MOTOROLA XOOM 3G
WHAT WE LIKED: The Xoom is a beautiful piece of hardware. The anodised aluminum body looks handsome and feels good to hold. Gripping it is easier with both hands in the landscape mode. The 5 MP autofocus camera is excellent as tab cams go—even when using the dual-led flash in dim lighting conditions. Battery life tops 10 hours without Flash playback. The Xoom’s 10.1-inch display is slightly larger than the ipad’s 9.7-in screen and has a higher resolution (1280x800 versus Apple’s 1024x768). The display is bright and sharp and watching video on it is a delight. The dual core Tegra processor inside keeps humming briskly with nary a wait state. It handles web browsing, media playback, gaming and apps with equal deftness. WHAT WE DIDN’T: The recessed power/wake-up button is inconveniently located in the top quarter of the tablet’s rear and can flumox you in the beginning. The volume buttons too are at awkward, need-to-grope spot. While it has microusb port, you cannot use it for charging. You need the wall charger to juice up the battery—and its charger is quite massive compared to the ones that accompany other tablets. While it weighs 730 gm, the Xoom feels heftier, probably due to its solid build. Since it is a tad bigger as well, people with smaller hands may find it slightly more awkward to hold and type unless it is resting on a surface. VERDICT: In all this din surrounding Android tablets, the Xoom hasn’t really met the success it deserves. The tablet is fast, it’s powerful and it’s impressive. A mite too hunky? Maybe. But some people like it that way. Even though it may score top marks on the hardware front, we won’t rate it over the ipad when it comes to the overall tablet experience. That though that’s more to do with the OS and the whole Android ecosystem—the slate itself is not to blame. So if you are looking for a large screen Android tablet, the Xoom is worth serious consideration.