Yesterday, I was lucky enough to receive a new tablet device – on loan from Optus.
They’re getting a bunch of people to provide some feedback on the new units – and chose me also – thanks !
A few friends of mine have an Apple iPad, and I have tried a few of the Microsoft Windows 7 tablets – each device has their own pro’s and con’s – the market for this “form factor” is really hotting up.
The Motorola Xoom is one of the first devices that runs the new Android 3.1 O/S from Google – the unit won the “Best of Show” at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), back in January.
It’s certainly a great tablet – I spent a few hours last night setting up the device.
I simply keyed in my password for my home WiFi – and once you have a Google account configured – you’re in…!
I spent a few hours poking around the various navigation controls – and applications – and Market Place.
I had a few frustrating moments – partly due to my inexperience with the layout & UI – and thinking like a PC user …!
Here’s a few bits & pieces from my initial observations.
- Unlike the iPad/iPhone – you key in your PIN number – and THEN have to press OK as well.
- I’m used to my phone just opening up – after the 4th press.
- The home screen has navigation controls on the lower left – for HOME, fly-out for last FOUR items – and the BACK button.
- Also – a swag of icons in the lower right – notifications, and clock, for example.
- There are three-four “panes” that you can swipe left-right – much like the screens in an iPad or iPhone
- The applications can be reached by the “Apps” button in the top right
- Web Browsing is very nice – thanks FLASH !
- But – I found some sites wouldn’t load properly – detecting the device was a “mobile device” – even though it has 1280×720 screen (!)
- When navigating to www.microsoft.com
- Then – switched to the desktop version of the site
- One frustrating task was to add bookmarks – and – if needing to open a new tab…(!)
- The browser goes full-screen if only ONE tab – and I couldn’t work out how to get another tab…
- Similarly, I wanted to add a bookmark to the “home screen” – and couldn’t find that either.
- There is a fly out on the top right – when you click the upper-right icon – but not there.
- It turns out – I found accidentally – there is a flyout on the far left and far right – that hovers when you swipe inwards.
- This allows for move forward, back, new tab, bookmarks, etc
- Now that I *know*, it’s really handy – especially when holding the screen with arms out stretched – it’s actually VERY nice.
- BUT – no visual cue that it’s there – I was wondering WTF !?!
One of my favourite apps is Google Earth.
- I showed the kids some places in Australia – and we found our house.
- Nice double-touch zoom and roll/rotate
- BUT – I could work out how to TILT – and view 3D buildings (eg. New York)
- Clicking on the top “Search” box brings up the standard on-screen keyboard.
- Can’t tilt ! (??)
- Music and media – have had mixed results.
- The way to get files onto the device is via the USB cable – and then drag-down in Windows Explorer (Windows 7).
- The had some errors – saying the device was unplugged – and halted copying a few times. I’ve now got a few MP3’s on there – but was a bit problematic.
- Movies (videos) is another story – I haven’t been able to load ANY as yet – with no support for WMV, AVI or DIVX.
- I’ll try out a re-code of a video using HANDBRAKE – but it’s a bit crap to have to do that to be able to watch it.
More to follow (in further post/s)…>
- 3G – haven’t tried it as yet
- Google Apps, Gmail, Google+, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, etc
- Games – have tried Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and a car racing game
- Front facing and rear facing camera’s – for photo + video (Skype ?)
Thanks again to Optus for the trial !