NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Read it and weep, fanboys: The business tablet of the moment isn't the Apple (AAPL) iPad, the Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire or the BlackBerry (RIMM) PlayBook. It's the wee little Motorola (MOT) Droid Xyboard 8.2 from Verizon (MOT) ($429 for 32 GB model, $30 a month for 2 GB of data).
For businesses betting real dollars on tablets -- not wannabes who wanna look cool, but real firms that need real money back from their spend -- picking a tablet these days is no joke. Never mind that every maker from Toshiba to Dell (DELL) makes a decent business tablet PC; now phone companies are piling into the tablet racket with abandon. AT&T (T), T-Mobile and Sprint (S), among others, offer perfectly good tablets that further murk up business purchase options. Buy with a contract and get a discount -- but also a complex set of rate packages, taxes and fees.
|Built for home theater buffs, the Xyboard is the tablet of the moment for businesses as well.|
The upshot is that spooky nuggets of value are popping up for business tablets. To wit, Motorola's Droid Xyboard 8.2, a tablet built and marketed for -- get ready for this -- the home theater user. It has a fabulous high-resolution screen, high-quality speakers and what amounts to a remote control.
I reluctantly pulled a Verizon demo Xyboard out of the box about a month ago. And I gotta say, this thing turned out to be a major league business technology player.Here's why: 1. It's the right size!
Whatever genius at Motorola designed the Xyboard deserves to run the place. This roughly 10-inch diagonal tablet is blissfully easy on the hands. It can be comfortably held, like a magician holding up a deck of cards to the audience or a waiter serving a plate from the side. Or a kid cramming for an exam. All this tablet handiness opens the Xyboard to complex tasks: Draw on it for hours. Or whip it out and jot emails. Take long notes. Or talk into it and prop it up for a video conference. The control buttons are smartly placed, and the overall ergonomics are the best on tablet market, as far as I know. If you are looking for the ultimate, right-sized tablet to work on, this is it.