Best Motorola Xoom Accessories
Motorola wisely took no chances with other manufacturers supplying the most important accessories when it launched the Xoom. It ensured everyone could get the essentials from the moment the tablet hit the shelves. The wireless keyboard, case, standard dock and sound dock from Motorola are good quality and worth thinking about to get the best from your new Android tablet.
Having said that, there are now plenty of cases and other accessories appearing on the market from all kinds of manufacturers and this page explores what is offer.
Xoom Folio Case and Gel Case
Tablet PC's are expensive items. They will stand up to plenty of knocks but a case or sleeve is essential if you are carrying around a tablet routinely. Motorola have come up with a portfolio style case in either leather or vynyl which can act as a stand- but only in landscape mode.
The most successful case, so far, for general usability is the rooCASE Executive Portfolio. The stand allows for viewing in either portrait or landscape and is very stable at 45 degrees. You can use all the ports and slots without a problem and there is a handy flap to store accessories like pens or styluses.
Leather Case from Acase
The most popular leather case is the Acase.
It is tough, secure and offers plenty of protection.
It is stylish enough in a discrete, low key way.
For people who need to be productive on the move a top tablet like the Xoom could be a worthwhile alternative to a laptop. The Xoom has plenty of power in its dual core NVidia 2 GHz processor and plenty of RAM too at 1 GB. There is a virtual keyboard, of course, but this will never compete with a physical keyboard for data entry, speedy emails or writing the great American novel (or App!).
Plenty of bluetooth keyboards will pair with the Xoom including the one purpose made by Motorola, pictured right. Some of the most popular models though are likely to be folding key boards like the Freedom Pro Keyboard or even flexible keyboards that roll up like the Menotech. Flexible keyboards have the disadvantage of being impossible to use draped over your lap, of course.
Xoom Charging Dock and Speaker Dock
Motorola are offering two kinds of dock. One will just charge your Xoom and keep it at an appropriate ange for viewing or typing. The other is a speaker dock which wil enhance movie viewing as well as letting you get the most from internet radio or your MP3 collection.
The Xoom will pay Flash video unlike the iPad and is ideal for enjoying web videos.
For music while you are out of your home, bluetooth speakers should improve on the Xooms inbuilt speakers- their specification is similar to the iPad's.
Two of the many choices are the Motorola EQ7 Wireless Hi-Fi Stereo Speaker and the excellent Altec Lansing inMotion SoundBlade.
Other Accessories for the Xoom
A lot of people will want a capacitive stylus- the Xoom touchscreen like the iPad will not react to an ordinary stylus. The human finger is a perfect tool for capacitive touch screens because of the skin's electrical properties and a stylus like the box stylus illustrated mimics the skins charge. On cold days, you might want keep your fingers well protected in gloves. A capacitive stylus will also preventive fingerprints and smears.
Another accessory range that will attract interest are external batteries designed to prolong use- ideal for long trips. New Trent make some great devices for the iPad and smartphones and can be expected to offer similar products for the Xoom.
Xoom Bluetooth Headset
Bluetooth headsets give smartphones and tablets a whole new dimension, especially if you are driving or walking. Some are designed primary for making and receiving calls. Some are for music and video.
Motorola make some quality headsets themselves, so I picked out a few of their best models. There is also the mighty Plantronics which still offer some of the best headsets around.
My feeling is that people are not going to give up their smartphones and rely solely on a Xoom for calls- it is too big to carry everywhere. This means stereo headsets are likely to be most popular. The top three choices in the bluetooth stero range are the Motorola S305 Bluetooth Stereo Headset, the over the ear Sony DRBT50 Stereo Bluetooth Headset and the in ear Plantronics 903/R US BackBeat Headphones.
The Xoom is designed to make video calls with a front facing camera as well as a big rear camera for video and pictures. If the video is as good as expected, people may opt for personal calls via the Xoom so a headset could be a popular buy.
The Motorola HS850 is one of the favorite bluetooth headsets in the US at around $50 but the at around $65 the Plantronics Voyager 510 outsells it ten to one. The reason? The Plantronic is genuinely comfortable in the ear call quality is great.