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Motorola Xoom Best Buy pre-orders open for February 24 release, no Wi-Fi only model

Motorola XoomMotorola CEO Sanjay Jha confirmed the price of the company’s soon-to-release Xoom tablet at $799 for a Verizon Wireless-equipped model (data plan required) and $600 for Wi-Fi-only at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this past week. Now there’s a Best Buy pre-order page up — a real one this time (we think) — pegging the release for this Thursday, February 24. There’s a catch though: only the $799 model is available.

This means that if you don’t want to subscribe to a Verizon data plan, you’re going to have to wait. Buyers will be required to sign up for at least a one month data activation in order to use their new toy. If that’s the tablet you’re looking for, also take note that the Best Buy page indicates that Xoom pre-orders must be placed in-store.

It should be said that Jha’s confirmation doesn’t necessarily mean the two models will be functionally identical. There’s the obvious difference in the less expensive version’s lack of a GSM/CDMA radio of course, but the $200 gap between them suggest the possibility of more scaling back as well. Motorola’s official product page is no help, with “Coming Soon” listed where the price should be and no mention of model-specific features. The Best Buy page is listed as “New” and it does line up with Jha’s price confirmation however, so the February 24 release date seems legit.

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