tablets

Motorola Xyboard Review

Loaded with features, the Motorola Xyboard makes a statement for innovation in the tablet arena.

February 15, 2012
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Science Introduction

Despite the slew of novelty features, the Xyboard underperforms in all measures of screen performance and battery life. Here come the numbers.

Screen Performance

Yes, it's water-resistant, but it's also high-performance resistant.

There's a cost to having a peak brightness, and that's usually having a very high black level if your tablet is backlit (as opposed to having an OLED or AMOLED screen). The Motorola Xyboard is no different: While it does have an impressive peak brightness of 457.26 cd/m2, it has a rather poor black level of 0.64cd/m2. Why is the black level important? The lower it is, the wider the potential contrast ratio is, which in turn is important because a wider contrast ratio means more values your device can display in greyscale. In other words, a better contrast ratio means more detail.

With a resolution of 1280 x 800 and a screen size of 8.5625 x 5.325 inches (150 DPI), the rather large screen of the Motorola Xyboard has no issues with loss of detail whatsoever. Granted, it's a smallish display in comparison to a television set, so it's not exactly fair to expect it to support all standard NTSC resolutions.

Motorola Xyboard owners will probably notice after a while that their tablet does not handle its color performance as well as their LCD TV does, but to be fair, no tablet that we've ever reviewed does. By consulting the rec. 709 standard, you'll notice that the Motorola Xyboard has some issues with undersaturating greens and reds, while it wildly shifts blues to a more cyan-ish color. Additionally, the white point is more cyan than we'd like to see, but no tablet is perfect.

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Battery Life

Not bad, but could be a lot better

Maybe it's due to the incredibly powerful backlight, or maybe it's due to something else. Whatever the reason, the Motorola Xyboard does not do well with battery life when reading eBooks, as it clocked in at around 6 hours and 9 minutes. This will probably be suitable for a car ride, commute, or very short flight, but not for a continental flight. Keep in mind, though, that in our labs we test with the backlight cranked and the wireless turned off, so your mileage may vary depending on your settings, as each of these affect battery life.

Much like the results we discovered in the eReader battery test, the video battery tests were disheartening to say the least. Lasting only 5 hours and 37 minutes, the Motorola Xyboard falls far short of competitive in terms of battery performance in comparison to the rest of the pack. This may have to do with the super-thin size, or the super-bright screen, but for whatever reason, video playback suffered heavily.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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