The Motorola Xoom – the first tablet PC to run Honeycomb or version 3.0 of Google's Android operating system, is available to pre-order from a number of UK retailers, priced at £499.

The 10.1 tablet PC features an nVidia Tegra 2 dual core processor and can deliver up to 2GHz of power, since each core runs at 1GHz.

Currys, PC World, Dixons and Pixmania are all offering the Wi-Fi only version tablet PC with an estimated delivery date of April 9. A Wi-Fi and 3G version will be made available through the Carphone Warehouse  and Best Buy later this year, but while the device is available to pre-order SIM-free for £599, availability dates have yet to be released.

"The tablet market is taking off in a big way and we are delighted to be at the forefront again, this time with the Motorola XOOM, another product which our customers will be able to experience first at our stores," said Jeremy Fennell, category Director at Dixons Retail.

The Motorola Xoom has two digital cameras on board: A front-facing 2Mp camera acts as a webcam for video chat, and a 5Mp camera on the back is for photos and 720p high-definition video capture.

The touchscreen has a resolution of 1280x800 pixels, compared with the iPad's 1024x768 and Samsung's Galaxy Tab, at 1024x600.

Users will be able to watch 1080p HD video on the Xoom and output HD video to other devices via an HDMI slot. Adobe's Flash Player is also on board the Xoom, making it good for viewing web video.

The Xoom measures 249x168mm and is 12.9mm thick. By way of comparison, the iPad is 13.4mm thick and the Galaxy Tab is 12mm thick. At 730g, the Xoom weighs the same as the iPad with 3G and Wi-Fi.

However, whether the Motorola Xoom will manage to rival the success of the iPad remains to be seen, especially since Apple has now announced the next-generation of the iPad, and slashed the cost of its first tablet PC to £329.

See also: 5 reasons you need a tablet