Charging

Motorola advertises that the Xoom can fully charge in half the time of its leading competitor, requiring only 3.5 hours to charge completely. I will say that the Xoom does indeed charge very quickly, but the quick charging comes at a price.

The iPad charges over USB, although on the iPad end it’s exposed as a standard Apple dock connector. Connect it to a USB port that supports the battery charging spec and you’ll be able to charge the iPad slowly, and only when locked. Otherwise you’ll need to rely on the Apple supplied 10W power adapter. The benefit to this finicky approach is that you only need to carry one cable to sync and charge your device. Obviously it’d be even better if the cable in question were a standard micro USB but presumably if you’re an iPad/iPhone owner you’ve got at least some Apple dock cables laying around.

Motorola went a different route. There’s a standard micro USB port on the Xoom but it can’t be used for charging, only for data. Opposite the micro USB port is a very tiny power connector for the bundled 18W power adapter. When charging an empty battery the power adapter will draw up to 16.5W to help charge the Xoom as quickly as possible. The downside is obvious - you have to carry a much larger charging apparatus than just a cable with the Xoom.

I’m also concerned about the connector tip, it’s extremely tiny and is very flimsy (not to mention non-standard). I just worry about breaking it as it will require a completely new power adapter as a replacement.

The Display

I’ve got some good news and bad news. The good news is that the 1280 x 800 resolution on the Xoom’s 10.1-inch display is very nice. While I’m not sure that we’ve figured out the perfect tablet form factor/display resolution just yet, I will say that I hope it’s not 1024 x 768. The move to 1280 x 800 is at least a step in the right direction.

Display Brightness

Display Brightness

Display Contrast

The bad news is the screen isn’t all that impressive. On my sample I measured a peak brightness of 356 nits and a black level of ~0.48 nits, resulting in a 750:1 contrast ratio. This puts the Xoom near the iPad in terms of brightness and lower contrast. In practice the lower contrast ratio is noticeable:


Motorola Xoom (left) vs. Apple iPad (right)


Motorola Xoom (left) vs. Apple iPad (right)

In practice the lower contrast ratio makes the Xoom almost completely unusable in daylight. If you can shadow the screen with your head it’s less of a problem but it’s still a pain to use outdoors in the daylight particularly if you’re staring at a dark colored background. Web pages and the email apps are easier thanks to their white background.


Motorola Xoom (front) vs. Apple iPad (back)

The iPad in particular has better color reproduction at off-center viewing angles. Alone, the Xoom looks acceptable. Not great, but not horrible either.


Finger prints and glare are issues on the Xoom display just like they were on the iPad’s display. You’re going to want to carry around a microfiber cloth with you at all times.

The Hardware Welcome to Honeycomb
POST A COMMENT

112 Comments

View All Comments

  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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 :(
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Saturday, February 26, 2011 - link

    And by purchasing Samsung, you can forget about getting updated to 3.1 or 3.2. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now