3. Motorola Xoom
Not only did reviewers at CES in 2011 think this was the best tablet at the show, but the best overall product.
Keep in mind that Apple doesn't attend CES anymore.
Hindsight doesn't do justice to all of the accolades heaped onto the Xoom's Android Honeycomb OS, dual-core processor, 4G-compatibility and front- and back-facing cameras. Its 10-inch frame had everyone convince it would not only rival the iPad 2, but beat it on even footing.
Not quite. While Motorola put on a happy face for the folks in CES' fantasy land, the company was splitting in two. Motorola Mobility, the one with all the gadgets, would get swallowed up by Google eight months later in a $12.5 billion deal. Google took charge of Motorola's more than 17,000 patents and felt free to use them as it wished, either through sale or open sourcing.
Xoom was caught in the middle and struggled to sell roughly 250,000 units in its first quarter. By July, Motorola was already lowering the Xoom's price by $100 for its Wi-Fi version and by $200 for its 4G model. With wireless companies taking their time implementing 4G and Android Honeycomb proving buggier than expected, Xoom's total sales stalled around the 1 million mark. In contrast, the competing iPad 2 hit that mark in its first weekend.
Verizon Wireless and Motorola released a follow-up tablet, but renamed it the Xyboard and just confused the consumer further. Xoom wasn't the first or last tablet to fall flat, but it had perhaps the highest expectations of that still-swelling cemetery of also-rans.