Motorola's Xoom Family Edition Review: Not Just For The Kids

Image Quality Examined: Front- And Rear-Facing Cameras

Camera Quality: Rear-Facing

Good LightingGood LightingLow LightLow LightLow Light w/FlashLow Light w/Flash

The Xoom Family Edition's rear-facing camera uses a lower-quality lens than some of the other tablets we've reviewed. White balance isn't that good, though it's admittedly hard to discern a difference unless you compare another tablet's output. It does a decent job compensating for low-light conditions, but again, not as well as the competition. Motorola's real weakness is evident when we use the Xoom's flash, resulting in horrible flare.

Flash offFlash offFlash onFlash onFlash onFlash on

In pictures taken farther away, this isn't as pronounced of a problem.

Max ZoomMax Zoom

Outdoors on a sunny day, this camera performs as well as any budget-oriented point-and-shoot, though it does have a hard time focusing on small objects when we zoom in.

Max ZoomMax Zoom

Camera Quality: Front-Facing

This is an entry-level tablet, which is why the Xoom Family Edition is equipped with a low resolution (640 x 480) 1.3 MP front-facing camera. In dim lighting, image quality is extremely poor. It's sufficient for VoIP app like Skype, but make sure you're in a well-lit room.

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  • tanjo
    Nice value. Too bad there's no card reader... Do I hear iPad killer?
    1
  • tranfire
    @tanjo it has micro SD
    2
  • tanjo
    @transfire: Ooops sorry misssed that :p
    No Bluetooth? :(
    0
  • onanonanon
    tranfire@tanjo it has micro SD

    Yeah, but for me, one of the best uses of a tablet would be to view photos from a digital camera and yet very few models support an SD or SDHC card.
    1
  • cknobman
    Sorry but regardless of price after seeing just how piss poor the screen is (most notably extreme light bleed) and how long the charge times are I dont think the low price justifies its shortcomings.

    Heck its not uncommon to get a Transformer or A500 for $299-$349 these days which blow this tablet out of the water.
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  • acku
    Anonymous said:
    Sorry but regardless of price after seeing just how piss poor the screen is (most notably extreme light bleed) and how long the charge times are I dont think the low price justifies its shortcomings.

    Heck its not uncommon to get a Transformer or A500 for $299-$349 these days which blow this tablet out of the water.

    1. The Transformer also has light bleed.
    2. The 299 price is because of black Friday, cyber Monday, and holiday sales. It's definitely not "normal"
    3
  • pyrrocc
    FYI, on the front-face cam, 1.3MP 640x480... Heck 1200x900 (4:3) = ~1MP
    -3
  • pyrrocc
    Grrr... can't do standard inequality of angled brackets....

    FYI, on the front-face cam, 1.3MP does not equal 640x480... Heck 1200x900 (4:3) = ~1MP
    3
  • slabbo
    A500 can be found in practically every Costco I've been in, and for $319 including a leather case.
    -1
  • Anonymous
    The size specs on the Xoom and Xoom Family are not correct. Xoom Family is longer AND wider, not the other way around.
    0
  • acku
    Quote:
    The size specs on the Xoom and Xoom Family are not correct. Xoom Family is longer AND wider, not the other way around.


    Right and Wrong. Official specs

    SIZE (H X W X D)
    Xoom -249.1 x 167.8 x 12.9 mm
    Xoom FE - 260 x 177 x 11.4 mm

    But we still take our own measurements in the lab. Manufacturers often arbitrarily decide where to measure from. I've corrected the table to use official specs to reduce confusion.

    Anonymous said:
    A500 can be found in practically every Costco I've been in, and for $319 including a leather case.

    I go by online prices. Not by Christmas specials.

    Anonymous said:
    Grrr... can't do standard inequality of angled brackets....

    FYI, on the front-face cam, 1.3MP does not equal 640x480... Heck 1200x900 (4:3) = ~1MP



    Sensor is 1.3 MP. Native storage picture is 640x480.
    0
  • suny_hk
    pyrroccGrrr... can't do standard inequality of angled brackets....FYI, on the front-face cam, 1.3MP does not equal 640x480... Heck 1200x900 (4:3) = ~1MP


    Actually, I believe 1.3MP is the number of sensors, and each sensor only records one channel, either red, green or blue. Thus 640x480 image is about 1MP.
    0
  • Anonymous
    This tablet got so many good reviews and was selling so well that Best Buy seems to have jacked up the price to (in their view an attractive price) $499. I was trying to make up my mind if I could overlook all the short comings for the attractive price of 349, but at $499 who'd be stupid enough.
    0
  • nottheking
    Aside from the debacle over the front-facing camera (more on that below) I'd note that the specs on the iPads appear to be off: the iPad 1's RAM was, in fact, dual-channel, while the iPad 2's effective speed was 533 MHz, not 1066 MHz; the source of the latter figure appears to have been a third-party analyst's claims that weren't sourced. A check on Samsung's own page for the model of RAM used in the A5 show that the A5's model is the SLOWEST LP-DDR2 they sell, with speeds listed up to 800 MHz. Since we all know there's no such thing as DDR2-1600 (let alone a low-power version) it's safe to say that the speeds mentioned are effective, (MT/s) not actual. (true MHz)

    ackuSensor is 1.3 MP. Native storage picture is 640x480.

    I wouldn't be so quick to state that; this makes zero logical sense. As Tom's used the comparison twice without explaining it, and all other sites fail to mention a resolution, (but universally state it as "1.3 MP") it implies that either Tom's made a mistake on the resolution, or, in fact, it's not a 1.3 MP camera, in spite of readily-circulated claims.

    Occam's Razor definitely suggests something more reasonable than the other mumbo-jumbo mentioned in the comments here: I'd stake it on it being somebody's error; either Toms' mistakenly said 640x480 (twice) or everyone else has been repeating a "1.3 MP" figure that cropped up somewhere without bothering to check it.
    0
  • KelvinTy
    It seems so weird... Why would they compare a notebook processor to something like a smartphone processor? and then, SSD vs intentionally weakened version of SSD?
    Looking at the specs, you would know the battery life sucks, the processing power will be better, the graphics would be semi-decent...
    The bottom line is, they didn't do anything wrong, nor they did something brilliant, it's just a calculated solution executed correctly and pop goes this product.
    However, the cameras are to be improved ^.^" and the maybe the interface too.
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