Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Apple iPad2 Vs. Motorola Xoom, I went with the Xoom

I am fortunate to have a job where I can get my hands on the latest tech gadgets.  Recently this has involved a few of the brand name tablets and mobile phones.  One of the issues that I have found with the recent slew of tablets is that if you own a similar product like the iTouch or an iPhone, it pretty much ruins that new and exciting feeling of having let's say an iPad placed in your hands. You immediately feel the similarity of the device, you know how to work it, it's just bigger.

I had this sensation when picking up a Samsung Galaxy a few months ago.  My current phone is a HTC Aria and the operating system seemed in all appearances identical to the Galaxy's.  Again, I was so familiar with how it worked that I immediately passed it off to someone who was not familiar with that flavor of Android to demo it, feeling a little disappointed.

Image from Ubergizmo

I figured I had played the wait and see game long enough and decided to finally come off the sideline and be a tablet owner.  It all came down to the iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom for me.  On one hand, the apps are fairly refined for the iPad 2, they have been around for a while and it is a popular if not dominating platform.  I like the experience of the iDevices and have been a long time buyer of iPods.  However, there is something limiting about the Apple products despite the fluid and graceful user interface.  You are pretty much tied to iTunes, which has some great stuff but difficult to port over to another device.  I use my iPod as a hard drive for the X amount of Gigs of music I have, and have performed the move from old iPod to new iPod over the years, despite how hard Apple makes the process.

Being a somewhat recent and hooked Linux user on a desktop (Ubuntu) and laptop machine (Mint), I cannot deny the sense of computing freedom one can experience from this totally free operating system.  I love the pre-packaged Rythmbox (media player) that comes with Linux distros and could probably depart from iTunes altogether considering I rarely buy music and videos but rather enjoy various podcasts and live music streams all of which is possible to consume with a free application like Rythmbox.  The speed that one can get up and running on a Linux machine is perhaps the best selling point of all.  Need to check your email, but don't want to wait 5 minutes for all the Windows bloatware to get up and running?  Not a problem with Ubuntu or the other Linux flavors out there.

The Motorola Xoom is more of a computer in a tablet skin.  It has the flexibility that Apple just can't seem to provide to it's customers and I am primarily talking about connectivity to other devices and the openness that a Linux based OS affords it's users.  I have plans to stream video to my HD TV via a HDMI micro port, which is exciting for me.  I can dump files from my Linux machine at home on the Xoom via a USB and dump them off on my office Windows machine.  I may even spring for a Bluetooth keyboard, since one of my issues with mobile devices is the limitations of productivity one can achieve with one. 

Well, let's say I have lots a plans with my new Xoom.  I haven't even had a chance to get my paws on it, but my iDevice has just informed me that it has been delivered before the expected arrival date, which is something considering the snails pace that packages have been arriving via Amazon's Super Saver Shipping.  An update on my experience with Motorola's Xoom (Wifi version) is coming soon.

Read about the Ice Cream Sandwich update for Xoom!

*Information contained within these pages do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Schreiner University

1 comment:

  1. You gave up on an iPad? I have always liked Apple devices and actually have never tried the Xoom before. I may have tried an Android phone at a Sprint store, but other than that, I have only used one type of tablet: iPad.