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Motorola Xoom 2 hands-on review

Gets upgraded and downgraded
Thu Nov 03 2011, 16:07
Motorola Xoom 2

EARLIER TODAY Motorola finally announced the follow-on to the Xoom tablet in the Xoom 2 tablet, and we've had a go with both models today at a briefing in central London.

The upcoming Xoom 2 comes in two versions that are pretty much identical in specifications. The main difference is the screen size with one at 10.1in, like the original, and a new 8.2in version that Motorola is calling the Media Edition.

Both have typically smooth performance for tablets with Android 3.2 Honeycomb and decent specifications. They both run on a Texas Instruments 1.2GHz dual-core processor and have 1GB of RAM, which is perfectly adequate for general use.

It's a shame that the pair won't ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, although Mark Notton, product manager at Motorola told us that the tablets will get the update but couldn't confirm when.

The screen is supposedly brighter than the original, which seemed partly the case, but we wouldn't describe the difference as all that noticeable. The resolution on both is high definition now, which does make the interface look a bit nicer and makes the devices better for tasks like watching movies.

Motorola Xoom 2 and Media Edition

Two areas where the 10.1in tablet has been vastly improved are weight and thickness. The firm has shaved off 131g and 4.1mm getting it down to 599g and 8.8mm and making it significantly easier and nicer to hold. The Media Edition is 9mm thick and weighs 386g.

The tablet now has cut off corners in its redesign, which make it easier to hold. We found this to be nice, avoiding sharp edges digging into the palm of your hand. It's down to opinion as to whether this makes the Xoom 2 attractive or not.

The cameras aren't anything special, at a pretty standard 5MP and 1.3MP. In fact, the shutter speed was particularly sluggish and the front facing camera has been downgraded from 2MP, producing an image that was quite noisy.

On the storage front, both come in only a 16GB option so no 32GB this time around and there's no SD card slot. We're disappointed to see a lack of choice for storage, with 16GB not really suiting a tablet that is supposed to be a media edition. Notton told us the firm is focusing on cloud storage instead of local.

Another change is that there is no 3G model like Motorola offered with the original Xoom.


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