Asus tablets will indeed run Honeycomb, launch in 2Q 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011, 13:46 by Tech Correspondent

Asus has confirmed that the tablets would indeed feature Honeycomb and will be launched on schedule, i.e., in the second quarter of 2011.

Yesterday we carried a report that said Asus Eee Pad tablets have been delayed and will not run Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb.

So why the confusion?

Asus says the rumors originated because of misinterpretation of some facts between a reporter and the company.

asus eee pad transformer photo

Photo: Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Asus had said that Google had not keyed tablet manufacturers into the release time frame of Honeycomb. The tablets were being built around a set of specs that should support Android 3.0, even though it has been said Honeycomb has no specific minimum requirements.

The tablets are expected to see release in March, April and May, depending on the model. Asus’ U.K. marketing manager John Swatton has told Pocket-lint that the company’s new Android tablets will be shipping with Honeycomb “if Honeycomb is available.” He also said, “When our tablets launch, they will launch with the latest version of Android, whatever that is.” Related: Honeycomb release in March 2011

At the CES 2011, Asus provided presentation slides that clearly said that their Windows tablets would arrive in the first quarter of 2011 and the Android tablet models including the 7-inch Asus Eee Pad Memo and 10-inch Asus Eee Pad Slider and Transformer would arrive from March through May 2011. However, there seemed to be some sort of confusion and news flashed everywhere saying the company has delayed the release of their tablets and that they would lack Honeycomb OS. More info: Asus tablets at the CES 2011

Well, few experts believe that the hardware requirements of Honeycomb are severe and that it is also possible that Google is reserving the tablet operating system for devices with 3G phone functionality. Some time ago, a few Taiwanese manufacturers had made noise that Google is giving priority to companies like HTC, LG, Samsung and Motorola in the development of Android 3.0 tablets.

It is worth mentioning that Motorola Xoom is the first device to use Honeycomb. The Xoom connects using 3G, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and will hit the shelves in early 2011 in the United States through Verizon Wireless.Honeycomb-running LG’s Slate tablet is also slated to come out on T-Mobile’s 4G network in the United States.

After so many rumors, the takeaway message is that as far as Asus is concerned, these tablets will receive Honeycomb and would be launched on time. But yes, though Asus is all set to embrace Honeycomb, we don’t know whether Honeycomb will be made available to Asus before its tablets are launched.

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