Another exciting week in tablets, with news about Dell's upcoming Windows 7 slate leaking out and Android 3.2 making an unexpected appearance. But with so many stories in the tabletshpere, some are overlooked. Here are the biggest little stories from the industry this week, which include lagging tablet sales in Q1, Microsoft denying Windows Phone 7 as a tablet OS, and Sony preparing a new eReader. Also, Don't forget to check out this week's reviews covering the HP TouchPad and Aluratek Libre Air.
Tablet Sales Lag in Q1
Global shipments of media tablets into sales fell by 28 percent, to 7.2 units worldwide, in Q1 of 2011, suggesting that the demand for this category is not as strong as the media hype implies. While the Apple iPad continues to dominate the market, the company's shipments for the quarter were below expectations. Mobile phone vendors, such as Samsung and Motorola, have found moderate success with tablets, especially devices solely compatible with 3G/4G data plans. As an OS, Android-based gadgets grew to 34 percent of the total.
No Windows 7 Phone Tablet; says Microsoft
Microsoft denied that tablets will be based on its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating systems, claiming tablets are more of a PC than a phone. However, the software company hyped the idea of a unified ecosystem across televisions, phones and PCs with the new OS Windows 8. The new interface will support cloud apps and new concepts, like baskets for files shared between apps and services. The software, seen at the D9 conference this year and Computex, has many similarities to the mobile Windows Phone 7 OS, including the use of large live tiles.
Dell Latitude XT3 Hits FCC
The Latitude XT3 Windows 7 convertible tablet will have a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-2520 and 2GB of RAM. With a 13-inch display and a resolution of 1366 x 768, the XT3 will support multitouch with up to three fingers at a time, as well as a stylus input. Unveiled by Dell in February, the device appeared on the FCC from a filing by Broadcom, though there was no word on pricing or a release date.
Apple Releases iOS 4.3.4 Update
Apple has released iOS update 4.3.4 specifically targeting jailbreakers that beefs up iOS device security. In Apple's words: "A buffer overflow exists in FreeType's handling of TrueType fonts. Viewing a maliciously crafted PDF file may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution."
ASUS Admits Power Fault
ASUS admits to an issue with the Eee Pad Transformers power management settings, concluding the fault lays in how the company chose to configure the sleep mode. ASUS claims they do have a fix for the problem, though details of how to fix it will be announced shortly.
Source: Android Community
Motion Offers Lower-End Processor
The Intel Core i3, a lower entry-level priced processor, is now available for the Motion J3500 tablet. Motion also added a 30GB SSD option for primary storage, which contributed to the price reduction on the low end model. This rugged 12.1-inch slate tablet is compatible with all of the peripherals designed for the J-Series Tablet PCs. The new entry-level J3500 starts at $1,799 and is available online or at your local reseller.
In addition to the J3500, Motion released the J-Series Mobile Dock, which can be mounted to cabinets, poles, walls and vehicles, and is available in the U.S. for $359. The dock includes a combination lock, VGA, USB 2.0, Ethernet and charging capabilities.
ViewSonic ViewBook VB730 on Sale
The ViewSonic ViewBook VB730, a lower-priced Android tablet, is now available on Amazon for $230. The device sports a 7-inch screen with a 480 x 800 resolution and a VGA front camera. Packing a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, the ViewBook VB730 includes 8GB of internal flash storage, 512MB RAM and exclusive RiteTouch pen technology. Powered by Android 2.2, the tablet also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, HDMI out and a microSD card reader. The ViewSonic ViewBook VB730 comes preloaded with Flash and Amazon app store and has a battery life of 8 hours.
Source: Netbook News
Sony Prepares a new eReader
Sony has announced plans to release a line of upgraded eBook readers next month in the U.S. The Sony Reader, which will cost $180 to $300, will probably be offered with software and hardware improvements in August, according to vice president of digital reading at Sony Electronics, Phil Lubell.
Fujitsu TH40 Hits Japanese Market July 22
The Fujitsu TH40, the first tablet with a sliding keyboard for the company, will hit the market on July 22. Weighing 2.4 pounds, with a thickness of 17.4 mm, the tablet has a 10.1 inch display with a resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels. Equipped with Intel Atom Z670 1.5-GHz frequency, the device will operate on Windows 7 and hold a battery life of 6 hours. The Fujitsu TH40D will be released initially in Japan for a price equivalent to about $990.
Source: Notebook Italia
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