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MOTOROLA XOOM Android Tablet (10.1-Inch, 32GB, Wi-Fi)
The Motorola XOOM weighs 25 ounces and measures 9.8 x 6.6 x 0.5 inches. Its 3250 mAh lithium-ion battery is rated at up to 10 hours of video playback, up to 10 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing, and up to 3.3 days of MP3 playback.1-Year Limited Warranty
Linux 1 GHz Motorola ARM dual-core CORTEX A9 OMAP 4
1 GB DRAM
Android 3.1 (Honeycomb).
It also consists of 802.11b/g/n, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing web cam.
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3846 of 3964 found the following review helpful:
The Xoom is a lot like chess, let me explain...Apr 01, 2011
UPDATE 1/16/2013: I just wanted to write a quick update. Everything I say below is still valid but when I refer to iPad in my review I am talking about the iPad 2, the current model is the iPad 4. Both the iPad 3 and 4 have retina displays which crush everything else on the market in terms of pixel density. Compared with the current best 1080P Android and Windows 8 tablets the iPad 3 and 4 still has 1 million more pixels. Compared with the Xoom the iPad 3 and 4 has 2 million more pixels. As I kind of mention in my review I like Android but I really buy tablets for the screen. I find that the higher the pixel density the better a tablet works for my uses. I currently use an iPad 3. I would also add that quite a bit has changed in terms of software and capabilities both for Android and iPad since I wrote this review. Again, I still feel what I say in this review is valid, but it is only valid when you consider the time it was written. Technology moves fast and a lot has changed in less than 2 years. Thanks to everyone that has read, commented on, and hopefully found my review to be helpful.
When I first got the Xoom about a week ago I turned it on and I really wasn't blown away. I use lots of devices, and my first impression of the Xoom just wasn't stellar. However, I could see the potential, and so I kept using it, I got some apps, I started to learn the interface and the depth of the features.
Sometime during day 2 of using the Xoom it really hit me. The Xoom and the iPad are like chess and checkers. When you first start playing chess (or trying to use the Xoom, in my amazing analogy) you feel overwhelmed and confused. You can't really do things smoothly, you don't understand the options, it just is not a great first impression. On the other hand, your first game of checkers (or using the iPad) is probably going to be pretty smooth. It isn't complex, most all the options and concepts are obvious and easy to understand and your first game is going to be pretty similar to your hundredth.
However, as you start to understand the Xoom (or chess) it really starts to grow on you. You understand what you can do, how to do it, the amazing depth and possibility in the device. While the iPad (or checkers) players are still having roughly the same experience time after time, with the Xoom every day of experience with the device makes it more powerful and enjoyable to use. In the end, the Xoom becomes a much better device than any of the competition; it just takes some time for you to learn what it is capable of and how to make the most of it.
As you can tell from the last three paragraphs I wasn't exactly impressed with the Xoom to start. I wasn't even sure it would replace my current device for most things. However, by day two I started to really "get" the device.
This first happened when I needed to look over and annotate a PDF someone had sent me. I downloaded it from my email, and was able to actually put it in the Xoom memory where-ever I wanted in whatever folder I wanted. Wow, that is kind of cool, can't do that on the competition. Next, I was able to open it in a PDF reader, using this fancy program (which I easily found on the marketplace). I went through and did what I needed (with an amazing free hand drawing tool, it was a snap!), then I jumped back over to email, attached the newly edited PDF and sent it away. Now maybe I just never tried hard enough, but I don't think that is possible on some of the competition. That freedom to download files, do what you need, and then send them away again. On the iPad apps I have used it always requires the files to be in something like Dropbox, which is fine, except it would have made what I did impossible without using a computer.
Another "WOW" moment came when I wanted to get some ebooks onto the device. Now, on my Apple products this is generally a pain, you hook the device to the computer, go open itunes, you go to a certain tab, and a certain area, and a certain feature, and if you do it all right you can drag your ebooks over to the reader. It was rather simpler on the Xoom. For the ebooks I had on my computer I just dropped them in Dropbox, then I downloaded them on the Xoom, and using the Xoom file manager I easily moved them into a new "Books" folder I made in the Documents folder. Fast, quick, and simple and done on the device, rather than on the PC.
However, what really blew me away was when I wanted some ebooks off the web. Using the regular browser I was able to just download them directly from the internet onto the device. I then used the file manager again and simply moved them to the right folder. This really did impress me, my tablet was uncoupled from the PC, I could browse the full web, download things, and then make use of them all without ever needing to tether to my computer. I was hooked.
With my new excitement at not requiring my computer to use my tablet I headed over to an Android App development forum. Here developers had posted lots of cool apps that were in beta or that they wanted to promote. On competing devices the only way to get an app is through the sanctioned and controlled portal, not so on Android (and thus Xoom). Using the Xoom browser I bounced around the forum, I downloaded beta apps, and then I was able to easily install them. Again, this is all on the device, and these were not approved apps, awesome.
Another example of something that impressed me came on my third day with the device. I was using the CNN app (which is free and tablet optimized, go check it out) and I watched a video of a story that I thought was really interesting, but it was one of those that is only a teaser, and the rest is on another site. When I hit these videos on my iPad I just have to try to remember to watch them later on a computer, because they are inevitably flash based. Not so on the Xoom, I typed in the address, the flash loaded up perfectly, and I was watching the video in full screen with no trouble.
This process of growing more comfortable with the device and learning what it could do continued over the last few days. At every turn I would find something amazing that just wasn't possible on competing tablets. I discovered the glory of widgets (custom little desktop things to show you the weather, or news, or whatever). I found some live wallpaper (moving animated wallpaper, that can change and adapt to things, such as the weather). I just kept finding new awesome features and uses.
One thing I want to touch on that is perhaps more technical than the rest of my review is the screen. I use my tablets to read, I started using ebooks a while back and I found tablets to work pretty well for that. I do most of my reading at night before bed, so the backlit screen is actually helpful versus a traditional reader. Anyway, one of the things that has always bothered me about the iPad as an ereader is that the pixel density (that is the number of pixels (or square blocks of color) in each inch of screen space) is very low. The iPad has somewhere around 130PPI (pixels per inch). It was so low that it really did give me noticeable eye strain to read on the device, I could see the pixels, and it really just wasn't a great reading experience. This was so pronounced that for the last few months I had actually been doing most of my reading on a 4th generation iPod Touch. It had a smaller screen, but a higher pixel density.
Anyway, the Xoom has a very noticeable increase in resolution and pixel density. With its higher resolution it has roughly 33% more pixels than the iPad, roughly 300,000 additional pixels. This is something you can see immediately when looking at any text. It is a lot smoother and easier to read on the Xoom. However, the other side of this is that the iPad has a different display type, that does have better viewing angles and color/contrast. In my case I don't really care, I find the pixel density to be 1000 times more important than small color improvements or viewing angles but I feel I should mention it.
My point in these last two paragraphs is that the Xoom is a much better device for displaying text than any of the lower resolution competition. If you are looking for a tablet to read your newspaper and books and websites on, then you definitely should give the Xoom or other higher resolution tablets a look. In my opinion the resolution on the iPad/iPad 2 just does not cut it for text.
Welp, this is really starting to get long, so I guess I should wrap it up. I know this isn't like the usual review you read, but I really wanted to give people an idea of the experience of using the Xoom versus just giving the facts and the breakdown and the comparisons. The Xoom is a device that improves exponentially the more you use it. After a few days of use I really can't imagine returning to the constraints and frustrations of the competition. However, on my first day I wasn't that impressed, so be sure to stick with it and get used to it. Now I am off to make dinner, and to accompany me I am going to take my Xoom, which is streaming live video thanks to the wonderful inclusion of flash, the competition is going to stay sitting on the shelf (probably for the foreseeable future).
I just want to mention that I am giving the Xoom four stars because it is not perfect. As a reference after using the Xoom I would probably give the iPad / iPad 2 three stars. There are still improvements that can be made to tablets. I really feel like Android and Xoom are on the right track, but this is still not what I would call a perfect tablet, it is just the best that is available right now (for my uses).
I hope someone finds my review helpful, feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments.
1816 of 1899 found the following review helpful:
I prefer Xoom over iPad 2 and here's why....Mar 27, 2011
By Lenny D
First of all I want to say that I own both Apple and Google/Android devices. I own iPod Touch and have played with iPad of family member who own the device. I also played with iPad 2 quite a bit at the store as well as from a friend who got it on launch day. I currently own original Motorola Droid and looking to upgrade to newer Android phone this summer. It is difficult not to compare Xoom to its competitor aka iPad 2. Therefore, this review will entail Xoom features (Wifi version) along with comparison to iPad 2.
Operating System - An iPad is more akin to a smartphone where as a Xoom is more akin to a laptop (Best Buy actually has it in laptop section instead with other Android tablets like Samsung Galaxy). Honeycomb feels more like a tablet. It's not just a row of apps and wasted space like iOS. Plus, you have room for customization (widget, live wallpaper, theme etc). There is also little detail that tech savvy will appreciate (outline grid, advanced settings, google labs etc) Honeycomb is still a bit buggy but not to the point that it becomes annoying. I only have several force close (app closed due to error) once in a while (Not all phone apps work with Xoom..yet). Obviously iOS which is a proven OS and was out almost 4 years ago is more stable than the Honeycomb, a brand new OS (optimized for tablet use) that was out a month ago along with its SDK. Google know Honeycomb still needs improvement, I know Honeycomb is unfinished and I don't mind waiting for even better experience.
Also, it's easy to transfer files between computer and Xoom. Just plug in USB and it acts as a hard drive then you drag and drop the files you want. There's also apps like ES File Explorer and Astro File Manager that help manage files/folder (like Window explorer). I believe iOS requires other softwares unless you just do music/movies through iTunes. Oh and I forget to mention that I hate having to everything tied/synced through iTunes. On Xoom, there's more freedom and you are not stuck with one software like iTunes.
Winner: To each his own but I like Honeycomb better.
Design/Apperance/Screen - Xoom is heavier but that is due to a solid build quality which I love. It is also thicker and has wider screen (more appropriate for movies than iPad 2). Although Xoom has higher screen resolution, iPad 2 still has brighter screen and more vivid look.
Winner: iPad 2 by little bit
User Interface - Some people say Honeycomb is too complicated to use. Well maybe to those who has been using only iPad. For someone who use both, I have to say it is pretty simple to use. iOS is more intuitive and foolproof but there is much more detail/option on Xoom that many people will appreciate.
Multitasking - One button and it takes you to 5 most recent apps for easy switching on Xoom. iPad 2 sort of have multitasking but not a true multitasking experience.
Browser - If you use Chrome browser before, it is pretty much like that on Xoom. I prefer tabbed browsing over having to press button to open various windows on Safari on iOS device. You can type search directly on address bar like Chrome. You can sync bookmarks through your Google account. And yes I know there are other browser apps in the market. But for a stock browser app, Xoom has a better experience.
Apps - iPad is way ahead in term of apps and it is because original iPad had at least 1 year head start vs Xoom. Not to mention Honeycomb is unfinished and SDK was recently released. However, the tablet apps that are available on Android market, most of them work great and look awesome. UPDATE: It turned out there're lots more Honeycomb compatible apps (I'm talking 1,000+). You just have to use keyword search such as "tablet" "xoom" "honeycomb" to discover the apps. Note that you can still use Android phone apps. The phone apps get stretched out but still keep the high resolution thus they don't look bad on the screen whatsoever. Give it time.
Winner: iPad 2
Customization - This is my favorite part about Android. You have open customization from themes, widgets to customized home screen and live wallpapers. iOS has none of that unless you jailbreak the device.
Notification - If you have iPhone and iPad, you know how notification can be quite painful. Xoom has better notification system that show up briefly in bottom right corner as you get new email, app update etc. You can press it to view all notifications or remove them. Additionally, there is also LED light blinking notification on top right of the device.
Hardware Performance - A5 vs Tegra 2 is still up for debate. Xoom seems to be as powerful as iPad 2 with exception of GPU (difference can be seen with gaming and screen brightness). iPad 2 has 512MB RAM vs 1 GB RAM on Xoom.
Camera/Video/Audio - Better camera and video on Xoom thanks to its higher spec vs VGA front and lower MP back camera on iPad 2. Camera app gets a little bit of time to get used to on Xoom. Speaker on Xoom is decent and could have been louder. I wish the volume rocker is more visible on the side. It feels like the button can become stuck into the device.
Also I use DVD Catalyst 4 to convert and transfer movie to Xoom. It can convert most file types as long as it's not DRM protected (like "Digital Copy"). The software is pretty neat, simple to use and the pictures look great. You have option to customize the pictures, add subtitles, and get rid of black bars.
Winner: Xoom OVERALL
Flash - Yes, Flash is still in beta but it works great so far with a little bit of lagging but barely noticeable. Pretty smooth most of the time. I tested it on sites that use Flash like Engadget (video), Honda (car animation), Vice Versa restaurant in NYC (heavy flash site), Myspace and bandcamp (with music player on artist page). iOS has no Flash AT ALL as we all know when it comes to browsing.
Winner: Xoom by a mile (until HTML5 is fully functional)
Battery Life - Xoom gets about 8 - 9 hours for heavy multitasking usage. Will have to test standby time but I expect it to be less than iPad 2. iPad 2 gets at least 10 hours of heavy usage.
Winner: iPad 2
GPS - Just want to mention that GPS and full Google maps navigation is available on Xoom wifi. While on iPad 2, it is only available if you get 3G+wifi version. And if you use Google maps app before on Android you know that it is more extensive than map on iOS (turn-by-turn voice navigation, layers etc). Since this is a Wifi version, THERE IS cache settings on Google Maps where you can prefetch map tiles by panning over the city/region while on Wifi (up to ?? MB. Need to verify the cap). Then you can navigate to desired destination just like normal with voice navigation. You cannot change the destination halfway obviously since there is no 3G connection. The other alternative will be to tether the device with 3G/4G smartphone.
Winner - Xoom
Nitpick - SD card slot on Xoom is still not enabled at this moment. Also, I wish Xoom can be charged through micro USB but I believe it may be because micro USB doesn't supply enough current to charge a tablet.
In the end, you may prefer one device over the other and it is to each his own. However, based on the overall factors I mentioned above, I prefer Xoom.
Any questions, feel free to ask in comment.
434 of 471 found the following review helpful:
Xooming right along...Mar 28, 2011
By D. Garrett
Picked up the WiFi only version on Sunday. Went with WiFi only because I already have a DroidX and can use it as a WiFi hot spot cheaper than going with the 3G plan for the Xoom. I played with this and the iPad 2 side by side prior to deciding. iPad does somethings better and faster (switching screen orientation) and the Xoom does somethings better and faster. The advantage with the Xoom is having 2x the amount of RAM built in. So things like Google Maps keeps up better on the Xoom. I really like the browser on the Xoom better too, but that, like most of the rest of this, is personal preference.
- quality build
- great flexibility
- great camera's front and rear
- fully loaded WiFi only version (still has the GPS, gyro and even a barometer)
- Great graphics, nice display
- Not required to use iTunes to set it up and use it
The not so good:
- Screen is a fingerprint magnet, worse I have ever had.
- Not as easy to use out of the box as the iPad
- Not many aps for it yet
At the end of the day, if you use an iPhone and like it, you will like the iPad 2 better. If you use a good Android phone today and like it, you will like the Xoom much better. I spent Friday night and Saturday helping a friend set up their iPhone and the frustration over the lack of flexibility ultimately made my mind up for me. Once you get used to the flexibility you have with Android, you will get frustrated quickly with iOS.
Anyway, that is my opinion after using the Xoom for 1 full day...lol.
84 of 88 found the following review helpful:
Defining your user experienceMar 29, 2011
Let me first state this review is based upon the 3G model (although I just ordered a wifi model from Amazon). We purchased 2 weeks ago and took the unit on our spring break trip. During the long drives the xoom ran navigation, played tunes connected to the car stereo and functioned as a skype/FB life line for my teens. My teens also took a lot of pictures and videos, played games, browsed, read books, etc. Two things became very apparent:
1) The multi-tasking is top notch, especially with the recent apps button and the ability to quickly move from app to app
2) The battery life consistently sat at 7-8 hours during heavy use (when it was on it was ALWAYS doing multiple things)
I chose the xoom 3G thinking my wife would hate it and I'd then go buy her an ipad 2 and I'd get to use the xoom. She has an android 2.x phone and hates it. She loved honeycomb. She is now taking the xoom to work as her mobile laptop. Hence, that's why I just bought the wifi xoom - for me! I originally decided on the android device based upon being able to create my own "experience". The interface exceeded my expectations. I have used the ipad in store a number of times and stayed away from gen 1 knowing Apple would release a better pad in about a year. I saw nothing that made me want to use iOS with gen 2.
- Screen clarity, size and brightness is great
- Multi-tasking is excellent
- All the apps we used worked flawlessly...only force closed with google books (and why doesn't google books have a bookmark like Kindle for Android?)
- Very fast
- Battery life
- Extremely simple setup with gmail/google, etc...
- Flash support became available after purchase and web browsing experience is better but not perfect
- Most importantly, my tablet the way I want it to look and work
The not so Good:
- Don't like the power plug or the volume buttons. Its strange, they feel good but it just seems difficult to use them sometimes
- Screen is (as stated in other reviews) a fingerprint magnet, yet it still looked great
- App selection is low, but from the time I purchase to the end of the trip the tablet dedicated apps increase by 11 and other than netflix, there is no app I want that is not available
- Cameras are adequate, but I didn't buy this to replace my digital camera
- SD card isn't working yet
I did not give this 5 stars as I think it can be improved. Early in the lifecycle, I expect great things for android based tabs. The Samsung Galaxy in June (running Honeycomb) should be a great device as well. Very very pleased with the purchase.
1557 of 1726 found the following review helpful:
Comparison of my Xoom with my IPad2Apr 08, 2011
I have purchased both an Ipad2 and Xoom for different family members. I thought it worth comparing the two devices for anyone interested. Many of my comments are subjective so bear that in mind when reading the review. I notice that reviews that love the Xoom are overwhelmingly marked "helpful" and those with even slight negatives are are usually marked "unhelpful", so I expect this review will get poor ratings.
External appearance and feel:
The Ipad2 screen has a different feel from the Xoom screen - the Ipad2 is a bit slicker, less likely to stick when moving short distances. The screen on the Xoom tends to show fingerprints more than the Ipad2 for some reason. Everyone in this family thinks that the Ipad2 looks sharper than the Xoom.
Both weigh 1.6 lbs. Subjectively, the Xoom feels heavier than the Ipad2, but it's an illusion perhaps caused by it's slightly smaller size.
Both have a similar size screen, measured diagonally. But the aspect ratio is different - 4:3 for Ipad2, 16:9 for Xoom. This means that the Ipad2 actually has a larger viewing area, and this makes a real difference when scrolling through a web site. The Ipad2 screen is brighter than the Xoom screen.
The Xoom feels a bit faster than the Ipad2, and the specs show that it is faster. Both have dual core processors based on ARM designs. The Xoom seems to be able to handle graphics better than the Ipad2. As far as connecting to Wifi networks, both seem to have this one down pat - they both just work.
The Ipad2 is just like a big iPhone. Whether this good or bad is subjective. For me, it's good - polished, flexible and can be customized to my needs. The Xoom user interface is totally new, and unfortunately it shows - there are many rough edges. Some examples: moving icons around to group programs together is not intuitive and they keep moving back; you can see the first 5 applications running on the Xoom and select one, but the list doesn't scroll so applications that don't show in the list can't be selected; you can't close applications (except by a force quit that can lose data) as the Xoom decides when to quit an application; customization is possible but more difficult than the Ipad2. In short, the Xoom user interface is a work in progress - great potential but currently quite flawed.
The Ipad2 uses Apple's IOS. It works, but it uses cooperative multitasking which (in theory) is less effective than the full multitasking on the Xoom which uses a version of Google's Android designed for tablets. In practice, they both work fine and I doubt anyone would notice the difference.
Ipad2 has 70,000 apps available from the Apple App store and it also runs the 300,000 apps available for the iPhone. Xoom currently has around 60 apps and it can run Android phone apps (but they are stretched in one direction which makes them look strange). Some of the Ipad2 applications are pretty impressive - GarageBand for example. There are many games on the Ipad2, and just a few games made for the Xoom. I really hope this improves soon otherwise the Xoom is sunk. After all, applications are generally the reason people buy these devices.
Because of the screen aspect ratio that I mentioned, I prefer browsing on the Ipad2. The Xoom has Adobe Flash and the Ipad2 doesn't, but so far I haven't come across a single instance where this has been an issue. I'm sure there are very many sites not compatible with Ipad2, but I haven't browsed to one of them yet.
I don't use the camera much, and I'm not really sure if either is better. In the family, the Xoom owner says the Xoom is better, the Ipad2 owner says the Ipad2. The Xoom has flash and Ipad2 doesn't which is a win for Xoom, but the Xoom seems slower to take a picture.
The Xoom has two small speakers, Ipad2 has one somewhat larger speaker. The sound is slightly better quality on the Ipad2 and the Xoom cannot achieve the same volume as the Ipad2. But they are both pretty poor - use earphones or an external speaker if you want decent audio.
Difficult for me to give an exact comparison, but based on family usage it seems the Ipad2 has the edge here, but not by much.
The Xoom has 1GB of RAM and 32 GB of flash storage. The Ipad2 has 512MB of RAM and 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of flash storage - I bought the 64GB model.
The Xoom has an external card slot that supports SD cards, but the software was not ready in time for the product release. The slot is inoperative until Motorola releases an operating system update. The Ipad2 has no external storage support.
The Ipad2 was up and running quite quickly. I connected the device to ITunes and it automatically updated to the latest version of the operating system. I was then able to select and download Apps immediately and start using them.
The Xoom was not so easy. For some reason, I was not able to install the latest version of Google Maps or Adobe Flash. I was able to download the apps, and the install process appeared to work without errors, but the new apps just were not installed. After some time trying I finally returned the Xoom back to the factory settings and started again, and this time both the installs worked. Of course, this wouldn't be a good solution if you had a ton of applications and/or data on the device.
Apple has their retail stores. You can get a huge amount of help from these stores from people whose only job is to support users. Both Ipad2 and Xoom users have web sites available that support their products but you have to spend the time digging for the sites and digging through the sites. You can also purchase an Applecare support package which gives you a couple of years extra support for the Ipad2.
I believe the Xoom hardware is slightly better than the Ipad2 (apart from the screen aspect ratio and the speakers), but the software is terribly lacking. The Xoom was released FAR too early, it's just not ready for primetime. But it has great potential.
If I had to pick just one, I'd pick the Ipad2 at the moment - less hassle, apps for everything, better browsing experience, better support options. The Xoom needs less buggy software and more applications; it has great potential but it's not there yet.
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