Motorola Xoom tablet crowned best CES gadget

LAS VEGAS (AFP) – Motorola Mobility’s Xoom tablet computer powered by new “Honeycomb” software from Google was crowned the best gadget at the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Saturday.

Along with being declared the top creation at the dazzling gadget extravaganza, Xoom was also honored as the best of the scores of tablets introduced here as fresh competitors in a market dominated by Apple iPads.

Motorola also scored a victory with its Atrix smartphone designed to work with high-speed 4G wireless networks and which can be used in a dock to power a laptop.

Atrix won the top spot in a smartphone category at the official Best of CES awards.

“We took big risks and they paid off,” said Motorola Mobility chief software engineer Seang Chau. “We didn’t know if people would get it; but obviously they got it.”

US telecom maker Motorola Mobility jumped into the bustling tablet computer market Wednesday when chief executive Sanjay Jha unveiled Xoom at CES.

Motorola Mobility’s hotly awaited tablet computer, the “Xoom,” will be available in the first quarter of the year, Jha said.

With a 10.1-inch (25.6-centimeter) screen, the Xoom is about the same size as Apple’s iPad, which hit stores in April and has other leading technology companies around the world scrambling to catch up.

Xoom will be a fierce competitor in the marketplace because Google built Honeycomb software specifically to power tablet computers, according to Jha.

“This is really the next generation of tablets,” Motorola Mobility device team head Alain Mutricy said as he held a Xoom in one hand at the awards ceremony.

“Our partnership with Google has been very intense and has enabled some great technology.”

The CES accolades came just four days after Illinois-based Motorola split into two companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions.

Motorola Mobility will focus on mobility, the Internet and computing markets while Motorola Solutions will target next-generation communications solutions to government, public safety and enterprise customers.

“This has been a great week for us,” Mutricy said of Motorola Mobility. “It is a good beginning.”

The official CES awards were sponsored by tech news website Cnet, which had editors pick the winners.

Japan-based Wii console maker Nintendo took top honors in a gaming category with a version of a DS videogame handset that allows 3D play without the need for special glasses.

A Sony “HandyCam” handheld video recorder with a built-in projector placed first in a Digital Imaging category, while a Casio Tryx digital camera was deemed the slickest gadget design at the show.

US chip giant Intel got some of the spotlight, with a speedy new generation of “Sandy Bridge” chips that thwart film piracy and enable quick handling of data-rich video and games rated the best computer innovation at the show.

A Toyota Entune innovation that makes fun or helpful software applications available while driving won top spot in a car category.

A Vizio TV that features Internet television from Google and online videogames from OnLive was declared the best in its category.

A sleek Razor Switchblade laptop that packs desktop computer gaming power into a small “netbook” won a People’s Voice award based on votes logged on the Internet.

Meanwhile, a dual-screen Acer Iconia laptop with a second screen, touch controlled, where a keyboard would usually be won “Last Gadget Standing” honors at another CES competition.

A color version of the Nook electronic reader was the favorite in online “Last Gadget Standing” voting.

Motorola XOOM Features

  • Android 3.0
  • 10.1 inch display
  • Dual Core 1 Ghz CPU NVIDIA Tegra 2
  • 1GB RAM
  • 32 GB inbuilt memory with microSD Card slot
  • 10 hr video playback battery life
  • 5 MP Rear camera with Flash and 720p HD video capture
  • 2MP video calling camera
  • Wifi(n) Bluetooth 2.1, 3G , 4G
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