The Motorola Xoom 10.1" tablet impresses us the more time we spend with it. This is our second day with the world's first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet, and it shows some flashes of brilliance in user interface design, serious speed and a focus on productivity that sets it apart from the iPad.
The Xoom runs on a dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU with a gig of RAM and 32 gigs of flash storage. It is one very fast tablet, and it doesn't slow down when several heavyweight apps are running in the background (web browser, email client, 3D game, Gallery and Flixster in movie trailer mode). It has Verizon 3G EV_DO Rev. A and you can send it in sometime in the next few months for a free LTE 4G upgrade.
You do NOT need to activate Verizon on the tablet to use WiFi 802.11b/b/n (dual band n at that). The Xoom is $799 retail with no contract and $599 with a 2 year Verizon contract. If you buy it retail, you can get what Verizon Wireless calls a "month to month" contract. You can cancel at any time you wish with no ETF and the plan is postpaid (yes, that means a credit check). Their plans start at $20/month for 1 gig, though we recommend the 3 gig $35/month plan if you plan to use the tablet much away from hotspots. It pulls down full web pages and high quality video, and those eat bandwidth.
Above: the Motorola Xoom with the optional Bluetooth keyboard and folio case
Though we'd say that Motorola and Verizon rushed the Xoom out--Adobe Flash Player 10.2 won't be out for a few weeks, the Xoom's missing a microSD card driver which should also be out in the (hopefully) near future and 4G LTE requires a hardware upgrade (free, but you must send it to Moto and wait for it up to 6 business days), it's overall an excellent piece of hardware and Honeycomb is excellent.
Now that the updated and tablet aware Android Market is out, we've not had lots of Market crashes as we did earlier, and the tablet is extremely stable overall
Here's our 23 minute video review:
We'll post a Motorola Xoom vs. iPad video review tomorrow, and our full written review in a few more days.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview