Amazon and Samsung Heat Up the Tablet Market
As Gingerbread continues to gain ground in the smart phone arena, the for-tablet iteration of the Android operating system called Honeycomb is making parallel progress in the tablet computer market as well. Vying for the lead are two devices that come from two different entities with very different positions. On the one hand is the Kindle Fire from Amazon and on the other is the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus from Android stalwart Samsung.
You wouldn’t know the Kindle Fire is an Android powered tablet from the look of the user interface. There have been some reports that Amazon actually went and designed this without Google’s blessing. But surface appearances aside, the Kindle Fire is undeniably an Android tablet underneath. Even with the disguise, the fact that Android was chosen as the Fire’s backbone is further demonstration of the platform’s reliability and flexibility. In this rare instance, the mobile operating system takes a back seat but nonetheless this can be considered a crucial chapter in its remarkable ascent within the industry.
Meanwhile, Samsung announces the upcoming release of an upgraded version of the Galaxy Tab. And, as expected, this device cannot be mistaken for anything other than a Honeycomb tablet. The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus runs on a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB RAM. It has a multi-touch 7-inch screen that has a resolution of 1024 x 600. There’s a 2 megapixel front camera and a 3 megapixel rear camera that supports HD video.
For connectivity, the device is capable of using the usual GSM, EDGE, GPRS, and HSPA+ bands. There will be two versions based on storage capacity, 16 and 32 GB. It’s said that this tablet may be released anytime between the last week of October and the first week of November.
Other companies have entered the Android fold besides Amazon and Samsung and are starting to make their own waves and stir the tablet market. Here are the upcoming Android tablets from Huawei, Toshiba, and Cisco.
The MediaPad is Chinese manufacturer Huawei’s bet to boost its efforts in the tablet computer arena. There are rumors that this device may reach US shores riding on the T-Mobile carrier.
- Dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor
- 7-inch IPS touchscreen
- 1.3 megapixel front camera
- 5 megapixel rear camera
- 1080p full HD video
- HSPA and Wi-Fi support
The Toshiba Thrive 7’s main attraction is its wide-view display. Enhanced with the company’s AutoBrite technology, users will no longer have to strain their eyes viewing whatever multimedia is currently on screen. In this regard, the Thrive can be said to rival the Kindle Fire.
- nVidia Tegra 2 processor
- 7-inch touchscreen with 1280 x 800 resolution
- HD cameras
- 16 GB and 32 GB storage options
The Cisco Cius is mainly designed for business use and (not surprisingly) easier integration with Cisco’s IP telephony services and related products. As such the device will be launched in India where the company enjoys a significant user base in the enterprise market.
- Intel Atom processor
- 1 GB RAM (upgradable to 32 GB)
- 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi support
- Front and rear cameras
- Modified Android platform