Motorola Xoom to get LTE upgrade in May, goes on sale today

Thursday, February 24, 2011, 7:09 by Tech Correspondent

Motorola’s Xoom tablet will get an LTE upgrade in three months, according to a leaked Verizon document with a gadget website.

Droid-Life reports that the upgrade will include hardware (an LTE chip) and software upgrade carried out by Motorola with the whole process taking about a week. The leaked document also tells that the whole process would be free of charge for the customer and that Motorola will handle all expenses including shipping and handling.

Motorola Xoom tablet is Google’s official Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb prototype and will hit the stores today with a price tag of $800 off contract. Suggested read: Motorola Xoom review

 

motorola xoom honeycomb tablet photo

Photo: Motorola Xoom Honeycomb tablet

Motorola Xoom, with a 1GHz dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, (in future) LTE connectivity, and the ability to play full HD video, is expected to be the first real competitor to Apple’s iPad, of which about 15 million units have been sold in about a year, since it was released. Read more: Xoom vs. iPad vs. Galaxy Tab

For the uninitiated, every other decent new tablet in the market is expected to be an Apple competitor. This, however, seems to be a truism – any competitor would provide competition; that’s what it’s meant to do. But Apple assures hardware and software quality that the best find hard to emulate. Also see: iPad 2 set for March 2 release?

Tech blog Engadget.com reviewed the Xoom and found the hardware-volume and sleep buttons very hard to locate and use. The product’s hardware didn’t leave those reviewers with a good feeling. Therefore, there will still be many people who would want perfection for their $800, and might consequently opt against a Xoom.

Motorola’s tablet has 1GB DDR2 RAM and 32GB of internal memory. The Xoom has a 10-inch screen, and both front and rear cameras. The Honeycomb tablet is meant more as a laptop replacement than as a hybrid between a smartphone and a laptop. This is clear because it is best viewed in landscape orientation, and because its price and hardware is at par with notebooks. Motorola Xoom tablet has a microSD card slot, a micro USB port and mini HDMI jack.

The tablet is said to be very fast with Web browsing and with some games that are pre-loaded. Its display is good, but seems to have low pixel density with some applications. Xoom’s sound is fine at medium volume, but it can’t handle high volumes. Its battery is “beyond excellent,” says Engadget. Motorola Xoom can play video at 65 percent brightness for over 8 hours, though there’s no word on how much sound it was producing during the test.

Apple’s iPad still is the best tablet in terms of battery life, hardware, ease of use and audio quality. Where interoperability is concerned it does lose out, and perhaps Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has better video quality. Related: Galaxy Tab price dropped in India

This being broadly the case, it seems likely that while the Xoom will do well for itself considering particularly the fact that it is fully loaded with high tech hardware, unlike the iPad, it still might not convert very many people who’ve decided on an Apple device.

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