The Motorola Xoom 2 has been a poorly kept secret, but it’s now finally official, and we got to spend some time with it today ahead of its launch in the UK and Ireland in a couple of weeks. Unlike the smaller, delightful Media Edition, it’s sticking with the old 10.1-inch form factor, and in a bid to make it distinct, Moto has stuffed it full of business apps. Will it replace the laptop in your briefcase?
The Motorola Xoom was the original Android Honeycomb tablet, Google’s first big play against the iPad. It was also buggy, and rather boring, with a mediocre, if pixel-packed, display. The Motorola Xoom 2 sticks with the same screen size and resolution (1280×800), but shrinks it down to an iPad 2 rivalling 8.8mm. It’s thin, but it’s a thoroughly masculine device, echoing the Batman style design language Motorola started a few years back, and just refined in the Motorola Razr. This may well alienate you: we were much more taken by the Media Edition’s portability.
The internals are exactly the same as the Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition: 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, 5MP rear camera and 1.3MP front camera, 16GB of storage, but Moto’s also added a few software embellishments.
Up first is note taking integration with Evernote. Tap the icon in the notification tray, and you can handwrite a note with the digital stylus (sold separately sadly, and Motorola weren’t able to tell us the price just yet). It’s like the HTC Flyer’s note taking, but smarter: it’s just a shame it’s restricted to the 10.1-inch model only.
Then, there’s a inch of preloaded “officey” apps for the white collar Joe who just has to have a tablet, but it can’t be an iPad, and also for some reason they’re allergic to laptops. Citrix software, as well as a Fuze meeting room app come preloaded, and there’s USB host support as well as – get this – Ethernet connectivity, for when Wi-Fi is out of the question. That’s unusual, though possibly overkill if you’re not a high flying corporate executive.
Still, if you’re going up against the iPad, you need something right? This is an Android tablet to watch, but it’ll need to come in much cheaper than an iPad to pique our interest.
Check out the photos of the Motorola Xoom 2 in the gallery above, plus bonus comparison shots with the Media Edition. What do you make of the Motorola Xoom 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.