The Motorola Xoom is a very solid piece of tech gear that we were exited to get our hands on. Thanks again to our friends at Verizon Wireless for sending us the Motorola Xoom, and Motorola Droid 3. That takes care of the necessary niceties let’s get down to business. DViceNews provide unbiased quality reviews of the latest tech gadgets in terms that everyone can understand. If you ever have a question or feedback on any of our product reviews, please post a comment below.
The Xoom is a 10.1 inch touchscreen tablet with front and back cameras, stereo speakers, and 1280×800 (WXGA) resolution. It’s all black housing has excellent grip in your hands and the weight feels solid, but not too heavy. I’ve tested it out this past week and used it in place of my iPad which I’ve been using for the past year. Apart from specific Apple apps that I’ve become accustomed to using on a regular basis, the Xoom enabled me to be just as productive. The lack of uniformity between Android device makers means that not every app works on every device. I downloaded and installed 23 apps from Marketplace and not one of them crashed during this test period.
The power/lock button is on the back next to one of the stereo speakers, 2 led flash, and 5MP HD camera. Holding down the power button, the Xoom boots fairly quickly. Holding the Xoom it’s clearly designed so that your left index finger is used to power on and off. The Speaker grills were prone to catching lint from my carpet, but was easily removed with a piece of sticky tape. The sound and volume from the speakers was surprisingly louder then my iPad and helped with immersion into games and movies. Keeping the volume just below maximum produced the best resultstoo loud and tones started to have noticeable distortion. The 5MP HD Camera recorded both video and still photos, the flash worked great in low light settings, but photos had a slight blue-ish tinge to them. There are apps to edit photos , but I’d much prefer getting as close to true to life color from the start. Video was comparable to any smartphone out there today but at 9.8inches wide, 6.6 inches tall, and 1.6lbs, it wasn’t the most convenient size for a video camera. The large size did make for steadier videos then a smart phone or point and shoot compact camera.
Volume up and down buttons nestled in the upper left hand side are easy to find and are recessed slightly into the Xoom to prevent accidental button pushes.
On the bottom is the micro HDMI port for Video out, Micro USB 2.0, and wall charger. The wall charger reminded me of old school Nokia phones in England with an ultra thin pin that makes you very nervous about breaking it off. As a personal preference, I would have loved to see USB charging as well.
3.5mm headphone jack in the top center bezel, and Sim Card Tray offset to the right holding a plastic fake sim that says it’s for Verizon LTE 4G Sim card.
To put the form factor into perspective I’ve placed the Motorola Xoom next to an iPad. Both are on full brightness for comparison. In marketplace, the Xoom would not rotate vertically.
What’s inside that beautiful black housing? The Motorla Xoom houses a NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processer, 1Gb of DDR@ Ram, and 32GB of internal storage. WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, and an LTE SIM slot for 4G networks (when available). Plenty of horsepower to run videos, apps, and the most memory intensive games available. There is a built in digital compass, gyroscope, GPS, light sensor, accelerometer, and barometer. Plenty of add-ons for the most creative developer to incorporate into revolutionary apps. Navigation was incredibly fast and smooth (a testament to the Tegra 2 processor and RAM). I used the Xoom for 2 days checking emails, watching YouTube videos, playing Angry Birds and other games, and the battery still wasn’t drained. Honeycomb was an amazing experience upgrade from my old HTC Hero running Froyo. Gaming again loads of fun and the touchscreen responded to swipes, gestures and taps very quickly. The front facing 2-megapixel camera was great for Google Talk and produced a video chat experience equal to my iPad2.
Live wallpapers and customization of the 5 home screens with widgets sets this apart from Apple’s standardized menu screens.
Angry Birds, enough said.
Google Mail on the Xoom was incredibly easy to navigate and the on screen keyboard was very easy to use.
The internal GPS was very accurate and locked my position in a few seconds turning a normal walk around the block into and exciting new diversion with Google latitude
Glare from the screen was equal to that of a mirror making it completely useless in direct sunlight. You’ve got to have shade to use this toy.
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