Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition review
A slick 8.2in tablet, but battery life isn’t great and the price is on the high side
Review Date: 12 Jan 2012
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £275 (£330 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
With both quad-core tablet processors and Ice Cream Sandwich on the brink of flooding into the mainstream, it seems a little odd a major manufacturer would stick to the tried and tested. Yet that’s exactly what Motorola has done with its latest tablets. Surprisingly, the approach worked well with the Xoom 2, and now we have its sibling on test - the smaller Xoom 2 Media Edition.
As with the Xoom 2, we like its design. The edges are rubberised and this, coupled with the slightly chopped and rounded-off corners, makes for a very comfortable tablet to hold. It isn’t the thinnest tablet, measuring around 9.5mm thick, but it’s very light at a mere 388g, and it looks good: those rubber edges on the rear frame a metal panel secured in place with six exposed screw heads, for a hard-nosed, industrial look. To top it all off, Motorola has coated the whole thing in a splashproof membrane, so spilling your cup of tea shouldn’t result in terminal breakdown.
From the placing of the logos, the 5-megapixel camera and LED flash on the rear, and the 1.3-megapixel camera on the front, it’s clear Motorola sees users holding the Media Edition in portrait orientation, but we’re not convinced. Most Android tablets we’ve used feel more comfortable the other way around, and this one is no exception. Its wide aspect, 16:10 ratio screen lends itself much more naturally to holding it in landscape orientation.
It all houses a screen of rather unusual size. Instead of measuring 7in across the diagonal, as with most compact tablets we’ve previously reviewed, the Xoom 2 Media Edition has an 8.2in screen. It’s a good balance, managing to retain the same resolution of its larger sibling – 800 x 1,280 – while offering a far more portable profile.
We were mildly irritated to discover that this smaller version repeats the bigger Xoom 2’s trick of hiding away the power and volume buttons on the rear, close to the top-left edge (or top-right if you’re holding it in portrait orientation). As before, finding those buttons involves a bit of fumbling around until you learn where they are.
Also less than ideal is the sight that greets you when lifting the flap next to the USB and micro-HDMI ports on one of the Media’s short edges. Instead of SIM and microSD slots, you’re greeted by a blank expanse of plastic. It’s almost as if Motorola was going to put memory expansion and a 3G modem in, but got cold feet at the last minute and whipped it out.
As it stands, the Xoom 2 Media Edition is available initially as a Wi-Fi only device, and with only 16GB of storage, which given the rather high price seems more than a little stingy.
"and the price is on the high side"
Considering what the original Galaxy Tab 7" cost when it first came out, this sounds like desperate straw clutching.
Other than the battery life, this seems to be a pretty good effort by Motorola.
Had they spent the extra $5 needed for an Apple badge, your reviewer would doubtless have fallen over himself to praise it.
"Most Android tablets we’ve used feel more comfortable the other way around"
Is there something specifically about the Android OS that causes this feeling? Do other tablet OSes fail to evoke it?
By Lacrobat on 12 Jan 2012
I'm actually quite excited by this. For a start it's got a 1280 wide screen whilst most (all?) 7" tablets are 800 wide. I think that's a great trade off. Secondly it's splash proof, which I would see as being a very good thing. But the killer for me is that it has integrated GPS, not the A-GPS that most 3G tablets have. BUT I NEED A SD SLOT, Doh!! failed at the final fence.
By stokegabriel on 13 Jan 2012
One of the reasons for the price difference between the £330 as reviewed, and the £380 from Currys and Dixons is that both links are for the 10.1" tablet, not the 8.2" tablet in the review. So both links are irrelevant to this review.
By stokegabriel on 21 Jan 2012
Hm... WHY no 3G?!?!
Ultimate fail; no 3G or SD slot?!?! Were Motorola TRYING to make this fail? If only it had those 2 options, this'd be top contender for me... I don't see the point of a tablet that only works on WiFi - the whole point for me is taking the thing out & about!
By skooptech on 26 Jan 2012
More importantly- how come this review was written December 2012 but published now? I spy the work of the Doctor.
By cartmellbrowne on 17 Apr 2012
- Apple and FBI "actively investigating" celeb photo hack
- Swatch Touch smartwatch in development
- Did iCloud flaw lead to celeb photo hack?
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- Intel unveils eight-core Haswell-E CPU
- Forget robot butlers: meet Fuji Xerox's robot printer
- Wing it: Google's drone delivery revealed
- Facebook testing keyword searching in old posts
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office