Motorola Xoom to launch on Feb. 17 priced at $700, report says

Motorola joins Hewlett-Packard, Sprint with expected February launches of new tablets

The Motorola Xoom 10.1-inch touchscreen tablet will cost $700 when it first appears on Feb. 17, according to leaked documents and an unnamed Engadget.com source.

The Xoom will run Android 3.0, or Honeycomb, which is designed for tablets.

The $700 version of Motorola's device will have 32GB of onboard storage, according a photo of the leaked documents. In comparison, a 9.7-inch iPad with 3G wireless connectivity and 32GB of storage sells for $729.

Some bloggers have speculated that users won't have to sign a contract in order to buy the Xoom. Verizon, which will sell the Xoom, already offers five tiers of monthly data service for the 7-inch Galaxy Tab; it could offer similar tiers for Xoom data service.

Verizon had said earlier this month at the International Consumer Electronics Show that the Xoom would launch in the first quarter and would be available in versions offering 3G wireless and Wi-Fi connectivity. The company said users would be able to upgrade to 4G LTE service in the second quarter. Motorola Mobility announced at CES that a version of the Xoom that's 4G LTE- and Wi-Fi-ready will be available in the second quarter.

February will be a busy month in the tablet market. Hewlett-Packard is expected to unveil one or two WebOS-based tablets on Feb. 9, and Sprint might offer more details about the BlackBerry PlayBook on Feb. 7, analysts say.

Motorola Xoom
Motorola's dual-core Tegra 2 Xoom tablet runs Android 3.0, the first version specifically designed for tablets.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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