Dr. Raymond Soneira is the guru of all things display, so when he drops a comparison or digs deep into a device, we tend to listen. He just published his comparison of the Motorola XOOM, Asus Transformer and iPad2 which are more than likely the top 3 selling tablets on the market right now and had some not-so-pleasant things to say about the flagship Honeycomb device. The results came out favorable for both the Transformer and iPad2, but the XOOM is another story altogether.
Here is the quick version of his conclusion on the XOOM:
The display on the Motorola Xoom is a lower performance LCD than on the other Tablets, compounded by poor factory calibration. Colors and color saturation were much worse than the other displays. The Xoom screen has 49 percent higher ambient light reflectance than the iPad 2 and the variation with Viewing Angle is awful. The Xoom also has a Dynamic Backlight that varies the screen brightness in a peculiar fashion – it slowly dims the screen based on the Average Picture Level down to about 60 percent and then just stops. It makes dim images dimmer – it’s counterproductive and just strange display behavior… The other Tablet displays have standard Backlights, which don’t vary the brightness with picture content.
He continues on, even mentioning the “outstanding” display from the original DROID:
…the Asus Transformer, which delivers very good performance across the board and comes in a solid second, all the more impressive because it is $100 cheaper than the iPad 2 and $200 cheaper than the Motorola Xoom. And finally, the Motorola Xoom comes in a distant third and last place – it’s not a horrible display but definitely significantly below the display quality of the iPad 2 and Asus Transformer. This is all the more surprising because the Xoom is by far the most expensive Tablet, and Motorola previously included an outstanding display in the original Motorola Droid Smartphone – so they once knew how to deliver a great display. This time it seems they just settled for a cheap low-end poorly calibrated display.
I’d attempt to argue with him, but if any of you remember my instant reaction to the comparison of my XOOM to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from I/O, you’ll know exactly how I feel. From a non-display guru perspective, I would say that the XOOMs display is not where it should be. As the most expensive tablet on the planet, and one that was supposed to lead the charge for Android, it has fallen short in a number of categories over the last few months.
It’s not that I already want to look to see what’s next from Moto in the tablet game because I forked out some serious cash for a XOOM just like many of you did, but as I hold my Galaxy Tab 10.1 each day, it becomes more obvious that Sanjay and the boys need to step their game up.