Ease of Learning: 4 / 5
Ease of Use: 4 / 5
Enjoyment: 3 / 5
Design: 4 / 5
Value for Money: 3 / 5
As with all flagship OEM devices, Motorola launched the sequel to the Motorola XOOM back in December of 2011. Aptly names, the Motorola XOOM 2, the device has seen a number of changes over the original. In a market that is still dominated by Apple, through each of their 3 generations, and with a variety of Android-filled tablets making the rounds, where does the XOOM 2 fit in? The original XOOM was the first Android tablet to pack the Honeycomb OS variant. Does the XOOM 2 live up to the competition?
It’s important to note that the XOOM 2 was unveiled way back in December. This makes it tricky to compare it to other tablets, some of which have been released within the last month or 2. The best comparison, then, is against the original.
The Motorola XOOM 2 packs a Dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 CPU along with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. In comparison, the CPU sees a slight improvement of 0.2GHz, and a swap from nVidia’s Tegra 2 to the PowerVR. Although end result doesn’t differ all too much, it was a bit disappointing that Motorola has decided against continuing its nVidia partnership. Although the display remains the same, a screen size of 10.1” with a resolution 800x128px (149ppi), Motorola has added Corning’s Gorilla Glass; pretty standard these days with most leading OEMs now packing Gorilla Glass 2. Another improvement to the screen is an IPS panel, giving the screen almost 180 degrees of viewing pleasure. Despite the screen upgrades, there are still issues with fingerprints and smudging, which becomes frustrating after a short while.
One of the biggest positives with the XOOM 2 is that it has shed some much needed weight; down from 730g to 599g. In the same vein, the tablet sees a reduction in size; 253.9×173.6×8.8mm versus the previous 249.1×167.8×12.9mm. Motorola has made drastic changes to the design of the XOOM 2, most noticeably by means of the exaggerated edges. Although you may think the design seems strange, it serves a greater purpose, making it easier to hold and use.
Despite this, and a few other changes that include an accelerometer, gyro, Honeycomb 3.2 and improved battery, there are still a good few annoyances (as opposed to real issues) that put a damper on proceedings. At around R5000, the cost isn’t too over the top. The XOOM 2 has seen a new design and build quality, slight improvement in performance, but not by much, and not much else to go along with it. If this tablet was released early 2012 in South Africa, there wouldn’t be as many criticisms of the tablet, only that it isn’t a big over the original. Be that as it may, the Motorola XOOM 2 is still a solid and stable device, and can only improve with an OS update.
You can find the full specifications here.