Archos To Do Seven-Inch Android Mini-Tablet

January 27, 2010

I was waiting for this shoe to drop!

Archos 7” Android Tablet appears for iPad-killer Price

Right now, it’s only a rumor.

But Archos has had a seven-inch mini-tablet for some time. It’s a frikkin beast — a metal-clad brick.

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When The Truth Finally Comes Out, It Is Brutal

December 31, 2009

Ten reasons why an Android phone is not a phone for me.

This is excellent. The first truthful account I’ve read.

Some choices quotes:

For whatever weird reason the tech news scene tends to grant everything coming out of Google with premature praise.

Welcome to the Planet of the Tech Gadget Whores. It’s a rude awakening, isn’t it? They’ll open their mouths to any insertion by a large corporation so they can flaunt their early access to shiny things. That’s what matters to them — not you, the reader and potential purchaser.

I don’t consider it to be a consumer’s primary task to fix a flawed smart phone OS

Exactly! People shouldn’t have to fix something that’s supposed to be a tool. I’ve been down this road investigating the Palm Pre. People told me of all the shortcomings and all of these ridiculous patches that would “fix” them. Who in their right mind wants to have to deal with that? I’ve been down this road with the original Palm OS and hacks. Been there, done that. Go get lost now.

It’s Google’s freaking operating system and they should have imposed at least basic means of quality assurance to make sure that Android partners provide a consistent experience to consumers.

This is what Palm isn’t getting: they can offer that. Unfortunately, they’ve retreated into the crowded and cutthroat cellphone space instead of swerving and avoiding it altogether with a mini-tablet. They would have been well ahead of the game by now. The lust of the market would have caught up to them and they’d own the mini-tablet space right now instead of people looking at the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, the Camangi WebStation, and the upcoming Dell Streak, Notion Ink Adam, and the ICD device. Without having to devote resources to the telephony aspects of a device, they could have conquered all the current shortcomings in webOS and it would have been a superior product to what it is now.

Go read that post. It’s the kind of writing we should come across every damn day on the Internet. Instead we are constantly fooled by the hype of self-interested whores.

Why A 7-Inch iTablet Makes Sense

December 23, 2009

Ever since the rumors stated the iTablet would have a ten-inch screen, I’ve been uneasy about that possibility.

In one of those rumors, it was asserted that Apple was going with ten inches due to a decree by Steve Jobs himself that anything less was too small.

The more I thought about that, the more nonsensical it became.

First of all, Steve Jobs has seen what the iPhone has done to the Internet.

Second of all, what we think about as a “proper” screen size is about to undergo a revolution.

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Sizes: Sony Reader Daily Edition Vs. Camangi WebStation

December 22, 2009

I was looking at some pictures of the Sony Reader Daily Edition on Flickr and a light went off in my dim head.

This is very interesting (photos are not to scale):

5″ x 8-1/8″ x 19/32″ without cover
5″ x 8-1/8″ x 23/32″ with cover
12.75 oz

4.72″ x 7.87″ x 0.57″
13.75 oz

The Camangi is actually smaller! It weighs one more ounce, however.

The screens are quite different in resolution: 600×1024 vs. 800×600.

On the other hand, the Camangi is color.

Perhaps most devastating: they are both US$399.00.

Yes, the Camangi lacks free 3G, but still.

I said the Nook at 12 ounces was too heavy for extending holding. The Sony Reader Daily Edition is heavier!

Updating the prior list now:

Nook: 11.2 ounces (actually 12!)
Cybook Opus: 5.3 ounces
Archos 7: 23 ounces
Archos 5IT: 6.4 ounces (32GB Flash)
Pocket Edition: 7.6 ounces
Touch Edition: 10.1 ounces
Daily Edition: 12.75 ounces
Camangi: 13.75 ounces

Two Vital Issues ALL Tablets Makers Are Ignoring

December 19, 2009

As I watch the flood of Android-powered mini-tablets begin, I can see that companies are making these things while ignoring two key issues that are vital to their success.

1) Weight. People need to be able to hold these things comfortably in one hand for an extended period of time for reading. The heavier a device is, the less comfortable it is. The Barnes & Noble Nook is too heavy for extended use. The more your device weighs, the less successful it will be in penetrating the eBook/digital book market.

2) Nighttime backlight mode. Everyone concentrates on how bright a screen can be to make colors pop when watching videos. But what about all those people who do nighttime reading while in bed? Aside from being able to hold a device for a long time while reading, the backlight really needs a super low-brightness mode so people don’t feel as if they’re staring into a flashlight while reading. JKK of jkkmobile prefers Aldiko over eReader for eBooks because he can dial down the backlight more on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Aldiko.

Since all of these mini-tablets will have touch screens, the issue of button placement is moot. Some might not have anything more than a button for On/Off and one for radios On/Off.

Accommodating those who read enlarges the potential market for these mini-tablets. The ones that are really reader-friendly will win.

Multi eInk eBook Device Fondle Report

December 19, 2009

Note: Crappy graphic for illustrative purposes only. Devices are not to relative sizes.

Last weekend I was frustrated in my attempt to fondle a live Barnes & Noble Nook. The only working unit was still locked away in an office and the person with the key wouldn’t arrive until 2PM that day (I was there at 10AM!).

This weekend, I went back to the same Barnes & Noble. What the hell, let’s see.

And they had two live Nooks.

After fondling the Nook, I went on to fondle three other eInk eBook devices and have drawn some conclusions some of you will find surprising.

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First Pictures Of Aldiko Running On A 10-Inch Screen!

December 18, 2009

This is very exciting!

After doing the earlier post about the Notion Ink mini-tablet, I tweeted Aldiko to ask if they’d ever tried their ePub reading software on that size screen.

They hadn’t!

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IDPF Screws Up ePub eBook Covers For Everyone!

December 16, 2009

In an earlier post, Barnes & Noble Nook Vs. Archos 5 Internet Tablet: Round Two, I closed with this:

One flaw in that video: Aldiko did not create a thumbnail of the cover; it’s using a generic placeholder. I will ask about that and report back.

I doubt anyone but me would have even noticed that. But I did and it bugged me.

I had to know what was going on here.

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Barnes & Noble Nook Vs. Archos 5 Internet Tablet: Round Two

December 14, 2009

For research purposes only, I, um, massaged an ePub eBook edition of a newly-released Michael Jackson biography so it could be tested on Judie Lipsett’s Nook to judge its ability to handle ePub.

This is a muthah of an ePub file: over 4MBs with lots of pictures in it.

Let that sink in a moment.

This is a book about Michael frikkin Jackson, OK?

It’s not an atlas or some niche specialty book.

It’s not a forgotten book like Jack London’s The People of the Abyss.

It’s an eBook the average reader would buy!

Can you guess what the results of this challenge were?

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Wind River’s Optimized Android OS: For Tablets?

December 13, 2009

I came across this news originally in a French post.

Then I went to the Wind River site for the press release.

This is the most interesting bit:

Pre-integrated third-party software, including existing Flash® technology from Adobe, OpenCORE™ mobile multimedia software from PacketVideo, firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updating and device management software from Red Bend;

My god! They’ve baked Flash into it!

And while the video part sounds exciting on the surface, it’s not.

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