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Motorola revisits US tablets with Droid Xyboard on Verizon

updated 11:10 am EST, Tue December 6, 2011

Motorola Droid Xyboard detailed for Verizon

Motorola took its second shot at tablets in the US with the now official launch of the Droid Xyboard. Its versions of the Xoom 2 come in the same 8.2-inch and 10.1-inch sizes but get the expected 4G LTE upgrade and support for creating a hotspot with as many as eight devices. Along with Motorola's custom apps such as its MotoCast streaming, users primarily get Dijit's remote control app to steer home theater gear.

Along with 4G, the two are both major improvements over the original Xoom with much slimmer and lighter designs and significantly higher-quality IPS-based, 1280x800 LCDs. The five-megapixel camera on the back hasn't been changed, but the front camera is a slight step down at 1.3 megapixels. Either has the upgraded 1.2GHz TI OMAP processor common to much of Motorola's late 2011 hardware.

The smaller Xyboard 8.2 makes up for its size with a stronger than usual speaker system. Either tablet ships with Android 3.2, but the two will be upgraded to Android 4.0 sometime in the near future.

Both should ship before the end of the month in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities. The Xyboard 8.2 will be the least expensive at prices of $430, $530, and $630 on contract; the 10.1-inch models will carry a $100 premium. In a gamble, however, Motorola and Verizon have risked sales by making the two-year plan mandatory, not optional like before. As such, it raises the minimum actual cost of ownership to $1,150.

Those who buy a Droid RAZR at the same time with a new contract get a $100 discount on the tablet as well as a $50 cut on accessories.

The decision could be costly for Motorola, which has so far had little traction in tablets. It assumed it could repeat the success of the original Droid through a Verizon deal this February but never mounted a significant challenge to the iPad 2. After upping shipments in the spring from 250,000 to 440,000, Motorola had to drop to 100,000 shipments in the summer, even after cutting the price of the Xoom from an $800 3G/4G model to just $379 for a Wi-Fi version. Tablets that have been tied to a contract have always fared poorly in the US and could see Apple walk away with the lead for tablets on Verizon once again through its insistence on a prepaid option.

By Electronista Staff


  1. facebook_Nate

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2011



    "even after cutting the price of the Xoom from an $800 3G/4G model to just $379 for a Wi-Fi version"

    Wait, what was the wi-fi version price before the cut?

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    Sawed off corners?

    What the frak is this? A tablet from Caprica?

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    fail v2.0

    well they seem to have learned *some* lessons from the utter failure of Xoom... but I really don't think that the 4G and hotspot ability is going to gain it widespread acceptance other than among some geeks or those who might find that useful. The mandatory contract is going to be a huge turnoff.

    Again, why would anybody other than sufferers of Apple Derangement Syndrome buy this over an iPad 2, which is a known quantity? You know you're going to get a great product, you know you can use the best app store with it, and you're not locked into a contract like with a phone.

  1. Kees

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001



    at least they won't get sued by Apple for using thin rounded bezels..;-)

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    New naming scheme?

    Pad name: "Xyboard"

    Phone name: "Xylophone"

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Mandatory plan = bad idea

    Re: "In a gamble, however, Motorola and Verizon have risked sales by making the two-year plan mandatory, not optional like before. As such, it raises the minimum actual cost of ownership to $1,150."

    Carrier subsidies are the only way for Motorola (or any Apple competitor) to make any money on a $430 (8") or $530 (10") pad. They don't have the sales volume to purchase components at high volume. So they pay more for their components, which cuts their margins. Carrier subsidies solve that problem.

    But really, who would want to get locked into a 2-year contract just for 3G or 4G data? With an iPad clone that may not even be around in a year? An iPad clone that might go on sale for $200 in six months? Consumers have been trained to wait for failed iPad clone fire sales. Caveat emptor.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    Competition is good.

    I think the design, over all, is okay. If the price is competitive, then this is a viable option, particularly if you are looking for a non-Apple product.
    Thank goodness people do have different tastes and desires, otherwise there probably wouldn't be an Apple at this point. :)

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