Xoom as a full time machine

When the Motorola Xoom was first announced, I knew I wanted one. It took every ounce of restraint within me not to plunk down the $800 on release day and buy one. But at the time of release, there were whispers of a wi-fi only version that would be $200 less, and not require a data contract with Verizon.

A month later, the wi-fi only version came out and I ordered one from Amazon. After a month and a half with the machine, it is fair to say I love it. It is my go to device at home, my laptop barely gets touched. Web-browsing, Facebook, Twitter, music, video, e-reading, and many more things are now done from my Xoom. In fact, this post is being written from the Android WordPress app on my Xoom.

It’s not just a fun machine either. With productivity apps like Google docs, G-tasks, Hootsuite, Dropbox, Evernote and a nice video editor, the Xoom is also now part of my daily work routine. In fact, the Xoom is often the only piece of technology I take in to meetings, and I often use it as a “second screen”to monitor client social media profiles throughout my workday.

Then, this past weekend, my laptop’s hard drive died. Fortunately, I have diligently backed-up files since my incident in December, and the computer did give me enough warning so I could grab a few new music downloads that I hadn’t archived. As I passed the laptop off to the guys who would replace the hard drive, I realized it was just me and my Xoom for a couple days.

I was worried at first that my productivity might be shot for the week because of the days without my laptop. But, by uploading all of my active documents to Google docs, I have yet to encounter a task I haven’t been able to do on my Xoom. I even wrote some basic HTML code on a client’s WordPress site via the Xoom’s browser. A Wednesday client meeting went swimmingly armed only with the tablet, and Wednesday afternoon emails and writing went off without a hitch as well. The only thing I haven’t attempted is to do my business’ May invoices. But, I think that is more of an indictment of my excel-based billing process than it is of the Xoom. There are plenty of Android apps for billing, I just haven’t made that jump.

While the process has been fairly smooth, it hasn’t been without its drawbacks. The on-screen touch keyboard is one of the better I have seen, but it’s still an on-screen keyboard. That is to say, typing is two fingers at a time. Self-discipline is also a issue, with all of the fun, distracting apps that are just a few screen touches away. In addition, I am used to my daily routine with my laptop and miss the creature comforts therein.

With all that said, I believe I could certainly adapt to working full time on this machine, but am not ready to do so quite yet. I know I would need the external keyboard to do it regularly, and would appreciate a more natural experience from the Google docs app – especially the spreadsheet. Knowing I can thrive on web based apps alone does make the coming Google laptops featuring Chrome OS seem even more appealimg though. For now, I am waiting for the phone to ring, announcing the return of my laptop.