Archive for the ‘Android News’ Category

Black Friday tablet sale. Zenithink PiPo Cube 10% Off

November 23, 2013

10% Off Anything in our store Friday only.  This is a monster discount and will bring most of our tablets even below buying from China direct.  No coupon needed.  Just buy within the 24hr period of Nov 29th.

Take my advice and buy from the USA.  Included in this post is a picture of a return cost of a tablet to China.  I’m not trying to scare you, but this is the reality of commerce in the world.  You might save 3-8% buying from a trader in China but it’s going to cost you a huge headache and a lot of money if you have to return it.  To return something in the US it’s about $10 tops.  A lot less if you live in the eastern half of the US.  But no more than $11 if you do it right even out on the west coast.  Electronics can fail, even the ones built by HTC, Samsung, and even that great company called Apple everyone brags about.  Once you come to terms with that, it’s up to you to make the correct choice on how to make your life easier should you have to return something.

_China_Return_Cost

It’s official, AX1 and Ainol Captain on the way.

September 12, 2013

Not too much else to say.  We will test them both.  I’m not a fan of the ATM7029, but the Captain intrigues me a bit for the non-gamer.  The super-high res screen, massive battery, 2GB memory, GPS, and internal Bluetooth make it a step above the Hero II (Which we never ordered in mass quantity).  But the GPU will suffer a bit for the hardcore gamer (Like me).  I think it’s more marketable than the Hero II was/is.

We try to carry tablets with the best bang for the buck as they say.  I think this one falls into that category.

I also have sent word out to MTK to try and get source code so we can develop for their MT8389 chip.

Pipo M9 / Rockchip RK3188

September 12, 2013

I feel like I dropped the ball on this tablet.  I have been sitting around waiting for an AML8726-M8 tablet to drop and it just hasn’t happened yet.  I will admit that my retail sales are above last year’s average but with the way that we were killing it in the first quarter I figured they would at least be three times what they were last year and they are not.  Now I see some of the sales figures of the Pipo M9 at other stores and I think that could be me.

O well.  You live and you learn.  I still swear by Amlogic, and I know when their chip drops it will completely destroy any 2nd tier China chip (Actions, MTK, Boxchip (Allwinner), Freescale)  currently on the market and be a step ahead of the Rockchip RK3188.

I believe my patience will pay off.  And my advice is to hold off on buying a tablet right now if you are looking at these mid/low priced tablets as something you would want to own.  But again, I probably should have got a few batches of M9’s in the interim because they are in my opinion a decent segue into what will be about a years worth of domination from Amlogic when they release their AML8726-M8 chip.  And as always, since Amlogic works with us with the kernel sources we will be able to offer more software options for any tablets it releases and not just repacks which is mostly what you see for Rockchip devices.

I wish there was more to talk about, but there isn’t.  We might be getting some Pipo M9 tablets in and also Cube UG55T aka Talk 79 in just to hold us over to boost some sales heading into the holiday season.  We feel these are the best tablets out on the market in their price range.  We are also looking at Ainol’s new AX1 which has 3G and CDMA capabilities.  I would really like to know how the CDMA capabilities would work….Do I have to use QTSP?  How would I program the tablet onto a CDMA network like Verizon or Sprint?  Or even Metro PCS?  We will see I guess.

Zenithink C93A & C98 Google Android Jelly Bean 4.1 4.2 Tablets

June 23, 2013

Well…..Just when I thought Zenithink made one of the best budget Google Android 10″ tablets in the world they go and release an updated version of the C93.  The C93A is an upgraded version of the C93 that comes with Bluetooth, Dual Camera, and GPS.  Get this….It’s only $10 more.

So as soon as mass production is in full effect we will be replacing the C93 model with the C93A.  I mean who wouldn’t pay $10 more for 3(4?? FM Tuner??) more features than its predecessor?

Now they say it has built in FM, but I’m not sure I know anything about that yet. We have had the C71A for a few weeks or so now and they say it has FM too, but again I have no clue how to make it work or if there is an FM tuner internally.  I guess I need to ask more questions.

But who needs FM when there is the Internet.  Soon in my predictions, nobody will know what FM/AM/CDs/DVDs/VHS/Floppy Disks even were.  Part of Moore’s law I guess.

We are unsure about what quad-core chip they are going to use in the C98 but we have a feeling it will not be Allwinner or MTK as their website suggests.  My guess it will be the new Amlogic AML8726-M8 which will be out sooner than you think.  I’m sure that Zenithink (via Amlogic) already has a solution for the chip which has put their small company on the tablet map of the world.  If they do this (And I have advised them too) I think it would give them the much needed exposure in the ARMs race that they missed last year when Ainol, Onda & Ramos were putting out dual-core Amlogic tablets 4-5 months before Zenithink was.

I stand by my statement that Zenithink makes the best budget performance tablets.  Ainol makes the best budget performance also, but they use slightly better components and offer more selections of spec levels for their tablet lines.  This is why over the last year we have focused on featuring these two lines of manufacturers.  In the future we hope to add Onda & Pipo (Pipo first more than likely).  But until then we will be your genuine Ainol & Zenithink dealers in the US.

Absolutely nothing new lately.

February 28, 2013

We have still been selling Ainol Hero & Crystal, Zenithink C93.  The C97 line was dropped by Zenithink.  I guess their margin wasn’t high enough on that product. Which is a shame because it really is a nice product.  Very solid tablet, great looking LCD, super low returns.  The C93 sells very well though so maybe that’s the real issue is the C97 just didn’t sell enough.  They told me they were going to put a quad-core chip in the C97.  If they put the freescale chip in it, I will take my palm and smack my face with it.  Freescale, your chip sucks.  I hope someone high up in your company is reading this.  I thought you guys were supposed to be one of the leaders in microchip technology. When I used to purchase electronics I couldn’t tell you how many freescale products I’ve had to buy over the years for my salespersons.  It just baffles me that this chip is just not right.  And your source codes are nowhere to be found so people can help you fix it.

We will more than likely be carrying the Ainol 9″ spark(Or whatever it is going to be called).  We will get a couple hundred pieces to do a test run.  Like I have said in other posts, the A31 chip is decent but it has some ways to go.  I did have to modify the software to make certain things works, and yes they still need a Kernel revision to fix some GPU crashes I was getting. But last year when Allwinner came out with their A10 chips, Ainol had the best stock firmware for them.  So let’s hope they repeat this year.  Or at least repeat for the small window between now and when Amlogic releases their quad-core chip.

That is all for now.

ACT ATM7029 vs Amlogic AML8726-MX

December 6, 2012

I get a lot of e-mails asking me if I’m going to be carrying the new Hero II or Flame II or whatever II that Ainol is releasing this week, next week, or next year depending on what website you believe that is pre-selling something that a prototype hasn’t been built for yet.  And my immediate answer is, why the heck am I/you supposed to be thinking about the 2nd version of a tablet when they are still selling mass quantities of the first version?

So since I’m well versed in what is going on in the tablet world I will try and school people quickly on the immediate future.

First off let me say that from this point on I will be an Amlogic shill.  Some of you might think I’m an idiot without even asking why.  So if you do, you have the right to just stop reading.  It’s your choice, unless of course you don’t live in a free society and someone has a gun to your head making you read this.  If that is the fact, well I guess I might as well tell you why.

1. Amlogic has been the most cooperative non-big brand (not Nvidia, Quallcom, Samsung) chip manufacturer to comply with GPL.  They might not release their sources right away when people are complaing/cryin/sobbing for them.  But they do release them.  I’m sure this small delay has to do with them wanting to perfect some of the code before releasing it to the wolves for their modifications and critisizm.  I don’t know.  I’ve never asked.  But maybe one day I will.
2. Amlogic is the only non-big brand chip MFG that has a decent idea on how to manage public relations.  In one of my desk jobs before I started F&L Superstore I was a microchip/semi-conductor buyer, and we were taught to go to the top.  If we had to find a chip and we couldn’t get a salesperson to sell it to us.  Find the CEO’s number and call him/her.  I know this sounds so simple in theory but nobody applies this in real life, I think people are scared to talk to people in power.  Call it starstruck.  Well I never had to go to the top of Amlogic to get someone to talk to me.  I’ve sent messages and e-mails to Boxchip & Rockchip only to get “no joy”(Military term for unsuccessful).  In the short time we have talked to them they have helped us work through bugs that if went unchecked could ruin the tablet experience for the consumer.  What does this mean???? It means they care about their chips working properly for any MFG who makes tablets with their SOCs.  This is a +10 in my book.
3. The delivery system for update is Micro SD.  I can’t tell you how much of a pain in the butt it is to tell people how to install drivers on their computers to update Rockchip and Boxchip tablets. I couldn’t even get the Rockchip drivers to install on 1/2 of my computers in my office.  I think that Micro SD is simple, accessible, and the files could be downloaded from the tablet if need be.  So Amlogic has considered simplicity whereas the competitors have added numerous steps and drivers that sometimes have compatibility problems.  Also some tablet users might not have access to a computer 24/7.  That’s food for thought right there.
4. They continute to use Mali GPUs.  I think that Samsung has oficially staked the claim that the Mali GPU is here to stay.  I’ve had it on my last two Samsung phones and it seems to be a staple in the future of mobile GPUs such as Nvidia, Power VR, Adreno are.

So you are probably saying by now.  What the heck does this have to do with ACT vs Amlogic.  Well I’ll explain with the words of someone who understands 0100011100110 who is a lot smarter than I.

“From those official technical specifications from ARM, below are the summary:

–        A9 versus A7 Frequency is 15% better, (950MHz v.s. 810MHz)
–        A9 versus A7 DMIPS/MHz is almost 30% better (2.5 v.s. 1.85).
–        From calculation, A9 is getting 2375 DMIPS/CPU, A7 is getting 1498.5 DMIPS/CPU. A9 as single core is 58.5% faster than A7.
–        Numbers listed are all based on single core, dual core is not going to get double the performance, probably 1.5. When adding 3rd and 4th core, you probably getting most double the performance with quad-core.

The conclusion is quad-core A7 performance is worse than dual core A9 in the same technology. Not only on the higher end of processor, Amlogic solution based tablets have been certified by Google GMS.”

Not only are you armed with the information in the quotes.  But let me throw in something else.  The ACT chip is using an unsupported, slow GPU.

So if you want to buy an ACT chip.  Good luck.  But ask my partner Liz, I love to say I told you so.

Frank