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iPad 2 vs. Xoom Throwdown! Which is the Better Tablet?

ipadvsxooom

The iPad 2 was released last week and so far it’s a hit. But just a little while before that, the first Honeycomb tablet hit the store shelves in the form of the Motorola Xoom. So the question is, which one is worth your hard earned cash? We break the two down below in an iPad 2 vs. Xoom, throw-down to the death, or rather, for your wallet.

Display

The iPad 2 sports a 9.7” display with a 1024×768 resolution at 132ppi with LED back-lighting, while the Motorola Xoom sports a 10.1” widescreen display with a 1280×800 resolution at 150ppi and LED backlighting too.

Winner:
iPad 2 – the Xoom’s display is sharper, but the iPad’s display is brighter and produces richer colors.

Performance

The iPad 2 runs on Apple’s new Dual-core A5 chip, while the Xoom is powered by a 1Ghz NVIDIA Tegra dual core processor.

Winner: iPad 2 – Running on a NVIDIA Tegra dual core processor, the Xoom is indeed very fast, but according to these latest benchmarks from AnandTech, the iPad’s A5 processor blows the Xoom away.

Operating System and U.I.

This category is a highly debated one, but most users would agree that the iPad 2’s interface is easier and more straightforward to use. The Xoom on the other hand  is running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) which is a powerful multi-tasker. Honeycomb features like homescreens with widgets, and true push notifications are awesome for power users.

Winner: Tie – iOS on the iPad 2 has the advantage of having been around longer and it’s overall very polished, but the Xoom has many features that manage to one-up iOS.

Web Browser

Safari on the iPad helped start the tablet craze with fast and lovely  features like pinch to zoom and HTML 5 support. Meanwhile Honeycomb on the Xoom packs in some advanced Chrome features, plus it has Flash support.

Winner: Xoom – Both devices offer a superior browsing experience, but the tabbed browsing on the Xoom plus Flash compatibility makes for a very enjoyable browsing, and desktop-like experience.

Battery

Both the iPad 2 and Xoom claim to have a battery life of up-to 10 hours.

Winner: iPad 2 – From our time spent using the Xoom and iPad 2, the iPad 2 seems to be edging out the Xoom with about 9 and a half hours of battery life, versus 8 and a half for the Xoom.

Apps

There are already thousands of polished iPad apps available in the AppStore. Unfortunately, made for tablets apps in the Android Marketplace are very few in number and are just starting to trickle in.

Winner: iPad 2 – The Android Marketplace currently has less than 50 apps for tablets, while the AppStore has thousands of apps designed for the iPad. iPad 2 wins by a landslide, granted it did have a head-start advantage. That said, more and more Honeycomb apps are coming out everyday.

Cameras

The iPad 2 packs in a VGA front-facing webcam and a back-facing camera that is able to record 720P video.The Xoom sports a 2MP webcam and a 5MP back-facing camera that can record 720P HD video.

Winner: Xoom – Both still shots and video quality from cameras on both tablets aren’t that great, but the Xoom slightly edges out the iPad 2 a bit in terms of quality.

Design

The iPad 2 weighs just 1.33lbs and is housed inside a svelte aluminum back design with a choice of a glossy black or white front bezel. Meanwhile, the Xoom is covered in anodized aluminum and soft touch rubber grip, and it is indeed pretty handsome looking, but rather plain in comparison to the iPad 2.

Winner: iPad 2 – Sure, the Xoom is an ok looking device, but there’s no denying it, the iPad 2 is down right sexy.

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Connectivity

The iPad 2 is available as a WiFi only model, a Verizon 3G model, and an AT&T 3G model. The Xoom is available as WiFi only or with Verizon 3G.

Winner: iPad 2 – Both devices come with Verizon 3G as an option. But the iPad 2 also has an AT&T 3G option which means it can be used worldwide over 3G.

Accessories

Despite not even being a week old, there are a plethora of accessories that have already been announced for the iPad 2. As far as the Xoom goes, There is a speaker dock available for the Xoom and a few cases have been announced for it.

Winner: iPad 2 – There are a few accessories available for the Xoom so far, but overall there isn’t much. On the other hand, there are already a vast amount of accessories for the 1st gen iPad, many of which are compatible with the iPad 2. Plus, there are new accessories and cases being announced for the iPad 2 every day.

Pricing

Pricing begins at just $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 model, while pricing for the Wi-Fi only Xoom is $599.

Winner: iPad 2 –  The Wi-Fi-only Xoom costs $600, while the iPad 2 16GB undercuts that price at $500. Also, even the cheapest iPad 2 3G model is cheaper than the 3G Xoom.

Conclusion

When you break it down, the iPad 2 trounces the Xoom in almost every category. That’s not to say that the Xoom isn’t a really good tablet, but unfortunately the iPad 2 manages to wipe the floor with it in everything from design to performance. That said, the Xoom can still find itself many happy homes with Android enthusiasts.