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Acer founder: Tablets are fads, Post-PC is misguided – SlashGear

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Acer’s founder has described both tablets and Ultrabooks as short-term “fads” and scolded PC manufacturers to look to Apple’s “outside-the-box thinking” with the iPad; however, the outspoken ex-exec is also unconvinced by Steve Jobs’ insistence that we now live in a “post-PC” world. Stan Shih, who founded what we now know as Acer in 1976, argued that – in contrast to Apple’s marginalization of the computer – PCs remain the basis of the IT industry.

Tablets, he suggested, are developed from that base, DigiTimes reports, and so future products “still need to go through the PC platform” as add-ons. Although Apple deserves praise for its iPad creativity, Shih says, tablets are still simply value-adds on top of PC sales.

The Acer founder’s comments are seemingly in line with the opinions of the company’s board, which clashed with former CEO Gianfranco Lanci over what’s believed to be his intention to focus more on smartphones and tablets and less on notebooks and PCs. Lanci’s replacement – picked from the IT Products Group – took the role with the promise to “aggressively yet cautiously develop data-consumption products, tablet PCs and smartphones based on the solid foundation of the main PC business”; reports, meanwhile, suggested that the company was restructuring so as to be more like Apple.

That caution is perhaps sensible, given Acer has dramatically scaled back its estimated tablet shipments for 2011 in the face of relative Honeycomb apathy and strong iPad sales. In fact, the company slashed its expectations by a whopping 60-percent. Customers, Shih reckons, are mainly driven by low pricing and convenience.

via Acer founder: Tablets are fads, Post-PC is misguided – SlashGear.

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Written by Kees Winkel

August 5, 2011 at 18:04

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The tablet will be the center of the connected lifestyle

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By Rick Schwartz Jul. 4, 2011, 6:30am PT at GiGaOm

It’s no secret that tablets are booming, with more than 25 million iPads  sold to date and 50 million expected to be sold this year. Tablets are taking our entertainment experience in a new direction, and in the next two to five years, the tablet could serve as your universal remote control. All of which means the future of the digital home is already here.

The tablet’s sizable screen offers a mobile alternative to watching movies and shows on a traditional TV, and touch capabilities make it the ideal remote for controlling connected TVs and stereos around the house. The tablet’s advent has shaped the direction of our industry, and with it “anytime, anywhere” entertainment is now a reality. As a result, how we experience video and music has been change forever.

A TV in your lap

The tablet isn’t going to replace our desire for a big screen TV, but with optimized video on-demand apps, like the ABC Player , BBC iPlayer and Comcast Xfinity TV , it has become the preferred second screen device for watching TV shows. At the moment, there are still some drawbacks to video content apps, since not all of them are currently available for both iPad and Android tablets — and most still have a limited amount of programming available. Also, there are plenty of heated legal battles going on regarding content rights, causing some apps to wait on permission for iPad streaming. But it seems inevitable that content limitations will lift and a more robust offering of online content (i.e., sporting events, premium movies and more) will be accessible for streaming.

Control freak

Although many tablet users have already used a tablet to watch a TV show or movie, most aren’t aware it can be used to control their TVs or Blu-ray players. Remote control apps are available from Apple, Control4, Dish, LG, Roku, Samsung, Sony and TiVo, and these apps allow manufacturers to provide a level of control beyond a simple handheld remote. Some are customizable and have multiple screens and even allow gesture-based commands. Imagine changing the channel by simply flicking your wrist; it’s now possible.

Another huge advantage these apps have over a traditional remote is their ability to quickly search an electronic program guide to locate a channel, making the tablet a universal remote for the connected home. For the best experience, use a tablet with an integrated IR blaster and universal remote control app. Vizio’s new VIA tablet has this and is compatible with most CE devices. One thing we’re going to see take off in the near future is “follow me” technology, or the ability to begin a show on your TV, leave the house and then pick up where you left off on your tablet.

The tablet as a digital media adapter

Digital media adapters, like the Apple TV, are no longer your only option for connecting an older TV to your network: Some of the newer tablets, like the Advent Vega or the BlackBerry PlayBook, have HDMI jacks. This makes it easy to send media from your computer, the cloud or the tablet to your TV. It’s too early to say how well tablets will work for this application, but power management issues could be a problem if you can’t prevent your tablet from going to sleep. Even though your tablet may not have a dedicated HDMI output, you can purchase an accessory like the Apple Digital AV adapter to provide you with an HDMI out for your iPad. Toshiba’s Thrive tablet, which comes out in July, has a full-sized HDMI jack, so it doesn’t require a special cable or adapter.

Connected home software for tablets is still a relatively new technology, and we’re seeing improvements every month. Next-generation tablets will be pre-loaded with DLNA-certified or AirPlay-enabled applications, encouraging more consumers to give the software a try.

While it’s too soon to predict the extent to which tablets will replace laptops or traditional TVs, it’s certain they have an important place in the connected home and will undoubtedly be a staple in the future of consumer entertainment.

Rick Schwartz is a senior product manager for PacketVideo’s media management software for PCs and mobile devices. Prior to joining PV in 2008, Schwartz was a product manager at Liquid Audio, overseeing the team that created the first secure online music distribution system, and a product marketing lead for Gateway’s Desktop PC division.


Written by Kees Winkel

July 5, 2011 at 12:01

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Toshiba Thrive Android Honeycomb tablet gets official

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Toshiba

 

Toshiba has just taken the wraps off of its Android Honeycomb tablet, the Thrive. There will be three versions of the tablet when it debuts in July, starting at $429.

We first saw this tablet back at CES earlier this year and we walked away very impressed. Featuring pretty much any spec you’d expect for a 10.1 inch Honeycomb tablet, the Thrive is a powerful device that may be one of the cheapest Android 3.x tablet available.

One of the most unique features of the Thrive is that it has a replaceable backing so you can change the look and swap out the battery. You’ll be able to purchase these extra backings for $20, and they come in a handful of colors.Other than that, it’s your standard affair, which isn’t a bad thing. The Thrive will give you a 10.1 inch display (1280 x 800), 5 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, full-sized USB and HDMI ports, SD card slot, and Android 3.1.

The Thrive will be offered in 3 versions, 8GB ($429), 16GB ($479), and 32GB ($579). The tablet may not be as thin or light as the upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1, but it’s cheaper, has many more ports, and a replaceable battery, so you’ll have to see which is more important to you.

If you like the Toshiba’s offering but wish it was a little smaller, then you may want to keep your eyes peeled for Toshiba’s next tablet that will be out before year’s end. Details are scarce, but we could see a 7 inch or 8.9 inch version of the Thrive that packs a similar punch as its big brother.

Android tablet competition is heating up and as it stands today, Toshiba is in a great place to grab a good amount of users with the Thrive. With a great mix of features and pricing, the Thrive should do well. You can pre-order the tablet at Best Buy starting on June 13th, and is expected to ship in Early July.

via Toshiba Thrive Android Honeycomb tablet gets official.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 3, 2011 at 10:47

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Motorola leaks Xoom 2 tablet, Tracy XL watchphone, and Slimline, Zaha, Targa, and Pearl handsets — Engadget

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By Thomas Ricker posted Jun 1st 2011 3:35AM

So here’s the story: Pocketnow was able to snatch some screengrabs from a page that temporarily appeared on the Motorola Mobility website. The image above (and two more after the break) is what they saw. In addition to the Tracy XL homage to the Dick Tracy watchphone, we can also see the back of the Slimline handset and the front of the Zaha. The grabs also show a bit of the “Xoom 2” tablet and Pearl handset along the bottom of the screen in addition to a fleeting glimpse of the previously rumored Verizon LTE handset known as Targa. And you know what makes this all truly compelling? The fact that Motorola made Pocketnow remove the images from its site.

Source: Pocketnow

via Motorola leaks Xoom 2 tablet, Tracy XL watchphone, and Slimline, Zaha, Targa, and Pearl handsets — Engadget.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 1, 2011 at 11:49

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Back to business: RIM will lose consumer market, analyst says

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“We no longer anticipate Research in Motion recovering to participate in the mainstream of smartphone industry growth.” Those are the words of Matthew Robison, an analyst with Wunderlich Securities, which recently downgraded RIM’s stock. Robison argues that RIM is going to lose the consumer interest that it has built over the last few years. “Our long-term forecast anticipates a role supplying business-oriented devices, both mid-range and high end, as well as cloud-based services via the BlackBerry Network.,” Robison said. “We expect the consumer mix gained over the past two years to churn off, and that earnings will decline after 2013 and eventually grow again on demand that is largely associated with business users.” Robison said the PlayBook is selling well relative to other tablets, “other than the iPad,” but that “there’s little indication that the PlayBook has registered with consumers outside the loyal BlackBerry installed base.” We’ve leaked and had hands-on time with most of RIM’s 2011 lineup, and while there’s a definite spec boost across the board, the phones lack the appealing features of more robust iOS and Android devices. Worse yet, the company only revealed one new device during its annual BlackBerry World 2011 conference, and even that offered very little in the way of innovation that might attract the consumer market.

via Back to business: RIM will lose consumer market, analyst says.

Written by Kees Winkel

May 27, 2011 at 18:28

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