Motorola XOOM: Travel Gadget… in a minute

Last Updated on January 1, 2015 by Jody Halsted

One minute isn’t a lot of time to show you all the Motorola XOOM has to offer- so let me share a couple of my favorite features.

Then check in below for more- the good and the bad.

A few facts about the XOOM

Any tech page can give you the facts: this tablet runs Android honeycomb -which was specifically designed for tablets, has approximately 9 hours of battery life while browsing, is 10.1″ and can have up to 32GB of memory.  That’s pretty dry.  So let me tell you about my experience.

What I Liked About the XOOM

I’m going to begin with what I noticed immediately upon holding the XOOM- this is a substantial item.  Weighing in at 1 lb 10 oz it was lighter than a netbook and less bulky at nearly 1/2″ thick, but I didn’t feel like it would break easily-which eased my mid a bit as my daughters are attracted to every new tech toy that comes in the door.  The battery power lived up to its claim.  We used the XOOM during a 6+ hour drive to Chicago-running the 3G the entire time- and had plenty of power to spare.

As I am a fan of the Android platform I found the XOOM easy to use and jumped right in; downloading apps, setting up email and syncing accounts.  The calendar app displays beautifully, as does my reader.  I discovered Thinking Space, a mind-mapping app, that lays out so beautifully on the screen that I would keep the XOOM for that feature alone.

I was afraid typing would be troublesome, but the keypad is quite comfortable to use when the tablet is in landscape.  Copying and pasting takes a bit of getting used to but can be done relatively easily, once you know the technique.

And, probably the best thing, it plays flash which opens up so many video options that weren’t available before.  And I must say- movies look awesome on the screen!

What I Didn’t Like About the XOOM

Unfortunately the app developers haven’t quite caught up as many Android apps do not fill the XOOM’s fabulous screen.  As soon as the apps catch up this will cease to be an issue but, until then, many apps look better- and handle better- on my Droid X.

The XOOM has both a camera- both front and rear facing- and a video camera.  Other than using the tools for video chat I find them a waste of space.  The camera is 5MP and the video 2MP.  And with the size and weight of the XOOM neither is easy to use.  The only good reason for the camera is video chat; surely some of the features can be cut and the memory space used for other things?

My main question when test driving the XOOM was: can this replace my netbook?  The conclusion?  Yes…  I think so.  With a few additions.

When I travel I feel like a small electronics store.  I carry my camera, video camera and phone, as well as my netbook- and they all must work together if I hope to produce anything while I am traveling.  Purchasing accessories like a portfolio case and speaker dock are obvious- but I would also have to purchase a camera connection kit and either a connection for my travel keyboard or a wireless keyboard (because I couldn’t type a complete article on the XOOM keyboard).  That’s just a lot of “extra” stuff to carry around in my already full bags.

Final Thoughts on the Motorola XOOM

I absolutely love the XOOM as a “computer lite”.  It’s terrific for pulling out during travel and fabulous for browsing the web, social media and general “on the go” mobility.

The XOOM is available through Verizon Wireless for $599.99 with 2 year activation and data plan.  Data plans begin at $20 per month.

Disclosure: I have been a Verizon customer for over 5 years (as an AT&T customer previously I have personally found that their coverage doesn’t work many places my family ventures) and have been happy with their extensive coverage areas and products. The products I am talking about today were loaned to me by Verizon Wireless. I did not receive cash or product compensation for this post.

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  1. love your reviews and especially the connection with family activities. I have five kids and we drive all over. I was originally opposed to the gadgets in the car, even getting a car that had a DVD player was a No No. However, tablets give you access to all kinds of information. they can help navigate, learn about the local area in audio, video, and images. they can learn what’s around them and let’s not forget, do some homework or math and english worksheets. So you are great to review a bunch of these products because they do open up options for parents that are not just about entertainment, and are not devices that isolate the user, but can open up a dialogue with kids if parents also are familiar with how to use them.

    all the best, looking forward to seeing you at the #140conf in Des Monies in May

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