Alex, I agree with you on additional size possibilities for tablets. So far, this product space has gained an unbelievable amount of traction in a short period of time. It's clear that users like the smaller sized devices and the basic touch interface. It's clear we will see an almost explosive number of new products in the next 12 months including smaller screen sizes.
I'm wondering if there's a market niche for a form-factor that's smaller than an iPad 2, but larger than an iPhone. Of course, the Blackberry Playbook fills precisely that niche, but it hasn't taken off for other reasons (namely, the software's not fully baked, and it's viewed as an enterprise product rather than a consumer one). The reason I posit the intermediate form factor is that I personally still prefer the iPhone, even though I have an iPad. I think it's the weight issue. I actually like the iPad better, but I find it far easier to read an iPhone when recumbent, its smaller screen notwithstanding.
I can't help but notice the iPad 2's impression, and therefore costly, bill of materials. Now that Steve Jobs has sadly passed, I expect we will see a raft of Android tablets which strive for highly cost-constrained BOMs.
Yes, always great to see a product teardown. It appeals to the primal engineer in me; ogg, ugh! I'll never forget the first time I got to teardown a Ipod Touch that was dropped into a cup of coffee (it didn't survive). Such an impressive assortment of manufacturing techniques employed into these robust handheld devices. Good stuff, thanks!
Specs I've seen have the Kindle Fire based on the dual-core 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP (assuming version 5) processor. With all of the high-end graphics and processing power needed by emerging HTML5 code, it looks like multi-core will soon no longer be competitive advantage, but a requirement.
Always interesting to get a peak inside these coveted electronics. With Motorola and Apple now clearly on the dual-core processor bandwagon for their tablet offerings, does that mean this is now a standard for this form factor going forward? I see Apple's new iPhone 4S announced yesterday uses the same dual-core A5 chip. Is Amazon's new Kindle Fire based on a dual-core processor as well?
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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