Why I'm not paying $700 for the Motorola XOOM

Word is leaking that the Motorola XOOM will be available in Best Buy for $699, and at that price I'm not going to get one. Here's why.

The Motorola XOOM was a darling of attendees at this month's CES, even rating the best of show by some following things closely. But as is usually the case with hot new gadgets, the devil is in the details, not the least of which is how much will it cost? Word is leaking that the XOOM will be available in Best Buy for $699, and at that price I'm not going to get one.

I have the rare advantage of having real hands-on time with the Motorola XOOM, as evidenced in a brief video. The video is much too short, having been shut down by the Verizon ninjas who realized the Galaxy Tab in my hands was a 7-inch viewfinder for the video I was recording (admittedly illicitly). My time with the XOOM left me notably impressed, but not enough to pay that hefty a price for one of my own.

The build quality of the XOOM felt good, and the non-slippery coating of the device felt nice in the hand. The Honeycomb user interface is not only well-designed for the larger display of the tablet, it is actually fun to use. Everything about the XOOM speaks quality and innovation.

So why am I unwilling to pay $700 for one? Two reasons: size and value. While the 10.1-inch display of the XOOM is good for many things, I prefer a smaller (7-inch) display to make the device more portable. I carry the Galaxy Tab around most everywhere, but wouldn't do that with the larger XOOM. That leads me to the value situation, if I can't carry the device around most of the time, I'm not going to get enough use out of it to justify paying the price. I justified the $400 I paid for the Tab, but at almost double that the XOOM doesn't present enough of a value proposition to get my money.

I realize this is a purely personal reaction to the XOOM, and that many folks will get plenty of value out of it at that price. I also freely admit that due to my addiction to gadgets of all types, I am subject to change my mind about the XOOM at a future time.


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