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Dell tips a seven-inch Android tablet

Sep 23, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Dell CEO Michael Dell was said to have flashed a seven-inch Android tablet at Oracle World that may be the previously rumored “Looking Glass.” Meanwhile, Pegatron is building an Nvidia Tegra 2-based Android tablet for HTC, and Motorola has postponed its Android tablet until early 2011, waiting for Android 3.0 and the launch of 4G LTE networks, say other reports.

At Oracle World in San Francisco yesterday, Michael Dell showed off a seven-inch Android tablet, says CrunchGear, which posted a video to prove it. Dell briefly demonstrated a touchscreen interface on the unnamed device, which appeared to be a seven-inch model. Dell also said the tablet ran Android and had yet to be announced.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which posted the photo at right, Michael Dell told the Oracle World audience, "Of course, it's nice to have a larger screen," presumably comparing the device to its now-shipping, five-inch Dell Streak Android tablet.

Separately, Dell announced that Best Buy would start selling the Streak next month, which should help familiarize more consumers with the fairly novel concept of a humongous five-inch cellphone. It will be interesting to see if Dell also adds 3G telephony to the seven-inch model, a la the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Last month, Best Buy tipped that it was preparing a self-branded Android tablet called the Rocketfish, but offered few details.

Dell's Looking Glass
Source: Engadget

According to an Engadget story back in April, Dell was preparing a seven-inch "Looking Glass" Android tablet (pictured above). The 800 x 480 tablet was said to be set for a November launch. The Looking Glass will run Android 2.1 on an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, said the story. Other features were said to include ATSC or DVB-T programming via an optional TV tuner, a 1.4 megapixel camera, and 4GB of flash.

Pegatron said to prep tablet for HTC

Notebook maker Pegatron Technology has been tapped by fellow Taiwan-based tech firm HTC to build its first Android tablet, says Digitimes, which tends to be quite reliable on stories emerging from the island nation.

Citing "sources from component makers," the story says that the HTC tablet will run Android on Nvidia's dual Cortex-A9, 1GHz Tegra 2 processor. Digitimes did not mention the screen size of the multitouch tablet, but says it has a resolution of 1280 × 720, which would suggest a 10-inch or even larger size. This is also hinted at by the relatively high $790 (NT$25,000) price listed by the story.

The tablet will ship with a 32GB solid state drive (SSD), 2GB of memory, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, says the story. Software is said to include Chrome web apps and Android Market.

According to a DownloadSquad story last month, HTC was building an Nvidia Tegra 2-based Chrome OS tablet to be sold under a Google brand with a 1280 x 720 multitouch display. We're somewhat skeptical, however, considering that Google has suggested that Android — or at least Android 3.0 — is the preferred OS for tablets.

Motorola waits for Gingerbread — and LTE?

A week ago, Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha told a Deutsche Bank Technology Conference audience that its Android tablet would not arrive until early 2011 at the very earliest, according to a MobileBurn report.

"I will only develop a tablet if it is sufficiently compelling," Jha was quoted as saying. "Hopefully, that is early next year."

According to a TabletPCReview story today, Jha also told the conference that he agreed with Google itself that Android 2.2 is not suitable for tablets. This would suggest that Motorola, like several other vendors, is waiting for Android 3.0 "Gingerbread" before they jump into what appears will be an already crowded Android tablet market in 1Q 2011. Android 3.0 is expected to add optimized screen resolution support for display sizes of seven inches and higher.

The TabletPCReview story also proposes that Motorola may also be timing the tablet to coincide with the expected release of 4G LTE networks by Verizon Wireless and AT&T early next year. According to reports in May, Verizon plans to start LTE deployments in the fourth quarter, and AT&T will launch in 2011.

Availability

The CrunchGear story, which includes a video of Michael Dell's tablet flash at Oracle World, may be found here. The Wall Street Journal story on Dell's address should be here.

The Digitimes story on Pegatron's plans to build an HTC tablet may be found here.

The MobileBurn story on Motorola's tablet plans may be found here, and the TabletPCReview story should be here.


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