The Google home page is shown on Google's latest version of the Android operating system, Honeycomb, on a Motorola Xoom tablet device following a news conference at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California February 2, 2011.
Last week I talked about a rumored $1,200 price point for the Motorola Xoom tablet. Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that Best Buy has once again listed the Xoom and it will be available this Thursday, February 24th. Rather than the $1,199 we saw last week, the price is $799.99. That's also the bad news. $800 is still too much.
For your $799.99 you get a 10.1" 3G tablet running Android Honeycomb. As this is the first retail product with an 'out of the box' Honeycomb experience, to some extent we're paying an early adopter tax here. The only accessory that the Xoom comes with is a wall charger; Motorola is going to squeeze you for add-ons, too. A case is another $40, a dock is $50 ($130 if you want a dock with speakers) and a bluetooth keyboard is $70. To be fair Apple doesn't let you off easy when it comes to accessory prices either, but even they don't charge $50 for a simple dock (Apple's iPad dock is $30). Of course you don't really need any of these accessories aside from a case. I'd like to think any bluetooth keyboard would sync with the Xoom but maybe I'm giving Motorola too much credit. Best Buy lists this as the Motorola - XOOM Tablet 3D - Licorice which suggests we might see other colors at retail, either for different variants (like the WiFi only model that we know is coming) or just for variety. It's also been heavily rumored that the WiFi on the 3G model is disabled until you purchase a 3G plan. Awful if true, and I guess we'll know more on Thursday. Overall, even though I won't be laying out $800 for the Xoom, I'm glad it's finally here. Or more accurately I'm glad a tablet running Honeycomb is finally hitting the market. It's been a long time coming.