One of the most anticipated devices in the emerging tablet market, the Motorola Xoom, is now available for preorder at BestBuy.com. The Xoom will be the first device to feature the new Honeycomb version of the Android operating system, which was specifically designed with tablet computing in mind. It officially goes on sale Thursday, February 24.
Many are calling Xoom the first legitimate contender to the iPad, which has had a stranglehold over the tablet market since launching a year ago. And it's definitely launching with a number of impressive features.
Of all the bells and whistles the Xoom boasts, the one garnering the most attention (deservedly so) is Honeycomb. Honeycomb is the latest version of Google's Android operating system, and has been designed from the ground up for tablets. While there are other Android tablet devices on the market, they're all running older versions. With Xoom, the world will finally get to see if the wait for Honeycomb has been worth it.
Of course, another big selling point for the Xoom is it's dual-core processor, which promises to make tablet computing an experience much more similar to what consumers are used to with their PC in regard to speed and performance--oh, it allows for multitasking as well.
Video marketers will no doubt take notice of a couple of other unique features. There's a camera, for one, which means you can take photographs or video with the Xoom. Also, Google's Eric Schmidt told the world last week about Movie Studio, a new cloud-based video editing software that is compatible with Honeycomb. For those who deal with a lot of video, this makes the Xoom a more attractive tablet device than the iPad and the rest of the current market.
Will It Sell?
The Xoom is $799, which is probably a tad on the high side, but only by a little--the iPad, after all, is $729. The device is 3G, and upgradeable to 4G.
Will Xoom make a dent in iPad's market share? Can Xoom help Honeycomb grow in the tablet market the way that Android has grown in the mobile market? Possibly. The device will almost certainly make a splash. But pretty much everyone is expecting an iPad2 announcement soon, and there's no telling what new features that device will carry. The iPad2 will definitely put the spotlight back on Apple, but will Xoom have enough time to carve out some market-share for Android tablets?