Motorola has officially announced that the WiFi-only XOOM tablet will go on sale at several retailers on March 27th for $599. This entry-level XOOM model will be sold at Best Buy, Costco, Amazon, Walmart, Staple's, Sam's Club and RadioShack. This is good news and bad news for those wanting a XOOM without 3G/4G connectivity; while it is good this model is going on sale, it is $200 too much to compete with the entry-level iPad 2 that is selling like hotcakes.
The XOOM has a lot of hardware features that are quite powerful, but mainstream consumers don't care about specifications. They are going to look at the XOOM for $599, and the iPad 2 for $499 and make a simple decision to get the latter. Motorola is playing catchup with Apple in the tablet space, and not even matching the iPad 2 price is good enough. This XOOM should be $399 to have a chance to compete.
It doesn't help that the XOOM is not quite as solid as it should be, while the iPad 2 is, as one would expect from a second generation product. The excuse that the XOOM is the very first Android Honeycomb tablet to hit the market won't hold water with most consumers. They want a product that works properly, and at a good price. The XOOM at $599 is neither.