Motorola Xoom 2 review

Price when reviewed

The Xoom’s internals are very impressive. It has a 1.2GHz Nvidia Tegra chip and 1GB of RAM, but we were a little put off by the Xoom 2’s initial sluggishness in menus. After a few hours to bed in, though, the juddering vanished, leaving a very capable tablet in its wake. It handled the most demanding games we threw at it without a hitch, including the cutting-edge ShadowGun, and raced through the Android benchmarks: it scored a healthy 1,779 in the Quadrant test, and took 1,931ms to complete the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, both of which are among the fastest we’ve seen.

Motorola has squeezed an impressive battery inside that svelte chassis as well. We set it running our usual tablet benchmark – with Wi-Fi off, medium brightness and a video clip running on loop – and the Xoom 2 lasted for 10hrs 54mins before conking out. It can’t match the ludicrous stamina of an iPad 2, and it’s disappointingly down from the 12hrs 49mins of the original Xoom, but it’s still longer than any other Android tablet we’ve tested.

Motorola Xoom 2 - Market

Although we’re all eagerly awaiting Ice Cream Sandwich, the Xoom 2 is still on Android 3.2 just now, but it’s among the first tablets to benefit from Google’s new tiled Android Market interface. It’s a vast improvement, with plenty of room for staff and editors’ recommendations, and the ability to properly promote new and popular apps in a way that looks far more modern than before.

As for other bundled software, you get a link to an app called Dijit, which works in conjunction with the discreet IR emitter on the top edge to control TVs and other living room equipment. The setup and control is similar to that on Sony’s Tablet S. If you’d prefer, there’s also a micro-HDMI output on the bottom to hook up a TV directly. Motorola’s MotoCast app lets you easily stream media from a PC or laptop, and if you’re after a tablet more for business use, Motorola has also included Citrix Receiver and GoToMeeting. There’s even an optional stylus for jotting down quick notes and sketches.

Motorola Xoom 2 - Dijit

If it all sounds rosy, we do have a few concerns. We reviewed the 16GB model, but there doesn’t appear to be a larger capacity version just yet. There are microSD and SIM slots under a flap on the bottom edge, but both have been filled in to prevent use – presumably we’ll eventually see a 3G Xoom 2, but blocking your route to additional storage is a baffling decision from Motorola. We’re also a little disappointed to see Motorola pricing the Xoom 2 at iPad 2 levels, with this 16GB model costing £400 inc VAT.

That leaves us in a quandary. This is undeniably the most physically desirable Android tablet we’ve yet used, but is it a better all-round choice than the excellent Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1? It’s a very close call, but with similar prices, we’d argue the faster internals, superb ergonomics and IR emitter just about make the Xoom 2 our Android tablet of choice. The bigger question is whether you should be buying at all right now: with the first quad-core models due soon, the new champion could be knocked off the top before you’ve even unwrapped it.



Dimensions254 x 8.8 x 173mm (WDH)


Primary keyboardOn-screen
Screen size10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal1,280
Resolution screen vertical800
Display typeColour touchscreen LCD

Core specifications

CPU frequency, MHz1,200MHz
Integrated memory16.0GB
RAM capacity1.00GB


Camera megapixel rating5.0mp
Focus typeAutofocus
Built-in flash?yes
Built-in flash typeLED
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes


WiFi standard802.11n
Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes
Upstream USB ports1
HDMI output?yes


Mobile operating systemAndroid 3.2

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