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Google Android Handhelds Hardware Technology

7-inch Google Tablet Coming From ASUS 151

Posted by timothy
from the sources-suggest dept.
First time accepted submitter Sez Zero writes "Google and ASUS have been collaborating on a co-branded 7-inch Android tablet, with a launch as early as May, according to sources, challenging low-cost rivals and the iPad with a $199-249 price tag. The fruits of the partnership, whispered to the runes readers at DigiTimes by industry sources, will take on the NOOK Tablet and the Kindle Fire, with ASUS selected for its willingness to flex to Google's requirements."
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7-inch Google Tablet Coming From ASUS

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Which hurts the quality of the product and hardware. This has been a huge problem with Android - customers don't really know if they get a good product or not. When they get iPad or iPhone they know exactly that they will love the experience. Android ecosystem is a complete mess.

    • by Kagetsuki (1620613) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:44AM (#39310745)

      Actually I'll call bullshit on this and for a good reason: I recently purchased an Asus Zenbook UX21. Up untill this point I have never purchased Asus gear and have always gone for Toshiba and Fujitsu notebooks which have never let me down. But this Zenbook was preposteriously inexepensive, exactly the form factor I needed, and immediately available so I went for it. I'm so glad I did - I love the thing. It's well constructed and has killer hardware, the screen is nice, the keyboard is nice, it even looks nice. There are some small complaints about it sure but they are negligable unless I want to spend twice the price for a Toshiba Ultrabook (which looks fantastic, but basically the same specs + some minor polish and a few bells and whistles at 2x the price).

      If anyone can pull off a great Android tablet on a budget it's Asus.

      • I think I agree. I bought two Asus netbooks (different generations) and both have been nothing but flawless in every aspect.

      • by MrDoh! (71235)

        True. I'd never bothered with Asus before either, but seeing how well made the EEE Transformer is, and how they're pushing the designs for newer tablets/laptops AND how they're supporting their equipment with updates, I'll be looking at them for future purchases. I know they've been around for ages, but looks like they're really stepping up and taking a spot in the usual line up of machines.

      • by symbolic (11752)

        Now if ONLY Asus could meet its current commitments - I'm still waiting for a Transformer Prime.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your stance is exactly why Apple can charge so outrageous prices for their products and get away with it.

      Seriously, most Android phones are excellent, are fast enough for their purpose and are well built. How many have you tried?

      When people compare Android phones to iPhones they often compare the CHEAPEST model to to the most expensive phone on the market! FAIL - try comparing a midrange price Android to an iPhone... most like 1/3 to 1/2 the price of the iPhone. Believe me, that phone just works.

      Go away, Ap

    • by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:51AM (#39310773)

      Actually it's quite the opposite. Every device Google has had a personal hand in designing has been one perfect experience after the other. It is typically the handset manufacturers who are unable to code decent software, then the carriers who load the devices up with junk that ruin the experience.

      I have an ancient phone, yet I run CM9 on it. It is far smoother than phones twice as expensive, rather new, and spouting features like dual core processors depending on who had a hand in making the software.

      I for one am excited about what google can come up with in this partnership.

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:56AM (#39310785) Journal

      Oh yeah, Android is horribly fragmented into camps that like physical keyboards or not, HD cams or no, front facing cams or not, items in pink, blue or prints.

      Android vendors have better margins even than Apple, and that's saying something. I enjoy choosing, so I like the mess that Android is.

    • by Gonoff (88518)

      Price is a pretty major selling factor. That is called good capitalist practice.

      There are a number of things I want out of a tablet

      1. Not Apple
      2. Sensible price (as in #1)
      3. Configurable (as in #1)
      4. Not from a company that sees legal action as the prime means of dealing with competition (as in #1)
      5. Powerful
      6. Well made

      Why is number 1 there? I don't want something that is seen by some as an essential fashion accessory. I would rather do without. By a long way, not everyone who buys from Appl

      • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:55AM (#39310927)

        I don't want something that is seen by some as an essential fashion accessory. I would rather do without.

        So, you're allowing your choice to be influenced by what others think of the brand. You might think that's anti-fashion, but actually, that's fashion.

        I just to not want to be associated with that group that does.

        You are following the fashion, every bit as much as punks who said their choice was about not wanting to be associated with glam rockers.

        Your list is just a way of justifying the fashion choice you've made. Just as a punk might have listed everything they found wrong with glam rock.

        • by Gonoff (88518)

          Nobody in a developed society can avoid being affected by fashion. A lot of people out of it are as well. I am wearing what I like - jeans, trainers and a rugby shirt (haven't played in decades). This is all affected by fashion. I avoid wearing certain types of fashion because they fit my self image and even beliefs and preferences. (It is a Scotland rugby shirt for example.)

          None of them are "fashionable" though. There is a difference.

          My fashion choice, as you style it, is to be different from people

          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            Your choice to not buy something (regardless of what it can do) simply because other people buy it is just as irrational as people who do buy it because other people do.

            • by Gonoff (88518)

              I never claimed my choice was completely rational. Wanting to not be associated with a particular group can be, at least partly, an emotional preference.

              Some of my other reasons are considered and rational though.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BasilBrush (643681)

      As usual Dilbert has is right.
      http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2012-02-23/ [dilbert.com]

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      What they need is a good viral advertising campaign.

      7 inches... it's coming.

    • by shugah (881805)
      Good thing they chose ASUS over Acer. I had an Acer Liquid-E - it was a total POS. Within 6 months I had it replaced 3 times. After about a month, the battery life would go down to about 20 minutes. After the 3rd replacement in 6 months, I prevailed upon my carrier to forward date my new hardware eligibility and got a Samsung Galaxy S (which as been great).
  • Already a failure (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016)

    Android needs Horsepower and memory. 1 gig ram, dual core 1.2ghz processor, and at LEAST a 1024x768 screen res to be any real competition.

    If this does not have all of those, it is a failure as I can buy one of the other android tablets from a better company name, you can get the Samsung or Motorola tablets at Staples for $299-$399 right now and I know that hardware is better than ASUS.

    Come on ASUS, you guys used to know what you were doing. Now it's a year late and a processor core short.

    • Re:Already a failure (Score:5, Informative)

      by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:57AM (#39310789)

      you can get the Samsung or Motorola tablets at Staples for $299-$399 right now and I know that hardware is better than ASUS.

      Sure the hardware is better, but it won't run anywhere near as well. If Samsung and Motorola have shown just one thing it's that they lack any competent programmers. I really did enjoy watching the dramas with RobustFS that Samsung released on their phones. You know you could quadruple and then some the I/O performance on the Galaxy S simply by converting the partition to ext4?

      Yes at the time the Galaxy S was quite mean hardware. Yet the version of Eclair they shipped was about the only version of Android that I have seen which would force close apps because they were taking too long to load due to the OS overhead. The only good thing Samsung ever did was not lock down the bootloader on their devices. Although I'm not sure they did this out of kindness but rather their engineers were too dumb to figure out how.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        I guess you have not been keeping up with developments on the GS. Since Gingerbread the performance boost from converting to ext4 has been pretty marginal because the phone is damn fast anyway. Not quite as fast as a vanilla Nexus S, I'll grant you, but very smooth and responsive. Samsung got their shit together.

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          Ha. Sorry yes they did fix *SOME* things, but overall the experience still pales in comparison to CM7 of the time.

          Mind you what you're saying is not much of a defence. If it takes 2 MAJOR operating system releases spanned across 2 years to fix something that the hobby community solved within a few weeks it doesn't paint a shining example of "having their shit together".

          That and I've had a play with their honeycomb tablets too which given the hardware also seem to be very poor in performance where it matters

    • Re:Already a failure (Score:4, Informative)

      by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:46AM (#39310901)

      Come on ASUS, you guys used to know what you were doing. Now it's a year late and a processor core short.

      Not sure where you're getting your hardware specs from as tfa says the hardware is unconfirmed at this point.

    • by oakgrove (845019)
      Unless you're from the future there is no possible way you can pronounce something a failure that you have never even laid your hands on or seen. Who farted in your cereal this morning?
      • Then the opposite of that is true as well, that you cannot pronounce it as a success either.

        • by oakgrove (845019)
          Then the opposite of the opposite of the opposite of that is the inverse proportionate of...your point?
    • by Surt (22457)

      Well, TFA says 1280x800. And 1.2 ghz processor is pretty much a given, there's almost nothing they could equip it with these days slower than that. 1.5 or 1.8 is more likely. 1 gig ram seems pretty likely too. So it seems this device has pretty good odds of delivering what you want.

  • Has anyone seen an Android vs Linux performance comparison?

    Android on tablets may actually be a nice sneak gate to native Linux usage on tablets.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      By what metric? Given that Android uses a Linux kernel and similar drivers there are many parts of the system which should be equal in speed (thinking file system performance). But then there's also parts of Android that would be majorly let down in performance terms (such as UI rendering on pre ICS models which didn't support hardware acceleration nor give the UI a high thread priority).

  • Maybe I'm weird, but aside from not caring until they hit <$200, the main thing missing from tablets that I might otherwise be interested in is GPS. If I buy a tablet, I want to be able to use it as a portable map (with better resolution than "you're somewhere within a mile or so of here") and maybe the occasional "augmented reality" application (e.g. Mixare [mixare.org]). That's not ALL I'd want it for, of course, but its lack drops a tablet below my level of interest. Am I the only one? (And am I mistaken, or wo
    • "And am I mistaken, or would adding GPS add no more than perhaps $2 to the marginal cost of each tablet these days?"

      Don't know about the costs, but all gps enabled devices I have seem to have the GPS and 3G "glued together" on 1 chip. I guess it's to get AGPS to work. Adding a standalone GPS might be cheap, but it will take ages to get a fix.

    • by tgeek (941867)
      As you say, adding a GPS radio to a tablet would probably only marginally increase the cost. But the deal breaker for the manufacturers is the big drain on battery life. And that seems to be a huge bullet item on the marketing spec sheets. Personally, GPS is a feature I want and if the tablet doesn't have an important feature I want, then really battery life becomes irrelevant to me. I guess I'm not an average consumer . . .
      • To be honest, you're right. Not to mention most tablets have horrible battery life anyway.
        I'd love to see someone add an extra 1/4 or even 1/2 inches to the thickness of a given device and cover the thing with another 20aH of capacity. Enough to run apps for several days if not a week or more!

        • I don't consider 10 hours horrible battery life. Then again, I've never used an android tablet for longer than 15 minutes at a time, and can only speak for the ipad series.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      GPS costs a bit more than $2. But the big problem is that it's slow. You can get around that by putting in a cellular radio too, but that costs even more.

      You CAN get your map if you want. Either buy a tablet with a 3G radio and a GPS, or buy one without and a GPS tracker with a bluetooth connection.

  • by oakgrove (845019) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @09:42AM (#39311361)
    I have a Xoom and an iPad. When the Xoom had HC on it the iPad got a lot of use as Honeycomb was a little too raw. But the day ICS as installed on this device the iPad was sat down and hasn't been picked up since. The experience has been wonderful. Even this tegra2 flies with Android 4.0 on it. All of the apps I have ever looked for have been available even apps to mmake apps right on the device itself. How cool is that? Nothing as complex as a modern smartphone or tablet will ever be perfect but the TMobile Nexus S and now Verizon Galaxy Nexus have been nothing short of superb. Fast fluid stable fun. Every Thing I've wanted in one of these devices and I've used them all. In my collection I have an iPad an HD7 windows phone, a Nokia N770 mid, and several Android devices.

    Android OEMs have struggled by themselves but with Google's help and Asus' engineering they could come up with something really great at a price point that is easily palatable by people not well off enough to afford 4 and 5 hundred dollar plus devices.The naysayers should wait until something is delivered before throwing irrational hate at a piece of circuitry and glass they've never even touched.

    • I have a Xoom and an iPad. When the Xoom had HC on it the iPad got a lot of use as Honeycomb was a little too raw. But the day ICS as installed on this device the iPad was sat down and hasn't been picked up since. The experience has been wonderful. Even this tegra2 flies with Android 4.0 on it.

      While this is all anecdotal, I've had exactly the same experience with Asus Transformer - nice form factor but software was consistently underwhelming when it was Honeycomb. With ICS, it's like it's a completely different device.

  • Are they going to make it part of the Nexus series? Lemme see... Nexus Slate? Nexus Tab?
  • Apple got one thing right on ipad3 ... high res. High enough for movie playback to have acceptable quality at last. Manufacturers figure it out: there is a large segment of the population waiting for tablets that do at least 1080p natively so they can be used to watch movies.

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      The bulk of the population will spend money on phones and big screen TVs, then a notebook and then on everything else other than a tablet. Unless that tablet is throw away cheap.

  • Too small for useful use and too large to be portable. Awesome.

    • by c++0xFF (1758032)

      I 100% disagree. From experience. In my view, smart phones are too small to be useful, and many are too large to be a good phone. 10" is definitely too large to be portable (might as well haul around a smallish laptop at that point), too heavy and awkward to hold comfortably. 7" can fit into a purse, pocket (jeans or suit, even with a case on it), backpack, or whatever you want while still having plenty of space to do everything I could want. It's also a convenient size for holding with one hand.

      But, r

  • ...with ASUS selected for its willingness to flex to Google's requirements.

    Maybe I'm missing something here but didn't google purchase Motorola not so long ago?
    Does Motorola not make tablets themselves?

    How can ASUS be more willing to flex to Google's requirements over Motorola?
    Unless perhaps Google has others plans for Motorola?
    I wish the article had said something in regards to this.

    • > ...didn't google purchase Motorola...

      No.

    • by c++0xFF (1758032)

      They haven't yet sealed the deal, and who knows what antitrust issues might be involved as well.

    • by EvilJoker (192907)

      Google is buying Motorola. It has not yet completed.

      Presumably, the reason has more to do with brand cohesion, specifically things like BLUR. Everyone already has expectations of what to expect with a Motorola Android device. These expectations will be broken (for better or for worse) on a "Nexus" device. Since ASUS is largely unknown to U.S. consumers, there is little in the way of expectations.

      Alternatively, it should be noted that Pegatron, which is a spinoff from ASUS (and is still their primary ODM

  • Digitimes Digitimes Digitimes

    Such an accurate source.

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