Google Introduces Its First Tablet: the Motorola Xoom 2

In one of the first subjects I did this year already said that a new model would be released.Still in 2011.

The Xoom was the first tablet to face the iPad from the front.But the rush to launch it before powerful competitors such as Samsung also came accompanied by some flaws.

Far from being a bad product, this permanent comparison with the iPad eventually undermined the image of the Motorola tablet.

For Motorola – now under Google’s control – introduces to the market not only one but two new models: the Motorola Xoom 2 (with the same 10.1 inches of the Xoom 1) and the Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition (with 8.2 inches).But let’s just look at the model with 10.1 since there are small differences between the two.

New design, round square style

The first major change of the Xoom 10.1 is in the design. Rounded corners come out and round square style comes into place, a trend copied from the auto industry.More than an aesthetic change, the new straight corners allow a firmer “footprint”.

The plastic, which used to occupy all space, is now present only at the ends.And with a much less rigid material. The rest is filled by aluminum.Perhaps it solves one of the biggest problems of the first Xoom: fingerprints that were printed across the tablet.

The power and volume buttons (now rubberized), rear camera, and speakers switch to more accessible positions.The camera comes out of the corner and goes to the middle of the device.

The Xoom 10.1 is also lighter: to be precise it’s 128 grams thinner than the previous model (602g, versus 730g).The iPad 2 has 601g.

This made it even thinner: 8.8 millimeters (the same thickness as the iPad 2), compared to 12.9 mm from the previous Xoom.

What does not change is the aspect ratio , which favors the horizontal position.This is one of the main differences of this Xoom in relation to the iPad.

New processor, faster responses

Apart from the design, the hardware also gets many enhancements.The processor is clocked at 1.2GHz.According to Motorola/Google this means a 20% higher speed.

In direct comparison with Galaxy Tab 10.1 it seems to be actually faster.Too bad that some strides still persist, but there the fault is not of the processor but of the failures of the applications.

The resolution of 1280 x 800px has not changed but the screen houses brighter images and “stronger” (saturated) colors thanks to the IPS update.Clear evidence that Xoom 2 is even more directed to running movies and games.

Even with this enhancement, the Xoom screen still does not reach the screen quality of the iPad 2. The Apple tablet features more faithful colors, sharper text and better viewing at any angle.

The glass covering the surface of the screen was treated with scratches and splashes.But it still remains a fingerprint “magnet”.

Doors (unfortunately) do not change

The micro USB and micro HDMI ports do not change.And whoever expected a micro SD slot will be disappointed.Just like in the first Xoom he is not present.

It is a strategy that you can not understand very well, especially the absence of SD in 16GB models, the best sellers. After all, if Motorola wants to “stamp” Xoom as a multimedia tablet, it should offer an option for storing videos, the files that most require space. For this Motorola offers MotoCast (see below), but this does not seem to be the best solution.

Also has no explanation (yet) is a port located on the bottom of the tablet ( see photo 4, below ).Maybe it can hold a SIM card (?), Or a storage expansion slot (?).That is just a space for the future 3G model.So if you buy the wi-fi model, know that this port is of no use.

Prepared for the new Ice Cream Sandwich

Motorola sold its tablet division to Google.Google owns the Android operating system.

Well, needless to say, the new Xoom should feature an Android with minimal errors.And with a look without exaggeration, as does Apple with its iOS.

That was exactly the decision of the Motorola/Google staff.Android comes with few widgets and only essential apps.Highlight the full version of Quickoffice HD for viewing and editing Microsoft Office documents and for Twonky for managing media files.

For extra storage Motorola preferred to offer MotoCast, an application that allows remote access to files stored on PCs or MACs.

It’s a different strategy from Apple, which has iCloud, in which the files stay on a server. In MotoCast the files remain on the computer.

The good news is that the new Xoom is set to receive the next version of Android, the Ice Cream Sandwich.

Digital pen: works more or less

Motorola decided to add a digital pen (stylus);In an attempt to capture new users who need to make many notes.

In theory it is an interesting feature to dribble the lack of a mouse.In practice the sensitivity of the pen still has many flaws.

It would be great to be able to scribble any and every desktop.But unfortunately no manufacturer has been able to do this successfully.Motorola is no exception, either.

Your pen works only for use in some note applications, but is not meant for notes on emails, photos or web pages (unlike the HTC Flyer).

Cameras change position

But the cameras have not changed much.Video recording is limited to 720 pixels at 30 frames per second.The autofocus feature continues with the same problem:it is slow.

For photos, the same 5 megapixels remain.But this alone is no guarantee of color correction.And the image manipulation app does not help too much.

Conclusion

Unsurprisingly, the new Xoom comes with many enhancements, which means eliminating most of the faults of the previous model.

But this tablet still runs Android Honeycomb (in its version 3.2).This operating system from Google has already evolved a lot, but it is still not as stable as the iOS that runs on the iPad 2.

Even so, the Xoom had a great evolution.All you have to do is wait for a new update on Android (the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich) and increase the supply of new applications.

The new Xoom line is only being sold in Europe for now.For the 10.1 “model, wi-fi with 16GB the price is 400 euros (915 reais, on the quote on December 11).

For model 8.2 “the price was set at 330 euros (795 reais, on the quotation of December 11).

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