Motorola launches Xoom tablet with Android 3.0

Motorola's new tablet will launch in the first quarter in the U.S.

Motorola finally unveiled its highly anticipated tablet, the Xoom, with a 10.1-inch touchscreen with the latest version of Google's Android mobile software on board, formerly called Honeycomb.

Google worked with Motorola and chip maker Nvidia on the launch of Android 3.0 on a tablet device.

Android 3.0 is designed for tablets, not smartphones as Android was originally designed for. The Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor on board can deliver up to 2GHz of power, since each core runs at 1GHz, according to a joint news release from Motorola and Verizon. The tablet will be available for Verizon users.

The Motorola Xoom will launch as a 3G/Wi-Fi device by the end of March, with an upgrade to 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) in the second quarter, Motorola said. Starting in the second quarter, the Xoom will be available as a 4G LTE/ Wi-Fi device.

Motorola wasn't the first company to announce an Android tablet with Honeycomb at CES. Asustek Computer on Tuesday revealed the Eee Pad Slider. The Slider sports a 10.1-inch touchscreen with a keypad that slides out, similar to mobile phones with sliding keyboards, for laptop-like typing. The device also boasts an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor for strong graphics performance and has dual cameras on board.

CES officially opens on Thursday, with as many as 100 new tablets on display.

Motorola will have the first Android Honeycomb tablet on the market. Asustek's, for example, won't be out until May, the company said.

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