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Motorola Xoom 2 set to launch, sorta

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Reuters

(Read caption) The Xoom 2 is scheduled for a 2011 launch in the UK and Ireland. But don't hold your breath for a US launch of the Xoom 2.

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Last February, Motorola launched a tablet called the Xoom. The Xoom received middling marks from critics, who liked the 1-GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and 10-inch display, but were turned off by the weight (a relatively hefty pound and a half) and the price (a very high $800 for an unsubsidized Xoom). At any rate, the Xoom never got much traction, and according to one analyst, by April, sales were hovering around 100K units. 

At that point, Motorola had a couple options: Admit defeat – and cede the market to the iPad juggernaut – or take another whack at tablets.

They chose option 2. Sort of. This week, Motorola took the wraps off the Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition, a pair of next-generation tablets. But here's the catch: The new Xooms will be available initially only in the UK and Ireland (Business Insider reports that a US launch for the Xoom 2 has not been scheduled). 

Both the Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition will ship with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, the Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system, and a Gorilla Glass display. The Xoom 2 Media edition, however, gets an 8.2-inch display, as opposed to the 10.1 inch screen on the regular Xoom 2. So how does the new Xoom line stack up? 

Well, over at the Inquirer, Chris Martin lauds the lighter weight – 1.3 pounds for the Xoom 2 and less than a pound for the Xoom 2 Media edition – and the new design. "The tablet now has cut off corners in its redesign, which make it easier to hold. We found this to be nice, avoiding sharp edges digging into the palm of your hand," Martin writes. Still, his says the Xoom 2 did not set his heart "racing." 

Full reviews to come. Interested in the Xoom 2? Drop us a line in the comments section. 

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