HP unveils the Slate 21 AIO, a 21.5-inch Android tablet for $400

At an event in Beijing, HP on Monday announced its latest foray into the tablet market in the Slate 21 AIO. The device packs a 21.5-inch display with a full HD resolution, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and a Tegra 4 processor. Yes, you read that correctly, a 21.5-inch display. The tablet looks to be meant for desktop use (obviously), as the press images show it with a keyboard and mouse. The display also has a built-in kickstand that allows it to be lowered to what appears to be a 30 degree angle or kept at an upright angle.

HP touts that it will make the process of accessing content through the cloud easier and will also feature the ability to live stream TV thanks to access to Google services, such as the Play Store.

“Customers are looking for technology that simplifies their lives while keeping them connected to the entertainment they enjoy and the content they need,” said Jun Kim, vice president and general manager, PC Displays and Accessories, HP. “The HP Slate21 allows families to easily access content through the cloud and enjoy it together on a large, interactive screen.”

The Slate 21 AIO features an HP TrueVision HD webcam and Wireless Direct capabilities, which allow users to share content between devices. It also has built DTS Sound technology, which will supposedly supply “concert-like” sound quality.

HP says the device will be available this September in the United States for $399.

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Google’s Waze acquisition to face FTC antitrust review

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We told you previously that Google’s acquisition of mapping company Waze could be in trouble due to some questionable filing tactics and today Google confirmed that the purchase will indeed face an antirust review by the FTC (via The Wall Street Journal):

Google on Saturday confirmed that it has been contacted by lawyers from the Federal Trade Commission over the company’s $1.1 billion acquisition of the mobile navigation company Waze, which closed in mid-June.

The FTC would have to determine whether Waze would have become a head-to-head competitor with Google, whose Google Maps software is the dominant digital mapping and navigation service around the world, or whether there is any evidence, such as emails, that showed Google wanted to acquire the company only to keep it from rivals.

As noted by the WSJ, “Waze’s revenue was too low to trigger an automatic review by the agency,” but it is able to review the purchase after it’s closed.

When Google announced the acquisition earlier this month, it said Waze would continue to operate in Israel separate from the Google Maps team, but that Google would integrate its search technology into Waze products and possibly Waze’s timely road corrections and updates in Google Maps. The short term result of the review for Google, according to the report, is the “the FTC may have asked Google not to integrate with Waze” until the review is complete.  Read more

Sony teases its next-gen SmartWatch, could be announced as early as next week

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Smart watches have become a trend over the last few years, and Sony wants everybody to know that it was the first company to release a wearable computing device. The company posted a string of tweets over the last few days, teasing the successor to the Android-powered SmartWatch it released last year (via Xperiablog.net). All of the tweets carried the #itstime hashtag, as well as the #MAE13 hashtag, which stands for Mobile Asia Expo, an event Sony will be present at next week in Shanghai. One of the tweets claimed that “One in three smartphone users want smart wrist wear”, while another teased that Sony’s focus has always been around wearable technology reading, “Wearable tech is in our DNA. Remember WALKMAN, now…?”

The tweet that really gives it away, however, is one that simply reads “Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock” and includes an image of a Sony SmartWatch.

Sony has already scheduled a media event in Shanghai for next week, during which we all expect the 6.4-inch Togari to be unveiled, but if these tweets are anything to go by, the company certainly has more up its sleeve.

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Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. reportedly inks $12 million marketing deal with HTC

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It’s no secret that HTC does not have the marketing budget of a company like Apple or Samsung, but according to a report, it has inked a deal that will greatly increase its commercial marketing presence. HTC is prepping a substantial two-year marketing campaign with Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr, according to two sources speaking with Bloomberg.  The deal is reportedly worth $12 million and will include television spots, as well as print and billboard advertisements. Downey will have a say in all decisions and maintain a level of creative control.

The campaign will feature Downey as himself, not any of the characters he has portrayed in films.

Downey will feature in the campaign as himself, not the characters he plays in movies including Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, and will have final say over creative elements, the people said, declining to be named because the talks aren’t public. The maker of the slim, metal HTC One handset will likely feature Downey in television, print and billboard ads, they said.

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LG schedules August 7th press event, Optimus G successor on the horizon?

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Earlier on Thursday, we reported on a press release from LG and Qualcomm that teased the successor to the Optimus G flagship would feature a Snapdragon 800 processor, and now the company has sent out another message regarding a mysterious press event. The affair will take place on August 7th in New York City, but no hints as to what we can expect were given, with LG simply calling it an “international media event.”

There’s a pretty solid chance that LG will announce the successor to the Optimus G at the event, but you never know. We’ll be sure to bring you everything you need to know from the event when it happens.  Read more

A hands-on demo of the Samsung S4 Active underwater (video)

A sight that would lead to much swearing with most phones, but the S4 Active looks quite at home underwater. I have to say I was impressed.

Samsung was keen to stress that the phone is not designed to be used underwater – though the touchscreen does actually respond in very shallow water – rather it’s designed to survive an accidental immersion and to allow you to take snorkel-style photos where you hold the phone just beneath the surface to take an underwater photo.

If the touchscreen isn’t responsive when you bring it back out of the water, don’t panic – it gets confused by water drops on the screen, so just wipe it dry and all is well.

Read more about the S4 Active here. Read more

Samsung announces Galaxy NX Android camera with LTE, 20.3mp sensor, and 13 lenses

Samsung just announced live on stage during its Premiere 2013 event in London the much rumored Galaxy NX Android camera. We already heard reports about the device leading up to the event, but the company has finally made things official on stage today. Samsung says its the “World’s first interchangeable lens Android camera with 4G LTE.”

Some specs it shared for the device: Android 4.2.2, a 4.8″ HD TFT LCD display, a 1.6GHz quad core processor with separate image signalling processor, hybrid autofocus, and a 20.3mp sensor. There will also be 13 interchangeable lenses initially (those from the NX series), including a brand new 10mm fish eye lens. Samsung showed off its UX running on top of Android on the device, which includes 30 smart modes similar to those included in Galaxy Camera and its other NX cameras.

The device will also include an interchangeable 4000mAh battery, microSD, HDMI out, MicroUSB, and HDMI out, an external microphone port.

The company didn’t share any information on pricing or availability for the device, but below is one of the first hands-on reviews popping up: Read more

Samsung unveils ATIV Q, a device dual-booting Windows 8 and Android

On stage at its Premiere event in London, Samsung just announced the ATIV Q, a hybrid tablet running both Windows 8 and Android. Samsung Executive Vice President DJ Lee said that the device is “versatile and adaptable” and can switch between four positions.

That’s really all that has been said about the ATIV Q so far, but seeing that 9 devices were just announced, we expect the company to get back to it soon.

The ATIV Q features a 13.3-inch qHD+ screen with a 3200×1800 resolution. Samsung says it is one of the “best displays you’ll ever see on a mobile device.” The company also says it will be very easy to use and see in bright sunshine. To switch between Android and Windows 8, you simply need to tap the hardware button under the display. You can also pin Android apps onto the Windows 8 start screen.

The device has a unique hinge that allows the screen to sink into the keyboard for tablet use, or rise up and bend several ways for usage with a keyboard. There is no trackpad, however, so you are stuck using a touchscreen for everything, even with a keyboard.

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Samsung officially unveils Galaxy S4 Active, S4 Mini, and S4 Zoom at London event

Samsung just officially unveiled its new lineup of Galaxy devices at its London Premiere 2013 event in London. As you can see from the image above, Samsung finally announced three much rumored devices including the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, and the Galaxy S4 Zoom, three devices that we expected to see during tonight’s event. Samsung also announced a number of new colors for the Galaxy S4 as pictured above.

Specs announced for the S4 Mini: Dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, 1900mAh battery,1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, and an 8mp main camera.

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 2.21.55 PMAs for the Galaxy S4 Active, Samsung talked mostly about its water and dust resistant features. While noting that it’s IP67 certified, it showed off an Aqua Mode that allows users to capture images under water for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter. Hardware specs include a 5-inch display, 1.9GHz processor, 2,600Mhz battery, and 8mp and 2mp cameras. Samsung also noted that the display will work with gloves.

Hardware specs announced for the S4 Zoom: 10x optical zoom, optical image stabilizer, 16 M BSI CMOS sensor, and Xenon flash. Also announced was the rumored Galaxy NX camera.  Read more

Liveblog from the Samsung Premiere Galaxy event in London

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I’m here at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London for the Samsung Premiere 2013 event. Our best guess is that we’re likely to see three S4 products: the S4 mini, S4 Active and the S4 Zoom Galaxy (as well as one or more ATIV Windows 8 devices), but we shall see …

Hit the more link to read all about it, and refresh the page to see the latest update …  Read more

Facebook launches updated Instagram w/ 15 sec video clips, custom filters & cinematic stabilization

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Today, live from Facebook’s press event, the company just announced that its bringing video to Instagram with a brand new set of features. In what appears to be direct competition for Twitter’s rapidly growing Vine video sharing app, Instagram will soon allow users to share similar video clips. On stage, Instagram demoed an updated iOS app that now includes a button for video capture that will allow users to create 3-15 second long videos using multiple clips.

It also announced that it has partnered with an artist to create 13 brand new custom filters specifically for video and a handful of leading experts to integrate “mind blowing” cinematic video stabilization features (something that isn’t too great in a lot of other apps).

So what does this mean for your content? Nothing’s different from photos. We’re still committed to making sure you have control over all of your content. Only the people who you let see your photos will be able to see your videos. And as with photos, you own your videos. You can learn more about Video on Instagram—including our new Cinema feature—by visiting the Instagram Help Center.

As for where videos will appear, like photos, Instagram says “your video will appear on your profile and in feed. If your visibility is set to private, only your approved followers can see videos or photos you share.”

The video feature will also be available on the web, allowing users to view Instagram videos in any browser without having to use the apps. Read more

LG Optimus G successor to be powered by Snapdragon 800 processor

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LG has announced that the successor to its popular Optimus G flagship will be powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor. While the company didn’t announce what the name of the device would be, it teased that it will see 75 percent performance improvement over its predecessor thanks to the latest Qualcomm chip. The smartphone will also have a new Adreno 330 GPU that delivers two times the performance of the Adreno 320 GPU found in the current Optimus G.

The device will also feature LTE capabilities on carriers that support it, Qualcomm IZat Location technology for improved GPS performance, and Enhanced aSMP (asynchronous Symmetric Multiprocessing), which is an architecture for dynamic power that senses peak performance per core and improves battery life. LG also teases HD multichannel audio via DTS-HD and Dolby Digital Plus with support for displays up to 2560 x 2048 pixels. It’s definitely interesting that the company mentioned that resolution. Read more