Motorola Xoom review

Price when reviewed

As with Android 2, the Xoom also allows you to customise its five desktops with interactive fragments, so you can view recent email, social networking status updates and so on directly on the desktop, in addition to adding shortcuts to applications, contacts and folders.

Tap the plus sign in the top-right corner to launch the customisation view and up pops a far more visual approach to adding elements to your desktop than you get with Android 2. You can still launch apps from the traditional grid view, too, and this is accessible via the Apps link in the top-right corner of the desktop.

Motorola Xoom

The keyboard has been changed, but not radically so. Some keys have been added, including Tab, while the Enter and Backspace keys have moved to more desktop-like positions. One hidden benefit is full multitouch support (up to four points in the case of the Xoom), so you can hold down Shift and type capitals in the same way as you would on a physical keyboard, and hold the number key to shift temporarily to the numbers and symbols keyboard. It’s at least as good as the iPad’s offering.


That’s pretty much it as far as the UI is concerned, but Android 3 is more than just a barebones operating system. As with iOS for the iPad, it comes with a series of core apps, and these have been given the tablet makeover too.

Motorola Xoom - email app

The email app, which supports Gmail, POP3, IMAP and Exchange accounts, is now split into panes: tap an email header in the left pane, and the message content shows up on the right. The Calendar and Contacts app have been given a similar look and feel.

The browser has been beefed up, with a number of handy extras. You now get a toolbar and tabs displayed along the top of the screen and Incognito browsing, along the same lines as the desktop Chrome browser. Thumb gesture shortcuts let you access common features with a quick swipe of your major digit. And, of course, there’s support for Flash, though we had to download and install it from the Market ourselves.

Make a visit to the Android Market on your desktop PC, and you’ll get a good idea of how Google has tweaked the Market app on Android 3. It’s again divided into panes, complete with a graphics-heavy Featured App area at the top of the screen, a categories listing to the right and more featured apps in the main screen area.

Motorola Xoom

The music player sports a CoverFlow-style interface for browsing through albums, and the YouTube app looks glorious, with featured clips and search results displayed in the form of a giant TV wall – a bit like the start screen you get with the Safari desktop web browser.

As far as third-party software goes, there isn’t much to play with. The Xoom comes with a bare minimum of extra software and no games at all. The most exotic pre-installed software beyond the core apps is Film Studio, a good-looking, but rather basic competitor to the iPad’s iMovie video editing app.

Motorola Xoom

And there are some significant omissions. There’s no Facebook or Twitter integration as yet in Android 3 and, even more irritatingly, no default eBook reader.


Warranty1 yr return to base


Dimensions249 x 13 x 168mm (WDH)


Primary keyboardOn-screen
Screen size10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal1,280
Resolution screen vertical800
Display typeTFT
Panel technologyTFT

Core specifications

CPU frequency, MHz1,000MHz
Integrated memory32.0GB
RAM capacity1,000MB


Camera megapixel rating5.0mp
Focus typeAutofocus
Built-in flash?yes
Built-in flash typeDual-LED
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes


WiFi standard802.11n
Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes
Upstream USB ports0
HDMI output?yes
Video/TV output?no


Mobile operating systemAndroid 3

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