Qualcomm's Reference Android Tablet Intended for Developers, Woos Reviewers

Paul Lilly

Qualcomm's newest mobile development platform is a quad-core tablet powered by a Snapdragon APQ8064 S4 Pro system-on-chip (SoC) clocked at 1.5GHz, an Adreno 320 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. It runs on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) and has a 10.1-inch display pumping out 1366x768 pixels. All that juicy hardware (save for the screen resolution, which falls well short of the iPad 3's Retina Display and other Android models boasting Full HD 1080p panels) adds up to a powerful Mobile Development Platform (MDP/T) intended to give programmers a potent device to develop, test, optimize, and showcase their latest apps and games.

"Access to the APQ8064 processor with its asynchronous Quad CPU cores gives Android application developers a powerful platform to develop their differentiated applications for rapid market release," said John Traynor , vice president of products, Bsquare, which announced the general availability of Qualcomm's tablet. "This access, combined with best-in-class engineering support and testing solutions from Bsquare, provides a major benefit to application and game developers developing for a wide range of pre-commercial devices."

It's the first tablet form factor to feature a Snapdragon-based development platform with Bsquare, which distributes Qualcomm development kits. The tablet's also been putting up impressive numbers across the Web. Benchmark comparisons are available at The Verge , and they show Qualcomm's tablet trouncing high-powered tablets and smartphones like the Acer Iconia Tab A700, Asus Transformer Pad, Galaxy S III, HTC One X, and HTC One S. For example, in GLBenchmark 2.1's Egypt test, Qualcomm's deviced posted 131fps, more than double the 63fps Asus' Transformer Pad could muster.

A similar situation is seen at SlashGear where the developer tablet "blew through the roof" in several Android benchmark apps. Based on these early numbers, it's safe to say the future of Android tablet development is bright.

It didn't take long for Bsquare to sell out of Qualcomm's $1,299 tablet, with new orders slated to ship in 2-3 weeks.

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