REVIEW: Motorola’s Xoom, The Best Tablet Of 2011

March 6, 2011 - Written By Mike Corbett

Motorola Xoom Intro

The first honeycomb Android tablet the Motorola Xoom . First tablet to feature good cameras. This is the first at many things, dual core is another. It is a great idea and it is executed well! What needs work, what doesn’t? Or does it need work at all? This and more as we move forward and talk about this new Android device.

Motorola Xoom Looks

It is wide, kind of like a galaxy tab, obviously the difference is about 3 inches! The screen is a very nice wide-screen that makes it easy to watch videos, get online, chat, video chat or whatever else and it is clear.

Motorola Xoom Hardware

Nvidia Tegra 2: 1 GHz dual-core processor lives inside the Motorola Xoom, and this shows, the speed is just unmatched, at least to any device I have tested thus far. There aren’t MANY apps that use the dual core, but some can take advantage. You also get 32 GB’s inside and an external slot for a microSD card after SW update. It can support a 32 gig card, there is also a 4g lte card spot, but that isn’t active at the time of review and won’t be during the course of me having the device. You also get 1 GB DDR2 RAM which beats most of the competition out there! I have noticed this being great as well, you really take notice of all the hardware in this Motorola Xoom.

Motorola Xoom Screen

A large screen is built into the Motorola Xoom and it supports 1280×800 px (aspect ratio 16:10). It ends up being a 10.1 inch (26 cm) diagonal, appr. 46 in2 (300 cm2) at 150 PPI. So that is not quite as good as some devices out there (most of them mobile), but it is better than PC I believe which is 75 PPI (pixels per inch). It is a multi touch capitative screen which I have noticed every day while playing Gun Bros HD or using maps (which I will talk about in depth on video).

Motorola Xoom Battery

The Motorola Xoom’s battery could be bigger, but then again I am a Power User to the largest extent of the word. However, it is a 6500 mAH battery and ends up handling even my needs quite well. I am running twitter for android (which looks good), tweetdeck (even better) and seesmic (looks to be best of all). I also have facebook (needs a tablet version) and surf the web a LOT because it is so awesome on this device. I get messages often and the battery drains but lately if I use my phone for messages and the tablet for browsing (which is the way I would handle it if this were my actual device), it would last most if not all day long.

Motorola Xoom Operating System

Motorola Xoom comes with Android 3.0, welcome to the future. Imagine Gingerbread, just think about it for a bit if you have it, then boost the power as well as the performance and look and you get Honeycomb, the boys over at Google are saying Gingerbread + Ice Cream = Honeycomb and this excites me. Honeycomb is tablet only but Ice Cream or Ice Cream Sandwich will be on phones and hopefully a lot like this.

Motorola Xoom Software

There are new apps for this device. Quite a few, (steve jobs quotes 100, and I believe that is the optimized versions). From what I can tell! There is every app you want, just not optimized and sometimes that isn’t an issue, like twitter for android is a bit stretched but is my everyday twitter app on tablets! It still looks really good and you can tell it was updated to make life easier for tablet users. All the apps are still there and it doesn’t shrink them down like the iPad does. It just makes them fit and it works really nicely on many if not all apps (especially the n64 emulator). The new maps, CNN, USA Today, google talk and browser are all optimized and advanced for tablets. They look great, Maps is my personal favorite as it does so much new, it takes all you loved about the previous map app and makes it built-in. Amazing.

Things I Noticed about the Motorola Xoom

I mentioned a bit ago that there are much more than 100 apps available when using the Motorola Xoom, they are all still there to my knowledge, I think I have found everything I normally use. I also got tinkering with some settings and found that the browser now has a “labs” button and the labs make it possible to add “quick controls” which lets you swipe your thumb on-screen and then select what controls you want. As well as most visited home page, which ends up looking like Chrome before the web store. Both are awesome features. I also noticed you can sync your Google Account in a better way, I mean that you are able to sync bookmarks (this is native!) from chrome and you can tell it sign you in to Google sites with your Google account auto”magically”. It is really awesome, no more typing in passwords and having it reset, it just works.

Sidenote: Pressing up and power will reboot.

Motorola Xoom Keyboard

The Motorola Xoom on-screen keyboard is like a big version of the gingerbread keyboard and I like it a lot. The keys are spaced correctly and it is easy to type, I am kind of annoyed that they took the number keys off the top row, you now have to select the number button if you want to type number and then space bar brings you back to the alphabet again. It is really nice in landscape and portrait, I have big hands and I can use it in landscape, and portrait is even easier, but it makes the Motorola Xoom top-heavy and weighs it down.

Motorola Xoom Web Browsing,  Camera and Video

The web is great, it is mostly optimized but expect some slow down, use apps where you can, I believe the 3G was meant to be a back up on the Motorola Xoom because it isn’t always up to par, but does work quite nice. It seems that 4G was supposed to make it sooner than it did and because it didn’t things suffer. People have noticed slowing on big sites like XDA and such, I however, have not noticed much. It is fast and easy for me to use, treat it like a more powerful phone, not a pc or mac, because it is NOT one of these, I can not stress that enough.

The Motorola Xoom camera is a 5 mp on back that shoots 720 p and a 2 mp on front that is really amazing for video chat, and this is not like facetime where the mac app costs money and the phone app only works on wifi, no this is G Talk and it works anytime, I have had a few really nice conversations with my wife from her pc to my xoom! It works and there was minimal pixelation and it came in clear, I am not talking that I was next to her either, I was using 3g and she was using wifi and we were roughly 10 miles away, it worked great.

Motorola Xoom Call Quality

The calls on Motorola Xoom 3g for Gtalk are awesome, there is no dialer of course, you can not just make a call from xoom and use it like a mobile device, it is either skype, gtalk, fring etc etc. They come in nicely. I really like how it all works out. Video tends to be clear as long as both parties are in good areas, which is expected. I am greatly liking this feature. Video calling is great, just waiting for my call from Cee Lo or Chad Ocho Cinco.. not today. I also recently found out that if both parties have a google account, you can make audio calls over gtalk.

Motorola Xoom Pros:

  • It is a good weight and size.
  • The 3g is ok but the 4g is what to watch for.
  • Good Camera 5 mp which records 720P
  • Front facing camera is great too, 2mp and it is solid
  • The browsing is awesome
  • Dual Speakers provide great audio.
  • Google Body comes with it, great for medical students
  • The UI is amazing, best i’ve seen

Motorola Xoom Cons:

  • The left out flash for a few weeks, I don’t have it yet as of the time of this review going up
  • No 4g yet which was a big selling point
  • It can glitch, but nothing major at all, do not think this is a big deal because it isn’t

Motorola Xoom Conclusions & Final Thoughts

This Motorola Xoom tablet is great, a dual core monster that has dual cameras that are very powerful. The dual speakers are loud and have great audio. I am in love with this device and honeycomb over all and can not wait to get my hands on my own personal device. The OS is amazing which is really what should be rated here, the first to have it and definitely not the last. The xoom as its own device is great too, nice outer body and has a lot of speed and power. I can not say enough good things about it. If I had a word of advice, it would be wait for the wifi model which is coming soon because then you do not have to upgrade to 4g or wait for much, it will be cheaper as well.Over all i would have to say the tablet of 2011 will be the Motorola Xoom.