Reviewed by sooper_verge12 (Previously owned)
The XOOM was Google/Android's first official foray into the tablet market. It sported Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb. Coming off the iPad craze, the expectations were very high for Android's first splash into the tablet realm. Unfortunately, it was a gigantic belly flop. The OS was capable, but it was clear it was buggy from the start. The hardware did not help matters much. Clearly, Motorola was aiming for the original iPad in dimensions, but did not anticipate the iPad 2 that launched shortly there after. In the matter of a couple of months, the XOOM was bloated, heavy and slow.
On the design side, it offered the kind of ports, slots and I/O that you'd expect from Android, except the SD slot curiously didn't work. The camera was decent, but it was located off-center, next to where your finger might inadvertently obstruct it. Speakers were confusingly placed facing rear-ward and lacked the power that's typical of Motorola speakers on mobile devices. The XOOM was also Nvidia's entry into the mobile space with the Tegra 2 chip (that later became ubiquitous on released Android devices). While it may have had the horsepower, the OS really encumbered the performance. Battery life was no where near the 10+ hours of the iPad and the user experience was no where near as good because the display quality was so poor. This was also surprising since it was the display quality of the original Droid that helped propel it to popularity.
Honeycomb apps were slow to populate, but it did not damage the overall experience as normal Android apps (display agnostic) worked fine. The XOOM is still Android's reference device, but insofar as popularity and market presence, those go to the Asus Transformer and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 (see my review of that device as well). For me, the only real compelling reason to own the XOOM was that it was Google's reference device. However, I returned it for a much nicer Galaxy Tab 10.1.
- Design 7
- Display 5
- Camera(s) 7
- Speakers 8
- Performance 8
- Software 7
- Battery life 6
- Ecosystem 8