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Motorola Xoom

Motorola Xoom

A slab of 10in Honeycomb goodness

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Review You will be aware that 2011 is supposed to be the year that Android tablets hit the big-time. In case you missed it, the explosion of new devices was supposed to happen at Easter. In the event, many launches have since been put back to later in the year, while other products have been launched but are plainly impossible to buy.

Motorola Xoom

Launch pad: the Motorola Xoom's 10.1in display has plenty of space for a widget-packed home screen

So give some credit to Motorola for actually bringing its much-hyped Xoom tablet to UK stores pretty much when it said it would.

The Motorola Xoom is a tablet intended to challenge Apple’s iPad head-on, with a 10.1in display, comparable built-in storage (at 32GB) and an operating system that doesn’t look rubbish: Android 3.0.1 ‘Honeycomb’.

It does not in any way try to complete with the cheap and nasty no-brand tablets currently being shovelled onto an unsuspecting public by consumer electronics retailers who should know better. Of course, if you think £179 is good value for a plasticky tablet with a dim screen, impractically small memory and running on an operating system used for a glitchy beta smartphone from 2008, then good luck to you.

By contrast, the Xoom is an expensive hunk of quality kit. It’s expensive, yes, but really nice to own and lovely to use. And that’s what makes it so comparable with an iPad.

Motorola Xoom

Nice and black and shiny... and thick and heavy

The device is shiny black at the front, matte black and charcoal at the rear, with a bezel around the screen area that is markedly narrower than than on the iPad. The screen itself looks smaller than the iPad’s but that’s because the Xoom offers a higher pixel density: it is actually a higher resolution screen at 1280x800 pixels compared to the iPad’s 1024x768.

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