Motorola XOOM Rules At CES ’11

At the time of my Dec. 29 column about popular tech in 2011, the world didn’t have many details on Motorola’s Android Tablet.

However, as speculated, it was fully unveiled at the recent Consumer Electronics Expo (CES), which my husband (aka “Mr. Click Chick”) again attended in my place while I was out of commission.

The theme at CES this time around was definitely all about the tablets, supposed iPad killers. Tablets, tablets, tablets were everywhere, coming out of the walls. Yet, of all of them, Motorola’s XOOM stuck out and won Best of Show as well as the People’s Choice Awards.

“Light, powerful and fundamentally different than anything else on the market, Motorola XOOM leverages the very best technology available today to redefine what a tablet experience can be,” says Bill Ogle, chief marketing officer of Motorola Mobility. “The first device to feature software designed specifically for tablets, Motorola XOOM goes everywhere you do and delivers everything you need.”

The XOOM is the first device on Google’s new Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system designed from the ground up specifically for tablets. It improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multitasking, browsing, notifications and customization. It boasts a dual core processor with each core running at 1 GHz, 1GB of DDR2 DRAM, a 10.1-inch widescreen HD display and a Verizon Wireless partnership that will give you an upgradeable 4G option.

Adobe Flash support on the XOOM is a huge plus (something that’s always been a shortfall with the iPad), and its touchscreen/gameconsole-like display has a resolution of 1280×800 compared to the iPad’s 1024×768. You can watch 1080p HD video and output video to other devices via an HDMI slot. A front-facing 2-megapixel camera allows you to do video chats over 3G or 4G, and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera can capture pictures and video in 720p. Interestingly, it also features a barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting for new types of applications.

For on the go, Google Maps 5.0 with 3D interaction is available, and you can easily connect to your web-mail (i.e., Gmail, Yahoo) accounts or Microsoft Exchange e-mail. Opening and editing documents and spreadsheets, and viewing calendars or appointments will be a breeze.

The Xoom has 32GB of built-in storage and can be upgraded via an SD card slot. There are no specific details on price or date yet for the release of the XOOM. According to Motorola, the release will be sometime in the first quarter of this year for the 3G/Wi-enabled version and an upgrade to the 4G model sometime in second quarter 2011.

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