Motorola captured the attention of a lot of people with the unveiling of the XOOM tablet at CES. The Motorola XOOM is a 10.1-inch tablet, powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, that is running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). I attended a luncheon thrown by Verizon to talk about its LTE network, and lo and behold there was a Motorola XOOM on display. It didn't take me long to move right in and grab the XOOM to give it a try. They only let me shoot video for a minute before someone remembered that was verboten, but I got to play with it for a good ten minutes. What a sweet tablet.
The XOOM weighs about as much as the iPad, and shows the typical solid construction of Motorola. It feels good in the hand, although it would get heavy after a while in one hand. The interface is slick and well executed, with large soft Back, Up and forward buttons in the lower left corner of the screen. Operation is accomplished by swiping up, down, left and right to make things happen.
The Tegra 2 is snappy and everything on the XOOM happens instantly, without lag. Video playback is great, and I ran a few intensive apps simultaneously with no impact to performance. I did notice a bit of lag in rotating the screen when switching from portrait to landscape orientation and back.
I am wondering if the Honeycomb interface I played with is stock Google Android or if Motorola has customized it. Some aspects of operation seemed slightly different than the brief preview videos Google has posted on the web.
My brief time with the XOOM made a definite impression, and a good one. I want one of these, and now. The tablet will be available the first half of this year, and while originally shipping with 3G it will be upgradable to the Verizon 4G network, also in the first half of the year.