updated 08:20 am EST, Thu December 30, 2010
Moto Droid Xoom to be tablet's name, stick with 3G
Motorola's Xoom trademark may be a reflection of its Android tablet's final name, tips alleged very late on Wednesday. The Honeycomb-based tablet is now though to be getting the Droid Xoom name in the US and could be a Verizon exclusive in the US as a result. Despite hopes that the tablet would be a 4G flagship, Droid-Life's sources heard it wouldn't have LTE built-in and would be limited to EVDO 3G "for now."
One earlier tip had suggested it might get a 4G upgrade through USB, although no Android devices so far have supported outside cellular modems.
Virtually all of the finer details of the tablet have been leaked in advance. As Google's reference tablet for Honeycomb, recently tracked online as Android 2.4, it will use NVIDIA's dual-core, 1GHz Tegra 2 processor and should support 1080p video when played over HDMI. The 10-inch screen onboard can handle up to 1280x800. Motorola will give the Droid Xoom 512MB of RAM and 32GB of storage built-in, with a five-megapixel rear camera and a front two-megapixel camera for photos.
Honeycomb itself is the first version of Android optimized for tablets and has a number of core apps optimized for larger screen sizes, such as e-mail. Legacy apps will behave differently than they do on the iPad, running in a window on the screen rather than scaling to fit the view. Google has also taken to moving all of the navigation controls on to the screen and doesn't need any front-facing hardware buttons.
The Droid Xoom will be shown at CES, but it may not ship right away. Early talk has put its release in February at the earliest, given the timing for the new OS, and that many other companies hoping to use Honeycomb might have to wait until late March or afterwards to release their own slates. Most expect Apple to have at least unveiled, if not shipped, its next iPad by the March timeframe.