I've been thinking about writing this editorial for some time now. And today, with the announcement of Panasonic's upcoming Toughbook Android tablet, I finally decided to go for it. The point this article is trying to make may not be abundantly clear in the title, so let me see if I can get it across as a question: Is it just me, or are there a suspiciously large number of companies in or planning to enter the Android tablet market?
Update 6/14/11: All 3 Thrive variations are now on Amazon as well, for those who prefer themselves some tax-free shopping.
Ever since we saw Toshiba's then-unnamed tablet at CES in January, we've carefully put our ears to the ground to learn all we can about this surprisingly capable device. Today's Thrive news, then, has us excited - pre-orders have started, and all iterations of the tablet (8/16/32GB) will be shipping on the same yet-to-be-announced date next month (Toshiba's site now says "Mid-July").
Android's hottest new tablet - the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 - is now available for pre-order at Best Buy. As we've heard before, New Yorkers have an especially sweet deal: Best Buy will be opening up sales today at noon at their Union Square store, and the first 200 purchasers will also get a free leather pouch. For the rest of us, the Tab is slated to go on sale on June 17.
Earlier last week, we got some leaked information about the upcoming tablet from Toshiba called Thrive. Today I had the opportunity to meet Philip Osako, Director of Product Marketing at Toshiba, who gave us a demonstration and a little more background on the development of the Thrive. Starting June 13th you will be able to pre-order the tablet at all major retailors starting at $429 for the 8GB version, $479 for the 16GB, and $579 for the glorious 32GB version.
Could Samsung have learned a lesson from the Galaxy S Froyo update shenanigans? The company will be shipping their hottest new device, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, with Honeycomb 3.1 rather than 3.0. No shipping with out-of-date software here - and pretty speedy turnaround, given that Honeycomb 3.1 probably hasn't been available to manufacturers for too long. Then again, the 10.1 doesn't have TouchWiz yet and won't until after release, so there was no custom UI to slow the update.
Well, we all saw it coming. After giving away phones the past two years (HTC Magic G2 in 2009, HTC Nexus One/Motorola Droid and HTC EVO 4G in 2010), Google I/O attendees will be leaving with shiny new Limited-Edition Samsung Galaxy Tabs. Here's our little (big) guy:
The Tab 10.1 will be available to the masses on June 8, but I/O attendees will be receiving it first. The Tab 10.1 of course will be running Honeycomb (and will be getting the upgrade to 3.1 in a few weeks), have a 10.1'' screen, 1Ghz dual-core processor, and sport 32GB of onboard memory.
With a great plugin comes great responsibility - to avoid malicious Flash files, that is. A zero-day exploit has been discovered in Adobe Flash that affects all Android versions of the software, Adobe announced today.
The most common vessel for the exploit is (fortunately) a Microsoft document (.doc) email attachment with an embedded Flash file (.swf) - and I'm not aware of any Word document viewers/editors in Android that support embedded Flash.
One of the most exciting announcements of this week was, without a doubt, the unveiling of the 2 new super-slim Galaxy Tabs, the 8.9 and the 10.1, at the CTIA Wireless conference in Orlando.
If you followed our live blog from the event, you may have already seen the new Tabs in their on state (none of the new Tabs could be turned on at the event), but still images can only tell half of the story.
Yesterday at CTIA, Samsung unveiled its revamped Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the all-new Galaxy Tab 8.9 (check out our live coverage of the event). Unfortunately, that's about all Samsung did with them - neither was ever powered on. Samsung's CTIA exhibit housed the new devices in glass security cases (as you can see below), while early "prototypes" of the 8.9 and 10.1 running Honeycomb with Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 overlay were available for hands-on time, in order to demonstrate some of the software the company plans to include when the devices are released.
You'll find no Apple lovers around the Android Police offices, but even we have to admit that there's no excuse for Apple showing up the Android tablet scene's pricing. Unfortunately, that's exactly what's happened. With that in mind, it's perhaps not so surprising to hear that Samsung is re-evaluating their upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Aside from the likely price drop we'll see, they're also taking a critical eye to the physical characteristics of their tablet - specifically, they don't think it's thin enough to compete with the 8.8mm-thick iPad 2.