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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 3:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
Just an FYI upcomming snapdragon products are still cortex A8 based (we will be seeing higher clocked snapdragon cores with newer Adreno gpus soon)..

And Tegra 2 is directly comparable to the two while requiring more power. While CPU performance may be a bit higher, its GPU performance is actually worse than both the SGX540 found in current samsung smartphones and Qualcomms Adreno 205 that will be packaged with the 45nm snapdragon cores you speak of. Its also an A9 at heart and will not be optimized for Android..

RE: Hmmm....
By ImSpartacus on 12/9/2010 8:26:26 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, so Tegra 2 has A9 in the trunk, cool. A9 isn't as optimized as A8, not cool. Or is it?

Aside from one graphics benchmark, Tegra 2 sweeps the floor.

I can understand how Sammy's gem of a graphics processor could beat Tegra 2, but what about those highly optimized snapdragon processors?

Granted, the Nexus One did pull ahead in Linpack as you correctly predicted, but does that really matter if Tegra 2 handily wins in the real world benches?

And keep in mind, this is a $400 Viewsonic tablet without stock Market support. That makes me think the G is also rushed for the holidays, but it still can put out respectable numbers.

But I don't want anybody to think I'm some nVidia fanboy. Their Tegra 2 darling obviously has some legs, but it's admittedly limited in the graphics department.

I'm waiting for the other boys to make it to the market: the OMAP 4s, the dual core snadragons, etc.

The point is, we're looking at 2.5 tablets this holiday season. I think it would be a poor choice to buy any of them.

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