Forgive me for this eye-roll inducing observation, but high-tech is often the hunting ground for the game of hindsight being 20-20. New evidence of that struck me dead center this past week as I tested Motorola Mobility's (NYSE:MMI) follow-up to its Xoom tablet, the Droid Xyboard 10.1.
Consumers can purchase the tablet, which weighs 1.29 pounds and is 0.34 inches thin, now in 16GB ($529.99), 32GB ($629.99) and 64GB ($729.99) editions with a two-year contract from Verizon Wireless.
You can read the speeds, feeds and specifications here. The 32GB Xyboard I tested was a data-chugging monster that runs Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system, powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU and Verizon's 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE). I've tested other 4G tablets before, including AT&T's HTC Jetstream and the HTC Evo View 4G. Neither is as fast as the Xyboard.
As one of the early testers of the Xoom, which ran the often buggy Honeycomb 3.0, I can safely say Google has worked out the freezing quirks with 3.2, which I previously tested on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus slate last month. Honeycomb let me drag and drop widgets fluidly across all five home screens.
Gmail, Google Search, Google Maps, Facebook for Android, Twitter for Android, Google Music and several other apps of various chunkiness ran great as programs with which to kick the tires. The Xyboard passed the more strenuous tests with Angry Birds Seasons, YouTube and Netflix, which is included on the tablet.
Netflix, which was revamped to have larger touch targets, looked great on the Xyboard's In-Plane Switching (IPS) high-definition display, which is designed for wide viewing angles. This makes it easier for more than one person to watch something on the tablet. I watched one quick episode of "Parks & Recreation" without so much as a hiccup on the app.
The Xyboard's camera is an HD 5-megapixel back shutter (the Jetstream has a great 8MP rear camera), which pairs well with the 1.3MP HD camera in front for video chat via Google Talk or Skype.
Xyboard camera and video shoots looked middling to great. My favorite part about the Xyboard's photo capabilities is that once you log into the tablet with your Google account, photos from your Picasa Web albums populate the gallery application. This was an awesome perk.
The Xyboard has a smaller twin, the Xyboard 8.2. While that slate is focused mostly on media consumption, the bigger brother is "enterprise-ready."
It's a corporate road warrior's dream in the sense that it comes preloaded with Citrix's Receiver desktop virtualization and Go To Meeting Web conferencing software, as well as Web conferencing apps such as Fuze Meeting and Polycom's RealPresence Mobile app for business users. QuickOffice HD is also preloaded to let workers access their documents on the go.