Motorola Xyboard 10.1 Teardown: Overpriced, soon to be outdated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.

Cracking Open: Motorola Xyboard 10.1 Bill Detwiler shows you what's inside the Motorola Xyboard 10.1 Android tablet and explains why prospective buyers might want to wait a few months before picking one up.

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and Asus' quad-core Transformer Prime already on the market, the Xyboard's hardware will soon be, if it isn't already, outdated.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
  • 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)

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief 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...