Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 vs iPad 2 | Speed, Performance and Features Reviewed | Full Spec Compared
Most reviewers say that Apple iPad 2 is the best tablet that is available. It’s rather prejudiced to start this review with the above statement, but then, that’s been a widely spread opinion that has gained momentum substantially few years back and decelerated the popularity during the year we have passed. We will observe the story behind this statement to start this review with. Two years back, when Apple introduced iPad 2, the company targeted a niche market at the right time with the right kind of product. Needs of the people evolve, and the need for a stationary PC or even a laptop has become less and less over the years with the advances of the technology. Mobile phones having more and more computer-like features came in to play. People eventually needed a little big screen for what they did with the PCs sometime back and what they currently do with the smartphones; namely, surfing the internet, watching movies on the go, reading and music. Apple came up with iPad, which directly addressed the needs of the people at the time, and was an instant hit. Of course, the previous glory of Apple products played a substantial role in this, as well. Yet, as far as we are concerned, that is the origin of the opening statement.
I also mentioned that Apple iPad 2 has been decelerating in popularity rankings lately. This is a perfect example of trend followers coming up with better products than the lead in the market. For this reason, especially over this year, Apple iPad 2 has lost some market. The launch of tablet optimized Android v3.2 Honeycomb was a major entailment in the events, as well. Competitors like Motorola, Samsung, Asus and Acer have come up with better, more equipped tablets, which we have been reviewing lately, and here, we’ll compare Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 against Apple iPad 2.
Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2
Announced in early December and released only a few days ago, one would expect the Xyboard 8.9 to have specs that’d beat Apple iPad 2. Rest assured; that is the case. Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 is a scaled down version of Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1, which is known as Motorola Xoom 2 in the other parts of the world besides USA. The good thing is, the scaling down is only with the size and not with anything else. The Xyboard 8.2 scores dimensions of 139 x 216mm, which is smaller than the predecessor and it’s also slightly thinner scoring a thickness of 9mm. The 390g weight is surprisingly lighter. It comes with not-so-curved-and-smooth-edges which certainly isn’t going to please the looks; but what it does provide is more comfort when you’re holding it because it’s designed not to sink into your palms. The Xyboard 8.2 features 8.2 inches screen as predicted by the name. The HD-IPS LCD Capacitive touchscreen is quite a wonderful addition to Xyboard which features 1280 x 800 resolution and 184ppi pixel density. It has great viewing angles and quite crisp reproduction of images and texts. The Corning Gorilla Glass reinforcement would keep the screen out of scratches all the time, as well.
Inside the Xyboard 8.2, we can see 1.2GHz Cortex A9 dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4430 chipset. It also has PowerVR SGX540 GPU and 1GB RAM to back up the configuration. Android v3.2 Honeycomb binds the hardware together to provide a good user experience, and the cherry on top is that, Motorola promises an upgrade to IceCreamSandwich, which we expect to be out soon. It comes with two storage options, 16GB and 32GB, but doesn’t provide the flexibility to expand the storage with a microSD card, which is unfortunate as 32GB just won’t be enough for you if you’re a movie junkie. Motorola has graced Xyboard 8.2 with a 5MP camera that has LED flash and autofocus, and can capture 720p HD videos @ 30 frames per second. Geo tagging is also available with the support of A-GPS. The 1.3MP front facing camera bundled with Bluetooth v2.1 and A2DP gives a delightful video calling experience.
The best competitive advantage of Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 over iPad 2 would be the LTE connectivity. It gives surprisingly fast network connectivity that iPad 2 just can’t reach. It fully uses Verizon’s LTE infrastructure while it has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n for continuous connectivity. It can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, which is great with the improved speeds of LTE. Besides the usual aspects, it has a 2.1 virtual surround sound system and a mini HDMI port. The UI seems to be the raw Honeycomb built without any modifications by the vendor. It has 3960mAh battery and Motorola promises us a usage duration of 6 hours, which is only moderate.
Apple iPad 2
The much reputed device comes in many forms, and we are going to consider the version with Wi-Fi and 3G. It has such elegance with its height of 241.2mm and width of 185.5mm and the depth of 8.8mm. It feels good in your hands with a reasonable weight of 613g. The 9.7inches LED backlit IPS TFT Capacitive touchscreen features a resolution of 1024 x 768 with a pixel density of 132ppi. This means that you can even use the iPad 2 in bright day light without much of a problem. The fingerprint and scratch resistant oleophobic surface gives an additional advantage to iPad 2, and the accelerometer sensor and Gyro sensor come in built, as well.
The particular flavor of the iPad 2 we have chosen to compare has the HSDPA connectivity as well as the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. This is a differentiating factor in iPad 2. While Wi-Fi connectivity can be located in most of the places, nobody can guarantee the Wi-Fi connectivity wherever they go. That is where the HSDPA connectivity comes into play and keeps the user always connected no matter what.
The iPad 2 comes with a 1GHz dual core ARM Cortex A-9 processor with PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU on top of Apple A5 chipset. This is backed up by a 512MB RAM and three storage options of 16, 32 and 64GB. Apple has their generic iOS 4 responsible for the controls of iPad 2, and it also comes with an upgrade to iOS 5. The advantage of the OS is that, it’s correctly optimized to the device itself. It isn’t offered for any other device; thus, the OS does not need to be generic like android. iOS 5 is thus centric on iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, which means that it understands the hardware perfectly well and optimally manages every bit of it, to give an awesome user experience without the slightest bit of hesitation.
Apple has introduced a dual camera set up for iPad 2, and while this is a good addition, there is a large room for improvement. The camera is only 0.7MP and has a poor image quality. It can capture 720p videos @ 30 frames per second, which is good. In a manner of compensation, Apple has been gracious enough to introduce some cool applications using the camera like Face Time and Photo Booth. It also comes with a secondary camera bundled with Bluetooth v2.0 that would please the video callers. This gorgeous gadget comes in either black or white and has a sleek design that just pleases your eyes. The device features Assisted GPS, a TV out and famous iCloud services. It practically syncs over any Apple device and has the element of flexibility included in it like no other tablet has ever done.
Apple has bundled the iPad 2 with a battery of 6930mAh, which is quite bulky, and it features an effective time of 10 hours, which is good in terms of a Tablet PC. It also features a lot of niche iPad based applications and games taking advantage of the unique nature of its hardware.
A Brief Comparison of Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 vs Apple iPad 2
• Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 has 8.2 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, featuring a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, while Apple iPad 2 has 9.7 inches IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen, featuring a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. However, Motorola also has a 10.1 inch version called Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1.
• While Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 has 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual-core processor on top of TI OMAP 4430 chipset, iPad 2 has 1GHz Cortex A9 dual-core processor on top of Apple A5 chipset.
• Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 runs on Android v3.2 Honeycomb, upgradable to v4.0 IceCreamSandwich, while Apple iPad 2 runs on iOS5.
• Motorola Droid Xyboard has a 5MP camera with advanced features while Apple iPad 2 only features a 0.7MP camera.
• Motorola Droid Xyboard comes with high speed LTE connectivity while Apple iPad 2 features HSDPA connectivity only.
• Motorola Droid Xyboard promises a usage time of 6 hours while Apple iPad 2 promises a usage time of 10 hours.
You may think we have already given our conclusion starting from the introduction, but the indications aren’t quite correct. The difference between Motorola Droid Xyboard and Apple iPad 2 is eminent, and the clear winner on performance is Motorola Droid Xyboard with better processor, better memory, and better screen and resolution. In addition it has two versions; a bigger 10.1″ version and a mid size 8.2″ version. Even in terms of added values, Motorola Xyboard 8.2 beats Apple iPad 2. But the issue arises with usability. Apple iPad 2 is such a user friendly device that you don’t get the mind to put it down once you’ve picked it up. At least that’s what Apple says, and we can pretty much relate to that. Thus, in an usability perspective, Apple would excel and it would also have extended battery life. Although we say Xyboard beats iPad 2 in terms of performance, there are some loose ends due to the OS, and we sure are hoping to see fixes coming up with the upgrade. Till then, if you’re a downright Apple fan and wants to have the best usability experience from your tablet PC, do go for the Apple iPad 2. Unless that is your requirement, the choice will narrow down to Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 or even you can purchase its big brother Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1 which only has a bigger screen size with the same specifications.