Review Motorola Xoom 2 MZ607 Tablet/MID

Maximilian Moll (translated by Liala Stiegitz), 05/23/2012

Flat multimedia tablet. The Xoom 2 Media Edition is very compact. Motorola opted for a somewhat unusual screen size of 8.2 inches, which is located somewhere between the common sizes of seven and 10.1 inches. Can the 9 millimeter flat slate live up to Motorola's multimedia promise?

Motorola wants to launch a tablet for multimedia lovers with its Xoom 2 ME. Therefore, the Xoom 2 Media Edition is quite compact. The American Group provides the Xoom 2 in two versions. The other Xoom 2 only differs marginally from the Media Edition, designed for users who want a bigger screen or more memory.

The Xoom 2 Media Edition comes with an 8.2 inch screen and a 16 gigabyte flash memory and supports current wifi standards as well as 3G. Nevertheless, it is a lightweight - not much heavier than  a paperback book - being just under 400 grams. The manufacturer states it features a unique surround sound and our test reveal how much sound Motorola really put into the 9 millimeter flat case, among other things.

Case

Easy to hold with one hand: The Xoom 2 ME

The Xoom 2 Media Edition is a handy and lightweight device. Its dimensions total 139 x 216 x 8.9 millimeters - so about half a page of A4 copy paper. Motorola uses an aluminum plate and rubberized edges for the case. Six little Torx screws serve as a design component. The design matches other Motorola products; the similarity to the current Razr phone is unmistakable.

Altogether, the Xoom 2 ME is cleanly manufactured and sports a quality feel. It does not warp or exhibit any noises under mechanical pressure. Motorola uses Corning's Gorilla Glass for the touchscreen which makes it resistant against scratches. Apart from the touchscreen, there are also two buttons inserted on the rear of the case: the on/off button and the volume rocker. They are easily accessible no matter how the device is held. The design is similar to its predecessor.

USB and mini HDMI are open...
the micro SIM slot is protected.
The infrared and headphone interfaces are on the top.

Connectivity

The Media Edition's innards hardly differ from the normal Xoom 2. An OMAP 4430 from Texas Instruments clocked with 1.2 GHz is also installed. A PowerVR SGX540 is responsible for graphics and there is 1 GB of working memory.  At merely 3900 mAh the battery is smaller than in the bigger Xoom 2 - which has an impact on battery life. 

In addition to a micro USB 2.0, a mini HDMI port and a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, the Xoom 2 Media Edition also has an infrared port. The loudspeakers are located on the top and bottom of the rear edge. In contrast to landscape mode, both are frequently covered in portrait mode. The user can connect to the mobile data network with a micro SIM card.

The tablet is charged over the USB port. The tablet's only accessory is a special charging cable that can be used both in the USA as well as Europe due to a refined design. Basically, the tablet can be recharged via the computer.

Good: pictures with the rear camera

Cameras and Multimedia

Like most tablets, the Xoom 2 ME features two cameras. The front-facing camera enables video telephony with a low resolution of 1.3 megapixels. The rear-facing camera has a good resolution of 5 million pixels and can also record videos in HD format, so 1280 x 720 pixels. The user can magnify the subject up to 8x using the digital zoom. However, it can only be triggered via the touchscreen with a so-called soft button. An LED flash is to ensure a good illumination even in poor ambient light, but it quickly comes to its limits.

The rear-facing camera takes quite good pictures. The colors are quite natural and sufficiently focused - providing the light conditions are good. The automatic setting quickly fails as soon as the light gets weaker. The images are noise-heavy and not always properly focused. The front-facing camera's 1.3 megapixels is enough for recognizing your video chat partner. However, it is only meant for this purpose and thus you shouldn't expect more.

 

Pictures with 8 x digital zoom are visibly coarse
Pictures with 8 x digital zoom are visibly coarse
This is also evident on pictures with a lower zoom factor (2.5)
This is also evident on pictures with a lower zoom factor (2.5)
Overall, the photos are good though
Overall, the photos are good though

The Xoom 2 ME synchronizes data between itself and the PC via a micro USB cable or wifi. Streaming via Internet is also possible. Motorola highlights this and wireless synchronization as special features. For the latter, the device supports WLAN 802.11n in the 2.5 GHz band and UMTS. The micro SIM slot for connecting to the mobile data network is located at the bottom of the case. The user can also connect to headsets, keyboards or share data with other mobile devices via Bluetooth 2.1 EDR. The Xoom 2 ME mutates to a navigation system thanks to an A-GPS module when required. Google's navigation app works well, as usual.

It is in the Xoom 2 ME's nature to do a fairly good job as a player. It can deal with many formats provided they are not DRM protected. There is hardly anything left to want in the audio field. The included player runs smoothly and the sound is very impressive for such a slim device - even if deep tones quickly reach their peak. The Xoom 2 ME can play AVI, MPG, WMV and Xvid formats - without a dedicated video app on the device. 

The movies are listed in the familiar Android Gallery and can be played from there. Another playback option is the software MotoCast. It renders the file structures on another computer but unfortunately does not include a media library for movies and music that are saved on the tablet. Nevertheless, video playback looks impressive on the screen. Moreover, the Xoom 2 ME presents MP4 files smoothly on a HDMI-connected monitor.

Tablet as a remote: The app Dijit unfortunately only offers few functions
Tablet as a remote: The app Dijit unfortunately only offers few functions
Absolutely mandatory: MotoCast software
Absolutely mandatory: MotoCast software
that also synchronizes Windows libraries
that also synchronizes Windows libraries

Software

Motorola installs a lot of software on the Xoom 2. That not only includes the apps on the device, but also Motorola's streaming app. The user has to install MotoCast on his computer so that it detects the Xoom 2 ME. 

MotoCast can either be downloaded from the device or from the manufacturer's website. The software usually installs itself on PC and Mac automatically. An Internet connection is necessary for setting up Motorola's online service. Data sharing via Internet is possible when the home computer is online. Motorola does not store data online. The user can either stream or download files to the tablet. Besides that, it is also possible to transfer data via a micro USB cable (not included in scope of delivery).

Motorola installs a few useful apps. Apps from the German newspapers "Bild" and "Die Welt" are appetizers although they don't provide more than the print issues. Motorola includes a three month subscription for both papers. The app "Evernote" increases productivity, but it can also be downloaded in Google's "PlayStore" for free. Texts, spreadsheets and power point presentations can be edited with the app "QuickOffice HD". The app "Dijit" takes advantage of the device's infrared port and makes it into a universal remote control for a whole range of devices from various manufacturers. It can be quickly set up for the TV and receiver. However, it does not supply the full range of functions. Additionally, it takes a while before the corresponding remote control function is found because various configurations have to be tried and they all look pretty much alike on the tablet.

Games

A few games are cult for touchscreen devices. For example, a large community has developed around Rovio's Angry Birds. However, the controls on cell phones and tablets differ from the "usual" computer and console games. The Xoom 2 ME renders up-to-date games, such as Angry Birds Space, Air Attack HD or even Temple Run, smoothly. No stutter ruins the game play.  

Input Devices

The Xoom 2 ME's physical buttons
The Xoom 2 ME's physical buttons
The keyboard can be adapted
The keyboard can be adapted

The Xoom 2 ME only needs two physical buttons. They are easy to reach on the device's rear when holding the tablet. However, it is difficult to feel a difference. Thus, the power button and volume rocker are occasionally confused.

The user can make all other inputs over the touchscreen. The virtual keyboard worked consistently well in our test. The standard keyboard's keys are too tight for typing in portrait mode. However, typing even longer texts in landscape mode is quite comfortable. The computer "learns" the writing style and suggests words. This quickly works quite reliably and increases the speed even more.

Other keyboard layouts and controls are possible. The Xoom 2 ME includes Swiftkey Tablet X and Swipe for this purpose. While you swipe over the keys to input, Swiftkey Tablet X provides a divided keyboard layout including a number pad in the center. It enables fast typing when holding the tablet in your hands.

Display

Stable viewing angles but reflective screen
Stable viewing angles but reflective screen

The screen's resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels is not unusual. Motorola uses scratch-resistant Corning's Gorilla glass as well as a water-resistant finish for the tablet's other components. Consequently, it tolerates splashes of  water. Controls still work well when water drops are on the screen.

Overall, the touchscreen works without delays. However, the occasional stutter is observed on the Xoom 2 ME. We particularly noticed this when unlocking and rotating the tablet.
The IPS screen makes it possible: The content can be recognized from almost every viewing angle. It is even possible for several viewers to gather around the small screen without arguing about the best places. Merely the reflections on the glossy screen mar the viewing impression a bit.

Although the screen is pretty bright and contrasty, and contents can even be recognized well in bright surroundings due to a maximum of 451 cd/m2, it is helpless against direct sunlight or reflection of a lamp on the glass plate. Reflections complicate the view considerably here.

409
cd/m²
384
cd/m²
397
cd/m²
446
cd/m²
444
cd/m²
451
cd/m²
429
cd/m²
420
cd/m²
431
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 451 cd/m²
Average: 423.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 444 cd/m²
Black: 0.5 cd/m²
Contrast: 888:1

Performance

Motorola relies on a processor from Texas Instruments to power its Xoom 2 ME. The TI OMAP 4430 is a dual core CPU that clocks with 1.2 GHz in this case. An integrated PowerVR SGX540 chip generates the image. Additionally, a one GB working memory is installed.

Thus, the installed components do not differ from the somewhat larger Xoom 2. Consequently, our test device accomplishes similar performance rates and the benchmarks show no big performance increase in contrast to the precursor. Overall, the Xoom 2 ME can compete with common Tegra 2 tablets, such as the Iconia Tab A200. However, it is defeated by the newer Tegra 3 platform, e.g. found in the Transformer Prime.

Sunspider
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ 607
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
1823.3 ms * ∼17%
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ616
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
1761.2 ms * ∼17% +3%
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 16 GB SSD
1870 ms * ∼18% -3%
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 16 GB SSD
1257 ms * ∼31%

* ... smaller is better

Smartbench 2012
Productivity Index
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ616
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
2564 points ∼25%
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 16 GB SSD
3476 points ∼33%
Gaming Index
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ616
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
1825 points ∼40%
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 16 GB SSD
2371 points ∼52%
Linpack for Android
Single Thread
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ 607
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
45.389 MFLOPS ∼7%
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ616
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
43.28 MFLOPS ∼6% -5%
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 16 GB SSD
47.5 MFLOPS ∼7% +5%
Multi Thread
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ 607
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
68.369 MFLOPS ∼6%
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ616
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
71.87 MFLOPS ∼7% +5%
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 16 GB SSD
101 MFLOPS ∼9% +48%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ 607
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
775 Points ∼4%
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ616
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
662 Points ∼4% -15%
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 16 GB SSD
1287 Points ∼7% +66%
Google V8 Ver. 6
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ616
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
712 points ∼6%
Motorola Xoom WiFi/UMTS
GeForce ULP (Tegra 2), 2 (250), 32 GB SSD
661 points ∼6%
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 16 GB SSD
1649 points ∼14%
Browsermark 1.0
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ 607
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
79251 points ∼14%
Motorola Xoom 2 MZ616
SGX540, OMAP 4430, 16 GB SSD
98343 points ∼18% +24%
Motorola Xoom WiFi/UMTS
GeForce ULP (Tegra 2), 2 (250), 32 GB SSD
92331 points ∼17% +17%
Apple iPad 3. Gen 2012-03
SGX543MP4, A5x, 64 GB SSD
126324 points ∼23% +59%

Emissions

The Xoom 2 ME does not have any movable components. Its operation is accordingly quiet. Like most tablets, it is absolutely noiseless - unless of course it is supposed to play music or a movie. 

Motorola's Xoom 2 ME cannot be misused as a heater either. We never measured more than an average of 29°C during load. That is not even lukewarm. The tablet remained even cooler with a maximum of 23.5°C without load. Thus, it is even slightly cooler than the Xoom 2 with a 10.1" screen.

Max. Load
 26.7 °C28.2 °C26.4 °C 
 26.5 °C25.8 °C27.1 °C 
 25.6 °C26.3 °C27.0 °C 
Maximum: 28.2 °C
Average: 26.6 °C
29.7 °C28.1 °C29.0 °C
29.9 °C28.2 °C28.8 °C
29.5 °C29.1 °C28.7 °C
Maximum: 29.9 °C
Average: 29 °C
Power Supply (max.)  28.3 °C | Room Temperature 19.2 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Battery Life

According to the manufacturer, the Xoom 2 ME is capable of surfing for over six hours on the web. The Xoom 2 ME keeps this promise. We could surf via wifi for a bit over six hours before the battery was drained. For this test, we set the tablet's brightness to approx. 20 percent, so around 150 cd/m2, and disabled Bluetooth.

The battery lasted for over eight hours under low load. However, both Bluetooth and wifi were enabled and the screen was set to minimum brightness in this case.

The Xoom 2 ME was quickly exhausted under load. It shut down after almost two and a half hours of load with enabled communication interfaces and maximum screen brightness. This proves that the Xoom 2 ME's 3900 mAh battery has a lower nominal charge than its bigger brother because the Xoom 2 ME is not a power guzzler. The power consumption is about 3.8 watt during maximum load and the tablet never consumes more than 2.4 watts when idling. The standby power consumption of 0.7 watt is not exceptionally low, but it's not too high either.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.6 / 0.7 Watt
Idle 1.6 / 2.1 / 2.4 Watt
Load 3.8 / 3.8 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
8h 23min
WiFi Surfing
6h 08min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 25min

Verdict

Xoom 2 ME and its charger
Xoom 2 ME and its charger

Basically, the Xoom 2 ME is a solid tablet. Its low weight and small screen make it the perfect companion. The bright screen stands out with good contrast and saturated colors and it can even deal with the odd ray of sun. The sound is also impressive. It is possible to occasionally listen to a movie's soundtrack using the speakers.

The case is cleanly manufactured and although the rubberized edges will probably not protect the device's innards when it is dropped - the tablet provides a good grip making a fall unlikely.

The buyer has to dig deep into his pockets. The tablet costs around EUR 430 in relevant online shops and only offers a tight memory capacity of 16 GB. Additionally, there is no app for organizing different media on the device. Overall, you get sophisticated technology for your money - if you disregard Android 4's belated update. This price is certainly alright for the handy 8.2 inch tablet. If you want a bigger screen or more memory, the bigger MZ616 is available for a small surcharge.

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Specifications

Motorola Xoom 2 MZ 607

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB, RAM
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
8.2 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, IPS, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB SSD, 16 GB
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack,
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 2.1 EDR Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.99 x 138 x 216
:: Weight
0.382 kg
:: Battery
Lithium-Ion, 3900mAh
:: Price
549 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 3.2
:: Additional features
Webcam: 5 MP, 1.3 MP (Front), Motorola MotoCast, 24 Months Warranty

 

Can be used outdoors despite reflections.
Can be used outdoors despite reflections.
The Xoom 2 ME only comes with few accessories.
The Xoom 2 ME only comes with few accessories.
Motorola does not use a unibody case,
Motorola does not use a unibody case,
instead it uses an aluminum back and rubberized edges.
instead it uses an aluminum back and rubberized edges.
The lower speaker is left of the ports.
The lower speaker is left of the ports.
The content remains legible even from very slanted angles.
The content remains legible even from very slanted angles.
Motorola did not modify the Android interface much.
Motorola did not modify the Android interface much.

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Links

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Pro

+Handy and lightweight
+Bright screen
+High viewing angle stability
+Good workmanship
 

Cons

-Less power than its predecessor
-High price
-Tight internal memory

Shortcut

What we like

The case simply feels good and the Xoom 2's high-end screen is a treat for the eyes.

What we'd like to see

The internal memory's capacity is a bit tight. Moreover, no apps for managing media are preinstalled.

What surprises us

That the Xoom 2 ME amazingly produces so much sound. The sound experience is good for a tablet, even if it soon finds its limits.

The competition

Motorola's little tablet competes against its big brother, Xoom 2, as well as contenders from other manufacturers.

Rating

Motorola Xoom 2 MZ 607
04/24/2012 v2
Maximilian Moll

Chassis
92%
Keyboard
45%
Pointing Device
82%
Connectivity
49%
Weight
99%
Battery
91%
Display
87%
Games Performance
25%
Application Performance
40%
Temperature
94%
Noise
100%
Add Points
85%
Average
74%
86%
Tablet *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Motorola Xoom 2 MZ607 Tablet/MID
Author: Maximilian Moll, 2012-05-23 (Update: 2012-05-31)