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Home > Android Tablet Reviews > Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2


Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: Verizon
Manufacturer: Motorola
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What's hot: Great IPS display, good size compromise, rugged, 4G LTE.

What's not: Expensive without contract.


Reviewed December 27, 2012 (updated March 2012) by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

The Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2 is the Motorola Droid XYBoard 10.1's little brother on Verizon. But it's not all that little: at 8.2" it offers more to feast your eyes on vs. more common 7" Android tablets, yet it's much more portable than 10" tablets. The XYBoard 8.2 shares many but not all specs with the 10.1" version. It has the same 1280 x 800 resolution, and IPS display, a dual core 1.2GHz TI OMAP CPU with a gig of RAM, and it's available in 16 or 32 gig capacities. It has a front 1.3MP camera and a rear 5MP camera with LED flash and the usual WiFi 8902.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a GPS.

Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2

Like the Droid XYBoard 10.1 it has an IR Blaster with Digit, an AV remote control app plus TV Guide, and it has 4G LTE as well as 3G on Verizon Wireless. It's available in Verizon stores with our without contract, and the 16 gig version costs $429 with contract and $599 without (you can sign up for month to month data with no contract). The 32 gig version costs $100 more. So, like most 4G LTE tablets on the US market, it ain't cheap, though it is cheaper than the recently released Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 on Verizon ($499 with contract and $699 without contract for the 16 gig model at launch). But this Droid tablet is well made, has a water resistant coating, is extremely sturdy and has a Gorilla Glass display for scratch resistance. For those of you who don't need 4G LTE for data anywhere, Motorola also makes a WiFi only XYBoard 8.2 (no Droid in the name) that starts at $399 for the 16 gig version direct from Motorola's website.

Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2

What's different, beyond size, from the XYBoard 10.1? The 8.2" model lacks Droid XYBoard 10.1's active digitizer and digital pen (the XYBoard 10.1 pen doesn't work with the 8.2). The smaller size requires a few changes: ports and controls are in different locations and the XYBoard 8.2 has a smaller battery: 3960 vs. 7000 mAh. That means you'll have to resort to a less precise capacitive stylus with the XYBoard 8.2 if you want to write notes or draw, and battery life is shorter. Smaller tablets generally have shorter battery life because there's less room for the battery, and Motorola wanted to make the XYBoard 8.2 very thin and light: it weighs 0.86 pounds and is 0.35" thick. Personally, I'd pick the 10.1 given the bigger battery, active digitizer and better control location unless you're understandably sold on the 8.2's tweener size.

The sides have a soft touch grippy finish and taper for holding comfort. Moto likes putting the power button on the back, but at least with the XYBoard 8.2 they've moved it along with the volume controls under your right fingertips on the soft touch section on the back edge (when held in portrait mode). Still, I generally have to turn the tablet around to find the controls when using it in landscape mode. The controls also lack travel and tactile presence. The back plate is aluminum with teeny-tiny Torx screws around the edges (oddly, the 10.1" model has the same design but no screws). The front has a thin bezel that shows off an excellent IPS display with the front video chat camera and notification LED above the display.

The IPS display is extremely sharp thanks to the high resolution packed into 8.2 inches, and it's also very bright-- bright enough to use outdoors. This is my favorite tablet for reading ebooks thanks to its manageable size, clarity, contrast and natural colors that make for less bloom than Super AMOLED displays.




Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2 Video Review

The tablet runs Android OS 3.2 Honeycomb and will get an upgrade to Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This is fairly vanilla Android with no home screen or UI customizations beyond Moto's square icon treatment. The app bundle is reasonably restrained and Motorola doesn't include all the business oriented apps found on the XYBoard 10.1 (but some, like Citrix are downloadable). Motocast is here, and we really love this remote file access and streaming media player that works with Windows and Macs, though we miss being able to mount the tablet in basic mass storage mode.

Ports, USB Host

The tablet has a micro HDMI 1.4 port, a micro USB port and a 3.5mm stereo jack. Gone is the Motorola Xoom's barrel connector for charging. The micro USB supports slow charging via USB, and the included wall wart charger plugs into this port. The micro USB port also supports USB host, and that means you can use USB peripherals like flash drives and keyboards with the XYBoard if you have a USB host (also called USB OTG) cable. The old Motorola USB host/camera connection cable for the Xoom works, as does Sony's for the Tablet S and various others. We tested keyboards, flash drives and external hard drives and these worked fine. But external drives formatted with NTFS don't work because Honeycomb lacks support for the NTFS file system. Android tablets don't currently support USB modems either (no drivers), but you won't need this since the tablet has 3G and 4G LTE.

Syncing, iTunes, MotoCast and V Cast

On Mac OS X, the XYBoard doesn't mount using the usual Android File Transfer app for Honeycomb, nor does it mount as a mass storage device in Windows. Rather it mounts an installer for MotoCast. That app has two components, a wireless file transfer app that turns your computer into a file server for the XYBoard, and a USB bidirectional media syncing app that syncs iTunes music, video and podcasts and it handles photo transfer. You can use Verizon's V Cast Media Manager to transfer photos, music and videos to and from the tablet but we found it balky and slow on our Mac, so I much prefer the capable MotoCast apps. The iTunes integration is sweet, and it uses a UI that's similar to iTunes, so it should be easy for most folks to use.

MotoCast for wireless is a rebranded version of ZumoCast found on previous Droid smartphones. Moto has a wonderful app here: it's easy to use and it puts all the folders and files you wish to share from your PC or Mac in wireless reach of the XYBoard. You'll create a MotoCast account (old ZumoCast logins don't work), specify which folders you'd like to share with your XYBoard and you're ready to go. Launch MotoCast on the XYBoard and you'll have access to those files. You can play videos stored on your computer, view photos, play music from your iTunes or other music library and access any other file type you wish (MS Office docs, for example) for viewing or copying to the tablet. MotoCast works over WiFi and 3G/4G; you need not have both the computer and tablet on the same wireless network.

Performance and Horsepower

The Droid XYBoard 8.2 runs on a 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP4430 dual core ARM Cortex-A9 family CPU. The chipset uses the capable Imagination Technologies POWERVR SGX540 dedicated graphics chip. TI's dual core chipsets are trendy right now in Android devices, and Google went with it for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The tablet has the usual 1 gig of RAM, and is available in 16, 32 and 64 gig storage capacities. Sadly, it has no microSD card expansion slot-- had Motorola included one, they'd have a strong marketing point vs. the unexpandable Galaxy Tab 10.1 and even the iPad 2.

Experiential speed is good, though the tablet doesn't feel wickedly fast when navigating the UI or running Office apps. It is capable and fast when playing HD video. In synthetic benchmarks, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 blows the XYBoard 8.2 and many other tablets away, but the XYBoard 8.2 does have a pack-leading Sunspider score where lower numbers are better.


  Quadrant Linpack multi-thread AnTuTu Sunspider JavaScript Test
XYBoard 8.2 2822 56 5555 1807
XYBoard 10.1 3178 67 5718 1752
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 2400 53 4883 2165
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 VZW 3425 52 7050 2003
HTC Jetstream 2900 65   2088

Data and LTE

It's hard to not fall in love with LTE 4G, be it on Verizon Wireless' well built-out network or AT&T's fledgling new network. In the XYBoard's case, we've got Verizon LTE with fallback to their 3G EV-DO Rev. A network. The tablet has the mobile hotspot feature so you can share its high speed data connection with tablets, laptops and other clients (AT&T's tablets lack this feature). Reception and data speeds on Verizon's LTE tablets always impress us, and we averaged 17Mbps down and 3Mbps up on average with a weak signal (-95db) and up to 33Mbps down and 15Mbps up in strong signal areas (-75db).

When you turn on WiFi, the tablet automatically turns off the 3G/4G radios to ensure you don't use your data allotment. Verizon offers month-to-month plans and contract plans with the same data plan pricing. The price for 2 gigs/month is $30, 5 gigs for $50 and $80 for 10 gigs. If you go over your monthly allotment, Verizon will charge you $10 per gig.

Motorola and Verizon added GSM world roaming in a firmware update about a month after the XYBoard launched. What a pleasant surprise!


The Motorola Droid XYBoard's unique size and quality combo set it apart from the me-too tablet fray. It's portable but the screen is roomy enough for enjoyable web browsing and gaming. And that display is extremely sharp and bright thanks to the IPS 1280 x 800 panel. Beyond that, LTE 4G gives you fast data most anywhere in the US, and the AV remote is a coffee table pleasure. We applaud Moto for thinking different, but Verizon's steep price tag will likely scare many away-- a problem with all their LTE tablets.

Price: starting at $399 for the WiFi only Motorola XYBoard 8.2 and $429 with contract for the 16 gig with LTE with contract.




Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2

Above: the XYBoard 10.1 and XYBoard 8.2.
Below: the Droid XYBoard 8.2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7.

Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2


Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2


Motorola Droid XYBoard 8.2



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Display: 8.2" capacitive multi-touch IPS display (Gorilla Glass). Resolution: 1280 x 800, supports both portrait and landscape modes via accelerometer, has ambient light sensor and gyroscope. Micro HDMI 1.4 port. 178 degree viewing angle display. Has a micro HDMI port with 1080p video mirroring.

Battery: 3960 mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable.

Performance: 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP4430 dual core ARM Cortex-A9 family CPU with Imagination Technologies POWERVR SGX540 graphics chip. 1 gig RAM, and 16 or 32 gigs storage.

Size: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.35 inches. Weight: 0.86 pounds.

Cellular: CDMA dual band digital 3G EV-DO Rev. A and 4G LTE. GSM world roaming (works overseas, not in the US on GSM networks).

Camera: 1.3MP front video chat camera with 720p video recording and rear 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and 1080p video recording.

Audio and Video: Built in stereo speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack. Has micro HDMI port.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.

Software: Android OS 3.2 Honeycomb. Adobe Flash Player included. Standard suite of Google Android applications including web browser, email, gmail, YouTube, Maps, Navigation, Gtalk, Search and the Android Market. V Cast Media Manager and VZ Navigator. Dijit AV Remote, Lets Golf 2, Madden NFL 12. Blockbuster, VideoSurf, Slingbox, Motoprint, MotoCast, GoToMeeting, Quickoffice HD (view, create and edit MS Office docs), Motopack, Polycom, Tasks, Citrix and Fuze Meeting. Evernote and Skitch.

Expansion: USB host for USB peripherals (requires USB OTG host cable not included). No microSD card slot.


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