Motorola Will Lead The Android Tablet Pack

Posted: Dec 13 2010, 12:26pm CST | by , Updated: Feb 21 2011, 2:01am CST, in Tablets


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Motorola Will Lead the Android Tablet Pack

Lesser Slates Hit the FCC

Unless the increasingly questionable Adam proves a reality, Motorola is shaping up to have the hot iPad competitor of 2011. We've just seen a flurry of leaks based around an Android 3.0 slate bound for Big Red. Moto's device should kick off 3.0 itself, and will also have the distinction of being the first high-end Android tablet with Google's support.

Specs have been tipped as a 10" display, dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 32 GB of storage and microSD support for 32 GB more. There are front-and-rear cameras and LTE access is highly likely, although WiFi-only versions will probably launch as well.

We don't have any price or availability info for this un-named slate, but it'll be at CES 2011 and SHOULD hit in the first half of 2011.

If a Verizon-bound Motorola slate isn't quite your speed, the Binatone HomeSurf 8 may interest you. It came through the FCC at the end of November and is likely to hit early next year. This budget WiFi-only tablet has 2 GB of storage and a microSD slot for more. It has an 8" display, putting it in line with the ViewSonic 7 as cheaper, "small" tablets.

The Galaxy Tab represents the high-end of that category. Personally, I'd rather spend $540 for ViewSonic's "large screen smartphone" or whatever budget price Binatone's tablet ends up with than $600+ on a device Google doesn't even back.

Another Galaxy Tab alternative is the Huawei Ideos S7. This bad boy has a Snapdragon processor, up to 8 GB of storage, 3G, a camera and a kickstand. It costs $299.99...which is still a bit much for something with a resistive touchscreen. Thankfully recent leaks show video of a capacitive version in the offing.

Creative has one of the more interesting imminent offerings in the 10" tablet category. Their 10" ZiiO tablet just hit the FCC. It has 8 GB and 16 GB versions that (based on UK prices) will cost between $300-$400. Expect Android 2.1, b/g WiFi, up to a 32 GB microSD card, an accelerometer and a front-facing VGA camera.

The ZiiO isn't going to turn any heads, but it does represent an attractive and solid low-price point Android device. Folks looking to dip their toes into tablets may want to spring for an 8 GB ZiiO as a "test device". If it ends up at or a hair under $300, it'll be cheap enough to spark the sort of holiday / birthday / new paycheck impulse buy that drives the tech industry.

But don't worry that Motorola is the only player focused on bringing high-end POWER to the Android tablet line-up. MSI has two WindPads coming to CES 2011. One 10.1" slate will run Windows while the other will run Android. Expect an Oak Trail processor (Windows) and a Tegra 2 processor (Android), 1024x600 resolution, multitouch, mini-HDMI / mini-USB, an accelerometer and microSD capability.

MSI is making a wise decision by sticking a more efficient processor in the Android slate. This will make it thinner and also give it better odds of competing. Battery life is crucial measure of a tablet's desirability. The iPad lasts 10+ hours. Motorola and MSI will need to be in that ballpark if they want to get anyone excited.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
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