The rise of Android as an open-sourced operating system paved the way for continuous developments in the mobile device department. For the past few months, a number of announcements for upcoming devices were made, giving us an idea of what would the market be like in the near future. What is noticeable however in the list of anticipated releases (as well as in the recent ones) is the rise of 7-inch tablets– bigger than your average smartphone, but definitely more handy than your usual tablet.
Here’s a quick rundown of five of the talk-of-the-town 7-inch tablets:
Status: Expected release
June 2011 late 2011 or 2012
First introduced in January 2011, ASUS must have thought that the stylus/finger input and the Android 3.0 Honeycomb is not enough to position their 7″ pad in the soon-to-be-saturated tablet market– just last June 2011, they announced that the final Eee Pad MeMO will come with a glasses-less 3D 1280×800 IPS display. It also has a stereo Bluetooth headset called the MeMic.
Status: Released (February 2011)
HTC mobile devices are famed for its built-in HTC Sense platform running alongside Android, but its 7-inch handset has something more: it is the first tablet to boast of a natural pen interaction, dubbed as the HTC Scribe technology. The Flyer runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is a smartphone version, strictly speaking, giving the impression that the device is a blown-up Desire HD.
Status: Just released (August 2011)
The long wait for the Iconia is over. Originally announced to be running on Android 3.0 Honeycomb, it has been finally released with Android 3.2, the latest version from Google. It is reported to be the first 7-inch tablet on Honeycomb 3.2 and the one of the firsts to be commercially available with official 3.2 updates, aside from Motorola Xoom and ASUS Eee Pad Transformer.
Status: Expected release mid-August 2011 in Japan
ViewSonic can be remembered releasing ViewPad 7, the world’s first 7-inch Android 2.2 Froyo tablet. This time, it failed to secure the title for the first 7-inch tablet on Honeycomb, since its ViewPad 7x is slated for a mid-August release. Now dubbed as Camangi Mangrove 7, some more specs include HSPA+ connectivity, Tegra 2 dual-core processor, and a lightweight 380g-package.
Status: Expected release August 2011
The MediaPad was originally announced as the world’s first Android 3.2 Honeycomb tablet back in Jun 2011, but regardless of which came first, one has to give credit to the tablet’s impressive specs: it has a dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor, six hours battery life, front and rear cameras, GPS, and WiFi. The MediaPad will be one of the few devices to carry the Honeycomb before the release of Ice Cream Sandwich.