OK, all you aspiring Android Central bloggers out there. Pay attention, because n46kps is showing you how it's done. You've watched the unboxing, you've seen the benchmarks, and now it's time for the full hands-on review of the Wifi-only Motorola Xoom Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet.
As you'll recall, this is the contract-free version you can officially pick up starting March 27, though some stores obviously are selling them early (this one came from Staples).
So kudos, n64kps. You've done a service for your country.
So we're not really expecting anything different, performance-wise, with the Wifi-only version of the Xoom. After all, it's the same 10.-inch, Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet that we've come to know. But it's still good to put it through its paces, just in case. And the Quadrant score is close enough to our own in our Xoom review that we're not looking at any broad changes.
So check out some more benchmark tests from n64kps after the break. Thanks, man!
We know it must have been rough for Canadian Motorola Milestone users to see Android 2.2 Froyo rolled out to international users lately, but Telus did promise they would be releasing their version shortly after. Making good on their promise, Motorola Canada today announced via Facebook that the update is indeed now available via the Motorola support page. If you're a Canadian Milestone user, go ahead and get your Froyo on.
Also, just a little side note: You might want to follow Motorola Canada's Twitter account as well. Much like with the release of the Motorola XOOM in the U.S. they are also giving away a gold Motorola XOOM. [Facebook, Twitter] Thanks, Kelly!
This is why you all kick ass. Android Central member n64kps snagged one of those Wifi-only Motorola Xoomsa couple days early from Staples and did up a nice little unboxing video. Yes, I've said unboxings are lame, but only when I do them. When you guys do them for me, they're awesome! :p
Anyhoo, nicely done, n64kps! Now if you can get benchmarks, a photo gallery, and a full review by end-of-day Sunday (we'll give you lots of time, it is the weekend, after all), that'd be great! Love, Phil.
Now everybody go check out the video after the break!
If you're buying a Wifi-only Xoom on release day, you might want to call your local Staples. A lucky reader did just that, and found that one of his area stores had everything set up and was selling the no-carrier, no-contract version of the Xoom tablet two days earlier than it should be. He took advantage, and after the break you can see his Xoom in some excited hands.
Regional American carrier Cellular South has announced that it will be offering the Motorola Xoom "soon." No price is mentioned, but a little sleuthing reveals a bullet point near the bottom of their page explaining that the tablet can connect to the Internet via internal WiFi or using a Cellular South MiFi (sold separately, of course). This would make it likely that the carrier will actually be selling the standard WiFi-only Xoom and will try to convince customers to get a MiFi in addition. As for price, that is still up in the air, but we would imagine that the WiFi Xoom's $599 MSRP would be a starting point for the combo deal. [Cellular South] Thanks to David for the tip!
Ahhhhh. So apparently the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9-incher that we took a look at this morning was the European one an early prototype. The real U.S. version is just as sexy, and maybe even more so, even though they wouldn't let us turn it on. It's mostly the same hardware, except for the back cover. The textured grille has been swapped out for a matte finish, and it's noticeable easier to hang onto, which is good. But otherwise, we're pretty much looking at the same thing. More pictures of the 8.9- and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tabs are after the break.
Following up our video look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet, we checked out its big brother the full-sized Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The 10.1 was first announced back at Mobile World Congress (see Phil's hands-on), but the 10.1 announced today is destined for US soils and is a little nicer in that it's much thinner. People working at the booth told us this re-engineering move was made to make its thickness more competitive with the Apple iPad 2.
Samsung only had the UK engineering prototypes on hand for us to play with, but we did get a good look at the North American version behind it's glass box, including a few seconds worth of comparison to the iPad 2. Check out the video above for a closer look!
The Tab 10.1 has been redesigned since we saw it at MWC and both tablets can now boast that they are the world's thinnest tablets at 8.6 mm.
Both will feature an updated Live View interface on top of Honeycomb, specifically designed for the platform. They each have dual core 1GHz processors, will support HSPA+ as well as have WiFi-only versions.
Samsung also announced pricing and availability today, something that they don't often do.
Here is what they announced:
Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi-only 16GB: $499, available June 8th
Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi-only 32GB: $599, available June 8th
Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi-only 16GB: $469, available "early summer"
Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi-only 32GB: $569, available "early summer"
Samsung announced some pretty impressive additions to their Galaxy Tab lineup and is stepping up their game in terms of pricing. Sit tight for more news! [Samsung Mobile]
Future Shop wasted no time after Motorola's official press release announcing the Motorola XOOM launch in Canada, setting up a pre-order page. Right now, if you head on over the Future Shop website the Motorola XOOM is placed front and center. Listed at $599.99 with an expected ship date of April 8, Motorola's timing for a Canadian release appears to be a planned out distraction for those waiting for either an iPad 2 that launches on March 25 and the BlackBerry PlayBook that should be getting a release date any day now. Wanna pre-order some Honeycomb goodness? Hit the source link for more details. [Future Shop]
Motorola has announced that the Honeycomb based tablet, the Motorola Xoom, is headed north to Canada this April. Unfortunately, Motorola is currently only making the Wi-Fi version available to Canadians. Although, the press release does state 3G is coming mid-year. So for those of you waiting for a 3G Xoom, hang tight! The Xoom hitting Canada in April is the same exact one we've come to know and love here in the US -- nothing new. Press release after the break, folks.
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) provides full 2D hardware acceleration in applications, and Romain Guy explains the ins and outs of enabling it in your app at the Android Developers Blog. Mr. Guy is a software engineer for Google's Android project, and is heavily involved in the graphics rendering code for both Gingerbread and Honeycomb, and seeing him take the time to further application development for Android is great. He's also one hell of a photographer, and some of his work has been used as the stock backgrounds on Android phones.
Developers should check out the source link for all the details, but we'll keep it a little more end-user friendly here. Hardware acceleration has been around for a while in Android for things like OpenGL games, but now normally coded apps can use and benefit from it as well. On the Motorola Xoom, all the stock applications already use accelerated 2D graphics, and third party apps can take advantage of it with a single line added to the AndroidManifest.xml file in the source code. If the app is using the standard set of drawables, all operations will then use the GPU when drawing them on-screen.
There are some other things to consider if you've written custom drawing code, which is why hardware acceleration is disabled by default. Mr. Guy takes the time to explain what you need to do as well as what operations are supported if you need to go this route. Looks like we're going to be seeing some awesome third party apps coming up for tablets running Honeycomb. [Android Developers Blog]
If you are a Sprint user that has been eying the Motorola Xoom, and anxiously awaiting its Wi-Fi model release so you don't have to jump ship, a glimmer of hope has come for you. Sprint Users forums member rofl, who is apparently a rather trusty leaker of these types of things, has outed the Motorola Xoom showing a pretty Sprint logo. While we still have no release date, or real information on this device, it is a good sign to see that it is wearing the branding of other carriers. [SprintUsers via BGR]
Toshiba's 10.1 inch tablet (see our hands-on from CES 2011) now has its own sign-up page on Amazon.com. The Tegra 2 based tablet features "Adaptive Display Technology", which is video upscaling on the 1200x800 16:10 screen. Combined with a full-sized SD card slot, full-sized USB port, HDMI port and mini-USB, this one looks to be a very nice piece of hardware.
There's no word on pricing or an availability date, but if you're interested you can sign up to be notified from Amazon when more information becomes available. [Amazon] Thanks, Randy!
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