Okay, now we’re moving in the right direction.
However, Reuters reports that Motorola will also be selling a Wi-Fi-only version of the Xoom that’ll be priced at around $600. Official availability dates haven’t been announced, although previous rumors have indicated that the Xoom may launch as early as February 24th.
The $800 version will contain a Verizon-compatible 3G connection but won’t require a service contract. The tablet will also be able to connect to Verizon’s 4G network via an upgrade in the future, though no dates have been set yet.
If the Wi-Fi version of the Xoom contains the same specs as the Verizon version, minus the cellular connection—10.1-inch 1280×800 resolution screen, 32 gigabytes of storage, 1GHz dual-core processor, two cameras—a $600 price tag would align it with the 32-gigabyte Wi-Fi iPad, but would still be $100 more expensive than Apple’s entry level 16-gigabyte iPad.
The Xoom’s hardware advantages over the iPad, however, include a higher-resolution screen, faster processor, cameras, and upgradeable memory. We’re still waiting for Apple to announce the next version of the iPad, though, so it’ll be interesting to see if Motorola’s able to beat it to market.
The thing that makes me a little suspicious about the idea of the Wi-Fi Xoom being outfitted similarly to the Verizon Xoom is that $200 seems like an awful lot for the simple addition of a cellular chipset. I wouldn’t be totally blown away to find out that the Wi-Fi Xoom had only 16 gigabytes of storage—or maybe even just four gigabytes that’d be expandable via an SD card.
UPDATE: Motorola has officially listed the specs for the Wi-Fi version of the Xoom tablet and, wouldn’t you know it, they’re identical to the cellular-equipped version (minus the cellular connection, of course). So it’ll cost you $200 extra for the privilege of connecting the tablet to Verizon (plus service fees). There’s also a GSM version listed which will undoubtedly be for connections to cell networks around the world, but leaves open the possibility for a T-Mobile or AT&T Xoom in the future.
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