No Honeycomb OS for Galaxy Tab

 By Jared Newman

Single-core Android tablets like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab won’t meet the minimum requirements for Honeycomb, Google’s tablet-optimized operating system version, according to a manufacturer. 

Bobby Cha, managing director of Korean consumer electronics firm Enspert, told PCMag that Honeycomb will require a dual-core Cortex A9 processor to run properly. So far, the only chipset to include this processor is Nvidia’s Tegra 2, due to appear in many Android tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. 

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Cha said that a minimum screen resolution of 1280-by-720 may also be necessary, but he noted that Honeycomb-based tablets will come with seven-inch screens and larger. 

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor and a 1024-by-600 resolution display. The company has previously suggested that the Galaxy Tab would update no further than the smartphone-focused Android 2.3 (“Gingerbread”), but Cha’s comments appear to seal the Tab’s fate as a rapidly aging product.

Google, meanwhile, has remained relatively silent about what Honeycomb entails, or for that matter, whether the version number in question is 2.4 or 3.0. 

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Andy Rubin, Google’s vice president of engineering, showed and early version of Motorola’s Honeycomb tablet last December, but shied away from details. All we know is that the tablet-friendly Android version will allow for large-screen apps and software-based home and back buttons. More details are bound to trickle out this week as electronics companies show off their upcoming tablets.

If Cha is correct about Honeycomb’s dual-core processor and screen resolution requirements, Google may be trying to draw a bold line between cheap Android tablets and premium products from companies like Motorola and Toshiba. Unfortunately for early adopters of Samsung’s first tablet, which gambled on Android 2.2 for holiday availability, the Galaxy Tab falls on the wrong side of that line.

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