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Motorola unveils Xoom 2 Android tablets

The Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition are faster, thinner and lighter than the first Xoom, which came out earlier this year
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Xoom 2 front

Motorola has taken the wraps off two new Xoom tablets that run Google's Android operating system.

The Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition are both faster than the original Xoom, released earlier this year, as they use 1.2GHz rather than 1GHz processors. They are also lighter and thinner, and, in the case of the Media Edition, substantially smaller.

"We are very excited about these two new additions to our tablet portfolio that build on the success of the original Motorola Xoom to now deliver more powerful tablet experiences to the European market," Motorola Mobility UK and Ireland marketing director Victoria McManus, whose company is being sold to Google, said in a statement on Friday.

The two new tablets will hit UK shelves in mid-November. The 10.1-inch Xoom 2 will cost £380 and the 8.2-inch Xoom 2 Media Edition £330. Both devices are cheaper than the £399 entry-level iPad 2 which, like them, offers Wi-Fi connectivity only and has 16GB of inbuilt storage.

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Xoom 2 front gmail

Both of the new Xooms have a Corning Gorilla Glass layer on the screen, to make it less likely to break.

They also have a splashproof coating and can be used with an optional stylus — a feature already employed by HTC and Samsung.

The tablets run Honeycomb version 3.2 of Android, a minor step up from the version 3.1 used in the original Xoom.

The Xoom 2, pictured above, is partly aimed at the business market, as it comes with preloaded VPN support and data encryption. It also has a feature called Motoprint, to aid wireless printing from the tablet.

Other enterprise-ready features include preloaded Citrix Receiver and Citrix GoToMeeting.

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Xoom 2 front

The Xoom 2 weighs 599g, whereas the first Xoom weighed 708g. It has a thickness of 8.8mm, which is a good deal thinner than its predecessor's 12.9mm.

Motorola says the Xoom 2 will offer more than 10 hours of web surfing, while the Xoom 2 Media Edition will only offer just over six.

Like the first Xoom, the rear-facing camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels. However, the front-facing cameras on the Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition are both 1.3 megapixels, whereas their predecessor offered 2 megapixels for webcam usage.

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Xoom2 media

The Xoom 2 Media Edition is marginally thicker than the Xoom 2, at 9mm. However, this may aid the "booming bass" audio that Motorola promises it will offer.

The Media Edition lacks the business features of the 10.1-inch Xoom 2, but like the larger version it comes with a wireless streaming technology called Motocast, which lets users stream files from their PC or Mac to the tablet.

The consumer-oriented tablet also comes with a universal remote-control app.


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