Mobile Devices

Tegra Gets Four Cores

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Nvidia demos a quad-core version of its Tegra processor at Computex 2011, saying devices carrying the processor will start hitting the market in September 2011.

TegraBearing the codename "Kal-El" (that's Superman's Kryptonian name, won't you know), the quad-core Tegra should first appear in tablets, before showing up in smartphones. Nvidia fails to mention any vendors by name, but one can safely assume the list will include any of Nvidia's current partners (which include Motorola, Dell, Sony and Asus).

The company says the chip is not only be more capable than Tegra 2 but also is more power-efficient, resulting in better game graphics and longer battery lives.

Nvidia says this latest offering is the world's first quad-core tablet chip-- although one doubts Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are sitting on their laurels. In fact, Qualcomm announced a quad-core Snapdragon chip earlier this year at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress (where "Kal-El" was also first announced).

Meanwhile back at Computex, Nvidia also announces Tegra 2 shipments will reach 10m units by June's end. The chipset also receives another accolade at the show-- specifically the "Best Choice" award for smart handheld devices from the Taipei Computer Association.

Go Nvidia

It's a Pad! It's a Phone! It's a... Padfone?

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PadfoneAsus combines the CE market's fastest growing categories (mobiles and tablets) into one device-- the Padfone, which it unveils at Taipei's Computex 2011.

Simply put, the Padfone is an Android smartphone with an included touchscreen tablet dock. The tablet carries its own battery cell, meaning it also expands the combined device's battery life.

The device dynamically switches displays whenever users connect the phone part to the tablet, while sharing data and 3G aconnection access between mobile and tablet parts.

More details are unavailable at the time of writing-- Asus is still to confirm its actual dimensions (the models at the show include a 4.3" smartphone and a 10.1" tablet) and the Android version it will carry.

The Padfone unveiling comes alongside a slew of other Asus announcements, including new notebook models (in Asus' UX and N series) and the Eee Pad MeMO 3D 7" Honeycomb tablet.

Go Asus Padfone

MeMO Gets Glasses-Free Depth

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Eee Pad MeMO 3DAlongside its other Computex 2011 announcements Asus introduces a new tablet-- the Eee Pad MeMO 3D, a 7" Honeycomb slate.

Making the device unique is its glasses-free 3D IPS display (with 1280 x 800 resolution). Asus says the device is designed for use in portrait orientation, and it comes with with a capacitative stylus for note taking functions.

Powering the device is a Qualcomm 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and it comes with HDMI connectivity and front- and back-facing cameras.

The package also include a MeMIC bluetooth mobile phone-style remote control/headset which also takes calls, and it should be available sometime in Q4 2011.

Go Asus at Computex 2011

HP Wants TouchPad to Be Better Than Most

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touchpadWill HP's TouchPad truly be "better than number one"? That's what HP European head Eric Cador says, following a press conference in Cannes.

Announced last February, the TouchPad uses Palm's WebOS, the last entry in the tablet wars dominated by Apple and Google.

Building up to the device's eventual launch this year, HP also announces its flagship UK apps partners--, Sky and the Guardian, all of whom will have Touchpad apps on launch (alongside "thousands" others).

HP hopes its experience in the PC sector will prove key to its tablet success-- success analysts are somewhat uncertain about. We'll see about that success once the TouchPad actually starts hitting the market.

Go HP: "TouchPad Will Be Better Than Number One" Tablet

Go HP TouchPad

Intel-Powered Tablets: On Show Soon

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Intel TabletIntel will unveil more than 10 Intel chip carrying tablets at Taiwan's Computex later this month, as it plays catch up with Arm's processor range.

The show will also host the launch of the company's tablet processor range, Oak Trail, the Wall Street Journal reports. Intel also says more than 35 Intel chip-based tablets will ship this year.

The tablet race will be far from easy for Intel though-- analysts say Intel will be limping its way through, thanks to the combination of lack of strong partnerships and simply being the latest arrival.

Meanwhile Intel Asia-Pacific GM Navin Shenoy says the company expects no impact on its supply chain following March's Japan earthquake-- meaning Intel's tablet entry won't be delayed even further...

Go Intel Steps Into Tablet Market (WSJ)