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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.