Something of a land mark occurred in the tablet space in the US yesterday with the official launch of the Motorola Xoom.
The Xoom is a slightly different proposition in the growing tablet market in that its the first to feature Android 3.0 aka “Honeycomb”, the latest version of Google’s Android OS which has been designed specifically for tablets.
Many tech enthusiasts and experts have been anticipating the Xoom’s arrival as it’s expected to be the closest rival to the Apple iPad to date. And so far, based on the early reviews, the Xoom seems to be standing its ground.
“The Xoom and Honeycomb are a promising pair that should give the iPad its stiffest competition. But price will be an obstacle, and Apple isn’t standing still.”
The Wall Street Journal, Read the full article
“Is the Xoom a real competitor to the iPad? Absolutely. In fact, it outclasses the iPad in many ways.”
Engadget, Read the full article
Take a look at the device – Motorola Xoom Official Video
Form factor wise, the Xoom is slightly larger than the iPad, measuring 25cm x 16.8cm while the HD screen resolution at 1280 x 800 is higher than the iPad’s 1024 x 768. The device features a front-facing 5-megapixel camera, GPS and an excellent battery life. The current US specification also offers WiFi and 3G connectivity and interesting to note, a SIM card slot which can be used for a free upgrade to the 4G LTE network in the future.
US pricing for the Xoom is around the $800 mark for the 32GB, 3G version although there is the opportunity to buy it for $500 on contract through Verizon.
As for availability in Europe, Motorola are a little vague, promising only that it will make its debut over here sometime within Q2.
As for apps, many of the early reviewers have made a point about mentioning the lack of tablet specific apps available in the Android Market. We’d like to point out that CoPilot Live navigation apps are designed for Android tablets as well as smartphone and CoPilot Live runs on a number of Android tablets including: the Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Commtiva N700, the ViewSonic gTablet and ViewPads. We’re already testing our compatibility on the Xoom so when it is available in Europe, CoPilot Live will be good to go!
So will the Xoom be a challenger to the Apple iPad? We shall see….as don’t forget, next week the iPad 2 will be making its official debut!