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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Motorola Xoom Officially Priced at $800, $600 for Wi-Fi

The popular response to last week’s leaked pricing details for the Motorola Xoom--pegging the tablet at an $800 launch on Verizon--was “way too expensive.” Well, bad news--that $800 was, unfortunately, completely true. The unsubsidized tablet will launch on Verizon at 800 smackers, giving buyers the choice at that price point to shell out for optional monthly data without being tethered to a two-year contract.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for the Xoom, as Motorola Chief Executive Sanjay Jha says a Wi-Fi only model of the world’s first Honeycomb tablet will retail for around $600.

As we previously reported, the Xoom will require some form of activation for its Wi-Fi model that must be carried out on a Verizon data connection. It sounds so nonsensical we can only hope Verizon and Motorola will come to their senses and kill the idea. At the very least, Verizon should offer refunds to users who pay for a month of 3G purely for activation purposes.

With a 1280x800 screen, two cameras, dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage, the Xoom easily blows away what the 32GB $600 iPad has to offer. Somehow we doubt it will look quite so impressive stacked up against the iPad 2, especially if Apple plans on cutting its price.

The Xoom is packed to the gills with impressive hardware, but the tablet’s pricing may already be surrounding it with a damaging stigma that could be hard to overcome--and without a lower-cost model, it's already targeting a limited demographic of users who want or need 32GB of storage on a tablet.

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