Tag: Android Honeycomb

Another example of Android’s pro-competition prowess–the Web browser


Three cheers for Android browser competition | Webware – CNET

My Comments

In the early days of the Internet browser, there were competing Web browsers but this was choked by Microsoft integrating Internet Explorer in to the Windows distribution. This raised various anti-trust and competitive-trade issues especially in Europe where the European Commission handed down an order requiring Microsoft to allow users to deploy competing Internet browsers on the Windows 7 computers.

As far as the mobile (smartphone and tablet) computing platforms are concerned, only the Android platform allows for competing Web browsers to be deployed on smartphones and tablets. The iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Windows 8 RT (AMD deployment) only work well with the browsers supplied by the platforms’ owners and this has become of concern to the free open-source software community who want the availability of Mozilla, Opera and similar browsers on the mobile patform.

This augments the last article which I wrote about the Android platform supporting a pro-competition culture in various ways such as media management, support for removable storage and removable batteries in devices; and a customisable user experience. What was covered here could be used as a way of defending the use of Android devices on a competitive-trade issue and some people who have a progressive mindset could stand for this platform due to its support of app and media stores that can underpin progressive trade ideas like free speech and nurturing the actual content creators.

Product Review–Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet


I am reviewing the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet which is Lenovo’s effort in providing a tablet computer pitched at business users. Some of the design factors that Lenovo used for this unit include a durable housing, a stylus as an alternative to touch control and the supply of security and manageability software.

Lenovo have also taken advantage of Android’s competitive app-store ability to provide an app store of their own so businesses can purchase and control the apps that a tablet can be equipped with.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

– reviewed configuration
Screen 10” size LED-backlit LCD
User Memory 16Gb
extra-cost 32Gb
SDHC card, USB memory key as storage device
Operating environment Operating system Android 3.1 Honeycomb
Performance Quadrant Benchmark 1542
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11g/n
Wireless Broadband 3G
Bluetooth 3.0
USB MicroUSB, Standard USB
Audio 3.5mm headset, digital output via mini-HDMI
Video Mini-HDMI

The unit itself

Aesthetics and build quality

The Lenovo ThinkPad tablet feels heavier to use than most other tablets, more like the first-generation Apple iPad tablet and is similarly thick. But it has a rubberised back which really permits non-slip use, especially if you are likely to be cradling it around your business to show Websites, around home to watch videos personally or around the express train to read ebooks or play Angry Birds.


The touchscreen display is as expected for most of the 10” tablets including the Apple iPad 2, being easy to read in varying light and also very responsive. The only limitation that I would find with this is the glossy display which attracts the fingermarks too easily and is a common issue amongst products of this class.


Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet USB host port

USB host port for connecting memory keys and input devices

The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet performed very well with the sound especially when you use it with headphones. The internal speakers don’t yield enough volume for any use except if you are close to the tablet.

Connectivity and Expandability

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet bottom edge connections

ThinkPad dock connection as well as micro-USB, mini-HDMI video output and headset jack

Lenovo has made a desktop dock and a keyboard folio that connects to a special connection port as optional accessories. But this Android-powered ThinkPad Tablet does allow you to connect to a larger variety of devices using industry-standard connectors.

Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet SD card and SIM card slot

Slot for SD card slot alongside 3G modem’s SIM card slot

Here, you have a standard USB host port so you can plug in USB memory keys; as well as a standard SD card slot for those camera cards when you want to preview your pictures. External power from its supplied charger, a car charger or an external battery pack is supplied using a micro-USB connector that is commonly used for Android smartphones.

If you needed to use external audio-video equipment, you have a headphone socket and a mini-HDMI socket for this purpose.


The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet was very responsive in many ways. For example the graphics performance lived up to the Tegra norm and it was able to run multiple tasks concurrently without slowing to a crawl.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet with stylus

The ThinkPad Tablet can be controlled with a supplied stylus

I even noticed how the battery performed after watching an episode of “Spiral” (“Engrenages” – a new French crime-drama series that I like watching) through SBS’s on-demand-video Website, then playing a few rounds of the supplied Solitaire game. Here, the battery was half-empty after this run of intense multimedia activity.

Other factors

As expected for business computing equipment, Lenovo have supplied the ThinkPad Tablet with security and manageability software for larger business setups where this tablet is part of a fleet of company-owned tablets. It also comes with remote-desktop software for Citrix-based remote computing environments which would be used in this class of computing environment.

Limitations and Points Of Improvement

I would personally like to see Lenovo provide security, manageability and remote-computing software for the small business owner. This could be in the form of a remote-desktop client that works with the RDP (Windows) protocol as well as low cost remote-servicing tools for IT contractors and business-grade security that is positioned for this class of user.

As well, Lenovo could target the ThinkPad Tablet effectively at the small-business users through their marketing.

Technically, this tablet could be equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 technology so that it can work with sensor devices that use this low-power technology, which could appeal to medical professionals, technicians and similar user classes.


I would recommend the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet as a durable “open-frame” tablet-based solution for small businesses, especially anyone who repairs or installs anything.  Here, they could keep PDFs of product / parts catalogues, service manuals, price lists and similar documentation “on hand” and ready to show to the customer; as well as an read-and-quick-reply terminal for email, a camera to take example photos to show the customer amongst other things/

Product Review – Acer Iconia Tab A500 Series 10" Android tablet


I am reviewing the Acer Iconia Tab A500 Series 10” Android tablet computer. It, like most other Android-based 10” tablets, is faced off as a competitor to the Apple iPad tablet which is of the same size.

It is infact the first Android-based consumer/small-business tablet computer that I have reviewed for HomeNetworking01.info

Acer Iconia Tab A500 tablet computer

– reviewed configuration
Screen 10” widescreen LED-backlit LCD
User Memory 16Gb
SDHC card slot
Operating environment Android 3.1 HoneyComb
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11n WPS
Wireless Broadband Available in higher-priced A501 models
USB 2 x USB 2.0 host ports
1 x microUSB for PC-to-Iconia connectivity
Audio 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
Digital audio through miniHDMI
Video 1 x miniHDMI jack


The unit itself

Aesthetics and build quality

The Acer Iconia has a metal-feel about it which makes you think of a durable tablet computer. It is light in your hands but some people may find the smooth finish very slippery when they handle it.


The Iconia’s display is as readable as most tablet computers go especially when you are using it for reading content. When you use the Android-provided touchscreen keyboard, you may not find the text entry procedure comfortable for long periods of content creation. As far as the display’s brightness is concerned, the Iconia Tab A500 is still bright enough for most users even if it runs on the energy-saving “dim mode”.

Of course, for video, the display had worked smoothly when handling YouTube and similar video playback applications


Acer Iconia Tab A500 left had side headphones and mini HDMI

Left Hand Side - Power switch, headphone jack, miniHDMI jack

Like most tablet computers, the Acer Iconia’s sound doesn’t have much in the way of volume output if you use the integrated speakers. Here, they would be good enough for audio prompts and the like.It was still clear for the basic local listening and you have the distinct stereo separation but I would recommend use of headphones or external speakers like Bluetooth A2DB audio setups.

Connectivity and Expandability

Acer Iconia Tab A500 right hand side - power input, micro USB port, USB port

Right hand side - Power input, microUSB port and USB host port

All the units of the Iconia A500 Series have 2 regular USB device ports as well as a micro USB port for connection to a host computer. They all support Bluetooth connectivity for standard profiles as covered by Android. This includes the ability to do Bluetooth object-push file transfer as well as audio streaming with Bluetooth headsets and audio setups.

You can connect these devices to an HDTV using an miniHDMI-to-HDMI cable if you need the large TV screen.

Acer Iconia Tab A500 - USB host port under screen

Another USB port on this device - at the bottom of the unit, under the screen.

These Acer tablets have a feature that is common with most Android smartphones and tablets in that they have a microSDHC card slot. This means that you can expand on the storage that you initially bought or swap media collections around on different microSD cards as if you were working with cassettes or MiniDiscs.

The power connection is a 12 volt connection, which may make it easier to use the Iconia Tab in a car through the use of a cigar-lighter cord. This comes in handy when you load devices like the Iconia with movies or ebooks to be viewed by passengers on a long journey.


The Acer Iconia is very spritely when it comes to performance. For example, it was able to play sound from a DLNA network media server while I did some Web browsing without the sound deteriorating. It could also perform properly with YouTube even if you put the videos on full screen.

The battery can run for a few days of adhoc but regular mixed-activity use without charging. I haven’t yet worked out an activity plan to “stress-test” these devices for battery runtime.

Other factors

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 Series is equipped with two cameras, one of them being a front-facing one for videoconferencing. This would work well if Skype provided full videophone functionality across entire line of Android HoneyComb tablets.

Limitations and Points Of Improvement

One point of improvement that could come in handy would be to deliver Skype as part of the standard software mix for all of the models. As well, the Acre iconia, like most tablets could benefit from a detachable kickstand that comes as part fo the package. This could appeal to users who use a USB keyboard for typing up notes or those of us who push these units in to service as an Internet terminal / digital picture frame for the kitchen.


I would consider this Android tablet as a “floater” tablet computer as a multifunction general-purpose tablet computer where you value the large screen size and snappy performance. This is more so if you want a tablet computer that isn’t confined to Apple’s dream and you know what you are after for software.

The Wi-Fi-only units can be useful if you want to manage just one mobile broadband package by using your smartphone’s Wi-Fi tethering options to connect to broadband service on the go. You may go for the wireless-broadband-equipped units if you don’t mind running a separate wireless-broadband account and allowance for these devices.