Xyboard as Corporate Tablet

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-12-18 Print this article Print


Many salespeople use the iPad for presentations. They would do well to consider the Xyboard as an alternative for virtual collaboration. To that end, the Xyboard 10.1 also has a stylus to let users take notes and save them in the cloud via the Evernote application.

For me, the Xyboard has two major black marks, which may or may not be deal-breakers for premium tablet shoppers.

First are the power and volume keys. The power button is a ridiculous, recessed little piece of soft rubber on the right side of the tablet. The volume button is made of the same material, only raised slightly higher, presumably so users don't have to fumble and risk dropping the device as they're watching a movie or gaming.

The Xyboard's rounded edges make these buttons that much harder to locate simply by touch. I often had to flip the tablet over to find the buttons. Any time you have to do that on a personal gadget that you're going to use a lot, it's a deal-breaker.

Second, and this one is bigger, is that the stylus technology Motorola added to the Xyboard is pretty poor. It was slow, balky and barely responsive for nearly all of my writing gestures. I had to frequently slow down and often erase and rewrite letters and other sketches with the digital eraser.

To see if the digital pen was that unresponsive, I tried using my forefinger. I actually had better luck writing notes with my pointer finger than I did with the plastic pen, and switching from pen to brush to eraser mode was also a chore. I offer this critique with some authority because I've used two tablets imbued with HTC's Scribe digital ink pen and software, the HTC Evo View 4G and the HTC Jetstream 4G on AT&T.

I thoroughly enjoyed drawing, composing notes and saving them to Evernote on those slates. Scribe made the experience so fluid and effortless, and upon logging in, all of the notes and drawings I made on previous tablets with Evernote were displayed.

Motorola may want to make the stylus a selling point for people who want to jot notes, but if you're in the hunt for a tablet that does this, I cannot recommend the Xyboard as of now. Go with tablets compatible with HTC Scribe. You won't regret it. Anyway, the Xyboard doesn't need it. The soft keyboard is well-designed for heavy typing. Honeycomb tablets have gotten quite cozy for typing.

Hidden buttons and subpar stylus aside, the Xyboard is a solid tablet, equipped as it is with speedy application processing and buoyed by Verizon's 4G LTE network. And the 7,000-mAh battery held up reasonably well, with 7 hours of Web surfing and Netflix watching via LTE.

If you want a premium Honeycomb tablet that is faster than an iPad but priced similarly, I can suggest the Xyboard. It's the tablet Motorola should have launched a year ago instead of the Xoom.



Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel