Motorola unleashes the Xoom tablet and Atrix smartphone

A new month is here and with it Motorola is bringing two new devices: an iPad competitor and a smartphone that you might even be able to use like a laptop. Seriously.

The first iPad competitor out of the gate from Motorola is the Xoom, a device that – much like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1v and Acer’s Iconia – takes advantage of Google’s Honeycomb incarnation of Android. Spec-wise, you’ll find a 10.1 inch screen with 1280×800 resolution, a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2, 32GB of memory, 802.11n WiFi, 5 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash, 2 megapixel front camera for video calls, and 3G connection for data on the go.

Accessories are an area Motorola seems keen to push, offering a selection for the Xoom that includes a basic dock, speaker dock with connection to your TV, gel cases, folio-style case, and Bluetooth keyboard.

Motorola’s other release this week is the Atrix, a top-end Android smartphone with very interesting features, such as a fingerprint scanner in the power button and an iPhone 4-esque high resolution screen. Motorola’s marketing suggests that this is “The world’s most powerful smartphone,” and with what’s inside, we’re not surprised. Under the hood, Motorola is packing in a dual-core 1GHz core processor, Nvidia Tegra 2 graphics, 960×540 quarter high definition (qHD) screen, scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, 16GB internal storage with support for 32GB more on microSD, 5 megapixel autofocus camera, VGA front camera, mini HDMI port, and a huge 1930 mAh battery.

But one of the coolest things about the Atrix doesn’t come from the phone itself, but rather how Motorola is looking to accessorise it.

You’ll find at least three docks including a simple dock, a car dock, and an entertainment dock designed for your home entertainment system that also comes with a Bluetooth remote.

And then there’s the most unusual dock of them all: the computer dock.

For $449, Motorola will be selling the “Lapdock”, a very thin device that looks a lot like a netbook except without anything inside of it. The Lapdock features an 11.5 inch screen, a well-spaced keyboard, and large touchpad mouse, but no processor, hard drive, memory, or anything else that would make it like a laptop computer. At the back of Motorola’s Lapdock, you’ll find several USB ports, a power connector, and then a fold out docking connector for the Atrix smartphone. Simply plug in the Atrix and the Lapdock screen springs to life, providing an instant desktop that will let you use your phone while getting a sort of “light” desktop experience.

It’s one of the most interesting concepts we’ve seen to date: a thin laptop that only works once a phone is plugged in. If you keep all of your documents with you on your phone handset, we can see this making a lot of sense. We’re not sure if an almost $500 price tag makes sense for a computer that requires a phone to work, but hopefully we’ll get our hands on one soon to see for ourselves.

Both the Atrix and Xoom are being brought out on Telstra’s NextG network, each with fairly decent pricing. Outright, either the Atrix smartphone or Xoom tablet will cost $840, but there are a few plans for you to choose from that will significantly lower the cost.