iPad and Xoom

Comparison of iPad 2 and Xoom in various categories

Has the new iPad 2 gotten your interest?  Are you trying to decide between the iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom?


Apple has announced the newest version of the best-selling tablet on the market, the iPad 2.  With competing products such as the Motorola Xoom, HP Touchpad, and Blackberry Playbook hot on the heels of the original iPad, Apple’s newest gadget hopes to hold on to its lead in this new tablet market.  The iPad runs on Apple’s own iOS operating system, while the Motorola Xoom uses Android 3.0 Honeycomb.


The Motorola Xoom is arguably the closest thing to an iPad ‘killer’, so let’s break down the comparison:


Screen (Winner: Tie)

The iPad 2 comes in the same 9.7 inch 1024 x 768 display as the original iPad, while the Motorola Xoom sports a slightly larger 10.1 inch 1280 x 800 screen.  The main difference between the two screens is the aspect ratio: the iPad’s 4:3 vs. the Xoom’s almost widescreen ratio.  The Xoom’s aspec ratio makes it ideal for watching movies in horizontal mode, while the iPad can be favorable for other general tasks such as web browsing.  iPad’s LED-backlit display also enables it to be brighter than the Xoom’s screen.  There is no clear winner here, and the aspect ratio is more of a user preference, so we’ll call it a tie.


 Cameras (Winner: Xoom)

Both tablets offer front and rear-facing cameras.  Motorola gets the nod here due to its 2 megapixel front-facing camera against the iPad’s VGA camera.  On the back, both cameras record 720p video, but the Xoom includes a dual-LED flash. 


Price (Winner: iPad 2)

The Motorola Xoom is priced at $799, and Apple’s closest 32GB/3G model sells for $729.  Not only is the iPad 2 slightly cheaper than the Xoom, but Apple offers a variety of different flavors at different price points.  The first generation iPad is priced at a discounted $399 until supplies last and the Wifi-only iPad 2 starts at just $499.  iPad 2’s pricing model handily wins this category.


Apps (Winner: iPad 2)

The iPad has been out for almost a year now, and therefore, has many more apps than Android for tablets.  There are more than 65,000 apps to choose from on the iOS App Store.  Android tablets are still new to the game and still have a small selection of apps available for the Xoom.  iOS has been a very popular platform for app developers and continues to be so.  The quantity and quality of apps for the iPad will only get better, and makes it the clear winner.


Multitasking (Winner: Xoom)

Multitasking on the Xoom is a more enjoyable experience than on the iPad.  Xoom users are able to easily see an assortment of windows that show each application in its previous state.  On the iPad, users only see icons of the recently used apps.  This may not be a deal-breaker, but Android is certainly a step ahead of iOS in multitasking. 


Design (Winner: iPad 2)

The original iPad was similar in size and weight to the Xoom.  However, that all changed when Apple announced the iPad 2.  The new iPad is just 0.34 inches thick, while the Xoom is 0.5 inches.  The new form factor of the iPad 2 makes it even thinner than the iPhone 4! 


Final thoughts:

Apple has made some critical updates to keep the iPad’s specs on par with tough competition from tablets like the Motorola Xoom.  With the addition of cameras, a dual core processor, and ability to output HDMI, the iPad’s specs are almost on par with the Xoom.  However, the iPad’s pricing model, App Store selection, and design, are too much for the competition to overcome at this point.  You cannot go wrong with purchasing the new iPad 2.  It is still the tablet to beat, and will most likely continue to keep selling as well as it has since its debut.


Winner:  Apple iPad 2