The Motorola Xoom was the first Android Honeycomb tablet to be launched worldwide and is finally available to buy in the UK.
Comparisons between the iPad 2 and the Xoom are inevitable as equivalent 32GB versions both have a starting price of £479.99.
The Xoom comes with superior specifications and a refreshed version of the much loved Android interface. During our tests we found that the Xoom performed admirably and offers business users a genuine alternative to the iPad 2.
With a 10.1in screen, the Xoom is the biggest Android tablet on the market and comes with a 1,280 x 800 WXGA resolution. The display also packs a 16:9 ratio meaning that videos and web sites can be viewed in full, as intended.
However, the brightness is a tad disappointing and the screen is visibly duller when placed side by side with an iPad 2. Like other devices, the Xoom is also a fingerprint magnet and we were disappointed that no cleaning cloth was supplied, as it is essential.
The Xoom is also a little bulky at 730g, making it 100g heavier than the equivalent 32GB Wi-Fi iPad 2. This extra weight is noticeable, but it is not a deal breaker.
The Motorola device has dimensions of 249.1 x 167.8 x 12.9mm making it thicker than the iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab, which have dimensions of 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8mm and 190 x 120 x 12mm respectively. Apple's tablet is noticeably wider when the two tablets are directly compared.
A 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor powers the Xoom supported by 1GB of RAM. This makes the the tablet nippy when it comes to performance, and there is no lag between opening and switching applications or when swiping between homescreens.
Motorola supplies 32GB of internal memory for storage, and there is also a micro-SD card slot to increase capacity and facilitate quick transfer of files with smartphones.
However, the micro-SD card slot is currently unusable although a Honeycomb upgrade is expected imminently to fix this issue. This is disappointing and suggests that the operating system has been rushed out much like Windows Phone 7.
Additional connections include micro-USB, mini-HDMI output and a proprietary charging port that uses a very thin connector, similar to the one used to charge devices such as the Nokia 6300. USB charging is not supported, an all-too-common problem with tablets.