My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Motorola Xoom and Honeycomb - Tablet Evolution in Stormy Weather

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Motorola Xoom and Honeycomb - Tablet Evolution in Stormy Weather

{14:18}  And  the  men  of  the  city  said  unto  him  on the  seventh  day  before  the  sun  went  down,  What  [is] sweeter than honey? and what [is] stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.

Judges 14 vs 18, King James Version

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2011 was a blast in Nevada.

I wish I could relate it in an article, but alas, the spectacle would fill chapters – with Tablets? Say what? Yes, again, writing as precisely as I do, it was MAINLY about Tablets, with main centerpiece being the Google Android OS 2.4 Honeycomb powered tablet appropriately name the Motorola Xoom.

It won the CNET Best in Show Award – not to mention coming loaded with a barometer as stated in the article “Motorola Xoom can predict the weather”, published January 11, 2011 9:49 AM PST by Darius Chang, CNET News - Crave. Great for dodging rain before it happens, as sudden drops in pressure are a surefire way to predict Stormy Weather, Ella Fitzgerald Style!

Of course other things were at CES 2011. 3-D HDTV got a makeover which had been tacitly hinted to them as far back as last year: lose the glasses! Universal 3-D Glasses and 3-D glasses-less display are the trend among 3-D HDTV at CES 2011.

Toshiba was the first to respond with a 3-D HDTV solution sans the pesky goggles as stated in the article  Glasses-Free 3DTV's coming this year courtesy of Toshiba?” published Tuesday August 24 2010 by PC World, Yahoo! News.

Nintendo, not to be outdone and realizing the gaming potential, also rolled out their 3-D stealth bomber in the form of a Nintendo 3DS as stated in the article Nintendo 3DS comin' at ya, starting in February”, published Wednesday September 29, 2010 1:35 pm ET, Yahoo! News - albeit to be honest with such as small screen, it better not have been intended to have glasses!

Sadly, gamers below six (6) years of age, pregnant and suffering from epilepsy cannot enjoy gaming in the Third Dimension. Apple, realizing a coming wave, is swimming out to ride it, rounding out the trifecta with patents for a glasses-free 3-D Projection (Apple 3D Projector TV, anyone?) as stated in the article “Apple patents glasses-less 3D projection”, published December 1, 2010 1:25 PM PST, by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker.

This last tit-bit may be an indication of the possible Apple TV that analyst Gartner has been speculating would makes its appearance in 2012 as stated in the article “Analysts predict all-in-one Apple TV in 2012”, published September 20, 2010 11:10 AM PDT by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

Motorola Xoom – Talk of the Town means Storm Weather raining on Apple’s Parade

But Tablets are the main talk of the town, with the Motorola Xoom setting the bar VERY high as to what a Tablet powered by Honeycomb can bring to crash the Apple Car set in motion by the Apple iPad. For starters, it is tightly integrated with Google android OS 2.4 aka Honeycomb in much the same way Apple’s iOS 4 is so tightly integrated with the Apple iPad.

If that was not warning shot enough to the dominance of the Apple iPad, the lighter 10.1” Motorola Xoom sports a Tegra 2 Dual Core Processor, with 1GB RAM, albeit no word yet on the battery life.

Supporting Flash 10.1, it also has two (1) cameras, one (1) front and one (1) rear facing and is capable of 32GB of on-board storage, expandable to 64GB with the inclusion of a SD Card slot. Set to debut in the First Quarter of 2011 on Telecom Provider Verizon’s Network, it may be sporting support for LTE (Long Term Evolution).

There’s still no word yet on whether it will be on two (2) year Contract or sold with a pricing schema akin to the Apple iPad. Interestingly, no word whether or not it will have alternate versions supporting Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) + 3G/4G separately.

Albeit it is early days, it AMOLED (Amorphous Light Emitting Diode) display may be a clue. Powered by a Nvidia 3D chipset it is possibly a 1080p with support for 3-D glasses-free display, again riding the 3-D glasses-free trend and a definite power hog. This means that Power Management features (or just simply a bigger battery?!) would be needed to eke out at least six (6) to eight (8) hours of full usage power.

Do that, and the Motorola Xoom would be a strong enough contender to beat the Apple iPad as per my blog article entitled “Motorola, RIM and the Tablet - Indiana Jones and the Palace of Doom”.

So with these excellent specs and must-have add-ons, it is all left to Pricing, Battery Life and Accessories and Integration into Home, Work and Business usage, something the Apple iPad is succeeding at slowly. Business? Yes, as with any device, it must be aimed at the Business community, traditionally the bread-and-butter of Silicon Valley titans such as Microsoft.

Plus the weather vane cum barometer does it some justice, as I would want to be caught in a place where it could get wet, a handy trench coat reminder that would endear it to Wall Street stockbrokers looking to dodge between droplets to work. It is left, ultimately therefore, to the Customers to determine the fate of this gift from the Mighty Egyptians! What is stronger than a Lion indeed? Honeycomb!

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