CTIA begins next week in San Diego, and while many smartphone announcements are queued up for the twice-yearly mobile showcase, tablets too may make news in the form of “Ice Cream Sandwich”, Google’s next major version of Android, which is expected to launch at the show.
Until then, the tablet news doesn’t stop. Here’s what’s happening.
Samsung Series 7 Preorder Begins
Those clamoring for a “true” tablet PC, that is, a tablet that runs Windows 7, can now get a preorder in for the device TabletPCReview calls “the best Windows slate to date,” the Samsung Series 7 Slate.
For $1,299, The Windows 7 tablet PC will have an 11.6-inch display, Intel Core i5 CPU (1.6GHz), 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. The Series 7 Slate is expected to ship November 1. Here’s the Slate 7 pre-order link.
Xoom Upgrade Brings More than 4G
Verizon finally made good on its promised 4G Xoom upgrade earlier this month, and those just now getting their Xooms back from Verizon are reporting some additional enhancements besides LTE support on the Honeycomb tablet.
The micro SD card slot finally works on the device, and the operating system has been upgraded to Android 3.2.2. While it’s tough to discern what else 3.2.2 brings, Verizon also updated the Android Market to the latest build.
Lenovo IdeaPad A1 Now Available
Lenovo’s brand-name budget Android tablet, the 7-inch A1, is now available to order with an estimated ship date of October 28. The Gingerbread tablet has 2GB of storage and Wi-Fi support, but for an extra $50, Lenovo will bump it up to 16GB.
eFun Nextbook 8 Premium Coming
Despite tough reviews of previous Nextbooks, the eFun team is still at it. This time eFun has announced the Nextbook 8 Premium, a $300 Android Gingerbread tablet. The eFun will have an 8-inch capactive touchscreen, 4GB of storage and a Rockchip RK2918 chip. It will support Wi-Fi and sport a front-facing webcam, though probably not the official Android Market.
PlayBook Gets an Update
It may not bring the native email and calendar apps PlayBook owners were hoping for, but the new BlackBerry Tablet OS 1.07.3312 update does fix an Adobe Flash security flaw. The update is now available over the air for download. The official BlackBerry Blog has the specific details.