Yesterday, February 24, 2011, Best Buy introduced the new Motorola Xoom at their stores. Last evening I had a meeting to attend and on my way home I stopped at one of our local Best Stores. The Motorola Xoom is priced at $799 without contract or $600 if you sign-up with Verizon for a two-year contract. Verizon data rates are as follows:
1GB costs $20 a month
3GB costs $35 a month
5GB costs $50 a month
10GB costs $80 a month
Hardware for the Xoom includes a dual-core processor at 1.0GHz provided by Nvidia, 1GB of memory, 32GB hard disk, dual web cams, USB port, HDMI, and built-in wireless.
But there are two things that makes this touch-pad make you take notice. First is weight and size. With a 10.1″ screen it is sufficient to use without straining your eye balls. Next is weight. At only 1/2″ thick and weighing just 1.5 lbs., it was very comfortable to hold and use.
Now here is the biggest and best feature that could make this a real contender in the touch-pad arena. Android Honeycomb shines brightly and is extremely intuitive and easy to use. Like its Android cousin, Honeycomb is feature rich and is basically an OS that one needs very little instruction to use.
All of those friendly Google icons are readily available for your use. Yes there is Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Calendar just to name a few. I wish I had more time to play with the device but the sales person let me know that my play time was over, as other shoppers wanted to get their hands on the unit.
So how does it compare to the Google Chrome OS CR-48 computer? For my personal needs of using a laptop device to blog and surf the Internet with, I personally prefer the Cr-48 to meet my needs. I prefer using the traditional keyboard. The Motorola Xoom has the cool factor and is an attention grabber for sure. Most consumers will find the Xoom a delight to use for their daily needs.
What is unknown are two factors. How much Google is going to charge for their Chrome OS netbook and how good the new Apple iPad 2 is going to be?
I personally believe 2011 is going to be a very exciting year and I look forward to all of the new devices coming to market. The more devices the better the selection and the faster prices will fall.