Motorola Android Honeycomb Tablet Shown Packing Tegra, Maps 5.0, Google Video Chat

Andy Rubin played some serious show and tell at last night’s opening session for the Dive Into Mobile event in San Francisco, providing a sneak peek at its upcoming Honeycomb software running on a prototype Motorola tablet. The slate is pretty slick, and it’s powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor. Right at the beginning of the video you can see what looks like a Google Talk app open that supports video calling, so you know a big-time FaceTime competitor is on the way.

Get more details and check out the video and gallery below.

Thanks to this chip’s dual-core power and graphics muscle, it can easily power the new Google Maps 5.0 app for Android, which uses vectors instead of tiles for silky smooth scrolling. No loading lag here. Plus, the new Maps 5.0 app supports 3D building animations. You just touch two fingers to the display and drag downward to see a 3D view, which looks pretty cool.

As you can see in the video, Honeycomb also provides a dual-pane view for apps like e-mail (very iPad like) and a clean new desktop that has an Apps and Settings button in the upper right corner and Google search button in the upper left corner, with plenty of room left over for widgets. One widget displays web bookmarks right on the home screen. Down below is a pop-up menu bar. Rubin says the buttons are software based so you can easily use all of the tablet’s functions in landscape and portrait view.

Honeycomb obviously isn’t fully baked, but it certainly seems more optimized for larger screens than today’s Froyo-powered slates. No word on exact timing yet. We hope to get some hands-on time with Motorola’s tablet at CES.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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