Days before CES officially kicks off Toshiba have announced their Honeycomb tablet offering, or at least demonstrated the hardware. Similar to Toshiba’s previous Android tablet, the Folio, it’s powered by the Tegra 2 platform however it has been given a much needed makeover with a higher resolution 1280 x 800 10.1” display, 5 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front facing camera which will be able to take advantage of the many Android video calling services and hopefully a Google GTalk video calling service by the time the tablet launches.
Like the Folio it also has full size HDMI and USB interfaces and a SD card slot. The tablet is also equipped with a mini-USB for all your charging needs however it’s a shame Toshiba didn’t opt to use a micro-USB connector to try and comply with the new European mobile charging standard.
The new Toshiba device also offers an interesting removable rubberized rear cover which will provide customers with the options of a replaceable battery and also the option to replace it with a different coloured rear panel. Android is well known to be a heavily customizable operating system, by both manufactures and users, therefore customers may see this sort of hardware customization as an attractive option.
Unfortunately Engadget were not given permission to turn on the device but were told that it will run “the next version of Android designed for tablets” when it launches in the first half of 2011. Hopefully after the firmware issues that Folio users were initially plagued with Toshiba will scrap their custom user interface and go for a stock Google Android Honeycomb experience.
If Toshiba can maintain the competitive pricing that was demonstrated with the Folio this new device could mark the start of a new wave of affordable and quality Android tablets that have access to all the Google goodies, including the Android Market and along with this a large influx of tablet compatible ‘HD’ applications and games which will start to come when Google officially announce their tablet friendly version of Android.