Flies low, but eats dust in the apps
by Stella Dauer
After months of waiting, the time has come and the time to put my nails on the Xoom of Motorola. The tablet so awaited by Android fans finally came to Brazil, and impressed everyone where it passed.
After a Intensivão of ipad 1 and put your hands on an ipad 2, let’s see what this tablet has to offer for fans of little robot and for new market consumers of these small and potent machines.
It’s not the iPad, but it brings your elegance. The front is all covered by glass, where we see only the front camera and the LED. The rear has three bedrooms in brushed steel and one room–the top–rubberized. In this rubberized area is the output of stereo sound, camera, Flash and power button (in the rear it got pretty messed up).
On the left side is the volume button and on top is the standard input for headphones and a mysterious entry for SLM chip and for MicroSD but that do not work for nothing. At the bottom is the entrance to the source, microphone, a MICROHDMI connection and a MicroUSB.
He’s heavy. It’s 730 grams, 100 more than the IPad 2. But, in general, it doesn’t bother anything. It has a good footprint, and it’s best to watch videos since your screen is more stretched than the Apple tablet. According to Timelesstablets, it just gets a little weird keeping it upright… even though it’s good to read books like that.
The screen is an essential part of the design. We are talking here of a widescreen TFT display screen 10.1 inch, 16 million color and resolution of 800 × 1280 pixels. Totally great for watching videos, and excellent eyesight at any angle.
The touch is precise and smooth, and the keypad is spacious, so it is perfectly possible to type long texts without problems in this tablet. The accentuation scheme looked like the IOS: Keep a tight letter and the options will arise for it.
We’re serious here. The Xoom, with its 1GHz processor NVIDIA Tegra 2 AP20H Dual Core and more 1GB of RAM does not choke on anything. Connect as many applications as you want, run videos, music, apps, browser, everything. He’s still firm and strong. Navigation is not fluid and smooth as iOS, but this is a system problem, not processing.
It works fine with all the other functions. In the Xoom comes almost everything we need: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/N, Wi-Fi hotspot, GPS and Bluetooth 2.1 that works for transferring files and also for accessories such as headphones and keyboards. The Wi-Fi is strong and the GPS is fast. Google is very good at it.
The Motorola tablet comes with all the expected sensors. It has accelerometer, which measures movements, the gyro that leaves the most precise movements and acts as a compass and has also a barometer, usually Utili… hi? Barometer? That sensor to measure pressure?
Exact. The Xoom comes with a barometer, and it’s almost impossible to find anything on the internet about it. Most of the posts are people wondering why this thing. One of the most obvious reposes is that this sensor leaves the measurement of the most accurate time where you are, not necessarily needing to depend on imprecise websites.
One theory is that these sensors help Google to get more precise temperatures in their own weather forecasting system, as well as the Gmaps transit system already works. I downloaded some apps like AccuWeather, WeatherBug and Barometer HD and they all used the measurements taken from the barometer.
A killing function of Xoom is your camera. Sure it’s super weird to take pictures and make videos with this super handset, but we have here a 5-megapixel sensor and dual flash LED, with autofocus. The pictures come out OK without a lot of problems. At night, however, the granulation appears. Motorola hasn’t learned yet…
Another feature is the recording of HD videos, simple high resolution 720p. It works nice too, but nothing perfect.
In fact, the main function of the cameras is the video conferencing. There is still no optimized version of Skype, but the video chat works fantastically by Gtalk, it’s the Google Face Time, only with the right to 3g! To not let the foolish friend the application come with a function that tries to stabilize the background of the video, keeping his face always in the same place.
It is possible to use the front camera, 2MP, or the back of 5MP, although you do not see the friend on the other side in that scheme. They both work very well.
In the box, the Xoom brings no accessory, just comes it and what it needs to work. Obviously, you’ll soon start popping up all sorts of frogs, docks, backups and keyboards. Motorola has already announced a Bluetooth keyboard to be used with its gadgets, but nothing has come here yet.
Aha! Now we have Honeycomb, version 3.0 of the Google operating system, designed exclusively for tablets, great! And I say that because Samsung arrived here the first Android tablet, only with system 2.2 that was made for smartphones. That’s why everybody calls Galaxy Tab “Smartphonão”.
Already in version 3.0.1 realizes that absolutely everything is thought to large screens, from 7 inches. Optimized Menus, multitasking that leverages the screen, applications that maintain the normal size of the buttons… Not many widgets, but the existing ones have different and varied formats, leaving the home “usefully messy”. There are widgets for email, YouTube, websites, agenda…
All Google applications on the appliance are with improved interface. Dark background and side videos for YouTube, a full interface to Gmail, which maintains the categories on the side, the messages in the middle and actions at the top, in a delicate and simple interface. Gtalk follows the Gmail line and keeps the contacts on the left, leaving the rest for the conversation. Legam also is to see the camera symbol in front of a contact, since with this version it is possible to make video calls.
The Honeycomb is more discreet, uses more dark colours to not assault the user’s eyes. It also takes advantage of the huge screen and goes to use the bottom of the screen as a navigation track, such as Windows. There are system warnings, interactions with applications, menu navigation, and network information, battery, time, etc. Extra buttons have been placed in Windows and menus to enjoy more space. There’s a lot more tablet face.
The multitasking is a little tricky to understand, since it only shows the last 5 open applications. And for those who are well accustomed to Android and its standard buttons at the bottom of the handset will take a little bit to remember that all that was summarized to three small buttons in the bottom corner: back, home and multitasking.
This is the Achilles ‘ heel of Android 3.0. While in Galaxy Tab we have augmented apps, the Xoom high-definition screen cannot do the same with the applications, and so it needs optimum applications for your interface and for your screen.
This results in only 100 applications available to the tablet, leaving the others almost unusable, as they stay in a corner of the screen or scattered by it in an ugly way. Some of them even fit “marromenos,” but it is realized at the time that they are not compatible. And not having the same power that Apple has in rapidly developing for its products, Motorola and all other manufacturers can only keep looking and waiting.
Some Brazilian companies are already moving. Saraiva, culture, Leaf, Terra and April are some examples of brands that already have applications optimized for the Xoom. They are mostly large companies that sell content and have seen that tablet is the future.
The Xoom is thought to who also carries a smartphone. As soon as I logged in to my Google account he started to download exactly the same apps I already had on my Android, leaving everything in it even though it still does not synchronize the information.
It comes with all the normal Android apps: Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Talk, document viewer, videos, a simple editor of videos and browser. The browser is quite complete and has bookmarks and tabs that work as a desktop application. It’s already installed Flash Player 10.1, which can quickly be upgraded to 10.3. This allows you to browse any site you want, no problem.
Music and media
The great goal of Xoom is entertainment and media, and he’s good at it. The external sound is very high and almost without distortion, both for videos and music. The music player has been enhanced and is more beautiful, although it still remains simple. Your navigation is easier and the album covers are displayed as the application’s background.
After placing videos it is difficult to find where they will be played. But any free application resolves this, and passes any desired format. The widescreen screen is good for Full HD videos, which pass without choking. Also for this is that we find the MICROHDMI connection on the bottom of the Xoom. You can connect it to a HD TV and enjoy the trip.
Battery and storage
In good use during the day he arrives at 10 hours. If you let him leave without use, he stays without taking for several days. But if you abuse the sensors and the video, calculate a 8 hours for him. It’s a good yield, even more with this huge screen and the presence of Flash.
Tranquility. Are 32GB (officers–but 29GB) available for free application storage, music, photos, movies, and what else comes. Motorola could have stood out on Apple and left the entry for functional MicroSD cards, but it does not react to anything. The company promised an update to resolve this which should have left, but so far unresponsive.
It’s worth noting that he connected with no problems to the PC, but he had problems with Mac, who didn’t recognize him via cable. The solution was to download an application called Android File Transfer (solution submitted by Motorola itself) or pass the data via Bluetooth.
And a strange thing: no loading it connecting the USB in the take by the charger. There is a special entrance to the source of the Xoom, which there is connected to the socket. It’s a pininho, like Nokia and other old appliances. That sucks.
What’s in the box
Not too much. We found only the tablet, small manual, USB cable and the font, which is small and levinha, although the wire is enormous.
For who it is
The Xoom is for those who want entertainment, videos and songs in the palm of the hand. It reads practically every type video, has widescreen screen to watch high definition videos and cool sound. It comes with good keyboard and applications to navigate through social networking and video chat, so it also serves to chat.
It’s for those who really want to enjoy a tablet. Not so much for work and productivity – although it also serves to do so – but for fun. And, logically, for those who were already almost crying over an Android tablet with a capital T in the Brazilian market.
- HD camera with Flash;
- Optimal screen for videos and HDMI port;
- Total integration with Google and other Android gadgets;
- few optimized applications available;
- No 3g version is available yet;
- No MicroSD card holder;
Motorola Xoom MZ604
Price: R $1804 (Wi-Fi with 32GB)