Camera, Battery Life, Final Thoughts

Camera

Motorola's Xyboard tablets come equipped with 5 megapixel rear-facing cameras and 1.3 megapixel, fixed-focus forward-facing cameras. The 5 megapixel cameras have an LED flash, and all of the cameras, front-facing included, can record 720p HD video. That's pretty nice. Image quality both with and without flash is generally good for a tablet, though the 8.2's smaller stature makes it far easier to snap crisp shots. The 10.1's massive size makes shooting a photo something like walking around while holding a framed family portrait in front of you. It's not easy to do, and it just looks foolish.

Music

The Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1 and 8.2 use Google's Honeycomb music app, the one that is integrated with its cloud-based Google Music service. Users can play locally stored tracks as well as cloud-based ones, and easily create playlists or view their music organized by artist, album, song, genre, and "new and recent." Each option presents music in a different view, and only the "new and recent" view offers the cool 3D rendered scrolling flow of album art for some reason. Audio output is good through 3.5mm headphones (not included), and reasonable through the built-in speakers found on the tablets.

Battery

Motorola equipped its 10.1-inch Xyboard tablet with a large 7000mAh battery, which is 75% larger than the 3960mAh battery found in the 8.2 model. The 10.1 is rated for 10 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing (8 over LTE), while the 8.2 is rated 6 hours of Wi-Fi browsing (4.8 over LTE). Motorola rates the devices as being good for 33 days (10.1) and 19 days (8.2) of standby battery life. My use with both devices seems to suggest that these number are roughly accurate (apart from standby time, perhaps), and more or less on par with similar competing devices.

Final Thoughts

People that read my reviews frequently might have noticed about my preference for smaller tablets over larger ones. I simply find a 10.1-inch tablet unwieldy, even if it is relatively light. As such, I greatly prefer the cheaper 8.2-inch Droid Xyboard over the 10.1-inch model. Both are very nice, or at least as much so as Android Honeycomb allows, and they offer blazing LTE data speeds.

Price and required monthly data contracts will be their undoing though. In a world where Apple's iPad 2 is available for the same price as the Xyboard 10.1 and Amazon is offering a solid 7-inch Android tablet for less than half the cost of the 8.2, Motorola will be fighting uphill battles. Even if they are pretty nice machines.

75

Pros: Blazing 4G LTE speeds, attractive design, comfortable, dual 720p cameras.

Cons: Typical Android Honeycomb OS issues, expensive on-contract pricing. No microSD card slot.