There’s an amazing variety of Android tablets out there right now. Barnes and Noble are giving their press conference this morning on their new Nook Color, which they’re saying outdoes the coming soon Amazon Fire in terms of a media consumption device.
Things are about to start getting real interesting though with the new nVidia Tegra 3 chipset which is rocking quad cores. Given that the Tegra 2 is the current powerhouse for all the fastest Android devices, this one is going to be a rocket for sure. The latest eee Transformer Prime from Asus is expected to be the first tablet to be released with the new processor, and a benchmarking app has already showed up with records of benchmarked Transformer Prime running the new chip, and surprise surprise it’s multiple times faster than anything currently out there.
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Rumor has it that Amazon is planning an Android based tablet, with a price somewhere between $249 and $299. Given the failure of HP’s entry into the tablet space with the WebOS powered TouchPad, Amazon may be gambling in a market currently dominated by Apple and it’s iPad. However, given Amazon already is the leader in eBooks and eReader hardware with it’s wildly successful Kindle, this could be the stepping stone to further success with a more fully featured tablet, rather than the one trick eReader.
To be successful the price could make or break Amazon’s new tablet – HP cancelled their TouchPad because it wasn’t selling, but when the price was lowered to $99 to clear stock it flew off the shelves. This must have been some surprise to HP since more recently an HP exec has said that they may be thinking of resurrecting the dead device for another attempt, presumably starting off at a lower price point.
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Despite being cancelled by HP and knowing that there won’t be any future upgrades or support, with the price lowered to $99 to clear the remaining unsold stock the TouchPads have been flying off the shelves.
The reason the product wasn’t selling wasn’t the product itself, it’s just that it was priced too high. With a lower price, and even despite the fact that the product has been discontinued with no future support or upgrades, the $99 price point for a tablet has the things flying off the shelves. That has to be a marketing lesson for someone…
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Microsoft has a video on YouTube giving a demo of the new UI for Windows 8. It looks impressive, relying heavily on a touch based interface which would suggest it’s being geared towards supporting tablets. However, halfway though the video, the presenter shows that you can still access files on the file system and use Office to edit your Word docs etc. What, with my finger as a mouse? I don’t think so. This is just as bad as trying to squeeze the Windows interface into Windows Mobile for phones which was just as awful and hard to use even with a stylus replacing the mouse. It’s taken all these years later for Microsoft to try another attempt at a new/improved UI for mobile devices (with the new Windows Phone 7), so apparently it takes them a while to learn from their mistakes.
I’m not sure what the point of this video is. You can’t please everyone all of the time, and trying to just results in a half-baked solution. If the video was demonstrating that Windows 8 will support touch based tablets as well as desktops with two different interfaces, then that’s not as bad, but using Office on a touch based device with your finger as a mouse and the existing desktop UI, that’s a disaster.
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