Tablets are great!

Everyone loves the iPad, right? (Not me)

I want a tablet, and I don’t want an iPad.  The reason I generally don’t buy iOS products is long and complicated, so I won’t bore you.

So when I heard about these high-end Android tablets to be launched, I got excited.  First there was the Samsung Galaxy Tab.  Then there were several other cheaper tablets by companies like Coby.  But they all lacked something.  The Galaxy Tab was 7 inches and too small for my tastes.  My high-end tastes kept me from going low end.  So there I was, wanting a nice 10-inch non-iOS tablet … but nothing to satisfy my desire.

Then I hear about Motorola!  There is a cute little demo video announcing the tablet (the 3D one that bashed iPad and GalaxyTab). I go all the way to CES just to put my hands on this tablet.  I hear all this about Honeycomb, a new flavor of Android catered to the tablet.  Finally I might have real support for applications on a 10-inch form factor.  Also, I get the high-end components of a major manufacturer.

I am excited.

Until I heard the price tag!

The Motorola Xoom is supposed to sell for $800.  I just don’t understand this (and I’m not the only one).  Considering this a new device, and Motorola has no track record in making tablets, it astonishes me that they would go for this price point.  I know pricing is a careful science and there maybe some deep business insight into this process that I am missing, but at this point I doubt it.  Why is this a bad price point you ask?  Why … let me tell you.

It’s significantly more expensive than the iPad

No matter your current beliefs or views on Apple, there is no denying that they are clearly the market leader in tablets.  They are the current platinum standard that every tablet is judged by.  I just don’t think Motorola’s offering has the added benefits to justify the premium they are asking for.  Just as with laptops, Apple generally sets the high-end of the market in terms of price.  I just don’t know why Motorola thinks they can come in more expensive the current Mercedes-Benz of tablets.

It’s unproven

While Motorola itself has a pretty good track record, there are a lot of firsts in this new product.  It’s the first major branded Tegra 2 (the CPU) tablet.  It’s Motorola’s first tablet.  It’s the first Android 3.0 tablet.  Considering I would be one of the beta testers to purchase this thing … the price is just too high.

It’s aimed at the average consumer

This whole post would be worthless if the Xoom wasn’t aimed at the mass market.  If this were a business device, or something for early adopters (areas where price premiums are acceptable), then I wouldn’t take the time to gripe.  But with a Superbowl ad that is very consumer focused and given Best Buy will be selling them, this is a mass market item.  At this price though, I think it becomes too much of an investment for the average person.

The price is too close to a laptop

Tablets are thought of as this middleware in between laptops and cell phones.  It compliments the two and gives you a minimized experience for on the go.  But when you price your compliment as the same price as a laptop, it just seems silly.  Even the iPad is the same as a mid-range laptop, but at $800 I can buy a really good computing machine.

So … Motorola, please do something.  It may be steep discounts from the carriers, or maybe some crazy rebate program, but $800 is just too much.  The tablet market is just heating up, so don’t make your first entry the single most expensive tablet in the entire industry.

Please …

Updated: I now hear that the high-end model is $1200 at Best Buy! (link)