Telstra to launch Motorola Xoom Honeycomb tablet

New Android OS better suited to larger screens

Telstra will be the mobile carrier to launch Motorola’s much-hyped iPad competitor, the Xoom tablet, one of the first to run Google’s Android 3.0 ‘Honeycomb’ operating system.

Read our Motorola Xoom review.

Motorola announced today the Xoom will launch on Telstra’s Next G network in May, but pricing and plan details are being kept secret.

The Xoom features a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of memory, front (2MP) and rear-facing (5MP) cameras, HDMI and a 10.1-inch widescreen (1280x800) HD display.

With many Android tablets already on the market, the Xoom is one of the first to ship with Honeycomb along with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, which Vodafone launched this week.

Vodafone’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is available for $729 outright with 6GB of data or on a plan from $39 per month.

Android was originally designed for smartphones, but with the explosive interest in tablets a more tablet-friendly ‘Honeycomb’ release was born. Google has since announced it will merge the two strands.

As predicted, the Xoom now supports a beta version of Flash Player 10.2, which is downloadable from the Android Market.

Executive director of Telstra mobility products Warwick Bray said the Xoom arrives at a time when Australians are embracing both mobile tablets and devices powered by Android “in record numbers”.

“Motorola Xoom’s high-definition touch screen and powerful operating software will make it possible for more Australians to enjoy video, Web browsing, gaming and magazines on the go.”

Managing director of Motorola Mobility, ANZ and South Pacific, Timo Brouwer said the Xoom is the next generation of tablet, designed from the ground up with the user in mind.

“Motorola Xoom will delight customers with its ease of use, speed and vivid graphics, as well as its Motorola Smart Accessories,” Brouwer said.

Late last year the two companies teamed up to launch the Android-powered DEFY handset.

The Xoom also features a built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting. The tablet supports up to 10 hours of video playback and charges in 3.5 hours, according to Motorola.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

Follow TechWorld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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