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Motorola Xoom review

David Ludlow
19 Apr 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
480
inc VAT

Android 3.0 makes Google-based tablets much easier to use, but the Xoom isn't quite as smooth as the Apple iPad 2.

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Specifications

10.1 in 1,280x800 display, 720g, 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2, RAM, 32GB disk, Android 3.0

Until now, the only real competition to the Apple iPad was a bunch of tablets running tweaked versions of Android for smartphones, most notably the Samsung Galaxy Tab. While some of these have been pretty good, none were perfect. With the Motorola Xoom, the real fight begins, as this is the first tablet we've seen to use the tablet-specific version of Google's mobile operating system - Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).

Comparisons with the Apple iPad 2 are hard to avoid and from a pure hardware point of view, the Xoom competes well with Apple's tablet. It feels tough and well built. The rear is mostly metal, but the strip of plastic that houses the power button, LED flash and camera lens isn't as neat as the single block of aluminium that the iPad 2 is made out of.

Motorola Xoom back

While the Xoom is fractionally smaller than the iPad 2, as its 16:9 aspect ratio 10.1in screen takes up less room than the 4:3 screen on Apple's tablet, it's marginally thicker at 12mm (the iPad 2 is 9mm thick) and weighs more at 720g (the iPad 2 weighs 601g). It's a weight difference that you can really feel and the Xoom is a little uncomfortable to hold in one hand for long periods. It's definitely a tablet that's better off being rested on your lap.

Inside there's a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, which competes favourably with the dual-core Apple A5 processor inside the iPad 2. With it, the Xoom managed to complete the SunSpider JavaScript test in 2056.2ms, which is marginally faster than the iPad 2's speed of 2,168ms. It managed to complete the Quadrant Android benchmark with a score of 2,011. This is a similar score to the ViewSonic ViewPad 10s, which has the same processor.