Image by BENM.AT Live Coverage via Flickr
The Motorola Xoom (pronounced “zoom”) is a web tablet that will operate on Verizon Wireless’ network and become available as a 3G model during the first few months of 2011. Upgrades to 4G LTE will be available shortly thereafter.
The Xoom, competing against Apple’s iPad, will become the first web tablet device to operate using Google’s Android operating system, Honeycomb. Honeycomb enables multitasking and is designed specifically for tablets.
The Xoom is equipped with a dual-core processor. Each processor runs at 1 GHz. Its 10.1 inch display (iPad has 9.7 inches) has 1,280×800 resolution (iPad has 1,024×768), with 16:10 aspect ratio. The tablet has dual cameras. The front-facing 2-mg pix camera allows video chats via Wi-Fi or 3G/4G LTE. It also enables HDMI output for displaying content on larger HD monitors. The rear-facing 5MP camera captures 720p video in HD, and features a 10-inch viewfinder and flash.
The Xoom supports Google Maps 5.0 with 3D buildings. Xoom web tablet enables tab-based browsing, access to over 3 million Google e-book and thousands of Android apps, and movies. The Google apps and widgets are designed specifically for tablets and tablet technology. Using Adobe Flash Player, users can play HD video and other web content. Motorola indicates a Wi-Fi-only version is not planned. There is no internal GPS.
Xoom accessories include a leather case that also serves as a stand, a standard dock for charging and display, and a 3-USB port HD docking station with built-in speakers.
The Xoom offers more features and functionality than the iPad. The Xoom’s dual camera system, larger display screen, higher screen resolution, and Adobe Flash compatibility are unmatched by iPad. Xoom uses Verizon instead of AT & T for its network.
Critics suggest the Xoom should not require a data carrier plan and should use WiFi or tethering like a netbook. Other Android-based tablets from T-Mobile and LG Mobile Phones are in development that will run Honeycomb on T-Mobile’s HSPDA+ 4G network.