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GSLive 2011: Hands on with the Motorola Xoom

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Motorola’s first tablet device, the Xoom, should be shipping now in the UK. We got our hands on the device a bit early at the Gadget Show Live.

I’ll start off by saying outright that the Xoom is without a doubt the best Android tablet you’ll find at the Gadget Show Live this year (Samsung didn’t bring their new Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 devices), so if you’re going to the show over the next few days, be sure to head to the Nvidia area to check it out.

Motorola Xoom in Android Market

The Xoom is a 10.1-inch tablet running the latest Android Honeycomb (3.0) operating system, utilising the same 1GHz Dual-Core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor found in the LG Optimus Pad and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Despite using the same processor, the Xoom is faster. Much faster in fact.

Opening five or six different applications and switching between them was a breeze, there was no apparent delay or processing lag visible. Programs closed and reopened much quicker than we experienced with the Optimus Tab, despite both devices having the same 1GB of RAM and same processor.

The 10.1-inch 800 x 1280 screen is very responsive, making scrolling through the multiple homescreens of Honeycomb very smooth and easy. Video playback is crystal clear and looks great on the screen, as do both preloaded images and stills taken using the 5MP autofocus camera situated on the rear of the device. We were hoping to test out video calling with the 2MP front-facing camera, but the device couldn’t be hooked up to Wi-Fi and Nvidia didn’t have any data SIMs loaded.

Build-wise, the Xoom is slim and good-looking but still feels very well built. At 12.9mm thick and 730g in weight, it’s a good 4.1mm thicker than the iPad 2 and 129g heavier. On paper those figures make the Xoom sound like a heavyweight tablet, but in person and hands-on, the Xoom didn’t strike us as particularly heavy or thick. It still looks like a slim and sleek device, and is by no means uncomfortably heavy to hold while watching a movie, for instance.

Back of the Motorola Xoom

Pre-orders for the Xoom have been available in the UK for a while now, and if our maths is right, customers should start receiving the devices around now.

Will you be getting your hands on a Motorola Xoom? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the device, so drop us a line on Twitter.