— Mobile Technology
5-inch ICE Smart is a smartphone without the phone and tablet without the screen size
Sitting somewhere between a tablet and a smartphone - minus the phone - is the ICE Smart Media Player from Latte Communications. With a 5-inch display and running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), the device joins the netherworld between smartphones and larger screen tablets currently occupied by the Dell Streak. But unlike the Streak, the ICE Smart doesn't include have the ability to make calls, making it more like an oversized Android version of the iPod touch.
Latte are touting their device as the "first Android based 5-inch full HD media player in the market." Since the 5-inch display market isn't exactly overcrowded we'd be inclined to believe them. Powered by an 800 MHz ARM 11 processor with a built-in 3D accelerator the device boasts Full HD 1080p video playback. Video can be viewed on the 800 x 480 pixel resistive touchscreen display, which supports dual touch, or mirrored on a HDTV via the mini HDMI out port.
There's 8GB of onboard storage, with a micro SD card slot providing up to an extra 32GB of storage space if desired. The device sports 802.11 b/g as well as a g-sensor, built-in speaker and mic.
With USB On-The-Go (OTG) support the ICE Smart can be connected directly to USB devices such as digital cameras or external HDDs for transferring files without the need for a PC. It also allows USB peripherals such as a keyboard or mouse to be connected. If you go for a wireless keyboard and mouse, Latte suggests hooking up the device to a TV so you can use it while kicking back on the couch.
Latte is marketing the ICE Smart as a pocket-friendly HD video player, music player, photo frame, eBook reader and game machine. Without the calling capabilities of a smartphone or the screen real estate of a larger tablet the ICE Smart is also cheaper than either, with Latte currently offering the device for the sale price of US$189.99, down from the regular price of $249.99.
About the Author
Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.
All articles by Darren Quick
So why is this better than the Archos 43 internet tablet, that costs less and also has HD video recording?
Thank you Wayne. \"making it more like an oversized Android version of the iPod touch\" should be \"making it almost the same as the much earlier to market Archos 43\".
What\'s not mentioned is that Latte doesn\'t make devices at all. Their devices are simply rebrands of products from Asian companies like Ramos and then sold in the U.S. and possibly European markets. Having regrettably owned a Latte rebrand, their support is effectively non-existent and the documentation is riddled with inconsistencies (the device, documentation, and website couldn\'t even agree in 2005 on whether my unit had an SD slot or a mini-SD slot. When I finally got an e-mail back, I was told that they were \"the same thing\" (!!!) and offered for sale a micro SD card with mini and SD adaptors.)
It\'s possible they\'ve improved, but build quality, support and software bugginess were atrocious in the past (check Amazon for many horror stories). I wouldn\'t dream of going for a Latte rebrand over a genuine Archos (which is only $149.99 for the same 8GB, and $209.99 for 16GB on Amazon). This device is a cheap knock-off of the Archos 43 that actually costs MORE than the original!
Thank you alcalde. \"What\'s not mentioned is that Latte doesn\'t make devices at all. Their devices are simply rebrands of products from Asian companies like Ramos and then sold in the U.S. and possibly European markets\". But if a MAJOR manufacturer looks at the smaller format (I want entertainment \'on the go\', I don\'t want a device half the size of a laptop that still needs a carring case) with memory options (SD or Mini SD card slots) I would buy one in a heart beat. But wait, CrApple \'I-diot pad\'...Made in China. CNet had a podcast about quality and one of thier podcasters had bought a CrApple \'I-Pod\' and that new MP3 player had a virus in it! So much for quaility!
Looks nice, but with zero support, dodgy connectability and no phone capability its doomed to the dustbin.
The only thing this has over the Archos 43 IT is it has a dual touch screen. The Archos is what anyone still lugging around a Palm LifeDrive should be looking at for an upgrade.
Lots thinner and lighter, slightly narrower and longer than the LifeDrive. A heck of a lot lighter! Faster CPU, more RAM, more storage, higher resolution at 854x480. Plus all the other stuff not available on the LifeDrive.
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