Motorola Xoom 2: Media Edition
Motorola Mobility takes not one but two distinct shots at toppling the iPad 2 - is either successful? Here's our review of the Motorola Xoom 2: Media Edition Tablet PC.
By Chris Messenger | Published 16/08/2012
Fast mobile data support (3G)
Good screen and overall performance
HDMI connector for TV-out
Small form factor is light and easy to hold
Lacks micro SD slot for storage expansion
Battery life is not great. Sub par at best
Occasional Wi-Fi problems
Slow screen rotating
The Xoom 2 features a 10.1-inch screen, with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution.
If we’re honest, we didn’t think too much of the Motorola Xoom 2’s predecessor. However, sales were obviously sufficient enough to warrant a sequel, which was released at the tail end of last year. So we’ll approach this one with an open mind and tell you what we like and what we don’t like about the Motorola Xoom 2.
Pulling open the casing and finding the same 1.2GHz processor as the Xoom, backed by the same 1GB of RAM is hardly a shock, this is standard operating procedure in Tablet land, but the miniscule memory (16GB as opposed to the first Xoom’s mighty 64GB) is both a shock and a disappointment.
The Xoom 2 goes some way towards making up for this by running the Android 3.2 operating system (to put that into perspective, most newer Tablets are running 2.3 or 3.0). The Xoom 2 is also extremely good at connecting to networks and other machines, making excellent use of WiFi, Bluetooth and 4G.
When this review was first written, the Xoom 2 cost nearly £400. Today, however, that figure is nearer to £240, which is a much fairer price.
The first Xoom was hampered by a terrible gallery mode that was next to unusable and a display that really let it down. Just like the first Xoom, the Xoom 2 features a 10.1-inch screen, with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. So, the resolution has improved, but has the screen?
Actually, we’re happy to say that it has. The screen is now a wonderful, bright and vibrant place and it feels as if the machine itself has undergone a cataract operation at long last. With improved visibility, we feel that you can really enjoy the Xoom 2 in a way that was impossible with the original Xoom.
The Xoom 2 is fast, responsive and very connective. In addition, it has lost a considerable amount of weight since its previous incarnation, going from 730 g to 599 g. The ultra-specific manufacturer’s dimension stats (2253.9mm x 173.6mm x 8.8 mm) also smack of obsessive calorie counting.
The single biggest selling point of the Xoom 2 is that it is, technically, even more powerful than the iPad, which is guaranteed to break the ice at parties.
There’s a very tangible sense that Motorola have tried to offer a complete and total improvement on the first Xoom.
The Internet is full of Flash content, all of which is denied to you by the Xoom 2, for no fathomable reason whatsoever
But it’s not all a bunch of roses. We’re at a loss to explain why, but the Xoom 2 does not support Adobe Flash. In addition to being a seriously deleterious flaw of the iPad, this is an absolute ‘no no’ for a PC of any kind, be it Tablet, laptop or desktop. The Internet is full of Flash content, all of which is denied to you by the Xoom 2, for no fathomable reason whatsoever. To be fair, I’m sure we could look it up, but it won’t change the fact that you can’t watch that many Internet videos.
In addition to that, the Xoom 2 is very expensive indeed, which begs the question: If you have that much money to spend on a large, high-spec Tablet computer, with no ability to play Flash whatsoever, why not just bite the bullet and get yourself an iPad?
What Other Users Say
The Amazon user with the very cool name of ‘Maximum Blade’ gave a considered 3/5 review. (S)He said that it “looks good but lacks performance” in a review that praised the comfort of the design, but criticized the WiFi and running speed. ‘AndyThree’ (4/5) called it “lovely” and “Danni” (5/5) hailed it as “an excellent find!”
Of course, there were negative points as well, ‘Gadgetmadman’ (1/5) complained that (amongst other things) the games don’t work correctly, the speakers vibrate, the icons flicker and the internal email account simply stops working whenever it feels like it.
The Xoom 2, for all its good qualities, is still going to set you back the best part of £400.
To be fair, a machine that is more powerful than the iPad should command top dollar, but Apple have a long and proven history of making top level, long lasting and highly-rated computers, whereas Motorola’s biggest effort prior to the Xoom 2 wasn’t actually very good. For that money, it feels to us like an unnecessary risk.
Frankly, there are better Tablets. There are also cheaper Tablets. This is a very promising effort from Motorola, but it can hardly be considered value for money.