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Posted at 2:21 PM ET, 03/10/2011

Motorola's Xoom tablet is no iPad -- much less an iPad 2

By Rob Pegararo

Apple's iPad 2 arrives in stores tomorrow. Which means that Motorola's Xoom tablet already faced tough odds when it made its own retail debut late last month. But after spending a week and change with this thing, I see a bigger problem: It has trouble holding its own against the current iPad.

motorola_xoom_tablet.jpg

That's not what I expected from my brief inspection of a prototype Xoom at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. But it does fit into a growing pattern of tablet manufacturers thinking they can compete with Apple's bestselling device by putting the right specifications on the box -- instead of trying to match the iPad's elegance and ease of use.

The Xoom's first flaw is its marriage to Verizon Wireless, which sells it for $799.99 without a data plan or $599.99 with a two-year contract. Those prices easily exceed what Apple will charge for a 3G iPad 2 with the same 32 gigabytes of storage -- but they could have been far worse. According to a leaked Best Buy ad, Verizon was considering requiring payment for a month of data service on the full-priced version before its WiFi could be used.

When WiFi is increasingly ubiquitous and new phones come with WiFi Internet sharing built in, even if at extra cost, it's bad business to debut a tablet with a wireless carrier lodged between customer and manufacturer.

Then again, a WiFi-only version of the Xoom will supposedly sell for $539 at Sam's Club stores, which is still more than an entry-level iPad 2.

What does the Xoom's higher price get you? (Note: The name, which Motorola and VzW insist on writing in all caps, is no relation to the now-defunct Web-hosting site older readers may remember.)

The Xoom does run a great version of Google's Android operating system. This 3.0 "Honeycomb" release was rewritten for tablet use and shows it with a beautiful, gesture-driven interface. Applications whoosh on and off the screen; a simple icon at the bottom left brings up a list of thumbnail views of open programs, a far more useful multitasking interface than the iPad's.

But few Android programs are optimized for tablet use so far; others just have their phone-sized graphics sprawling across the Xoom's 10.1-in. display. That situation should improve quickly, but for now it's an issue.

And one promised feature, compatibility with Adobe's Flash Web multimedia, will require a separate download from the Android Market that hasn't been posted yet.

The Xoom's hardware also looks underdone. It offers fine battery life -- like the iPad, you can consult it throughout a workday without running out of a charge -- but can only be recharged with its own, proprietary charger. Unlike every other mobile device with a micro-USB port I've tried lately, you can't plug it into a computer or any phone's USB-compatible charger for a slower replenishment.

As for the Xoom's cameras, their resolution (5 megapixels on the back, 2 MP on the front) easily beats those on the iPad 2. But their usability may not: On a review unit loaned by Verizon Wireless, only the included Google Talk application allowed video calling. Trying to place a call with the Android version of Skype crashed the entire tablet every time.

The Xoom also includes a microSD Card slot, but that doesn't work and will require a software update to be activated. The story's even worse with the promised upgrade to support Verizon's 4G network: Although that will be free, you'll have to ship the thing back to Motorola for the upgrade.

For more where this came from, see the video below. As I say there, I can only wonder if Motorola wasn't hoping the iPad 2 would arrive with a $599 starting price ... or if that company thought it was competing with a different kind of tablet entirely.


Have you thought of getting a Xoom, or have you picked up one yourself? What's your assessment of this gadget? What would you like to see in a non-iPad tablet?

By Rob Pegararo  | March 10, 2011; 2:21 PM ET
 
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Comments

I have been waiting for a highly competitive, finished Android tablet for the reason that I am leery of getting locked into Apple's high-priced ecosystem with my app purchases. I also want swype and voice commands on my tablet, which to this date are Android exclusives. But as with early versions of Android on the phone it sounds like it will take a year for everything to really come together in an appealing tablet package.

On the tablet I will eventually purchase I want working generic ports, swappable memory/battery, front and back camera (which Xoom and iPad 2 have) for easy video chatting with people in my living room, and a good cheap easy solution for putting tablet contents on my TV (which I now hear is coming in iPad 2... is Apple reading my comments?) I'd like a data plan equivalent to my smartphone, but I guess that's not happening.

I'd also like future smart appliances to have easy control via my tablet, which is why it's so important to come in first or second in the ecosystem war.

Posted by: Nissl | March 10, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Rob, there seems to have been a few things forgotten in this article. First of all honeycomb's notification system far outweighs iOs. Secondly you attempted to make video calls through skype when that feature is not even yet available on android handsets let alone tablets. Skype voice calls work on the xoom. I have tested this myself. The other thing to note is that this week abdroid became the most popular mobile OS in the U.S. surpassing blackberry and apple. Just like when the ipad initially came'out there were very few tablet apps. This will change. True that flash and 4g should have been present in this device from the start. However this will change soon. Imagine a 4g tablet on Verizon's network running video conferencing at wifi speeds. This tablet is future proof. The ipad is not. While I agree that the user experience is way more'important than specs I have a notion that if motorola had put out subpar cameras in the Xoom like Apple did in the ipad they would be crucified in the press. This is all coming from someone who owns 3 Macs and an iPhone. I love Apple but lets be fair. The Xoom has so much potential that will soon be realized.

Posted by: southflguy | March 10, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

You're crazy. I bought the Xoom on launch day, and am well aware of its pros and cons, its highlights and quirks.

First, you begin to knock the Xoom for the price, and cited the $539 as being higher priced than the low end iPad. Well, get used to it. This isn't a low end tablet. It has much more powerful hardware: a better screen (higher resolution and DPI), a multi core processor and four times the RAM.

I noticed the following quote: "Verizon was considering requiring payment for a month of data service on the full-priced version before its WiFi could be used." and "it's bad business to debut a tablet with a wireless carrier lodged between customer and manufacturer."

When I went to Best Buy, I found that the experience was anything but so. I could have walked out without a data plan if I wanted without trouble, and that's saying something considering my previous experience with similar matters.

Then you go on to complain about MicroUSB charging- you do know that those connectors have limited amperage, right? The Xoom can in fact charge from USB, but it is more of a trickle-charge. You cannot operate off of it. MicroUSB specification prevents this, not the Xoom itself.

Third, you say the -hardware- is underdone by quoting superior -hardware- cameras but knock it for a crashing piece of -software- that you had to download from the Android market. Google Talk is supported, it is up to application developers to support the cameras. And on a side note, I've run Skype on my Xoom and it has never, as in not once, crashed.

The good points you make are on MicroSD and Flash. Those features were promised all the way up to a week before launch, and quietly omitted. That isn't acceptable. I'm eagerly awaiting my first update for these features, and I'm not looking forward to sending it in for the 4G upgrade. I hope the turnaround isn't bad on that.

But the thing is, you aren't taking into consideration that Honeycomb is a better tablet OS than iOS by providing a superior multitasking experience and features that both power users and businesses demand. I've used the iPad and Xoom side-by-side. There just isn't a comparison on the software end. Some things are a little buggy and unstable, and stuff does crash, but the Xoom is way faster, provides a better notification system, is more customizable, and provides a real multitasking environment.

What I want you to take from this: if you look at Android 2.3, and then look at Honeycomb, you see two completely different UI approaches on a great software stack. If you look at the iPhone 2G, then at the iPad 2, you don't see a whole lot of difference. Android? They've demonstrated that they can innovate and recreate all they want on this new UI, far more so than previous iterations. Google is now focusing on the user experience and will come out on top in that arena, you can count on it.

Posted by: kazetsukai | March 10, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The Nook Color is a decent $250 android tablet, once you root it. With the Opera 10.1 browser it's very good.

Posted by: wiredog | March 10, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Looks like you haven't played well with xoom. I bought one and have no complaints..there are few people like you who knows nothing outside of what apple does..come on grow up and try to appreciate other's hard work..

Posted by: prashanthms80 | March 10, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

>>>kazetsukai- I could not have said it better! Motorola has donr a GREAt job making it's new tab future proof and APPLE has NOT. Thats why I am not playing the APPLE game.

Posted by: RepoMan2 | March 10, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

A fundamentally flawed review - try searching other more mature reviews and you will discover benchmarks! In around 90% of tests the Xoom knocks spots of the iPad. And can you ever imagine anything as crass as an iPad being designed (and consumed) without so much as a card slot or a USB port?
The iPad will NEVER get Flash because Jobs is philosophically against it. As to the lack of Apps - Honeycomb will run the thousands of Apps already running on earlier OS releases.

Posted by: webmaster14 | March 10, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"This tablet is future proof."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Posted by: beetsnotbeats | March 10, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

This is a bogus comparison if I've ever seen one. I do agree the XOOM is a bit incomplete, but the upside is that at least their is support for the things they don't have. The iPad will not be 4G compatible. It does not have a USB connection. And it also has a proprietary charger. He ignores the fact that the XOOM has more memory compared to the iPad and iPad2. The first gen iPad only has a single core processor while, while Apple did finally put a dual core in the iPad2. If you're going to make a comparison, at least give it a fair comparison.

Posted by: djamesjr | March 10, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The Xoom (which I really, really want) is superior hardware and it won't become obsolete in a year. Apple's iPad, on the other hand, has obvious hardware disadvantages (like those cameras!)- but that plays into Apple's desire to have you go out next year and buy another one ("Now with new, improved cameras!"). The Xoom, and Android Honeycomb, are in their infancy in terms of overall development. With the Xoom, you'll be able to keep this tablet for years and years and the OS and refinement will only continue to grow during that time. You won't need a new one next year, because it will just be hitting its stride next year. With the iPad, it hits its stride right out of the gate, but if you want your experience with it to grow, you'll need to buy a new one in a year.

Motorola and Verizon have just had bad timing in a universe that has the iPad at its center. They had to get their foot in the door with what is, admittedly, an unfinished product software-wise, to make sure people would at least have the Xoom in the back of the minds when confronted with Apple's dog-and-pony show for the iPad 2. They almost had ME convinced I wanted one. I'd rather wait for the SD card slot functionality, the Adobe Flash software upgrade, and the 4G LTE upgrade, than to not even have those options at all with an iPad 2.

The key to Apple's competitors' success will be evident later this year, when Android Honeycomb and the tablets that run it will be obviously maturing, with growth in the number of tablet-specific apps, Adobe flash capability, etc., while all those iPad 2's will look and function just like they did on March 11th.

Posted by: GreenMeansGo | March 10, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Ok i own a Droid X and love it. I am a huge android fan but because of the short commings of the Galaxy tab and its size i bought an iPad. I liked it but there was some stuff that i did not like for example the lack of flash and the fact that it was not customizable like my phone. When i got wind of the Xoom and was super excited. I actually bought one on Monday night for the full retail of $799. Thats how much i wanted an android tablet. It has awesome hardware specs but there are some massive flaws in this device. I actually return it today. Here is way. A tablet is not a computer but i look at it as a multi media device for entertainment purposes. Surfing the web, watching movies, playing games and using the apps. To me the Xoom has an awesome UI and the web experience was a lot better but its was dissapointing that it did not come with flash. I know it is suppose to be in an update thats coming "soon" but i waited 4 months for the froyo update on my Droid X so who knows when that will really happen. When i learned first hand that its almost impossible to just get a movie on the Xoom, i was very frustrated. Scanning and reading through multiple forums i saw that the only way to put a movie on teh Xoom was through 3rd party sofware that converts files and riipng software that takes 3 hrs to rip a moevie. Really? You cannot even play a digital copy of a movie on the Xoom. So you say never mind to movies, ill just watch some videos and tv shows. Oops, no abc app, no hulu, no netflix. Thats should not be a problem because with flash you would be able to watch those right from the websites but again, no flash yet. The lack of tablet optimized apps was alo very dissapointing and i understand that it will come but i guess i am not willing to wait a year for the app development to grow. If i drop $800 and want it to work now. In the 3 days that i owned it I had multiple apps force close. I agree full heartedly that this tablet has great potential but is not currently stable, does not have the tablet ready app support i want and has too many advertised features that are not usable yet. Maybe ill own my dream android tablet sometime in the future. Needles to say i am very dissapointed because i wanted to stay android loyal but this tablet just did not do it for me.

Posted by: prdw | March 10, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

>>>>@prdw:

Sounds like you weren't quite prepared for the early adopter bandwagon. You have to / should convert videos no matter what device you have. The Xoom is no exception. I could however, convert a video to 1080p h264 baseline, and it played like a champ. The movie experience is outstanding. But do note, that yes, encoding takes a while, as to be expected, but in some cases you can just re-mux (without conversion) a video to mp4 and that takes about two minutes.

Posted by: kazetsukai | March 10, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Versatile world of mobile phone--- i really loved it because i like versatility, but versatility must be user friendly, like video call with different software is a problem with Xoom, why we are able to use only google video call, charging the main requirement but have only one specific option, all of these options will reduce the market value of Xoom as compared to other renowned organizations devices, this is a competitive market and requirement is innovation with the user friendly behavior lets see where it stands in the market. Also have a lot of good application but still we are looking some better choices
Regards

www.a2zmobiles.com

Posted by: bravomaster | March 10, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

This is a ridiculous assessment. Does the writer even know what he's taking about? The facts are not even accurate as already stated by others so I won't repeat. I plan to be first in line for the wifi only xoom!

Posted by: edca1 | March 10, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Glad I read the comments. I played with the tablet and thought it was solid. Only thing stopping me was the price tag -- and the current lack of wifi-only. A $450 wifi-only price and I'm in!

Posted by: dnaburton | March 10, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

hmmm, all the stuff everybody says is missing from the xoom is available soon on one tablet. the black berry tab. i never used a black berry before and i like my android phone, sony experia, but after reading this i think i'll skip the ipad and android tabs and go with the playbook in a few weeks.

Posted by: mklthrkngl | March 10, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm with wiredog, just root a Nook and be done with it.

Posted by: dkp01 | March 10, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

You don't know what you are talking about! You are completely BIAS!!! From what I noticed you are an Apple die hard fan!............BIAS BIAS BIAS!!

Posted by: Jm_4s316 | March 10, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

1. You compared the 32GB WiFi-only Xoom to the 16GB Wifi-only ipad.

2. Tablet optimized applications will come with time. The OS was just released. Do you want 65,000 apps on release day?

3. Yes, flash will need to be dowloaded when available, but at least it will be available. Some other tablets don't even get the chance to try it.

4. How long does it take the ipad to charge completely over USB? A pretty long time. A proprietary charger isn't a deal breaker. It allows your Xoom to be charged in under 3.5 hours.

5. Android version of Skype never featured video chat. Just because the Xoom features 2 cameras doesn't mean that applications will automatically recognize the cameras and automatically enable video chat. Those applications need to be updated to support the new cameras. I'm pretty sure Skype is working hard on those updates.

6. Once the micro SD card slot is made available, what will you say then? The ipad doesn't have any type of removable storage.

7. I don't mind being without my Tablet for 6 days in order to get the FREE 4g upgrade. iPad owners will probably have to wait until the ipad 6.

For more news, tips, tutorials, and information on the Motorola Xoom, check out my site, http://www.xoomblog.com

Posted by: JonathanXoom | March 10, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with PRDW. I too own the droid x and since having it am a huge proponent for android. I had the need for a tablet due to extensive travel and purchased an Ipad after excluding the Samsung tab from the running do to it being a POS. I was super excited about the xoom and purchased it on day on paying the full $799 without a service contract or 3g connectivity. I planned to just use my droid x when needed. I used my xoom for a week and decided to return the device due to the lack of multimedia capabilities. Having to jump through hoops to load movies is ridiculous and lack of tablete apps is really bad. Now I do believe that this will be the device to be had or at least the O/S will be the one to have in a year. I do stress a year though. I laugh when I read these postings at all of the people who read negative posts saying how apple people are so biased, there are two camps and both are filled with bias. The device is awesome, but he support is not there. Save your money and wait.

Posted by: db104 | March 10, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Usually the angry mob only shows up when Rob talks about Apple stuff.

Posted by: slar | March 10, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

What kind of a review did you expect from an Apple employee?

Posted by: hayesap8 | March 10, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

These devices are all about preference and opinion... but the author of this article lacks journalistic integrity.

Number one, the price is VERY much in line for a comparable iPad or iPad 2. Particularly since the iPad 2 will not even include an HD display, 4G access, or memory card/usb options. It does need a lower price point model for casual users... but casual users aren't early adopters... so probably as big of an issue as sensationalist articles as this have made it out to be.

Secondly, I purchased the iPad at launch. I love it. If you own an iPhone or iPod Touch... it's pretty familiar. But ultimately, it's the same device with a larger screen. I also bought the Xoom at launch and to say that the Xoom cannot hold its own against the iPad is a GROSS misrepresentation. In terms of OS, software, hardware, and performance the Xoom outshines the iPad in each area! The only area the iPad even competes in, much less wins, is iTunes vs. Market.

The author is right that the iPad interface is simpler... and after using the Xoom for two weeks, I think that is a bad thing. The iPad's lack of true multi-tasking, sloppy handling of notifications, and antiquated mobile browsing experience are shameful from an innovator such as Apple. The simple truth of it is that the iPad 2 is a large screen iPod, simple but more of a toy than a productivity tool. The Xoom on the other hand feels more like a futuristic laptop device... so much so that I am totally uninterested in the iPad 2 and will wait to see what they do with the iPad 3 now.

Posted by: vcarvega | March 10, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

For those reading these type of articles b/c for help making educated buying decisions... The main things I used my iPad for are:

Apps
Games
Browsing the internet
Email
Movies
Books
Movies

The Xoom handles each of these NOTICEABLY better than the iPad 2 except for Movies and Music. For the average person, it is too hard to find and watch movies on the Xoom. You either have to find movies that are in the specific file formats the Xoom plays, or be able to convert them into those file types. With the iPad, you can easily find almost any movie you want in iTunes and not have to worry beyond that.

As far as music, the two are pretty evenly matched.

The iPad 2 has more tablet specific apps, but the tablet apps for the Xoom both look and function better. The same is true for games. Browsing the internet on the Xoom is pretty much like doing it on your computer, instead of being like doing it on your phone. The kindle app has more features, but Google books is the most enjoyable eReader I have used. And unlike Kindle, you can easily access a Table of Contents for each book and jump from chapter to chapter... and thank you for using page numbers instead of percentage completed Google!!! And of course, Gmail on the Xoom is the best mobile email/calendar app I've used, period.

So other than finding movies, the only other thing I like better on the iPad are the picture galleries and editing tools... which may be a big deal for some.

All products have pro's and con's. But please don't be influenced by the bias of this article's author. If you're not so good using computers, the iPad is definitely the best choice for you. If you only use Apple products, once again the iPad is a no-brainer. Otherwise, the only other category of ppl that would use the Xoom and think it cannot compare to the iPad are people that don't like a lot of options or features (read: weirdos).

Posted by: vcarvega | March 10, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't figure out why anyone want to compare a brand new tablet to the first gen iPad. With the speed of technology, a year-old tablet is ancient. You might as well compare it to the first gen. iPod.
You keep bringing up specs and stuff, but if you (and I mean Apple-haters) knew anything about technology, besides what you read from other people, then you would know that it takes less memory to run iOS than it does for other OS's. And with the dual-core processor at 1ghz plus the 9x graphics helping the transitions and visual effects, I'm sure that it will outperform any other tablet to date. Plus, NOBODY knows how much ram the iPad 2 has until it comes out tomorrow. (I've looked...)
The iPhone 4 has 320 mb of ram and the 3gs has 125 so with a jailbreak and multi-tasking, anything over 320 will be just fine. (the iPhone 4 handles the jailbreak perfectly) It will prob have 512 or higher, but nobody knows yet.
Also everyone is worried about Flash and memory cards. Well, you can jailbreak and get flash (thanks dude) on an iDevice. I can watch any video on the web. Certain Flash programs like ABC.com has an app, so it will run smoother on there anyways, no need to run from browser. Flash games are stupid and a waste of time, and virus ridden. There are way better game apps, or screw your pc up playing free flash games on there. haha.
And the SD card, well for 30 bucks you get an SD and usb adapter for the bottom port of your iDevice for moving "Pictures". I'm pretty sure that when jailbroken, you gain full access to the sd card and can move say a movie or other file with iFile, basically Finder for jailbroken iDevices.
I can't wait to see someone using the Android Tablet and actually talk crap they can't back up THINKING that their tablet will out perform my new iPad 2! Everyone likes to bash Apple. I haven't figured out why. Steve Jobs blocks stupid people from messing up their devices, meddling in the filesystem, when they don't know what they're doing. If you want full functionality out of your Apple Device, jailbreak it! ITS LEGAL. If you have to take it in for service, hook it to iTunes and Restore it. Boom! No more jailbreak...Warranty is Back! So irritating to listen to poeple bicker about Apple. You can't make a device that thin, run that fast, that smooth, and have a 8-10 hr battery, without being a little conceited. haha. See you on Facetime and Skype...or not.

Posted by: bdone | March 10, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

If it doesn't have a hexcore i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, 500 GB SSD, USB 3.0, SD slot, light-peak, bluray burner and 100 hour battery life in a 7 inch form factor running Android Baked Alaska allowing me to build my own OS from scratch it is just unusable. End of story. Unless it can cure cancer while streaming 1080p video, editing said video, hosting my website and downloading a terabyte of data at 1 GB/s simultaneously while I'm sitting at my favorite table at the local coffee shop I don't want it.

Posted by: ThatGuy1 | March 10, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I do not agree with this review at all. I have both the iPad and the Xoom and I find myself reaching for the Xoom when I have the choice. Motorola Tweeted tonight that they are starting to push out an update that will enable Adobe 10.2 and Flash. The Xoom is good now and will be incredible with LTE.

Posted by: timothy.ryan | March 10, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Here is the deal. Apple has once again built something the is changing the way we access the internet and do day to day work. I love the iPad because I picked up the thing and it worked right away. Ten seconds later grandma is using it like an old pro. Apps that work on the iPhone work the same on the iPad.

Android tablets are going to be the same as buying a PC. They will all have different specs and so all the apps will be none standard on all the tablets unless Google make them. I will hate to pick the losing Android tablets that looks great today and is unsupported next year. With Apple I know I have support and a upgrade path where I can move my data and apps to a new device without restarting or reloading.

I will not even consider anything other than an iPad until the market shakes out all the Android losers from the market and one company stands as the overall standard. Until then you are just wasting your money on toys that will never fulfill you.

I bet you guys bought Zune's and are now kicking yourself for not getting and iPod like the rest of the world. The same thing will happen to the Xoom. Next year you will be sorry you bought it.

Posted by: Rax359 | March 10, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Hi apple-haters. How are you? This guy's review seems to be fair to me, most of you actually agree with every negative point he makes about the xoom tablet (if one person doesn't agree with one point, some other android- lover does), so why the vitriol?? Why are you apple-haters so mad when someone says that an incomplete non-ipad tablet is incomplete? When Apple released the iphone 4 you were the same people who took to the streets with flames and pitchforks over "antenna-gate". THAT WAS ONE PROBLEM!!!!!!! Now Xoom has a laundry list of things wrong with it and your over-all point is "hey leave my motorola alone!!!!"

IF Apple released a an ipad that you had to wait for over a year to wait for half of the promised functions to work you people would gleefully start beating down apple employees in the streets

IF Apple had released an ipad that couldn't play a movie unless spent time converting the file to the one obscure format that it could play you people would blow up an apple store and roast smores in the flames

IF Apple were to release an ipad that started at $600 Moth--F*C%&!#@ dollars for the least powerful version you people would Sh@t a brick an lovingly shove it up Steve Job's A-- and pray for his cancer to get worse.

I guess what I'm saying is you people are awesome........you know, because you are so unbiased.

Posted by: davisx7 | March 11, 2011 12:28 AM | Report abuse

My wifi iPad could not play the video at the bottom of this article! I had to use my 4g android phone to view it. When Xoom gets flash, I drop iPad for Xoom.

Posted by: airbattlemngr | March 11, 2011 12:31 AM | Report abuse

your wifi ipad prob isn't jailbroken and therefore doesn't have imobilecinema on it, giving the youtube the codecs it needs to play the video at the bottom of this page. i would be surprised if you knew what a codec is without google-ing it. try getting more out of your device and see what it's limits really are without reaching for the next coolest thing.

Posted by: bdone | March 11, 2011 5:51 AM | Report abuse

I purchased a xoom. It works great overall. Yes I found a few bugs with non-tablet Android apps' but nothing serious. I totally disagree with this article. As a matter of fact I found many Xoom reviews misleading. My guess is that these reviewers already have IPads since it was the first viable tablet out there and the reviews are potentially bias. All I have to say is before you purchase an IPad try the Xoom and compare the functionality.

Posted by: vassy59 | March 11, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I really hate how any review of tech products has to devolve into Overinvested Apple Fanboy Vs. Overinvested Apple Nemesis duck-measuring.

Posted by: dkp01 | March 11, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Rob Pegararo is OBviously a biased Apple boy. He's totaly all about the Apple products.

I for one, like to spread the love. I own a Mac Book Pro, iPad, Moto Droid and a Win 7 PC. There's also a WebOS phone in the family as well.

I like the iPad, but don't love it. It's got faults...a fair amount of faults I might add.

I wish I could buy a Xoom. Anyone want to buy a used iPad? ;-) How awesome will be be to own a Xoom and upgrade that bad boy to 4g. Can you do that with an iPad2? I think not. Can an iPad2 play Flash? Nope. Will it ever? Nope. Is it expandable? Nope.

I think Apple is a fad at the moment. Just like so many others.

It's just best not to put all your eggs in one basket. No matter who the company is.

Posted by: mlpierson | March 11, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I have both an iPad and a Xoom.
My xoom is all around a more enjoyable experience to use, and in virtually every area a more capable and more advanced device. The iPad, and the iPad 2 really are not on the same level.

Indeed, you would be a fool to count out Android Honeycomb. Not just because Android is out selling Apple iOS devices 3-1, but also because Android Honeycomb provides a better tablet experience.

Surfing the web is faster, and more enjoyable on the Xoom. This is because pages load more quickly. Also because the browser has tabs, and because, unlike on my iPad, pages don't refresh every time I leave the browser and then come back.

Multi-tasking is better on the Xoom, making me more productive. I CAN actually do true multi-tasking on the Xoom. On my iPad, I am limited to only multi-tasking the apps that Apple thinks that I need to run in the background.

Switching between apps on my iPad is tiresome. Doing it on the Xoom requires me to only touch an icon, and instantly all my open apps are displayed.

I am getting around 13 hours battery life on my Xoom. I only get around 8 on my iPad, but the iPad is nearly a year old, so the battery is old.

The Xoom is just an all around better device. CNET put it best. "take all the iPad 2 reviews with a grain of salt, Apple only gave early access to their own chosen journalists. People they knew would give favorable reviews. Wait a few days and the real reviews will start to come out."

Just a final comment:
I find it funny that most reviews that are negative towards the Xoom suggest that only techies are going to like the device...

So let me ask you, when you need advice about purchasing a car, would you not buy the car that mechanics are excited about? Would you not also eat at the restaurant where your chef friend likes to eat? Or use the furnace that your local HVAC technician uses in his own home?

If you want the best technology, it is an obvious reality that you are going to use the devices that technology experts use / recommend.

Acknowledging that most technology experts like the Xoom better, but then discounting this as an unimportant fact strikes me as a bit disingenuous on the part of some reviewers.

Posted by: vayapues1 | March 11, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

bdone: My point was that a video review about iPad being better than Xoom should play on an iPad (when it plays on a Xoom). The article undercuts itself.
Also, I know about codecs (I like XVid) and my ipad was jail broken with 4.2 so I could use a mouse while running my DOS games on iPad (trying apple's 4.3 now).

Posted by: airbattlemngr | March 11, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The author of this article, starts out by saying the Motorola Xoom is no match for iPad or iPad 2. Then does nothing but bad mouth the Motorola product, never doing a direct comparison between the Xoom and the iPad products. Never addressing why the Xoom, a tablet computer does not match up to the Apple iPad which is little more than an ereader. If I didn't know the Washington Post better, I would question the motives of this author. A lot of the press seem to be promoting Apple products with flowery adjectives, but no substance. I was interested in a comparison between the two products, what the author provided was a negative informercial for Xoom.

Posted by: Techtrader10 | March 11, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Why would Rob even mention the proprietary charger as a negative aspect when comparing to an Apple product? Apple's own Dock connector is proprietary and requires a "high-power" USB port to charge properly. The ipad doesnt even have a USB port or microSD card slot. Apple's own website states: "via a standard USB port (most PCs or older Mac computers) iPad will charge, but only when it's in sleep mode". Why does Rob purposely not inform the reader of this deficiency? Either it's on purpose, lack of research or just pure lack of knowledge on author's part.

Posted by: brianbuys | March 11, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I bought the Xoom and think it's an excellent first Honeycomb device, although it behooves Google to add some information to Android Market as to which applications actually take advantage of the larger tablet screen - some do it very well (Angry Birds, of course, and all browser apps and most connectivity apps such as ConnectBot) but several do not or if they use the real estate, it isn't done well enough (the Facebook app, for example). Some are somewhat unstable on Honeycomb (Wyse Pocketcloud, for example).

I have a Droid X phone, and some experience now of developing apps for it. I want to develop some tablet apps, and the Xoom seemed like a easy and natural decision for me. Of course, not everyone will buy one for that, and I understand the issues around video playback and Flash, and the unimplemented SD card slot and 4G LTE. But those things are coming.

That said, I have used an iPad, and liked it. The iPad2 specs sound good (the reduction in thickness and weight are impressive), although on paper, I the Xoom's better, for the price.

It was an obviously bold move by Motorola, and I think what they have demonstrated is that it is possible to produce a tablet which competes with Apple.

Is it an iPad killer? No.

And do I like my Xoom? Yes, absolutely!

Posted by: Daen | March 11, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and @kazetsukai said:

"The Xoom can in fact charge from USB, but it is more of a trickle-charge."

This is absolutely wrong. The Xoom will *not* charge from USB at all (neither USB port on a computer nor a USB charger).

Posted by: Daen | March 11, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Hello everyone. Nice to see so many comments.

About the "Rob is an Apple fanboy" argument... um, have you read my work before? You should know that I use an Android phone, paid for with my own money (and running CyanogenMod 6.1). You should also know that I'm no fan of the way Apple runs the App Store.

But that doesn't mean the Xoom gets a pass because it runs Honeycomb instead of iOS 4.3. I'm sorry, this isn't a good tablet. Somebody could make one with Honeycomb, but this one won't cut it.

A few other points:

* Yes, I should have noted that Skype for Android doesn't do video calling at all. But as I noted, the bigger issue is that it doesn't even do voice calling; just trying to connect to the test-call account rebooted the tablet every time.

* The iPad (sorry!) allows trickle charging when plugged into a computer's USB port. There's no reason this couldn't either. It's a good backup option to have and would have freed Verizon from having to include this embarrassing warning on page 6 of the manual: "Do NOT attempt to connect a charger to the USB port. The USB port is used for data transfer only, NOT for charging."

* I'm sure the Xoom will have more tablet-optimized apps. But for now, I have to consider the selection available. You can see me make the same critique in my first review of the iPad.

- RP

Posted by: robpegoraro | March 11, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

To convince me to switch from my original iPad to an Android tablet, Google and the manufacturer would have to offer me a substantially better product and price than Apple does. I use the word 'product,' broadly, including for example, access to the iOS App Store.

So far, the only candidate would be the Xoom. But, it is hobbled in too many ways - higher priced, only 16 apps designed for Honeycomb, the promise of 4G at some uncertain time in the future, etc.

So, for now, I, and, after today, at least 16 million iPad owners, will await developments as we enjoy the tablets we own.

Posted by: query0 | March 11, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Bought a Xoom to replace my iPad since I have an android phone. Returned the Xoom 3 days later since it was no better than the iPad and its OS was different than the Froyo I have on my phone.

I don't understand talk about specs since specs are relative to whatever program you are trying to run. The same as I don't understand the App wars. I only use about 20 apps so if Apple has a million and Android has 100,000 it doesn't really matter.

20 years ago the IBM world talked about how many more apps it had than Apple. Now Apple is using the same tired campaign. and neither Android or Apple has an App for my old school Wordperfect.

In the last two decades we have endured the megahertz and gigahertz wars which have evolved into the duo and quad core wars. But so much of that has to do with enterprise or business software, not me just reading email and word processing on a tablet.

Hey Motorola, call me when your SD slot , Flash and 4G is ready. I don't want to be your beta tester.

Posted by: Michael2255 | March 12, 2011 7:47 AM | Report abuse

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