Lightning Review: Two Weeks with the Motorola Xoom

Just before shoving off from Texas, I snatched up a Motorola Xoom.  I had the office iPad the week before, trying out apps and generally getting familiar with the tablet concept before I decided to jump at the Xoom.  Two weeks into having one, I’m glad I did.  I also think it was the right choice for me over the iPad 2.  I’ve never been an Apple follower and the Xoom gave me a chance to get a nice, solid tablet without having to become an Apple convert.

If you’re looking to buy one you may want to wait as they are sure to get cheaper and there will be plenty on the horizon.  However, if you must have one now, the Xoom is a sweet little piece of kit.  The dual core processor makes it fast.  Things like Google Earth are a feast for the eyes.  That and Google maps integration with the address book are really cool features.  Tap an address in your address book and Maps zooms right to it.  Browse a map of your neighborhood and tap a location to add it to your address book.  No more drawn out sessions of adding restaurants to your address book.  With the Xoom they’re easy to input and handy when you want to make a reservation.

Movies and pictures also look great on this thing.  Within 10 minutes of taking it out of the box, Little NH was staring in silly 720p home movies.  The bundled video editor seems to work well, too.  Oh, and the camera, it has a flash.  I had never seen anything like that before on  anything but a camera – not to mention, with one app, it doubles as a flashlight.

Connectivity is pretty great on wi-fi.  It transfers seamlessly from my home to work networks and back again at the end of the day.  The Android market is simple and has plenty of apps to keep you busy.  However, if you get bored there, you can always browse the selection at Amazon or AppBrain.  iTunes does not give you multiple market options.  That said, there aren’t a ton of apps available for the Android tablet form factor (most are for phones) but that is gradually changing.  Those that are made for tablets are really, really neat.

That brings me to the Xoom and kids.  It’s a match made in heaven.  I’ve spent the last two nights reading “books” with Little NH on this thing.  The “Little Critter” series is a reading teaching set of books that fill the screen and teach vocabulary and reading by tapping items on the page.  Very cool stuff.  And the games, I’m sure you can imagine.

Finally, there’s the office.  My calendar is synced on my Xoom as well as my work e-mail, personal e-mail, twitter feeds and everything else I need.  I take a lot of conference calls out of my office and in my boss’ office so it’s nice when someone says, “I just sent you the document,” I actually have it in front of me.  It reads PDF’s as well as Word and Excel docs with ease.  In addition, when the meeting gets long, I’ve got Angry Birds to help me make it to the end.

So, I know I bought this tablet at the top of the market.  For that, I had my reasons.  I also know that I have yet to feel the pangs of buyer’s remorse and in the scheme of product life cycles these days, I’d say two weeks is pretty good.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Fredericksburg Flash says:

    Sounds like a great purchase to me! I might be awhile, but this sounds like what I want. Thanks for the good review.

  2. NotHemingway says:

    Glad you liked it. Fun to be on the bleeding edge for once!

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