Review: Motorola Xyboard 8.2

Motorola about a year ago introuced us to the Motorola Xoom. It was one of the first tablets to supply us with the Honeycomb 3.0 Android OS. It boasted some pretty impressive specs along side a pretty high price tag. It had a 10.1 screen and was available on the Verizon network. Now releasing is its successor the Droid Xyboard. It is available in two sizes of 8.2 and 10.1 ranging from 16 to 64GBs(64GBs 10.1 only). The name itself can throw you off as some people dont realize what it is unless you call it the Xoom 2 which its called in the UK.

Hardware/Specs

Out the box I’d have to say this is one of the better in the hand tablets I’ve held. On the back in the middle is a metal plate with six exposed screws. Around the metal is a black rubber which gives you a pretty good grip on the tablet. Also located on the back is the your Power button, and volume controls. Not a fan of this placement of buttons. While it gives the tablet a good look and feel, you may find yourself flipping the tablet over to find these buttons at times. The corners are curved which feels great when resting in your hands for long periods of time.

This is something you maybe familiar with using the Xoom. There is a HD camera that sports 5.0 MP with a 4x zoom and LED flash, and 720p for video recording. Flip the Xyboard over and you have the lovely display which presents a IPS-enhanced HD display which looks pretty good from a distance and angles. It also has a water repellent nano coating I can imagine good for the rain or you like to spill stuff often. And lets not forget about the 1.3 MP camera for self portraits or using apps such as Skype.

On top of the Xyboard is a IR blaster which can be used with app Dljit to control your TV, Set-Top Box,etc. On the bottom is a USB port and a Micro-HDMI port. There is a slot for the LTE simcard but you most likely wont be messing with that, it feels a little insecure too.

Audio

The Xyboard boasts a 3D virtual surround sound experience as it has a speaker on each side. This maybe one of my biggest gripes as when held in landscape mode your hands can end up covering the speakers and muffling the sound. I have done so many times as that’s usually where u rest your hands on a tablet holding it. In turn I’d have to change my handling of it or hold it in portrait mode which isn’t always the best depending on your use. Otherwise it can get pretty loud.

Performance

Built inside of the Xyboard is a 1.2-GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 32GB of onboard memory. These would lead to some impressive multitasking. Mostly regular use I could open, close apps with ease, browse the web and listen to music without problems. Then were random cases when the tablet would just freeze out of the blue, leaving me at a standstill for minutes. I had to try to power off the tablet and restart.

 

The most impressive thing going on here is its services are running under that of the Verizon 4G LTE. Things would load up without a pinch and found the speeds at times rivaling my own home network. I have seen it hit over 30 MBPS. That is expressive compared to some of the other speeds seen on other carriers. I never seen stuff download and stream so good.

I didn’t see any decrease in speed except for when there was that brief outage. But other then that it’s been smooth sailing. Using it over WIFI was cool too. It ran good off there. I tried to use the Mobile Hotspot capabilities but no good. Maybe since its a review unit, who knows.

Using the Xyboard on WIFI I seen the battery life last around 8+ hours with normal use. Use it with the 4G LTE and you may luckily get pass 5+ hours. Make sure you have your charger handy if your going to put some heavy use on this bad boy.

 

Software

Running on the Xyboards are Android 3.2 Honeycomb and it actually doesn’t feature too much bloatware which in a sense is pretty good. Motorola didn’t do much to the UI which is a sight to see. There are some apps that they added such as MotoPack which is supposed to be the “essential” apps you need. Games like Madden 12, Lets Golf 12′ and Skitch are also added.

Best thing is the seamless multitasking. The dual screens that Honeycomb likes to give you is all baked in here. Its great when using Gmail. The button on your bottom left is appreciated to go through prior things you used and can even see a preview of. Motorola also promises Ice Cream Sandwich on here, should add some nice additions.

Wrap Up

The Xyboard is a nice addition to the family of Android tablets out on the market. Once again could used a better name. Battery Life could be better, its a very light tablet and I’m a big fan of the size. The 4G LTE speeds are something its competition doesn’t have at this moment. Only thing, the new tablets releasing soon, like those running quad cord processors may overshadow it in the long run.

The Motorola Xyboard 8.2 & 10.1 is available their Verizon Wireless starting at $429 plus with contract. Wifi Models are also available as of 1/18/11 starting at $399.99