Review: Motorola Xoom

Written by Kevin

Tech Heavy’s review of the Motorola Xoom, a Android Honeycomb powered tablet.

You’ve probably noticed that everyone is making some sort or tablet nowadays.  Some are good, some aren’t.  Each one of them is different in their own way.  Personally, I’m getting pretty annoyed by all this tablet crap.  So I went out and bought one to see what the fuss was about.  I chose the Motorola Xoom.

It’s got the Android OS and if you hate Apple, then this one might be for you and is honestly one of the reasons I chose to go with that one.  I mean, come on Apple, you can’t have the best of everything and Android is definitely putting up a good fight.

Anyways, I played around with the Xoom for a couple weeks and this is the good and bad that I found. Enjoy.

The Good

First of all, it’s Android-based.  Let me clear the air, I’m not an Apple hater.  I have an iTouch and I love it.  I’m also building a hackintosh.  I just love that Android is the first Mobile OS that is making Apple not be able to sleep well at night.  Android is fast and adaptable… it’s awesome.

I like that it has notifications at the bottom corner.  It’s out of the way and it’s not so small that you don’t know what it’s for.  You just have to click on it and it pops up.

Internet use is pretty decent.  The browser works really well Gmail looks good and is very smooth.  I was too cheap to try it with 3G, but it is upgradable to 4G when that comes out which, if I was interested in that, would be nice.  It also has the ability to let you video chat with your friends with Google talk.

All around, it looks good.  Screen is nice and big.  Very shiny and clean, provided you don’t start slinging it around and treating it like crap.  It’s also pretty sturdy.  I dropped it once accidentally, and nothing was wrong which I was happy about.

The Bad

I have mixed feelings about the camera.  It’s pretty decent for pictures taken a couple of feet away.  But for close up pictures, it just doesn’t cut it.  I took a picture of some writing a couple inches away and I couldn’t even tell what it said.  It wasn’t fine print or anything like that, just regular size like in a newspaper.  Either way a couple of inches away, you should be able to read anything.

The hardware could be better.  As I was flipping through the screens, I noticed some lag on many separate occasions.  Also, 32GB is not enough space.  I mean, I have about 22GB of awesome music and if I wanted to put it all, there wouldn’t be enough room to do much else.

The compatibility of some apps and websites are just not there.  I couldn’t use Netflix or Hulu and some of my favorite apps were unavailable.  Understandable, but a little disappointed.  I had a bit of a hard time installing some apps.  Some of them took me a few tries to get the install going.  Also, no flash.  I’m highly disappointed in that especially since everyone knows that Apple mobile products and Flash don’t get along you would think that other companies would try to make that a selling point.  I guess that thought hadn’t crossed their minds.

Final Thoughts

I honestly couldn’t find a good reason to keep it.  There is nothing it had that I either didn’t have already or couldn’t get elsewhere.  Also, since I wasn’t willing to shell out the extra bucks to get 3G, that right there made it completely not worth my while.  It was fun playing around with it though.  I found a cool app that measures the strength of your wireless signal and what channel you’re on and compares it with all other signals in range.  It helps you try to maximize your wireless signal and tells you which channel have the least amount of traffic.  I really liked that app.

Maybe if they perfected the “tablet” I might be willing to buy one and actually keep it.  Until then, I would not waste my money.

– Johnny

About the author


Kevin is the Founder and Senior Editor of Tech Heavy. When he isn't writing about the latest tech tools he spends his days working in an IT department in Dubuque, IA. @kevincray


  • I agree with your review here. One thing I don’t like with Motorola Xoom is that for me 32GB space may not be enough to store my ever-increasing files. Hope there is a way to upgrade that capacity without buying a new model. However, overall this tablet is actually amazing and would probably invest to acquire the gadget as soon as my budget allows.

  • Doesn’t the Motorola Xoom have an expansion slot for a miniSD or microSD card for increased memory? And I’m curious, when are they planning on implementing the 4g netwrok into the device? I agree with your review for the most part. I’ve played with the Xoom before and one of my gripes was that I couldn’t get used to the on/off switch on the back. I like apples design a lot more, with the button on the top right corner. And for having such a large price tag, it certainly doesn’t do anything that the $499.99 basic Ipad 2 can’t (aside from the 3g network). I’ve found that Wi-fi for most tablets is just fine in most cases. #TechHeavyPortal2Giveaway

    • It does have a MicroSD slot but I didn’t have a MicroSD card lying around to try it out. I also read up on it and found out that it doesn’t even work at the moment. Apparently, they are waiting on some software update from Google. They may have it out now, but a month ago they didn’t. About the 4G, that is set to come out in the summer sometime.

  • Thanks for the review. Is there any available external storage option? That might mitigate the 32GB size. I actually have a 16GB smartphone and that is more than enough space for me. The camera not being great is something I kind of expected. The lag would definitely be a dealbreaker for me.