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Archives: Motorola Xoom - Pros and Cons

Originally published in January 2011
Simon Nguyen

Since the launch of Apple iPad in April of 2010, the tablet computer market has enjoyed a meteoric rise. In fact, tablet PCs were among the most sought items in last year’s holiday season. While there are plenty of tablet choices available for purchase, this growing market remains dominated by the iPad. According to ABC News, at least 7 million iPads were estimated to have been sold during the holiday season accounting for a lion share of total tablet sales. However, the iPad is likely to face stiff competition from the recently announced Motorola Xoom. Since this product was first unveiled at the 2011 CES, it has received favorable reviews from many of the industry’s leading insiders.

The two factors behind the iPad’s success are brand recognition and familiarity. There is a significant portion of the population that will buy virtually every product created by Apple. In fact, the iPad managed to achieve the dominant position in the tablet market almost overnight. Also, the design and aesthetics of the iPad bear resemblance to other popular Apple products such as the iPhone. This is critical as familiarity plays a key part in the consumers’ purchasing decision. If the Motorola Xoom is to challenge the iPad’s dominance in the tablet market, these are the two things it will need to have.

The Motorola Xoom is a joint effort between two leading technology companies. The product’s hardware is developed by Motorola, while its operating system is powered by the newest version of Google Android. The cooperation between these two companies is certainly a major reason why Xoom is seen by many as the next challenger to iPad’s supremacy. The brand power brought about by Google will certainly help the product gain much needed consumer awareness. But what should we be expecting of this technology?

One of the major pros of the Motorola Xoom is the robustness of the system. The device is a lot more powerful than most tablets currently on the market. The Xoom is set to pack two cameras (a feature absent in iPad 1.0) that can take pictures as well as high quality videos. The Motorola tablet will also contain several sensors, including a gyroscope and accelerometer. This, coupled with HD capability, makes the tablet a potential gaming device.

Another pro of Motorola Xoom is the fact that it comes with the newest version with Google Android. People who have used products that run on the Android operating system should have no problem navigating Xoom’s interface and features. While nothing has been finalized, it is expected that all Google services will be integrated into Xoom. Existing users of Google applications will have an incentive to buy this system, as unfamiliarity won’t be an issue. More importantly, Android 3.0 will include many features not found in the Apple iPad. Xoom users will be able to perform more powerful multitasking, navigate in 3D environment, use Flash-enabled applications, and access thousands of apps from the Android Market.

Motorola Xoom is not without cons, however. The device’s powerful specs certainly come with a big price tag. According to Engadget, Xoom (with 3G) is set to launch at $700. This is quite steep considering the fact that the price of a basic iPad is $499; other brands are even cheaper. In an environment where wallets are tight, the 40% premium may be too much to swallow. Also, Apple iPads has become so synonymous with tablet computers that Motorola Xoom (despite its superior features) may not be able to put a dent on the iPad’s dominance. Additionally, Apple is set to unveil a more complete version of its iPad very soon. The Xoom will certainly have a big mountain to climb.

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