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The Motorola XOOM tablet enters the spotlight

The Motorola XOOM gains traction

Hype for Motorola’s new smartphone the Atrix continues, but Motorola has shifted some of that attention to its Xoom tablet device, which is getting more spotlight the last few days. The Xoom is, as with most new tablets, a direct competitor to the iPad. There is a very good spec comparison chart on droidlife that summerizes the differences between the Xoom and the iPad very well. Needless to say, the iPad being a 10 month old device while the Xoom still waiting for release gave the Xoom quite the advantage in specs. Apple fans will be quick to point out the ‘unfair’ comparison and that iPad 2 is right around the corner so the Xoom should be compared to that. My personal opinion is that if you want to fairly compare two products, they have to exist and be purchasable TODAY. That doesn’t mean people should not compare speculated or announced specs for future devices to get an idea how they differ.

The Xoom differs in subtle ways when compared to the current market leader, the iPad. The Xoom has a higher resolution on a ever so slightly larger screen (10.1 inch vs 9.7 inches on the iPad). The biggest hardware advantage of the Xoom is arguably that it has dual cameras, with 2mp front facing and a 5mp rear facing camera. Unlike faster CPU’s or larger amounts of RAM, physical cameras are features that cannot be duplicated with superior software no matter how optimized. As you may know, there is a whole lot that cameras can bring to the table in terms of usefulness when we look at applications such barcode readers or check depositing features of the iPhone when certain app store apps are used. Who knows what people will use cameras for next?

XOOM is the first device to officially launch with Android 3.0 ‘Honeycomb’

The biggest deal about the Xoom is that this will be the first Android tablet to run 3.0 ‘Honeycomb’ out of the box. This is a big deal since Google has always maintained that current versions of Android (up to 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’) were never designed specifically for tablets, so you could say the Xoom will be the first Android tablet to have Google’s blessing. The interface sure is pretty, and I hope it brings just as much functionality and ease of use as it does aesthetic pleasingness.