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Motorola XOOM Review

Motorola XOOM

Posted: , posted by John V.

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So this is where all the real fun comes into play as the biggest wow factor to behold the Motorola XOOM is the tablet optimized experience with Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Granted that it’s not going to let the platform take up the entire spotlight, the spiffy and responsive new platform is credited by the tablet’s viscous 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra2 processor and 1GB of DDR2 RAM. With those two combined, it provides that slick and swift experience that doesn’t let up in the speed department, but in some rare instances, there is still some evidence of slowdown – but it only happens for a brief time and doesn’t deter from its overall peppy response.

No joke, but when we first powered up the XOOM and got straight into the Android 3.0 Honeycomb homescreen, we were overwhelmed by how different the user interface looked compared to previous iterations of Android. Taking precedence in almost every aspect, it features an intense amount of 3D visual effects that not only add plenty of eye candy, but gives it some futuristic look and feel – much like the fancy looking LCARS interface running on consoles in the Star Trek universe.

Some may be surprised by the lack of usual Android buttons, like the menu and back keys, but they’re in fact placed in the left portion of the System Bar – which is always present at bottom of the screen at any orientation. Specifically, we find the usual Back and Home buttons, but alongside them is the Recent Apps button that displays a thumbnail image of the most recent apps running. This essentially aids in the productivity department as you can quickly multi-task and get things accomplished. Continuing to show off it processing prowess, it’s able to keep even a memory intensive 3D game like Cordy, which is preloaded and developed specifically for tablets, in the same exact position in the game if you happen to switch back to the web browser or homescreen. Finally, with most apps, the customary Menu button will also pop up in the same area too.

The Motorola XOOM is optimized with Android 3.0 Honeycomb - Motorola XOOM Review
Android buttonsin the bottom left - The Motorola XOOM is optimized with Android 3.0 Honeycomb - Motorola XOOM Review
The Action Bar is on top - The Motorola XOOM is optimized with Android 3.0 Honeycomb - Motorola XOOM Review
The Motorola XOOM is optimized with Android 3.0 Honeycomb - Motorola XOOM Review
 

Android buttons
in the bottom left

The Action Bar is on top

 
The Motorola XOOM is optimized with Android 3.0 Honeycomb - Motorola XOOM Review
The Motorola XOOM is optimized with Android 3.0 Honeycomb - Motorola XOOM Review
Notifications panelin the bottom right - The Motorola XOOM is optimized with Android 3.0 Honeycomb - Motorola XOOM Review
The Motorola XOOM is optimized with Android 3.0 Honeycomb - Motorola XOOM Review
  

Notifications panel
in the bottom right

 

Additionally, notifications now pop up in the Notifications Panel that’s located in the bottom right portion of the System Bar. We dig it. Honestly! That’s because it’s not obtrusive at all in the way it presents notifications; such as an email or Twitter mention. And in the event you’re not present to see them, specific icons will load up in the Notifications Panel and you’ll have the opportunity of clicking each one to see what they are. Furthermore, you can get rid of the notifications icons by simply clicking the distinguishable “X” icon in the pop up window. Obviously, the time, battery indicator, and signal strength of the tablet are all displayed in the same area as the Notifications Panel, while tapping on it will get you access to the Android Settings – along with some quick functions like adjusting its brightness, orientation lock, Wi-Fi, and airplane mode.

While the System Bar is perched on the bottom at all times, we find the Action Bar placed on the top side of the display – which offers different items according to what apps you’re running. At the homescreen, we find access to Google Search, Voice Search, apps panel, and personalization. However, if you run the web browser, the Action Bar simply becomes the area for all the window tabs. 

The interface of the Motorola XOOM in portrait mode - Motorola XOOM Review
The interface of the Motorola XOOM in portrait mode - Motorola XOOM Review
The interface of the Motorola XOOM in portrait mode - Motorola XOOM Review
The interface of the Motorola XOOM in portrait mode - Motorola XOOM Review

Without question, there’s plenty of personalization to find with Android 3.0 Honeycomb as it dishes up 5 homescreen panels for you to fill with various things. Instinctively, you can place additional content, like widgets or shortcuts, by executing a long press on any open area on the homescreen – you can also do it by pressing the “+” button in the Action Bar as well. Once you’re there, the scene changes and displays all 5 homescreen simultaneously, where you can add widgets, app shortcuts, wallpapers, and more. Click and drag is the name of the game, much like Android in general, to get specific items to their locations on the homescreen. Yet another thing we adore is the handful of interactive widgets that Android 3.0 Honeycomb has to offer. For example, the Gmail widget allows you to quickly scroll through your email directly within the widget, while things like the YouTube widget stacks videos together for you to browse.

And finally, pressing on the apps icons in the homescreen will plop the apps panel into view with a nifty looking falling from the sky animation. Once they’re all there, icons are positioned in the familiar grid-like pattern which are finger friendly in size. Moreover, you’ll be able to swipe left and right as you begin to accumulate more apps on the Motorola XOOM.

The apps panel of the Motorola XOOM - Motorola XOOM Review
The apps panel of the Motorola XOOM - Motorola XOOM Review


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Motorola XOOM

Motorola XOOM

OS: Android 4.0 3.2 3.1 3.0
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8Good
Display10.1 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels (149 ppi)
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Dual-core, 1000 MHz
1 GB RAM
Size9.80 x 6.61 x 0.51 inches
(249 x 167.8 x 12.9 mm)
25.75 oz  (730 g)

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