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Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition

We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.

Motorola is releasing two versions of their new Xoom 2. The Media Edition version of the Xoom 2 is slightly smaller than the normal version with an 8.2-inch screen. It still runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and Android 3.2 “Honeycomb” operating system. The display is optimized for wide-viewing angles for videos. Like the normal version it comes with a 1.3 megapixel front camera and a 5 megapixel rear camera. It has 16 gigs of storage. The ME tablet has about 6 hours of battery life compared to 10 in the regular version. 

Features List:

- 8.2″ screen

- Android 3.2

- 1.3 and 5 MP cameras

- 16 GB of storage

- 6+ hours of battery life

- 1.2GHz dual-core processor

Digital Trends’ Tablet Buying Tips:

Battery Life

At the moment tablet battery life ranges between 7 and 10 hours, with the iPad 2 leading the pack at over 10 hours. As a rule of thumb you’ll want to at least make sure the tablet will last you through the day, so consider what your average usage might in a day be before purchasing a tablet.

Screen Size

How portable does your tablet need to be? How large do you want your screen? The Samsung Galaxy Tab has a 7-inch screen, while the iPad has a much larger 9.7-inch screen. With tablets, the choice is more crucial, because size is the only thing that separates them from smartphones like the iPhone and Droid. Some reviewers have argued that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is too small, and isn’t usable for many tasks above those that 3- or 4-inch smartphones already perform competently. Steve Jobs made the same argument when explaining why Apple chose a 9.7-inch screen size. Our advice: The best way to settle on size is to visit a nearby AT&T or Verizon store and try out both devices for yourself.

Apps

Apple’s App Store is more robust at this point than Google’s Android Market, and has more apps customized for larger tablet screens. Before you buy, it’s a good idea to search for a few apps that you consider high priority.

Wi-Fi or 3G?

Internet access is vital to tablets. As cool as these gadgets are, without the Internet, they can’t do much of anything.

Though Wi-Fi versions of most tablets are available, getting an always-on 3G connection is expensive. On most carriers, 3G access will run you about $30 a month for 5GB of “unlimited” data. On a tablet, it isn’t difficult to download 5GB of images, audio, and video from the Web in a month. AT&T is worse, offering only 2GB of data for $25 a month. Some carriers are even offering a $200 discount on the Samsung Galaxy Tab if you sign a two-year 3G contract. Before signing up for a plan like this, ask yourself if the $200 savings is worth the cumulative $720+ you’ll pay while locked into contract. Two years is a long time, especially in the tablet market.

What Operating System should I use?

It’s very important to choose an operating system that is easy to use and intuitive for you. Currently, the two dominant platforms are Apple iOS, which powers the iPad, and Google Android, which powers most of the non-Apple tablets. Fans from each camp could go on for pages about either OS, but the decision boils down to several key differences. Android has a number of exclusive features like Flash streaming support and home-screen widgets, but the iOS is generally a more stable and slick experience with more available apps. Mac or iTunes users will find iOS more accessible, while geeks and tinkerers will enjoy some of the freedoms Android offers.