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Motorola Xoom Could be delivered to your door! [ PARTICIPATE NOW!!! ]

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Published on Dec 18, 2011

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Motorola Xoom Review:



The Xoom is a handsomely built tablet, though at a glance, you'll think you've seen this before. Maybe it's that little can be done within the constraints of the tablet form factor (or Motorola isn't really trying), but the general shape and build of the Xoom comes off looking just a teensy bit like the iPad's longer, more dangerous cousin. The back and sides of the device are a similar, machined metal (though Verizon's version is painted a matte black, which is a real fingerprint magnet), the corners are similarly curved, and the front is, of course, all screen. That's not to say the Xoom isn't good looking — it is — but there isn't much original going on with the general industrial design that's at play here. And that's okay by us.
At 9.8 inches wide by 6.6 inches tall (with a thickness of a half inch), the device isn't massive (albeit a little unwieldy when held in portrait), and its 1.5 pound weight gives it heft without killing your arms — though it still strains your muscles a bit if you're holding the tablet up for an extended period of time.
The Xoom is clearly meant to be used in landscape mode more than portrait (though it can be rotated any way you prefer). If you're holding the tablet in that orientation, you'll find the front facing camera sitting dead-center between the Motorola and Verizon logos along the top of the glass display. On the left side of the device, there are two volume buttons; along the top is a slot for a future LTE SIM and microSD card (more on that in a moment); on the bottom you'll find a Micro USB and mini HDMI jack, along with dock sensors. Around the back of the device, Motorola has weirdly chosen to place the power / sleep button next to the camera lens and flash — and those components are flanked by stereo speakers. We had a lot of issues with both the volume buttons and power button on the device; we found the volume keys difficult to find and use as they're extremely shallow and placed right next to a notch in the casing of the device. The power button was even worse; we didn't mind the placement so much, but like the volume buttons the single, small circle is extremely shallow — and worse, it got stuck a number of times when we were using it! Instead of waking the device up or putting it to sleep, we were prompted to shut down the Xoom. Hopefully this is just a random issue with our unit, but it didn't give us warm and fuzzy feelings about the build quality.
As we said in the intro, the guts of the Xoom are more than competitive — and performance on the device was really quite brisk. We did experience some slowdown when transferring files from our computer or jumping quickly between lots of apps, but we were blown away by the robustness and speed of applications like the browser and some of the included games. The general responsiveness of the UI and touch reaction was inline with the best the iPad exhibits. Besides that Tegra 2 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage, the device is equipped with WiFi 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A, along with GPS, a light sensor, and an accelerometer. As we said in the intro, the device can be upgraded to use Verizon's LTE network. That upgrade will come in the form of a hardware swap which either Verizon or Motorola will have to do, meaning your tablet will go into the shop at some point (at least, that's what Motorola reps told us). Strangely, there's a microSD slot present on the device, but it's non-functioning at this point. When we pressed Motorola, the company made it sound like it was waiting on a software update from Google to enable the slot. Very strange stuff. What that means for right now is that you can buy a 32GB tablet... and that's it.

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