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  • punjabiplaya - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Looks good, I'm really tempted to pick one up (wifi model) if it truly is $600. Any word from Google on any updates to fix the crashing? I assume with updates (including driver optimizations) it can only get faster and there's no way that Google/Motorola isn't aware of the crashing apps. Reply
  • LeftSide - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Don't hold your breath. I have an Epic 4g and just now got the 2.2 update. Google needs to standardize their update system. Until they do, I will not buy another Android device. Waiting for months just for an outdated update, so that you can download and use the latest apps (skype) is unacceptable. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Blame Samsung, not Google. Most HTC & Motorola devices were running 2.2 as of last September. My EVO got Froyo (2.2) in August, a mere two months after it's release (and only like there months after Froyo itself launched). People need to start doing some research and stop rewarding manufacturers that are lousy with updates, like Samsung and Sony Ericson. Reply
  • daveloft - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I say blame the carriers. All six carriers in Canada carrying the Galaxy S device released 2.2 before any of the American carriers. This seemed to be the situation around the world as well. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Yeah at this point it's their fault, it still took Samsung twice as long to release the updates as it took other manufacturers tho. Sprint and T-mobile recently updated their Galaxy S variants to 2.2 btw, so Verizon and AT&T are slacking off the most... Verizon has half a dozen other Android options tho, until today (Atrix) AT&T had no alternative to the Captivate, besides an iPhone. Reply
  • ph00ny - Monday, March 07, 2011 - link

    At the same time, their devices came out later those other devices. Also all the international iteration of galaxy s had froyo long before any north america based galaxy S phones. Look at HTC Aria. AT&T is the worst carrier in terms of device update due to the fact that they want to restrict the device as much as they can. Look at the issues with hsupa with atrix.

    BTW i have a captivate running 2.2.1 and i had froyo running since last year which was based on the international version of galaxy s
  • kkwst2 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Blame Canada. Reply
  • Milleman - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    Blame Terrance and Phillip! Reply
  • punjabiplaya - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    The reason I was asking is because there is no manufacturer skin. Honeycomb is unmolested by Motorola, so Google should be able to get updates to the device without Motorola having to customize their skin, then the carrier customizing that. Reply
  • Enormously Hatworthy - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Yep, since this is the reference hardware for the platform, you'll get OTA updates directly from Google. No carriers or OEMs to screw things up.

    No word from google though... I suppose they don't want to draw attention to the bugs on the first day of release. I'd bet there'll be a quiet update issued sometime in the next week or two.
  • GotThumbs - Friday, March 18, 2011 - link

    The platform is not that old. Apple just took their existing ois from the itouch and made it bigger. This is a whole new ballgame. Early adopters should understand their will be some hiccups...

    Glad to hear the WIFI only version is coming out March 27th for 599.00 This brings the competition directly to ipad and ipad2. My boss offered to buy me the ipad2 and I told him I only want an ADAM or a Xoom. An ipad would be a waste of money....I need a business tablet. Not one whose product is so proprietary...that you can't even load an app unless its through their controlling is that?
  • Thermogenic - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Samsung changed some of the basic internals of the system (I believe mainly to do with the filesystem and location of certain files). This makes it harder on them to release updates and also causes compatibility problems with certain applications.

    For me, I would only stick to the high end HTC and Motorola phones - they have the proven track record of updates. If you really want the latest and greatest for some reason, then you will want the Nexus line of phones.
  • ph00ny - Monday, March 07, 2011 - link

    Not entirely true. Most custom froyo roms were based on galaxy s from overseas. Look at captivate, AT&T's froyo update just came out and the same phone offered through canadian carrier had froyo for quite some time now Reply
  • chocks - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    "Android however did it the simplest way possible: tap home and run what you want to run next." Pre-Honeycomb Android has press-and-hold on the Home button which brings up a list of recently-used apps and can be used to switch between running tasks. Has had this since the first release I think. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Woops, you're right :) That's very much a precursor to what Google did in Honeycomb, and tap-and-hold home is now out.


    Take care,
  • Thermogenic - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    It's not a true tablet, but the NOOKcolor is a nice device for the money. If you are willing to do a little dirty work (mainly writing to a microsd card and booting it - very easy), you get a very basic tablet with a very nice screen for $250.

    I imagine for most users who use their tablet for web browsing, facebook, twitter, and youtube, that's plenty and a great bargain.

    I guarantee there will be a usable version of Honeycomb running on it within six weeks. There is already a functional version, although with a decided lack of applications and very unoptimized.
  • wumpus - Monday, February 28, 2011 - link

    I can't imagine anyone else competing with a wifi only tablet. My guess is that there are two reasons to avoid releasing such: First, you can overcharge and let the consumer pay the subsidy (and then some) back to the carrier. Second: nobody tries to compare it to the nook. Reply
  • Enormously Hatworthy - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I read so many of those tech blogs that sometimes I forget what a real review looks like. Good work.

    Some of those benchmark results are pretty odd.

    I wonder if the disparity between the Optimus 2X and the Xoom might in some way be related to the dual-core support in Honeycomb? The optimus is running on 2.2 which I understand has limited (if any) support for multiple cores.

    Maybe the benchmark apps are showing some measure of incompatibility with the new code? Just a wild guess.
  • cj100570 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Just once I'd like to read a review of any piece of mobile tech where the reviewer stuck to reviewing the hardware in his/her hands instead of constantly comparing it to an Apple product. For Christs sake, enough is enough already! And don't give me that "Apple Set The Bar" BS. I'm not buying what you're selling! I've owned 3 generations of iPhones, an iMac, and 2 MacBooks so I'm very familiar with Apple products and I have great respect for them. But the simple fact of the matter is that not everyone wants to live the iOS/OS X lifestyle and when they read a review of non Apple products I'm quite sure they don't want to see Apple brought up every other sentence. Reply
  • Enormously Hatworthy - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    It is annoying but whether we like iOS/iPad or not (and I don't, to be honest) it is the market leader in tablets right now. It's the frame of reference for buyers.

    I think they'd be doing their readers a disservice if they didn't make the comparison.

    Notice that in laptop/desktop reviews you'll see scarcely a mention of Apple products (unless they're talking about size and weight).
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    You know, if this were almost any other site I'd agree... But I actually like the way Anand constantly puts things in context by looking at the big picture and comparing products to their competition in the market. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Oh and just for the record, I'm a big fan of Android, my phone's an EVO, and the only Apple product I've ever had is an iPod touch (16GB - 2nd gen)... I liked it as a music/video player, and a gaming device; but I don't see myself buying anything Apple in the foreseeable future. Reply
  • Azethoth - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Ugh. Please do not ever stop comparing a product against its competitors. I want to know that some feature sux / kills vs the corresponding feature for competitors. Reply
  • tiredad - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Compare Anand to Engadget. Engadget compare things to Apple products in a condescending way that i find patronising. It probably comes from their desire to wip up the pro and anti camps and thus sustain interest. Anand, on the other hand, compares products in an appropriate way that is informative to the reader. Comparison gives context and without context, value judgements are meaningless; done right, comparisons are essential.

    I love this site because it seems to simply love good technology irrespective of who makes it. I especially love that there is no arbitrary scoring system - you can read something and make your own judgement.
  • wumpus - Monday, February 28, 2011 - link

    As long as Apple is the competition, Anandtech should compare to it.

    What I'm missing (gave up on, didn't see it in the long list for battery life) is the Nook Color. Since you can replace the software with honeycomb, this is pretty much the best deal for wifi-only tablets around. I guess the question is: "how far do you want to carry it, anyway?"
  • Sam125 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    These tablets or as I like to call them: Smartphone 2.0 is looking pretty attractive but I'm still left wondering if a tablet would be better served by using an Atom+Ion or Ontario SOC. Reply
  • peastham - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Sure it for me with a stock cable. (HDMI just passes right through the dock.) Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Hmm it doesn't seem to be working for me - can you share your configuration (what display/other items in the HDMI chain)?

    Take care,
  • RHurst - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I actually can use my iPad outside. It's obviously not a kindle, but it's surprisingly good. The iPad is actually better than my transflective Tablet PC (Motion LE 1700), exactly because it has tons of contrast and great viewing angles.

    The color shifting on the Xoom depicted in the review is shockingly bad. That it performs so bad outdoors tells me one thing: I won't buy it. I can't wait to see the LG and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

    Thanks for the review, great reading!
  • tekzor - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    moto has shocked me with the quality of this product.
    this is reviews reminds me of a similar experience I had on the samsung galaxy tab. The UI is updated for the tablet user but the experience is still not there yet. I will just have to stick to my ipad and if I want tegra 2 I have the viewsonic gtab and the good folks at XDA. Yes the screen is garbage on the gtab, however for the price($375), you get a tegra 2 and flash!! I feel the xoom should of costed $150 more than the gtab.
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Wow, it loads pages three to eight times faster than the iPad? I didn't realize Tegra 2 was THAT much faster. Did you run that same page load test during the Atrix review? I must've glossed over it. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Preview rather. Reply
  • dcollins - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    It's a combination of Tegra 2 and Chrome being much faster than Safari. I would assume Chrome for Android 3.0 was optimized even more heavily than Chrome for Windows, which remains the performance leader on the desktop. Reply
  • samirsshah - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    make that your SD Card reader SDXC rather than SDHC and just like that utility of Zoom increase twofold because you can store more media. Rumor has it that Apple is going SDXC in their new MacBooks. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    SDHC should be good for most people's needs, they go up to at least 64GB no? I mean, even 32GB is a lot of music... Judging by MP3 player sales most people don't care to bring their entire collection of music with them, and if you're at home there's plenty of streaming solutions (or even if you aren't). Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I like the intro... I also feel that at these prices tablets are a little bit too much of a luxury item for anyone that has or needs a laptop. For those of us, the tablet's still a third or fourth device (behind phone, laptop/netbook, and possibly a desktop); and at $800 I simply can't justify it. I'd rather upgrade one of my other devices. For people with just a desktop or a heavy desktop replacement laptop I imagine that tablets hold a higher appel, particularly if the don't need a portable system for work/study. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Honeycomb is certainly an impressive release tho, given how quickly after Gingerbread it arrived (had obviously been in the works way earlier)... I'm excited to see where future wifi only models fall. If they sold it at $500 or under with 16gb or even 8gb and no 3g radio they'd fly off the shelves... But just like when the iPad first arrived, I think Moto is well aware they have a superior product so they can charge whatever they want for now. Reply
  • Enormously Hatworthy - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    There's a wifi only 16GB version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on the way. Pricing for the 16GB 3G version looks to be around €699 so that could come down to €599 without the 3G radio.

    Plus it'll have Samsung's screen tech and it weighs a quarter of a pound less than the iPad.

    Sounds like a winner to me.
  • Enormously Hatworthy - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Oh and if you have the pleasure of owning one of Samsung's newer wifi enabled TVs, you'll be able to stream live tv to your Tablet.

    Unfortunately I don't have the pleasure :(
  • mcnabney - Saturday, February 26, 2011 - link

    And by purchasing Samsung, you can forget about getting updated to 3.1 or 3.2. Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    anand writes... "I suspect the ideal tablet UI is probably not too far off what modern desktop OSes have become. While a smartphone’s UI must be dramatically different due to the lack of screen real estate, a tablet UI just needs to be more efficient than its desktop counterpart - not necessarily very different."

    this is an interesting thought, and I am wondering if you are considering the, potentially, drastically different usage models that tablets need to be built for.
    not only will people be using these things on the run, but the ways I see people using them now are really different from desktops.
    tablets really lend themselves to task integration, where you have a specific reason to use it over and over.
    for example, I have seen the subway/train information officers using them here in Japan to give people directions, and I see store clerks using them to implement inventory management software.

    that kind of usage demands quick access to a limited number of functions and a low level of file maintenance.
    If anything, I would have guessed it the other-way around, where tablets will need to be closer to a smartphone OS, but adjusted for the larger screen real estate.
  • mlambert890 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    100% spot on. This is where the enthusiast niche that follows forums, and the reviewers and bloggers that server them, can't seem to "get it"

    For tech geeks, a slightly tweaked desktop metaphor is what they want from a tablet (for the ones that even want one at all). For the vast majority of the target audience, this absolutely misses the mark which is why iOS on iPad, despite all of the nerd rage towards it, has done so well.

    I'm as geek as geek gets with 20+ years in this industry, but these days as an old guy, I am also a mobile professional. On the road, which is all the time, for work, i need exactly what you describe. Quick, efficient, task focused access.

    I'm not geeking out at a Starbucks or doing proofs of concept (WoW on emu on Android on Xoom!!!) for YouTube. I'm doing email, note taking, Webex and reading/presenting on the go.

    If google inches towards a tweaked desktop UX paradigm they will be making the same mistake MSFT did (and continues to) with their tablet efforts.

    The hardcore tech crowd might be happy, but they are a micro percentage of this market.
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Did you miss the part of the review where Honeycomb was better in all of those areas? Or did you just focus on a quote taken out of context which compares this OS to a desktop OS?

    Never mind, I already know the answer.

  • ccrobopid - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I was waiting for your review of the Xoom. Goog job on your part, but I must say I'm a little disappointed with the hardware. On a tablet the screen quality sure is one of the most important elements, and at this price point I don't think I'll buy it. I also don't get the 16:10 aspect. Widescreen had sense in BIG screens because we have more degrees of vision sidewards, but at this screen size I prefer a 4:3 format because I feel it's more useful for web browsing, reading and apps in general. Reply
  • ccrobopid - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Complementing my post, if it wasn't for the too boxed experience, I still feel like iPad is the device to have. Let's see if iPad2 launches and throws away some of that "boxeness" :D Reply
  • macs - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Honeycomb needs:
    - an update to solve the youth problems
    - great screen (at least as good as iPad)
    - 16gb and wifi only for 499$

    Apple needs:
    - to catch up Honeycomb on software side (multitasking,browser,... I don't think that an iPad 2 still running iOS 4.x would be enough...)
    - faster SoC (A5 dual core)
    - Facetime Camera
    - Video Out
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I have a great idea. Let's all go spend $800 (+ $50 in tax) to have a tablet that crashes constantly and cant be viewed outside. Crackhead. Reply
  • Mr Alpha - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I would really like to see minimum brightness numbers. The ability to turn the back-light way down is important in order to avoid a headache when reading something in a low light situation. The iPad for example has a too high minimum brightness. Reply
  • josephandrews222 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link wrote this:

    "Things like this combined with the instability I mentioned earlier makes me feel like Honeycomb was a bit rushed, perhaps to hit the streets before one other major tablet announcement coming this year?" referring to the iPad2 or HP's 'Pad'?

    I really enjoyed this review. A lot. Thanks.
  • Jinded - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    On the Multitasking page, you mention the following about widgets:
    "In Gingerbread and prior version of Android, widgets were fairly constrained and two dimensional. You could display information within the widget but there was no depth and no concept of scrolling."

    I don't think this is quite true, as several launchers (like LauncherPro) support vertically scrolling widgets. I myself use Agenda Widget as a scrollable 1x4 calendar widget. The Samsung TouchWiz interface (and I'm sure others as well) also comes with several widgets set up rolodex-style, displaying maybe the last 10 or so notifications/pictures/events that can be scrolled using up/down buttons. Not quite the same thing as a scrollable widget, but I think it counts as having depth.
  • Impulses - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Yeah, heh, I use ADW and every single one of my widgets is a scrolling widget (save for the weather widget). This is where I think a lot of people reviewing Android devices miss the mark... They're too focused on the stock software experience, yet one of Android's strengths is how customizable that experience is. You don't have to hack your device or be a geek to install an alternate launcher and a couple of widgets...

    On my home screen I have a 2x2 SCROLLING widget with my to-do list and immediate appointments, flanked on the right by a 2x2 music player widget w/album art, some shortcuts on the bottom and weather up top. On a different screen I've got a 2x4 SCROLLING widget w/my facebook/email feed (super customizable), elsewhere another 2x4 SCROLLING widget w/a grid calendar, and finally a 3x4 SCROLLING widget w/my news feed.

    Those widgets even employ some basic pop-up windows when you interact with them... Hell, they're so well coded they scroll smoother than almost anything else on my phone (though they don't update instantaneously to reflect changes, fast enough tho). Stuff like this is very real and very widely used on Android, but nigh impossible on any other mobile OS, and it's just not taken into account during almost any reviews.

    Slap LauncherPro or ADW on many of these phones and half the experience changes dramatically... To review Android devices as if these things don't exist is kind of weird imo.
  • strikeback03 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    While I agree that an article covering some of the customizations available (without rooting) would be useful, I think the bulk of the reviews has to carried out on primarily stock software. A lot of general consumers just want to use the device as is, not be configuring everything. Reply
  • Jinded - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    This is true to an extent, but if one of the often-quoted advantages of iOS, for example, is the plethora of downloadable apps, then the advantages of Android, such as widgets, especially scrollable and interactive ones, should be pointed out as well. Reply
  • rwei - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Embargoes, not so much Reply
  • 3DoubleD - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    The third image on the Google Video Chat page says it all... (I like how you squeezed that in there Anand)

    @ $799, who would buy this?!? The Motorola Execs were smoking some strong stuff to come into the market a year late AND priced above the dominant player, Apple. If everything was perfectly executed on this device and it put the upcoming iPad2 to shame, the price would be justified. This isn't the case though as the lackluster screen, annoying charger, and (current) general instability leaves Apple ample room to upset Motorola's "attempted" market position. Upon release of the iPad2, the Xoom price must fall.

    $499 for the Wifi and 3G (with contract) would make more sense. There is simply no room in today's market for a company to compete with Apple on who can sell the highest margin products! On the other hand, perhaps Motorola expects their sales to eat their production capacity whether they are competitive with the iPad2 or not.
  • Chudilo - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Shame on MOTO for disabling Misro-USB charging. If they wanted to provide a faster charge option, fine. I should still be able to charge it via a standard plug. If it takes 10hrs to charge over microUSB , so be it. It's still better then lugging an extra power adapter around (I just want the option) . If it's an open OS , you've gotta follow through with the hardware. This just made this thing a lot less portable. You can not carry it as a magazine anymore(you can't do it with an iPad either, but again, you shouldn't be trying to match them, you should be trying to beat them).
    Ideally leaving it plugged in overnight would give it enough juice to run for a decent amount of time. Since this isn't a productivity centered device, it will most likely be plugged in through the night, then be used for a few minuted in the morning to check latest news/weather/music, then be plugged in again for the rest of the day until evening. If you forgot to plug it in then you can always use the fast charger to charge it while you're using it.

    I'm going to have wait to see what the docking options will be.
  • RLMb - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Great review. Very objective and detailed.
    It's funny how the dynamics of blogs playout. Sites like Engadget, Techcrunch, etc. have their writers write shallow, opinionated, many times with plain false statements. These articles draw hordes of commenters, half calling on the article, the other half defending the article because it "proves" the point they want to make. Other than that they tend to be Apple biased.

    I am going to buy the Xoom, the subsidized version with 3G.
    I am not a big fan of 2y contracts in general, but I think this one is worth it. The total cost over 2 years is 600 + 480 = 1080 and That gives me 3g access, albeit limited.

    If I could buy the same $20/1GB plan for the Ipad, that would cost me $730+480 = 1210 If I used 3g every month. This is $130 more than the Xoom price, so even if I did not use the contract for 6.5 months on the ipad (say vacation, etc.) the Xoom would still be cheaper.

    Of course, if you do not plan to use the 3G you should but the Wifi only version.
  • Impulses - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    Buying any of these under contract is inane if you're already paying for a smartphone ('cept maybe if you're on AT&T and shackled w/a 2GB data cap)... Just tether them to your phone and use the data connection you're already paying for. If you're gonna be using it for hours on end chances are you're near WiFi anyway (or you can find an outlet to charge your phone and offset the power usage tethering incurs). Reply
  • darckhart - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Pricing on these tablets is all out of wack. I don't argue the functionality and convenience, but the price puts it in the tier of low to mid notebook. How is what amounts to smartphone processing capability, form factor, and touch equal to a notebook? It just isn't. Unfortunately, the ipad set the bar for pricing and people were willing to pay, thus ushering in another sorely mispriced gadget. With the current specs of tablets, they should have debuted in the 250-450$ range. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Remember, unsubsidized prices on high-end smartphones are generally in the $450-700 range as well. Add a bigger screen and battery and you end up with the unsubsidized prices we are seeing.

    Devices which try to pack lots of power in smaller spaces have always cost a premium relative to the amount of silicon inside.

    That said I think the Xoom would make a lot more sense with a $100-150 price drop in both subsidized and unsubsidized form.
  • GotThumbs - Friday, March 18, 2011 - link

    Motorola was just taking advantage of early adopters....Come March 27th. the 599.00 WIFI only version will be released. This directly competes with ipad pricing. :-) I'm getting one of those babies for sure. No apple 'force fed' products for me. I like making my own choices.... Reply
  • onelin - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Could you add some video playback battery life comparisons with the iPad? I am interested if that matches up similar to the web browsing. Reply
  • omidk - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Does this support caldav or exchange?

    Its been pretty frustrating having to rely on vendor customizations for exchange support. If google would build in caldav I think a lot of people could run stock android.
  • TareX - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    The browser (provided that it gets flash) is what should make people choose this as opposed to the iPad.

    Who needs money-draining apps when you have a PC-like browsing experience?
  • mlambert890 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I really feel this is academic and minutiae to justify a predetermined position.

    I use the iPad every day. I am not a "fan" of anything and actually spent my entire 30s working at Microsoft - a full decade.

    I can honestly say, using the iPad *every day* that there is ever a time I am cursing the browser and wishing I had a "real PC experience". Occasionally I miss flash, but the world is moving towards HTML5 anyway and rightly so.

    If, on the other hand, your goal is to replicate a desktop on a tablet, and you will barely use it or use it as a complete notebook replacement for outlier cases, then you might want some of what Anand covered here.

    I submit that 90% of the market for these devices do not fit in that category at all.

    All odf the same BS was said about Netbooks. I remember this chatter *inside* MSFT as well. Total disconnect from what the real mass market growth space wants and needs. This is why apple continues to do so well. Apple directly serves "the sheep", as the "hardcore" like to label regular folks. Thing is... The "sheep" spend 90% of the money.

    As for apps, I think ive spent maybe a total of $50 on iPad software, so your implication that somehow a fortune must be spent to supplement Safari with apps is ridiculous. Try being objective and lose any brand bias or personal use case focus and you will see this differently.

    Android on phones did well by copying Apple and then spreading cheap devices across lots of carriers. Period, the end. Any side effect that appeals to geeks ("openness", Linux base, whatever) is there in spite of that success, it is not a cause.

    If Google attempts to create a desktop UX on a tablet, I am almost certain they will fail to capture anything but an extremist niche.
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I really feel this is academic and minutiae to justify a predetermined position.

    Oh, and that's me responding to your post, not a quote.

    And you really just come off as an idiot or fanboy by saying that Android did well by "copying Apple and .. spreading cheap devices across a lot of carriers." That is one of the dumbest things I've ever read online that wasn't uttered by Glenn Beck.

    As far as your last sentence, you keep being certain of that, just as much as you are probably certain that the rest of your post doesn't come off as irrational drivel.

  • ccrobopid - Saturday, February 26, 2011 - link

    > And you really just come off as an idiot or fanboy by saying that Android did
    > well by "copying Apple and ..

    He maybe came off as an idiot (I don't think so) but I think he's right. I see people with android phones trying to use them as iPhones and ignoring the rest of the features.

    I, as a tech savvy user feel ignored by tech manufacturers. It's clear to me that my tastes are not those of the majority. I have to buy 16:9 laptops for programming, if I want a tablet with a good screen I have to give up having a file system or watching content in the formats I want, etc., etc.

    I wonder what would happen if we, as the workforce that make all this products for the masses possible will get on strike and refuse to work until products that appeal to us are made.

    We are a minority, but I feel unfair to be ignored like any other minority by the people we work for
    :D :D
  • bplewis24 - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    While you are correct in saying that the majority of the people who own Android phones likely don't utilize all of it's features and use them as iPhone clones, so to speak, that doesn't mean that Google has copied Apple in it's OS vision.

    Anand goes into detail in the first page about how Google has decided to differentiate itself with Android, and I think most tech-savvy people realize that there are some very key, significant differences with the two software platforms. Stock Android from the G1 was vastly different from iPhoneOS of that day.

    While both have added significant features and ultimately will continue to copy each other's advancement or try to best it, they still go about it in different ways. For example, iOS continues to try to catch up in the multi-tasking arena, but they still do so differently.

  • spinron - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I have a Pandaboard here (a TI OMAP4 reference platform) and just for fun I loaded it with XBMC and configured it with the full suite of TI's proprietary drivers (DSP, IVA, PowerSGX, etc). It played pretty much anything I threw at it, including some very high bit rate AVC in MKV containers that put quite a strain on dedicated Sigma silicon. My guess is that the Tegra2 has comparable video decoding power, so whether Xoom-like tablets will become universal video players will essentially boil down to software availability. So strictly speaking, Kal-el-like hardware is probably not going to be required just for that purpose.

    Great review! It's certainly much more objective than most of the others. Walt Mossberg's review on ATD was particularly funny (and simultaneously sad) to watch.

    Your mobile SB review looked so convincing it looks like my next major buy is probably going to be a new SB i7 MBP. Coupling fast I/O with a laptop seems like a real game changer, most certainly in Apple's world. Can't wait for a review...
  • halcyon - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Finally a tab that almost manages the 10hr mark on benchmarks.

    That means that in true real-world usage it might really last the 8hrs, even after the battery has been through a few recharge cycles.

    The screen is bit of a let-down as you state.

    Ah well, here's hoping Samsung did the right thing on their tablet.

    The wait continues.
  • Mumrik - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I'm still waiting for the whole tablet market to implode when users realize that the products makes absolutely no sense at all for 90+% of users and that they're damn expensive for what you get. Reply
  • tomas986 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    I see quite a few people with this opinion. I'm curious to understand why they think that way...

    The way I figured it, there are two types of digital experience with computers/laptops/tablets/smartphones. I think they call it "media content consumption" and (I assume) "content creation". Content creation is when you have to input data (ie... writing a paper, report, writing emails, creating pics, videos, ...). Content consumption is just reading and viewing the media content.

    So, you have to ask yourself, for your computer/laptop/tablet/smartphone usage, how much time do you consume content and how much time do you create content. To understand the potential for tablets, I think you really have to break it down into the two categories.

    At work, I do a lot of contest creation, but at home, about 90% of the time, i am just consuming content (read email, surf web, play game,...). Also, on the road/trip/vacation, it is mostly content consumption too.

    Tablets are great for content consumption and light content creation (emails, ...), which I believe most people do about 90% of the time away from work (and some people 90% at work too :) ).

    So, the tablet is design to satisfy 90% of your computer-related needs away from work. Not to mention, for content consumption, it is a better user experience than computer/laptop (due to touch screen nature).

    BTW, I play computer games, so definitely still need a computer. But for me, having a computer and a tablet is much better than a computer and a laptop. Note, the computer is always there, and the tablet can't replace that (for now).

    Again, I think you really have to break down your digital/computer experience between consumption and creation. Then it makes more sense for tablet usage.
  • Impulses - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    That's just you though... Like me you'd never give up your desktop, but the vast majority of consumers today just have one laptop, and that's it. For most a phone is basically a necessity, and smartphones have exploded because of heavy subsidies and increased functionality, but a lot of people don't need one either.

    Regardless, when it comes down to spending $800 on a tablet or a new laptop, they're gonna go w/the laptop (possibly a cheaper one at that)... So the tablet remains a luxury item that can't fully replace their main system, nor their secondary device (phone). If these tablets were priced way lower they'd make a lot more sense as a supplementary device, and I'm sure we'll get there eventually...

    Right now most people are better served w/something like a Brazos-based ultra-portable tho. Having a tablet on top of that is great for couch use or traveling if you opt for a large laptop, but it's just a luxury item. They've tried to make newspapers and magazines the killer tablet app and I don't think it's catching on much. People that read a lot still prefer an e-reader (or an actual computer if they need to do research/etc.).
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Anand drives a Camry? I would have expected something more like a BMW or Audi.

    As far as the screen contrast goes, I find it funny that 750:1 is considered a downside here, while the notebook editors celebrate anytime they find a screen that even hits 500:1.
  • shadowofthesun - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    "I’d love to see a quick search field here so you could just start typing to find the app you’re looking for but perhaps we’ll see that in a future version of the OS."

    On my Android 2.1 device, typing while in the applications drawer brings up a quick search box which does indeed search apps on the phone.

    I vaguely remember my previous motoblur 1.6 device actually filtering the apps if I typed on the physical keyboard, but I can't confirm that ATM.
  • strikeback03 - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    plus didn't the page for the google search box show it bring up the app Angry Birds as the first result? Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    Interestingly, Motorola designed the Xoom's primary product page around Flash, probably to exclude the iPad, but it ironically means the Xoom can't view it yet either.
  • mrdeez - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    I will definitely get one of these wifi only when released.....Great fair review. What this unit has going for it IMO,and other android device makers should pay attention to is Battery life. I love my evo but i get anywhere from 5-8 hours on it depending on what i'm doing. I really think ability to actually use these devices without having to charge the battery all the time is a big advantage. Most of the hardware/software quirks will be fixed soon as this is googles developer tablet. Reply
  • chomlee - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    This is my take away from all of this, and keep in mind, I am not an apple fanboy. My favorite phone is the EVO.

    My most important factors in a tablet
    Best screen - Apple
    Best Load time - Xoom
    Best UI - Xoom (considering deficencies will be fixed with future android releases)
    Battery Life - Tie
    Pricing - Apple

    Overall, to me it is a tie right now but that is with the current IPad. The next IPad will probably catch up to the the Xoom on most of the benefits and the only benefit of the Xoom may be Honeycomb.

    Another factor not mentioned that is really important to me is how you can turn on your 3G service a month at a time and use it on vacations when you need to. I would never get a contract on a tablet device because it would mostly be used at home on the wifi (I think most people are in the same boat). That option is a deal breaker for me.

    I would love to have an android device but I have a feeling that the Ipad 2 is going to be even better at a lower price than the xoom, I may end up being one of those drones buying the new IPad.
  • bplewis24 - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    You forget that there will only be one new iPad releasing this year (most likely), but there will be several Honeycomb tablets emerging on the market. Some will have better screens (Asus Transformer?), some will have better pricing (Galaxy Tab 10.1?), and yet others will have better feature sets ...all while still having the same best-in-class Honeycomb UI.

    So, while the iPad2 may possibly catch up or even surpass the Xoom on some level, that will be it for the rest of the year, while other Honeycomb tablets will still be shooting for the crown, driving Honeycomb tablet pricing down in the process.

  • robco - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    From the OS standpoint, I will say I like the Honeycomb home screen better, it utilizes the added space much better than the iPad does. The hardware looks nice, but we'll see how it compares after March 2nd.

    That being said, while looking at the tech specs and OS are nice, neither are what will make or break the Xoom. Tablets are content consumption devices. Apple has done a tremendous job bringing content to end users. And they are consuming it. And paying for it. It's incredibly easy to rent or purchase music, movies, TV shows, books and apps from an iOS device or share them with a connected Mac or WIndows PC. I didn't see anything like this in the Xoom. Does Google, Moto or VZW have any content available? As of last WWDC (almost a year ago now), Apple stated they've paid developers over $1B. Given the relatively short time the App Store has been live and the low cost of most apps, this is a very impressive number. How much has Google paid out via the Android Market? It sends a message that iOS is a profitable platform - and not just for Apple. Not only has Apple sold a lot of devices, users are actually paying for apps and content.

    This seems to be Android's weakness. Google seems interested in Android only as an advertising platform. As such, besides the Android Market, which just recently received a much needed makeover, Google has done little to bring content to the platform beyond its own ad-driven properties. They seem content to let the device manufacturers or carriers do that. The problem is that while Android may be surpassing iOS in sales, none of the individual device makers or carriers really has the resources, clout and/or inclination to build the bridge between content providers/developers and end users the way Apple has. Despite Google's efforts, the gap in apps between Android and iOS remains high, despite Apple being more "closed", requiring a Mac for development and charging more to get apps on their store.

    The file transfer looked clunky. No mention of whether or not companies like Netflix or Amazon will offer content. If I want to rent a movie or buy a song on an iOS device, it's a few taps. Can I do that on a Xoom? When my friends show me cool apps on their iPads, will I be able to download the same or similar apps to my Xoom? That is what will make or break the Android tablet business, - not SoC's, memory, displays and cameras.
  • bplewis24 - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    Do you own an Android device currently?

    Yes, when your friends show you cool apps from an iOS device, chances are highly likely that you will be able to download it on your Android device. And for all of the apps you cannot, there are plenty for Android that they cannot as well.

    Lastly, I feel you seem to be assuming that Android isn't profitable for developers and that there is a lack of content in spite of the evidence to the contrary. Do you really think Amazon would be releasing their very own App store for the Android OS if Google didn't care about content?

    If you really think that the gap between quality, non-superfluous apps that real people download and consume every day is that large, you may be getting your information from the wrong sources.

  • billyblonco - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    The Xoom is pretty fast on loading pages but the atrix was right behind it,even tho the atrix has flash and the xoom and ipad does not. Reply
  • sb1831 - Saturday, February 26, 2011 - link

    I've had my Xoom for over 24 hours now, and have yet to have a a force close nor has my fiancee on hers. I was wondering if you had a production unit or a test unit.

    As for my experience with the tablet. Everything is snappy with no lag at all that I've notice. Switching from one app to another is easy. I'm a big fan of Honeycomb. It does remind me a lot more of a traditional desktop OS. With that being said, my 60 year old mother played with it for a little over an hour and a half last night, and was amazed at how quickly she picket it up.

    She's familiar with computers, and owns a netbook, but is seriously thinking of going out and getting a wifi version when it becomes available. It's simple enough for her to know that a browser will get you to the internet, and actually commented on how the browser reminder her of the one on her desktop (Chrome LOL) That to me speaks volumes about how easy this thing is to use. I really didn't even need to guide her at all that much. She managed to pull up some music and download angry birds from the market

    I think that when tablets become more common and the prices start to come down a bit, people will think that the Honeycomb OS is closer to the experience they're used to and will side with it. I put it next to my iPad and the first thing I though was "Everything I really use is right here on the main screen browser, gmail, music, and the market." iOS looked clustered to me and almost like a toy next to the Xoom. I thought "hmmm if the apps shortcuts were vertical and the clock in the gadget sidebar like in Win7 it would look pretty much like a desktop. "

    All in all I'm a big fan of the Xoom, and unless the iPad2 makes some drastic changes and starts to feel more like an actual desktop based OS I will be selling my iPad and sticking with the Xoom.
  • OCedHrt - Saturday, February 26, 2011 - link

    The battery lives in the first chart are shorter than the second chart. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Reply
  • PubicTheHare - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    What Anand said about the screen is 100% spot on. It seems cheap--grainy, low contrast, poor viewing angles.

    The screen wasn't super responsive like the iPad's. I will wait for the iPad 2 before I start looking at tablets.
  • j.harper12 - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    This read as one long sales pitch for the Optimus 2X to me... really, the Optimus 3D, as, if I'm not mistaken, it did even better in benchmarks. Seriously though, impressive results from the Xoom, do you really have to solder the LTE card though? I thought there was just a placeholder for a mini PCI-E card...

    Really, though, Nvidia told me not to buy the Xoom... you know, when they announced quad core Tegra 3 would be available by the end of the year with 5x the performance. Definitely can/will wait until Christmas for a tablet. Ancillary benefit? Tablet Android will have the kinks worked out then.

    Also interested in seeing what's coming March 2nd. Can't wait for next year's "Retina" display on a tablet... because it'll force everyone else to up the resolution. Not really an Apple person, but always happy and impressed with how Apple can up the ante for everyone else.
  • j.harper12 - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    My comment was a joke by the way, I'm always impressed with how unbiased this website is... so I just don't want people thinking I genuinely thought this article was a sales pitch for the Optimus 2X, I'm speaking only to the benchmark results. Reply
  • ATOmega - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    $600 for a wifi model? Rip off. I remember some of the big talk before Android and several of the ARM-based chipsets being "cheaper". Where did that go? Oh yeah, investor greed.

    Tablets need to come way down in price, especially considering how notoriously poor the after-purchase support is. You're forgotten the second you buy any Android device. Good luck contacting the manufacturer, let alone hoping for OS updates.

    Also, the heavy reliance on cell phone companies is disappointing. They don't make the devices, but they still have some influence, I really wish google would do something about this market. It's turned into one big gouge.
  • bplewis24 - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    I personally think the non-Motorola branded tablets will be much more reasonable in price. Specifically the Asus Transformer.

  • mrdeez - Monday, February 28, 2011 - link

    I was gona wait for the wifi version but now, I am really thinking of just getting a new lappy for 350...I can still tether to phone and it is cheaper and no stupid data contracts. I am sure we wont see these wifi versions for awhile. It's almost starting to look like google is greedier than apple and thats very scary! Reply
  • IBM650 - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - link

    Mossburg ran a movie loop, IPAD was about 11 hours, Xoom about 7. So a big difference Reply
  • prtech - Thursday, March 03, 2011 - link

    AS per my understanding 'ADAM' is already out and hoping you got one. Can you give us Benchmarks and in depth review like you did for other products. Reply
  • mmullany - Friday, March 04, 2011 - link

    Iin order to pass ACID, the 100/100 has to match the reference image and the animation has to be smoooth. The Xoom fails in three ways - it has a rendering artifact in the top right, the animation isn't smooth and the colors don't match exactly. In addition, many of the HTML5 features that the Xoom self-reports as having, do not actually operate correctly. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, March 05, 2011 - link

    Great to see some timed tests! Real-world loading time is directly understandable and relevant. Now please do the same in your SSD reviews :) Reply
  • JefTek - Sunday, March 06, 2011 - link

    I ran the Sunspider tests multiple times on my Xoom and never seem to have received a number higher than 2100.

    Without doing a full on average, my results were closer to the 2050ms mark.

    I wonder what was different?
  • Hrel - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    I'd really like to see a 24" 1080p touch screen with smartphone innards. Instead of using desktop or even laptop parts just cause it'd cost WAY less. Or better yet have a 24" 1080p touch screen with an empty slot so you can just insert your tablet/smartphone (would require a universal port or cable) and have that power the display. The display should also incorperate a hdd bay or two. Cause really, who wants to go around buying a tablet for each room in the house?

    I just think it'd be really nice to have a much larger touch screen in the kitchen on the stand where you can stream music, watch a youtube video, look at recipes while cooking. Or out on the deck grilling. 6-10" screens are great if you want something larger than a smartphone/archos tablet to carry around with you and get great battery life where you can basically just surf the web. But for in home use, anywhere a stationary device can be placed, a larger screen is almost always better.
  • turbobutton - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    Apparently "Corning Glass" is one part of that equation that can make it happen, although clearly more technology needs to be developed for this to be feasible. You will really enjoy this video:
  • Hrel - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    "Google lets you "blank" if you want". That whole idea, giving YOU the choice of how you want it to work. I don't just want that, I NEED it. If Apple will never open up and give configuration options to users, then I will never use Apple anything. I will never recommend it and I will always fight their market penetration. Reply
  • Hrel - Sunday, March 13, 2011 - link

    Wow, I was hoping for 400 bucks. I was thinking they'd probably jew us out and charge 500 though. 800?! That's just stupid, Archos it is then. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Friday, March 18, 2011 - link

    Hold out a little longer...599 WIFI only coming March 27th. Hope you didn't buy the Archos yet. Early adopters always pay more $$$. If you just wait a little while...the prices always adjust after buying slows down at higher price. Thats just the economics of it. Apple is able to sell at higher prices, so why would they lower them. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Friday, March 18, 2011 - link

    Coming out Mrch 27th. Hold on a little longer for a better tablet. My boss offered to buy me the new IPAD2 the other day. I told him 'no thanks, its either an ADAM or a Xoom or nothing" The ADAM is still developing their production and having growing pains.....the product is excellent and will be a great addition to the tablet market when it arrives in stores...for now...its Xoom. Now with the WIFI version coming will boost sales for those consumers who did not want the 3g option and high cost. Reply
  • Android_Blogger - Monday, March 21, 2011 - link

    Apparantly, the 3G version costs 600 GBP in the UK at least. Source: <a href="">UK Xoom Tablet blog</a> Reply
  • Android_Blogger - Monday, March 21, 2011 - link Reply
  • spambonk - Sunday, April 10, 2011 - link

    What I don't get are the specs on Amazon which says this device also has a 2.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile inside??? What, it has both a tegra and a intel core 2??? What is this madness. Reply
  • fentleson - Friday, April 15, 2011 - link

    Better screens. Resolution isnt as important as screen quality. Reply
  • vtx1300 - Friday, April 15, 2011 - link

    HD front and rear cameras - USB2/3, GigE and E-SATA connections and a Free (commercial sponsored?) Data Plan Reply
  • Dixon Butz - Sunday, April 17, 2011 - link

    I want to see a slide out keyboard. Or a mini removable keyboard. Reply
  • 911dude - Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - link

    I'm wondering about the effect that the pending ATT buyout of T-Mobile will have on the future of Xoom. Reply
  • ANDROCELES - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    I HOPE 2 TRY ONE Reply
  • Bamboozle - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - link

    Better off axis viewing, longer battery life Reply
  • kerrynjt - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I was shopping for the I pad 2.........when I came across the Motorola Tablet......I love it......I am still getting to know the features, I find it very easy to use, Reply

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