Verizon Wireless Xoom Review Take Two

So we here at like to have differing views on things. As you probably already read Cory gave us a review that was phenomenal. He went over many different aspects of the Xoom tablet and provided beautiful pictures and descriptions of what the Xoom has to offer.

I however took a different approach, to my experience with the Xoom. Normally when I do reviews they’re very similar to the way, Cory has done his. He tends to measure the device objectively where I tend to measure subjectively. I used it as if it was a replacement laptop for about one week. I’m not going to lie, I found it a little difficult to get used to. I think the hardest part is getting used to typing on the on-screen keyboard and without some sort of dock propping it up it’s difficult. It was hard to hold in your lap and a little bit uncomfortable using one hand while typing with the other.

As you all know Google completely revised the Android operating system, allowing it to be more friendly for tablet user interface. I have to say they really hit the nail on the head with this redesign, it is perfect for a tablet interface. The only gripes that I did have was that there were no hardware buttons implemented into the device for navigation. Android usually has always had (in the past) hardware or capacitive touch navigation buttons for home, back, search and menu. This however took some getting used to but works very well. The desktop looked a lot cooler but felt a little bit cluttered when adding many icons. Also when you download a new app from the market it would automatically place it on your home screen. I was not a fan of this. It seems useful and I think most people will like it but I didn’t always want everything right on the desktop right away. Lastly the neatest things I found were scrollable widgets. Don’t get me wrong Android right now has scrollable widgets but I found that the 3-D animations on some of these like the books widget, were phenomenal.

This device really seemed speedy, responsive and altogether optimized real well for the Tegra 2 dual core processors. I really felt that I can rely on this device as an everyday day driver. Also comparing it to the Samsung Galaxy Tab it was just as zippy if not faster.

I hate to compare this device to the iPad 2, but I will. I feel that this device will be the leader once the tablet apps catch up. Most of the apps are not displayed in a tablet view and are made smaller on the screen making it quite frustrating to actually use. I did however see a trend in a lot of the apps where they do scale up to the full-size screen. I talked with a few developers and found out that is a very easy fix to make your app more compatible with larger screen, just by adding in one line of code in the AndroidManifest.XML file. So hopefully in the future we will see more apps either using this scaling method or being designed specifically for tablets.

According to several reviews that I’ve read the 10.1 Inch screen is almost the same size as the iPad 2, however it’s in a different aspect ratio (16:10) so it looks different. I definitely think that this aspect ratio is more pleasant to watch movies, since it is closer to the 16:9 aspect ratio of widescreen movies. The weight however was a little bit more than my arm could take for long periods of time. I weighted it on a digital scale at 1 lb. 10 oz. After using this device for about an hour my arm seemed to hurt a little. I think if you purchase this device you should definitely purchase the dock with it that will take a lot of strain off of your arm allowing it to be more ergonomically for used.

One other problem that I ran into, was whenever you went to a website that was mobile enabled it will automatically default to the small screen cell phone view. At this point in time developers have not yet implemented tablet views versus mobile phone views, so I think with Android you are going to run into this problem often. I did however sit down with a professional web developer and he stated that all you need to do is add-in one line of code to the user agent string called “mobile” along with the “Android” and “iPhone” strings.

So my overall conclusion of the device is that it is amazing. If you’re considering a tablet, Android definitely will be the leader, there is no doubt about that. It’s fast, responsive and I can definitely rely on it as a daily driver, however I wouldn’t quite replace my laptop at this point. But I definitely see that happening in the near future.

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About the author

Ian Schwartz had written 137 articles for TEKNAMI

Hello, I'm Ian (eye-an) I was born in Recife, Brazil and raised in the fridge tundra of Minneapolis, MN USA. I graduated from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL with an AA in Audio Recording Production and Engineering. I love tech, always have since I was a little tot and what better way to know more then to tell everyone else about it also. So here is teknami (tech-nah-me) Tek for tech and nami is a derivative of namesake.

  • Fahad

    Good overall review of the device. The website stuff is something web devs really need to look into.