Another week of tablet news comes to a close, ending on a rather expensive note with the release of the ever-affordable $8 million Stuart Hughes designed iPad 2. But let’s not forget the smaller stories of the week, like news of Google designing a tablet-focused web page, a few new tablets sneaking through the FCC and rumors of Apple buying Barnes & Noble. When you’ve read all the latest news, check out our reviews of the HP EliteBook 2760p and our back to school gadget guide!
Google Designs new Tablet-Friendly Web Page
Google has released a new search page layout designed for tablet devices, including the iPad as well as Honeycomb 3.1 and 3.2 devices. The new webpage has a simpler format meant to enhance the appearance specifically for tablet computers by de-cluttering the look. Text, buttons, links and what Google calls “other touch targets” are now larger. The search button now offers quick access to Image, Video, Places, Shopping, and other categories. In addition, image previews are larger, and the page features continuous scroll and loads faster.
Source: Google Mobile Blog
Tablets to Top the Market in 2012
The global market for tablet computers has been estimated to evolve into a $35 billion market by 2012, according to JP Morgan Securities. The increase is said to be fueled by an array of new products that will surface from companies like Dell, Nokia, Motorola and Nyxio Technologies.
New Details on the Sony Reader
According to our friends at the FCC, the PRS-T1 (better known as the new Sony Reader), has just passed through inspection. The device features a Wi-Fi N radio and the T1 in the model’s name may indicate that the eReader will sport a touchscreen. Though no other details have emerged, this appearance at the FCC could mean the new gadget might be on schedule for that rumored August launch, despite Sony’s denial.
Samsung to Debut TouchWiz UX for Tab
Samsung will be hosting a press event in NYC on August 3 to unveil its updated TouchWiz UX for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. The event, which will be held at the Samsung Experience center, will be open to the public starting at 1p.m., allowing owners of the Galaxy Tab the opportunity to demo the new interface and sideload the update while there. This new platform is expected to fully customize the TouchWiz UX, Live Panel, Mini-Apps and redesign the interface for Samsung Media Hub. It will also come pre-loaded with the Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon’s Kindle and Words with Friends apps.
Shoppers Prefer Tablets
According to a recent survey of online shoppers, tablets are the preferred platform to browse virtual aisles. Despite this increase, online retailers are still in the early stages of customizing designs to provide for the best tablet shopping experience.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Details for Iconia A100 Revealed
More details have emerged regarding the 7-inch Iconia A100 from Acer, which will be priced at $300 and could launch in early August, according to an email sent from the company to retail partners. The device is also said to be powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 512MB of RAM and features a 1024 x 600 resolution display. Though no exact launch date has been mentioned, this information contradicts previous rumors of an overseas September release.
New Tablet from Coby Seen at FCC
A recent passing through the FCC proves successful for the Kyros MID7022, the latest tablet from budget manufacturer Coby, which should appear on the Home Shopping Network very soon. The Gingerbread-based 7-inch tablet features a microSD slot, HDMI port Wi-Fi and 4GB of built-in memory.
Specs for Pandigital’s Latest Device Unveiled
Thanks to another FCC filing, full details on Pandigital’s latest 8-inch tablet/eReader are now available. The device, dubbed the SuperNova, is powered by Android 2.3 and comes with Barnes & Noble’s NOOK app pre-installed, though it lacks access to the Android Market, forcing users to download apps via SlideMe. The SuperNova sports a front-facing 0.3MP camera, as well as a 3MP rear camera. The hybrid gadget features 4GB of internal storage, HDMI and mini-USB connectivity, support for 32GB micro-SD and a touchscreen. Though the report failed to mention price and availability.
BBC for Your iPlayer
BBC has released an international iPlayer app for 11 Western European countries, with the U.S., Canada and Australia to come later this year. The application will be ad-supported, but users will also have to pay 50 Euros/$70 for an annual subscription, or opt for a monthly plan of 7 Euros/$10. New users, outside of current British customers, will benefit from streaming support over 3G connections, instead of just Wi-Fi, and will be able to download episodes for offline viewing.
Apple to Buy Barnes & Noble?
An unproven source has claimed to have knowledge of discussions within Apple to possibly purchase Barnes & Noble. In this hypothetical situation, Apple would turn Barnes & Noble’s vast digital library of books into its own iBooks store, discontinue the NOOK and convert some of the book seller’s stores into Apple retail shops. The cost of this scenario would most likely range from around $1 billion to $1.5 billion. However, another unproven source denies this claim, stating the move would be too logical for Apple. This same source also revealed that iTunes11, iOS 5 and iCloud will all be released in September.
Samsung Keeps Silent
Samsung has decided, in adherence to its new information policy, that phone and tablets data will remain a secret from the public, hence why those sales were so conveniently left out of the company’s Q2 results. This could be a result of the legal suit between the company and Apple or due to Android’s return rate, but either way the mega-manufacturer is keeping hush.
Fusion Garage to Debut new Tablet
Fusion Garage has taken another crack at the tabletsphere, with a new device recently passing through the FCC. Though the tablet is not named after its app-free and now discontinued predecessor the JooJoo, this new gadget will go by the Grid10. However, limited details from the FCC report neglect to show what this device will be capable of, causing some to wonder if Fusion Garage has learned from its first attempt in the tablet market.