Motorola’s Xoom 2 Honeycomb tablet releases in the US as Droid Xyboard on December 12

Posted in Images,News,Technology by Scott Meisner on December 11th, 2011

In early November Motorola unveiled the successor to the very first Honeycomb tablet, the Xoom 2. More recently plans were made to ship the curvaceous device stateside. US customers will see the Droid brand crossover from smartphones to tablets when the Droid Xyboard (Xoom 2 internationally) releases December 12 on Verizon Wireless. The device will come in five distinct variants. The Droid Xyboard 10.1 (boasting a 10.1 inch screen) comes in three models: 16GB for $529.99, 32GB for $629.99, and 64GB for $729.99. The Droid Xyboard 8.1 comes in two models: 16GB for $429.99 and 32GB for $529.99. All of these tablets are 4G LTE-ready and the prices are set at these marks so long as you agree to a 2-year contract with Big Red. And don’t forget–although this dual-core tablet will ship with Honeycomb 3.2, Motorola promises the Xyboard will support Ice Cream Sandwich when Google eventually releases it. Head over to VZW to browse and shop for the Droid Xyboard today. Peep the gallery below to eye the Xyboard from various angles. PR after the break.

In related news, the Droid RAZR is getting a new coat of paint. See it in white below.

[Via Motorola] (Click here for more…)

Motorola announces Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition tablets

Posted in Images,News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on November 3rd, 2011

Today Motorola announced the successor to its Android tablet the Xoom. Expectantly the new tablet is called the Xoom 2. It features the same 10.1-inch widescreen display as its predecessor, runs Android Honeycomb 3.2, and is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. 16GB of storage is on board, as is 1GB of RAM. A five megapixel shooter sits on the back, and around the front you’ll spot a 1.3 megapixel camera for video chat. Ports include HDMI, microUSB, and 3.5mm headphone jack. And to highlight a few more key differences from the original Xoom: the Xoom 2 weighs approximately 100 grams lighter than the first Moto tablet, it is also much thinner measuring at 0.35 inches thick, the display is brighter and more vibrant than before, it features new splash-guard coating for protection against spilled liquid, Gorilla Glass protection will help deter scratches, it is compatabile with a separately sold Motorola Stylus for note-taking, and an enhanced battery will support more than 10 hours of video playback. Additionally, the body sports an elegant design with angular cut-away corners that takes cues from the recently announced Motorola smartphone the Droid RAZR; Moto promises better ergonomics because of this.

And then there’s the Xoom 2 Media Edition. It’s essentially a Xoom 2 with a smaller 8.2-inch display. A few other things distinguish the Media Edition from its larger brother: it features a wide 178 degree viewing angle, it has a 20 percent improvement in graphics performance over the original Xoom, and it weighs under a pound.

A press release, in full after the break, says that the WiFi-only versions of the Xoom 2 (£379.99) and Xoom 2 Media Edition (£329.99) tablets are headed to Ireland and the UK later this month. No word on when they will hit stateside. People who do get their hands on a new Xoom can expect a future update to Google’s upcoming OS Ice Cream Sandwich, so they are future-proof in that sense. Get a closer look at the Xooms below and jump after the break to watch a promo.

[Via Engadget] (Click here for more…)

Samsung details its first foray into the Honeycomb tablet market with 10.1″ & 8.9″ Galaxy Tabs

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on March 23rd, 2011

In mid-February Samsung teased the followup to its first major tablet the Galaxy Tab. The 7-incher is loaded with Android 2.2 and honestly it just doesn’t compete with the king (Apple’s iPad, duh). So Samsung went back to the drawing board to come up with a new version of the Tab, designing it around Google’s made entirely for tablets OS called Honeycomb. The result is the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Since February, however, Sammy has retooled the slate making it thinner, sleeker, and adding a customized software layer to it. Also, they’ve introduced a slightly smaller version dubbed the Galaxy Tab 8.9 (yep, it’s got an 8.9-inch display).

Instead of running through all of the specifications here (most of them remain the same since the February tease), I will list the changes that have been made. First and foremost, the Tabs have been redesigned and made incredibly thin. They both measure 8.6mm (or .33-inches) thick. Sammy touts them as “the world’s thinnest mobile tablets.” And it’s true; comparatively the iPad 2 is 8.8mm thick. They are also extremely light; the 10.1 and 8.9 weigh just 595 grams and 470 grams, respectively. Because of the thinner design the Tabs have been forced to ditch the 8 megapixel rear camera for a slightly lesser 3 megapixel variant; the front-facing 2MP camera remains in tact, as does the ability to shoot 1080p HD video. Another change lies in the software. Previously Samsung was contemplating shipping the Tab with plain ol’ Honeycomb. This time around they’ve decided to incorporate a new version of their customized skin called TouchWiz UX. The software layer brings a Live Panel menu and Mini Apps Tray to let users browse and manage apps in new ways.

Competitive pricing and availability have been spilled, too. The one with the bigger display will hit the market first on June 8; the 8.9-incher will arrive shortly thereafter in “early summer.” Strictly WiFi-enabled models have been detailed. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will go for $499 (16GB) and $599 (32GB) and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 will also come in 16GB and 32GB SKUs at $469 and $569, respectively. For those of you in the market for a tablet, the Galaxy Tab just became a hot item worth anticipating. Jump after the break for the official PR.

Update: According to Pocket-lint, the original (thicker) Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will ship afterall in the UK only on Vodafone. It will be known as the Galaxy Tab 10.1V.

[Via Gizmodo] (Click here for more…)

WiFi-only Moto Xoom releases March 27 at $599

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on March 16th, 2011

The post title says it all, really. Come Sunday, March 27 you’ll be able to buy a 3G/4G-less Motorola Xoom that solely relies on a nearby WiFi signal to connect to the Internet. Everything else remains the same: 10.1-inch display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of memory, Honeycomb, etc. The MSRP is set at $599 and it’ll be available for purchase at the following stores: Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam’s Club, Staples, and Walmart. Full PR after the break.

[Via Engadget] (Click here for more…)

Motorola Xoom goes on sale February 24 for $600 on contract

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on February 23rd, 2011

The wait for a worthy iPad contender has been tiring. Samsung’s Android 2.2-powered Galaxy Tab couldn’t compete with Apple’s iOS offerings (its successor, on the other hand, is anticipated). Android is finally ready to make the move to tablets, and Honeycomb looks scrumptious. The first Android 3.0-powered tablet out of the gate will be Motorola’s 10.1-inch Xoom, detailed here. Tomorrow, February 24 the Xoom will be made available on Verizon’s 3G network with promise of upgraded 4G LTE capabilities (at no additional charge) later this year (Q2 2011, somewhat more specifically). Here’s the pricing options you’ve got at launch. You can purchase the Xoom for $599.99 if you sign a new two-year contract with VZW; 3G data pricing starts at $20 for 1GB of monthly access. Or if you don’t feel like tying yourself to a carrier you can simply drop two additional Benjamins and rely on Internet access via WiFi hotspots. The pricer Xoom is currently listed on Best Buy, but it’s slapped with an in-store only pickup option. Verizon is also teasing it on its website, and their press release ambiguously says it’ll be available through them as well (online/in-store purchasing is not specified, unfortunately).

Update: We’re past midnight and tomorrow is now today. Verizon’s teaser site has transformed into an order page so there you go. Just to make things clear, Motorola is selling two SKUs: the $600 3G (upgradeable to 4G) model and the $800 non-3G (but still upgradeable to 4G) model. Apparently a cheaper WiFi-only version is in the works, but neither Moto nor Verizon have specified its arrival date.

Oh and there’s this. The Xoom will not ship with Flash support at launch. Crazy, right? At least the wait isn’t that long, and we know it is coming. According to Adobe, the makers of the ubiquitous video standard, “Flash Player 10.2 [will be] pre-installed on some tablets and [arrive] as an OTA download on others within a few weeks of Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) devices becoming available, the first of which is expected to be the Motorola Xoom.” A few weeks time, you can handle it.

Jump after the break to find the aforementioned PR and a super cool Xoom teaser produced by the carrier.

[Via Engadget 1, 2, 3] (Click here for more…)

LG lets loose G-Slate specifications, spring release window

Posted in Images,News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on February 14th, 2011

In early January at CES 2011 Motorola and T-Mobile took their respective stages to announce the upcoming Honeycomb-powered tablets. While Moto’s Xoom was almost fully fleshed out (exact release date and price are still up in the air), T-Mobile did not provide any details surrounding LG’s G-Slate besides saying it will be the “first 4G Android 3.0 powered tablet.” Well I happy to report that since then both the carrier and the manufacturer of the mysterious tablet have come out with hard specs and a release window. Lets get to it. The G-Slate (otherwise known as the LG Optimus Pad across the pond) packs a 8.9-inch (1280×768 WXGA) multitouch display and runs on a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor. Other specs include 32GB of internal memory, built-in WiFi, gyroscope, accelerometer, and adaptive lighting, and Adobe Flash support. But don’t let me bore you to death; the G-Slate features something the other Honeycomb launch tablets don’t have–2 cameras at the rear for stereoscopic 3D video recording. Working together the two rear-facing camera can capture 1080p HD content that can be viewed on the slate itself (the display is in fact 3D-capable, limited to 720p HD, however) and 3D video (in 1080p resolution) can be pumped out to an external 3D-capable HDTV through HDMI output. One of the rear cameras doubles as a 5 megapixel camera for standard photo capture (with flash) and there’s a third 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. It’s important (and rather unfortunate) to note that pesky glasses are required to view 3D content on the slate’s display. Oh well–but it still remains a differentiating factor when it comes to making a purchasing decision between this, the Xoom, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The G-Slate will release this spring (likely in March) exclusively on T-Mobile’s network in the States, and as mentioned before it will take advantage of T Mo’s “4G” HSPA+ speeds. To end things on an even brighter note, the slate’s expected to ship as a Google Experience device, meaning it will come preloaded with a fresh version of Honeycomb, free of any LG and T-Mobile bloatware. Cheers to that! Pics below, video and PR after the break.

[Via Engadget 1, 2]

(Click here for more…)

Samsung teases Honeycomb-based Galaxy Tab 10.1

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on February 13th, 2011

The next Samsung Galaxy Tab is leaps and bounds bigger and badder than its Android 2.2-based predecessor. The aptly titled Galaxy Tab 10.1 features a 10.1-inch WXGA TFT LCD display with a 1280 x 800 resolution. It’s powered by a 1GHz dual-core Tegra processor and it runs atop Google’s “built entirely for tablet” Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) OS. Unlike the original Tab, its successor does not come bundled with Samsung’s TouchWiz skin; much like Motorola’s Xoom tablet, the Tab 10.1 is being billed as a “Google Experience” device which means that you’ll find the plain vanilla stock Honeycomb OS preloaded and nothing else. Other specs include: rear 8 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, front-facing 2 megapixel camera (both cameras shoot 1080p HD video), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, USB 2.0 and 3.5mm headphone ports, accelerometer and proximity sensors, gyroscope, digital compass, Adobe Flash 10.1 support, 16GB/32GB internal storage. The tablet’s very light and thin at just 1.23 pounds and 0.4-inches thick. HSPA+ support is there, as is EDGE and GPRS. Vodaphone has been named the first carrier to carry the Tab 10.1 and it’s expected to launch in Europe and Asia this March. Pricing and North American release details have not been specified. With the Tab 10.1, Samsung has constructed a worthy competitor to enter the fray with iPad, the Moto Xoom, and the whole slew of tablets readying to make waves in the marketplace. Full PR after the break.

[Via Engadget] (Click here for more…)