Tablet computer Stories August 21, 2015

ZENPAD-WORDPRESS

ASUS is making a big push to disrupt the Android smartphone and tablet markets with its latest lineup of devices. Everyone’s talking about the ZenFone 2, and plenty more will be talking about the ZenPad 8.0 pretty soon. Along with a bunch of cases — including the battery boosting Power Case —  I was sent the low-end Z380C model which costs just $240 in the US and just £120 in the UK. Although its spec list isn’t quite as awe-inspiring as the ZenPad 8.0 Z580, it still seems great value for money. 

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Tablet computer Stories September 4, 2014

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Granted that isn’t Samsung’s official reason for launching the ruggedized version of the Galaxy Tab, which is both water and dust resistant, and protected against 1.2 metre drops. Samsung says that the Galaxy Tab Active is likely to appeal to business users who need to use tablets in places like construction sites and transport depots.

Along with the protective casing, the device has what is described as a tougher C-Pen stylus. You might wonder how many Galaxy Tab variants are needed, but the company says that it consulted with Fortune 500 companies to determine what was needed from a professional tablet …  expand full story

Tablet computer Stories January 15, 2014

hp_slate6

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: expand full story

Tablet computer Stories January 13, 2014

k1

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 …  expand full story

Tablet computer Stories January 10, 2014

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.

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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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Tablet computer Stories January 3, 2014

dreamtab

If there was ever a dream team for a new kid’s tablet, DreamWorks and Fuhu has to be one of the hottest contenders for the title. The animated film maker and the company behind the Nabi range of children’s tablets told the NYT they are teaming up to launch a new 8-inch tablet at CES next week, expected to go on sale in the spring.

The tablet is expected to come with a mix of animated games and educational apps, and will include content that can interact with DreamWorks toys. DreamWorks claims the device will have similar power to an iPad and be treated like a cross between a tablet and a TV channel …  expand full story

Tablet computer Stories December 17, 2013

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With the tablet world continuing to claw away at PC market share, a new report suggests Samsung could launch up to four new tablets in the first quarter of 2014.

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Tablet computer Stories December 11, 2013

spotify

Spotify fans the world over take note, the company is moving into the ad-supported model with a new app for both iOS and Android tablets. The company is introducing a whole new tier of service on mobile, providing users an opportunity to listen and search for songs on the go for free on tablets.

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Tablet computer Stories November 26, 2013

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I’m sure we’re all “tired” to hear about the tablet/PC debate and which format will outsell one another next year. That being said, a new Canalys report caught my eye as it projects that in 2014 tablets will account for 50 percent of the PC market. I consider projections that indicate tablets will become half of the desktop, notebook, and tablet devices that make up the entire PC market to be notable because of the sheer size.

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Tablet computer Stories October 10, 2013

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Twitter has finally launched a version of its official Android client that is fully-optimized for the larger displays on tablets. The app has a multi-screen view for scrolling through tweets while reading links in an accompanying browser.

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The app also brings a new Android home screen widget and illustrating of images that are to be shared via Twitter. Interestingly, the app is launching first on the Samsung 10.1-2014 tablet, with launches on other Android tablets to come in the future.

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Tablet computer Stories July 1, 2013

A successor to the Nexus 7 was a no-show at Google I/O this year, but that doesn’t mean a V2.0 of the tablet isn’t coming soon. Back in May, we reported that according to a KGI analyst, Google was planning on announcing the Nexus 7 2 at I/O with a full 1900×1200 HD display, a lighter and thinner body, with a Snapdragon 600 processor, 4Ah battery and both front and rear (5MP) facing cameras. The second version of the Asus tablet was also slated to be the first device with Android 4.3 on it.

Although this is all a rumor, a curious buyer decided to ask an Asus live chat representative if they had any idea what the specs were. Despite the fact that chat representatives don’t normally have access to upcoming products, one offered up the exact same specs as above:

asus-nexus-7-HD

Interestingly enough, the spec sheet they repeated matches the same exact spec sheet that KGI reported on in May. The chat rep. also said that we should expect to see version 2 of the tablet sometime in Q2 of the year, specifically late July.

Chat representatives don’t typically know future product roadmaps, especially specs, so it’s more than possible that this chat rep. simply Googled KGI’s report and reported it back to the person they were chatting with. On the other hand, they could both line up because they are both right. We’ve contacted Asus and we’ll be sure to report back any news.

Tablet computer Stories March 21, 2013

Tablet computer Stories December 3, 2012

Nexus 7 Ships

The Digital Reader recently discovered benchmarks posted to the GLBenchmarks website for an unannounced Asus tablet that might be for Google’s much rumored $99 Nexus tablet. According to the specs listed in the benchmark data, the Asus ME172V will sport a 1,024-by-600-resolution display, Android 4.1.1, a 400MHz Mali GPU, and a 1GHz CPU. There’s a possibility this is just a low-cost Asus tablet, and not a Nexus. With the $159 Kindle Fire sporting a display with the same resolution, a $99 price point might be a bit of a stretch for this upcoming Asus tab—whether it’s a Nexus or not.

In recent months Digitimes, a publication with a spotty track record for predicting product launches, has reported several times that suppliers have confirmed a low-cost, $99 Nexus tablet is in the works. In October, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim also claimed that Google is working on a $99 tablet, adding that it could go into production as soon as December.

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Tablet computer Stories October 2, 2012

Pew: Android soars to 48 percent of US adult tablet ownership in 2012, pushes Apple down to 52 percent

A new survey by research organization Pew Internet & American Life Project depicts how Android rose from 15 percent in 2011 to 48 percent in 2012, in terms of U.S. adult tablet ownership, due to the higher-priced iPads steadily losing traction.

Pew’s Journalism website elaborated:

Over the last year, tablet ownership has steadily increased from 11% of U.S. adults in July of 2011 to 18% in January of 2012, according to PEJ data. Currently, 22% own a tablet and another 3% regularly use a tablet owned by someone else in the home. This number is very close to new data, released here for the first time, conducted in a separate survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project on July 16 through August 7 2012 that found 25% of all U.S. adults have a tablet computer.

The growth in tablet adoption is likely related to the advent of the lower-priced tablets in late 2011. Overall, about two-thirds of tablet-owning adults, 68%, got their tablet in the last year, including 32% in 2012 alone. That has lessened Apple’s dominance in the market. Now, just over half, 52%, of tablet owners report owning an iPad, compared with 81% in the survey a year ago.

Android-based devices are now at 48 percent overall: approximately 21 percent own the Android-forked Kindle Fire, 8 percent own the Samsung Galaxy, and the remaining is a mix. It is worth noting Android would only hold 27 percent without the $199 Kindle Fire.

The survey did not include Google’s Nexus 7 or Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, however, as they were not yet introduced. The final numbers also mirror world sales data, according to Pew, which place the iPad at 61 percent and Android at 31 percent.

Check out Pew for more related information on smartphone ownership and operating system loyalty.

Tablet computer Stories September 20, 2012

Walmart apparently sent a memo to store managers on Sept. 19. announcing plans to stop selling Amazon’s line of Kindle products.

“We have recently made the business decision to not carry Amazon tablets and eReaders beyond our existing inventory and purchase commitments,” said Walmart in the memo. “This includes all Amazon Kindle models current and recently announced.”

Reuters, which cited the memo and an unidentified source “familiar with situation,” first reported the news:

In the memo, Wal-Mart said the decision was consistent with its overall merchandising strategy. While Wal-Mart dwarfs other retailers in overall sales, it trails Amazon and others online and has been stepping up efforts to increase its presence there. Consumers who buy Kindle tablets such as the new Kindle Fire HD can shop on the devices for more than just digital books, pushing Amazon into further competition with stores.

The publication did not provide additional details, but Walmart.com currently reflects the reported change. When searching for “Kindle” on the national retailer’s website, no Kindle-related products appear in the queue. It is unclear if Walmart’s website ever offered the tablets, however.

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Tablet computer Stories August 20, 2012

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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: expand full story

Tablet computer Stories August 15, 2012

Deal: Staples offers $15 off the Nexus 7

From 9to5Toys.com:

Staples now offers the Google Nexus 7 16GB 7″ Android Tablet, model no. NEXUS7/1B16, bundled with a $25 Google Play Credit for $249. Coupon code “99618” cuts it to $234. With free shipping, that’s the lowest total price we’ve seen. (It’s a current low by $15.) Sales tax is added where applicable. This 12-oz. tablet features a 7″ 1280×800 touchscreen display, scratch-resistant Corning glass, Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB memory, Bluetooth, GPS, front-facing camera, 802.11n wireless, Google Android 4.1 OS (Jelly Bean), and more

Tablet computer Stories July 31, 2012

World’s lowest-cost Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Tablet shipping for $125

The world’s cheapest Android tablet running 4.1 Jelly Bean is now on sale and shipping to customers in India starting at Rs. 6999. That is roughly $125 USD. The Karbonn Smart Tab 1 is available through Karbon Mobiles, which is promising an upgrade to 4.1 for those who purchased the earlier model running Ice Cream Sandwich. The full press release is below:

Tablet computer Stories June 25, 2012

Gizmodo AU claimed this morning to have reviewed a training document related to Google’s upcoming tablet that is set to be unveiled at Google I/O this month. While we have had several leaks in the months leading up to the event, today’s report —if legitimate—provides us with some exact specs for the Nexus-branded, Asus-built slate. According to Gizmodo, the tablet will hit at least Australia in July and be the first to run Jelly Bean with the following specs: expand full story

Tablet computer Stories June 19, 2012

We heard several reports in the past that Google was working on various evolutions of its Voice Actions platform for Android. We heard of “Project Majel” in December, which, according to reports, is the codename for a new voice-controlled assistant app similar to Siri. In March, TechCrunch reported on a similar project dubbed “Google Assistant.” According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is accelerating its plans to launch a competitor to Apple’s Siri:

Google, meanwhile, has accelerated plans to launch its own Siri competitor that would work on Android-powered devices, people familiar with the matter have said.

The report does not offer any additional details on the project, but it noted: “In coming weeks, Google is expected to unveil a lower-priced Android tablet that it developed with Asustek Computer.” Google recently acquired Clever Sense, the makers of popular local recommendations app Alfred, and some have speculated the technology could be included in Google Siri competitor. Many expect the Google tablet, mentioned by WSJ, to unveil later this month at Google I/O, where we could also possibly see some of Jelly Bean and this rumored assistant feature.

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Tablet computer Stories June 14, 2012

Amazon just bulked its Kindle app for Android, iOS, and its Cloud Reader by adding children’s books, comics, and graphic novels that were previously exclusive to Kindle Fire owners.

The apps now offer over 1,000 titles for children with features like Text Pop-Up, which help to improve and simplify the reading experience, and Kindle Panel view for comics and graphics to allow panel-by-panel viewing. A few of the literary additions include Brown Bear, Curious George, Batman, and Superman.

Android tablet owners, or those with Cloud Reader on a widescreen display, will also notice the ability to customize their reading experience with new margin and line spacing controls. The update also brings side-by-side viewing of two pages in landscape mode. Meanwhile, iOS users have a new Search option to locate content by title or author.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

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Tablet computer Stories May 25, 2012

According to a blog post by Cisco’s TelePresence Technology Group OJ Winge (via NetworkWorld), Cisco announced it is shutting down its Android-based Cius business tablet project. The roughly $1,000 tablet solution started shipping less than a year ago and clearly is not doing too well. The reason for killing off the 7-inch Cius tab? Winge noted 95 percent of organizations Cisco surveyed now allow employees to bring their own device, which he said underscores “a major shift in the way people are working, in the office, at home and on-the-go.”

There is no denying that iOS devices and cheaper Android solutions are taking the place of Cius. Recent studies show Apple with 97 percent of tablets in the enterprise, while 94 percent of the Fortune 500 is currently testing or deploying the iPad. The result is no further investment in the Cius tablet line and only limited support for what is currently available. The company will instead “double down” on Jabber and WebEx:

Over the last year, Cisco has demonstrated a commitment to delivering innovative software like Cisco Jabber and Cisco WebEx across a wide spectrum of operating systems, tablets and Smart Phones. We’re seeing tremendous interest in these software offerings. Customers see the value in how these offerings enable employees to work on their terms in the Post-PC era, while still having access to collaboration experiences… Based on these market transitions, Cisco will no longer invest in the Cisco Cius tablet form factor, and no further enhancements will be made to the current Cius endpoint beyond what’s available today. However, as we evaluate the market further, we will continue to offer Cius in a limited fashion to customers with specific needs or use cases.

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Tablet computer Stories April 3, 2012

The Android rumor mill is quick to debate the authenticity of recently surfaced image leaks (above) that have an albeit-slim “Nexus Tablet” association.

The Android Community (via PocketNow) dissected the rendering and concluded the tablet boasts standard buttons and Ice Cream Sandwich-specific apps on the display, which means the leak is a potential Nexus Tablet rendering.

It also features an ASUS-style tablet port, MicroUSB port, USB port, SIM card slot, and full-sized SD card slot. It is worth mentioning the Android Market icon is visible, even though the Google Play Store replaced it last month.

Reports fail to mention, however, that the slate in question looks uncannily similar to a first-generation Apple iPad (right). With that said, the image leak could easily be fabricated with a few spare Android tablet shots and a copy of Photoshop. Oh, and PocketNow’s absent source attribution begs the question of legitimacy.

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Tablet computer Stories March 29, 2012

ye olde Nexus One Store circa 2010

The Wall Street Journal today reports that Google is in the process of building an online store to sell tablets running the Android operating system, including some with Google branding. We heard about the ASUS 7-inch Google tablet before, but the WSJ says Samsung may make devices too.

The Internet search company is planning to market and sell tablets directly to consumers through an online store, similar to rivals Apple and Amazon.com Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. The move is an effort to turn around sluggish sales of tablet computers powered by Google’s Android software.Some of the online store’s future tablets are expected to be co-branded with Google’s name, said people familiar with the matter. Google won’t make the devices and its existing partners such as Samsung Electronics Co. and ASUSTeK Computer Inc. will be responsible for the hardware. One Android tablet that may be sold in the online store is due to be released later this year by Taiwan-based Asus, said one of these people. Some details about the project remain unclear, including when Google plans to unveil the online store. Google is expected to release the next version of its Android software, called Jelly Bean, in the middle of this year, people familiar with the matter have said.

Google killed its Nexus One mere months after opening it in 2010. However, the company said carriers were crushing its ability to sell the device (tablets often sell without contracts).

Oh, and they expect JellyBean to be announced mid-year (read: Google I/O).

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Tablet computer Stories December 7, 2011

AllThingsD’s review columnist Walt Mossberg has graced us with his Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime review this evening, giving the device a pretty high score. Mossberg, a renowned reviewer, calls the Prime the best Android tablet he has tested. Mossberg compliments the Prime on its fast quad-core Tegra 3 processor and keyboard dock which can be purchased separately.

Just as Joanna Stern from The Verge said, Mossberg isn’t too happy with the software on the Prime. He calls it sluggish and not as complete as the iPad. For his final words, Mossberg says the iPad is still the best tablet out there, but if you’re interested in Android and a physical keyboard this tablet is for you. Be sure to read his full review.

I still believe the iPad 2 is the best overall tablet available. However, if you’re looking for a model using Google’s Android interface and are yearning for a well-designed, easily integrated keyboard solution, or want to play more power-hungry games, the Transformer Prime is a good choice, as long as you can tolerate its software limitations.

The Prime launches in the United States on December 15th. The 32GB model will be available for $499, and the optional keyboard dock will be available for $149. We look forward to getting our hands on this!

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Tablet computer Stories November 21, 2011

ChangeWave Research in a new survey polled 3,043 consumers on consumer tablet demand for the holidays, including a close-up look at demand for the Amazon Kindle Fire vs. the Apple iPad. Overall, tablets are big this holidays as sales in the United States increase an estimated 130 percent.

Everybody wants a tablet, it seems. A total of 14 percent of respondents plan on buying a tablet in the next 90 days, an eight percentage points increase over an August ChangeWave survey and more than triple the level of a year ago. However, nowadays shoppers no longer have to pick between an iPad or an array of same-looking Android tablets because Amazon is now the second most-popular tablet brand (people clearly want an Amazon tablet).

According to ChangeWave:

The Amazon Kindle Fire is going to leapfrog the competition and become the number two product in the tablet market, as long as it can provide a quality user experience. But the Amazon surge may also contain a silver lining for Apple, by damaging the tablet market hopes of the remaining competitors in the field.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) plan on buying an iPad, or two out of three tablet buyers. People are loving their iPads and it shows in satisfaction ratings. A total of 74 percent of all iPad owners are Very Satisfied versus 49 percent for all other tablet manufacturers combined.

More than one in five, or 22 percent, eye an Amazon tablet and just four percent plan on buying a Galaxy Tab from Samsung. Apple’s score is in line with iPad’s IDC-estimated 68 percent share of the tablet market. In addition, Canalys projected Apple will overtake Hewlett-Packard to become the #1 PC maker globally on the heels of iPad 3 release, although not everybody is down with counting iPad as a computer. More tidbits and charts after the break.

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Tablet computer Stories September 12, 2011

The fine folks over at the Touch-Droid forums have posted a guide that outlines exactly how-to port Android to the HP TouchPad. A lot of consumers bought the HP TouchPad duing the fire sale last month, only to realize WebOS isn’t exactly the greatest mobile OS out there. Luckily, fine developers everywhere have been working on a port.

The steps outlined are pretty technical, so this isn’t exactly for the feeble — yet. We expect developers will probably get a much simpler version up soon. But for those of you who are up for the challenge, this should work for now. Check out the instructions over at the forum, and the video above. We’re not sure exactly how stable this build is. expand full story

Tablet computer Stories July 13, 2011

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Amazon will be selling a tablet by October, to compete with Apple’s iPad. While the details are sketchy as of now, WSJ is saying the tablet will have a 9-inch screen and will run Android. Oddly enough, the tablet will not feature a back camera. Lastly, Amazon won’t be building the tablet themselves, but will outsource to a manufacturer in Asia.

Amazon’s tablet will have a roughly nine-inch screen and will run on Google’s Android platform, said people familiar with the device. Unlike the iPad, it won’t have a camera, one of these people said. While the pricing and distribution of the device is unclear, the online retailer won’t design the tablet itself. It also is outsourcing production to an Asian manufacturer, the people said. One of the people said the company is working on another model, with Amazon’s own design, that could be released next year.

There will also be two eReaders before Christmas, one touch and one at a significantly reduced cost. Along with the tablet in October, there is word that we can be seeing another tablet designed by Amazon themselves in 2012. expand full story

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