Wednesday 12 June 2013

Samsung announce the Galaxy S4 zoom! A real cameraphone!

   It turns out that the leaks and everything else were spot on as today Samsung have announced what we hope is the final device in their Galaxy S4 line-up, the Galaxy S4 zoom.

   As you can see from the image above this isn't your conventional smartphone. Instead it's the definition of a camera phone with the front looking just like a normal Galaxy smartphone and then there's that monstrous camera stuck onto the back. So the size would suggest that this is a good
camera and to be honest it's not a bad option with a 16MP sensor which has 10x optical zoom, so this could be a really good camera replacement. The front facing camera is more of what you would expect on a smartphone with a 1.9MP sensor being employed here.

   But, let's not forget that this is also a smartphone and as purely a phone this device would be a mid-range handset. Up front there's a 4.3-inch qHD, that's a 540 x 960p display, which will be driven along by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and 8GB of internal storage, but you will only have 5GB of that free. Mercifully though Samsung have included a MicroSD slot to store those snaps on!

   One thing which does concern us is the 2330mAh battery, which although it is removable, probably won't last too long if you're taking and uploading pictures all day, especially if you're making the most of the 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and NFC sensors too!

   The device will be coming to various places around the world, including the UK, during the summer, but we don't have any more details than that at the moment!

iOS 7 commentary courtesy of hilarious spoof videos!

   During the last few days we've had the chance to have our first look at the new iOS 7 design language which is going to be rolling out to all iOS devices later in the year. As you can see from the picture to the right, things are going to be louder, slightly more cartoon-y and notably different to how they look now.

   Obviously opinion will be split on this redesign, but people never like change to begin with, but in the long-term it's for the best because iOS has to all intents and purposes looked the same since it was first introduced six years ago!

   Usually we're not ones for parodies, but in this instance we're going to make an exception because the video embedded below is simply hilarious and perhaps it's something to do with the way that the video actually manages to reflect a degree of truth! If you're interested in a great overview of all of the changes then check out this post here from TheVerge.

   Check it out and let us know what you think of it in the comments below and remember this is meant to be funny!

Sunday 9 June 2013

Did Samsung really dilute their product line too much?

   In the last week you will have seen the reports which showed that Samsung has 6% of the value wiped from their shares or the equivalent of $7.7 billion dollars because of fears that the Samsung Galaxy S4 won't sell so well because of their recent announcements of the Galaxy S4 Active and the Galaxy S4 Mini.

   The general idea is that these devices will be cheaper than the Galaxy S4 which will mean lower income numbers and obviously lower profit. I think this has been coming for a while and I'm going to play the name as many Samsung Galaxy phones as you can without thinking for more than 5 seconds in between them game... Here I go:

Galaxy S4, Note, Note 2, S2, OG S, Galaxy Pocket, Galaxy Music, S3, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, Galaxy Camera (doesn't really count I know), Galaxy Y, Galaxy Young, Galaxy S2 Plus, S4 Active, S4 Mini, S3 Mini, Galaxy Ace 1, 2 and is there a third one? Galaxy Xcover 1 and 2, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S2 Plus and I'm stuck.

   So that right there is Samsung's problem, but it's also part of their success. Samsung's strategy has been to try to cover every part of the market and as such it seems as though there has either been a new phone or tablet from the company each week for as long as I can remember.

   I believe that the reality is that people will still aspire to own the Galaxy S flagship or the Galaxy Note because they're top of the Samsung pile, but obviously Samsung need to cut down the amount of other devices like the S2 Plus and the Mega devices because they just make people confused. Confusion leads to indecision and when other companies get their acts together and offer compelling alternatives then Samsung might have a problem, but for the moment Samsung offer the best phones for the mid and low range market and that's why the alphabet and array of numbers above is working, that might start changing in the future though and Samsung need to be aware of what their competitors are doing.

   The share price shouldn't be too much of a concern because Apple have been having similar issues with their share prices lately, so I don't believe this is too big of a deal and Samsung will carry on as always. Now Samsung where are you hiding that Android 4.2.2 update for the S3?

Thursday 6 June 2013

How the Galaxy S4 made me realise WIndows RT has a future!

   Earlier today the guys over at Clove posted this lovely little diagram above and it got us thinking: about where phones are at the moment. Something which especially stood out was Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 800 processor. 

   The Snapdragon 800 is set to be one of the most powerful mobile processors available and it will be clocked at 2.2GHz maximum speed. The dual-core Core i5 in my laptop is clocked at 2.7GHz and while it's more powerful at the moment it's only a matter of time before ARM-based processors out do the Intel and AMD chipsets in our laptops. 

   That ladies and gentlemen is why I think Windows RT has a future and will become increasingly influential in the coming years. A big thanks to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Clove for helping me reach that conclusion!

The Future of TheTechFront: Summer's here and it's time to adapt!

   Hi guys, a couple of weeks have past since I last updated you on the site and my summer is in full swing and as some of you may be aware I'm a university student and I'm coming into my third and final year now and managing and keeping this website going takes between three or four hours a day. This in itself isn't too much bother because I enjoy doing it, but now I've had a couple of weeks to reflect I think that with a dissertation to write as well as a full set of modules to go with it, it's best if this project is put slightly on the back burner.

   That does NOT mean that I won't post anything at all, but it will mean that instead of giving you the daily news this will turn into a more editorial and more one off blog for the foreseeable future. This will let me spend the summer with my girlfriend before she moves to Spain next year and it will basically help me manage my work and play commitments much better as September approaches.

   Talking of work, some people might have noticed the Asus products which have been reviewed on the website a lot more and there's a very good reason for that. I'm one of the eight new Student ambassadors for Asus in the UK. This is a great opportunity for me and it's not something which I could turn down. A big part of that role will be writing for the new 'Study in Style' website which still isn't live as I post this, but it may well be by the time you get to read this and you can find that website here! If anyone reading this wants me to write infrequently for your website then just contact this site's email or my Twitter and I'll definitely think about it, because this is what I love doing!

   With all of that in mind, I hope to see some of you on here regularly for more reviews, especially app reviews, as well as a lot more of my opinion! Ohhh and as a passing note if you want news I'd recommend The Verge, Engadget, TheNextWeb and especially Slashgear, who are my personal favourites! All those sites are great all round tech news cover-ers (?). 

   Anyways, thanks for reading this and more importantly thank you for continuing to read the blog!

   All the best,

Wednesday 5 June 2013

In Other News:05/06/2013.

  • Digitimes believe that OLED screens are going to be in high demand this year and you will probably so they expect the supply to demand ratio to be '1%'. We're not sure exactly what that means, but we assume it means that there will only be 1% more produced when everything is working at capacity than there is demand!
    Via PhoneArena.
  • Yahoo have redesigned their search page to make everything more a bit more modern and lovely looking. The aim is to put your results 'front and centre' or center depending on your preference.
    Via TheVerge.
  • Samsung and Jay Z are said to be working on a new multi-million dollar streaming deal. We're not sure what exactly it would be, but it could be some sort of tie in with Samsung's Music Hub feature!
    Via Slashgear.
  • AT&T are continuing their US 4G LTE roll out and amongst the latest batch, all of which can be found here, are Colorado Springs, Fort Wayne and Columbus!
    Via Phandroid
  • Jetpack Joyride has fuinally landed on Windows Phone 8 today!
    Via WPCentral.
  • Windows RT 8.1 is set to get it's own version of Outlook!
    Via Slashgear.
And finally, the video below shows off some of these new features on the update to Windows 8.1! Check it out! We like the photos on the unlock screen!
Via Slashgear.

Could this be the HTC One Mini?

   HTC might on the face of it be pursuing a flagship only policy this year, but the reality is that without a bit more in their range the company simply won't sell enough devices to turn their fortunes around. That's why a lot of people believe a device like the one pictured above will come into its own. So is this a HTC One Mini which has been spotted a bit before it's time?

   The device was spotted over on the Estonian site and if they're correct then there's a 4.3-inch screen with a nice 720p resolution, a dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera.

   Obviously this is all speculation on our part because we're not sure how accurate the 'leak' is, but it looks as though it could be legitimate and Forte believe the device will be available in August for around the €400 mark! That price will probably be a fair bit more than Samsung's upcoming S4 Mini will cost, but we'll have to wait and see!
Forte Via Engadget.

Samsung officially announce the Galaxy S4 Active!

   We've heard a lot about it and we already assumed it was part of the family from the mass of leaked images, but here it is in it's full glory, the officially announced Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. As we expected this is a ruggedised version of Galaxy S4, but there's some interesting trade offs in this variant of the phone.

   For example, much remains the same there's still a 1.9GHz quad-core processor, which we assume is the same Snapdragon 600 as in the original Galaxy S4, but there's also a few changes. The screen for example isn't the same 1080p amoled display, instead the Active is rocking a 1080p TFT LCD display, which could possibly be down to supply issues of the amoled variant. 

   One other thing which has been switched out is the 13MP camera from the S4, replaced in this case by an 8MP sensor which you can use to take pictures under water too! Samsung have chosen to offer an 'Aqua Mode' for the camera, which allows you to 'increase visual quality and clarity for enhanced underwater images and video' and it also lets you use the volume down key as a shutter button for the camera too!

   Because this is a rugged smartphone it has had to receive certification for the durability and this device has returned with an IP67 rating. This means that it's both dust and water resistant and it can tolerate being in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes!

   The device will be rocking Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on launch and there will be 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and a 2600 mAh battery crammed into those rather good looking frames!

   All in all this is a nice device and if you want one then in the future they will pop up in 'urban grey', 'dive blue' and 'orange flare', the latter of which are to the right and the former is above. The S4 Active will go on sale in the US and Sweden initially and it will probably branch out after that. Keep your eyes on Samsung's June 20th event for some hands on action!

   The full press release is available here and check out the full spec sheet in the image below!

Click to enlarge.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

In Other News: 04/06/2013.

  • HTC's Russian branch has seemingly confirmed that the Android 4.2.2 update for the HTC One will arrive in the middle of this month!
    Twitter Via PocketNow.
  • Intel have shown off their new and homemade LTE modem chip! The company has said that the new modem will be paired with 22nm quad-core Atom SoCs for tablets initially. These will have global roaming capabilities and will land on shelves "towards the end of the back to school season."
    Via Engadget.
  • Intel has teased fanless tablets running Intel's Core line of processors at this year's Computex, which means that tablets of tomorrow will be a lot more powerful. The trick here though is that the processors are Intel's new Haswell chips!
    Via Engadget.
  • Sky have updated their Sky+ app for Android with added support for proper advanced search functionality and Google-esque instant search results as you type.
    Via PocketLint.
  • It seems that Zynga is shuttering the OMGPOP studio who were behind their cult game 'Draw Something'!
    Via TheVerge.
And finally, Three UK have been having data issues all day, but according to their Twitter team everything is back up and working how it should now!

Toshiba announce a trio of Android tablets!

   Toshiba have today confirmed the arrival of three new tablets all of which are running the latest version of Android, version 4.2, but they all have slightly different people in mind.

   At the bottom of the pile in terms of price and specs will be the Toshiba Excite Pure, which is a budget 10.1" tablet with a solid set of specs. The screen will have a respectable 1280 x 800p resolution and 10 point input support, this will easily be pushed along by the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM. Storage will be good too with 16GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for expansion. There's a pair of cameras too with a 3-megapixel option on the rear and a 1.2-megapixel sensor on the front, and there will be WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a 3G option and this tablet will start from £249 when it lands in the UK

   After the Excite Pure come the higher-priced specialised devices which have certain features in common. Both the Excite Pro and Excite Write share 10.2-inch 2560 x 1600 PixelPure displays and now there's 10-finger touch support and the Excite Write features Corning's Gorilla Glass 2.

   Both of these tablets will be be driven by Nvidia's latest Tegra 4 processor and 2GB of RAM which should give great performance and there's your choice of 16GB and 32GB models both of which feature microSD card slots for storage expansion. Connectivity options are also great on these devices with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and 3G/4G LTE for mobile data available too. Both of the tablets feature 8-megapixel cameras with LED flash in on the rear and 1.2-megapixel cameras up front, the Write has the additional "Digitizer Pen" which basically makes it into a Note device!

   Both of these devices will have a price to reflect their spec sheet with the Excite Pro starting at £349 and the Excite Write starting at £499 and these devices will e exclusive to Currys and PC World in the UK!
Via PocketLint.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 processor to power Windows RT 8.1 devices as the Snapdragon 400 gets updated with LTE!

   With rumours running that Microsoft is looking to cut the licensing costs of Windows RT its' interesting that development doesn't seem to be slowing down behind the scenes with Qualcomm announcing plans to work with Microsoft to offer Snapdragon 800 processors for Windows RT 8.1!

   Just in case you haven't heard of Qualcomm's most powerful processor at the moment then the Snapdragon 800 is a beast of a processor which has integrated 3G and 4G support as well as speeds of up to 2.2GHz. This processor will be available later in the year along with the update to Windows RT!

   That's what Qualcomm are doing with the high-end devices, but in the mid-range Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 has been refreshed with four ARM Cortex A7 processors and built-in 4G LTE. The additions of 4G LTE and it being a quad-core processor makes this a much more marketable processor and is something which they needed to do given the plans of Mediatek to launch a 4G SoC for the mid-range later in the year!
Via HotHardware and AndroidBeat.

HTC lose their COO as May sales help the company back onto the right track!

   HTC's flagship the HTC One is finally starting to take off, but it seems that hasn't been enough to stem the departures from the company! The latest loss for HTC has come in the form of the Chief Operating Officer, Matthew Costello.

   Costello will be stepping back to work in a new quality assurance team, this news was discovered by Bloomberg who managed to get their hands on an insiders email. This  email revealed that Costello's position will be fulfilled by Fred Liu, who now has a considerable role at HTC!

   As part of the new quality assurance team Georges Boulloy will step forward to work on things around quality assurance and there will be more people who will be charged with “product lifecycle matters”, which we assume refers to Android updates.

   It's not all bad for HTC because they've announced that they raked in NT$29 billion (US$ 970 million) in revenue for the month of May this year! That's not quite up to last year's levels, but it is only 3% less than the same time last year, which isn't too shabby at all and it's a 50% increase on revenues from April! The growth is expected into June as sales of the HTC continue!
Bloomberg Via Slashgear and TNW.

Sony announce the Xperia M: Mid-range handset coming Q3.

   Sony are back with yet another mobile phone today and this time the Xperia M is the latest in their range of alphabet titled devices. This is definitely not one of the expensive handsets in Sony's range, but if it's well priced it will prove to be another solid device for the company.

   Internally the Xperia M features a 1GHz dual-core processor from the guys at Qualcomm, 1GB of RAM, along with 4GB of internal storage which thankfully is microSD expandable. Up front you'll be able to enjoy Android 4.1 Jelly Bean through the 4 inch FWVGA, that's 480 x 854p, TFT display. The
camera arrangement is nothing spectacular, but the 5MP Exmor RS sensor on the rear is paired with an unspecified front facing option too and there's the added bonus of a dedicated camera button on the device too!

   The device will arrive in Q3 this year and it will be available in your choice of black, white, purple or a lovely yellow colour and because this is a budget handset there's both single-SIM and dual-SIM functionality here.
Via XperiaBlog.

Monday 3 June 2013

Firefox OS tablet pops up at Computex made by Foxconn: More on the way?

   We heard the rumours the other day and it turns out they were true and Foxconn have announced their partnership with Mozilla on Firefox OS tablets. Indeed, one such device popped up at Computex today, but noone was allowed to touch and we're not entirely sure it's a working device and it's certainly not ready, but it's something for the future.

   Talking of which Foxconn's Young Liu said:
"Currently, Foxconn is executing on a vision of 'eight screens, one network, and one cloud' with all our strength. Besides the native advantages of hardware manufacturing, Foxconn is also developing a brand new integrated approach to providing hardware, software, content, and services."
So if that's anything to go by there could be a fair few more devices on the way from the guys!
Via Engadget.

Foxconn Adopts Firefox OS
New integrated offerings will expand the ecosystem based on open Web technologies
The Foxconn Technology Group today announced at a press event in Taipei a wide-ranging partnership with Mozilla to collaborate on the use of the Firefox OS open platform, based on HTML5 and open Web technologies, on Foxconn devices. Foxconn is extending past its origins in original design manufacturing to a combination of integrated software and hardware offerings, which extends its domain to the open operating platform and positively carries out its integration plan of hardware, software, content, and services.
"Currently, Foxconn is executing on a vision of 'eight screens, one network, and one cloud' with all our strength. Besides the native advantages of hardware manufacturing, Foxconn is also developing a brand new integrated approach to providing hardware, software, content, and services." Young Liu, the general manager of Foxconn innovation Digital System Business Group (iDSBG), said: "Because of our shared vision, we are excited to work with Mozilla. Firefox OS from Mozilla is based on HTML5 and open web technologies. The whole idea perfectly matches to the strategies promoted by Foxconn. We believe that the integration of software and hardware development will offer greater benefits to our customers and consumers."
"We are very excited about the cooperation with Foxconn and we are glad to see more partners supporting the Firefox OS and the open Web." Dr. Li Gong, SVP of Mobile Devices, President of Asia Operations, and CEO of Mozilla Taiwan, also said: "At Mozilla we see the open Web as the biggest and the best platform for the mobile world. The Firefox OS initiative helps solidify open Web standards for mobile computing; it also encourages and enables more openness in system integration and device interoperation. This cooperation demonstrates the full potential of Firefox OS, the open Web mobile operating system, to enable not only the smartphone but also a wide range of mobile devices.
About Firefox OS
Firefox OS is based on HTML5 and other Web technologies and is constructed by Mozilla as an open Web mobile operating system. Firefox OS and the apps are entirely built with HTML5, JavaScript, and new Web Application APIs including emerging Device, Web App, and System API standards pioneered by Mozilla. Firefox OS will set the mobile users, developers, and manufacturers free from the limitation of current proprietary mobile operating systems. Firefox OS has globally gained support from numerous manufacturers and telecom service providers and the first Firefox OS devices will be released this summer. Firefox OS is an extension of the Firefox open Web experience that is secure, private, customizable and puts people in control.
About Foxconn
As the partner of choice for all aspects of contract manufacturing services in Computing, Communication and Consumer electronics ("3C") industries, Foxconn grew to be a US$73 billion revenue group in 2008. Arms with its proprietary eCMMS business model and world leading IP portfolio, Foxconn Technology Group has revolutionized the CEM/EMS/ODM industries since turn of the century. Through its renowned offering of best speed, quality, engineering services, efficiency and value-added, Foxconn Technology Group determines to make the comfort from electronic products usage an attainable luxury for all mankind.
Focusing on fields of interconnection, nanotechnology, heat transfer, wireless connectivity, material sciences, and green manufacturing process, Foxconn's approx. 60,000 filed and over 26,500 granted patent portfolio worldwide, of which contains over 1,000 nanotechnology related patents, made it a recognized leader of innovation. Looking forward, Chairman Gou is expanding the group's scope from traditional 3C industry to including auto parts, content, channel, medical equipment and alternative energy.
A firm believer of social environmental responsibility, Foxconn is not only a proud member of EICC, but also actively promoting wider adoption of better environmental standard in electronic supply chain. This Fortune Global 500 company has actively using its role as the largest exporter and largest non-government affiliated manufacturer in Greater China to make its vision of making the comfort of electronic product usage an attainable luxury to all mankind closer to reality each day goes by.
About Mozilla
Mozilla has been a pioneer and advocate for the Web for more than a decade. We create and promote open standards that enable innovation and advance the Web as a platform for all. Today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide use Mozilla Firefox to discover, experience and connect to the Web on computers, tablets and mobile phones. For more information please visit

In Other News: 03/06/2013.

  • ARM have announced new A12 architecture for their mid-range processors in the coming years. This will allow single-core processors to playback 1080p video at 60fps, and 4K video with a multicore processor at up to 120fps!
    Via PhoneArena.
  • Windows 8.1 will include native Miracast support, broadband tethering and WiFi direct printing amongst other things!
    Via TheVerge.
  • Turkey's Prime Minister has condemned social media as "the worst menace to society" after anti-government demonstrations over the weekend in his country! He especially dislikes the "scourge" of Twitter, which was used to share images of government crack downs and other protests.
    Via Engadget.
  • Asus announced a new WiFi router with transfer speeds of 1900 Mbps! You can check out full details here!
  • Sky have added Sky Sports highlights to their SkyGo offering!
    Via PocketLint.
  • Three UK have announced that they will carry the Huawei Ascend P2! The device will be £300 on pay as you go or will be free from £23 a month from the company!
    Via AndroidCentral.
  • Microsoft are offering free touch covers to people who choose to pick up one of their own Surface RT tablets!
    Via PocketLint.
  • Verizon have confirmed that they will carry the HTC One 'later this summer'!
    Via AndroidCentral.
And finally, Vodafone in the UK use this really sweet person tracking software to save money and the planet by only turning on temperature management facilities at their offices when their system detects someone's phone signal in a certain office! It's pretty sweet so check out full details here!
Via CSP.

Microsoft looking to cut Windows RT license prices as Acer call the platform 'very immature'?

   A report from Bloomberg today is claiming that Microsoft are looking at reducing the price of Windows RT licenses to boost the appeal of the platform to OEMs. The cuts are supposedly aimed at getting companies like HP to pick up the platform instead of opting for Google's free Android offering on tablets.

   Obviously this is an issue for Microsoft at the moment because they want their RT platform to be successful, but there's very few apps and it's not a particularly compelling platform at the moment because you can't utilise Microsoft's legacy Windows 8 apps!

   Indeed, Acer's J T Wang called Windows RT platform 'very immature' and as such said that:
"We have some R&D projects, but we will be very, very cautious in deciding whether we will do the launch and mass production."
It's probably fair to say that this is how the majority of OEMs are feeling when it comes to Windows RT! We'll have to wait and see whether there is a future for the platform., we think there is, but they'll need to do something about the apps, because this is seemingly a huge factor when people choose which operating system to go with!
Via TheVerge.

Asus' Transformer Pad Infinity gets a really nice refresh!

   Wow, the announcements just won't stop coming today and as our fingers start to get fatigued, it's almost fitting that we cover a nice refresh from Asus. Today the Taiwanese company have announced that they are going to be updating the Transformer Infinity!

   The refresh is quite a notable jump from last year's device which was no slouch itself. This time there's a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 IPS display, a powerful new Tegra 4 processor and 2GB of RAM, all of which should keep this thing ticking over without any hiccups at all. There's also 32GB of internal storage and an SD card slot, the latter of which is only available through the keyboard dock, which also offers extra battery and a USB 3.0 port.

   Interestingly the cameras on this device have been downgraded since last year, because there's a 5 MP rear-camera and there's a 1.2MP camera up front. Asus will apparently make up for this camera downgrade with the ability to push 4K video out through the HDMI-out port on the device!

   At the moment we don't know anything else about the device, but as and when we hear more we will update this post! We do however, know that the price will be roughly $400 without a dock and $500 with the dock attachment.
Via TheVerge.

Asus sort of announce of the Zenbook Infinity: Coming Q4, specs currently unknown!

   Asus teased us by asking on Twitter how you would fit a gorilla inside an Asus ultrabook, as you can see in the tweet embedded below:
   The answer is that the company's new ultrabook, the Zenbook Infinity, comes with a Gorilla Glass 3 lid which has allowed Asus to cram everything needed for this ultrabook into a chassis which is a mere 15.5mm thick!

   As always with glass you do worry that the laptop wouldn't come through a drop in one piece, but Asus did say that the laptop has passed their drop tests, so fingers crossed it will hold up to the normal abuse which your laptops get!

   So what do you get with the latest Zenbook? Well that's a tough question to answer, because we don't really know just yet. Asus have said that there's a touchscreen and a backlit keyboard and you can see in the images above that there's also a USB 3.0 port, an SD card slot, micro-HDMI and a Mini DisplayPort. Other than that we don't know anything else about the specs or prices of this device and it won't be out until Q4, so there's a fair bit of time for things to change!
Via Engadget.

Asus announce the VivoPC and VivoMouse: Think of them as the Mac Mini and Magic Mouse of the Windows World!

   Asus aren't too shy about making the most of good ideas and that's why we've got too new devices today which have clearly taken some degree of inspiration from Cupertino's finest. has plans for the home cinema market with its just announced VivoPC and VivoMouse.

   The first of these devices in the Asus VivoMouse, which is in effect a smart mouse! You can move it around and use it just as you would with a normal computer mouse, but there's also a circular touchpad on it which is purposefully designed to let you use the Windows 8 gestures and scroll
around Windows 8 in a logical and efficient manner.

   The second device is the brand new VivoPC, which as you can see in the image at the top of the page, is a tiny little aluminium-clad box designed to act as a video-streaming computer and as such Asus have added in their SonicMaster speakers in the hope of giving you great sound reproduction! We don't know too much about this device yet, but it will connect via built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi and if that isn't enough then you can choose to use any of the pair of USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, an SD card slot, 2 audio jacks and either of the pair of HDMI outputs or the VGA connector.

   There's also a sliding top design which is meant to allow you to swap out the 3.5 and 2.5-inch SATA hard drives whenever you want! Asus haven't given many more details just yet, but there is Intel's HD graphics on board and all of this is crammed into a 190 x 190 x 36.2mm chassis, which quite frankly is insane!

   Neither of these devices have any word on pricing just yet, but Asus is hoping to have them ready for a launch in the third quarter of the year, which isn't too far away now!
Via PocketLint.

Asus announce the Transformer Book Trio: Windows and Android in a dockable tablet!

   It seems Asus had one final trick up their sleeve which they weren't wanting to give anything away about. This is the device, which they had been teasing with those 'We Transform' teasers which you might have seen in the run up to today's event. It turns out it has the very catchy 'Transformer Book Trio' name, but aside from that it's a convertible tablet which runs both Windows and Android!

   The device comes with an 11.6-inch 1080p display on the tablet itself and there's a dedicated key which will let you switch between the OS' whenever you fancy a change of scenery! There's a PC dock, tablet keyboard dock and the tablet itself, hence the Trio name.

   Obviously this is designed to be a high-end device and as such there's a great fourth-generation Intel Core i7-4500U processor to drive Windows 8, but when you switch onto Android you'll be making the most of a brand new dual-core 2GHz Intel Atom Z2580 which will make Android Jelly Bean fly! Interestingly the two OS' mean that there's two separate batteries: there's a 33Wh cell as well as a 19Wh one, we're not sure how this will work or whether you will have to be connected to the keyboard dock to use Windows, but this will be cleared up in the coming days!

   Storage shouldn't be an issue on this device with an ample 1TB HDD inside the dock, as well as 64GB of internal storage inside the tablet itself.

   With regards to pricing and availability Asus have said they don't want to say anything about that just yet, but we do know that the device will be coming to market in Q3! When we know a bit more about this device we will let you know!

Asus announce the FonePad Note: 6" phablet with a stylus on the way!

   It was only a couple of weeks ago that we were complaining that there's not enough devices in the 6" sweet spot between phone and tablet and we don't want to claim credit, but it appears that we weren't the only people who thought that way. That's why we've seen another device in the FonePad series from Asus and this time it's the FonePad Note and it doesn't take too much to realise where that name took inspiration from!

   Asus' FonePad Note looks to be a solid device with a 6 inch Full HD, that's 1920 x 1080p Super IPS+ display! That screen will be driven along by a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor, 2GB of RAM and we don't currently know how much internal storage there will be with this device or whether or not there will be microSD expandability!

   We do know though, that there will be a pair of cameras on this device: the rear option is an 8MP camera without a flash, and on the front there's a 1.2-megapixel camera for selfies and for Skype calls!

   Obviously the Note part of the title is because this device comes with a stylus and there will be some of Asus' own apps which make the most of that functionality! Asus have also included front-facing speakers on this device and with a bit of luck they'll be somewhat comparable to the fantastic speakers on the HTC One!

   One thing to add is that this device is a 3G and DC-HSPA+ device, so there's no LTE option here, but that isn't necessarily too much of an issue for the majority of people!

   For the moment Asus haven't conclusively said which version of Android this is running, but it's pretty safe to assume it's a version of Jelly Bean, but we don't know which just yet.

   Again Asus haven't said anything about price or availability, but when we hear more we will update this post!

Asus announce the MeMo Pad 7HD and the FHD 10!

   Asus has brought their A-game to Computex this year and the first in a flood of announcements from the company was the arrival of some new MeMo Pad (pronounce mee-mo) tablets. The MeMo Pads have always been budget tablets, but this time they're a little bit better than the past generation!

   Let's start with the 7 inch version first and that device has a relatively slim 10.8mm thick profile and it weighs in at a respectable 302g. The good stuff though is that there is a 7-inch 1280 x 800 IPS display, a Cortex A7 quad-core CPU will drive the device and PocketLint believe it's a Qualcomm SoC. This processor will be paired with 1GB RAM,a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel camera on the rear.

   The MeMO Pad HD 7 has 16GB of internal storage and can be expanded via a microSD card slot. Asus are also offering 16GB of Asus WebStorage that's free for one year. Asus have said that the battery is good enough for 10 hours on a single charge and they're not normally too far off, so that's great to hear!

   Unfortunately, this device is designed for emerging markets so it will have to make do with the slightly ageing Android 4.0 ICS to begin with, which is a shame.

   The 10 inch device, the MeMO Pad FHD 10, is what got us more excited htough and you can think of it as a competitor to Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, although we expect this one will be slightly more expensive.

   The device is 9.5mm thick and 580g in weight. Inside that shell is a snappy new dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 1.6GHz processor, a great 1920 x 1200 better than full HD IPS display and ASUS have thrown in their SonicMaster audio technology. There will also be 1080p video playback and recording through the pair of cameras, which are 1.2 MP and 5MP on the front and rear respectively.

   There's all the normal connections you would expect from this sort of tablet, as well as 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, which is microSD expandable and Asus are offering 5GB of Asus WebStorage with this device.

   This time, thankfully, there's Android 4.2 on board and this will be a much higher end tablet than its little brother with supposed 178 degree viewing angles from that better than full HD display!

   The MeMO Pad HD 7 will start at $129 (£85) if you want the 8GB option and the 16GB will be $20 more when the device lands this coming July! $149 for 16GB when it goes on sale in July. The bigger 10 inch tablet though will only come to market in September, but it will come in Royal Blue, Silk White and Vivid Pink!

   The full press release is available below!
ASUS Announces MeMO Pad HD 7 and MeMO Pad FHD 10 Tablets
New 7-inch and 10-inch tablets with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean feature high-definition displays and incredible ASUS SonicMaster audio

Computex Taipei, Taiwan (3 June, 2013) - ASUS today announced the new MeMO PadTMTM HD 7 and MeMO PadTM FHD 10 Android tablets. With an MSRP of just US$ 129 for 8G and US$149 for 16G, the MeMO PadTM HD 7 is a 7-inch tablet that offers incredible value, with a quad-core processor, 1280 x 800 IPS display, and 1.2-megapixel front and optional 5-megapixel rear cameras. MeMO PadTM FHD 10 is a 10-inch tablet with the new Intel® Atom™ Z2560 processor, 1920 x 1200 Full HD IPS display and ASUS SonicMaster audio technology.
ASUS MeMO PadTM HD 7 - the value tablet for mobile entertainment
ASUS MeMO PadTM HD 7 has a quad-core processor and 1GB RAM for smooth and responsive performance with apps of all kinds. The 7-inch display has a 1280 x 800 native resolution for crisp text and images, and IPS technology for accurate, vibrant colors with 170-degree wide viewing angles. MeMO PadTM HD 7 also features high-quality stereo speakers with enhanced sound, courtesy of ASUS SonicMaster audio technology.
ASUS MeMO PadTM HD 7 has a 1.2-megapixel front-facing HD camera that can capture 720p HD videos and models are also available with a rear 5-megapixel camera. Just 10.8mm thick and 302g, the feature-packed MeMO PadTM HD 7 has a lithium polymer battery that lasts for up to 10 hours with 720p video playback. Models are available in four colors - black, white, pink and green.
MeMO PadTM HD 7 has 16GB of storage and a MicroSD card slot, plus 16GB ASUS WebStorage free for one year. Together with the ASUS WebStorage Office, users can view, create, edit and share Microsoft Office documents online.
ASUS MeMO PadTM FHD 10 - the multimedia tablet of choice
ASUS MeMO PadTM FHD 10 features the latest Intel® Atom™ Z2560 1.6GHz processor and a 1920 x 1200 Full HD IPS display for deliver vivid visuals with 178-degree wide viewing angles. MeMO PadTM FHD 10 has stereo speakers with SonicMaster audio technology and its 10-inch screen makes it ideal for entertainment, 1080p video playback and handheld gaming.
MeMO PadTM FHD 10 features Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology for improved graphics performance and increased energy efficiency. The slim design has a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus for impressive photos and 1080p video recording.
ASUS MeMO PadTM FHD 10 is just 9.5mm thick and 580g light, and its lithium polymer battery lasts for up to 10 hours with 720p video playback. The 'micro-weave finish' is available in Royal Blue, Silk White, and Vivid Pink.
MeMO PadTM FHD 10 has full connectivity options, including 802.11a/b/g/n, GPS and GLONASS navigation. ASUS Miracast wirelessly connects the tablet to a Wi-Fi enabled TV or projector to share movies, photos and presentations. MeMO PadTM FHD 10 is available with 16GB or 32GB storage and both capacities also feature a microSD card slot. 5GB of free lifetime ASUS WebStorage is also included.
MeMO PadTM Accessories
Both MeMO PadTM HD 7 and MeMO PadTM FHD 10 come include a protective TransCover with microfiber interior. TransCover folds into a stand to prop up the tablet at the perfect angles for watching video and typing with the on-screen keyboard. TransCover is available in blue, pink, white and black for the MeMO PadTM HD 7; and black, pink and green for the MeMO PadTM FHD 10.
The Persona Cover for the MeMO PadTM HD 7 is also available. Available in black, pink and green, this is a snug-fit case that protects the tablet from everyday bumps and scrapes.
ASUS MeMO PadTM HD 7 has an MSRP of US$ 129 for 8G and US$149 for 16G and will be available starting in July 2013. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.

Acer's 8 inch Iconia W3 Windows 8 tablet is officially official after a flood of leaks!

    We've seen this tablet more times than we can count, but now it's official, the Acer Iconia W3 will be one of the first 8 inch Windows 8 powered tablets on the market!

   The device features an 8.1 inch backlit LED display with a 1280 x 800p resolution, with support for 720p video playback. The device will be powered by Intel's dual-core 1.8GHz Atom Z2760 processor. Acer haven't said how much RAM is on board, but we would hope and we assume it's 2GB, but we don't know. Thankfully though Acer have managed to fit in 32GB or 64GB of storage depending on your budget and needs and there's the option to add a 32GB SD card if you need it.

    Acer have given this little tablet the majority of the things it will need with Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and front and back 2-megapixel cameras. It's really nice to see the inclusion of a micro-HDMI port and micro-USB ports so that you can connect this device to TV's or projectors for presentations and you can plug in a mouse and keyboard if you choose not to buy Acer's own offerings.

   You can pick up this device this month for £280 or 329 euros for 32GB and £340 or 379 euros for 64GB. You can also opt for the keyboard which you can see in the image above and that might be a smart move because it's purposefully designed for this tablet, but it will add £58 to your order, or you could just get the grey or white cases to protect the device, which cost £22 and £24 respectively!

   By way of an added bonus the device comes loaded with full Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013, which makes it a lot more appealing!
Via PocketLint.

Acer announce the Liquid S1 'phablet'.

   Where Samsung takes Android it seems everyone else follows and the latest people to have a go at cracking the 'phablet' arena are Acer. The Taiwanese company have today announced their latest smartphone and it's the Liquid S1, which is essentially a budget phablet.

   In terms of what you'll be getting here there's a 720p 5.7-inch display taking centre stage, that should be pushed along comfortably by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor from the guys at MediaTek. That package will be backed up by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which mercifully is MicroSD expandable with cards of up to 32GB in size. 

   As you would expect there's a solid 8MP camera on the rear and a front-facing webcam too. The debice has all of the connectivity options you'd expect from this sort of handset and there's BlueTooth, WiFi and 3G connections, with support for dual-SIM cards.

   Our one concern would be that the tiny 2,400 mAh battery might not, as Acer say, 'last a day' and that tiny cell may well cripple this phone.
  If that doesn't phase you then the device will be available with its aluminium side grips in matte black or white colourings in the third quarter of the year and it will cost around €349 or £298 ($455)  when it lands in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia, UK and Germany, and later in Spain and Italy. 

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 sees them pair with Intel for the first time with an Android device!

   We've already seen the specs of the 8-inch version of the Galaxy Tab 3, but the 10.1 inch offering is a slightly different beast! This is the first of Samsung's Android line-up to be powered by Intel processors.

   This bigger device is much like its smaller sibling in the majority of its components. There's still a 1280 x 800p display which is spread across 10.1-inches this time so that's a ppi of 149 this time. There's a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel processor driving the whole device, which is backed up by 1GB of RAM this time and 16 or 32 GB of internal storage which is MicroSD expandable.

   The cameras aren't quite as good here either with the rear camera being a 3MP sensor and the front camera retaining the 1.3MP resolution, but that's the price of getting a bigger tablet on a budget. Just like the smaller version there's Android 4.2 and Samsung have equipped this thing with a great  6,800mAh battery. There will be your choice of WiFi-only, 3G and LTE variants to pick up from the "beginning of June." The full spec sheet is embedded below!

Click to enlarge.

Samsung announce the Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch!

   We knew Samsung would have some tablets on the way for us, but it seems like they've waited until the first day of Computex to tell us. The first of their new tablets is the Tab 3 8.0: it's a mid-range device with pretty much everything you want from a nicely-sized tablet too!

   The 8 inch display has a solid 1280 x 800p resolution, making the ppi 189. The unspecified brand of processor inside is a dual-core model clocked at 1.5 GHz, this will be backed up by 1.5 GB of RAM and your choice of 16 or 32 GB of internal storage which is MicroSD expandable.

   Around the back you'll find a 3MP camera for all those holiday snaps this summer, you can Skype home from your destination of choice with a 1.3MP front-facing camera and all of this is powered by a nice big 4450 mAh battery.

   As bonus additions there's Touchwiz-ed Android 4.2 on board and there is an option which will have 3G and LTE connectivity too! At the moment there's no word on pricing or availability and the full spec sheet is embedded below

Click to enlarge.
The press release is embedded below:

Next-generation GALAXY tablets integrate intuitive new features
and enhanced performance for all

SEOUL, Korea, June 03, 2013 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced the introduction of the GALAXY Tab 3 8-inch and 10.1-inch which will be available globally beginning of June. Offering an expanded range of options along with previously announced 7-inch version, the GALAXY Tab 3 Series provides customers various ways to view, listen, create, and share meaningful events and special content with those who matter most. Whether surfing the web at home or reading during the commute, each device is packed with enhanced content and intuitive design perfect for viewing or sharing content with friends and family, and capturing all of life’s spontaneous moments.

Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 8-inch
  • Exceptional Reading and Entertainment Experience: Designed to be held in one hand, the new GALAXY Tab 3 8-inch
   is the optimal device for viewing videos, playing enhanced games, and reading e-Books anytime, anywhere.
   Outstanding slim bezel for effective and maximum screen use makes Samsung’s “reading mode” technology
   which optimizes the display to deliver perfect illumination and tone for comfortable paperlike readability in a variety of
   lighting conditions work better on its 8-inch screen. Samsung’s Sound Alive for Audio and Dolby Surround for Video
   Play maximize every sound allow users to enjoy clearer dialogue, consistent volume levels, and superior audio to
   further enhance the overall multimedia experience with the new device. Also, the physical keys on the bezel at
   bottom give users a comfortable smartphone-like experience in navigating.
  • Enhanced Smart Usability: Making travel and discovery more effortless, the GALAXY Tab 3 8-inch features S
   Translator, which provides instant translation through voice recognition and via text on applications including email,
   text message, and ChatON. This instant translation is possible both from speech-to-text and text-to-speech,
   ensuring that you can communicate with ease while traveling internationally. Also, S Travel, the Smart Travel
   Companion, provides real-time local information in need for travel along with user's travel paths. Users can get
   information and make reservation of the places classified in various categories such as Place, Hotel, Tickets, Food
   and Forum, and more. In addition, intuitive features such as Story Album and Group Play also allow users more ways
   to instantly share and enjoy music, photos, documents, and games with those around them.

Sunday 2 June 2013

HTC One Android 4.2.2 update set to bring new refinements to Sense 5.0!

   Despite creating a stunning looking phone when they announced the HTC One, the Taiwanese company left a few people disappointed when they brought the device to market with only Android 4.1.2, whereas their biggest rival, Samsung's Galaxy S4, arrive with Android 4.2.2 on board.

   HTC promised a swift update to the phone and it seems that the update is well under way  and today we have some news on what the update is set to bring to the table. Accoring to some screen grabs from AndroidRevolutionHD there will be Android 4.2.2, but Sense 5.0 will have a few changes made to it to give people what they've wanted. Perhaps the most popular addition will be the battery percentage indicator which is in the middle of the screen grabs below. Reports are say though that there will be a whole host of new quick settings, a new long-press-for-menu on the capacitive home button, something called Android Daydream, and some new changes and customisations to the app drawer.

   At the moment we're not sure when these features will land on your lovely new smartphone, but with reports of Android 4.3 just around the corner, HTC had better get a wriggle on!
Via AndroidRevolutionHD.

Click to enlarge.


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