ASUS to update Transformer tablets to Jelly Bean OS

ASUS has informed their clients that their Transformer Tablets will soon be powered by Google’s latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.
Google teamed up with ASUS to develop their Nexus 7 tablets, which already carriy the Jelly Bean OS.

With the Nexus 7 considered as one great product due to its OS update, ASUS will be rolling out their own Jelly Bean updates on their very own products that includes the Transofrmer Prime, Pad and Pad Infinity.

Unfortunately for Transformer Slide and the very first Transformer tablet, they are not included in the update roll out. But ASUS is planning to update these older tablets some time in the future.

ASUS is considered as one of the pioneering companies to run their tablets on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The notice to their clientele read, “We are pleased to announce that many of our tablet products are scheduled to receive an update to Android 4.1, Jelly Bean. The ASUS Transformer Pad, ASUS Transformer Pad prime and ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity are all scheduled to receive Android 4.1 updates in the coming months. We will provide further guidance on our expected timeframes for these updates near their release.”

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Jelly Bean soon to hit HTC, ASUS and Samsung

For many Apple users, the question that hits their mind is “When will I get the iOS6 update?” For Android fans, however, the question they beg to ask is more akin to “Will I get Jelly Bean?” This is rather annoying for many Android fans, because for a while now, many of them are still asking when and will they get Ice Cream Sandwich.

Fragmentation sure has been a long standing problem for the platform. Android Jelly Bean just came out and people want a piece of it badly. The problem with new OS releases is that the users are not able to get the update as quickly as Apple users, and it is even a big question mark if they will ever be even lucky enough to get that update. The hardware differences and manufacturer dedication to updates has been one of the sources of frustration for many users.

So far, there are only two devices in the market with pre-installed Jelly Bean: the Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Nexus. All other devices are waiting for the update, and looks like they only have “months” to wait for now.

Samsung has reportedly reached a phase where they are almost ready to release the Jelly Bean update to their flagship phone: the Samsung Galaxy S III. Reports also suggest that they will soon update the 2nd generation flagship device: the Samsung Galaxy S II. Since the original Samsung Galaxy S did not even qualify for the Ice Cream Sandwich update of Android, it is expected that it will not get the update. People are still holding their breath with an update to other devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note. If the Samsung Galaxy S 2 is anything to go by, the Note should have that update later on.

The Samsung Galaxy S III’s rival, the HTC One X, will also get a piece of the Jelly Bean jar. It is reported to also include the HTC One XL as well, as the HTC One S in the update plans. There was no mention of how long users will have to wait for the new version of Android, but it should be a little faster than their Ice Cream Sandwich timeframe, because the Jelly Bean update is not as huge an overhaul like the Ice Cream Sandwich.

While Samsung was the host for the Galaxy Nexus, ASUS is the main contractor for the creation of the Nexus 7.  It should then be understandable that they have firsthand access to the OS and should be able to incorporate the new OS to their existing devices. ASUS confirms that the Transformer tablets will have the much awaited Jelly Bean update in the “coming months”.

You can be sure that carrier updates will prolong the process further than the international unlocked versions. Excited yet?

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Google set to release Nexus 7 this July

Google Inc. is set to sell their first ever tablet this July hoping to barge into the tablet market, which is currently being dominated by Apple’s iPad.

Google’s entry to the market could help boost the development of tablet specific apps for their own Android software. Microsoft is set to follow in Google’s steps with their impending “Surface” tablet launch.

The Nexus 7, which is a collaboration between Asus and Google, was unveiled during the company’s annual developers conference.

The unveiling of the Nexus 7 tablet comes barely a month after Google acquired Motorola Mobility.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin was present during the event and demoed the Google Glass. The latter can livestream events and perform computing tasks. Google Glass is set to be priced at $1,500.

But what was on the spotlight during the conference was the Nexus tablet. It will be sold initially at Google Play online store, priced at $199. It is a 7 inch tablet that has a front facing camera.

Google director of engineering for Android Chris Yerga said, “Nexus 7 is an ideal device for reading books. The form factor and weight are just right.”

Google is offering the Nexus 7 to buyers, with a $25 credit that they can use to purchase app at the Google Play store.

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Nexus soon to launch tablet?

We’ve had the Nexus 1, the Nexus S, and a Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus series of phones, which are supposed to provide the default Android experience without any manufacturer software changes. These would be the phones to get if you want the fastest updates with the highest compatibility with the Android Operating system.
The Nexus line has so far only focused on the Phone market. That is about to change, as Eric Schmidt confirmed last December the release of a Nexus 7 – an all-purpose tablet, aimed to beat the popularity of the Kindle fire by competing in prices. This tablet is rumored to arrive this week!

The Nexus 7 is believed to be developed mainly by ASUS. This would come as no surprise because of ASUS’ success in providing cheap, yet high quality tablets that really sell. Yes, we are talking about the original ASUS  Transformer. This would make them a logical partner in creating a powerful low price tablet.

Specs and features were eventually ‘leaked’ and discovered by the community. What we knowm so far is that will be a 7-inch tablet, a direct competitor to the cheap e-book readers by Amazon (Kindle Fire) and Barnes and Noble (Nook). It will have the standard 1GB of RAM, and would feature 8 GB or 16 GB models. There is also much faith put in that it will also sport a higher resolution, hopefully around 1280 x 800. This would be better than the Kindle Fire, which only sports 1024 x 600. The kicker is of course, for a Nexus device, the Operating System. Rumors and leaks suggest that the release of the Nexus 7 will be the dawn of the release of Android 4.1 codenamed: Jelly Bean. This will be a huge bonus, as the Kindle Fire only sports a restricted version of Android.

Since this is made by ASUS, and focuses on the tablet experience, it is expected that the tablet would run with the Tegra 3 or something better. This would effectively make this tablet a powerful all-in-one e-reader, productivity tool and gaming console package, which will be hopefully cheap,too. We hope ASUS will not let us down.

To further bolster the campaign for NFC adaptation, Google is bound to make sure that it will sport an NFC chip and allow it to use Google wallet. Google will also make sure that they will be directly responsible with the management and update of the Nexus 7’s software – something we wish they would do for all phones.

The Kindle fire currently retails at around $199. If the Nexus 7 is to beat that, it has to be the same price, or slightly lower. With the expected specs of the Nexus 7, there shouldn’t even be a problem if the device is just the same price as the Kindle Fire. With that kind of price to beat, it would be rather foolish to hope that the Nexus 7 will have phone features just like the 7 inch Galaxy Tabs. That being said, I would like to be foolish as I wish for this ability to be included in the tablet. What can I say? A 7 inch phone is attractive to me.

The fact of the matter is, the Nexus 7 is going to arrive sooner or later. It has already been confirmed by Schmidt himself. We are not sure how big a wave it will make, but it will be a tough challenge for Amazon to top that with the next Kindle. This begs the question who bought a whole bunch of Kindle Fires during the holidays. Will you be willing to switch over to the Nexus 7? Or will you be rooting and waiting for Amazon’s next move in the tablet market?

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Microsoft to battle Apple head on with own tablet?

Reports have been circulating that Microsoft is going to dive in to a business that they are not known for. And if these reports are true, then Microsoft is going to take on Apple head to head to find out who really is the premiere company between the two.

It is reported that Microsoft will announce their own tablet next week at an event in Los Angeles, California.

Though Microsoft has already partnered with Asus and Acer to carry their Windows 8 in their devices, this reported tablet of theirs is one that could make or break the company for years to come.

The Wrap and AllThingsD have strongly suggested that Microsoft is developing their own hardware. If these reports are true, then this Microsoft “tablet” will go battle Apple and their iPad.

One good thing about Microsoft’s plan to develop their own tablet, is that they could control the quality of their product.

A lot of companies are into tablet nowadays. And these companies have partnered with Microsoft to use their much anticipated Windows 8 operating system.

If Microsoft releases their own tablet, could this become a reason for other companies to shy away with their partnership with the company?

Only time can tell.

What are your thoughts about Microsoft developing their own tablet?

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Asus accused of sexist tweet!

The Tweet that was supposed to inject excitement to the fans of Asus and the impending release of their Transformer AIO turned ugly, as netizens cried foul over their choice of words.

Asus Tweeted a photograph showing a female model with her back turned towards the camera and a caption which read, “The rear looks pretty nice. So does the new Transformer AIO.”

Asus immediately pulled the post from their feed. But unfortunately, a number of individuals have screen grabbed the photo and shared it in the Web.

The use of scantily clad females in booth’s or product promotions is a usual practice, said trade show expert Susan Friedmann. “You also must take into account where you are exhibiting. What might get you thrown into jail in Paducah would be par for the course in Tokyo,” she added.

Th practice of using this type of promotional gimmickry has seen its fair share of criticism.

A tech writer for Digital Trends, Molly McHugh said to the BBC at the 2012 CES that, “Seeing women in their booth babe attire… is confusing, because it’s sending this message of what my sex is here to do.”

Asus has since apologized for the sexist tweet.

Do you think “booth babes” are sexist?

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Windows 8 – the true Transformer?

Microsoft may have just gotten the best partner in the business to show off the Windows 8 operating system. As we recall from my previous article, Microsoft is looking to gamble with the greatest change in the Windows operating system since Windows 95 – the Windows 8. Microsoft’s ambition with Windows 8 is to create a unified look and feel for its different devices. They aim to unify the PC, the tablet, the phone, and the gaming console. This dream may very well come into fruition when the Taiwanese tech giant, ASUS, showed off the ASUS transformer Book.

ASUS has played this card before, with the dawn of Android OS’ own Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). It should be noted that when Google was making the announcement regarding ICS, they said that the goal of the team is to unify the phone and tablet experience, by using one OS. While Google said tablet and phone, ASUS had the idea to use this popular OS to merge tablet and PC to create the ASUS transformer.

It was the merging of the tablet experience and the PC experience by adding a fully functional keyboard to the tablet and creating an overall design that looks like a 10 inch notebook. While this may have been a very successful product, which has eventually led to the release of its successor, the ASUS Transformer Prime, it was very lacking in the sense that the ICS was not ready for the PC experience. There was not much you can do that will make you consider it anything more than a low end netbook.

In contrast, the new Windows 8 operating system was meant to be the binding software not only for the phone and tablet, but also for the PC. This makes it the perfect OS to utilize in creating the best tablet-PC hybrid product.

The ASUS transformer book was designed to be a laptop at first sight. It is powered by an Intel i3, i5 or i7 processor. At the same time, it was powered by NVIDIA’s GeForce graphics, and sports an SSD or HDD storage. It came with a high 4GB of DDR3 memory and a Full HD IPS display. The best part is that these displays, that come in 11.6-, 13- and 14-inch versions, can be removed and function as fully functional tablets using the tablet friendly Windows 8 operating system. If anything, if this product works and is duly accepted by the public, it could very well serve as an anchor in the future proliferation of Windows 8 devices.

While I myself am rather unsure if I like the new Windows 8 platform, no one can deny the allure of having full featured tablet and a full featured PC all in one product. This is assuming of course that the actual operating system from Microsoft will be capable of running without a hitch on this device. We also hope for the best that ASUS does not butcher the release like they did with the Transformer Prime. If they screw up the release with a faulty OS or unit from the start, it may just make people even more afraid of the leap to the new face of the Windows operating system.

When the announcement and release of the public previews of the Microsoft Windows 8 came along, people became very skeptical of its possible success. Now we see a glimmer of the future that Microsoft was eagerly talking about. Can you see that future? Will the ASUS transformer book be enough to tide you over?

Windows 8 based tablets set to topple the iPad

Are we ready for the impending tech wars?

The iPad is known to be the leader of the tablet market and has left its competition to pick up the remnants of its wrath. Now, Acer Inc., Toshiba Corp and Asustek Computer Inc. are set to reveal their tablets running on Microsoft’s new OS, the Windows 8.

In their effort to have a bigger piece of the pie, the three companies are pumped up with impending release of their own tablets.

Acer will unveil their version at the Computex show in Taipei. Toshiba, on the other hand, will show their tablet and a notebook-type device on that same event. Asustek will publicize their tablets with a detachable keyboard (like their Prime models) during the same show.

The annual Computex event gives developers that chance to show their prototypes before it is released to the public.

Currently, tablets that run in Android and iOS are the ones lording over the market (they have a combined 91% of the market share).

These Windows 8 tablets will be the first of its kind since it will feature processors that use ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) technology. This is a chip developed by Qualcomm Inc., Texas Instruments Inc. and Nvidia Corp.

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Hasbro sues Asus for Transformer Prime

And now Asus is joining the fray of companies being sued in the courts due infringement of rights. In this case, Asus is being sued by Hasbro, creator of the Tranformers toy robots.

According to reports, the toy giant has had enough of Asus using their names in products. The company’s latest tablet, the Transformer Prime, was the last straw for Hasbro.

Though Habro didn’t act violently when the first Transformer tab was released, but now they think that Asus has infringed their right to use of one of their most popular character names by naming their device close to Optimus Prime. A case was filed against Asus  in the Los Angeles Federal Court sometime last week seeking temporary injunction, along with damages.

In a letter written to PaidContent, Hasbro expressed their thought on this issue:

Hasbro continues to aggresively protect its brands and products and the specific actions we are taking today against Asus underscores yet again Hasbro’s willingness to pursue companies who misappropriate our intellectual property for their own financial gain.

Under current trademark law, since tablets and toys do not fall under one category, the case filed against Asus would be invalid. However, Hasbro is asserting that the brand (Transfomers) is expanding and they have the right to protect names associated with their products.

So we’ll have to see how this case develops. 🙂

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Asus to launch cheapest ebook reader

Credit: Times Online

And this isn’t just like any other reader too.

Asus, the company who first launched netbooks, is doing it again and is now planning on releasing a low-cost gadget alternative for electronic book readers they’ve dubbed the Eee Reader.

According to Jerry Shen, Asus president, two versions are set to be available in the market by the end of the year: a budget and a premium version.

The premium version is the most interesting though. Unlike current ebook readers (and yes, I mean Kindle and Amazon 😉 ) Asus claims that this one will have two screens connected by a hinged spine that can open like a traditional book. One screen can be used for viewing ebooks (pages can be “turned” through the touchscreen) while the other page can be used for browsing web pages. One of the screens can also be used as a virtual keyboard, according to a Times report.

Other features on the Eee Reader has that are not found on typical ebook readers include full color screens and may also include speakers, a webcam and a mic for Skype.

“Our ethos is innovation — as our brand is less well known, we have to run faster than the competition to develop new types of products,” said Asus. “Any such product — including an ereader — has to have the right combination of functionality and price. No one is going to buy one for £1,000.”

The budget version of the Eee Reader would not be as high-tech as its premium sibling though and would “take on the competition on price rather than features”, according to Times.

No word yet as to how much the readers will be priced, but expect it to be lower than the competitions. 🙂