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Motorola Xoom and Dell Streak 5 plans from Maxis. Here’s what we think

Maxis has released their latest tablet service plans for the Motorola Xoom and the Dell Streak 5, and here are our observations on what they have to offer.

Motorola Xoom.
There’s not much of a service plan for the Motorola Xoom from Maxis. The Maxis Motorola Xoom plan is in actual fact a “get one free Motorola Defy” promo where you purchase the Xoom for RM2,499 from Maxis and then signup for a 3GB data plan with your choice of Maxis Value Plus plan to get the free Defy.

There is no option to purchase the Xoom with any other Maxis service plan.

Retailing for RM2,499 outright, you can’t deny that the WiFi only, 32GB Motorola Xoom is overpriced. Against it’s closest competitor, the WiFi 32GB iPad 2, priced at RM1,799, the Xoom is RM700 more expensive. In fact, for RM2,499, you can get the “top-of-the-line” 64GB 3G+WiFi iPad 2.

We’re not saying that the Xoom is not a capable tablet but it is really that awesome to command such a high price premium over its closest rival? We don’t think so.

With regards to the service plan, we’d rather Maxis offer just data plan with a MiFi device. If they can do it with the WiFi iPad why can’t Maxis do the same for the Xoom? It makes more sense and we’d gladly carry a MiFi — that is lighter, smaller and would probably have a better battery life — over an additional phone which we won’t be using to make calls on anyway.

So the Maxis Motorola Xoom service plan is lacking any appeal for us.

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Dell Streak
Maxis released its Dell Streak 5 service plans at the same time as the Motorola Xoom service plans. Similarly, the Dell Streak 5 service plans are nothing groundbreaking. It is the same plan as you’d get with the other tablets that Maxis offer (except for the Motorola Xoom).

Just subscribe to any Maxis Value Plus plan of your choosing, add a data plan on top of that and sign-up for a 12- or 24-months contract to purchase the device with a subsidised pricing — RM1,599 for 12-months and RM1,459 for 24-months.

Considering that its only a RM140 difference between the 12-months and 24-months plans, we recommend you opt for the shorter contract period because it’s cheaper in the long run as whatever amount you save from the subsidised purchase price is negated by the cost of the monthly subscription in the longer contract.

Pricing is also an issue with the Dell Streak 5. Outright, the single core 1Ghz tablet with just 1GB of on-board storage costs RM2,099. On the other hand, the 7-inch 3G+WiFi 16GB Galaxy Tab with similar, if not better specs, is just RM1,599 outright.

Incidentally in the US, the Streak 5 retails for US$449 which is about RM1,350 at today’s rate. Again, we’re asking, what is with the premium?

While some might consider it not fair to compare the Streak 5 with the iPad 2, we’ll do it anyway. So for the RM2,099 asking price for the Dell Streak 5 you can get a 64GB WiFi only iPad 2. For RM1,899 you can get the 16GB 3G+WiFi version. If you top-up another RM100 on the Dell Streak 5 RRP, you get a 32GB 3G+WiFi iPad 2.

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We’ll leave it up to you to decide which is a better value.

But perhaps if you take into account that you can make phone calls and send text messages with the Streak 5, the asking price is not too bad considering it is definitely much cheaper to get the Streak alone then to buy an iPad 2 and a mobile phone separately.

Though we still don’t get why the smaller Streak 5 is more expensive that the 7-inch Galaxy Tab.

For the Motorola Xoom, If you want just the tablet, you’d best be looking elsewhere than Maxis for a better price. If you don’t mind the free phone, yeah sure, the Motorola Xoom and Defy bundle is a good deal but we’d rather get a free MiFi instead.

For the Streak 5. If you’re looking a phone tablet-hybrid, you might just as well get the Galaxy Tab. It’s cheaper, has more on-board memory and in our opinion, better than the Streak.

Also, we don’t know why telcos in general are not offering a “sambung contrak” deal for existing customers where if you’re on an existing contract with a certain number of months remaining, you have the option to extend the contract period in return for a subsidised price for a new device.

Maxis does offer this for its iPhone customers and it should offer something similar to those who want to get other devices as well. It’s a good program to retain customers we think. Other telco should do it too.