Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition hands on review

The second Xoom has arrived, and it won’t be lonely – Motorola’s giving it a pint-sized Media Edition to hang out with
We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition – mini tablet

If Apple is planning an iPad Mini for 2012, then Motorola has beaten it to the punch with its Xoom 2 Media Edition, a pint-sized little brother to the 10.1in Xoom 2 (read our Xoom 2 hands on review). But how will the 8.2in Xoom 2 Media Edition, ahem, measure up when it’s staring down the likes of Samsung’s is-it-a-phone-is-it-a-tablet Galaxy Note?

Landing squarely in the gap between the just-about-pocketable Galaxy Note and a rash of 9in-plus tablets, the Xoom 2 Media Edition wants to be your minus-size tablet friend. And with similar specs to its big brother, it’s got a good chance of finding its niche.

Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition – a bit of a handful

Perhaps Motorola’s on to a winner here. We like our gadgets thin, a box the sub-9mm Xoom 2 Media Edition ticks. We like them shiny. Ditto. And if more than a handful’s a waste, the X2ME leaves little going spare. The larger-handed among us can grasp its body in one hand, leaving the other free to swipe around Honeycomb (like the Xoom 2, the Media Edition will get Ice Cream Sandwich at a yet-to-be-determined date).

Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition – form and function

In fact, the Xoom 2 Media Edition’s form is a more palatable prospect than the 10.1in Xoom 2. You might use it to take pictures with that 5MP camera. It’s certainly big enough for most tableteering tasks, too, and with the same 1GHz processor under the hood, it’s no slouch when it comes to buzzing around its native Android OS. Oddly for a device designed with portability in mind, the Xoom 2 Media Edition will be Wi-Fi only when it arrives in mid-November, but Motorola thinks you’ll be happy tethering it up to your hotspot-enabled smartphone. Perhaps a Motorola RAZR?

Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition – hi-def screen

At home, the Xoom 2 Media Edition is less coffee table-friendly than a 10in tablet, but it’ll gladly hook up to your TV via HDMI to pipe hi-def stuff to the bigger screen. Oh, and if you’re up for a bit of a squint, the on-board 8.2in screen is also HD, though we wouldn’t recommend it for, say, watching a film. YouTube clips, on the other hand, have almost been waiting for this moment – a screen big enough to take in the salient details, without being so big it shows up the flawed quality of lower-res vids. Motorola thinks we’ll like reading book on it, too, but its glossy screen begs to differ – and we’re taking its side. The Kindle won’t be looking over its shoulder just yet.

Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition – verdict

Small is beautiful, and Motorola’s mid-sized tablet is no exception. But, as you can see in this picture, pocketing it really isn’t feasible unless you’ve stolen your strides off a clown. We can see the Xoom 2 Media Edition finding favour with those who like to pack their manbags light, but it’ll be a tough sell against the likes of the pocketable Galaxy Note or the more established larger tablets, headed by Apple’s iPad 2. Then again, Motorola’s hinted that the Media Edition might also be a budget edition. Depending how that pans out, the X2ME’s star may yet rise. We’ll be back with a full review and prices to help inform your decision.

You might also like

Motorola Xoom 2 hands on review

iPad Mini coming in 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note review