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In-Depth: Motorola XOOM for Verizon / Android Honeycomb

Review by Michael Oryl on Wednesday February 23, 2011.

motorola xoom · verizon · android reviews · tablet reviews · motorola news · android news · tablet news · michael oryl

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Two days ago Motorola and Verizon Wireless presented me with a brand spanking new Motorola XOOM tablet, the first tablet on the market to run the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system. While the first 48 hours with Honeycomb and the XOOM haven't been entirely drama free, I am starting to get a feel for how the system and its applications work. As such, I spent most of the day putting together a number of videos that not only showcase the XOOM's hardware, but walk you through how Honeycomb works.

Let's start with the hardware: the Motorola XOOM. The XOOM features a 10.1-inch wide screen display with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution and a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor that runs at 1GHz. The combination of the two have resulted in a pretty smooth and speedy user experience, I'm pleased to report.

With a weight that almost exactly matches the iPad, the XOOM can be a handful to hold for long periods of time, but I think that many people will be willing to accept the extra weight to get the large display size. Personally, I think I'd rather the same screen resolution in a 9-inch size, which would save 100g or so.

I rather like the narrower design of the XOOM over that of the iPad (we have one of those, too), and feel that it lends itself better typing on the virtual keyboard (in portrait mode) or watching a video (in landscape mode). The display isn't as good as the iPad's, but I found it to be acceptable.

So far, from a hardware perspective, the XOOM holds up pretty well against Apple's first generation iPad. The user experience offered by Android Honeycomb is where things start to get interesting.

I'm just going to say it outright: Honeycomb is not obvious. Sure, anybody can learn it, but there is a learning curve involved. I have a toddler son at home, and he can work his way through an iPad as if he were born doing so. Honeycomb poses quite a challenge, though. The main menu is harder to get to, the on-screen home button less easy to find, the controls in general are just less obvious. That much is clear to me.

More text and video on the following page.

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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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