One of the most striking features on the Xoom is the 10.1”, 1280×800 resolution, display. Unlike the iPad, this display is actually a proper widescreen format, perfect for watching video. Using a widescreen display actually helps the Xoom have a bigger screen, with a smaller footprint than the iPad.
Motorola seems to have taken a minimalistic approach in the styling and industrial design of the Xoom. The front of the device just features the massive display with a very small bezel, containing the 2MP, front facing camera.
The case of the device seems to be made of a metal material, like magnesium, although we were unable to confirm the actual material used. This gives it a more durable feeling than a plastic only device, such as the Galaxy Tab, and improves the texture of the device while holding it.
Beyond the volume control rocker buttons on the left size of the device, the only other physical button on the device is the lock button on the back. The positioning of this button is unique, and corresponds greatly to holding the device with your left hand. However, this become a challenge if you are left handed and prefer to hold the device with your non dominant hand, or the Xoom is laying on a flat surface.
On the back of the device, we find a 5MP camera with dual LED flash, and stereo speakers, which sound impressive for a device of this size.
On the top, we see a standard headphone jack, and a SIM card
slot for the eventual upgrade this device will receive to 4G LTE connectivity.
All of the connectivity features are on the bottom of the
device. Included, we have micro USB, a HDMI out connector, and a proprietary
The Xoom will not charge over micro USB, and requires this specific charger. While we are always disappointed to see proprietary connectors, it seems like it could be a bigger issue here as the pin is really small and seems fragile. Beyond that, if the device is not widely adopted, it could be difficult to find a charger for down the road.
The road to the Motorola Xoom has not been without its
issues. Original promises of a device shipping with 4G LTE connectivity, and
even a microSD card slot have gone undelivered. While Motorola and Verizon are
promising a free upgrade path to LTE, it will involve sending your device in
for about a week while the upgrade is being done.
Overall the hardware seems to be very solid, but nothing to write home about. It is neither flashy, nor extremely well built, which makes it sit in the middle road of usable, but not overly impressive.