Computex Coverage

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Pepcom is one of the largest press events and transpires the day before CES. Good e-Reader was live on the scene and checked out some of the most compelling devices. Surprisingly there was no new e-readers unveiled, but Kobo was on the scene with their entire portfolio of products. Mainly, we looked at a bunch of solid new phones, such as the Huawei Ascend Mate 2, LG G-Flex and Alcatel One Touch.

Categories : CES, Computex Coverage
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Windows 8 has made a big splash at the recently concluded Computex event, which is hardly surprising. Microsoft has also promised an official launch of its next gen OS in October and Computex was the last big event for the Richmond based company to showcase their latest creation. The touch friendly Windows 8 has already earned critical acclaim and the recent sightings of the OS on tablet devices (along with ultrabooks, notebooks, and all-in-ones as well) has only whetted our appetite to try our hands, or rather fingers, on the final version.

Windows 8’s impact at Computex included the Taipei Computer Association or TCA is attributing the huge success the premier show to Microsoft’s latest OS and its extensive eco system. On display were finished products such as tablets and ultrabooks running Windows 8, and a whole range of other related products such as processors, touch control chip, ultra-thin panels, lightweight chassis components, and so forth.

Among the products based on Windows 8 that were showcased, convertible tablets coupled to a removable keyboard were the toast of the entire show. More convertible tablets were there to be seen from the bigwigs than standalone tablet PCs, which perhaps is an indication of the shape of things to come in the not too distant future. Asus, Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba all had Transformer-esque convertible tablets to show off running Windows 8. Asus has even gone one step further and has launched a convertible AIO along with the Taichi concept that sports dual displays.

Now after all the action that we have seen at the Computex, what we look forward to are the actual devices based on the OS becoming a reality soon.

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If you have been wondering what Lenovo has been up to during this year’s edition of Computex, they had a new ThinkPad tablet up for display. The tablet is built around the new Intel Medfield Atom chipset and runs Windows 8 with a 11.6 inch display up front. Cameras are along the front and back of the tablet, along with USB and HDMI ports and a SD card slot on the sides. Full details are being held back, which include pricing and availability details. However, with Windows 8 all set for a launch during fall this year, the Lenovo ThinkPad can be expected to reach markets around that time. The tablet, on its part, looks well built and sturdy and should appeal to enterprise users.

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Texas Instruments is showing off a new tablet prototype running Windows RT at Computex in Taipei. However, it’s a closed door affair and nobody is allowed to touch the device, let alone film it. OMAP product manager Bill Crean has provided a demo of the tablet and it became immediately clear why the audience was not allowed a feel of the device; it’s still very much a work in progress with glitches galore. Obviously TI couldn’t let the journalists have a first hand idea of how ill prepared they were for the show.

Bill Crean later explained to The Verge the reason the tablet was kept away from anyone’s reach is that “the reference design had a single issue with touchscreen calibration that just barely didn’t get fixed in time for the show.”

However, he also explained TI will be ready for Windows 8 right from day one when the OS is finally unleashed. Hopefully, that is how things unfold in the coming months.

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For those who might have thought that Computex was all about the latest gizmos for the grown ups, there was also the Android tablet for kids from Gajah. The tablet is an early prototype, but sports some nice specs.

The display is 7 inches, though as with most other tablets of its genre, looks a lot bigger owing to the thick cladding that has been provided to ensure the device continues to operate even under harsh treatment. Further, the tablet runs on Android 4.0 and includes features that make it very kid friendly. This comprises of colorful wallpaper while the user interfaces a simple with the icons large in an easy to read format.

Behind it all lies a 1 GHZ processor along with half a gig of RAM. Storage capacity of the tablet would range up to 32 GB.

The Singapore-based Gajah International has to its credit several award winning tablet and e-book reader prototypes and the latest tablet designed for kids could well be another feather in its cap.

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While it was expected that Windows 8 would be the star attraction of Computex 2012, what did come as a surprise was the number of convertible tablets that manufacturers put up on display. Toshiba also has a convertible tablet to show off (predictably running Windows 8), joining others such as Acer, Asus, and Samsung.

Toshiba seems to be a little more secretive of its device. It is in no mood to reveal what is inside, though it resembles the Transformer Prime, in being attachable to a separate keyboard. The keyboard in turn houses a separate battery unit while also offering three USB ports as well as an HDMI slot. The keyboard is therefore not only serving as an input device but also a power source and connectivity hub.

Another tablet Toshiba displayed comes with a keyboard that is not removable but instead can be slid beneath the display. This reminds us of the Asus Eee Pad Slider and while the concept is good, the keyboard can add to the weight when the device is used purely in tablet mode.

However, while the device Toshiba introduced does not break any new ground, the company, for its part, said: “At this point, we will not be providing any additional information or specs on these products.”

via cnet

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The future Android tablets from Acer will be named A210 and A110. These tablets are on display at Computex and are the next gen versions of the current Iconia Tab A200 and A100 tablets the company offers.

Both the tablet PCs now come with the latest Tegra 3 quad core chip with Android 4.0 ICS as the default OS. Acer reps at Computex stated that they plan to launch the tablet during Q3 this year, though price has been kept a secret as of now.

Coming to the individual specs, the 7 inch 1024 x 600 pixels Iconia Tab A110 feature a 1 GB RAM along with 8 GB of storage space. The tablet measures 0.45 inches in thickness and also includes a micro USB port, a micro HDMI slot, and a microSD card slot.

The bigger Iconia Tab A210 offers a 10.1 inch 1280 x 800 pixel display and will be available in two variants of 8 GB and 16 GB. It will only have a front facing camera and includes a USB 2.0 port and a microSD card slot along with a bigger 3620mAh battery.

While prices haven’t been released, both the tablet PCs are likely to be kept affordable as both are largely of 2011 era, but with enhanced processing ability along with Android ICS right out of the box. The 7 inch Acer A110 and other buy now pay later tablet computers are now available at BrightHouse.

via ubergizmo

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Tablet devices that dock into a keyboard seems to be the future. Lenovo started it all with its IdeaPad U1 Hybrid Tablet which never entered markets. Asus took the concept further with its popular Transformer range while Acer has also announced a hybrid tablet named the W510 based on the same concept. Now Samsung too has made it to that club with the launch of its Series 5 hybrid tablet at the Computex event now underway in Taiwan. Also, one of the unique aspects of the Series 5 Hybrid device is that it uses a magnetic locking arrangement for the tablet to be docked in with the keypad unit. This is unlike other tablet devices of its type that uses a mechanical hinge which in turn also add to the weight of the device.

This apart, Samsung’s hybrid tablet range comprises of two versions — Series 5 and Series 7, both of which come with 11.6 inch capacitive touchscreens having a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The Series 5 Hybrid, codenamed “William” is based on the relatively lesser capable Intel Atom processor. The Series 7 Hybrid which is codenamed Jones is better off with a Intel Core i5 processor.

Other features of the tablet include a microSD card slot, along with HDMI and USB ports. For models that would have mobile broadband feature in them there would be a SIM card slot as well. The tablets weigh about 1.5 pounds with a thickness of just 0.35 inches. A front 2 and rear 8 megapixel camera is also common for both the Series 5 and 7 tablets. Further, both the tablets support stylus pen input with a neat stylus slot built along the side allow for safe storage of the stylus as well.

No word yet as to when the tablets will be ready for a market debut or what they would eventually cost.

via slashgear

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Asus is going totally ballistic, offering different devices running  Windows 8 at the ongoing Computex event. Asus wants to have its presence felt in all forms of computing based on the Windows 8 platform, starting from 10.1 inch sized tablet PCs in the form of Tablet 600 and Tablet 810 to the massive 18.4 inch sized Transformer AiO all-in-one device that also doubles up as a tablet PC. However, in a move which should appease Android lovers, Asus isn’t giving up on Android and the AiO (All in One) dual OS device, which has the latest Android ICS and Window 8.

The Transformer AiO boots into Windows by default. A push of a button is all that is required to boot the gadget into Android ICS. The screen is also wireless and takes input from the keyboard even when detached from the PC base. The gadget otherwise also has multiple USB 3.0 port, an ethernet port, and an optical drive. The display is LED backlit and is 10 point multi-touch enabled, though Asus isn’t revealing the resolution just yet.

Also, the Taiwanese manufacturer is taking its Transformer adage to greater heights with the AiO. For what started with a 10.1 inch sized Transformer device that doubled up as a netbook/laptop when attached to a keypad, and has evolved into the AiO where the display (once detached from the docking base) behaves as a tablet unit. It’s too large to be easily carried anywhere, and it is a matter of debate as to how useful a tablet that big will be.

Details of the gadget have not been declared by Asus as yet, and that includes price as well as the processor that runs the gadget. However, for the latter, an Intel Ivy bridge chip seems to be the most likely candidate. Release of the gadget can be assumed to be at the end of the year, given that Windows 8 OS won’t be available before that.

via the verge

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Asus has taken the laptop and the tablet to a new high in the form of the Taichi that it showcased at the ongoing Computex event. What makes the Taichi special is that it offers two displays, one on either side of the laptop lid. The Taichi is almost as thin and light as the company’s Zenbook line of ultrabooks, though the one distinguishing factor in favor of the Taichi is (of course) the extra display that is visible when the device is closed. This allows it to be used as a tablet running Windows 8. Once the lid is opened, the device transforms into a laptop with a full QWERTY backlid keypad and a scroll pad.

The Taichi offers two displays having two different dimensions, a 13.3 inch or a 11.6 inch display, both packing in 1920 x 1080 pixels. The rest of the specs include an Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and SSD storage. The Taichi also include dual cameras, with a 5 megapixel shooter at the rear and a HD webcam at the front.

The other features of the Taichi include two USB 3.0 ports, a micro HDMI port, and a mini DisplayPort. Both the displays are capable of running independently and at the same time, which means friends can use the touchscreen on the outer display while the inner display is being used for some other task.

However, as with all other Asus products revealed at the Computex, price and availability is anybody’s guess right now. Other aspects that we are also keen to know about the Tachi is how good the device is in actual operation and what the battery life will be like, especially with two displays in operation.

In any case, the Taichi is an innovative device and offers a fresh perspective after having seen a lot of laptops and tablets. Also interestingly, Asus hasn’t provided the Transformer treatment to it, which means the display cannot be separated from the keypad. Otherwise, it could have been a standalone tablet device with the inner display remaining dormant when used as a tablet.

via ibnlive

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Acer has come up with two touchscreen Windows 8 based tablets, the Iconia W510 and Iconia W700, at the 2012 edition of Computex. The Iconia W700 is the larger of the two, being all of 11.6 inches and sporting a full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel display. The tablet is also paired with a desktop docking unit that holds the tablet securely.

The W700 tablet includes a USB 3.0 port while the docking station provides for three more USB 3.0 ports. This apart, the tablet itself plays host to a mini HDMI port as well as a Thunderbolt port. A unique aspect of the W700 is that it comes with the Dolby Home Theater integrated in it. As for battery life, Acer is claiming it to be around 8 hours for the tablet that has a brushed metal finish to it and is quite sturdy.

The other Acer tablet, the W510 is more of a Transformer type device with a separate keypad unit to which the 10.1 inch tablet can dock into. However, a unique feature of the W510 tablet is that it can be rotated by 295 degrees, providing the tablet with immense flexibility. Also, the tablet includes an USB 2.0 port along with a microUSB and a microSD. Then there is a SIM card slot as well as Dolby Home Theater hardware and software built into it. Coming to battery life, while the tablet is capable of 8 hours, the keypad dock pitches in to make it a commendable 18 hours.

Further details on both like price or availability are yet awaited.

Meanwhile, in another development, Acer has expressed its dissatisfaction for the Windows 8 version for ARM devices named Windows RT saying its still not fit enough to be deployed in a tablet device.

“According to engineer studies, unless we go into ARM 64-bit, otherwise performance is still not so great. ARM is a newcomer, young and attractive but it takes some time,” said Acer chairman Zhentang “J.T.” Wang.

This explains why Acer is sticking to Intel chipsets for tablets running Windows 8 while ARM based tablet PCs running Windows RT is nowhere to be seen in the Acer camp. Another reason for Acer giving the cold shoulder to Windows RT is that tablets based on ARM chipsets and running Windows RT is not likely to be a reality before beginning of 2013, though Windows 8 tablets built around Intel hardware are expected to be market ready by this fall.

via netbooknews, via reuters

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As expected, Windows 8 is turning out to be the draw at this year’s Computex event and the first round clearly belongs to Asus. The Taiwanese manufacturer is showing off many new products with the latest touchscreen friendly OS.

Launched today is the Tablet 600 and 810, both of which are Windows based. To begin with, the Tablet 600 is a step above the Transformer Prime with slightly enhanced specs. A Tegra 3 quad core CPU continues to be the base of Tablet 600 with Windows RT as the OS. (Windows RT is the version of Windows 8 that is built to operate on Tegra based devices.) The tablet also comes with a 12 core GPU that endows it with exemplary graphics processing capabilities.

The rest of the specs include a 2 GB RAM, 32 GB of eMMC storage with a ten point multi touch capable 10.1 inch 1366 x 768 Super IPS+ display upfront. A 2 and 8 megapixel webcam are included in the front and rear of the tablet that also boasts of WiFi b/g/n with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity options.

Coming to Tablet 810, its Windows 8 that runs the show here with Intel’s new Medfield CPU forming the tablet’s core. Tablet 810 though is a bit larger with 11.6 inches of super IPS+ display which also boasts of Wacom digitiser stylus support. However, with 1366 x 768 pixels, resolution is the same as that of Tablet 600. The CPU is paired with a 2 GB RAM while a 64 GB eMMC drive takes care of storage requirements.

Also, both the Tablet 600 and 810 can be attached to a keypad dock, which not only transforms the device into a laptop but also nearly doubles the battery life. While no backup times were mentioned for either of the tablets, things are likely to be around the 15 hour mark, or maybe even more for the ARM based Tablet 600. ARM chip are still considered to be far less frugal on power consumption than their Intel counterparts.

Pricing and availability for both the tablet has been kept under wraps.

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Asus today introduced a new line of Transformer device named the Transformer Book that not only sports better specs, but also bigger displays. To put it in another way, the Transformer Book is for those who’d like to have the goodness of both a tablet devices as well as a laptop or a notebook. The Transformer Book can also be termed as an ultrabook, the only difference being that with the display pulled off, it can transform into a tablet. Asus is describing the device as the “world’s first convertible notebook” and “is made for the seasoned user who enjoys the portability of a tablet for leisure but still prefers a more traditional Windows-based notebook when it comes to work.”

Screen size options for the Transformer Book include 11.6 inch, 13.3 inch, and 14 inch of 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS displays capable of accepting multi-touch inputs. Powering the device is the Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPU with discrete graphics with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM to add some raw processing capabilities. Internal memory will be a combination of solid state and hard disk drives. The tablet also boasts of USB 3.0 support with the integration of ASUS SonicMaster audio speaker technology for better audio capabilities.
A 5 megapixel camera along the rear of the device with an HD webcam on the front pretty much round up the spec sheet.

However, as innovative as the Transformer Book surely is, a high price tag will be the last thing that consumers would like the device to be associated with. Further, battery life is another crucial aspect for the Transformer Book, for all the processing power that the tablet boasts of will surely have its toll on the battery. While the Transformer Book will still be better placed than its competitors from both the tablet and ultrabook segment with a battery unit each in the tablet and keypad section together providing the juice, anything around the 10-12 hours range can be considered quite acceptable. It will be really interesting to see how the Transformer Book, with bigger displays and faster processor fares on the battery aspect, and keep up with the usual Transformer Prime credential of good backup times.

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