The wait is almost over guys. According to reports, Verizon stores have already begun receiving shipments of the highly anticipated Motorola Xoom, which is slated to go on sale on Thursday (Feb 24). Several stores including Best Buy have already begun accepting pre-orders. However, as AP pointed out, it seems that Best Buy’s offer of $799.99 for the 3G-enabled Xoom doesn’t include taxes, while WireFly’s offer does.
Motorola is also working with European retailers to make Xoom available soon across the pond. The 3G version will be available in the UK via The Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy, while the Wi-Fi only version will be available through Currys and PC World. It should be available in additional markets across Europe through Deutsche Telekom.
The Honeycomb (Android 3.0) flavored Xoom sports a 10.1” widescreen HD display, 5-megapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording, and weighs in at 730 grams. Underneath the hood it has nVidia’s powerful Tegra 2 chip, which features a 1 GHz dual-core processor, and was one of the highlights of last month’s CES.
While the sale price of Xoom turned out to be a much more realistic than the initial rumored prices, it’s still a cause for concern. Motorola is definitely taking a big risk by asking for more than the market leader (iPad). When coupled with Verizon’s steep data charges ($20 for 1GB and $80 for 10GB of data – 1 month mandatory), the Xoom becomes quite an expensive affair.
Google just gave everyone present (physically) and watching the event live via YouTube a brief overview of Android 3.0 Honeycomb. First and foremost, Android 3.0 will feature an on-screen button dedicated to Multi-tasking. The new home screen on the Honeycomb features new kind of widgets that can be used by developers to pop-up important messages, right on the home screen.
Hugo demonstrated the new notification panel on Android 3.0 which is totally non-intrusive like on the Android version for mobile. The new notification system will even allow users to control apps running in the background like the Music player. Google has also built some templates which will allow developers to create new rich notification.
Hugo also said that any application that is built using the existing guidelines will run smoothly on Honeycomb as well. He demonstrated this by downloading running Fruit Ninja on a Motorola XOOM running Android 3.0. One major feature of Android 3.0 is that the 2D graphics is going to be completely hardware accelerated. Developers can accelerate the 2D animations on their app by simply adding one single line of code.
Hugo demonstrated the brand new GMail app tailor made for tablets along with the YouTube app which has a gorgeous 3D UI. The Music app on the Honeycomb looked stellar as well. Google also introduced us to a new application called the Google Body. Like the Google Maps, Google Body will allow users to view the parts of the human body and it even features Layers’.
Thomas Williamson from Wardrom Studios showed off Monster Madness and Great Battles Medieval on the XOOM. The game was ported over from the PS3 to Honeycomb using the same game assets and engine. The Great Battles Medieval was also able to fully utilize both the cores of the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor.
Honeycomb will also sport a brand new camera app with a stunning UIwhich will allow users to control greater aspects of the camera. The new GTalk for Honeycomb will feature video chatting with some nifty features including image stabilization.
While 2010 was supposed to be the year of tablets, it did not turn out to be. The only two noteworthy tablets that launched in 2010 were the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. iPad went on to become a runoff success for Apple, just like the iPhone.
However, 2011 will see a lot more new tablets coming into the market and the iPad will definitely have more competition. So which are the tablets that you can look forward to in 2011? Here is a list of top 5 tablets which you can buy in 2011.
Apple iPad 2
Well, iPad was a run-off success; however, it did lack quite a few features including a camera. In 2011 (most likely in April), Apple will announce the iPad 2. It is rumored to do away with the home button and replace everything with multi-touch gestures, similar to what you would see on a Mac.
iPad 2 is also rumored to have a camera which can be used to record videos and video chat using Facetime. Rumors also suggest that the next generation of iPad will feature a Retina Display’. Users should also expect the iPad 2 to sport a dual-core processor which should be easily able to play back 1080p videos.
What users should not expect the iPad 2 to feature is the support for Adobe Flash. The iPad 2 will be running on a new iOS version which might include some basic photo and video editing capabilities as well. Expect Apple to set the bar so high with the iPad 2 that rest of the manufacturers will be playing the catch-up game for the rest of the year.
The Motorola Xoom was definitely the best tablet announced during the CES 2011. The Xoom is expected to hit the stores sometime in May as a 3G+WiFi tablet, with an upgrade to 4G LTE sometime later in 2011 in the States. However, now it looks like Motorola will ship a Wi-Fi only version of the Xoom as well.
Motorola’s Latin America General Manager, Maurizio Angelone has told Infobae that Motorola will ship the WiFi only version of the Xoom a whole month before the 3G+WiFi version of the device hit the stores.
The Motorola Xoom features a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1280×800. The tablet is based on the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform which includes a dual-core Cortex A9 based 1 GHz processor. The back of the tablet sports a 5MP camera with dual-LED flash while there is a 2MP camera in the front for video calling. The Xoom runs on the tablet version of Android Honeycomb. Readers can find out the whole specs of Motorola Xoom here.
In other Xoom related news, Motorola expects the Xoom to set the sales chart on fire. According to DigiTimes, the company has ordered 800,000-900,000 units of the Xoom with four varying colors. The company expects the order of the Xoom to reach as high as a million in the first quarter of 2011.
Optimistic or modest? Only time will tell!
Last week, Motorola announced the much awaited, Android Honeycomb powered Xoom tablet at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. This tablet is expected to release in the Q1 of 2011, but the company has not announced the price of this device. Handtec, a popular online retailer in the UK have already listed the price of the device on their website. According to the retailer, Motorola Xoom tablet will be available in the UK for £719.99 (approx. $1100).
Motorola Xoom comes with a 10.1 inch touchscreen display, 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS, 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash, 2 megapixel front-facing camera and more.
Other features include a 3.5mm headset jack, micro USB 2.0, Corporate Sync, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR + HID, 3G Connectivity, 4G LTE upgradeable, HD (720p) video recording, Full HD (1080p) playback, 32GB internal memory, SD card support, 1GB DDR2 RAM and up to 10 hour video playback.
The cost of the device, after excluding the VAT is just £599.99 (approx. $930). Are you willing to buy this device? Or planning to buy the Android Gingerbread powered ASUS Eee Pad Slider tablet? Let us know your views in the comments below.
Motorola finally announced its much awaited tablet, the Motorola Xoom at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. This device runs on the Google’s latest Android OS (Honeycomb), optimized for tablets. Motorola Xoom comes with a large 10.1 inch touchscreen display, NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 4G LTE upgradeable, Full HD (1080p) video playback and more. This device allows you to access more that 3 million Google eBooks. Check out the complete specs below.
Motorola XOOM is a powerful addition to Verizon’s product lineup and builds on our combined leadership with Motorola to deliver innovative mobile devices and service on the Android platform. Motorola XOOM gives consumers complete access and control of their favorite personal content and work files whether through our nationwide 3G network, or through our lightning-fast 4G LTE network as it rolls out around the country,said Marni Walden, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless.
Motorola Xoom Specifications:
- 10.1 inch touchscreen display
- 1280 x 800 pixels resolution
- Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS
- 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor
- 5 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash
- 2 megapixel front-facing camera
- 3.5mm headset jack
- micro USB 2.0
- Corporate Sync
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR + HID
- 3G Connectivity
- 4G LTE upgradeable
- HD (720p) video recording
- Full HD (1080p) playback
- 32GB internal memory
- SD card support
- 1GB DDR2 RAM
- Up to 10 hour video playback
The Motorola Xoom device will launch as a 3G/Wi-Fi enabled device in Q1 2011 with an upgrade to 4G LTE in Q2. Starting in Q2 2011, the Motorola Xoom will be a 4G LTE/Wi-Fi- enabled device. The price of this tablet is not announced yet.