Told you so - the price of the XOOM will indeed be significantly less than $1,200 (at least according to Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha). In fact, if you decide to take the WiFi-only route, the tablet will cost just $600 - half of the price Best Buy put up (and subsequently took down). 3G connectivity will come with a $199 premium (jacking the price up to $799), though it's worth noting that the XOOM's radio will see an LTE upgrade sometime down the road.
Less than a week after the Best Buy ad for the XOOM was leaked, the official pre-order page has launched. Stunningly, the price quoted on the website is $1,199.99, significantly higher than the price quoted on the original ad which was $799.
Best Buy pre-order page
If true, the price is an exorbitant markup over the retail price shown in two separate tips we've received of the product listing in the Best Buy systems: both show the XOOM as costing Best Buy $550, with the employee price being just $577.50.
A leaked ad from Best Buy shows that the Motorola XOOM will be priced at $799.99. It also confirms rumours that the tablet will be available in-store from February 24th.
The ad seems to be the real deal (complete with the trademarked Best Buy yellow price labels), however we couldn't help but notice a few glaring spelling mistakes. Either the ad is a fake, which is unlikely at this point, or Best Buy needs to fire its current spell-checker.
Remember the 15-second preview of Motorola's XOOM Super Bowl commercial that was leaked online a few days ago? Guess what - it's Super Bowl Sunday, the ad just aired in front of millions of people, and Moto immediately released the whole thing on YouTube, so that those of us who missed it could inspect just what exactly Moto's creative genius has been up to lately.
Unsurprisingly, the ad's 1984 theme (remember the teaser?) continues to implicitly take silent jabs at Apple, introducing the XOOM as "the tablet to create a better world."
So, does the full 1 minute ad impress or has Motorola failed to showcase the product properly?
It's pretty much universally agreed upon that Honeycomb's UI overhaul looks awesome, with its Tron-inspired holographic UI touching just about every part of the operating system. But what about the boot screen? It turns out that looks just as slick - TechCrunch managed to grab a video of it, and - despite the poor lighting - we can see that it looks nothing like previous versions of Android, which featured the Nexus "X" animation.
Super Bowl XLV is going down this Sunday, and while most people can't wait to see the Steelers face off against the Packers, Android fans have another reason to be excited: Motorola plans to air a commercial for the world's first Honeycomb tablet during the big game.
However, for those of us who simply can't wait any longer, Motorola's released 15 seconds of the ad - check it out:
As you can see, Motorola has decided to take yet another jab at Apple and the iPad's lack of customizability - not exactly the most innovative approach, but so long as it piques the public's interest, it should suffice.
A short while ago, the Best Buy Grand Rapids Facebook page prematurely posted a status update indicating the release dates of the Motorola XOOM tablet and the HTC Thunderbolt.
The status update suggests that the Motorola XOOM will be available for sale at Best Buy from February 24, while the HTC Thunderbolt will be available starting February 14 (the day after Mobile World Congress 2011 officially kicks off). Additionally, the Verizon iPhone 4 will be coming to Best Buy on February 10, and the Samsung Presto 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot will be available from February 17.
Earlier yesterday, Google demoed some of Honeycomb's most impressive features, however one of its best features seems to have slipped under the radar. While playing around with the Motorola XOOM, Engadget noticed an "Encrypt Tablet" option in the settings page.
At this time little is known about the encryption standard that will be used or whether the encryption process will affect the tablet's other features in any way. All that is known is that your accounts, settings, downloaded applications, media, and other files will be encrypted, and you will require a numeric PIN or password to decrypt the data.
Today has definitely been one of the more exciting days this year, at least in the Android department. Last week, Google sent out invitation for a Honeycomb-related event, where we, of course, were expecting detailed walkthroughs of Android 3.0 and hands-on with the Motorola XOOM.
Rumors of the web store that was promised almost a year ago as well as Google Music, teased at the same time at Google I/O last year, were flying, and one of them definitely came true today - we've finally got ourselves a web-based Market with over-the-air app installations.