Earlier this month, Google revealed an upcoming Motorola tablet, a potential competitor of the iPad, which is likely to be powered by a processor more powerful than Apple’s A4. The tablet will run the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb?) OS, which is fully optimized for tablets.
The user interface is also somewhat unique for a tablet, the Motorola tablet doesn’t feature any physical button. Unlike the iPad, which uses a single physical “home” button, the Motorola tablet will use virtual buttons that can adjust themselves as the device is rotated. Unfortunately, Rubin wasn’t too forthcoming about the technical specs and he only hinted that the tablet won’t due out for a while. The tablet will use an unconfirmed Nvidia processor, but if the Motorola tablet uses the dual-core Tegra 250, it will become more powerful than the iPad in terms of raw processing power and 3D graphic performance. The Tegra 250 sports dual ARM Cortex A9 cores which can run for up to 1 GHz each. The platform can support either 512 or 1GB of memory.
Acer, in other hand, has postponed its Android tablet. At first, it planned to modify a 2.x Android to work on its tablet. Obviously, the decision to delay the release in favor of the Honeycomb is a good idea as the new Android version is fully optimized to run on a tablet. The option to wait for Honeycomb will also save Acer a lot of headache and hassles, because converting a smartphone OS to run on a tablet may not be an easy matter. Unfortunately, it will also mean that Acer’s tablet will lose its head start in introducing an Android tablet.
Motorola and Acer are not the only manufacturers to release Android 3.0 tablets. It is expected that a whole bunch of Honeycomb tablets will be physically showcased at CES 2011, even so we should expect some tablets that will also run the lesser Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
Android 3.0 will not only available on tablets, some manufacturers have announced the upcoming Android 3.0 smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S2 is expected to have Honeycomb as its operating system, while Google will also release Nexus Two that uses Honeycomb. The PSP Phone may also be powered by Android 3.0. Details on the Android 3.0 itself are still scant, but it is safe to surmise that the Honeycomb will be developed upon the Android 2.3 platform, along with enhancements that emulate some features found in Apple’s iOS 4.2.