Tablets

Motorola Xyboard 10.1 Teardown: Overpriced, soon to be outdated

The Motorola Xyboard 10.1's excellent build quality and decent hardware are overshadowed by its high price and quad-core tablet competitors.

A year ago, Motorola combined high-end hardware with Android Honeycomb to create the Xoom--a solid, but slightly-overpriced, tablet. In December 2011, the company launched the Xyboard--a thinner, lighter, more powerful Android tablet, which also has 4G connectivity.

In this week's episode of Cracking Open, I show you what's inside the Motorola Xyboard 10.1 and explain why prospective buyers might want to wait a few months before picking one up.

Our Xyboard 10.1 has a 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP processor, 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM, 16GB flash storage, a 10.1" IPS TFT active matrix LCD (1280 x 800), 802.11 b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, 1.3MP front-facing camera and 5MP rear-facing camera. The Xyboard 10.1 measures 6.8" (H) x 9.9" (W) x 0.4" (D). It weighs 1.3 pounds.

Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Motorola Xyboard 10.1

Cracking Open observations

  • Excellent build-quality: As with the Xoom and Droid Razr, Motorola's experience building high-quality devices comes through in the Xyboard. The tablet feels sturdy in your hands, has an efficient, clean interior, and solid construction.
  • Built-in 4G: Unlike the Xoom, which used a discreet 4G card, the Xyboard's 4G chips are soldered directly to the motherboard.
  • Processor switch: Instead of going with Nvidia's latest Tegra processor, Motorola used a Texas Instrument OMAP processor in the Xyboard.
  • Evolutionary, not revolutionary: For all intents and purposes, the Xyboard is an upgraded Xoom. The Xyboard has a faster processor, better display, and comes in a 64GB model, but both have a similar internal design, come with Android Honeycomb, and have a premium price tag. If Motorola had released the Xyboard six months ago, I wouldn't be knocking the Xyboard so hard. But with the iPad 3 just around the corner and Asus' quad-core Transformer Prime already on the market, the Xyboard's hardware will soon be, if it isn't already, outdated.
  • Overpriced: And when you consider the device's high price, $699 for a 16GB model without a 4G contract, I think consumers should wait to see what Apple and other tablet makers release in the coming months before buying a Xyboard.

Internal hardware

Our Xyboard 10.1 test machine has the following hardware:

  • 1.2GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP processor
  • 1GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • 16GB flash storage
  • 10.1" IPS TFT active matrix display (1280 x 800)
  • 5MP rear-facing camera
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 3.7V, 7,000 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • IR Transmitter
  • Samsung K3PE7E700M-XGC1 4Gb LPDDR2 RAM
  • Maxim MAXQ610 16-Bit Microcontroller with Infrared Module
  • Qualcomm RTR8600 multi-band/mode RF transceiver for LTE bands
  • TriQuint TQM7M5013  Quad-Band GSM / GPRS / EDGE-Linear Power Amplifier Module
  • Avago A2FI140 048345
  • Unknown Motorola IC? (MOT 14621 011-R 1F746-2)
  • Unknown IC (77701-2 72827.1 1137 MX)

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

11 comments
BALTHOR
BALTHOR

It probably was designed with Win 7 inside.I can't imagine anybody ever purchasing it.What would you use it for.Big bucks and limited.Massive engineering stifled by software.It's true that universities teach code.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

You have to have a contract to Internet with this device.Is TI a division of Motorola?I see one big happy family.My Dell Vostro laptop's hard drive is Toshiba.

'techy'
'techy'

They must pay their executive management allot to charge $700 for the bottom model. No wonder they got bought out. Motorola must have been in too deep to drop the tablet where they went ahead and finished it, then blew up the price to get their money out of it in the shortest period of time before Apple comes out with the iPad 3. Stupid. BTW, I had just purchased a tablet with a 1.2Ghz Dual core for $99. haha! and they want $700 for it, :P

fhrivers
fhrivers

...ah the life of a tablet!

aalkatib
aalkatib

Great post. I have the Moto Raze myself and its a great phone. I just want To point out that is a misspelled word. " and sold construction". I think you meant "Solid". Thank you.

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

These guys have got to figure out how to get the price down. If it's between a light laptop for $700 or a Tablet, I'll be buying a laptop. I like tablets and I understand their value but I don't care what OS you put on them, their not full computers and I won't pay full computer price. PERIOD. My top end for a tablet would be $400

dave.hamilton
dave.hamilton

I think you meant 1.3MP front-facing camera not 13.MP...

danbi
danbi

Funny how everybody is waiting on Apple to show what they have designed, to position their own products appropriately... This Motorola tablet should have half the price to sell, I think.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

I might have given the Xyboard a better review if it had a 13MP camera, but probably not. Thanks for the note. Fixed.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

The device's high price is definitely a strike against it. Motorola is positioning it as a premium device, with a premium price. It's a good, solid tablet. But with the iPad 3 and more quad-core tablets launching in the next 3-4 months, I'm not sure if people will want to sign a two year deal with Verizon or pay $700 for the Xyboard.

chris
chris

A price point of no more than $350 is good .. imo