Archive for August, 2011
Sony just made the announcement today officially revealing the new Sony TRS-T1 e-reader! It will be hitting the USA at only $149, which should make it ultra competitive with Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble. The one thing Sony does well is offering its technology in many international markets, where its competition mainly focuses on the US. Sony will be offering not only its new e-reader internationally, but also its bookstore.
Sony will be opening up a new bookstore in the UK with around 100,000 ebooks to start this October. They will then be launching their German store with both English and German book titles available in November, and then available to Austria soon thereafter. Next year they will be opening stores in France, Spain, and Italy.
The strategy of Sony entering many European markets is much akin to Canadian based Kobo, which we reported on earlier this year. The big battleground for e-readers and bookstores is Europe.
We reported on the official Sony unveiling of their new e-reader a few days ago, but due to demand we are including the official specs below.
- Price: $149
- 6-inch Clear Enhanced touch screen (16-level grayscale E Ink Pearl V220 screen)
- Neonode infrared touch-screen technology (same as Nook Touch)
- 1GHz Intel processor
- Weighs 5.93 ounces
- 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.35 inches (HWD)
- MicroSD expansion slot for adding additional memory
- Built-in Wi-Fi (no 3G)
- 2 GB built-in memory (stores around 1,200 e-books)
- Text and handwritten note-taking capabilities
- Up to 5 weeks of reading on a single battery charge
- 12 embedded multilingual dictionaries (2 English language and 10 translation dictionaries)
- Six adjustable font sizes to customize
- USB 2.0 data and power connection (micro USB)
- Supports PDF, Microsoft Word, and other text file formats, as well as EPUB/ACS4 and connection with Adobe Digital Editions
- Supports public library lending in U.S. and Canada
- Reads JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP image files
- Reader Library software for PC and Mac
- Plays back MP3 and AAC audio files (headphone jack on board)
- Available in black, red, and white
- Limited edition PRS-T1HBC (also $149) includes a voucher to download free “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” e-book from Pottermore Web site
- Shipping in October
How about a tablet that costs just $1? Well, those in Japan are fortunate enough to be able to go home with the new 7 inch Sharp Galapagos by doling out that much of money, which comes to about 100 Yen. However, and unfortunately, that’s not as simple as is being made out as buyers will be required to subscribe to data services from EMOBILE to avail of the huge subsidy. The tablet otherwise costs 44,800 Yen, or around $400.
The latest tablet from Sharp runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb and has a dual-core NVidia Tegra 2 processor running at 1 GHz. It also has 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage capacity. The display is of 1024 X 600 pixels and features 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. It has two cameras—a 5 megapixel unit at the rear with Led Flash, while integrated at the front is a 2 megapixel unit. The device has GPS, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and also has accomodations for microSD expansion and an HDMI out slot. As far as battery life goes, the 7.7 Galapagos can work for 7.5 hours and the overall weight of the device is 389 grams.
Sharp offers tablets with 5.5 and 10.8 inch displays, all of which form part of the Galapagos range and are more oriented towards e-book readers. The new 7 inch Galapagos is being billed as a true Android tablet, though it’s all too natural for this tablet too to find application as an e-reader.
No information yet as to when Sharp will introduce its tablet range outside of Japan.
The HTC Puccini, which will be known as the JetSteam on AT&T networks, is now ready to hit store shelves on the 4th of September. However, the price is quite hefty at $700, even after agreeing to a 2 year contract. This makes it one of the more pricey Android tablets and history is replete with instances of how consumers have always shunned high priced products unless there is an exemplary reason to act on the contrary.
Now the question is: can the Jetstream be deemed an exemplary tablet? Here are the specs so you can judge for yourself: a third gen Snapdragon 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, Android 3.1 Honeycomb, HTC Sense UX on top of the Android, a 10.1 inch WXGA display, and 1.3 megapixel front facing camera along with a 8 megapixel unit at the rear with dual LED flash. A 7,300 mAh battery will be providing the power while the entire thing is going to be just 25 ounces. Also, the Jetstream will also be compliant with AT&T’s HSPA+ network AND 4G LTE radios.
What remains to be seen is whether HTC’s second attempt at a tablet device lives up to the expectations and whether there are enough buys at that price even if it is found to be worth it.
The Apple tablet is everywhere. From flight bags in airplanes to books in school, the iPad is permeating our lives in more ways than perhaps ever conceived. These are indications of how technology is helping our lives become easier and more interesting.
Longfield Academy, located in Kent, UK, is a school which is going ahead with plans to give students an iPad containing their entire curriculum for the academic session that begins next month. As per the school management, this gadget will be the perfect learning tool for the students both at home and at school.
However, it’s not all free. Parents will need to pay some amount for the iPad. The exact amount though has not yet been specified. The package will include a protective case, a range of apps, insurance, and tech support. Whether the plan is to replace all textbooks in totality or to have it be just an add-on gadget to some of the textbooks is not yet clear.
The much anticipated tablet PCs from Amazon were earlier rumored to be ready for their market onslaught by fall of this year. However, while the 7 inch version seems to be sticking to that schedule, its bigger 10 inch cousin has been pushed back until Q1 2012. This has been revealed by upstream component suppliers, Foxconn Electronics, who will be putting together the tablet. Interestingly, Foxconn also manufactures the iPad, which the Amazon tablet is up against.
In another development, there are reports already of a new Amazon site that is reported to have been optimized for viewing on a tablet. The buttons are now bigger to make them easier for touch operation. The site is more slick and neat than the present Amazon homepage, while the color scheme used is white and gray, which does look cool. Amazon, however, still has yet to officially acknowledge the tablet.
Also, there has been no dearth of tablet PCs that started out with bold claims of beating the iPad, though it’s no secret none came even close. The most notable instance has been that of the TouchPad that even got pulled off from the market due to less than expected demand. However, the TouchPad seems to have taught a vital lesson to every tablet manufacturer—that there is always a market for a quality product that is low in cost. Amazon is trying this route of making a dent in the tablet market, and hoping to make up for the low price in the long run by way of content sales, which includes e-books, music, and videos. Amazon should be encouraged by the way the TouchPads got lapped up. So while we know Amazon will try their best to keep initial costs low, it remains to be seen just how low it is going to be. However, it’s almost certain it won’t be $99.
Mozilla is working on a tablet version of the hugely popular Firefox browser which will bring all the Firefox goodness in a tablet environment. Among the things that will make the Firefox browser for tablet something to look forward to is the Awesomebar that is designed to invoke all of your bookmarks or favorite sites right from within the URL bar itself.
Then there are some nice enhancements that will be meted out to the Tabs. Like the Tabs will pile up along the left in landscape mode to provide quick access to them. The same however will get arranged into a menu item at the top of the screen when the tablet orientation in reverted back to portrait mode to allow for more space for the browser to log site contents.
Mozilla has also made their intent of developing an OS for tablet PC and we look forward to that too.
The Barnes and Noble entire product line of e-readers which includes the new Simple Touch and the ever popular Nook Color continue to garner the company strong revenue. Overall sales in the last quarter rose a staggering 140% and made the company $277 million dollars. B&N forecast that by years end they would have made $1.8 billion dollars.
Barnes and Noble continues to make money while rival bookstore chain Borders faded away in obscurity. This is mainly arbitrated to the fact that B&N sold their own ebooks and e-readers. In the last quarter device sales accounted for over %20 of the companies overall profit margins. While Borders stores have all but closed and went out of business, B&N continues to open more university and college stores and now has over 635 that focus on textbooks.
Chief Executive William Lynch told analysts on a conference call that the bookseller has 26 percent to 27 percent of the e-book market, the same market share he claimed last quarter.
Barnes and Noble is projected to have a stellar holiday season starting with Black Friday in the USA and culminating with the Christmas season in later December. Many customers will be switching to the company since Borders is a non-factor now and e-readers become even more visible in popular culture. There are many commercials now for the Nook line of e-reader and many people are becoming more aware of the technology. B&N has not divulged sales figures that it has spent in advertising but their campaign seems to be working.
Currently B&N is the second most prolific company in the USA selling e-readers, behind Amazon. This holiday season the bookstore chain will have their work cut out for them as Amazon is planning on launching a new tablet computer and a new color Kindle e-Reader.
The Tablet S from Sony that we had known all along as the S1 is likely to be launched in Canada towards the middle of next month. Everything is in rumor turf though and the launch date is being speculated as either the 14th or 15th September. As per a Sony invite that got leaked, “The new Sony Tablet is about to arrive in Canada. As a valued customer, we would like YOU to see it first!”
No mention of either the price or from where the tablet can be picked up though the good thing is we won’t have to wait long for the full details to emerge.
The Kobo iOS application enjoys the Good e-Reader top reading pick on the Apple operating system with good reason. It has many features not found in any competing apps, most notably Reading Life. This is a social media extravaganza that allows you to share the books you are reading with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. It also has a rewards system so when you read books you can garner special achievements. One of the best aspects is your reading status. The app will break down how many books you read, how long it takes to read them and a slew of other options.
Most eBook applications for iOS and the iPad do not allow you to load in your own books, instead you have to purchase them directly from the company. The purpose of this tutorial is to teach you how to load in your books directly to the Kobo application. This way you can take advantage of many of the features found in it and bypass the need to exclusively rely on the iBooks app.
The first thing you want to do is plug your iPad or other device into your computer and fire up iTunes. You then want to click on the device you plugged in and then click on the Apps tab. Once you do that you can scroll to the bottom of the list and you should see a file sharing option. You want to click on the Kobo icon that you see below the file sharing option. You can then simply drag and drop EPUB and PDF books into the Kobo Documents area. Alternatively you can use the FILE/ADD button to directly add books to it.
One you complete the above steps you want to SYNC your device and it will copy all of the books directly to your iPad. When you complete the sync you can then unplug it from your computer and the books should appear on your Kobo Library Shelf! Now you can start earning awards and buff up your reading stats.
Comic fans will be lining up at Midtown Comics in New York City’s Times Square on August 31st—many of them in costume—for the midnight launch of the New 52, the fresh start of nearly the entire line of DC Universe super hero titles. The revamped favorites include new plot lines, fresh characterizations, and of course, updated wardrobes for the heroes and villains alike (spoiler alert: Superman will NOT be wearing his undergarments outside of his clothes). The New 52 will begin with Justice League #1, the DC Comic’s opener for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and more. Thirteen issues a week from various DC genres will be released through the end of September.
The real news associated with the iconic relaunch of the entire series is that the comic books will be available on tablet PC for the first time with the new digital day-and-date, meaning the tablet version of a comic will release on the same day as the hard copy version. Until now, comics from major distributors and publishers have been made available for iPads and iPhones, but they tended to be more midlist back issues, not current new releases. DC Comics’ re-release issues will be available for immediate purchase on iOS and Android devices, as well as through WP7 apps, Comixology, and various sites like the DC Universe Online site.
The move to integrating tablet PC and app users is innovative, but it has been a long time coming. Fans of comics and graphic novels tend to be a more technologically adept consumer niche of society, so it just makes sense that these fans would enjoy reading their favorite story lines on high-tech devices; avid collectors may still choose to purchase hard copy editions of the comics for the intrinsic and investment value of the titles, but now readers will not have to choose which format they prefer. While DC Comics has reinvented and upgraded its characters and story lines over the years to keep up with a changing culture and new generations of reader fans that have come along, the technology behind this re-release will mean greater access for fans of any ilk, no matter the geographical barriers to purchasing the comics on issue day.
Super Heroes To Descend Upon Times Square
In Celebration of DC Comics’ Historic Launch of All-New #1s
Costumed fans to line-up at Midtown Comics in rush to be first to buy
Justice League #1 and meet comic book legends Jim Lee and Geoff Johns
WHO: Calling all super hero fans! Join the crowd of comic book faithful and costumed fans and be the first to see the future of Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and all the DC Comics Super Heros
Comic book icons, Geoff Johns & Jim Lee of DC Comics
The writer and artist of Justice League #1, starring the world’s greatest super hero team
WHAT: Hundreds of eager fans are expected to line up at Midtown Comics in Times Square in anticipation of DC Comics’ historic launch of The New 52 – a series of 52 new editions of classic comics, each updated, modernized and launching as new No. 1s. The first of The New 52, Justice League #1, will go on sale at midnight.
The “Midnight Madness” event will give fans an exclusive opportunity to purchase Justice League #1, the first title from DC Comics — The New 52, starring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and more.
Fans will also have the chance to meet the comic book icons behind the comic book, Jim Lee and Geoff Johns. The remaining 51 titles starting at #1 issues will be available throughout September.
Costume contests to take place each hour from 2pm through midnight. Giveaways and additional Midnight Madness festivities to begin at 10:30pm.
WHEN: Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 2:00PM EDT: Line & costume contests starts
Additional festivities begin 10:30 PM
Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 12:01 AM EDT: First sale
Press check-in Tuesday: Beginning at 9:00 AM EDT, flexible
Interviews, photos with Geoff Johns & Jim Lee Tuesday: Beginning at 9:00 AM EDT, upon request
WHERE: Midtown Comics Times Square
200 West 40th St. @ 7th Ave (NYC 10018)
HP has publicly stated today that the company has decided to manufacture one last run of the HP TouchPad in order to satisfy demand and fulfill existing orders. They will be built and ready to ship by October 2011 and then customers will get a chance to be able to get some solid deals.
HP said in an official comment today “A limited supply are coming and it will be a few weeks before they are available. As we know more about how, when, and where TouchPads will be available, we will communicate that here and through email to those who requested notification. We can tell you that HP’s Small and Medium Business team has sold out of HP TouchPads and will not have more inventory. Bryna (@BrynaatHP) and I (@MarkatHP) will update you here and on Twitter on the status of the new batch of systems. Please continue to share your thoughts and questions with us. Although we can’t respond to every one directly, we are sharing your feedback with teams inside HP.”
One of the biggest facets of this announcement of the TouchPad to be manufactured further is the company putting a stop to the people buying 10 or 20 and then selling them on Craigslist or Ebay. HP has said that they will be imposing a “1 unit per customer policy.”
What about the deal for $99 for the 16 GB and $149 for the 32 GB models? HP has said that they will continue to sell them on their own web pages for that amount and that vendors have their own policies. This is why Bestbuy, Futureshop and many other companies participated in the firesale of the tablets but other companies like Newegg did not.
via The Next Bench
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 launch Down Under has been pushed back till September 30, thanks to some renewed efforts on part of Apple to keep the Tab 10.1 from action in Australia. The Samsung tablet was originally planned to be launched on September 12. Hearing of the case has been slated for the last week of September at the Federal Court under Judge Annabelle Bennett. She also mentioned that only after the hearing would it be clear if there was need for an injunction or not.
“Samsung has agreed to delay the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 pending the court’s decision in the week commencing September 26, 2011,” it said in a statement. “It should be noted that the court has not issued an injunction against the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the court did not make any ruling during today’s hearing.”
There was supposed to be a difference between the Tab 10.1 meant for sale in Australia compared to that available in the US market. Samsung seems to have changed the interface in the Australian Tab 10.1 with a custom TouchWiz interface but Apple seems to the least interested. Its attorney Steve Burley states that Samsung have merely reduced the functionality of its device which Samsung is contesting as false and baseless accusations.
Right now Samsung is at the losing end of this legal battle with Apple. There is a ban on Samsung’s Tab 10.1 in Germany by a court injunction and so is the case in Holland as well. Australia appears to be following the same path as of now and it would be in October that the US action would be seen. Samsung is just not able to work up a strong defense.
Samsung’s endeavor to cite Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 as the prior art and also trying to prove that the iPad and Galaxy Tab designs are just naturals is not holding enough water in court. They have even lost out in Germany with the depiction of their distorted visual evidence.
The HP TouchPad saga has been thoroughly interesting so far. A high profile launch followed by discounts to HP leaving the tablet business altogether and resorting to $99 clearance sale of the remaining stock of the WebOS tablet that led to almost the 21st century equivalent of a gold rush; we have seen it all take place in a matter of just weeks. In fact, so huge has been the demand for the HP tablet that for once, every other tablet took to the back seat while the TouchPad ruled the roost.
However, whether its this or something else, HP, it seems to be having second thoughts about giving the Touchpad another chance.
“Tablet computing is a segment of the market that’s relevant, absolutely,” Bradley said while also adding that the company might go for providing the TouchPad another lease of live.
Meanwhile, HP is in the midst of undergoing some deep-rooted restructuring and is looking to spin off its PC business rather than selling it off completely. Maybe the spun off entity would be made to bring back the TouchPad once more. However, what seems certain is that any new Touchpad version (or a new model line-up) will involve new design and technology to ensure a better survivability. The company though has stated it will remain fully committed to the warranty and other obligations as regards the TouchPad while developing the WebOS platform.
In the meantime, HP is sending out mails to those who had expressed interest in the Touchpad saying they are making every effort possible to make available more TouchPads. So those who had missed on the first few round of fire sale can still hope to get hold of a TouchPad.
Combine the above with reports of unused parts now in possession of component makers which is enough to produce about 100,000 of the 7 inch TouchPad Go and all of it does point to something.
Here’s our wishlist: there is some more shipments of TouchPad (maybe the craze is what is liked here), a new TouchPad comes in the scene, price remains low (if not as low as $100) and the WebOS flourishes.