Motorola Xoom 2 offers a thinner, lighter Android tablet experience

by Marty Gabel

The original Motorola Xoom hit U.S. shelves just a few weeks before the iPad 2, and let’s be honest here, it hardly set the world on fire like Apple’s offering. Though the Xoom offers a fast, dual-core processor and improved over time with a generous helping of Android Honeycomb software updates, its somewhat clunky form factor and rather high original price tag did not help it win the hearts of consumers.

Enter the Xoom 2, which appears to be more of an incremental upgrade than a brand new model. It’s arriving in two separate flavors this time, though: a 10.1-inch version simply called the Motorola Xoom 2 and an 8.2-inch bestowed with the funky moniker Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition. Both models are a mere 0.35mm thick and are a little lighter than their predecessor. Their design features neat-looking cut-off corners, similar to the Razr smartphone. The new Xooms rock dual-core processors clocked at 1.2GHz (up from 1GHz), feature 1GB of RAM, and run Android Honeycomb 3.2. Let’s hope they get quickly updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, too.

The Inquirer in the UK has a quick hands-on video here:

Interestingly enough, Wired discusses how the newer Xooms will be priced lower than the original one. A smart move, considering the Xoom didn’t sell that well. Storage space has been cut a bit (not necessarily a bad move with all that we can do “in the cloud” these days) and the front camera has seen a little bit of a megapixel reduction. The rear camera is, once again a 5-megapixel job, but whether it’s an improvement on the original is yet to be confirmed.

They will be available for UK customers towards the end of the November. The Xoom 2 will retail for £325, while the Xoom 2 Media Edition will be offered for £299. There’s no date (yet) for when Android tablet fans in the U.S. or Canada can expect them.