Motorola XOOM 2: Too little, too late?!

I knew it was coming for some time and there were even rumors of it, however Motorola has officially announced their new Android enabled tablets; Xoom 2 and the Xoom 2: Media Edition. While the Xoom 2: Media edition will not make it to the states, at least not yet, the Xoom 2 will and with the following features.

  • 1.2GHz dual-core CPU
  • 16GB Storage for XOOM 2
  • Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) will be updated to Android 4.0 (Icecream Sandwich)
  • Gorilla Glass display and splashguard coating.
  • Rear 5MP / Front 1.3MP camera
  • Wifi & Bluetooth
  • Stylus
  • Motorola’s MotoCast
  • XOOM 2 10.1-inch HD display / XOOM 2: Media Edition 8.2-inch HD display

 

The XOOM 2 will retail for $599.99 which puts it into iPad & Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 territory, there’s no confirmed price for the XOOM 2: Media Edition yet. However here lies my issue. As an owner of the original XOOM I don’t see any real improvement over the original XOOM. The hardware specs are the same (Or less, the XOOM had a front 2.0MP camera), I can’t comment on the processor as they didn’t confirm the new processor, however it is still a dual core and no change in the cameras or display.  To make matters worse, as soon as it’s released (or actually even before it’s released) it will already be outdated as the Asus Transformer Prime will be using the Nvidia Kal-EL / Tegra 3 chipset that provides 5 times more power compared to the Nvidia Tegra 2 which seems to be powering the XOOM 2.

Adding more injury is that Motorola is up to it’s old games as the SD-card will be locked on both models, just like it was or I should say is with the XOOM. I say that as it’s still crippled, well it is if you use the default 3.2 update which allows you to read from the SD-card but you can not write to it (well you can if you root and install a different rom on your XOOM). This is very discouraging to say the least, let’s hope the imminent Android 4 (ICS) update will correct that.

I don’t know what you were thinking with this Motorola, but it definitely seems like a miss here. Maybe if you drop the price down to say $399 you may do ok, but with the upcoming release of the Asus Transformer Prime (also rumored to retail for $499.99) for those wanting some real house power and the Amazon Kindle Fire for those wanting an Android powered tablet with a low price, you’ll find that the XOOM 2 is still right smack in the middle of trouble.

Official Press release below:

Motorola XOOM 2™ and Motorola XOOM 2 Media Edition™ are powerful, portable and ready to take on the world

LONDON – November 3, 2011 – Building on the success of Motorola XOOM™, Motorola Mobility is rocking the tablet world yet again with two additions that bring enhanced experiences to the European market. Wi-Fi variants of the Motorola XOOM 2™ and Motorola XOOM 2 Media Edition™ – boasting powerful productivity, rich entertainment and customizable experiences — are now available: the answer to consumers looking for a tablet that can keep up with their lifestyle. Both tablets will be available at Carphone Warehouse in the UK and Ireland, as well as Best Buy, PC World, Dixons and Currys in the UK.

“Tablets are quickly becoming a must-have tool for staying connected, getting work done and having fun at home and on the road,” said Victoria McManus, marketing director UK & Ireland, Motorola Mobility. “We are very excited about these two new additions to our tablet portfolio that build on the success of the original Motorola XOOM to now deliver more powerful tablet experiences to the European market.”

The new Motorola XOOM 2 and Motorola XOOM 2 Media Edition both feature Android 3.2, a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, brilliant displays with Corning® Gorilla® Glass and a splashguard coating for a go anywhere, do everything attitude. In addition, both tablets include the new MotoCast™ app that lets you stream all your music, photos, videos and documents between your PC or Mac and tablet without any media tools, apps, or cords.

Motorola XOOM 2: Lighter and Brighter
Motorola XOOM 2 with Wi-Fi sports a 10.1-inch widescreen HD display and Android 3.2 Honeycomb like its predecessor, but the similarities end there. The display is brighter and more vibrant than before with colour enhancement, and the edges have been strategically designed to make the tablet more comfortable to hold — this tablet is easy on the eyes, and easy on the hands. It is compatible with the optional Motorola Stylus that is great for note-taking, hand-writing emails and sketching. Motorola XOOM 2 is loaded with Business Ready features like VPN support and data encryption.

Motorola XOOM 2 with Wi-Fi features MOTOPRINT integrated into key apps so you can print wirelessly from your tablet. It is approximately 100 grams lighter than the original Motorola XOOM to make it even easier to take on the road, and can withstand poolside use, spilled drinks or dashes out to the car in the rain thanks to its new splash-guard coating. A battery delivering more than 10 hours of video playback means it can go with you wherever you need to be.

Motorola XOOM 2 Media Edition: Beat your Boredom
Motorola XOOM 2 Media Edition with Wi-Fi is easy to hold with one hand thanks to its 8.2-inch display, and easy to take with you wherever you go, weighing less than the best-selling paperback you’ve been carrying around. Optimised for entertainment, it has a wide, 178 degree viewing angle. Hold it up to someone across the room, or share it with someone sitting next to you, and everyone gets a brilliant view.

Motorola XOOM 2 Media Edition has a 20 percent improvement in graphics performance over the original Motorola XOOM for smoother gaming, features adaptive virtual surround sound with booming bass that’ll delight your ears, and stands out from the crowd with the fastest multi-tasking in its class. It can even be a universal remote control for home AV equipment with the personalized, custom remote control app pre-loaded on the tablet. Lastly, a splash-guard coating provides extra protection against the spills that are bound to happen when you’re having fun.

Accessories to connect to your life easier, from anywhere

With the Work and Play kit, plug your tablet into the HD Multimedia Station to connect to your HDTV, speakers and other peripherals for large-screen entertainment. Get more done, faster with the included keyboard and mouse with Bluetooth technology. Now, when your tablet is docked, the Smart Controller lets you MC the show from the comfort of your couch. For Motorola XOOM 2, no accessory discussion is complete without mentioning the Motorola Stylus with Precision tip – your tablet’s best friend.

Availability
Motorola XOOM 2 and Motorola XOOM 2 Media Edition, Wi-Fi variants will be available in the UK and Ireland in mid-November. Carphone Warehouse customers in the UK can pre-register here

For more information on Motorola XOOM 2 visit www.motorola.com/xoom2; and for Motorola XOOM 2 Media Edition visit www.motorola.com/xoom2media

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. You can find him on Twitter as @Shadowhaxor or you can email her at keith.mitchell@theouterhaven.net.

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