Amazon tablet, touchscreen Kindle on course for H2, say moles
And a quad-core fondleslab from Asus
Unnamed industry moles say Amazon will have a tablet out in the second half of the year - cheaper Kindles too - and that Asus will release a slate based on Nvidia's upcoming quad-core Tegra chip.
Said sources were all cited by Taiwanese news site DigiTimes this week.
Assuming Nvidia's four-core 'Kal El' system-on-a-chip - which is yet to be formally announced - performs as promised, we can see plenty of other tablet makers taking it up.
Cores are to tablets what blades are to razors: expect competing vendors to cram as many in as they can, as soon as they are able, whether there's any real benefit to the user or not.
The latest take on Amazon's tablet plans come from sources within companies that make the components that may be used in the manufacture of the devices, rather than from the maker itself, said to be Taiwan's Quanta.
Even so, they say Quanta will be begin shipping tablets to Amazon during H2 2011, part of a $3.5bn (£2.1bn) order.
The tablet will go up against the likes of the iPad 2, while the current Kindle - due to become even cheaper, the moles claim, though this may be a reference to the recently released ads-supported version - targets folk who want something less expensive than a tablet, or just want to read e-books.
It has been claimed separately that the next Kindle will feature a touch-sensitive E Ink screen of the kind already found on Sony's Readers. ®
"Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of tablets in this country. The Apple Ipad was the tablet to own. Then the other guy came out with a two core tablet. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the Ipad 2. That's two cores and an aloe strip. For moisture. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I'm telling you what happened--the bastards went to four cores. Now we're standing around with our cocks in our hands, selling two cores and a strip. Moisture or no, suddenly we're the chumps. Well, fuck it. We're going to five cores."
That's great and all, but what's wrong with the current Kindle that making it into a tablet would fix?
What would be unbelievably nice would be a colour e-ink pad - might not be any use for for games or movies but would be awesome for pretty much everything else.
The IPad2 actually has 3 cores if you look at it from nVidia's viewpoint. The new Tegra chip has a dual-core ARM cpu and a dual-core GPU, all in the same SoC. The iPad2 has a dual-core ARM chip and a separate single-core GPU (albeit baked into the SoC I believe). Contrast that with the current desktop GPUs which are highly-parallel single-core CPUs. The move to dual-core likely gives it an entire core of extra Ooomph it can whip out when you load up a 3D game, but it can shut entirely off when it simply needs to handle your eBook reader interface. Power savings without (much) GPU performance sacrifice. Sounds good to me.
"The international version of the Kindle DX has been out for over a year". Well...
...yes, but you have to order it direct from the US, it defaults to the US amazon.com Kindle store and it doesn't come with a UK plug, just a US one.
So Amazon will ship the DX internationally, but won't sell you a country-specific version. Unlike the Kindle 3.
Another thing: The DX still doesn't have WiFi - an irritating omission once it was added to the Kindle 3.
It is definitely being left to wither away by Amazon.