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23 Apr 12 Android this week: Cheaper Asus Transformer Pad reviewed; HTC One S impresses


The popular Asus Transformer Prime now has a cheaper cousin called the Transformer Pad TF300 and reviews are starting to trickle in. Asus opted to cut a corner or two to reduce the price on the Pad, but it still offers a similar form factor: A capacitive touchscreen tablet running Google Android 4.0 with an optional $150 keyboard dock. The Pad tablet alone retails for $380 with 16 GB of internal storage and a 32 GB model is available for an extra $20.

Instead of the 1.3 GHz Tegra 3 found in the Transformer Prime, the Pad uses a 1.2 GHz Tegra 3 chip. Additionally, Asus saved on some of the Pad’s hardware cost by using a lower quality LCD display as compared to the Prime: Don’t look for a bright, Super IPS panel on this lower priced model. This less expensive model is also a tad heavier than the $499 Prime, weighing about one-tenth of pound more than the prior tablet version. On the plus side, the 8 megapixel camera offers a wider aperture — f/2.2 vs f/2.4 — and the Pad includes faster DDR3 RAM.

Early reviews generally appear favorable. Here’s a sampling:

CNet: “The TF300 doesn’t lose much compared with the Prime and actually gains in a couple areas. At $380 ($400 for 32GB) it’s cheaper than even an iPad 2, but unfortunately, the Android OS still lags way behind in app support compared with iOS. Still, if Android is your thing, the TF300′s price makes it the current best value for a full-Android tablet on the market.”

PC Mag: “The Transformer Prime was a top-notch tablet when it was released last year, and the TF300T, which isn’t vastly different, except that it’s less expensive, carries that torch. But it seems like a placeholder while we wait for the Infinity Prime, with its 1080p high-resolution display.”

PC World: “In spite of the stability issues I encountered, the Asus Transformer Pad makes for a good, large-screen value Android tablet. The extra storage you’ll get will come in handy, but you’ll have to be willing to sacrifice niceties like a subwoofer, rear-camera flash, and super IPS display to go with this lower-cost model. If you like the idea of extra storage and saving some bucks, the Transformer Pad makes a good choice.”

When I reviewed the Asus Transformer Prime, I thought it was the best Android tablet available due to the device performance and docking station that adds a keyboard, additional ports and extra battery life. Starting at $120 less, the Transformer Pad TF300 sounds like it’s worth a look for those seeking an iPad alternative.

On the smartphone side of Android, I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing the HTC One S for T-Mobile. It may be the nicest Android hardware I’ve held yet. HTC Sense on top of Android 4.0 is generally favorable and should appeal to fans of Sense and new smartphone owners alike due to ease of use.

As a T-Mobile customer, I considered replacing my Galaxy Nexus for a One S, but opted to stick with my current phone. I prefer having total control over my choice of software and I can also use the Nexus on either T-Mobile or ATT. Still, if you’re on T-Mobile and want a premium Android experience, the One S should be atop the list of phones to check out.

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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Article source: http://gigaom.com/mobile/android-this-week-cheaper-asus-transformer-pad-reviewed-htc-one-s-impresses/

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24 Nov 11 HTC mulls Android Chrome OS hybrid for Internet access devices


HTC doesn’t build notebooks, but it does build tablets — and now it’s pondering some sort of mashup of Android and Chrome OS that will power future “Internet access devices.”

If you’re going with Google’s definition of what such a device would be, it’s probably something like the Asus Transformer Prime: a tablet with a removable keyboard. When they showed off the first laptops running Chrome OS, Google said that’s where people are using the web right now. Tablet use is skyrocketing, however, which is why Google continues to plug away at a tablet-friendly version of Chrome OS that will find its way onto devices in the near future.

But they’re also simultaneously working on bringing the Chrome browser to Android. So what, exactly, is HTC pondering then? A device that can dual-boot Android and Chrome OS hardly seems like a good idea if the entire core of Chrome OS — the browser itself — is heading to Android anyway.

Furthermore, consumers historically haven’t responded well to dual-boot options. HTC should remember this from the days of the Shift, which sported both Windows Mobile and Vista. It was widely regarded as a major disappointment. Add to the mix the fact that Chromebook sales to date have been abyssmal, and you’re left shaking your head and wondering just what HTC could possibly be up to.

There is, however, one bit of Chrome OS that could be smartly integrated with Android to deliver a unique device: its multiple profile support.

Not every household has the spare cash to justify purchasing one tablet or notebook per family member, and current tablets just aren’t built for multiple users. By ripping the Chrome OS login screen — which already ties into the same Google authentication backend that Android does — HTC could offer a tablet that allows users to sign in and out to keep data private, segregate their app purchases, and even keep music and video libraries from spilling over.

More at DigiTimes


Article source: http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/htc-mulls-android-chrome-os-hybrid-for-internet-access-devices-20111123/

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23 Nov 11 HTC mulls Android Chrome OS hybrid for Internet access devices


HTC doesn’t build notebooks, but it does build tablets — and now it’s pondering some sort of mashup of Android and Chrome OS that will power future “Internet access devices.”

If you’re going with Google’s definition of what such a device would be, it’s probably something like the Asus Transformer Prime: a tablet with a removable keyboard. When they showed off the first laptops running Chrome OS, Google said that’s where people are using the web right now. Tablet use is skyrocketing, however, which is why Google continues to plug away at a tablet-friendly version of Chrome OS that will find its way onto devices in the near future.

But they’re also simultaneously working on bringing the Chrome browser to Android. So what, exactly, is HTC pondering then? A device that can dual-boot Android and Chrome OS hardly seems like a good idea if the entire core of Chrome OS — the browser itself — is heading to Android anyway.

Furthermore, consumers historically haven’t responded well to dual-boot options. HTC should remember this from the days of the Shift, which sported both Windows Mobile and Vista. It was widely regarded as a major disappointment. Add to the mix the fact that Chromebook sales to date have been abyssmal, and you’re left shaking your head and wondering just what HTC could possibly be up to.

There is, however, one bit of Chrome OS that could be smartly integrated with Android to deliver a unique device: its multiple profile support.

Not every household has the spare cash to justify purchasing one tablet or notebook per family member, and current tablets just aren’t built for multiple users. By ripping the Chrome OS login screen — which already ties into the same Google authentication backend that Android does — HTC could offer a tablet that allows users to sign in and out to keep data private, segregate their app purchases, and even keep music and video libraries from spilling over.

More at DigiTimes


Article source: http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/htc-mulls-android-chrome-os-hybrid-for-internet-access-devices-20111123/

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