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Hands on with the Motorola Xoom

Update: Video's been added after the break.

Spend even just a little time with the Motorola Xoom and Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and you quickly come away thinking that this may be the best chance for an Android tablet to hit the mainstream yet.

The 10.1-inch display (at 1280x800 and a 16:10 aspect ratio) is lovely. It's thin enough, light enough and, gosh darn it, you're gonna love Honeycomb running atop not one but two 1GHz processors.

It'll launch on Verizon sometime in the first quarter (nobody's saying yet), for an undisclosed price. And you won't get LTE at first, that will require a hardware update, with details to follow. Eventually. And the microSD card won't work at first, either. A software update will take care of that. Really, you know as much as we do about that now. So, yeah, there's still a lot left on the table.

What's not left on the table? A slew of hands-on pics. Find 'em after the break.

  • Phil, are you sure it's micro sd? The Spec Sheets says SD. TIA
  • A date and price would b nice but I already know im getting this! I wonder if my fascinate will b able to tether to it okay, because I'm not so sure I can afford 500+ upfront plus 40 bucks a month when realistically I would use my smartphone mostly on the go, best case scenario is a wifi only version but that is wishful thinking
  • Why is everyone describing the dual core chip in this thing as being the equivalent to 2ghz? A multi-core by definition is going to have multiple CPUs all running at the same max speed.
  • Agreed. But all of the marketing materials are describing it that way. Dual cores give you more processing power, but it's still just 1Ghz. I still see full-duplex Ethernet being described as "twice as fast", too. (Full-duplex Gigabit Ethernet is not 2gb/s!)
  • Because marketing dweebs can't help but ignore reality.
  • LOL, you hit the nail on the head. For any engineers that have had to work with marketing people, you're well aware of how they desperately spin reality. It's very much how Apple works all the time.
  • Dual core chips have two processing cores at the rated speed. So two 1ghz cores are effectively 2ghz. The reality is that they are actually like more than their combined clock speed since it reduces the likelihood of a performance bottleneck and a 1ghz dual core CPU is better than a 2ghz single core. If I had two seperate computers with 1ghz single cores, running SETI or F@H I would have 2ghz worth of processing speed. Multicore cpus do this on single devices, gotta love progress.
  • A dual core 1ghz CPU is not effectively 2ghz though. You don't just add up the speeds of each CPU...if that was the case then I would have a 9.6ghz desktop CPU :P (2.4ghz quad core). Depending on what you are doing at the moment and *IF* the application is coded to use multi-core CPUs, then a 1ghz dual-core CPU *might* be faster then a single-core 2ghz cpu.
  • Exactly. Two cars going down the freeway side by side at 60 mph does not equal 120 mph.
  • a STYLUS?
  • Add in a rubber-tipped pressure-sensitive (Bluetooth?) stylus and you have a pretty damn snazzy graphics tablet...wonder how fine and accurate the touchscreen is.
  • can we get some video phil?
  • Honestly Price doesn't matter, this will be mine the day its launched. I would like to see something similar to how Verizon is selling the Galaxy Tab, option of a plan, but no contract required.
  • I'll take mine with WiFi only please. Hold the contract.
  • well worth the wait
  • WiFi ONLY PLEASE! I don't want to pay monthly. That is what the lame kids do..
  • +1 for WiFi only!! I'd love to tether it to my EVO 4G :)
  • This is what I plan to do. I'll have to buy that bad boy off contract. Not to mention the bullshit about having to give the device back in a few months to get a 3G/4G LTE radio added in place of the 3G radio. Verizon is such an asshole company that way. This thing should come to market fully formed. But since I plan to buy it off contract, I suppose it's better to have it without the extra cost. Maybe someone will hack it for MetroPCS :).
  • Because Verizon is forcing Motorola to come out with the tab early? Um, yeah, no. The half baked idea is Motorola's, not Verizon's.
    Of course if supply is an issue, and it launched with a LTE radio, everyone would bitch about it being back ordered.
  • >"Spend even just a little time with the Motorola Xoom and Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and you quickly come away thinking that this may be the best chance for an Android tablet to hit the mainstream yet." Nope, not if it is stuck requiring some type of cell service. What we want is a WiFi tablet, damnit!!!
  • so take your ipad's steve and stick 'em where the sun don't shine ;)
  • I interpret 2 1GHz processors (what was said in the article) as being different from a 1Ghz Dual-Core processor. Now if it said a 1GHz Dual-Core processor, which acts like 2 1GHz processors, I'd have been fine with that.
  • The article is wrong...even though Motorola has gotten info in their own press releases wrong (like with the Droid Bionic), the Xoom has a 1ghz dual-core processor. Having *two* separate 1ghz CPUs side-by-side doesn't make sense.
  • Agreed, it doesn't make sense, and agree that the article is wrong in this regard. I was afraid I was being a bit too nit picky. When I first read it, I thought, why in the world would they put 2 processors in a tablet, especially with all of these mobile dual-core processors emerging.
  • man the back of that thing sure isn't attractive. At least everything else about it is awesome :)
  • Oh, man... looks like the OS isn't nearly as ready as they lead us to believe. Just a bunch of pre-rendered videos. :( Does look very nice. If it's about the same price as the Galaxy Tab when it came out, I'm SO getting it.
  • All Android tablets (unless Honeycomb sorts that out) have one rather annoying flaw: The UI is not GPU-accelerated. It -needs- to be GPU Accelerated. >_>
  • Hardware update??? I find that unlikely. That would be a logistical nightmare. I have a feeling that the guy didnt know what he was talking about
  • The hardware update has already been confirmed. Is it just me our did anyone else see the thing crash and reboot at the end of that video just from trying to play a sample clip?!
  • And how the rep conveniently tilted the tab away so AC's camera hopefully wouldn't catch it.
  • yea he seemed to know it was coming, first the video crashed, and an error force close type window might have popped up, then a complete crash/reboot showed up at the very end
  • I've collected several blogs on these new products from Android and Motorola and shared links to them in a bledit found here: This is one of the blogs I've included because of its quality content. Come learn more about the Motorola Xoom, Android's 3.0 Honeycomb, and the T-Mobile G-Slate with Google by LG.
  • Yeah I don't know about that hardware update either. Have you ever heard of such a product release? I think that was a mistake, cause it sounds too stupid.
  • This is so awesome
  • "you won't get LTE at first, that will require a hardware update, with details to follow. Eventually. And the microSD card won't work at first, either. A software update will take care of that..." LAME LAME LAME
  • Looks sweet!! But, until it comes with wifi, Verizon can take a long walk off a short bridge.
  • Can I just say how much I HATE the "music" on all of the Android Central videos?
  • Why do product specialists never have words/specs roll off their tongue like they should? It just makes the product seem less than it is. I could rattle off the specs of my EVO to anyone in a flash
  • I was just about to say that. That guy didn't seem to know how to present to well.
  • Big fail if they don't release a WiFi only version. Who are they kidding with that? But again this looks more and more like a beta release with the radio issue and software update that will be needed to support sd cards for external memory.
  • Another vote for wifi only. Despite the crash at the end it is still pretty darn cool. Tablets are definitely going to be huge this year. I'm also really liking the convergence of the tablet and desktop experience that the vendors are going for (with docking stations and on the fly sharing between devices for example). I'd be totally into that.
  • In a way, I think it's kind of cool that 4G will ultimately be optional. "IF" VZW was to charge extra for 4G service over the cost of 3G, this would be a great move from a consumer standpoint to give them the option to upgrade their service. We all know that a data package is REQUIRED to have this device...some people would prefer the cheaper alternative. Me? I will definitely be paying for the hardware upgrade and signing up for 4G it's worth it :) As far as 'wi-fi only' what's the big deal? This is not being marketed as a standalone product that you can walk into Target and pick off the shelf in the electronics isle. If you don't want the 24/7 access to data from virtually anywhere at any time, then you must not need a tablet that bad. Plus, we can "hope" that this device will be subsidized to some degree for those that signup for service. Motorola has traditionally, in the past, sold their products from their website at full retail if you didn't want the contracted price from a carrier so it would be cool to see it competitively priced for deeper market penetration.
  • Sorry, double post.
  • Why are they making us sign up with a wireless provider to buy this? I am really excited about selling my iPad (which we did not have to buy with a wireless contract). This should fill all the voids the mighty Oz (Steve Jobs) decided he wasn't going to add (because he thinks he is larger than life).
  • Did you all notice that the Video at the end didn't work and then Force Closed, along with a stack dump? Funny.
  • This may be already answered somewhere but I can't find it. My deciding factor between an Android tablet and a Windows tablet is the ability to work on office documents. I, like a lot of people, use MS Office for most of my administrative office stuff. I have no problem using Google Documents, it's a great free replacement for the office work I do which is basic memos, spreadsheets, presentations, the usual stuff. I don't sit at a computer often but the few times I need to work on this stuff I'd like to be able to do it on my tablet. Even though it's a really small percentage of what I would be using my tablet for, it's one of my key purchase points. So far I haven't found any android app that lets you use the full functionality of Google Documents. The basic phone apps can only take you so far and aren't good enough for the level of editing I want to do. Does Honeycomb have any upgrades in this area of using Google Documents or is anyone aware of any pending tablet applications that will do a better job than what's currently out there? I tried pulling up Google Docs on a galaxy tab and I didn't get the full functionality of GDocs from the browser like I get from my PC. Thanks for any information that you might have.
  • I wonder if my fascinate will b able to tether to it okay, because I'm not so sure I can afford 500+ upfront plus 40 bucks a month when realistically I would use my smartphone mostly on the go, ========================================================
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