updated 11:30 pm EST, Fri January 6, 2012
Motorola preps cheaper Wi-Fi only Xyboard tablets
Motorola has begun taking pre-orders for a Wi-Fi only version of the Xyboard. Losing the Droid name from Verizon, they remain identical on the inside and cost significantly less. The 8.2-inch 16GB and 32GB models cost $400 and $500 respectively, while climbing to 10.1 inches adds another $100 to the cost.
Inside, they still share IPS-based LCDs, dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP chips, five-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front cameras, and Android 3.2. The 8.2-inch model focuses on higher-powered speakers and wide viewing angles as a video-first tablet.
All of the Xyboards ship the week of January 18, or just under two weeks from Friday.
The Wi-Fi version are following a similar pattern to what Motorola tried with the Xoom, where it started off with a cellular version and only went to a carrier-free Wi-Fi version later. As with the Xoom, most have considered that a possibly dangerous error as it led to unusually high prices that put the tablets out of competition with the iPad and other tablets that both cost less for similar features and have a cheaper starting point.