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

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.


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.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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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.


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 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.


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.


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  1. Nice mini comparison review. Breaking it down into details appears the iPad 2 is a clear cut winner. I don’t owned either one of these but if I were to shop for one the iPad 2 would be the obvious choice.

  2. And even when it does, eventually, it will do flash horribly and with grwat battery degradation.

  3. I watch Hulu or megavideo nearly daily on my PHONE with half the specs and no significant battery issues from flash specifically.
    I’m getting an ipad2 as soon as I can (sold out everywhere) but come on! Face it, flash is a check in the zoom column.

  4. Yes, it does… I use flash now, the beta upgrade was leaked, and it works great…. and no kAWLo…. it doesn’t degrade battery performance…. which is nothing more than an iDrone excuse.

    This is a highly biased article. I owned the iPad 1, and now I have the Xoom… having given the iPad to my wife.

    It’s really funny that they mention the OS comparison as a “tie”… which just kills me. Honeycomb smokes iOS. The multi-tasking is amazing, and the widgets and notifications are AWESOME. I had to disable my wife’s e-mail account on her iPad because the pop-ups in the middle of the screen were driving her crazy.

    And of course there was no mention of Xoom using 4G… or of the expandable 32GB SD card slot… both of which should be active by end of 2nd quarter.

    Also, no mention of the iPad’s requirement to use the iTunes virus and to be tethered to a computer.

    If you are an Android user, you more than likely already know this, but if not… YOU CAN WIRELESSLY SYNC YOUR ANDROID DEVICE TO ANY COMPUTER IN YOUR HOME….

    No need to download a virus (iTunes) to your system…

    So… to sum it up…. Apple is great, their products are AWESOME… I truly loved my iPad, and they will continue to be a market leader for at least the near future.

    But… they are repeating history. They only build on one hardware platform (although I did see that they are coming out with more “cost effective” iPhones)… and they don’t support Flash.

    Now all your iDrones can say “I don’t need flash”… cool, you don’t… I’m happy for you…. but I do, and 80% of web content has flash in it in one way or another.

    Just a few things I could not access with my iPad, that I can access with my Xoom….

    My fantasy sports leagues.
    My investment account
    My online college account (this one really pissed me off with my iPad)
    95% of any sites with video.

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg… NO FLASH GAMES EITHER….

    Big mistake Jobs.

    My opinion… the iPad, technologically, is the one to catch… the Xoom is just the first of many that will challenge it… and with MULTITUDES of manufacturers and hardware platforms, it’s difficult to NOT see Android overcome Apple in the tablet market, just like they did in the phone market.

  5. What about Micro USB, HDMI, microSD card slot on XOOM? iPad does not have them. These are very useful. eg: you can play HD video on tv and connect any usb device and expand memory.

  6. Also, it compares the price of the 16bg iPAD 2 at $500 to the 32bg XOOM at $600. Why not compare both 32gb units at $600 to be fair. Very biased article, obviously!!!

  7. First, for the $599 compared to the $499 iPad 2, I don’t want to buy the Xoom but iPad.
    And what’s more, how does the device get credit in the review for features that are promised but not actually working?
    Yeah, Xoom doesn’t do flash. But it is loudly trumpeted as having a “1GHz dual-core processor and fully Flash-enabled for video-rich web,” But at last said that it won’t actually have anything of the sort. At launch at least.
    How does the device get credit in the review for features that are promised but not actually working?
    Potential buyers need to understand that the XOOM is rushed to market with key features that are no more than promises that might or might not work as advertised when they eventually materialize.
    Then there is the matter of screen shape. The XOOM may be good for watching movies in landscape but the cost of that is that it is far less useful when in portrait mode.
    I believe Apple is ahead and everybody else will never catch up because of lack of apps, or no ecosystem or learning curve.
    Just see how many app developers like iFunia live on it.

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