February 2013

N-trig launches DuoSense Pen2, swipes at Wacom
N-trig announced the release of its second generation DuoSense Pen family. Available in models of 9.5mm, 8.0mm and 5.5mm diameter, the active pen solution employs high pressure sensitivity, hover and function buttons with advanced palm rejection, pursuing a natural writing experience for screen ink input in both rechargeable and battery-operated pen models. The N-trig press release quotes David Daoud, IDC's Research Director for Personal Computing as saying, "Up to now, the use of digital pens in personal computing has been irrelevant. The quality of such input devices and lack of applications made the digital pen experience rather painful." -- Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by chb

Fujitsu announces enterprise-class, waterproof 10.1-inch Windows tablet
Fujitsu announced its new Arrows Tab Q852/F tablet for enterprise customers. The device is based on Intel's new "Clover Trail" Atom Z2760 processor, measures 10.4 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches, weighs 1.3 pounds, has a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 pixel screen, integrated LTE mobile broadband, runs Windows 8, runs 10 hours on a charge, and comes with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of SSD. Most interestingly for enterprise customers who seek something more durable than your standard media tablet, the Arrows Tab tablets will carry IP58 sealing, meaning they're totally dust and waterproof. [See Fujitsu press release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by chb

HP announces US$169 Android-based HP Slate7
HP announced the HP Slate7, an Android 4.1-based 1024 x 600 pixel 7-inch multi-touch tablet powered by a 1.6GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor. Despite its low price (starting at US$169), the 197 x 116 x 11 mm, 13-ounce Slate7 comes with dual cameras (3mp back, VGA front), uses HFFS screen technology, and has a micro-USB slot to complement the 8GB standard storage. Like HP's other tablet offerings, the upcoming (April 2013) Slate7 is handled by HP's newly formed Mobility Global Business Unit. [See HP Slate7 webpage, press release, and HP blog entry] -- Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by chb

4K video soon available in smartphones and tablets
Aptina announced new 12- and 13-megapixel mobile image sensors for high end smartphones. The new sensors deliver superior low light performance and still and high speed video high dynamic range (HDR) allowing exceptional pictures and video with incredibly fine detail regardless of lighting conditions. The new AR1230 can capture 4K video at 30fps as well as 1080P video up to 96fps. The AR1330 adds enhanced image stabilization. Both sensors support super slow motion video, computational array imaging and 3D image capture and come in standard 8.5 x 8.5mm modules with low Z-heights to leading OEMs and camera module integrators. -- Posted Monday, February 25, 2013 by chb

Mobile pioneers: where are they now? BSQUARE
Bsquare was one of the first software companies when mobile computing emerged from predominantly proprietary platforms in the mid 1990s. Initially specializing on Windows CE, Bsquare expanded its operations into all sorts of embedded and mobile solutions. Where does Bsquare stand today? The company just reported fiscal year 2012 revenues of US$71.1 million, with a small profit of about a million. That's up from US$62.7 million for 2011, with a half million loss. What does Bsquare do these days? They are selling Windows Embedded and Windows Mobile as a Microsoft Value-Added Provider, board support packages for various mobile processor platforms, and various testing and certification tools. Bsquare's engineering services also include Linux, Android and QNX, and the company has launched a Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 porting service for Android, iOS and legacy Windows applications. -- Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 by chb

LG unveils 5.5-inch smartphone
Until not so long ago, every new cellphone was smaller and smaller. Now they're getting larger and larger. LG is now pushing the envelope with the Optimus G Pro which has a 5.5-inch display, stretching the definition of a mobile phone. -- Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by chb

Toshiba to launch Audio Codec IC for mobile devices
In the past, we reported on Toshiba PDAs, Pocket PCs and tablets (for a blast from Toshiba's past, see our review of the Toshiba Genio e570). These days, Toshiba seems to concentrate on all sorts of innovation that goes unto such devices. The latest example: Toshiba's combining the audio codec, amplifier and echo/noise cancellation into one chip (see Toshiba Audio Codec IC). -- Posted Wednesday, February 13, 2013 by chb

Added: GammaTech Durabook TA10
The GammaTech Durabook TA10 is an ultra-rugged tablet computer with a 10.4-inch XGA display with resistive multi-touch and optional active pen. Geared towards high-performance applications with available Intel 3rd generation Core processors, the highly customizable 5-pound TA10 can handle 5-foot drops, extreme temperatures and it carries IP65 sealing. There's plenty of onboard connectivity and the starting price is around US$2,300. [See description, analysis and specs of the GammaTech Durabook TA10] -- Posted Monday, February 4, 2013 by chb

Intel to showcase Android, Atom Z2420 in Barcelona
Intel said at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona it will showcase its latest smartphone technologies and devices running Android, including a new dual core, dual graphics platform, as well as OEM- and service provider-supported devices based on the company’s new Intel Atom Z2420 platform targeted at emerging markets. -- Posted Friday, February 1, 2013 by chb