msgbartop
All about Google Chrome & Google Chrome OS
msgbarbottom

22 Apr 12 Asus Ships Quad-core Transformer Pad 300 Tablet for $379


Asustek on Sunday started shipping its Transformer Pad 300 tablet in the U.S., with the company pitching the tablet as a gaming device and laptop replacement.

The tablet has a 10.1-inch screen, Google’s Android 4.0 operating system and a quad-core Tegra 3 processor from Nvidia running at a clock speed of 1.2GHz.

The tablet is priced started at US$379.99 for 32GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. Though most features are similar to those available in its predecessor, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, the starting price is lower. Some of the new features GPS capabilities and the new OS pre-installed.

The company did not immediately comment on worldwide availability.

The tablet is the first that does not have Asus’ famous “Eee” moniker, which debuted in 2007 with the pioneering Eee PC 700 netbook. Asus is upgrading its tablets at a furious pace, and the new tablet comes just six months after it shipped the Transformer Prime, which was the industry’s first quad-core tablet.

Asus also joins a bevy of companies pricing Android 4.0 tablets under US$400. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 10.1-inch tablet will ship on May 13 and starts at $399.99. The aggressive pricing strategy of Android tablets may be an attempt to take market share from Apple, which is expected to dominate the tablet market this year, according to Gartner. Apple’s iPad is priced starting at $499.

The Transformer Pad 300′s 10-hour battery life can be extended to 15 hours with an additional battery in the optional $149 keyboard dock. The dock has a full keyboard and a touch pad to make the tablet a functional laptop. The dock has Android-specific buttons for quick access to tablet functions, and also USB 2.0 and SD card slots.

The tablet weighs 635 grams (1.4 pounds), according to Asus. The display shows images at a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, and the Tegra 3 chip enables a strong gaming experience with 12 integrated graphics cores.

The 8-megapixel rear camera on the tablet can shoot video at 30 frames per second. There is also a 1.2-megapixel camera on the front of the tablet. A micro-HDMI port allows the tablet to be connected to TVs. For expandable storage, the tablet has a microSD card slot.

The Transformer Pad 300 has been advertised with 4G LTE, but this tablet does include mobile broadband connectivity features.

Asus is also bulking up its cloud offering with the tablet, offering 8GB of free storage on it Asus WebStorage service. The WebStorage service allows users to share files and backup data to PCs.

Software on the tablet includes Polaris Office, which makes it easier for users to see Word, Excel and Powerpoint files. An application called App Backup can save data to local or removable microSD storage.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam’s e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/254241/asus_ships_quadcore_transformer_pad_300_tablet_for_379.html

Tags: , , , , ,

10 Apr 12 India’s $35 tablet getting new hardware, Android 4.0


IDG News Service - India’s highly touted $35 tablet, set to ship in two to three weeks, is getting a makeover with improved hardware and Google’s Android 4.0 OS, according to the company assembling the device for the Indian government.

The second-generation Aakash 2 will have a 7-inch capacitive multitouch screen and a faster single-core, 800MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, said Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind. The tablet will ship with Android 2.3, but will be upgradeable to Android 4.0 about six to eight weeks after delivery, Tuli said.

“The product development is complete and deliveries are expected to start for Aakash 2 in about two or three weeks,” Tuli said in an email.

The tablet’s total price is around $45, and the Indian government will subsidize that to $35, Tuli said. The Indian government has budgeted for the acquisition of about 5 million units for the country’s fiscal year, which started on April 1, and the tablet will be further upgraded as component prices come down, Tuli said.

The original $35 tablet was announced in July 2010 by the Indian government as a subsidized low-cost computing device for students in the country. Shipments started late last year but have been affected by disputes between Datawind and an Indian education institution responsible for providing specifications and testing the tablet.

The Aakash 2 is a significant upgrade over the original $35 tablet, Aakash, which means sky in Hindi. The original tablet had a 7-inch resistive touchscreen, Android 2.2 and a slower 366MHz processor based on an older ARM architecture. The Aakash 2 will have 256MB of RAM and 2GB flash storage, which are the same as the original $35 tablet.

The tablet will likely be upgraded to dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processors by the end of the year, Tuli said. Many tablets today use Cortex-A9 processors, including models from Samsung, Asus, Acer and Lenovo.

“We’re confident that by the fall, Cortex A9 dual-core processors will be in the same [price] range as what Cortex A8 is at today,” Tuli said.

The development and deployment of the original Aakash tablet has been marred by controversies. The Indian government was expected to buy 8 million to 10 million units of the original Aakash tablet by March 31, which was the end of the Indian fiscal year. But shipments have been much lower than expected mostly due to disagreements between Datawind and Indian Institute of Technology-Rajasthan, which was responsible for providing specifications and field testing for the device.

The differences between Datawind and IIT-Rajasthan related to testing criteria used to see if the tablet met certain requirements, Tuli said. The original Aakash device was tested on parameters such as shock, water resistance, temperature and dust and humidity, according to a document sent by Tuli describing test results.

IIT-Rajasthan has now been removed from the project, and the Aakash project has been transferred to the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Tuli said. IIT-Bombay will also be the first buyer of Aakash 2 and purchase about 100,000 units. IIT-Bombay, in Mumbai, and IIT-Rajasthan, in Jodhpur, are among the top science and engineering educational institutions in India.

IIT-Rajasthan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam’s e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9225988/India_39_s_35_tablet_getting_new_hardware_Android_4.0?taxonomyId=13

Tags: , , , , ,