Motorola Xoom brings iPad competition - TiPb at CES 2011

Our good friend Phil over at AndroidCentral managed to capture a video showing off the Motorola Xoom tablet at CES. The Motorola Xoom could bring some real competition to not only the iPad but the iPad 2 as well. Packing a dual core 1Ghz processor, 10.1-inch (1280 x 800 and 16:10 aspect ratio) display, 2-mega-pixel front facing camera, 5-mega-pixel rear facing camera, microSD slot, HDMI out and a whopping 1024Mb of RAM.

The Xoom will run Android Honeycomb and supports Adobe Flash. Availability is said to be first quarter of this year and exclusive to Verizon. No details on pricing yet.

Strangely, LTE won't come immediately and will require a *

The video is after the break,  make sure you visit AndroidCentral for more details and hands on pictures, then pop back and  let us know what you think of this one in the comments!

[AndroidCentral]

chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Motorola Xoom brings iPad competition - TiPb at CES 2011

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You know, maybe I was expecting too much, but the UIs of the Playbook and Honeycomb are pretty boring to me. There's probably not much can be done beyond widgets, notifications and app launching. Hopefully the scrolling and animation is rock solid on all these new devices.
I think the big usability payoff will be weight. If these 10" devices can be driven down to less than 1 lb weight, that'll be the biggest usability increase. After that, screen performance with sunlight performance, viewing angles, and DPI.
And onscreen scrolling and animation performance is right up there with weight.

Do you find the iPad's UI to NOT be boring? As in...not the same ole same?
No knock at all to iOS...but really?
I ABHOR Blackberrys...but at least RIM and Google are trying to differentiate their tablet UI while keeping the same mechanics that BB/Android users will be used to.

I find the iOS UI elegantly functional, while suffering a little bit with too many features tacked on. The information display design for iOS is really elegantly simple with the sole job of launching apps, particularly with one hand using a thumb.
The icon design, metaphors and animation basically stretch back 20 years to NeXTSTEP. Even the badges and dock go back to NeXTSTEP. The illusion of direct manipulation of UI elements I think was the biggest differentiator in UI designed compared to other phones. This is the feeling of moving and stretching paper.
However, with the right swipe from the 1st home screen to expose the search UI (some call it a swipe left, but that really means move the homescreen right to expose the search screen on the left), and the double tap to bring up the app switcher, plus the multi-swipe to the right to expose iPod controls and device volume, the metaphor is beginning to bend under the weight.
It's too much. There is beauty in information display. Apple knows this. They implement it everywhere. Maybe there is another left screen to be implemented in iOS 5 for notifications and some form of widgets in the lockscreen, but the iOS UI metaphor is creaking under the weight of too much information and too much functionality.
I basically find Playbook and Honeycomb boring because the information display demonstrated so far is garish. UI design isn't about how "pretty" something looks. It's about how something works, how something is communicated. To me, the webOS card metaphor being used in both Playbook and Honeycomb (thus far) is overtaxing the metaphor, thus, I find it boring. It isn't some new or interesting thing.
It seems too much of over-reach when I see both the scrolling cards metaphor and an app dock on the same screen. The information display becomes too much. What is the user trying to do? Switch apps? Launch a new app? Understand what apps are running? While you may have no problem understanding what to do, but they should go the extra mile and destill the design to the basics. This is part of the art, going the extra mile.

You really believe the Playbook and the Xoom's UI is boring? I know know we all have our own opinions but I own an iPod touch, iPhone 4 and an iPad and guess what... Freaking all the UI's are the same. My son who is 5 years old owns an iPod Touch and when he first saw my iPad he thought it was a big iPod touch. Now he know's the difference but thats how similar the UI's are and trust me, nothing is ground breaking about them at all.

Didn't you just confirm my statement with your comments?
Yes, boring. These UIs are basically WIMP interfaces with touch as the input device. Many of the mechanics are set, with direct manipulation of UI elements as the cornerstone of the design. The Windows Phone 7 is interesting in this respect as it something different from is being done in iOS, webOS and Android.

I think honeycomb looks absolutely ugly. The design is killing me. I like the modern, web 2.0, beautiful icons and flawless animation look, and it just doesn't have that. iOS set the bar for that. It's gorgeous. WebOS and even Windows Phone 7 are strong and beautifully written code. I mean, look at the honeycomb keyboard, it is so bland and lifeless. Look at the ugly blue outline that wont match anything and make you think of a early 90's futuristic movie, as you cycle through your homescreens.
Im not a fanboy of a specific OS in any sense. Infact I enjoy iOS, webOS, Windows Phone 7, and at times the stable software of a blackberry bold, but android has always been a disapointment to me. I work at a Verizon store and i must tell you that unlike any OS I have seen (since windows 6) Android devices are the only ones I have seen that the performance gets horribly worse in time. They run like computers in the fact that as time goes on, they are more and moe sluggish. iOS stays solid, webOS stays solid, and windows phone 7 is off to a great start in that sense. We have peple that come in all the time with the original moto droid, the droid eris, etc complaining about the performance. When we take a look at their phones it blows my mind how unresponsive and crazy slow they are. Regardless of the specs on the hardware.
I believe android devices have amazing hardware attached to them, it's not the hardare that's the problem, but the performance problems are with the code of android. Our store manager, who loves his Droid Incredible, has been complaining lately about how sluggish his device has gotten since getting it in the summer. Besides the disapoointment in performance from android, I dont see anything that intrigues me about the OS. The icons look dated, the animation is terrible, the scrolling is SO weird, the menu is odd, the absolutely terrible multitasking, and the fact that there is hardly any progressive movements and complete lack of "amazing new features" when all these so called big updates roll around are less than satisfactory. Seriously. I don't get it, I love google, I love what they do! Everything they do online has a sense of class, as they continually create modern standards on the web. How they have done gmail, google docs, etc. makes them legendary, but with android (even google tv for that matter) just doesn't seem to carry it's same approach.
Google reminds me of how Microsoft was. Windows Mobile was huge, even revolutionary in its start, but it failed to be innovative. New updates would finally roll a around, but nothing continued the progression of modern trends and web standards, never were new features updated, they never fixed the UI issues. They settled with huge marketing, multiple hardware manufactures, fragmented software, and a gigantic marketshare. Now finally they have a great product but they are failing to make noise. I fear the same for google, the innovative giant. Palm had the same issues now they are trying to reestablish themselves with WebOS, but it's not working to well.
Im interested in a device that has the feel and look of the web. It's modern, it cares about the gradients, it shares a "web 2.0" mentality, its continually progressive, it creates a UI with attractive colors and designs, it compliments my web expeirence and operates flawlessly.
Apple has done a great job, WebOS has done a great job, Windows Phone 7 has done a great job, but Android? Is lacking to say the least. If it wasn't for the amazing marketing team behind android, their availability on all North American carriers, and the name "Google" attached to it, android would never have blown up they way it did to 1) the hardware manufactures and 2) to the consumers.
In my mind, it has alot more to do to even be considered as a solid OS.

Really? I saw a box pop up and he x'd it out. good imagination though. Even if it did, which it didn't, Gingerbread is unfinished code so who would care anyhow. I've gotten thrown back to iOS dashboard plenty of times by cashing apps, Apple's own included. My keyboard is so sluggish right now that I'm about to go into the task manager and kill task, or maybe just reboot. This iOS 4.2 remind you, not .9.

Really? I saw a box pop up and he x’d it out. good imagination though. Even if it did, which it didn’t (what kind of agressive denial is this?)
Look again and observe DOS like text popping up at the end.

Yep. Looked like a crash to me. Ah well, what device HASN'T? Isolated incidents are forgivable, though laughable. If it did it again within the same hour, I'd be highly skeptical of the device's ability to pull off that kind of application.

more competition is better for the consumer. I have no brand loyalty but this tablet craze is going to bring some awesome products to us all! The more competition the better I say!!

It is an I am excited, I have an iPad and I am selling my Galaxy Tab now to make room for the Playbook and the Xoom. I am excited with whats going on in the tech world this year, not only with tablets but with phones and other devices as well.

No matter how good the hardware and OS get with the competition, iOS will always have a far stronger app ecosystem. What good is a wonderful tablet if you can't get great software for it?

So you don't think people will be able to get apps for Android? Android is either neck and neck with iOS or just surpassed it. Developers go to wherever there is a market .. and I would say as Android grabs Marketshare ..more and more developers flock to the platform..

As an owner of both an android phone and ipad I can say that the same great apps found on the ipad are found on the android and vice versus. The same goes for the crappy apps. Plus with android I can d/l and install apps from any website not just the app market, you cant do that on ianything without being jailbroken first, android does it stock out of the box. Also look at the devs who have already ported ther apps to android and more and more are doing the same thing.

The LTE hardware upgrade issue is..weird. The Motorola rep seemed to imply you'd have to go to Verizon or send it in to them for the LTE upgrade. Not a fan of that.
It looks nice, has huge specs but I'll pass on this. My Ipod Touch is enough of a supplement to my Moto Droid for now. Plus like the Ipad 10" is still too much to carry around. Definitely gunna pass on this.

Agreed. I think it is laughable to release a product and then say "If you want "4G" you will have to mail it or bring it in for a hardware update" is pure stupidity. It won't keep it from selling a lot but I think that is a joke. Thankfully Apple doesn't run their business that way.

I 'd like to see more on Honeycomb.. looks like they're just demoing the software. I think there is more to come ..and I like the fact that Android HONEYCOMB makes use out of that screen.
I think the iOS does a great job using the large scrreen within the apps ..However .. the Homescreen on the IPad is blend and could use a little life .. all these icons miles and miles apart make the homescreens look empty .. Honeycomb seem to do a great job of using the homescreen real estate.

I'm thinking that with all the news about android tab's and LTE devices apple needs to have something to say. Hope they have LTE coming on the ipad 2 if they don't may have to break down and get the Xoom, guess time will tell but hey i'm VZW loyal just interested in what apple is bringing to the table, so far seem like CES has been an Android show

Looks great on paper problem is it's Motorola, just like it's droid phones it will end up just as crappy. Probably better off going with something like galaxy s if android is a must have.

What are you talking about? The Moto Droid lineup is great...AFTER you remove all that Motoblur crap they put on.

Yep. To be more precise, Apple made "computing"-digital input/output as we know it-more FUN. As much as I love my laptop and ultra-portable netbook, I get a LOT more enjoyment out of my iPad for a number of reasons. So yeah, iPad made the tablet cool. And it's about time.

The iPad is still king...for now. The reason why it's so successful and so much better than all the other tablets out there is because, for all its shortcomings, it's still pretty damned well polished in terms of functionality, performance and design. The thing just flat-out WORKS and it works WELL. Sure, it would be nice for it to have had a camera, SD card slot, etc. to begin with. But then, for a first-generation device, it's a pretty good entry, considering all of the other first-generation devices we've seen come and go over the years.
Another thing I'd like to point out: Yeah, we spend a LOT of coin on these tablet devices but how many have the gorgeous, SOLID and ROBUST construction of the iPad? With it in my hand, it not only looks but FEELS like it's worth every penny. And it's taken a few serious drops since I got it back in June with nary a problem nor significant cosmetic damage as a result. It just soldiers on like nothing ever happened. Try THAT with any other tablet made with plastic and no glass! My LAPTOP cost more than my iPad and I'm deathly afraid of dropping it, even when it's in its carrying case!
I'm not knocking all the other tablets out there...and I know there are some really nice ones (I got my hands on a Galaxy Tab the other day at Fry's and was reasonably impressed with it except for its small screen size). It's just that Apple set the bar pretty high right from the get-go and it'll be hard for anyone other than Apple to top it, in terms of overall quality and value. At least for a while.
But MOST IMPORTANTLY, when I saw a news video clip about CES featuring the rows of tablets there, I couldn't help but cheer. This is because the advent of the iPad has truly finally kicked all of the other tech companies in their collective butts to get up and get serious about making something that has only been so abysmally developed by half-assed efforts over the years.
Whether you like Apple or not, you've gotta admit that their innovation-particularly with the iPad-has ignited competitive creativity and polarized the industry like no other tech creation has in recent memory. And guess who wins? The consumers do!
So, aside from its construction, aesthetic beauty and outright great functionality (despite its shortcomings), the iPad rules (in my book), for the time being.