If you're looking for an Android Honeycomb tablet, you might want to consider being a Prime member at Amazon.
About a month and a half ago I spoke about how it might behoove Motorola to drop the price of its Wi-Fi XOOM now that it is facing stiff competition from Apple's iPad 2. I suggested that the company consider creating a new SKU for the device with 16GB of flash storage instead of the onboard 32GB that it currently ships with, in essence a "Light" config that would cost less than a comparable entry-level iPad.
A few weeks later, Acer introduced its own nVidia Tegra 2-based Honeycomb device, the Iconia A500, which has 16GB of flash, but otherwise all the same specs as Motorola's flagship Android tablet. Partnering with retailer Best Buy on the launch, the device is currently selling for $449.99. I actually went and placed an order on one sight unseen, and was expecting delivery early next week.
However, as I was checking the status of my order today on Best Buy's web site, I noticed that the actual price of the Iconia A500 ended up being $491.00 after paying local taxes and shipping. So just for kicks, I took a look at what the XOOM was currently going for on Amazon.
As It turns out, if you are an Amazon Prime member, the $589.00 device is currently having a $14.64 promotion and of course, there's free shipping and no taxes. End cost? $575.35.
Actual price difference from the Iconia?
That's much more in line with the kind of price difference you see between a 16GB and 32GB iPad 2. As a matter of fact, it's cheaper than what Apple charges for an equivalent flash memory bump on its own devices.
Needless to say, I cancelled the Acer and bought the Motorola XOOM instead. And as with Amazon's Prime's usual free two-day shipping, it should arrive first thing Monday.
I do a lot of yearly shopping with Amazon, particularly during the holidays, so the $79 per year Prime membership makes a lot of sense for someone like me.
I think that if you're looking to pick up a quality Android tablet, the 32GB Wi-Fi XOOM at Amazon's promotional pricing for Prime members is actually a pretty good deal, and certainly more competitive in terms of what I think a consumer should be paying for an Android tablet with those kinds of features.
Of course, it's possible that the Iconia A500 may very well match the XOOM in terms of build quality based on the contract manufacturer Acer is using to produce the unit, and lots of people might like the device, but based on my recent support experiences with the company, I'm going to spend the $84.00 difference and get the extra 16GB of flash memory and buy a device from a company whose support and build quality I know has never let me down.
Has the price gap closure between the Wi-Fi XOOM and the Acer Iconia have you reconsidering your purchases? Talk Back and Let Me Know.