Xoom review

September 1, 2011

For some reason, I have completely neglected to write about my favourite gadget of the year: The Motorola Xoom.

I just love this device. It is perfect for casual browsing, checking email, checking Twitter, Facebook, newssites and all that waste of time. And Amazon has created an excellent tablet-optimized Kindle app, which is probably what I’ve spent the most hours using (until now that I’ve bought a real Kindle – more about that in an upcoming post).

It has more storage space that I’m going to need anytime soon (32GB I think), it has Wifi of course, excellent battery life, nice and responsive screen. In short, the hardware is great and the build quality feels good.

This is the device that Google uses for developing Honeycomb, meaning that it is always up to date and contains no wierd-ware. This is just stock Android 3.x, and everything works together as it should.

App highlights: Kindle, Google Maps, the builtin browser, BeyondPod HD, Gmail, IMDB, the list goes on. We’re really starting to see some great tablet-optimized apps, even if most of them are from Google so far.

BeyondPod really stands out, they have done an excellent job of adapting their phone version (which I like a lot) to the larger screen. It offers a much better blog reading experience than eg. Google Reader in the browser.

Well, it can’t be all good, can it? On to the bad stuff.

Most obvious flaw: The reflective screen. This sucks exactly as much as it does on a laptop and makes it impossible to use the device outside except at night. I ended up buying a screen protector which has solved this problem at the cost of a little screen clarity. But you get used to that, and the screen protector also eliminates ugly fingerprints on the screen. It even makes it possible to use the tablet even if your fingers aren’t completely dry which was a welcome surprise. It is really a bitch to apply it, but well worth the effort.

Second slight drawback: It’s a bit heavy for extended reading sessions. However, you quickly get used to resting it on something.

Conclusion: If you like Android and want a tablet, I highly recommend this device. It’s more geeky than the iPad, but if you’re a geek like me, you’ll appreciate this.

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