With Apple’s new iPad set to be unveiled next Wednesday, Motorola has just slid headfirst into the marketplace with its own 10-inch tablet.
The Android-based Motorola Xoom runs for $800 (or $600 with a two-year Verizon data contract), features two cameras, a dual-core processor, and 32 gigabytes of storage. From a purely technical standpoint, it’s superior to the original iPad in several ways. How it stacks up against the new iPad and how well the interface and apps appeal to consumers will ultimately dictate its success, though. Here’s a look at some of the early reviews.
Motorola’s Xoom: The iPad Gets Serious Competition (TIME.com)
“It’s the first honest-to-goodness, no-qualifications-necessary iPad rival from a major manufacturer to hit stores. That’s in large part because it’s also the first to pack Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the operating system that Google designed specifically with tablets in mind. The Xoom has its fair share of raw edges, but it’s a great leap beyond earlier Android-based tablets such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, which took the unsatisfying shortcut of using earlier versions of Android that were meant for smartphones…
…All in all, the Honeycomb-powered Xoom feels like Motorola and Google took a powerful subnotebook computer, sheared off the keyboard, and replaced it with a nicely-designed touch interface. That’s a very different experience than the ultra-streamlined, push-button world of the iPad, but it’s a legitimate one in its own right.”
Motorola Xoom tablet (CNET: 3.5 out of 5)
“The Xoom’s spec sheet is enough to make any tablet tremble, but the price is high and Google still has some work to do before its tablet software experience is as fleshed out and intuitive as Apple’s.”
We’re Xoomin’, and It Feels Pretty Good (Wired: 6 out of 10)
“With an $800 entry price (or $600 if you’re willing to commit to a two-year Verizon data contract at $20 per month), the Xoom is a bigger leap of faith than Apple’s market-leading tablet…
…For that reason we think fewer people are likely to jump on the Xoom bandwagon. Those who do will be attracted by the widescreen format, the ability to buy apps without going through Apple’s restrictive App Store.
For those who want a more fully-finished, polished experience, however, we recommend waiting for a future Android tablet — or the iPad. The Xoom is a credible contender, but it’s not quite on par with the market leader yet.”
Review: Motorola Xoom – The Android Tablet Redefined (CrunchGear)
“Few tablets have met with such widespread anticipation as the recently-announced Xoom. It is the closest anyone has come to an iPad equivalent for the Android set. I was impressed with the speed, design, and quality of the device, and although there are a few caveats, I came away optimistic for the new crop of Honeycomb devices that will follow this one.”
Motorola Xoom review (Engadget)
“Is the Xoom a real competitor to the iPad? Absolutely. In fact, it outclasses the iPad in many ways. Still, the end user experience isn’t nearly where it needs to be, and until Google paints its tablet strategy and software picture more clearly, we’d suggest a wait-and-see approach. Honeycomb and the Xoom are spectacular — unfortunately they’re a spectacular work in progress.”