updated 04:30 pm EST, Fri November 18, 2011
Verizon may hide Motorola Xoom 2 name at launch
Motorola's renaming of the Xoom 2 to Xyboard may have been confirmed after the spotting of both the device itself and its details. The 8.2-inch and 10.1-inch Android tablets will be rebadged as the Droid Xyboard 8.2 and 10.1, PocketNow heard. While not shown on the device itself, the tablet has both the Verizon logo and its 4G LTE badge, while the logo itself was included in the discovery.
Apart from 4G, the two are likely to stay the same. Both have dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP chips, upgraded displays, five-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front cameras, and much thinner and lighter builds than the sole 10.1-inch original. The 8.2-inch tablet, the Media Edition, is intended more as a consumption-first device with better speakers in return for the smaller but similar resolution screen.
Timing for the release isn't certain. Having press shots is usually a prelude to a release in the near future, but it would be unusual to ship in late November or December. This year, Motorola waited until CES in January to unveil the initial Xoom. A small-scale launch, however, might not be enough for Motorola to justify a special event.
Changing the name to Droid Xyboard would suggest that Verizon, Motorola, or both are hoping to escape the negative reputation earned by the original Xoom. In spite of a Super Bowl ad and official endorsement from Google, the Xoom had a lackluster release and has been shrinking over time, even with price cuts. Android tablets as a whole have sold poorly, but the Xoom was as thick and heavy as the original iPad and shipped with numerous promised features that didn't arrive until months later.