Friday , March 31 2017

Hands on with the Motorola XOOM — First Impressions

I’ve been using the Motorola XOOM for just over a day now, and I thought I’d share my initial thoughts. Which coincides nicely with Telstra’s confirmation that this bad-boy is launching through them next month. First off, the XOOM is quite heavy as it weighs 730grams, which is 130grams more than its main rivals: the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1v. The build quality is top-notch with no cheap plastic to be felt on the device. HDMI playback onto the TV is extremely nice, especially as the browser feels just like a full desktop browser so you can browse through the web on your TV as well as watch movies, listen to music and run apps. A little downside to the hardware is the use of a proprietary charging adapter instead of utilising the MicroUSB slot that is available.

I don’t want to give too much of the device away, as I’ll leave it for the review in a couple of days. However, Honeycomb is really worth mentioning. It doesn’t feel like a slapped together version of Android for tablets. It feels like it has been built from the ground up to suit tablets perfectly. The only problem is that it doesn’t feel like they’ve finished building just yet, which may be why they’re holding the source code. A lot of apps don’t look good on Honeycomb and a 10.1″ surface, and the Android Market will crash more often than not. At one point the XOOM froze for 8 minutes before it finally decided it was time to reboot, just because I tried installing Google Reader on the Market. Other than that, Honeycomb is silky smooth to use and makes full use of the huge screen real estate on the XOOM. If you have any questions leave them in the comments, and I’ll either answer them there, or in the upcoming review.


Buzz Moody  

  • Glyn Stuckey

    Buzz, Have you used the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v at all? If so, how does it compare to the Xoom?

    • I have pre-ordered my Galaxy Tab 10.1v, though I am receiving a review unit hopefully this week. Then I can give you a rough idea of the differences between the two. 🙂

      • Glyn Stuckey

        I’ve pre-ordered my Galaxy Tab too …. looking forward to receiving it early next month. From what I’ve seen/heard I think the screen on the Tab is better.

        • Some of the stuff on the XOOM appears washed out, but I can’t judge until I have something to compare it to.

  • Buzz, did you have a chance to play with the skype or ? As an enterprise device I am hoping to see the video conferencing capabilities such as skype or webex.

    • Glyn Stuckey

      Is skype able to do video conferencing on Android now?

      • It is coming, it’s just not available in the current app.

    • I have installed Skype but I haven’t used it yet. I’ll give Lucas a test call later on when he’s not busy and I’ll report back 🙂

  • Accessory wise, the xoom has my vote. With the dock, keyboard and various travel cases already on the market it will be utilized from day one!

    • agreed… i got a nexus s from the states and the accessory range is terrible. goes to show you need to let the devices be out to market for at least a few months to test whether the market actually accepts them and makes the accessories for them!
      that’s why i’m worried about the SGT 10.1v vs SGT 10.1

  • Ttrbest

    Did the Xoom freeze for 8 minutes or did it ‘from? 😉

  • Ive been using the Xoom for about 2 weeks now. Very happy with it. The lack of apps designed for honeycomb does hurt it tho.

    Most of the existing android apps do work.. some launches then force closes on you… DAM YOU FACEBOOK APP!!

    • Yeah Facebook won’t open at all 🙁

  • re Enterprise compatibility…. early android handsets suffered as they did not have WPA2 Enterprise wifi security capability. Home wifi etc was fine. What can Xoom do? What options does it have for Enterprise wifi security. Will be major deal breaker if it can’t for some of us. Cheers!

    • It has 802.1x EAP… Enterprise baby!!

      I’ve hooked my Xoom up to my corporate wireless network with it and now i am finally able to access the network 🙂

      Couldn’t do it with my Desire HD… I now can with the Xoom! 🙂

      • EY

        Can you set proxy servers ? Tried the Honeycomb build on my Nook Color and didn’t see it. I can’t use my office wireless without it.

  • Greg

    How does the xoom compare to the acer a500, which is now available at good guys and bing Lee?
    Does the thickness & weight detract from the device? Would you recommend waiting for the super thin galaxy tab 10.1 to come out?

    • I’ve not yet used either the Acer A500 or the Galaxy Tab 10.1, so I can’t compare them at all. I’ll be hands on with the 10.1v next week though.

  • Anthony Richardson

    Buzz, it will be worth mentioning in your review that the reason the the unit doesn’t charge via USB is that USB is unable to supply enough current to charge the battery and run the unit (large display) at the same time. So I would expect this to be a common limitation on large screen tablet devices.

    • Yeah absolutely. It would be nice to see all tablets implement the same charging port though.

      • Anthony Richardson

        I wish all devices used the same port for charging 🙁

      • Anthony Richardson

        I wish all devices used the same port for charging 🙁

    • Yeah absolutely. It would be nice to see all tablets implement the same charging port though.

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