Verizon Wireless has showed off a new teaser advert meant to drum up the excitement ahead of the official Xoom launch this coming Thursday. Interestingly, the commercial doesn't sing praises for the Xoom's powerful hardware and advanced, flashy software features, courtesy of Google's Android Honeycomb operating system created specifically with tablet form factors in mind. Instead, a short thriller-themed scene depicts a guy walking down the street and spotting a mid-air suspended Xoom. The man grabs the tablet and immediately gets transformed into a super cool space vehicle. "Grab it, and it grabs you," says the tagline, highlighting the fact the Xoom is the first tablet to run Honeycomb.
The teaser represents an interesting conceptual departure from their anti-Apple teaser and Super Bowl commercial which blatantly portrayed the iPhone maker as a Big Brother entity that controls an army of mindless, brainwashed fans.
The 32GB Motorola Xoom will retail unsubsidized for $800 with Verizon's EVDO data service, a $70 more compared to the $729 32GB iPad. For this price, Motorola's product is offering the latest hardware plus 3G connectivity with a free software update to enable 50Mbps 4G sometime in the second quarter of this year. The WiFi-only version with 32GB of storage will retail for $600, matching Apple's pricing for the 32GB WiFi iPad model. However, Motorola lacks a low-cost entry-level Xoom model to compete with the 16GB WiFi only iPad that costs just $500.
Motorola's boss went on record defending the Xoom's price point, arguing that a faster networking is worth the premium. For an insightful analysis why only Apple can make a sub-$500 tablet, check out Wired's overview of the key factors working to Apple's favor when it comes to mass manufacturing, it's a highly enjoyable read.