Motorola's Xoom tablet will be made available in tthe US through Verizon Wireless on February 24 for $599.99 (£369).

The 10.1in tablet PC, which is the first to run the new Android 'Honeycomb' software, comes with a two-year contract, although its is available without a contract for $799.99 (£493). However, UK pricing and on-sale dates have yet to be announced.

Rumours of the $800 no-contract cost had started circulating in recent days as some bloggers complained that the price tag could prove to be an obstacle to buyers who compare it to the 9.7in iPad and other devices already selling in the same price range. An iPad with 32GB and 3G costs $729 (£449) in the US, while the equivalent Xoom is priced at $799.99 . In the UK, the same iPad is priced at £510.

Verizon said that wireless 3G data service for Xoom starts at $20 (£12) a month for 1GB. Further details on 3G pricing were not immediately available.

The first Xoom tablets to ship will not include Adobe Flash support, though Adobe noted in a blog that the over-the-air update to Flash Player 10.2 will come "within a few weeks of ... devices becoming available."

Flash support is considered by many to be an advantage that Android devices will hold over Apple products, like the iPad, that do not include Flash.

Xoom will ship with a dual coreNvidia Tegra 2 processor, with each core running at 1GHz for a total of 2GHz of power.

The device includes two digital cameras, a front-facing 2Mp model that serves as a webcam for video chat, and a 5Mp version on the rear for shooting still photos and 720p video. Xoom has 1280x800 resolution, compared to iPad's 1024x768. It is slightly thinner than the iPad and both weigh 730g

Xoom will work with Google services, and Verizon has noted on its website that Google Maps will offer quick loading of 3D vector maps that can be tilted, rotated and zoomed into.

See also: Motorola plans big production for Xoom tablet