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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Xoom Vs Netbook

    Bought the Xoom on release day and having second thoughts about it (as are a lot of you on this forum, it appears). The lack of a keyboard limits me from doing any real work on it, and although the battery life is nice and widgets are cool, it's basically just an $800 large screen android phone.

    I was walking through best buy today and saw some of the netbooks on sale there. Less than half the price, identical screen, and approximately the same weight. Battery life was really good, too. Started to ask myself whether paying double was worth it for basically just having a touch screen.

    As I see it, here's the pro/con comparison between netbook and Xoom:

    Netbook
    +Runs windows 7 and all compatible apps
    +Tethers to my Galaxy S Epic 4G (can't tether this phone with xoom yet)
    +Keyboard
    +Expansion ports (USB, VGA, etc)
    +WAY more hard drive space
    +Less than half the price (even if you buy a second battery for 15-16 hrs of total batt life)

    Xoom
    +Touch screen UI
    +Instant-on
    +Widget-based interface for quick/relevant information
    +GPS & Google Maps
    +Better battery life
    +Thinner/Slightly more portable

    I realize that the xoom isn't designed to replace a laptop or desktop, but there's not much it does that a netbook can't.

    I guess the biggest thing is that I'm not sure what it's supposed to be used for. It can definitely be used standing up more than a full sized laptop, but playing with the netbook today made me realize that a netbook can do virtually the same thing.

    -It can't take notes well with no keyboard (and adding a keyboard just makes it an expensive, underpowered netbook)
    -There are better games available on a netbook or PC platform
    -Email/IM/web surfing is far superior on a PC/netbook
    -A netbook has the same screen size so even pictures/movies are basically the same (and the netbook doesnt need an external stand)

    On top of that, I either have to pay extra for the 3/4g or only use wifi at home since this thing can't tether to my Epic 4G until they manage to get the 4g to broadcast in infrastructure mode.

    It's basically a very expensive phone with a bigger screen.

    Am I missing something here?
  2. #2  

    Default

    Out of the netbooks I have used, they all have been junk compared to a xoom. I mean there are good quality ones out there but a majority are mass produced crap. I'd take a xoom over a netbook any day.
  3. #3  

    Default

    I don't have a problem with your take. I personally like the touch keyboard and it has replaced my netbook/laptop for my "in front of TV" use and my portable use. The money wasn't a problem for me but all along I thought the price was steep for the typical user. Sounds to me like this device is not right for you. But only you can make that call for sure.

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
  4. #4  

    Default

    I'd say its alot closer to an expensive net book then a 'ver expensive phone with a bigger screen." As you know (because you have one) it browses almost as good as a desktop computer. Sure it reads as a mobile device still, and lacks flash as of now. But these are problems that will be fixed.

    But i see your argument. You can buy a much cheaper net book, that cruizes the internet better then the Xoom at half the price. And if thats what you want the ni dont see why you bought the xoom in the first place? What did you expect?

    I get what I want out of my Xoom. I'm sorry you dont.
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default

    Yeah i guess i assumed that the xoom would be way lighter and more portable than a netbook. But they're about the same in terms of weight. I wanted the xoom because i wanted to be able to use it walking around like a phone. You can, but you also can with a netbook and a netbook has all the other advantages.

    Big, big disadvantage with the xoom too is that it can't tether to my phone. Just seems like it doesn't have enough advantages to justify the price and the lack of keyboard. I've never owned a netbook so thought maybe i was unaware of some functionality or advantage the xoom had over a netbook.
  6. #6  

    Default

    It can tether to your phone.

    edit: Wait.. maybe you cant tether it to your phone. But i can tether it to MY droid x.
  7. #7  
    KoukiFC3S's Avatar
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    Looks like a tablet isn't for you.
    Web browsing, email, chatting, and videos are way better on my Xoom. I don't even use my macbook anymore.
  8. #8  

    Default

    I recently posted pretty much the exact same points as you. I'd actually rule out gps+navigation as a positive unless you have a good way to mount the device in your car.

    I bought my Xoom specifically for use in the car. I have a custom fabricator integrating it into the dash (it will be removable still). If it were not for this use, a netbook makes more sense in almost every way.

    10" tablets are very weird in my opinion, they really arent that portable. 7" makes much more sense. I have a carry a messenger bag around with me now.

    What I'd love to see are some pre-fabricated mounts for cars that look stock and dont require connecting/disconnecting wires... I'm paying more than I even want to admit for getting this thing fabricated.
  9. #9  
    mordbane's Avatar

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    I've come to a conclusion about tablets: they are luxury computing devices. In other words you can live without them and they are completely a "nice to have" toy. You can replace a tablet with any number of devices. It's not a bread and butter device like a desktop, smartphone, or even laptop. You'll have to get creative to find a "need" for one but ain't nothing wrong with wanting it. Hell I mostly use mine to stream movies from my PC or read books while on the treadmill or spinner. That ain't easy to do with any other device.

    Sent from my grubby hand
  10. #10  

    Default

    Let me start by saying I wondered the same thing before I got Xoom. Is it worth the cost.

    I would have to say yes it is. first I have not noticed anything that I would have been able to do with a netbook that I have not been able to do with my Xoom as I am jcurrently typoing this on it as we speek.

    I opted to purchase the keyboard when I got my Xoom one of the best things I feel I could have done. It works great for what it does and gives me the option if I think I will need it then I take it with me if not then I can leave it home.

    Second your option of VGA out. The Xoom has HDMI out and most if your current monitors and all TV's have that connection. Also as far as the screen goes the resolution on a netbook is less than what is on your Xoom. To the tune of 1024 x 600.

    Battery life sucks on most laptops and Netbook if you opt for an extended life batttery you get up to 8 hours I have found in the real workd you get about 5 maybe 6 if you limit everything.

    Also you mention instant on. I have found so many timehat having the instant on has helped instead of waiting on a laptop to start up. The time savings alone were worth it to me.

    I have wifi at home and with the how to tether post on here I got my X to tether just fine.

    I relize this all come up to what is important to you. So with that hope at someting I wrote helps if not at least you gave the Xoom a try something other people on here never did.
  11. #11  
    moosc's Avatar
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    if the browser wasnt falsely advertised I would get it. but I'm not paying 800$ for a phone browser. as blackberry put it with real web like desktop you can get rid of some apps. I'm leaning toward the bb tablet just because of the browser. only way I see the xoom tablet browser being fixed is if Google recodes it in gingerbread
  12. #12  

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    Its hardly a phone browser. One minor tweek and it stops going to mobile sites.. but even without that tweek its much more fully functioning then most phone browsers
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  13. #13  

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    Quote Originally Posted by badgrafix View Post
    Its hardly a phone browser. One minor tweek and it stops going to mobile sites.. but even without that tweek its much more fully functioning then most phone browsers
    The tweak is set to my homepage. Having to get that page run everytime is annoying and I hope it gets solved.

    Is there anyway yet to make it perm?
  14. #14  

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    Hey Mordbane, which app are you using to stream movies from your pc to the Xoom? I will be purchasing mine soon and was using an app called Zumocast with my iPad(recently sold it) and would be the only thing I would be missing on my Xoom because they haven't made an app for it yet, although, by coincidence Motorola just recently purchased their parent company, so believe it will be arriving in Android format soon, thanks.
  15. #15  
    KoukiFC3S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgrafix View Post
    Its hardly a phone browser. One minor tweek and it stops going to mobile sites.. but even without that tweek its much more fully functioning then most phone browsers
    Love the browser. The tabs at the top make it much better than other mobile browsers.
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

    Default Conclusion

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the feedback and opinions.

    I've been using the xoom almost nonstop for the past week or so, and I've come to a few conclusions:

    First, I've realized that tablets are useful because they fill a void -- the space between laptops and phones. I thought that netbooks would be a better substitute but as it turns out, they're not. On paper it would seem so, but in reality, that 'between laptop and phone' space is best occupied by a fast, capable, instant-on, ultra-thin, long-battery-life device that can do more than a phone but doesn't replace a laptop except for very rudimentary tasks.

    Second, the netbook's problems (as I learned through way too much research) are that they run a laptop/desktop OS and therefore need way more power to run smoothly, which means that decently fast netbooks have crappy battery life and are more than double the weight of a tablet. And if you go for thinner and longer battery life, you have to struggle with a laggy system. And then you have boot time to deal with.

    In my mind, then, the key to the tablet is positioning -- a device which solves intermediate tasks. Things that are simple enough to make pulling a laptop out and booting up overkill but yet are complex enough to make a phone cumbersome.

    Some potential uses (for me):

    * On-the-fly google searches using multiple tabs while at home but when away from the main desktop PC

    * Quick google searches or web surfing when on the road and need quick access without the cumbersome nature of websurfing on a cell phone.

    * Mobile gaming for downtime

    * Watching movies or web surfing from bed

    * Ultra-light mobile productivity (esp with BT keyboard)

    * A secondary (and simple) web-surfing device for my girlfriend when on the road and i'm working on the laptop

    * Basic computing tasks on an airplane with very little leg/forward room (a 15" laptop leaves so little space that you have to hold it at an angle for it to fit)

    That's enough uses for me to justify a tablet. But then we have the question of WHICH ONE?

    I played around with an ipad recently (the original) and came to the following PERSONAL pro/con list versus honeycomb-based tablets (keeping in mind the ipad 2 is arriving in a few days):

    General Ipad Pros Vs Honeycomb: Stability, smoother UI and touch screen, larger app availability, larger accessory selection, works with my existing accessories (have several), tethers with the Epic 4G (i think), easier to use for new users

    General Ipad Cons Vs Honeycomb: Iffy flash workarounds, no widgets/customization, no native 4g, weak gmail/google maps/google apps integration, lower resolution, lacks ability to natively handle divx/MKV content

    The Real Question: Am I willing to trade awesome google integration, native HD content playback, better screen, future flash compatibility, and widgets/customization in exchange for stability, UI smoothness, tethering, and greater apps/accessory compatibility?


    Conclusion:
    Having played with both xoom and the ipad v.1.0 the past few days, I'd say I'm willing to make that trade. Don't get me wrong, I love android and still rock the Epic, but I'm no loyalist fanboy -- I go with whatever technology suits me best. And judging by the number of times the xoom has lagged on me and crashed in just a few days (new technology notwithstanding), I'd say ipad's won this round. Hopefully in a few years android will catch up and i'll switch back.
  17. #17  

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    Advantage of the netbook is that you're no longer at the mercy of Apps. For example, what if Netflix is no longer allowed on the ipad due to the subscription requirements?

    A bit pricier, and you're paying the Mac premium, but have you considered the new MacBook Air? Weight and the SSD make this really close to a tablet experience, but it's infinitely more functional. This device is pretty much instant on.
  18. Thread Author  Thread Author    #18  

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    Yeah agree that the netbook is more versatile.

    The air is tempting, but the 5 hour battery life kills it. My 3 year old XPS m1530 has 4.5 hours. Now if it got 8 hours then we might be onto something...
  19. #19  
    dhendriksen's Avatar
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    I love the XOOM, annd haven't powered my Netbook on for months...let me explain why. I'm in Outside Sales/Account Management. I am always on the go, meeting with clients and making presentations. The problem with the netbook (I have a really nice Sony that cost more than the XOOM) is that it takes too long to boot up, the battery doesn't last long enough, and the apps aren't formatted for that size screen. That means that you're constantly scrolling up/down, side to side within the app. There are almost no apps where you can see everything on the screen at once. That is very annoying. I replaced my Netbook with an iPad, but that fell short for a bunch of reasons that I won't get in to now. The XOOM is perfect because it is on instantly, and battery lasts forever. I can carry it with me all week, using it for an hour or two each day, and only charge the battery once on the weekend. I have the Motorola bluetooth keyboard (typing on it now) and that really helps me be able to bang out lengthy emails and documents without a problem. Being that I'm out and about a lot, I don't spend a ton of time in my office. There are lots of times where I will be 30+ miles away from my office and have an hour or two in between appointments. With the XOOM I can sit down at any coffee shop or book store and get work done. For things I can't do on the XOOM, I just remote into my desktop from the XOOM and do it that way.

    PLus, for personal use the XOOM is much more enjoyable. It is easier to carry around, easier to use while standing/walking, etc... For me it is a no brainer. A netbook is really quite an akward device if you ask me, despite my getting really excited about them when they were introduced. Even the top drawer netbooks (like my Sony) don't work nearly as well as the XOOM does for me. Once the new Log Me In, Office Suite and Flash get introduced it will put this thing over the top.

    Just my .02. Sorry for the long post =)
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  20. #20  

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    Quote Originally Posted by djfujiyama View Post
    Yeah agree that the netbook is more versatile.

    The air is tempting, but the 5 hour battery life kills it. My 3 year old XPS m1530 has 4.5 hours. Now if it got 8 hours then we might be onto something...
    5 hours isn't that limiting, especially with the deep sleep mode. Allegedly, there are some programs that can get the MBA 11" up to 7 hours, but I've never tried.

    I really wanted a Xoom/iPad2 until I really thought about it - tablets really aren't that functional. You're limited by full screen apps, what apps are available, virtual keyboards and mobile browsers. I'll gladly sacrifice charging my MBA a few extra times for everything else I get. Using real iMovie, Chrome and Steam makes all the difference for me.
  21. #21  

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    The Xoom is much snappier than my netbook, and powers up instantly. Even from a cold boot, it takes a fraction of the time to power up than a Wintel netbook. For what I use it for (email, web browsing, news reader) it has better performance and readability than a netbook, and is lighter and more compact. When Adobe flash 10.2 and the Honeycomb version of QuickOffice is released, it will gain web video functionality equal to the netbook, and will be able to do light document editing chores on the go or in a comfy chair.

    The major downside right now (aside from still waiting for basic apps to be polished up and released for Honeycomb/tablet format) is that web sites haven't caught up to the fact that Android 3.0 tablet devices should not be shunted to mobile versions of their offerings. That's not so much a fault of the tablet, it's the web site maintainers. For some web sites you cannot even force opening of the full site, but are always redirected to the mobile site.

    Cheers.

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