Less Expensive Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom Still Won't Trump iPad 2

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The good news is that the 3G-less Xoom will be available from March 27 and will cost $599, a price match to the equivalent iPad 2. The bad news is that Motorola still hasn't fixed some of the issues with the Xoom, and the 3G version still costs more than the equivalent iPad.

The Wi-Fi only Xoom comes with 32GB of on-board storage and costs just as much as a 32GB Wi-Fi iPad: $599. Although Motorola pushed for a price match, the entry price for a 16GB iPad is $100 cheaper at $499. Motorola didn't introduce a third model of the Xoom with only 16GB of storage, but perhaps it should have, considering the $499 iPad is the model flying off the shelves the quickest.

Spec-by-spec comparison of five competing tablets.
Pricing aside, Motorola still hasn't fixed some of the issues with the Xoom meant to give it an edge over the iPad. Motorola's press release says a beta version of Adobe Flash 10.2 will be available as a download, not preloaded onto the Wi-Fi Xoom. Last week Motorola announced the 3G Xoom will get a software update that will support an upcoming Adobe Flash Player 10.2.

Essentially though, the original Xoom still has no Flash support, a month after the original tablet was released. However, Adobe said a beta version of Flash Player 10.2 for Android will be available on March 18 for current Xoom owners, and it will probably come bundled on the Wi-Fi-only Xoom later this month.

Motorola also didn't address another ardent issue: SD card support. The Xoom touts memory expansion via SD cards, but the slot is still unusable due to lack of software support. Again, Motorola gave no clear indication whether this issue would be addressed by the time the Wi-Fi only Xoom arrives next week.

Motorola's Xoom does indeed have better cameras and more RAM memory (see a comparison chart) than the iPad 2, but Apple's tablet is much thinner and lighter (some reviewers called the Xoom obese in comparison). Finally, the iPad 2 has the advantage of a more mature App Store, with thousands of apps in comparison to a few dozen on the Xoom. This is why even the price-match Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom won't trump the iPad 2 any time soon.

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