The Motorola Xoom tablet may give Apple's IPad a run...

The Motorola Xoom tablet may give Apple's IPad a run for its money. (Feb. 2, 2011) Credit: AP

Ten months after Apple Inc.'s iPad established the market for large-display touch-screen mobile devices, it finally has a worthwhile competitor: the Xoom, from Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., which went on sale Thursday at Verizon Wireless and Best Buy Co. stores.

The Xoom falls short of the iPad in some respects, and the gap may widen when Apple unveils its next-generation model March 2.

Still, the Motorola tablet gives consumers a viable choice.

It has a bigger screen, cameras for video chatting and recording high-definition video, and it runs Honeycomb, a new version of Google Inc.'s Android software.

The Xoom tablet sells for about $600 with the purchase of a two-year Verizon contract and about $800 without one. It will compete with an iPad model priced at $729, as well as with less-expensive tablets from HTC Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Like the 3G version of the iPad, the Xoom weighs 1.6 pounds, and claims battery life of about 10 hours of continuous video playback.

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