Up until now, doctors fighting highly contagious diseases like Ebola have had to forgo their gadgets for pen and paper. But Google, at the request of the French organization Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), has developed an alternative: A tablet enclosed in polycarbonate, which can be soaked in chlorine for decontamination. It communicates with a battery-powered server outside of high-risk zones, allowing doctors to save and retrieve patient records easily. Altogether, it's a rather elegant solution for getting around typically restrictive biohazard restrictions. The system's usefulness goes far beyond Ebola, as well: it could be easily deployed to help fight future disease outbreaks. Google and Médecins Sans Frontières are also working to open source the project, which should make it easy for others to adapt it to their needs.
Last week we saw the Xperia Z4 Tablet released at MWC and I have to confess I was drooling a wee bit at the prospect of it. I just went on to the Sony store and found this.
Now the biggest issue I had with the tablet was that the keyboard was rumoured to cost £180, which I stated was ridiculous in my article about it. It seems Sony have been listening to feedback and are doing a pre-order deal.
So if you pre order a Z4 Tablet either the LTE or the Wi-Fi variant you will get the BKB 50 keyboard thrown in for free.
With Android now supporting Microsoft Office and wireless printing this makes the Z4 Tablet an interesting proposition for creating content. Also Lollipop as we know has some serious encryption built into the device as standard.
Would you consider ditching your laptop for this lightwieght and compact device? I know for one thing, it is something I am seriously giving thought to.
If you were disappointed with Apple’s one port wonder or Google’s overpriced Chromebook Pixel 2 this may be an option worth considering for on the go content creation. Xperia Z4
So with MWC 15 having drawn to a close last Thursday, I have recovered enough to get my thought rallied into some sort of order. I want to have a look back and have a think about my top 3 things that I saw at Congress.
The list may surprise some and those of you who are regular readers it will not.
1. Best tablet from show.
This is a tricky one for me as my heart says the Sony Xperia Tablet Z4 as it is a beautiful thing and it answers a yearning I have had for a while with the keyboard. The price is ridiculous though.
However my wallet is saying Nokia N1, this too is a gorgeous design and it is pure Android. The problem is it has not been officially released to the UK yet and it has no SD card support which is a must. It is a tie for me. Xperia Z4 Tablet/Nokia N1
2. Best Wearable
Even though it was not at the show it has to be the Pebble Time
It was then made better with the announcement of the Pebble Time Steel which has been promptly ordered. The Swarovski Shine Energy Crystal Concept was a close second but again it is still vapour-ware so it cannot count really.
After weeks of teasing, it's here: Google has officially unveiled Android 5.1 Lollipop. The new release focuses on support for features that usually extra software, such as multiple SIM cards (handy for prepaid service in countries like China and India) and higher-quality HD voice calls on networks like T-Mobile or Verizon. You can control your WiFi networks and Bluetooth devices from the quick settings area, too.
When Jolla launched its tablet on Indiegogo, it was an instant success. Today that tablet is being shown to the media for the first time at MWC. But, that's not all that the plucky mobile start-up has to reveal. With the new tablet comes the second version of Jolla's Sailfish OS. Version 2.0 not only brings some features you'd expect (like easy scaling between phones and tablets -- to accommodate its new hardware) but also some new, bigger picture additions like support for Intel's Atom x3 chipset, a new push to into licensing with OEM hardware, and a couple of direct swipes at Android, and how it gathers your data.
Sony have just announced their new Xperia Z4 Tablet here at MWC 2015.
We had a very brief hands-on with the device before the crowds gathered around to flood the stands. I am as you know, a long time fan of Xperia Devices and was keen to see Sony’s next tablet device.
Here are some hands on shots of the white version.
This is a gorgeous device and feels great in the hands. I just can’t get over how light it actually feels. That would normally raise concerns over the build quality of the device but it feels solid. Up front we have got a glorious 2k resolution screen set in a 10″ panel which is crisp, clear and very bright. Powering the tablet is a Snapdragon 810 Octacore 64 Bit processor. This backed up with 3GB of Ram: the same as is found in the Z3 range. With 32 GB of on-board memory and a memory card slot which will swallow up to 128 GB microSD card. Camera-wise, we have an 8MP module on the back and a wide angle 5.1MP cam on the front, making this great for Skype and selfies.
As you would expect from an Xperia device it has remote play capability built in allowing your gaming to be continued regardless of what is going on with your TV, or if you have broken yours via some over-exuberant Wii gaming.
Sony have worked really hard to make the battery life on the Z4 Tablet last, as a result it will give enough power for 17 hours of video playback. You can travel half way around the world on one charge! Add stamnia mode into the mix and this is going to redefine what we expect from batteries on tablets for the next year.
Thinking of the people who actually want to work on their tablet, Sony have created the BKB 50 Bluetooth Keyboard. This will attach to the tablet turning it into a mini laptop. The screen can be tilted back 130 degrees and it has chiclet style keys with a trackpad on board to allow you to have a true laptop experience.
10.1″ (2560 x 1600 pixels) display, Scratch-resistant glass + Anti fingerprint coating
2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, 64-bit Octa Core
Adreno 430 graphics
3 GB RAM, Up to 32 GB flash memory, microSD™ up to 128 GB
8.1-megapixel camera, 8x digital zoom, Front-facing 5.1-megapixel camera, Superior Auto,Full HD video recording 1080p,HDR for pictures and movies, Image stabiliser, Geotagging
aGPS, Bluetooth® 4.1 wireless technology, 3.5 mm audio jack
Native USB tethering, Smart Connect,Synchronisation via Exchange ActiveSync®, Facebook™, Google™ and SyncML™*
USB High speed 2.0 and Micro USB support
Wi-Fi and WiFi Hotspot functionality
Sony 3D Surround Sound technology (VPT)
Clear Audio+ – Sound improvement software, xLoud™ Experience, FM Radio with RDS
Tablet entertainment perfected with Sony’s new Xperia™ Z4 Tablet
? Enjoy a superb viewing experience on the world’s brightest 10.1 inch 2K display of the leading tablets1 ? Incredibly fast performance with industry leading battery life (up to 17 hours video playback) and the ultra fast Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 octa-core 64 bit processor Sets the new standard in tablet design – the world’s lightest (389g Wi-Fi / 393g LTE) and slimmest (6.1mm) 10” tablet2 ? Innovative accessories and features for a unique laptop style experience
Barcelona, 2nd March 2014 – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today announced the world’s lightest and slimmest 10” tablet2 – Xperia™ Z4 Tablet. Delivering a best in class entertainment experience thanks to the world’s brightest 10.1 inch 2K display of the leading tablets1 and long battery life (up to 17 hours of video playback), the beautifully crafted Xperia Z4 Tablet is an impressively powerful Android tablet that delivers all the portable performance you need for an entertaining and busy lifestyle.
“Building on the success of its predecessor, we wanted to take all of the qualities that consumers loved most in Xperia Z2 Tablet and enhance them for Z4 Tablet,” says Dennis van Schie, SVP of Sales & Marketing at Sony Mobile. “Consumers appreciate innovation most when it can bring real value to their lives, so we have carefully crafted and considered every aspect of Z4 Tablet to meet even the most demanding lifestyle. Sleek and lightweight, yet incredibly powerful, with standout entertainment and smart productivity features, Xperia Z4 Tablet is an extraordinary tablet that fits perfectly into your day-to-day life.”
Enhanced entertainment experiences, wherever you are Xperia Z4 Tablet boasts best-in-class Sony technologies and experiences to ensure you enjoy unrivalled entertainment on the go, with no compromises. Featuring the world’s brightest 10.1 inch 2K display of the leading tablets1, Z4 Tablet delivers a superb viewing experience, even outdoors in direct sunlight, allowing you to enjoy your favourite movies and most memorable video clips in crystal clear clarity, wherever you want.
Great picture quality demands great audio to match, so Xperia Z4 Tablet includes powerful front stereo speakers for an immersive surround sound effect. When you’re on the go and plug in your headphones, Xperia Z4 Tablet senses the type and style of headset, automatically adjusting the settings accordingly for optimum sound.
Sony’s leading audio technologies ensure you never miss a beat. High-Res Audio reproduces high frequency sound in amazing detail for a studio quality experience. DSEE HXTM processing upscales the audio fidelity of tracks to near High-Res Audio quality. Xperia Z4 Tablet supports digital noise cancelling for those times when you need to block out background noise. And for high quality wireless music listening, Sony’s new LDACTM codec transmits data three times more efficiently than Bluetooth.
Xperia Z4 Tablet comes loaded with a 8MP main camera, featuring Sony’s leading technologies for great shots in all lights, and a high quality 5.1MP wide-angle front camera, great for selfies and video calls, that ensures you stay in shot.
Keep playing your favourite PlayStation® 4 games wherever you are in the home with PS4™ Remote Play3. Simply connect your Xperia Z4 Tablet to your PS4 via home Wi-Fi and use the DUALSHOCK®4 Wireless Controller to ensure you never miss a minute of the action – whatever room you are in.
And to keep you entertained, all Xperia Z4 Tablet users will benefit from access to Xperia Lounge Gold – delivering the world of Sony entertainment at your fingertips. Get access to exclusive competitions and offers; be among
the first to try out new apps; and enjoy the latest movies, TV episodes and music included with your device.
High speed and performance Xperia Z4 Tablet comes packed with the ultra fast Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 octa-core 64 bit processor5, so you can browse faster and get the optimal graphics experience on a stunning 2K display. Whether using Wi-Fi or 4G LTE, multi-tasking on the move is made easy – download email attachments in seconds and enjoy video streaming with no delays or unwanted buffering. And with 32GB internal memory, there is plenty of storage space for those all important files.
Whether for work or play, Xperia Z4 Tablet offers powerful performance that goes the distance. Its stamina is sure to impress with up to 17 hours of video playback, you can travel half way around the world watching movies on a single battery charge. Get even more out of the 6,000mAH battery with Sony’s Battery STAMINA Mode, which turns off background functions when you’re not using them to help extend your battery life, so you can comfortably spend the day emailing, browsing the web and running as many apps as you want with no need to worry about losing battery power.
Superior security and productivity Escape the office and take your business on the move with the lightweight BKB50 Bluetooth Keyboard featuring a dedicated slot for Xperia Z4 Tablet and docking detection, sleek ergonomics with 0-130 degree tilt for adjustable comfort, efficient text input and laptop style touchpad. Additionally Xperia Z4 Tablet also features printer and projector outputs to complete the ultimate laptop-style experience. Use with the slim and light SCR32 perfect fit cover with two variable angles for comfortable typing or viewing on your tablet. Work from anywhere with the advanced Xperia Email, Calendar and Contacts apps, which can be synced using Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync® (EAS) and use your favourite business apps from the Android community. Xperia Z4 Tablet features proven device security mechanisms to keep your confidential data secure, with adherence to acclaimed and effective Internet, VPN and WiFi security protocols. To complete your road warrior set up, the BSP60
smart speaker with one-touch connectivity is the ideal portable companion for making conference calls, getting information and receiving phone notifications, all with the use of voice commands, helping you multi-task with ease.
Slim, sleek and supremely lightweight design Expertly designed with true Sony craftsmanship and attention to detail, Xperia Z4 Tablet is the world’s slimmest and lightest 10” tablet1. At just 6.1mm slim and weighing less than 393g (389g Wi-Fi / 393g LTE), Xperia Z4 Tablet is incredibly light and portable, making it easy to carry comfortably with you all day and slip into your bag with ease. Crafted with premium stainless steel metal corners and mineral glass, Xperia Z4 Tablet looks as good as it performs.
Xperia Z4 Tablet’s IP68 waterproof and dust-tight4 rating ensures reassuring durability making it ideal for everyday use in all conditions – whether caught out in the rain between meetings or lounging by the pool. As a further design refinement, the USB connector is capless – making it both quick and convenient to connect and charge your device.
Xperia Z4 Tablet will launch globally, in 4G LTE and Wi-Fi variants, from June 2015.
For the full specifications of Xperia Z4 Tablet, please visit: www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/tablets/xperia-z4tablet/specifications
There are plenty of standards for sharing your media collection between devices, but what if you want to borrow a device's camera or display? MediaTek thinks it has an answer. Its new CrossMount standard lets devices share their hardware and software when they're on the same WiFi network, letting you use whichever components make sense in a given situation. You can use your phone's mic to dictate voice commands to your TV, for example, or use your phone's webcam for a video chat on your tablet.
It seems that, despite their best efforts to stop things leaking, Sony have slipped and overnight an image popped up on their Xperia Lounge app about the soon-to-be-released Xperia Z4 Tablet Ultra.
Silly name conventions aside, what do we know about this tablet? Well, it is going to have a 2K screen and be either 10” or 12.5”. For some reason I am leaning towards the bigger size. It makes more sense and it seems like it will fit into their ecosystem better at that size.
Other things we know is that it will feature a Snapdragon chip of some sort, potentially the new 810, as Sony have been quite vocal about their support for this chipset. The new chip from Qualcomm does allow the use of up to 8GB of RAM so we can expect an improvement over the Z3 Range here as well. I’m guessing 4GB.
Storage wise, I would expect this to come with at least 16GB on board as a bare minimum, but hopefully that is bumped up to 32GB or even 64GB whilst retaining microSD card support. Will we see a LTE version? Only time will tell, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
We know from the image that the tablet will be very thin, just like the Z3 Tablet compact which just came out last year. Other rumours are pointing to this machine having some sort of docking keyboard which will support backlighting and will give a laptop-like experience. If this is true, I for one am going to find it very hard to resist as readers will know I have a weakness for Sony kit.
I think Sony are going to be aiming this at the higher segment and pitching this as a competitor to the Surface range and also to the oft-rumoured iPad Pro. If this is the case, expect the device to be in the £500 to £700 price-point.
One thing we can be sure of from this leak is that there will indeed be a Z4 family (as if there had ever been any doubt). Hopefully the X4 phones will be next.
All of the above is merely speculation as I have no real backup for the rumoured specs other than the screen resolution. These are just what I think would make sense for Sony to release given the market as it stands today.
I will be running to the Sony stand as soon as the doors open on Monday to try and find out more for you, so keep it here for the latest updates.
Intel Atom Quad-core 1.33GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, microSD reader, 32GB flash memory and 500GB drive in the keyboard “base” section. Windows 8.1 (32 bit), 11.6″ Active Matrix LCD IPS LED back-lit multi-touch / touchscreen at 1366×768. WiFi IEEE 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, 8550mAh battery.
I’ve used this Windows tablet / laptop cross-over for a couple of weeks now and I’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into the world of Microsoft. Windows 8, without installing anything additionally to make you feel more at “home”, has a number of differences to my old and rather battered Chromebook. When I’m using the trackpad, webpages scroll in the opposite direction to the way I’m used to, and the hybrid mash-up of a touch-based GUI and a that traditional Windows UI really should be a disaster waiting to happen.
Yes, I’m going to be biased here. I’ve bought into the Google cloud big-time and someone at Google knows how warm my house is, where I parked my car, whether it’s raining where I currently am and perhaps even I last bought online. Here we have Bing, and I know deep down that the top search term is going to be “Google”. Depending which side of the fence you sit, Bing is a complete clone of Google or Google is a clone of Google. Either way, it’s Internet Explorer that you get out of the box and it’s Bing that does your searching for you.
There’s always going to be a bit of a gear-change if you’re swapping or even upgrading OS. Here, when you head to the Store to get bits like “Chrome” etc, you’ll be met with some “Desktop apps” which don’t run in the rather swish touch / Metro UI, but break out into the desktop interface where you’ll be met with the traditional-looking Windows 7-style interface.
After a short while though, you begin to find your feet. I switched on “reverse scroll” and, although IE isn’t my browser of choice, it did a good enough job.
The concept of this device is one that shouldn’t really work. You’ve got that old-school user interface which is traditionally driven by a mouse, and yet a screen that you can interact with and touch. Oh, and that’s before I even get to the fact that the screen completely comes away from the keyboard and turns into a tablet.
This, the Acer Switch 11, is a device that’ll quite happily act as your laptop. It operates quickly, boots pretty rapidly and has HDMI and USB slots. You can use that trackpad or your own mouse and quite happily never use it as a tablet if you wish. Sure, the slightly weighty tablet / top section can pull the machine over, but only if you tilt the screen back to a stupid angle. The keyboard, which I’m typing on right now, doesn’t feel uncomfortable or vastly different to the standard stand-alone QWERTY you may have sat on your desk at work. The black keys are low profile, but they stick proud of the chassis enough for you to easily locate them and typing is a breeze. Properly comfortable.
Without even without those clever shortcut key combinations (like Windows + E to switch interface or Windows + S to search), it’s fairly easy to navigate around the OS and even to fiddle around with the settings you need to play with to get this feeling right. Don’t get me wrong, I still had my foibles (like the on-screen floating “back button” that got in the way of web pages) but overall it wasn’t something I was going to immediately discount as I could see that it could be adjusted to be as I’d like it.
The Acer Switch 11 itself, at the time of typing, costs less than £300 (Argos) and comes with a vivid 11.6″ (1366×768) IPS display and is powered by an Intel Atom Z3745. Inside there’s 32GB storage, a microSD slot plus that USB, microUSB and micro HDMI slot I touched on earlier. You also, when it’s connected together, have a 500GB drive in the base. Loads of storage.
The tablet part clicks into the keyboard base via a very strong connecting system. This uses magnets to help pull the tablet section down and two locking points to slot into. It connects together and then the OS cleverly knows when you’re using the keyboard and trackpad. As an example, if you use the physical keyboard then the on-screen one will instantly vanish, but touching the screen and selecting a text selection box will make it pop up again. Likewise, when you use your finger to browse around the OS it’ll remove the pointer, but using the trackpad will reintroduce it.
The design of this is almost like a tale of two halves. The keyboard section is fairly swish and reminiscent of other brands, but the tablet section itself has an almost industrial feel to it and the hinge mechanism is a little blocky due to the weight of the tablet resting above.
The base section has just one USB port and no ethernet port at all, which is a bit of a shame, but the mere fact that I could use the screen at the same time as the trackpad set it apart from my existing Chromebook. Interacting with websites, flicking check-boxes and operating the GUI was all pretty easy and straightforward if I’m honest and you got used to using the trackpad and the touchscreen together.
The screen was good, although a little more reflective than my standard device, although viewing angles from the sides were tricky once you turned the device 30 degrees or more to the left or right. I also found that the brightness didn’t quite go as high as I’d like, especially in a room bathed in sunlight. For me that wasn’t a great issue as I don’t like screens to glare too much.
The two front speakers, located at the bottom of the screen when you’re using it in landscape mode, produce good sound, although you shouldn’t be expecting lots of bass from these small speakers.
Up top, a small 2 megapixel camera lets you do video conferencing but, while I’m here, I should mention what the device is like when used as a tablet. Personally, for me, I doubt I’d use it a great deal in this form. Don’t get me wrong, as a presentation tool this is great and you can switch (geddit?) the screen around into the “tent” shape to show the screen contents to others. It also works as a netbook / laptop and I loved the touchscreen on it, but as a tablet it was quite hefty and, in portrait especially, it felt a little unwieldy. If you were to use this as a tablet then you’d probably have it parked on your lap in “landscape” orientation to best appreciate websites and content.
Powered by an Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core CPU at 1.33GHz with 2GB RAM, this powers Windows 8 pretty well indeed and I had no issues with it running the OS or apps on-board. It’s well-priced and the battery lasts very well indeed, even with my heavy usage. What I learned, fairly quickly too, was that Windows 8.1 isn’t actually as bad as I thought. Even with me using it in my usual ham-fisted UI / desktop switching fashion, it served me well and didn’t really give me cause to complain. Sure, I hated the Windows Updates and the wait-times associated with them, but it didn’t detract too much from the experience.
Inside, apart from the OS itself, there’s a number of add-on apps which you can remove if you wish. Netflix and some Acer apps plus McAfee AV software.
Sure, there’s some parts of the Acer Switch 11 which don’t feel quite as “tight” as they should be. The trackpad didn’t seem to be as sensitive as I’m used to and the build quality in some areas could’ve been slightly better, but at the price, for what you’re getting here, it’s really rather good. I’ve got the full Windows 8.1 OS, I’ve got a neat touch-screen interface and the full-fat desktop OS. There’s 32GB of storage to play with, but you can slot in memory sticks and use cloud storage if you want to store files elsewhere and it operated quickly and quietly, without complaint.
For less than £300, this is a great price for Windows 8.1 with a truly useful design, great screen and keyboard combination. I had the OS freeze a couple of times and, although I found the Windows 8.1 interfaces simple enough, the OS still felt like it was trying to be everything for every user and the slightly bulky top-heavy design and 760g overall weight meant that it was a two-handed operation to use as a tablet unless you propped it up against something.
That said, I liked a lot about this device. The idea of having the 500GB drive in the keyboard section and the 32GB flash within the screen was good, and it wasn’t often that I left the house with just the top “tablet” section anyway. You’re not going to find yourself saying, “Oh yeah, I left that video of our trip to Ibiza on the 500GB hard drive bit of the device” because you’ll mostly be using this as a laptop rather than a wide-screen tablet.
Get more details on the Acer website. With prices tumbling down to £299 it’s definitely worth considering if you want a well-specc’d budget Windows 8.1 touch-screen laptop that’ll also be your presentation device and tablet.
It's easy to forget that Samsung is a multi-tentacled company that builds much more than TVs and phones. For instance, it manufactures CPUs for arch-foe Apple and makes small-to-medium OLED panels for various companies, not just its own mobile division. According to Reuters, Samsung will invest another $3.6 billion into its OLED business to offset flagging smartphone sales. Most of that cash will go into a new production line producing curved panels for the Galaxy Note edge and third-party devices. And Samsung's not the only South Korean manufacturer dumping more money into OLEDs. LG will also stake nearly $1 billion on new OLED capacity for large-panel items like TVs, as well. The takeaway? Given the display dominance of the two companies, many more OLED devices -- both big and small -- should be hitting the market soon.