Home' LAPTOP Magazine : February 2012 Contents tabletS
A Step in the Right Direction
the Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1 is a sleek android tablet with very fast 4G lte speeds,
great sound, and universal remote capability.
When Motorola launched the original Xoom
last spring, the first Android Honeycomb
tablet turned heads with an attrac-
tive, widescreen-friendly interface,
but its bulky design, high price, and
buggy performance held it back.
Now Motorola’s back with the Droid
Xyboard 10.1, a sequel with a lighter
design, a new processor, universal
remote control capability, and Verizon
4G LTE baked in.
At 1.2 pounds and 9.9 x 6.8 x 0.3 inches,
the Droid Xyboard 10.1 is the lightest—
and one of the thinnest—10-inch tablets
on the market today. It weighs 0.1 pounds
less than the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer
Prime and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The Xyboard’s 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 screen is
one of the brightest and most colorful we’ve seen,
measuring 405 lux on our lightmeter test, comfortably
above the 370 lux tablet average. When we streamed
an HD YouTube trailer for The Avengers, images were
crisp, smooth, and colorful, even at extremely wide
viewing angles to the left and right.
Believe it or not, you can almost use the Xyboard
10.1 as a mini stereo, because the back-mounted
speakers are just that good. When we streamed
Everlast’s “What It’s Like” from Slacker, the music
was loud enough to fill a large room and rich
enough to match at least a bookshelf stereo.
Motorola includes an active stylus with the
Xyboard 10.1. Unfortunately, the pen feels thrown
in, with weak performance, an uncomfortable
feel, and few compatible apps pre-loaded on
the tablet. We experienced noticeable lag when
writing on the screen; tracing letters with our
finger seemed faster.
Thanks to its infrared sensor, the Motorola
Droid Xyboard 10.1 can also double as a universal
remote. Using the pre-loaded Dijit app, we were
able to connect the tablet to both our cable box
and our TV set with just a few quick taps. Overall,
channel surfing with the Xyboard 10.1 was easy
and pleasant, thanks to all the additional infor-
mation Dijit provides about each show, including
episode summaries, lists of upcoming episodes,
and cast information.
On our nationwide tests, Verizon’s LTE network
offered the fastest speeds of any 4G network, so
it was no surprise that the Droid Xyboard 10.1
delivered incredibly fast downloads. In our New
York apartment, ESPN.com loaded in average of
6.3 seconds, Laptopmag.com in just 8.6 seconds,
and the mobile version of NYTimes.com in just 2.8
seconds. On Speedtest.net, the Xyboard averaged
an amazing 26.7 Mbps down and 7.5 Mbps up.
The Xyboard 10.1 can also tether to your
notebook via USB or double as a Wi-Fi hotspot
so you can get up to five devices online at once
with its 4G connection.
With its 1.2 -GHz TI OMAP 4430 CPU
and 1GB of RAM, the Xyboard 10.1 had
no problem playing HD videos, surfing
the web, and zooming around the track in
demanding 3D games such as Riptide GP.
However, we experienced more instances
of lag and bugginess on the Xyboard than
on most recent Android tablets we’ve
Even after being plugged into an AC
outlet for 5 hours, the tablet had only gone
from a 15- to 90-percent charge, and then
it got stuck at 90 percent and would not
charge all the way to 100 percent.
The Droid Xyboard10.1 is a vast improve-
ment over the Motorola Xoom. It’s dramatically
thinner and lighter, offers a much better display,
and boasts best-in-class sound. We also appreciate
the super-fast 4G LTE speeds and this slate’s ability
to double as a remote control for your TV. However,
the Xyboard’s sometimes-laggy performance and
glacial charge time give us pause, especially when
a minimum commitment of $1,249 over t wo years
is involved. If you don’t need 4G in your tablet,
we prefer the quad-core-powered ASUS Eee Pad
Transformer Prime. And if you do want 4G LTE, we’d
wait until Motorola upgrades this slate to the new
Ice Cream Sandwich software and Verizon debuts
a family data plan that lets you share gigabytes
between your phone and tablet.
— Avram Piltch
(with two-year contract)
CPU: 1.2 -GHz TI OMAP 4430 Operating System:
Android 3.2 RaM/ROM: 1GB/32GB Display
Size/Resolution: 10.1 inches/1280 x 800 Wire-
less: 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR,
LTE Front Camera: 1.3 - M P Rear Camera:
5-MP Camcorder: 720p Ports: microUSB,
mini HDMI, headphone Size: 9.9 x 6.8 x 0.3
inches Weight: 1.2 pounds
Fast 4G LTE speeds with mobile hotspot
Remote control capability
Laggy performance at times
Takes too long to charge the battery
Stylus not very useful
We like the Xyboard’s aluminum and soft-touch rubber back,
but not the volume and power button placement.
Laptop | February 2012
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