As many of you know, I picked up a Motorola Xoom from Verizon last Thursday. It runs the latest version of Google’s Android Operating system, version 3.0, known as “Honeycomb”. The timing worked out well, because I had my wisdom teeth taken out Friday morning and was laid up in the recliner all day with the Xoom at my side. A netbook or phone would have worked in that case as well, but a tablet works so much better.
For starters, I love it, but it’s not perfect. There are a few missing pieces that will be fixed in future updates — sd card, Flash, 4G support — and a variety of minor bugs. The biggest problem at this point is a lack of tablet-focused apps. It handles the Android phone apps quite well, but there’s a big difference between a scaled up phone app and a native tablet app. The Xoom handles phone apps better than the iPad does, but the iPad has about zillion iPad-specific apps, making it the clear winner in that category.
Here’s a quick video to show you around the system:
While I’m sure there will be some official tests, but Friday gave me a chance to give it a good run for its money. Laying in the recliner all day, the Xoom was on my lap about 90% of the time, and running about 75% of the time. After 10 hours of email, browsing, various apps, watching some videos and doing some video chat, the battery was down to 36%. That seems pretty good to me!
Compared to the iPad?
The Xoom is better than the existing iPad in almost every way — larger screen, higher resolution, faster processor, dual cameras, more memory, etc. However, the iPad 2 is set to be unveiled on Wednesday and will probably knock down a few of those, though they don’t have a release date set for it. I’m thinking it’ll probably be a few months before it comes out, but we’ll find out soon. At that point, the Xoom should have sd card and Flash support, and many more apps will have been written to take advantage of the tablet format. The battle between the iPad and the various Honeycomb tablets should be fun to watch, and we’ll all benefit from the added features that both sides develop.
Should I buy one?
For most people I’d at least wait two more days to see what the iPad 2 has to offer. I’m expecting that I’ll continue to suggest Honeycomb/Xoom as the tablet to get, but you never know what Apple might come up with. Much like my initial reasons for switching from the iPhone to the Nexus One, email is one of the top criteria. The iPad email is certainly solid, but if you use Gmail it’s a much better experience in Honeycomb.
Do you have a tablet yet? Looking to buy one soon? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!