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Toshiba’s Android 3.0 tablet has swappable battery

Jan 24, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Toshiba launched a preview website for its 10.1-inch, “Toshiba Tablet,” which runs Android 3.0 on an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, and offers dual cameras and a swappable battery. Meanwhile, Motorola's rival Xoom Android 3.0 tablet will go on sale at Best Buy on Feb. 17, and will be offered by Verizon Wireless for a pricey $799 without a contract, say reports.

Toshiba launched a preview website for its "Toshiba Tablet" Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") tablet, a device geared to provide features Apple's iPad lacks — such as dual cameras, a swappable battery, several data ports, and Adobe Flash support. eWEEK got a sneak peek at the tablet three weeks ago at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, but few specs were made available about the device, whose final name Toshiba has yet to announce.

Many more details about the tablet have now come to light thanks to a Toshiba teaser website, which also posts some photos, such as the one shown at right. The site shows an attractive, portable computer with a slip-resistant, "EasyGrip" finish that will come in five colors.

Like the Motorola Xoom (see farther below), the Toshiba Tablet runs Android 3.0 on an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core Cortex-A9-based processor, and features a 10.1-inch multitouch screen with 1280 x 800 resolution.

Toshiba's tablet offers 720p HD resolution, and a 16:10 aspect ratio, "so neither your favorite movies nor your favorite websites ever get cropped," says Toshiba. The screen also boasts an ambient light sensor to provide consistency between indoor and outdoor viewing, says the company.

Toshiba Tablet ports

Toshiba offers the four physical home, menu, back, and search buttons that Android handset owners are accustomed to on their phones. Motorola chose to eschew physical buttons for the Xoom; Google said it designed Android 3.0 so that tablets wouldn't require physical buttons.

The rear camera, pictured at left, is a five-megapixel device with autofocus, while the front-facing camera offers two-megapixel resolution, says Toshiba. As for connectivity, the device provides Wi-Fi and Bluetooth access, and features ports for USB, mini-USB, and HDMI, as well as a headphone jack. There's also an SD slot, plus a docking port to let users connect to larger monitors.

The computer maker is clearly features such as the rubberized grip, multiple data ports, and a swappable battery help its tablet stand out in what is swiftly becoming a crowded market. More information may be found in this IntoMobile hands-on with the Toshiba tablet report from CES.

The Toshiba tablet isn't coming until the spring, says Toshiba, by which time the Xoom, RIM PlayBook, several Windows 7 tablets, and even the iPad 2 are likely to be on the market. The tablet pie is large. IDC currently forecasts 44.6 million to ship in 2011, which may be conservative given the hype and trends.

Xoom coming Feb. 17, says report

The Motorola Xoom, the first tablet based on Google's Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb"), is launching from Best Buy Feb. 17, says Engadget, which also says the device will ship with 32GB of onboard storage. This information is said to be based on an internal Best Buy document, shown below, as posted by Engadget. Since the original report, an Engadget update says its tipster has placed the pricetag at $700.

Best Buy internal document showing 2/16 stocking date for Motorola Xoom
Source: Engadget

The news comes after Android Central reported the minimum price for the Xoom from Verizon Wireless would be $799, likely without a contract. The Verizon Wireless price would be $300 more than Verizon's $499 price point for the unsubsidized Samsung Galaxy Tab. Verizon began selling the Tab, equipped with the older Android 2.2 build, for $599 last year.

Motorola Xoom

Powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and sporting a 10.1-inch screen, the Xoom has the upcoming Android 3.0 build, which is optimized for tablets. The tablet supports several 3D capabilities, such as the Google Maps 5.0 application for Android.

The Xoom's front-facing, two-megapixel camera enables video chats over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G LTE, while the back-facing camera is a five-megapixel model and captures video in 720p quality. Verizon will initially support the Xoom with its 3G network. However, the Xoom is promised to be 4G-ready when the carrier is ready to expand its 4G LTE coverage beyond its current 38 markets in the second quarter.

Clint Boulton is a writer for our sister publication eWEEK.

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