Our Motorola Xoom 2 review unit has just turned up in our intray at Recombu Towers. So we’ve unsheathed it from its cardboard scabbard and waved it in front of our camera before we crack on with the review.
Not much has changed physically from the early version of the Xoom 2 which we got to have some hands-on fun with earlier this year.
It’s super-slim octagonal body makes it stand out from the me-too designs of the tablet pack. It’s also significantly thinner and lighter than the original Xoom at 8.8mm and 599 grams.
Design aside, the specs aren’t really that much different from the original Xoom. There’s a 1GHz dual-core chip, 1GB of RAM, and a 10.1-inch screen with a water-resistant Gorilla Glass coating.
Camera-wise you get a 5-megapixel main camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facer and 16GB of storage for pictures, apps, music and the rest. Connection-wise you get a mini-HDMI and micro USB ports next to each other and a 3.5mm jack for headphones.
The Xoom 2 is pre-loaded with Citrix Receiver and GoToMeeting for those with Citrix accounts and Motorola’s own MotoCast software; so the Xoom 2 allows you to access and stream your files from your PC or Mac remotely.
Thanks to the HDMI out you can hook your Xoom 2 up to your big screen TV for a big of work from home action. A bargaining chip if you want to convince your boss that the Xoom 2 is worth buying on expenses maybe.
Before we get busy hooking up our Xoom 2 to plasma screens and whatnot, please do cast your eyes over our hands-on photos.
The screen on the Xoom 2 auto-rotates quickly and smoothly. Even though the original Xoom has received Honeycomb updates, the Xoom 2 immediately has a fresher, faster out-of-the-box experience.
Tapping on the bottom left corner brings up shortcuts to note-taking apps, used in conjunction with an active, AAAA-battery powered stylus. Sadly you don’t get a stylus in the box and we’re still waiting on pricing on this.
The camera app of the Xoom 2 – or should we say the standard Honeycomb camera app. Top resolution of the main camera is 5-megapixels.
The front-facing of the Xoom 2 in action camera in action.
We don’t normally harp on about packaging, but we liked that the shape of the Xoom 2’s box followed the stretched octagon shape of the tablet itself. Makes you realise how chunky and brutalist the design of the original Xoom was.
The rear of the Xoom 2 is smooth metallic plate that’s bookended by these rubbery grip comparments. On the right hand-side of the Xoom 2 (when you’re holding it in landscape) there’s a volume rocker and the power button, positioned nicely for your right index finger.
Twin stereo speakers sit on the back of the Xoom 2 astride the camera unit. We’ll be giving this the usual ‘Pink Floyd – Money’ test in due course.
The camera unit up close and personal. The 5-megapixel main camera is bolstered by a single LED flash. Like the first Xoom, the Xoom 2 can record 720p HD video on the main cam.
The mini-HDMI connection and microUSB mean you can be charging your Xoom 2 up while it’s connected into a bigger display. So if you’re working via Citrix or playing a movie on the bigger screen you can keep the battery – which has a stated web browsing lifespanof 10 hours – topped up.
Our Xoom 2 unit is a Wi-Fi-only edition. But the fold-out tab that you’ll see on the 3G+Wi-Fi version remains – the space where you’d pop a SIM card here though in is filled in with a bit of rubbery foam.
A cursory glance at the charger; it’s a multi-part deal but sadly no separate USB cable was included. It’s not a huge moan as it’s not like they’re hard to come by. But it’s always nice to pick up a spare one with your new phone or tablet.