CES 2012: New Android Hardware Roundup

CES 2012: New Android Hardware Roundup

Jan 11, 2012

Ah yes, a big technology trade show rolls around and plenty of shiny new Android hardware is unveiled. While some on the Apple side of the aisle will sneer at more potential iPhone killers that likely won’t be as such, and WP7 & BlackBerry fans will lament their lack of attention being paid to them, there’s still a variety of interesting new phones and devices to report on.

Motorola Droid 4: The Droid 4 is the latest in the flagship line of Motorola & Verizon’s Droid phones. Like the other flagship Droids, it boasts a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, with only a .5 inch thickness. It has a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, a gigabyte of RAM, 16 GB of storage, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, and a 4-inch 960×540 screen. Sadly, it will only ship with Gingerbread, but should get an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade later.

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX: Android phones do not have great battery life; it’s kind of a fact of life at this point, sadly. Motorola’s solution? A new Droid Razr that boasts a 3300 mAh battery versus the original 1700 mAh. Most phones use a similar amount of battery capacity. Apparently the phone is about as thin as the original Droid Razr was, or at least any difference in thickness is negligible. It boats the same specifications as the regular Droid Razr otherwise.

Asus MeMO 370T Tablet: Asus announced this upcoming 7″ tablet in partnership with Nvidia, which hopes to combine two disparate tablet worlds: the low-priced entry model tablets with the high-performance Android tablets. The tablet boasts a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, Ice Cream Sandwich, and various other Nvidia features, such as a “fifth ninja core” that will be used for features like “Direct Touch” which supposedly will improve touch screen response. Apparently the device will be powerful enough to run PC games remotely, as Asus ran a demo with Skyrim running off a remote PC, being played on the tablet.

Asus Padfone: Enthusiastically revealed last year, Asus’ phone with tablet dock is still in the works, as they showed it off at CES. However, it’s being kept under glass at this point, and no release date has been revealed yet. We believe in you, Padfone!

FXI Cotton Candy: This USB/HDMI stick runs, rather impressively, a dual-boot solution of Ice Cream Sandwich and Ubuntu. It can either plug into a display, or be run on a computer. It’s still in prototype form, will require a microSD card to store the OS, and. However, it’s still an extremely intriguing piece of hardware, especially with the ability to just plug in to any display easily using HDMI.

Lenovo K800: This phone is notable particularly for being the first Android phone to use Intel chipsets to power it; it will initially be available in China, boasting a 4.5″ 720p display, and Ice Cream Sandwich. It will release in 2nd quarter this year.

Asus Enthusiastically Announces the Padfone

Asus Enthusiastically Announces the Padfone

Jun 1, 2011

Asus, and its enthusiastic chairman Jonney Shih took the stage at Computex 2011 in Taiwan this week to announce a new Android tablet with a twist – it’s actually a phone inside of a tablet dock. Or, as Mr. Shih puts it, in the newest video that’s sweeping the web, “Is it a pad? Is it a phone in a pad? It’s Padfone!” Watch the announcement at Computex below.

While the video is kind of silly, and the internet seems to be getting its chuckles out of it, the possibilities for the Padfone are actually kind of intriguing. Imagine carrying the phone around, checking emails, playing games on it while on the go, then returning home or to the office to use it to watch videos on the bigger screen, or type out emails on a larger keyboard. There’s something that seems silly about the concept at first, and the potential success of the Padfone may be based on if Asus can get it out to all the carriers, and if the ‘Pad’ part of the Padfone is affordable. Price, along with mediocre quality, is what killed the Motorola Atrix 4G’s laptop dock from being a success. Also, it’s likely that if Apple were to announce a similar tablet dock for the iPhone and iPod touch, it would likely be well-received by the same people who are getting their chuckles at the Padfone’s concept.

The price issue will be tricky, though – Apple’s advantage with the iPad pricewise is that they use many of the same internals for the iPad as they do in the iPod touch and iPhone, especially the processors; this allows them to lower prices where other manufacturers may struggle to do so, which has made it difficult for Android tablet makers to compete. Independent large-screen docks like the Padfone, and the TransPhone from CMIT which was also announced at Computex may suffer from a lack of widespread adoption; perhaps a standardized tablet dock protocol would be more successful and help push the Android tablet market along if people could transition their phones over to tablets. Or perhaps the Android tablet market will start to explode later on in the year, especially as Christmas nears. The Padfone is expected later this year, and will likely be running Android 3.1, aka Ice Cream Sandwich. More details as they emerge.