Archive | January 4, 2011

Asus displays EeePad memo, a 7″ pen enabled Android tablet

It’s CES time and you know you’ll be flooded by gadgets so we’ll do our best not to disappoint. Among the hottest products for this year are the tablets, mostly Android ones and by 2015 studies put tablet usage around 30% from the connected devices. One of these tablets comes from Asus and is called Eee Pad MeMO. Functionality wise, it looks like a scaled down Courier device and it is designed to work in a cloud. The OS? Android, of course.

Hardware wise, Eee Pad MeMO is built around a 7″ IPS multi-touch 1024 x 600 LCD screen, similar with Nook Color, a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU  which is the norm for Android Devices and also features a built in stylus. The device also brings the standard now two cameras, a 5MP HD one with LED flash on the back and a 1.2MP one in the front enabling videoconferencing.

Interesting for this model is not  necessarily the included applications used to take notes but the included Bluetooth headset called “MeMic” extender hinting at the idea that you’ll also use Eee Pad MeMO as a cell phone.

The price? Depending on the configuration but starting at $499 which is a tad high in my opinion, especially with a June release date in mind. Expect by then many new tablets at a lower price. Check additional photos after the break. Read More…

9″ Pandigital Multimedia Novel on sale at AT&T

You might remember that we reviewed the initial Pandigital Novel 7 color multimedia eReader and the results were less than satisfying.

The Pandigital eReader however sold rather well, due mainly to its very low price for an Android tablet. The new version sports a larger 9 inches display but the resolution is still a disappointing 800×470, 2GB internal memory and features an ARM 11 CPU and, surprise, it shows on sale by AT&T.

The price? $279.99 and you can choose a 3G plan to go with it. The bookstore supported is Nook from Barnes and Noble but no Android Market. Maybe after the root.

If you ask me however, you are still better in buying a Nook Color and root it. We published a number of articles about how to root it and the results are impressive. Is is smaller, cheaper, faster, has a much better screen with capacitive multi-touch technology and also 8GB internal memory.

Check after the break for the full 9″ Pandigital Multimedia Novel specifications. Read More…

Microsoft Windows TV to be announced at CES 2011, fight Google TV and Apple TV

If an article posted in The Seattle Times is to be believed, Microsoft will announced a Google TV competitor sometime this year. The product which we’ll call Microsoft Windows TV for now will be built around a scaled down version of Windows (Windows Embedded?) specifically made for set-top boxes and connected TVs. The user interface will most probably be based on the beautiful Windows Media Center which already allows excellent media streaming including YouTube, Netflix, etc.

While no hardware details were given, the box is expected to cost on par with similar boxes currently on the market at about $200.

If the information proves to be correct, the new box will be a formidable competitor to Google TV which was recently withhold from CES 2011 show while the software part gets some more features. Windows based HTPC are remarkable through their extensibility and compatibility with various audio/video codecs.

Meanwhile, take a look at one of our older articles about Windows Media Center to get an idea about what a Windows based HTPC is capable of.

via The Seattle Times

Iomega TV with Boxee media player / streamer announced

D-Link Boxee Box was first media player / streamer box to feature Boxee Box software and we published a detailed review. However, Boxee’s team plans won’t stop with just one manufacturer and the second box to support Boxee’s software comes from Iomega.

While the hardware is essentially identical down to the Intel CE 4100 CPU and a slightly different QWERTY remote, but with a box not quite as boxee :), the software and the features will be identical including the standard DLNA / network shares support, excellent audio / video codec support and the same promised Netflix / VUDU clients we keep waiting for, and delayed again for the end of this month. Also, Adobe Flash 10.1, internet Browser and 1080p streaming will be included.

Again, the software will be identical (check our review) and unlike the box from D-Link, Iomega will offer three configurations – with no local storage or with 1TB and 2TB respectively.

The prices will run you from $229 to $349 depending of the local storage size.

via Boxee blog

Iomega launches new media players / streamers – ScreenPlay DX HD

Another day, another media streamer and we’ll make our job to keep you updated so you can make a smart decision when you purchase. This time, Iomega will release two media players / streamers at CES 2011:  Iomega ScreenPlay DX HD Media Player and Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link DX HD Media Player, both doing quite a good job at supporting popular audio / video codecs and popular web streaming clients.

Among the now to be expected features are HDMI output, USB 2.0 input for local media, network streaming and, something that started to trickle into the new devices, a QWERTY remote control a la Google TV or Boxee Box. DLNA / UPNP and 1080p streaming is also part of the specs as it is a flurry of codecs supported like  H.264, DivX, DivX Plus HD (MKV), ISO, VOB, MP4, MOV and MKV, WMV, RMVB, MPEG-1/2/4 (part 2, ASP),  XviD, AVI(Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4)  that will give full treatment to your local content. The only difference I could find from the specs would be access to the Iomega personal cloud where you presumably could store some content.

WiFi adapter will be included in the price and the supported web clients list include must have names like Netflix, Pandora, FaceBook, YouTube and MediaFly. The local storage will be a 2TB SATA hard drive

Remote controls to get dedicated Netflix button

Talking about the brand power – soon, many connected TVs / Blu-ray players and media streamers supporting Netflix will have a reddish button part of their layout – you guessed from the title, a dedicated Netflix button, proving yet again how pervasive the movie streaming giant has become. The devices first to feature the button will come from Best Buy, Haier, Memorex, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Sony, Boxee, Iomega, Roku, etc.

Once this is done, Netflix will have come a long way in imprinting its brand onto our brains and hopefully at that point, the content providers will understand just how important is to have their content available on Netflix and will prove more flexible in negotiation.

After all, streaming is the way to get media nowadays and if it won’t be via Netflix, the consumers will probably find their ways (and movies) through something called torrents ;).

Read Netflix’s full press release after the break. Read More…

Tesla S will feature a gorgeous 17 inches touchscreen info center – I’ll review it when I get one :)

Wow, that’s beautiful, really beautiful and it makes me want to buy a Tesla S model right away. In a move obviously designed to appeal to your inner geek, Tesla will install the biggest LCD screen ever mounted in a car coming straight from a factory – a huge 17 inches touchscreen with Nvidia Tegra power to help. While my Honda Odyssey has a meager 8 inches LCD to control its navigation system / climate / GPS and so on, Tesla S will use the huge LCD to display movies, media, navigation, web access and news, 3D graphics and live-traffic, climate control, navigation, etc making sure you’ll never watch the street again.

Even better, the gauges (odometer, oil, gas, etc) are also high tech being displayed on a almost equally large 12.3″ LCD. Heaven for the technophiles like me and for a price not amazingly out of place, at around $57,000 batteries included.

Beside the mouth watering gadgets, Tesla Model S doesn’t disappointed in the  performance area either with 0 to 60MPH in 5.6 seconds, three swappable  battery packs with an autonomy of 160, 230, or 300 miles, a 45 minute quick charge mode, 120 MPH top speed and a seating for 7, you might very well ask your significant other to start saving for your next Christmas present.

Check Tesla’s full press release and photo gallery after the break. Read More…

Amazon to launch dedicated Kindle app for Android / Windows tablets

Amazon made its mission to provide a mean to read your eBooks (purchased from them, of course) on any device imaginable and until now they certainly did not disappoint.

Their Kindle applications run everywhere from iPhone / Android phones to iPad, PC, MAC, BlackBerry, web browsers, even on a rooted Nook Color. Amazon wants to extend its dominance and will launch a Kindle eReader application specifically made for the upcoming tablets (Android and Windows) to be announced at CES 2011.

This is very exciting news and we can’t wait to see what the new application brings in terms of user experience. After all, there is already a Kindle application working for Android devices perfectly well.

Amazon’s press release specifies the new tablet computers coming in 2011 when they talk about the new Kindle application so we wonder if there will be any hardware / Android version constraints in running the new tablet optimized Kindle app.

Check after the break for the full press release. Read More…