Having been an early adopter of a wide variety of products, I like to go into things with an open mind. There is some missing functionality that updates have been announced for or could otherwise be worked around. The long range potential for this device is HUGE.
Soooooooo, fit and function? Good. The device has a nice solid feel to it. It feels as heavy as other tablets as Ive used and personally I like a product that feels dense over something that feels empty and hollow. The device being orientated around landscape was a bit of an initial turn-off. However, after constant use, it feels good on the eyes. Things dont feel so cluttered. The location of the power button was a bit odd to me, initially, as well. but again, after having got used to it, it feels natural. The way the SD and SIM slots are hidden and the cover is flush is very nice. Thats the only opportunity I feel Motorola has with the device: I would have liked to have seen a similar covering for the ports at the bottom, perhaps leaving the power port uncovered. I dont watch much TV so I wont be getting much use from the HDMI and between WiFi and Bluetooth, I probably wont be using the USB port much either. I think covering those areas would be a good preventative measure for this of us that may carry this around in a knapsack.
The display I find to be average. I am biased, however. Ive gotten very used to the color and crispness of my Incredible (OLED). However, I dont find this to take away from the device at all. Web pages and text are extremely clear. Videos on Youtube on the high quality setting are very watchable -- changing the quality settings during a video really helps to show the screen off. The only issue around blurriness Ive encountered is in Pulse. However, it appears to be related to the quality of the thumbnails that are used. I think display issues will be more an exception rather than the rule.
The GUI is FRIGGIN AWESOME. Theres a learning curve for even the most experienced Android users, but its only a itty bitty one. Overall, it just has a very natural feel to it. Applications and settings are easy to get to, the menu button in a lot of apps (in the upper-right) just seems to be intuitive in its placement, and notifications are unobtrusive. The whole 3D aspect is a nice touch and really adds to the panache of the device. With Tegra 2 at the core, everything feels very fluid. A deal breaker for me on a future device would be for a manufacturer to deviate from the native interface (in its current form) a la Blur, Sense, TouchWiz, etc.
Being an early adopter is lonely as outside what is apparent (eg. Tablet Version), finding apps that work in their current form is trial and error. So far, Ive run into a few anomilies with the current version of Weather Bug and Facebook. However, other apps that Ive used like Astro and Thinking Space (which is MUCH better on a tablet) perform flawlessly and look clean. I only expect more good things to come.
No hiccups with functionality such as WiFi, Bluetooth, or the GPS so far. Everything has worked with flawlessly. I feel as though some of the options relative to encryption, VPN, and administration will really force IT managers to take a hard look at this device relative to enterprise deployment. The only thing I was disappointed with, on the topic of amenities, was there doesnt seem to be any app that takes advantage of the barometer. Dont really have a practical need for it, but would be interested in seeing how it could be put to use. On a side note, I did find an app that can show raw data about and from the sensors but it just seems to be more for troubleshooting/testing.
Overall, couldnt be happier. I held off on the Galaxy Tablet after hearing rumblings about the Xoom, Honeycomb, and Tegra 2. Having used the Galaxy Tab at work a couple of times, I actually liked the 7inch size and wasnt too happy the Xoom was going to be 10 inches. Suffice it to say, my mind has completely changed. Im no fan boy of any device/manufacturer/platform by any means but I KNOW Apple has to come to the realization that real competition in the tablet market is here and its first competitor is an all-out beast!
The Xoom is really tight but there are some things that I am not certain whether they are deal breakers or not:
1. The USB file system that everyone harps about. In theory it didnt sound so bad, but paired with
2. The lack of SD card. I have the same 16 gb SD card that I had in my original D1 and put it in my R2D2 D2 and have yet to fill half of it after over a year of android use, but its more the idea that I could just use an SD card with a large movie loaded onto it vs. downloading that movie from elsewhere that appeals to me.
3. The keyboard and accelerometer lag. For the price that the CEO insists is worth it, as Frisco often says Id love to agree but then wed both be wrong. It probably does just need a firmware update or to be rooted so, I am not assigning too much weight to this issue.
I dont store files online. I will probably be one of the last people to adopt cloud storage. It isnt that I am so worried about others seeing my data, but if something does happen to what I have stored in some ethereal data center, Ill just get a Sorry for the inconvenience from Google, MSN or whoever and may has well have been keeping local copies of my data anyway. They certainly arent going to sift through redundant backups to find that rare flick I made of my hamster throwing the peice of carrot that hits my husband in the eye.
Just because my Xoom is faster and more responsive than the iPad when doing work it is still not quite fast enough for the price.
I got what I think was a good deal on it. I got the small data plan so I paid the $600 for the Xoom but the SAIC employee discount lowered the purchase price again and reduced the price of the data plan. If I had to pay $800, I wouldnt have even considered buying it. With the current price and set up, I consider returuning it and and paying the restocking fee (only a short term sunk cost.)
It had been my hope that I would get all of the functionality that I get from my R2D2 D2 so that I could cancel the plan on it, reactivate my LG EnV Touch (with no data plan if they are still doing that) and have a device with all of my Droid features but wont feel like I need to get to a computer to draft large documents + the voice/texting features of a normal phone for a slightly smaller monthly payment than I am paying now. I plan on using the Xoom mostly in a WiFi environment. This way, my data fees would be about 1/3 less. After that, I suppose I could sell my Droid phones (Ive been keeping the D1 around for an emergency.)
So, I guess if I return it, the restocking fee is something like $70. At that point, I have the opportunity cost of not saving 1/3 the rate in the data plan. If they fix the firmware and by some miracle allow us to access the SD card, my plan above would have been a good one, right? I also wonder about what happens when 4g becomes available. The price for the data plan is such for 3g everywhere I look, VZW has been careful to point out that this is the 3g price. Perhaps 4g will cost more? Then we are left with the option of not upgrading the radio to have a less expensive data price.
As you can see, I just havent really been able to come to a decision about it yet.
I stopped in at BB the other day just to test drive the Xoom. 1st impressions were....
Very solid feeling hardware (on par or better than the iPad). Moving about the HC GUI is nice and fluid, and doesnt take long to learn. The display is very sharp and very responsive to touch. The re-designed Google apps are very well done. I found myself losing track of time; its just a very fun device to play around with.
But....the lack of flash is painful, as is the non-functioning SD slot. Additionally, somebody before me had loaded a live wp onto the device (a thunderstorm wp) and it was causing the device to lag big-time (I switched to a static background and it was like night / day). Thats a bit worrisome that a simple live wp can drag it down that badly.
I walked away feeling like the Xoom does have the best user experience on any Android device in existence today. But, it still doesnt feel like an $800 device. Still feels like its in beta. And I still find myself trying to come up w/ that killer use-case that cant be accomplished w/ my Droid + laptop.
I think I would be hard pressed to pay even $500 for a wifi-only Xoom that also has flash and the SD slot working.
Im hoping that the competition comes out w/ equally impressive tablets that will push the price down.
I love the OS so far. I have to say the new improved app drawer is very nice. Probably the nicest thing that Ive not read anyone mention yet is the ability to remove an app from my Xoom by long pressing it in the app drawer and dragging it to the Remove App corner. Makes uninstalling apps very easy.
Well folks, today I finally picked up a Motorola Xoom. Ive read the reviews and complaints about the 4G upgrades, lack of flash and expandable memory but that doesnt bother me one bit. Unlike the iPad (2), those features WILL be available in the near future so Im cool waiting a bit.
I currently own an iPad and in recent past, the Galaxy Tab, but Ive been itching for something more and the Xoom delivers. Is it an iPad killer? I dont think so nor does the iPad spank the Xoom. Its all about finding the device that suits your needs and offers the best user experience for YOU. Some people like simplicity and for things to just work, others such as myself enjoy the customizability the Xoom offers. Okay enough diplomacy..here are my thoughts on the Xoom...
- Very well built. No creaks or flex
- Charges quickly
- Decent battery life
- Great browser! Its fast, tabbed browsing, etc. Did I mention fast?
- LOUD speakers
- Think widgets are cool on a phone? Theyre freakin awesome on the Xoom
- Google Maps w/Navigation
- No buttons, on the front at least
- The default music player is slick! I like how the album art is displayed
- Gorilla Glass
- Voice search
- Dig the aspect ratio vs. the iPad
- Compared to the Tab, the Xoom/Honeycomb experience is way better
- I dont like how the marketplace forces you into landscape mode
- Cameras are crap. Why does a one year old iPhone 4 still spank the Atrix and Xoom when it comes to taking pics? (And yes, I own both the Atrix AND i4)
- Those LOUD speakers I mentioned earlier sound horrible at low frequencies. By horrible, I mean HORRIBLE. Sounds like theyre blown. If I were Moto, Id release a patch limiting the volume. Even at 3/4, its loud enough and sounds perfect.
- The transition after clicking the app button is laggy for some reason
- Lag when rotating the device
- Lack of documentation. Hell, I can give my 3 year old an iPad and within minutes hell be able to navigate, play movies, etc. For those unfamiliar with Android, much less Honeycomb, offering the Xoom without a decent manual is foolish.
As with any device, the Xoom is not perfect. It has its faults, but for me Im willing to put up with its quirks. The interface, animations, widgets and overall feel offer a breath of fresh air and a new user experience. The Xoom represents a new direction from Google and I cant wait to see what the future holds!