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Xoom Gloom: Android tablet falls short in Vendor's HTML5 tests

John Cox | March 1, 2011
The browser on Motorola’s Xoom tablet is "not ready for prime-time," concludes one evaluation of how well the Android 3.0 browser conforms to, and implements, a range of emerging Web standards like HTML5.

More advanced CSS 3 animations, created with Sencha Animator, did render but "text sometimes doesn't appear, parts of the artwork are clipped incorrectly, fonts are rendered poorly, and frames of the animation are dropped. For some of the 3D effects, the browser simply drops the 3D or tries and fails to render the effects."

Bansod concludes, "For anything but the most basic CSS transitions and animations the Xoom does not make the grade."

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 (ADBE) Flash embedded.

In terms of raw performance, the Xoom browser is outstanding. Bansod notes that the tablet runs the Nvidia (NVDA) 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. The Sunspider tests confirmed that Xoom's browser handily outperforms both the Galaxy Tab browser and Safari on Apple's current iPad with version 4.2 of iOS.

"Until Google (GOOG) and Motorola ship a patch to update the browser to production quality, don't expect good results from the Motorola Xoom," Bansod concludes. "We said it in the Galaxy Tab review [by Sencha], and we'll say it again now: we're still waiting for the first awesome Android tablet."

But he left a hint that someone is getting HTML5 right: Next week, Sencha will post a review of RIM's PlayBook tablet. Bansod's one-word sneak-peak: "awesomeness."


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