Huge news day today, with Google's I/O presentation packing about a day's worth of news into a single hourlong presentation--and this is just the first day. We wonder whether Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Chrome OS can exist in the same world, and whether the music labels will ever again get a seat at the table. Plus, why Microsoft bought Skype, cellphones getting disaster notification texts, and the New Yorker comes to the iPad. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Google got a lot of applause at its Google I/O conference, but the loudest came with the news that the company and Samsung are giving Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Android tablets to each of the attendees.
"Thanks to Samsung, all 5,000 of you are getting one today," said Hugo Barra, director of Android product management at the conference here today.
Freebies at Google I/O have happened before, but previously they had always been phones. The move today signals that tablets are Google's front-and-center Android priority when it comes to currying favor with programmers. … Read more
Google announced today that its Android Market will now begin renting movies in the U.S. Although flicks start as low as $1.99, Google said, most of the "thousands" of titles listed rent for about $3.99 each. The news and onstage demo came from Google I/O in San Francisco this morning.
For now, you can watch these movies online and on Motorola Xoom tablets that run the latest Android 3.1 Honeycomb update. Soon, you'll also be able to watch movie rentals on your Android 2.2 Froyo and Android 2.3 Gingerbread phones. … Read more
With Google I/O 2011 less than two weeks away, I wanted to take this opportunity to round up a few potential Android-related announcements. The annual Google developer event has grown to include more Android news each year, and this event will follow suit. Indeed, Android is listed in at least 21 of the sessions scheduled for May 10-11, with topics ranging from Honeycomb and 3D gaming to NFC and Android Market tools. Two keynotes will be covered live by CNET; expect tomorrow's session to focus on Android with Wednesday's session switching to Chrome. And on that note, … Read more
Update: According to a new report on DigiTimes.com, Asustek (parent company of the Asus brand) has "experienced drop in consolidated revenues, mainly due to dropping Eee PC shipments," and "only shipped about 350,000 Eee PCs in April."
It's hard to believe that before 2007, a low-cost laptop was one that came in under $1,000. But that was before the Netbook revolution kicked off, inspired by the Intel Classmate and the One Laptop Per Child XO, and spearheaded initially by Asus and its original Eee PC (which had a 7-inch display and ran Linux). From that point on, every PC maker was forced (some more reluctantly than others) to embrace this new subgenre, and Netbooks were everywhere.
Until, like all fads, the Netbook burned out. Part of the reason was clearly Apple's iPad, which became the new go-to entry-level computing device for people who either didn't need or want a full PC, or just wanted a reasonably priced travel device for e-mail and Web surfing. The iPad itself has kicked off a gold rush of sorts, with the same companies that pushed countless me-too Netbooks onto store shelves now doing the same with touch-screen slates (perhaps we'll look back on this a year or two from now as the ).
But the real reason Netbooks have fallen by the wayside is that they failed to evolve. After the first couple of generations, Netbooks settled into a comfortable niche of a 10.1-inch display, 1GB to 2GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and Windows (first XP, then Windows 7 Starter or Home Premium). You could get this basic combo for as little as $299, but some companies would charge more for upgrades such as nicer designs, rugged bodies, 3G antennas, or occasionally a higher-resolution display. But performance-wise, you'd usually be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a $299 Netbook and a $450 one.
The most recent Netbooks have almost all moved to the latest version of Intel's Atom processor, the dual-core N550, but in both our benchmark tests and anecdotal use, it hasn't been a huge step past the older models with the single-core Atom N450, adding to the feeling that today's Netbooks weren't much of an upgrade over the ones from a year or two ago.
In the meantime, larger laptops have made huge leaps, especially with Intel's second-generation Core i-series platform, which has boosted performance and battery life across the board. And 11-inch ultraportables with AMD's Fusion E-350 CPU have created a new market for laptops that provide relatively good performance and battery life, often for less than $500 (these systems arguably evolved from the handful of larger 11-inch Netbooks we'd seen over the years).
To be sure, many PC makers still have a Netbook or two in their lines, and even offer occasional updates and upgrades, but they're not being pushed like they used to. Sony, for example, has dropped Netbooks entirely from its Vaio line. Netbooks have definitely fallen off a cliff, but the question is, just how far? … Read more
For the first time since Gianfranco Lanci resigned from Acer, he is talking about the rift over strategy between him and his former board of directors that led to his ouster.
Lanci sat for an interview with AllThingsD published today that revealed disagreements over how to approach the mobile space and globalization.
When Lanci abruptly resigned more than a month ago, Acer Chairman JT Wang said in explanation that, "The personal computer remains the core of our business. We have built up a strong foundation and will continue to expand within, especially in the commercial PC segment. In addition, … Read more
Nvidia announced today that it has agreed to acquire baseband processor maker Icera for $367 million in cash, paving the way for it to become an even bigger force in the mobile market.
"This is a key step in Nvidia's plans to be a major player in the mobile computing revolution," Jen-Hsun Huang, President and CEO of Nvidia said today in a statement. "Adding Icera's technology to Tegra gives us an outstanding platform to support the industry's best phones and tablets."
Icera currently develops wireless baseband processors that allow mobile phones to connect … Read more
The iPad 2 debuted in China this morning to what is fast becoming a standard reception: massive lines and quick stock-outs.
That the device had been unofficially available on the market--through sellers who brought it into the country after buying the device overseas--did little to quell demand, which drove hundreds of hopeful buyers to queue overnight outside Apple's four stores in Beijing and Shanghai. "When we arrived here at around 4 a.m., there were already more than 500 people waiting," an Apple security guard at the company's downtown Beijing store told Xinhua. "The crowd … Read more
One of the coolest features about the upcoming HTC Flyer is the Scribe and digital ink technology that lets you take notes, draw pictures, and more, right on the tablet with a stylus. However, it looks like you'll have to pay extra for that privilege.
As first reported by DroidLife, Best Buy currently has the HTC Digital Pen for the Flyer listed at $79.99, on top of the $499.99 for the tablet itself. Though this may be Best Buy's price, HTC told CNET that it has not announced pricing for the stylus but did confirm that … Read more
Potential BlackBerry PlayBook customers apparently will have to wait a while longer before they can buy the tablet through Sprint.
In a document addressed to dealers and revealed this week by mobile-device blog BriefMobile, Sprint broke the news of another delay in offering Research In Motion's new tablet. This latest delay follows initially promised launch dates of April 19 and May 8, according to BriefMobile.
Announcing the delay, the document promises that a new launch date will be communicated as soon as it's available. It also advises dealers who've bought PlayBook display pedestals to hang onto them … Read more