Motorola Xoom Honeycomb tablet hands-on

A palpable sense of excitement fills the air when you're around Motorola's first tablet device, the Xoom. Not least because it has a form factor that could very well take on the iPad on its own terms, but also because this will be the first tablet that will come with Google's Honeycomb (Android 3.0) operating software, and you can't help feeling that, finally, there's a valid, dedicated OS to rival Apple's.

It must be pointed out that, currently, the Motorola Xoom is far from a finished product. Motorola isn't able to show it running with a full version of the new operating system, so the demonstration model that Pocket-lint got its hands on merely runs videos of forthcoming features, such as movie playback, 3D Google Maps, voicetime, etc.

Therefore, it wouldn't be right to pass judgement on the device in its useability, so this is not, in any stretch of the imagination, a "hands-on review", and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Instead, we can fully comment on its speed of use (it flicked through the on-screen icons for each video clip at a mighty pace), and the fact that, when held, it is an object of desire. Sturdy enough to matter, yet sexy and sleek to boot, weighing just 730g.

The 16:9 10.1-inch screen is a dream, both in its high definition resolution (1280 x 800), and the response to touch. Too many recent Android tablets have been sluggish.

And with an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor, running two 1GHz cores, it's a zippy little beast. There's 32GB of internal memory (with SD expansion available after a software upgrade), and its 1GB of RAM also helps it shift.

But, speed aside, what stands it apart from its closest rival is the adoption of two cameras, front and rear. The front-facing webcam is of the 2-megapixel variety, while the rear is 5-megapixel, allowing you to use the device as a 720p HD camcorder.

It sports Bluetooth, and has both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity but is able to be upgraded to 4G when necessary (mainly for our US chums at present).

Speaking of which, the Xoom is currently a Verizon exclusive in the States, and there's no indication yet as to whether Motorola will sign up to one UK carrier or many. Unfortunately, that also applies to price, with no word at the moment. But as the US version is being touted as a quarter 2 release, it's definitely one to watch.

Don't forget to catch up with the rest of Pocket-lint's CES 2011 coverage, as we report live from the Vegas show.

Motorola Xoom tablet finally official

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