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We recently let you know that Telus was getting set to officially launch the Android-powered Motorola XOOM. They have recently done so, offering up the popular tablet for $599.99 outright, which is the same pricing as Future Shop and Best Buy who released it a couple weeks ago.

To provide a quick recap on the Motorola XOOM's specifications, it features a 10.1" (800x1280) touchscreen display, a 5MP camera with 720p HD video recording, and 1GB of RAM. The XOOM runs on Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and serves as a great Android alternative to the BlackBerry PlayBook and Apple iPad.

The Motorola XOOM is now available from Telus for $599.99 contract-free. Since it is a Wi-Fi only device, it is doubtful that we'll see contract-pricing for the tablet. Remember though, you can tether your Android 2.2 Froyo (or higher) devices using hotspot functionality to get data on the go, a process similar to that which the PlayBook uses.


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The tablet market is certainly heating up in Canada, with the iPad 2 launching in the very near-future, a couple of new Samsung tabs hiding around the corner, and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook launch expected next month. Motorola is looking to be a part of the competition in Canada, and seem to have teamed up with multiple vendors to offer the Motorola Xoom. The Wi-Fi only version of the tablet is expected to launch around April 8th, with FutureShop accepting pre-orders for the popular Honeycomb device. Telus also confirmed that they would be offering the Motorola Xoom, though it will be the Wi-Fi only version as well. They do, however, remind users that they can use any hotspot enabled Android handset to tether their Wi-Fi only tablets, so those with relatively new Android devices already should be covered.

According to Telus' press release, the Motorola Xoom will be available for as little as $599.99. We'll be sure to let you know if any other carriers announce that the Xoom is coming to their line-up, and any confirmation of pricing or availability that comes our way.


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The moment BlackBerry and gadget fans everywhere have been anticipating for the last few weeks finally came yesterday afternoon, when Research In Motion announced the BlackBerry PlayBook! The PlayBook, which is RIM's contribution to the tablet market, features an array of top-end specifications, and the OS is developed, as rumoured, by QNX.

Let's start with the hardware - a 7" ( 1024 x 600) LCD multi-touch capacitive LCD display/touchscreen, a 5MP rear camera and 3MP front-facing camera, both capable of capturing high definition. Powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, the PlayBook comes equipped with micro USB and micro HDMI ports, and connects to cellular data networks via bluetooth tethering with a BlackBerry smartphone. It also features Wi-Fi (a, b, g, n) connectivity, and comes in at just 10mm thick.

Now on to the operating system and software, it looks like the PlayBook is going to fill in the gaps that Apple's IPad currently has, including FULL Adobe Flash 10.1 support! It also supports HTML 5, an on-screen keyboard, and "true multi-tasking". Video conferencing is made available via the front facing camera, and the device can access your BBM, e-mail, calendar, etc., by pairing with your BlackBerry smartphone.


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