The Motorola Xoom, Google’s golden child Android 3.0 tablet, is great on performance testing. However, according to Aditya Bansod, Senior Director of Product Management with Sencha, a vendor that created the Sencha Touch HTML5 application framework for mobile Web apps, “The Xoom browser is not ready for prime-time — even for ‘HTML4′.” This is a major disappointment for Motorola, who touted the Xoom as the first “real Android tablet.” The Android 3.0 OS was built specifically for the tablet platform. According to Bansod, the results of a series of tests to see how the Xoom browser conforms to and performs with emerging Web standards such as HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets 3 (CSS 3) for both developers and consumers are not encouraging.
Motorola Xoom Fails HTML Tests
Sencha ran 4 different kinds of tests on the Xoom tablet. The test evaluating Web standards was done using Acid3. “Comparing the browser’s Acid3 rendering with the official reference rendering shows two ‘noticeable rendering bugs’,” Bansod notes. Bansod concluded that due to the 2 bugs, Xoom failed the Acid3 test. Using Modernizr, Bansod evaulated the features and found CSS 3 animations, both simple and advanced, were deeply flawed on the Xoom. According to an article by John Cox, Network World, “Embedded HTML5 audio and video was also problematic. ‘We are able to get HTML5 audio to work, although we find that sometimes the audio plays even after we left the page or even closed the browser,’ Bansod writes. ‘We were unable to get HTML5 video to work at all.’ Xoom doesn’t ship with Adobe Flash embedded.”
Now for the good news. In terms of performance, the Xoom beat all its competitors hands down. According to Sunspider testing, Xoom’s browser outperforms both the Galaxy Tab browser and Safari on Apple’s original iPad. The Xoom tablet runs the Nvidia Tegra 2, a dual-core chip with each core running at 1GHz. And the browser uses the very recent WebKit version 534.13 rendering engine. Bansod says that until Google and Motorola ship a patch to fix the browser issues, he will still be waiting for “the first awesome Android tablet.”
Bansod gave us a hint about someone who is getting the HTML5 correct. Next week Sencha will publish its review of the RIM BlackBerry Playbook tablet. Bansod is reportedly using one word for this tablet… “awesomeness.”
Buy a Xoom now or wait? In my blog Motorola Xoom – Buy Now or Wait? I point out the pros and cons of waiting for a better Xoom. The pricing is a bit high, but rumors surfaced today that Sam’s Club was offering the new Wi-Fi only version of the Xoom for $539. That still seems a lot to me for something that is reviewed as being flawed. What do you think?
Support for CellPlaza.org is provided by batteries4less.com, the leading online retailer of camera replacement batteries, cell phone batteries, chargers, Motorola RAZR v3 Battery, mobile accessories and cordless phone batteries.