The tablet PC market is emerging as a category that merits serious attention. While Apple and both generations of the iPad have dominated the market so far, and likely will continue for at least a little while, a number of serious contenders have popped up over the course of the last few months.
The Motorola Xoom is one of a few different tablet Pcs that has a serious chance to eat into what was once an exclusive Apple market. Spending an hour or so with the Xoom is a great way to take the tablet for testdrive and see what it has to offer.
The tech specs of the Xoom make it easy to see why the tablet has so much potential. The 10.1 inch screen is a touch bigger than the 9.7 inch screen offered by the iPad, and looks fabulous. Movies and pictures are clear and crisp and the colors are vivid and true to life.
The Xoom is powered by a 1Ghz dual core processor with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, which makes the unit pretty fast as far as response goes. The 2-megapixel webcam is a nice addition for video chatting, while the 5-mega pixel camera on the back is capable of taking some really impressive shots and high definition video. The internal memory allows for 32 GB of storage, which is plenty of room for documents, apps, pictures, and video.
The high speed USB 2.0 port is one thing that sets the Motorola Xoom apart the from iPad. The other major factor is of course, the fact that Xoom is powered by Android 3.0 or Honeycomb, and supports flash websites. The flash support means the tablet offers just about every website imaginable available to browse, in addition to rapidly growing family of Android apps.
Where the Xoom falls short is price. A model retails for $599 with a two year data agreement, while a 3G version retails for $799 without a contract(a 4G software upgrade is offered for free when available). While the iPad is priced a bit lower, it also offers less than the 32GB of storage. Still, the extra $100 is a deal breaker regardless of how much more storage is offered for anyone looking to pick up a tablet and watch movies, look at pictures, or any other light duty computing.
Overall, the Motorola Xoom packs some serious horsepower into the 1.5 pound tablet. While it is a bit thicker than the iPad, the Xoom is still fairly portable. It has an easy to use interface, and all the familiar touch screen gestures are still in play. All things considered, anyone not wanting to go down the iPad path should give the Xoom a close look. This could be the tablet to watch.