A couple of weeks ago, word popped up of a UK site starting to take pre-orders for the Wi-Fi-only version of the Motorola XOOM, being available in early April. Not long after that images leaked of the same model showing up in a Sam's Club training center with a price tag of $539. Not to be outdone, yet another story arose saying office retailer Staples would be supplying the slate for $600 with employee training starting on March 23. Today the rumors take another step into becoming reality, as site B&H is now taking pre-orders for the Wi-Fi model of the Honeycomb debut for $599, making them the first American site (to our knowledge) to offer pre-orders on the carrier-free model.
After HTC's upcoming Flyer tablet was announced and previewed, many were bewildered that their debut offering in the tablet game was a 7" single-core slate that runs Gingerbread and totes a stylus. If recent leaks from retailers hold any water, then the Taiwanese manufacturer may have something else (much better?) in store. Two leaked internal document show a 10" Honeycomb tablet from HTC launching in June.
Two leaks from separate outlets show different versions of the same list. Droid Life cites the document coming from Staples, while Pre Central describes their similar document as originating from "a major retailer." The majority of the slates listed are nothing new (including the XOOM and the Galaxy Tab), but HTC's June release of a Honeycomb tablet with a "TBD" price certainly jumps out as new.
Have you been salivating over the Motorola XOOM, but holding back from taking the plunge until you have seen what Samsung, LG, and others have to offer in the 10" tab department? You can cross one of those off of the list as Samsung's upcoming slate has been thoroughly taken through the wringers in a full 11 minute video.
There isn't necessarily any groundbreaking information revealed, but seeing the tablet in action for such a lengthy period gave me a much clearer sense of what the tablet will look and feel like. It certainly looks very similar to the XOOM (as we knew it would).
Dolphin HD, one of the most popular Android browsers, has been pretty unusable on large tablet screens due to choppiness and lag caused by the CPU having to work with a much bigger area. For example, when we got a demo unit of the Galaxy Tab, the problem was quite apparent to the point of Dolphin being downright frustrating on relatively complex sites.
Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" came to the rescue with hardware acceleration capabilities, which allowed shifting all the UI processing from the CPU to the GPU. However, since the first Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola XOOM, launched 2 weeks ago, only the stock browser has been offering the benefits of hardware acceleration and allowing for very smooth scrolling, zooming (xooming?), panning, etc, while Dolphin remained as choppy as before.
Remember that new version of Flash we reported on this morning? Yeah, well it's still scheduled to roll out on March 18th - one week from today - but thanks to BBCrackman from My Droid World, you can download a leaked copy of version 10.2 now.
Just as promised, it (finally) includes support for Honeycomb, meaning you can now watch South Park, Conan, or any other Flash video on your XOOM. Artem and I briefly played with it on our XOOMs, but unfortunately, we discovered that the experience wasn't without its flaws - video quality wasn't exactly top-notch, some controls were hard to utilize, and no, Hulu still doesn't work.
In what is sure to ruffle a few feathers with Android users, a representative of a research company Wednesday sunk his teeth into Google's Android 3.0 'Honeycomb,' saying it is "by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks" (we were confused, as we thought that was a compliment). The analyst left little hope for mass adoption of the new tablet-tailored version of Android.
In his note to investors, Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research said Android 3.0 is doomed to fail next to Apple's iPad 2. He blames Google's background on the web as the culprit for the spanking he expects the OS to take.
In a very interesting find, Google's yet-to-be-announced cloud music streaming service actually seems to be active and working on certain users' Android phones. Only rooted phones that have a hacked version of the Honeycomb music player installed are able to access the service.
Xda member WhiteWidows stumbled upon this after installing the hacked app, accepting permissions, and letting his EVO sync overnight. He removed his SD card and - lo and behold - his music still played without having the necessary files present on his phone. If there were any doubt in anyone's mind that the search giant is set to launch a cloud streaming service sometime this year, this should be the final nail in the coffin.
The Motorola XOOM: Ever since it was first teased at D: Dive Into Mobile, the Android community hasn't been able to take its eyes off the tablet's dual-core processor, gorgeous 10.1-inch display, and - last but certainly not least - Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system.
Well now the device has officially gone on sale, and I've been
testing falling in love with a review unit for the last few days. Typically, I end up hating devices that I adore at first blush, but the XOOM is an entirely different story - the device is far from perfect (where are the tablet apps?), but I have yet to find anything truly upsetting about it.
I have a Nook Color and I have had loads of fun modding it. From basic rooting to Froyo, CM7, and Honeycomb, there are several options available now for those wanting to transform it from a tablet-esque eReader into a $250 entry level Android tablet. These operations range from simple to somewhat advanced, so I understand that some people are going to be a little intimidated by the prospect of hacking an expensive device. Naturally some might rather ask a more experienced tinkerer to do the job for them, and not risk messing something up. I get that. However, do I think paying upwards of $80 for an SD card that runs the port of the Honeycomb SDK preview is a wise decision?
It seems like only yesterday we were watching Steve Jobs reveal the second iPad and wondering how Android tablet manufacturers would react (actually, it was yesterday). Now we have news that the Wi-Fi-only version of the Motorola XOOM will be priced at $539 at Sam's Club.
Previous rumors suggested the price for the non-carrier version of the tab would be $600, so this is a bit of a surprise. Of course, wholesale warehouses like Sam's and Costco are usually able to sell for much less than other retailers (they rely mostly on memberships for profit), but this is more of a discount than would typically be expected.