Wireless printing and video streaming set the Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1 apart from the crowd
So far, few Android tablets have caught fire; arguably, only the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has made any impression with buyers. That sleek, iPad-looking tablet offers the basics for both personal and business users in a nice package, and it's remained at the top of the Android tablet hill since it debuted six months ago. Motorola Mobility's new Droid Xyboard -- an awkward name meant to evoke the villainous cyborgs of "Battlestar Galactica" fame (a disturbing motif, frankly, carried through in its startup screen) -- poses a serious challenge to the Galaxy Tab.
Like the Galaxy Tab, the Xyboard (first released in the United Kingdom as the Xoom 2) runs Android 3.2 "Honeycomb," the original tablet-optimized version of Android, but Motorola says it will be upgradable to the new Android 4 "Ice Cream Sandwich" later this year. Based on what Android 4 offers on a smartphone, I don't expect it to make the Xyboard or any "Honeycomb" tablet work dramatically different. "Ice Cream Sandwich" is very much based on "Honeycomb."
[ See all of InfoWorld's tablet deathmatch comparisons and personalize the scores to your needs. | Compare the security and management capabilities of iOS, Windows Phone 7, Android, and more in InfoWorld's Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF report. ]
What makes the Xyboard stand out? On the hardware side, it has a 5-megapixel rear camera, which is a cut above most tablet cameras, though the images it produces are just average. Perhaps mindful of Apple's litigiousness and success defending its design patents in the courts, the Xyboard has a unique, tapered bezel that looks nothing like an iPad, yet is comfortable to hold. The Xyboard also weighs about the same as an iPad 2. Plus, it comes with a nicely designed stylus for precise tapping.
Xyboard mixes business and pleasure
The Xyboard's lone hardware flaw is the unfortunate positioning of the Sleep/Wake button right next to the volume rocker. I often put the Xyboard to sleep when I reached to increase the volume. The Xyboard also comes with a built-in 4G radio for the Verizon Wireless network, giving you access to very fast cellular connections in areas that have 4G networks installed. (It uses 3G elsewhere, along with connecting to Wi-Fi LANs.) Verizon sells a version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with a 4G radio as well, so this is not a Xyboard advantage.
But not everything that makes the Xyboard worth a look is hardware. It has some software innovations too; one will appeal to business users and another to personal users. That dual focus, likewise shown in its mix of apps, qualifies it as a tweener tablet.
|Test Center Scorecard|
|Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1||9||7||8||7||8||8|
You may still be better off sticking with Win7 or Win8.1, given the wide range of ongoing Win10...
With myriad problems now evident, it may be best to skip the Anniversary Update for now
An unlikely combination of two Windows updates can reduce scan times from hours to minutes
Breaches can and do happen in the cloud -- and it's usually IT's fault. Here's how to recover from one...
Pushback against municipal broadband and stalling tactics in granting access to utility poles keep...
A Java Development Kit proposal from Oracle would bring ahead-of-time compilation to the platform with...
Are you being paid what you're worth? Cloud compensation and services provider PayScale's latest IT...