Andrew Maxwell

March 14, 2011 in Technology and Web

The Motorola Xoom and My First Week

What a wonderful device.

My First Impressions:

The device is very responsive and is a wonderful addition to have between my smart phone and desktop computer.

While I played around with the Xoom at the Verizon store I was pretty sceptical. The first couple of minutes I had to figure out the device, it came with a bit of a learning curve and a few apps forced closed on me. After a fresh restart the thing was running perfectly. After the restart I was hooked, and so I bought one.

The Xoom Back Home:

As soon as I got the Xoom back home I started to load my apps on it, and thanks to the apps on my phone being synced to my Google account, those apps downloaded and installed once I logged in.

Not all apps were downloaded from my account, some did not support the Xoom which is understandable.¬†Some of the apps that did download did not scale to full screen just like what happens with iPhone apps on a iPad so that I wasn’t too worried with that.

The apps that did scale worked perfectly and have even made me use them more thanks to the added real estate.

The Bad:

All devices have their quirks and this one has its own.

  • I have had a few force close on a few phone apps running on the device
  • The volume buttons are tiny and take a bit to get use to
  • It is hard to paste items at the beginning of a line (far left) if the apps text field is on the edge of the screen
  • Limited tablet specific apps – Over 100 apps at the time of writing with more coming out everyday
  • No Flash – It will come on March 18th, 2011

The Good:

  • Notifications – This may sound like a simple feature but the way that Google has this work on a tablet is well crafted and beautifully done
  • True multi-tasking
  • Amazing battery life – I have been able to use my device heavily for 10 hours on numerous occasions with no problem
  • Multiple keyboards – switching keyboards couldn’t be easier, I now have 2 keyboards that I use all of the time, one for full keyboard functionality and the other for thumb typing
  • Almost all phone apps scale by default, giving you more selection for apps that work on a tablet
  • Transferring files to the Xoom is super simple, even easier than on an Android phone. They have gone away with the USB selection and pop up model¬†and made it just work exactly like a flash drive, plug n play
  • The cameras are awesome and pick up a lot of light thanks to the 2mp front camera and 5mp rear camera with flash
  • 2 speakers for great sound, you can hear it perfectly no matter how you hold the device
  • Fast browser – Going to any web page loads fast like it should and how it does on a desktop computer
  • Full 3D games with PS2/3 graphic – the tablet specific apps look and play beautifully, I am very impressed at the frame rate
  • Real HD Video
  • 16×10 ratio – this means movies will fit better and books will look more like printed books now

Conclusion:

This is one of the best deviced that I have ever owned, and I can say that apps will run on par with the iPad in terms of stability and though the iPad has more tablet specific apps(which it should, it has been out for a year) the Xoom is a much better device in every other way.