Google's I/O conference, in usual form, kicked off with an explosive start. The day's news saw the revelation of things we've been waiting to see for months. Things we've heard rumor of, wished for, and even (quite accurately) predicted. With all the things we saw, it only seems right to round up all the day's news in one place. Grab a snack, because we've got a lot to talk about.
We've been hearing about waiting for Google's first tablet, the Nexus 7, to become official for what seems like an eternity. Google just made the official announcement (finally!) - here's everything we know so far:
7" 1280x800 IPS display
Quad-core Tegra 3 processor
Super thin and light: only 340 Grams
Wi-FI, Bluetooth, NFC
4325mAh battery - 9 hours of video playback, 300 hours of standby time
Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
Along with ASUS, Google designed the Nexus 7 with Google Play in mind.
Google I/O is coming and we already expect a bevy of Android related announcements. Furthermore, rumours of a Google-branded Android tablet have been swirling around for some time now, and last month a benchmark report indicated that the 7-inch tablet would be manufactured by Asus.
According to a leaked internal training document, recently uncovered by Gizmodo Australia, the Google tablet will indeed be manufactured by Asus and will feature the following specs:
7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280x800 and a 178-degree viewing angle
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
1.3Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor
nVidia GeForce 12-core GPU
1GB of RAM
8GB or 16GB of internal storage
1.2 MP front-facing camera, no rear camera
NFC with Google Wallet
Battery life estimated at 9 hours
Aside from the specs, which are quite impressive, there are two pieces of news that are especially interesting.
Fun fact: a 1080p display packs 2,073,600 pixels. The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (or TF700)? 2,304,000 - or 230,400 more. Most 1080p HDTVs are somewhere around 40-60 inches. The TF700 checks in at just 10. Compared to a 40" HDTV, that's 111% of the pixels in a package that's 6.25% of the size.
The screen may be the real headline feature with the Infinity, but it's not the only one worthy of note.
Following last month's Transformer Pad 300 (TF300) OTA update to v184.108.40.206, ASUS is pushing out a new bug fixer v220.127.116.11 with a host of improvements, the most notable one of which is the upgraded camera firmware. I just completed the process on my tablet, and it only took a few minutes.
So what's new in .30? This question is answered by none other than... ASUS Finland, of course, which provided the upcoming changelog almost a week ago on the Facebook page in all its Engrish glory:
TF300T ICS v18.104.22.168 - SYSTEM – improve stability of Chrome browser - SYSTEM – improve camera performance - Pictures more colorful - better audio- white balance(AWB) and auto-focus(AE) - better continues-auto-focus (CAF) - SYSTEM – fix the bug “wifi occasionally fail to connect after resume from suspend status” - Appbackup – fix the bug “have to key-in password again after change screen orientation”
To force your device to check for this update, go to Settings > About > System Firmware Update and press Check Update.
ASUS officially announced the Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700T for those who prefer model numbers) back at Mobile World Congress in February. In terms of hardware, the Infinity is nearly identical to the Transformer Prime, but it features a higher resolution 1920x1200 Super IPS+ display, improved Wi-Fi and GPS reception, and a higher resolution front facing camera.
Since the official announcement, ASUS has been pretty quiet - it has yet to come out with an official release date or finalized pricing.
Last week, ASUS released a couple of videos teasing its announcements for Computex 2012. Given the contents of the videos, our first guess was that the company would be announcing a dual-boot Windows 8/Android tablet. And we were right... kind of.
It is a dual OS device - but it's not exactly dual-boot, nor is it exactly a tablet. It's an all-in-one 18.4" desktop that can seamlessly transition between Windows 8 and Android 4.0.
Update: Turns out the teasers were about an ASUS Windows 8/Android device after all, and even Bluestacks got tricked into thinking the "big transformation" teasers were about them. You can find more info about this device, called Transformer AiO, here.
Remember a few days ago when ASUS got everyone's hopes up with teaser videos that began excited rumor-churn about a possible dual-booting Android/Windows 8 tablet? Well, it turns out that the videos in question were meant to tease a new partnership ASUS has formed with BlueStacks, creators of the renowned BlueStacks App Player (which we reviewed back in March).
Holy crap. ASUS just released two new teaser videos for its event at Computex 2012, and as vague as they may be, one thing is clear: they're doing something with Android and Windows. Possibly together. Just take a look at this:
Of all the possibilities, a dual-boot Windows 8/Android Transformer sounds like the most fitting (and also the most perfect). Just the thought of that makes me giddy like a school girl.