Just this morning we got our first official glimpse of two new Motorola tablets, the XOOM 2 and the XOOM 2 Media Edition, and just now we've got the first prices as set by Clove. For those of you that've never been there, Clove is a retailer that tends to the UK, and prices for these new editions have been set at £325 + VAT for the XOOM 2 and £299 + VAT for the XOOM 2 Media Edition. For comparison, the XOOM original with Wi-fi only currently costs £274.99 at the same store and cost £449.99 at launch. With only incremental updates to the specifications of these tablets over the original XOOM, is this Motorola's idea of a joke?
On the other hand, we've seen some very similar situations going on with other products of late with a "2" tacked on to them, for example the Atrix 2 has essentially the same changes made to it from 1 to 2. In particular, take note that the processor in both cases has switched from an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core chip to a OMAP4 Texas Instrument dual-core chip. In the ATRIX it stayed 1GHz, in the XOOM 2 it's a 1.2GHz, but in that these processors are so comparable that one might never know the difference between the manufacturers, we've got to ask: why add a 2 to the name?
It has a lot more to do with the shape and size, really more to do with the elements that the consumer, the general consumer, mind you, sees in the product. Though this new XOOM isn't all that more fantastic in its innards than the original, the XOOM 2 is lighter and has a look that fits in with the current line of Motorola products, the same being true about the ATRIX 2. Have a look at the post from earlier this morning on the XOOM 2 editions to see how they stack up against the XOOM which we reviewed all the way back in February of this year.
Then of course there's the Ice Cream Sandwich situation. While some might be having a heart attack over the fact that these tablets will not be released with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, I say this to you: how long do you think it took for devices to regularly be released with Gingerbread after the release on the Nexus S? Sure as heck not less than a few weeks, and in most cases, months! This is Google strategy - as spoken by the man himself:
Matias Duarte: It will be the same strategy we’ve done for all out other open source releases – put products on the market, then we open source it, and what this open source is – phones, tablets, everything is covered in it.
That quote has directly to do with the Open Source release of Ice Cream Sandwich, but because the Open Source release has very much to do with the allowance of other manufacturers to work with Android 4.0, you can expect devices AFTER the Galaxy Nexus is released, certainly not before. Check out the rest of that Q and A session here.