Around the back is a two-tone effect of grey metal surrounded by a black rubberised material. One aspect our eyes were immediately drawn to was the screws on the back panel. Having visible screws on a product is often seen as a design faux-pas, but we don't mind it here. It gives the tablet an industrial, 'rough and ready' edge that's difficult to come by in a world guided by Apple's clean aesthetic values. Motorola claims that the rubber edging helps make the tablet 'splash-proof'. That's a vague term, but the example video on Moto's website shows spills ranging from small pipette droplets to a glass of wine spilling over it. We performed a few tasks in light rain and although the water on the screen stopped the multi-touch from working properly (as it would on all tablets), the wetness didn't do any damage. We wouldn't want to drop it in the bath, but you don't need to worry too much about the odd stray drip.
The rubber also helps make the tablet feel more secure against knocks and bumps, There's no flex offered when you poke and squeeze it and the rubberised volume rocker and power button have a satisfying click, Taken together, that all left us reassured that this isn't a tablet that you need to keep wrapped in cotton wool, At the top you'll find a 3.5mm sunshine iphone case headphone jack and on the bottom, a micro-HDMI port and a micro-USB connector for hooking up to a computer or for charging, There's also a flap that we assume was for an SD card (or possibly a SIM card if there were to be a 3G-enabled version), It's been filled in though, so you won't be able to expand the ME's 16GB of built-in memory with a removable card..
Rather than opt for the more usual 7-inch screens found on tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 or the Acer Iconia Tab A100, the ME packs an 8.2-inch display. Whether you particularly benefit from an extra 1-inch diagonal screen size is debatable but it's at least easier to hold for longer periods than the 10-inch slates. It has a resolution of 1,280x800 pixels, which is pretty good for the screen size. We found it to be bright, clear and handled colours well. Firing up one of our favourite YouTube test clips, we were impressed with how it displayed. We were equally chuffed with our 1080p-resolution test video, which provided rich colours and satisfying contrast.
With its skills at handling locally stored video files, the screen is perfectly adequate for media use, If you mainly intend to use your tablet for web browsing and reading ebooks though, you might benefit from the extra screen real estate offered by the 10.1-inch model, With its bright and clear screen, the ME is already off to a good start as a dedicated media tablet, Sadly though, elsewhere it doesn't appear to be quite so geared towards video playback, Firstly, to get your videos on to the device, you'll need to connect it to your computer, which in itself is fine, What's not okay is the fact that you need to have Motorola's MotoCast sunshine iphone case software installed before you can transfer any files..
Once it was all set up, we were able to drop in our MP4 video file as well as a couple of MP3s and some JPG images without trouble. Oddly, while there is a dedicated gallery for photos and a music player app, there's no specific video player. For a tablet that prides itself on its video skills, this seems like an unusual omission. Instead, your videos are mixed in among your photos in the standard gallery app. Motorola reckons that the ME offers 'booming bass' and 'virtual surround sound' from the built-in speakers. We played a few songs and videos through them and concluded that Motorola must have meant those claims ironically. The speakers are about as good as you'd find on any tablet -- not particularly loud and very tinny. They'll just about do the trick for a YouTube clip, but when you want to settle down with music or a movie, plug your headphones in.