* Prices may differ from that shown
I've had my Motorola Xoom for over a year now and love it as much today as I did when I first got it! I use it every day and wouldn't be without it. I paid around £250 for mine, and though the price does fluctuate, some sites are still selling it for around this price. You would pay double for an ipad (and then some for all the paid-for apps!) and I can't see any advantages for doing so. Everything my friend's Ipad can do, my Xoom can do too.
This tablet has a 10.1 inch screen which is a lovely generous size for playing games and watching films, while still remaining fully portable. Because the tablet is thin, and the keyboard is a touch screen one, this tablet is considerably smaller, lighter and more easily portable than my old 10 inch netbook was. Similarly the battery life is far superior with each charge lasting for around 10 hours initially, and still lasting for a good 8 hours or so after a year of regular use.
One of the main things I use my tablet for is watching films and television programs online. It's so much more convenient than putting the telly on and going through the tv guide or channel surfing. If I know what I want to watch, I just use my tablet to bring it up on Iplayer or Project Free TV. Some of my friends use Netflix, which can be downloaded onto this tablet, but I prefer not to pay the monthly subscription charge for that.
The sound quality is excellent, and the volume can go up loud enough for two people sitting near by to hear it. Outside, I can play music on this and find the volume sufficient for a small group sitting in the garden or similar. It certainly doesn't go loud enough to replace a stereo though, and if you were having a party where you wanted to play MP3 files or access YouTube - you'd want to boot up a main PC or similar.
The graphics quality is great, much better than my old netbook was. It's like watching a TV rather than the traditional low quality I used to get trying to watch things on my netbook or PC. This is strictly an indoor affair though, as the glare from sunlight outside makes the screen impossible to see properly. This is a shame as while I can store plenty of film files on here that I've downloaded or taken from DVD, I can't really watch them on the go. My little boy manages to watch things okay in the back of the car, where there is usually sufficient shade, but I've not been successful trying to watch something on a train before. The same goes for trying to play games or read a book on this in transit.
The applications that you can download onto this are available from the Google Play store. The only Android app that I've tried to download so far, and not been successful doing so, is the ITV player app. I got a message saying that this app was not compatible with my device. Everything else has downloaded fine though, including the Kindle app for books, BBC Iplayer, Angry Birds, Facebook, Yahoo Mail, Candy Crush etc. For such a small computer system, I'm still surprised by how smoothly graphic-packed games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush run on here actually. The storage space is 32gb and so far that's been more than enough for me. I tend to delete games and films when I've finished with them and have so far never used more than half the memory at any one time.
Everything I've got on my Xoom tablet has been free, but if you want to spend a little money, the Play store also offers you the opportunity to purchase films, music files, magazines and books that are instantly transferred to your device on purchase. I love the idea of this and may well pay to put a few magazines on here for my next holiday. It's definitely a space saver for trips away! Plus it's easy to put on files from your PC if you want to (such as MP3 or DVD files). There's a USB lead included and the internal software is 'intelligent' enough that I can just drag and drop files from my PC onto this device and have them show up working instantly in the correct folder!
This tablet also has a photo and video camera on it, though the resolution is fairly low - not much better than a cheap mobile phone would have. The lack of a flash means that I rarely take any decent photos on this. It is a convenient way to take a quick snap that I want to add to my facebook account though. This isn't the lightest tablet I've ever come across though so be aware that you're not going to want to use this in place of a standard camera.
The wi-fi connection and touch screen both work really well. My tablet automatically connects to my home wi-fi without a problem and is easy to connect to public or friend's connections when I want to as well. It's as easy as clicking the internet symbol, selecting my connection, and tapping in a password if required. The touch screen is excellent and responds smoothly to taps and swipes. There have been one or two occasions when the whole system has frozen on me, usually because an internet page has been trying to throw a load of pop ups at me, but the simple restart process solved this every time (hold down the power button and the volume up button for three seconds).
My child has a cheaper android tablet that cost a little under £100, and while that works fine for him, this Xoom is definitely the superior version. Not only because of the battery life and general quality, but also because it can do that little bit more than your cheaper tablets can. It has the drag and drop file transfer option, it has a smooth touch screen including an intelligent keyboard that only pops up when you need it and it has flash player etc as well. My child's tablet is restrictive in the video files he can view online, while I have yet to find a file format that I can't view on mine.
I use my tablet every day, for watching TV, listening to music, reading the paper online, playing games and checking my mail and facebook etc. It even lets me store my apps and shortcuts on multiple screens to make them easy to find. Considering I've had this for over a year now, I think it's hats off to Motorola for producing such a long-lasting product. I've had far too many devices and phones die on me in the first six months in recent years.
After weeks and months of eagerly waiting to buy the Ipad 3, when I finally was ready to purchase; I did some research and found conflicting information. I already owned the iphone4 and had issues with flash player not being able to download and watch certain things because of the lack of it. Because of this, I decided to research the best tablet on the market. Up pops the Motorola Xoom 2. Had heard bits about it, but was still in unchartered waters. The Motorola Xoom 2, which ticked all the boxes of a tablet computer that was not only functional and efficient in producing exactly what i wanted, it was a nifty piece of equipment too!
It came out on top of the Ipad, based on the fact that Apple puts a lot of restrictions on its products (flash being a major handicap for users) and charge a bundle for it at the same time. Since purchasing the Xoom I am still buzzing about how great this little gadget is.
2. Pros: Has a large 32gb hard drive. Can be connected to a TV for a larger screen projection when watching films. Battery life lasts for about 2 ½ hours with constant use before needing a charge. I use it to watch HD videos/films online. Watch and follow workout videos, which takes less time than booting up my laptop. Most of all, its great for the games that I love to play and the main reason I bought it. (fashion story, restaurant story, tap ranch etc). The 10.1 inch screen makes it easy for me to see things, without having to strain or wear my reading glasses constantly. My 2 year old daughter has already mastered how to use it for watching movies as well as play educational games, so anyone can use it. Its easy to carry around with you. I just put it in the case and into my handbag and i'm off.
Cons: Can freeze or slow down, but i'm sure its because of the app that i'm using at the time. Other than that, I haven't found anything bad about it.
I would recommend the Motorola Xoom 2 over any other tablet computers. I love its ability to help me stay organised throughout the day via an organisational app. The list of apps that can be installed are endless and everything that you could use at your finger tips. The best thing i've purchased this year!
I've had this tablet nigh on 6 months and at any price it's a steal. I've really depended upon the Xoom for everything ranging from entertainment - to cure my boredom - to its fantastic browser and quick office suite - to help me research for my university assignments - it is really a jack of all trades, even running flash unlike certain other tablets!
It's a fantastic machine by itself, even with the stock apps provided, however, it truly comes into its own when the Google Play Store is utilized. The Play Store has a wealth of applications, free and paid, to ultimately ensure you get as much use as you can from your Xoom.
I've not suffered any slowdown and the experience has been buttery smooth even when I've been running multiple apps at the same time. It is fantastic, and often the battery lasts in excess of 10 hours.
The screen is vibrant and is best described as beautiful! Literally there isn't any other way to describe it!
The Xoom is of great build quality and has a really solid, but ultimately light, feel to it. Its survived a couple of fairly big drops unscathed not showing any signs of wear, even without a protective case.
I'd recommend this tablet to anyone, especially those not wanting to spend a great deal of money on a seemingly top of the line tablet, the Xoom will do everything you need and more! It's a completely dependable machine and in the 6 months I've owned mine I've had no problems whatsoever. In fact, I often call upon it more than my laptop due to it's portability and it really found it's own especially in lectures.
Everyone's heard of a PC, no not the flat footed chap that sits in a car pointing a speed gun at you to gain credits when you drive slowly passed, nor the new fangled way that Britain has become so 'namby pamby' with the 'politically Correct' way we treat each other. I am talking about a Personal Computer, the thing that I think of when ever anyone mentions PC to me.
So, as I said, everyone has heard of a PC, be it one that sits on your desk, appropriately named a 'Desk Top', or one that sits on your lap, again appropriately named a 'Lap Top'.
But over time technology has made a few additions to the PC world, (Personal Computer world, not the other ones), in the shape of more mobile devices that can get you connected to the world wide web, browsing the internet on the move, with devices such as notebooks which are more portable than a lunch box, or even better, smart phones, with some the size of a cigarette packet, almost, but all more portable than a notebook
But most impressive, in my view, is the technological advance which is in the shape of a form of PC which is not only easily portable, like a smart phone, but also offers a viewing and internet browsing experience which is as good as you would get using a top of the range Laptop.
These devices I am amazed by do have a strange sort of name, being the same as something you'd take if you weren't feeling to good. No their not called 'Alka- Seltzer', nor are they called 'A double Brandy on the rocks', the devices I am talking about are actually called 'Tablets' (You'd take tablets if you weren't feeling to well?), which, as the name suggests, are slim devices which are easy to swallow, (but don't try taking one with a glass of water).
Anyway, quite recently I had the extreme pleasure of actually using a certain 'tablet' device due to a new contract at work, which meant that I could give this particular device a good run for its money whilst also completing what I realised was one of the easiest work projects that I had been given, (but I'm not here to talk about work, I'm in work to talk about this device).
The device I have had the pleasure of using is in fact made from a well known mobile phone company whose phones I have used before and found them to be quite good phones, offering some rather nice features. So I thought that this tablet would be as good as the phones themselves.
The company I am talking about is called Motorola and the tablet they have brough out is called the Xoom, (that's right X oom, I did spell it right).
So, after a few weeks 'hammering' this Motorola Xoom, for the sake of work honest, I can safely say that Motorola have taken steps into the Tablet market with some style and grace, offering a tablet device which is well up in the league table of tablet devices from the more well known tablet devices such as the popular Ipad and the not so popular Samsung Galaxy.
Firstly though, let's get into the technical bits and what this tablet has to offer...
* It has a 10.1 inch TFT LCD screen, 1280 x 800 pixels, which is surrounded by a nice sized black frame. The actual screen gives a crystal clear image which is a pleasure to look at
The entire unit is very portable, being 249mm x 168mm x 13mm and weighing in at a lightweight 700 grams.
* Inside it has a 1GHz dual-core processor, which really helps those who like to play games whilst they're meant to be doing there homework, so for normal use, like browsing and simply looking through files/photos, it speeds along like a boy racer in his mummies Golf Gti.
* It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and 3G, although I only tend to use it on Wi-Fi.
* The Wi-Fi is your standard 802.11 and should connect to most routers in an instant, it took me a few minutes to connect to mine and has never dropped connection at all.
* Apart from the Wi-Fi it also has built in Bluetooth which lets me transfer certain files over the radio waves.
* It has two web cams, a 2MP on the front and a 5MP one on the rear, with the rear one having an LED flash for when you want to take pictures in low light.
* As for the camera itself, which has auto focus and digital zoom, has 720p HD video capture capabilities which when played back on the tablet is so clear you'll think you're looking through a window that's just been cleaned by a professional window cleaner, (not like my window cleaner who has a special skill of making my windows look dirtier that when he started).
* The operating system is Android 3.0 (honeycomb), which is pretty good indeed, but if you're not happy with it there are ways of changing the OS into you're particular choice. But as I said, the OS installed is adequate for me and allows me to do everything that I want to with no trouble at all.
* It has a 32GB internal memory
* The battery claims to give a cracking 10 hours plus of excessive use, and it really does stick to it's claim as I have 'hammered' the battery and actually managed to get more 12 hours out of it, before having to re-charge. This was going online, browsing, e-mailing etc, then doing a lot of bits of work on it, both personal and for the boss. Although I haven't tried it on playing games but I'm guessing that the battery power will not last as long when doing so.
* It also claims that, with a full charge, you can get over 3 days of MP3 playback and over 10 hours of video playback, now that's a lot of music and videos in my book. Also, it has a standby capability of around 14 days, but this is if it's just sat in a cupboards not being used of course.
* It has a 2.0 USB port which gives a good transfer speed and there's also a HDMI output and a 3.5mm earphone jack.
* The connection ports are all in one place, these being the HDMI, the USB and the power connection.
* The keyboard is virtual and can be used either portrait or landscape.
* The speakers are situated on the back of the device which cause them to sound a little muffled if you place it down on something, especially a bed or carpet, but the speakers themselves are clear and do not distort when the volume is turned up, or there's that option of using your favourite earphones in the 3.5mm jack if the speakers don't make you smile.
* If you've used a smartphone on android then you'll be used to the pinch to zoom action and the touch screen, which is sensitive but not too sensitive, if you know what I mean?
* Security features including screen lock, pattern lock and PIN lock
* Other features which are on the system are...
* A calendar
* Alarm clock
* Google street map.
** Along the bottom of the tablet, just below the screen, there are three 'hard keys' which are...
* Return to previous page
* Recent Application used.
** On the back, or front, which ever way you look at it, but on the opposite side to the screen, there is a row at the top which contain
* 5 MP Camera
* On/off switch
** WHAT I THINK...
I love it, simple as, as I find it to be a tool that I can, and will, use on a daily basis, be it browsing the latest sports news, writing up a file for work or simply looking through some pictures I have taken. In fact, I can honestly see my faithful laptop being made redundant for my day to day work schedule.
Starting it up was as simple as pressing a button, literally, once I'd fully charged it, which took about 2 hours, using the supplied charger. Then it was a matter of following the on screen instructions, such as selecting a language, connecting to the internet through the Wi-Fi router, or Wi-Fi 'hotspot', then registering the device through a google account. If, like me, you use your normal google account then this unit will sync with your account automatically, which saves a lot of hassle and even more time.
Then I simply played about with the settings, changing them so that the tablet runs just as I want it too. Such as connecting it to my router, via the wireless and network settings, and in here is where you can also fiddle about with your Bluetooth settings as well.
Then there's the option of securing the device using the location and security settings, which is one of the first things I did by adding a security code so that when booting up I am the only person that could gain access.
There's just so much to say about the settings but if you spend time on it then you can get them just as you want them, although it does take time believe me, in fact, I'm still going about adding and taking things away, changing how the home screens looks and how the unit responds.
Once I got online, after connecting to your Wi-Fi router, I started to enjoy the capabilities of the tablet as there is a built in browser. This built in browser is good, but I opted to download, install and use a different browser, Opera mini in fact, mainly because I use it on my smartphone and am used to how it works, finding it to be a little diamond for speed, plus, with it's many functions, I can set it for my own personal way of surfing.
But either way, once connected to the internet browsing around is fast and just as easy as using a laptop or a desk top, only a lot less weight on your lap. The screen may be only 10.1 inches but the way that the web pages open up makes them so clear to read without having to squint.
As for 'multi-tasking' so to speak, I was amazed by how many 'tabs' I could open and actually use without any sign of sluggishness. In fact I had quite a few open at one point, expecting the tablet to slow right down but it didn't falter one bit, so I'm guessing that the 1GB of RAM is well up for the job of keeping it going without me pulling my hair out.
Although I haven't tried running multiple games and apps at the same time yet, but give me time.
Taking a picture, or shooting a video, with it was a little strange at first due to the shape of it, but the touch screen makes it so easy to do and I soon forgot I was holding what looked like a book out on front of me, looking like I was about to preach to the nation. When taking the picture, using the front camera, I was presented with some options on the touch screen, such as whether I wanted the flash on, whether I wanted to change the settings, what sort of light it was, and more. These all appeared on the right of the screen with the image the lens was pointing at clearly showing next to it. Once happy with the settings it was just a matter of touching the little centre 'shutter' tab on the controls and a click later I was given a crystal clear image of my kids and my wife, (should keep the burglars out when I put it over the front door).
The screen in screen facility is brilliant, allowing me to see who I'm talking to whilst seeing what I look like at the same time, remarkable, (technology not my face), this is done by using the front camera, your Wi-Fi connection and a program like Google Talk, or similar, but as Google talk is installed this is what I used.
As for using the touch screen itself, if you're familiar with smartphones then the screen works in exactly the same way, but for those that are not familiar with them. The screen responds to the smallest of touches, with a touch on an icon opening up the application that you put your finger on, but if you keep your finger on the icon you can move the said icon around the screen, putting it where ever you want to, allowing you to customise the screen to your own taste. If you touch and hold without moving the icon, a little 'bin' logo appears near the bottom, which, if pressed at the same time as holding the icon, will delete the said icon from your screen, but this doesn't delete the application, only the icon from he screen.
It may all sound a little complicated for first time users but once done the one time you will realise how simple it is to do again and again.
Customising the home screens are, as I said, a personal choice, so it's not worth me going into detail about how to do it, but I will say that my home screens have many widgets, short cuts and silly icons all scattered around my lovely wallpaper, making it a little easier on the eye that the boring screens that initially come with it.
Then there's the actual applications themselves, which should be all in the 'App' section, and once again, downloading them is your own choice, although there are several already installed which can not be deleted, such as maps, navigation, books, Android market, browser, e-mail, setting and more, although some of them are as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.
But, if like me, the more you use them the more you get used to what each on can do and what they all offer, getting to know your favourite ones and getting used to avoiding the ones that annoy you.
All the apps can be found online, either on the Android Market, which is the safest place, or by simply searching around online to see if there are some out there you may like, although I prefer to stick with the market itself as there are hundreds of apps for this particular tablet, with more being added every day.
So what about stuff like typing words onto the tablet? I hear you ask.
This is cleverly done by it having a built in 'touch screen' keyboard, which pops up at the touch of a screen really. This keyboard is a good size, covering about a half of the screen, with the individual keys being just the right size.
This keyboard did take me a few moments to get used to, in fact, when I say moments I really mean a few hours, getting used to the fact that the gaps between the keys don't really exist, there being no touchable corners on each key like there is on a normal keyboard. But once I'd mastered this touch type business I was flying away, well, I was using more than one finger to poke the letters onto the screen anyway.
There's a lot more I can say about this tablet but it would just be padding really as it is up to each individual persons choice to set it up exactly how you want it. But I will say that this is without doubt a tablet that is keeping certain other tablet makers on their toes.
As for the price, well this is the only downside as the price of this particular modal is selling for between £350 and a massive £500, which may seem a hefty price but for what you get the price may just well be justified.
I know I didn't have to pay for the one I am using but I have to ask myself would I have paid that amount of money for this tablet? Yes, especially if I got it for the lower end price, but even for £500 I'd have to seriously think about parting with my cash now that I have used it.