Specs and screen
Internally, the Xyboard 8.2 is almost identical to every first-generation Android tablet, including the original Xoom. It runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. All the normal sensors and special features are present: GPS, accelerometer, digital compass, barometer, etc. There is no microSD, sadly.
We ran a Quadrant benchmarking test and the Xyboard 8.2 scored a 2,800, which is exactly the same score as the Xyboard 10.1 achieved in our tests, easily outpowering the Galaxy Tab 7.0 and 8.9, which each scored between 2,000 and 2,500. For reference, an original Motorola Droid would score about 300 to 400 in a Quadrant test.
The front and rear cameras are present and take pictures and 1080p video, but do not impress in any meaningful way. We did limited testing of the Xyboard’s rear camera in dim, macro, outdoor, and indoor environments, and found it to be rather crappy at almost everything. Pictures were washed out and grainy. The shutter speed is quite slow. Much like most Motorola devices, this will take pictures in a pinch, but don’t buy the Xyboard if camera quality is your number-one concern.
The IPS LCD display on the Xyboard 8.2 has the same 1280 x 800 pixel resolution that most Android tablets (and high-end Android smartphones) have, which looks especially good on an 8.2-inch screen. Though we’d say that the 8.2 is closer to a 7-inch tablet than an iPad-sized device, the normal 1024 x 600 resolution that tablets in this range carry just isn’t enough to properly run Android Honeycomb. Kudos to Motorola for keeping the higher resolution, despite the Xyboard 8.2’s petite size.
Verizon data speeds
We tested the 4G LTE Verizon version of the Xyboard 8.2, though there is a Wi-Fi-only version available. In Manhattan, New York, we attained speeds that were typical of Verizon’s network. We averaged about 6Mbps to 12Mbps down and 8Mbps to 10Mbps up. We tested out the same network in the same location at the same time with a Galaxy Nexus, and achieved about equal speeds on both devices. Both results are faster than our Manhattan tests just last week with the Galaxy Nexus and Xyboard 10.1.
It’s usable, but not nearly as good as the Xyboard 10.1. We have not performed a full battery rundown test, but the device can keep a charge on idle for about half a week and appears to get about four to six hours of life when used extensively. If you spend your days streaming Netflix over 4G LTE, then the battery will drain faster than it will for someone who just browses the Web or plays with some apps every day. Overall, the Xyboard is in line with comparable 7-inch devices, but most 10.1-inch tablets get a few more hours of use per charge. Still, the battery life shouldn’t harm your experience too much, just plug it in every few days.
We found the Motorola Xyboard 10.1 to be a decent device, if a bit after its time, and the same could apply to the Xyboard 8.2. Despite the original Xoom floundering at its $600 to $700 price point, Motorola hasn’t lowered the bar much. A 16GB Wi-Fi Xyboard 8.2 will run you $400, with an LTE version costing $430 with a two-year contract (and who wants to sign a two-year contract on a tablet?). This pricing is on the high end of most Android tablets these days, which are now priced between $200 and $400 by most manufacturers.
Still, if you want a solid Android tablet that’s smaller than those huge 10.1-inch devices and has a good portable, lightweight feel, and 4G LTE connectivity, this is probably your best bet. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 ($470) makes a close competitor, but AT&T’s new LTE network is only available in a few cities. If you have the money and value both portability and usability, the Xyboard 8.2 is a good buy.
- Compact 8.2-inch screen
- High resolution for screen size (1280 x 800)
- Thin and lightweight
- Ergonomic design with thin bezel
- 4G LTE connectivity
- $400 is a lot for an Android tablet
- Specs are decent but not impressive
- No microSD or external storage
- Camera sucks
- Battery life could be better