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  1.    #1  
    Motorola Xoom review -- Engadget

    Spoiler Alert! Read the review first. Here is the last part of the wrap-up:

    The problem with the Xoom isn't really about the core of the experience or the core of the hardware -- it's about the details. Too much in both the design (like those wonky buttons) or the software (like the feeling that this is all very much in beta) makes you wonder if this wasn't rushed out to market in order to beat the next wave from Apple. Regardless, there isn't much here for consumers right now. The Android Market is almost devoid of tablet applications, the OS feels buggy and unfinished, and the hardware has pain points that we find troubling. And that's to say nothing of the pricing and carrier commitments being asked of first-time buyers.

    Is the Xoom a real competitor to the iPad? Absolutely. In fact, it outclasses the iPad in many ways. Still, the end user experience isn't nearly where it needs to be, and until Google paints its tablet strategy and software picture more clearly, we'd suggest a wait-and-see approach. Honeycomb and the Xoom are spectacular -- unfortunately they're a spectacular work in progress.
    I will have more to say later. Great review and worthy of its own thread.
  2. #2  
    Yep. Xoom will be a great tablet by September with Android 3.1 and a lower price.
  3. JLegacy's Avatar
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    #3  
    Interesting to say that the problem is that it feels rushed... Hopefully HP doesn't make the same mistake with the TouchPad.
    Peace, Freedom, Prosperity.

    If you have a complaint/request relating to webOS please use the Feedback & Feature Requests Form at the official site.
  4. #4  
    Goes to show you, webOS was more than one men's efforts.
  5. #5  
    I looked at the Engadget Review and video yesterday.

    My main negative issue with Android is that its UI is very fragmented - nothing really is the same, which, to me, isn't really very intuitive.. I like consistency for ease of use and efficiency.

    It seems that the whole UI is more "gimicky" - like using the photowheel in a somewhat 3D arch - very nice in and of itself, but, as far as I could see, that's the only place for it. You don't see that used for music (a fading ine of 3D albums, kind of like Windows Aero, without the live faces), or for the widgets. Maybe Im not seeing enough, but, from what I saw, it appears to be a collection of cool things to show off with, rather than focusing on a consistent and predictable user experience, like we see on our PC's and on the other mobile OS UI's that did have way more focus on consistency of user experience.

    I guess I want to use the word "contrived", but, I really don't want to be insulting, or cruel, they obviously are putting a great deal of work into improving it, and perhaps, over time, it will really become much more consistent - this is, after all, Duarte's first go at it - and changes like this can't be too drastic.. they need to evolve over consequet releases, to see and analyze user feedback and use that information to refine thier design direction.

    The review did, however, seem (to me) "biased" to some degree - almost holding the iPad's next releases, AND the HP/Palm "partnership" as "the ones to beat", when, in fact, those devices arent even on the shelves yet.

    Again, Im not a "pad" person.. yet, so, my interest here is only analytical, but, if they keep improving in quality and power and real usability for real world tasks to truly and fully challenge a laptop, I could always change my mind.

    The Xoom looked comparable to current offerings, albeit a bit expensive.
    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

  6.    #6  
    I wanted to read several reviews before chiming in. I actually thought Engadget was making a great effort to be kind, or at least, to not be too harsh. The final score: 7 of 10, is in stark contrast to the final wrap-up. It is a product with a promising beginning, but not quite ready for prime-time.

    My overall impression is that the Xoom is what happens when you are designing a product for the sole purpose of competing with another product while on a strict time-table. The Xoom was not designed to solve problems for people, or with the enduser in sharp focus. They needed to fill in check-boxes to be called the first, "real," iPad competitor. (So much for the GTab).

    Three things that supposedly set the Xoom apart from the iPad did not even make the cut: Flash, removable storage, and 4G. Motorola was in such a rush to get this out the door, they didn't feel they could wait for the top-line features to be fully baked. Just make sure it turns on, and get it out the door. Fix the rest later.

    Sadly, that seems to be the Google way as well. Among the words used to describe the device are "crashy," and "buggy." A couple of build quality issues were noted. There were different issues in each review. I suspect the device was cheated out of some much needed QC time.

    One of the things that surprised me is that not everything is fast and furious. Some things are reported to be a bit sluggish. This may not be the fault of the hardware, as it is screaming fast, at least on paper. In real life, SPECS DON'T MATTER! It all comes down to software optimization wizardry. Moto is a company that relies on hardware specs to win the day. Bad move.

    Finally, other Android entrants may benefit from not getting their offerings out the door so soon. HC can only get better the more time it has to bake. For now, I don't think the reviewers, any of the reviewers I read, were comparing the Xoom to the upcoming iPad, but the current one, as they should. The problem for the Xoom is that outside of hardware specs, it doesn't even best the current offering in fit-and-finnish, usability, or preparedness for the enduser. The iPad had 5,000 specific apps ready at launch. That is because Apple seeded the SDK well in advance, and waited until there was a credible ecosystem. Moto had no such restraint.

    In its current condition, and at its current price, the Xoom not only fails to compete with the iPad 2, not yet revealed, It doesn't quite stack up to the almost 1yo iPad. With this in mind, HP would be wise to wait until their product is fully baked. There will never be a second chance to make a first impression. I don't think the Xoom will recover, but it might pave the way for better competitors down the road.
  7. #7  
    Here enlies the problem with rushing to the market. Obviously they wanted to beat the ipad2, but why? It's not like Verizon or Motorola are struggling companies who need near term mass success inorder to survive...

    so they chose to rush to market, charge a premium for a feature that will have to be installed later (after sending it away for 6 weeks), and skipped on including it's differentiating features. They beat the ipad2 to market, but haven't given anyone a reason not to wait and see what Apple has to offer.

    honestly they would have been better off waiting. Like i've said before, the tablet isn't going anywere (its in it's infancy)... Why rush?
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by UntidyGuy View Post
    Gimmicky and contrived kind of reminds me of the ribbon-like quick-launch bar on the Pre. It looks neat on the ads but nobody uses it.

    It looks like the hardware companies that are introducing tablets are determined to get their hardware out on schedule and will fix the software later with updates. I think it's probably what people have come to expect from technology companies - not delivering what was promised. You know - plans change.
    Untidy-

    Your arent going to believe this, but,...

    I agree with your statement about the Quick launch bar. I know it was meant to further enable single handed use, but, honestly, I personally found it awkward to deal with - I'd rather leave cards open in minmized mode and swipe back 'n forther between them as I needed them - THAT is, IMO, the beauty of the design and consistency of the WebOS UI.

    About the "rushing things out to market and fixing them with software later" - well, again, we agree, but its nothing new... software companies have been rushing unfinished, buggy software out the door to get the revenues they needed to fund the necessary updates right after, for years.

    I guess the iPad has so much "inertia" in what is percieved to be huge a market that is still just establishing itself, that the hardware companies don't want to not have a stake in it as early as possible.

    What I mean by that is if there are no competitors to the iPad when the iPad 2 hits, Apple can dominate this market too, llike they did with the iPod, and then the iPhone (there were no capacitive screen, keyboardless smartphones to comete with it at the time, and for almost a year after, if I am remembering correctly).
    Last edited by LCGuy; 02/24/2011 at 08:16 AM.
    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

  9. #9  
    Yeah, I don't see anyone - WebOS or Android - having a robust suite of tablet apps along with a mature OS until maybe 2012 or so. If you gotta have a tablet, I see no reason why you should buy anything other than a iPad before then.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    Yeah, I don't see anyone - WebOS or Android - having a robust suite of tablet apps along with a mature OS until maybe 2012 or so. If you gotta have a tablet, I see no reason why you should buy anything other than a iPad before then.
    your motorolas ceo?
    Googles ceo?
    motorolas cfo?
    googles cfo?
    motorolas cto?
    googles cto?

    (I could keep going, but I think I made my useless point)
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    Yeah, I don't see anyone - WebOS or Android - having a robust suite of tablet apps along with a mature OS until maybe 2012 or so. If you gotta have a tablet, I see no reason why you should buy anything other than a iPad before then.
    what is your definition of 'robust'? Are you referring to the quantity of apps, or the types and quality of apps available.

    I believe that if manufactures had a more hands on approach to the getting good apps into the catalog, perhaps they could achieve 'robustness (?)' rather quickly. HP is headed in that direction by electing to develop, inhouse , apps for key services that don't want to risk doing the development themselves.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by UntidyGuy View Post
    I'm sure we will be seeing a lot more of these kinds of features. One can imagine that the product strategy meetings are focused around what kind of differentiation can be communicated in the advertising. You know, something that will "pop" on an ad or that the tech reviewers can mention and show pictures of during 30 second reviews.

    Touch-to-Send is one of these. Is it really worth bluetooth pairing of two devices to send a URL? The ripple does look nice on TV, though.
    not if you had to manually pair the devices every time, but if pairing once, meant I could send links (and eventually pics, files, movies, app info) then i'd say it's more than worth it.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    Yeah, I don't see anyone - WebOS or Android - having a robust suite of tablet apps along with a mature OS until maybe 2012 or so. If you gotta have a tablet, I see no reason why you should buy anything other than a iPad before then.
    I dunno, jut getting the office suite and Skype and Amazon and the Nook reader app, along with that terrific looking WebOS email app should be way more than enough for most people, don't you think?
    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by nimer55 View Post
    your motorolas ceo?
    Googles ceo?
    motorolas cfo?
    googles cfo?
    motorolas cto?
    googles cto?

    (I could keep going, but I think I made my useless point)
    Which is what, exactly? Google JUST put out the Honeycomb SDK. HP still has yet to get the tablet one out for any developer to use. Even in Google's case, with it being a super popular OS with tons of developers interested, it takes time for apps targeting that hardware to get up to speed.

    Likewise, Honeycomb is definitely an update or two away from being complete. It was obviously rushed, and bugginess was a problem across many reviews. This will also take some months. There are 10 left in this year. I assume it will take most of those for these two issues to be eliminated completely.

    HP and WebOS have the added disadvantages of no release date, way fewer developers interested, and apparently slower development time internally.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mhunterjr View Post
    what is your definition of 'robust'? Are you referring to the quantity of apps, or the types and quality of apps available.

    I believe that if manufactures had a more hands on approach to the getting good apps into the catalog, perhaps they could achieve 'robustness (?)' rather quickly. HP is headed in that direction by electing to develop, inhouse , apps for key services that don't want to risk doing the development themselves.
    Robust is thousands of relevant apps made for that device that leverage its specific strengths in terms of real estate, (in this case, dual core) processing power, and resolution.

    Since HP has been unable to do that with any WebOS device - even ones that have been on the market for almost two years now - I don't see this magically changing after "summer" - whenever that is. Not a knock on them. I don't even think Google (or RIM with the Playbook) will have this ready in the next few months either.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by LCGuy View Post
    I dunno, jut getting the office suite and Skype and Amazon and the Nook reader app, along with that terrific looking WebOS email app should be way more than enough for most people, don't you think?
    Not at all. A Galaxy Tab can do those things now, and you can get them from carriers as low as $249 on contract. I don't think it having two less inches of diagonal screen size is what's keeping it from being a huge seller.
  17. #17  
    Mikah;

    I hear you... not sure if I agree or not, but, I can't see any reason to disagree, either.. its just too soon in this market to predict what consumers will or won't do, yet....

    Sure will be interesting to watch as it unfolds...
    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    In its current condition, and at its current price, the Xoom not only fails to compete with the iPad 2, not yet revealed, It doesn't quite stack up to the almost 1yo iPad. With this in mind, HP would be wise to wait until their product is fully baked. There will never be a second chance to make a first impression. I don't think the Xoom will recover, but it might pave the way for better competitors down the road.
    This is a perfect example of why I am puzzled when some here seem to get upset about HP's summer release. Like others, I wish the devices were market ready yesterday, but I much rather see them later than soon, if it means having to get it right with optimization of software/hardware.
  19.    #19  
    This is a scattergun response to many posts...

    TTS is a feature that looks good on TV, true. But it is not unique. If that is what HP is counting on for a differentiator, they have already lost that battle. Apple just includes three-seconds of Bump doing something more interesting than sharing URLs, and HP has to find something else. Your differentiator has to be truly different. For the Xoom it is the cameras. That differentiator has less than seven days to live.

    A robust ecosystem is something that takes advantage of the uniqueness of your product, as has already been stated. In the case of the Xoom, they need apps that take advantage of dual cores. So does HP. At the moment, they don't have even a single app that is designed for a tablet, not to mention a dual core tablet. Right now, the Xoom is a meaningless collection of tech specs.

    Apple tends to introduce software or frameworks that take advantage of hardware. They didn't just slap on a couple of cameras and call it a day; they created FaceTime. That is what Apple does best. They put in a gyroscope, and wrote an app just to show developers what is possible, throw in the necessary SDK's, and you have an Apple product. Big difference!

    Already, Verizon is changing the policy for the data plan and the wifi model due to public outcry. (And they say Apple has draconian policies.) Moto has already been sued for willful trademark violation. It seems another company called Xoom wants to block all sales for the Moto Xoom until it is settled. They might just get it.

    In the end, all of these products have to answer one, inescapable question for the consumer: "Why should I buy your iPad as opposed to Apple's iPad?" The Xoom does nothing to answer that question. It is not formfactor, price, features, build-quality, apps, ease of use, or anything else I can think of. HP will have an even harder time answering the question as they have even less differentiation in formfactor, etc.

    I believe the Xoom is off to an irrecoverable bad start. The tech world is still waiting on a competitive answer to the iPad.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by UntidyGuy View Post
    This is a perfect example of a false dichotomy: You will get an early release or the optimized product but you can't have both. If you don't get one then you will certainly get the other.

    It doesn't make sense to me. Theoretically, if we wait long enough it will be perfect? People said this about the Pre for six months after the working devices were shown off at CES and, after six months, both the hardware and the software arrived half-baked.
    What???

    THe only entity that can/will decide/know when HP devices are market ready for market is HP. Of course, there can/will always be updates/changes to make things better, but there is such a thing as rushing to market before all is ready, and it appears that HP REFUSES to play this game with its webOS devices.

    PS: Please stop it with the original Pre comparisons, this is no longer Palm the broke company, just hoping something works.
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