Motorola XOOM joins our party

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It was less than a week ago that I scrambled out of bed, headed down to the local Apple Store to wait in line for 3 hours to attempt to purchase an iPad 2. I wasn’t second in line like some people around these parts, but I managed to snag one. Motorola finally decided to give customers what they want, a contract free tablet without the hassles of going through Verizon and paying a $200 premium for 3G future 4G connectivity.  Let’s dive in to see my initial impressions.

The tablet itself is very well constructed. It’s more on par with the original iPad than the iPad 2. The design is definitely more industrial than the iPad 2. We all know it’s a little thicker, and weighs more, but it still feels nice to hold. The XOOM definitely wants to be held in landscape mode, but does fine in portrait. Some apps (Android Market) are landscape only, while some others are portrait only. This definitely hurts the usability of the XOOM because it’s a freakin’ tablet, and I want to hold it whichever way I want. Don’t limit that for me.

Off the bat, the camera is out of the iPad 2’s league. No comparison, hands down to the XOOM. In fact, Steve should just ask Sanjay how he did it. Needless to say, there shouldn’t be any problems with scanning docs on the XOOM. The front facing seems similar when comparing the two, but I’ll run some actual comparisons and see which is the winner.

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Overall, the OS definitely seems a little buggy. Sometimes when changing orientation it flows naturally, other times it gets stuck. This morning for instance, I couldn’t pull up the bookmarks in the browser, they just disappeared for a little bit. Getting away from some of these plaguing issues though, you can see the benefits of this OS over Apple’s implementation. Non tablet optimized apps look like scaled up apps. You don’t have to deal with that moronic 2x implementation Apple uses. Theyfill the screen, and don’t end up looking pixelated.

So, there will be plenty more as the days go on. I initially like the Honeycomb OS regardless of the beta stage it’s in. The XOOM itself is better in wi-fi form because, well, you get to keep it after you buy it. The SD slot still needs to be unleashed, and Flash seems hit or miss with the new update of course. But the overall idea is there. It just seems like this should be way better than it is.

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Let the questions roll, and I will answer anything I possibly could for ya.

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Allen Schmidt

Allen is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.

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