The Xoom looks like a very solid tablet, one that seems capable of giving the iPad a run for its money. It was the first tablet announced to run Android 3.0 (nicknamed Honeycomb, it’s the tablet-focused version of the OS that Google has been working on). The Honeycomb demos we saw running were a big improvement over most Android tablets running 2.x versions.
But the Xoom has one downside- when it launches on Verizon in the U.S. (scheduled for the first quarter of 2011), it won’t be able to access the carrier’s LTE network. Motorola plans to offer 4G upgrades in the fall, but that will require customers to mail the tablet back to the manufacturer. The whole antenna chipset will have to be replaced.
E-readers like the Kindle may require less power and look better in the sun compared to their LED back-lit tablet counterparts, but they’re missing one thing—color. At least they were. At this year’s CES, Qualcomm is again showing off their Mirasol color display. Rumor has it that the technology will appear in a forthcoming line of Pocketbook e-readers. (There have still been no e-reader announcements yet, but a Pocketbook device still looks likely).
We also took some video to compare the Mirasol display agains the color E-ink display of a new Hanvon e-reader:
I’ve long been worried that the Notion Ink Adam would turn into vaporware- it just seemed too good to be true, and press access to early prototypes had been spotty. Not to mention that after the release of the iPad, it was hard to be sure of any tablet still under development (consider the fate of Plastic Logic’s QUE, which seemed much further along at last year’s CES).
But it looks like the Adam has been worth the wait. It combines a Pixel Qi display with the custom Eden UI (built on top of Android) and a dual core Tegra 2 processor. It’s a unique approach to a tablet genre that’s often crowded with dull wannabes.
Apple will dominate the tablet space for awhile, for two reasons. First, they’ve locked down volume pricing on 10-inch LCDs and flash memory. No other company can match their order volume or broker Apple-level deals. Second, the giant margins that come with such volume discounts allow Apple to…