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ASUS to Launch Android Based Mobile + Tablet Combo: Padfone

padfone_200

ASUS has unveiled Padfone, its new smartphone and tablet combo, at the Computex. Padfone is a modular mobile package that uses an Android smartphone and a tablet it can dock into. Switching of display between the smartphone and the tablet is dynamic and the display on the phone expands itself seamlessly once connected to the tablet.  The launch is mere mockup for now and includes a 4.3-inch smartphone and a 10.1-inch tablet dock. ASUS hasn’t yet finalized the final dimensions and price of the eventual retail product.

 

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Dell & Microsoft Separately Say Tablets are Fads. I Wonder What Bill Gates (Mr. Tablet PC) Thinks of This?

Apple has sold more than 15 million iPads so far. They have not been able to keep up with the demand for the recently launched iPad 2 which currently has a 3 to 4 week shipping delay from Apple’s online store. Microsoft itself already provides enterprise management support for iOS and Android based devices through Exchange ActiveSync and is working on further enterprise integration (see More Enterprise Mobile Device Management Options from Microsoft). Yet, we see these two separate anti-tablet messages from Dell and Microsoft. Curiously, both are published by Australian based organizations. Read more

Less Than 100 Android OS 3.0 Tablet Apps? Not to Worry. Here's Why

Here’s an interesting number to ponder over.

Android 3.0 catalog still stalled below 100 apps (electronista)

Android 3.0 and the few (one) tablet it currently powers (Motorola Xoom) is in an interesting situation. Android itself has been around since October 2008 when the T-Mobile G1 launched in the U.S. Android was an uninteresting platform for most people until the Motorola Droid appeared in November 2009. Tablets based on various versions of Android have been appearing since early 2010 (or thereabouts). Many of these are not Google approved and do not have access to the Android Market and other Google provided features. The apparently popular Samsung Galaxy Tab appeared in late 2010 using Android 2.x which was designed for use on a phone and not a tablet (according to Google) but was a Google approved device. The Motorola Xoom has only been available for a few weeks now. So, it seems a little early to judge the Android OS 3.0 app market for tablets.

Apple’s iPad only a thousand or so apps when it launched in April 2010 despite a hugely successful iPhone app market. Today, the iPad’s app market is still not as large as the iPhone’s but can safely be said to be very successful. Still, 100 is a very small number. The Android tablet is having a tough time getting out the gate much as Android 1.x phones did for more than a year after it launched (13 months).

There definitely needs to be more Android OS 3.0 based tablets and, more importantly, at more affordable prices. Amazon’s recent launch of their Android Appstore will probably help convince a lot of developers to create apps and get them on the market. Near future developments with ebook readers from Barnes & Noble and Amazon becoming more tablet-like may also spur development. This is especially true for B&N’s Nook color which is already powered by a hidden Android engine.

WiFi-only Motorola Xoom Available from Costco Too

WiFi-only Android tablets fill a valuable product category niche. So, I’m always interested to find more information about this product category. Big box warehouse store Costco sent email notices to their customers last week Friday to let them know that they could pre-order the WiFi-only Motorola Xoom tablet. Although Costco’s price is only $10 below the normail retail price, they do throw in a $22 Gel Skin Case with the purchase to sweeten the deal. And, Costco extends the manufacturer’s warranty to two years from the date of purchase. I’m extremely tempted to either order one from Costco.com or wait to see if the local Costco store starts to sell the WiFi-only Xoom.

I noticed that Costco had the 3G Xoom available at the local store near me over the weekend (photo below).

Asus Eee Pad Transformer: Android Based Notebook with Display That Turns into a Tablet


Video courtesy of asus

Way back in January 2010, Lenovo announced the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid Notebook. It featured a display that detached from the keyboard and turned into a standalone tablet. It ran Windows 7 Home Premium in its keyboard notebook mode and ran Lenovo’s own Skylight OS when in tablet mode. It generated quite a bit of buzz. But, it did not appear as an actual product. If it did, it does not appear in Lenovo’s website as viewed in the U.S.

Asus, on the other hand, is reported to have shipped a very similar product.

ASUS ships Eee Pad Transformer as its Android 3.0 tablet (Electronista)

It runs Android in both notebook (physical keyboard) and tablet mode. This is interesting since Google has repeatedly said that Chrome OS is for devices primarily designed for keyboard input (like notebooks and netbooks).

I could not find any information about U.S. availability of the Eee Pad Transformer.