Amazon Pushes its Digital Services with New Kindle Fire HDX

Kindle plans to unveil two new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet today, featuring a faster processor and graphics, improved screen quality and a lighter, slimmer design. The Kindle Fire HDX, available with 7-inch or 8.9-inch screens, will undercut the price of competitors including Apple’s popular iPad and, not surprisingly, focus on sales of services such as digital music and e-books. “We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Continue reading Amazon Pushes its Digital Services with New Kindle Fire HDX

ITC Rules in Favor of Apple, Orders Ban on Samsung Devices

We recently reported that the Obama administration had vetoed the International Trade Commission’s ban on the import of certain Apple iPhones and iPads, citing concerns of patent holders gaining “undue leverage.” The veto reversed an earlier legal victory for rival Samsung, which suffered another setback on Friday when the ITC ruled that the South Korean manufacturer had violated two of Apple’s patents — and issued an order banning the import of products using Apple’s multitouch features and headphone jack detection. Continue reading ITC Rules in Favor of Apple, Orders Ban on Samsung Devices

Tablet Shipments Increase as Traditional PC Sales Decline

The combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are projected to reach 2.35 billion worldwide this year. The new Gartner numbers mark a 5.9 percent increase from 2012. Sales of tablets, smartphones and ultramobiles are on the rise, while traditional desktop and notebook PCs are expected to decline by 10.6 percent. Anytime-anywhere computing is driving consumer behavior. Additionally, the growing acceptance of bring your own device will lead to an emphasis on designing for consumers inside the enterprise. Continue reading Tablet Shipments Increase as Traditional PC Sales Decline

Verizon to Offer LTE-Supported Laptop and Tablets

  • Verizon began selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 this week, the first LTE-supported tablet available in the U.S.
  • A 16GB version of the Honeycomb 3.1 device is offered at $530, while a 32GB model is available for $630 (although InformationWeek was not impressed with the pricing of the data plans). Verizon will also offer the Wi-Fi-only model for $499.
  • Additionally, the wireless provider will begin selling an LTE-ready HP Pavilion Entertainment laptop and will upgrade its Motorola Xoom tablet to LTE in September. InformationWeek reports the new HP laptop “ships with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and it features an 11.6-inch, high-definition HP BrightView LED display at 1366 x 768 pixels. Under the hood, it is powered by a 1.6-GHz AMD dual-core processor, offers 2 GB of RAM, and 320 GB worth of storage with HP’s ProtectSmart hard drive protection.”
  • ETCentric recently reported that Verizon expanded its LTE 4G network to more than 100 markets last week. Verizon claims its customers can expect download speeds between 5 and 12 Mbps and upload speeds between 2 and 5 Mbps.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Takes on the Apple iPad 2

  • International Business Times provides an interesting side-by-side comparison of tablet market leader Apple iPad 2 and the newly available Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
  • For the Galaxy Tab: higher display resolution (1280×800 vs. iPad’s 1024×768); more RAM; 9 ounces lighter and 0.01 inch thinner than the iPad; Adobe Flash playback capability; features new Plane to Line Switching (PLS) panel technology that enhances brightness, clarity and viewing angles; higher megapixel cameras and 1080p video capability.
  • However, Galaxy Tab’s thinness was achieved by excluding USB, HDMI and SD card slot.
  • For the iPad 2: better battery life than the Galaxy Tab (10 hours vs. 6 hours under similar conditions); better speaker sound, particularly at a higher volume; and perhaps most importantly, more than double the number of available apps (425,000 and growing).
  • The Galaxy Tab is powered by Honeycomb 3.1 OS: “And, no matter whichever way you look at it – slice it or dice it – Honeycomb lacks the finesse and elegance of iOS.”
  • Conclusion: “Galaxy Tab is the best Android tablet to be ever released. No doubt about that. But if you’ve made up your mind about getting iPad 2, don’t give it a second thought. The UI of iOS will not make you want to regret your decision.”

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: the iPad 2 of Honeycomb Tablets

CNET offers a “first look” video review of the new 32GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, a Honeycomb tablet recently demonstrated at the annual Google I/O event (the full production unit will be available June 8). The video notes that the “10.1” in the device’s name refers to the screen size and the UI is the same as that of the Motorola Xoom running Android. However, the review also notes that the Galaxy Tab has more in common with the iPad 2 than the Xoom.

The CNET review describes the new device: “As thin as the iPad 2 and even lighter, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the sexiest Honeycomb tablet we’ve seen. Also, it has an 8-megapixel back camera and a 2-megapixel front camera, and powerful dual speakers.” On the negative side, the review points out that lack of ports may be problematic to some users — and that from a design perspective, the plastic back of the limited edition version feels less solid and looks like “cheap kitchen wallpaper” (the release this summer may not have this problem).

The CNET evaluation goes on to praise the clean design, screen size, 1280×800 resolution and overall performance.

The bottom line: “Apple still has superior support for games, apps, music, and movies. While Honeycomb 3.1 seeks to offer more features, it’s still not here yet. So, if it’s down to these two tablets, we still recommend the iPad 2; however, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 would be the Android tablet of choice.”

Related Xconomy article: “The iPad Finally Has a Worthy Rival: Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1” (5/13/11)

Related Engadget post and video: “Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition (white) hands-on from Google I/O!” (5/10/11)

Related PC Magazine post and slideshow: “Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1” (5/10/11)