You really have to wonder how closely Motorola has been watching the extravaganza that the development community has been having with the Nook Color. Dollars will undoubtedly flow towards the soon-to-be-released Xoom, but will they flow just a little bit less now that Honeycomb can be installed on a $250 "e-reader?"
Do you think the recipients of the latest Google flagship device deal are squirming just a little bit?
A commercial for the Xoom ran during the Super Bowl, hailing it as "the fastest tablet running Android 3.0 'Honeycomb.'" But wasn't it just recently being described as "the first tablet to run Android 3.0 Honeycomb?" You have to wonder . . .
While the Nook Color is running Honeycomb much sooner than expected, I haven't lost track of the facts that:
- the Xoom's specs eat the Nook's specs for breakfast
- this is a port of an SDK preview of Honeycomb we're running, not yet the real thing
- it takes some serious tweaking in order to get the Nook into a Honeycomb-running state.
So obviously, we're talking about two completely different classes of devices--and maybe different target buyers as well. I get that.
However, while obviously inferior, the Nook Color's hardware really isn't bad at all. I've heard some say "Honeycomb's designed for a dual-core processor, it'll run like crap on the Nook." But my Nook Color is running Honeycomb from its internal memory, and it's overclocked to 1.1GHz. It's silky-smooth and plenty fast, and I only expect it to improve.
If deeper-blue (the latest rock star of the dev community) can get a surprisingly full-featured version of Android 3.0 cranking in the first few days after the SDK preview was released, imagine what he (and others) can do when the full source is available?
Then there's that small matter of the price. I wasn't the only person who was a little surprised at the hefty $800 price tag Motorola has slapped onto the Xoom. I'm sure it's a phenomenal tablet that will make those who buy it very, very happy . . . but for the average user, is it worth paying an extra $550 over the Nook Color, which runs an early build of Honeycomb very well?
. . . and if Motorola is targeting the tech-head demographic by giving them mind-blowing specs, isn't it possible that a lot of those same gadgeteers' attention will be drawn to the promise of hacking their way into a $250 Honeycomb tablet?