Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: Motoral XOOM

The newest tablet to hit the market is the Motorola XOOM and it’s pretty impressive. But is it an iPad killer? Not right now and not in its current state. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great device.

The XOOM is definitely fast, possibly one of the fastest devices. It is the first tablet to be powered with Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS. With Honeycomb not being quite as polished as say iPad's operating system, it does potentially pose a problem for the not-so tech savvy user.

OverDrive Media Console for Android runs quickly as well. I barely had to touch the screen to turn a page or to open the setting controls. The app also reacted well when I switched from listening to an MP3 audiobook to reading an EPUB eBook. On Verizon’s 3G network and even over Wi-Fi, the browser is lickity-split.

You may be wondering why I stated above that I don’t believe the XOOM is an iPad killer. There are several reasons actually.

It’s pricy, and will put you back $799 without a two year contract from Verizon or if you pick one up at Best Buy. My new laptop was in that price range. If you decide on a contract for 3G connectivity, it’s $599 for the device and an additional $20 a month for the cheapest data plan. If you do the math, that’ll be another $480 (before taxes) over the course of the two year contract.

The next two strikes against the XOOM are with the screen. When viewing in direct sunlight with the XOOM it was bad. One way to minimize the glare is to increase the brightness level in the OverDrive app. For me, that made it too bright.

The XOOM was obviously designed to be used in landscape mode considering the Motorola and Verizon logos are length wise with the front facing camera in between. I’m not sure about you but I don’t feel that landscape mode is the best for reading an eBook. It is possible to spin the device and read in portrait, but it feels awkward held in that position. That may be because it’s also heavy, 1.5 pounds to be exact. I had to prop it up against my legs while curled up on the couch or set it on a table when reading for long periods of time.

Bottom line is the Motorola XOOM is the first of many Android tablets to be released with Honeycomb. If you need one right now, by all means it is pretty awesome on several levels.

NVIDIA® Tegra™ Dual Core Processor 1 GHz
32 GB of internal storage

Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

Physical Specs:
10.1” 1280×800 display
0.51 inches thick
1.5 LBS

4G LTE upgradeable
Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz

Visit Motorola’s site for all specifications and additional information.

Provided by Megan Greer Mar 10, 2011

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