If you’re Toshiba, what do you do when you’re looking to goose interest in the Excite 10 tablet? Roll out a quick follow up, of course. Accordingly, the FCC has just recently cleared a refreshed tablet, the AT300SE, that the Bluetooth SIG suggests will be called the Excite 10SE in North America. As shown, it’s a European-spec WiFi model that gives away little by itself. It’s when we combine this with the Bluetooth listing and speed tests that a clearer picture of the upgrade emerges — there’s been an AT300SE in GLBenchmark’s performance charts that we’ve seen running Jelly Bean (unavailable to current Excites) on top of what looks to be the familiar 1,280 x 800 display and 1.3GHz Tegra 3. While there may be other surprises lurking in areas the tests can’t reach, the documents point to a quick nip-and-tuck from Toshiba to keep tablet sales afloat rather than a full overhaul.
Talk of HTC’s rumored, giant DLX has veered between the plausible and not-so-plausible. We might just toss the newest tip into that former category. Football4PDA, who’s developing a reputation for uncannyaccuracy in leaks, has posted what’s claimed to be the core specifications of HTC’s first phablet. The DLX would mirror earlier expectations of a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro and a 5-inch, 1080p display, but push past the OneX+ in more ways than just physical heft: the extra space might just help it afford 1.5GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front shooter and a larger-still (but non-removable) 2,500mAh battery. We’re not as much of a fan of the threadbare 16GB of storage that’s supposedly in the cards, though, even with a new Android 4.1.2 build in store. Provided that there’s more to the story than just 136 characters, the real point of contention is the ship date — having mostly cleared the decks between its September event and its One X+ introduction, HTC hasn’t left much time for the possibly Verizon-bound flagship to show its face.
On top of bringing Android flavors to devices that would otherwise never get them, CyanogenMod has added SMS options to its latest CM10 Jelly Bean ROM — features the stock version lacks. First, the team introduced QuickMessage, which displays a pop-up when you get an IM, allowing you to view or reply to it on the spot. Then, after hearing feedback from users, a “quick reply” option was appended as well, letting you disable the pop-up and reply from the notification bar instead. We took a quick whirl with the latest nightly and saw that it works as advertised, giving you the speedy options while appearing as a regular setting in the stock messaging app. So, if you’re like most of us and drop everything when you get a text, check the source links for more details.
We’re still recovering from the onslaught of goodies shown off at IFA 2012, but there’s one thing we didn’t notice while perusing Samsung’s gadgetry. The team at German site BestBoyZ discovered S Cloud in the settings menu of the Note II, which included the option to sync user data with Dropbox. Apparently, Samsung reps didn’t have much to say on the matter, and BestBoyZ believe that’s because it’s not quite working yet (we’re willing to agree, given the variousdelays). It’s looking like the feature might be ready in time for the Note II’s launch, which ties in nicely with the 50GB of free Dropbox storage you’ll snag if you pick one up. Owners of other Samsung gear needn’t be disappointed though, as it’s suggested that S Cloud integration will be part of the Jelly Bean upgrades expected soon. We’ve embedded the reveal vid below, and don’t worry if you can’t speak German — you’ll still get the gist.
When it first landed on the Kindle Fire, HBO Go for Android tablets seemed like a dead cert. And, sure enough, it wasn’t long before the service found its way on to slates with version 4.x, with one minor exclusion — those running Jelly Bean. Well, version 1.7.1 puts that all in the past, and now means the full gamut of Android users (unless you never made it past Donut) can join in the fun. Reading this on your Nexus 7? Make haste toward the source link for the download.
The first-run Motorola Droid has developed a reputation as the Phone That Would Not Die — while official upgrades stopped around Froyo, enthusiasts have been keeping the QWERTY slider alive ever since. Kfazz at the XDA-Developers forums has taken up the torch this time around with a port of Jelly Bean. Based on CyanogenMod 10, the build is surprisingly functional, if currently buggy. The only glaring holes are a sometimes-broken camera and the absence of Google Now. The main disincentives to waiting for a stable build are the slow performance and very limited remaining storage that result from trying to stuff a 2012 OS into a 2009-era smartphone: Kfazz can defy expectations, but he can’t defy reality. It’s thus more of a proof of concept, because-we-can port than a favor for holdouts keeping the Droid as their daily driver. If you want to keep a mobile ancestor feeling relevant for one more generation, however, the fountain of youth is waiting at the source link.
John and I thus found it only fitting to bring the little 7-inch tablet into the studio for Fly or Die. The tablet, with a 7-inch IPS 1280×800 display, a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and the latest version of Android, didn’t fail to impress.
And the specs have very little to do with it. Sure, that Tegra 3 proc probably contributes quite a bit to the snappiness of the tablet, but the display isn’t anything to write home about, nor is the measly 8GB of on board storage. (I know there’s a 16Gb model, but without external memory you’ll be walking around with a rather “light” amount of content.)
What makes the tablet great is that it’s the first truly premium tablet available in this size and price range. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is great but it isn’t really a computer replacement the way the iPad is, but rather a mobile Amazon content portal. And the iPad, though exceptional in performance and usability, is a little large and way too expensive to fit into the category.
The Nexus 7 fills that gap, and so we believe it’ll fly and fly into many a home. It’s already sold out once.
The real question is whether or not it’ll still have such high demand once Apple unveils that long-awaited iPad mini. September will be here before you know it.
Jelly Bean-flavored geekery that was Google I/O 2012? It’s no matter, because you can catch all the highlights from Project Glass to the Nexus 7 in Google Developer’s latest video — provided you’ve got about four minutes spare to reminisce. You’ll find the clip after the break, and naturally, we’d suggest landing at our hub for the event if you’re hungry for another fixin’ of our extensive coverage — no parachute required.
P.S. Don’t forget to see if you can spot any Engadget editors in the clip while you’re at it!