It seems that Verizon (or Motorola) got the message: The Droid Xyboards are too damn expensive when tied to a 2-year commitment. Until today, Verizon was selling the 10.1 Xoom 2 for $529 and required a 2-year contract. Ludicrous. Well, after today’s price cuts, the prices are less absurd, but just slightly.
Verizon lopped $50 off the on-contract price making the 16GB 10.1-inch $479 with the 8-inch retailing just $379. Of course buyers are still required to sign on the dotted line in order to get that price. But the unsubsidized models didn’t get the same love. Never mind that the new tabs are essentially downgraded versions of the 10 month old Xoom, these models still retail for $699 for buyers smart enough to avoid the contract (but dumb enough to want the tab in the first place).
Even with the lower price, the 2-year commitment is very troublesome. By essentially locking an early adopter (every single Android tab buyer still qualifies for this title) into already dated hardware, carriers are dramatically slowing the adoption rate. If Apple or AT&T had employed the same tactic with the original iPad, the iPad 2 would surely not been as big of a hit. But now, whatever delusional Android fanboy buys a Xoom 2 from Verizon on-contract, barring paying the high ETF, they’re locked into that particular model until at least 2013.
It looks like once again everyone’s to blame for another Motorola tablet failure.
It’s not every day that you have two – count ‘em – two Motorola Honeycomb tablets drop on your lap but today’s one of those days. I’ve just powered up the Xyboard 8.2 and 10.1 and am running them through their paces right now. The tablets are surprisingly thin and, in preliminary LTE tests, surprisingly fast on the wireless networks, topping out at 28.8mbps.
I’m going to withhold judgement until I mess with these guys a bit but as it stands the power and performance are impressive. As Matt notes, however, the 10.1 model costs $529 with contract and the 8.2 costs $429. You’re going to hear this again and again: Verizon’s prices are too darn high.
Contracts aside, these look to be quite capable and if the battery life isn’t too bad they may be worth looking into if you’re looking for a tablet with an LTE solution built-in.
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday officially announced the DROID XYBOARD 10.1 and the XYBOARD 8.2, otherwise known as the Motorola XOOM 2 and XOOM 2 Media Edition tablets. Aside from different sized IPS displays, both devices offer support for Verizon Wireless’s 4G LTE network and are equipped with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording HD video, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi support and the ability to share a 4G LTE connection with other Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The tablets will ship with Android Honeycomb installed but will eventually be upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The 16GB DROID XYBOARD 10.1 starts at $529.99 with a new two-year contract, but 32GB and 64GB models will also be available. The DROID XYBOARD 8.2 will come in 16GB and 32GB capacities and pricing will start at $429.99 with a new two-year contract. Both tablets will be available from Verizon Wireless this month. Verizon’s full press release follows after the break.
VERIZON WIRELESS AND MOTOROLA MOBILITY INTRODUCE NEXT-GENERATION DROID XYBOARD TABLETS ON THE VERIZON WIRELESS 4G LTE NETWORK
New Tablets Elevate Customers into an Unprecedented Realm of Communication, Entertainment and Productivity; Verizon Wireless Also Offering New DROID RAZR™ by Motorola in White, Just in Time for the Holidays
BASKING RIDGE, N.J, and LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) and Verizon Wireless today introduced two new additions to the DROID family to deliver new and unparalleled experiences on America’s fastest, most reliable 4G network, the DROID XYBOARD tablets. The two new DROID tablets present new options for consumers looking to stay connected, productive and entertained. Additionally, Verizon Wireless will debut the trendsetting DROID RAZR™ by Motorola in a flashy new white color, a unique gift for the winter holidays. All three products will be upgraded to Android™ 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The new DROID XYBOARD tablets both boast the blazing speeds of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network and the power of dual-core 1.2 GHz processors, 1 GB of RAM and MotoCast™ for remote access to non DRM-protected music, pictures, videos and documents stored on work or home computers’ hard drives. Both are equipped with scratch-resistant displays that use Corning® Gorilla® Glass to stay brilliant and a coating of water-repellent nanoparticles makes them resistant to accidental spills and splashes.
Lighter than a paperback book and thinner than an AAA battery, the DROID XYBOARD tablets feature Android™ 3.2 Honeycomb, brilliant high-definition displays with wide viewing angles, magnesium-reinforced bodies with aluminum housing and super portable form-factors. Both tablets offer robust Business Ready features, including enterprise-grade security and apps such as Quickoffice HD® for document editing and creation, Citrix® GoToMeeting™ for productivity and collaboration and Google Talk™ for video conferencing.
The DROID XYBOARD 10.1 is optimized for productivity with stylus support for easy notetaking and markup using a precision tip stylus, included in the box. The XYBOARD 8.2 is perfect for portable entertainment with 2.1 adaptive virtual surround sound and a high-definition display for enjoying Netflix™ movies in up to HD quality, concert-like music and serious gaming. Powered by the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, DROID XYBOARD 10.1 and 8.2 customers can soar through the Web at blazing speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps within 4G LTE Mobile Broadband coverage areas.
Additional features for DROID XYBOARD tablets:
· 10.1-inch and 8.2-inch high-definition In-Plane Switching (IPS) display for DROID XYBOARD 10.1 and DROID XYBOARD 8.2 respectively
· Mobile Hotspot Capability – share 4G LTE connection with up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices
· 5-megapixel rear-facing HD cameras with digital zoom, autofocus and LED flash, optimized for capturing the moment
· 1.3-megapixel HD front-facing cameras perfect for video chatting with friends and family
· Dijit™ app allows DROID XYBOARD tablets to double as a universal remote control with an electronic programming guide for TVs, Blu-ray Disc™ players, digital video records (DVR), and most other consumer electronics
· Support for Google™ Mobile Services including Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Talk, Google Search™, Google Maps™ and access to millions of books from Google Books™
· Supports a wide array of separately purchased accessories including an HD station for connecting to speakers and a larger screen, an HD dock to send content via HDMI out to HDTVs and home theater speaker systems and a stylish portfolio with Bluetooth®-enabled keyboard and mouse
· Wi-Fi Connectivity (802.11 a/b/g/n)
· Both DROID XYBOARD tablets will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com this month.
· 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.
· Customers that purchase a DROID XYBOARD tablet will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Mobile Broadband data plan starting at $30 monthly access for 2 GB of data.
- DROID RAZR in white will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com this month for $299.99 with a new two-year customer agreement. Customers that purchase a DROID RAZR will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan beginning at $39.99 monthly access and a smartphone data package starting at $30 monthly access for 2 GB of data.
· Customers will receive $100 off a DROID XYBOARD tablet and $50 off select Motorola accessories for a limited time when a customer purchases a DROID RAZR by Motorola with a new two-year customer agreement.
Listen, I’ve yet to play with the new Xoom 2 models — or, as the new devices are called at Verizon, the XYBoards. I’m sure both the 8.9 and 10.1 models are fine tablets. They probably power through the hundred or so Honeycomb apps like a championship thoroughbred. But it doesn’t matter. No one is going to buy the new-ish tablets. They will flop harder than the original Xoom.
Right now there are essentially two tablets that matter on the market: the $500 iPad and the $200 Kindle Fire. Because of this, there are just two price points. The iPad set the bar at $500 for full-featured tablets while the Fire is doing the same for budget models. Any tablet that attempts to jam itself into this pricing scheme is currently destined to fail. The low-end wants the Amazon pedigree while the high end knows that they want an iPad. The mid-range Android models are strong, I will admit, but they aren’t what compels the average shopper.
Take the Motorola Droid XYBoard LTE tablet. Never mind that it’s essentially the same hardware as the original Xoom with the silly addition of an IR blaster. Never mind the dumb name. Heck, forget that it’s lacking the SD card slot found on the original. It’s priced completely out of its market. Only ignorant fanboys will buy it.
The 10.1 model costs $529 out the door but requires a two-year agreement with plans starting at $30 a month. That means, two years from now, when the Tegra 2 tablet is countless generations behind current models, the customer would have spent at least $1250. Even worse, because the data package is tied to a contract, the XYBoard owner is liable for a costly early termination fee if they decide to cancel the data package early.
As shocking as it might be, this absurd pricing scheme isn’t exclusive to the XYBoard. The HTC Jetstream hit AT&T in September and initially carried two-year contract price of $699 (it was later dropped to $599). The iPad is available from Verizon and AT&T for slightly more than both the HTC and Motorola model, but does not require the same two-year contract. Subscribers can turn the 3G wireless on or off at any time without paying a penalty.
I’m a big fan of Android but the past nine months were painful. Nearly every month a hot tablet would leak, which would cause the Android community to itch uncontrollably. But then the official details would be announced and the MSRP would most often kill the buzz. With the notable exception of Asus pricing the Transformer at $399, Android manufacturers ignorantly priced their first generation devices directly against the iPad. They didn’t stand a chance. Slowly but surely the iPad chopped each one down until the Fire hit the scene. Now, as an Android supporter, my de facto champion is a $200 budget tablet that strips away all the beautiful user elements found in Honeycomb in favor of an enhanced Amazon storefront.
The XYBoard will likely be quickly replaced with another model. It’s built on an old NVIDA platform, and with Ice Cream Sandwich nearly here, Google and Motorola Mobility likely have a flagship device ready at launch. But that’s the Android game now: Flood the market with tablets built on re-purposed parts. It might be good for the maker and wireless carrier’s bottom lines, but the practice of tying top-tier models down with 2-year contracts will ultimately slow the adoption rate. Recent studies show that Android tablets have a very limited market appeal and these buyers aren’t likely willing to pay early termination fees just to get a slightly upgraded device.
2012 should by all accounts be a big year for Android tablets. Ice Cream Sandwich is said to unify the development of Android tablets and phones, which will hopefully lead to an influx of tablet apps. Plus, while Android does have a limited consumer interest, it’s doubled since the first part of 2011. However, if Android tablet makers continue following the same pricing schemes as they did in 2011, the platform will start to tread water, creating an easy meal for the great white shark that will be Windows 8.
Verizon’s been teasing us with them for weeks now, but today the company has finally made things official: Motorola’s LTE-capable DROID XYBOARD tablets will be hitting Verizon stores this month.
For those of you who have managed to miss all the news about Motorola’s latest tablet venture, here are a few of the salient details.
Better known as the XOOM 2 in Europe, the XYBOARD comes in two flavors: one with an 8.2-inch IPS display and another with larger 10.1-inch IPS display. Don’t worry about missing out on performance if you go for one version over the other, as both XYBOARDs share the same 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM under the hood. Both tabs also sport 5-megapixel rear cameras, along with a 1.3-megapixel front-facer, and an IR transmitter for controlling your home theater.
On the application side, the XYBOARDs come Motorola’s MOTOCAST media streaming software, QuickOffice HD, Citrix GoToMeeting, and the usual suite of Google appa. Handwriting input buffs may also want to take note of the 10.1-inch XYBOARD, as it ships with a stylus meant to make doodling cats on the screen even easier than before.
But how much will all that cost you? The 10.1-inch XYBOARD comes in three memory variants: you can score a 16GB model for $529.99, a 32GB model for $629.99 and the king-sized 64 GB for $729.99. If you prefer the smaller 8.2-inch model, prices are a little more reasonable. There are only two models to choose from: 16GB for $429.99 and 32GB for $529.99. All of these prices are with a two-year contract, so think long and hard about whether or not the XYBOARDs are right for you.
You’ll need to pony up an extra monthly charge if you want to take advantage of the XYBOARD’s speedy LTE connection, too: prices for Verizon’s data plans start at $30 for 2GB of bandwidth.
Verizon also snuck in an announcement confirming the existence of a white Droid RAZR. I’m sure that news won’t be as exciting to some of you as it is to me, but fans of chromatically pure devices have one more to add to the list. Motorola has also pledged that all three of the newly-announced devices will get access to Android 4.0 (a.k.a Ice Cream Sandwich), so here’s hoping they get access to the code sooner rather than later.
Verizon Wireless has yet to announce the Motorola DROID 4 or either of its XOOM tablet successors, but that hasn’t stopped the carrier from showing them off to at least one website. CNET on Thursday published details and images of the devices following a briefing with Verizon, and the information lines up with earlier rumors. The DROID 4 will essentially be a DROID RAZR with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that could launch as soon as next week. Specs include a 4-inch qHD display, Android 2.3.5, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 4G LTE compatibility. Read on for more.
Verizon will also soon launch a pair of Motorola “Xyboard” tablets to replace the XOOM, which has reportedly seen lukewarm sales to date. The new tablets, which were announced overseas last month bearing the XOOM brand, feature 1.2GHz dual-core processors, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 5-megapixel rear cameras and 1.3-megapixel front-facing cameras for video chats. One will include a 10.1-inch display and the second will sport a slightly smaller 8.2-inch panel. An image of the Xyboard tablets follows below.