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back to article Motorola Xoom 2 10in Android tablet

Motorola’s Xoom was the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet to hit the shelves, and now little more than six months after its April 2011 debut, a second-generation machine called - you guessed it - the Xoom 2 is upon us. The new Xoom is available in two forms: one with a 10.1in screen, like its predecessor, and one with a 8.2in …

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Normally I can't be bothered quibbling with review ratings (they're subjective and as a reader I'll take what I need from the actual text of the review) but this one fairly leapt out.

For a suggested price of £399 (per the review):

"A feature of the design that really gets my goat is the positioning of the micro USB and mini HDMI ports"

"the extra speed has little if any discernible impact"

"the Xoom 2 doesn’t really feel any faster and still struggles to play 1080p video in any other format than MP4"

"the Xoom 2 doesn’t even have a slot so you are stuck with the built-in 16GB, or 12 and a bit after the system's taken its share"

"File transfer is handled solely through the MTP protocol so anyone with a Mac or Linux box is up a gumtree"

"without a stylus writing a note is far very from easy and you can’t use the keyboard"

"the 5Mp main cameras has been yanked from the old Xoom parts bin because it’s equally mediocre"

"the Xoom 2 isn’t certified to make Skype video calls but I was still rather surprised to find that the 1.3Mp webcam couldn’t manage them anyway"

"[the price] is a lot extra for a machine that albeit lighter and slimmer is only faster on paper and lacks storage expansion"

"it’s no major leap forward from the original Xoom"

"The extra 200KHz of chip speed has little measurable impact on performance"

So a device with little improvement in speed, a poor camera, no Skype, doesn't play nicely with Linux or Macs, and has no expandable or swappable storage...

And this gets 75%? I'd hate to see what a bad tablet gets...

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Trollface

"And this gets 75%? I'd hate to see what a bad tablet gets.."

Well, taking into account the ipad2 got 90%, I'd say 75% is way too low, even with the mandatory 10% apple score raise...

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Agreed

Same price as the iPad 2 with a fraction of the quality, you would actually have to be mental to buy one.

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Gimp

@ Gold Soundz

Same price as the iPad 2 with 200% the functionality, you would have to be some kind of kool-aid gulping twat to dismiss it so quickly.

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Anonymous Coward

Strike Vomit; 200% the functionality? What are you smoking these days? "Kool-aid gulping twat", and you have the nerve to express disappointment in me for calling you a fuckwit? I know it's difficult for a fandroid to do anything rationally when one of the devices running their holy OS is criticised, but when you look at things *rationally* you'd expect the Xoom 2 to be significantly better at the that price point than than the iPad given that you constantly criticise Apple for being overpriced style-over-substance 'toys' with allegedly 200% less functionality. As an aside, if the iPad is a style-over-substance, surely these 'me too!' devices are only ever going to be worse than that? In fact the only truly original competing product is the Asus Transformer. The irony of your post will be lost on you of course; the very fact that you bemoan critics of Android devices as kool-aid drinking humourless sheep that can't take criticism of the beloved fruit is laughable in the face of your typical fandroid response. You can claim that you like to wind up fanbois all you like, but we can all see the flecks of spittle on the side of mouth...

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FAIL

Seriously??

This review does not put the Motorola Xoom 2 in good light so I think 75% is quite high. However, the review for the Samsung Galaxy S 2 which was pretty much glowing got a rather low 85% (http://www.reghardware.com/2011/05/18/review_samsung_galaxy_s_2_android_smartphone/). I know it's hard to get consistency between reviews but this seems massively inconsistent.

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Devil

or the glass half full

Thinner

Lighter

Better battery life

Easier to hold

Re-charge over USB

I'd say docking 10% points over the original for it not being as far reaching an upgrade as it could have been is far enough.

Hope we get a review of the 8.2in version, that sounds QI.

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iPad2?

At least you can copy files to the Xoom 2 on ANY PC or piece of shit Mac WITHOUT having to use the effing iCloud or that piece of shit bloatware SHiTunes!

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Anonymous Coward

So it's a Xoom 1.01? Meh. Would have liked a proper screen comparison, as a lacklustre screen was a huge flaw with the original Xoom.

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Silver badge

I'd argue that, other than overclocking, it's a Xoom 0.95

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Xoom 2 models have an IPS panel with 4x the contrast of the original Xoom if that's any help....

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Damn those corners are ugly.

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WTF?

MTP

"File transfer is handled solely through the MTP protocol so anyone with a Mac or Linux box is up a gumtree!

Not sure I get this. I used to used to own a Creative Zen (lost it...) which worked perfectly with Amarok after I'd installed the opensuse RPMs. Just checked, they're still available for 12.1 so presumably for all other distros too.

See also "http://libmtp.sourceforge.net/

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Anonymous Coward

On Macs you can use the Android File Transfer utility.

But let's admit it, relying on plugins or apps or plugins for transfers is not as convenient, fast or stable as native USB mass storage, so the reviewer has a point.

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USB mass storage

Try that with an iPad!

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

Slow as molasses

And on my fairly high-spec Debian Testing box, it's extremely slow. I finally broke down and started using the Android Dev Kit adb push/pull commands.

I believe however that not having USB Mass Storage support is a failure of Honeycomb, not the Xoom.

Another bit is that using Bluetooth obexftp seems to tend to crash it so it spontaneously reboots. I got tired of seeing the boot animation.

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Anonymous Coward

Xoom 1 was better

It had more functionality and had memory expansion and is still <=£399 with 3G.

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Why now?

Asus are set to release the transformer prime, it will be a million miles better.

Hell it's even shown in the review how much better the prime will be over this.

Overpriced and underspeced - my phone is quicker than this tablet.

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Viewsonic Gtablet

My 6 month old g-tablet with clemsyn Beasty ROM returns 6400 on AnTuTu. More importantly it cost $239.

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Raz
FAIL

Why did they even bothered with a Tegra 2 when the 3 is around the corner? I own a Transformer and even at 6 months old it's better and cheaper then this.

The sheeple will buy the iPad, the knowing Android users will buy the Transformer Prime or whatever Tegra 3 devices will pop up soon, what's the market for this?

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Anonymous Coward

FFS grow up - sheeple indeed.

what is it now, 30 million ipads? That's a bloody big flock.

Enough i'd say to ensure continued support not just from the manufacturer, but crucially, also from developers.

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Anonymous Coward

they didn't

The information I've seen elsewhere says it's not a Tegra 2, it's an OMAP 4 which is a bit better than the Tegra 2, although not as good as Tegra 3.

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Stop

MTB is better than usbmass...

There is a MTP util for OSX: http://www.android.com/filetransfer/

@Probing Analyst: Unlikely. usbmass treats the device as a disk, so only the computer or the device can write to it at a time. And if you unplug the device while it is writing, expect the storage to be corrupted. And you are limited to the antiquated FAT32 filesystem at best. So, no, MTP is a lot better. MTP is basically a file serving protocol. MTP has been standardized since 2008, so I'm not sure what is taking Apple so long to include it into OSX. Other than the fact, that iOS uses its own file transfer protocol, and they don't want to allow OSX to work with other devices.

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Anonymous Coward

Is that what Google PR told you?

First, MTP was created (well extended from PTP) by Microsoft. Big warning flag right there.

It's not only OSX that doesn't support it, Linux support also pretty much sucks and is user-space (ie slow). There's plugins out there but often crash, don't recognise the phone/tablet properly or fail in other random ways. Not so with USB mass storage.

If you actually look at libmtp source you'll see why. It's full of kludges to support specific devices, even specific file formats. Read device-flags.h for enlightenment. If you go to the end of that file you'll also see all Android devices have a buggy implementation and need a specific kludge.

Hardly a serious standard.

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WTF?

(MTP && !Windows) != (up a gumtree)

There are plenty of apps / frameworks that use libmtp to support MTP on Linux / OSX

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What's the point....

...having a scale from 1 to 100 if, in reality only the top 30% of marks are used?

And just how much of a phail does a device need to be to be given a 50%? From what I read, this a story of too little, too late, for too much? My verdict is that unless insane or blinkered your money is better spent elsewhere. Anywhere else!

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Silver badge

Wtf?

Are motorola thinking? A new model that's significantly worse than the previous one and at a higher price?

The execs who approved this should be shot.

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Anonymous Coward

It sure is no iPad but it's the same price = fail. No wonder Apple have 75% of the market - this device looks fairly plain / ugly and does not really appear any better than it's main competitor.

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Anonymous Coward

I'd say it was lucky to get 75% being so ugly. No wonder everyone wants an iPad 2.

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Silver badge

Price is a problem

As with all Android fondleslabs, price looks like a problem.

This thing costs £399 for a 16GB model. For the exact same money, you can get a 16GB iPad. I got mine in the Black Friday sale, so it was a bit cheaper than that. Is this slab any better than the iPad, and sufficiently better that I would want to go for a platform with less apps and third party accessories available? It doesn't look like it.

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WTF?

They spent a year working on an upgrade, and all they could come up with was this? What the feck have Moto been doing? Counting their Google Dollars? This is basically last years Xoom, slightly over clocked, corners cut (literally and metaphorically), and a few ports bunged up.

Seriously, this is pathetic. 7.5% would be nearer the mark.

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MTP

Google has a download for OSX that talks to Android devices via MTP. Apparently it's a bit flakey (haven't tried it with my Galaxy Nexus yet) but it does work.

Or use ftp

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Bronze badge

Rotate

"A feature of the design that really gets my goat is the positioning of the micro USB and mini HDMI ports on the long edge of the device. Just the right place to get pulled out or even damaged if you are resting the thing in your lap while it’s charging"

Can it be rotated 180 degrees or does that put something else in an inconvenient place?

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Thumb Up

Good point

I was watching a film on the Xoom 2 last night and had to re-charge half-way through when it suddenly dawned on me that yes, you can rotate the device through 180-degrees which at least puts the ports where you can see them.

The only problem is that the volume buttons then migrate from top right to lower left and the speaker grills are too easily covered by your hands. I'd much prefer the ports to be on one side or the other.

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