CES 2011 was held in Las Vegas earlier this month and walking away with the Best in Show Award was the Motorola Xoom tablet. Without a doubt, there was a glut of tablets at the show this year, which likely can be attributed to everyone wanting to piggyback on the 2010 success of Apple’s juggernaut, the iPad. Certainly, if Apple had gotten off of its high horse and announced the iPad at CES there’s no way
Motorola would have won the award for yet another tablet… but I digress.
Making its arrival in this year’s first quarter, despite still being in the development phase and not for hands-on demonstration at CES, the Motorola Xoom will ship with 3G, which will be upgradeable to 4G LTE in Q2–and thereafter ship with 4G. The Xoom will also be he first device available to run the latest version of Google’s Android, which is 3.0, known as Honeycomb, and developed specifically for tablets.
Naturally, there are inevitably going to be those who will draw comparisons to the iPad, so let’s get to why the Motorola Xoom is better than the iPad and let the Apple fans fume and troll about why it’s the other way around. Firstly, there are two cameras: a 2-megapixel front-facing one and a 5-megapixel rear-facing one with dual LED flash and capable of shooting 720p HD video. Secondly, the screen on the Xoom is larger (10.1 inches and 16:10 versus 9.7 inches) with a higher resolution (1,280 x 800 versus 1,024 x 768). Thirdly, it supports Adobe Flash. And, last but not least, it’s on Verizon instead of AT&T (but that may change with Apple’s iPhone expansion with Verizon).
The multitasking Motorola Xoom also supports Google Maps 5.0, which features 3-D buildings. Additionally, Motorola mentioned three useful accessories for the Xoom: a leather case that also functions as a stand, a standard docking station for charging and display, and a “speaker HD” dock that has three USB ports, and HDMI output, and onboard speakers. Since the Xoom has Bluetooth, you can also get a keyboard that’ll make use of that technology.
Undressing the Motorola Xoom
It’s been reported that Motorola has ordered between 700,000 and 800,000 units for Q1 shipping and that they’ll be available in four color options. But underneath that pretty packaging there’s a dual-core processor (Nividia Tegra 2), each running 1GHz. And there’s 1GB DDR2 RAM and 32GB of onboard storage, which is expandable with SD. Around the edges you’ll find a micro USB 2.0 port and an HDMI out port. For connectivity there’s 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. The battery purportedly will give you 10 hours of video playback.
There’s no word on pricing.