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Motorola XOOM 2 10.1 inch Tablet Computer Expert Review

Motorola XOOM 2 MZ615-16 10.1

Rating: ★★★½☆

In a world where the Apple iPad rules the roost in the tablet computer stakes, its rivals have a tough task to take a byte out of their success.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has enjoyed some success while the BlackBerry PlayBook has proved less popular.

But the Motorola XOOM 2 10.1 inch could certainly be a contender when it comes to portable computing power and having spent some quality time with it, you soon find it’s capable of everything the iPad 2 can do and a little bit more.

For a start, it has a beautiful web browsing experience that doesn’t stop when it encounters a bit of Flash. Ok, there have only been limited moments with my iPad when I’ve hit a wall due to the lack of Flash access but it’s still very much a force in cyberspace and the addition of Adobe Flash Player is a benefit.

This larger XOOM 2I’ve also checked out the smaller 8.2 inch version – runs on the latest Android Honeycomb 3,2 operating system and at its heart is Google’s whole suite of offerings.

From Gmail email to Maps to YouTube to Google Talk for voice or video chat, you won’t be disappointed by the amount of pre-loaded content on board.

Everything you need to get going as soon as you open the box is included and it’s simple to set up and then very intuitive to use with simple menus, plenty of icons and a well thought-out interface. There are very few buttons to push so everything is controlled through the screen, which increases its usability and the whole fun of the tablet experience. You can also customise five different home screens.

Web browsing is a breeze with tabs to collate your pages and Flash built-in to ensure the experience is never stalled by a site that can’t be displayed on the screen. There’s pinch to zoom, both portrait and landscape virtual keyboards and the screen responds well in different lighting conditions.

The XOOM is blisteringly fast. It features a speedy dual-core 1.2GHz processor and is 20% quicker than the original. It also has 1GB of RAM for multi-tasking, preventing it from freezing and crashing when you’re running apps, programs and email at once.

It is also 10% lighter and a third thinner than its predecessor and has a nifty splash-coating, it claims will protect it from unexpected spills and rain showers.

What strikes you though instantly with the Motorola XOOM 2 is the screen. The high-definition display is beautiful to look at, with vivid colours, sharp blacks and extreme clarity. It feels brighter than many rivals and copes well in different lighting conditions.

Of course, the New Apple iPad 3 with its Retina display and quad-core graphics instantly outshines the competition.

The Android OS gives you access to a the Android Market for downloading apps but be prepared to find only a small number available for the Android tablet range compared to those readily out there for the iPad. Much of the Android app development is still currently concentrated around its handset range.

Other highlights include plenty of support for a wide range of media files, an HDMI output to connect straight to your TV (without needing an extra bit of kit like on the iPad) and two cameras on board.

The 5 megapixel rear lens can capture high-definition video at 1080p while the LED flash is competent. The front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera is simply there to video chat with so that’s plenty for appearing live on screen to your friends.

Overall, the Motorola XOOM 2 is one of the most capable tablet computers on the market right now. It doesn’t have the hype and status of the Apple iPad, and its lacking in apps, which for some will limit how fully it can be used day-to-day.

Like with any gadget purchase though, especially one that’s this expensive, go into a store and have a play with one and with its rivals to judge exactly what tablet is your best medicine.

Pros

  • Very fast

Cons

  • Lack of apps

Verdict

For those who want to stand away from the Apple crowd, it’s well worth considering. Battery life has also now been improved to match the iPad’s 10 hours.


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