Google Glass GDK updated to reflect support for USB webcams

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Google has updated the Google Glass GDK documentation to include support for external webcams attached via an On-The-Go cable (via Android Police). This means that, while developers already have access to the standard built-in Glass camera, they will now be able to incorporate additional camera views in their apps. Sadly, webcams won’t be Plug-and-Play, so developers are going to have to provide their own drivers for the hardware they want to use. Read more

Render gives first look at next-gen reversible USB Type-C cable coming in July

Back in December, the the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced that a next-generation of USB connectors was under development. The new standard, dubbed “USB Type-C,” introduces a new design, a smaller overall footprint, and usability enhancements such as a symmetrical, reversible connector that doesn’t require users to worry about orientation when plugging in (much like with Apple’s Lightning connector.) It will also allow manufacturers to create thinner and sleeker product designs and scale for future USB performance standards with a transfer speed up to 10Gbps. Today we get our first look at what the cable and connectors will actually look like with a rendering courtesy of Foxconn (via TheVerge). Read more

The year of the tablet phone continues with the 7-inch Asus Fonepad & new HD Padfone hybrid

Following the official announcement of Samsung’s 8-inch Galaxy Note smartphone and tablet hybrid, Asus today made things official for its own 7-inch tablet with built-in 3G calling capabilities. We’re not exactly sure if consumers are asking for a 7-inch or larger device for making calls, but the addition of an HSPA+ radio is on top of otherwise decent specs compared to its competitors. Dubbed the FonePad, Asus said the device includes a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1,280-by-800 HD display, and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The Fonepad also packs a 4,270mAh battery that Asus said should bring around 9 hours of battery life.

As for availability, Asus said the Fonepad would arrive to customers in the U.K. sometime in late Q2 of this year with prices starting at £179 (inc VAT) for the 16GB variant.

The company also announced another phone/tablet hybrid today, the next-generation PadFone. Asus has released previous generations of the device including a smartphone and tablet dock that allows users to quickly switch from the tablet form factor to a smartphone. It announced it is upgrading the smartphone portion to a 5-inch, 1080p display, while the 10.1-inch tablet gets a new 1,920-by-1,200 display and upgraded internals (via Engadget):

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The amazing SlimPort will be on the next generation of LG phones too

Analogix, the company behind the SlimPort accessory that allows the Nexus 4 to output HD audio and video via its micro-USB port, today announced the next device to include support for the technology: the LG Optimus G Pro. We noticed SlimPort in the specs when LG just recently announced the quad-core, 5.5-inch, 1080p smartphone, but today Analogix confirmed in a press release it would indeed be a SlimPort-enabled device. The SlimPort technology, demoed by Analogix in the video above, allows users to output 1080p video and audio to any HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA or DVI-enabled TVs, projectors and monitors via its SlimPort accessories. We had a chance to try the technology on a Nexus 4 at CES this year and were very impressed with demos of graphic intensive 3D games running smoothly on the big screen while simultaneously charging the device.

“With SlimPort, LG is able to deliver unprecedented functionality at a lower cost, because of its streamlined design and standard USB connector,” said Dr. Ramchan Woo, division leader/smart phone platform division of LG Mobile Communications Company. “SlimPort unleashes content from the Optimus G Pro smartphone, making it a snap to share and enjoy videos, games, photos and more on any screen.”

The full press release from Analogix is below: Read more

HP unveils 14-inch Pavilion Chromebook, now available for $329

HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook

We posted a leaked spec sheet late last month that showed off what appeared to be an upcoming 14-inch Chromebook from HP. HP has officially announced the new Chromebook today. While it might have a 14-inch display two inches wider than any other Chromebook, it also happens to be more expensive than Samsung’s latest offering at $329. That’s significantly more than Samsung’s latest $249 model.

HP offered up full specs on the device that is available to order through the company’s website now. Not only is the HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook more expensive, it’s also heavier than Samsung’s offering at 4lbs compared to 2.5lbs. Battery life is unfortunately the same story with an approximate 4.25 hours quoted compared to the 6.5 hours Samsung’s Chromebook offers. If you can get past that, the new HP device packs in a 14-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit (1,366-by-768-pixel), 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SATA SSD, HDMI, USB 2.0, as well as an Ethernet port.

The Samsung Chromebook has been the top-selling laptop on Amazon since it launched; Acer reported that Chromebooks make up 5-10% of US shipments; and in the first two months of 2013 Google announced two new devices from two new partners, Lenovo and HP. In the Enterprise, Google just announced 2,000 schools have deployed Chromebooks and businesses like Kaplan, Dillard’s and Quality Distribution are using Chrome devices as well.

HP’s hoping consumers will opt for the larger display, keyboard, and additional ports for the extra $80, but we’re not too excited about the battery life.

Report: Samsung working on new ‘Galaxy Tab 3′ lineup & mystery ‘GT-P8200′ tablet

Galaxy Tab 10.1There have been rumors that Samsung has a new lineup of Galaxy tablets in the works, possibly set to make an appearance next month at Mobile World Congress. Today, SamMobile claimed to have confirmed details of the upcoming Galaxy tabs, citing a “Korean insider,” and provided new information for the Galaxy Tab 3 lineup codenamed “Santos”.

According to the report, Samsung has both 7-inch and 10.1-inch variants of the new lineup in Wi-Fi and 3G configurations. The tablets will also include 5-megapixel cameras, but we don’t get any other details in terms of hardware specs on the four Santos models including GT-P3200, GT-P3210, GT-P5200, and GT-P5210. The report said the tablets are expected to launch in early 2013 in 16GB and 32GB variants.

There was also mention of a Samsung GT-P8200 tablet codenamed “ROMA.” The report didn’t provide many details, but AndroidCentral pointed out the product number isn’t too far off the “GT-P8110″ of the Nexus 10.

SamMobile also provided exact specs for the Samsung GT-N5100 Galaxy Note 8.0 it first posted about last week. The full specs for that device, expected to pop up during MWC next month, are below: Read more

Samsung reveals 2013 Series 3 Chromebox featuring new coat of plastic, same specs

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Samsung has unveiled a new version of the Series 3 Chromebox this afternoon, a Mac mini-like device offering quick-and-easy access to Chrome OS. We plan to get a closer look at CES 2013 next week, but for now we know the new version of the Chromebox is pretty much the same hardware as the 2012 version, just featuring a new coat of plastic. It features a 1.9 GHz Intel Celeron B840 processor, Intel HD graphics, 4GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, 2W mono speaker, 6 USB 2.0 ports, a DVI port, headset jack, and 2 Display Ports. The 2013 model is now available in the UK for 279 GBP ($453.50), with no word on a US release. However for those who cannot wait, Amazon offers the 2012 model for $315. We’ll have more soon, but in the mean time you can find a photo of the back arrangement after the break. It moves away from the Mac mini look, eh? [Samsung via Liliputing]

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ASUS joining the Google TV game with ‘Qube’ USB-dongle

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ASUS has played a somewhat important role in the Android ecosystem that includes its Nexus 7 endeavor with none other than Google. The Taiwan-based company looks to go further, as Engadget spotted a Federal Communications Commission filing this weekend that exposed its plan to release a Google TV device. The FCC approved ASUS’ new adapter, dubbed the “Qube”, which is not really like any other Google TV device we’ve seen before. The Qube is more Roku-like, acting as a USB dongle that could pair with an Android-based smartphone and separate keyboard or touchpad.

Source: Engadget, FCC

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NYTimes profiles impact of $40 Android tablet in India

The New York Times has a story today on a $40 Android-powered tablet called “Ubislate 7Ci” made by London-based Datawind. The 7-inch tablet is aimed at students in India initially, and it packs an 800-by-480-pixel touchscreen, Android 4.0.3, a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, and 512MB of RAM, USB port, headphone jack, mic, front-facing camera, and Wi-Fi. The company sold 2.5 million of the tablets so far, and it is about to provide a 100,000 unit to the government for India’s schools:

Mr. Singh says his cost of assembly for a Ubislate is about $37, and he sells it to the Indian government for $40. He keeps the price low by using Google’s free Android operating system and cheap semiconductors found in low-end cellphones. In addition, he says, his company figured out how to make its own touch panel to fit behind the liquid crystal display screen. The LCD is still manufactured by an outside company.

The tablet’s performance looks to be half-decent for the price tag from the video demo below. That is if you can get past its ad-supported apps. However, with recent rumors of a $99 Nexus tablet, we can only imagine what kind of an impact a $50 Nexus 7 could have. According to Gartner, it might be just a year or two before that is a reality.
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From the ‘How bad could it be?’ dept: $50 Android 2.2 7-inch tablet with front and rear cameras from Pandigital

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OneSaleADay offers the “Google Android Pandigital Planet 7″ Touchscreen Tablet with Android 2.2 OS, 2GB & MicroSD Expansion Slot!” for just $49.99 with $5 for shipping. That’s a pretty insane price even if this thing is just a 2GB photoframe. But it isn’t. It is an Android 2.2 tablet with front AND BACK cameras, SD card slot (take that Nexus 7!), and 802.11N networking.

You are not going to love reading on this, with a 800-by-600 resolution, but it might make a good Google Hangout/web browsing/ general-use Android tablet for those without a lot of cash.  Amazon’s reviewers were not very kind, but “you get what you pay for.” The full specs are below: Read more

Game-changing, Android-powered OUYA console raises $500K on Kickstarter in 13 hours [Update]

UPDATE: OUYA met its $950,000 goal. The project is now at $1,252,480…and it still has 29 days left to go.

OUYA, an Android-powered gaming console for the television, just posted its hefty funding goal on Kickstarter, and it already raised over $500,000 in 13 hours.

The Los Angeles, Calif.-based folks behind OUYA had one main premise in mind when undertaking this revolutionary project: “Let’s make the games less expensive to make, and less expensive to buy.”

OUYA’s controller, console, and interface will come in one package that doubles as a dev kit. There is no need for developers to buy a license or SDK, and they already familiar with the platform, so gaming production should be a breeze. Developers will even have access to OUYA’s open design, so they can make plenty of games that take full advantage of the television. OUYA only requested that developers make some of the gameplay free either through a demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or subscriptions.

OUYA noted it could even change AAA game development: “Forget about licensing fees, retail fees, and publishing fees.”

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Google invests $300M in Iowa data center

Google is constructing a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which would bring the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s total investments in the town to nearly $1 billion.

According to the Associated Press, the search engine said the $300 million data center would add 50 new jobs to the area ranging from computer repair to logistics. Construction on the 1,000-acre project is slated to begin immediately; although, details regarding an end-date are not confirmed.

“Google’s secure data centers are some of the most energy efficient in the world,” explained Google on its Date Centers website. “Each year we save millions of dollars on energy costs, and we use renewable energy whenever we can.”

Google invested $600 million in another Iowa data enter three-years-ago to support an array of its services like Search, Maps, and Gmail. The technical plant spurred 200 new jobs, and Operations Manager for the Council Bluffs Google data center Chris Russell said Google intends to use its latest investment for the same purposes.

“We are glad to be in Iowa, and Google’s future here is very bright,” said Russell to the AP.

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