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Lenny D RSS Feed (Akron, OH)

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MOTOROLA XOOM Android Tablet (10.1-Inch, 32GB, Wi-Fi)
MOTOROLA XOOM Android Tablet (10.1-Inch, 32GB, Wi-Fi)
Offered by WorldWide Distributors
Price: $299.00
43 used & new from $75.00

1,816 of 1,899 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I prefer Xoom over iPad 2 and here's why...., March 27, 2011
First of all I want to say that I own both Apple and Google/Android devices. I own iPod Touch and have played with iPad of family member who own the device. I also played with iPad 2 quite a bit at the store as well as from a friend who got it on launch day. I currently own original Motorola Droid and looking to upgrade to newer Android phone this summer. It is difficult not to compare Xoom to its competitor aka iPad 2. Therefore, this review will entail Xoom features (Wifi version) along with comparison to iPad 2.

Operating System - An iPad is more akin to a smartphone where as a Xoom is more akin to a laptop (Best Buy actually has it in laptop section instead with other Android tablets like Samsung Galaxy). Honeycomb feels more like a tablet. It's not just a row of apps and wasted space like iOS. Plus, you have room for customization (widget, live wallpaper, theme etc). There is also little detail that tech savvy will appreciate (outline grid, advanced settings, google labs etc) Honeycomb is still a bit buggy but not to the point that it becomes annoying. I only have several force close (app closed due to error) once in a while (Not all phone apps work with Xoom..yet). Obviously iOS which is a proven OS and was out almost 4 years ago is more stable than the Honeycomb, a brand new OS (optimized for tablet use) that was out a month ago along with its SDK. Google know Honeycomb still needs improvement, I know Honeycomb is unfinished and I don't mind waiting for even better experience.

Also, it's easy to transfer files between computer and Xoom. Just plug in USB and it acts as a hard drive then you drag and drop the files you want. There's also apps like ES File Explorer and Astro File Manager that help manage files/folder (like Window explorer). I believe iOS requires other softwares unless you just do music/movies through iTunes. Oh and I forget to mention that I hate having to everything tied/synced through iTunes. On Xoom, there's more freedom and you are not stuck with one software like iTunes.

Winner: To each his own but I like Honeycomb better.

Design/Apperance/Screen - Xoom is heavier but that is due to a solid build quality which I love. It is also thicker and has wider screen (more appropriate for movies than iPad 2). Although Xoom has higher screen resolution, iPad 2 still has brighter screen and more vivid look.

Winner: iPad 2 by little bit

User Interface - Some people say Honeycomb is too complicated to use. Well maybe to those who has been using only iPad. For someone who use both, I have to say it is pretty simple to use. iOS is more intuitive and foolproof but there is much more detail/option on Xoom that many people will appreciate.

Winner: Tie

Multitasking - One button and it takes you to 5 most recent apps for easy switching on Xoom. iPad 2 sort of have multitasking but not a true multitasking experience.

Winner: Xoom

Browser - If you use Chrome browser before, it is pretty much like that on Xoom. I prefer tabbed browsing over having to press button to open various windows on Safari on iOS device. You can type search directly on address bar like Chrome. You can sync bookmarks through your Google account. And yes I know there are other browser apps in the market. But for a stock browser app, Xoom has a better experience.

Winner: Xoom

Apps - iPad is way ahead in term of apps and it is because original iPad had at least 1 year head start vs Xoom. Not to mention Honeycomb is unfinished and SDK was recently released. However, the tablet apps that are available on Android market, most of them work great and look awesome. UPDATE: It turned out there're lots more Honeycomb compatible apps (I'm talking 1,000+). You just have to use keyword search such as "tablet" "xoom" "honeycomb" to discover the apps. Note that you can still use Android phone apps. The phone apps get stretched out but still keep the high resolution thus they don't look bad on the screen whatsoever. Give it time.

Winner: iPad 2

Customization - This is my favorite part about Android. You have open customization from themes, widgets to customized home screen and live wallpapers. iOS has none of that unless you jailbreak the device.
Winner: Xoom

Notification - If you have iPhone and iPad, you know how notification can be quite painful. Xoom has better notification system that show up briefly in bottom right corner as you get new email, app update etc. You can press it to view all notifications or remove them. Additionally, there is also LED light blinking notification on top right of the device.

Winner: Xoom

Hardware Performance - A5 vs Tegra 2 is still up for debate. Xoom seems to be as powerful as iPad 2 with exception of GPU (difference can be seen with gaming and screen brightness). iPad 2 has 512MB RAM vs 1 GB RAM on Xoom.

Winner: ???

Camera/Video/Audio - Better camera and video on Xoom thanks to its higher spec vs VGA front and lower MP back camera on iPad 2. Camera app gets a little bit of time to get used to on Xoom. Speaker on Xoom is decent and could have been louder. I wish the volume rocker is more visible on the side. It feels like the button can become stuck into the device.

Also I use DVD Catalyst 4 to convert and transfer movie to Xoom. It can convert most file types as long as it's not DRM protected (like "Digital Copy"). The software is pretty neat, simple to use and the pictures look great. You have option to customize the pictures, add subtitles, and get rid of black bars.

Winner: Xoom OVERALL

Flash - Yes, Flash is still in beta but it works great so far with a little bit of lagging but barely noticeable. Pretty smooth most of the time. I tested it on sites that use Flash like Engadget (video), Honda (car animation), Vice Versa restaurant in NYC (heavy flash site), Myspace and bandcamp (with music player on artist page). iOS has no Flash AT ALL as we all know when it comes to browsing.

Winner: Xoom by a mile (until HTML5 is fully functional)

Battery Life - Xoom gets about 8 - 9 hours for heavy multitasking usage. Will have to test standby time but I expect it to be less than iPad 2. iPad 2 gets at least 10 hours of heavy usage.

Winner: iPad 2

GPS - Just want to mention that GPS and full Google maps navigation is available on Xoom wifi. While on iPad 2, it is only available if you get 3G+wifi version. And if you use Google maps app before on Android you know that it is more extensive than map on iOS (turn-by-turn voice navigation, layers etc). Since this is a Wifi version, THERE IS cache settings on Google Maps where you can prefetch map tiles by panning over the city/region while on Wifi (up to ?? MB. Need to verify the cap). Then you can navigate to desired destination just like normal with voice navigation. You cannot change the destination halfway obviously since there is no 3G connection. The other alternative will be to tether the device with 3G/4G smartphone.

Winner - Xoom

Nitpick - SD card slot on Xoom is still not enabled at this moment. Also, I wish Xoom can be charged through micro USB but I believe it may be because micro USB doesn't supply enough current to charge a tablet.

In the end, you may prefer one device over the other and it is to each his own. However, based on the overall factors I mentioned above, I prefer Xoom.

Any questions, feel free to ask in comment.
Comment Comments (231) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 18, 2013 7:41 PM PDT

Motorola DROID A855 Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)
Motorola DROID A855 Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars iPhone better watch out. Droid is here!, November 23, 2009
It seems inevitable to review the phone without comparing this unit to iPhone. First off I want to say that I am not iPhone owner but my family owns them so I get to play with device a lot. So here we go.

I like iPhone more with its round corner and friendlier look, it's also lighter. Droid looks industrial but a bit outdated and bulky, although the dimension is about the same considering Droid has physical keyboard.
The Winner - iPhone

Droid's screen is simply amazing due to much better resolution. Lets just say that I am okay with no pinch-zooming feature (on iPhone) as the detail is already fine as it is, worst case I only need to zoom in once. Text and graphic is much clearer.
The Winner - Droid

Virtual + physical keyboard = win for me. Yes, the directional pad looks goofy but is still useful when typing. The keyboard itself is not as bad as some people claim to be once you get used to it. In fact I have no problem at all. Each key is not completely flat so you can feel the difference.
The Winner - Droid

User Interface:
iPhone is easier to learn how to use. It is simple yet effective. There is no dedicated call button on Droid which I prefer. However, I do like notification system on Droid more with a slide-out drawer that you can pull out instead of in-your-face notification.
The Winner - iPhone by a little

Navigation (GPS):
Droid seems to have more dedicated GPS with turn-by-turn direction and voice recognition (Google Maps duh). iPhone has Apps with turn-by-turn direction but you have to pay for it while this feature comes with Droid.
The Winner - Droid

Video and graphics look better and faster on Droid due to its dedicated graphics processor. iPhones clock rate is higher but does not matter as it lacks a dedicated graphics processor.
The Winner - Droid

iPhone is faster for page loads and web browsing. On both phones, you don't have to wait for full page to load before navigating. Multitouch is a neat feature for zooming on iPhone. For Droid, you have double tap zooming or button for zooming in and out.
The Winner - iPhone

Droid is more open-source and allows more flexibility. Customization on the iPhone is almost nonexistant with only wallpaper and ringtone change.
The Winner - Droid

Apple carries much more apps than Google (100,000 vs 10,000). However, quantity does not always equal quality, majority of applications are plain crap or junk. Both do have great applications however. The strength of the Android market to me is its openness. In the end, iPhone has a tremendous lead in term of apps with the product being out for quite some time.
The Winner - iPhone

Droid's auto focusing sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. The user interface is more messy on Droid and there is a lag between shot. After taking pictures for comparison, they are both average.
The Winner - iPhone

Droid comes with 16GB removable and expandable SD card while 3GS has either a fixed 16GB or 32GB. However, Droid can only store 256MB of apps as it runs through internal memory instead of SD. Then again, I am not much into gaming on the phone.
The Winner - Tie

Droid easily win as iPhone can only multitask within Apple apps unless you jailbreak the iPhone. However, this may lead to other problems (virus, warranty etc). Not to mention that Apple is actively trying (and failing) to subvert jailbreaking attempts.
The Winner - Droid

Mobile Standard:
CDMA cannot support phone calls + internet browsing at the same time unless there is Wi-Fi connection. GSM networks also dominate the world market.
The Winner - AT&T and thus iPhone.

Call quality
This is a bit subjective as it depends on where you live. One service may get you better coverage than the other. For me I live and travel frequently in Northeast (Washington DC, NYC, Boston, Philly) and Verizon seems to work best. I had AT&T for several years and I have had lots of dropped calls. The voice/data plan with apple to apple comparison is also cheaper for Verizon.
The Winner - Verizon and thus Droid

So far I'm impressed and very pleased with Motorola Droid.

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