Motorola Xoom, the highly anticipated Honeycomb tablet computer from Motorola could be launching as early as February 17. This information is courtesy a leaked screenshot of the Best Buy inventory database that has recently been doing the rounds across the blogosphere. According to this document, Best Buy stores across the United States will begin to stock the tablet starting February 16th. Also, the launch date has been explicitly mentioned as February 17th.
This is interesting considering that we received details about the Xoom pricing just days back. Also, you may recall that the initial rumors pointed out to a launch date around April and May of this year. While all of this is speculation at the moment, we would like to assume each of these rumors carry a grain of truth in them. Verizon is expected to come with a Wi-Fi only model to start with followed by the launch of 3G-enabled tablets. We are also likely to see 4G LTE capable Xoom tablets sometime down the line.
If these rumored launch dates are any indication, we could be seeing a Wi-Fi only variant launch in February followed by tablets capable of carrying cellular data sometime around April of this year.
We have heard quite a few things about the Motorola Honeycomb tablet in the past. In fact, Google’s Andy Rubin also carried it to a conference recently. Given the teasers that Motorola had released prior to CES, we were naturally curious to hear more about this upcoming device. And the features definitely do not disappoint.
Firstly, this is a 10.1-inches device that comes with a widescreen HD display with 1280×800 pixel resolution. The Motorola Xoom will run on a dual core processor – each running at 1GHz and will be equipped with two cameras – a rear facing 5-Megapixel camera and another 2-Megapixel front facing camera. There is also support for 1080p HD video and HDMI output. Other details that will be of interest include gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and support for Google Maps 5.0Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Motorola has noted that a 3G/Wi-Fi enabled device will launch in Q1 2011 while a 4G LTE capable device should be available in Q2 2011.
In case you have not been following this space much, the next version of the Android operating system is called Honeycomb and is likely to be Android 3.0. This version of the Android OS is said to be the first version that is optimized for tablet computers (Galaxy Tab is actually considered a phone).
Though we are yet to hear anything substantial from Google regarding this new launch, recent word doing the rounds is that Honeycomb shall not release until March of next year. This is courtesy a report on Taiwanese website Digitimes. The author had stated,
“MSI is set to display its 10-inch Wintel-based tablet PC as well as engineering samples of its ARM-based Google Android model. MSI is also prepared to sell an Nvidia Tegra 2-based model in April or May after Google releases Android 3.0 in March.”
What this means is that the highly anticipated iPad rivals from the likes of Motorola are not expected to launch until then. Incidentally, Motorola had recently unveiled a teaser for their Honeycomb-based tablet that they are showcasing during CES 2011. Now that we hear that the launch of the platform may not happen until March, does that mean the Motorola Tablet may only launch along iPad 2 or later than that? That’s disappointing.
Andy Rubin, the VP of engineering at Google had last week given us a sneak peek into an upcoming Honeycomb tablet from Motorola. While not too many details were divulged, we did hear that the device will sport a NVIDIA processor along with a dual-core 3D processor and video chatting functionalities.
Now, we are coming to know about more features about this upcoming gadget. First of all, a new picture of the tablet comes with a Verizon logo imprinted which has sort of confirmed speculations about the carrier that this tablet could come partnered with. The tipster has also given us some details about some specifications of this tablet which include
While Rubin did not reveal too many details about the new product, we do know that this tablet computer will include a NVIDIA processor, a dual core 3D processor and video chatting capabilities (means a front facing camera as well). The device could measure anywhere between 7″ and 10″ though there is high chance that Motorola could opt for the higher end.
You can check out the demonstration below. Nothing is known about the launch of this device. However, we expect this to happen in the first quarter of 2011 at the least. That would bring another new Android OS to the already fragmented platform. That’s not a good thing, sadly.
The launch of new Android OS versions have always been a sweet affair with the versions named after desserts. Eclair, Frozen Yogurt and Gingerbread are as much in the lexicon of a geek today as it used to be for a gourmet. With Android 3.0 – aka Gingerbread – launching later this year, there are already speculations over what the next version of Android OS could be called.
Now, in a fresh report, TechRadar has suggested that it could be Honeycomb after Gingerbread. According to sources the website spoke to, the new Android version could be an incremental update – more like Android 3.1 or Android 3.2 instead of a giant leap to Android 4.0.
Now, it’s impossible to speculate over the features that Honeycomb could come with since Gingerbread is not even out. But from what we learn, Honeycomb could be launched on tablet computers from Toshiba and Samsung early next year though that’s purely speculation.
Nevertheless, is it a disappointment that Google has moved away from naming Android versions based on desserts?