Product Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition
Specifications 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8.2in HD Gorilla Glass display with 800x1280 resolution, 16GB of internal storage, microUSB and microHDMI ports, WiFi, Bluetooth, 5MP rear-facing and 1.3MP front-facing cameras, Android 3.2 Honeycomb, 216x140x8.9mm, 388g
DEVICE MAKER Motorola has had a lot of success with its Android handsets, especially in the US market, but it hasn't quite been able to replicate strong sales in the tablet sector.
Its Xoom 2 Media Edition is essentially a cut-down version of the Xoom 2 in a more compact 8.2in package. At 216x140x8.9mm and a weight of 388g, it is easier to carry around than its bigger brother and also tablets such as the Ipad 2. However, it's still not quite as portable as the Blackberry Playbook or the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7in tablet.
Unsurprisingly, Motorola has chosen to stick with the same design for the Xoom 2 Media Edition that it introduced with the 10in Xoom 2. This means that the tablet comes with cut-off corners and the unlock button along with the volume controls are on the right-hand edge on the back. We're not big fans of this controls placement and more often than not you have to fumble around before you hit them.
The positioning of the logos and the camera suggest that the device has been created for use primarily in portrait mode, unlike the 10in version. However, we found ourselves using the device in landscape mode to view web pages and videos. Considering that the tablet is being promoted as a media device, it seems strange that Motorola is pushing portrait orientation as the default.
We also found it is all too easy to cover up the speakers and muffle the sound when holding the device in landscape mode, which is not ideal when watching a video without headphones.
Playing it safe
Aside from the smaller screen size, all specifications of the Xoom 2 Media Edition and the Xoom 2 are the same. Both ship with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and Android 3.2 Honeycomb and have 16GB of internal storage. The 8.2in device also retains the 1280x800 resolution of the Xoom 2, despite the screen being smaller. This makes the quality of the display impressive, although we found that you have to keep the brightness on full all the time.
The device is easy to hold in two hands and typing on the stock Android keyboard is reasonably easy, although you might have to stretch to reach the letters in the middle.