Motorola provided me with a Xoom Tablet to test, review and keep as well as compensating me for my participation in the Xoom ambassadorship program. I did not, however get an embassy or other diplomatic perks.
For the past few weeks I’ve been toting around a Motorola Xoom. And I truly mean “toting.” At only a little over a pound and .5 inches thin it has been easy to include in my regular handbag as I walked around the city, flew to San Diego (didn’t even have to take it out of its case for security!), ran from meeting to event to meeting at BlogHer and finally kept my kids entertained while I met with subcontractors and other vendors at my apartment renovation. Overall, it’s given me freedom I don’t have when carrying around my laptop or relying only on a smartphone.
I have never owned an Android device. My husband immediately switched from his Blackberry to a Droid the moment he was eligible for an upgrade, but I was hooked into the iphone – and then the windows phone – then back to the iphone – but that’s a whole other story. So, using the Xoom was my first foray into the Android app marketplace. I guess it was perfect timing because according to my husband the marketplace recently underwent a huge redesign and facelift. Initially I found it really easy to navigate – but I also knew exactly what I needed – Kindle, WordPress and Hoot Suite for me. Angry Birds for my daughters. Basics covered. Things got much trickier when I wanted to browse. The Android app marketplace is not intuitive and I couldn’t get past the “top” apps windows into anything else per category. Also, just because something is available for one Android device doesn’t mean it works on other Android devices. What is up with that?
The next thing I did was check out the browser and see how this blog, Beccarama, looked on the Xoom and then how my KidzVuz site looked. Both were gorgeous. Since we are going to develop an Android app for KidzVuz in the coming months getting a feel for how apps work on the Xoom was important. I found the interface to be fairly intuitive and customizable. The home icon, back buttons, gmail integration, battery and network display are clear, easy to find and easily accessible. It takes some getting used to taking pics and videos with a tablet. It’s almost like being a filmmaker in the 1930s with some monster camera, on the other hand framing everything within a 10 inch screen is pretty cool. As a vlogger I love the ability to switch to the forward facing camera and see myself while I record so I can make sure it looks good, I have nothing in my teeth or crazy dark circles under my eyes. I also love the keyboard. It’s big and easy to type on, though I would need a bluetooth keyboard for any serious work.
My own big downside is that I am using the wifi model and for a mom on the go that is problematic. For a blogger on the go it’s a work killer. Not being able to tweet and microblog at events is basically like having no hands for me so while I loved having the Xoom with me I can’t use it as I’d want to because I need that instant ability to share and post. And the share function is really great on the photo and video app on the Xoom where it automatically pulls up sharing outputs like WordPress, gmail, twitter and more. I love that.
For business meetings I need to be able to pull up KidzVuz and show it off to potential sponsors and partners – asking to log on to their wifi network is just too amateurish. So, I may purchase a Verizon Wireless or Time Warner MiFi to give me that flexibility. But, my recommendation would be to buy the Xoom directly through Verizon Wireless with the data plan – and now they’ve lowered the price to $499.99 if you are looking to really work with it and not just use it as a leisure device.
I will continue to test out the Xoom over the next few weeks and see how it integrates with my work/home life. I still haven’t tested out podcasting, or watching movies with and without the dock. I will be posting videos and photos from the Xoom soon. And look out for a kids’ review on KidzVuz made on the Xoom!