REVIEWS

2019 Mazda3 Sport

2019 Mazda MX-5 RF

2019 Chevrolet Spark

2019 Mazda CX-5

Amazon Kindle Oasis

2019 GMC Terrain Denali

Google Pixel 3a

Dyson Hot+Cool purifying fan and heater

Microsoft Surface Go with LTE Advanced

Google Pixel Slate

ABox Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Starter kit

BlackBerry KEY2 LE

2018 MacBook Air

ViewSonic M1 portable projector

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Waze navigation app on Apple CarPlay

Apple iPhone XR

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple iPhone XS Max

Google Pixel 3 XL

Fitbit Charge 3

Rowenta Intense Air Pure Purifier

iOS 12

Bissell CrossWave PetPro Multi-Surface Cleaner

Casper Dog Bed

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

MacBook Pro 13 (2018)

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Plus PHEV Driver

Dyson Pure Cool HEPA Air Purifier and Fan

BlackBerry Key 2

Sonos Beam

Huawei P20 Pro

Apple HomePod

Google Home Max 

Motorola Moto G6

Fitbit Versa

Sennheiser Ambeo Smart headset

Amazon Echo Spot

Apple iPad (2018)

Spectre x360 13 2-in-1

Samsung Galaxy S9

Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset and Controller

ScoopFree Original Self Cleaning Litter Box

Kindle Oasis (2017) - The Perfect eBook reader

Azio's Retro Classic Mechanical Keyboard

Google Pixel Buds

Jaybird Run wireless bluetooth headphones

BlackBerry Motion

Apple iPhone X

Microsoft Xbox One X

Miele Blizzard CX1 Hardfloor PowerLine

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Sonos One Smart Speaker

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Anki Overdrive - Fast and Furious Edition

Apple TV 4K

« Review: Motorola ATRIX 4G smartphone | Main | Creative Zen Style M300 aims for the iPod Nano »
Saturday
May072011

Review: Speaker HD Dock for the Motorola XOOM tablet

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Of all the recent tablet releases, the Motorola XOOM WiFi has distinguished itself as the dominant multimedia and video playback device. Credit this to its powerful 1GHz Tegra 2 dual-core processor, its HD recording (at 720p HD) and playback (at 1080p HD) graphics capability as well as that stunning (although distractingly reflective)  10.1" inch 1280x800 resolution screen. The Motorola XOOM also offers mini HDMI-out connectivity right out of the box which makes it convenient to take over any HDMI enabled screen or projector.

While all you really need is a third party ($12-$40) mini HDMI port to turn the XOOM into a high def video player, Motorola offers a more distinguished solution in the guise of a $129 Speaker HD Dock.

 The speaker dock does triple duty as a desktop charger, an HDMI-out connector and augmented set of external stereo speakers for those instances where the XOOM's built in speakers are too tinny or weak. Motorola touts the following feature benefits for the XOOM Speaker HD Dock.

  • Side-firing speakers ensure you hear everything loud and clear

  • It also doubles as a charging station, so you can enjoy hands-free video chats, movies, music, and apps while your XOOM charges

  • Watch your favourite videos on a larger HD screen with the HDMI output

  • Enjoy video chats hands-free when you're in speaker mode; reduced echo and noise cancellation ensure every conversation is clear

  • Use the included adapter plate for a perfect fit with a compatible Motorola protective gel case

There are a couple of issues with the Speaker HD Dock for the Motorola XOOM, the most evident being that it can only plug into the XOOM in landscape mode.

While one may argue that landscape mode is the preferred video viewing and web-surfing orientation for this tablet (also considering the video chat camera is similarly oriented for landscape deployment) it alienates anyone who'd like to type on the XOOM in portrait mode with an external keyboard.

Yes, you can type in landscape mode but it will limit the amount of already scant screen-space. We can only surmise that the Speaker HD Dock is simply for content consumption and doesn't get any brownie points for being a productivity peripheral.

The second problem we have with the dock is minor but still unsettling.

It simply isn't a drag-and-drop device.

Plunking the XOOM on to the speaker dock requires the precision in-air-refueling  to get connected. Since the Motorola XOOM has three connectors (microUSB, HDMI and AC) that go into the dock and ther isn't a good and secure way to lean it in, expect to fumble and possibly scratch the surface of the XOOM to get it docked.

It suddenly feels so backwards, specially if you consider that in 2010, we've seen affordable Wireless Charging solutions in effect. For $129, you just expect a bit more.

It is not all bad, however.

We like the Speaker HD Dock's sturdy build and solid feel, the speakers are not exceptional but do improve the playback experience and in our tests, the HD dock  seemed to charge the XOOM quite quickly. The HDMI-out component was flawless as we could output out XOOM's screen to a  $40" inch Sharp Quattron LED 3D without any problem and played back both standard definition and high definition web  and  .MKV and .MP4 file videos with very little issues. 

Still, we feel XOOM users will appreciate a dock that can manage both portrait and landscape orientations and we think that something that offered wireless connectivity and wireless charging a la PowerMat or WebOS's Touchstone technology would be more enticing, but it is what it is.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>