Friday, 21 September 2012

Review - Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition

Tabs didnt exist too many years ago.  Now all of a sudden there are so many to choose from.  How do you choose?  Well if the Xoom2 was on your list of tabs to consider you will hopefully find this review helpful.

Appearance / Size / Weight - 8/10

The look of all tabs is pretty much the same.  Large.  Slim.  All touchscreen.  Black around the edges.  So you cant really go wrong with the design of the tab.  It is nice and light and compared to carrying a laptop around with you it's a breeze.  You can buy a range of tab sizes, and generally the bigger the better.  So no issues here at all, although it could look a little smarter.
  • Weight - 388g
  • Dimensions - 21.6 x 14 x 0.9 cm
  • Screen - 8.2 inch HD gorilla glass touch screen (1280 x 800)

Front side and back.  You can see where the have awkwardly placed the screen on/off button

Hardware / Battery - 8/10

The spec of this tab is pretty good overall.  Other devices do offer high specs however the nature of technology means that this will always be the case.  Within 6 months anything you can buy will be outdone by a newer model.  It is perfectly capable of running the android 3.2 operating system with no noticeable delay for any apps and programs I have been running.

It comes with 16GB of storage which for most users will be more than sufficient for all of your music, videos, photos etc with room to spare.

The battery life on this is good.  With irregular use this can easily last two weeks.  With regular use it is nearer to a week before it needs charging.

The HDMI port is really handy if you like to connect your tab to a PC / laptop / TV.  Really good for things such as showing off your pictures and videos on a large screen for everyone to see, or to watch a film from your tab on your laptop for example.
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB storage
  • 1.2GHz dual core processor
  • Android 3.2 (Honeycomb)
  • 1 x HDMI output

Camera / Video - 8/10

The camera and video capability of the tab is really good for your everyday snaps and mini video clips of your loved ones.  Of course it is poor in quality compared to a serious camera or video, and the lens on any phone or tab is always going to be fairly poor quality.  

The software on the tab allows for reasonable quality photos and videos even in poor light.  It also comes with a flash which is handy for cameras and to be used as a torch if you find yourself wandering in the dark.

Being 5Mp means that you get decent quality pictures on a larger scale so they wont look to pixelated on a TV or in a A4/A3 frame.
  • 5Mp camera
  • 1080p video capture

Works both ways round.  Although who ever made this image cheated... the Motorola symbol around the edge doesnt move to the top when you turn it on its side.

Other Likes / Dislikes

The tab running with Android has to be a highlight.  The operating system is very robust and user friendly.  There are a few things I would tweak, such as the size of the icons on the bottom of the screen that you use for things such as 'go back' and 'go to home' as well as the notification icons (for things such as new email or app updates).  It can be a little bit of fine finger pointing to choose the correct command, however its perfectly usable and gets easier the more you use it.

Other little things it doesn't do which you just wish it did is when you move your icons around on a screen, you have to move an icon out of the way before you can put something else in its place.  So you cant just drag the icon over another icon to replace it.  Sometimes its the little things that makes the difference between like and dislike.

We had the opportunity to use the stereo speakers recently when we were stating in a hotel for the night.  We listened to a little music I had stored on the phone and it was loud enough to not require separate speakers and wasn't too tinny like a lot of phones are.  Perfectly good for music or listening to your films without the need for headphones.

It does have Bluetooth, but I cant see the need for such old technology.  I have never used it.  

One dislike I have regarding the design is the location of the volume buttons and the screen on/off button.  It is on the back of the device towards the top right.  Because of the positioning it forces you to use your right Peter Pointer finger.  Personally I am left handed, and would prefer even more to have the button along the top or the side of the device where it is in sight.
  • Accelerometer and gyroscope
  • Stereo speakers
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR

Overall - 7/10

The only reason it doesnt get the 8/10 is because it has a few things mentioned above which are a little bit annoying and lower the overall satisfaction of using the device.  It is more than capable of making your average tab user very happy.  However it does lack a little something compared to the best tabs on the market. 

Personally its not my favourite tab of all time, however if you are on a budget then this is a good £100 or so cheaper than some of the top tabs available at the moment.

To see Motorola's own information on the device please click here

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