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06 January 2011, 11:26

Android tablets sweep CES 2011

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Zoom The Motorola XOOM will run Android 3.0 "Honeycomb".
Source: Motorola
As with last year, this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) taking place in Las Vegas is nearly all about the latest and greatest Android devices, specifically tablets. Many of the newly announced Android tablets will reportedly run recently confirmed next major update to Google's open source Android mobile operating system, Android 3.0 code named "Honeycomb".

Previewed by Android chief developer Andy Rubin at the D: Dive into Mobile technology conference in San Francisco last month, Motorola officially announced its XOOM Tablet. The XOOM features a 10.1-inch widescreen HD display, a 1 GHz dual-core processor, and built-in 3G and 4G LTE support for US CDMA mobile phone carrier Verizon Wireless. Other specs include a 5 megapixel camera capable of 720p HD video recording, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR and 32 GB of on-board storage. The XOOM is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2011 with an upgrade for 4G LTE arriving in Q2 – a hands-on video is available from Engadget.

Zoom The ASUS Eee Pad Slider.
Source: ASUS
A number of other device manufacturers have also announced new devices, including ASUS which announced the Eee Pad Slider and Transformer tablets. Like the XOOM, both the Eee Pad Slider and the Transformer are powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, however, each feature unique physical keyboards. The Eee Pad Slider, as the name implies, has a slide out QWERTY keyboard, while the Transformer includes a netbook-like dock with a keyboard and touch pad. ASUS says that the transformer should cost between $400 and $700, and the Eee Pad Slider will run between $500 and $800.

Toshiba previewed an unamed tablet which will reportedly run Honeycomb when it ships, however, the device on display at CES was loaded with Android 2.2. Acer also confirmed a 10-inch tablet running Honeycomb dubbed the Iconia Tab A500 which includes a full-sized USB port, as well as a micro-USB port and a docking connector. Partnering with LG, US GSM carrier T-Mobile announced its first 4G Android 3.0 Tablet called the G-Slate.

The latest stable version of Android is version 2.3, code named "Froyo" from December of last year. To date, the only device that's officially capable of running Android 2.3 is the Nexus S. Updates are reportedly coming soon for a variety of devices, including Google's Nexus One smartphone and the HTC Desire HD.

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