Saturday, March 5, 2011

Motorola XOOM Review

[Android Devices]
The Android tablets out on the market have been weak in the face of the iPad. But after testing out Motorola's Xoom, it's clear the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet has what it takes to compete head to head. Though it's got some growing pains ahead, the young tablet is already a contender. All that's needed before it can really gain momentum is a lineup of killer apps — and a better price.

Priced at $800 off-contract or $600 with a two-year commitment from Verizon, the Xoom isn't out to win frugal customers. Instead, Motorola is taking the approach used with its successful line of Droid smartphones: emphasizing the device's horsepower and the many capabilities not found on its Apple counterpart.
To this end, the Xoom's spec sheet is an all-star cast of dual-core processors, multimegapixel cameras, expansion slots, and maxed-out RAM. Combine the hardware with Motorola's exclusive access to Google's long-awaited Android Honeycomb operating system, and you have one of the most talked-about tablets of 2011.
Motorola XOOM image

The tablet shows up ready to get to work — mostly. The 1280x800 screen is slightly higher in resolution than the iPad's, and has a wider, movie-friendly aspect ratio. Its colors and sharpness don't quite pop like the iPad's, but that's only noticeable side by side.

Beneath the glass is a powerhouse: A dual-core 1GHz processor backed with 1GB of RAM means that it has enough horsepower to support 3-D gaming and graphics intensive applications on the 1280x800 screen. It's got two cameras — a 2MP front-facing one, and a 5MP one in the rear. It can shoot 720p video, and even output it through its HDMI cable. That doesn't necessarily mean you can fill it up with HD movies and expect to play them all on your HDTV — it didn't support much of the video that I loaded up for testing — but the capability is there.
Speaking of video, the Adobe Flash that Honeycomb tablets are famously supposed to support is not ready yet, so I was unable to test it.
All of this performance doesn't seem to have a real negative impact on battery life: After testing over the past few days, I can concur with the 10-hour battery life statement made by Motorola. Speaking of Flash, one rumor is that the Flash will tax the battery life — true or not, it would only matter if you were sitting there watching Flash video for hours on end.

Super Motorola Tablet PC on Android Device. With Google's next generation of Android, Motorola's knack for great hardware, and Verizon's promise of 4G network compatibility, the Xoom tablet technically offers a more powerful, more capable alternative to Apple's iPad. Does the reality of the Xoom match up with the hype? Let's dive in and see what's working and what could be better.

The Motorola Xoom tablet is easily the best competition Apple's iPad has ever seen. Sporting a 10.1-inch screen, front and rear cameras, HDMI output, a dual-core processor, and Google's tablet-optimized version of Android, the Xoom is entering the tablet wars with guns blazing.

Design and hardware features
With a 10.1-inch screen, you'd think Xoom would feel larger than the 9.8-inch screen-wielding iPad, but it actually comes off as slightly smaller. As tablets go, the Xoom carries its weight in its hips, stretching its screen area out to a more wide-screen-worthy 1,280x800-pixel WXGA aspect ratio.
This wider screen, coupled with the landscape-oriented positioning of the Motorola and Verizon logos, makes the Xoom a natural fit for use in a landscape view. This is fundamentally different from the original iPad, which prescribes a portrait orientation with its placement of the Home button. Of course, either device will reorient its apps and home screens for however you prefer to hold it, but nonetheless, the Xoom is ostensibly made for landscape view, whereas the iPad's design is naturally geared for portrait.

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