Motorola Xoom 2 10in Android tablet
Review Motorola’s Xoom was the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet to hit the shelves, and now little more than six months after its April 2011 debut, a second-generation machine called - you guessed it - the Xoom 2 is upon us.
The new Xoom is available in two forms: one with a 10.1in screen, like its predecessor, and one with a 8.2in panel called the Media Edition. I’m writing this on the former - Reg Hardware will be reviewing the smaller model shortly.
Out with Apple-antagonising rounded corners...
At first glance, the new ten-incher is rather impressive. Motorola’s design department clearly has the hots for the bevel - it was the signature styling feature of the recently released Razr and now the same little chamfers have shown up at the four corners of the Xoom 2.
As well as providing a family resemblance, perhaps the idea is to take out some insurance against Apple’s increasingly hubristic legal activities. So, no round corners here.
...and in with angled edges
While a gnat’s whisker wider and taller than the first Xoom, the new machine is just over 4mm thinner and a not inconsiderable 131g lighter. The tapered sides - in landscape - make it an easier hold than the original, while the rubberised power and volume buttons on the right side but round on the back of the device fall easily to hand.
Like the Razr, the Xoom’s internal and external components are covered with what Motorola calls "splash guard", which seals the the device from, well, splashes or a light rainfall. I couldn’t think of a way to test this that didn’t run the risk of ruining my review unit so it’s something I’ll have to take on trust.
Happy for you to type in the rain, apparently
A feature of the design that really gets my goat is the positioning of the micro USB and mini HDMI ports on the long edge of the device. Just the right place to get pulled out or even damaged if you are resting the thing in your lap while it’s charging. Samsung is guilty of this same lunacy with its Galaxy Tab 10.1.
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Normally I can't be bothered quibbling with review ratings (they're subjective and as a reader I'll take what I need from the actual text of the review) but this one fairly leapt out.
For a suggested price of £399 (per the review):
"A feature of the design that really gets my goat is the positioning of the micro USB and mini HDMI ports"
"the extra speed has little if any discernible impact"
"the Xoom 2 doesn’t really feel any faster and still struggles to play 1080p video in any other format than MP4"
"the Xoom 2 doesn’t even have a slot so you are stuck with the built-in 16GB, or 12 and a bit after the system's taken its share"
"File transfer is handled solely through the MTP protocol so anyone with a Mac or Linux box is up a gumtree"
"without a stylus writing a note is far very from easy and you can’t use the keyboard"
"the 5Mp main cameras has been yanked from the old Xoom parts bin because it’s equally mediocre"
"the Xoom 2 isn’t certified to make Skype video calls but I was still rather surprised to find that the 1.3Mp webcam couldn’t manage them anyway"
"[the price] is a lot extra for a machine that albeit lighter and slimmer is only faster on paper and lacks storage expansion"
"it’s no major leap forward from the original Xoom"
"The extra 200KHz of chip speed has little measurable impact on performance"
So a device with little improvement in speed, a poor camera, no Skype, doesn't play nicely with Linux or Macs, and has no expandable or swappable storage...
And this gets 75%? I'd hate to see what a bad tablet gets...
Strike Vomit; 200% the functionality? What are you smoking these days? "Kool-aid gulping twat", and you have the nerve to express disappointment in me for calling you a fuckwit? I know it's difficult for a fandroid to do anything rationally when one of the devices running their holy OS is criticised, but when you look at things *rationally* you'd expect the Xoom 2 to be significantly better at the that price point than than the iPad given that you constantly criticise Apple for being overpriced style-over-substance 'toys' with allegedly 200% less functionality. As an aside, if the iPad is a style-over-substance, surely these 'me too!' devices are only ever going to be worse than that? In fact the only truly original competing product is the Asus Transformer. The irony of your post will be lost on you of course; the very fact that you bemoan critics of Android devices as kool-aid drinking humourless sheep that can't take criticism of the beloved fruit is laughable in the face of your typical fandroid response. You can claim that you like to wind up fanbois all you like, but we can all see the flecks of spittle on the side of mouth...
On Macs you can use the Android File Transfer utility.
But let's admit it, relying on plugins or apps or plugins for transfers is not as convenient, fast or stable as native USB mass storage, so the reviewer has a point.
At least you can copy files to the Xoom 2 on ANY PC or piece of shit Mac WITHOUT having to use the effing iCloud or that piece of shit bloatware SHiTunes!
or the glass half full
Better battery life
Easier to hold
Re-charge over USB
I'd say docking 10% points over the original for it not being as far reaching an upgrade as it could have been is far enough.
Hope we get a review of the 8.2in version, that sounds QI.