Ars Technica reviews the Motorola Xoom

Discussion in 'iPad' started by vrDrew, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #1
    One of my favorite general-purpose tech websites just published their in-depth review of the Motorola Xoom.

    Its a pretty well-written, comprehensive review of the Xoom's strengths and weaknesses. And it helped me, at least, understand some of the appeal a device like that is going to have for a certain segment of the population.

    Which ends up giving the Xoom a sort of "chicken or the egg" feel about it. If the Xoom (and other Android-based tablets) isn't yet ready for mainstream use - then how, exactly, is the market for tablet-optimized Honeycomb apps supposed to develop?
     
  2. Dorkington macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Pretty much what every other review has said.

    Solid hardware, software isn't quite ready for primetime yet. It's very much geared towards developers and techies at the moment.

    And quite honestly, there is nothing wrong with that. It's important to get it out on the market, and get the ball rolling. I look forward to seeing more Honeycomb tablets as the market matures. Hell, I might even consider one some day.

    For now, I'll enjoy my iPad (2). :)
     
  3. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    I'll tell you one hardware thing that leapt out at me: 14 hour standby life from the battery. (The iPad is good for a month - so long, in fact, that its pretty much a non-issue.)

    To me, thats a huge negative against the Xoom.

    In the real world, I can't tell you how often I just let my iPad put itself to sleep after I'm done with it. Secure in the knowledge that its battery won't have appreciably lost power in the 8-10-12 hours I've let it sit there.

    But with only 14 hours of "standby" time - the Xoom really requires that you TURN IT OFF before putting it away. And go through a boot cycle the next time you turn it on.

    I don't really understand why there is a such a huge disparity in "standby" battery life. Is there some set of background processes that Android runs that iOS doesn't? Or is it a function of the hardware itself?
     
  4. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #4
    I think that's a typo as Motorola says it's 14 "DAYS" standby.

    If you think about it, it can't be 14 hours, even if it runs for say 8 hours (not 10) playing a video, it can't be 14 hours for standby, that would not make sense.
     
  5. redshift1 macrumors regular

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    #5
    14 days..... now you wonder what other errors
     
  6. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #6
    It's been corrected already.
     
  7. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Yes. Its only half as good as their competition. Apparently a cause for celebration in Xoomworld

    DOA, as far as I'm concerned. If Motorola manage to sell 500,000 of these things before pulling the plug I'lll be amazed.
     
  8. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #8
    Whilst I don't fully disagree with you, you also have to take into account this is just 1 model from 1 manufacturer, which probably it going to grow into a range f products from 20+ companies all running the same OS.

    Nothing is going to happen overnight, but I'm sure given time the Tablet world will look a little different to how it does today.
     
  9. farmermac macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    What I'm concerned about with honeycomb is how fast google is rolling out new os. They said they aim for 8 months I believe. The makers don't have time to make a platform and let it evolve and the new os is already out. That's how it is on the phones. I wouldn't want to be an app developer for android.

    I like the iPad a lot and knowing that the device and apps will be supported for time to come
     
  10. dgree03 macrumors 65816

    dgree03

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    #10
    First where does it say iPad Standby life is 30days? And if so which iPad is it? the 3g version or the Wifi only?
     
  11. Dorkington macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Standby time 14 days vs 30 days, and that's the big victory for iPad? C'mon.. get serious.

    The XOOM, on paper, is a better piece of kit. There is no harm in admitting that.

    But right now the simplicity, eco system and third party support is waaaaaaaay behind. And thats where Apple is and should remain ahead in the future.
     
  12. louis0nfire macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I don't know when the Wi-Fi only Xoom will be at Best Buy's, but I'll definitely be picking one up. Original iPad and Xoom > just an iPad 2.
     
  13. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #13
    I think this was a Steve claim from the original iPad keynote.
     
  14. OptyCT macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I don't think Google cares that it's rolling out an incomplete OS. That's what Microsoft does all the time. They know that if the Xoom fails, that people will blame Motorola and Google won't face much of the backlash. They'll just go put Honeycomb on another dozen tablets. Eventually, one of these tablets will "hit" and prove to be a worthy competitor of the iPad. At that point, Google will hail it as a success.
     
  15. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #15
    The Xoom is for people who don't mind doing a little tinkering and exploring at this point. It will clearly frustrate someone who wants the device to work out of the box like an iPad does.

    You'll need to re-encode video for it, wait for flash (who knows how it will perform), and send it back for the LTE update.

    I can see that being somewhat exciting in a geeky way. I bet a lot of iPad users will wish they could send their tablet away to get upgraded to LTE in the summer.
     
  16. WiiDSmoker macrumors 65816

    WiiDSmoker

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    #16
    Don't be so close minded. You truly look like a fool.
     
  17. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

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    #17
    I'd argue at this point the Xoom is for people who enjoy tinkering and exploring the device rather than doing stuff on it. That's fine as I also enjoy setting up my Linux box and fooling around with some programming when I have free time too. However I don't know if that's a winning formula for a mainstream tablet product.

    I've made this argument before but it almost seems the argument toward the Android tablets misses the main point of the iPad. Would you argue one game console is better than another because it has a customizable game launcher and is "open and more desktop-like" even though it has a smaller library of games that are inferior and sometimes freezes during game plays?
     
  18. dgree03 macrumors 65816

    dgree03

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    #18
    Anyone can pick up a xoom and get around the os. Especially people who do not have and iOS device or Android device.

    People picking up a Xoom after having a iPad will experience a learning curve. It would happen vice versa also. Xoom has more straight foreword user friendly aspect of it than iOS does. it is lacking the apps and general stablity of iOS.

    I have had force closes on my iPad 1 browser and mail apps. Along with third party apps...
     
  19. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

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    #19
    So you're admitting Honeycomb is not all that stable but at the same time you're trying to spin it by saying that iOS isn't immune from crashing? That's a bit of a cop out since we all know it's all about the frequency of crash. WinME was a fine OS, sure it crashed a bit more than other OS but all other OS crashed. ;)
     
  20. jonhcox macrumors regular

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    #20
    I don't really think that you can begin comparing tablets until Honeycomb's second iteration comes to fruition. As good as the specs are on the Xoom, the ecosystem is definitely better on iOS, thus iOS will continue to dominate probably well through iPad 3. Hell, I'll admit, the same old app tray looks a wee bit dated but it works. I've tried to leave many times only to come back because (I think) it just works better.

    I do think that Honeycomb will surpass iOS usage, but that will be based on the same game plan that Google utilized with the Android phone OS- to seed it in as many manufacturers products as possible. That said, (I think) iOS will continue to be the better system to a broader audience spectrum.

    I played with a Xoom and other than the dinky display, it was a neat device. I wasn't sold on the creaky plastic back but the display was nice and it was quick. I did find irony that it wasn't yet playing Flash.

    Disclaimer: Please see the parentheses so that I may avoid flamage.
     
  21. OptyCT, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011

    OptyCT macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I'm not being close-minded, that's just how they do things. I was a Windows user for 15 years. Microsoft's model has always been to release a serviceable OS and patch the hell out of it if certain things don't work properly. Vista was a perfect example of this. Vista SP1 included 551 bug fixes, in addition to 23 security updates labeled "important".

    Every OS is going to have its patches here and there, I can accept that. However, the countless patches that were released for Vista is what put me over the top and made me a Mac convert.
     
  22. dgree03 macrumors 65816

    dgree03

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    #22
    Who is going to count the frequency of crashes?? come on..

    Honeycomb has some crashes in the browser... I experience those for the first time this weekend. the orientation flipping is slower than iPad right now.

    When I had my ipad i experienced crashes also in the browser... i had that ipad for 9 months.

    My point is iPad is not immune to bugs and instablity either. Wifi instability that was patched for example. The clock never being right... etc.

    I mean you are comparing a 4 year old "tablet" OS to a 1 month old tablet OS. :rolleyes:
     
  23. iserian macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Xoom Love

    Loving my XOOM - Battery life is great IMO - especially under my loaded usage. I charge my Ipad, VIPhone, and XOOM every night so no worries as long as a device can get me through a HEAVY day. What I did not get until I owned a XOOM is how nice the form factor is - I prefer it over my Ipad - if it was a bit lighter it would be IDEAL!

    It's my goto device at the moment - will the Pad #2 change that at the end of this week? --- I'll know soon enough but somehow I don't think so.
     
  24. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

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    #24
    I don't recall any freshly released Apple iOS product to get reviews like the Xoom. Let me quote.

    From this Arstechnica review:
    From the Engadget review:
    From the Gizmodo review:
    From the Anandtech review:
    From the Crunchgear review:
    I don't think iOS had reviews like these at any point of its existence.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    You gotta love Ars, they really do some in depth reviews.

    Again nothing really surprising as others have stated. Great hardware and the software will come into its own in the course of time.

    One point I'd like to mention, as an old droidx owner i found motorola's update cycle is incredibly slow. They cannot afford to take their sweet time in updating the xoom.
     

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