Rumour: Google to launch upgraded Nexus 10 tablet at MWC 2013

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Jan 212013
 

Google Nexus 10You can now add another device to the list of rumoured announcements expected at MWC 2103 next month. According to Bright Side of News, Google will unveil an updated version of the Google Nexus 10 tablet.

With its 10.1-inch WQXGA (2560×1600) display, the original Google Nexus 10 has a reputation for pushing its 1.7GHz dual-core Cortex-A15 Samsung Exynos 5250 with Mali-T604 GPU to the limit leading to performance lag. To address this shortcoming, Google and Samsung are reportedly going to bump it up to a multi-core processor paired to a new 8-core Mali-T678 GPU. A prototype seen at CES 2013 allegedly ran significantly faster with the performance difference between the two being described as “night and day.”

Other specifications of the revised tablet are not expected to change. Even the form factor will remain the same despite the fact that both Google and Samsung admit that it lacks some “wow factor.” That will apparently be worked on for the next version.

Despite the rumoured announcement at MWC 2013, the tablet may not be available until the fall for either the same price as the current model or slightly more.

Read more: Bright Side of News

Samsung executive confirms 8-inch Galaxy Note headed to MWC 2013

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Jan 212013
 
Samsung

With other a month to go before MWC 2013, rumours are flying fast and furious as to what devices will be announced at the event. At least one of those is now a near certainty after being confirmed during an interview. Korean website iNews24 reports that none other than JK Shin, President and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division, confirmed that the company will unveil an 8-inch version of its Galaxy Note tablet (the Galaxy Note 8.0?) at MWC 2013 taking place in Barcelona next month. No details about the device were revealed

Earlier rumours suggest that the Galaxy Note 8.0 will come with a 1.6GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, an 8-inch WXGA (1280×800) Super Clear LCD and the Samsung S Pen technology seen on other Note devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 would slot in between the smaller 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II and the larger Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. Even with rumours that the upcoming Galaxy Note III could sport a much larger 6.3-inch display, the 8-inch model would remain a nice compromise between the smaller and larger models.

All should be revealed in just over a month at MWC.

Read more: iNews24 (in Korean) [Google translation] (Source: Engadget)

Kitchener to deck out city for BlackBerry 10 launch

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Jan 192013
 
RIM BlackBerry

Research In Motion’s Corporate Head Office is located in Waterloo, Ontario, not far from Kitchener, its sister city. Despite recent downsizing, it still employs thousands in the local area. It should come as no surprise then that the Kitchener-Waterloo area is getting in on the BlackBerry launch celebrations. Normally, Kitchener has a bylaw that prevents private companies from using publicly owned property for self-promotion (Waterloo does not). But the city has decided to make an exception for RIM and will allow it to put up banners and promote its BlackBerry 10 launch with skating parties and refreshments.

The city council vote was nearly unanimous with only one councillor voting against the exception. For his part, Councillor Berry Vrbanovic who brought the motion forward said, “If we look at how much this company has done for the community and how important this launch is globally, it only makes sense for us to be supportive of it.”

Both city mayors were equally supportive. “There are very few companies that have had the kind of influence over this community in terms of the local economy,” said Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr. Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran added, “It just makes sense for us to be supportive of RIM and to allow them to put their banners up. We believe in RIM.”

Thanks in large part to RIM, Kitchener-Waterloo is widely seen as a world-class centre for technology and innovation. It has been influential in setting up institutions such as the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. It is well known for its philanthropic contributions to the local area.

It could be quite the party in K-W in just over a week!

Read more: CBC News

Rumour: Motorola X Phone to be unveiled at Google I/O

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Jan 192013
 
Motorola Mobility

Rumours about the Motorola X Phone have resurfaced. We first heard about this mysterious device last December. There was little information but there was the promise of a “sophisticated” smartphone (whatever that means) and a focus on improving the camera and photo software as well as new materials and shapes. New rumours now suggest that the Motorola X Phone could be unveiled as early as Google I/O 2013 (May 15th-17th) and provide a few alleged details about it.

Citing “hidden friends in high places within the industry,” DroidForums reports that the Motorola X Phone will sport a 5-inch edge-to-edge display (like the Motorola RAZR M?). If so, it could be roughly the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S III despite having a larger display. Unlike many Motorola devices that have ended up at Verizon as DROID models, the X Phone will be available from multiple carriers under its own new “hyper-competitive brand.”

As such, the Motorola X Phone will not be a Nexus device. It will run Google Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie (which is also expected at Google I/O) but will also feature a Motorola interface that “both compliments & enhances the Android experience, and is intended to be Nexus-like.” Additional software add-ons are also expected to enhance the Android experience (much as Samsung has done with recent devices like the Galaxy S III and Note II).

DroidForums do warn that there is not only no secondary corroboration for this report yet but that the source is also “not the most solid.” So, take it all with a grain of salt (or more) until further details surface.

Should the Motorola X Phone be announced at Google I/O, it may have to share the stage with the rumoured Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.7 from LG.

Read more: DroidForums (Source: AndroidinCanada)

Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.7 by LG to be announced at Google I/O?

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Jan 162013
 
Google Nexus

If the latest rumours are true, LG will continue to be Google’s manufacturing partner into 2013 with at least two more devices. According to a forum post on the Korean website Ruliweb, Google will announce both the Google Nexus 5 and Google Nexus 7.7 at the upcoming Google I/O 2013. Both will be manufactured by LG.

The Google Nexus 5 will be powered by NVIDIA’s new Tegra 4 processor. It will come with a 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display with 1 millimeter bezels, 2GB RAM, a 13MP rear camera and 3MP front one. Onboard storage is listed at 8GB. If so, a 16GB option is also likely.

The Google Nexus 7.7 will be very similar. It will also come with the NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, 2GB RAM, and 8GB of onboard storage. As the name implies, it will have a 7.7-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display with a thin bezel (although perhaps not as thin as that of the Nexus 5) and a 5MP front camera.

With Google expected to unveil the next major version of Android at the event, it is possible although not stated in the post that both will come with latest Android version rather than Jelly Bean.

Both could sell for as low as US$299 in their 8GB configurations.

Google I/O will take place from on May 15th to 17th. Ticket prices and other registration details will be announced in February.

For now, take it all with a grain of salt until some corroborating evidence surfaces to give these rumours some more credibility.

Read more: Ruliweb (in Korean) [Google translation] (Source: AndroidAuthority)

Samsung display roadmap confirms 5-inch FHD display for Samsung Galaxy S IV?

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Jan 142013
 

Rumours that Samsung would unveil either a 4.99-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display or even the Galaxy S IV at CES 2013 did not pan out. But a product roadmap on display at CES 2013 has confirmed that the display in question is coming. Spotted by AnandTech, it shows the evolution of displays over the last couple of years. It culminates with the aforementioned 4.99-inch FHD display with a 440 PPI.

Samsung Display roadmap

Samsung boasts that this new display will have a low power mode and significant power savings (up to 47% with that new mode) over current generation displays.

The roadmap also shows a launch scheduled for Q1 2013. And which device has been rumoured to sport a 5-inch Full HD display for a while now? None other than the Samsung Galaxy S IV.

Could Samsung unveil its new display at MWC 2013 with the Galaxy S IV to have its own launch event afterwards (perhaps with Samsung’s new 8-core Exynos 5 Octa SoC in tow as well)?

Read more: AnandTech

CES 2013: Lenovo K900 with Intel dual-core processor unveiled

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Jan 092013
 

Lenovo K900Lenovo today unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Lenovo K900. It’s unlike most of the flagship devices being unveiled this week as CES 2013 unfolds. It does not sport a quad-core processor but will be among if not the first to use Intel’s first dual-core Atom chip for phones. It will also not sport a 5-inch FHD display but rather a 5.5-inch FHD one.

“With the K900, our team has broken down the key functions of the smartphone and redesigned them from the ground up,” said Liu Jun, president, Mobile Internet Digital Home, and senior vice president, Lenovo. “Rather than focus on specifications that look good on a datasheet, we’ve zeroed in on what consumers want and proved that for smartphone users, top performance doesn’t require a thick profile. The K900 is a game-changer that looks as good as it performs.”

We don’t have all the specifications about the Lenovo K900 yet but here is what we know so far:

  • Processor: 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580
  • Operating system: Google Android Jelly Bean with Lenovo Le Phone UI
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA
  • Display: 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS with Gorilla Glass 2
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP with Sony Exmor BSI sensor, f/1.8 lens, and dual flash
  • Front-facing camera: 2MP
  • Dimensions / weight: 6.9 millimeter thick / 162 grams

The Lenovo K900 will launch in April in China. Other “select regional markets” will follow soon after. Pricing was not announced.

Read more: Lenovo

CES 2013: Samsung shows off Youm flexible displays

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Jan 092013
 
Samsung Youm

Samsung today showed off its OLED Youm flexible displays at its second CES keynote. Brian Berkeley, Samsung Electronics senior vice president of their display lab, took to the stage to talk about the company’s Youm technology which allows displays to be able to be bent, rolled and even folded. Underlying how far this technology still has to go before we see it in our devices, there was more talk of concepts and the promise of what flexible displays can offer than actual devices.

Samsung did show off a smartphone prototype with a 5-inch display that wrapped around the sides. The idea is that short messages (like an SMS) and notifications could be displayed on the side. Nokia also presented a similar concept, the Nokia GEM, last year.

Samsung flexible display
Credit: CNET

Other screens were on display, further emphasizing the promise of this technology:

Samsung flexible display
Credit: CNET

Samsung has been working on flexible displays for at least a couple of years now. Samsung introduced the Youm brand name last year. Back in December 2011, it released a video showing its vision for the technology:

We may have to be patient a while longer but flexible displays do look to be on their way to a variety of devices.

Read more: CNET

CES 2013: ZTE unveils ZTE Grand S, “the thinnest 5.0 FHD quad-core smartphone”

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Jan 092013
 

ZTE Grand SAs expected, ZTE today unveiled the ZTE Grand S, the the flagship handset in its Grand Series product line. At 6.9 millimeters, ZTE bills it as “the world’s thinnest within 5 inch FHD quad-core smartphones.”

“The ZTE Grand S gives our customers the latest in technology, functionality and style. We understand that today’s consumers call for advanced features and state-of-the-art multimedia options in their handsets, and the ZTE Grand S confidently addresses those demands,” said Mr. Kan Yulun, Corporate Vice President of ZTE Corporation and CTO of the ZTE Mobile Device Division.

ZTE Grand S specifications:

  • Processor: 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE
  • Display: 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080)
  • Input: Touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP AF with flash and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 2MP FF with 1080p video capture
  • Dimensions / weight: 142 x 69 x 6.9 millimeters

The ZTE Grand S is in fact the company’s second 5-inch FHD smartphone. It announced the ZTE Nubia Z5 just after Christmas. It is slightly thicker than the Grand S and does not come with LTE. Like the Grand S, it is currently set to be offered only in China.

The ZTE Grand S will go on sale in China later this quarter. Information about pricing and availability in other markets was not provided.

Read more: ZTE

CES 2013: Alcatel unveils One Touch Idol Ultra, “world’s slimmest smartphone”

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Jan 082013
 

Alcatel One Touch Idol UltraTCL Communication, the company behind Alcatel’s One Touch branded smartphones, yesterday unveiled the One Touch Idol Ultra, billed as the “world’s slimmest smartphone.” A mere 6.45 millimeters thick, it promises that “performance is not compromised.” It comes with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 4.7-inch AMOLED display, an 8MP rear camera capable of capturing 1080p video and runs Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

If weight is more your thing, Alcatel also announced the One Touch Idol which may not be as thin but is billed as “the lightest smartphone in its category” at 110 grams. It comes with a dual-core processor, a 4.7-inch IPS display, 8MP camera and 2MP front camera

Details including availability and pricing were not provided.

Read more: TCL Communication

CES 2013: Huawei launches Ascend W1, its first Windows Phone 8 device

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Jan 082013
 

Huawei Ascend W1Alongside the Android-powered Ascend D2 and Ascend Mate, Huawei today launched its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the Huawei Ascend W1. As expected, it is an entry-level device designed to be easy on the pocketbook.

“Inspired and powered by people, the Ascend W1 is a combination of Huawei’s user-centric design philosophy and Windows Phone 8 software, bringing consumers a truly compelling alternative.” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The addition of the Ascend W1 to our smartphone portfolio gives consumers access to an even wider range of Huawei smartphones. At a price that makes sense to consumers, Ascend W1 underscores our commitment to put smartphones within reach of every consumer, no matter who you are or what you want from your phone.”

Huawei Ascend W1 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8230
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows Phone 8
  • Cellular connectivity: UMTS/GSM
  • Other connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1
  • Display: 4-inch WVGA (800×480) IPS LCD
  • Input: Touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 4GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP AF with flash LED
  • Front-facing camera: 0.3MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack
  • Battery: 1,950mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 124.5 x 63.5 x 10.15 millimeters / 130 grams
  • Colours: Blue, red, black, white

The Huawei Ascend W1 will first launch in China and Russia starting in January 2013. Other markets including the U.S. (and Canada?) will follow later. Pricing information was not announced.

Read more: Huawei

CES 2013: Huawei Ascend D2 and Huawei Ascend Mate unveiled

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Jan 082013
 

Huawei yesterday unveiled two new smartphones, the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate ‘phablet’ and the 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) Ascend D2 which looks small next to its larger sibling. Huawei bills the Ascend Mate as “the smartphone with the largest screen in the world” and describes the Ascend D2 as its latest “hero product in Huawei’s Ascend series of smartphones.”

Huawei Ascend D2Huawei Ascend D2 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Balong V7R1
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Huawei Emotion UI
  • Cellular connectivity: UMTS/GSM
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA
  • Display: 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) Super Retina LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP AF with HDR and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 1.3MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 140 x 71 x 9.4 millimeters / 170 grams
  • Colours: Crystal Blue and Pure White
  • Other: Dust and water resistant

Huawei Ascend MateHuawei Ascend Mate specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Intel XMM6260
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Huawei Emotion UI
  • Cellular connectivity: Penta-band UMTS / quad-band GSM
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (dual band), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA
  • Display: 6.1-inch HD (1280×720) IPS with Gorilla Glass
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP AF with HDR
  • Front-facing camera: 1MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB
  • Battery: 4,050mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 163.5 x 85.7 x 9.9 millimeters / 198 grams
  • Colours: Crystal Black and Pure White

The Huawei Ascend D2 will launch in China later this month and in Japan “in the future.” The Huawei Ascend Mate is scheduled to go on sale in China in February 2013. There is no word yet on whether either will be available later in other markets.

Read more: Huawei Ascend D2 and Huawei Ascend Mate

CES 2013: Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 800 and 600 Series mobile processors

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Jan 072013
 

QualcommQualcomm today unveiled two new Snapdragon families of processors along with a new numbering convention for its mobile processors. Sitting at the top of the Snapdragon lineup will be the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 family. Below it will be the Snapdragon 600, Snapdragon 400 and Snapdragon 200 families.

“With the overwhelming success of our previous Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms, our mobile processors have emerged as the platform of choice for high-end mobile devices,” said Steve Mollenkopf, president and chief operating officer of Qualcomm. “With more than 50 design wins already secured with the first products of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and 800 processors, we are advancing our vision and setting the standard for excellence in mobile computing.”

The Snapdragon 800 will target premium mobile and computing devices. Using the 28nm High Performance for mobile (HPm) technology, it will deliver performance up to 75 percent better than Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processors while using less power. Other characteristics will include:

  • Individual core speeds to reach up to 2.3GHz
  • New Adreno 330 GPU to offer more than twice the performance of the Adreno 320 GPU
  • Integrated 4G LTE modem offering data rates up to 150Mbps
  • Integrated support for 802.11 ac Wi-Fi
  • Support for USB 3.0, Bluetooth and FM
  • Capture, playback and display in UltraHD video (with four times 1080p pixel density)
  • Support for display resolution as high as 2560 by 2048 pixels
  • Miracast 1080p HD support

The new Snapdragon 600 series will be geared towards high-end mobile devices. It will deliver performance 40 percent better than the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor while using less power. It will use a new Krait 300 quad-core processor running as high as 1.9GHz and an enhanced Adreno 320 GPU.

Both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 600 processors are currently sampling. The former should hit devices by mid-year while the former will land on devices by the second quarter.

Read more: Qualcomm

CES 2013: Sony unveils Xperia Z and Xperia ZL

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Jan 072013
 

As widely predicted by rumours, Sony today unveiled its next flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z.

“With Xperia Z, we are bringing over half a century of innovation in TV, imaging, music, film and gaming to create a superphone experience that truly stands out,” said Kuni Suzuki, President and CEO, at Sony Mobile Communications. “With great specifications, Sony’s media applications, One-touch functions and outstanding battery life, Xperia Z is well positioned for leadership in the smartphone market. By putting smartphones at the heart of our strategy, Sony is enabling people to create, enjoy and share content and experiences like never before.”

Sony Xperia ZSony Xperia Z specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro (MSM8064)
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE/HSPA+/EDGE/GPRS
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS/GLONASS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, DLNA
  • Display: 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP with Exmor RS sensor and HD video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 2.2MP camera with HD video capture
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0 port
  • Battery: 2,330mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 139 x 71 x 7.9 millimeters / 146 grams
  • Colours: Black, white and purple
  • Other: Dust and water resistant (IP55 & IP57)

Sony also unveiled the Xperia ZL, a very similar device intended for a number of select markets, including Canada. It will share many characteristics with the Xperia Z but will be slightly smaller.

Sony Xperia ZLSony Xperia ZL specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro (MSM8064)
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE/HSPA+/EDGE/GPRS
  • Other connectivity: GPS/GLONASS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, DLNA
  • Display: 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP with Exmor RS sensor and HD video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 2MP camera with HD video capture
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0 port
  • Dimensions / weight: 131.6 x 69.3 x 9.8 millimeters / 151 grams
  • Colours: Black, white

Both devices will launch with Android 4.1 but will be upgraded to Android 4.2 later on.

The Sony Xperia Z will launch globally later this quarter whereas the Xperia ZL will launch only select markets (including Canada). Pricing details were not provided.

Read more: Sony Mobile (Xperia Z) and Sony Mobile (Xperia ZL)

CES 2013: Acer announces entry-level 7-inch Acer Iconia B1-A71 tablet

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Jan 072013
 

Acer Iconia B1-A71Acer today unveiled a new entry level tablet aimed at new users, “families opting for a 2nd tablet for their children.” As you would expect from a tablet that will be among the cheapest when it launches, the Acer Iconia B1-A71 (a name that just rolls off the tongue) will not sport impressive specifications. But it may find a niche among those looking for such a device.

The Iconia B1 is an affordable entry level device to the wide family of Acer products and is designed for the everyday usage of Modern Day Explorers – in this case young explorers or busy mobile explorers. The Iconia B1 is, like its Acer family products, a device which provides the most premium experience at its price point.

Acer Iconia B1-A71 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Mediatek MTK 8317T
  • Operating system: Google Android Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: None
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Display: 7-inch WSVGA (1024×600)
  • Input: Multitouch capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: None
  • Front-facing camera: 0.3MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0 port
  • Battery: 2,710mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 197.4 x 128.5 x 11.3 millimeters / 320 grams

Acer did not provide specific availability details but indicated that it will sell for less than US$150 when it launches.

Read more: Acer