What’s this oddly curved box we see before us? Ah, yes, it’s Motorola’s (joint) second attempt at the Android tablet game. The Xoom 2 is another 10.1-inch widescreen Honeycomb offering, looking to make up for the lost opportunities of its predecessor — slimmer, faster and certainly packing more vertices. While we put it through its paces, we thought you’d appreciated some close-up shots with what appears to be the final retail model. First impressions? Those corners certainly do help keep it in our hands, and performance seemed suitably speedy. It’s worth noting that — at least on first impressions — Motorola hasn’t tampered excessively with the Honeycomb, something we weren’t too happy about on Moto’s Droid RAZR. We also suspect that splash-proof nanotech coating could also be acting as fingerprint magnet. Delve into the secrets of the fitted retail box, some tablet comparisons and a touching reunion with its smartphone sibling in our gallery below, or catch a brief video tour after the break.
Motorola Xoom 2 unboxing
Want Honeycomb on your TV? You can take your chances with a Google TV-enabled set from Sony, or you can get the full Android experience by adding a connected tablet to your HD mix — if Istanbul-based Ardic gets its solution out the door, at least. The Turkish company’s prototype uses a 10-inch Android Honeycomb-based tablet to power a 65-inch LCD with 1080p support for basic gestures, like pinch and zoom. The display currently has two touch sensors, but a version with four sensors is on the way, which will bring multi-touch support. The tablet is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC, and includes 1GB of RAM, 16GB of flash memory, dual cameras, HDMI, USB, microSD and 3G and WiFi connectivity. A dock enables instant connectivity with the OEM TV, including HDMI for video and audio, and USB for touch input (a wireless version is in the works as well).
The devs customized Android to support 1080p output, and it appears to work quite seamlessly, as you’ll see in the embedded video. And this isn’t simply another goofy demo or proof of concept — the Turkish company is in talks with education and enterprise customers and hopes to bring this setup to production as a more power- and cost-efficient smart board alternative. The company eventually hopes to offer displays in a variety of sizes, that will all be powered by a pocketable device, such as a smartphone, but watch in wonder as the 65-inch proto we have today struts its stuff in the video after the break.
Nearly a month after its initial announcement, Samsung’s ready to deliver the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus to the good ol’ US of A just in time for the winter gift-giving season. The WiFi-only device, which packs a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU with 1GB of RAM, Android 3.2, 3MP camera with 720p HD video capture and a 7-inch LCD with 1024 x 600 resolution, will be begging for your credit card as of November 13th at Best Buy, Amazon and other retailers. Are you an early adopter? No prob — you’ll have the opportunity to pre-order yours at “select retailers” this coming Sunday, though no specific outlets were called out by name. The 16GB is the only version arriving so far, but Sammy told us to expect the 32GB flavor later this year or early 2012 (likely for $499, if yesterday’s brief appearance on Amazon is any indicator). No word on partnerships with carriers yet, but we’ll keep you posted on any updates. View the press release in all its glory below.
Last time we heard talk of a Sony tablet, the company was confirming our suspicions about
the existence of the S1 and S2, giving the distinctive Android devices a broad global release time frame of this fall. And now we’ve been shown a private note sent from Sony’s marketing group, highlighting an August pre-order and an end of September release date for an unnamed tablet from the company, a timeline that’s right in line with our initial report on the S1. The device, according to the note, will be available through Sony Direct, UK department store John Lewis, and a third still-unconfirmed retailer at launch. Availability will apparently open up after the Christmas holiday. The note doesn’t offer up much info on the tablet, though it does promise that it stacks up well against the iPad and offers up some “unique design features,” which may well refer to the S2′s clamshell — or, for that matter, the S1′s curved back.
Those who are familiar with Android Honeycomb might have already come across its music player’s cloud syncing feature, though previous attempts to port said app to phones hadn’t been successful. Whatever it was that kept crashing the app back then, it seems to have fixed itself — after xda-developers member WhiteWidows slapped the leaked app onto his rooted EVO 4G, the phone started to automagically sync his tunes to his Google account. The modder then swapped in an empty SD card, but he was still able to stream music straight from the cloud after checking the “Stream music” option in the app. Pretty neat, eh? That said, we do wonder if Google will be able to handle the exabytes worth of high-quality Justin Bieber and Spice Girl tracks.