here that's difficult to believe. An Atom Z530 CPU makes sense, as does 1 GB of RAM (I wish it were 2 GB though) and everything else makes sense. It's nice to see they didn't cripple it with Windows 7 Starter edition - what with its non-background changing and all - and the two cameras are a nice addition. The hardware addresses many of the things that the iPad lacks - but the Slate clearly falls short in the battery life department when stacked up against the iPad. So what do you think? If the HP Slate comes out at $549, will you buy one?

New HP Slate Video Looks Amazing

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 10:22 AM

"Up to now, we've given you only tiny glimpses of the HP slate device coming out later this year. You saw it first in a video we released during CES and most recently in videos demoing its Web experience and Adobe Flash and Air support. We've also blogged about the evolution of the slate category and our history in the space. So far, almost everything we've shared showcases how you'll consume media with the device. And by media we mean all types of digital content, whether it's a story from a major news outlet or videos and photos you've shot. But we also believe that media consumption is only half of the ideal mobile experience."

One word: WOW. I've been cautiously optimistic about the HP Slate, and what was holding me back was the fact that Windows 7 isn't a touch-focused operating system, or is it an operating system that tends to work really well on low-end hardware. While I can't speak to the performance yet (and frankly I'm a bit worried about that), if the work that HP has done on this custom UI goes fairly deep, I could see spending most of my time inside this software suite. It's hard to judge the final product based on a slick marketing video, but I see a lot of things here that I like.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rumored Price for HP Slate Looks Good

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"Seemingly obtained from HP itself, the €400 ($546) price tag positions the Slate a notch above netbooks and bodes well for the expectation that it'll undercut the iPad's entry level pricing. Straight currency conversations are inadvisable in such situations, so we'll just have to wait until official stickers for the iPad in Europe are known or HP announces US prices for the Slate."

If this pricing holds true, I think I'll be going with this over the iPad. I know you can make the argument either way, but I prefer having a full OS and the ability to do what I want on the device over the easier to use, but more locked down environment of the iPad. Plus, since this runs Windows, I'll hopefully be able to tether this to my Droid without much trouble.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Engadget Has the Scoop on Microsoft Courier

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:36 AM

"We've been dying to know more about Microsoft's Courier tablet / e-book device ever since we first caught wind of it last September, and while our entreaties to Mr. Ballmer went unanswered, we just learned some very interesting information from an extremely trusted source. We're told Courier will function as a "digital journal," and it's designed to be seriously portable: it's under an inch thick, weighs a little over a pound, and isn't much bigger than a 5x7 photo when closed."

Courier is shaping up to be a really interesting product - I was initially pretty hesitant about how real it was when I saw the first leaks, but this is looking pretty legitimate. Engadget says that it will run on Tegra 2, and use the same OS as the Zune HD and Windows phone 7...meaning Windows CE 6 at the base, and a custom UI on top. I think that's fantastic, because Windows 7, as much as I like it, simply isn't made for a great tablet-type experience. Courier on the other hand, seems built to function radically different than any other computing device we've seen - the dual screens and the ability to flick items between the screens is like geek sci-fi. If Courier turns out to be real, it will blow the iPad away in terms of sheer functionality in my opinion. There's so much we don't know yet, but I'm fascinated by what we're seeing - and to lend an air of credibility to this whole thing, one of the videos says it was created at Pioneer Studios...that's the same group at Microsoft that created the Zune HD and Windows phone 7. Interesting, no?

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