Apple’s iPad has had a relatively easy run up to now, having pretty much invented the smart tablet market. Just over 12 months ago, Apple left its competitors in its digital wake. However with the release of Motorola’s Xoom in March things were shaken up a bit for Apple and its iPad 1. So can the release of the latest version of the ‘tablet wonder’ retain the crown of undisputed tablet champ for Apple?
Well first things first – so let’s be vain and look at the aesthetics. Motorola’s Xoom has a 10.1 inch screen which makes it slightly bigger than that of Apple’s iPad 2. Though, the iPad is an amazing 8.8mm thick in comparison to the Xoom’s still not gargantuan 12.9mm deep body – both are incredibly solid and incorporate top quality design, but such amazing build quality for something a paltry 8.8mm thick creates a kind of awe in the hand.
Both tablets have impressive picture quality, the Ipad uses a 9.7” display with a 1024×768 resolution and as I’ve mentioned the Motorola has a larger 10.1 inch offering running a full 720p screen with a 1280×800 resolution. Though the Xoom is technically more impressive and has a sharper picture, the IPad’s colours are more vivid and better light.
Performance wise Apple has introduced its new Dual Core 1GHz Apple A5 processor which has twice the power of its predecessor, amazing when opening up apps that are heavier on performance. The Xoom is no shrinking violet though and is the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb offering on the tablet market with an impressive interface that’s hugely improved on previous Android operating systems, it’s excellent for multitasking. The Xoom though is perhaps just not as intuitive as the Apple which gives the IPad a boost. Graphics on the new 4.3 iOS are even said to rival that of the PS3 in some cases which is an astonishing feat.
Does such power come at a price, as far as batteryis concerned? Well no it seems. IPad’s battery will last up to nine hours on heavy usage and the Xoom has an impressive eight in this stake. Both have 32GB of memory though the Xoom has a micro SD slot to add another 32GB if wanted, it’s also 4g ready and runs flash player which gives it a leg up on the IPad in these areas.
Camera wise Apple and Steve Jobs have listened to the man on the street and the IPad 2 comes with a frontal camera, so you can capture yourself in full pouting glory. The Xoom has a 2MP camera at the front and an impressive 5MP on the back capable of capturing 720p video at 30fps. Apple’s camera is a VGA at the front and the back is like the Motorola and capable of recording 720p footage.
The FaceTime and Google Talk options are impressive features and welcome additions to both tablets.
The biggest victory for the iPad comes in the app area. The IPad had 16,000 dedicated apps compared to a miniscule amount for the Android system. Other issues lie in the reliability of the Google apps with many continuously crashing. So as tablets are so apps orientated this puts the IPad at a huge advantage.
So though the Motorola Xoom is a very impressive machine and probably the best so far outside of the Apple Empire it falls a bit short of the new iPad’s capabilities. The iPad 2 is more of an evolution than a complete overhaul. It’s better built and smaller than the iPad 1 and though the Xoom has many features the iPad doesn’t; Apple has and iTunes and even more importantly a huge app presence with thousands more apps than the Xoom. Though, there is no doubt that Apple’s competitors are going in the right direction and with plenty more tablets to be released this year we’re sure to see some competition for the crown of best tablet.
|DualCore 1GHz Apple A5 Processor
|NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core Processor
|9.7inch LED Back Light
|£599 (Wi-Fi only / 32GB)
|$599 (Wi-Fi only / 32GB)