Archive for January, 2010
Asus has already confirmed that it will be entering the booming e-reader market later this year, but one device we haven’t heard much about is the purported Eee Pad. In fact, we’ve only heard the Eee Pad referred to in rumor form, but all of that changes today. Asus’ Corporate Vice President, Eric Chen, recently confirmed to members of the press that it’s planning to release an Eee Pad in the future, and with the new revolution of tablets upon us, we could see Asus’ play getting a lot of attention in the very short future.
He stated that an affordable touchscreen, 3G-equipped device in the form of a tablet would be unveiled later this year, and it will be equipped with NVIDIA’s Tegra 2. That’s not completely stunner, since we heard rumblings of such a device at CES 2010.Asus essentially created the netbook craze that we know now. It has proven that it can hold its own as a pioneer in an industry, and there’s nothing stopping the company from doing the same thing in the tablet sector. Apple’s iPad looks to be just the first of many tablets to come, but it remains to be seen if the public is finally ready for these slate-type devices. Remember, tablets/slates died out years ago, but those weren’t nearly as sexy nor as powerful as these. Are you excited?
The 14.1-inch, 4,096-color display is paper-thin and flexible, and can be viewed from up to a 180-degree angle, meaning images remain crisp even when the display is twisted around, the company said.
The image is designed to be comparable to print quality, LG.Philips said. The display is less than 300 micrometers thick, and only uses power when the image changes.
E-paper is a concept designed to open up new frontiers in the world of LCD displays and to replace paper in some cases. A number of companies have debuted prototypes of such lightweight, thin, flexible displays, including Taiwan’s Prime View International (PVI) and Japan’s Seiko Epson.
LG.Philips’ version of the technology uses a substrate that arranges Thin-Film Transistors (TFT) on metal foil rather than glass, making the display flexible and allowing it to return to its original shape after being bent. The latest display includes a color filter coated onto the plastic substrate.
The company’s development process for the color display centered on overcoming processing difficulties related to the lack of heat resistance in metal foil and plastic substrates.
That meant developing processing technology that minimizes panel deformation and prevents circuit structure change during high-temperature processes, as well as research into the lamination technology and the design of the transistors and color filter, the company said.
PVI recently introduced Vizplex, an e-paper technology that, like LG.Philips’ displays, uses electronic ink from E-Ink. PVI’s smaller displays, between 1.9 inches and 9.7 inches, are due out this summer and are designed for mobile phones, music players, bulletin boards and electronic books.
Seiko Epson introduced a high-resolution, A6-sized e-paper display using E-Ink and a manufacturing technique called surface-free technology by laser annealing (SUFTLA).
Everyone is clamoring about tablets these days—ourselves included—so it’s not too surprising that Google and HTC are set to join the fray. They are reportedly working together on a Chrome OS Google Tablet.
Smarthouse, an Australian publication, reports that HTC and Google have been collaborating “for the past 18 months” and have produced “several working models of a touch tablet,” including one outfitted with Google’s Chrome OS. We wrote why a Google Tablet would be a good idea last month, and with the Apple Tablet discussion reaching a fever pitch, it’s harder and harder to get excited about a Chrome OS netbook from Google.
Having collaborated on the Nexus One, a smart phone that impressed us with its design as well as its hardware, HTC and Google partnering on a tablet seems like a promising prospect. But will it “compete head on” with Apple’s tablet as Smarthouse claims? Probably not.
From what we know, it seems like Apple is putting as much effort into their tablet’s content as they are into the gadget itself. We’ve written extensively on how an Apple tablet could redefine newspapers, textbooks, and magazines. In the last case, we’ve already salivated, more than once, over concepts for how magazines might evolve in a multi-touch future. Add that to Apple’s recent acquisition of Lala, a move that likely points to a cloud-based future for iTunes, and the reports that Apple is trying to secure TV show subscription packages for the iTunes store. Admittedly, not a whole lot is certain about Apple’s tablet. But you start looking at all of those pieces and how they might fit together around one device, you can easily envision a gadget that is focused on streaming the stuff you read, the stuff you listen to, and the stuff you watch.