You've seen it: a new Android tablet is featured on some mainstream media's program or website, and you know it's coming, but you still can't help but clench your sphincter muscles just a little when you hear it...
Will it be an iPad killer?
Samsung's attempt to compete with the iPad...
The latest inferior and insignificant non-Apple offering that we're forced to cover...
Can't they see that this is like describing Colin Firth as a wanna-be Tom Cruise?
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.
It's amazing how quickly the developer community gets to work after a new flagship device is released, and the XOOM is clearly no exception. First, ClockworkMod developer Koush managed to get CWM up and running on the tablet 2 hours after he picked it up, and shortly after, he released root instructions.
Now, SetCPU developer Michael Huang has pushed the Tegra 2 CPU in the XOOM up 20% to 1.2GHz.
CNN is not the only news organization with a tablet-optimized Honeycomb app - USA Today today (ooh, 2x "today"s in a row, it must be your lucky day) jumped on the same bandwagon with their own take on what a tablet news app should be like. News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech, Travel, Photos, and Weather sections are available, and... well, there is not much else to say about this - it's a news app on a larger screen.
If you began drooling from the very first murmurs of a "Pure Google" tablet running Android 3.0 'Honeycomb', to the buzz at CES, through the anticipation building up to launch: your day has arrived and you likely now have a Motorola XOOM in your hands. Congratulations. Of course that would be the $800 Verizon Motorola XOOM that's in your hands. But what about that $600 Wi-Fi-only XOOM? Not only is it not in anyone's hands, but there has yet to be a confirmed release date either.
The good folks over at iFixit gave the Motorola XOOM a teardown this morning, and aside from the ridiculous 57 screws holding it together, it has been deemed pretty tinker-friendly, scoring an 8/10 on the repairability meter.
One interesting piece of information did emerge during the XOOM's disrobing, though - in regard to its much-touched LTE upgradeability. The teardown's author noted that the XOOM ships with a dummy mini-PCI board, presumably holding the 4G LTE radio's slot.
If you remember, during Google's Honeycomb showcase in the beginning of the month, one of the tablet-optimized apps demoed was made by CNN. Considering CNN is one of the Honeycomb/XOOM launch partners, the new app showed up in the Market like clockwork for an easily digestible price of free. For those who need a refresher, here's the video from the presentation again:
The CNN app features a swipable navigation bar on the left-hand side and a grid story layout on the right side.
It's launch day for the XOOM, and already the major news outlets have had a chance to spend a few days with the much anticipated device. Not only does the XOOM bring a new standard in high-end to the masses (a la Tegra 2), but it's also the first device to ship with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) on board. It's also really the second major Android tablet to launch (the Galaxy Tab being the first), and the first to match the 10" form factor of the iPad.
The raw power behind NVIDIA's soon-to-be ubiquitous Tegra II chipset makes for some interesting possibilities when it comes to gaming. However, there are certain pitfalls when one manufacturer leap-frogs the competition. Being the first to market in this latest generation of system-on-chips, NVIDIA has developers and exclusives pretty much at their beck and call. Who are you doing to develop for, the company with a multitude of devices hitting the market right now, or the "other guys" without any firm release date?
You would think that large hardware manufacturers, such as HTC and Motorola, would dedicate at least a few hours to trademark searches before naming their products and investing millions of dollars into promotional efforts for said products. That would be a fair assumption, right? It seems like the answer sometimes is: not exactly.
Last week at MWC, HTC unveiled 6 new devices, one of which was bearing the name ChaCha (that's one of the Facebook phones).