I like to call HP the most unpredictable company in tech. One minute they’re acquiring Palm for $1.2 billion, then the next they’re discontinuing all webOS products and throwing TouchPads out of the door for less than £100 a pop. There is literally no way of telling what wacky thing they’ll do next, and at MWC they proved this by announcing the Slate 7, a £129 Nexus 7 competitor with near-stock Android and Beats Audio. While there was absolutely no reason to buy one over a Nexus 7, it still suggested that HP had an interest in good value Android machines with unmodified software. Now it seems that theory is correct, as the company has unveiled the SlateBook x2.
If you’ve ever seen HP’s Windows 8-powered Envy x2, then the SlateBook x2 should instantly feel familiar. It’s smaller, at 10.2″ compared to 11.6″ for the Envy x2, but it follows the same basic concept of a slate being paired with a detachable battery-equipped keyboard to make a notebook form factor. The slate itself is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chip, has a 1920 x 1200 IPS display and 64GB of storage which is expandable via microSD and, in the keyboard dock, a full size SD. The software is also pretty much stock Jelly Bean with HP’s only additions being printing stuff and some document editing/file management capabilities. Best of all the whole keyboard and 64GB tablet package will only set you back $479.99, so less than a 16GB 9.7″ iPad, meaning that it’ll probably end up at around £390 in the UK. If Android tablet app offerings were more compelling, I’d be seriously tempted.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9EcgzjT7e8]
It’s the first day of CES proper today, and the news has started to flood in. Nvidia held an interesting press conference today to announce a few things. There’s no doubt that the most anticipated (and most important) announcement of the day was the Tegra 4 – Nvidia’s new flagship chip to ‘rule them all’. That is until Qualcomm and Samsung show off their work. The new chip packs 72 GPU CUDA cores, and is produced on a 28nm manufacturing process which is a step up from the 40nm of the Tegra 3. This means that even though the chip packs more power, it’ll take less of a hit on the battery life. It uses a new quad core, Cortex-A15 based architecture as well. One notable omission is the lack of integrated LTE – while it does ship with an external modem, that both takes a hit on battery life and reduces space inside of the phone. It’s interesting to see whether this impacts Tegra 4 adoption, as many phones which used a Tegra processor internationally had to use a Qualcomm processor in the US so as to keep LTE.
The other thing that Nvidia announced was a new handheld gaming system called Project Shield. This came to me as a surprise, but its very very interesting. It features a 5″ 720p display, a Tegra 4 chip and an Xbox-esque controller portion. It is running stock android (i.e good) and has the ability to stream games from your Steam library from your computer to the device, where you can play them. It’ll be interesting to see whether this catches on or flops when it becomes available in Q2 2013
When HTC unveiled the One family at MWC earlier this year, the simplified line-up was meant to represent a new beginning for the Taiwanese firm. One range of phones for the entire world was supposed to be the result of a shift of focus from quantity to quality, and overall they impressed us. When we reviewed the One X back in August, we concluded that it was a stunning phone and confidently pointed towards a bright future for HTC. Sense aside, HTC could be in a position to become market leaders. But then things changed.
Surrendering to the wills of various carrier partners, mostly in the United States, HTC’s production lines began to churn out even more devices. Since that impressive MWC launch in February, no fewer than 10 Android devices have been launched by the company in various parts of the world, many of which did not bear the One family name. The most recent of these – and the company’s new European Android flagship – is the One X+ which, at first glance, looks no different to the original One X. How does it fare against its latest rivals, and, with new devices just around the corner at CES and MWC after the turn of the new year, is it worth your money? Read on to find out.
Having been announced shortly before Mobile World Congress in February, LG’s Optimus Vu has kept largely under the radar, save for launches in Japan and South Korea, but a press release today details LG’s plans for a global launch of the 5″ 4:3 behemoth, with the company hoping to get to market before Samsung’s Galaxy Note II, which is set to be unveiled at IFA on August 29th. The aging dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 MSM8660 found in existing models is getting replaced by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip, as found in the HTC One X that we recently reviewed, although this means that the device will not support LTE in territories with such networks. The new Vu will ship with Android 4.0, replacing the old Gingerbread build of models past, but this will, as usual, be caked in LG’s customisations, including an upgraded version of QuickMemo™. While we may not be fans of phablets, those who are interested will be able to find the Optimus Vu in stores across Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East in September, but those Americans who desire the leaked Verizon LTE model will have to wait longer for official confirmation.
LG ANNOUNCES GLOBAL AVAILABILITY OF OPTIMUS VU:
Largest LG Smartphone to Be Launched in Europe, Asia, Middle East/Africa and Latin America
SEOUL, Aug. 20, 2012 -– On the heels of its successful debut in Korea and Japan, the Optimus Vu: will make its global debut starting in select markets in Europe, Asia, Middle East/Africa and Latin America starting in September. With the world’s first 5-inch 4:3 aspect ratio display, the Optimus Vu: blurs the line between traditional tablets and smartphones for a truly unique smart device experience.
Since its March debut in Korea, the Optimus Vu: has sold over 500,000 units, demonstrating public acceptance of its form-factor. The reception the device received in Korea prompted LG to launch the Optimus Vu: in Japan this month, where it has also been received positively by Japanese consumers.
For the global roll-out, the Optimus Vu: will be equipped with NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 mobile processor, the super 4-PLUS-1™ quad-core with 5th battery-saver core, that offers a superb balance of performance and power requirements. 4 cores are used for high performance tasks such as games and multitasking. For voice call, email, music and video playback, only 5th battery-saver core is enabled and it consumes very less power.
When paired with the high-resolution 5-inch, 4:3 ratio IPS display, the Optimus Vu: becomes something special –- a device that’s both pocketable and spacious. The Optimus Vu: will come with an upgraded version of QuickMemo™ and Notebook, two features which make great use of the large display real estate.
“The different form factor makes Optimus Vu: unique even in the 5-inch smartphone category which we expect will catch on once they become more widely available,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company.
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 3G network
- 5.0 inch 4:3 ratio XGA IPS display with 768 x 1024 pixels
- 32GB memory
- 8.0MP rear/1.3MP front cameras
- 139.6 x 90.4 x 8.5mm
Just minutes ahead of Google’s I/O keynote, images and videos of two oft-rumoured products have surfaced, leading to virtual confirmation that they will be announced later today at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
As previously reported on, the Nexus 7 tablet is a 7″ Asus-built slate sporting a Tegra 3 chip from Nvidia, a 1280 x 800 IPS display with Gorilla Glass, 1GB of RAM and an attractively low price tag of just $199 for a 8GB model, while the internal storage can be doubled for another $50. Android Police dug this image up directly from the Google Play servers, so this is our first real look at the
bezel tablet and Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean. We will bring you more information when we get it tonight from Google’s keynote.
Additionally, Droid Life has some info about the Nexus Q, which seems to be a social streaming media player that various devices can connect to as long as they run Android 2.3 or later. It is set to cost $299 and, along with the Nexus 7, it is set to ship in 2 to 3 weeks in the US only.
Nexus 7 Addendum
The following paragraphs only apply if you purchase a Nexus 7.
The Nexus 7 has built-in Wi-Fi. You are solely responsible for obtaining internet connectivity through an internet service provider as the Nexus 7 does not support mobile connectivity.
In order to use the Nexus 7, you understand that you will need your own 802.11a/b/g/n access point Wi-Fi router.
The Nexus 7 is manufactured by ASUSTeK Computer Inc., whose principal place of business is at ASUSTeK Computer Inc., Nr. 15 Li-Te Road, Peitou, Taipei 112, Taiwan (“ASUS”).
ASUS provides a limited warranty for the Nexus 7. Please refer to the warranty card in the Nexus 7 package or ASUS for details on the ASUS limited warranty.
Nexus Q Addendum
The following paragraphs only apply if you purchase a Nexus Q.
You understand that the Nexus Q currently supports only Google Play Music; Google Play Movies and TV; and YouTube, and that your use of those services is subject to the Google Play Terms of Service.
The Nexus Q has built-in Wi-Fi and a built-in ethernet controller. You are solely responsible for obtaining internet connectivity through an internet service provider as the Nexus Q does not support mobile connectivity.
In order to use the Nexus Q, you understand that you will need your own: (i) phone or tablet running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher with access to Google Play; (ii) compatible speakers, AV system or HD TV; and (iii) 802.11a/b/g/n access point Wi-Fi router.
Google provides a limited warranty for the Nexus Q. Please visit this link for more information.
“OMG I’ve seen this totally cool new phone, I really just have to get it!”
“Oh really? What is so good about it?”
“It’s got a quad-core processor”
“What does that mean?”
“I have no idea. However it sounds WICKED!!”
Companies trick you into thinking that you always have to have the latest thing, and the today’s society pressures you into believing all the given specifications are absolutely amazing. However, the truth is, some of it just isn’t needed. Why would you want a quad-core processor? To have a faster phone obviously. However you will never need that much power, nor will you ever use it! People say they need the power for gaming; however computers that don’t have quad-core processors have been used for gaming for so many years and are completely fine. Also why would you want to play high quality games on your phone? The screen is so small and the graphics are such poor quality that it isn’t worth it, not if you want anywhere near decent detail and picture. My phone (HTC Sensation) has a dual-core processor; and that works sensationally. I can multitask efficiently, I can play music whilst on the internet and texting and running social apps in the background. I can receive emails and play on apps at the same time. The speed is fantastic and you really couldn’t need a faster phone.
Quad-core costs a lot more money and quite frankly, it isn’t worth it. You may think it is cool to have it, however you will never use all four processors at once, and so you will never notice the fact that you have them.