The Android handheld I reported on earlier has now also become available for sale on the company's updated website. There's an order now button where you can place an order directly from the manufacturer or request additional information. The manufacturer is located in Hong Kong so it could be that you will have to pay additional import taxes according to your locale. Getting one from a retailer locally would be your best option but if that isn't an option going the direct route may be a good alternative. The unit comes in a sturdy box and is well protected by a specialized air filled sleeve. A charger compatible with your local AC power grid is also provided.
There's also a very informative video explaining how the VKM - virtual key mapping software - works. This has been substantially updated since my video as it is now also possible to map swiping gestures onto the buttons (right thumb stick).
Performance wise this unit is capable of full speed emulation of many game systems, including the PPSSPP and original Playstation. Also many games, run great and the battery life on the unit is quite good. The developers of the RetroArch emulator have gotten a unit too so one can expect an even better native support for all buttons in future releases of that emulator. Hook the unit up to the TV over HDMI and you'll have a great console experience. Blue tooth, wifi, microsd slot - all is there. The amount of flash memory 8Gb is similar to the OUYA and in real life comparison - side loading the same apps onto the OUYA - this unit trumps the OUYA on real life Android apps despite the fact that in theory the OUYA has more beefy hardware. There is no lag on the GameMID's buttons and it seems to be my gaming tablet of choice at a great price. A lot of the Android gaming videos on this site have been recorded using this device. Check them out if you want.
A review of the GameMID Android Handheld produced by REP Electronics Ltd (Hong Kong based) that will be brought to the market by various vendors under various brands. My unit comes with 8Gb of memory, the bare minimum will be 4Gb, but 16Gb or 32Gb of Flash memory is possible depending on ways the resellers would like the setup.
This video contains a look at the device itself, the specifications, some live gameplay, a look at its guts, benchmarking it and comparing it to the JXD S3700B, the Archos Gamepad and the Nexus 7, HDMI captured gameplay of various Android native games and various emulators. Read more below.
On May 10th I got the chance to take a look at the soon to be available TEK807D Android Gaming Handheld. I take a look at the JXD S7300 and the Archos Gamepad for comparison and show what's better in this new TEK807D device. This video is a hardware overview and a look at the specs as well as seeing the device in action in a sneak preview of it. It is going to be sold in various places in the world under a different brand name. Yet inside the device is the same. Sellers can brand the unit and customize how the specs are. Like a rear viewing camera, battery size etc. It's expected to launch in Europe this summer for €150 or under $200 US.
Read more about the hardware specs below.
Windows 8 you either hate or love it, it's hard to somehow be in between. I've discovered it works great on a media center PC as well as a tablet but it just won't work well on a desktop PC or a Laptop/Notebook where you are using various programs in a multi tasking environment. On a productive system the Metro (I somehow keep calling it Metroid in the video :P ) interface keeps getting in the way.
I found a solution. Read more below.
Where to get your bearings in Android and the Nexus 7? Well check out the following pages mentioned in the video:
The Nexus 7 beginner's guide by Shane R.Monroe:
Green Robot Gamer: Real gaming on Android devices:
The emulators from Robert Broglia:
Excellent site with a a lot of interesting articles:
Okay so after fiddling around with my new Nexus 7 I proceeded to do some more serious things with it. Of course I want to be able to use USB thumbdrives and what have you so Rooting the device and installing software that makes the device capable of writing to USB thumbdrives was essential.
Propriocepsis is the system your body uses to interpret the position of joints and tension in muscles. A system really needed when playing with touch controls as tactile feedback is not available touching a glass surface for buttons.
"Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use."
I bit the bullet and got myself a Nexus7, seems good value for money and it is an excellent way to experience the Android ecosystem.
The magically floating camera aka camera girl observed and registered! Enjoy.
Of course more will follow.
Hot on the heels of yesterday's striking Vizio Co-Star announcement - a proper Google TV device for $99 that also happens to incorporate the excellent OnLive streaming game service - was Google's big I/O event today. There were several major reveals, including the nifty features of the next version of the Android operating system, Jellybean; the Nexus 7 7" tablet; the Google Nexus Q, a streaming media device that's made in the USA; and Project Glass, Google's upcoming augmented reality glasses. Let's take each one of these in order:
As we're all all too aware, the tablet market has been dominated by Apple since the April 2010 introduction of the first iPad. While there have been several quality Android tablets released to compete since, outside of pure budget plays like the Kindle Fire that all but ignore the presence of its operating system, they've failed to make much of an impact with the masses. Other tablets like HP's TouchPad and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook suffered from corporate indifference with the former and corporate incompetence with the latter. What this has all led to is a competitive vacuum that Microsoft seems poised to fill with their surprisingly well-kept-secret announcement event yesterday.
While we were expecting a Microsoft-branded tablet to leverage its well regarded Xbox branding, instead Microsoft recycled the Surface table name (which is now PixelSense) for its two-pronged tablet attack. Surprisingly, for Microsoft of recent vintage outside of its Xbox stuff, the unveiling was spectacular and sure-footed. Not only did Microsoft pull an Apple with the secrecy and subsequent excitement surrounding the event, they clearly pulled together an A team of designers and engineers to manufacture tablets that even Cupertino's famed group would surely be proud to call their own, right down to the clever cover designs.
They say if you want something done right, do it yourself, and Microsoft clearly has taken that to heart, joining Apple in controlling the entire tablet eco-system, and, unlike HP or RIM, seemingly doing so with conviction. Obviously Microsoft will still let just about anyone else create Windows 8 tablets and hybrids, but the bar has been raised to the point where any type of half-hearted effort will look foolish in comparison and destined for failure.
My, how plans change. I was all but dead set on waiting for Windows 8 to come out and then getting a new kick butt PC, but the more the Windows 8 story has publicly evolved, the more I realize that that's probably not a direction I want to go. This led me to go on a search for a new PC now, one that I've decided may end up lasting me until it no longer makes sense to have the type of PC we traditionally consider "killer." Let me explain why I think this is an inevitability...
Well, the announcement that many of us have been waiting for has finally happened: Amazon is now into tablets. Besides updating their Kindle e-reader (e-ink) line with much-needed $79 (6" standard wi-fi, with ads) and $99 (6" touchscreen and wi-fi, with ads) models, placing them ever closer to "disposable", a la the paperbacks of the tablet hardcovers analogy, they also announced a 7" color tablet, the Kindle Fire, with reasonable specs for just $199.
While many were expecting downright gimped hardware, outside of the limited 8GB storage (this is mostly a cloud device), the dual core processor and reasonable resolution (1024x600@16mm colors) and battery life (~8 hours) say otherwise. The best part is the price and they'll seemingly have some flexibility with that as well going forward. As the TouchPad fiasco has shown, with the throngs clamoring for the $99 - $149 clear-outs, if you're going to go toe-to-toe with the iPad, you better come in with a fantastic price rather than comparable or even better specs. Now Amazon has positioned themselves ideally as a real iPad alternative, with a different form factor and the compelling narrative of Amazon services, which is about as close of a match as you'll get for the iTunes experience outside of, well, iTunes. I assume this will be a big success and will pave the way for a 10", premium tablet, which will in fact attempt to muscle in on the iPad's dominance. Even as an enthusiastic iPad 2 owner, I welcome the competition, and look forward to how this plays out. Frankly, while this won't have a major impact on the iPad's sales (at least for the foreseeable future), if I were a manufacturer of any other tablet, I'd be very scared right now. While the Kindle Fire is very much the embodiment of tablet-as-consumption device versus the productivity possibilities you have with the iPad or similarly powered Android tablets, it offers a truly viable option for those who don't need the latter, or simply want a device in-between their existing smartphone and 10" tablet. I have a feeling this will also impact the dedicated e-reader market, because the prices are really less than $100 apart if you consider the ad-free option from Amazon, but certainly the low end $79 model has room to drop even further. Once that hits $49, all bets are truly off, and there really would be little reason not to own one as your "tablet-lite" experience (with a focus on reading and outdoor usage) that you don't mind bringing to the beach. Good stuff!