Motorola Xoom-s ahead in tablet competition

Working in the technology field today, it is hard not to drown in all the new tablets basis. Apple’s iPad 2 has arrived in the Middle East as has Acer’s Iconia A500 Android tablet and a wealth of other tablets from more or less well known brand names.

By Magnus Nystedt

Published: Sat 7 May 2011, 11:32 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:02 AM

Heavy weights like Samsung and LG have yet to bring their latest offerings to the market and many potential customers eagerly awaits RIM’s PlayBook, which is set to arrive soon.

Motorola has just started to sell its 10-inch tablet Xoom. It runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the version of Google’s mobile operating system especially made for the larger tablet form factor. For Dh2,699 you get the Wi-Fi version of Xoom (3G model to come soon, Motorola says) with a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia processor, 1GB RAM, and 32GB storage. This makes the Xoom very similar in specifications to many other tablets. The 10-inch display shows 1280x800 pixels, and it is bright, clear and shows vivid colours.

All of this adds to the weight, and although not exactly heavy, the Xoom comes in about 100 grams more than iPad 2. It feels very solid to hold and operate, and it is more compact than Acer’s Iconia A500. That said, I find my grip slips easily, something I attribute to a rather slippery back surface. Also, the area between the display and the edge of the Xoom is pretty thin, so it is hard to grip with my fingers.

As with Apple’s iPad 2, the Xoom has two cameras. On the back, you find a 5-megapixel, which also shoots 720 HD video; on the front there’s a 2-megapixel camera mainly meant for video calls. Neither camera shines in terms of quality, but they will do fine in a pinch.

Motorola claims 10 hours of Wi-Fi use or video playback and that seems about right. I’ve been using the Xoom for long days at work with constant email and Twitter checking, web browsing, listening to music and more.

Something that makes the Xoom stand out is the range of accessories that you can get for it. There’s a docking station with built-0in speakers, which can charge the Xoom and connect it to a TV using HDMI (the Xoom also has HDMI out on board), a carry case, a Bluetooth keyboard and more.

In terms of software, the Xoom comes well equipped, but I could not find any app for playing video. That was quickly fixed by a trip to Android Market. Also, the included music player is rather rudimentary but also in that area there are many alternatives.

Right now, if you want a 10-inch Android tablet in the UAE, the Motorola Xoom is your best choice, I think. It edges out the Acer A500 ever so slightly in design and many potential competitors have not arrived here yet. If you are an iPad user there’s not much reason to switch, unless you are after a full Web experience with Adobe Flash support; if you are in the market for your first tablet, I do not think you will be disappointed with the Motorola Xoom.

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