With so much success with the Xoom, Verizon and Motorola announce two new Honeycomb tablets

Summary:With Ice Cream Sandwich rolling out and low priced small tablets, I don't quite understand how Verizon and Motorola think expensive Honeycomb tablets with 2-year contract requirements will sell this holiday season.

It was back in March when I took a look at the Motorola Xoom Android tablet and was the harshest I have ever been on a device. Many readers thought I was being too critical, but as we now see over 8 months later it is pretty obvious the Xoom was a failure in large part due to the Honeycomb operating system and lack of adoption. Thus, I was a bit surprised when I received a press release announcing the Droid XYBOARD (how in the heck do you announce this product name?) tablets launching with Honeycomb out of the box. At least you don't have to send them back to the store to get LTE support since they have it built in. Then again, as Larry points out LTE is celebrating it's 1st birthday and still leaves much to be desired.

The new Droid XYBOARD tablets come in 8.2 inch and 10.1 inch sizes with Android 3.2 Honeycomb and future upgradeability to Ice Cream Sandwich (we have heard that song before). The hardware will likely be great, it was on the Xoom for the most part, but I just don't see people picking up Android tablets with the Amazon Kindle Fire and B&N Nook Tablet available for so much cheaper and meeting the needs of most consumers.

The Droid XYBOARD tablets feature the following:

  • Verizon LTE with mobile hotspot capability (yes, there is an additional charge for this)
  • 5 megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.3 megapixel front facing camera
  • Dual core 1.2 GHz processor
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • Gorilla Glass display
  • WIFi radio
  • Dijit app to use them as universal remote controls

The Droid XYBOARD 10.1 will be available in three models: 16 GB for $529.99, 32 GB for $629.99 and 64 GB for $729.99 all with a new two-year customer agreement. The Droid XYBOARD 8.2 will be available in two models: 16 GB for $429.99 and 32 GB for $529.99 both with a new two-year customer agreement. The two year agreement includes a monthly fee of $30 for 2GB of data.

Does anyone plan to pick up one of these new Android tablets? I personally could never justify such a high cost for the device and data plan when much cheaper tablets are available for many of the same functions. I enjoy using my iPad 2 and HTC Flyer, but still don't think they are essential devices that replace a smartphone or laptop.

Topics: Tablets, Android, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Verizon

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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