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Motorola Xoom review

The first Android 3.0 tablet arrives to challenge the iPad 2

xoom

So where does this leave the Xoom? Overall, the device is a joy to use -- fast and nimble, able to handle high-res media files, long-lasting.

We strongly prefer the Android 3.0 e-mail interface to what you get on other Android devices -- it makes the tablet a more useful e-mail client. Like the Atrix phone, you can even sync with Microsoft Exchange e-mail and Google Apps for Business, Yahoo! and Gmail services, and any POP account.

We liked:

The browser is a godsend for technical users - you can queue up a dozen tabs and leave them available at all times (strangely, you can only set one page as the default home page and not multiple tabs).

What this means for power users is that you can really use the Xoom as a powerful Web client, especially if you use the optional Bluetooth keyboard. (The Xoom also works with the Apple Wireless Keyboard.)

The built-in camera also worked well, producing some winning shots. Games played smoother than expected. Several apps, such as Google Sky Map and the Gallery app, take full use of the larger screen size of a tablet.

We disliked:

Not everything is so stellar about the Xoom, though. We didn't like that you can't trickle charge from any USB port. Lack of Flash support is a major letdown, even though Motorola plans to fix this issue soon. There is no way to buy or rent movies or TV shows, which means you have to obtain them on a PC and transfer them over. The form factor of the Xoom is a little odd because it is rectangular and slick, and a little harder to grasp when you are running out the door.

Currently, the low number of apps is the most critical ding. In some ways, the tabbed browser makes up for this -- you can run a plethora of Web apps instead. But the iPad has a major headstart over any Android 3.0 tabs.

And there are a few other nits. The microSD slot on the Xoom does not work yet, and the device could work with 4G but is not ready for that yet.

Verdict:

Yet, we've been craving this kind of fast and powerful, ready-for-the-tablet age device.

Hoping the apps appear quickly, the Xoom is fast enough to keep pace and gets our nod over other Android tablets. The iPad is still the better tablet and has thousands of useful, powerful apps that make it more appealing.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
Processor ManufacturerARM
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Maximum Battery Run Time10 Hour
GPSYes
HDMIYes
Product FamilyXOOM
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Processor ModelA9
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid 3.0 Honeycomb
Brand NameMotorola
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeCortex
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)708 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Memory Card ReaderNo
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height249.1 mm
Width167.8 mm
Depth12.9 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
ManufacturerMotorola, Inc
Product ModelSM3019AW2A2
Product NameXOOM Tablet Computer
Product LineXOOM
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberSM3019AW2A2
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.motorola.com/uk
Marketing InformationMotorola XOOM has a super powerful dual-core processor and android 3.1(honeycomb)--the android platform designed specially for tablets. With its 10.1-inch HD widescreen display, you'll enjoy HD video in a thin, light, and powerful tablet.
Maximum Memory1 GB
Package Contents
  • XOOM Tablet Computer
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter