You thought 1.2GHz was fast? That was just the beginning. The developer of the extremely popular SetCPU app has managed to get a 50% clock speed increase out of the XOOM's dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2, bumping it up to a screaming 1.5GHz. Now, this is sort of like attaching a very large turbo to your four-cylinder hot hatch - that is, your device life may be shortened a little if you're constantly pushing it to the limits. Oh, and it might burn a hole in your pants. But 1.5GHz is an impressive figure regardless, and shows just how powerful the Tegra 2 driving the XOOM really is.
Earlier this month, along with the CNN app for tablets, Google demoed 2 3D games that utilized both of Tegra 2's CPU cores - Monster Madness and Great Battles. The former of these games, Monster Madness, just quietly crept into the Android Market with a hefty $10 price tag. The price of 2 Starbucks coffees is a bit steep for a game, but not unheard of.
So, what does Monster Madness offer you? Zombies, upgradeable weapons, power-ups, destructible worlds, and great 3D graphics, powered by Unreal Engine 3. Not a bad package at all, don't you think? Additionally, local co-op mode via Wi-Fi means you can gang up on those monsters with your friends who can jump in and out of the game as they please.
Sony's tablet discussions never picked up much steam. The company has tantalized the community with its intent to mash its future portables with the monster PlayStation brand, except nothing beyond the word of mouth has surfaced to show any other indication of Sony’s tablet development. Until today, that is: Engadget has finally got the scoop on a still-internal Sony tablet, dubbed the “S1.” Though some details are apparently known, no true image of the thing exists in the wild except for this mockup:
The first question: What the heck is that curve up there at the top? Apparently, it's there to give the tablet a personal touch, so that it feels a little less alien and serves to aid in its usability.
Yeah, Nvidia's Tegra line of mobile processors is pretty exciting, and will be getting the quad core treatment later this year, but don't forget about the competition - namely, Texas Instruments. TI chips have powered most of Motorola's Android products to date (excluding the upcoming ATRIX / BIONIC / XOOM), but Nvidia ended up beating TI to the punch in the marketplace for multi-core handsets and tablets.
Fear not, though: Texas Instruments just announced its OMAP 5 line of mobile processors (there aren't even any OMAP 4 devices out yet), and they're truly ridiculous. Four cores? It's been done before, you say - but not like this.
As I've said a few times previously here, I'm buying an Atrix 4G. I will be patiently waiting outside the Santa Monica AT&T store on that fateful February morning, Peet's coffee in hand, alternatively staring blankly into the store's glass and fiddling with my Nexus One. I'll probably be one of a few people there, but that's ok - I'm not a big fan of crowds.
But the battle only begins at the door. I will have to threaten (convincingly) to cancel my contract so that I can get a slightly earlier upgrade window than my agreement currently permits, (I'm not due for an upgrade until April) and pay an extra 50 dollars for the early upgrade fee.
If you like buying your smartphones at Costco, have I got news for you. Sounds like the king of giant ketchup dispensers will be offering the Atrix 4G as part of its relationship with AT&T, and for the same $150 on-contract figure Amazon quoted (and then quickly unquoted) yesterday.
Lifetime supply of toilet paper not included
I know I'll be getting an Atrix 4G come launch day, but I think I'll take a pass on Costco as a vendor. Unless the phone comes with a free slice of Costco pizza and a polish - then I may have to reconsider.
CES 2011 was an occasion for manufacturers to flood the market with a plethora of Android devices, and powering many of them was NVidia's Tegra 2 chip.
Released late last year, the Tegra 2 chip uses the "system-on-a-chip" design to integrate an ARM CPU (1GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor) and a NVidia GPU into one package. This allows faster communication between the cores and the integrated memory controller. Most of the tablets and smartphones, and other unique hybrids, launching in 2011 will be using the Tegra 2 chips.
But, no sooner has the dust settled and NVidia is already planning for the future. A leaked slide from NVidia reveals that the Tegra 2 will soon be replaced by the Tegra 2 3D, which will subsequently be usurped by the "world's first mobile quad-core processor," the Tegra 3.
Toshiba's Android tablet (it remains unnamed) just got an awesome teaser site, complete with specs, 360-degree view, gallery, and confirmation that the device will be running Honeycomb at launch.
We got some personal time with the Toshiba tablet back at CES, and were thoroughly impressed with its tactile rubber finish and large, glossy display. We'll give you a quick refresh on the specs:
- 10.1" display
- Tegra 2 dual-core processor
- Android 3.0 Honeycomb
- 2MP front facing camera
- Stereo Speakers
- Landscape mode dock
- HDMI out
- USB 2.0 port
- MicroUSB port
- Headphone and microphone jacks
- User-replaceable battery
- Combined volume, screen orientation, and power buttons
- Full-size SD card slot
The Toshiba tablet is definitely packing some serious heat in the features department, and it's only the second Android tablet I've seen that I might genuinely be interested in buying.
At Motorola's booth today, we got a chance to play with the Atrix 4G - a dual-core HSPA+ equipped slate handset, sporting a whopping 1GB of RAM and packing a couple of notable features. Along with the laptop dock demoed in the video below, the Atrix 4G also has a media dock (called "HD dock") which allows you to connect it to a larger screen (and use the same WebTop desktop-like interface) as well as plug in a keyboard and a mouse. The Motorola rep also informed us of plans for regular charging and car docks, so it looks like wherever you may be, the Atrix will have a bespoke resting place.
At T-Mobile's press schmoozing session this evening, a few HSPA+ devices were available for the blogging masses to clench in their clammy hands. One in particular that we were keen to try was the Dell Streak 7, the new big brother of the original Dell Streak (Mini 5), announced earlier today. With the 7" tablet boasting a Tegra II dual-core processing unit, our interest was piqued, so we took a look in the video below:
As you can see, the performance fell short of the hype and anticipation that many of us felt with this CES's dual-core bonanza. It might be slightly hard to detect with the frame rate of the video recording, but scrolling still felt choppy despite the power contained within.