Latest Technology Reviews

The original Motorola Xoom was one of the first tablets to feature Google`s Android 3.0 operating system which was specially intended to make the most of the larger displays and more powerful innards of such devices. Now the Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition is here, retaining a similar approach to its predecessor but in a smaller, more compact shell.

The Xoom 2 Media Edition occupies an odd niche in the tablet market because of its 8.2 inch screen size. While the iPad 2 set the bench mark with a 9.7 inch screen and most big Android tablets have a 10.1 inch display, the Xoom 2 Media Edition sits somewhere between these range-topping models and the smaller seven inch offerings like the HTC flyer and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0.

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Although the Xoom 2 Media Edition has a scaled-down screen compared to the full sized Xoom 2 it still has the same resolution of 1280×800, which means that you get improved image clarity. A dual core 1.2GHz processor is found inside and this is more than powerful enough to make the most out of Android 3.2. Motorola is promising that the Xoom 2 Media Edition will be getting an update to bring Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the table, but there is no telling on how long you might have to wait for this to arrive.

One impressive aspect of the Xoom 2 Media Edition`s design is the fact that it weighs a lot less than the competition. Even the seven inch Amazon Kindle Fire is a heftier beast, not coming close to matching Motorola`s impressive 388g weigh-in for the Xoom 2 Media Edition. As a compromise you will have to deal with a smaller battery, which does mean that this tablet will need recharging after less than six hours of use. Battery life can vary wilding from tablet to tablet and the Xoom 2 Media Edition will be no means be the worst on the market in this particular area, so it should be able to get you through a few long journeys without much hassle.

To keep up with the competition you will find a five megapixel camera on the back of this tablet and a supplementary 1.3 megapixel snapper on the front to make video calling a possibility. There is also the option to record high definition video at 720p resolutions, although it would have been nice to see this increased slightly to 1080p, especially given that its dual core processor is more than up to the task of making this happen.

Android itself has been given a few tweaks by Motorola and you also get plenty of preinstalled applications for services like Google Maps, YouTube and many more. The Android Market is of course packed with extra programs to download so you should never find yourself short of things to do with the Xoom 2 Media Edition. And fast web browsing via Wi-Fi is easy.

The Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition is light, slim, relatively cheap and definitely powerful. It will stop you using a fold down TV if you are a passenger on a long car journey and will also be more portable than other Android tablets if this is a concern.

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