While the Archos GamePad has been available in Europe for about a month now we hadn’t been told about its US launch until CES 2013. Archos has announced that the GamePad will be available before the end of next month. The Archos GamePad is a 7″ Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device that has standard game controls built into the device. These controls can be mapped via a pre-installed Game Mapping Tool app.
Archos GamePad Features and Specifications:
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS
7″ 1024×600 Display
1.6GHz dual-core processor
Quad core GPU
8GB internal storage
While many people who use their tablets for games may want to buy a standard tablet and a bluetooth controller it will be very difficult to match the $170 price tag that has been placed on the GamePad. There has been no specific day set for the release of the GamePad in the US but as it comes closer we will be sure to let you know. If this is something that you are interested in let us know via comments below.
Acer has announced that they will be releasing their Acer Iconia Tab A110 in the U.S. on October 30th for $229.99. The Acer Iconia Tab A110 is a 7 inch Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet that sports a Tegra 3 processor. With its $230 price tag it will surely be another competitive device to rival the Google Nexus and Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
Acer Iconia Tab A110 Features:
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
7-inch 1024×600 display
Quad-core Tegra 3 processor
2-megapixel front facing camera
While the Acer Iconia Tab A110 is a powerful tablet can it still compete with the Google Nexus 7? It has a slightly lower resolution and prices out at almost $30 more than the Nexus 7 but seems to be close enough in specs that it could be a choice in your list. As far as the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, the fact that the specs are what they are on the A110 and its not covered by Amazons Theme it may be a better choice there. If you get your hands on an A110 on October 30th please let us know what you think of Acer’s new tablet.
The big question is should I get the Google Nexus 7 or the Amazon Kindle Fire? Both are low cost 7 inch tablet and both are big names in the industry geared towards content like reading books, magazines, watching movies and listening to music. Amazon easily has a head start being the first of its kind to the market and having a years worth of publicity and sales under its belt. Both having price point of around $199 which one should you choose?
Google Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire Price Point:
The Amazon Kindle Fire comes in one version with a price of $199 for an 8GB model which is exactly the same as the Google Nexus 7′s 8GB model at $199. This being said Google also has a 16GB model of the Nexus 7 for an additional $50. Even with Google having the upgraded model this seems to be a tie since the average user will be looking at the 8GB model if comparing the 2 on price.
Google Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire Form Factor:
The Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire seem to be pretty close when it comes to this as well both being 7-inch tablets and both being designed for portrait orientation. Both tablets have the same width at 120m with the Google Nexus 7 being about 8.5mm taller. The one thing that stands out with the Nexus 7 is that it is thinner by about 1mm with a curved back instead of the boxy feel of the Kindle Fire. Both devices have a soft back making it much more comfortable in your hands than most Android tablets. The Google Nexus 7 does have actual volume buttons instead of the on screen controls that the Kindle Fire has which is a nice feature that for unknown reasons was ignored on the Fire. As far as the screen goes the Nexus 7 has a higher resolution coming in at 1280×800 making it a much clearer display than the Kindle Fire. The Nexus 7 easily wins when it comes to its form factor and feel in your hands along with general use functionality.
Google Nexus vs Kindle Fire Hardware:
This Kindle Fire has a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor that runs at 1GHz and 512MB of RAM. The Nexus 7 however has a quad-core Tegra 3 processor which smokes the Kindle as far as speed goes with speed thats currently about as fast as it can be. The hardware on the Nexus 7 kills the Kindle Fire being that of a powerful gaming device as opposed to a reader with a little extra speed.
Google Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire Content:
The content is where Google was really trying to stand out allowing users to not only have the Amazon market if they want it but the full Android market which was excluded from the Kindle Fire. This being said the Kindle Fire does have all of the Kindle services optimized and included without he tablet making it competitive. With this it was a close decision but we vote Google Nexus 7 simply because having Google Play is something that should be a part of any Android tablet by nature.
Google Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire Software (OS)
Currently the Google Nexus 7 will be shipped with the newest Android OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which is not only the latest and greatest but is optimized for speed. The Kindle Fire is still running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, while heavily customized this is more than one Android OS behind the Nexus 7. With this we all know that Google will support and update their new child without the best they have to offer as it comes available so here we easily choose the Nexus 7
In conclusion if your choosing between the 2 we think that while the Kindle Fire is a great device that Google has came up with a worthy competition that wins in almost all aspects. If you strictly need a reader and aren’t interested in the added features and speed then the Kindle Fire is still a great tablet. Please let us know what you think and debate anything that you think we were unfair about in our comparison via comments below.
While with our smartphones we tend to think the smaller the device the better although with tablets we want them thin with huge screens. This being said can a tablets screen be too big? Viewsonic is working on an Android tablet with a 22 inch screen, yes you heard right 22 inches of Android on a tablet. Viewsonic plans on unveiling their 22-inch Android tablet at Taipei’s Computex. Viewsonic is calling its new Android table umm tablet a “smart business tablet monitor” which gives the impression this will not be a mobile device but a monitor with touchscreen capabilities much like the HP Touchsmart running Android instead of Windows.
While there are many tablet users out there that feel even 10 inches is too large and Toshiba’s 13 inch was just ridiculous many love the fact that a large screen is so easy to work on. But even those that love 13 inches of Android will have to think hard about a 22-inch version. A 22 inch tablet turns it into a stationary device and pretty much loses all mobile function unless your tablet case has arm holes for carrying.
While we have mixed feelings about the large device it could be very useful say on the kitchen wall for recipes and general information as needed and maybe even in a business to show specials and allow customers to interactively book appointments and view calendars and whatnot.
The Viewsonic smart business monitor will be announced next month and hopefully they can narrow down the exact thought behind the device then. We don’t have much more information on the device now but will fill everyone in when its announced officially. Do you think 22 inches is too much or do you have a use for it.
Ematic has released an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet for $219, it may be mid range but based on price and features its a tough on to beat. The Ematic Android tablet named the eGlide XL Pro 2 is in line with the ereaders but is a full featured tablet with specifications that are very hard to beat one of which simply being the 10-inch display.
Ematic eGlide XL Pro 2 Android 4.0 Tablet Features:
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (out of the box)
1 Ghz Processor
400 mhz GPU
We aren’t sure of many more features at this point although they are in a partnership with Kobo for delivery of books and the tablet is on sale at Wal-Mart stores already. We have no idea on Google features or if Google Play even comes on the device although as soon as we get a chance to hold on to one we will let everyone know.
Most Android users take great pride in the fact that their devices can be customized entirely the way they want them to work. The Nook Color is no different, keep in mind you will need to root the device before installing a custom keyboard (in this case anyway) (Nook Color Root Instructions). The Nook Color can have a custom keyboard if you want to change it from stock … there are just a few steps you need to follow:
How to install a custom keyboard on the Nook Color:
Grab a file manager like ES File Explorer (if you don’t already have one)
Go into the file managers settings and give it root access
Set the root directory to “/”
Download and install the keyboard app that you want from the market
Open your file manager and go to “/data/app”
Find the APK for the keyboard you just installed
Long press the APK and select “Move” or “Cut”
Navigate to “/system/app” and paste the APK there
Exit your file manager and reboot your Tablet
After the Nook Color turns back on go to “NookColor Tools”
Select “Choose Keyboard” and select the Keyboard you installed
Congrats you now have the custom keyboard on your Nook Color!
If you have any issues please feel free to ask questions via comments below. Otherwise just drop a line to let us know that everything went ok for you. Also if your installing Swiftkey of Swype be sure to open the app for the keyboard after the steps above to complete setup.
There is an ongoing issue with Android tablets and their ability to see all Android applications on the Market. Even now with the new Google Play your Android tablet will likely not see all apps when you search the market. You can make the tablet see all Android applications that your tablet can run easily by following a few simple steps.
How to Fix Limited Market Visibility on Android Tablets:
Disconnect Tablet from PC if connected
Go to your Tablets settings
Go to “Applications -> Manage Applications”
Select the “All” tab
Scroll down to the Market and select it
Tap “Force Stop” then “Clear Cache”
Tap back (however your tablet allows)
Scroll up to “Google Services Framework” and select it
Tap “Clear Data” then “OK” then “Force Stop”
Exit back to your home screen then open Google Play (or Market)
If you get an error message its ok, Press “OK”
Hold your Power button and turn off the tablet
Turn the tablet back on and wait for it to load completely
Open Google Play (of Market) and enjoy!
This seems to work on most Android tablets although we have had a few people say that they are still having issues. Please post a comment below to let us know if it works with your tablet and what tablet you have to help others. If anyone has additional questions please feel free to comment those as well.
It looks like Philips will be releasing a new line of Android tablets to consumers in China. From what we currently know the Philips tablets will have a 7 inch display and will be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. The new Philips tablet will also be running a MIPS CPU instead of the popular ARM or x86 processors in most high end tablets.
Google has stated that they have plans to increase support on the MIPS processor and will bundle support in their developers kit with a compiler for it. Now that Google has taken notice and is increasing the support we may see the MIPS processor used for more than just inexpensive low end tablets. It doesn’t sound like we will see this new Philips tablet in the US.
If you own a ZTE Optik on Sprints Now Network you will be happy to know that Sprint is releasing an update for the device. It was announced yesterday that the 7 inch ZTE Optik tablet has started receiving the update to software version V55V1.1.0B09. This update comes with some nice tweaks related to apps and overall function.
ZTE Optik Update V55V1.1.0B09 Features:
Google DRM solution
Persistent notification after BT transfer
Software version corrected in x-wap profile
Sim City closes when attempting to purchase while connected to Wifi
Sim City download issue fixed
Response when connected to a computer via USB cable
This is a normal maintenance update and the first for the Optik since its release back in February. If you haven’t received the update OTA (over the air) you can always manually check for it via “settings -> about tablet -> system updates -> update android -> check now“. Please let us know when you have the B09 update installed and anything you notice from the update.
While we noticed the Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 make it through the FCC recently its now officially announced by Lenovo. The tablet wont be an iPad killer but has some great specs worth mentioning. The most notable and semi-expected feature currently is the fact that it runs Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box and has four speakers on the device.
Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 Features:
Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich
9.7 inch Display with 4:3 Aspect Ratio
1024 x 768 Screen Resolution
Texas Instruments OMAP processor
1 GB RAM
1.3 MP front facing camera
microSD Card slot
SRS Truemedia Sound
Google seems to have been caught off guard with the insane sales of the Amazon Kindle Fire and have now decided it was time for them to follow suit. The Amazon Kindle Fire has sold more tablets that any other Android manufacturer to date and thus made incredible profits from its ability to only download apps from their Amazon Market (without rooting it). Google now with the mention of their Google Nexus tablet plan to do the same thing subsidizing profits from the tablets with the Google Play Market.
Google says that they should be able to sell their Google Nexus Tablets for around $200 helping to reposition the Android Market experience and putting the App sales back into their court. Google plans to debut tablets by Asus and maybe even Samsung and sell them under the Google or “Nexus” name for around that $200 price point.
While we don’t have all of the details now the Wall Street Journal has confirmed that Google will be selling the “Nexus” tablet directly to consumers through an online web store. This should also keep costs down. As more information comes available we will be sure to let you know.