Nexus 7 vs Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition
This time we stack the Motorola Xoom 2 up against the new Google Nexus 7 in an Android tablet showdown
We see how the new Google Nexus 7 compares to the similarly sized Xoom 2 Media Edition from Motorola.
Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition - 216x139x9mm, 385g
Nexus 7 - 198.5x120x10.5mm, 340g
Motorola clearly designed its two Xoom 2 tablets alongside the Razr smartphone as all these devices share the same design style. Instead of the usual rectangular slab, Motorola subverts the norm with a tapered design to each end, giving an almost eight-sided shape.
The back panel curves away slightly from the front and creates a trapezoid cross-section. On the back of the tablet there’s a metallic grey panel seated in the middle of a black surround – this black plastic material is the same as the nicely proportioned bezel which surrounds the touchscreen on the front.
The grey panel is edged with what appear to be rivets and these add a neat decorative touch which compliments the rest of the design to create a suitably space-age look. These factors make the Xoom 2 ME much more visually interesting than other contemporary slates.
A physical power button and a volume rocker sit rather oddly on the back panel, presumably this was intended to make operation easier when gripping in a certain way.
But, as usual with hard controls this kind of ‘outside-the-box’ thinking only serves to make the device more difficult to use in the myriad of ways you can hold it other than the one the manufacturer envisioned. The camera port is neatly seated into the top of the device’s back panel along with the Motorola logo a short distance below it.
In terms of build quality, the central insert on the back panel is made of metal while the rest is plastic, but it’s a very sturdy and good quality plastic which combines with an overall impressive level of fit and finish to create a device which is reassuringly robust in your hands.
The Nexus 7 may be Google’s Android Jelly Bean flagship device but it’s manufactured by Asus. If you’ve ever handled Asus hardware you’ll know that means the build quality is second to none. You can rest easy knowing the Nexus 7 isn’t going to fall apart and when it’s in your hands it feels solid.
The design is more in-line with what you might expect of a tablet than Motorola’s novel take on things. It follows the conventional rectangular shape but the proportions give an interesting look which is somewhat comparable to a giant smartphone handset.
The bezels along the longer sides are very thin while above and below the screen is an even amount of wider bodywork. The corners are rounded off but not too severely and overall we’d say the Nexus 7 is more angular than most 7-inch slates without being too harsh at the same time.
The Nexus 7’s back panel curves neatly at the edges and corners toward the front of the device and is coated with textured rubber for better grip. Around the edge, between the front bezel and the back panel, is a metal surround with a quality feel that gives some extra sturdiness to the tablet.
Both devices are equally well made and comparable in their portability. They’re also both very good looking but we’d say the Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition is visually distinctive enough from the rest of the pack to make it our preference on exterior design.
Winner – Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition
The Xoom 2 ME sports an 8.2-inch LCD capacitive multi-touch display which Motorola alleges is the ‘optimum size’ for a portable tablet device. It has Corning’s Gorilla Glass for extra protection, along with a 1280x800 pixel resolution and a pixel density of 184 pixels-per-inch.
Visual clarity is fairly uninspiring but, that said, it’s certainly not the worst we’ve seen, though colours and contrast are also distinctly mediocre. This is not an area in which the Xoom 2 ME excels.
Google’s Nexus 7, then, is much more impressive by comparison. It has a 7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive multi-touch screen with the same Gorilla Glass reinforcement and resolution as its opponent.
This along with the superior screen tech and slightly smaller expanse of glass means the pixel density comes out at a more satisfying 216 pixels-per-inch, which places the Nexus 7 near to some of the best tablet displays on the market, such as the iPad 3.
This is quite an easy win for the Nexus 7 which can push out visuals which are brighter, have better colour and are more crisp than those of its rival.
Winner – Nexus 7
The Google Nexus 7 has options for either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage, though currently you can only buy the 8GB model directly from the Google Play store. Each has 1GB of RAM but sadly there’s no micro SD capability.
The UK model of Motorola’s Xoom 2 ME is a similar story, it has 16GB of onboard space and 1GB of RAM. Unfortunately there’s no micro SD to be found here either.
Both devices are on a pretty much even footing here.
Winner - Draw