Android Thoughts: Motorola's XOOM Slate: Unboxing and First Impressions

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Motorola's XOOM Slate: Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 07:00 AM

Last week I picked up a Motorola XOOM WiFi edition. The XOOM was announced with much fanfare at CES 2011, and while it was heralded as the best hope for challenging the juggernaut that is the iPad, a few things have soured since then.

First, that when Motorola first shipped the device through Verizon in the USA, it would cost a hefty $800 if you got it without a Verizon contract - but you couldn't use the WiFi on it until you paid for at least one month of Verizon's data service (which was $50 or so, making the price $850). What? Yeah, exactly! Then it was revealed that the XOOM would start to ship without the ability to play back Flash, which was one of the original advantages over the iPad - you can download Flash now of course, but at launch this key element was missing. The first tablet to offer 4G would also only offer it after the user shipped it back to Motorola for a hardware upgrade - oh, and the microSD card slot still doesn't work to this day (a future firmware upgrade will fix that). More than a few negatives!

In Canada the XOOM is $599, Flash is available in the marketplace, and lacks the cellular radio, so there's no need to ship it back. So, other than the non-functional microSD card slot, the XOOM I bought is in slightly better shape right out of the gate than the XOOM people bought from Verizon in February.

This version of the XOOM has 32 GB of storage and no integrated 3G/4G; like other XOOMs, it has 1 GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, a 5 megapixel rear camera with dual xeon flashes, and a 2 megapixel front camera. The 10.1 inch screen is 1280 x 800 resolution, and there's a 3.5mm headphone jack - along with a microHDMI connector for video out, and a microUSB connector for synchronization. It has a special power connector though and won't charge over USB.

It weighs in at 681 grams (1.5 pounds), and is 249 mm across, 168mm tall, and 12.9mm thin. Worth noting is that the Verizon version of the XOOM is heavier 730 grams. It has some serious heft when you hold it in your hands - I'll need to use it more to understand how much of an impact that will have, but on the plus side, it's easy to hold - it never feels like it's going to slip out of your hands.

Both videos are after below - if you want 1080p and full screen, click on them to watch them on YouTube.

Here's part one:

Here's part two:

Want to buy one from Best Buy in Canada? Here you go. Want to buy one from Expansys in the USA, or anywhere else in the world? Clickity-click. [Affiliate] Interested in that Swiss Army USB Flash knife? Clickity-clack.

Got questions? Fire away and I'll do my best to answer them.

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, his wonderful son Logan, and his sometimes obedient dog. He wishes Android were more mature on tablets.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.


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