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Wi-Fi only Xoom to sell for $599 on Mar. 27

Mar 17, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Motorola's Xoom Wi-Fi will go on sale March 27 for $599 from, as well as from brick-and-mortar retailers such as Best Buy, says the company. Representing a $200 discount from the Wi-Fi and 3G-equipped Xoom, this brings Motorola's tablet to price parity with Apple's iPad 2.

Motorola Mobility will begin selling its Wi-Fi-only Motorola Xoom tablet March 27 for $599 at Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam's Club, Staples, and Walmart, as well as online at The 32GB Xoom Wi-Fi Edition, which is price-equivalent to Apple's new Wi-Fi-only, 32GB iPad 2, will also be available to commercial IT channels and regional retailers through a distribution agreement with Synnex Corporation, and regional carriers through Brightpoint, Motorola says.

Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi Edition
(Click to enlarge)

The 10.1-inch Xoom is the first slate based on Google's Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") operating system, a tablet-tailored flavor of a platform that was popularized on smartphones. Powered by a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, the Xoom offers dual cameras and user-interface perks on a 1280 x 800 HD display.

With a price of $599, the Xoom Wi-Fi should prove a solid challenger to the iPad 2 Wi-Fi after people were put off by Motorola's pricing for its Wi-Fi+3G version of Xoom. And, unlike the iPad 2, the Xoom can display Adobe Flash content, as demonstrated yesterday in a Laptop hands-on test (below).

Motorola's Xoom running Adobe Flash
Source: Laptop
(Click to enlarge)

Motorola launched the Wi-Fi+3G Xoom Feb. 24, priced at $599 with a two-year deal from Verizon Wireless, and $799 off contract. High-tech analysts fretted over the notion of a tablet with a data plan that would cost $20 a month for 1GB of data, pushing the cost of ownership for the tablet to more than $1,000 over two years. Some analysts and consumers saw a better bargain in the iPad, which offers the comparable 32GB Wi-Fi+3G version for $729.

The rhetoric ratcheted up when Apple launched its iPad 2 with dual cameras and other features that make it competitive with the Xoom, yet at the same price points as its first iPad line-up. The device has sold between 500,000 and 1 million units since March 11.

Meanwhile, two financial analysts went on record as saying that early sales of the Xoom have been slow, with consumers said to be balking at a buggy and confusing Android 3.0 experience. Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry, for example, called Honeycomb buggy, "extremely complicated and confusing," and concluded the tablet will not gain mass adoption.

The finding was interesting, if not curious considering the mostly glowing reviews the tablet has received. eWEEK, for example, tested the Wi-Fi+3G Xoom, and found it speedy and high-performing, possessing dazzling graphics and user-interface perks, such as widgets, multitasking, and notifications that surpassed the first Apple iPad.

The Xoom should get better in the multimedia department March 18, when the Adobe Flash Player 10.2 tested by Laptop becomes available for download on the device.

Still, for many consumers, the choice of iPad or Xoom will come down to whether one prefers Apple products to the Android experience. People will argue which device is superior, but in the end a lot of it comes down to one's techie religion.

While many find the $200 pricing difference between the 3G enabled and Wi-Fi-only versions compelling, an analysis piece eWEEK's Don Reisinger entitled "WiFi-Only Motorola Xoom: 10 reasons not to buy it", argues that the 3G version of the Xoom is still the better deal, in part because it will have the ability to upgrade to Verizon's 4G LTE network later this year.

Then again, it looks like Don really has his eye on that iPad 2, anyway.


Motorola's Xoom Wi-Fi Edition will go on sale March 27 for $599 at Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam's Club, Staples, and Walmart, as well as online at, says Motorola Mobility. More information may be found in Motorola's  Xoom Wi-Fi Edition announcement.

Clint Boulton is a writer for our sister publication eWEEK.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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