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Google previews Android 3.0 as Motorola launches Xoom tablet

by Scott Bicheno on 6 January 2011, 10:21

Tags: Motorola (NYSE:MSI), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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Sweetening the pot

As expected, Motorola has become the first company to launch a product based on Google's tablet-optimized operating system - Honeycomb - which has now been confirmed as Android 3.0.

As the device is defined by the OS, and a flood of Honeycomb tablets are destined to follow, Android 3.0 is by far the bigger news. Andy Rubin, the head of Android, published a brief blog post offering a sneak peek of the OS, in which he said Android 3.0 has been designed from the ground up for tablets. To us that means most smartphones probably won't even bother with it.

"We've developed a brand new, truly virtual and holographic user interface," said Rubin. We're not sure exactly what he means by that, but the video below implies the 3D nature of the UI is pretty cool, as you can see from the video below.

As well as that, many Google products will be optimized for the larger screen, both in terms of functionality and aesthetics. There will be refined multitasking, redesigned widgets and an improved browser. Google Talk will also come preinstalled.

 

 

Having started last year apparently determined to alienate its Android OEM partners, Google has been careful to ensure all its most dedicated device-makers get their turn at the Google bosom. Initially it was HTC with the Nexus One, then it was Samsung and the Nexus S, and for tablets it's now Moto's turn.

Whether or not there will be a Nexus-branded tablet remains to be seen, but Moto has clearly been given a head start on developing for Honeycomb. The result is Xoom - a 10.1 (1280x800) inch tablet running NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 2 SoC, with 1GB memory, back and front cameras, 32GB storage.

That's about it really, as we said: it's defined by the OS. "Light, powerful and fundamentally different than anything else on the market, Motorola XOOM leverages the very best technology available today to redefine what a tablet experience can be," said Bill Ogle, chief marketing officer of Motorola Mobility. "The first device to feature software designed specifically for tablets, Motorola XOOM goes everywhere you do and delivers everything you need."

There's also another vid, a pic and some specs below. There has been no guidance given about UK launch and price, but it will launch in the US in Q1.

The start of the year had been awash with analysts really sticking their necks out and predicting indefinite Apple dominance of the tablet market. But we always thought that if Honeycomb is good enough, there's no reason why that should be the case - just look at how quickly Android is catching-up with Apple in the smartphone market. On first impressions Android 3.0 really puts the cat among the pigeons.

 

Motorola XOOM Tablet

OS

Android 3.0 Honeycomb

Differentiation

Larger display in smaller form-factor, 1080p HD support, first tablet with Honeycomb software, dual-core 1GHz processor, and a wide range of docking options

Dimensions

249.1mm (h) x 167.8mm (w) x 12.9mm (d)

Display

10.1" 1280x800 resolution

Weight

730 g

Processor

NVIDIA® TegraTM 2: 1GHz dual-core processor

Battery

Up to 10 hour video playback

Connectivity

3.5mm, micro USB 2.0 HS, Corporate Sync, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz & 5GHz 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR + HID

Network

3G, 4G LTE upgradeable, 802.11n w/Personal Hotspot

Messaging/Web/Apps

Email (Corporate Sync, Google Mail, POP3/IMAP embedded, Push Email, Yahoo Mail) , WebKit w/ Flash

Audio

AAC, AAC+, AMR NB, AMR WB, MP3, XMF

Video

720p capture/1080p playback/streaming, H.263, H.264, MPEG4

Camera

5 MP rear-facing camera with dual LED flash/2MP front-facing camera

Memory

32GB on board user memory, SD card support after software update, 1GB DDR2 RAM

 

 

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HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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final nail in the coffin for apple if android 3.0 really does have that implemented and smoothly and responsively.
j.o.s.h.1408;2028235
final nail in the coffin for apple if android 3.0 really does have that implemented and smoothly and responsively.


Since when have there been any nails in any Apple coffins?
j.o.s.h.1408;2028235
final nail in the coffin for apple if android 3.0 really does have that implemented and smoothly and responsively.


Manveer Wasson from Anandtech stated that the UI looks pretty choppy and it's run on Tegra 2 with dual core A9. I hope they will fix this to compete with iPad and also with new Windows pads run on Zacate from AMD.
Stefan_C
Since when have there been any nails in any Apple coffins?


That.

It seemed to be doing fine last time I looked.
Aisalem
I hope they will fix this to compete with iPad and also with new Windows pads run on Zacate from AMD.

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