At the tale end of last year Motorola introduced two new Android tablets. The Motorola Xyboard 10.1 and the Motorola Xyboard 8.2 were the follow up tablets to the Motorola Xoom. As we are all well aware the Xoom was the tablet used to introduce Android 3.x Honeycomb to the world. It was a pioneer a little ahead of it’s time but the Xyboard tablets are right where they need to be.
We’ve played around with the 8.2 at CES and other trade shows. We had the Xyboard 10.1 in our office for a while and got to know it pretty well.
First off it has a more octagon form factor reminiscent of some of the newer Motorola Droid phones. It’s 10.1 inches and .34 inches deep. Most of the other tech sites have faulted the weight of the Motorola Xyboard 10.1 which comes in at 1.3 pounds. We don’t fault this. We actually like a tablet with a little weight to it that doesn’t feel flimsy. It’s a rock solid piece of hardware.
More after the break
The Xyboard 10.1 comes in three flavors; 16gb, 32gb and 64gb. In the box you also get a wall charger (proprietary), microUSB data cable, stylus pen and of course the user guides. Don’t be intimidated by the new awkward name, this is really the Xoom 2 and it’s branded as such in other parts of the world.
The Xyboard 10.1 has a 4G LTE radio already pre-installed. That was one of the things people didn’t like about the original Xoom. The original Xoom was pushed out to market with a 3g radio and when the 4G radio was ready owners needed to send their tablet in for the upgrade. Xooms produced after the 4G radio was ready were sold with 4G/LTE pre-installed.
The Xyboard has two cameras which come in handy. The rear camera is a 5 mega pixel camera with LED flash capable of shooting HD video. The pictures that came off the tablet were great and the videos were comparable with Android smartphones with similar hardware. It is a bit awkward using the tablet as your primary point and shoot but for convenience it’s definitely a big plus. The 1.3 mp camera on the front is perfect for video chatting over wifi, 3G or 4G something even the new iPad can’t do.
The Xyboard features a 10.1″ iPS enhanced HD display which makes movies and videos pop off the screen. It has the same 1280×800 resolution as the 8.2 version of the Xyboard tablet.
Motorola supplies a stylus pen with the tablet but they don’t make a lot of noise about it like Samsung and HTC have done with their “digital pens” the stylus worked fairly well however at 10 inches and the fact that I’m not an artists, the stylus wasn’t a necessary accessory.
In the performance category we’re looking at a 1.2ghz TI OMAP 4430 processor which is pretty fast. TI’s OMAP processor maximizes the use of each core individually so that you don’t get any lag and it’s no different in the Motorola Xyboard. Benchmark tests have shown the Xyboard functions right where it should for dual core technology.
From a non tech users perspective you would notice that changing from app to app is speedy. Going from home screen to home screen is also flawless. There is a little lag when running live wallpapers but who really uses live wallpapers.
The internet is where the Xyboard really excels. On Wi-Fi it’s speedy as heck and streaming movies is flawless. It’s also pretty flawless when streaming movies on Verizon’s 4G/LTE network, of course you want to watch the movie streaming and high data consumption when you’re not on wifi. In fact a pretty good practice is to remember to turn your wifi on when you have it available to you.
We played most of our favorite games without flaw on the Xyboard (even ones optimized for Tegra like Hockey Nations).
We were able to get a full 8 hours of moderate use out of the Xyboard including watching one Netflix movie streaming over 4G/LTE.
The Xyboard also features an IR blaster and Dijit software to make a home control unit out of your tablet. It’s a great thing to have on board a tablet but the family is going to get pissed if you take the awesome universal remote control to work with you every day.
Motorola has done a great job of updating their tablet line. We’re sure in the coming months we’ll start to hear Motorola jumping on the quad-core bandwagon however if you’re ready for a tablet now there’s no reason to NOT get the Motorola Xyboard 10.1. Now Motorola’s tablet marketing, that’s a whole other issue.