Motorola Xoom Android tablet (preview)

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

Motorola has unveiled its highly anticipated tablet: the Xoom. The Motorola Xoom is equipped with a 10.1in touchscreen and runs the latest version of Google's Android software: 3.0 or 'Honeycomb'.

Check out our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

UPDATE: Telstra has confirmed it will sell the Motorola Xoom in Australia from May. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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.

The Motorola Xoom has two digital cameras on board: A front-facing 2.0-megapixel camera acts as a webcam for video chat, and a 5.0-megapixel camera on back is for photos and 720p high-definition video capture.

The camera can output directly to YouTube, Picasa, and Facebook. The front-facing camera supports video chat.

The touchscreen has a resolution of 1280x800, compared with the iPad's 1024x768 and Samsung's Galaxy Tab, at 1024x600.

Users will be able to watch 1080p HD video on the Xoom and output HD video to other devices via an HDMI slot. Adobe's Flash Player is also on board the Xoom, making it good for viewing Web video.

The Xoom measures 249.1 millimetres by 167.8mm and is 12.9mm thick. By way of comparison, the iPad is 13.4mm thick and the Galaxy Tab is 11.98mm thick. At 730 grams, the Xoom weighs the same as the iPad with 3G and Wi-Fi.

The Xoom is designed to work with Google services, including the new 5.0 version of Google Maps with 3D interaction, as well as with the 3 million Google eBooks and thousands of apps on Android Market. The Xoom includes a built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, and accelerometer, as well as adaptive lighting for different apps.

The tablet has 32GB of storage on board and can be upgraded via an SD card slot. It has 1GB of DDR2 DRAM.

Motorola has said a Bluetooth wireless keyboard will be available, but hasn't provided details on this. There will also be multiple dock options, including a Standard dock for charging, and a Speaker HD Dock with speakers and the ability to connect to a TV.

Reporting by Dan Nystedt and Melissa J. Perenson.

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