My In-Depth Review of my Droid Xyboard 10.1 64GB with 4G LTE
Alright guys, as promised here is my in-depth review of the Droid Xyboard 10.1
Its important to note that I’m coming from an Archos 101 tablet, Gen 8 model, running Froyo, on a 1Ghz ARM processor with 256 MB of Ram!
I also have a Motrola Atrix 2 phone which I got recently running GingerBread on a 1Ghz TI OMAP4 dual Core processor with 1 GB ram
So that was the extent of my experience with Android.
I picked up the Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1 64GB and signed up for a two year contract with Verizon.
I wanted to first start off by saying, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this tablet… absolutely love love love it!
Yes its incredibly overpriced, and yes the 2 year contract is freaking ridiculous, but come to think of it, I would really like to keep the tablet for that long… or even longer, so the contract serves as a nice reminder for me not to upgrade the second something better comes out and avoid that vicious tech cycle that we all know :-D
Now, my justification for that crazy price is that, I consider the Xyboard a premium product. You see folks, initially when I purchased my Archos, I mainly just wanted to use it for watching movies on a plane (I travel a lot for work), and for some basic internet browsing. After using it for a while, I’ve discovered that this tablet could really be used for a lot more… but the weak processing power of the Archos is just flat out sad. So I realized its time to upgrade, and this new tablet would be used for much much more than just movie watching. I’m practically replacing my laptop with it (I have a 17” Sony which is pretty much a desktop now in my study),
So I use the Xyboard for work, and grad school, and movies, and playing games, and chatting, and internet, and a lot of things. 64 GB might be overkill, but since I’m keeping this for at least 2 years, I figured I’d look ahead to the future, and pay for that now, instead of regretting not having storage later down the line!
I spent a lot of time debating whether to get the Xyboard or the Quad Core Transformer Prime. Really… I freaking stressed about it.
Now on paper, everything was screaming GET THE PRIME!!!!!! But my heart was just not convinced… Aside from the fact that I’m really biased towards Motorola Products (I once spent months scouring the earth trying to find the original Motorola Q unlocked in GSM when it was first announced), and aside from the fact that I really prefer to buy American Brands (Very Cliché – I know)….
I was just worried about the Asus being the first Quad Core tablet, what sort of bugs would arise…. There was a major problem with wifi in the first batch released, and I’m hearing its happening even with later batches that got shipped out to customers, plus there’s also a GPS problem, plus I was concerned about the single speaker (which lies RIGHT where you would be holding the tablet), and some people on forums have stated the touchscreen has its blips!
For some strange reason I just KNEW I would regret not buying theXyboard – I dunno why, it was just a feeling, and now that I have it…… I’m soooooo glad I never bought the Asus and I bought this tablet instead.
Now, enough blabbing, let me start the review, and break it up into different sectors.
I know a lot of people hate the name, but I liked it… Maybe its because I’m biased toward Motorola, but I thought it was original… A. Because they linked it with the Droid brand which has been hugely successful, and B. Xyboard get a geek like me very excited! I feel like I’m about to take on SKYNET with this bad boy! I don’t blame people for thinking it’s a dumb name! But I like it.
2. Design and Hardware:
Ok, I personally think this is the sexiest tablet on the Market… The design is obviously mimicking the Droid Razr… but in my eyes its very reminiscent of the original Motorola Q (The silver version released with Verizon and Sprint – not the black GSM version).
We all know very well those tapered edges were done to avoid lawsuits from Apple, Motorola should just drop the whole “they were made to make the tablet easier to hold” – which is not the case, the edges dg into your palm and are annoying, nothing unbearable but if you hold it in landscape mode for a long time you will definitely start feeling them digging in. Again this isn’t all that annoying, but its only fair to point out that its there!
The back is aluminum and feels and looks AWESOME! I also really like the rubber lining, both for aesthetics and for the way they feel in your hand, just makes it less slippery when holding and doing work.
The Droid Xyboard feels VERY STURDY!!!! Maybe not as sturdy as the original Xoom because that thing was built like a tank, but it feels like a quality build! Especially when I compare it to my Archos 101 which is all plastic on the (except for the internal metal frame), the Archos 101 just feels very cheap when compared side by side… But the Archos feels lighter in the hand…. Again its not that Xyboard feels heavy, its just heavier but STURDIER than the Archos! But I guess its not really fair to compare a budget tablet like the Archos which is $300 and a premium tablet like the Xyboard which is 730!
I know that the power button on the Xoom was a huge complaint, and its not much better on the Xyboard either. Its not AWFUL… but its not the best design… just takes a few seconds to find it in the back, I have yet to have to turn the tablet over to turn it on and have not pressed the volume buttons by accident or anything. By the way, the volume buttons are raised a bit higher so easier to control, the power button is more recessed so needs some work to make sure you’re pressing it right. Not terrible, but not great either!
The TI OMAP4 Dual Core processor is really very snappy… nothing out of this world, but you wouldn’t use it and go “ewwwww this tablet is so slow” no no no, its very impressive! More on this in the software section!
WOW…. JUST WOW!!!!!!! The IPS Screen is AWESOMMMMMMMMEEE!!!!!!! I can’t say that enough, its HOT!!!!! I was never one who though that the Xoom’s screen was THAT bad (granted I’ve never owned one, I’m going only by my tinkering with it in Best Buy), but the Xyboard’s IPS screen blows the Xoom’s screen away… This is important for me because as I said I watch a lot of movies on my tablet, so this could come in handy.
I have the brightness always set to 30% and even then its PLENTY BRIGHT!!!!! Albeit, I still would prefer it to be even BRIGHTER than it is now… but really, I don’t think there is room for complaining, the quality is just superb!
Again, comparing it to my Archos – which was also always set to 30%, it blows it away, the archos screen, wasn’t very good – it wasn’t terrible, but it had poor viewing angles, plastic display, and it only had a resolution of 1024X600… So the Xyboard 1280X800 IPS screen really does a number on it…. It has awesome viewing angles too!! You can practically hold the Xyboard completely to the side and still comfortable watching whatever is playing.
I did notice though that my Atrix 2 set to 30% is noticeably brighter than the Xyboard set to 30%... guess that qHD screen they have on the Atrix 2 is no joke :-D
There is just one bug regarding the screen that REALLY annoys me… For some reason, sometimes when I take the tablet out of sleep mode, the screen will be set to MAXIMUM brightness!!!!! Even if I have it set to 30%, dunno why it does that… I end up having to press the power button one more time, then press it again and its back to my normal setting.
I guess that’s really a software problem…. Its not a deal breaker or anything, just gets obnoxious, because I have the Auto-Brightness set to off.
Since I’m coming from Froyo and Gingerbread, Honeycomb is very new to me. Albeit it’s a very sexy interface, but its not without its fault!
To be fair the software for the most part is VERY snappy…. Does what I want it to do right when I want it to do it, just like gingerbread on my atrix 2 which is also a TI OMAP4 Dual Core…
But honeycomb does every now and then have some hang ups and lags! For the most part though its not a big deal..
BUT… this is what pissed me off more than anything, I’ve had the tablet for 1 week… and I’ve already had 3 or 4 random reboots…. These are the things that piss me off beyond belief… now, I’m a major techie and I know not all electronics function 100% perfectly, but still it really got to me. Nevertheless, its important to note that I was really pushing the tablet when all this happened, I had multiple sites open, some videos, 3D games, etc… so its not just doing it on its own!
Overall, I really can’t complain much about the software. They promised that the Xyboard will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, so we’ll wait and see what improvements this will add.
Also, strangely enough, the Xyboard does not come with any stock File Manager, I dunno how this tablet passed a quality check while missing this feature! Anyways, I ended up installing Astro File Manager and problem solved, I just thought it was REALLY WEIRD! lol
5. 4G LTE
I haven’t used this feature much, I mainly use it with wifi, but the instances that I used the 4G LTE, it was FAST… I ran a speed test and got 24 MB/S
When I do use the mobile network, I usually use it on 3G which is really plenty fast, and save the battery draining 4G LTE mainly for streaming videos!
Also, just for the hell of it, I tethered the Xyboard to my Atrix 2 using Bluetooth and got it running on AT&T’s HSPA+ 3G network, and it worked just fine! :-D So its cool, if ever I’m travelling in a non-CDMA area, I can always tether it to a GSM phone and still have web access!
6. Video playback
This is a very important feature for me, because I am a big movie buff, and I will be using the tablet a lot for movie watching…. So it came as a major shock to me to see that the stock video player on this tablet kinda sucks. It wouldn’t play any of my HD movies (some Xvid, Avi’s, all 720p), even though the specs say it will play 1080p… Not sure whats going ont and was kinda pissed by this!
If Archos did anything right with their tablet, its that their tabs will play ANYTHING and Everything, throw at it any 1080p MKV Blu Ray Rip and it will play without a single stutter!
Anyways, to bypass this issue, I downloaded both Mobo Player and Rock Player, set to soft decoding (not sure what the hell that means) but my 720 p movies played just fine then, and looked ABSOLUTELY STUNNING on the IPS screen! Problem solved I guess! I have yet to try any 1080p movies, so I can’t really comment on that!
Ok this is really a hit and Miss…
Riptide plays AWESOME on the Xyboard, beautiful graphics (minus the water effects you get on the prime due to the Quad Core power), but it ran for me without any lags or stuttering, great response, really no complaints there!
Grand Theft Auto III also ran excellently on the Xyboard…. There were a few instances of SLIGHT stuttering but it wasn’t anything all that noticeable, and the game was very playable and enjoyable!
Gameloft games are where the major problems lie! I dunno if someone at Texas Instruments slept with some Gameloft executive’s girlfriend, or what… but most of the gameloft games do no play nice at all with the Droid Xyboard!
Few games work…. For example, Lets Golf is pre-installed on the Xyboard and plays just fine!
But many of the Gameloft games just flat out do not show up on the android market, and when I sideload them, they will either A. Not Function at all, or B. the Introduction/cutscene of that game will play but when it comes to the actual game it will either shut off or the screen just turns white and you can still hear the game sounds.
I tried, Nova, Asphalt 6, 9mm, backstab, Rainbow Six, Nova 2, - these games all had problems!
I WAS able to install the Galaxy Nexus version of Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus – and that game plays fine with very smooth graphics and no hiccupts, but it doesn’t take up the whole screen… I guess because it was meant for a different device.
Heavy Gunner 3D, installed fine and plays, but has some CRAZY lags, so I uninstalled it!!!!! (But it worked just fine on my Atrix 2)…
Angry birds play with no problems whatsoever!! So do some other games like Frontline, Blood and Glory, Captain America, Madden NFL 12! Those work perfectly!
I see Shadowgun and Samurai II Vengeance both on the Android market, and from whatever I’ve seen online they play well on the xyboard too!
So its kinda just gameloft that’s having the major glitches! Not sure why they were so focused on just the Tegra 2 devices!
Not gonna say much about this, because at the end of the day its still a tablet, not a home theater, but I have no complaints, the sound is good, the two speakers perform well…. And the output through headphones is very good too!
Haven’t used it much, but its good (not great), its 5MP for the back one, and 1.3MP for the front – don’t really think one needs more than that on a tablet…. My Atrix 2 is 8MP and does 1080p video capture… so if I must take a pic, it will usually be with the phone, but its good to know that the one on the tablet is there (The Archos only had a front facing camera so this is an upgrade for me!)
Something I can’t get much info about is, I dunno if the video capture for the rear camera is 720p or 1080p, I really can’t find much about it, and right next to the camera the words written are “HD Video” - my atrix 2 says “8MP 1080P) – not sure about that one, maybe somebody can shed some light on this, I’ve heard two different things so I really dunno – guess I can go test it out on the device itself – but I’m lazy :-D
Battery is EXCELLENT!!!!! Engadget rated it at 8:55 hours, I say that sounds about right, maybe even longer if you’re just web browsing and not watching many videos or gaming… the Xyboard just won’t die!!!! And its standby time is awesome!!! I left it not charging over night, turned it on 8 hours later in the morning and the battery was still at 100%
Overall, I honestly have to say, I’m soooooooooooooo happy I bought this of the Asus Transformer Prime…… I’m sure that that the Asus is awesome and has a lot going for it…. But if anything, my heart is right there with Motorola and the Droid Xyboard. VERY happy with my purchase, and no regrets for paying that outrageous price! Note that, its STILL more than $100 cheaper, than a 64GB ipad 2 with 3G But I’m not gonna sit here and compare…. Apples VS Oranges…er… Android!
Should you upgrade your Xoom to the Xyboard? I really dunno… The Xoom is an awesome product, and it will be getting ice cream sandwich. If you’re happy with it and can look past the screen and the form factor, then I really don’t see why you should upgrade! If I had a Xoom, I probably wouldn’t have!
I upgraded to the Xyboard because I was coming from an Archos – which at the end of the day is really a budget/el-cheapo tablet!
Yes I probably could’ve gotten a Xoom and been plenty happy, but since the latest and (greatest?) was available and my budget at this time permitted it, I decided to go for this!
One thing that was hard for me to accept was the fact that I have a 32GB Micro SD card in my Archos (which by the way, now I will be selling my Archos, if anyone is interested :-D) and was very hard to justify to myself paying more for memory, when I have memory sitting there, but I guess I was able to finally look past that lol. Seems that this is where things are headed considering the Samsung Galaxy Nexus also does not have a MicroSD slot just like the Xyboard!
I ended up taking the 16GB micro SD out of my phone, and put in the 32GB one.
Well, this is what I have to say about this. Overall, VERY HAPPY! No regrets, and looks like I’ll be using this baby for a while… Not only did I have to sign a contract with Verizon, had to promise the wifey two years with this tablet to justify the ridiculous price :-D Guess you can say its an investment of some sort!
Feel free to shoot me any questions or concerns and I’ll be happy to answer them to the best of my ability!
All the best!
12-31-2011 08:55 PM
Than for this my wife wanted this tablet ..for Valentine's so I'm going to get it by then a how to root should be out
Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
Great write up,thanks
Sent from my SCH-I510 using Tapatalk
Nexus 4 - CyanMod 10.1
SGS-II - Rooted - Jedi Mind Trick VX3
Samsung Note II - Jedi Master 13
Motorola Xoom - WiFi - Rooted - EOS 4.2.1 Nightlies
Awesome reply! Im loving my Xyboard 8.2 as well! Thanks for pointing out the lack of file manager.. i didnt even notice!
Sent from my MZ609 using Tapatalk
Great write up.
If I was living in the US, I probably would've purchased the XYBoard. In the UK only a 16GB model is available, so I went for the cheap, bigger 32GB OG Xoom.
I started reading a book yesterday on my Xyboard, I'm amazed at how much more comfortable it is than the Xoom in portrait and how much easier it is to read on this screen. Put the screen at minimum brightness and it's just fantastic. Already 10% through the book in a single day.
For a second there I thought you meant a book about the xyboard, I was like "there are books out there about this tablet?" Lol
Originally Posted by Elysian893
Hey Elysian, are you getting any hang ups or random reboots? I get them every now and then at random times, even when I just do something as simple as just opening up the Web browser!
Sent from my MZ617 using Tapatalk
According to motorola's UK site, there are 32GB and 3g versions of the Xoom 2 coming soon!
Originally Posted by Kurumu
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