US retailer pegs Motorola Xoom at $800

Motorola's Xoom tablet, which is widely tipped to be the first such device capable of knocking Apple's iPad from its lofty perch, will retail at $800 in the US according reports.

Engadget has a snap of a point-of-sale banner from stack-'em-high-sell-em-cheap electronics chain Best Buy which seems to suggest the Android-powered slate will hit the shelves on February 24th priced at a wallet-worrying $800. (Actually it's $799.99 but we're not fooled by that daft pricing nonsense on this side of the pond).

It's a brave move on Motorola's part to price the device $70 above the iPad's medium-priced 32GB offering, even if it does have a few more tricks up its sleeve.

The Xoom is expected to ship with Google's new made-for-tablets version of the Android OS, Honeycomb and boasts 720p video capture on one of its two cameras, 1080p playback on its 10.1-inch screen and full Flash support as well as a host of ports and plugs missing on Apple's genre-defining gadget.

We reckon someone is going to have to come up with something either massively cheaper, or spectacularly more powerful than the iPad in order to make much of a dent in its current 90 per cent market share.

The Motorola Xoom and Android 3.0 Honeycomb are both steps in the right direction and can only serve to make Apple try that little bit harder to stay ahead of the competition, but with the much-predicted iPad 2 set to poke its head above the parapet any time now, we can't help but think it's all too little and far too late.

And at $800, just a little too expensive, even with a penny change.