The rumored XOOM 2 from Motorola is now finally official, and as it turns out, there are two different versions. The XOOM 2 is the true updated XOOM, with the same 10.1-inch display as the original XOOM. The XOOM 2 Media Edition on the other hand is smaller, with a 8.2-inch display. Both displays are said to be HD, which hopefully means 1280 x 800 pixels on both of them and not some convenient definition of HD that also includes e.g. 1024 x 600 for the smaller of the two. Both tablets have dual core 1.2Ghz CPUs, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, and 1.3/5 mega pixel front/back cameras.
As for the differences….that’s a good question. The press release includes a comparison sheet, but it’s a bit confusing as to what’s actually not on the other tablet versus what’s simply not highlighted. They make a point of of the Media Edition’s display that’s “optimized for wide viewing angles”, but that’s something we take for granted (iPad users, anyways, and many Android tablet users as well) these days and if the normal XOOM 2 doesn’t have that it’s borderline defective off the bat. The XOOM 2 is also listed with “3D virtual surround sound” while the Media Edition has “adaptive virtual surround sound with multiple speakers and booming bass”. Does that mean the Media Edition doesn’t have 3D sound? Wth does adaptive sound mean? Does the XOOM 2 only have one speaker? You see my point.
Confusion aside, some differences are clear. The XOOM 2 is 599 grams and 8.8mm thick compared to the Media Edition’s 386 grams and 8.99 mm. I mention the thickness here for the sake of comparing to other similarly sized tablets, not eachother, and 9mm thickness is very decent for both size segments. The weight of the standard edition is a nice 100 grams less than the XOOM 1, and more on par with what’s normal in today’s market. The size difference affects the battery life for the Media Edition though, at an estimated 6+ hours compared to 10+ on the 10.1 model. Both are WiFi-only models.
What’s most interesting here is that this announcement is for the UK and Ireland. No word yet for the US or the rest of the world, but the former two will get the tablets in mid-November. These tablets might very well be outdated before even hitting the market though, as the Transformer Prime aka Asus EEE Pad Transformer 2 will be announced in four days and ship with the new Tegra 3 chip, which blows these guys’ 1.2Ghz dual cores out of the water. Unlike iOS which reached its “fast enough so stuff doesn’t lagg”-point with the A5 chip, Android still has some performance issues with Tegra 2 generation chips, so personally I would back slowly away from the XOOM 2 and pretend it doesn’t exist. Then again, the failure that was the XOOM 1 is enough reason to do that with anything that Motorola puts out in the future, in my humble opinion. At least the XOOM ships with all parts installed now…I hope.[Droid Life]