August 2012

Getac US totally revamps its website
Getac announced it has completely redesigned its North American website with the help of creative agency Envoy. The emphasis of the redesign was to provide customers with an easy-to-navigate site "that will help them choose which Getac rugged computer best fits their extreme working environment." The new Getac site is indeed easy to use, full of very good product photography, and it presents the major selling points clearly and concisely. A most impressive job. [See the new Getac US website] -- Posted Thursday, August 30, 2012 by chb

Sony releases slimmer 9.4-inch Tablet S as part of Xperia line
Sony announced today the launch of the aluminum-bodied, NVIDIA Tegra 3 quadcore-powered Android 4.0 Xperia Tablet S, a thin and light device packed with original apps and Sony exclusive features such as a universal remote control with a guest mode. The 1.26 pound Xperia Tablet S has a 9.4-inch 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, HDMI, a full-size SD Card slot, a 10-hour battery, and it comes in 16GB (US$399), 32GB (US$499) and 64GB (US$599) versions. -- Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by chb

High cost may limit touch-enabled notebook penetration
Windows 8 is all about touch, but according to DigiTimes, touch-enabled notebooks will struggle to even reach 20% penetration in 2013. That's because touch adds US$50-60, increasing retail prices by US$100-120, a steep premium in a notebook market where the price for a nice model hovers around US$500. On the other hand, Display Search reports that notebook and all-in-one PCs will help drive total touch screen module revenue to nearly US$16 billion in 2012, and almost double to $31.9 billion by 2018. -- Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by chb

Archos unveils very thin 101 XS tablet
Archos announced its Gen10 XS tablet line. The OMAP 4470-powered ARCHOS 101 XS, a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel Android 4.0 tablet that weighs 1.3 pounds and is less than a third of an inch thick, will debut mid-September followed by the ARCHOS 97 XS and ARCHOS 80 XS later in 2012. The 101 XS, which will retail for US$399, has 16GB of Flash memory, micro-SUB, MicroSD, mini-HDMI, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. [See Archos 101 XS page] -- Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2012 by chb

Jon Peddie Research: Graphics add-in board shippments down
Jon Peddie Research found that graphics add-in board (AIB) unit shipments during Q2 2012 was lower on a year-to-year comparison and on a quarter-to-quarter comparison for the quarter. A total of 14.76 million were shipped, compared to 15.79 million Q2 2011. Nvidia (59.3% and AMD 40.3%) own this market. Given the substantially improved performance of graphics integrated into CPUs, we're not surprised at the drop and expect it to continue. -- Posted Monday, August 27, 2012 by chb

DAP Technologies unveils ruggedized Windows tablet with 9.7-inch multi-touch IPS display
Today's market is ready to deploy tablets in numerous areas, but many businesses require a Microsoft OS platform and more ruggedness than media tablets can provide. DAP Technologies addresses these issues with their new Intel Atom N2600-powered M9700 2.2-pound tablet with a 9.7-inch multi-touch display that currently runs Windows Embedded Standard 7, but looks to be Windows 8 ready. The M9700's ruggedness specs far exceed those of consumer media tablets. [See analysis and specs of the DAP M9700 rugged tablet] -- Posted Friday, August 24, 2012 by chb

N-trig's active pen + multi-touch DuoSense certified for Win 8
N-trig announced that its DuoSense pen and multi-touch user interface has passed Microsoft's requirements for Windows 8 certification with approval of a production-ready system from a major OEM. Optimized for Windows 8 apps that take advantage of the active pen and multi-touch user interface, DuoSense seeks to transform the mobile computing experience from simple media consumption to content creation, increased productivity and true interaction. -- Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 by chb

DigiTimes Research: Android widens lead in 2012
DigiTimes Research predicts that Android's market share will reach 67% for the full year of 2012, amounting to 426 million units. They project that Apple will ship 125.6 million iPhones, good for a share of 19.8%. Everyone else is pretty much also-rans: BlackBerry with 4.7%, Symbinan 4.1%, Windows Phone 3.4%, and the rest a paltry 0.8%. -- Posted Monday, August 20, 2012 by chb

Weird: Major vendors drop Win RT tablet plans due to "component supply delays"
According to Bloomberg, Toshiba followed HP in announcing it won't initially make tablets for Microsoft's upcoming Windows RT for ARM-based devices. The given reason was "component supply delays." Soooo... Windows tablets were always supposed too expensive and too clumsy to catch on, but now that Windows RT promises less expensive, sleeker ARM-based Windows tablets, the big players want to stay with good, old X86-based tablets. Seems a classic Catch-22. -- Posted Friday, August 17, 2012 by chb

Kno education app and Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 bring interactive textbook experience to Android
Kno, an erstwhile tablet hardware hopeful turned pioneer in education software, announced that its digital textbook app will debut on Android with the new Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1, providing more choice for parents and students who are heading back to school. Kno's app with over 70 interactive features comes preloaded on the GALAXY Note 10.1, which features Samsung's S Pen technology to enable handwriting recognition and richer interactivity. -- Posted Thursday, August 16, 2012 by chb

TouchStar newsletter
Always interesting reading: TouchStar's InTouch newsletter. See the latest issue (#115) here. -- Posted Thursday, August 16, 2012 by chb

Trimble releases June T41 rugged handheld
Trimble introduced the Juno T41 handheld computer, designed to be a smartphone-inspired option for industries requiring a rugged field computer for data collection and mobile workforce management. The Juno T41 has a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 pixel capacitive multi-touch display with Gorilla Glass, GPS, IP65 or IP68 (fully waterproof) sealing, an 8MP camera with dual LED flash, up to 16GB of Flash, and a microSD card slot. Trimble positions the T41 as a developer-friendly device for real-world field conditions, available with either Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 or Android OS 2.3.4. -- Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2012 by chb

Full review: the new Motion F5t tablet
The latest version of Motion's F5 "field tool" has received yet another major power boost thanks to a switch to the Intel 3rd generation Core processor platform. The performance boost is massive and clearly noticeable in almost every aspect. Our benchmarks show an overall 2x improvement over the predecessor model. Even with the much more powerful processor and the same size battery, battery life of the 10.4-inch 3.3-pound tablet has improved significantly. [Read full review of the Motion F5t tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by chb

Google laying off 4,000 Motorola Mobility employees
With the RAZR Moto once was on top of the world, and with the Droid the company rang in Android's smartphone dominance. Times quickly changed. First, tradition-rich Motorola Mobility got bought out by Google, and now Google is laying off 20% of Moto Mobility staff, 4,000 people. Moral of the story seems that being in the cellphone and smartphone business is an exceedingly bumpy, unreliable ride. -- Posted Monday, August 13, 2012 by chb

Janam golden with XM66 rugged scanner handheld
Without ever mentioning the London Olympics, Janam announced that its rugged handheld devices are being used to scan spectator tickets "during this summer's preeminent global sporting event." Janam CEO Harry Lerner said, "This is yet another case where mission critical operational needs are best addressed with purpose-built tools, as opposed to fragile consumer devices in attachable sleds with half a day of battery life." The device in question is the Janam XM66, a Windows Mobile 6-powered keypad handheld that weighs less than ten ounces. [Read Janam press release] -- Posted Friday, August 10, 2012 by chb

Use handwriting to search Google
Did you know you can use handwriting to search Google mobile on touchscreen devices? Simply enable "Handwrite" in the Google screen Search Settings. Thanks, Adam Pash at Lifehacker for pointing that out (see here)! -- Posted Monday, August 6, 2012 by chb

RIM introduces 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook
Research In Motion (RIM) launched a new and faster (1.5GHz dual-core CPU) 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with built-in support for cellular networks. Featuring the latest (QNX-based) BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2 software and 32GB of storage, the 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.4 inch 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is also enterprise ready. It can be managed with BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and includes BlackBerry Balance technology, which allows a user to use a BlackBerry PlayBook for both work and personal purposes by keeping business information highly secure and separate from personal information. -- Posted Friday, August 3, 2012 by chb

Thanks to tablets, 2012 will bring new world record in PC shipments
Canalys reported that global client PC shipments rose 12% to 108.7 million units year on year in Q2 2012. Growth in pads more than compensated for disappointing sales of Ultrabooks. The new iPad had the biggest single impact on growth rates in the quarter, but Asus and Samsung made progress with their Transformer and Galaxy Tab product lines. Total pad shipments increased 75% to 24 million units, representing 22% of all PCs. [See Canalys press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 2, 2012 by chb

Synaptics acquires Pacinian and its ThinTouch keyboard technology
Synaptics announced the acquisitions of Pacinian, and plans on combining its TouchPad technology with Pacinian's unique ThinTouch keyboard that has no moving parts, uses no power, but creates the perception that keys are moving up and down. -- Posted Thursday, August 2, 2012 by chb

InfoSonic launches IPx5-sealed R800 7-inch Android tablet
InfoSonics — a designer, manufacturer and provider of wireless handsets and related products to OEMs, carriers and distributors — announced its new shock-resistant Android-based WiFi/3G verykool R800 Outdoor Tablet with with a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, up to 16GB of storage and an IPx5 sealing rating, which means it is protected against low-pressure water jets from all directions. [See InfoSonics R800 page] -- Posted Thursday, August 2, 2012 by chb