Changing of the Guard: Xoom No More

Smart Phones have become so big in our lives. Like everyone else, I have become dependent on my little, red Droid RAZR for all manner of communication, but there are still some things that require a bigger screen…watching movies, working with presentations (when the laptop isn’t near), and reading Kindle books. To fill the utility chasm between the versatility of my mobile and the power of my laptop, a tablet is a perfect choice. Up until this month, I used a Motorola Xoom as my tablet of choice, but no more. There’s a new sheriff in town.

Why a Xoom? Well, that’s easy. It was one of the early tablet reference platforms for Android, so received regular updates from Google through Android 4.1.2. When I originally bought the device, it came with Wi-Fi and a 3G cellular modem. Motorola and Verizon offered a cellular modem upgrade option after I had the device for a little over a year, and I jumped at the chance to enjoy 4G speeds on the device. I enjoyed the device for much longer than I ever enjoyed any Smart Phone I’ve had, so it was a little sad to finally decide it was time to replace it. The Xoom had begun to slow up considerably (and often randomly reboot with memory issues) with each new update to running software I used on the device, and that, coupled with the fact that it was announced there would be no 4.2 or subsequent Android updates on the device, sealed the deal that it was time to seek a replacement.

In assessing how I use a tablet, I decided that I really didn’t need the cellular aspect of the device, so was able to open up my options beyond what my cellular carrier had at their disposal to sell me. My phone can act as a wireless access point, so if I do have networking needs on-the-move, I still have it in a convenient way. My main criteria were a fast processor, decent amount of on-board memory (RAM and storage), slot for micro-SD, good screen resolution, and something comfortable to hold while reading (7 to 10 inch screen). I looked at several options online, read reviews, and even visited some local brick store locations to actually touch my final candidates. Based on all of that information, I finally decided on the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4.

FULL SPECIFICATIONS

Category

  • TYPE

    Tablet

Carrier

  • TYPE

    Wi-Fi Only

Form Factor

  • FORM FACTOR

    Touchscreen

Color

  • COLOR

    Black

OS

  • OS

    Android™ KitKat 4.4

Size

  • WEIGHT

    11.67 Oz

  • PRODUCT DIMENSIONS (INCHES)

    5.05″ x 8.62″ x 0.28″

Camera

  • CAMERA RESOLUTION (FRONT)

    2.0 Megapixel

  • CAMERA RESOLUTION (REAR)

    8.0 Megapixel with Flash

  • DIGITAL OPTICAL ZOOM

    4x Digital

  • FEATURES

    Auto Focus, Dual-Camera, Dual-Recording, Dual-Video Call, Geo-Tagging, HD Playback, HD Recording, LED Flash, Online Image Uploading, Photo Editing, Sharing Capabilities: Bluetooth, Dropbox Email, e-Meeting, Flipboard, Gmail, Google+, Google Drive, Hangouts, Photos, Remote PC; Shot Modes: Auto, Sports, Panorama, Eraser, Richtone, Drama, Sound&shot, Best face, Best Photo, Beauty face; Video, Video Editing, Zero Shutter Lag

Battery

  • BATTERY TYPE AND SIZE

    5.3 Volt, Lithium Ion, 4800 mAh

  • MUSIC PLAY TIME

    Up to 127 hours

  • VIDEO PLAY TIME

    Up to 12 hours

  • INTERNET USE TIME

    Up to 10 hours

Memory

  • INTERNAL MEMORY

    2 RAM, 16 ROM (Portion of memory occupied by existing content)

  • EXTERNAL MEMORY/MICROSD™ CAPACITY

    Up to 64 GB

  • SDHC/SHD SD CARD

    Built-in MicroSD™ Card Slot to Add Storage or Transfer Files

Connectivity

  • FEATURES

    Bluetooth® Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, DI, HID, HOGP, HSP, OPP, PAN; MHL Support

  • WI-FI

    Dual-Band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac,

  • USB

    USB 2.0

  • BLUETOOTH

    4.0 LE

CPU

  • PROCESSOR SPEED, TYPE

    2.3 GHz Quad Core Processor (2GB RAM)

Display

  • MAIN DISPLAY RESOLUTION

    1600 x 2560 Pixel, 359 ppi

  • MAIN DISPLAY SIZE

    8.4″

  • MAIN DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY

    WQXGA scLCD

User Interface

  • FEATURES

    Samsung Traditional UI, Smart Pause™, TouchWiz®, Widgets

Features

  • GPS NAVIGATION

    Yes

Audio

  • FEATURES

    Audio Streaming; Compatible Music Files: MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, FLAC, Vorbis(OGG), WAV; MP3/MP4/Music Tones; Music Player

Video

  • FEATURES

    Compatible Video Files: MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM, TS; Video Player; Video Streaming

Fun and Entertainment

  • FEATURES

    Downloadable Content, IR Remote Control, S Voice™, Samsung Widget Gallery, Live Wallpapers, WatchON™

Business & Office

  • FEATURES

    Enterprise-Ready, Corporate E-mail/Calendar/Contacts, Microsoft® Office-compatible, Mobile Device Management, On-Device Encryption (ODE), SAFE with KNOX, Virtual Private Network, e-Meeting, WebEx, Hancom, and Remote PC

Messaging Options

  • FEATURES

    Email

Sensor Type

  • TYPEAccelerometer; Gyroscope

So far, very happy with the device. Perfect size, gorgeous screen, and some of the Samsung software bells and whistles are actually quite nice. Favorite new feature: Screen Mirroring…I can now connect the device up to my Samsung TV over Wi-Fi, which is nice when reviewing presentations or sharing a YouTube video. Magazines and books are amazingly crisp on the screen, and allow for many hours of viewing that is easier on the eyes than the Xoom.

Oh, and for those of you that are concerned over the welfare of the Xoom, don’t worry. It is getting a retirement in the kitchen as a dedicated, electronic cookbook, so will continue to live out the remainder of its days helping to make happy, delicious memories. 🙂

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