Motorola XOOM review: The Big Bang
Phones far and wide wanted to be the iPhone killer and you know what – tablets are no different. The iPad needs to get used to living with a bounty on its head. And always be ready for the likes of the Motorola XOOM.
But the XOOM is no ordinary competitor. We’re talking the first Honeycomb tablet, a cornerstone for Android. It’s Motorola’s first tablet too. If they play their cards right, it could be a big money earner for a company in trouble, so we know Moto gave it their best.
The XOOM has a 10.1” screen of 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, Google’s latest Android OS (after the update rolls out in full), purpose made for tablet use, and a powerful Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core chipset with 1GB RAM. Barely a few lines into the spec sheet and we already like the sound of it.
The Motorola XOOM has more to offer than that. The Verizon US version will be getting a (delayed) LTE update, while dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) sounds sweet too.
But we won’t go on and on about the specs of the XOOM. Here go the highlights followed – as usual – by what we didn’t like.
- 10.1” capacitive touchscreen of 1280 x 800 pixel resolution; multi-touch
- 730g of weight
- Dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity; Wi-Fi hotspot
- Optional 3G connectivity (data only) – HSPA or 1xEV-DO (LTE via upgrade)
- GPS with A-GPS support on all models
- 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 AP20H Dual Core processor
- 1GB RAM
- Android 3.0 Honeycomb, upgradable to 3.1
- 16/32/64GB of onboard storage
- microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- Accelerometer, compass and three-axis gyro-sensor; barometer sensor
- 5MP auto-focus camera with dual-LED flash
- 720p video recording at 30fps
- 2MP secondary video call camera
- HD TV-Out via microHDMI port
- microUSB with host functionality
- Flash-enabled web browser
- 10 hours video playback, 3.3 days of music playback
- Seems quite laggy despite the 1GHz dual-core CPU
- Screen is very reflective, hard to use outdoors
- Quite a porker at 730 grams
- No kickstand – it cannot be stood up on a table without a dock
- Non-replaceable battery
- Can’t charge off USB
- LTE-enabling update not out yet for the Verizon version
- Still waiting for an update to enable microSD slot as well
- No document editor pre-installed, not even a viewer
We’re really curious to try out the tablet minded version of Android – the one we’ve tested before was clunky to use and clearly not intended for big screens. And we’ve had a positive experience with the Tegra 2 platform. It’ll be interesting to see how it performs inside a tablet.
And let’s just say that seeing a standard microHDMI port was a pleasant surprise – no need of an adapter to get the TV-Out working. The competition doesn’t even have a standard microUSB port so thumbs up for Motorola and keeping to standards.
The XOOM we’re about to get started with is the 3G-enabled variety with 32GB of inbuilt storage. And yes, it’s got Honeycomb inside – the version of Android meant for tablets. We can hardly wait. Jump to the next page and try to keep up.
Reviews > Motorola XOOM review: The Big Bang