The highly anticipated Motorola Xoom goes on sale today. It was the highlight of this year’s CES, and words such as ‘fast, sleek, and highly responsive were used to describe this device. With so much buzz surrounding this device, calling it the potential ‘iPad Killer’. I say we take a look under the hood to see what it is packing.
It is the first Android tablet using Google's tablet-specific Honeycomb OS. Coming it at 1.6 lbs, 9.8 by 6.6 inches, with a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, this thing is faster and more powerful than that of its biggest competitor. It has 802.11n Wi-Fi and is Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR HID compatible. Front and rear facing cameras comes standard with 2mp for the front and 5 mp for the rear with a4x digital zoom and dual-LED flash. It comes with a slot for LTE SIM, making it compatible and upgradable to Verizon's future LTE network. It has a micro SD slot as well…..a non-functioning SD slot, which we’re hoping will at some point work for possible storage upgrade. As of right now, 32 gb is the max on storage. Battery life, another pertinent subject is actually pretty good, with Motorola claiming 10 hours.
As mentioned before, the Xoom is using the Honeycomb OS. Visually it looks like something out of an Iron Man movie with its distinct shapes and neon colors. One thing about Android that I appreciate is the open feel and many options you have to customize. Users like having a choice and unlike others *cough* Apple *cough*, Android doesn’t come off as though they are running a big brother program.
Taking a look at the browser, you can definitely tell Google was very hands on with this one. It has a familiar Google Chrome- like appeal. One piece of controversy, however, is the lack of Flash support. Not quite sure why, but according to a Verizon advertisement, owners of the Xoom can look forward to “Adobe Flash expected spring 2011". Now, I feel this is one feature that every potential “iPad Killer” needs to stay on ahead. Not to have this at launch, doesn’t really maximize the strength of the Xoom.
Next up…Prices Prices!!
There have been a lot of speculation and back and forth regarding the price of the Xoom. Motorola has set the official price of the 32GB, 3G version at $600 with a 2 year agreement. For 1 GB of data you will to cough up $20 monthly for data service. Not looking to be locked into a contract? That same device will cost you $800. A wifi- only version is on its way, at the price of $600, but there is no word on a date of release.
I honestly, do think this is the first decent competitor for the iPad. I do feel, however, that the iPad has a less complex user interface, allowing a 3 year old and a 80 year old grandmother alike to feel comfortable using it. Also, I need to see more apps. I want to really see what this thing that can do when pushed to its limit and we all know apps is the driving force behind any smart phone and tablet out there. But all in all the Motorola Xoom, in my opinion, has the potential to bring Steve and Co to the edge of their seat.
So tell me...