Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Vs Motorola Xoom 2 (Droid Xyboard): Tablet Showdown

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is a newly announced Android tablet that is yet to be made available in the market. As a matter of fact, a lot of you may be thinking of getting one but you just can’t get your mind set as you are confronted with a number of choices. There’s the Xoom 2 from Motorola, the Transformer Prime from Asus and the new iPad from Apple. We really can’t blame you if you are still weighing your options.

And speaking of which, we are about to compare the specs and features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (model number N8000) against the specs and features of the Motorola Xoom 2 (model number MZ615). In this comparison, we hope give you a clearer picture as to why the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is a must have tablet especially to those who are quite hooked to sketches and quick notes.

Galaxy Note 10.1 Vs Xoom 2

To give you an overview, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is a 10.1 inch Android Ice Cream Sandwich powered tablet that was officially launched at the 2012 Mobile World Congress. It can also take pride of its unique S-Pen technology that you can use to draw some pictures or doodles. As for the Motorola Xoom 2, it is better known in the US market as the Motorola Droid Xyboard Wi-Fi Only Edition. Just like the Galaxy Note 10.1, the Xoom 2 can also take pride of its 10.1 inch display. The tablet was released last December and can now be availed at selected retail stores. It currently runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb but Motorola did make a promise that it will be upgrading the slate’s firmware to Android Ice Cream Sandwich version 4.0. Now, it’s time for you to assess the features and specs of these two new Android tablets. Which do you think is better, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 or the Motorola Xoom 2? The final verdict will be revealed at the end of this comparison.


Design wise, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 resembles the design of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Even so, we do commend Samsung for making a slate appear like one instead of deviating from the usual. It highlights its minimalistic design with smooth curves. It’s definitely comfortable to hold. There’s no edgy lines and the tablet really looks solid, premium and most of all – durable. You won’t be seeing any tactile buttons at its front. Anyways, it doesn’t need one because it runs on Android 4.0. You will also be able to see that its speakers have been neatly placed on the upper left and right sides that’s if you put the tablet on landscape mode. Meanwhile, the back cover of the tablet is made up of soft plastic. Sadly, you won’t be able to find any slot for the S Pen. The tablet does not go any thicker than 8.9mm with an average weight of 583 grams. Light enough to be placed inside your bag or purse.

On the other hand, the Motorola Xoom 2’s design is the opposite of the Galaxy Note 10.1. It appears to have an edgy look with tapered edges or corners. It looks more rugged in its striking design and it opts to come in black matte instead of silver. You’ll also be able to notice that the usual the most of the tablet’s buttons have been relocated and its speakers have been placed higher in order to avoid those awkward instances wherein your hands were actually covering the speakers. Also, it is worth to mention that the Motorola Xoom 2 is thinner than the Galaxy Note 10.1 as it has a slim body that does not go any thicker than 8.8mm. It weighs heavier though but still very portable to be gripped and carried with one hand.


Both tablets are equipped with 10.1 inch displays with 800 x 1280 pixels of full screen resolution. In fact, both are equal in pixel density as both have been set to show images in 149ppi. But still, that doesn’t take away the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 sports a PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen display while the Motorola Xoom 2 flaunts its HD-IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display with Corning Gorilla Glass Protection. It’s also spill proof and splash resistant. Thus, you don’t have to be overprotective of your tablet.

When it comes to the image quality, it is apparent that the Motorola Xoom 2’s display is better than the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. The colors are more vivid and you will definitely be able to appreciate the true quality of your photos and videos.


The Xoom 2 may be better in terms of the display quality but you might not be a bit disappointed once you learn that it’s still running on Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Come to think of it, Honeycomb is the first ever Android OS that’s been optimized for tablets but there are certain features that the said platform can’t provide. You don’t have to be frustrated though. The tablet’s firmware will eventually be upgraded to Android ICS 4.0 but we aren’t so sure if you are going to wait for a few more weeks or months.

But if you opt for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, you don’t have to wait for any updates. That’s because the slate will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and it will also be pre-loaded with a Photoshop Touch app that you can use to make your daily doodles. Of course, with Ice Cream Sandwich, you will have a tablet with a redesigned user interface and you will have the freedom to make the most out of your tablet’s new set of features and functions.


When it comes to performance, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 relies on its 1.4GHz dual core ARM Cortex A9 Exynos processor while the Motorola Xoom 2 relies on its 1.2GHz dual core Cortex A9 TI OMAP 4430 processor. The former packs a Mali 400MP graphics while the latter packs a PowerVR SGX540. We can say that both tablets are very reliable and responsive. You can multi-task without being annoyed with frequent crashes and errors. You can even launch a couple of high-end applications. HD videos can be played without lags.

But when it comes to storage, the SD card slot that’s supposed to be pre-installed on the Motorola Xoom 2 appears to be market dependent. That means, there are certain units that would offer you the ability to store your files via micro SD card and there are certain units wherein you will be left no other choice but to make the most out of your slate’s internal storage. Both slates are packed with 1GB of RAM but the Galaxy Note 10.1 gets the lead when it comes to storage because its SD card slot isn’t optional and it comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage variants. Meanwhile, the Xoom 2 has a market dependent SD card slot and you will only be allowed to choose between its 16GB and 32GB of storage variants.


It’s a bit odd to use a tablet for taking a bunch of still shots. Anyways, if ever you feel like doing so, you can rely on the Galaxy Note 10.1’s 3.15MP rear camera with auto focus, geo-tagging and LED flash. As for the Motorola Xoom 2, it can provide you with its 5MP rear camera with auto focus, geo-tagging and LED flash. The 5MP camera of the Xoom 2 is obviously better than the 3.15MP camera of the Note 10.1.

But honestly, tablets are often used for video chats. So it’s better to have a slate with a decent front camera. In this aspect, the Galaxy Note 10.1 gains the lead over the Motorola Xoom 2 because of its 2MP front facing camera. The latter’s 1.3MP front camera may not be as good as the Note 10.1 but decent enough to provide you with a clear shot.


Obviously, both tablets can connect via Wi-Fi. But the Galaxy Note 10.1 has more options since it can allow you to call and send SMS. Yes, it functions like a smartphone. You’ll also be able to take advantage of its 3G, Bluetooth and USB 2.0 connection. Meanwhile, the Motorola Xoom 2 MZ615 is a Wi-Fi only tablet without any ability to send SMS or make calls. It doesn’t even support 3G and you’ll have to use its micro USB 2.0 port instead of having a full sized USB port. For file transfers, you can rely on the slate’s Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP + EDR.


Right now, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is yet to be made available in the market. From what we have heard, its price will be higher than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. There’s no fixed detail regarding the tablet’s price but there’s a possibility that it will sell for no less than 600 US Dollars. As for the Motorola Xoom 2, you can get one for a starting price of 499 US Dollars. It’s cheaper than the Galaxy Note 10.1.


The Motorola Xoom 2 may be cheaper and the difference is just 100 US Dollars (that’s based on rough estimates) but if you think deeper, it does not have the S-Pen and you’ll have to seek for the variant with a micro SD card. Of course, the said features are optional but if you’re a media-centred person (say a Video or Photo enthusiast or something), it would be best for you to get the tablet with value-added features. Imagine if you would buy a Wacom pen, that’s already worth a hundred bucks but with the Galaxy Note 10.1, you’ll get it along with other features and you can also make the most out of your slate’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. The display quality of the tablet may not be as good and vivid as the Xoom 2 but its decent enough for you to view.

We can say that we prefer the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 over the Motorola Xoom 2 but the final verdict will still be up to you.

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