Archive for May, 2011


28 May 2011

Loren | aka @mr_internet | Melbourne Australia  

Is An Android 10.1” Tablet on Your List Before or After Tax Time

I had a friend ask me recently, a simple question in theory. What type of Tablet
PC to get?

I use the word ‘PC’ loosely as these currently aren’t quite replacements for the
Personal Computer for most people at least not yet. I have to admit I
have multiple Android devices as well as Apple and a Windows Home
Server / PC, so offer no bias to a brand.

Well having an  iPad2 already, my thoughts were there initially with Apple, but
having just bought my first Android phone (the Atrix 4G by Motorola) to try it
out before the launch in Australia,  my thought then turned to considering
that perhaps the OS of the phone might make the OS transition (if
there was one) initially easier. In my friends’ case, husband has an
Android and wife and iPhone. I quickly ruled out a Windows Tablet (don’t get me
started there).

With Apple having a single design of iPad2 (barring colour and capacity of course),
it was hard not to make a case for the iPad2 (e.g. I have one and there are
some things it does very well).  Unfortunately for me
the realization that the iPad2 is really running a 5 year old
Operating System

But knowing what is out within the last 4 weeks or will be soon, in the Android
Tablet space I would be remiss had I not mentioned the Android Tablets. I go on
about this as the Android Tablet Space of 10.1″ tablets, is perhaps more
fast pace than Sebastian Vettel is around an F1 Grand Prix race track, with so
many models coming out a review is a bit confusing.

Instead of taking away from the great detail other have offered, I am looking more at a
top level view comparing more the aesthetic pros and cons of various models
compared to each other PHEW

Here are the 4 Android Tablets

  • Acer
    A500 32GB with MicroSD Card, WiFi Only 5x2MP Camera
    (10.1″)
  • Samsung
    Galaxy Tab 10.1G (or GT or GTp7510) 32GB with No MicroSD Card , WiFi Only ,
    3x2MP Camera-
  • Samsung
    Galaxy Tab 10.1V  3G/4G / WiFi Only 16GB no MicroSD Card 8x2MP Camera
  • Motorola
    Xoom  WiFi Only with WiFi Card , 5x2MP Camera 10.1″
  • Apple
    iPad For Size Comparison –  & it is getting  jealous and
    nervous

Part One – Does Size Matter?

Part Two – Tell Me more Pros and Cons

Part Three – Summary

 

 

 

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Pre-orders likely by 1 June 2011

Updated: 3 June 2011

Harvey Norman is about to start taking pre-orders for the new Samsung 10.1 Tablet 2 (version 1 in the USA).
No further information is available but the Samsung Australia Website has updated its support  section to include a P7500 16mb  only old non 10.1  information is there currently , but that is good or bad if you are holding out hope if a MicroSD Card, as 16GB unit might hint at an upgradeable memory.

Reviews on thai sites, rusisan sites and some retailers suggest a microsd card is on board also, but other sites suggest it is not.

20 May 2011

by Loren aka @mr_internet

With out much fanfare retail computer shops are discussing exact pre-order dates for the next big thing to hit in computer tablets.

Though there are some unanswered questions, and though it has not been formally announced, the Samsung Galaxy Tablet PC  10.1 version 2,  is about to land in Australia and be sold around a week after it is launched in the USA. The USA has announced a 8 June launch date with Australia launching around the 15th of June. Retailers that will be stocking the device are already considering  pre-orders dates such as June 1.

The new thinner 10.1 is viewed by many as biggest competition yet for the Apple iPad2, and is  one of many new tablets, showing up in all places that sell laptops now. Many of these will be running the more open and very new  Google  Android  Honeycomb Operating System 3.0 that is already getting an update to 3.1.

The Apple iPads run on the Apple iOS operating system that has not changed much in over 4  years, a long time in the marketplace.

The new s10.1 not only resembles the Apple iPad2, it is slightly wider, and lighter as well as being thinner. It is of course also  lighter and thinner  than  it’s only 4 week old predecessor 10.1V that launched in May,  a limited edition model that is being sold exclusively by Vodafone.

The 10.1V also has a better quality camera than the newer, thinner 10.1  (8MP vs 3MP).

The older version 10.1V is being sold to other markets across the globe but  outside the USA only.

Another popular tablet the Motorola Xoom is landing in Australia (exclusive to Telstra initially) the end of May, with the other shops selling the Samsung Galaxy 10.1  just 2 weeks later.

One of the advantage of the new more open Android tablets is that when connected to a PC or a Mac computer it appears like any other external hard drive allowing folders to be set up and files transferred to the devices much easier than the iPad that requires the iTunes interface only. Also new applications purchased for the Android device on a computer  can be downloaded  wirelessly on local networks to multiple Android devices.

The fast pace dynamics of the tablet market is different around the world with Europe and Australia getting the 10.1V but not the US, and the US getting the Motorola Xoom months before the release in Europe or Australia.

This makes the launch of the Samsung 10.1  a global launch only a week earlier in the USA vs Australia (and likely Europe)

The online community was buzzing when 5-6000 Galaxy 10.1 were given out to mostly rave reviews to attendees at the recent Google i/o 2011.

With the USA not seeing or hearing much about the 10.1V many were confused on discovering the 10.1 is viewed as the second generation model but hardware wise is lower quality than the second generation 10.1, but is thinner, bigger and lighter.

Many believe the 10.1V that was not launched in the USA, because when Apple launched the iPad2, Samsung decided to stop production and introduce the thinner version.

Price is believed to be the same as the Motorola Xoom @$840, but it is not clear the exact detail of the 10.1 Model only it is being referred to as Galaxy Tab 10.1 Version 2 in Australia.

Edit:
There was a lot of confusion in the marketplace when Australian buyers of the Samsung Galaxy 10.1V were told tablets were being shipped when they had actually been over sold and back-ordered.

It is still not clear if customers will receive the back-ordered stock before the new 10.1 goes on sale. At the same time customers were unknowinly having their tablets back ordered other stores were getting in stock to sell in the shops,  making matters worse for Vodafone. Customer service were only told the 10.1V  stock was on back order 48 hours later, so only some early orders were assured delivery.

Speaking to a retail buyer for one of the future stockists of the new thinner Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and seeing the orders, it is unclear if stock levels will be adequate.  There appears to be no gag order on this information.


In this challenge there is one easy winner Samsung but which Samsung 10.1 wins might surprise you.

Updated 13 May 2011- It is being widely reported today that Samsung is about to introduce black and white 10.1  models some with 4G as well as different sizes. So I am going with 6 models for now, we will see if how this story matures.

I was delighted to hear that Samsung was releasing their new 10.1 Galaxy Tab named the 10.1v, (or P7100) it launched  in Australia before the US, UK or the rest of Europe.

SO does that mean there is another model ?

Oh yeah, the US is getting the 10.1 (not 10.1 v)

Actually the USA is due to get 2 models (at least) the 10.1 wifi only and  the 10.1 3G / Wifi .

Sounds simple..

Then there was the Google i/o 2011 this week and eBay was flooded with the tablets Google gave away on day 1.
Better still they were offering what they called the Google i/o GT special edition or GT P7510

In this model there are some differences, it is bigger and lighter than the 10.1V so it is the 10.1 , but there is no SD card slot , so it is just like the 10.1 but with no SD card slot (Like the 10.1V)

The story goes that the 10.1V was well out the door prior to the Apple iPad being announced, Samsung went back and ‘improved’ on the 10.1V and now has the 10.1. which is lighter than the 10.1V and Apple iPad.

But it has some compromises as well.

So when I was trying to decide which version to review/buy/get the decision was easy after all there wouldn’t be much difference surely.

  • Lightest – Well the 10.1 is the lightest, biggest and thinnest compared to the 10.1V.                                              – Winner 10.1
  • Best Video Quality (playback) –  the 10.1V                                                                                                                          – Winner 10.1V
  • Best Camera – 10.1 has a 3MP camera and the 10.1V has an 8MP camera and 1080p vs 720 on the 10.1     -Winner 10.1V
  • Best Looking – well the 10.1GT with the white android back is a limited edition                                                      – Winner 10.1G
  • Best Memory/ Storage  – 10.1 has a microSD card the 10.1V and 10.1G do not                                                       – Winner 10.1
  • Best Phone Reception – only the 10.1V and 10.1 3G have sims                                                                                       – Tie 10.1 3G and 10.1 V
  • Longest battery life – battery in 10.1V is 6860 mAh  in  10.1 6800 mAh                                                                     –  Winner 10.1V*

* needs to be verified if bigger battery = longest life.

One thought is that Samsung will try to sell out of the 10.1V as soon as possible and then introduce the thinner 10.1 in parts of the world that got the 10.1V

But is the lighter, bigger 10.1 better, I don’t think so.

What do you think ?


Australia Leads the World in Android 3.0 Honeycomb Product Launches

by @mr_internet

Updated 10 May 2011 
After spending a few days with the Iconia A500 and of course Honeycomb, I am impressed with many of the features of the Iconia, it is a great value for money, my iPad2 is starting to feel a little jealous, and some of the feature of the Iconia (real USB and microSD) makes it even more interesting . 

Have a peek at the unboxing in Germany and an early review from the USA. 

Unboxing

A500 Review

Contract Free Acer A500 Iconia Tablet Running Android 3.0 HoneyComb Lands in Australia Retailers before USA without Fanfare

Promises to rock new tablet market

Low Priced Tablet to add to carriers challenges

Tablet competition is quickly heating up with the low fanfare launch of a new Tablet device from Acer.
a Wi-Fi only device that has managed to launch without the challenges of being distributed by Telecom carriers.

Whilst Vodafone this weeks has exclusively launched with huge problems the Samsung Galaxy Tab version 2 10.1v (P7100) with customers not notified their devices are on backorder,

Telstra has announced the launch of the Motorola Xoom for launch later this month for $840 that many view is over priced compared to the US market being sold for $600 in the even via Australia based importers .

This is the first launch of the much anticipated Google Android 3.0 Operating System (known as Honeycomb) and is very different than the previous operating Systems.
The difference between in the Tablet market is some devices have 3G or 4G internet built in, and will be sold by Telecom Carriers.

Other Tablets such as the Acer A500, are not burdened by this and can be sold as any laptop would be in the usual retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, and Office Works where stock has appeared this week.
The Acer Device comes in a 16GB and a 32GB Version but also includes a USB port and a microSD card slot allowing for a lot extra usability as it allows USB 2.0 thumb drives are even large external drives to be used.
Currently the Motorolla Xoom does not have a working SD Card Slot.
Internet access will need to be by Mobile USB stick from any carrier, or Wi-Fi, but many mobile phones also offer tethering (cable internet attachment) or their own wi-fi hotspot to offer Internet.
The largest issue carriers will have is the Acer A500 sells for just $547 in Australia and will launch in the USA from $450 from 11 May
At almost 1/2 the price of the Motorola Xoom many consumer will be asking if price is worth it.
Meanwhile the pure number of different devices available is slightly confusing for customers
German Unboxing of the Acer A500 (in English)

A500 Tablet Review by Mobile TechReview

Tech Specs of Acer A500 Tablet

Operating System
Operating System Android™
Processor & Chipset
Processor Manufacturer nVidia
Processor Type Tegra
Processor Model 250
Processor Speed 1 GHz
Processor Core Dual-core
Cache 1 MB
Memory
Standard Memory 1 GB
Memory Technology DDR2 SDRAM
Memory Card Reader Yes
Memory Card Support Micro SD
microSD High Capacity (microSDHC)

Display & Graphics
Screen Size 25.7 cm (10.1″)
Display Screen Type Active Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Aspect Ratio 16:10
Screen Mode WXGA
Display Resolution 1280 x 800
Touchscreen Yes
Touchscreen Feature Multi-touch
Network & Communication
Wi-Fi Yes
Bluetooth No
Interfaces/Ports
HDMI Yes
USB Standard USB 2.0
Built-in Devices
Webcam Yes
Software
Operating System Android™
Battery Information
Number of Cells 2-cell
Battery Chemistry Lithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Battery Capacity 3260 mAh
Battery Energy 24.10 Wh
Power Description
Input Voltage 220 V AC
110 V AC

Maximum Power Supply Wattage 18 W
Physical Characteristics
Colour Silver
Form Factor Slate
Height 13.30 mm
Width 177 mm
Depth 260 mm
Miscellaneous
Package Contents
ICONIA Tab A500 Tablet PC
Lithium Polymer Battery
Charger
USB Cable
Quick Start Guide
Green Compliance Yes
Green Compliance Certificate/Authority WEEE
RoHS

Warranty
Warranty 1 year pickup and return warranty.

Australia Leads the World in Android 3.0 Honeycomb Product Launches

Contract Free Acer A500 Iconia Tablet Running Android 3.0 HoneyComb Lands in Australia Retailers before USA without Fanfare

Promises to rock new tablet market

Low Priced Tablet to add to carriers challenges

Tablet competition is quickly heating up with the low fanfare launch of a new Tablet device from Acer.
a Wi-Fi only device that has managed to launch without the challenges of being distributed by Telecom carriers.

Whilst Vodafone this weeks has exclusively launched with huge problems the Samsung Galaxy Tab version 2 10.1v (P7100) with customers not notified their devices are on backorder,

Telstra has announced the launch of the Motorola Xoom for launch later this month for $840 that many view is over priced compared to the US market being sold for $600 in the even via Australia based importers .

This is the first launch of the much anticipated Google Android 3.0 Operating System (known as Honeycomb) and is very different than the previous operating Systems.

The difference between in the Tablet market is some devices have 3G or 4G internet built in, and will be sold by Telecom Carriers.

Other Tablets such as the Acer A500, are not burdened by this and can be sold as any laptop would be in the usual retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, and Office Works where stock has appeared this week.

The Acer Device comes in a 16GB and a 32GB Version but also includes a USB port and a microSD card slot allowing for a lot extra usability as it allows USB 2.0 thumb drives are even large external drives to be used.

Currently the Motorolla Xoom does not have a working SD Card Slot.

Internet access will need to be by Mobile USB stick from any carrier, or Wi-Fi, but many mobile phones also offer tethering (cable internet attachment) or their own wi-fi hotspot to offer Internet.

The largest issue carriers will have is the Acer A500 sells for just $547 in Australia and will launch in the USA from $450 from 11 May
At almost 1/2 the price of the Motorola Xoom many consumer will be asking if price is worth it.

Meanwhile the pure number of different devices available is slightly confusing for customers

German Unboxing of the Acer A500 (in English)

A500 Tablet Review by Mobile TechReview

Tech Specs of Acer A500 Tablet

Operating System
Operating System Android™
Processor & Chipset
Processor Manufacturer nVidia
Processor Type Tegra
Processor Model 250
Processor Speed 1 GHz
Processor Core Dual-core
Cache 1 MB
Memory
Standard Memory 1 GB
Memory Technology DDR2 SDRAM
Memory Card Reader Yes
Memory Card Support Micro SD
microSD High Capacity (microSDHC)

Display & Graphics
Screen Size 25.7 cm (10.1″)
Display Screen Type Active Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Aspect Ratio 16:10
Screen Mode WXGA
Display Resolution 1280 x 800
Touchscreen Yes
Touchscreen Feature Multi-touch
Network & Communication
Wi-Fi Yes
Bluetooth No
Interfaces/Ports
HDMI Yes
USB Standard USB 2.0
Built-in Devices
Webcam Yes
Software
Operating System Android™
Battery Information
Number of Cells 2-cell
Battery Chemistry Lithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Battery Capacity 3260 mAh
Battery Energy 24.10 Wh
Power Description
Input Voltage 220 V AC
110 V AC

Maximum Power Supply Wattage 18 W
Physical Characteristics
Colour Silver
Form Factor Slate
Height 13.30 mm
Width 177 mm
Depth 260 mm
Miscellaneous
Package Contents
ICONIA Tab A500 Tablet PC
Lithium Polymer Battery
Charger
USB Cable
Quick Start Guide
Green Compliance Yes
Green Compliance Certificate/Authority WEEE
RoHS

Warranty
Warranty 1 year pickup and return warranty.


Vodafone Customers Still in the Dark Over Missing Vodafone orders

Ahead of the USA and UK, launch, Australia Phone carrier Vodafone exclusively launched with Samsung their latest Google Android tablet computer , the Galaxy Tab version 2 / 10.1v Tablet  (or P7100 for short).  Besides the new Hardware it offers one of the first looks at the new Android Honeycomb 3.0 Operating System.

Competitor to Apple that sells the market leading iPad2, Google has multiple partners making many tablets of various sizes. This is the first of many companies that are making new tablets over the next few months. Due to market size, quite often Australia will get these devices after the USA.

The new Samsung Tablet runs the much anticipated 3.0 Android Honeycomb Operating System, viewed by google as the only Tablet Operating system.

With bit of razzmatazz the initial sale of the tablet from Vodafone, with  limited to sales only by telephone  limited amounts of inventory were also delegated to a small list of Vodafone retail shops,

For 2 days the initial phone orders, Vodafone promised that customers’ orders would not be backordered and they had plenty of stock, 48 hours later,   staff even verified stock levels  if asked when you ordered, mine was for example  in stock and immediately allocated coming from the warehouse in NSW and confirmed for delivery for today.

  • The problem came , when it came to fulfil orders,  the amount of stock drastically differed from those available, (stolen or misallocated who knows)
  • So instead of shipping the orders in the order they were taken even when confirmed as in stock and allocated, some customers that had units confirmed as shipping and in stock at order will not get them for weeks, and have not been notified as they do not know which customers to notify. They claim my query showed the problem for the first time (maybe)
  • Unless they call in or manually check on all orders ??
  • I asked if I was going to be notified or customers like me, and was told they did not think it was a mess.
  • Vodafone said loads of folks will be impacted but sure how many, I spoke to a level 2 sales person, after being hung up on a few times trying to check my order, (they said just give it another day or so and I said can you just verify it shipped, click hung up 3 times.
  • When I called to check order levels initially on this when this happened I was told there was stock, 20 minutes later I was told there are now back orders.
  • In Summary, customers expecting orders should phone and confirm if they shipped, I would have been waiting for weeks (luckily I have another one coming from a less official source)

 @mr_internet
@DroidUnlimited 


Or a Funny Thing Happened on The Way to the Webisphere ?

I have had more than a few folks ask (especially recently) where I got my twitter tag of @mr_internet due to the arrogance of its perception. That arrogance (not my fault actually) is why I got the nickname, and it stuck and I kept it to remind me that humility is not a bad thing.

The kind of interesting story goes like this, I have been pretty blessed to be on the front line of the creation of business grade Internet in the UK.

I was working for a large telco , (one of the largest and oldest in the world) I was lead on the team that introduced several new products across the globe one being something called

business broadband (perhaps you hear of it). One of the cool things about the Internet has been how it evolved slightly differently in different countries and with what sort of products is that its life cycle is different in different countries.

The US got the internet from DARPA and ARPA, as a result of the USSR and Sputnik etc, meanwhile (and forgotten by many) the UK developed packet switching. Vinton Cerf with others developed TCP in the US, the latter bit was in the 70’s

The WWW , Tim Berners-Lee, CERN  thing happened in 1989. Though hotly debated there is a view that UK invented the Internet (with the first multi-national Internet usage). The first head of state sending an internet communication between countries was Queen Elizabeth II.

So here I was part of the team introducing new Business Internet  products and the face (as ugly as it might be)  for this telcom  giant, with one of my jobs being taking the front line on initial legal issues from customers.

Unknown to me the higher up sin the organisation decided to exercise a patent law it had unearthed, saying they had invented hyperlinks under patent 4873662 in 1989.

The Telco then started discussions with a view of extracting funds from ISPs to license hyperlinks  and hypertexts  http://www . This meant the mere million users of the Internet at the time were likely to face costs and the few ISPs at the time Prodigy facing the highest costs).

This went viral as much as it could in the early days of the Internet, I was first made aware of it when I was called for an interview and was asked (thinking I had something to do with it personally) , ” Who Do you think you are  Mr Internet’ ?

The Telco eventually let the patent enforcement go silent (not dead). But the press (and my colleagues) kept the Mr Internet  nickname for so long I eventually kept it as a reminder of the potential arrogance that can come out of this business and to never forget about the most important part of the business (me.. no) the customer.

Regards

Loren (@mr_internet)