The Fuzzy Treatment: State of the Xoom Today. Originally posted here The Fuzzy Treatment: State of the Xoom Today on 2/26 -- check out Xoom Forum - Motorola Xoom Forum for updates to the information included in this story. So, the Xoom has been released and is in the hands of the masses. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! The first 4G tablet in Verizon's line released to the world + dog. The first "full" 4G device in Verizon's lineup released period since the Thunderbolt is still floating somewhere in the clouds, waiting to strike as soon as that pesky battery problem is worked out. But wait, there's more. Even if you live in an area with 4G/LTE, have a contract, and your tablet shows a lovely 4-bar signal, you're still out of luck using LTE -- you're on the vanilla, plain, boring, ordinary 3G network. Wait a minute, what? It's true. Verizon and Motorola are shipping the 4G version of the Xoom without 4G capability. Doesn't that strike you as a bit, well, wrong? It does me. But keep holding, it's about to get better. In order to get 4G on your device -- that pricey 4G you're paying for unless you dropped $800 on the puppy in the first place -- you're going to have to ship it off to get a 4G modem installed. While this is at no cost to you, the owner, this means you're going to be without a tablet to use that lovely service for a week. That's seven to eight days that you're paying for service that you can't use, just to get something they're using as a selling point. Sound like the Microsoft model of software? Push it then patch it till it works. This is taken directly from the Microsoft, er, Verizon Wireless page linked directly above. So, Verizon, Motorola, etc, are not only charging $800 for these things (a $200 premium over the WiFi-only version that still has no release date), they're selling them crippled, and they're making you pay for a week of service you can't use if you didn't shell out the full price. That's three strikes, as far as I'm concerned. But it gets better. That's where the modem should be -- what you're seeing there is a placeholder card. The folks over at iFixit have already disassembled the Xoom and, other than fifty-seven tiny screws, have declared this to be remarkably easy to repair. This means (in their estimation) that it would take about ten minutes for a trained professional to tear this thing down, insert a modem, and put it back together. Now add in another ten minutes to fire it up and test it and you have an estimate of twenty minutes to get it working. Six business days to do twenty minutes worth of work, not including the FedEx shipping costs, when if they'd just ship the device with the blasted modems installed in the first place they wouldn't be putting users out AND they'd be saving themselves all that money. Rumor seems to have the ship date of the first true LTE-enabled Xooms to be between one and three months, right about the time the WiFi-only Xoom has been rumored to be released. Sound like strikes four and five to me, maybe even six. The news is not all bad, however. As reported earlier by member Wicked, Verizon finally dropped that stupid 1-month requirement to buy the only version of the device they were releasing. Of course, it's also possible their lawyers finally got through to someone in Finance and told them forcing users to buy service that 99% of the population isn't anywhere they can use, especially when they're paying full-retail for the device was class-action-suit-worthy, and they'd lose big if they persisted, but I'm going to go with the idea that the immediate financial consideration probably won out, especially when you consider what Verizon is spending to advertise the device. No matter how you look at it, this is a good thing for the end consumer, and anything that's good for the consumer is good for the business selling them products. Koush (of ROM Manager fame) has already rooted the Xoom, and the device has already been overclocked with pleasant results, not to mention the bootloader is unlockable and apparently currently unlocked. Hopefully the locks won't come down any time soon -- or at all. Now, don't get me wrong, I think the Xoom is awesome and if I could afford one (or someone gave me one), I'd rock that thing's socks off. It's uber-geeky, the hardware can't be touched by anything else currently on the market, the software is so rump-kicking it's starting to smell, and with 4G it's faster than the proverbial speeding bullet! However, at $50/month for 5GB of 4G, that's going to get as costly as an errantly-fired bullet once you've been downloading for more than 32 minutes. So let's take a look at another opinion. Memo to iPad mimics: No one wants a $799 knockoff ? The Register $50/month for 5GB of 4G = 32 minutes of full-bore data use. I want to stress that point. 5GB is a totally unrealistic cap for data that fast. It's like driving a supercharged 1971 Mach-1 retrofitted with a 2-gallon gas tank. It just doesn't make sense. And in the end, it's still not an iPad in a world where everyone thinks Apple and iOS rules. As The Reg article states, Android has to be cheaper than Apple if it's going to compete. It doesn't matter if it's better. Right now Apple is the brand to beat, and the only way that matters to most people at first is the cost.