This week, we take a look at a number of new videos we uploaded, covering Converting eBooks with Calibre, a review of the Augen Gentouch 78 Tablet PC and many others. We also feature a ton of stories, such as Bestbuy and their holiday plans for the Tablet PC segment. We also take a look at firm release dates for the HP Slate, LG Tablet, Velocity Micro Cruz and more!
Axon Logic, the company that not many have heard of before has announced it is game for a bout in the highly competitive tablet segment and for this, they have armed themselves with a tablet PC named Axon Logic Haptic. And the one thing that sets this tablet PC apart from the rest is that it does not come pre-loaded with any specific operating system. Instead, Axon Logic is leaving it to the users of the tablet to decide which operating system they’d like to have on their tablet. There will be more on the OS later but for now, let’s focus on the other aspects of the tablet.
The Haptic tablet has a 10.1 inch LED back-lit LCD touchscreen up front that in the company’s own words “will enable you to touch the world like never before”. The touch sensitive screen has a 1024 x 600p resolution display with a stylus included. Speaking of the screen, Axon Logic says, “Don’t be limited to how you touch. Use the built in stylus, your fingers, or even a glove,” this in spite of the screen being based on the older resistive technology. The screen also includes on-screen keyboard and handwriting recognition feature.
At its core, the tablet has a 1.66 GHz Atom N270 processor coupled to a 2 GB RAM while hard disk space spans a massive 320 GB. The other key features of the Haptic tablet include a built-in 1.3 megapixel front-facing web cam for video chatting, built-in speaker, three USB ports along with Mic, Ethernet, headphone and VGA ports and a memory card reader. The Haptic tablet also comes with 3G CDMA-VErizon SIM slot while also supporting a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
Now coming to the most interesting aspect of the tablet and yes, you guessed it right, it’s about the OS of the device. Axon Login tablet PC is compatible with every Drawin OS which includes PureDarwin and even Apple’s proprietary operating system Mac OS X. It is to be noted the Mac OS X is based on the Darwin open source specification.
First the Streak came in late, and then there are many who feel the 5 inch smartphone tablet combo should have been more lucrative in its pricing. And if that wasn’t enough, the Streak came pre-installed with the Android 1.6, while the world around it has already started to have fun with the latest 2.2 Froyo version of the popular Android operating system. It’s not that the Streak in its present form with the old Android 1.6 is a slouch, but there is no denying the fact the Android 2.2 will make it even more of a zippy performer. Featurewise, the Android 2.2 is richer than the erstwhile 1.6 version that the Streaks now come bundled with.
This should come as a welcome relief to all those who are opting for the Streak with 1.6 version pre-installed. Many thought it would take ages to reach version 2.2 of the OS if Dell had opted to upgrade the OS incrementally and by the time they had caught up with the Froyo, the chubby green robot may have marched another few generations ahead.
Now to the bad news; Dell is yet to release any timeline by which we can expect the upgrade. So for now, it’s Android 1.6 that the Streak users will have to be content with. But when upgraded to the latest Android 2.2, the Streak will be a device to watch out for.
We first reported a few months ago that Toshiba was working on a wicked new dual screen tablet PC! Now today we have it on sale in the USA for around $1100.
The Toshiba Libretto W100 Duel Screen tablet first went on sale about a week ago in Japan. You can reserve yours now on the Toshiba site or Amazon. Toshiba has mentioned to us that if you order now, it will take around 3 weeks for the device to arrive.
The Libretto W100 comes with two 7 inch LED Backlit WSVGA Multi-Touch display that has a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. Powering the Libretto W100 will be the 1.2 GHZ Intel Pentium U5400 processor. It also has 2 GB of DDR3 on board memory along with 62GB solid state hard drive and will run the Windows 7 Home Premium. The entire unit measures a quite compact 202 × 123 × 25.4 mm and sports a black brushed aluminum finish that exudes style from every angle. It has the looks of a cute little laptop though at 1.8 pounds, it won’t be a pain to lug it around. The weight will go up a bit more for the enhanced battery pack, however.
The W100 also incorporates a built in accelerometer for both the screens that will change screen orientations quickly and automatically. Also, both the screens can work independently of each other, thereby providing the users with the flexibility of using it the way they would like. The libretto W100 also packs in a range of software that is designed to further enhance the touchscreen abilities of the Windows 7 OS. These include an eReader app called Blio and Bulletin Board which is a Toshiba program that aims to act as a one-stop portal that will provide access to a calender, the documents, and the pictures that have been in use along with other frequently-used applications. Apart from these, the W100 will also come installed with the Reel time and PC Health Monitor programs.
Barnes & Noble has recently launched their new E-Reader App for the Apple iPhone. They have also updated their image and brand, from now on all of their Android, Apple and other Applications will be called “Nook,” so you can have Nook for your PC. The new NOOK for iPhone gets the same iPad customization, together with last-page-read sync across ebooks also being viewed on the PC, Android, iPad and iPhone apps, and access to the Barnes and Noble eBookstore and digital library.
There are also plenty of reading preference settings, such as themes suited to day or nighttime reading. B&N’s LendMe system is also supported, so you can lend ebooks to family and friends. One of the new features for this application that will be out in the next update will be a book rating system. Users can update their 5 star ranking for books, simalar to the Nook for iPad.
Popular entertainment and movie channel HBO is bringing in its shows for streaming on the iPad and other tablet devices. The best thing is, it will be free for all those who have subscribed to the channel via cable or satellite TV packages. The last bit may not be to the liking of many as they might have preferred to deal directly with HBO, bypassing the cable providers, but for now cable providers continue to play a big role in the entire thing.
Also, the latest move on part of HBO is sure to have irked Netflix as they had sought to play the game together. An agreement between the two does not seem likely any time soon. HBO has many a successful show under its belt and owns the cable and Internet rights to films coming out from Universal, Fox and Warner Bros studios. HBO also has a huge subscriber base, with over 29 million having subscribed to the channel.
Netflix for its part is a big player, with over 15 million subscribers and good profit margins. Netflix has also entered in a deal worth $900 million with Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment Group, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, wherein they will have exclusive right to the films that these companies produce.
So both the companies together could have created a behemoth, but it’s not to be, for HBO intends to play it solo and is more interested in increasing viewership and traffic to its own content and channels. The revelation comes from the HBO Co-President Eric Kessler who believes consumers won’t mind “paying a premium” if the content is good enough.
The tablet landscape is all set for a dramatic change with several high profile tablet launches scheduled to happen during the end of this year or early next. That the manufacturers are keen to cash in on the holiday season is another reason they have planned for a year end launch.
And the one tablet that has raked up considerable interest among consumers as well as competitors is Google’s Chrome powered tablet device that, if rumors are to be believed, will get to see the light of day on the 26th of November. The rumors also point out the tablet will be built by HTC with Verizon being the official partner. Verizon is the largest wireless service provider in the United States and it plans to subsidize the new tablet to ensure it gets to have a significant price advantage against the iPad. Of course this would entail being tied to a Verizon data plan for the wireless service.
Also, if the rumors surrounding the tablet turn out to be true, we might have a tablet that with a NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor at its core coupled to a 2Gb RAM. On board storage should be around 32GB SSD, though the tablet is likely to have provision to expand that even further. A 1280 x 720 pixel multi-touch display will be making up the front of the tablet that is touted to have features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a built in 3G modem, GPS and an integrated Webcam. Of course the final product will have a lot more, though these should act as the initial pointer.
Google has a long standing relationship with HTC with the latter being the maker of several of the most advanced Android smartphones. These two in turn are closely tied to Verizon and it just makes sense for the three to team up for the first Chrome OS tablet.
Continuing with the last aspect, the upcoming tablet with Chrome as the OS will be a nice break from the surge of Android powered tablets. And if you are not sure what the two operating systems from Google stand for, here it is from the Official Google Blog: “Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems.” The Chrome OS is further described as: “While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.”
Notion Inks Adam Tablet PC is making waves in the tech world about its robust features. Project Genesis is an online competition giving “millions” away to developers who make great applications to be shipped with the device. Also, these applications will be features in Notion Inks own online store that it is developing. This new store is not a straight alternative to the Android Market, but the applications developed will have the Adam in mind.
In further developments, CEO of Notion Ink Rohan Shravan has encouraged people to send emails to email@example.com to apply for access to the SDK.
On the Notion Ink Blog, Rohan elaborated on some other news that the community at large has been pestering him about. He mentioned that in the first week of November, the Notion Ink Adam is slatted to enter into FCC certifications.
On the issue of the end price people would pay for the device, he had this to say “We want is cheap as well. I don’t think profit is in hardware. It lies in the ecosystem. And when the best hardware can be clubbed with a massive eco-system, you are talking about a revolution. There are unusual barriers in hardware which will not allow anyone to reduce prices below a certain level. The reason is, I think, as soon as a component hits large-scale manufacturing to become cheaper, next generation, better and faster component is available at the same. You probably have noticed this with Apple a lot.” He went on to elaborate ” Currently we will ship LCD and PQ Variants. Both available in Wi-fi only and 3G modes. I believe you will get a range of around $399 to $498 for these four. We are also working on reducing it further down.”
From the slippery tracts of the Land of Rumors and Speculations to the firm grounds of certainty and confirmation, the Hp tablet is indeed on a firm track to reality. We had earlier carried reports of HP’s Personal Systems Group VP Todd Bradley having broken the news of the coming of the long delayed tablet sometime in the first quarter of next year. However, it was rumor at best and the news lacked the much needed touch of confirmation, which came during HP’s Q3 2010 earnings call.
What he had said exactly is this: “You’ll see us with a Microsoft product out in the near future and a webOS-based product in early 2011,” which should be enough to put any doubts to rest regarding the HP tablet becoming a reality. In fact, Bradley went on to add that it was the company’s tablet dreams that has prompted them to go for the Palm acquisition in the first place. HP had earlier confirmed they will be making a Windows 7 powered tablet as well, but that one would only be targeted at the enterprise sector.
However, there was no mention of any tablet based on the Android operating system. HP has had a tryst with what can be described as the most preferred operating system of tablet manufacturers, and for a while there were rumors of a tablet device from HP that would have the Android as the OS.
Now that we know for sure about the impending arrival of a WebOS and a Windows powered tablet, with the former arriving first, next in line is perhaps an Android powered tablet. The only thing left to be seen is whether it will be good enough to take on the iPad or it turns out to be a fluke, as the majority of the tablets have turned out to be so far.
As per the latest e-reader news, Velocity Micro Cruz Reader will be available for pre-order from Borders starting September 15th. The company also has good news for those who prefer tablet devices, as the Cruz Tablet will also be on offer for pre-order from Borders starting from October 15th. Prices as announced now stand at $199 for the e-reader and $299 for the tablet.
Complete details are yet to come by though what is known is that the e-reader will have a 7 inch screen and will be similar to the Pandigital Novel in that the Cruz e-reader will be a multimedia device that will allow its users to watch movies, pictures, or listen to music as well as surfing the net. All this while the device is being marketed as an e-reader. Just as Pandigital is still doing with its Novel.
The new Cruz e-reader runs the Android OS, version 2.0 and has tied up with the recently launched Borders’ online e-book store as the official content provider. However, users won’t have access to the Android Market Place and will have to depend on the Cruz market instead.
The products they shown off were the new PocketBook Pro 602 and Pro 902, the Premium model Pro 603 and Pro 903 and the PocketBook IQ with TFT color screen.
The entry level 602 has a six inch e-ink screen, while the 902 has a 10 inch one. The battery life on both models are good for around 12,00 page turns before you would have to recharge it. Spec wise, each model is rather identical. You have both models running on a Linux based operating system, and possess bluetooth and WI-FI. They internal memory of both devices is around 2 GB.
Meanwhile, the Pocket Pro 603 and 903 have the same screen sizes as the lower tier models, both 6 inch and 10 inches. Battery life is the same as well, at around 12,000 page turns. The big difference is that these models have a multi-touch screen and 3G for internet. The company is billing the touch screen as the e-reader equivalent of a WACOM tablet.
One of the more surprising new features that was shown off was their first Android Tablet PC, named the Pocketbook IQ. This little dandy has a 7 inch TFT Color Touch screen. It will have WI-FI and bluetooth and a built in G sensor, so it can switch between horizontal model and landscape.
Just last month Amazon published a report of its authors whom have sold the most ebooks online. Today Forbes published a report of the highest earners of the ebook industry. This report covers the time period between June 1 2009 and June 2 2010. It not only covers book sales, but film rights, gaming deals, and other income.
India is slowly catching up with the e-reader fever and here is one more e-reader after the ‘Pi’ e-book reader from Infibeam to satiate a growing community of book lovers who seem to be just as ease or perhaps more with the electronic version of the books than their hard cover counterparts.
And it is for these people that the Bangalore based digital publishing company EC Media International have come up with a new e-book reading device which they have named the Wink. Pretty nice name for an e-reader though unfortunately the e-reader does not break any new grounds in design, features or its overall capability. In fact, it will remind one of the Kindle 2 at a time when Amazon has come up with a more advanced version of their popular e-reader and which promises to be an even better e-reader than the Kindle 2 while continuing with the same price. The Wink is also isn’t exactly cheap, since at Rs. 11,500 which translates to about 190 euro or $250, it sure is costly than the new Kindle which comes for $189.
So what is that EC Media has packed into the Wink to justify its price. Let’s find out.
To begin with, the Wink comes in a device that allows its user to listen to music, play games and browse the net, apart from of course reading e-books, all through a 6 inch e-paper display having a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels and 16 shades of gray. At its core is a 400 MHz Samsung processor while on board storage amounts to 2GBs which can be extended further to 16 GB by way of MicroSD cards.
Among its other features, there is a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a USB 2.0 port. To connect to the outside world, the e-reader has been provided with 802.11b/g WiFi and GPRS wireless features. The Wink also boasts of a good battery life that can sustain about 10,000 page turns on a single charge or 10 hours of music playback.
That about wraps it up for another Good E-Reader Week in Review. If you want the latest eBooks for your E-Reader or Tablet PC, check out our Good E-Reader eBook Store. We allow you unlimited ebook downloads a month, for a low monthly fee. Also, be sure to check out the Good e-Reader Youtube Channel, for the latest product reviews, podcasts and much more!
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.