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Motorola Xoom: The First Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) Tablet

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July 8, 2011 5:06:12 AM

Very impressive review, especially the display quality page. A lot of in-depth information.
July 8, 2011 5:34:08 AM

Excellent! Covered everything I was interested in when comparing the iPad 2 to the Xoom.
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July 8, 2011 5:54:45 AM

Excellent review. I also agree that the excuse of Android coming later in the game does not mean it cannot have the same growth in apps in the same alotted time frame that it was released.

I personally feel that the iPad is a better device for gaming just by going through the app store and being able to find games ranging from Monopoly to FF3 and Infinity Blade. I have a Nexus S right now and the list of attractive games is not as long.

I like having both devices however. I plan to stay the course with continuing to purchase Android Nexus phones and having Apple supply me with their iPad. I get to enjoy the best of both worlds and not narrow my enjoyment of tech like most Droid and Apple fanboys.
a b Ë Android
July 8, 2011 6:06:46 AM

Excellent review.
I'm impressed with the honeycomb but I think it has 2 major drawbacks
1)UI is somehow laggy and not 100% smooth
2)Lack of apps.
If these 2 issues get fixed,then we're going to see a better competition
July 8, 2011 6:06:59 AM

A little late, but very good quality review. Very nice to see custom benchmarks, it really shows you guys put in the effort here.

I'd probably go for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but that's just me.
Anonymous
July 8, 2011 8:40:32 AM

Seems HD video playback was not tested. Nice to have a HDMI option, but not really useful if most HD movies cannot play smoothly as is the case with the XOOM.

Also, and probably related to the slow video, Tegra 2's CPU has no NEON extensions, limiting applications that use signal processing.

Yes, I do own a XOOM (also iPad 2 by the way)
July 8, 2011 8:42:19 AM

Quote:
Seems HD video playback was not tested. Nice to have a HDMI option, but not really useful if most HD movies cannot play smoothly as is the case with the XOOM.

Also, and probably related to the slow video, Tegra 2's CPU has no NEON extensions, limiting applications that use signal processing.

Yes, I do own a XOOM (also iPad 2 by the way)



Check out page 13. We tested H.264 battery life using a ripped 1280x720 Blu-ray movie.

On page 12, we also show HD playblack when you're mirroring the display.

@Everyone else. Thanks for the comments guys. If there's anything else you guy want to see in future reviews please let us know.

Cheers,
Andrew Ku
TomsHardware.com
July 8, 2011 11:40:35 AM

Took quite a while to get this review done. Other tablets are already available that sport Honeycomb. Not to mention they are better than both contenders described in this article. I have a Transformer and no matter what I throw at it, it does it well. A review of that would be nice (maybe in another year or so...).
Good effort, but as others have said, late to the table.
July 8, 2011 11:46:23 AM

What the reviewer perceives as weaknesses, others perceive as strength. Example: the apps installation process. Not having to deal with iTunes is a bonus in itself, and having the option to make your own backups using whatever application you prefer is also a plus. The reviewer got a bit carried away by his personal bias towards iTunes/iOS environment. There are people that prefer to be led by hand while operating their tablet and there are others that prefer to pick and choose their options without limitations. It's a matter of personal preference. But this should not transpire into an objective review. Other than that, not too bad.
Anonymous
July 8, 2011 12:08:30 PM

Wow - I couldn't disagree more with some of your views. Obviously you love you some Apple... I'm not an Apple hater - I have a Macbook Pro, I have an iPad, and I have a Xoom. I tell everyone the Xoom is 5X the tables the iPad is (Granted it's an iPad, not an iPad2 - but my beef with iPads are how much Apple controls what you can or can't do with it - that has not changed in the new generation of iPads). The iPad I can use as a toy, or as a cool media gadget - I actually basically gave it to my 6 year old son now bc that's all I can do with it. The Xoom I can use as so much more - it is was more useful on so many levels. Yes rendering takes a bit longer when you flip th screen, yes there are a few small quirks in it's behavior occasionally, but from an overall usefulness point of view I like it TONS betters than the iPad. Widgets - MultiTasking - OpenSource app development with an App store NOT controlled by Apple. Android IS the future for tablets. Apple needs to take note - they are just lucky at this point bc of their following, but Android will leave them in the dust. MS isn't even in the game and won't be even when Windows 8 hits. And you price comparison is off too IMO. $599 (now $499) for 32MB on the Xoom was in line (and is now better) than Apple's price point. Take it a step further and look the the Asus Eee Pad Transformer (very similar to Xoom with some things done even better) at $399. Android is taking hold, and will gain on Apple quickly, and eventually blow them away.
July 8, 2011 12:15:44 PM

house70Took quite a while to get this review done. Other tablets are already available that sport Honeycomb. Not to mention they are better than both contenders described in this article. I have a Transformer and no matter what I throw at it, it does it well. A review of that would be nice (maybe in another year or so...).Good effort, but as others have said, late to the table.


I'll take that shot. Understand that we just started in with tablets. So we're playing catch up, but we're not purposely reviewing tablets late.

That said, I don't think it's necessary to be snarky about it.

house70 said:
What the reviewer perceives as weaknesses, others perceive as strength. Example: the apps installation process. Not having to deal with iTunes is a bonus in itself, and having the option to make your own backups using whatever application you prefer is also a plus. The reviewer got a bit carried away by his personal bias towards iTunes/iOS environment. There are people that prefer to be led by hand while operating their tablet and there are others that prefer to pick and choose their options without limitations. It's a matter of personal preference. But this should not transpire into an objective review. Other than that, not too bad.


I'll agree that we can disagree. But I don't think that makes my concerns any less valid. And it's true that many people don't care for that hand holding experience, but again, that is why I called the iPad a Wii and the Xoom a PS3.

I'm speaking from experience as an Android AND iOS developer. The hoops that you have to jump through for the Apple App store are infuriating. But if you're a tablet user, you don't care that said developer had to wrack his brain dealing with Apple. You just want to know apps are available. No tablet platform can truly succeed without third-party application support. This is a reality that everyone has to face. It's also a reason that Apple still struggles in the notebook and desktop market with OS X. There are more programs for Windows that you can't run on Mac. Until this changes, the playing field is going to be uneven.

July 8, 2011 12:21:57 PM

WebologyWORXWow - I couldn't disagree more with some of your views. Obviously you love you some Apple... I'm not an Apple hater - I have a Macbook Pro, I have an iPad, and I have a Xoom. I tell everyone the Xoom is 5X the tables the iPad is (Granted it's an iPad, not an iPad2 - but my beef with iPads are how much Apple controls what you can or can't do with it - that has not changed in the new generation of iPads). The iPad I can use as a toy, or as a cool media gadget - I actually basically gave it to my 6 year old son now bc that's all I can do with it. The Xoom I can use as so much more - it is was more useful on so many levels. Yes rendering takes a bit longer when you flip th screen, yes there are a few small quirks in it's behavior occasionally, but from an overall usefulness point of view I like it TONS betters than the iPad. Widgets - MultiTasking - OpenSource app development with an App store NOT controlled by Apple. Android IS the future for tablets. Apple needs to take note - they are just lucky at this point bc of their following, but Android will leave them in the dust. MS isn't even in the game and won't be even when Windows 8 hits. And you price comparison is off too IMO. $599 (now $499) for 32MB on the Xoom was in line (and is now better) than Apple's price point. Take it a step further and look the the Asus Eee Pad Transformer (very similar to Xoom with some things done even better) at $399. Android is taking hold, and will gain on Apple quickly, and eventually blow them away.


Everyone who criticizes Apple for some reason feels the need to say they own an Apple product, as if that somehow means something. It doesn't really matter what you own. Anyone can have a valid opinion.

I understand your view, I just disagree with it. The idea that open source dominates doesn't jive with what every computer user experiences. Look at Linux. If open source was simply the issue, Ubuntu should kill Windows and OS X within the next few years. That's simply not the case.

I'm an Android and iOS developer. In fact I have to program in both because some of the benchmarks we use are custom coded. As a reader, though, most people could care less how much effort I put into a program. They just want to look at the results. No tablet platform can truly succeed without third-party application support. This is a reality that everyone has to face. It's also a reason that Apple still struggles in the notebook and desktop market with OS X. There are more programs for Windows that you can't run on Mac. Until this changes, the playing field is going to be uneven.


And on that note, if the Xoom was all that and a bag of chips, Motorola wouldn't admit it's struggling with sales and drop the price.
July 8, 2011 1:36:27 PM

For the same amount of money, I can get a Brazos-based notebook with superior performance, more applications, a real keyboard, expandability, full interoperability with my PC, and the only thing I'll give up is some battery life (but apparently not all that much); oh, and an extra camera.

I just don't see a tablet in my future.
July 8, 2011 1:49:58 PM

jtt283For the same amount of money, I can get a Brazos-based notebook with superior performance, more applications, a real keyboard, expandability, full interoperability with my PC, and the only thing I'll give up is some battery life (but apparently not all that much); oh, and an extra camera. I just don't see a tablet in my future.

You'll also have to give up not having a keyboard and display stand.
July 8, 2011 2:45:07 PM

jtt283For the same amount of money, I can get a Brazos-based notebook with superior performance, more applications, a real keyboard, expandability, full interoperability with my PC, and the only thing I'll give up is some battery life (but apparently not all that much); oh, and an extra camera. I just don't see a tablet in my future.


I m really happy for you and for sharing this news which has nothing to do with the article.... Keep up with the great trolling job! :) 
July 8, 2011 2:53:21 PM

Galaxy Tab 10.1 was the FIRST tablet with Honeycomb 3.1 by almost 1 month. Change your headline. Google I/O doesn't count since it was a limited test edition for developers. Consumer released version on June 8. Check it.
July 8, 2011 2:57:38 PM

drchemistGalaxy Tab 10.1 was the FIRST tablet with Honeycomb 3.1 by almost 1 month. Change your headline. Google I/O doesn't count since it was a limited test edition for developers. Consumer released version on June 8. Check it.


Not true at all.
http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/10/google-announces-and...
5/10 3.1 was available to Verizon Xoom owners. Xoom was first 3.0 and first 3.1
July 8, 2011 3:16:33 PM

Hello guys. A few months ago I really thought tablets were just a gimmick and that, iOS or Android, I would never get one, then I noticed that more and more frequently I rather use my Motoroi (the mexican version of the original Droid) than my laptop (a Dell Studio XPS 13) for simple tasks like chat, light browsing, checking mail and hell even for gaming I found myself using more and more my phone, but I really get tired soon because of the small display... so it soon became a no brainer that I wanted a tablet.

I could really not say if it´s because I'm waaaaaaaaay more used to use android devices than iOS ones, but seriously, iPad being more intuitive than the Xoom my ass... I love the Android buttons in my phone and I love the software buttons in my Xoom. Of course iPad is going to be more intuitive if you are an iPhone user, is the same frikkin OS. I'm a PC user and as such I can tell you I feel at home with android from day one, iOS and OS X, even when pretty at first sight, are just not enough functional for me and I really find no value in that famous "apple experience" and since mankind is yet to design a experience-o-metter it is my humble opinion that in an OBJECTIVE review it should not be regarded over and over again, maybe in an editorial, but not in a review.

About people saying they rather get a netbook or even a notebook instead a tablet (I was one of those not long ago) The only thing I can say is that if some one manage to make a 1.5 pound netbook with the 8-9 hours of constant use I can get from my Xoom I will agree with you then, but not today, tablets do have advantages over traditional systems.
July 8, 2011 3:22:17 PM

Good article.

I'm an android phone owner and an ipad owner, and am slowly being converted to iOS for mobile simply because of the vast amount of applications I use that aren't even similarly available on the Android OS. This is painful for me because I'm a Windows programmer and I despise Apple, assemble my own PCs, etc. I'm pretty typical there I guess. But in the end, I just want something that does what I want (music and language apps, mostly), and when it comes to tablet software, only the iPad delivers for me.

I wonder if this is similar to the way people in music and education felt in the early days of Mac vs PC, when Apple had the best experience and best apps for certain industries? These days I could never go Mac because it does a very tiny fraction of what I do on the PC. Not the case for the more limited tablet world.
July 8, 2011 3:25:32 PM

winterbladeHello guys. A few months ago I really thought tablets were just a gimmick and that, iOS or Android, I would never get one, then I noticed that more and more frequently I rather use my Motoroi (the mexican version of the original Droid) than my laptop (a Dell Studio XPS 13) for simple tasks like chat, light browsing, checking mail and hell even for gaming I found myself using more and more my phone, but I really get tired soon because of the small display... so it soon became a no brainer that I wanted a tablet.I could really not say if it´s because I'm waaaaaaaaay more used to use android devices than iOS ones, but seriously, iPad being more intuitive than the Xoom my ass... I love the Android buttons in my phone and I love the software buttons in my Xoom. Of course iPad is going to be more intuitive if you are an iPhone user, is the same frikkin OS. I'm a PC user and as such I can tell you I feel at home with android from day one, iOS and OS X, even when pretty at first sight, are just not enough functional for me and I really find no value in that famous "apple experience" and since mankind is yet to design a experience-o-metter it is my humble opinion that in an OBJECTIVE review it should not be regarded over and over again, maybe in an editorial, but not in a review.About people saying they rather get a netbook or even a notebook instead a tablet (I was one of those not long ago) The only thing I can say is that if some one manage to make a 1.5 pound netbook with the 8-9 hours of constant use I can get from my Xoom I will agree with you then, but not today, tablets do have advantages over traditional systems.


I honestly can't speak from iPhone experience. Other TH coworkers have iPhones, but I don't. I actually have an Android phone, one that I purchased prior to any tablet use.

Some of what I'm speaking from comes from my experience as an Android and iOS developer. Most of my comments on usability are simply issues with UI. As I stated in the review, the iPad is more analogous to the Wii, whereas Xoom feels more like a PS3. It's really a different experience.

irtehyar said:
Good article.

I'm an android phone owner and an ipad owner, and am slowly being converted to iOS for mobile simply because of the vast amount of applications I use that aren't even similarly available on the Android OS. This is painful for me because I'm a Windows programmer and I despise Apple, assemble my own PCs, etc. I'm pretty typical there I guess. But in the end, I just want something that does what I want (music and language apps, mostly), and when it comes to tablet software, only the iPad delivers for me.

I wonder if this is similar to the way people in music and education felt in the early days of Mac vs PC, when Apple had the best experience and best apps for certain industries? These days I could never go Mac because it does a very tiny fraction of what I do on the PC. Not the case for the more limited tablet world.



Thanks for the kudos. As a programmer, you probably understand the problem of third-party app support in a way most people don't.

On the second sentiment, I'm really not sure how this is going to play out. There are too many variables. So much of this has to do wtih product vision. Apple didn't help itself when it booted out Jobs back in the early days. The Android CTO Steve Horowitz left for Coupons a while back, but there are many talented people at the helm at Google. We probably need another year or two before the fog on the battlefield clears.
July 8, 2011 3:36:50 PM

Quote:
I honestly can't speak from iPhone experience. Other TH coworkers have iPhones, but I don't. I actually have an Android phone, one that I purchased prior to any tablet use.


If you indeed have an Android phone why then are you that amazed with the back button functionality in the Xoom when in the browser?? Just like in my phone is quite simple, as long as I have a history of visited web pages the back button (the OS one) will have the same function that the back button of the browser, when I reach the first page, and only then, the back button indeed take me to the las app I opened before the browser. It have always been like that in Android doesn't it??

Quote:
Some of what I'm speaking from comes from my experience as an Android and iOS developer. Most of my comments on usability are simply issues with UI. As I stated in the review, the iPad is more analogous to the Wii, whereas Xoom feels more like a PS3. It's really a different experience.


And speaking of usability, I really think you should have mentioned that the browser in Honeycomb is so much better than the one in iOS, just as Chrome is so much better than Safari (as seen in Tom's Hardware Web Browser Grand Prix :p )
July 8, 2011 3:43:25 PM

winterblade said:


If you indeed have an Android phone why then are you that amazed with the back button functionality in the Xoom when in the browser?? Just like in my phone is quite simple, as long as I have a history of visited web pages the back button (the OS one) will have the same function that the back button of the browser, when I reach the first page, and only then, the back button indeed take me to the las app I opened before the browser. It have always been like that in Android doesn't it??


And speaking of usability, I really think you should have mentioned that the browser in Honeycomb is so much better than the one in iOS, just as Chrome is so much better than Safari (as seen in Tom's Hardware Web Browser Grand Prix :p )



I don't use the browser often enough in Android to recall. Was it like that in Gingerbread? I need to double check.

As for the browser issue, you didn't see our browser benchmark (second to last page)? Adam tests exclusively in Linux and Windows. That's fundamentally different than using Safari in iOS and Chrome in Honeycomb.

It's like benchmarking Opera in Windows and talking about FireFox in Linux. Even if you compare FireFox in Windows against Linux on the same system, you're going to get different results. There are small differences in the code base per OS that affect performance. Cross-platform =! scientific lab experiment where you remove all the variables. The only thing that matters from a user perspective is native performance (which is what we tested.)

July 8, 2011 4:27:47 PM

Quote:
As for the browser issue, you didn't see our browser benchmark (second to last page)? Adam tests exclusively in Linux and Windows. That's fundamentally different than using Safari in iOS and Chrome in Honeycomb.

It's like benchmarking Opera in Windows and talking about FireFox in Linux. Even if you compare FireFox in Windows against Linux on the same system, you're going to get different results. There are small differences in the code base per OS that affect performance. Cross-platform =! scientific lab experiment where you remove all the variables. The only thing that matters from a user perspective is native performance (which is what we tested.)


You are the one comparing "experiences" across platforms, I was just saying to do it more thoroughly. Maybe it is because I haven't used enough the iPad but I really found Honeycomb browser much more comfortable. Perhaps it's just that I'm not sold to Apple paradigm, but I rather have a tablet that feels like a simplified desktops environment that one that feels like a smartphone on steroids.

I really see your point about not being able to OBJECTIVELY compare browser performance, but I also think that is easy to see that Honeycomb browser is much more akin to a PC full browser and that Safari in iOS it's more related to a smartphone one, and I think many users will value that "experience" just as other many user will value the "apple experience".
July 8, 2011 4:30:57 PM

winterbladeYou are the one comparing "experiences" across platforms, I was just saying to do it more thoroughly. Maybe it is because I haven't used enough the iPad but I really found Honeycomb browser much more comfortable. Perhaps it's just that I'm not sold to Apple paradigm, but I rather have a tablet that feels like a simplified desktops environment that one that feels like a smartphone on steroids. I really see your point about not being able to OBJECTIVELY compare browser performance, but I also think that is easy to see that Honeycomb browser is much more akin to a PC full browser and that Safari in iOS it's more related to a smartphone one, and I think many users will value that "experience" just as other many user will value the "apple experience".


Our benchmark (see page 13, real-world benchmarks) covers the discrete performance aspect, but I separated usability into the software side of the discussion.

We'll make improvements to our benchmarks as time goes on, as there are other Honeycomb devices to test. This is the beginning of our tablet testing not the end.
July 8, 2011 7:45:03 PM

The memory bandwidth seems to seriously interfere with the performance of the tablet. It's like building a Corvette with a gas tank capacity of 1 cup. I can't believe Nvidia, with all their experience in video cards, would put out this ship with only a single channel memory controller, and that even limited to 667MHz. Do other Tegra 2 based tablets have such limited 3D performance as this one?
July 8, 2011 8:04:38 PM

So if you're opposed to apple based on principles, then wait for kal-el? Is that about right for those who want to jump in swimming with the smartphone/tablet arena with zero experience using them?
July 8, 2011 8:08:24 PM

ackuNot true at all.http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/10 [...] ndroid-3-15/10 3.1 was available to Verizon Xoom owners. Xoom was first 3.0 and first 3.1


You are correct with Verizon. I was noting the wifi ones since they are available to all regardless of a phone plan.
July 8, 2011 8:45:10 PM

clonazepam said:
So if you're opposed to apple based on principles, then wait for kal-el? Is that about right for those who want to jump in swimming with the smartphone/tablet arena with zero experience using them?


I'm brand agnostic, so I would never purposely avoid a brand on principle. That said, Kal-El is poised to be impressive. But who's to say that iPad 3 can't use Tegra 3? Then what would you do? :p 

dgingeri said:
The memory bandwidth seems to seriously interfere with the performance of the tablet. It's like building a Corvette with a gas tank capacity of 1 cup. I can't believe Nvidia, with all their experience in video cards, would put out this ship with only a single channel memory controller, and that even limited to 667MHz. Do other Tegra 2 based tablets have such limited 3D performance as this one?


Other Tegra 2 Tablets will be similar.... It's not going to be like the Transformer offers 2x the performance. That's not how clock speeds work as you know. I would also point out that the Xoom is slightly downclocked to 600MHz.

I would actually argue the bigger hurdle is third-party app support. All the hardware in the world won't do any good if there are no programs to run. Amiga anyone? :) 
July 8, 2011 10:55:46 PM

Quote:
Other Tegra 2 Tablets will be similar.... It's not going to be like the Transformer offers 2x the performance. That's not how clock speeds work as you know. I would also point out that the Xoom is slightly downclocked to 600MHz.


Well, I was kinda hoping maybe Motorola had just used one channel to save power, and the Galaxy Tab would do better because it used two memory channels. If the chip itself was designed with only one memory channel, then that's Nvidia's big mistake. Ah well, that's life. I'll still get my Galaxy Tab 10.1 next week regardless of this issue. It just means I probably won't be running any 3D apps on it.
July 8, 2011 11:06:35 PM

dgingeri said:
Quote:
Other Tegra 2 Tablets will be similar.... It's not going to be like the Transformer offers 2x the performance. That's not how clock speeds work as you know. I would also point out that the Xoom is slightly downclocked to 600MHz.


Well, I was kinda hoping maybe Motorola had just used one channel to save power, and the Galaxy Tab would do better because it used two memory channels. If the chip itself was designed with only one memory channel, then that's Nvidia's big mistake. Ah well, that's life. I'll still get my Galaxy Tab 10.1 next week regardless of this issue. It just means I probably won't be running any 3D apps on it.


If you want to game I seriously recommend RipTide and GOF2. Hands down two of the best games I've seen on tablets in general. Still missing AA, but that may need wait for next gen hardware.
July 8, 2011 11:11:07 PM

A big disappointment!
July 8, 2011 11:30:32 PM

kikireeki said:
A big disappointment!

I wouldn't say that. Considering Android tablets are the combined work of three companies (tablet manufacturer, Google, and Nvidia), it's pretty good given they're cooperatively trying to play catch up with Apple. There's nothing that prevents them from being successful. It's really just an issue of getting third-party apps out there, offering an attractive product, and selling at a good price.

If the companies are just out to hop on the tablet hype to make money, that sort of vision won't carry through to success. Apple truly believes in the evolution of the tablet.

Privately, several Android tablet PMs have commented that their company doesn't know what it will take to compete with iPad. Some are just making tablets to take advantage of the hype. There are others who really believe tablets are the next big thing. If the passion for tablets is there, it's going to carry though into the product.
Anonymous
July 9, 2011 1:24:23 AM

the asus eee pad transformer had android 3.1 before the xoom did.
July 9, 2011 3:14:59 AM

spackjarrowthe asus eee pad transformer had android 3.1 before the xoom did.

I'm not sure where you're getting your information. But Asus admits it got 3.1 late. That's straight from their PR team. Look up the engadget link I posted and wiki entries. Xoom got 3.0 AND 3.1 first.
Anonymous
July 9, 2011 4:03:35 AM

I compared the iPad2 to the Xoom and found the Xoom to be more responsive, more feature-rich and more fun to play with. The gadgets alone were enough to make me want to buy one. The iPad layout is tired and old while the Android OS is ever evolving and improving. I also like how the Android has a huge community of people developing, testing, playing and tweaking. I know that if I want it, it's out there. At this point of the game, anyone would be very foolish to choose an iOS device. I'm just sayin.

http://bit.ly/dI3hcF
July 9, 2011 5:30:21 AM

jtt283For the same amount of money, I can get a Brazos-based notebook with superior performance, more applications, a real keyboard, expandability, full interoperability with my PC, and the only thing I'll give up is some battery life (but apparently not all that much); oh, and an extra camera. I just don't see a tablet in my future.


UH... a tablet is not a notebook. With that in mind, I can put an ATI 6980 into my desktop computer... Nyaaaaaaaaaa, lets see you do that with your little notebook.
Let see the $400~700 notebooks have a power-up time of 1 second... or carrying it around for 8 hours a day at conventions! 1.5lb device vs. my 6lb Thinkpad? Besides having to set it down on a table, etc... and 2hrs vs. 8hrs of usage.

Do you own an MP3 player? What for? Your desktop computer can hold far more songs.

Oh hey... my iPad1 was used yesterday for a potential client. I got the contract, which means it'll pay for my future iPad3. I will make an extra $28,000 for a year.

My Handy ThinkPad was used a bit as well, but it didn't do as much. And looking at the video on this article showing the response during rotations, UGH! And its just flips the screen. Its nice to watch the iPad actually rotate the image into position... its slick.

Tablets are tools or toys, depending on your needs.
July 9, 2011 5:56:41 AM

Steven1984I compared the iPad2 to the Xoom and found the Xoom to be more responsive, more feature-rich and more fun to play with. The gadgets alone were enough to make me want to buy one. The iPad layout is tired and old while the Android OS is ever evolving and improving. At this point of the game, anyone would be very foolish to choose an iOS device. I'm just sayin.


Yep... you're just saying. But no, in some areas, the XOOM is faster, in others - it is not. Its a great looking device. But in all honesty, I'd choose an iPad1 over a Xoom at this point, oh yeah - *I already DID*.

Didn't you see the video of the screen rotating taking so long? On my ancient single-core iPad, its far faster and smoother and professional looking.

Android has more flexibility to involve (good point), but as of now with product cycles that are less than a year, its not a big deal. When Android has surpassed iOS is functionality and support - then I'll take a serious look at an Android tablet. But wait, iOS5 is coming out in a few months... and theres plenty of time to add even more features before its release. The other thing that'll keep most android tablets off my list is the 16x9 aspect ratio, it not what I want. If I want to watch a lot of MOVIES, I'd use my TV... theres portable LCD-DVD players that costs $120~200.

I'll admit I have the TWC & HBO video streaming tool on my iPad.... :)  I've only used them 1-2 times.

But theres is also MS... but I think Windows8 with Tablet interface is be way too bloated for a tablet device. The hardware will cost more since it needs more CPU power, more memory, more storage... this adds price. Seriously, I'm not seeing the need of a desktop OS in a portable 9"~10" media player.

I personally hate iTunes and its only running to talk to my iPad. So Android's way to xfer files is something I would prefer... but the other problems with Android don't make it worth it. For the people who can barely handle a computer, its iTunes that makes their world Sync and hold together.

iPad *WILL* always dominate until Android gains the features that Apple has today. And that is *WHY* the other companies don't "Get it".

iPad works because:
Hardware : Looks good, feels good... but its rumored that the HOME button will be removed in the next version, ugh.

Price : most other tablets costs the same price.
iTunes : Manages all their media... on their desktop / notebook / phone / tablet
Apps : Quality and Quantity
Accessories : Check out the number of 3rd party crap you can get for iProducts.

The other FUNNY thing about HP, RIM, Android, etc tablet products is their problem is releasing half-baked products. Sure Apple's iPad didn't have full features when it launched... but it only took months. And to enter a market with a HALF-BAKED product that sells at the same price as an established product is why they look silly and sales are ho-hum. Then those customers remember the BAD reviews and problems for that product... forever.

By all means, I want Google to compete with Apple. And I'm not impressed with Apple using court-room to battle it out.
July 9, 2011 8:27:56 AM

Only NOW a Xoom review? Anyway, would like to see the better Honeycombs versus the iPad, as the Xoom is largely regarded as a mediocre Android incarnation, so the comparison is of little use to me. Appreciate it if you could do a comparison with a more competent Honeycomb tablet.

Thanks
July 10, 2011 10:18:37 AM

Good and detailed article though I would agree with the notion that picking the Xoom to represent the best of what android tablets and honeycomb have to offer, probably won't leave the readers with an accurate impression. The Xoom really is very mediocre when compared to the Iconia and Asus Transfomer, specially seeing as it's (or was) priced higher than either and performed worse according to reviewers that tested all three. Also, there are more Asus Transformers out there than any other Android tablet, so it might have been better at representing what android tablets have to offer.

It would be awesome if you guys could do a review on the Asus Transformer now that you have the testing methodology figured out.
July 10, 2011 4:34:29 PM

Anyone got their hands on one of these ?
July 10, 2011 4:39:15 PM

The killer application...
First of all, this is not a spoof... think about it.
Man on business trip in hotel room and needs to shave before going to a meeting.
Wife wants to know he's looking his best.
Man wants to succeed... impress at meeting.
Here's the application idea: shaving mirror.
Firstly, facial and feature recognition is run at home with a good shave using the built-in camera to register features etc. so a good shave is identifiable.
Man shaves and wants to check he's got all the stray hairs - even behind his jaw-bone, under his chin - the usual.
Takes tablet out and starts shaving mirror which works in any orientation...
Scans face while looking in left/right reversed camera feed. Tablet processes shave and highlights unshaven areas and stray hairs in green cross-hairs / highlights & bullseyes.
Man removes stray hairs, device SMSes wife that shave concurs with QC - wife smses "good luck" back with a big kiss.
Fun? definitely useful...
July 10, 2011 6:13:35 PM

I'm more impressed by what the Chinese are building. They're now building some decent budget/performance tablets like the Venus tablet or for budget buyers the Dropad A8/Herotab C8.
July 10, 2011 11:32:10 PM

Shaving Mirror APP.... you know, that is a GOOD idea! I have my head, and there have been times when I *missed a spot* behind the ears or in the back.

Wouldn't be as good for the current iPad2 with its sub-megapixel cameras, but with modern Android and iPad3, it could be very useful.

But wait... I don't think an App is actually needed for that (on an iPad) since its just taking a picture :) 
July 11, 2011 1:01:17 PM

I have an Acer A500 which uses the same hardware and Android OS as the Xoom.

You can't inherently get on a PEAP network at the office with Honeycomb. It won't run Netflix, Skype, HBO2GO, or Xfinity. Earlier versions of Android (ie froyo) in combination with certain mobile devices will run Netflix, but not Honeycomb. Earlier versions of Android also allowed you to get on the Enterprise network out of the box. What gives?

I can't stand Apple, but the iPad can do all of those things. Google seems to be losing the support of the big players from a software standpoint.
Anonymous
July 11, 2011 3:33:52 PM

Asus Transformer beats Xoom hands down....if you are looking for an Android tablet..you need to buy either Asus TF or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Xoom is simply out of question..crappy screen, heavy, expensive, poor support...shame on Motorola
July 12, 2011 3:07:51 PM

ubercakeI have an Acer A500 which uses the same hardware and Android OS as the Xoom.You can't inherently get on a PEAP network at the office with Honeycomb. It won't run Netflix, Skype, HBO2GO, or Xfinity. Earlier versions of Android (ie froyo) in combination with certain mobile devices will run Netflix, but not Honeycomb. Earlier versions of Android also allowed you to get on the Enterprise network out of the box. What gives?I can't stand Apple, but the iPad can do all of those things. Google seems to be losing the support of the big players from a software standpoint.

That's funny... I have Skype on my Acer Iconia A500. I don't use it too often, but I have it.
Anonymous
July 14, 2011 6:11:16 AM

Yes! Android 3.2 is available for Xoom. With working SD slot, much better video performance, smooth operation.
July 19, 2011 2:35:58 AM

I was right about the memory bandwidth. My new Galaxy Tab 10.1 is about half as fast as my Captivate in 3D benchmarks, but the screen is twice as big, so the Tegra 2 is no better than the Hummingbird for 3D. Obviously, since it has two cores, it's better in other ways, but the video chip in the Tegra 2 is crippled due to the memory bandwidth.
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