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06 Jun 12 All Android 4 posts



Archos unveils low-cost Android 4.0 tablet for kids

An “Alvin and the Chipmunks”-themed tablet just for kids? Sounds great, but the skeptic in me says it’ll be underpowered and overpriced.

At $129.99, the Archos ChildPad definitely isn’t overpriced, especially when you consider that “adult” tablets (like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet) start at around $200.

As for power, one could argue that younger kids don’t need much. But the ChildPad has decent specs, including a 1GHz ARM Cortex processor, 7-inch screen, front-facing camera, and Android 4.0.

In other words, it’s more than adequately equipped for the likes of Angry Birds, educational apps, music, movies, and other kid-oriented stuff. Plus, it’s modeled in kid-friendly blue and white, and it comes with exclusive “Alvin and the Chipmunks 3″ content (consisting of clips, pictures, wallpaper, and an online game).

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Article source: http://news.cnet.com/posts/?keyword=Android+4

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01 Jun 12 Android 4.0 tablets



Archos unveils low-cost Android 4.0 tablet for kids

An “Alvin and the Chipmunks”-themed tablet just for kids? Sounds great, but the skeptic in me says it’ll be underpowered and overpriced.

At $129.99, the Archos ChildPad definitely isn’t overpriced, especially when you consider that “adult” tablets (like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet) start at around $200.

As for power, one could argue that younger kids don’t need much. But the ChildPad has decent specs, including a 1GHz ARM Cortex processor, 7-inch screen, front-facing camera, and Android 4.0.

In other words, it’s more than adequately equipped for the likes of Angry Birds, educational apps, music, movies, and other kid-oriented stuff. Plus, it’s modeled in kid-friendly blue and white, and it comes with exclusive “Alvin and the Chipmunks 3″ content (consisting of clips, pictures, wallpaper, and an online game).

more

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/posts/?keyword=Android+4.0+tablets

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30 May 12 Get an 8-inch Android 4.0 tablet for $134.99



Is this 8-inch Android 4.0 tablet any good? Thats the $64,000 question.

Is this 8-inch Android 4.0 tablet any good? That’s the $64,000 question.

(Credit:
Geeks.com)

I know it’s starting to feel like
Tablet Central around here, but hear me out.

On many occasions I’ve warned against buying cheap, off-brand tablets. That’s because most of the models I’ve tried were terrible. They had slow processors, resistive (as opposed to capacative, which is what you want) touchscreens, old versions of
Android, and crummy app stores.

But something is starting to change. Yesterday, Ematic announced the eGlide Steal, a 7-inch Android 4.0 tablet priced at $119. (Stay tuned: I’m working on getting a unit in for review.)

And today only, Geeks.com has the Kocaso M860W 8-inch Android 4.0 tablet for $134.99, plus around $8 for shipping.

Kocaso? Nope, I never heard of it, either. But the specs would seem to indicate a reasonably robust tablet, one that could be worth a look. For starters, there’s the 8-inch multitouch screen, which might prove “just right” for those who want something a little bigger than the 7-inch
Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet but don’t want to expand into 10-inch iPad territory.

The M860W also sports a 1.2GHz processor, 4GB of available storage (expandable via microSD), a front-facing camera, an HDMI output, and Android 4.0. It even comes with a carrying case (of the zippered variety).

Arguably the most important “feature” here is Google Play, meaning you should be able to install just about any third-party app. Previous cheapie tablets didn’t provide access to that or any other decent app store.

There are a few shortcomings here, most notably a lack of Bluetooth and GPS. What’s more, the screen is a little on the low-resolution side at 800 x 600. (The Kindle Fire, by comparison, runs at 1,024 x 600.)

So, buy or no-buy? I can’t give this the official Cheapskate Seal of Approval, if only because I haven’t yet had the chance to try it — or any other new breed of no-brand tablet. But on paper, they seem much improved over their clunky, borderline useless predecessors.

If you’ve used a “knockoff” Android 4.0 tablet like this one, hit the comments and give me and your fellow cheeps the scoop. And if you decide to roll the dice on the Kocaso, I’d love to hear your feedback after you get it.

Bonus deal: The only thing better than music? Free music. In some sort of partnership with summer music festivals, USA Today is offering a free 10-song playlist via iTunes. There’s some nice stuff here from the likes of Bon Iver, Feist, The Band Perry, and Sharon Jones The Dap-Kings.

Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.

Curious about what exactly The Cheapskate does and how it works? Read our FAQ.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13845_3-57443520-58/get-an-8-inch-android-4.0-tablet-for-$134.99/

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23 Apr 12 Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Review: A Low-Cost, Full-Featured Android Tablet


On the surface, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 appears to be little more than a low-key refresh of its six-month-old predecessor, the in-betweener Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. And while that’s true, the Tab 2’s noticeably lower cost—at $250, it dropped in price by 38 percent from the 7.0 Plus–coupled with its numerous features give it a clear advantage over leading value tablet competitors Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet.

With that sizable drop, the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 marks the first time a premium Android tablet maker like Samsung has gone full-bore after the value space. The Galaxy Tab 2is competitively priced against the $200 of Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. Those popular 7-inch tablets each use their own customized versions of Android. These variants on Android can provide a more integrated experience for some tasks, such as reading books and magazines, or acquiring media, but it comes at the cost of the wider compatibility of the Android app universe; both Amazon and Barnes Noble require you to purchase apps only via their respective storefronts.

The Galaxy Tab 2 runs Android 4.0, unlike those other inexpensive Android tablets (the Nook and Kindle Fire both run variants built on Android 2.3; that means it can handle standard Android phone and tablet apps in the Google Play store. It also offers features that neither the Kindle Fire nor Nook Tablet do, among them an infrared port and a rear-facing camera. Samsung sacrificed built-in storage capacity (just 8GB, same as the other two value tablets and half of the 16GB provided on the Tab 7.0 Plus) to achieve the Tab 2′s low price, but that doesn’t detract from the Tab 2’s widespread appeal.

Galaxy Tab 2: Design and Performance

The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is an evolutionary step over the extremely similar Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Both models weigh 0.76 pounds, and both feature a similar design and build quality, and both have similar dimensions. Both measure 4.8 by 7.6 inches, but the Tab 2 is slightly thicker at 0.41 inches, compared to the 7.0 Plus’ 0.39 inches. The balance and weight are such that this tablet isn’t onerous to hold one-handed, though I’d like to see the weight get lighter-still.

Only subtle tweaks distinguish the two. For example, the Tab 2’s plastic bezel curves around to the front of the screen, giving the front-face of the tablet a pleasing look. Tab 2 also has a larger infrared port, located along the top edge of the tablet when holding the tablet in landscape mode; the port now wraps around the back of the tablet, presumably to improve communications between the tablet and your entertainment components. The power button and volume rocker, also along that same edge, have a more rounded, easier-to-press shape. The microSD Card slot door is slightly (by millimeters) wider, too, and ever so slightly easier to open, but you’ll still need to do so using a fingernail. You can add up to 32GB of storage via microSD, a big benefit over Kindle Fire, which lacks any expansion slot for local storage.

The back of the Tab 2’s case is a light, “titanium”-shaded plastic, as opposed to the darker brushed gray of the earlier model. And while the rear-camera is the same, at 3 megapixels, the Tab 2 lacks the flash found on the 7.0 Plus.

Scrapping the flash is just one thing that the Tab 2 sacrificed to achieve its low price. Inside, the Tab 2 has a 1GHz dual-core processor, down from the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus’ 1.2-GHz dual-core processor. The processor change might account for why in the PCWorld Labs tests the Tab 2 took 14 seconds longer to boot up than the Tab 7.0 Plus; and it turned in noticeably slower framerate on the two GL Benchmark tests we run.

Other sacrifices: As noted earlier, the Tab 2 has just 8GB of memory, down from 16GB of memory found on the Tab 7.0 Plus. At 8GB, the Tab 2′s built-in storage is on a par with Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. And the front-facing camera drops from 2-megapixels on the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus to a mere 640 by 480 resolution on the Tab 2—a significant real-world quality drop that resulted in pixellated conversations when using the camera for video chat.

Samsung’s Plane to Line Switching (PLS) display is 1024 by 600 pixels, same as on the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus before it. At this point, this display is merely average, as several 7-inch tablets with 1200 by 800 resolution are now available. I noticed colors were slightly off on the Tab 2 compared to how they appeared on the older 7.0 Plus model; detail in images viewed in the native Google Gallery app appeared slightly worse, too, although the tablets still scored closely on our display subjective tests. I’m currently investigating this issue. Some of the differences may be attributable to the display itself; or, they may have some root in how Google has changed Android’s image handling between Android 3.2 (which shipped on the Tab 7.0 Plus) and Android 4.0.3 (which shipped on the Galaxy Tab 2).

Another interesting difference between the two tablets: The Tab 2 has better audio output. Music sounded fuller, and not in an over-processed way. The Tab 2 does have an equalizer option, which the 7.0 Plus lacked, but none of the effects were on.

As a bonus over its Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet competition, the Tab 2 adds Bluetooth and GPS, too. Together with some of the other features already discussed, the Tab 2 is ahead of the Fire and Nook when it comes to features.

Tab 2: The Software

The Tab 2 series is Samsung’s first to ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. In addition to Android 4.0, Samsung includes its own TouchWiz UX overlay with convenient pop-up launcher tweaks for fast access to a sliding bar of widget-like apps provided by Samsung (such as calculator, e-mail, and world clock). TouchWiz also provides an easy screen-capture utility and super-handy customizations to the settings pop-up, along with some Samsung-specific software apps, such as AllShare for DLNA network media sharing, and Samsung’s own app stores for games, media, books, and music.

In addition to the Samsung-branded apps, the Galaxy Tab 2 comes with a handful of useful Android apps pre-installed. Among them: Dropbox (with a year of 50GB Dropbox service included); the Peel Smart Remote app for use with the infrared port; and Polaris Office. The Peel app is a mixed experience, though; while it makes it easy to discover content visually, configuring the settings can be frustrating, and browsability could be improved. Ultimately, Samsung would do far better to write its own, more basic remote control app, as Sony has done on its Tablet S.

If you own a Samsung Wi-Fi camera or a HDTV, you may be able to benefit from some additional capabilities of the Tab 2that tie into Samsung’s product stable. Remote Viewfinder works with Samsung’s Wi-Fi cameras. The Remote Viewfinder feature could have some interesting applications for group photos, for example; with this capability, you can use Wi-Fi Direct to form a connection between the tablet and the camera, and together with an app on the tablet, you can then use the tablet to control the viewfinder, shutter, zoom, and flash of the camera. Smart View lets you mirror content from your TV on the tablet, but this only works with Samsung 7000 series LED HDTVs, circa 2011 and beyond.

Bottom Line

Even though the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has some nifty features like the infrared port and Wi-Fi Direct, it is neither a premium tablet nor a pure-play budget tablet. The big question is whether full Android compatibility and those extras are worth paying $50–or 25 percent–more than what you’d pay for an Amazon Kindle Fire or a Barnes Noble Nook Tablet. The answer: A resounding yes, with a catch.

The catch, of course, lies with what lies around the corner in tablets—namely, Asus’s upcoming $250 tablet that’s expected to have 1200 by 800 resolution and a Tegra 3 processor. That model still doesn’t have an announcement date beyond “second-quarter,” so for the moment, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is safely in the lead among inexpensive 7-inch Android tablets. It has flaws, but it delivers the most full-featured set of options among its current competitive set.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/254252/samsung_galaxy_tab_2_70_review_a_lowcost_fullfeatured_android_tablet.html

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19 Apr 12 Xtex’s $150 Android Tablet Takes Aim at Kindle Fire


Xtex's $150 Android Tablet Takes Aim at Kindle FireThe My Tablet 7, a 7-inch Android tablet from Xtex, is gunning for the Kindle Fire, undercutting Amazon’s device with a $150 price tag and topping the Fire with some specs.

The My Tablet 7 may not be the best-looking tablet around but it comes loaded with the latest version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.0.3, and a 7-inch display with 800-by-480 pixel resolution, which is below the $200 Kindle Fire’s 1024-by-600 pixel display. The Xtex tablet also runs on a 1.5GHz processor under-clocked to 1GHz, while the Fire runs on a 1GHz dual-core chip. From here on, it gets better.

Xtex's $150 Android Tablet Takes Aim at Kindle FireThe $150 tablet runs on 1GB of RAM, double what’s inside the Kindle Fire, and also double the Fire’s built-in storage, starting at 16GB, and expandable via SD card with an additional up to 32GB. It’s also slightly lighter and thinner according to the manufacturer’s specs.

There’s a 2-mgepiaxel front-facing camera for video chats, notably missing from the Fire, but there’s no camera on the back. The tablet has, however, a variety of ports: there’s a full–size USB port, a mini USB port and a mini HDMI port that can output 1080p HD videos.

Battery life could make or break My Tablet 7, but no official battery tests have been performed. Xtex says that it under-clocked the CPU so that the 3200Mah battery can give between 5 and 6 hours of use, which is at its best still below the 7 to 8 hours you can get on a Kindle fire, given that you have Wi-Fi turned off (you can get substantially less with Wi-Fi on).

Xtex's $150 Android Tablet Takes Aim at Kindle FireThe Xtex My Tablet 7 is not a bad tablet for its price, if you are looking for something low-end for kids to play games on or watch videos and download apps. $50 extra would get you a slightly better screen and battery life with the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet, with their own app stores and content ecosystem.

But if you can get over the average screen and battery life, for $150 you can get a My Tablet 7 in black, white or pink. It’s not available yet in any stores, but it can be ordered online, with an estimated shipping time of 7 to 10 days.

Cheap and small Android tablets seem to be gaining momentum. Amazon sold more than 3 million Kindle Fires, more than any other Android tablet manufacturer, while Samsung is prepping its own small and inexpensive tablets. Even Google is working on its own cheap Android tablet, to sell it for under $200.

Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today @ PCWorld on Twitter

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/254082/xtexs_150_android_tablet_takes_aim_at_kindle_fire.html

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14 Apr 12 Google’s Larry Page: We’re Focused On Cheap Android Tablets


Jared Newman / TIME.com

Google CEO Larry Page has lent some credence to rumors of a cheap, Google-branded Android tablet, saying in an earnings call that the company is focused on the low end of the market.

Page said “we’re very excited about tablets” when asked by an analyst about the company’s tablet strategy. Lower-priced Android tablets have been rather successful, Page said, likely referring to Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes Noble’s Nook Tablet, though he didn’t call them out by name.

(MORE: Will Google Race to the Bottom With a $150 Nexus Tablet?)

“[W]e definitely believe that there’s going to be a lot of success at the lower end of the market as well with lower-priced products that will be very significant. And it’s definitely an area we think is important and we’re quite focused on,” Page said, according to Seeking Alpha’s transcript of the earnings call.

Although plenty of Android tablets exist already, Google has not yet made one of its own, in the way that it’s produced several “Nexus” smartphones. But according to a handful of rumors, Google and Asus are working together on a low-price, 7-inch Android tablet, based on the MeMo 370T that Asus showed off in January, priced around $200. Google could launch the tablet in July at the earliest, The Verge reported last week.

With Page dropping hints to investors, the Google tablet can’t be far off. The company’s holding a conference for developers at the end of June, so I’m guessing Google would announce its tablet by then.

(MORE: Apple’s New iPad Should Be Google’s Wake-Up Call)

Article source: http://techland.time.com/2012/04/13/googles-larry-page-were-focused-on-cheap-android-tablets/

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