Motorola Xoom Android tablet
Motorola Xoom review: An Android 'Honeycomb' tablet that promises a slick multimedia experience
- Stylish, industrial design
- Large, vibrant touchscreen
- Flexibility of Android Honeycomb OS
- Poorly positioned buttons
- Doesn’t charge via microUSB
- Android Honeycomb still a work in progress
Motorola's long-awaited Xoom tablet has a sturdy design and plenty of features, but like all of the latest Android tablets, it is still very much a work in progress.
Price$ 840.00 (AUD)
Motorola's long-awaited Xoom tablet may have already launched in the US, but has just hit Australian shores. The Xoom was the first tablet in the world to ship with Google's Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' operating system that has been specifically designed for tablets. The 10.1in Motorola Xoom is well designed and has plenty of features, but like all of the latest Android tablets, it is still very much a work in progress.
See how the Motorola Xoom stacks up against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v and the Acer Iconia A500 in our Android tablet showdown, and read our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.
UPDATE: The Motorola Xoom is available through Telstra from 24 May for $840 outright, or on a range of Telstra cap plans. The Xoom can be purchased on Telstra's $29 (1GB data), $49 (7GB data) or $79 (12GB data) caps, with an additional monthly payment of $25 for the $29 and $49 plans, and $15 for the $79 plan.
Motorola Xoom: Design and display
The Motorola Xoom Android tablet is an excellent piece of industrial design with superb construction. In particular, its brushed aluminium sides and rear, along with a strip of rubberised-feeling plastic on the back make it an attractive device. At 730g the Xoom is rather heavy, but its curved back does make it easy to hold and pick up off a desk or table, so we don't think the extra weight is a huge deal. The thin bezel surrounding the front also looks striking and attractive.
Of far more concern than the Xoom's hefty weight is its poorly designed and positioned buttons. The power/screen lock key is on the rear of the device, in the top left, and it's strangely recessed into the plastic. This makes it difficult to press without force. Even worse are the tiny volume controls on the left edge of the Xoom which are also recessed; they, too, require a firm and uncomfortable press to activate.
On the top of the Xoom is a headphone jack and a non-functioning microSD card slot — Motorola says an incoming Android software update will allow the microSD card slot to function, but initially it can't be used. The bottom of the Xoom houses a microUSB port, a mini-HDMI out port and a charging port. Annoyingly, the Motorola Xoom won't charge via a microUSB port, instead using a separate AC charging port. The one benefit to this is that the Xoom charges much faster than any other Android tablet we've tested — we charged the battery from flat to full in just one hour.
The Motorola Xoom has an industrial-looking design that features an attractive black metal finish on the rear and sides, but at 730g, its significantly heavier than the iPad 2.
The Motorola Xoom has a 10.1in capacitive touchscreen display with a 1280x800 resolution. For general use indoors the display produces vibrant colour, but its glossy surface makes it very tough to see in direct sunlight, and viewing angles aren't great. We also found that text wasn't as crisp or clear as we'd like — particularly when reading books, or long articles on the Web. Importantly, the Xoom's display is responsive to touch, and doesn't feel sticky when swiping.
Motorola Xoom: Software
The Motorola Xoom is one of the first tablets to run Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform, even if it was beaten to an Australian launch by both the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v and the Acer Iconia A500. The software is a "vanilla" version of the Honeycomb OS, so Motorola hasn't included any UI overlays as it does with its Atrix and Defy Android phones.
Android 3.0 Honeycomb has a completely redesigned interface that aims to take advantage of the larger screen of a tablet. New UI features include an "action bar", a contextual option group displayed at the top of the screen, five customisable home screens with a big emphasis on widgets, a recent apps list for easier multitasking, a redesigned on-screen keyboard, a new browser and improved copy and paste.
Most of the changes are positive. The Motorola Xoom's Web browser is slick, fast and displays Flash content, most of the time with minimal delay. It also supports tabbed Web browsing and the entire browsing experience is as close as you'll find to a full desktop or notebook computer. The on-screen keyboard is also spacious and comfortable to type on once you get used to its layout.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Cisco's Spark Board looks like an iPad -- and acts like one
- Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Tablet modules add features but limit functionality
- Slump continues as tablet markets records worst quarter since 2012
- Acer puts liquid cooling in its Switch Alpha 12 tablet
- Intel's tablet adventure looking more like its netbook disaster
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCIT Support TechnicianNSW
- TPSQL DeveloperQLD
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperNSW
- FTSecurity Solutions Architect - Consultancy - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTSenior Learning Specialist - Global OrganisationQLD
- CCIntegration DeveloperNSW
- TPSolution Architect - IntegrationQLD
- FTProject / Implementation Coordinator (Junior-Mid Level) Sunshine Coast LocationQLD
- CCBusiness/Process AnalystQLD
- FTSolution Designer l Microsoft SMENSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- FTNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- CCCA ITCM / ITCA Engineer with some hands-on knowledge of scripting.NSW
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXVIC
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- FTFull stack Developer - Senior (Java or C# and AngularJS) x 3QLD
- FTJava Developer - Fixed Term ContractQLD
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXACT
- CCSharepoint Business AnalystACT
- TPBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- TPTechnical ConsultantNSW