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Motorola Xoom 2 (3G) - A Successor That's Too Late
By Sidney Wong - 5 Feb 2012
Launch SRP: S$978

Design and Features

A Peculiar Offering

A year ago, Motorola took the tablet world by storm with the first Android Honeycomb device, the Xoom. Back then, the Motorola Xoom impressed us with its smooth user experience and solid build quality. Its only drawback then was the somewhat bulky form factor, which became increasingly apparent when ultra slim tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 emerged. 

Fast forward to present day, the tablet scene is getting more competitive. ASUS slipped past other manufacturers to introduce the first Android 4.0 and quad-core tablet, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime. With Acer, Lenovo and Intel expected to launch quad-core tablets in the first half of this year, Motorola has to show that it has what it takes to be back in the game. Will its latest tablet, the Motorola Xoom 2 (3G) be eclipsed by the competition? Let's find out.


Comparing the Xoom 2 against the original Xoom Tablet
Specifications Motorola Xoom 2 (3G) Motorola Xoom (Wi-Fi)
Operating System / User Interface
  • Android 3.2 Honeycomb (Upgradeable to Android 4.0)
  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb (Upgradeable to Android 4.0)
  • TI OMAP4 dual-core 1.2GHz
  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz
Built-in Memory
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
  • 10.1-inch display, 1280 x 800 pixels
  • 10.1-inch display, 1280 x 800 pixels 
  • 1.3-megapixel front and 5-megapixel rear-facing HD cameras with auto focus and LED flash
  • 2-megapixel front and 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with auto focus and dual-LED flash
  • 32GB onboard storage + microSD expandability up to 32GB
  • 7000mAh
  • 3250mAh
  • 253.9 x 173.6 x 8.8mm
  • 249.1 x 167.8 x 12.9mm
  • 608g
  • 708g


Dieting Pays Off 

The first Motorola Xoom was criticized for being a little too thick and heavy for a tablet of its class, even though it was one of the pioneering Honeycomb OS based models. Motorola acknowledged the feedback, put its successor on a strict dieting programme and streamlined the Xoom 2 into a lean fighting slate. On top of its new looks, the Motorola Xoom 2 has a splash-guard coating on the outside and internals to provide some protection against accidental water spills. The 10.1-inch display is also reinforced with Corning Gorilla Glass, making it less susceptible to scratches. 

 Motorola gives the original Xoom a complete makeover, resulting in a more curvy and thinner (8.8mm) Xoom 2. The corners are specially designed to provide a better handling.


OS and Software Features 

Android 3.2 Honeycomb is nothing new to consumers today. In fact, it is superseded by the latest Android 4.0 platform which is the unifying operating system for both smartphones and tablets. A Motorola spokesperson stated that the Motorola Xoom 2 and Xoom will receive the Android 4.0 update but was unable to provide more specific details on when the update will arrive.

With the tablet market getting more crowded, it is imperative for brands to differentiate their offerings from the rest. While HTC and Samsung invested heavily in developing their own customized user interfaces (UI), Motorola takes the opposite approach by making minor tweaks to the stock Android UI.

To make it easier for users to take notes, Motorola adds a shortcut bar at the bottom right corner of the screen for faster access to Sticky Note, Open and Evernote. It is a pity that this shortcut bar cannot be customized by the user.

MotoCast is a free app preloaded on the Xoom 2 and Motorola Razr. It gives you a secure access to obtain files stored on your computer. All you need to do is to create a MotoCast ID, install the software on your PC or Mac and access your files. The catch? Your PC or Mac must be online in order to retrieve files from your Xoom 2 or Motorola Razr.

Motorola didn't intend the Xoom 2 to fulfill entertainment needs only, but they also meant for it to double up as a handy productivity tool when you're out and about. To enable this latter aspect, the Xoom 2 comes  preloaded with useful apps such as Critix Receiver and GoToMeeting. If your company uses Critix to host apps, you can check your email, review documents, monitor project dashboards and approve expenses straight from the Xoom 2.

  • Design 8.5
  • Features 8.5
  • User-Friendliness 8
  • Performance 7
  • Value 6
The Good
Improved design and handling
Convenient note-taking shortcut bar
The Bad
Poor battery performance
Mediocre specs
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