Xoom Faster Than iPad, Boasts Fine Productivity
The Xoom is also faster than the first iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab because it is powered by Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core processor. That proved true whether I was connected via WiFi at home or via Verizon's 3G network on a train to New York. Searching Google via text input and via Google Voice Search from the search bar on each homescreen proved snappy. Voice Search is particularly good because you don't have to practically put the Xoom in your mouth the way you do an Android handset to help the microphone pick up your words.
Users may also sync their Microsoft Exchange corporate e-mail, contacts and calendars, and work on documents, spreadsheets and presentations from the virtual QWERTY keyboard. I'm typing the review in an application I downloaded from the market called Gdocs. It takes some getting used to, sort of like texting did on my Droid X's touchscreen, but these keys are nice and wide, obviously more generously spaced than they are on the smartphone I use for work and play. If pressed, I'd still rather type on the iPad's virtual keyboard. The camera is excellent. While I've appreciated the 8 megapixel capability of my Motorola Droid X, I'll take this 5 MP shutter on the Xoom over it easily. Sure, it's awkward to hold up a 1.6 pound tablet to take a picture, but it's actually easier than on a smartphone because the view finder is wider.Also, there was no shakiness or latency when I pressed the camera button to snap a photo. Switching from camera to the video recorder is easier and it captures video in 720p HD. You can then port the pics or videos to HDTV with an HDMI cable, or pipe them to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Flickr. I tried the video chat capability using Google Chat, which is cool because you get notifications when a friend comes online. When you see their profile picture pop out below, it's hard not to resist pinging them for a video chat. Battery life on the Xoom is great. I used it for several hours over the course of a day and got about 9 to 10 hours worth of time before it wound down. I'd kill for that on my Motorola Droid X, or any of the other Android handsets I've tested. The Motorola Atrix 4G comes close.
Productivity on the Xoom is decent. Gmail has been refreshed to be more PC-like, with folders along the left-hand rail, and inbox messages on the right, making it much more user friendly than using the app on a smartphone.