Motorola Xoom Wifi Tablet Review

This is strictly a quick review of the Xoom hardware. I won’t go into how awesome Honeycomb is because I could write a book on that. It’s exciting and beautiful.

This isn’t a device for everyone. Like the iPad and other tablets, it’s mainly a media consumption device. Don’t expect to do any major programming or graphics work on it without wanting to smash it against the wall. I’m not saying that that’s a bad thing though. The device has a focus as opposed to trying to do everything and please everyone all at once.

I bought the Android Xoom primarily to read comics with. I do a bit of web surfing and chatting with it but that’s about it. Originally, I thought I could get away with a cheaper tablet Android 2.1 (Velocity Cruz Reader) tablet but it was an utter failure.

I’ll cut to the chase here.

The Good

  • The processor is a true power house compared to it’s predecessors. Load times are quick and input is extremely responsive.
  • The Xoom is just light enough that I can read comfortably in bed or throw it in a bag without really noticing the weight.
  • The battery does just fine for a couple of days of random use here and there. I don’t listen a lot of music with it or watch many videos but it holes up fine. I can’t recall ever having to restart the tablet because the battery went completely dead on standby.
  • Charge time is incredibly quick. It takes about an hour to reach a full charge from being reline. The compromise with this is that it won’t charge via usb. So far the trade off has been worthy as long as I don’t go out of town and forget to bring the a/c adapter.
  • The build quality is very solid. The plastic doesn’t feel plastic though it is. The screen is very tough too.
  • As far as I can tell, the Xoom is free to use anything in the Google Android Market. I found this was not the case with other less expensive tablets. Unfortunately, no ever app in the market is designed with the tablet screen size in mind but that is no fault to the tablet.

The Bad

  • The glossy screen is terrible in daylight. It becomes difficult to see the screen through all the finger prints it attracts.
  • It takes a long time to figure out where exactly where the power button is on the back of the device. I wish they would put it on the front or the side. This is more annoying than anything.
  • The $600 price tag is a little too steep. If I was more patient I would have bought an Asus Transformer for just about the same price but it comes with a keyboard that doubles as a docking station. Too bad it hit the market a month later than the Xoom. The Samsung Galaxy tab has just about the same hardware specs as the Xoom but for quite a bit cheaper too.
  • Motorola is playing games with it’s customers by selectively releasing the Honeycomb 3.1 update to US Verison customers only and forcing everyone else to wait an unknown length of time. This is a huge thumbs down for Motorola.

In conclusion, if you can get your hands on an Asus EEE Transformer, seriously consider that while as the same time considering the Xoom.

Anyway, that’s my review. I hope it helps.

Irrelevant ramblings…

The Xoom is my fourth Android device now. I’ve had two Android phones (HTC Dream and HTC Magic) and a cheap Velocity Cruz Reader but it broke so I returned it. The operating system has really grown on me and Honeycomb 3.0 is no exception. It’s smooth and easy and has that science fiction feeling in the touch screen that I love. It’s also exciting to use a completely new kind of operating system on a new kind of hardware to boot. This is like the early days of windows in that sense. It’s a very exciting time for portable hardware.

One comment

  1. You’d think that glossy screens would be a thing of the past by now, and especially at $600.