How to Justify a $599 Motorola Xoom

The price point of the upcoming 10.1” Xoom Tablet by Motorola has been a major point of contention in deciding whether or not to make the investment. Speculation over the numbers has turned potential buyers into hesitant watchers. With more information being uncovered about the Xoom’s full and subsidized pricing seemingly ever day, the question arises: Would you pay $599 for the WiFi only Xoom?

One of the biggest factors to be considered is storage. Let’s be honest, the biggest obstacle for Motorola is Apple. The iPad has been out for more than 12 months now and a second version is imminent. iPads, unlike the Motorola Xoom, are locked in terms of storage, so what you pay for is what you get. The 16GB WiFi base model costs $499. The 32GB Wifi model costs $599. If Motorola does what they do with most of their handsets and includes a massive MicroSD card with the tablet purchase the Xoom could be the king of storage for the price. A Xoom with 32GB of internal storage and room for more via the MicroSD card slot would clearly top Apple’s fixed storage at that magical Sub-600 dollar price point. If the $599 Xoom only has 16GB of internal storage, however, I would expect Motorola to throw in a MicroSD card free of charge to make up for the difference. Hey, if you’re going to be competitive you might as well go all out, right?

Now that we’ve thrown a lot of numbers at you it’s time to talk about the tablet experience. Not every Android user is a fan of Motorola’s ‘Blur’ skin that seems to be present on all of their most modern devices [Droid X, Droid 2, Upcoming Droid Bionic and Droid X2, etc]. Skins like these are infamous for delaying OTA updates, tainting the overall Android experience and sometimes even decreasing performance. The Xoom, however is different. It will the first tablet running pure Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Nice! This is a huge advantage for the Xoom over other Android tablets like the Galaxy Tab that are not optimized for such a large, high resolution screen. Android 3.0 is beautiful; we’ve all seen the videos, the demonstrations and the sneak previews of the Xoom on YouTube. The pure Android experience on the Xoom puts it first in line for the latest versions of Android and gives it developer pririty. This could have a similar impact on the tablet market that Motorola’s original ‘DROID’ had on the Android smartphone market.

Clearly the Xoom and the iPad aren’t the only tablets out there to consider. Looking at the chart it’s clear that the major competitors that will be battling for market share this summer are Motorola, Apple. HP and RIM. 4 completely different operating systems and 4 completely different user experiences. Something you’ll also notice about the chart is the difference in specifications between these 4 devices. Where does the Xoom excel? It has a high-end blisteringly fast 1 GHz dual core Tegra 2 dual core processor; it also has the highest resolution and largest screen size, coming in at 10.1” and 1280×800. We can assume performance will be sweet with it’s 1GB of DDR2 RAM. The Xoom also absolutely destroys the other three tablets in the camera department, sporting a 2-megapixel front facing camera and a chart-topping 5-megapixel rear camera that takes 720p video.

The Xoom also sports upgradeability to 4G. I haven’t been all that big of a fan of 4G [probably because there isn’t any coverage in my area] the same way I haven’t hopped onto the 3D bandwagon just yet. But it’s good to know that Motorola is already putting effort into making this device future proof. Good work, Sanjay!

You may be a skeptic [As I was just months ago] trying to find a way to justtify a tablet in your life. You already a have an Android phone, and probably already use Chrome on your laptop. So why do you need something in between? That part is up to you. If you can’t see a place for a tablet in your life don’t buy the Xoom. Or the iPad. Or the Touchpad or the Playbook. I’ve convinced myself, however, that as an avid user of Android on my handset, Google Chrome, Gmail, Google Reader, Google Calendar, YouTube, Buzz, Picassa and Google News… This is a must have.

So here’s the bottom line: You’re trying to justify $500 bucks out your pocket for a Motorola Xoom when it becomes available.

Here’s what you’ll be happy about:

  • Amazing user experience
  • Pure Android 3.0
  • Blistering performance
  • Upgradeability
  • Tablet-optimized functionality

Here’s what you may regret:

  • Heavy weight
  • Difficult one-handed use
  • Lackof accessories/cases
  • Thinner wallet

Hope this helps!

If you’d like to see more of the content I produce on a weekly basis, check out my YouTube Channel!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,