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Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition - Android interface, Apps and Verdict

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Otherwise, we're talking about a fairly standard Android tablet. Motorola has made no changes to the interface and just added a couple of enterprise level apps; a citrix client (Citrix), a remote meeting tool (GoToMeeting) and a productivity suite (QuickOfficeHD). All are available separately on the app store though.

Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition

The only really notable addition is MotoCast, and ironically this is actually another of Motorola's slip ups. The app itself is fine, allowing you to setup your computer and tablet so that you can stream your media from one to the other from anywhere round the world – assuming you keep your computer on. However, Motorola has made it so that you're required to install MotoCast to access the tablet's onboard storage. Not a big problem for your home PC, but when one of the great advantages of Android tablets is that you can simply plug them into any computer to swap files around, it's a bit of a pain that on this model you have to install something.

MotoCast can be used when connecting the Xoom 2 Media Edition to a TV, making for a really nice media browsing interface.

This aside, the Xoom 2 Media Edition offers a lot once you've set it up how you like and packed it full of your favourite apps. Android tablets still trail iPad for the sheer breadth and quality of apps on offer but the tide is starting to turn now that Android is becoming so ubiquitous. Some of our favourties such as Dropbox, Fieldrunners, Spotify, SketchBook, Skype, StumbleUpon and the Times all now have apps. That said, official apps for Toodledo, Cover Orange, and Monkey Island are still lacking.

Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition

So essentially, you're looking at a choice between better core functionality than an iPad (better camera, IR transmitter, better video playback, Flash enabled web browser) vs the iPad's continued app dominance. When it comes to other Android tabs, though, the Xoom 2 Media Edition holds up well. Costing ~£330, this tablet is fairly competitively priced, though not enough to be truly compelling. Neither bargain nor bank buster. It is, however, the best small tablet currently available.

Verdict

The Xoom 2 Media Edition doesn't completely win us over thanks to a few sloppy design decisions, a lack of 3G option, no expandable memory and Android's continued lack of apps. However, the core features on offer are compelling, with an IR transmitter for controlling your telly, a high res screen, a couple of decent cameras and solid performance. Most of all, though, we simply like that this tablet offers all the power of a larger tablet in a smaller, more portable form factor, and does so at a competitive price.

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 7
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Screen Quality 8
  • Value 8

lildwarf

November 4, 2011, 5:31 pm

"are positioned so they fit conveniently under you fingers when holding the table normally"

I believe you mean tablet* =)

Andrew_TR

November 4, 2011, 5:57 pm

Thanks for the spot. This review has been de-table'd. It'll update shortly :)

Luan Bach

November 4, 2011, 6:19 pm

In a similar vein:

"That said, you get a lot more tablet with the normal Xoom 2 for only £5 more."

£50 surely :-)

lensmann

November 4, 2011, 7:31 pm

"you get a lot more tablet with the normal Xoom 2 for only £5 more."

£50, surely?

Arctic Fox

November 5, 2011, 12:37 pm

"The lack of 3G and microSD expansion on this model is a bit of a shame but for its £329.99 price these seem like reasonable compromises."

I do not agree. They are not reasonable at all. I am so flaming tired of the OEMs and their corner cutting. Even some of Sammy's otherwise splendid tablets pull the same stunt. If it is not lack of micro-SD, its lack of HDMI, or you have to use a proprietary charger or no 3G model etc. Had this had 3G and micro-SD it would have gone straight to the top of my list. As it is they can just whistle. When one of them comes out with a 7 - 8 inch form factor *with* all the above mentioned at a reasonable price (I do not mean bottom feeder cheap, I mean competitive) they can forget it. I am so a***achingly tired of what the OEMs are currently doing in the tablet segment as far as connectivity and storage are concerned (with the honourable exception of Asus) that I can see my self waiting until the Win8 tablets start appearing in the hope that that will make a difference.

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