Tablet News Week of February 24th

Lots of tablet news during this week’s 2013 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona:

  • HP Unveils $170 Android Tablet Slate 7 – You get what you pay for here. The specs are not that impressive 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, 1024 x 600 pixels 7-inch screen, 8 GB of internal storage. The only good thing it has going for it is a microSD slot for expansion of up to 32 GB.
  • Intel Unveils its new Mobile & Tablet Strategy at MWC 2013 – Further proof that Intel is leaving the PC board market. They have launched the dual-core Atom “Clover Trail+” SoC, the XMM 7160 4G LTE Modem which can integrated into be in Tablets, Ultrabooks and Smartphones. Intel wants to launch a line of ‘Tablets with Intel Inside’ featuring the upcoming quad-core Atom “Bay Trail” SoC.
  • Samsung Announces Quad-Core Galaxy Note 8.0 Tablet – During the MWC this week. While Samsung did reveal the release will be during the 2nd quarter of this year, they did not mention anything about price. Specs include a quad-core 1.6 GHz Exynos 4 ARM Cortex-A9 processor and has 2 GB of RAM with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage plus up to 64 GB with a MicroSD card.
  • Acer goes ahead with Windows RT Tablet [IT World] – Déjà vu? This isn’t the first time Acer has talked about releasing a Windows RT Tablet. However, Oliver Ahrens (president of Europe, Middle East and Africa operations) in an interview at the MWC, did not provide a specific release date for the Windows RT tablet. However he said “that work still needs to be done with the usability of the OS. Acer sees potential value, but Microsoft has to put in more effort on making the OS appealing to consumers.” Being Acer is the Taiwanese Microsoft partner, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds…
  • Nvidia Uses SanDisk in Tegra 4 Tablet Reference Design – SanDisk announced during MWC that its iNAND Extreme Embedded Flash Drive (EFD) will be used in Nvidia’s Tegra 4 tablet reference design. The tablets will either have a 16 GB or 32 GB capacity (though the  iNAND Extreme does come in 64 and 128 GB capacities).
  • Asus’s Padfone Infinity: 5″ 1080p Phone Turns Into 10″ Tablet – Interesting concept better explained visually in this video from C|Net at the MWC…Nice HD display and will have front (2MP) and rear (13MP) cameras.

In other tablet news:

  • HP Shifting Resources from PCs to Tablets – Again? They already tried this in the summer 2011 after their purchase of Palm. They had all these grand plans for webOS based tablets and Smartphones which was to be kicked off with the release of the HP TouchPad [Wikipedia]. At least this time around they will be releasing an Android based tablet.
  • Razer Edge Tablet Pre-Orders Finally Begin Next Month – Pre-orders started on March 1st with estimated delivery by the end of March.This $1000-$1500 price tag is about inline with  what Microsoft is charging for the Windows 8 Pro tablets and about the average cost of a good gaming PC.
  • Intel Announces Clover Trail+ for Smartphones & Tablets – So this is why Intel leaving the PC board market, to make chipsets that are going to be overkill for phones and so-so for tablets. But wait there’s more…“Intel also expects the chip to deliver full 1080P hardware-accelerated video encode and decode at 30 fps, support for two cameras with panorama capture, 15 fps burst photography and mobile HDR with de-ghosting for clearer photos.” I somehow don’t think people are going to rush out and buy these “Intel Inside” tablets and phones, just because of the fancy camera.
  • First Impressions of the HP ElitePad 900 G1 Tablet – This Windows 8 Pro tablet is being a called “business grade” and is HP’s next attempt at a Windows tablet after HP Slate and (under performing Windows 7 based) Slate2.