Before I got my Galaxy Nexus, I was a die hard user of GO Launcher EX. I was actually reluctant to try it at first, but a good friend of mine basically forced me to use it for a day, after which, I never looked back (Thanks, Chris!). I can't imagine having a pre-ICS phone without installing GO.
Now, the GO Team has brought the goodness of GO Launcher EX to Android 3.0+ tablets by way of GO Launcher HD. It's still in beta at this point, though it doesn't quite have that "beta" feel to it; in fact, it already feels polished enough to use as a daily driver.
In early January, ARCHOS let everyone know that the update to Android 4.0 would be coming "in the near future" to all G9 tablets, and a week later we saw them demoing a said update at CES. The rep at CES said the update was scheduled to roll out in the first week of February - a target which the company obviously missed. Now they've taken to their Facebook page once again to apologize for the delay and announce that "they fully anticipate deploying the upgrade within the next two weeks."
While the "anticipate" in that sentence leaves the company some wiggle room, it's nice to see the PR-challenged little company who has a spotty past on Android devices at least try to address both shortcomings.
OnLive, the company that has already revolutionized gaming is now gunning for making the same kind of splash in OS virtualization. And not just any OS virtualization, but Windows 7 in the cloud, for free - a set of words I never thought I'd write in the same sentence.
Something worth pointing out right off the bat is OnLive's "groundbreaking video compression technology" that is used to stream the Desktop cloud to your tablet. If there's one company that has figured out how to perfect streaming of full-screen media, it's definitely OnLive.
I was a bit skeptical at first, but after trying out every aspect of the app through a relatively slow, Spanish Vodafone HSPA+ hotspot here in Barcelona, I have to say I'm thoroughly impressed.
We got a look at the Excite 10 LE's at CES when it was called the Excite X10. Now, Toshiba is bringing the thinnest and lightest tablet* to the US market. The Excite 10 LE is identical to the Excite X10 aside from a couple of letters being rearranged. The slate still packs a "multicore" OMAP processor under a 10.1" LED screen. Unfortunately, the device will be launching with Honeycomb (3.2), but is "upgradeable to Android 4.0."
Here's the spec sheet:
Android 3.2, Honeycomb (upgradeable to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich)
10.1-inch diagonal LED Backlit widescreen Corning Gorilla Glass display with IPS technology and 10-finger multi-touch support
Sony officially unveiled the Sony Tablet P at IFA last August, but we have yet to see it here in the U.S. despite its release in other parts of the world. For those of you that don't remember, this unique tablet features two 5.5-inch LCD displays that fold over one another much like a Nintendo DS. What's neat about having two individual screens is that you can use use them for different functions simultaneously, so multitasking is a bit easier. Naturally, you can also combine the two screens into a single display, but personally I think the seam between the two would get in the way.
We trotted on over to the NVIDIA boot at MWC in Barcelona this morning, and happened upon the newest tablet offering from Toshiba, the AT270. Officially unnamed at this point, the device is packing a 7.7" SAMOLED 1280x800 display, a Tegra 3 processor, Wi-Fi, and 32GB of storage (it's unknown if this is the standard amount). It's also running Android 4.0.
Playing with the device was a fairly pleasant experience - though an attendee using the AT270 right before us managed to lock up the device on the unlock screen. So, it's definitely still in the development stage. However, Ice Cream Sandwich performed well, and everything generally seemed pretty snappy.
When I first heard about the ASUS Padfone, I thought the idea was a bit laughable. When I tried in person today, my opinion changed substantially. ASUS definitely seems to have done this right - particularly considering it's still a prerelease piece of hardware. My primary concern was in how seamless the transition from phone to tablet would be, and how much the phone's hardware design would suffer because of the docking mechanism.
Addressing the first concern, the transition is quite smooth. Just snap in the Padfone, and the dock lights up and goes to Android 4.0's tablet interface in a matter of seconds.
We're at the Samsung booth at MWC this afternoon, and first on our list were Samsung's newest Tabs - the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, and the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. The devices are actually fairly similar - same processor, same cameras, microSD card slot, and 3G SIM card slot. Both are also running Android 4.0, which is pretty standard fare for tablets these days. They even share very similar, very plasticky rear covers.
In fact, on paper, both of these devices are actually very boring. But there's a key piece of information Samsung hasn't announced about these devices: pricing.
ASUS continues its domination of the Android tablet market with the introduction of the Transformer Pad 300 Series. While the naming scheme for ASUS' tablets may be reaching near-Samsung levels of confusing, the new mid-range tablets look to be a great way to get yourself a 10" tablet without breaking the bank.
The tablet packs the same Tegra 3 SoC as its big brother, though we'd imagine it's clocked a little slower than the Prime and Infinity variants. It also contains the same 22Whr battery and 1GB of RAM. The major difference, thankfully, isn't in lower specs or older versions of Android, but in materials.
ASUS has barely been able to contain its excitement for its Padfone device(s?). Finally, though, we get some more details about what the phone/tablet set will be packing. The former is sporting a a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (it's unclear what model at this time) and 1GB of RAM, underneath a 4.3" 960x540 Super AMOLED screen. Much like Motorola's line of lapdocks, the SoC of the phone will power the tablet while docked.
The tablet station has a 10.1" screen, a gratuitous 24.4Whr battery, and Micro USB and Micro HDMI connections. The tablet station will use the phone's 8MP rear camera, though it has its own front-facing camera for video chat.