The original Motorola Xoom tablet with Android Honeycomb wasn't exactly a resounding success. I blame Motorola the most for that, because of their initial high price of $800 for the 3G version (also the only version in the first few weeks). The worst part was that it wasn't even that competitive with the soon to come up iPad 2. It was thick, heavy, and the display I thought was much worse. Motorola is unveiling the Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition tablets today. So what's changed, and do they deserve the "2" in their name, which implies being a true sequel to the initial product?
The 2 tablets feature a dual core 1.2 Ghz processor (most likely OMAP 4430), 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and they run Honeycomb 3.2. The Xoom 2 has a 10.1" display, while the Media Edition has a 8.2" one. Both displays are protected by Gorilla Glass. The resolution of the displays is the same 1280×800, which gives the Media Edition tablet a slightly higher PPI density. The chip inside them promises a 20% improvement in both CPU and GPU over the original Xoom.
The Xoom 2 is also lighter by 100 grams than Xoom 1, and it's about as slim as a Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is a welcome improvement, but it should've really been there since the original Xoom. Both tablets also come with a 5 MP rear camera, and a 1.3 MP front-camera for video chatting. You can also get a separate capacitive stylus for these tablets and you'll be able to use it with any note taking or drawing app.
The tablets are only available in UK and some other countries in Europe for now, but it should arrive in US shortly, too. The Xoom 2 is £380 and the Media Edition is £330, which should indicate a price of $400 and $350 in USA.
If I'm right, then the tablets would be competitive with other tablets in the market. However, I don't think they should've pretended they are Xoom sequels in this case. They don't seem like true sequels to the Xoom to me, because there's no radical improvement here. They don't have a much more powerful processor, and they don't even have Android 4.0 at launch. If they wanted to release kind of "mid-end" tablets, then I don't know why they kept the name.
It's possible that they feel the Xoom named was tarnished a bit, but since they did marketing for it, they want to take advantage of it for a little longer, so they are transforming it into their "mid-end" brand, while preparing a more radical tablet for $500, that might appear soon with Android 4.0, and possibly Tegra 3.