Making a Great Cheap Android tablet

Can Ematic, a virtually unknown tablet manufacturer, make a dent in the Android tablet space? Will average consumers even know about the 7-inch tablet? Ematic entered the Android tablet fray yesterday when it announced the inexpensive eGlide Prism.

Making a great cheap Android tablet

Priced as low as $157, the device runs Android 4.0 and features a 7-inch 800×480-pixel resolution display. Powered by a 1GHz processor, it also brings 8GB flash memory, 512MB RAM, and a front-facing Webcam. While it’s certainly not the type of hardware to contend with a Galaxy Tab 2, it’s in that interesting space between a Kindle Fire and a “real” tablet.

Then again…Over the last year, however, I’ve noticed that there’s a market for people who just want a tablet for Web browsing and social media for when they’re at home or for those on-the-go moments. In fact, I’ve run into a number of friends who’ve considered buying or have even purchased tablets from unknown and unproven companies. And typically, they’re pretty excited to so.

Fair enough. Indeed, I’m sure that this happens all over the country as consumers don’t care to spend $500 for a name-brand device. So should a tablet like the eGlide Prism find its way into bargain bins and outlet stores, I suspect it would see moderate success. And given that the tablet offers a 3D video experience (with glasses), this might be considered a selling point for some.

With its $250 price tag and brand recognition, I’d say that Samsung’s forthcoming Galaxy Tab 2.0 7 is a better step in the budget direction. A few months down the road, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sammy touting record sales for it given that it’s much more in line with what consumers expect out of a 7-inch tablet.

Consider that the Tab 2.0 7 has more ‘ than Amazon’s Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet and educated consumers can easily justify the $50 price difference. So price does matterAbsolutely, Android tablets prices need to continue to drop if Google hopes to replicate the success found with smartphones. Heck, even CEO Larry Page recognizes that Apple has a grip on the upper end of the market. Speaking during the company’s recent quarterly earnings, Page indicated that Google would be focusing on the low-cost spectrum.

Is the eGlide Prism ahead of the curve? Not exactly. While interest from the Android community remains high following the company’s announcement yesterday, I can’t see the tablet sticking in the minds of general consumers, at least for now. Likewise, while companies like eMatic, Sylvania, and X10 may enjoy decent sales for now, ultimately they bigger players will squeeze them out. Yet, that’s not to say you won’t see these guys at the drug store or other discount destination.

In the short term, Google is rumored to be working with Asus on a 7-inch tablet that may come in somewhere between $150 and $200 when it arrives in July. Expected to a pure Ice Cream Sandwich experience, this presumed Nexus tablet should far outsell the no-name devices. If Google follows through and blankets retail outlets and online stores with their device, we’ll be talking about explosive growth.

New iPad 4G Real-World Speed Test

Picking different servers in testing will affect the result a great deal. Nevertheless, for the most part true 4G connections are generally more than fast enough for tablet users. Despite the mundane and nondescriptive name, the new iPad (third generation) is actually the first 4G device from Apple.

New iPad 4G Real-World Speed Test

The iPhone 4S as well as the iPhone 4 are both 3G devices. The fact that iOS 5.1 makes the AT&T’s iPhone 4S show a 4G signal only makes it more confusing and  now you probably don’t know what 4G is anymore.

I do, however. How, you might ask? Well, it’s simple; 4G is fast, and putting a Ferrari logo on your Honda Civic won’t make it a racing car. No offense to the Civic; it’s great on gas, but it’s speed we’re talking about here. So let me say this once again, the new iPad is the first 4G device from Apple.

Just a couple of months ago, I had a chance to roam around San Francisco with the new iPhone 4S from all supported carriers and found that none of them offered the cellular Internet speed even close to that of even the slowest 4G device. Now, I just did the same thing with the new iPad, both AT&T and Version versions, and it was quite the opposite story.

But first, let’s go over again about how I did the testing.

The Verizon version of the new iPad offers the Personal Hotspot feature that allows for sharing the tablet's 4G connection with other Wi-Fi devices.

The Verizon version of the new iPad offers the Personal Hotspot feature that allows for sharing the tablet’s 4G connection with other Wi-Fi devices.

How it was tested

It’s necessary to say that cellular Internet speeds vary a great deal from one location to another. This is because cell towers are scattered and when there are many devices connected to a tower, each will get a smaller portion of the service. This means even at the same location, the speed might also change at a different time of day.

That’s why it’s very hard to have a good sense of how fast a cellular connection is. In an effort to make it the most representative, I picked three locations around the city of San Francisco, including the CNET office in the Financial District, the Pier 39 area, and Union Square. These areas are well-known and generally very populated.

At each place I did the testing three times but unlike with the iPhone 4GS, I tested the new iPad each time about 30 minutes apart from another by driving around those places between each round of testing. While this was more time-consuming, it helped make the average number similar to what you’ll likely experience, since different times of day are factored in.

For the testing, I used the Speedtest.net mobile app, which is not designed for the iPad’s screen, but since it’s not a game, that won’t be a problem. For each test, I picked the same and closest server for each device.

In addition to the Verizon iPad, I also used an iPhone 4 to test the speed of the Personal Hotspot feature, which allows the iPad to work as a mobile hot spot and share its cellular 4G connection with other Wi-Fi devices. The AT&T version of the new iPad doesn’t offer the Personal Hotspot feature.

Keep in mind that these tests only evaluate data speeds for these devices in San Francisco and are not designed to be representative of data speeds you’ll find in your area. However, they at least should show how the data speeds compare between each carrier’s version of the iPad, as well as the speed the Verizon iPad’s hot-spot feature offers.

Unlike the iPhone 4S, where the connection speeds changed significantly at the same location, the iPad showed much more consistent speeds at one location. They did change a great deal from one location to another, however. Here are the changes broken down at different places via three rounds of tests:
The new iPad's 4G cellular speeds are a lot more consistent than the 3G speeds of the iPhone 4S.

The new iPad’s 4G cellular speeds are a lot more consistent than the 3G speeds of the iPhone 4S.

I tested the devices at the CNET office on the sixth floor where the iPhone’s 3G signal has been notoriously bad. This turned out not to be the case with 4G. Both devices had good signal and offered quite consistent download and upload speeds that averaged some 13Mbps up and about 5.5Mbps down for AT&T and 12.4Mbps up and 7.0Mbps down for Verizon. At this location, Verizon was slightly slower than AT&T in download speed but was faster in upload speed.

When working as a mobile hot spot, the Verizon iPad also offered very good speed, with the connected iPhone 4 averaging 11Mbps up and 12.9Mbps down. Note how the upload speed was actually slightly faster than the download speed and faster than when the Verizon iPad was not working as a hot spot. This happened consistently in my trials and was rather puzzling.

Union Square

Union Square was by far the prime spot for AT&T; its new iPad showed unreal cellular 4G speed that averaged 30.4Mbps for downloading and around 24.5Mbps for uploading. These are really fast speeds that are normally only seen in upper tiers of residential cable connections.

The Verizon iPad, on the other hand, still offered similar speeds to those it did at the CNET office, but just slightly faster, at some 15Mbps for download and 9.6Mbps for upload. When working as a hot spot, these were lowered to 10.7Mbps and 7Mbps for download and upload, respectively.

Pier 39

Pier 39 was packed with people during the three times I did the testings, and as expected was the place where both devices showed the slowest connections. The AT&T iPad, however, was still able to beat its counterpart by a few Mbps, by averaging 10.3Mbps down and 8.9Mbps up compared to 8.7Mbps down and 6.3Mbps up of the Verizon.

When working as a mobile hot spot, the Verizon iPad’s speeds were slightly lowered to 8.5Mbps down and 4.6Mbps up.

While AT&T's version of the new iPad showed better speed, it's likely that Verizon customers will have exactly the same Internet experience with their version of the new tablet. This is because the 4G speeds are generally faster than most of the requirements for most mobile applications.

While AT&T’s version of the new iPad show better speed, it’s likely that Verizon customers will have exactly the same Internet experience with their version of the new tablet. This is because the 4G speeds are generally faster than most of the requirements for most mobile applications.

You are the winner

Unlike the fight between 3G devices, both versions of the iPad were really fast in my testing. While the AT&T version was generally faster, both of them have a starting point that was so high that from a user’s point of view, there’s likely no difference at all in terms of speed between the two.

In fact, in my trials, regardless of where I was around town, all Internet applications worked instantly. There was no lag or buffer time for video streaming. It was really a big difference moving from a 3G device. For this reason, as far as the connection speed is concerned, the winner this time is actually the users.

Note that since the new iPad is sold at the full price, it’s likely that they are not locked. It’s been confirmed that the Verizon version can actually use a generic SIM card, including one from AT&T. It’s my guess that you might be able to use a local SIM with the AT&T version, too, which is really a bonus for those who travel internationally.

Souurce : CNET

 

Apple MacBook Air MC965LL / A 13.3-Inch Laptop

The new MacBook Air is up to 2.5x faster than before. It features the latest Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O, a backlit keyboard, and OS X Lion, the next major release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system. MacBook Air also comes standard with flash storage, so it boots up in seconds, launches apps quickly, and wakes from sleep in an instant. And a long-lasting battery powers MacBook Air for up to 7 hours and offers up to 30 days of standby time. All in a durable unibody design that’s thin, light, and ready for anything.

Apple MacBook Air MC965LL / A 13.3-Inch Laptop

The introduction of the new MacBook Air, mobile Mac in any way, shape or form. It features the latest generation of Intel Core i5 processor, high-speed Thunderbolt, all flash memory, a full-size keyboard with backlight, multi-touch trackpad, a long-lasting battery and a high resolution display. The MacBook Air is not thin on features at all. These enhanced features are in a unibody enclosure that is easy to manage, thin and strong enough to meet all your daily tasks and then some packed, whether you’re on the couch, in a lecture hall or at a conference.

It is true mobility. Optional external USB MacBook Air SuperDrive (sold separately) 13.3-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display (1440 x 900) Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory (Dual Display & Video Mirroring supports shared) FaceTime camera and omnidirectional microphone, 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking, compatible with IEEE 802.11a/b/g Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology.

Product Features

  • 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
  • 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • 128 GB Flash Storage
  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor
  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Processor, Memory, and Motherboard

  • Hardware Platform: Mac
  • Processor: 1.7 GHz i5-2320
  • Number of Processors: 1
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • RAM Type: SDRAM
  • Max RAM: 4 GB

Hard Drive

  • Size: 128 GB
  • Manufacturer: SATA
  • Type: Solid State

Graphics and Display

  • Graphics Card: HD Graphics 3000
  • Graphics RAM: 384 MB
  • LCD Native Resolution: 1440 x 900

Ports and Connectivity

  • USB 2.0 Ports: 2

Cases and Expandability

  • Size (LWH): 0 inches, 0 inches, 0 inches
  • Weight: 2.96 pounds

Power

  • Rated Charge (normal use): 7 hours
  • Rated Charge (standby): 10 hours

Dell to announce Adamo line successor, XPS 15z

Dell tomorrow plans to announce what the company is positioning as the successor to its ultrathin Adamo line.

The Dell XPS 15z is being positioned as the successor to the Adamo, Dell's ultrathin laptop line that was discontinued.

The Dell XPS 15z is being positioned as the successor to the Adamo, Dell’s ultrathin laptop line that was discontinued.

The 0.97-inch thick XPS 15z can be configured with Intel “Sandy Bridge” Core i5 (2.9GHz) and Core i7 (3.4GHz) processors, a 15.6-inch 1920-by-1080 resolution display (300-nit), and a 750GB 7200RPM hard disk drive.

Constructed from anodized aluminum, it will also be offered with Nvidia GT 525M graphics, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and Mini DisplayPort ports, a slot-load optical drive, a “spill resistant” back-lit keyboard, Ethernet port, media card reader, and a 1.3MP Webcam with dual array microphones.

As a bonus, the 15z qualifies for the free Xbox 360 4GB console promotional offer. Orders can arrive the next day with Dell’s “fast ship” option, the company said.

Apple updates MacBook Pro line for 2011

Apple MacBook Pro 2011

After weeks of a growing chorus of rumors, leaks, and anecdotal evidence, Apple today announced a series of updates to its popular MacBook Pro line of laptops. The entire updated line now offers Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge CPUs, which debuted last month.

Just as significantly, the new MacBook Pros are also the first products to feature Intel’s new Thunderbolt technology (formerly known as Light Peak). The Thunderbolt tech is envisioned as a sort of unified successor to USB, FireWire, and DisplayPort, allowing peripherals to hypothetically carry data and video at 10 gigabits per second. The MacBook Pros Thunderbolt port looks identical (and is backwards compatible) to existing DisplayPort connections, and–with the proper adapter cable–should also be able to interface with HDMI connections as well. (Also, note that Intel will be hosting a press event at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET today where the company is widely expected to highlight its Thunderbolt/Light Peak technology in more detail. Join CNET for live coverage at that time.)

The third big change is in the laptops’ internal graphics processor. Instead of the NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics previously found in these systems, the default graphics come from Intel’s HD 3000 GPU, which is the improved integrated graphics that come bundled with the current Sandy Bridge generation of Intel’s Core i-series processors. For the larger 15 and 17-inch models that include discrete graphics, the GPUs now come from AMD, instead of long-time rival Nvidia.

The new MacBook Pros also get a new higher resolution FaceTime HD camera. As the name implies, Apple is also bringing the iPhone’s FaceTime video calling software to the Mac.

Like the previous MacBook Pro line, these new models all start with a minimum of 4GB of RAM, and the lowest-end 13-inch MacBook Pro gets a hard drive bump from 250GB to 320GB.