By 17 October 2011 | Categories: news


In the latest indication that tablets are proliferating into virtually every sphere of life, Motorola has launched its Xoom Family Edition tablet. While the device is only available (at the moment) in the Best Buy chain in the US, the more interesting part was Motorola’s comments at the launch and what it infers.

"Nowadays, everyone from mom, dad to the youngest child use the same tablet device. We set out to design a device that's kid and family-friendly yet versatile enough to handle your business needs," said Jim Hamilton, corporate vice president, global retail and distribution, Motorola Mobility.

The comments indicate that tablets have already reached critical mass, the point at which they are common to a variety of users across generations and industries. While this is similar to technologies like cellphones and smartphones, which are now ubiquitous, tablets have taken a far shorter time to attain this level of permutation into society.

The launch of the Xoom Family Edition could also be interpreted as a reaction to the release of the Kindle Fire tablet, which intends providing a variety of media (books, movies, TV shows, comics, newspapers) to an audience that spans generations. In previous years, e-readers, mainly led by the Kindle, similarly became an almost universal piece of technology, used by everyone from schoolchildren to businessmen.

The Xoom Family Edition is similar in most respects to the original Xoom, boasting the same 1 GHz dual-core processor, a 10.1" HS IPS HD screen and a five megapixel back camera with flash. However, it only comes with 16 GB storage, as well featuring the Zoodles application, which locks the home button and allows children to only access the content parents deem acceptable, like educational games and movies. The device has an equally family friendly RRP of $380 (R2968).

This follows Motorola’s recent launch of the ET1, an enterprise focused tablet. Further evidence of how tablets are infiltrating every walk of life include Toshiba’s SMB focused tablet, the AT100, and news of the world’s cheapest tablet being launched in India, particularly for students. Then of course, there are the general user tablets – of which there is no shortage of choice – which includes the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.  

Irrespective of whether Motorola’s new family edition tablet makes it to South African shores, perhaps in partnership with a local retailer, the indication is clear that tablets are here to stay, and apparently, are making inroads into every aspect of our lives at a speed that even cellphones  - and Usain Bolt - would have envied.


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