We can’t wait for next week’s CES show to see the upcoming Motorola Android Honeycomb tablet and we’re seeing multiple leaks come out. We’ve already heard that it should be called the Xoom and we’ve heard that it won’t have 4G LTE support built in but AndroidandMe says it will be able to access this next-generation mobile data network with an expansion modem.
Our sources say that Verizon will be selling an optional LTE modem that will plug in to a PCI express expansion slot found on the tablet. This would make sense because not everyone lives in Verizon’s 4G coverage area (it’s only 38 markets) and most people will not want to pay the $50-80 monthly fee for 4G data.
While I was initially disappointed to hear that the radio wouldn’t be built it, I’ve come around to the idea. The Motorola Android Honeycomb Xoom tablet is going head to head with the Apple iPad, so price is going to be an important factor and adding 4G LTE support would bump up the costs. For example, the 3G iPad costs about $130 more than the WiFi-only version and I’d expect 4G chips to cost even more.
Additionally, the first wave of Verizon 4G LTE modems are huge. It may be tough for Motorola to create a sleek and modern-looking device if it had to accommodate a huge module. Expansion ports would add to the functionality and make it more versatile but it likely won’t be as sleek as the iPad.
All of the speculation about the Motorola Android Honeycomb Xoom tablet should be put to bed by this time next week and you can be sure that the IntoMobile team will be live from Vegas giving you the latest news. We’ll bring you photos, videos and up-to-the minute news from the largest tech show of the year, so keep it tuned here.