[SATLUG] Xoom Review

Nate Turnage pixelnate at gmail.com
Sat Mar 5 20:30:22 CST 2011


Sounds like a glowing review, Bruce. Sign me up. Not.

I really hope HP's TouchPad (you know, the real open aternative and the only one with true multitasking) is better than this thing or I'll be joining the dark side and getting an iPad.





~Nate


Sent from my Palm Pre
On Mar 5, 2011 6:44 PM, Bruce Dubbs <bruce.dubbs at gmail.com> wrote: 

Motorola Xoom Review



Cost

   Somewhat expensive.  $600 + $480 to Verizon over two years.

   Wifi version only is $800, so the effective cost of cellular

   is $280.



Case

   All black.  Looks nice.  At 1.5 pounds, is slightly heavier

   than it looks.



Screen

   Nice size

   Good brightness

   Touch is not very accurate with finger.  This is probably

   inherent but there is no alternative without an external

   keyboard.



   For instance if you type a long email or web address and determine

   you mistyped a character at the beginning, the finger is used to

   place the cursor, but it isn't accurate.



Keyboard

   Not very good - reduced to two finger typing.

   No arrow keys, page up/down

   I can't find a way to cut/paste



   It's probably better than a cell phone keyboard, but

   that's not saying much.



Sound

   Seems to play OK, but tinny as you might expect



Battery Charger

   Plug is quite small and somewhat difficult to insert.

   Battery live is advertised at about 10 hours and that

   seems about right.



Bluetooth

   I have not used this yet.



Wifi

   Good



USB

   A cable/slot are included, but I haven't tried yet.



Mobile 3G

   Good.  It will require an upgrade for 4G



Camera

   Good on the back. I haven't tried the front one.  OK software.

   Automatic flash.



GPS

   Good



SD Card

   There is a slot for one but it isn't active until there is a

   software upgrade.



Voice recognition

   Seems to work, but I'm not used to talking to my computer,

   so my testing has been very rudimentary.



Applications

   Many are designed for phone sized screens and don't scale.

   Generally, there is no way to turn off an application.  I'm

   reluctant to purchase apps if I don't know how well they work

   on the system.  Actually, I'm reluctant to purchase anything

   when virtually everything is available for Linux for free.



   Browser - there does not seem to be a way to turn it off.  Managing

   bookmarks is not intuitive (familiar) to me.  You have to guess

   at what the icons do until you learn.  about: does not work

   I think it is Chrome, but I can't tell.



   Mail - gmail - Seems OK.  See keyboard.



   Skype - no way to easily turn off (had to uninstall).  Application

   is not for tablet (it's for a cell phone).  Hung syncing

   contacts when there were none.



   Music - Can't figure out how to download music.

   There was some pre-installed, but I had a problem with the

   Verizon configuration and had to reset to default configuration.

   The store people were quite helpful and the actual 'music'

   that is gone is no great loss.



   Books

     Good application, but not sure if you can take notes or bookmark.

     A lot of electronic books are as costly as a printed book.  Some

     people will gladly charge you for books out of copyright.



     E-books in general have advantages and disadvantages.

       Sharing - no

       Search  - yes (but web is better)



   Text editor - none



   Radio Application (download) - Plays, but doesn't turn

   off without uninstalling.



   CNN seems to have a nice application for reading news.



   Google Earth - works well



Overall

   Good for reading mail/web/books.  Good for some pictures.

   Good mobile access.  If you roam about a lot or are

   traveling, it is useful.



   Soft keyboard is a major impediment.  Not good for editing email or

   command line type tasks like remote system administration.



   This is definitely not a desktop replacement.



I plan on being at the meeting on Thursday and will bring my tablet. 

Perhaps we can discover some things together.



   -- Bruce





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