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Verizon announces pair of Droid Xyboard tablets

Perhaps new branding can help jump-start Motorola and Verizon's next Android tablets.

Will Verizon have more success with the tablet now that it has "Droid" branding? Motorola

Just as CNET reported last week, Verizon Wireless has officially announced a pair of new 4G LTE Android tablets for release in December.

Carrying the name of Droid Xyboard, the two devices are successors to the Motorola Xoom released earlier in the year. Specifications include dual-core 1.2Ghz processors, 1GM RAM, a 5-megapixel main camera, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. Powered by Android 3.2 Honeycomb, Verizon promises Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the pair at some point in the future.

The smaller, 8.2-inch media-centric model comes with two capacity options, 16GB for $429.99 and 32GB for $529.99. The 10.1-inch edition is available in three storage sizes, 16GB ($529.99), 32GB ($629.99), and 64GB ($729.99).

No, these ain't budget tablets and it's worth noting that these prices require two-year service agreements on data plans that start at $30 per month. So that means that the 64GB model ultimately could cost $1,449 over the duration of the contract.

Contrast that with a $199 Kindle Fire or $249 Nook Tablet and it's easy to see why people may not be in a hurry to adopt Big Red's new devices. Even if they are just watered-down tablet experiences, it's hard for typical consumers to justify that kind of money for a glorified digital reader.

I'll be curious to see what happens with dual-core tablets like the Droid Xyboard once quad-core devices begin hitting the market. Will the price drop down to a more affordable $250-$300 range? Will carriers stop trying to marry them to data plans and sell them as Wi-Fi devices? Lastly, will we see more emphasis on pay-as-you-go data?

What do you think the tablet landscape will look like one year from now?