Here’s a cheap new Lenovo Tablet targetted at the sub-$300 price point. It might use the Rockchip RK2918, or it might be some other processor similar to that, to be confirmed. Please post in the comments if you find out which processor it is using..
Samsung releases their new slim mirror-less DSLR-alternative of a photo camera with interchangeable lenses and a bunch of new camera UI features.
This is Samsung’s new Multiview MV800 has a fold-out 3″ AMOLED screen, takes pictures, and provides a bunch of picture modes that can be accessed through the Home screen menu on the touch screen on this camera.
Here’s the newest Samsung Bada phone, running the Bada 2.0 software on a 4″ Super AMOLED Plus screen, this is probably aimed at lower cost, although Android does allow Samsung to lower the cost of smartphones as well, so I am not really sure what Samsung is trying to do with Bada. Maybe Samsung wants to option of being able to own a smartphone ecosystem to try to profit as much as possible on every level of the value chain of the phone all the while trying to sell it for cheap. I prefer the cheap Samsung Android phones though.
I video-blogged every IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin every year since 2005 (the last 2 years are here and my archive for 2005-2008 is here), I will be there again this time, bringing you 75 videos of the coolest new products to be shown there. Subscribe to my RSS feed, add my RSS to your Google Reader and subscribe to my YouTube channel for the latest. Here’s a teaser video from Samsung of what may be that rumored 4.5″ 1280×720 Super AMOLED mega Plus screen, running Ice Cream Sandwich on an OMAP4460 1.5Ghz or a new 1.4Ghz Samsung Exynos processor? It might be..
If you have any tips on new cool products that I should video-blog at IFA, let me know here in the comments, or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org with the info, thanks!
I am being video interviewed by Sasha Pallenberg of netbooknews.com about my awesome E-ink watch:
It doesn’t exactly have the Bluetooth features, those features will come with the also cool looking touch screen Sony Ericsson Liveview and similar Android Bluetooth remote control watches that are coming.
This video was released at: netbooknews.com
The IFA consumer electronics show was cool, from September 2nd to 8th in Berlin Germany, I video-blogged 65 videos of the best products that I could find at the show. Here, as my Best Of IFA post, I would like to list the top-10 videos of the top-10 products of IFA 2010 that I filmed:
1. Archos 101 Internet Tablet, first 10.1″ capacitive Android 2.2 Froyo ARM cortex A8 45nm Tablet to be sold below $299. It’s really thin, at 480gr it’s 30% lighter than the iPad yet offers 12% wider screen surface (better for movies and TV shows). HDMI output and USB host and full video and audio codecs support. All that for $200 cheaper than the iPad.
2. Archos 43 Internet Tablet, nicely priced below $199 alternative to HTC EVO and Droid X, with no expensive contracts needed for this 4.3″ Froyo Android 2.2 experience
3. Archos 28 Internet Tablet, first ARM Cortex A8 45nm Android 2.2 Froyo device to be priced below $99 with no contracts needed, that’s 2.3 times cheaper than the iPod Touch
4. Toshiba AC-100 ARM Tegra2 Powered Android Laptop, this is the first mass produced ARM Cortex A9 powered laptop to be brought to the market, it is a significant product. Toshiba has done a super good keyboard and mouse-pad design for it and it is really thin and light. Now of course, all that is needed, is better software for it. I don’t think it is enough for them to just take open source Android and port it to it and add few custom widgets on top. They need to port the full Chrome web browser to Android. They need to officially support a triple-boot configuration on this ARM Powered laptop with Chrome OS for ARM and with Ubuntu for ARM also being optional OS to boot into. Also, I do think the $299 price point is a bit high. The idea with the ARM powered laptops is that they are going to be much cheaper and better value than the Intel powered ones. I think the relatively high price is only due to Toshiba being the first to market and them wanting to enjoy larger profit margins while they wait for all the other manufacturers to join the party. Also, once they get the Pixel Qi screen in there, the battery runtime will be close to 40 hours on such a device.
5. PocketBook 903 Pro, I really like the idea of 3G/WiFi/Bluetooth and Wacom-style digitizer in an A4 sized e-ink e-reader. I would like Chrome-to-phone like features, to throw any article and ebooks from my web browser directly onto such more readable display, and then I would also like to see connected annotation collaboration and communication features added, all those things are just software things.
6. Sony Reader PRS-650 Touch Edition, I am impressed with Sony’s new touch screen technology for their new e-readers. Although I would say it is a bit sad that Sony never updates their e-reader firmwares, that this 229€ version does not include WiFi nor Bluetooth nor 3G for connectivity. Still, the finger and stylus laser based touch screen technology is great for UI navigation and for annotations. I also like the fact that Sony is marketing it to be supporting free library borrowing of all e-books, I much prefer borrowing all ebooks for free and legally than paying $10 per ebook or pirating them. The electronic ebook library concept will be fascinating way for people to access all ebooks for free.
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab, for sure one of the big highlights of this IFA is to see such a huge company as Samsung going all in with the 7″ capacitive Android tablet market, I can’t wait to see how successful their marketing will be with this against the iPad. The whole area of discussions around Google supporting of Android tablets, it is simply fascinating. Of course, obviously, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is highly overpriced at 799€ without contract and 1359€ with 2-year contract. But it sure is a nice product and the tablet market really makes me happy.
8. UMEC Freescale i.MX51 based 7″ Android tablets, I like the features and possibilities of this hardware. See my other Freescale tablet videos such as the one running Chromium OS on it, it should be totally possible.
9. iMuz 5″ Android tablet, this South Korean company seemed to me to have pretty good Telechips ARM11 based Android tablet devices on display.
10. Sharp’s Parallax Barrier 3D screen, it’s pretty amazing to experience it at the trade show on display. This is the 3.8″ WVGA 3D screen that the Nintendo 3DS is going to use. It really works, although probably best with 3D games once the Nintendo comes out than with low quality built-in 3D cameras. You have to hold the screen in the middle and around exactly 30 centimeters from your eyes, my guess though with the Nintendo, this might become easy to get used to hold it like that and I also like Nintendo will have a slider on the side that will enable to lower or to completely remove the 3D effect of the screen.
11. Interpad’s Tegra2 Powered Android 2.2 Tablet, a really nice Android tablet too, to be priced 399€. I think it is based on the Malata Android tablet design that I filmed at Computex.
12. Toshiba Folio 100 Tegra2 Android tablet, yet another Tegra2 10.1″ capacitive Android 2.2 Tablet to come out, also priced above 399€.
13. Philips GoGear Connect, one of the first non-3G Android devices based on the Freescale i.MX51 ARM Cortex A8 processor with official Google Marketplace support but price is likely going to be above 249€.
14. Samsung YP-G50, another lower cost Android media player device, also to compete with the iPod Touch, with official Google Marketplace support and a slower Samsung ARM11 processor, the price is also likely to be at least the same as the iPod Touch.
15. Mobile Tech 5″ Android Tablet, this company is also making some interesting Telechips ARM11 based Android tablets.
If you have any other preferences for Best of IFA, you are welcome to post those in the comments.
TriCaster TCXD850 is a 26’000€ real-time video editing Windows box with some Intel processors inside and a lot of connectors. Basically it allows for HD live tv editing in a box. But it’s really expensive and I wonder if a regular ARM Powered or Intel Powered laptop with the right software couldn’t do most of the same basic multi-camera live editing kind of things.
Those next generation SD cards can be made even faster. The new cards will have two rows of pins, and by having two rows of pins the new card will support up to 300mb/s transfer speeds.
I asked T-Mobile and Vodafone at IFA 2010 in Berlin, they both confirmed that their retail price for the Samsung Galaxy Tab when bought without the 2-year 40€/month contract, is going to be 799€. Thus the price is 1359€ with 2-years of 5GB/month contracts at 40€/month including the 200-300€ purchase price for the device. 5GB/month can otherwise also be had for 15€/month in Germany without contracts using Aldi and 20€/month without contract with Tchibo SIM cards.
So by signing up for a 2-year contract for a Samsung Galaxy Tab, the actual cost for the device is higher at 1000€ since 15€ x 24 months only amounts to 360€ and that the 15€/month for 5GB/month with Aldi can actually be stopped at any time as it does not have to be on a contract.
My point? The Samsung Galaxy Tab is really expensive. Samsung really sees an opportunity to make a lot of money for themselves and for their carrier partners by selling this device to as many people as possible. The high price of the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab I think are great opportunities for other players to provide lower cost tablet alternatives to the market.
Google TV is going to change the way people watch TV. I am very much looking forward to testing the Logitech Revue and Sony Google TV solutions, even though they get released in the USA first, my guess for $300 or more it may even require subscribing to cable/satellite TV content packages.
Once Google TV is released open source, I think we could see ARM Powered Google TV alternatives also come to the market, with the whole HDMI throughput and IR blaster features being optional and eventually not even the most used option.
Google TV is best with content partnerships in place, if Google can access all the program guide informations it can provide better search of what is on TV. And the amazing feature of Google actually storing the DVR recordings on the cloud and streaming those from there, also completely disrupts the whole DVR business, fantastic.
But I also think Google TV does not need content deals to function just fine. It works on top of existing TV, no matter if the current TV channel owners and distributors agree for it to be there or not. HDMI input and output can’t be blocked. Google should go ahead and release Google TV to all countries of the world, and they should the open specifications and source code to the world, and release this solution to all set-top-box and HDTV makers. This will instantly make obsolete all the previous solutions by Philips NetTV, Samsung, LG SmartTV, Panasonic VieraCast. They will all see it in their interest to use Google TV protocol of features instead. I like the idea of Google TV on a set-top-box to work on any existing HDTV, I wonder if HDTVs with built-in Google TV could eventually come with a Google TV module that could be upgraded in the future if newer Google TV hardware appears at cheaper price than buying a new set-top-box.
Smit has previously presented Samsung ARM11 powered Android tablets, now they plan to release Telechips based ones with Android 2.1 support. In the coming weeks they will also be working on the next generation ARM Cortex A8 processor from Telechips as development boards are being made available. I previously posted the web’s most popular Smit Android tablet videos: Smit MID-560 at IFA 2009, Smit MID-560 at CES 2010
Aiptek is releasing this DLP powered 50-lumen pocket projector.
Video cameras were not allowed during Eric Schmidt’s keynote at IFA, so I didn’t try to film it, you can stream the full keynote video now on http://ifa-tv.de and probably that Google will post it later too on http://youtube.com/google. I didn’t get ask my major Google questions during the Q&A, but you can find my question and guessing to their reasoning below. Here are my major impressions:
1. Speech to Speech translation in Android is awesome. They did an on stage demo with an english speaking Google engineer (Hugo Barra, Product manager of Android) and a German speaking Google engineer. They had a fast conversation from one to the other, where the Android system would translate speech from one language to the other. Simply fantastic and awesome! Soon enough, one will be able to approach another user who speaks another language with an Android phone, preferably wear a headset, and simply start talking to each other with a second delay until speech is translated and synthesised in own language.
2. The new version of Street View for the new version of Google Maps on Android is also awesome. The little Street View man can be dragged around on the screen, Google knowing all 3D aspects of all buildings and streets, then it provides a video game like effect zooming in on further down on the street thus potentially navigating around Street View much faster and in a cooler way. It will be fun also once Google starts adding into Street View all the publicly published pictures and videos that any Android user could make, thus improving Street View to include user-submitted more up-to-date imagery from the whole world. Would allow even for entering buildings (with proper rights I imagine opt-in included). Augmented Reality is cool and I think Street View will merge with it.
3. Google TV will revolutionize TV. I spoke with Logitech and Sony representatives here at IFA. My impression is that it will hi-jack TV networks and eventually replace the need for TV channels with a choice for viewers to get access to any video content from anywhere. I also think BitTorrent and live p2p streaming support on Google TV cannot be blocked, so that too will be awesome. HD Video Conferencing should also be included with the box, I expect Logitech will include that as an option but they would not confirm the specifics of it (how their HD webcam would work on the only Intel Atom processor of Google TV, perhaps dual-core Intel Atom I am guessing, but still far lower system configuration than currently required for Logitech HD webcams to use for HD video conferencing.
Here is the question I would have asked Eric Schmidt during the Q&A:
1. I have filmed 100s of Chinese/Taiwanese/korean/french manufacturers showing cheap Android tablets, laptops and set-top-boxes at IFA and at all the other consumer electronics trade shows the past year and a half. None of these devices are allowed by Google to ship with the Google Marketplace. Why isn’t there a special version of Google Marketplace for all these devices? Why doesn’t Google offer an .apk download of Google Marketplace for anyone to download on any Android device for free on Google’s website? The cheapest Chinese Android tablets/laptops are $100, while the Samsung tablet is 799€, Dell tablet is 599€ (both unlocked), the Toshiba laptop is 299€ (no Google Marketplace either). Can’t Google monetize products without GPS/3G/compass just as well? Why require such expensive hardware components if Google’s declared goal (during the keynote) is to reach 3-4 billion people with Android in the next 5 years? Is Google also planning to do just as much evil requiring expensive hardware for access to the application stores on Chrome OS and Google TV?
My guess the answer to this which they wouldn’t have provided would be something like following:
– Google has partnered with major hardware manufacturers for Android, and as an exchange for such huge support for the Android platform, Google promises not to allow for faster disruption in the market to not leave these major manufacturers enough time to make as much profit margins as they can. Basically Android is not much cheaper for the end consumers than Apple iPhone is. While Carriers are making more money with Android than with iPhone (because of lower cost of purchasing the device with more competition in the Android market), the major OEM manufacturers are helped by Google to keep as high profit margins on these Android products as possible. All these companies are jealous of Apple and want to have as much money as possible selling these products.
Maybe the rest of the non-invited lower cost Android industry should partner up around alternatives to the Google Marketplace, such as the Archos http://appslib.com marketplace. App developers should be convinced to submit their app on at least one such alternative marketplaces.
Maybe the media needs to be more involved in critisizing this lack of openness in the way the “with Google” branding happens in the Android ecosystem. Maybe major media should demand an answer from Google and this may speed up the rate of Google responding by simply opening up access to the Apps on Marketplace to all devices for free without unfair hardware requirements.
The other question I would have liked to ask:
2. Is Google TV going to work on ARM Powered devices too? Is Google waiting for ARM Cortex A9 for that announcement to happen?
– I know Google TV will work on ARM Processors too, I see no reason that it would not be supported. As Chrome OS is developed for ARM, as Android runs on ARM and as Google TV is a mix of Android and Chrome technologies. HDMI input and output and the IR blaster can be added to likely any ARM set-top-box device with also preferably powerful web browsing processing support. The overlay features on HDMI throughput might require pretty advanced GPU acceleration.
– I believe ARM Powered Google TV can be made for much cheaper than Intel Powered Google TV. $99 for ARM vs $299 for Intel.
Look at this leaked picture and video of the Logitech Revue Google TV set-top-box, rumored for $300 in the USA (maybe with required cable/satellite package subscription plans) when Google TV launches during the next couple of months in the USA:
Source for these Logitech Revue Google TV images: http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/logitech-revue-google-tv-hands-on-impressions/
In my previous video of the PocketBook 903 Pro at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQwWTR0kZ44 they didn’t load the latest firmware yet. Yesterday night the software engineers emailed a new firmware with fixed full speed digitizer pen input.
Acer is releasing this new 6″ e-ink e-reader, without a touch screen, it’s not Pearl type e-ink display, comes with 3G and WiFi options and supports online book stores like the German libri.de book store.
7″ LCD e-reader, ARM11 based, with WiFi and Barnes and Noble book store support in the USA.
6″ SiPix e-reader with a capacitive touch screen.
Onyx International has improved their hardware design to provide a drop proof protection for the glass wacom enabled 6″ e-ink screen.