BestBuy caused quite a stir on Sunday 13 February, 2011 when it listed the Motorola Xoom for pre-order at a staggering price of US$1,200 (NGN192,000), a far cry from the expected $800 (NGN128,000) price tag. While we assume this was a slip as it has been yanked off the site, even the initial rumoured listing price of $800 for the Xoom is considered high, nothwithstanding the fact that its features are far superior to any tablet in the market. Most still think the device will a hardsell because the Apple ipad, which is the dominant force in the tablet market with an astounding market share of 87%, retails for as low as US $500 (NGN90,000).

The Xoom been slated for release on February 24, 2011.

Of course, these devices are never targeted at the African market where purchasing power is quite low. However, for the few die-hard geeks and lovers of gadgets, the rather high pricing of these devices may call for deep thinking and a search for good alternatives.One really can’t help but think of Eyebeekay’s write-up and wonder if the tablet is really worth the investment.I have held out on buying one just because of this.

Basically, what do i need a tablet for, apart from being branded as “very cool”?

– Good Ereader (Most Importantly).

Aside from backlight and eye strain issues, reading on tablets usually result in less satisfying experience and the prints are less legible than E-ink screens found on Ereaders.

– Efficiency as a mobile office viz a viz price tag

I have heard users of the ipad complain about the “little inconvenience” of not having a hardware keyboard, resulting in less efficiency. The same feeling you get from using a touch screen phone without a QWERTY keyboard.

– How soon before the next big thing?

It’s sad that even the 1 year old ipad is being referred to in some quarters as near obsolete.

I am thinking less of convergence, keeping the reader separate from the GSM device. I try to read regularly and this has informed my decision for a 10.1″ reading device. Except a new entrant comes in or there is an update very soon, the Kindle DX is probably my best choice for the near extinct device called the Ereader, good screen estate to view  my loads of pdf files.  One would have thought the price would have dropped by now from $379. And i might just grab a 4 inch Android phone while i am at it, to replace my ageing 3 month old HTC TyTN II!

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