Getting your tablet to market in 2011 before anyone else is vital, and particularly in relation to the soon-to-be-crowded space of Android devices. Therefore it is with interest that we see news that the Motorola Xoom will arrive as soon as 17 February.
The 10.1in Xoom was announced at CES a few weeks ago and certainly impressed us in the small time we got to have a look at it. The 17 February launch date relates to the US market with leaked Best Buy documents explicitly stating this early arrival date. There has also been indication of pricing with both $700 and $800 quoted for a 32GB, 3G-enabled model and the real price likely to be somewhere in between. Considering the 3G version of the original iPad cost $729 with 32GB of storage this pricing seems about right.
The Xoom packs in Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor backed by 1GB RAM for super speedy performance, while accelerometers and gyros ensure its ready for all the usual tilt based games. Its 16:10 aspect ratio LCD display sports a high resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels while a 5-megapixel camera sits on the back. It also supports 1080p video playback and Adobe flash, both features which could tempt iPad owners to switch allegiance before the release of the iPad 2 later this year.
While Motorola indicated a Q1 release for the Xoom at CES, most analysts expected the launch to take place no earlier than March since it was believed that Android 3.0 or Honeycomb would not be ready to ship before then. While lucky Americans could get their hands on the Xoom as early as 17 February, there is still no indication of a release date here in the UK or anywhere else.
The Xoom is just one of a number of tablets which were unveiled at CES which will be looking to challenge the dominance of Apple’s iPad, including the BlackBerry PlayBook and an unnamed Honeycomb Toshiba tablet. Motorola seem to believe that being the first to the table with a Honeycomb tablet is vital to secure position in the market place and they could be right. We will be following this story and bring any further release details to you as soon as we hear about them.