Deciding between Transformer or Xoom

Discussion in 'Motorola Tablets' started by Nemix, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Nemix

    Nemix Member

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    Hi all, I'm new to this forum and this is my first post.

    I'm having a really hard time deciding between a Asus Transformer and Motorola Xoom. The thing is there's a current promotion for the Xoom 32GB that makes is the same price as a Transformer 16GB and that's what makes my decision so hard.

    I'd done a lot of research and these are the two I've come down to although I've not tested both first hand, I've made list of what I like and don't like from both based on extensive research, photo's, video, etc..(some taken from review sites like NoteBookCheck).

    Asus Transformer:

    + IPS Screen (brighter, better viewing angles)
    + Better On Screen Keyboard (not to sure if Xoom keyboard can be customized to look the same)
    + Design (simply looks better to me and the hard plastic back is great not to worry about scratches)
    + Accessories (I'm not getting the dock but it's great to know I have the option in the future as an add-on)
    + Brand (not a big deal but I trust Asus more since they've been in the computer business for very long)
    + Updates (Asus gets their updates out faster than Motorola especially here in Canada, not a big deal since I can root the Xoom and flash to US firmware for updates)

    - Price (funny cause ATM the Xoom is cheaper where I live, 32GB Xoom = 16GB Transformer)
    - Speakers (I've read the speakers in the Transformer is the bottom pit of all the Tablets, luckily there's a Voodoo app if I root)
    - Temperature (NoteBookCheck say the Xoom runs up to 7 degrees lower than the Transformer, which is believable since the Xoom has a metal back-plate and better internal heatskink; I've seen both fully dissembled)
    - Cameras (1.3MP/5MP as oppose to 2MP/5MP on the Xoom plus the camera video quality is not as good)

    Motorola Xoom:

    + Price (as stated above 32GB Xoom is same price as 16GB Transformer ATM)
    + Speakers (I've heard the Xoom has really nice and loud speakers, believable since I've seen them dissected)
    + Built Quality (it shouldn't be much different than the Asus in terms of built quality but the temperature does attribute to it since the device can potentially last longer and preserve the battery life better too)
    + Camera (I've seen videos on YouTube comparing the rear camera video quality and the Xoom looks better, I pretty sure the front camera on the Xoom is better since it has a higher megapixel)
    + WiFi (2.4/5Ghz WiFi, not a big deal since I've heard many have problems with 5ghz on their Xoom plus it's just not needed for such a device ATM)
    + USB on the GO (can be done if rooted, very cool since the Asus needs a dock for full size USB function)

    - Design (I've not a fan of the looks and form factor of the Xoom)
    - Screen (not IPS but still acceptable since I'm pretty use to my laptops LED backlit screen but I think the viewing angle on a Tablet might be important)
    - Accessories (not way to extend battery life like dock on Asus plus no SD card reader)
    - Updates (not a big deal but if I do not root and flash to US firmware 3.2 update may take forever to hit Canada which is pretty huge since 3.2 enables the MicroSD slot)


    Overall I'd prefer the Asus Transformer is it were cheaper like at launch simply because of the IPS screen, design and updates (MicroSD working on Asus long time in Canada) but since the Xoom is cheaper I'm opening up my options.

    Please feel free to add any comments or first hand experience to any of the above Tablets, do not refer me to another tablet because these are my two final decisions tablets...I'm in no rush to buy and willing to wait for the Transformer to price drop or go on sale if needed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  2. Nemix

    Nemix Member

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    Edit:

    I think I'm going to wait it out for the Transformer to go on sale or price drop. The thing is Android Tablets are not like laptops where if you get a laptop with average display you can still customize the CPU, GPU, memory and hard drive to your liking which end the end makes it look, feel and perform different from the next laptop. On an Android Tablet they're all basically the same internal parts and the only things that makes one stand out from the other first and foremost is the display (first impression smack into your face), design (form factor, size and style) and brand (logo right on the Tablet and I'm very fine and familiar with Asus).

    I was hoping the Lenovo K1 Tablet would turn out different and better than the rest of the Tablets in other aspects (I have a Lenovo laptop, really like it) but it turns out the K1 is just an average Tablet with a Lenovo logo embedded onto the Tablet. Course I still have the option of going with the Sony S1 which looks very stylish and different, I'm okay with the 9.7" display on the Sony and the fact that the Tablet is PlayStation certified makes the overall package even better but the price doesn't look too good ATM 16GB goes for the same price as a 32GB Transformer and from reviews the MicroSD slot on the Sony can only be used a reader and cannot be used to expand storage (allow for install of programs to the MicroSD) ATM.

    Looks like I'll just wait around for now and maybe (though highly doubtful) the Transformer 2 with Tegra 3 might show up at retailers...
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  3. Walkop

    Walkop Member

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    Hey Nemix;
    Welcome to the forum ;)
    I live in Canada as well, and I personally think that you have chosen the two best tablets out right now for bang-for-your-buck. I noticed the price drop on the Xoom as well - a really great deal for the storage!

    I own the Transformer myself, and it is a great tablet. The screen is quite good, and my 16GB MicroSD card works nicely. Integrated perfectly, no hiccups, and you can manipulate all files on the card through the tablet. Copy, cut, paste, rename, you name it (pun not intended ;))

    Anyway, to address some of your points here;


    Transformer
    The IPS display is a real plus, but that isn't the only thing that's better about it. It apparently gives the best whites of any tablet, including the iPad 2 and GTab 10.1. It doesn't have the BEST display, but is right behind the two leaders (GTab 10.1 and iPad 2). Colors are pretty good, viewing angles are great (inherent with IPS panels) and overall it performs well. This isn't based on opinion - its actually based on scientific analysis by DisplayMate. You can check the tablet comparison here.

    I had some light bleed in my first tablet (I ordered a replacement due to some build quality issues, including a damaged mini-HDMI port), and the second (which I am using right now) works well with only medium light bleed (not noticable under normal conditions). Good screen, good quality. No dead pixels in the new unit, either - the first had 1 (very, very small). It is quite reflective, though, so keep that in mind in high-light conditions.

    The on-screen keyboard is a matter of preference. I find the ASUS keyboard removes some of the keys I use fairly frequently (tab, etc.) and takes up a bit more on-screen space. I don't use the stock keyboard that often, though; I use Swype. Not as aesthetically good, but it works amazingly. You download it from the Swype Beta website.

    On build quality - I've personally felt both tablets in my hand, and I have to say the Xoom wins for structure quality, hands down. The Xoom just feels solid and strong in your hands - the Transformer, while not being bad, feels...givey, if you know what I mean. It doesn't seem like the chassis is really put together tightly. For instance, if you put a fair amount of pressure on the TF rear plastic, it actually affects the LCD screen (as if you put pressure on the screen itself).

    Also, the Xoom is almost an inch thinner (I'm talking width, not depth). The bezel on the TF is fairly large. The Xoom is much more simplistic, and feels like a more compact device with the same screen size. Now, it doesn't have a great screen, actually - the worst of the major tablets, but it is still a nice device. I like it based on my experiences with it.

    The Transformer keyboard dock works wonderfully, if you ever consider it. I'm using it right now, and it types cleanly and smoothly. The keys are a bit smaller than you may be used to, but it does work great for typing up longer works (like this post). Really responsive and fast, with the exception of the web browser (Honeycomb tends to have real trouble with inline text entry in the browser, and I think the Xoom works a bit better in that regard). The SD slot and USB slots also work perfectly, with good integration in the file explorer. I've even tried hooking up a PS3 controller. It works, but its a bit...quirky in some games. That is just the games that aren't optimized for it; however (at least, I think so).

    ASUS is a great company, and they are great engineers. Well, you have to be to build motherboards; right? Such intricate peices of machinery. I use them myself, and they work great. ASUS does have plenty of experience in the computer business as well. However, Motorola does have a lot more experience in the mobile market, and what consumers want in that regard - but ASUS still has a good idea of this as well. Netbooks and the like. They have a lot of innovative concepts - the Transformer, the Padfone, etc.

    On the Transformer's speakers, though, I do find them adequate (adequate, not great) for normal use. However, they lack bass and are a bit tinny. Some find the speaker balance is off as well (left-to-right). Headphones can solve this, but you don't want to wear those all the time now do you? ;)

    The cameras are pretty nice overall, but video capture is...strange. Artifacts are in the video in brighter scenes (they look like blurs) and the framerate is a bit low. However, that might be due to video playback, not the actual files - I'm not really sure, but I'd lean towards the actual cameras. Pictures look pretty good overall - I attached a few.
    $uploadfromtaptalk1315342964105.jpg
    $uploadfromtaptalk1315342998892.jpg
    I don't frequently use the front-facing camera, as Skype video chat is not supported and I don't usually take pictures through that camera in general.


    Xoom
    I personally like the Xoom. It is a solid tablet, with good build quality.

    Right now, with the 32GB Xoom being the same price as the 16GB TF, it is a really good deal. That extra storage can be very useful for holding extra movies, music, apps, and other things. You get the mSD card slot as well, which the TF also has but it still is nice nontheless.

    Not really sure about the speakers (as in I have no personal experience with them), but I have heard about the Xoom's speakers and they are supposedly quite good. The Transformer speakers aren't particularly good, so I definitely wouldn't be suprised if the Xoom's were better.

    It definitely has a really good build, as I mentioned earlier. The Xoom just feels tough in your hands, with little-to-no case flexing even under fair pressure. It is really nice. However, I haven't heard anything that points to the Xoom having a Gorilla Glass screen, which is supposedly quite scratch-resistant. I don't have a single scratch on my TF's screen, even after a few weeks of use. Not even a tiny hair of a scratch. However, you might want to get one of those InvisibleShield or BodyGuardz screen protectors anyway; that would likely be quite tough as well.

    From what I've heard, the cameras on the Xoom are quite good; better than the TF for picture quality, anyway. I think the video quality issues are TF specific, also, so the Xoom shouldn't have that problem.

    I haven't heard anything about updates, but that's suprising considering that Motorola runs completely stock Honeycomb - no additions whatsoever. ASUS has been really fast, though - updates came in within a week or two in Canada for me.

    About USB support - that is quite neat, and I assume that comes through a microUSB-to-full-size adapter? Interesting. Great for portabililty. I've also heard, however, that the TF is getting various accessories that plug into the 40-pin dock connector to give you a USB port, and other things. Only around $20, too. They're not out yet, but are supposed to be pretty soon. Either way, I was always wondering if the Xoom could use an adapter to get USB - looks like it can ;)

    The build, as I mentioned before, is slimming - I personally like it. A bit thicker (I think), but the corners are much more rounded. A big issue with the TF is that it's corners aren't rounded (literally - not a blade, but a bit annoying especially when you're holding it for longer periods of time). Well, they ARE rounded, but not as much as they could be.

    When it comes down to it, I am nitpicking a bit at the TF. However, I've owned it for a while and know it's flaws well. Other than these things, there isn't really much else wrong with it IMO.

    The screen is lacking on the Xoom, though, definitely. Not a bad screen, but definitely not great. No IPS was a definite no-no - TFT isn't a good technology for mobile displays, especially tablets. Considering they make plenty of phones with IPS displays, it is a bit strange. Either way, you aren't getting anything special with the Xoom's screen, that's for sure.

    It is interesting, though, that it apparently has a barometer. That is a neat feature; that's unique! I don't know how useful, but definitely unique.




    Overall, they're both great tablets. I'd say that the TF is a better tablet, but the Xoom having twice the storage...for the same price? That's a plus. The build does feel better, too.

    I think I should direct you to Amazon.ca, though - they're having a big promotion on the Transformer. Buy a Transformer, double your storage for free (in the form of a MSD card). Only class 4, but it should work fine; and that is definitely interesting ;). So, in the end, you get a Transformer 16GB with a 16GB MicroSD for $399.99.

    Unless, of course, you want the 32GB. ;)


    Regardless of what's out now, though, I wouldn't get either of these tablets. Some say the Transformer 2 with Kal-El will be out next month; and I definitely wouldn't want to buy a Transformer or Xoom only to find the next-gen tablets are out the next week. I DID get a TF, though...hmm. Well, that was LAST month! ;)

    Either way, the Transformer 2 looks like it could be amazing, and Motorola is supposedly working on something too. If you can wait a month or 2, DO IT. You probably won't regret it; can you really regret a tablet with Quad-Core and Ice Cream Sandwich?



    Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Android Tablet Forum
     

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