Walt Mossberg’s Motorola Xoom Review

Headline: “Motorola’s Xoom Starts Tablet Wars With iPad”. Funny, given how many reviewers used the same phrase in their reviews of the now-forgotten Samsung Galaxy Tab back in November. On battery life:

I performed the same battery test on the Xoom as I have on other tablets. I played video constantly with the connectivity turned on and the screen at almost full brightness until the battery died. Alas, while the Xoom claims up to 10 hours of video playback, I got just 7 hours and 32 minutes. By contrast, on the same test, the iPad, which also claims 10 hours, logged 11.5 hours, or four hours more.

That’s still better than I expected from the Xoom, given the battery life I’ve seen on Android phones. I haven’t yet seen or used a Xoom, but what strikes me about it is that the 16:9 display means the device is clearly intended to be used horizontally. (The location of the “Motorola” and “Verizon” logos stamped on the front face reiterates this.) The iPad’s 4:3 aspect ratio works well in both orientations. The one thing a 16:9 display ought to be better for is video playback, right? But:

I couldn’t locate a working video download or rental service, though Google says these will be available soon.

Thursday, 24 February 2011