I’ve had a lot of prejudice against the Motorola Xoom before reviewing it… I read a bunch of other previews and reviews, seen that $800 price tag, that’s now reached $500 with some special offers and saw that many people didn’t quite like this device. Well, I was charmed by it and I prefer it instead of an iPad 2, to be honest.

For starters the camera is better on this slate than on the iPad 2, HTC Flyer and BlackBerry PlayBook, all of them tablets I’ve tested recently. The placement of the ON/OFF/lock button is a tad odd (at the back, next to the camera), but you’ll get used to it quickly. At least you don’t have to use a fingernail to press it, like you did on the PlayBook.

Honeycomb looks great on this “Nexus” slate, since it was the first Android 3.0 model after all and that dual core Tegra 2 CPU @ 1GHz is certainly doing a great job. Expect the future versions of Honeycomb to arrive on this unit first and then on other slates, since the Xoom has always had priority till now. You might also want to know that the Xoom doesn’t run Flash straight out of the box, so you either need to install it from Android Market or get Honeycomb 3.1.

Motorola Xoom measures 12.9mm in thickness, weighs 730 grams and features 32GB of internal memory plus microSD storage. The latter has been lying dormant on many units till the Honeycomb 3.2 update. The display it sports comes with a 10.1 inch diagonal and a 1280 x 800 pixel and the movies look great on it, as do the videogames.

As far as connectivity goes, you get WiFi or 3G, depending on your choice of device, plus microUSB, Bluetooth, HDMI and DLNA. The camera at the back does 720p HD video capture at 30 fps and it uses a dual LED flash to take quite good pictures. Upfront there’s a 2 megapixel camera for videocalls. Since this is the first Honeycomb tablet I reviewed, I have to say that I find a bit odd to get the notifications area at the bottom-right of the screen, instead of upper area, like on the previous Android flavors.

Also, the lack of Honeycomb apps might be discouraging for a tablet user, that will be sick of using Android phone software with modified resolution. Other than that, the tablet is a great purchase, has great accessories and once the Xoom 2 is out, you’ll probably get it for next to nothing.

  • Well you are right about the camera, it’s way better than Ipad 2’s. But about rest, you are so wrong.

    The performance, apps, games, and smoothness, Xoom is no match, for it’s price, get the Ipad 2 and JB it, unleash it’s potential, install what you want.

    Screen? Come on, you can do better, an ordinary TN against an IPS?

    Flash? You’re kidding me right? Just load Creative Monkeyz on the Xoom, than on Ipad, and after you curse the Xoom for lack of Vimeo HD, than you’ll throw it to the garbage, or replace it.

    I hate Apple also for not giving flash on the Ipad, but the biggest drawback is lack of a real USB port, like Acer or Asus.

    Xoom also lacks an USB port, so it’s same crap, microSD wasn’t working on my Xoom, while I had it, no 3.1 for me, it was a german EU unit, so perhaps this month they will update, but I gave it back.

    Barometer? What a joke, I tried it in different places, rain or sunny, same 749 mmHG, even on thunderstorm, who needs a barometer anyway, just get one for 19$ at the store.

    Stop lying to yourself, saying that you prefer it against Ipad 2, don’t even compare Xoom with Ipad 2, there’s no point.

    EMAG has it for 750euros or 900$, for that money get a Transformer if you don’t want to be Jobs’s bitch and want conectivity, but Android still lacks quality apps, for Ipad there are even “Integrame” and native language apps, or get a Neura, with same IPS screen and USB, for half the price, Xoom simply is not worth the money.

    And I know what ripping is Orange doing, for 350euros with 35 eouros a month, that roughly translates into more than 1000 euros after contract ends. This is robbery.

    And remember, a good review is done without mentioning the competition, or comparing with it, it only increases their publicity, and makes them even more desirable, because you set it as standard and instead of giving people what you want, you deliver something inferior.
    Remember this 🙂

  • Gaga34sp

    Deian,
    Looks like you have no idea what xoom is. I’m using xoom wifi for about a month and definitely prefer it to ipad 2. Currently, there is no other tablet on te market even close to motorola xoom. My friend are using ipad 2 and it’s a tool for 14 years ald teenagers but if you want something seriosthen you’ll prefer xoom.
    Garry, july 17, 2011

  • Deian Stancu

    :))))) First, learn to write correctly ….
    Second, I had the Xoom, for a about three weeks, until sold it to a customer. A total crap. No 3.1 update, no flash, no SD card function. No apps, only a few tablet ones, no games, I mean REAL games, Android ones are for kids, have you played DEAD SPACE or Infinity Blade on Ipad? Have you played Racing Game HD or RC Plane 2? Guess not, otherwise you wouldn’t said nonsense.

    You are right about the interface though, it’s plain simple, made for american people, without too much brain and knowledge, but still, it does the job well.
    Android is very customizable, but it’s desktop scroll lag, and apps written with feet, not hands, makes me unhappy. Have you tried Pulse Reader? It’s lag is so shitty, it makes me puke, when writing comments.
    And most of all, I hate ads, every damn app has lots of ads, and yes, I blocked them with adBlock but you need root, and the app is paid, so better JB an Ipad and unleash it’s potential, free it from Jobs garden :):)

  • Of course, whether you like it or not, none of this applies unless you live in the US. Those of us outside of the US are still waiting for Motorola to grace us with the 3.1 update, never mind 3.2!

  • Deian Stancu

    3.2 is for 7″ tablets, but has some bug fixes for all devices, as well.

  • Anointed_Sword

    Good review.

    @ Deian, blame Android, not Motorola. Everything you mentioned was a software problem, not hardware. By far Xoom beats Ipad2 (hardware) hands down. With that said, Android is still young, soon enough they will catch up and then it will be all  over with. You can not compete if you are so stressed about software that you have a locked OS. The facts are simple, most people will not jailbreak anything more or less a $500+ item.

  • Ok, lets take one by one:
    1. Ipad screeen: IPS, Wide angle view
      Xoom screen: ordinary TN, no more than 30 degrees view.
    2. Ipad and Xoom have same A9 Cortex design, but Tegra 2 lacks NEON instructions, which makes it terribly slow.
    3. Ipad has Power VR SGX543MP2 with dual channel memory, Geforce ULP has single channel, and side by side, the PowerVR has 19GFLOPS, Geforce has 6.4GFLOPS
    4. Ipad resolution is smaller, i hate it, but 4/3 screen makes it more readable, in websites, on 16/10 tablets you have to scroll more, and portret mode is crap, website content does not fit. HP realized that too, and launched a Pad, HP Touchpad with same format.
    5. Ipad’s camera is terrible, but I have a DSLR, even if Xoom’s camera is better, it’s ridiculous tot take it in a vacation for photo making, a 70$ A495 laughs at it from far away.
    6. Ipad is lighter, much lighter, sometimes it counts
    7. Charging takes much less on Ipad than Xoom
    8. Battery lasts longer, it’s bigger and/or power management is better.

    So the only hardware inferiority is camera, which I don’t care, for taking photos, I use my Alpha 100.
    And Android is still a baby, where’s the software, QUALITY software, Android Market is full of crap.
    So is App store, but there’s a quality control  at least, keeping bad apps away……

    I had ALL tablets, changed them like underwear, I even had an Ipad and a Transformer. Ended up to give the TF and kept the Ipad…Sorry, I hate Apple, I am anti Apple, my  work colleagues know that, the ones that have Iphones, I call them Gayphones.
    Apple products are gadgets in my country, for rich and snob people, bragging with them and showing in bars and restaurants, walking on streets pretending to talk and yelling, showing that they have an Iphone in Malls, etc.

    For me, I have only the Ipad, my  phone is a Galaxy S, a very splendid phone, flashed with SGS II firmware, and I am very satisfied with it.

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