As predicted, HP launches its Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab Android 4.2 Phablets

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Last week, we went on the record saying that HP was set to unveil their new smartphones within a week and here we are just 5 days later with an announcement.  The quad-core Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab are (as predicted) 720P displayed “mega” phablets that will play in the same market as Samsung’s Galaxy Mega line. The initial launch country will be India but more are on the way.  While no price was given, we’d imagine that since the other details were true, the $200 price point for the Slate 6 VoiceTab and $250 for the 7-inch seem like a pretty good starting point.

The phones will come with 16GB of on board storage and have a Micro-SD card for 32GB more storage. As you can see in the image above, they both have stereo speakers a la the HTC One (no word yet on Beats Branding which HP still uses and HTC once used).

It appears that HP has really done its homework here and has identified a market where it can make things happen. HP obviously has a huge brand and PC presence in India and at the same time, the market is easy to enter because the carriers aren’t gatekeepers like they are in the US.

As for the phones themselves, they actually have some styling which is a notable step up from HP’s US slate lineup. While I’ll go on the record saying that I’m not a fan of the Black on Gold appearance from the press release and Android skin they are showing off, I’m not privy to style considerations from India.

Also ringing an alarm bell is the Android 4.2 launch OS. Combined with that pretty heavy looking skin/overlay, Indian consumers are already starting 2 OSes back…and counting.

In all, though Google has to be pretty satisfied with the launch. HP is traditionally a Windows shop but since Meg Whitman’s return has gone ChomeOS and Android first with the Slate line of tablets and now their Smartphones.

Another image if the Slate 6 Voicetab and Press release below: Read more

Google releases Moto G Google Play Edition for $179/$199

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This morning Google announced that its releasing a Moto G Google Play Edition starting at $179 for the 8GB model and $199 for the 16GB model. There isn’t much of a difference between the Google Play Edition and the regular unlocked GSM model of the Moto G selling through other retailers. The Moto G is already just about stock Android to begin with, and the pricing is around the same you’ll find through third-party retailers. Either way, with the GPE Moto G you’ll be guaranteed completely stock Android and updates when other Google Play Edition devices receive them. The Moto G is available now through the Google Play website for customers in the US and will run on AT&T or T-Mobile networks.  Read more

Motorola Assist updated with ability to reply to texts by voice while driving

Of the most notable things Motorola has accomplished over the past year is arguably its contextually aware services, found on devices like the Moto X. Today, the company’s Assist app on the Play Store has been updated with a few new features. For those unaware, Assist can determine your actions, such as driving and sleeping, and perform a pre-specificed command.

Up until today, the app could only read you the text messages you got while driving. With this newest update, however, you can now reply to texts while driving by speaking to the phone. So once the text is read to you, you will have the ability to read a response to the app. In addition to that, Assist can also now launch your music player of choice when it notices you are driving.

The update is available on the Play Store, although Motorola Assist is only compatible with the most recent Droid line of devices, as well as the Moto X.

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Nvidia’s ARM Tegra K1 ‘superchip’ delivers Intel notebook graphics performance in mobile devices

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Nvidia made some pretty big claims when it launched its 192-core Tegra K1 mobile processor, notable among them that it would out-perform many of today’s PC chips. Benchmark results posted on the WCCFtech site suggest that the claims are true: a tablet with a Tegra K1 delivered GFX GLBenchmark of 60fps at 1080p, making it significantly faster than two basic Intel Graphics notebooks included in the comparison.

As you can see the only device included in the bench to beat the Tegra K1 chip was Nvidia’s own GT 740M; and seeing this is a full fledged dGPU with 45W TDP it doesn’t mean much. However for the target niche the Tegra K1 was actually created; it leads with a major gap. Scoring a rock solid 60fps in an off screen 1080p Benchmark it fares significantly better than the Tegra 4. The predecessor to this chip can only manage a measly 16fps so you can see for yourself how great a difference this is …  Read more

HP, the world’s biggest PC manufacturer, is set to launch its smartphone as soon as next week

We’ve gotten word from inside HP that the company is set to release an inexpensive Android smartphone aimed at the prepaid and emerging (BRIC) markets. We’re hearing the street price will be around $200 and it will be released in more than one market. Our source has pegged the launch at next week but delays can’t be ruled out at this point (and we’ve yet to hear anything publicly). Nokia Meego defector and new HP SVP Mobility  Alberto Torres is said to be heading up the group which has been working on the product for a year and a half.

We’re hearing that the device resembles the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note with obvious cost cutting measures to get the device down to the $200 price point. With HP’s Slate Android products, the company cut costs by using low pixel density displays so having a 720P display would seem about right and put it on a collision course with Samsung’s Galaxy Mega line with its 6.3-inch display and current street price of around $400.

HP CEO Meg Whitman last year confirmed the company was building a smartphone on the trail of dumping its WebOS ‘detour’.

“So a smartphone is not if, but when, for Hewlett-Packard?” – Whitman replied:  “[HP has] to ultimately offer a smartphone, because in many countries in the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We’re a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor.”

Computerworld UK reported that she indicated it wouldn’t be in 2013.

“We don’t have any plans to introduce a smartphone in 2013, but we’ve got to start thinking about what is our unique play, how do we capture this element of the personal computing market?” Whitman said.

HP has to offer every kind of device, from workstations through all-in-one PCs, laptops, hybrid PCs, tablets “and, ultimately, smartphones,” she said.

“I believe that five years from now, if we don’t have a smartphone or whatever the next generation of that device is, we’ll be locked out of a huge segment of the population in many countries of the world,” she said.

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