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Will dual core-only Honeycomb mean cheap Gingerbread tablets?

Hardware requirements for the recently announced Android 3.0/Honeycomb have until now remained hazy. A story posted yesterday on PCMag’s website however has revealed the new OS to be a dual-core only affair.

Bobby Cha, the director of Korean consumer electronics firm Enspert, was quoted as saying that Honeycomb will need an ARM Cortex A9 “in order to run properly”.

Currently Nvidia is the only company to produce hardware which takes advantage of the A9. They recently announced the Tegra 2 which, in the wake of CES, is already emerging as the go-to processor for Anrdoid tablets. The Android 3.0-running Motorola Xoom is the first Android tablet to take advantage of the dual-core set up.

Android has undergone a sudden jump in system requirements between its current Gingerbread state and the now tablet-centric Honeycomb. This could mean bad news for those keen to upgrade their current Android-powered tablets. Samsung Galaxy Tab owners for example, may not be able to upgrade to Honeycomb on their devices simply due to hardware.

What Google appears to be doing is creating two separate directions for their Android OS. Those keen to adopt cutting-edge tech will undoubtedly take advantage of the power that dual-core and Honeycomb brings. Whereas the less processor-heavy version of Android; Gingerbread, should begin to appear on more value for money devices.

This means great news for consumers who are yet to own a tablet device. Just as less expensive, less powerful Android phones have brought the Android OS to the mass market, so to should affordable Gingerbread tablets.

[Thumb image credit: Lithfin]

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