ASUS Prime Tablet with detachable keyboard to launch December 8th

Here at Technology Report we’ve always been fans of ASUS for their innovative designs combined with power and low prices.    Their early netbooks were among the first in that line, and now they appear to be coming up with a tablet that will exceed the iPAD in some specifications, including a very clever detachable keyboard that solves one of my main concerns about tablets – they are MUCH harder to write with than a netbook, desktop, or laptop unless you plug in a keyboard, making them … cumbersome.     ASUS appears to have solved this challenge with a very thin, light, and sleek detachable keyboard that appears to also act as a cover, making this device – to my frame of mind – a lot more logical than the standard format tablet computer.     We’ll have more at CES where I’m sure ASUS will be showing these off a lot:

ASUS' new tablet with keyboard

Wordlens – a free iPhone text translator

Update:  After seeing the demo of Wordlens and hearing that reviewers were “disappointed” due to speed and effectiveness I think this application needs a lot of work.

Remains, however, a great idea

Kudos to the folks at Quest Visual:  Questvisual.com.   Their free  iPhone application “Wordlens” allows real time translation by simply pointing your iPhone at a sign or other text.

As any traveler knows it’s very helpful to be able to interpret signs, menus, and  other text.   This is naturally very difficult in countries where you don’t speak the language.    Wordlens is only available in spanish now but other languages are on the way, and this is clearly a great step in the direction of our phones and handheld devices becoming “universal translators”

Via Singularity Hub

more at Quest Visual:  Questvisual.com

Apple iPad sales top 1,000,000 in record time

Reuters reports that the Apple iPad tablet computing device has outpaced even the Apple iPhone in sales speed – surpassing a million units sold in only 28 days from the launch of one of the most breathlessly anticipated computing devices in years.

Reuters on iPad sales.

The iPad appears to be a huge success even as some critics dismissed it as nothing more than a “giant iPhone”.    Clearly  the device is satisfying consumer demand for a lightweight, stylish device and appears to be in use mostly for web surfing movies, and books.      My view is that the Kindle is now effectively dead unless Amazon can lower the price point substantially or find a way to compete with the iPad’s vastly superior capabilities.     Where the Kindle is simply a book reader, the iPad is a fully functional computing device as well as a book reader.     At similar pricing, this is a “no contest” battle.

Personally I favor netbooks over tablets because much of my time is spent typing, and the touchscreen typing experience on a iPad is pretty marginal.   I played briefly with one the other day with my new pals at  541live.com, a great resource for Oregon events and attractions.    It’s a wonderful device visually and the touch response is fantastic, but I sure would not want to type out blog posts that way.     However, as 541 noted, it’s hard to beat the iPad for presentations because you can hand it around much more easily than a laptop.

Apple iPad

Update: Well, the reviews seem a bit mixed from the tech crowd even as the TV news stories are about the best thing Apple could have hoped for – breathless anchors telling us how much they want an iPad.

Wall Street Journal has a good summary of the early buzz. My take so far is that these are the key features in play:

“low price” “giant iPhone” “many applications” “high quality” “no still or video camera” “potential typing challenges”

This morning Apple launched what is almost certain to become the new tablet computing standard, the Apple iPad. Reviews will be coming in at a lightning pace today and we’ll try to summarize them later, but in the meantime here’s a great “Everything you need to know about the iPad” piece from the Gizmodo people.

Apple iPAD launches