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dave

Did you pick up a Motorola Xoom yet? Share your initial impressions!

The number of haves for the Xoom on gdgt are starting to creep up, so it sounds like a number of people are starting to receive Android's latest tablet after it went on sale this weekend. After having a chance to play with it, what are your initial impressions? Things you like about it? Things you don't like?

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8 replies
jonursenbach

I was surprised to have to go to two Best Buy's to get mine on Sunday when the WiFi version came out.

I've been very happy with my purchase. Logging into the device for the first time it asked me to sync all of my data from my phone, so I instantly had all of my applications and found out this morning when I got to the office that it even pulled across my WiFi passwords. So awesome.

Sure Honeycomb is a little rough on the edges, but for the most part I haven't run into any problems. The nice thing with this device that isn't very common with others is that since it's a Google flagship device, you're guaranteed future updates. Having that was one of the big reasons I picked up a Nexus One last year.

The iPad 2 is marketed as a post-PC device but the Xoom is probably the first /real/ post-PC device. I've had it since Sunday and have yet to have a need to hook it up to a computer.
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dave

I played with one in a Verizon store for about 30 minutes yesterday (went with a friend who stopped by to try and pick up an iPad 2. Hah.) The tablet was a lot smaller than I thought. It looks great though, and if it was a little thinner and lighter, I think it'd be more comfortable to hold for longer periods of time.

That said, I like the notifications and how Android / Honeycomb give you easy access to various settings screens. That sort of thing feels much more fluid and multi-tasking-like than iOS propensity for completely switching back and forth between various application windows. The onscreen widgets were a nifty idea.

One thing that still bothers me though (and has always bothered me about Android) -- the trademark ridiculous sluggishness of the OS. It's not entirely perceptible, but simply switching between different panels on your home screen or scrolling through Google Maps, you experience this weird sort of lag. Yes, Honeycomb is a new OS, but it's 2011, the thing has a ridiculous dual core processor and a gigabyte of RAM. Come on, Google. Let's nail the UX!

Speaking of UX / UI: I remember initially complaining about the UI when Honeycomb was initially unveiled. After using it in person, it's fine. The status bar icons and clock font at the bottom are kind of cheesy, but it doesn't really detract from anything.

Something I thought was interesting: as an iPad user, I kept trying to move my hand to one side of the device to click the nonexistent "home" button to go back to the home screen. Hurray, muscle memory!
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toddjy

I can't say I've noticed any kind of lag on an Android device. Since you were playing with a store model, maybe there were programs running in the background that you didn't know were running. That's not a problem with iOS, as you can't run programs in the background.

The only problem I've had with my Xoom is it doesn't want to talk to my D-Link router. It works fine with the NetGear router at my parents'. I guess that's okay, since I bought it for them. My N1 and Galaxy Tab don't have any problems with the D-Link.
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dave

That thought occurred to me. They're definitely running some demo application that starts a screen saver / video advertisement of the Xoom after not being used for a few minutes. Interestingly enough, their iPad 1 and 2's on display also had similar screen saver / movie promos running -- so there's stuff definitely running in the background in the iOS demo units as well.

(That said, even jailbreaking my phone and running apps using Backgrounder, I still never experienced the same sort of sluggish OS elements that I see on every Android device.)
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jonshipman

I see this with my Nexus S, not hugely noticeable. Maybe a 50ms delay sliding screens once your finger hits the screen. Only initially for me though.

I can't wait to see what WebOS and HP has to offer though. I loved the Palm Pre and unfortunately had to stick with Android since I need some mission critical apps (notably FTP). If HP can stick with it then my next phone will definitely be a Pre4. I also like the idea of native apps versus the java implementation on Android.
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jakeinpro

I picked up my Xoom Wifi this past Sunday and I have to say I have mixed feelings about it.

From a hardware standpoint I think it's great. It feels really solid and does not feel cheap at all. I can't imagine using the Xoom in any way other than landscape; it feels odd to hold it otherwise.

In regards to the software I have some issues. Overall I do like the direction Android is going. The notification system is good (I think it could be better) and I do like the overall feel of Honeycomb, but as it has been mentioned both here and reviews elsewhere the OS still seems rough around the edges. I occasionally see a slight lag when scrolling in the screen or going between apps (or even unlocking the screen), but I don't think this is necessarily a big deal as I can say I've seen the same occur on my iOS devices as well (though it's more frequent on the Xoom at the moment). The Market app seems to be particularly buggy as I sometimes have to try multiple times to install an app before it actually happens. Another annoyance I have is in regards to the widget selection screen. I wish it would group the widgets together based on their source application instead of listing every variation of an app's widgets in the screen; it would make it much faster to look for a specific widget while not inundating you with all the widgets currently available to you.

The biggest issue I have with it is the serious lack of apps that are actually designed for Honeycomb. Granted, the OS is still new and developers have not had much time to really develop apps for it, but it's painful not being able to find apps to use beyond what is already included with the Xoom.
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jonshipman

App devs CAN code their widgets like that. I've seen widgets when you click add, they ask you which size and then you pick. Trouble is Google doesn't lay down the law on how devs should do things.
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brett

Just played with a Xoom pretty extensively at Best Buy. I really enjoyed it. Every once in a while I ran into a little lag when going to the homescreen before realizing that other customers had opened up no less than 5 YouTube widgets, 6 calendar widgets, 3 photoframe widgets, a few Pulse widgets, 4 analog clocks, etc etc all running across all the homescreens. After reducing those numbers down to things I found reasonable, I found it to be super snappy. I ran into zero lag in opening up applications and scrolling through the Market, Pulse, or the web. The CNN app was great and Angry Birds looked fine scaled up from its original size.

It also seemed very well built compared to what I thought it would be. I would definitely be concerned about weight with it, but at this point I don't really care about that. The screen was great and I didn't find the widescreen aspect ration annoying. I actually thought it worked really well at that size. I didn't take any pictures but from the ones that were in the gallery I think it's safe to say that the cameras are pretty bad.
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