Mobile Devices

Asus Tablets Up at CeBIT

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Asus shows its tablet computer selection at CeBIT-- 4 models in total, 2 of which come with keyboards.

Asus Eee Pad SliderThe Eee Pad Slider features a 10.1" IPS touchscreen, together with a slide-out keyboard, turning it into something like a notebook computer. It carries a dual-core NVidia Tegra 2 CPU, together with a GeForce GPU, front and rear facing cameras and Android Honeycomb as oS. Internet connections come through either wifi or (optional) 3G.

Meanwhile the EePad Transformer is a 10.1" touchscreen tablet carrying the same specs as the Slider, only one that turns into a notebook via docking station with integrated keyboard. The dock also extends the device's battery life to up to 16 hours. The tablet itself has a mini-HDMI port for easy external display connection, with HD video playback support.

In a small form factor is the Eee Pad MeMO, with a 7.1" capacitive touchscreen. For heavier-duty applications is the Eee Slate EP121, carrying an Intel Core i5 dual-core processor and a 12.1" LED-backlit display. It has Windows 7 Home Premium as OS, ensuring full compatibility with a wide application range. It comes with either 32 or 64GB of storage space, up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, x2 USB 2.0 ports and a mini-HDMI port.

Go Asus Tablet Computers at CeBIT 2011

Open Bottles With an iPhone

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iOpenerWest|280's product is admittedly rather simple-- it's an iPhone case with an added bottle cap remover. Thus, iOpener.

The product comes as a polymer alloy case with what the company describes as a "14 gauge, 304 food grade stainless steel opener". Thankfully one can retract the opener back into a slot when not in use.

In other words, it's something of a novelty for parties and the like as a (wait for it) eye opener, even if models are currently only compatible with the iPhone 3 and below (and available in either white or black).

It also comes with BevConX, an app one can use to keep track of what is being opened and creates notifications on Facebook or Twitter (with an added geolocation feature).

Go iOpener

Samsung (already) Slims Down Galaxy Tab

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It appears Samsung did take the iPad2 challenge seriously-- the company announces an upgrade to its Galaxy Tab 10.1 at CTIA 2011, hardly a month after its Mobile World Congress unveiling.

galaxy tablNow the company claims the tablet is now the world's thinnest-- measuring 256.6 x 172.9 x 8.6mm. It's also slightly lighter than the model shown at Barcelona, at 595g (compared to the iPad2, whose thickness comes at 8.8mm and weighs 601g).

Specifications remain the same-- a 1280 x 800 multitouch display, 1GHz dual-core processor, stereo speakers and carrying Flash support. What's new is Samsung's TouchWiz UI alongside the Honeycomb OS.

Also new is the Galaxy Tab 8.9 awkwardly named after, well, its 8.9" screen (compared to the original Galaxy Tab's 7" screen). Its insides are similar to the 10.1 version's, with a dual-core processor and Honeycomb (also complete with TouchWiz).

Go Samsung at CTIA 2011

Go Galaxy Tab Goes 10.1

3G and Tablets: A Booming Combination

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tabletTablets carrying 3G/4G technology will make over 50% of tablets sold globally by 2015, Park Associates predicts-- 68 out of 126m.

Customers are increasingly engaging in social networking, uploading photos online and watching online video on mobile devices-- all data-intensive services. Thus it only makes sense for tablets (with their increased visual and computing capabilities) to offer the same mobile internet capability.

Park Associates' report says 3G subscribers will double over the next 5 years-- account for over 47% of W.w. mobile subscribers. An additional 5% will subscribe to 4G services.

The analyst recommends carriers optimise their networks' performance, be more selective with their mobile platform subsidising and monetise wifi assets in order to remain profitable-- while fitting customers' needs with more flexible pricing options.

Go Tablet Sales Booming Alongside 3G and 4G Network Subscriber Growth

Apple Causes Fray with Second iPad

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Surprising exactly no one Apple unveils its second iPad, with CEO Steve Jobs halting his current leave of absence (due to health reasons) to take to the stage for the announcement.

ipad2The improvements on the original come as expected-- thinner, lighter, 1 GHz dual-core A5 chip, HDMI connectivity (through separate dongle, of course), x2 cameras and a choice of colours (black or... white).

One can easily say Apple hasn't done enough with the new tablet; the screen's resolution and IPS LCD technology remain the same (whereas Motorola's Gingerbread-powered Xoom has a higher-resolution screen), it lacks an SD card slot, the company's infamous 30-pin connectors continue handling connections and maximum storage size remains 64GB.

The new iPad's true winners? Its Taiwanese manufacturers, including sole assemblers Hon Hai, glass-based touchscreen module manufacturers TPK and Wintek and camera manufacturer Largan.

Some might describe Apple's competition as the losers, especially if taking Jobs' describing the likes of Samsung and RIM as "flumoxed" and "copycats" at face value. Others would differ, but reports already emerge of Samsung being in a bit of a panic-- Samsung's mobile division executive VP Lee Don-joo tells Korea's Yonhap News his company "...will have to improve the parts that are inadequate..." in reference to the soon released Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Meanwhile the iPad2 will hit (Apple) stores on March 11, with all the news stories on store queues that will entail.

Go Apple iPad

Go iPad 2: Winners and Losers (Financial Times)

Go Samsung Sees iPad 2's Thinness, Price as Challenges