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)
The Android Honeycomb user interface of the Motorola Xoom, particularly the home screen, looks striking and is easy to use, and the handling of notifications is excellent. The recent apps list also makes flicking back and forth between recently used programs a breeze. We love the flexibility of live widgets, and they are particularly useful on a tablet device with much more screen real estate than a smartphone. We noticed that flicking between home screens populated with more than three or four widgets does tend to make scrolling jerky; though this is a software issue with Honeycomb, and not a problem entirely attributed to the Xoom itself.
Despite all the positives of Android Honeycomb, it is clear the software is still in its infancy, so the overall out-of-the-box experience isn't as slick as it could be. The Xoom's Web browser still automatically switches to mobile versions of many websites (including Facebook) and Flash video performance — a key advantage the device is claimed to hold over the iPad — is hit and miss. Sometimes, the browser crashed when trying to load Flash-heavy sites, while other times it would load them almost perfectly. Trying to browse Twitter through the browser, for example, was also clunky at best. We also noticed a few other niggling bugs: the keyboard often lags when typing in the Web browser, and we experienced occasional crashes, particularly when in the Android Market app.
A more telling issue is the lack of third-party apps in the Android Market that have been designed with a tablet in mind. Many common apps, including official Twitter and Facebook apps, have not yet been optimised for the larger screen size that the Xoom offers. Default Google apps like Maps, Gmail and YouTube worked excellently, and there are a handful of downloadable apps like Angry Birds and Pulse News Reader that filled the screen perfectly and worked without issue. But many apps in the Android Market simply resize to fit the Xoom's screen. This issue will change over time as the platform evolves and develops.
The Motorola Xoom runs Android 3.0 "Honeycomb", which offers a completely redesigned interface aiming to take advantage of the larger screen of a tablet.
Motorola Xoom: Performance and hardware
The Motorola Xoom's 10.1in, 16:9 widescreen display makes it an ideal entertainment device, particularly for video playback. The Xoom supports HD video playback and 720p HD video recording, and also has an HDMI-out port meaning it can be plugged directly into a high-definition television. Strangely, the Xoom doesn't come pre-loaded with a default video player, though there are plenty of free options available in the Android Market (we recommend RockPlayer). In our tests, the Xoom played nearly all the files we threw at it without issue, though it occasionally stumbled when trying to play a couple of odd-resolution AVI files.
The Motorola Xoom comes with 32GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot, but the microSD card slot is inactive; Motorola says this will be enabled in a "pending" software update, but has not specified an exact time frame.
The Motorola Xoom is powered by a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor — the same used in the Galaxy Tab 10.1v — and 1GB RAM. The tablet felt slick and fast throughout testing, even when running multiple applications.
The Motorola Xoom has a rear 5-megapixel camera, and a 2-megapixel front camera for video calls. Although both take significantly better quality photos and than the iPad 2, the quality of both still images and video can't match the excellent cameras the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v captures.
Motorola claims the Xoom's battery is good for up to 10 hours; we experienced almost nine hours in our real-life tests. This makes the Xoom the clear leader in Android tablets when it comes to battery life, though the iPad 2 is still king in this regard. In our tests, the Xoom often lasted over two days with moderate use, a very fair result for a device you will likely use regularly on a day-to-day basis.
The Motorola Xoom is available through Telstra, but is also sold outright and unlocked through Australian online store MobiCity.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Tablet modules add features but limit functionality
- Apple working on a fix for iPad Pros bricked by iOS 9.3.2
- As tablet sales take a dive, analysts expect smartphone vendors to launch convertibles
- Acer puts liquid cooling in its Switch Alpha 12 tablet
- Display expert: The 9.7-inch iPad Pro's color accuracy is “visually indistinguishable from perfect”
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSolution Architect - Financial applicationsVIC
- TPHRIS Business AnalystQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD
- FTBid ManagerVIC
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FTOracle Forms PL/SQL Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- TPSpatial Science OfficerQLD
- FTPrincipal Architect - Infrastructure | Major BankVIC
- CCProject Manager TelecommunicationsQLD
- CCSAP ISU Device Management ConsultantNSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- TPDeployment Specialist (DevOps)QLD
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- CCSME in Openstack, AWSNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager - Regulatory/Compliance - BankingNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCProject Manager (Event Management)NSW
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- TPBusiness Analyst - Technical BackgroundQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- FTFront-End DevOps Developer/Consultant - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPAgile Business AnalystQLD
- FTInfrastructure Solution ArchitectSA