Motorola Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition Shown

Posted by at 8:28 am on November 4, 2011

Motorola has done a reboot of its tablet strategy with fast launches of the 10-inch Xoom 2 and 8.2-inch Xoom 2 Media Edition. Both make amends for the bulky design of the original and are much thinner, in the full Xoom 2’s case having exactly the same 8.8mm thickness as the iPad 2. They also tackle the low-quality original Xoom display with brighter, more color-rich LCDs, including a much wider 178-degree viewing angle on the Media Edition.

The full-size Xoom 2 is also now a similar weight to the current iPad at 1.32 pounds. Intended both for sustained video watching and for e-books, the Media Edition’s smaller screen helps it get down to 0.85 pounds. Either has ‘clipped’ corners that Motorola claims are more comfortable in the hand than the straight edges of most other tablets.

Inside, the two tablets are very similar. Either switches to a 1.2GHz TI OMAP processor like that in the Droid RAZR and, along with a slight overall speed boost, should be about 20 percent faster in 3D graphics for games. They’re similarly mated to 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and five-megapixel back and 1.3-megapixel front cameras.

Most of the differences come in sound and battery life, Motorola explained: the 10-inch Xoom 2 has a straightforward virtual surround sound option, but the Media Edition has an ‘adaptive’ system with multiple speakers that emphasize low-end frequencies. Battery life is the same 10 estimated hours on the larger version, but going to the 8.2-inch slate drops down to just six hours.

Software is similar with a largely stock Android 3.2 being joined by the known MotoCast, a PC-to-tablet remote streaming feature stemming from the takeover of ZumoCast, as well as MotoPrint, a rough parallel to Apple’s AirPrint that allows paper printing from “key apps.”

Both tablets should be available by mid-November in the UK and Ireland through Best Buy​, Carphone Warehouse​, Currys, Dixons, and PC World. Unusually, no mention has been made of a North American release so far. The two will have options of a Work and Play kit that includes an HDMI-capable dock, audio output, and both a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. They even have the option of a stylus that’s claimed to be precise.

Xoom 2

Xoom 2 Media Edition

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