Saturday, 8 September 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Xperia Tablet S pulled apart, put back together in Sony teardown

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 06:48 PM PDT

Normally when we talk about teardowns here on Android Community, they’re conducted by a third party organization and are meant to give us not only a better idea of the hardware inside, but also the price of all the parts included in the device. That isn’t the case with this teardown of the Xperia Tablet S, as Sony has decided to conduct the teardown itself. As a result, the company won’t be telling us the combined price of all of the components, but we still get a close look at the tablet’s innards nonetheless.


This teardown also serves as something of a comparison to Sony’s last generation tablet, the Tablet S. The Sony Xperia S – which went on sale today, keep in mind – is quite a bit more compact than its predecessor, but it still comes packing some power under the hood. We’ve got a NVIDIA Tegra 3 mobile processor/1.4 GHz quad-core processor running Ice Cream Sandwich, a TFT Color LCD display capable of 1280×800 resolution, 1 GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 1-megapixel front-facing camera.

Once Sony engineer Takuya Inaba is inside – which wasn’t the easiest thing to do thanks to the removal of the adhesive tape seals – we’re greeted by the battery, which is pretty large. Despite the fact that it takes up more surface area than the battery in the Tablet S, it’s also quite a bit thinner, lending to the smaller overall size of the Xperia S. The 6000 mAh battery weighs in at 130g, providing around 23% of the total weight of the Xperia Tablet S.

The motherboard sports 4 EMI shields and comes equipped with a carbon fiber material, which dissipates heat and keeps the tablet running cool. On the motherboard itself we have the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi module, DSP, a 16GB eMMC (though you can also bump that up to 32 or 64GB), 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM, the antenna, the audio codec, and of course, the CPU. Removing the LCD screen was something of a pain, as Inaba had to get through all of the sealant that makes the tablet splash-proof, but when he finally did, we were told that the glass is “quite study” and adds a significant amount to the tablet’s weight (Sony didn’t say how much weight, though).

After tearing everything down, Inaba was tasked with putting everything back together. You can see the whole teardown and reconstruction process in the video above, and of course, you can also check out the full teardown over at the Sony Blog, which is quite interesting so long as you don’t mind a little self-promotion to go along with it. All in all, the Sony Xperia Tablet S looks to be a well-constructed machine and at $399, the price isn’t too bad either. Did any of you pick one up today?


WikiPad hits Gamestop in October – available now for pre-order

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 04:33 PM PDT

This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about this interesting Android-powered gaming device but today we learned some important details. The WikiPad 10-inch tablet has been a mixed bag of feelings for us but the gaming tablet will finally see store shelves next month. They’ve announced pre-orders are available now and it will be shipping in October.

As I’m sure you already know if you’re interested in this device you’ll get a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 resolution IPS display Android tablet that docks into a full featuring game controller with improved speakers, controls, d-pads and more. The tablet runs an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and is quite unique looking once docked.

Today the tablet went up for pre-order from Gamestop for $499. Yes the price might be a little steep but you get that awesome game controller too. We aren’t sure what type of response the gaming community will give this, but would love to hear your thoughts on the slate.

The tablet runs an NVIDIA Tegra 3 so will obviously enjoy TegraZone THD games, they are seeking Sony Playstation certification, and Gamestop will apparently be negotiating deals with game developers to get even more certified games for the tablet. GameStop's Joe Gorman envisions the Wikipad as a device capable of bridging the gap between traditional tablets game consoles allowing the user to "not only work hard, but play hard."

Thoughts?

[via SlashGear]


Sony Xperia Tablet S available today starting at $399

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 04:01 PM PDT

Sony‘s newest tablet to grace the Android marketplace is the Xperia Tablet S. It was announced just a week ago in Berlin, Germany, during IFA 2012 and went up for sale immediately in the UK. Today however the new and improved tablet can finally be purchased for those in the US who’d like to enjoy that Xperia goodness.

Yup, the tablet went up for pre-order back when they made their formal announcement on August 29th but today you can buy it right from Sony themselves along with tons of different accessories and stands. That neat keyboard cover from the IFA announcement will run you $99 but it sure looks neat.

Starting at just $399 the Sony Xperia Tablet S will get you Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. It might not be the cheapest tablet around but you get all of Sony’s Playstation certified games, Music Unlimited, Movies Unlimited and more from Sony’s collection.

Oh and in case you didn’t know this tablet can be used as a universal remote for all those Sony Bravia TV owners. This magazine-like design has been improved over the original Tablet S and features a lightweight aluminum design instead of cheap plastic, and hopefully Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is in its near future. Head to Sony.com and get started today.


LG teases upcoming quad-core Optimus G on video

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 03:45 PM PDT

LG is at it again today by teasing everyone about their upcoming quad-core smartphone called the Optimus G. This time around they are calling it “The Newest Premium Quad-Core Smartphone.” And have released a quick teaser video over on YouTube to get everyone excited about a smartphone without limits.

This new smartphone has been teased once before, then leaked, then officially announced by LG and Qualcomm themselves so it’s safe to say they are plenty excited about it. The clip is rather short and doesn’t really give us anything new or show the device (other than a glance at the front) but it does make a big point on the quad-core processor. Enough talk, enjoy the video below.

Again for those that aren’t too sure, this phone should be a beast. LG’s mentioned it as rocking their brand new TrueHD IPS panel that is 4.7-inches in size, rocks Qualcomm’s brand new S4 Pro quad-core processor, has 2GB of RAM, 13 megapixel camera, and will have 4G LTE in select markets.

LG and Qualcomm have confirmed the impressive new smartphone will be arriving as soon as mid September, so we can expect to be learning all the official details extremely soon. Then Qualcomm also stated it would arrive in the US around October. We’ll probably see it first stateside as the LG Eclipse 4G LTE on AT&T, but we have a feeling they’ll try and push this to multiple carriers Galaxy S III style. Stay tuned as I’m sure LG will drop all the details soon enough.


Android Community Beach Buggy Blitz Tablet Giveaway

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 03:05 PM PDT

An awesome new game has just cruised into the Google Play Store and NVIDIA TegraZone and it’s called Beach Buggy Blitz from Vector Unit. If that sounds familiar it’s because they brought us two addicting racing games in Riptide GP and Shine Runner. Yesterday this awesome game was released and to help celebrate we are doing another one of our awesome Tegra tablet giveaways thanks to NVIDIA and Vector Unit. Read on below for your chance at a Nexus 7 tablet or the ASUS Transformer Prime and keyboard dock.

Just like a few other awesome games as of late this awesomely addicting game with fun levels and lifelike graphics is an exclusive to the NVIDIA Tegra 3 set of devices. Using the power of the Tegra 3 the graphics come to life, water ripples across your screen and the entire environment is destructible and amazing. The game is essentially something like Mario Kart for mobile only the graphics are better, the music is fun and upbeat, and you can play for hours on the couch. The developers from Vector Unit describe this awesome game as this:

Drive your hot-rod beach buggy as far as you can into the uncharted depths of a mysterious tropical island. Swerve and smash through a gorgeously detailed and completely destructible world packed with Tiki statues, grass shacks, giant crabs and lava monsters. Explore sun-swept beaches, secret cave shortcuts, fog-shrouded swamps and temples, and erupting volcanoes in an action-packed quest of discovery and mayhem!”

Sounds pretty fun right? Before we get started on the Giveaway details you’ll want to take a peek at our hands-on video with Beach Buggy Blitz below.

The game is available right this minute over at the Google Play Store, and the NVIDIA TegraZone as usual. If you are interested you’ll want to run down and give it a try today. Then for those that don’t have a Tegra 3 device to enjoy this awesome new NVIDIA exclusive we’ll be giving away three brand new tablets.

Yup, you have a chance at one of 3 tablets this week. We will be offering up two Google Nexus 7 16GB tablets, as well as one ASUS Transformer Prime and keyboard dock combo to give to a few lucky readers. If you’ve been eying an Android tablet you can’t go wrong with a Tegra 3 powered one so take a chance and enjoy the giveaway by following the details below.

Rules:
It’s quite simple – all you’ve got to do is show your NVIDIA love:

1. Head to [this Android Community forums post] — and if you don’t yet have an account, register here.

2. Comment on your favorite NVIDIA Tegra 2 or Tegra 3 device on the market, your favorite TegraZone game, or a game you’d love to see come to Android. These can be games and devices that are out now or will be out soon – and you can find a vast collection of both [here in our Tegra hub] and be sure to say WHY you love or want it!

3. Sit back and cross your fingers!

This giveaway starts on Friday, September 7th, 2012 and runs until Friday, Sept. 14th at midnight. We’ll pick a collection of our favorite entries and from that set we’ll choose three winners at random – we’ll announce the winners on Monday, September 17th in the forums and right here in this original giveaway post!

Competition is open to residents of the US only, over the age of 18. One entry per person. Family members of NVIDIA, ASUS, Google, Vector Unit, and SlashGear/Android Community are not permitted to enter. Competition entries are only accepted via the specified Android Community forum post; entries left in the comments section of this or any other post will not be recognized.

The winners will be contacted by an Android Community/SlashGear staff member IN THE FORUMS upon being selected and will be expected to respond to that staff member; they will be expected to respond within 24 hours else their prize may be forfeit and another winner selected.

Editors decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Winners agree that their name and details of their entry may be used for promotional purposes by, but not limited to Android Community, SlashGear, NVIDIA, and Vector Unit.

Prizes consist of two 16GB Google Nexus 7 tablets, and a Transformer TF201 Prime tablet and keyboard and that’s it! There are no other alternative for prize winners unless this prizes become unavailable, in which case Android Community reserves the right to substitute another prize of equal or greater value. Giveaway provided by SlashGear/Android Community. Prizes provided by NVIDIA and Vector Unit. Any questions regarding this giveaway should be directed to giveaway [AT] slashgear.com.


Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs Google Nexus 7

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 01:15 PM PDT

Yesterday Amazon announced their new Kindle Fire HD tablets, and while the 8.9-inch model might have stolen the show it’s their smaller 7-inch model that could be the big hit. Amazon’s new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD packs a pretty impressive spec sheet and a great price to match it. But is that enough for it to rival the Nexus 7?

The Kindle Fire HD received a pretty massive overhaul compared to last years model, but it still didn’t quite hit some of those top end specs we’ve been seeing of late. We’re not going to compare every last detail here and tell you what to buy — especially since we’ve only managed a few minutes with the newcomer. Instead here’s some details about the differences, as well as a few fun pictures. For a full breakdown head to our own device comparison tool by clicking here.

Google Nexus 7:
-Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
-7-inch 1280 x 800 IPS Display
-Quad-core 1.3 GHz Tegra 3
-8GB storage (no SD slot)
-7.8 x 4.7 x 0.4 and 12 oz.

Kindle Fire HD:
-Android 4.0 ICS (skinned)
-7-inch 1280 x 800 IPS Display
-Dual-core 1.2 GHz TI OMAP 4470
-16GB storage (no SD slot)
-7.6 x 5.4 x 0.4 and 13.9 oz.

Now a few things out of the gate you’ll notice the Kindle Fire HD only rocking a dual-core while the popular Nexus 7 has a quad-core. Amazon mentioned the Texas Instruments 4470 was actually “faster” than the Tegra 3 — although we doubt that. They also mentioned floating operations per second was better which helps with overall user interface performance. Then you’ll also notice the Kindle Fire is a bit larger, has massive bezels, and weights a decent amount more too.

On the flip side the Kindle Fire HD is the first tablet to offer dual-band MIMO WiFi support that should seriously improve overall WiFi signal, speed, and performance so that is a big difference. It also has stereo surround with Dolby Digital Plus and HDMI-Out while the Nexus 7 has mono sound and no HDMI. Then for another win in Google’s corner you have well over 650,000 apps in the Google Play Store vs about 55,000 from Amazon. The Nexus 7 also has NFC for Google Wallet and other sharing features as well as GPS, while the Fire HD has neither.

In terms of hardware they both actually feel quite excellent. Amazon really stepped up and refined their build quality over the original Fire, but I can’t help but think it reminds me of the DROID XYBOARD tablets from Motorola for some reason. Both screens were pretty equal in terms of overall quality but I just might have to give a win to Amazon with this one. Their single layer touch sensor should help improve performance while reducing glare and keeping colors more accurate — which seems like a fair statement given our quick time with it.

Obviously the big thing here comes down to ecosystem and the software. Being a diehard Android fan I’ve already made up my mind that I’d rather have the Nexus 7 simple for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (or just stock vanilla Android in general.) Amazon’s heavily customized skin basically sets the blazes on Ice Cream Sandwich and makes it completely unrecognizable. Obviously Amazon has made the entire experience customized around their own ecosystem of options, apps, and content — and Google’s done the same with their Nexus 7.

In general can the Kindle Fire HD “dethrone” the Nexus 7 from being one of the best tablets around? That question is ultimately up to you. I think there’s room for both and neither will out-due the other. Amazon has a huge reach with their online store that can really help keep it in the eye of the public, but then so does Google when they put the Nexus 7 on their homepage.

Until we get the Kindle Fire HD in to review ourselves we’ll reserve a true comparison and comment for later. For now enjoy a few additional images below, plenty of content regarding both devices, as well as our full device spec sheets at the end.

Which tablet would you rather own?

P1100261 P1100262 Screen Shot 2012-09-07 at 12.04.14 PM Screen Shot 2012-09-07 at 12.03.42 PM Screen Shot 2012-09-07 at 12.03.07 PM
Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Nexus 7
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : June 27, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : Google Nexus 7, MeMo 370T
Display
  • Screen Size : 7 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 7.81 Inch
  • Width : 4.72 Inch
  • Depth : 0.41 Inch
  • Weight : 340 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 4325 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.1.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • IM
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 3
    CPU Clock Speed : 1300 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 8 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : NA
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • A2DP
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Kindle Fire HD
    Manufactuer : Amazon
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : September 06, 2012
    Release Date : September 14, 2012
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 7 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 7.6 Inch
  • Width : 5.4 Inch
  • Depth : 0.4 Inch
  • Weight : 395 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
    Video Playback:
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP4460
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : NA
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11a
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • A2DP
  • Bluetooth 4.0
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


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