Hands On with the Motorola Xoom

Today I had the opportunity to get my hands on a Motorola Xoom. My time with it was fairly limited, and the device wasn’t connected to a network of any kind, so keep that in mind.

At first blush, the device is fast and intuitive. Applications fire open as fast as you need them. There are some complexities you don’t see with the iPad, but I write those off to the fact that the Xoom has functionality that the iPad lacks.

All things aside, I think the thing that sells the Xoom more than anything else is the desktop widgets. There’s nothing like them on the iPad, and the functionality that they add is second to nothing. The fact that I can scroll through my emails without ever opening the email application saves so much time. Having a picture of my son in a frame on my desktop where I can always see it. Priceless. And really, should have I have to open up the weather application every time I want to check the weather? Seriously? With the desktop widgets, I can just put the weather on my desktop, and it’s there all the time. The iPad has nothing like it.

The other functionality that I really liked was in the web browser. I didn’t get the opportunity to play around with it on the web, but I love the fact that the Xoom displays web sites like they appear on a desktop. We’re not dealing with a phone here people. I also love the fact that the browser has tabs at the top. I haven’t spent a lot of time with the browser on the iPad, but I know on the iPhone the browser is limited to 8 pages. For me, that’s almost a deal breaker. There’s no such limit on the Xoom.

All in all, I loved the Xoom. I’m waiting until the 4G model is standard because I just don’t want to have to ship the device back to the company. As soon a the 4G model is out, it will be mine.

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