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Google's Android chief showed off a new tablet powered by Google's upcoming Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" OS.  (Source: Engadget)

The tablet is powered by NVIDIA's new dual ARM core/GPU system-on-a-chip, Tegra2.  (Source: Xtreview)
Google continues to aggressively improve its popular mobile operating system

It's no secret what gave Google half of America's smartphone market and propelled it into second place worldwide in global smartphone sales -- a combination of an open ethos, a plethora of hardware options, and an aggressive schedule of operating system updates.  The latest of those updates -- Android 2.3 Gingerbread -- just rolled out yesterday, but Google is already hard at work on its next round of goodies.

At the second and final day of the 
D: Dive Into Mobile conference in San Francisco, California, Android Chief Andy Rubin showed off a new tablet running Android 3.0, an operating system that bears the codename "Honeycomb."

The tablet alone looked quite impressive.  The new tablet from Motorola sports a "dual core 3D processor" and NVIDIA GPU (possibly the new dual-core Tegra 2?).  It also packs video chat and, of course, Android 3.0, into what looks to be a 10-inch footprint.

The device is rumored to be "Stingray" a Motorola tablet that's supposed to launch in the first quarter of next year on Verizon.  Previously published rumors point to a 10-inch tablet packing Android 3.0, 16 GB of onboard storage, and be upgradeable to LTE ("4G").  And you guessed it, the leaks point to "Stingray" being powered by Tegra 2.

Honeycomb will be the first release of Android to officially support and be fine-tuned for tablets.  

Customization seems to be a chief focus of the operating system.  While Google's demo showed an OS that appeared to be sticking to a grid of icons, it didn't have the traditional Android buttons and looked more like a PC desktop.  The demo wasn't long and didn't do much to fill in the scarce details currently available on the incoming OS.  But it did certainly tantalize that Google has some sweet surprises left in store.

If "Stingray" indeed airs in the aforementioned form, it would likely surpass the Samsung Galaxy Tab and iPad as the undisputed champion of the tablet world, at least in terms of hardware.  Those interested in picking up a tablet should keep their eyes on this one.



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RE: Hmmm....
By omnicronx on 12/7/2010 11:55:28 AM , Rating: 2
Please stop pretending you know what you are talking about..

Hummingbird 1Ghz Processor inside the tab == the exact same Cortex A8 core as Apples A4 (found on the iPad), and the overall package is very similar.

Its also packaged with a PowerVR SGX 540 which is more powerful than the GPU that comes with the iPad (which sports a SGX 535 I'm pretty sure).

While I do agree that Android 2.* may not be ready for tablet primetime, from what I've seen it actually looks pretty good.

That being said, the Tab is directly in line with the iPad in terms of performance, and I'm pretty sure Apple has sold at least a few of those so called 'underpowered phones' ;)


RE: Hmmm....
By ImSpartacus on 12/7/2010 12:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
What about compared to two >=1 GHz A8 cores?

And don't compare the Tab with the iPad, it would also be unwise to purchase an iPad when the iPad 2 is coming out in the Spring. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple crammed a dual core processor into their tablet just to differentiate from their iPhone.

But if you must compare the Tab and the iPad 1, the Tab severely gets its ass kicked. The hardware is close to parity (with the Tab pulling ahead slightly), but iOS 4.2 is so much better than a poorly skinned Froyo build.

A fairer comparison would be the iPad on release software and the Tab on it's Frankenstein Froyo. Tablet software can mature quite a bit in a few months. *cough*Honeycomb*


RE: Hmmm....
By omnicronx on 12/7/2010 12:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
As an iPad owner with iOS 4.2, I don't agree with your sentiments..

After playing around with the Tab i'd say they are very comparable.. Also supports flash, which I WISH I had on my iPad..

I would not venture into buying an Android tablet with a higher resolution than the tab as the UI is still not GPU accelerated, but to say its not comparable is ludicrous..

Its not underpowered, and its still a high end device. There is always something better around the corner, if everyone played the waiting game for the next best thing nobody would ever buy anything =P.. That said, for the upcoming Christmas season, its definitely a great choice.


RE: Hmmm....
By ImSpartacus on 12/7/2010 1:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
While I absolutely agree that flash on the iPad would be wodnerful, flash on the Tab really isn't that great.

While I admit I have not used the Tab and do not own a tablet, every Tab review I have read mentions how choppy and slow the browsing experience is. Flash is great, but it doesn't seem to be working well on the Tab.

Since basic internet browsing is the number one feature of a tablet, the Tab just doesn't get it done.

I think getting a little more muscle behind a 720p screen would improve the browsing experience quite a bit. After all, the iPad manages a satisfactory (albeit flash-less) browsing experience on a 4:3 720p screen (1024x768) with Tab-esque hardware.

Maybe it's flash. Maybe Android tablets need a flashblock add-on to block ads and things. But, if it's software, I think it is fair to expect an improvement on Honeycomb.

Wouldn't it be a shame to buy a $600 Galaxy Tab for Christmas and see a $500 Motorola tablet in January that whips the Tab's ass?

I really believe that Google can create a tablet OS that is superior to iOS, but they haven't done it yet.


RE: Hmmm....
By omnicronx on 12/7/2010 3:01:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While I admit I have not used the Tab and do not own a tablet, every Tab review I have read mentions how choppy and slow the browsing experience is. Flash is great, but it doesn't seem to be working well on the Tab.
Android scrolling in general is just not as smooth as iOS (which is a result of a lack of GPU acceleration for their basic gui elements). That is where these types of reviews come stem from (which is a terrible basis of how good a browsing experience is). I've used the browser, its not choppy. While the scrolling may not be near perfect like the iPhone, I don't feel it takes away from the overall experience. Pages do load faster in my experience, and the added memory certainly does help (I've run out of cache many times on my iPad).

As for flash, it works fine if your intent is to use it for video content (which is what most people want it for). If you expect a desktop experience on your tablet, its not going to happen. That said, limited flash is still far better than no flash at all. Let me reiterate that point as the basis behind your statements is that internet browsing is the number one tablet feature. Apples approach of not having flash kind of goes against that very theory.
quote:
I think getting a little more muscle behind a 720p screen would improve the browsing experience quite a bit. After all, the iPad manages a satisfactory (albeit flash-less) browsing experience on a 4:3 720p screen (1024x768) with Tab-esque hardware.
Once again this stems from the lack of GPU acceleration for its ui elements, although actual 3d content (OpenGL games etc) will perform better on the Tab.

Please stop using HD broadcast standards to describe the screen resolution though. Neither tablet (or any smartphone right now for that matter) has an HD display..

1024x768!= 720P.. nor does 800/854x480 = 480P..


RE: Hmmm....
By lwright84 on 12/7/2010 1:04:40 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree that iOS 4.2 is the superior OS, but the Tab trumps the iPad in just about every other aspect... and this is coming from an iPad owner as well. Once Netflix releases their Android app, there will be literally no reason for me to keep my iPad.

But there you go again advising people not to purchase current excellent products because the sequel releases are "around the corner". You sound like an Apple salesman. So when iPad 3 is rumored a month or two after iPad 2 is released.. are you going to tell everyone not to purchase that lousy iPad 2? lol


RE: Hmmm....
By ImSpartacus on 12/9/2010 8:15:42 AM , Rating: 2
Other than operating system, what other aspect of a tablet do we judge?

I think it has already been said that the hardware in the Tab is nearly at perfect parity with the hardware in the iPad even though one is six months older.

But I honestly don't care which is better. If you ask me, they both suck, albeit equally. I've said it before, the Tab was rushed and the software shows it. The iPad was the first of its kind and will no doubt get an enormous upgrade in its successor. Honeycomb will also bring huge upgrades to

Anandtech says it best in their latest article:

"The slate computing market is about to explode, with a literal flood of new tablets releasing over the coming months."

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4054/first-look-view...

So right now, you have 2 choices if you cut the $400 G and its lack of Android Market support: the iPad and the Galaxy Tab.

I can understand why a layman might want either, but us? We're the techie crowd. We appreciate how Tegra 2 destroys its competition in 5/6 Anandtech benchmarks. We figure that if nVidia can bring that much heat in a non-Market (ie. sucky) device, what can the other boys bring in a more polished product?


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