back to article Motorola uncloaks 10.1-inch Xoom fondleslab

Motorola has announced a new 10.1-inch tablet, the Xoom, hoping to take on Apple's überpopular iPad and a host of fondleslab wannabes. The Xoom will appear in the first quarter of 2011 running Google's tablet-centric Android 3.0 operating system, aka "Honeycomb." "Motorola XOOM gives consumers complete access and control of …


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  1. dr48


    GPS can be a bit ropey with altitude readings, and consumer versions certainly aren't accurate enough for working out which floor of a building you're on.

    Some interesting stuff is being done combining GPS and barometers to allow for internal navigation of buildings/complexes*, as well as general improvement by making more data available (e.g. working out you're on the exit ramp of the flyover, rather than continuing along the motorway).

    *Though GPS is of course quite likely to fall over inside most buildings with many floors of concrete, or surrounded by particularly leafy trees...

  2. Darryl
    Thumb Down

    No matter what, they've beat Apple on one thing for sure

    Xoom? What an astoundingly stupid name. Beats "iPad" for most inane name prize.

    1. Flybert

      "X" = "ex" not "Z"

      therefore this is "exhume" ...

      dual core 1ghz seems like DOA speed too

      1. vic 4
        Thumb Down

        DOA, seems pretty good to me

        Certainly beats the ipad

        1. CmdrX3

          Stupid name indeed

          Now wouldn't it be hilarious if one of the tablet makers called theirs the fondleslab, or have El Reg already copyrighted that name.

      2. Jolyon


        Faux intellectual?

        Or just anxious?

      3. John 62

        exhume is funny

        but the actual Hellenic Χ/χ character is generally transliterated to ch in English (pronounced the way Scots uses ch in loch, including at the beginning of a word, e.g. χριστος - > christos). Which would make Xoom sound like khoom or maybe comb (my greek teacher told me oo morphed into ω, but the Wikipedia says not).

        On the other hand, our letter X/x comes from the Hellenic Ξ/ξ called 'xi' in English (pronounced kzee, with a nearly silent k at the beginning of a word and transliterated to ks). Hence through the mists of time, a basque word became Havvy-air in spanish, Zavvy-eh in french and Shavvy-air in portuguese. (i.e. the Basque etxeberria - new house ( - Hence it could be argued that the italians pronounce it cassa nove-ah.)).

        (I really need to learn the IPA, or maybe start drinking it)

    2. JaitcH

      We know this but it is bad manner to push it in iPhan faces

      Apple PR doesn't like comments like yours.

      No doubt their PR trolls, and others, will be out hitting that red button, again and again.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Oh err missus, It's a big one.

    So (just out of curiosity) what sort of battery life does it get?

    1. jonathan0624

      Battery Life

      According to Motorola, 10 hours of video playback

  4. crumpled
    Big Brother


    Perhaps google is going to use the barometer to collect real-time world weather data, in the same way it can use the GPS to collect traffic-flow data.

    A swarm of weather stations.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Xoom? Xoom?

    Xoom? What kind of name is that?

    I'll sell 'em deeds for a few million :-)

  6. Oli 1

    come to the UK!

    very nice, lets just hope motorola will update the thing, unlike their mobiles....

    i'll definetly be getting one of these :D

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      Isn't that the problem with all these iPad competitors? they produce a pretty good piece of hardware then go and let it down with the software.

      Any tech company can build a good piece of hardware, you can use a reference design and just tweak it. It's the software that is the hard part.

  7. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Would love to see the barometer tied into the GPS to send hourly updates to a central weather server for more accurate forecasts.

  8. Nya

    Re: John Smith 19

    They say about 6.5hrs to 7hrs ish when playing back a HD movie through the HDMI probably a bit longer on normal tasks.

    1. GettinSadda

      Re: Re: John Smith 19

      "They say about 6.5hrs to 7hrs ish when playing back a HD movie through the HDMI probably a bit longer on normal tasks."

      Ah - one of the biggest power drains on this sort of device is the display, so I bet this example is with the display off! I wonder how long it runs with the display on?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Re: Re: John Smith 19

        General question for all readers.

        "....I wonder how long it runs with the display on?" Straw poll of fanbois in the office says they use their iPads mainly at home in the living room, usually for a couple of hours at most and rarely more than ten feet from a charger. The longest any of them can remember using their device screen-on and unplugged was three hours on a flight. I'm not sure, who are the users that need seven-plus hour, full-on usage? In-car options seem to be covered by car chargers (some trains in the UK even have 3-pin plugs), and very few commutes seem to need anything other than an hour at most. Walking and using your iPad as a navigation device doesn't seem a real idea given that many phones offer a reasonable GPS option with much less bulk and greater damage resistance (and you also wouldn't look as much of a prat). Even the fanciful idea that office workers or people such as hospital staff might use tablets usually means there are break periods where a tablet can be charged during the working day. So, who is it that actually needs these hours and hours of screen-on time?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          I need them (well I don't need them, I'd like them, if I have nothing better to spend my money on, and am not looking to save for something else) on flights to Japan, flights to LA, and when I go to a mates house and need something that has my gaming books and any interesting things I've found on the internet of late and I've once again forgotten my charger.

          At the moment my mini laptop from moons ago is down to about 4 hours battery life and I bought it a month before atom 2 came out >.<

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

            RE: me

            "....and when I go to a mates house and.... and I've once again forgotten my charger...." Excuse my ignorance, but isn't there an USB-to-iPad cable you can use off one of your mate's PCs? Don't you know a true geek always travels with a bag with at least seven redundant chargers and cables, some of which he can't even remember what kit they came with!

            1. Japhy Ryder


              You've been peeking in my bag!

        2. mtdnelson

          "some trains in the UK even have 3-pin plugs"

          How would that help? Perhaps you mean "sockets"?

    2. It wasnt me
      Thumb Down

      Oh really.....?

      "They say about 6.5hrs to 7hrs ish when playing back a HD movie through the HDMI probably a bit longer on normal tasks."

      Id hazeeard a guess at a lot less on normal tasks, as they will require the screen being turned on. Unlike streaming movies to an external display.

      Call me cycnical, but its a bit rude quoting power figures for the device with the most power hungry component not in use.

    3. Paw Bokenfohr

      I'd say less...

      ...if playing the movie back through the HDMI port also switches off that 10" screen all all it's power guzzling backlighting.

      I think the big question is going to be: how much? If it's half the price of the iPad, it's a serious contender (despite the name). If it's $50 less than the iPad, not so much.

  9. zanto
    Thumb Up

    i hope

    the build quality is as good as that of the milestone.

  10. Adrian 10


    As dr 48 says - GPS can be less accurate for alititude. An aircraft altimeter is effectively just a barometer from memory. When you start flying, you get the air pressure on the ground from the control tower (or some other similar service) - and then every 1 hectopascal = 30 foot altitude is what I remember from my study too many years ago.

    So if the Bureau of Met publishes pressure for geographical points, which should be easy enough, then you would get really accurate altimeter readings.

    I don't quite know why I would really care about my current altitude all that much. Maybe it's an app for paragliders or microlite pilots... But then I probably wouldn't trust my life to the quality of the hardware they'll provide. Anyway, more stuff in a gadget seems good to me. We can figure out what to do with it later. :-)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks awesome

    shame it's a Motorola...

    Can't wait to see what other tablets are released this year with Honeycomb!!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...are going to have to make the iPad2 pretty good. I'm not a die hard Appletard (don't have an iPhone/iPad - just an ol' iPod), but I'm fairly anti-google anything (and hence Android). But...even I'm tempted by this.....

  13. PaulR79

    Ugh, damn you Motorola!

    I swore I'd never buy from them after their atrocious update policy with the Motorola Milestone but this is currently the front runner in the tablet game for me, where Android is I mean. The others that have been revealed so far don't give me more than a "meh" response but this looks quite nice. I'm loathed to admit that I might end up getting this unless there is something else around with similar appeal.

    I'm off to shower because I feel so dirty.

    1. Anonymous Coward



      I WILL wait until a more - honest / reputable / customer focussed - company produces similar.

      I suspect I won't have too long to wait.

  14. Andy Baird

    So is that pronounced "exhume"?

    ... as in "dig up a corpse"? Should be a big hit with the fast-growing zombie market.

  15. Mr Floppy

    the name?

    Who cares, I like. Put in more sensors. A hygrometer and thermometer, we'll find something to do with it when we step outside our space capsule and take an environment reading. I'm liking the rush to make these portable slab style devices.

  16. Neill Mitchell

    Gah! Why?

    Why is everyone copying Apple's 10.1 inch screen? It's just too big. Show some initiative and give us something that's actually portable! Let's face it, these things are media player, ebook and games devices with browse capability. If I want more than that I buy a laptop with a keyboard.

    7 inch screens please!

    1. Andy Kay
      Paris Hilton

      If it was 7 inches

      ...people would complain that it was too small (re: Samsung Tab).

      The Fruit company seem to have made a very popular 10" one, so why not copy the successful model? I for one would prefer 10" rather than 7"

      Paris because she prefers 10" (allegedly)

      1. Neill Mitchell

        How many 7 inch iPads would they sell?

        I'm guessing a lot. There's a huge gap in their portfolio between the Touch/iPhone screen size and the iPad. It's only Jobs stopping them for some bizarre reason only known to himself.

    2. Bronek Kozicki

      10" good

      I'm using Kindle DX with 10" screen and would't want to switch to anything smaller for serious reading (this includes email and browsing web as well as ebooks). Although I probably won't switch to LCD either and will wait for something with large Mirasol or similar reflective screen.

  17. Tony Paulazzo


    >General question for all readers.

    iPad owner, I can leave my charger at home, next to my bed and only need to plug it in when sleeping. True, it's not a necessity, but I like having a device I can abuse all day without having to consider where the charger is, or how close I am to an electrical socket - it's very freeing.

    I actually waited months for an iPad beater to come out, bought one of those Chinese knockoffs for 85 quid (and that battery lasted a respectable 5 hours or so if you were judicious with the wifi and screen brightness), but caved in the end and got an iPad, really happy I did. I love the screens viewing angles and the battery life. Yea, it's tight not having USB / SD, and I miss zero punctuation (the only flash based video not yet converted that I watch), but apart from the few fails they got a lot right - IMHO.

  18. BongoJoe
    Thumb Up

    A4 Documents

    If this can display an A4 document whch can be read with ease without scrolling around the page then I am interested.

    Having all my technical books in PDF format and easier to hold and read than a 1600+ page book is my first requirement.

    This is looking interesting even if it's not this particular model.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up


      "If this can display an A4 document whch can be read with ease without scrolling around the page then I am interested.

      Having all my technical books in PDF format and easier to hold and read than a 1600+ page book is my first requirement."

      This is pretty much my core requirement as well. I don't like to be tethered to a wire to do so, hence my query about battery life (with the screen switched on of course).

  19. Dave Parry


    I live on a narrowboat. Having the GPS claim that I'm moving vertically when I'm not makes it much harder to then plot the position of locks on the canal that I'm traversing. So, I'd count this as a definite plus on the sensor front.

    Now all I need is a real-time remote beer condition sensor for the pubs en route....

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Altitude

      "....Now all I need is a real-time remote beer condition sensor for the pubs en route...." I think there's a (Michelin) app for that. It won't tell you how warm or cold the beer is, but I'm told it does seem to do reasonable info on the pubs themsleves.

  20. Chris Priest


    I dare someone to actually name their product 'The Fondleslab' I know it's el Reg's name, but by christ I'd buy one :)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh, Yahoo! I'll be able to check my Hotmail on my Xoom.

    (But I'm only scoffing because nobody is going to give me one)

    1. John 62
      Dead Vulture

      Xoom, RIP

      I used to have free web space from and hence a email address. then they got bought by NBC's and later just died, having been forgotten by just about everyone. is now a money transfer service, but I think it was also a Spanish insurance company for a while in the past.

      Headstone for Xoom, not the Reg

  22. Spanners Silver badge

    @Mr Floppy

    If they want to measure temperature, they will need to make sure it is the external temp. This thing will generate significant heat. Think of a phone with the GPS running. Mine gets noticeably warm. I understand that fruit phones get hot.

    Maybe there should be a survey here for people to say what sensors they would want on a new fondleslab. I want ones that measures air quality - pollution, pollen, ozone and stuff.

  23. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Some interesting answers

    So 10 hrs playing (presumably normal def) movies to 6.5-7 Hrs in HD to (essentially) who-cares-you'll-never-be-far-enough-away-from-a-charger-for-it-to-matter.

    Actually this does not sound too bad although I'd hoped for a bit more with the adaptive back lighting. Depends how many gadgets they disabled to get that figure.

    By fusing the output data from the various sensors (ecompass, accelerometer, barometer) and a map you could in *principle* implement a poor man's inertial navigation system. While the GPS satellite network does not have holes as such reception is not perfect. I think that's why something like this suite is used in the US armies land warrior programme. GPS fades badly when you're running through a cave.

    BTW I don't think *anyone* is up themselves enough to release the "Fondleslab," although you might get "The Slab (TM)."

    Someone did release a pen computer called the Dynabook (late 80s, early 90s).

    It was pants.

  24. Slabfondler

    Kindle alt

    Fondling, er, yum I mean pondering a Kindle - for on the road technical paperweight replacement - this sort of thing could be a very good alternative. Depening what it will do I can leave my MacBook at home and lighten my load a lot.

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