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Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi tablet will match iPad 2 UK price at £500

PC World has announced that it will be selling the Wi-Fi-only Motorola Xoom Android tablet for £499.99 when it goes on sale in the first week of April, days after its plans first leaked.

PC World has opened UK pre-orders for the Wi-Fi-only Motorola Xoom, saying the Android tablet is expected to be released in the first week of April. The price: £499.99, with PC World the only UK shop to get the Wi-Fi version at launch.

That price tag may raise a few hackles among Xoom-craving Brits, mind. Earlier this week, PC World accidentally published a page for Xoom pre-orders, which had the price at £449.99. The retailer swiftly took the page down and announced that it was "a draft holding page", saying Motorola had not yet confirmed how much the Xoom would cost here in the UK.

Now it has, with the tablet costing £50 more than PC World had estimated. The 32GB Wi-Fi Xoom will thus be coming out a week after Apple's iPad 2 in the UK, with Apple's 3G-less 32GB model expected to cost £499. Almost a dead heat, then -- what's 99p between tablet friends, after all?

"If you order from us today you'll be the first in Europe to receive one," promises PC World on the Xoom's pre-order page. If you're looking for the 3G-enabled model, you'll have to head over to Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse, who announced last month that they'd be selling that variant of Moto's tablet.

One thing we're wondering: will Flash be available for the Xoom when it goes on sale here in the UK? In the US, it's not: Adobe confirmed last month that Flash Player 10.2 will be an over-the-air download for Motorola's device, which is already on sale Stateside.

A reminder of Xoom's key features in its battle against iPad 2 and other tablets: it runs Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS, has a 10.1-inch screen, and weighs in at 730g. The 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front cam out-muscle their iPad 2 equivalents, although expect to be using Skype or other videochat apps rather than Apple's FaceTime, obviously.

Xoom also has a built-in HDMI port and an SD-card slot, if you're looking for more differences from the iPad 2. What do you think of the 500-quid price tag though: will it give Xoom a fighting chance in 2011's battle of the tablets? Let us know with a comment.