My story with the Motorola XOOM tablet was like love-at-first-sight, and I don’t care if the XOOM is not the Twiggy of tablet world. It has a lot of charm to cover that little extra weight and thickness, and even more under its sleeve.
XOOM comes loaded with the new Android OS that is tailored for tablets, Honeycomb. Honeycomb brings the XOOM to life with refined multi-tasking and a 3D experience, among other features.
I know all of you are asking, “Well, what about apps?” Well, the XOOM provides access to the over 100,000 apps on the Android Market, and an ever-increasing number of Honeycomb-dedicated apps are available as well.
What has made the Motorola XOOM so special to me? The XOOM boasts a 10.1-inch screen (larger than the iPad’s 9.7-inches), a micro-USB port, an HDMI-output, and an SD card slot for future use (an update will enable the port in the near future). WiFi and Bluetooth are built in—of course—and the tablet has a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera equipped with LED flash, as well as a 2 megapixel front-facing camera.
The user-interface on the Motorola XOOM is akin to what you may expect to find on an Android phone on steroids. The XOOM uses an immersive multi-touch, holographic user interface that improves on Android favorites such as multi-tasking, widgets, browsing, customization and notifications (and it’s still easy enough for your grandmother to use).
This guy is fast; and when I say fast, I mean it! With dual-core 1GHz processors and 1GB of RAM coupled with Android 3.1 Honeycomb, the quality and speed of video streaming on the XOOM blows the competition away. With the XOOM, you’ll be able to watch in full 720p HD on a natural widescreen display. Browsing the web on it is an awesome experience as well; Google Chrome on Honeycomb is very similar to the desktop version, and I was very pleased with how fast my web surfing experience was. Of course, if you were multitasking between different apps and websites at the same time, it would be wise to manage your tasks to keep the device from slowing down.
Vital to the multimedia experience on the XOOM is the fact that the device now supports Flash 10.3. Flash provides much needed versatility and the ability to access more multimedia than ever on your tablet computer. I used the XOOM speaker-dock throughout my time with the device and found that it makes watching movies an even greater experience on the tablet; it provides better sound and a comfortable viewing angle while freeing-up your hands.
As a film fan, you will not be disappointed! There are an expanding number of apps with collections of great classics and new movies, and now you can rent movies directly from the Android Market. HBO-GO and HULU PLUS are two confirmed upcoming apps for Honeycomb, and Netflix will probably come in time. The future is definitely bright for film fans with Motorola’s tablet.
Overall, the Motorola XOOM is a well-rounded tablet-pc that exceeded all of my expectations. With excellent performance, wonderful hardware, and its potential for growth, the XOOM is a sound choice for anyone looking for a tablet-pc.
Cinema Without Borders is planning to run a series of articles on film-related, Honeycomb apps and will provide performance details on a XOOM WIFI and XOOM 4G.