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The Transformer Book Duet was designed to offer the best of both worlds, Android and Windows. The device was first shown off at CES in Las Vegas and became one of the new computers that people started to obsess about.  Apparently, Google and Microsoft were not consenting bedfellows and made Asus cancel the device.

The Book Duet  Transformer hybrid laptop and tablet concept basically allowed users to switch between both Android and Windows with just the press of either a tab on the display or a special button on the keypad unit. The best thing with the entire set up was that there wasn’t the need for restarting the device each time one needed to switch OS.

However, with mounting pressure from both Google and Microsoft, Asus has caved to the pressure.  Microsoft said  that they have stopped supporting dual OS devices with a new policy.  Google basically said that they don’t want to give Microsoft a foothold into an industry where they haven’t had much success and want to stop the Redmond company from piggybacking.

Categories : Tablet PC News
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Book Duet

The Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 seems to have been delayed indefinitely and Google is tipped to have played a part in it, as per a report carried by Digitimes. The reasons are obvious as Google feels the device that dual boots both Windows and Android would provide an undue advantage to Windows that is struggling to gain a foothold in the mobile OS segment. Such a device is being perceived to allow Windows to piggyback on Google’s Android on the path to success that Google had so painstakingly created over the years. Such a scenario could also lead to Google having to wage a two front war, with the Apple iOS on the one hand and Windows on the other.

This isn’t the first time though that Google is believed to have forced its hardware partners to cancel projects involving dual booting devices. A Samsung ATIV model that could dual boot both Android and Windows was reportedly pulled off given Google’s concerns over letting Windows build on the success Android has made.

The Transformer Book Duet TD300 device was unveiled at the CES event early this year and had attracted a fair bit of consumer response. The one most distinct capability of the device was that it came with a key on the keypad that allows users to toggle between either Android or Windows operating systems. The same could also be invoked via a tab on the tablet as well and was being hailed as a device that would be just right for both business and domestic usage. Chipmaker Intel too had been seen actively promoting the Transformer Book Duet TD300. Currently, it is only Intel chips that can support dual booting of both Android and Windows.

The Transformer Book Duet TD300 was scheduled to be launched by the second half of 2014 though its not known now when is that going to happen.

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Vivo-Tab-Note-8

The Asus VivoTab Note 8, the latest Asus tablet, is one more to add to the growing stream of 8 inch tablets running Windows 8.1 along with an Intel Bay Trail chip at the core. This will put the tablet in direct competition with similar devices from Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, and Acer, and nearly all of them are priced around the $300 mark.

Specs wise, the 1,280 x 800 pixel IPS display, 2 GB of RAM, 32, and 64 GB internal memory options along with an Intel Atom Bay Trail chip should also sound familiar, given most other 8 inch Windows 8.1 devices sport a similar internal build-up. However, what makes the VivoTab Note 8 that much more enticing is that it comes bundled with the Wacom stylus inclusive of the $299 price tag. Dell also offers s stylus with its Venue 8 Pro tablet, though it is sold separately. The pen is responsive and is easy to store, as the tablet comes with a separate slot to hold the pen.

What makes the Wacom digitizer unique is that it supports more than 1,000 levels of pressure sensitivity. important when users need to work with classic Windows apps that have been designed to work with mouse or the keyboard. The stylus can used to ‘hover’ above the apps as well select.

Expect the VivoTab Note 8 to enter showrooms around late March or early April. Price, as has already been mentioned, stands at $299 for the 32 GB model while the 64 GB version costs $349.

Categories : CES, Tablet PC News
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ASUS_Fonepad

Asus has stated announced that its Fonepad can be pre-ordered in the UK starting April 12th, with deliveries to begin by April 26. This marks about a month’s delay, considering the voice enabled tablet was earlier set for a March release. Price has been fixed at £179.99 and can be procured from Amazon, Carphone Warehouse, and Sainsburys.

The most interesting aspect with the Fonepad, apart from its phone calling capability, is that it features an Intel heart. The tablet is built around an Atom Z2420 processor while running Android Jelly Bean, which is a rare combination. The tablet includes 1 GB RAM, 16 GB storage, front and rear cameras, and a 1280 x 800 pixel 7 inch display. The tablet offers 10 hours of runtime.

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asus-memo-pad

Asus has finally launched its budget Android tablet, the MeMO Pad ME172V, in the US. Prices start at a very comfortable $149, though that also means there are a few compromises to be made. These include a less capable 7 inch 1024 x 600 pixel display. The rest of the specifications list 1 GHz VIA WM8950 CPU and 1 GB of RAM, along with 16 GB of internal memory that is further expandable via microSD cards. The tablet runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Recent reviews of the MeMO Pad ME172V have been pretty impressive with acceptablet levels of performance, good battery, and excellent quality. Of course, it has not been designed to be a speed demon, but does fit in as a nice budget tablet.

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google-nexus-7

The next gen Nexus 7 will be ready for launch towards July, reports Reuters. The news agency further revealed Google and Asus will be banking on Qualcomm to power the new Nexus 7 device. Sources said chips from both NVIDIA and Qualcomm were put to test, and the latter made the cut reportedly due to its power saving credentials.

Other details of the upcoming device include a thinner bezel design and an even better display, both of which play a significant role in enhancing a tablet’s appeal. Sources also claim Google and Asus are aiming to ship no less than 8 million of the new Nexus 7 by the year end, which seems quite achievable if they can keep the basics right. The first gen Nexus 7 proved to be the perfect combination of good design, excellent display, and slick performance, which together with an affordable price tag ensured it was among the highest selling Android tablets.

While the new Nexus 7 is expected to improve on this, prices will continue to be an important factor in ensuring its appeal remains high. Google is likely to continue with the same $199 and $149 prices for the new Nexus 7 devices. What remains to be seen is whether the first gen Nexus 7 will be scrapped altogether or will featured at a discount of $199, something that Amazon has done with the original Kindle Fire. That would be a great deal for a tablet that still has a lot of appeal.

As for its competitor, Apple is expected to release the next iPad Mini 2 around the same time, while a new Kindle Fire is also on the horizon. Samsung is readying a new Galaxy Tab variant with a high resolution display for release during fall, and a smaller 7 inch tablet running Windows 8 cannot be ruled out. In short, it’s exciting times ahead in the tablet segment.

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ipad-mini

Apple is reported to have set in motion plans to cut production of its iPad Mini in the second quarter this year, a move which industry experts believe could be a way to herald in the new gen iPad Mini. On the cards is a 20 percent cut in production of the iPad Mini in April, followed by more later on. In fact, the report carried at Digitimes claims Apple plans to bring iPad Mini shipments down to just 10 million in the quarter. However, it’s not known for sure if the plan to cut production can be attributed entirely to the coming of a new iPad Mini or from increased competition from the new budget tablets launched in the past month or so.

In fact, there is a whole new segment that has come up with prices ranging below the $199 mark, which at one time was considered the lowest a tablet can sell for. Also notably, it’s the biggies in the business such as HP, Acer, Asus, and the likes that have launched tablets in the ultra low price bracket. Then there also is the Galaxy Note 8.0 from Samsung that is expected to provide some stiff competition to the iPad Mini if it’s priced right. Apple CEO Tim Cook has cautioned it would be unwise to make too much about reports of production cuts stating that the company typically sources its components from various manufacturers so that such data from supply chain sources cannot always offer a true picture of the real scenario.

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asus-memo-pad

Taiwanese manufacturers Asus and Acer are gearing up for a higher demand of Android tablet devices this year. Both have expressed confidence in being able to ship no less than 10 million of these in 2013. Analysts are also predicting a sharp increase in demand for low cost tablets, something corroborated with a mad rush among manufacturers to launch low cost tablets running the Android platform. Acer has already launched the Acer Iconia B1, the two versions of which will be priced at $150 and $179. Asus already found success with the Nexus tablet devices in the low coast segment, and has also launched a budget tablet of its own in the form of the MeMO Pad range. On offer is a 7 and 10 inch version priced competitively at around $195 and $300 respectively.

Among the other bigwigs in the business that have joined the tablet segment is HP’s recently launched Slate 7, priced affordably at just $179. Lenovo has established itself as the second biggest tablet vendor in the US primarily through budget priced tablet devices. Summing up the market mood, Acer CEO J.T. Wang said, “The market is mature, and it’s a good opportunity for Acer and other players too.”

The general approach with the new range of budget tablets is to cut corners on offering fancy features like a high end camera while ensuring decent to good levels of performance. This will ensure the tablet PCs will make for a good buy for general computing tasks along with watching videos, listening to music, reading ebooks, or playing games.

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ipad 3 vs asus memopad smart

In this Good e-Reader Comparison Video we check out the Apple iPad 3 and the Asus MemoPad Smart 10.1 edition. This is the battle of a very low cost large screen Android tablet, pitted against the iPad 3.

Over the course of this video comparison, we check out the overall e-reading experience on both of these tablets. We will evaluate comics, newspapers, magazines, and ebooks. The one great thing about larger screen displays is the ability to fit more content on it at any given time. Of course, ten inch tablets lack the portability factor that the seven inch models bring to the table, but make up for it with added screen real estate.


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asus_transformer_book

The Windows 8 based 13 inch Transformer Book that Asus had launched long back (at the June 2012 Computex to be precise) is now finally ready to make it to the store shelves. However, that is a Japan only phenomenon as of now and Asus hasn’t revealed when it is going to be extended to the rest of the world.

About the tablet, the Transformer Book lives up to what the Transformer range from Asus is known for. The tablet comprised of a 13 inch display that can be attached to a keypad unit, turning the entire thing into a notebook device. The tablet offers a 1920 x 1080 pixel display, weighs a shade less than a kilo, and is built around an Intel Core i5 chip, 4 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of internal storage. The keypad unit houses a separate hard drive of 500 GB capacity, as well as a separate battery unit, two USB 3.0 ports, and a full sized SD card slot, while adding another kilo to the overall weight. Unfortunately, the combined battery backup times add up to just about 6 hours, a far cry from the lofty figures that the Transformers are usually identified with. The tablet part alone is said to deliver five hours. In any case, six hours of run time is decent enough to be identified in the ultrabook space. In this state, the Transformer Book commands a price tag of around $1280.

A higher speced version is also in the works. One that will have Core i7 chip and maybe a batter battery unit, and (of course!) a bigger price tag.

Categories : Tablet PC News
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asus-transformer-pad-tf300

Asus is rolling out the Android 4.2 update for Transformer Pad TF300 users in the US starting today. The Transformer Pad is among the very few tablet devices in the 10 inch category to join the Android Jelly Bean club. The update will introduce all the goodies of the latest Android version, including support for multi-user login, an improved keyboard layout, and so forth. The tablet will also get a performance boost along with better stability.

Asus though hasn’t stated when the update will be made available in other regions of the world. However, Asus stated it will bring more of its tablets under the umbrella of the latest Android version. The Transformer Prime Infinity, the 7 inch MeMO Pad, and the recently launched MeMO Pad Smart 10 are touted to be next in line to receive the Jelly Bean update.

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Asus-Memo-Pad-smart

The Asus MeMO Pad Smart ME301T is all set to invade the US retail scene from the 5th of March. Just a slot below the Transformer Pad, the MeMO Pad offers decent specs in the form of a 1.2 Ghz Tegra 3 quad core heart, 1 GB RAM, and 16 GB of internal memory. The tablet runs Android 4.1 and also boasts of a few nice tech bits, like a microSD card slot and a micro HDMI port, along with the usual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options. However, it’s the tablet’s expected price of $299 that could emerge as the real game changer. At that price, what you get is a 10.1 inch (1280 x 800 pixel) tablet that offers decent specs with decent levels of performance. It’s a standard no frills tablet at a relatively inexpensive price tag that should be able to deliver on most counts.

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fonepad

The Asus Fonepad is finally official. Launched at the MWC, the unique aspect of the Fonepad is its ability to be both a tablet and a smartphone at the same time. However, the other interesting bit about the Fonepad (apart from its voice calling capability) is its Intel heart in spite of the device running Android. The Fonepad incorporates a 1.2 GHz Intel Atom Z2420 chip coupled to a 1 GB RAM, along with a 8/16 GB internal memory. There also is a microSD card slot to allow for a max storage of 32 GB. Asus is also offering 5 GB of “Lifetime Webstorage” with the Fonepad.

Other qualities of the Fonepad include front (1.2 megapixel) and rear (3 megapixel) facing webcams, WiFi, HSPA+, along with a 7 inch 1280 x 800 pixel display upfront. Asus is also claiming a 10 hour battery life for the Fonepad. The tablet runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Asus has stated the 8 GB version of the Fonepad will reach stores by March and will cost $249. This will be followed by the European launch of the 16 GB version of the tablet in April, which has been priced 219 euros.

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