Motorola launched two new Android tablets on Thursday, the Xoom 2 and the Xoom 2 Media Edition. Despite sharing a name, the latter "media edition" is the smaller, with an 8.2-inch display. Pocket-lint was on hand to give the new tablet a quick going over at the UK launch event.
With the 10.1-inch Xoom 2 effectively replacing, or updating, the existing Xoom (you can find our hands-on here), it's the Xoom 2 Media Edition that looks the more exciting of the two tablets.
It's compact, that smaller display meaning that this is a tablet that is all the more pocketable. It will, at a push, fit into a pocket, although it might be a bit cumbersome to carry around. Measuring 139 x 216 x 8.99mm, it's small enough to slip into any bag.
It also tackles one of the biggest complains of tablets by weighing in at 386g, making it about the same size as the ViewSonic ViewPad 7x.
We like the design too. The snipped corners make the Xoom 2 Media Edition look a little more aggressive, and a little more distinct, and in a world where there are only so many changes that can be made to a flat slab, it's a subtle detail.
Around the back of the Xoom 2 Media Edition we also like the detailing of that back plate, the visible bolt tops give it a rugged look at first glance and we appreciate the tactile feel of the edges. It feels secure in the hand and perfectly comfortable held with one hand.
Whilst on the topic of being rugged (which technically it isn't), it is treated with Motorola's new Splash-guard, the same as the Motorola RAZR. This is a coating technique that makes the entire device water repellent. The idea is that it will withstand an accidental splash.
In terms of software, the Xoom 2 Media Edition appeared to be running a fairly standard build of Android 3.2, but Motorola have confirmed that an update to Ice Cream Sandwich will come within 6 weeks of them receiving the code from Google. Although it will hit shelves in mid-November with Honeycomb, it will be updated soon after.
The hardware side of things is pretty exciting too. Under the hood you'll essentially get the same specs as the 10.1-inch model. That includes a 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB of internal memory. You also get an IR transmitter, so you'll be able to fire up the Dijit app and use it as a universal remote control.
Sadly there is no external SD card slot, so you won't be able to expand on this capacity. The device will come with Motorola's MotoCast service, which lets you stream content from your home PC, once you've installed the server software.
We're also rather taken with the screen, which is nice and sharp, and being IPS, offers great viewing angles too. Motorola haven't revealed exactly what the resolution is, but it's sharp enough. Just don't set it alongside a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7…
In our brief time with the new Xoom 2 Media Edition it was quick and fast to respond to our prods, although it was a pre-production model and obviously not loaded with our own content. Final performance and things like battery life we'll have to leave for our Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition review, which we'll bring you as soon as we can.
The Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition will cost you £329.99 and will be arriving mid-November.