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Motorola announces cheaper Xoom

Motorola has announced a cheaper version of its Xoom tablet that takes on the iPad where it is strongest – its price. However, the Xoom Family Edition has only 16GB of storage, and connects only via WiFi, reports SEAN BACHER
Motorola has announced that it isnselling a new, entry-level Xoom tablet – the Xoom Family Edition for $400 (R3n200 if converted directly).

Motorola is not the first company tondrop the price of its tablets. Companies like Research In Motion, HTC, Acer andnToshiba have all recently dropped their tablet prices. The reason is quitenclear – iPad alternatives are not selling as well as anticipated. Estimatesnhave revealed that only 3.4 million tablets using Android’s Honeycomb operatingnsystem have been sold to date, compared to Apple’s 25 million iPads up to thenbeginning of June 2011.

The original Motorola Xoom, launched locallynin August, was one of the first tablets to come pre-installed with the Androidn3.0 operating system – an OS specifically designed for large format tablets orntablets using a 10.1” display. That Xoom featured 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, WiFinand 3G connectivity and retailed for R6 600 at the time of launch.

The newnXoom Family Edition runs Android Honeycomb version 3.1, features only 16GB of storagenspace and will only be able to connect to the Internet via WiFi. The tabletnfeatures applications especially designed for children, such as the Kid Zone app developed bynZoodles. However, it does not just cater for children, as the tablet will alsonfeature standard Android applications like QuickOffice.

Users will also be ablento download additional applications from the Android Market. Other specificationsninclude a 10.1” capacitive touchscreen with a 1280X800 resolution and a 1GHzndual-core Nvidia Tegra processor – exactly the same as the original 32GBnversion.

Is this price drop enough?

Although dropping the price is a stepnin the right direction, it may be too little too late for this generation ofntablet. For just R1 000 more you can get the entry-level iPad. And if younreally want to get a cheap Android tablet, there’s the Kindle Fire, which willnretail for $200 (about R1 600) if you buy it direct from Amazon.

See our review of the originalnMotorola Xoom 32GB, which we’ve put through the Gadget Ten Question Tabletntest.

*nFollow Sean on Twitter on @seanbacher

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