Color us surprised when we received a box full of Android-oriented Motorola accessories made for the DROID XYBOARD just days after the release of said device and our review of the 10.1-inch version of it – but don’t color us dismissive – while we’re already basically decided on the fate of both versions of these tablets for now, their accessories are another story. Everything from a leathery encapsulating case and keyboard to the most versatile HD dock Motorola has ever released for smart devices, this is the box of Verizon-carried official bits you can also purchase when you pick up one or both of the tablets. Have a peek at not only our judgement but hands-on videos galore as well.
What you’ve got here is a keyboard that connects to your device with Bluetooth. It has a slide-out trackpad that works with some gestures, and the keyboard has your normal QWERTY set of keys along with some Android keys across the board. This keyboard works, but its certainly not the highest quality keyboard ever made for mobile. In regards to the Transformer Prime and its keyboard attachment, there is no comparison, this is plastic while that is high quality ring-spun metal and has its own rechargeable battery, amongst a host of other value-added features. What Motorola has created here is the most basic model it seems they could get away with, run by two double-A batteries to boot.
I’m not entirely sure how these two pieces of industrial design nightmare were allowed to leave the gate, but I don’t recommend picking them up as they will be available for purchase when you head to your local Verizon store this week. The Wireless Keyboard with Portfolio does add the ability to carry your pen tool with you – the one you got with your XYBOARD 10.1, but its less than perfect construction means you’ll have to take special care you’re closing it correctly or you’ll have a less than flat notebook-like amalgamation in front of you. There’s a fold-out hard bit in the back that allows your tablet to sit up straight when you’re typing, and your mouse is a nubbin like what’s made famous by the red ThinkPad nubbin you should be well familiar with.
The Protective Portfolio case is a basic rip-off of Apple’s iPad 2 Smart Cover with three panels that pull back and into a triangle allowing you to sit the device up sideways. Unfortunately this case comes across as a knockoff and, unlike the iPad 2 version, doesn’t stick to the display magnetically, hanging basically free except for a tiny bit of what I can only describe as old adhesive meant to grab on to the glass.
Fortunately all is basically redeemed in this very interesting HD Dock which is adjustable to accommodate for a wide variety of Motorola mobile devices. You can plug either one of the DROID XYBOARD tablets in to this, or go for any one of the many dual-port-toting dual-core Motorola Android devices that have been released in the past year too. Be sure to ask your clerk to try out your device to make sure it fits, as the original ATRIX ports are slightly differently placed than the new DROID BIONIC, for example, but you’ll more than likely be in luck.
All of these devices and docks and sleeves and whatnot should be available at your local Verizon outlet or store starting this week for when you pick up your Motorola DROID RAZR or XYBOARD or any number of other similar devices. You know what to do! Also be sure to check out our reviews of the DROID XYBOARD 10.1 and the DROID XYBOARD 8.2 as well as the DROID RAZR and the DROID BIONIC for good measure.
Chris Burns is currently head editor for SlashGear and executive editor for Android Community. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he's responsible for editorial decisions made for the USA-based day-team of SG and AC and he uses an iPad 3 as a VCR. Follow him @ t_chrisburns and inside Google+ at http://chrisburns.co/+ for tech, gadget, and design news galore.