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May 24, 2011

Motorola Xoom – Tablet PC

Motorola XoomI have spent a couple of weeks testing out Motorola’s entrance into the Tablet PC market with the “Xoom”.  I have to say that I am impressed.  These are slick devices.  If you are looking into the tablets, this could well be the one to get.

First of all it uses the Android (created by Google) operating system.  As an Android phone owner I am already partial to that particular system so that works for me.  It is using the latest Android system named “Honeycomb”.  With Google’s strange sense of humor they name all of the Android systems after desserts.  As an aside, they name them in alphabetical order with Cupcake (their first) followed by Donut, Eclair, FroYo (stands for Frozen Yogurt), Gingerbread and Honeycomb which is the most recent version.  “A” and “B” were prototypes which were never released.  Next comes either, “Ice Cream” or “Ice Cream Sandwich” depending on what you read.   

First off the battery life is excellent.  My own experiment took place like this.  I ran it for about three solid hours.  Then I handed it off to a friend.  He played, “Angry Birds Rio” for over six hours.  That was pretty good in my opinion.  I then took it back and messed with it for another hour or so.  Final battery charge remaining was over 50%.  That is a good battery life as far as today’s standards go.

The 10.1 inch screen is very clear and sharp, which is another good thing.  With its 1280 x 800 pixel resolution you can see most websites at full size.  It weighs about 1.5 pounds which is very easy to handle when surfing and reading books.  Yes, it is very similar to an ebook reader only it has many more capabilities. My biggest complaint is since it has a slick, shiny surface, like all tablets so far, the finger prints need to be cleaned off pretty regularly…and I believe I have fairly clean fingers.

The new Honeycomb OS is good; however, I needed some time to get used to it.  I am already using the latest OS, Gingerbread on my phone so it was familiar to me.

It is set up with two cameras.  “Two cameras?” you may ask.  Yes, one of the front for taking still pictures and videos and one on the other side, or “input” screen, to take videos of my “mug” when chatting with someone on Skype.   There are many programs available for the Xoom with more on the way.  They run the gamut from business to games, so you can get most anything you may be interested in.

Would I like to own a Motorola Xoom?  You betcha!  But for now I will wait.  The reason I will wait is that I spend much of my online time writing.  While online, I do a lot of typing.  The Xoom does have a keyboard that pops up when needed but you basically need to type with two fingers.  Since I type a lot, I type fast and it limits me.  Will I seriously consider buying one when they get a program working on it allowing faster typing…you betcha!

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