Motorola Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition: Hands-on and first impressions
Today Motorola announced the Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition tablets, the follow-up devices to the original Xoom released earlier this year. We've been able to get some hands on time with both tablets and take some pics.
First up is the Motorola Xoom 2. It's a much slinkier proposal than the original Xoom. It's super thin, less than 9mm thick, and Motorola says that its roughly 100 grams lighter than the first Xoom tab as well. A good thing too – the original was a little on the hefty side for our liking.
It's got a 10.1-inch Full HD display so it retains the touchscreen real estate of its predecessor. The screen features “intelligent grip suppression” which basically allows you to hold the tab in say your left hand with your thumb across the screen and scroll with the other – the screen won't register your left thumb as a touch input.
The Xoom 2 also works with a battery-powered capacitive stylus that's sold separately – no prices for this just yet. The surface of both the Xoom 2 and the Media Edition are coated in something Motorola is calling Splashguard, a thin covering that actively repels water, protecting the tablet from spillages.
The Xoom 2 Media Edition has a smaller 8.2-inch screen that boasts a wide 178-degree viewing angle. Being smaller and more portable, the emphasis is on entertainment and fun here while the non-Media Edition Xoom is being pitched as more of a workhorse; the capacitive stylus we mentioned before won't work with the Media Edition.
Internal storage on both tabs weighs in at 16GB with no support for microSD cards. Mark Notton, Head of Product Management for Europe at Motorola told us that Moto is “focussing on cloud storage” with both the new Xooms. To whit, Motorola has pre-loaded a whole host of apps that sync to the cloud.
The ever-useful Evernote comes pre-installed, allowing you to sync notes, pictures and documents on your Xoom 2. Skitch allows you to take images from the gallery and add annotations, which can be saved directly to Evernote as well.
QuickOffice comes pre-installed for Microsoft Office work on the go should you need to power through some spreadsheets. Fuze Meeting allows you to set up and join meetings with your contacts and also allows you to IM with attendees.
As with the Motorola Atrix, Citrix comes along for the ride, giving you access to a virtual desktop for anyone with a Citrix account. For those not savvy to the ways of Citrix, Motorola has also added its MotoCast softare on the Xoom 2. Announced alongside the new Razr that we saw in Berlin, MotoCast will allow you to access and stream media files stored on your computer.
Finally, Motorola told us that both tablets would be upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich in due course. We weren't told of exactly when the rollout would happen but we were told to expect an announcement on this in six weeks time.
We'll be keeping you updated on this plus availability of both devices and costs. We were told that Carphone Warehouse, Best Buy, Dixons, Currys and PC World would be selling the devices so we're expecting to hear from them about the new Xooms pretty soon. Until then, cast your eyes on our hands on pics and let us know what you think in the comments.
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